Needs: C, SP, RP
Stud C Wes Dickerson is beginning to age and a suitable future replacement needs to be found now. Talented short relief specialists also seem to be in short supply.
Draft Expectations: Moderate
Having lost a top 30 pick through FA signings, ml4ku still has 7 picks in the top 5 rounds to work with. Luckily, catchers and relief pitchers are amongst the easiest positions to still find decent talent below the top 30.
Draft Preparation: ml4ku has chosen to lean heavily on more polished, and well known, college talent, rather than dip into the youngsters at the high school level. He also prefers home-grown talent over the more unpredictable foreign market. A very low 8 mill prospect budget is not surprising given his lack of a pricey top 30 pick, or his reluctance to reach outside of North America.
Round 1 Supp Pick 41
2B Carlos Cortes - about as safe a pick as humanly possible, Stanford grad Cortes provides maturity, leadership, and intelligence to go along with a bit of talent as well. Although he won't break any records, he will show up to play every day. Not bad for pick no. 41
ML projections: 10-15 HR/.270 BA/15 SB
Round 1 Supp Pick 54
RP Joaquin Crespo - Innings, innings, and more innings. Remember Mark Eichhorn? Well, here he is again! Nothing flashy, just doing the job between the starter and the short relief guys.
ML projections: 80-90 G/110-130 IP/5-10 W/5 SV/.270 OAV
Round 2 Pick 61
RF Miguel Andino - discount RF. The guy you have on your team until you find someone better. Has both power and baserunning skills which should keep him in the bigs for a few years.
ML projections: 25 HR/.240-.250 BA/15-20 SB
Round 2 Pick 86
LF Justin Springer - May see limited ML action. Essentially a career AAA player
Round 3 Pick 118
3B Fausto Belliard - Will max out at AAA, probably with a shift to RF.
Round 4 Pick 150
SP Zephyr Randolph - no hope of signing. Mother needs to get her head out of the clouds (or other places)
Round 5 Pick 182
SP Jack Coke - very solid minor league pitcher, Coke does not have the splits to make the final jump. Maybe he should look at getting his pilot's licence.
Hidden Gems: none foreseeable
Overall Grade: B
To pick up 3 potential ML players without a top 30 pick is no small feat. Considering ml4ku likes to build primarily through trades and free agency, he did pretty well.