Monday, August 25, 2008

Draft Review - Continued

Let's see...where was I...

30. San Francisco - John Penny - RP - $2330k bonus - RL
John looks to be a pretty good setup reliever or left specialist. If my scouts are off and he's better vsR than his 61 my scouts show, he could be a closer because he has very good control (88), vsL (80), velocity (92) and a 95 rated fastball to go along with a 65 slider. He has tremendous durability at 93 so he'll be out there almost everyday getting lefties out, but his health (47-53) is a risk. Solid end of the first round pick, but not great.

31. Los Angeles - Herm Jarvis - SS/3B/2B - unsigned
Either Herm didn't want to play in LA/Sarasota or trev decided not to pay him a relatively paltry $1.81M because he should be signed by now. He has very good power (81) and can hit lefties well (72) but righties not as well (57). His contact (41) and eye (46) leave much to be desired, and he's not really a good enough fielder to play SS at the ML level since range, glove and arm strength are all rated to mid-70's at best. Solid ML infielder here.

32. Cheyenne - Emmett Walsh - C/DH - $1000K - LowA
Emmett is a decent catching/DH prospect with all hitting ratings in the 60's except batting eye which I see as topping out at 74. He's extremely durable, but not really good enough to justify getting all that time at the ML level. A pitch calling rating of 61 is decent but combined with only 70/68 for arm strength and accuracy, he's not really the guy you'd love to have behind the plate defensively everyday.

The best of the supplemental round picks:

33. Little Rock - Bennie Zambrano - 1B/DH - $1000k - RL
A power hitting 1B with very good contact (83) and splits (82/67) and good batting eye (73). His health is risky at 57, but hopefully he can avoid the nerve irritations and bulging discs and he'll be very productive come season 8 hitting right in the middle of the Nine's lineup for many years to come. A very nice pick here.

34. Charlotte Knights - Rudy Bennett - SS - $960k - RL
Rudy can field his position very well with good enough range and glove (82/85) to go along with a great arm (90/89). He can hit pretty well too with 71 contact, 57 power, 70/52 splits and 55 eye. He should stay healthy and is reasonably durable such that he should make an impact by year 7 if not the end of next season. A real nice pick up here at 34. Surprising that he was passed up by others.

38. Chicago Pizza - Tony Bennett - 1B/DH - $800k - RL
The Pizza have this crooner playing Catcher, but that won't last. He could play 1B or DH at the major league level because he sure will hit, especially left handers. With 72 contact, 99 power, 88/56 splits and 84 eye Tony will put fear into the best left hander out there, and he should make the Pizza owner very, very happy come year 8. A very good DH/1B prospect who could be a MVP candidate if he could hit righties better.

40. San Francisco - Jack Ashley - 2B - RL
Jack has very good range for 2B, but not a great glove. However, his impact will be in the field, possibly at leadoff due to very good contact (75), splits (75/74), speed (85) and eye (82). His power of 31 is good enough for the occasional extra base hit, so he should be a very productive and healthy 2B for years, impacting the Seals' order come the end of season 7.

54. Charleston - JR Sweeney - 3B - RL
JR looks like a very good fielding 3B with a very strong arm (84) who can hit well enough too. He has good hitting ratings accross the board (62 contact, 69 power, 68/83 splits and 54 eye) and should always be healthy (100). A pretty good selection at 54 if I don't say so myself...

61. Florida - William Cairncross - RP/spot starter - RL
One of the best pitchers taken after the first round William has the elements of what I like in pitchers, which is good control (83), very good vsR at 82 and good enough vsL at 62 to go along with decent pitches, including one at or above 85 (forkball is 85 with others at 67,63, 42, 39). He could be very productive as a long reliever in the ML and spot starting occasionally as needed. Very good pick here.

Notable Mentions:
39. Jin Che Woo of New Orleans (solid SS with a great glove and adequate bat to start for many years);
54. Rodney Walker of Charleston (end of the rotation SP with good splits (64/69), control (70) and three decent pitches combining to over 200)
55. Mendy Martin of Chicago (a solid 3B with decent fielding and good hitting ratings, especially splits and 77 power)
63. Raul Saez of San Diego (if he stays healthy, which is unlikely, this is a find at 63 - 86 control, very good splits and 4 pitches combining to about 290)
70. Dennis Martin of Scottsdale (a SP almost identical to Rodney Walker with a bit worse control and splits but with slightly better pitches)
75. Bruce Terrell of Austin (a very good fielding SS (85/83 range/glove and 100/92 arm) with 100 batting eye. So what if he can't hit himself out of a paper bag (0 pwr), he has 57/55 splits and 47 contact. He'll be very useful.
76. Felipe Rodriguez of New York (a RP/SP combo (65 stamina) with 79/58 splits and pitches of 82/84/63/31 to go along with 81 control)
78. Edge Simpson of Jacksonville (if he only had better control he'd be an excellent pickup here. But at 49, his mid/high 70's splits and very good pitches might not be enough.)
79. Elston Overbeck of New Orleans (Like Edge, his control will be his downfall, but if not, he's got great upside.)
82. John Rogers of Little Rock (RP/spot starter with 71 control, 62/68 splits and 3 pitches combining for 250 make him a great selection here)
87. Erik Leach of Chicago Pizza (not sure what he's doing in RF but at 1B/DH he'll hit for sure)
91. Fred Kane of San Francisco (control and very good splits make Fred an excellent RP selected at the end of round 2)
93. Pedro Jimenez of Cheyenne (a 3B that should be a pretty good hitter at the ML level)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Power Rankings (8/18)

I have a week off and my vacation was cancelled due to a pending hurricane, so I thought I would contribute something to this league. These rankings are completely subjective, so feel free to criticize.

1. New Orleans - How can you not choose the hottest team in baseball? 19 in a row and counting is simply amazing. Maeda is 14-2 with an ERA under 2 this season.

2. San Francisco - Best expected winning percentage in the league. Stacked team that is performing once again. Jones (15-3, 2.06 ERA) will challenge Maeda for the NL Cy Young

3. Cheyenne - Defending World Series champs are primed for another run. 3.54 Team ERA is good enough for second in the league. Starters 1-3 are amazing with no slouch at number 4.

4. Florida - Second in runs scored and third in team ERA makes this team very balanced. Louie Zhou is absolutely pounding the ball this year (.323 AVG, .618 SLG, 30 HRs, 104 RBIs). Biggest threat to Cheyenne in the AL.

5. Los Angeles - The Dodgers of Sarasota in Gainesville, FL are having another solid year. Will be hard to top SF and NO in the stacked National League though. R.O.Y. candidate Tomas Tavarez is having a solid campaign (.960 OPS, 26 HRs).

6. Scottsdale - Third NL West team in top 6. Best offense in baseball.
Hernandez, Saez, and Hughes are as good as any 3-4-5 in the league. Can this team find pitching before the playoffs? The Gunners are in the bottom half of the league in ERA.

7. Chicago - Forbes and Snyder are having solid years, but will it be enough to top Florida and Cheyenne in the AL? Tyler White going down for the season is a big loss, but we all know the talent is there to step up.

8. Cleveland - Good campaign. Sticky Ratliff is having a down year for his standards. He will need to pick it up for the Curse to have a chance at winning the AL.

9. Charleston - Geraldo Delgado is at it again. 16-4, 2.35 ERA, 149 Ks should be good enough to call him AL Cy Young front-runner.

10. Wichita - Julio Cedeno is having a solid but not spectacular year. Teams are finding it a lot easier to pitch around him without Zhou in the lineup.

11. Boston - Kevin Bravo is once again proving to be the best CF in the AL (34 HRs, 1.031 OPS, 3 plus fielding plays, 0 minus fielding plays).

12. Las Vegas - Best of the rest. Nothing spectacular about this team, but they seem to always be there. Pitching will need to improve for them to make the playoffs.

13-32 - Get your teams above .500 and we'll talk

Friday, August 15, 2008

Draft Review

With most of the draft picks signed it's definitely time to give an overview and somewhat critical analysis of this season's draft class. I'll go over all those taken in the first round and then later some others drafted in later rounds which I feel are likely to have a significant impact at the ML level someday.

Round 1.

1. Iowa City - Walter Parnell - SS - $4M Bonus - RL
Very deserving of the top pick in the draft, this durable, potentially gold glove SS (projected 100 fielding rating) can really hit too with very good contact (88) and solid power (71), splits (71/65) and eye (72). Should be an All-Star for many years to come.

2. San Diego - Bobby Kennedy - SS - $3910K - RL
Very solid second pick, but not nearly the fielder of Parnell. Not great range at SS (78) and alraedy has 6 (-) plays and a .911 fielding % in rookie ball. However, Kennedy looks like he'll be a very good, productive hitter and regular at SS or any other position in the field for 150+ games per season.

3. Tacoma - J.T. Salazar - 2B - $3820K - RL
J.T. should hurt many pitchers with his bat (83 power, 95/80 splits and 67/73 contact/eye). He's not very durable (74) and is somewhat injury prone (66), but when he plays he will be effective defensively and an All-Star calibre hitter. He's tearing up rookie ball so far.

4. Toledo - Steven Sexton - SS - $3720K - RL
The potential is there for Steven to be a very productive SS at the ML level. He should hit for power (82), average (82/72 splits and 64 contact) and get on base frequently (80 eye). But, his health is poor (44 now and up to 53), so that he may never reach his potential. Right now, though, he's been healthy and ripping in rookie ball.

5. Little Rock - Santiago Seanez - SP - $3630K - High A
Santiago is the first pitcher taken in the draft and while he's going to be a productive SP in the Majors in just 2-3 seasons, he will not be a front of the rotation kind of guy that you would expect to get this high in the draft. His splits are ordinary for the ML level (74/61), but he has excellent control (95) and a great, hard sinker (90) along with decent fastball, changeup and curveball all rated in the 50's. A very solid future ML SP, but the best in the draft?

6. Trenton - Will Waters - RP - $3540K - RL
A somewhat surprising pick at #6 when you consider his likely effectiveness, Will should be a solid setup reliever at the ML level, but no star. His splits are ordinary (59/69) with decent enough control (77) and two very good pitches in his fastball (81) and forkball (88). His overall rating is driven by incredible health (100) and durability (72) for a pitcher.

7. Mexico City - Dennis Martin - SP - $3440K - RL
Dennis projects to be an excellent left handed SP for Mexico City. He should eat up innings with his excellent stamina(95), control (90), and health (99) coupled with very good splits of 88/65 and a very good splitter (89), good cutter (73) and decent change (56) and a show-me curve (36). A very solid pick at #7, but at 2-4 in rookie ball, not yet proving it.

8. Pawtucket - Luis Estrada - 2B - unsigned - none
Pawtucket needs to sign this adequate fielding, tremendous hitting 2B. His 97/92 splits, 89 contact and 77 eye should make his decent power (69) even more productive. There's a huge upside, but also great downside with his 32 health. Give him what he wants and pray he stays healthy, because he could win an MVP.

9. Scottsdale - John Phillips - SP - $3250K - Low A
John should be very good in a few seasons primarily because of his control (88)and great fastball (94). He will pitch late into games with great stamina and has decent enough splits (53/71) and 4 complimentary pitches to be very effective. Another solid, workhorse SP.

10. Arizona - Frankie Christensen - Unsigned - none
I think Frankie either wants too much money or realizes he's just not going to be that good. A disappointing pick at #10 because of his inability to get righties out (25-39). He will be healthy (95), durable (29) and can pitch the whole game (88), but he has no great pitches (82/61/40/54) and control of 99 can only get you so far with poor splits.

11. Burlington - Randy Palmer - RP/Closer - $3070K - RL
This potential closer should be very effective (95 control and 88/91 splits) if he stays healthy (44-49). He's durable and can go 2-3 innings in relief, has decent pitches (79/67/39), but he's not likely to avoid the DL on a regular basis. A risky investment at #11.

12. Charlotte - Artie Webster - CF - $2970k - RL
A leadoff hitter (100 speed and 89 batting eye) in CF (85 range) with a good glove (83), he can really hit too (85/70 splits and 77/51 contact/power). Artie should be roaming CF for the Knights by season 7, and annoying pitchers with his speed and bat on a regular basis for years to come. Would be a tremendous prospect with better baserunning (only 62 projected), but nevertheless a very good selection here.

13. Sacramento - Deivi Castro - SP - $2925k - Low A
Deivi will likely have trouble at the ML level because of his splits (46/63) and pitches (69/68/46/32) being rather pedestrian. He's very health and durable though. Should eat many, many, many minor league innings for the next decade.

14. Austin - Aaron Post - RP/SP - $2790k - RL
If he stays health (62) he's likely to be one of the more effective pitchers in this draft class with 5 pitches to choose from including an excellent 4-seamer (92) and good sinker (75) and slider (67) to go along with solid control (78) and splits (82/72). A solid, albeit un-awe-inspiring pick here.

15. New York Bombers - Otto Henry - SP - $2690k - RL
Otto should be a very good pitcher for the Bombers as long as his catcher calls his curveball and cutter (90 and 86) instead of his change and slider (36 and 39). He has good enough splits and decent enough control to get ML hitters out. Another solid pick here.

16. Cincinnati - Dave Shunick - 2B - $2600k - Low A
A leadoff hitter for sure, Dave has splits, contact and eye all over 70 to go along with good speed (77) and baserunning (82). He'll be adequate in the field, but may see time in LF later on in his career.

17. Jacksonville - Wayne Prior - 2B/LF - $4,154k - RL
The Jellyfish GM Stepped up to the plate and showed Wayne the money, and now Wayne will begin a long career showing fish fans his 4 tools (he's only a decent fielder). He can hit for average and power (80), get on base (74 eye) and steal too (88 speed with 76 baserunning). A very nice pick at #17.

18. Charlotte - Doug Hayes - C - $2410k - RL
With the Knights second pick already they selected a decent catcher, but one that I don't believe was worthy of the 18th pick. His vsR is only projected to 51 and he is not a great pitch caller (56) so he's likely going to be best used as a DH, and for that position he's just not good enough.

19. Las Vegas - Nipsey Harris - LF/2B - $2320k - RL
Nipsey will be very good against lefties, with very good power and batting eye, and good enough against righties (58) to be an everyday, productive LF at the ML level. If his arm accuracy were to be undervalued by my scouts, he could also be used at 2B.

20. San Francisco - Scott Nielsen - CF - $2220k - RL
A very nice pick here for a very good hitting CF; a very tough position to find 88 range and 78/74 contact/power ratings. He will be heathy and hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup for the Seals by season 8.

21. Fargo - Anthony D'Amico - RP/spot SP - $2130k - High A
I really like this young pitcher. He has great splits (94/84), 5 solid pitches (86/66/73/59/57) and 86 control. Health is somewhat of a concern (67-78) but not all that much. I expect many 2 inning saves and over 100 very good ML IP in the future.

22. Chicago Chubs - Jose Moreno - SP - $2040k - Low A
A tough one to call here, but I'm going to say he's not going to be very effective at the ML level because of his splits of 48/62. He'll make it, and pitch at the back of the Chubs' rotation, but he'll not win many games. He has great control (89), stamina, durability and an excellent slow curve.

23. Tampa Bay - Tony Eusebio - SP - $1940k - Low A
A three pitch SP with poor splits (54/43) usually doesn't fare well at the ML level, and I don't expect Tony to be the exception.

24. Cleveland - James Baez - SP - $1850k - RL
James has can pitch forever (100 stamina), but not that often (19 durability), is somewhat a health risk (68-77) and doesn't have very good control (52). But, he has an excellent fasball (94) and very good slider and curveball (77/73) and good enough splits to make an impact at the ML level for the Curse.

25. Charleston - J.P. Velazquez - RF/3B - $1625k - RL
I sure wish he had better contact (46) and batting eye (53), but if he did, I'd not likely have been able to draft him because his other offensive ratings are very good (79 power and 85/81 splits). His health is risky too, but I project him to be in RF by season 8 and am reasonably satisfied with the selection.

26. Chicago Pizza - Ernest Ramirez - 2B - $1660k - RL
Ernie has great range at 2B and very good power (83). Like J.P. before him his contact and eye are not great. He has decent splits and should be very durable, so a very good pick at #26.

27. Sacramento - Alvin Simms - RP - unsigned
A rather poor choice here. Not really a ML talent.

28. New Orleans - Roger Cooper - CF - $1470k - RL
Hit it anywhere, I dare you, and he'll flag it down. A tremendous fielding CF'er, Roger will steal many bases and will hopefully bunt for many singles because he's not going to hit for power (17). A great pick at #28.

29. Chicago Pizza - Patsy Banks - DH - $1380k - RL
He's listed as a catcher, but there's no way he plays there in the Majors; and he will make the majors, of that there is little doubt. He can hit with vsR of 91, power/contact of 82/64 and eye of 74. He won't likely play more than 120 or so games, but he'll help out a great deal in those games.

30. To be continued