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.
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