Anaheim Hell Raisin Jalapenos
Needs: 2B, C, SP, OF
At 2B, superstud Pedro Bonilla only has 1 yr left on his contract and EBzer currently has nobody obvious to backfill that position if he bolts. Geovany Molina needs to be moved from CF to either a corner OF position, or to 2B as Bonilla's possible successor. Tony Weiss and Sven Baez at the corner OF positions are also coming up to the end of their contracts, leaving Sergei Danks as the only legitimate successor. Elvis Collins and Ignacio Ramirez are DH's that are being forced to squat behind the plate. The pitching situation will be covered further down in the review.
Draft Expectations: Low
Starting with the 31st overall pick (the price of success), EBzer only has the standard 1 pick per round throughout the draft. This may change starting next season as he has numerous big names approaching free agency.
Being near the top of the leagues payroll (number 3 this year) has it's price, and that means costs have to be cut elsewhere. As a result, EBzer had to be very selective about where he spent his money. As many other's have done this year, he has completely sacrificed the IFA market, allowing him to distribute modest funding to his domestic scouting department. The drawback here is that he had little money left to allocate to either his advance scouting, or his prospect budget. The good news is that with his first pick being so far down, he won't have to spend much on signing bonuses.
Round 1 Pick 31 SP Jared Sexson
EBzer's first pick this year was really a no brainer. Even with several of his core position players staring down free agency, he had to start re-stocking the minor league shelves with fresh arms. Most of his starting rotation is aging, and the cupboard behind them is almost bare. At pick 31, Sexson is about as good an SP as you will get. His numbers are all generally good, except for two glaring areas of concern. His effectiveness splits, and his groundball/flyball ratio. In the AL, this means a whole lot of big-time sluggers will be taking him yard. Still he represents an opportunity to plug one of the many holes that will be appearing in the rotation.
ML Projection: 230-250 IP/12-15 W/200 K/40-50 HR/.280 OAV/4.00-4.50 ERA
Round 2 Pick 87 RP Storm Eckenstahler
Eckenstahler is a nice pickup at no. 87 overall. He isn't going to be able to pitch a lot of innings, but the innings he does pitch will be quality ones. He is best suited to a long relief role, and will only be available about every 5-6 games. As a sinkerball pitcher, he will keep the ball on the ground and will need a strong defense behind him.
ML Projection: 60-70 IP/5 W/.230-.240 OAV/2.75-3.00 ERA
Round 3 Pick 119 SP Pete Williams
Another victim of an overbearing mother, Williams jumped when the boss yelled "jump", and he will be finishing out his education.
Round 4 Pick 151 SP Luis Wilfredo
Wilfredo represents a nice minor league pitcher, and will have a nice long minor league career. Ceiling AAA
Round 5 Pick 183 LF Billy Crawford
Aside from the fact his defense is only good enough to effectively play 1B, Crawford has enough good hitting numbers to carry him through to the high minors. Look for a ceiling at AA, or possibly AAA if he is desperately needed there.
Hidden Gems: P Dann Lowe
Overall Grade: C-
EBzer currently faces a win now situation, because in a few short years, he will be in full rebuild mode. He has shown a strong ability to build a winning team through free agency, so his situation may not be as dire as it appears. In this draft, he really did not have many options to work with, and as a result, only picked up two obvious future major leaguers.