Saturday, April 12, 2008
There have been alot of rumors flying around as the draft approaches.
Jim Callis did a nice job on compiling some prospects who are moving up and down here ( I think it is free): http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/?p=266
Also, Saber Scouting had a real nice article on some of the Boras clients here: http://saberscouting.com/2008/04/07/borasclientprice/#more-84
Rays: Tim Beckham
Rumors are that the Rays want a position player. With Alvarez's asking price possibly astronomical, expect Beckham here. Also, the Rays need catchers so Skipworth and Posey will at least get looks.
Pirates: Pedro Alvarez
The Pirates NEED to take him. However, Jonathan Mayo over at MiLB.com heard that the Pirates could take Gordon Beckham here. While Beckham is solid, he is not a top 3 pick. Taking him would not look good.
Royals: Brian Matusz
I think Crow is better, but the asking price for him is too high for the Royals. If Tim Beckham was here I think the Royals would love him.
Orioles: Aaron Crow
Would the Orioles sign two HUGE contracts two years in a row? They need to if they are serious about this rebuilding thing.
Giants: Kyle Skipworth
What to do what do to. This is a tough pick. Tanner Schepper and Shooter Hunt would be pitchers here.
Marlins: Yonder Alonso
I am not a big fan of Alonso. However, he should be inexpensive and a local pick.
Reds: Tim Melville
This pick almost makes too much sense. Posey or Skipworth could make sense as well.
White Sox: Justin Smoak
The system needs anything and everything. Smoak's stock has fallen due to high expectations. He is still an outstanding prospect.
Nationals: Buster Posey
The Nationals have been pitcher oriented. Having the chance to get an offensive oriented catcher is too good to pass up. Skipworth and Posey are interchangeable in that it comes down to preference and whether Skipworth can stay at catcher. They would take Skipworth too I think. Beckham is a possibility as well.
Astros: Gordon Beckham
This is where he projects to go, and won't be a tough sign. Perfect for the Astros
Rangers: Tanner Scheppers
If Hosmer's bonus demands are not ridiculous, we could see him here.
Athletics: Shooter Hunt
Frontline college starter makes sense
Cardinals: Aaron Hicks
They could go really any direction here. I think they would love Shceppers or Hunt. Chrisitan Freidhich is a possibility but there are some major questions about his control, velo, and how good is CB actually is.
Twins: Dennis Raben
Honestly, who knows what the Twins will do? I can just tell you it will not cost a lot of money.
Dodgers: Alex Meyer
Another high school pitcher? Why not. Go with what works for you.
Brewers: Josh Fields
I am trying to predict a surprise here. Really, the best players still there aren't typical Brewers guys. Fields could help the Brewers pen down the stretch as well.
Blue Jays: Ethan Martin
Blue Jays have shown they will take high school players. Martin has shot up the draft boards and is one of the hardest throwers in the draft
Mets: Eric Hosmer
Assuming they will spend money on the best talent, it comes down to Hosmer and Cole. I think Cole's mechanics and makeup will scare some teams off.
Cubs: Jemile Weeks
Seems very similar to Tony Thomas, 2nd round pick last year.
Seattle Mariners: Brett Hunter
Assuming he is healthy. They like to move guys quick, and he is a quick mover. Potential closer.
Tigers: Gerrit Cole
Kind of the obvious choice here in that they figure to swipe up the best talent that falls.
Mets: Lance Lynn
I think the Mets will try to go hitter/pitcher with their first two picks. While they do have the money, I do not think they will spend $8 million on the first round.
Padres: Christian Freidrich
Essentially, I go down the list and look for a signable college player for the Padres. I honestly think he will fall this far.
Phillies: Brett DeVall
I cannot imagine them NOT taking a pitcher.
Rockies: Brett Wallace
Pick makes sense for them. Watch the Brewers take him and try to make him into a catcher. Only kidding. If teams think he can play 3B, he will go way before this - maybe to the Brewers actually.
Diamondbacks: Kyle Lobstein
Polished lefty from Flagstaff
Twins: Connor Gillespie
Just a guess. Trying to predict a surprise.
Yankees: Sonny Gray
Really just a guess. In reality, the Yankees will take whoever drops more than likely.
Indians: Tyson Ross
Polished college pitcher. Enough said for the Indians.
Red Sox: Reese Havens
Red Sox wanted him out of high school, offered him over slot money. His performance this year warrants a top 40 pick so this is not a stretch.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I will also try to post video of BP...depending on how well my camera takes video.
While I am no expert scout, I do have experience with evaluating amateur talent for college football teams. So, same basic athleticsm principles. If you are not familiar with how scouts evaluates baseball players, SaberScouting.com gives an outstanding overview.
Essentially, beyond the 5 tools, I look at "God given" talents that some players just posses and then other areas where coaching or hard work can improve. For example - when I wrote about Gordan Beckham's approach...the fact that he has only walked 9 times is not alarming because that can easily be improved upon. However, if a player can't recognize off speed pitches that is a big problem because a coach can't just teach a player how to do that.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I would also like to point out that Peter Gammons wrote an article showing that less than 4% of high school LHP drafted make it to the Pros.
Tim Melville - RHP- Tall, projectable RHP with low 90s FB and workable knuckcurve.
Gerrit Cole -RHP- Throws legit heat, mid to upper 90's. Major questions on signablity and makeup.
Alex Meyer - RHP - 6'7 - came out of nowhere last year and has played well in showcases throwing his mid 90s heat. Baseball America convered The perfect Game Show Case and had him ranked ahead of Cole. Do not be suprised if he is taken before Cole in the draft.
Brett DeVall - LHP - DeVall is actually the second best high school LHP according to BA (behind Kyle Lobstein). However, I prefer Devall in that he is 6'5 and lanky with very solid mecnanics. Throws low 90s and has a solid slider/slurve and shows a feel for a change up. BA also had Gray listed ahead of Devall.
Sonny Gray- RHP - Concerns will be there about his size. He is about 5'10 or 5'11. He does have a plus FB and a power CB, however, lets remeber Tim Lincecum is the exception to the rule.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Cole is 6’3 about 190 pounds. Melville is 6’5 200 pounds. Both are tall, lean pitchers with room to fill out and potentially add some velocity.
Melville has very good mechanics for anyone, let alone someone who is 6’5. He stays over the rubber well, keeps him balance, and finishes in good position. His delivery is smooth. There is a reason why scouts love his projection.
Cole’s mechanics are not as good as Melville’s. His shoulders are sloped over his feet, which usually leads to inconsistency and balance problems. His arm action is very long and somewhat slings the ball from a ¾ arm angle.
Cole has the edge in velocity. “He may have the best FB in the draft” as one executive told Baseball America. He has a legit mid 90’s FB that sits 93,94 and has touched 98. Melville has good velo, 92, 93. But, he has the size and mechanics to envision more on the way.
Coles slider is pretty solid, Melville throws a knuckle curve. Both changeups are nothing to write home about.
There have been concerns over Cole’s makeup. Not to mention Boras is his adviser.
I think Melville’s size, projecability, and Cole’s signablity concerns make Melville a better pick. Just based on pure stuff, Cole has the edge right now, but at a high cost.
Cole will drop in the draft, while Melville will most likely be a top 10 pick.
Monday, April 7, 2008
The first thing you will notice about the list is the abscence of Harold Martinez. He has taken a huge dive in the eyes of scouts. Maybe out of the 1st and supp rounds. He has looked terrible at the plate early on. With that said, Isaac Galloway has some tools but is not anymore proven.
1) Tim Beckham
Tim Beckham is one of the only legit 5 tool players in the draft. His power will need to develop as it is lagging behind his other tools. Most importantly, there is no doubt he can stay at SS.
2) Aaron Hicks
Hicks is the other legit 5 tool player in the draft. I think his tools are actually better than Beckham's. Obviously the fact that Beckham plays and can stay at SS gives him the edge. Like I said in the "Top Prospect" on Hicks, he is an extremley speedy CF with a great arm at least. His frame is extremley projectable and if he adds power and can hit consistently he is very comparable to Cameron Maybin.
PLUS, he is a potential setup/closer in the bull pen. So a team could let him hit for 3 years, if that does not work out, move him to the bull pen with is mid 90's FB and power CB. He is as safe as of pick as a high school player can be.
Hicks over Hosmer? This is just a personal preference. Based on how good they are right now, Hosmer is probably better and more accomplished. However, I am not wild about high school 1B, plus when you factor in cost, Hicks is just a better prospect to me. In order for Hosmer to be worth his cost, he has to hit 30 HR in the big leagues. Even if he turns out to be Mike Jacobs, that is not worth it. I would rather take a chance on a non 1B.
4) Kyle Skipworth
I really like Skipworth, and I think he is a top 10 pick. As I said in his Top Prospect, he has the size comparable to Joe Mauer and the sweet swing of John Olerude, but with more power. If it was a given he could stay at catcher, he would be a top 5 pick. However, he has calmed some of those concerns this Spring. He can hit enough to even play 1B down the road if need be.
4) Isaac Galloway
This is where the list drops off for me. He profiles as a corner OF and tops out at a 20/20 ceiling. His arm is good, but not good enough speed for CF. The word is that he has more now skills but not as much projection as Hicks.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Crow or Matusz, Matusz or Crow? That seems to be the question. Fortunately for comparison sake, the only similarity they really share is they are both studs.
I am not going to get into college numbers when comparing them, because most college numbers are useless. The fact that Matusz struck out 16 against San Fransisco really does no good in his future projection. Something I will bring up is the K/BB ratio because I feel it is important no matter what division or league a pitcher is in that they throw strikes and have dominating stuff; Matusz with a 71:15 ratio and Crow with a 67:11. But, Crow plays against better competition blah blah blah that it why I do not want to get into comparing college stats. They are both dominating the college ranks, enough said.
So here is what we got – Crow is a dominating RHP with two plus pitches (FB and Slider) while Matusz has 3 potential plus pitches. You might have seen that Matusz has 3 plus pitches already. I beg to differ. His FB sitting at 90-91 is not a plus pitch. There are some concerns with his velocity. If teams think Matusz sits at 90-91 as a pro, his draft stock will take a hit. Because he goes from possibly an Eric Bedard (92-94 MPH FB) to a young Jamie Moyer (not bad, but not an ace). There are no questions about Crows velo and his secondary pitches – they are both plus. Maybe the slider plus plus.
However, comparing deliveries, Matusz has the advantage a good bit on Crow. Crow SHOULD throw that hard with his effort delivery. It is not herky jerk per se, but its also not smooth. Matusz’s delivery actually reminds me of Jamie Moyers, nice and smooth – almost melancholy. Matusz is also 6’5. So, it will cause some teams to wonder if he will not actually gain velocity. Matusz doesn’t use a lot of arm speed – he also all legs and leverage (which is a good thing).
I have mention before that I feel Crow’s best two pitches are better than Matusz’s best two. However, Matusz’s third pitch is better than Crow’s third pitch. Simply put, I think Crow is more dominating but Matusz is a safer bet because he already has 3 workable pitches.
Here is how I view them – Crow has a higher ceiling in that if he develops a change up or a 3rd pitch we could be talking about his stuff being Prior-esque. Matusz on the other hand is the safest bet in the draft. He is going to be a major league pitcher baring an injury. Also, I think he floor is higher than most players. At the very least he is an innings eater 4th starter for a long time.
Lastly, Crow is advised by
Furthermore, Matusz is a LHP, so that is a plus. The more I think about it, the more I think Matusz will be the first pitcher taken.