Monday, June 1, 2009

Take 5: Draft edition

For the next few installments of Take 5, we're going to take a look back at the season 1 draft. Coming up on 5 seasons after that day, we are starting to get somewhat of an idea as to how these guys will turn out. With that in mind, today's Take 5 question is:

Who were aginor's favourite 1st round picks from season 1 and how are they doing?

1. Amp Palmer, IF, Lousville (#6)

aginor's analysis: ...Amp is the whole package in potential. Slick fielding, great arm and solid bat... this kid could very well become MVP material. In 3 years, look out AL!!! Overall rating: 10/10

How he is doing: Currently playing 3rd base for the big league club that drafted him. Amp only had 300 at-bats last season, but started to show his potential at the plate, hitting .321 and driving in 78 runs in only 72 games. He's carried that over to this season, hitting .305 with 13 HRs and 32 RBI in 42 games. He's been very good in the field, only making 1 error at 3rd. Even if he doesn't win an MVP, I see multiple All-Star appearances in his near future.

2. Lonny Gates, SP, Houston (#3)

aginor's analysis: Lonny has the potential to become a solid ace pitcher in the majors! Should be a solid ground ball pitcher with 4 solid pitches. The only major drawback on Gates is his velocity. He's a pitch to contact type BUT with a solid infield... can you say possible Cy Young material?Overall rating: 9.5/10

How he is doing: Only 23 years old, could already be considered the ace on one of the NL's best teams. He's already won the Rookie of the Year Award after last season's 17-10 campaign. Currently at 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA, I'd have to say that aginor was right on this one as well.

3. Jason Walker, CF/2B, Atlanta
aginor's analysis: Unlike other first rounders that might be in the majors in 2-3 years, Jason will take awhile. The wait will definitely be worth it, though!!! With his potential abilities, you have an All-Star calibre CF or 2B who should hit for average and have decent power numbers. Overall Rating: 9.5/10

How he is doing: Not taking any longer to reach the majors than most of the other top prospects, Walker is now entering his 3rd major league season. While putting up solid numbers, Walker has not reach the level of stardom that Palmer and Gates have. Last season he hit .286 with 25 HRs and 61 RBI while scoring over 100 runs. There are some flaws in his game (could improve defensively, gets thrown out stealing too often), but he's been a solid contributor.

4. Felix Comer, SP, Charlotte (formerly Nashville)

aginor's analysis: I'm sure Nashville was happy to see Comer still available when their turn finally cam around! Like some of the other late 1st round picks, Felix is a long-term project. But the light at the end is a hard-throwing lefty who could be the ace of the staff. Solid command of 4 above-average ML pitches, will keep ML batters guessing. Quite a steal to grab a guy of this quality at #29. Overall rating: 9.5/10

How he is doing: After a good rookie campaign (7-4, 3.58 ERA in 18 appearances), the wheels have come off at the start of this season. He's started 8 times and is 0-6 with a 6.60 ERA. Is this what he will be or is it just a slump? Most of his starts have been at home and Charlotte is a neutral park, so that doesn't bode well.

5. Jimmie Williams, 1B, Washington (formerly Philadelphia)

aginor's analysis: While normally I'm not a big fan of drafting a 1B/DH in the first round, Williams is, without a doubt, an exception to that rule. He will hit for both average and power, making him the ideal clean up hitter. A guy like Jimmie is not there for his glove or arm (good thing!). This future fan favourite will make pitchers' ERAs go up!
Overall rating: 9/10

How he is doing: aginor hit the nail on the head on this one. Williams is far from outstanding defensively, but has already made his mark as a feared hitter . In his first full season in the majors, he hit .298 while hitting 46 HRs and driving in 103. While slumping a bit last season, he has returned to form (.329-18-47 through the first 42 games) despite the organization trading David Rushford in the offseason.

Note: 5 other players (Jack Hunt, Che Bong, Chris Lowry, Mateo Batista, Tito Martin) were also rated 9/10. Williams was chosen for being the last of the 6 taken and for having what I thought was the mostly glowing write-up by aginor.

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