Wednesday, October 26, 2011

S20 Draft Review - Tampa Bay Don Ceasars

Tampa Bay Don Ceasars 

Needs: C, 1B with power, COF, SP
Arrival of Hardtke locks up half of a solid catching platoon, but need other half
Has strategy of loading up the infield with natural SS which has the effect of providing great defense, but lacking in overall offensive prodution
Has some nice balance in the outfield, with some aging veterans being pushed by a couple of talented youngsters, but could use another COF
Solid, reliable rotation will need to find replacement parts soon
Bullpen a mixture of age and youth, and the flow through of replacements where necessary appears to be taking place

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: above average (93 mill)
Prospect budget: low (6 mill)
Draft budget: heavy on college scouting (20 mill)
high school (7 mill)

Number of Draft Picks Rounds 1-5: 8


Round 1 Pick 28 C Brant Ducey 
Nice choice in the late 1st round, calls a good game and has a bat that can help power any ML lineup. His durability is low, hence the low overall rating, but since Tampa already has another solid platoon catcher in place, he will fit in nicely.
ML Proj: 320 AB/20 HR/.280 BA

Round 1 Pick 41 (supp) RP Fausto Lee 
Solid late inning bullpen addition. Has all the right tools to have a long productive stay in the ML. Won't be an all-star, but with his uncanny ability to keep the ball on the ground, he induces an obscene number of double play balls. Feature pitch is the fastball.
ML Proj: 40-50 IP/2.70-3.20 ERA

Round 1 Pick 56 (supp) CF Glen Barkley 
Solid defensive CF with some hitting ability, Barkley can run like the wind, and does it with intelligence. He is every manager's dream of that 4th outfielder who can fill in at every outfield position if needed.
ML Proj: 300 AB/8 HR/.260 BA/35 SB

Round 2 Pick 88 RP Zip Lansing 
Talented short relief specialist with some occasional control problems. This may cost both him, and his team, once in a while, but overall the benefits outweigh the risks. Feature pitch is the fastball.
ML Proj: 40-50 IP/3.40-3.80 ERA

Round 2 Pick 94 RP Jason Russell 
Long relief pitcher has numbers that are just barely good enough to be that last man on your pitching staff. He will be used in mop up situations, and at other times when the remainder of your staff arms are in desperate need of a rest. He is capable of getting outs for a couple of innings, but that's it.
ML Proj: 50-60 IP/4.00-4.75 ERA

Round 3 Pick 126 C Gio Lee 
A capable enough hitter to spend time in the big leagues, but his defense is marginal. He may stock up frequent flyer miles between the big club and AAA.
ML Proj: 100 AB/6 HR/.270 BA

Round 4 Pick 159 1B Clark Aaron  
Solid AAA bat, but no further

Round 5 Pick 191 SS Bob Hammonds 
Good minor league infielder. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: A
Cebola did an outstanding job of plucking talent from later picks in the draft, finishing with 4 players capable of securing solid ML careers and a couple more who could spend time there. The only blemish was that most of his picks came at positions where he already has a backlog of talent

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The S20 Slightly Past Mid-Season Awards

AL MVP: Geovany Molina

AL Cy Young:  Flip McCartney

AL ROY:  SP Al Lindsey

AL Coach of the Slightly Past Mid-Season:  ML4KU           
 NL MVP: Lew Evans

NL Cy Young:  Rich Sobolewski

NL ROY:  SP Juan Bennett

NL Coach of the Slightly Past Mid-Season:  cebola            

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

S20 Draft Review - Iowa City Rounders

Iowa City Rounders 

Needs: 1B or OF with power, RP
Solid starting catcher and backup in place
Team is heavy on natural shortstops and 2B, and as such, is missing the middle of the lineup thug who drives in copious numbers of runs
There are some big bats in the OF, but two of the biggest, Walters and Aquino, are starting to age
As always, the Iowa rotation is amongst the best
The bullpen is aging and can use some fresh blood.

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: high (103 mill)
Prospect budget: low (6 mill)
Draft budget: almost non-existant, college (4 mill) high school 0

Number of Draft Picks Rounds 1-5: 5


Round 1 Pick 29 2B Grant Marshall 
Talented defensive 2B, Marshall should have plenty of chances to win gold gloves if he can make the team. Considering the quality of the pitching talent on the mound in Iowa, he should get plenty of infield chances. His hitting is not the best, although his left/right splits are of ML quality. He is a good baserunner with good speed, meaning he will probably hit ahead of the pitcher in the number 8 spot.
ML Proj: 550 AB/5 HR/.230 BA/25 SB

Round 2 Pick 95 LF Bobby Ray Stephenson
Career minor leaguer. Ceiling AA

Round 3 Pick 127 COF Jeff Mouton
Career minor leaguer. Ceiling AA

Round 4 Pick 160 SS Heath Maxwell
Career minor leaguer. Ceiling AA

Round 5 Pick 192 CF Don Diaz
Career low minor leagues

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: D-
Although ahsowhat was not in desperate need of any particular type of player, to only come up with one marginal ML prospect has to be considered a disaster. It is a lost draft year which will now have to be overcome somewhere down the road.

S20 Draft Review - New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans 

Needs: 1B, SP, RP
The Pelicans always have a steady stream of catching prospects
Looking for a young thug to replace Frank Robbin's aging bat
Plenty of youth looking to fill spots in an aging outfield
Rotation being systematically turned over, but could use a future ace
Need more quality arms in the bullpen

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: near league average (80 mill)
Prospect budget: moderate (15 mill)
Draft budget: moderate - college (10 mill) high school (12 mill)

Number of Draft Picks Rounds 1-5: 9


Round 1 Pick 21 CF Albert Buckley 
Brilliant glove, but limited range for a CF, he may be best utilized as a gold glove 2B. He is an average hitter, being held to the bottom third of the order. His high quality running skills may find him being used on occasion in the no. 2 slot. His makeup rating is suspect, so even reaching his projections will be a challenge.
ML Proj: 500-530 AB/10 HR/.240-.250 BA/20-25 SB

Round 1 Pick 37 (supp) 1B Lawrence Donatello 
Good defensive ability for the converted RF. Combination of decent hitting and speed makes him a solid contributor from the no. 7 slot in the order. His high makeup rating makes him likely to approach his projections.
ML Proj: 575 AB/15 HR/.260-.270 BA/15 SB

Round 1 Pick 53 (supp) RP Eric Durham 
Great left/right splits and great velocity. Unfortunately, he has trouble finding the plate at times. Good health and good makeup makes him reliable for showing up physically, if not mentally. He can only give limited innings due to low durability and stamina. 3 ML quality pitches involves the fastball as his feature pitch.
ML Proj: 40 IP/3.50-4.00 ERA

Round 1 Pick 62 (supp) SS Ross Teagarden 
Moved to 2B (a wise move) Teagarden will likely see time as a utility infielder. Not excelling in any one area, he has the tools to fill in for short periods of time.
ML Proj: 200 AB/5 HR/.260 BA

Round 2 Pick 66 SP Rudy Blair
Some signing issues. If signed, Blair would make a solid addition to the rotation in the number 4 or 5 slot. He has good left/right splits and control, and solid command of his 4 ML quality pitches. Feature pitch is the knucklecurve.
ML Proj: 210 IP/12-15 W/3.30-3.50 ERA if signed

Round 2 Pick 87 RP Coco Adkins 
Another RP to add depth, Adkins is not a lights out stopper, but will come in and eat middle - late innings, bridging the gap. Has slightly low control and velocity, so he will rely on his command of his 3 ML pitches to get outs. Feature pitch is the fastball.
ML Proj: 80-90 IP/3.50-4.50 ERA

Round 3 Pick 119 RP Mitch Jackson 
Another piece to a building bullpen. Once again, not the type to win you games, but to keep you in them. Decent splits, good control and great command of 3 ML pitches make him a productive commodity.
ML Proj: 40-50 IP/3.30-4.00 ERA

Round 4 Pick 152 LF Brian Skinner 
Career minor leaguer. Ceiling AAA

Round 5 Pick 184 SP/RP Jair Lugo 
Career minor leaguer. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: A
Does not start with a very high first pick, but in the first 5 rounds, gjd comes away with no less than 7 potential ML prospects. A job well done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

S20 Draft Review - Texas Wildcats

Texas Wildcats 

Needs: ace SP, depth
Current catching platoon is adequate
infield has many stars on the rise
Outfield also has much talent in the system
the trick will be to figure out who should play where
Solid core of SP prospects need development time and there is no clear number 1
Bullpen also full of young talented arms

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: bottom of league (25 mill)
Prospect budget: Top of league (45 mill)
Draft budget: Moderate-high (both college and high school at 16 mill)

Number of Draft Picks Rounds 1-5: 5


Round 1 Pick 4 LF Welington Rijo 
Future superstar slugger who can play either corner outfield position. His mammoth contact and batting eye projections make his superior power all that more dangerous. Think Pujols. With a good health rating, Rijo should enjoy a highly productive career.
ML Proj: 520-550 AB/45+ HR/100+ BB/.340+ BA/15 SB

Round 2 Pick 67 SS Nerio Robertson 
Solid SS has average fielding numbers and slightly better than average hitting numbers for his position. He will sit at the bottom of your batting order and not embarrass you.
ML Proj: 530 AB/10 HR/.250 BA/15-20 SB

Round 3 Pick 102 1B  Delwyn Redman 
Surprisingly good find at pick 102. Has ML quality hitting numbers, and if he can't find work at 1B, he should be picked up by an AL squad as a DH. Good durability and health numbers means he should be reliable every day.
ML Proj: 600 AB/20 HR/.280-.300 BA

Round 4 Pick 135 SP/RP Tony Rucker 
Good left/right splits and 3 quality ML pitches may give him a shot at the ML roster, but he will be hampered by poor control, and a propensity to give up too many long balls.
ML Proj: 120 IP/5 W/4.50-5.50 ERA

Round 5 Pick 167 SP Einar Melendez  
Minor league SP. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: A-
Carseneau came into this draft without any real pressing need. He does however, need to find an anchor to his young pitching staff sometime in the next few seasons. Having a top 5 pick this year presented just that opportunity. While he did well to obtain a future superstar position player, opportunities to obtain a superstar SP in the draft are few and far between. All in all, he had an extremely productive draft.

S20 Draft Review - St Louis Red Birds

St. Louis Red Birds

Needs: C, SP
Chuck Merrick, one of the steadiest backstops in the league for many years, is getting old and beginning to show it.
Plenty of talent and youth in the infield
Outfield in it's prime, excess infield talent can plug any holes
Currently rebuilding an aging rotation. This must continue for several years
Bullpen loaded with arms either in their prime or approaching it

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: above average (93 mill)
Prospect budget: low (8 mill)
Draft budget: Moderate - college scouting (12 mill)
high school scouting (12 mill)

Number of draft picks Rounds 1-5: 8


Round 1 Pick 25 SS Ajax Maybin 
Probably the best all round SS selected in the draft (how does ronazbill get these guys?). His defensive talents are second to none, plus he has enough hitting ability to contribute well from the lower half of the order. He is also capable of running well enough to substitute at the top of the order when needed on an emergency basis.
ML Proj: 500-550 AB/12 HR/.275 BA/ Perennial SS Gold Glove Candidate

Round 1 Pick 39 (supp) SP/RP Gene Leach 
Short inning starter or long reliever, will give the Red Birds quality innings on most occasions. Slightly above average left/right splits are bolstered by good velocity and control numbers, as well as by 3 outstanding ML pitches. His good FB/GB ratio will also keep the extra-base hit totals down. Feature pitch is the sinkerball.
ML Proj: 170-180 IP/12-15 W/150+ K/3.00-3.50 ERA

Round 1 Pick 54 (supp) SS Neil Adams 
Adept defensively, Adams is a liability offensively, other than his uncanny baserunning. He would be well-suited as a universal utility player to bring into games late as a pinch runner, and then taking over a skill position (especially in extra-inning games)
ML Proj: 150 AB/5 HR/.200 BA/20 SB

Round 2 Pick 74 RF Josh Benson 
An amazingly good find at pick 74, Benson is a very capable RF defensively, and is a surprisingly effective hitter. His left/right splits are definitely ML quality, and he has enough power to stroke 20 HR's in a full season. Although his contact and batting eye splits are pretty mediocre, they are plenty good enough for the all important 4th outfielder. He is also a very good baserunner and rarely gets caught making stupid mistakes.
ML Proj: 250 AB/10-15 HR/.240 BA

Round 2 Pick 91 SS Milt Darwin
not scouted, obvious signing issues

Round 3 Pick 123 SP Erik Throneberry 
High quality minor league pitcher has projected numbers good enough for possible emergency insertion into a ML staff. Realistically though, the ceiling here is AAA

Round 4 Pick 156 RF Dion Howard 
Probably better suited for 1B, Howard has deceptively good numbers all around. Although he will probably never see the ML, he will be dominant throughout the minor leagues. Ceiling AAA

Round 5 Pick 188 LF Johnny Dickens
Power hitting fielder still unsigned. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: A
Once again, starting from the 25th overall pick, ronazbill manages to pluck no less than 4 very capable future ML prospects from the draft. The mark would have been an A+ except for the fact that he still has not addressed his growing concern behind the plate.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

S20 Draft Review - Las Vegas Bishes

 Las Vegas Bishes

Needs: of, SP, Defensive C
Behind the plate Chris Smith projects to become a monster hitter, however he will need better defensive help to hold those huge leads he helps create
The infield has filled out nicely with a collection of talented youngsters
The outfield looks to have a solid threesome emerging, but an upgrade at one of the COF positions could still be made
Another quality arm is needed in the rotation
The bullpen is set with some high quality young talent

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: below average (76 mill)
Prospect budget: high (20 mill)
Draft budget: low-moderate, college scouting (12 mill)
high school scouting (8 mill)

Number of picks Rounds 1-5: 5


Round 1 Pick 20 SS Francisco Cela
Either a poor fielding SS, or an average 3B, Cela would be pretty much league average everywhere on the board both offensively and defensively. While he runs the bases well, he is not a base-stealing threat. Would likely end up batting 7th or 8th in most lineups, including this one.
ML Proj: 520 AB/10-12 HR/.260-.270 BA

Round 2 Pick 86 RF Mo Perez
Good base-running, and great speed, combined with his batting eye, will make him a very effective minor league leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, the rest of his hitting skills aren't good enough for the ML. Ceiling AAA

Round 3 Pick 118 SP Damaso Bonifacio
Minor league starter. Ceiling AA

Round 4 Pick 151 SP Hipolito James
Minor league starter. Ceiling AA

Round 5 Pick 183 SP/RP Cozy Hayes
Short inning starter or long relief. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: C-
The Bishes got very little out of this draft, but that is not surprising given what little they had to work with. Starting wih the 20th overall pick, they quickly jumped down to 86th overall with their second pick. Hard to build a team picking from those positions.

S20 Draft Review - Vancouver Shock

Vancouver Shock 

Needs: C, CF, RP
Weak hitting platoon catchers need replacement
Infield appears set long-term
Outfield depth is lacking, and CF should become a priority
The current starting rotation is weak, but a long sequence of talented youngsters are gaining experience in the minors
The bullpen is filled with a mixture of arms, but could certainly be upgraded with higher quality talent.

Draft Preparation:
Player budget: Near league average (79 mill)
Prospect budget: Very high (29 mill)
Draft budget: Extremely low - little access to prospects
college scouting (9 mill) high school scouting (4 mill)

Number of draft picks Round 1-5: 7

Round 1 Pick 15 SP/RP  Jolbert Galvez 
Talented starting pitcher with problems maintaining stamina. Tires very quickly after the 5th inning. Good health and makeup. Excellent left/right splits. Works all four of his ML quality pitches effectively. Feature pitch is the sinkerball. Moderate velocity and good control means he relies on ball movement to get outs. Very good FB/GB ratio.
ML Proj: 150-180 IP/12-14 W/2.60-3.20 ERA

Round 1 Pick 51 (supp) SP Sherman Sweeney 
Mid-rotation starter projects to number 3 or 4, or possibly 5 on a good staff. Uses velocity and control to get hitters out. Overall low pitch command will make him hittable, especially to big bats looking for the long ball. FB/GB ratio will help to keep the HR numbers down.
ML Proj: 190-200 IP/12-15 W/3.50-3.80 ERA

Round 1 Pick 61 (supp) RP Alberto Beltre 
Mixed bag late inning reliever. Will tirelessly work innings out of the bullpen with good durability and stamina projections. Above average control will mix with moderate velocity to serve up many hittable pitches to hitters. 2 ML quality pitches with outstanding command. Feature pitch is the fastball. FB/GB ratio is a concern.
ML Proj: 100+ IP/4.00-4.50 ERA

Round 2 Pick 79 RP Timothy Lennon 
Overall, Lennon should be a more reliable reliever than Beltre. Fewer big innings and better adept at holding the opposition at bay for the late inning staff to close the door. Good health and makeup. Excellent control and low velocity. Most effective against southpaw hitters with 2 solid ML pitches. Feature pitch is the screwball.
ML Proj: 90-100 IP/2.80-3.30 ERA

Round 3 Pick 113 CF Ned Sveum 
Lack of range means he would be better suited to LF. Does not bring enough to the plate to warrant a ML job. Ceiling AA, possibly AAA

Round 4 Pick 146 LF Charlie Haynes
Signing issues that are not relevant since he is not worth the 2.1 mill he is demanding. Ceiling AAA

Round 5 Pick 178 LF Doug Zimmerman
Ceiling AA

Hidden Gems: none apparent

Overall Grade: B-
Added 4 potential big league arms to the pitching staff, providing depth for both the rotation and the bullpen. The needs behind the plate and at CF were missed entirely, and will become even more urgent next year.

S20 Draft Review - Tucson Long Riders

Tucson Long Riders

Needs: OF, C, SP
Infield either has players in place, or on the rise
Outfield lacks depth and is aging
Desperately need a young catcher with some ML pop
Long and short relief has arms in place, and replacements on the way
Rotation lacks depth and a bonafide ace

Draft Preparations:
Player budget: bottom third (69 mill)
Prospect budget: high (24 mill)
Draft budget: Even mix of college and high school funding at moderate levels (15 mill each)

Number of Draft Picks rounds 1-5: 6

Round 1 Pick 2 P Babe Colin 
Everything a top 5 pick should be. Ace quality SP with superior splits (left/right) especially against left handed hitters. Outstanding control and velocity, he will be a strikeout machine. Although his pitch count will be slightly on the low side (only 100-105 maximum), his great control will make those 105 pitches take him deep into games. 4 ML quality pitches. Feature pitch is the sinkerball.
ML Proj: 220 IP/18-20W/220+ K/2.00-2.50 ERA 

Round 1 Pick 45 (Supp) RP Dee Long
Solid short relief prospect. Good left/right splits. High velocity. Average control. 3 solid ML pitches, feature pitch is screwball. Makeup and health good. GB/FB ratio good. Serious signing problems.
ML Proj: 70 IP/2.50-3.00 ERA

Round 2 Pick 65 2B Ronald King 
Steady, yet unspectacular, 2B prospect would fit well in bottom third of most batting orders. Has health issues. Good durability and makeup, should make close to projections if not hampered by injuries. Good baserunner, but little speed.
ML Proj: 550-600 AB/8-10 HR/.270 BA

Round 3 Pick100 3B Omar Arnold 
Average to slightly below average infielder with good power. May be better suited to RF. Health risk, and moderate durability means he will miss upward of 20-30 games per year. Average splits may keep him out of ML. Below average running skills.
ML Proj: borderline player 450 AB/35 HR/.240 BA - if played

Round 4 Pick 133 SP Les Taylor   
Career Minor Leaguer could make some emergency starts. Ceiling AAA

Round 5 Pick 165 2B/LF Joe Loaiza 
Listed as 2B, probably better as a LF. Good contact, and good speed will make him a career minor league leadoff hitter. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: None Apparent

Overall Grade:A-
There were some distinct holes to be filled, and it appears Tucson tried to go after their much needed ace.  Great top end picks, but little produced after the 2nd round.