Thursday, March 26, 2009

2009 MLB 1st year player Mock Draft

Here is my first run at this years mock draft. I will add a little info on each player over the coming days and put a player I see as a comp to each of them. I'll start off with the top 5.
1. Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, P, SDSU

The consensus #1 pick. The hard throwing strikeout artist has been ridiculous so far this year may get $20 million if Scott Boras pulls the right strings. I would have reservations taking him there but the Nats have money to spend and he could be in there rotation by 2010. (Mark Prior)

2. Mariners: Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, North

The best pure hitter in this draft will make runs at batting titles. He has inate ability to get the barrell on the ball. He has potential to be a plus defender, plus hitter with plus speed at 1B or CF. (Johnny Damon)

3. Padres: Grant Green, SS, USC

Green is a big guy to play SS at 6'3" but looks as if he will stick. He has been compared to Tulowitzki and Longoria a lot but I think Longoria is a stretch. He has shown he can hit in the Cape cod league the last couple years and I think he is a safe pick to be a solid big leaguer. (Troy Tulowitzki)

4. Pirates: Alex White, RHP, NC

Big athletic guy with smooth mechanics who can carry a low to mid 90's Fb deep into games. He compliments it with a nasty slider and a change he needs to refine but has potential. I could see him ending the 2009 season in AA. (Gil Meche)

5. Orioles: Mychal Givens, SS, HS

A two way star. He could be a 5 tool shortstop or a power arm. He has a upper 90's fastball with a good slider and good confidence. He also has plus speed and great athleticism but I have a feeling he won't hit for high average. (Shawon Dunston)

6. Giants: Tyler Matzek , LHP , HS
7. Braves: Kendal Volz, RHP, Baylor
8. Reds: Matt Purke, LHP, HS
9. Tigers: Donavan Tate, CF, HS
10. Nationals (for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Aaron Crow):Ryan Jackson, SS, Miami
11. Rockies: Kentrail Davis, OF, Tennessee
12. Royals: Aaron Crow, P, IND
13. Athletics: Bobby Borchering, 3B, HS
14. Rangers: Shelby Miller, RHP, HS
15. Indians: Max Stassi, C, HS
16. Diamondbacks: Jason Stoffel, RHP, Arizona
17. Diamondbacks (from Dodgers for Orlando Hudson, A):Brian Goodwin, OF, HS
18. Marlins:Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Kennesaw State
19. Cardinals: Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
20. Blue Jays:LeVon Washington, OF, HS
21. Astros:Andrew Oliver, P, Oklahoma State
22. Twins: Matt Davidson, 3B, HS
23. White Sox: Tanner Scheppers,P, IND
24. Angels (from Mets for Francisco Rodriguez, A): Austin Maddox, C, HS
25. Angels (from Yankees for Mark Teixeira, A): Jacob Turner, RHP, HS
26. Brewers: D.J. LeMahieu, SS, LSU
27. Mariners (from Phillies for Raul Ibanez, A): Jonathan Singleton, 1B,HS
28. Red Sox: Matt den Dekker, OF, Florida
29. Yankees (for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Gerrit Cole): Ben Tootle, RHP, Jacksonville State
30. Rays: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
31. Cubs: Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
32. Rockies (from Angels for Brian Fuentes, A): Luke Bailey, C,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Donavan Tate, CF, Cartersville, GA

Donavan Tate is one of this years best High School talents. He is a superb athlete at 6'2", 205 who has signed a letter of intent to play football at North Carolina. With 4.5 speed in the 40 yard dash and the NFL pedigree from his father Lars Tate.

Tate is a CF who can hit 95 mph on the gun from the outfield. He has plus speed as evidenced with his 40 time and runs a 6.4 in the 60. He also has shown plus raw power at times but has also had a tough time making contact at times. This is where the intrigue for me comes. Speed and power are worthless if you can't make contact and the debate is if the toolshed is worth the risk. The team that will take him may have to expend a top 5 pick to obtain his rights, then deal with Scott Boras to sign him. He has 2 sport leverage, which means he will get more than he would if he was just a baseball player. Xavier Avery, the 2nd round pick for the Orioles last June, comes to mind when I think of Tate. He is a raw tools guy with a lot of upside who also had football leverage and got paid well above slot.

The down side is that he reminds me of Colorado's 2nd round draft pick in 2006, David Christensen who has a career .218 BA and a .381 SLG., who has not lived up to the pre draft buzz.

I think Tate will be a high first round pick, maybe 9th to the Tigers, and be in the 150-180 range in my prospect rankings next season, unless he pulls an Aaron Hicks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Angel Villalona 2009 Stats

Here is my 2009 prediction for Angel Villalona in HiA as an 18 year old this season. His numbers would be better if he stayed in LoA. He will still be a top prospect, but it will continue to show he has a lot of work to do. I expect him to have 133 K's and 24 BB's.

I have decided to go a little deeper here on Villalona after some comments. Here are a few more stats.

His BABIP shows very little change from previous seasons. I think he will start to translate more of his raw power into real game power. His ISO jumps from .172 to .230 due to this. He still has major issues with his strike zone judgement and will be tested when he reaches AA.

He is in rare company as an 18 year old in Advanced A ball. This year, as far as I can tell, only Carlos Triunfel and Ruben Tejada spent the majority of the 2008 season there. Tejada is a potential 5 tool guy but he, like most Mets prospects, are pushed harder than he should be. He is a glove first kind of guy right now and hopefully the Mets will let him catch up for a year and leave him there next season. Triunfel held his own batting .287 with a .406 slugging. I suspect he will move on to AA this season and continue to put up similar numbers.

It is an aggressive challenge for Villalona, but there is talk of Dayan Viciedo starting for the White Sox at 3B and he is less than a year older than the Big V. AA is a more likely destination for Viciedo, but it is a comperable challenge. I look forward to seeing if Villalona lives up to my lofty expectations for 2009, although I have a less lofty expectation for his career.

Brett Wallace Career Projection

Here is my first stab at career projecting for a player. I was going to do Justin Upton first, but I thought I would stick with the minor league theme for now. I predict he has a long solid career ending with 320 HR's with 1421 RBI with a .308 career average. He will end short of 3000 hits with 2646. With his below average defense at 3rd, I don't see him staying there his entire career. He will slide over to 1st at some point and probably finish his career in the AL as a DH.

Player to watch: Dallas Buck

Dallas Buck was a 3rd round pick in 2006 by the Arizona D-backs. He pitched part of his final season at Oregon State and part of his first pro season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. It finally blew out and he had tj surgery, but before this he had a 3.41 ERA with 88-31 K-BB ratio in 97 innings. Before the injury he was throwing in the mid-90's with good sink. If he returns to this form, instead of the 88-90 mph he was throwing up to the surgery, he may be a steal for the Reds who acquired him in the Adam Dunn deal last fall.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The first overall pick in the 2009 draft

It will be Stephen Strasburg if it is based on talent. He is dominating at San Diego State this spring. He is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA so far with 45 k's and 4 BB's in just 20 1/3 IP. He has reportedly hit 102 mph on the radar gun this spring. For all these reasons, he should be the first overall pick in the draft. Recently Jim Callis at Baseball America has stated he wouldn't trade this pick, if it was possible, for a package of prospects only for the likes of Justin Upton, Evan Longoria or others.
I, on the other hand, would trade him if it were possible. Even if I owned the 1st overall pick, I may not take him. He does have superstar potential and could be in the major league rotation as soon as 2010. He could follow the likes of David Price and make an impact very early on. Personally, I am more afraid he will take the path of Mark Prior or Ben McDonald.
I look back to the 2001 draft when the Twins took Joe Mauer over Mark Prior. Dewon Brazelton and Gavin Floyd also went before before Mark Teixeira. I think the Nationals should look at this and take the safer route and go with Green or Ackley.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Draft Eligible Sophomores to Watch

Kentrail Davis out of Tennesee is my personal favorite. He was a 14th round draft pick by the Rockies in 2007. He is built like a rock thanks to a job helping his Dad as a bricklayer growing up. This makes me believe he will have a good work ethic and continue to get better. He is small in stature at 5'9" but is around 200 lbs, evoking thoughts of Kirby Puckett with his power and speed in a small package. He will be limited to LF in the pros due to mediocre route running and a below average arm. I could see the Rockies taking him at #11 this year.
D.J. Lemahieu for LSU, Mike Nesseth for Nebraska, and Sam Dyson for South Carolina are a few others to watch.