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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rookie Review

Rookie Review

Merv McLaughlin Age 22 RF .335 34 91 11

Those are not yearly totals for the former 5th pick., that is just 88 games Proving he was worth every dime of his 10 million dollar signing bonus, he is a serious contender for the MVP.

Pascual Jimenez Dover Age 22 C .347 7 32 0

Jimenez—signed out of the Dominican Republic for 10.5 million dollars—is getting on base almost 43% of the time. A catcher, this is not a fluke as his ML number nearly match in his minor league numbers though he may show more power.

Esteban James Portland 2B/RF/CF Age 24 .308 16 52 10

Acquired at no small price from Santa Cruz (Solid 3rd/4th Starter Torey Soria career 36-26 4.05 ERA 24 years old and solid hitting SS prospect Jemile McNeil (1.064 OPS with 10 SB as a 20 yo at AA though with 33 errors so far his bat is ahead of his glove)), James has really killed it since arriving in Portland. He has hit .329 with 13 HR’s and 8 SB’s in only 65 games. More importantly for what Portland does he has walked (41) almost as many times as he has struck out (43). The Portland, Maine Native is a former 19th pick.

Horacio Guerrero New Orleans age 24 DH .336 14 68 0

DH Guerrero his is crushing it at ML after first arriving at AAA in season 14. A sandwich pick (54), Horacio was acquired for pitcher Banana Ripkin from the franchise that is now Tacoma.

Bono Knight Durham 2b .269 15 44 9

The oldest of the top rookies, this former 2nd round pick is really producing now that he has made the majors. Mr. Knight has taken a long hard road to stardom. Originally drafted by the team that is now Scottsdale, he was first claimed off of waivers by Dover and then again by Durham. That said, he seems to have found a home!

Lance Wallace Portland Age 21 CF .270 15 45 16

Despite an early season injury the former 10th pick in the draft has killed in CF with 10 plus plays in only 59 games. The youngest of the top rookies, Mr. Wallace is a complete package. Interestingly, he only started getting trade requests this season. A hidden gem.

Darrin Lennon Age 27 Louisville P 10-4 3.12 ERA

This former 31st pick finally settled in the majors and now may win 20 games. He’s been successful at AAA for many seasons before finally arriving at the majors.

Antonio Drew age 25 San Antonio P 7-2 3.03 ERA

The former 15th pick in the draft was acquired in a trade 6 seasons ago. Like Lennon, he was successful at AAA for many season for coming to the majors to be a plus starter.

Chris Killian 26 years old Burlington 7-1 2.40 ERA

The former 2nd round pick is now a top set up man. A 6ht year free agent, he was required by Burlington before the season.

Geraldo James Charlotte 6-3 2.84 ERA

The 11 million dollar IFA is the youngest of the top pitching rookies. His 2.84 ERA is a big part of the Wolverines completely out performing expectations

Prediction Review

Prediction review:

NL North: I had the order right, but as I sort of expected, Ottawa is playing better than I predicted. Everyone else is close enough to predictions.

NL East: Terrible. Philly was supposed to be the best team in the division, instead they’d miss the playoffs entirely if they started today. Worse yet, they are taking forever to get back to me on a very minor trade ;). Scranton is play about how I saw them, which with the fall of Philly, is good enough for a tie for first. St. Louis is playing better than expected. Syracuse is playing as expected.

NL South: The entire division has played better than expected. Charlotte has over performed the most, but I was just plain wrong about the relative strength of this division.

NL West: I feel really good about three of my predictions. Then there is Salt Lake City. They have been so much better than expected.

AL North: Tacoma, Iowa City, and Madison have all underperformed according to my predictions. Vancouver has really been much better than my number expected.

AL East: I couldn’t be happier to be wrong about Baltimore. They have exceeded expectations in a massive way. Unfortunately Dover and New York have gone the other way. I was close to being right about Washington.

AL South: I was reasonably close so far about San Antonio, Louisville, and New Orleans. Sadly, Texas has not played as well as I expected.

AL West: Scottsdale and San Francisco’s win totals are close to matching expectations. Colorado has played massively better than expected. Portland has won a few games more than expected too.

Season 18 Draft Review

Just my opinions. Not meant as a personal attack on anyone.

1. Seattle Victor Martinez SS

An excellent pick at #1, Martinez should lock down SS for Seattle for a decade. His bat is near ML ready now and his glove should come. He’s a five tools player and should be able to put up .300 20 20. A fine first pick with no real weakness even if he lacks one huge skills. Think Barry Larkin

2. San Francisco Johnny Benjamin P

Though his work ethic has been questioned and he lacks the elite arm you might hope for at #2, Gosher should have himself a solid #2 starter and should have it soon. Further Benjamin should have be a big time innings eater.

3. Charlotte Alan Williams P

A less ML ready, slightly less talented version of Benjamin, only his work ethic can get in the way of Williams being a good #2 starter.

4. New Orleans Kerry Shaw SS/2B/3B

A high risk, high reward pick for the Nutz, Shaw may be the best player in the draft. Show will may win a batting title, and should be good for a .320 average with plenty of steals. The high risk side of the pick stems from the fact that he was not automatic signee, his durability concerns, the lack of an elite arm, and his suspect batting eye. Think Jose Reyes

5. Washington D.C. Ray Gomes DH/1B

Probably the surest pick in the draft, the Federalists have a winner for themselves at pick 5. Just 18 he has 20 HR power that should develop into 40-50 home run power, add in a plus batting eye, above average contact, a nice approach against right handed pitching and he even steals more bases than you might expect. His only weakness is he can be a little lazy. Think Harmon Killabrew (sp?).

6. Madison Alex Gibbs P

The surprise pick of the 1st round as some did not have ranked in top 10 of the players they scouted. Don’t get me wrong, Gibbs has a plus approach against righties and lefties and enough control, but #6 is really high for a guy who will not give you more than 60 innings, lacks an elite pitch, will give up too many HR’s, and had attitude problems.

7. Jacksonville Gamecocks Eswalin Jose

I LOVE this pick. Not quite, the bat Gomes is, but really close and has defensive flexibility Gomes could only dream of. Some may have taken him as high #2 given the chance. Like many in this draft, he is a little lazy.

8. Burling ton Miguel Sanchez P

Like the pick before, Sanchez is wonderful value here. Some may have rated him as the #2 pitcher in the draft, some may not, but he’s comparable to Benjamin, but 6 picks lower and $400,000 cheaper. His elite control and two plus pitches should ensure that he is a not a bust

9. Dover Richard Bridges P

Dover and their scouts win the draft. This #1 player in the draft goes #9. A #1 starter with no real weakness and long as the ball is not hit right at him. Think Bill Swift with elite control.

10. Salem Rip Powel P

One of the many starters grouped in the contest for the #2 starter, it’s the fourth straight great pick. He gives up a home run or two and that probably makes him the 5th best starter to go, but the gap between Benjamin, Williams, Powell , and Sanchez is razor thin. He is also a tremendous athlete and has one of the best attitudes in the draft. A real effective, low risk pick here.

11. Boise J.J. Rivera P

The gap between Rivera and the pitchers taken before is pretty big. Rivera is not a bad value here, but now we are talking about a #3 starter who has gaps in his game. On the plus side, his attitude is above average.

12. Baltimore Thom Helms P

The highest risk pick of the draft, without signability issues, only Bridges is a better arm, however he has not signed yet and it is likely the 6’5” shoot guard will play for the Romer’s University of Washington basketball team next season.

13. Durham Ivan Benitez SS

Some people love picks like this. I do not. Benitez has elite skills (defense, speed, base running, and bunting). But if I am picking at #13 I want someone who I know will be able to get on base and Ivan will likely struggle to have an OBP of .320.

14. Salt Lake City Terrence Harville SS

Long term a 3B, Harville is an excellent pick here and will likely make multiple all-star games. He’ll strikeout more than you would like, but he should hit for average, hit for power, field, and throw. A four tool player at #14 is pretty good.

15. Texas Armondo Javier C

An interesting pick here. Javier has the 2nd best bat in the draft (behind Gomes), and the best ability to call a game among top catchers. However, his durability and throwing arm gave 14 teams pause. Javier is probably a reach, but will be a valuable player for the right team.

16. Iowa City Pat Donald

This pick made the Thunder sad. Donald had started slip in the draft more than was expected and some had hoped he would keep falling. Donald is not amazing at anything, but he’s everything you hope for in a CF’er, has a great attitude and will sure gather 1500 hits, 200 HR’s and 200 SB in his career which is pretty valuable.

17. Scottsdale Amos Brewer P

Amos is a fine pick here. Not amazing, not terrible. Nice approach against hitters from both sides of the plate, gives up too many homers, enough control, decent pitches. The very essence of a 17th pick.

18. Boise Aroldis Sardinha LF

Boise’s second first round pick is a lot like their first, probably a few picks too high, but a fine ML player. He’ll be healthy and durable, he’ll hit homeruns, he’ll steal a few bases, but he lacks an elite skill to hang his hat on.

19. Sacramento Howard Cooper P

The former owner of Portland gets a small steal here. Cooper is at least as good as Javier and Brewer and gets taken picks later. Probably a top 15 value. Plus he eat a ton of innings. A clear win

20. Tacoma Joshua Montana CF

Just right for pick 20. He has holes in his game and lacks the attitude you are looking for, but he will hit for average, may win a GG, and get on base. In other words a league average starting CF which is a fine value at 20.

21. New York Kane DeLucia 2B

Maybe a few spots too high, but not a mistake if he is a good fit. He has no elite skill, but does everything at the ML level. He’s a league average 2B, but his heath concerns and attitude drag down the overall grade on this pick.

22. Vancouver Hamish Boswell 2B

Once again Vancouver shown why they we will win and win and win. He’s everything DeLucia is without the risk. His power is lacking, but he has elite speed, and is health/durability/work ethic champ.

23. Louisville Galahad Cook 3B

A small steal here, he’s better than the 5 guys taken before him. He’ll hit for average, power, has nice range, and a decent glove. His weakness is on the basepaths where he can be a bit of a nightmare.

24. St. Louis Lloyd Bagley

A have no information on him

25. Portland Benji Castro

After Cook, the 2nd best player taken in the 20’s which is all you can hope for. Plus power and speed, no real weakness other than striking out too much, Enough glove to play 2nd, only his work ethic gives one pause.

26. Scranton Chun-Lim Pan

A decent pick if he signs, no amazing skills, no huge gaps in his game. If he doesn’t sign, than he was probably a not a good pick. You know the deal.

27. Santa Cruz Hoss Verlander 2B

Probably more of sandwich pick, but at 27 he wasn’t going to get a star. No elite skills, but his defense may push him to LF where he will lack the bat you are looking for.

28. Madison Shea Charles P

Madison’s second pick is like their first. 10 picks too high, but a ML player. A decent ML long reliever, but you’d hope to get a 3rd or 4th starter here.

29. Philadelphia Walt Qualls

See Shea Charels

30. San Antonio Bengie Varquez P

The commish does well a solid setup A. Not an all-star or anything, but the best you can hope to do at #30.

31. Louisvile Endy Castillo P

Louisville hits a home here. A potential closer at 31. Nice work. Best player taken in the last 5 and maybe even last 7.

32. Colorado Eduardo Rincon P

If he signs he’s as good as Varquez. If he doesn’t he was probably a good risk.