Monday, August 31, 2009

Take 5: Draft edition

As we approach the 7th season's draft, we look back 5 seasons to gauge how some of the picks panned out.

Who were aginor's 5 favorite picks from the Season 2 draft and how have they turned out so far?

1. Sam Brumfield, C, Memphis (now Austin), #15

Aginor's take: Here is the BEST of a deep crop of solid all around catchers that were available in this draft (see rest in the supplement). Sam should become perennial ALL STAR. He’s got the potential to hit for a good average (.280s maybe better) and with decent power. ALSO, he will have a solid arm and pitch calling ability (70+). But what puts this guy over the top…his durability AND health, two areas catchers are usually a little weak. Sam could play over 150 games a season! That is unheard of in HBD. So IMO, while the first 3 picks are great, this is the pick of the draft. Oh …. you want a drawback; OK… he has slightly below average speed on the bases for a catcher! YEA RIGHT, AS IF THAT REALLY MATTERS.

So far: Had a phenominal minor league career and had a nice, if not All-Star caliber, rookie season in the majors. Aginor thought he could hit .280- that's still possible, although he only hit .247 his rookie season. But he's still got room to grow. I don't think Austin fans regret the choice one bit.

2. Jim Clyburn, RP, Arizona (now Cheyenne), #17

Aginor's take: Jim is the third potential closer taken in the 1st round. While a little unusual to see this many top quality potential closers in a draft, not really all that rare. And yep Jim has the potential to be a shutdown guy, no doubt about that in the least. Now, it may take him a while to get there but once ready, the D-Backs will have themselves an All Star closer on their hands.

So far: Agnor was right that it would take Jim awhile to get to the majors- this is now his rookie season. As far as being a shutdown closer, it hasn't happened right away (like, say, 13th pick in the same draft Garry Wright). He's already blown 4 of his first 10 save opportunities and at press time has an ERA over 12. Of course, the first quarter of a guy's rookie season is not nearly enough to judge a career. Let's say the jury is still out.

3. Paul Schwartz, P, Vancouver (now Seattle), #8

Aginor's take: The second pitcher taken in the draft isn’t an Ace Starter, hmmmm... BUT he’s got the potential to be a “Lights Out” closer. One of the three that were taken in the first round. Finding a solid closer is one of the holy grails of HBD. Is Schwartz IT? Time will tell, but I’d say he’s got a REALLY good chance to be IT.

So far: Traded twice his first full season in the minors, he eventually found his way to Cheyenne's system, and he's been in the majors 3 full seasons already. He had a dynamite season setting up last season, pitching a whopping 143 innings at a 3.27 ERA and striking out almost a batter per inning. This season he was made the closer and has been a little shaky, with an ER A over 5 and blowing 5 of 21 opportunities.

(OK, I'm going to cheat a little. Since aginor had 6 guys rated 9.5 or higher and these next two were compared to each other, I'm going to lump them together).

4. Jordan Newfield, SS, Salt Lake City, #2 and Neifi McBride, SS, Chicago, #3

Aginor's take: Well the Shakers got a real solid SS in Jordan. He should be .300 hitter and should hit 30-40 long flies once he hits his potential. Only two small knocks here, Batting Eye and Range (you’d like 80+ as SS); still again in overall scheme… neither are big deals with this kids other potential ratings. I think teams in the NL are going be sorry Jordan is in Salt Lake.

Neifi and Jordan were definitely the 2 best Shortstops available in the draft (though Hamill & Cook are nothing to sneeze at for sure). McBride is the slightly better fielder of the two and is slightly less the hitter but…realistically that’s splitting hairs. Once signed, the Cubs will have a possible Gold Glove SS for the future. A word caution with Neifi, even though his overall rating is 70+, start him no higher than A Ball. Cubs should give this kid time to develop into the player he should be, otherwise….. A look into the crystal ball sees Neifi & Jordan both playing SS for NL All Star team.

So far: I'd have to agree with aginor's assessment of Newfield. He's already shown he can hit .300 with around 30 homers, and the rest of the NL is sorry he's in Salt Lake City. He's had 3 full seasons in the majors and has indeed been to an All-Star game. McBride has been a little different. He ended up moving over to 2B for the Tamers, so perhaps the perception coming out of school that he was the better defender hasn't held up. In his best season he hit .311, so he's a valuable member of the Chicago squad. He's yet to be invited to the Mid-Summer Classic.

5. Turner Dolan, CF, Kansas City (now Scranton)

Aginor's take: In Turner (if signed) the Comets will have themselves a potential solid all-around CF. His defensive potential is solid, even could content(sic) for a Gold Glove or two. He should be a .320+ hitter, with 20+ HR and 30+ SBs. A downside (this is being picky) Arm Strength is below what you want ML CF; that’s why this one isn’t a 10/10. Other than that… a great first overall pick goes to the Comets.

So far: In this, his rookie season, he appears to be having the type of season aginor predicted, minus the stolen bases. He's been a little shaky at times in the field, but if you can get a good CF and leadoff-type guy, it's always good to have.

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