Needs: C, 2B, 3B, SP
Catcher Juan Diaz is starting to approach the age where a suitable replacement must be sought. Michael Winston has some nice numbers, both offensively and defensively, but he can't do it himself because his durability is so low. One possibility is Kip Reilly, but ideally you would like a little stronger bat from your other tandem catcher. In the infield, bigparb has been plugging gaps with the players he has available. Starting with slick fielding, light hitting SS Albert Oropesa plugged in at Shortstop, natural SS Louie Farley has been moved to 2B, and natural 2B Josias Vega has been moved to 3B. The result of all this is that bigparb needs a natural 3B, and possibly a replacement 2B for down the road. That way everyone can swing back around to their regular positions again. Bigparb is set in the outfield for the next several years, as long as he can re-sign Jason Swann long-term. It would be nice to have another high quality prospect coming up through the system soon for future needs. The starting rotation is another matter. Aside from ace Rich Sobolewski, and youngster Spike Worthington, bigparb's rotation is in dire need of some replenishment. He has some marginal starters in the system to use as bandaid solutions, but the problem won't go away, and needs to be addressed now. The bullpen situation is not as critical, but in a few seasons it will have to be addressed as well.
Draft Expectations: Very Low
With only 4 picks in his first 5 rounds, bigparb shouldn't expect much from this draft. Still he does have the number 16 pick overall, and should be able to take something from that.
In one simple statement , bigparb has sacrificed this year's draft. He is currently 2nd overall in player payroll, resulting in little funding left over to distribute elsewhere. With what he had left, bigparb chose to take his chances with the international market.
Round 1 Pick 16 RP Louis Castillo
Castillo is an elite relief pitching talent and would be a welcome addition to virtually any pitching staff. For whatever reason, he remains unsigned even though his bio states he should have no problem signing. I'm thinking bigparb has run out of prospect funding while signing IFA prospects, and now has his back against the wall because of his team's high payroll. In any event, it appears that Castillo won't be signing this year.
Round 3 Pick 105 DH Paulie Jefferies
Originally listed as a catcher, Jefferies obviously does not have the defensive ability to succeed at that position. He does however, make a pretty decent DH. Again, the problem here is that bigparb appears to not be able to sign him. Not as big a loss as Castillo is, but still a loss of some hitting talent that may have come in useful in a trade scenario.
Round 4 Pick 137 SS Del Chase
Again, unable to be signed, however in this case, bigparb isn't really missing anything.
Round 5 Pick 169 P Neftali Mercedes
unscouted - no information available
Hidden Gems: none foreseeable
Overall Grade: F
Bigparb has put me into a bit of a conundrum, and the purpose of this review is now brought into question. My intention was to grade teams based on how they drafted with respects to what their pre-draft expectations were, and how well they filled their most pressing needs. While bigparb had very low expectations going into the draft, he actually drafted two decent prospects. Because of his sacrifice of this year's draft, he was unable to come away with those players signed. As a result, the only grade I can realistically give him is an F, even though he was able to draft better than what was planned for.