|Thoughts Through the First Fifteen|
|Written by Rob Leibowitz|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2012 21:23|
This week, my thoughts on the in-progress amateur drafts results of several organizations.
Mike Zunino was expected to go in the first five picks. The Mariners have an interesting history with first round catching picks. Most recently they selected Jeff Clement with this very pick in 2005 and also Ryan Christianson with the 11th overall pick in 1999. Some guy named Jason Varitek 14th overall in 1994, and Terry Bell 17th overall in 1983. Zunino is in theory a more well rounded player than either Clement or Christianson, but has neither player’s “potential” with the bat and Zunino does not strike me as an impact player, but more of a solid citizen type. After the rather safe Zunino, Seattle followed with some raw tools selections in Joe DeCarlo (a future 3B), Edwin Diaz, a projectable righty who throws serious heat already, and Tyler Pike, a left-handed high school pitcher who already has some depth to his repertoire. A lot of risk in these three before you get to Rutgers’ Patrick Kivlehan, a solid hitter with 20+ HR Potential and Taylor Ard, a DH type, with even more raw power potential. Both have some OBP skills as well. Shortstop Chris Taylor looks like a utility guy with a good glove, Grady Wood a fifth starter type who could start at A+ ball and move quickly up the ladder, and Mike Faulker has to be tracked because of his tremendous speed, but may be overpowered by even minor league pitching.
Of course I have to include my hometown New York Mets. The Mets draft thus far lacks the potential upside of last year’s effort, but does feature quite a few players who should see time in the Majors. Gavin Cecchini was no surprise as his name came up for the Mets in multiple mocks. Cecchini is a good defender with moderate hitting/speed tools. He looks like a potential starter, but not a star and my initial sense says far better in real baseball than fantasy. The Mets then explored a low-ceiling, fairly quick ascent path with several college picks including Kevin Plawecki, a contact hitting catcher who is constantly compared to A.J. Pierzynksi. Interestingly the Mets rated him higher than 3rd overall pick Zunino. Matt Reynolds has a chance to be Daniel Murphy type with better defensive skills. Matt Koch and Brandon Welch have setup men potential. Then they went with several projectable starters in Teddy Stankiewicz (middle of the rotation potential), Corey Oswalt, and Chris Flexen. High school catcher Tomas Nido has interesting power potential. The Jayce Boyd selection is a puzzle as a non-power hitting right-handed first basemen - the 6th round feels like an overdraft.
One cannot fault the Twins for going upside with Byron Buxton who has minimum 20-20 potential. Pitch recognition and plate discipline are what it will determine if Buxton realizes that or falls into prospect purgatory. The Twins then continued with a talent/high ceiling approach selecting J.O. Berrios who is armed with multiple plus pitch potential and projectability. After that they settled in for six straight college picks, five pitchers, though none project best as starters. But all are rather hard throwers and should be on a quick path to the majors. The group includes Daniel Bard’s kid brother Luke Bard, Mason Melotakis, J.T. Chargois, and Zach Jones. Melotakis is the lone lefty of the group. It almost has a “throwing darts” feel to it where the Twins may end up with one or two keys to the bullpen. Adam Brett Walker, the hitter of the group, could be the Twins long-term first basemen with his above average power. I am, however, very concerned with his high strikeout rates at even the college level.
Some thought Mark Appel was destined to be #1 overall, but he slipped to #8 and the Pirates jumped at the opportunity to add to their crop of power arms that includes last year’s #1 overall pick Gerrit Cole, making this two straight years they snagged the top pitcher on their board. The Pirates also took another pre-draft favorite of mine in Barrett Barnes, a disciplined hitter with excellent speed and gap power. The knock on him is that he has a centerfielder’s bat, but profiles better in a corner outfield spot. The Bucs then selected arguably the best all around catcher in the draft, Wyatt Mathisen, who has some defensive tools and a bat with power projection. Interestingly the Pirates took a second player like Barnes in Brandon Thomas, another college speedster profiling better as a left fielder. He looks more like a back-up or organizational type, however. The Pirates made some bids on projectable pitchers in the later rounds with Dalton Friend and Walker Buehler, both of whom could be first five round picks after college. It will be interesting to see if they can sign them.
The Royals may have selected the best rounded starting pitching choice in Kyle Zimmer with the fifth pick overall. His combination of stuff, depth of repertoire, mechanics, and command make him a potential fast mover. Sticking with college pitchers, the Royals next selected Sam Selman. Teams seem to love his potential as a power lefty, but he has quite a few question marks in stark contrast to Zimmer. Kenny Diekroeger is another bit of a head-scratcher as true second basemen who grades out average at best in the power/speed department and strikes me as a utility or average/unspectacular starter at best.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:18|