Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If the Draft Were Held Today- Season 4

Season 4's draft class had some stars. Here's how that draft might look today:

1. Washington D.C.

Pick then: SP Carter Leonard
Today: Leonard

The only difference if the draft were being held today is Washington might actually turn their pick in faster. Leonard is an absolute stud, having a Cy Young caliber season in his first season, reminiscent of Dwight Salmon with Salem back in season 1. Washington can only hope its season ends the same way. But it could, in large part because Leonard has taken a big part of Washington's season on his right shoulder.

2. Jackson

Pick then: SP Fausto Almanza
Today: Almanza

Not nearly as good as Leonard, but still a very good starter for a good Jackson team- he's 28-14 in his big league career.

3. Seattle

Pick then: 2B/CF Watty Miller
Today: Miller

Traded for Denny Moss, Miller has flourished in Trenton, making the All-Star game as a CF and hitting over .330 both of his full ML seasons.

4. Austin

Pick then: SP Vladimir Bibby
Today: Bibby

Austin has made the difficult jump from playoff contender to title contender. There have been a lot of factors involved, but Bibby's 10-4, 3.12 rookie season has definitely been a big part of it.

5. Buffalo

Pick then: SP George Hurst
Today: SP Stone Curtis (picked #12 by Atlanta, still with team)

Hurst may just be a victim of being on a bad team. He had great success in the minors and wasn't rushed through the system, but finds himself with a 4-14 record on a bad Buffalo team. The 4.96 ERA seems to indicate that at least some of it is his own doing. Would Atlanta's Curtis be just as bad on Buffalo? Would Hurst have gone 14-6 with a 3.01 ERA on a National League contender as opposed to an AL also-ran? Hard to say, but I'm going to go with an answer of "no" on both of those.

6. New Orleans

Pick then: SP Santiago Perez
Today: Perez

Like Miller, Perez was traded for a future Hall-of-Famer (Gregg Black). Atlanta is pleased to have Perez, who along with Kaz Whang and Curtis should help keep Atlanta rich in pitching for years to come.

7. Boise (formerly Colorado Springs)

Pick then: SP Hector Manto
Today: Manto

This is the toughest call I've had to make, as Manto has yet to throw in the big leagues, in large part due to Boise's caution with their prospects. But I think Boise would probably stick with this pick, even if I might not necessarily do so.

8. Philadelphia

Pick then: IF Brian Sweeney
Today: Sweeney

Again, I think Philadelphia would stick with Sweeney, who is struggling a bit in his rookie season but has dominated the minors and has still shown some flashes of the big-time hitter some scouts have projected him to be.

9. Oklahoma City (formerly Little Rock)

Pick then: SP Harry Valdes
Today: SP Sammy Garrido (picked #21 by Trenton, now with Salem)

Valdes is another OKC top 10 prospect (picked before the current GM arrived, mind you) who has yet to even reach the majors. I'd have to figure they'd rather have Garrido, who is 11-10 with a 2.82 ERA for an awful Salem team and was the key component for the Sacrifices in the Dunwoody/Salmon deal last season.

10. Syracuse

Pick then: SS Louie Wunsch
Today: 2B Bob Stewart (picked #11 by Anaheim, still with team)

Wunsch hasn't reached the big leagues yet, but I think he'll be a nice player. I'm also having a hard time convincing myself that Hurst wouldn't somehow go in the top 10. But I'm going to have to take a 22-year-old infielder who drove in 99 runs last season over a 26-year-old pitcher who hasn't proven himself yet. Stewart is on the way up and was a good pick for that Anaheim franchise.

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