Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rule 5 Draft Review

Just a little review of the Rule 5 Draft!

1. RP Brian Graham - Austin Sixth Streets
Graham looks like a pretty solid player, for a Rule 5 pick. He's got good control, a ton of velocity, one good pitch and another decent pitch. He's got the stamina for long relief, but probably not starting.

2. SS Aramis Maduro - Augusta Hitmen
Aramis was selected by the Hitmen and immediately moved to 2B. He's got a pretty good bat for that position, although he probably has the arm for SS or 3B. He's only 23 years old and figures to be a part of the Augusta infield for years to come.

3. C Roland Miller - Fargo Northmen
Miller's got a strong and accurate arm behind the plate, but he won't be much of an offensive catcher. If Fargo was looking for defense behind the plate, however, they may have found it while still getting some production from the bat.

4. 2B Bobby Ray Curtis - Rochester Grave Robbers
Curtis is almost an exact copy of Maduro, except he hits lefties better, and his arm is a little weaker, which means that he'll most likely stay at 2B. This is a strong pick for Rochester.

5. RP Alexander Barker - Minnesota Mdewakantonwan
He's got very good control, but not the splits you want from a ML pitcher. His stamina is high for a RP, but probably not high enough to log a lot of innings as a starter. Probably better suited for Triple-A.

6. RP Lenny Strittmatter - Oklahoma City Wranglers
This hard-throwing right-hander is going to struggle against left-handed batters at the major league level. He may not be overly effective against righties, either. Maybe his velocity will help make him a passable ML player.

7. SP Paul Hall - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay tried to offer Hall back to Fargo, but Fargo declined. Tampa responded by assigning him to their Triple-A squad. Makes sense - he probably doesn't have the splits to succeed in the majors.

8. SS Pedro Rios - Seattle Argonauts
Although taken as a SS, he probably doesn't have the defense to play there - projects better at 3B. His bat, however, is not what you generally want at 3B.

9. SS Louie Polanco - Cleveland Curse
If he meets his projections, he'll be able to play anywhere on the diamond, and prove to be one of the better selections in this season's Rule 5 Draft. Right now he can play a better-than-average 3B, but he'd be much more valuable at SS or CF.

10. SP Roscoe Osting - Florida Flounders
Despite very good control and two very good pitches, he's likely to struggle mightily against right-handers. He also lacks the stamina to be a real effective starter. Fortunately for Florida, an offer back was declined, so they were able to stash him in Triple-A.

11. 2B Pat Lee - Burlington Carltons
He's likely to struggle if Burlington tries to play him at 2B. He projects much better at LF, but as a LF his offensive capabilities make him only average.

12. RP Julian Rivera - Arizona Sun Spots
Despite looking like a solid RP, the Sun Spots tried to send him back, but to no avail. Seems he's been DFA'd, and doesn't have much of a future with the Arizona franchise.

13. SS Willie Pujols - Cincinnati Bearcats
Pujols is another player who will have some value if he meets his projections. If that happens, he may become a ML player as a defensive replacement. If not, he won't have much use with such weak splits.

14. SP Yorrick Foster - Pittsburgh Pats
Here is another player who has solid control, but probably not the overall ability to succeed in the majors. Those mid-30s splits will make things hard on him.

15. RP Jose Beltre - Charleston Hurricanes
Beltre looks to be one of the better picks in this year's Rule 5, especially at the end of the first round. He's got fair enough splits, good control, and a good pitch, which should allow him to succeed as a set up man/and or long reliever.

16. C David Skinner - San Francisco Seals
David Skinner has the makings of a pretty good ML catcher. He doesn't have the offense to blow you away, but he does have a pretty solid bat for a catcher, and his defense behind the plate isn't going to hurt, either.

17. RP Orlando Cortez - Cheyenne Beagles
The drawback on this player is that he doesn't have great control, but his splits, velocity, and stuff may just be enough for him to succeed.

18. RP Bob Norman - Austin Sixth Streets
Austin goes to the well once again in the Rule 5, and does alright for itself again. Norman seems to have the tools to become a solid all-around relief pitcher, and solid is about as much as you can ask for in the second round of the Rule 5.

19. SP Kiki Johnson - Fargo Northmen
Here is another player who just isn't going to have the control to succeed in the bigs. His splits and velocity will help, but in the end, it may not be enough.

20. 2B Malcolm Garland - Rochester Grave Robbers
Malcolm is another player who would be passable at SS, CF, or maybe even 2B, but he really doesn't have the defensive capabilities to play those positions. He could play 3B, but if he did, his bat would be below average for that position. He may be useful coming off the bench, however.

21. SP Raul Ayala - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Ayala lacks both control and splits. Tampa Bay tried to offer him back, but the move was declined, which allowed them to send him down to Triple-A.

22. RP Delino Guerrero - Seattle Argonauts
Guerrero lacks the control to be an effective ML closer. Seattle offered him back to his original franchise, but they wouldn't take him, so Seattle sent him all the way down to High-A.

23. 3B Roberto Batista - Toronto Titwillows
Batista's defense projects him more as a corner outfielder than at 3B. Even there, his bat is only good enough for a left-handed platoon. He recently cleared waivers and was sent down to Triple-A, after an offer-back attempt failed.

24. SP Domingo Saenz - Burlington Carltons
He really just doesn't have the ability to play in the majors. He has the stamina to eat up some innings, but he's not likely to get many hitters out.

25. 2B Brandon Butler - Arizona Sun Spots
Looks like another player who just doesn't have the defense (or offense) to be an effective 2B. It should be noted, however, that he is off to a fine start this year (1.023 OPS with only one error).

26. SP Ozzie Barkley - Pittsburgh Pats
Barkley looks better suited for the minor leagues. He's got weak splits, not a lot of stuff, but he does have a ton of velocity. It isn't helping him so far this season, however.

27. RP Bobby Franco - Seattle Argonauts
Even if he reaches his projections, which may or may not be likely, Franco will lack the control to close out games at the major league level. Seattle apparently figured this out, as they offered him back. Florida promptly accepted and placed him in Double-A.

28. SS Kevin King - Burlington Carltons
King projects better at 3B, but like so many others discussed earlier, doesn't have the offense to play there. You'd never know it from the way he's playing early on this season, though (.375 OBP, with 0 errors at SS).

29. CF Randy Perez - Pittsburgh Pats
While he doesn't seem to have the defense to play CF, Pittsburgh has the right idea by using him as a utility-player early this season. He's probably good enough against lefties to work in a platoon, too. Not bad for a third round Rule 5 pick.

30. RP Joe Munro - Burlington Carltons
The final player in this year's Rule 5 draft is going to need to rely on velocity and stuff more than anything else, because that's really all he's got. After two appearances this season: so far, so good.

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