Needs: C, 1B, RF, SP
The Columbus tandem
behind the plate already has it's weaknesses, and now one of the two is
getting old. This area is a must need
The infield is in desperate
need of revamping. Luckily SS Navarre and 3B Kelly are almost there.
Estrada is capable enough to do the job short-term at 2B, but needs to
be replaced by either Hammel or Pierce soon. 1B is a gaping hole, both
in the field and in the lineup.
With Hammel and Pierce split up
between CF and 2B, the COF positions are in need of upgrade.Gibbons is
ok in LF, but RF needs an arm and a bat.
The starting rotation is
largely ineffective, but Columbus has taken great care in starting to
re-stock it's system with fresh arms.
The bullpen is filled with
talent and is by far the strong suit on this team. The problem in
Columbus is that the demands on that bullpen are often brought on far
too early in games.
Player budget: bottom third of league (68 mill)
Prospect budget: high (20 mill)
Draft budget: moderate/balanced college (14 mill)
HS (14 mill)
Number of Draft Picks Rounds 1-5: 6
Round 1 Pick 11 SP/RP Dingo McDonald
Solid but unspectacular. Would have rated him a late 1st rounder,
rather than number 11 overall. Good left/right splits. Great control.
Good velocity. His durability and stamina indicates he can be either a
short inning starter (5-6 innings), or an excellent long reliever. He
has 3 ML pitches and his feature pitch is the curveball.
ML Proj: 180 IP/12-14 W/150+ K/3.20-3.50 ERA
Round 1 Pick 48 (supp) SP Gregory Dougherty
4th or 5th slot starter has makeup to approach decent projections.
Another starter with outstanding control never hurts, and helps to keep
the big innings to a minimum. Far more effective against lefthanders
than right. Relies mainly on 2 pitches, with the sinkerball being his
ML Proj: 200-210 IP/12-15 W/3.80-4.25 ERA
Round 2 Pick 75 C Joba Ziegler
Brilliant defensive catcher who hits lefties relatively well. Great
candidate for a platoon catching situation, which is exactly what
Columbus needs. Outstanding targeted selection. Only other thing I can
say here is "be ready for trade offers".
ML Proj: 280 AB/12 HR/.260 BA/staff ERA under 3.50
highest rate of base-stealers caught in the league
Round 3 Pick 109 RP Shawn Lo Duca
Nice pick at no. 109. Very solid RP adding strength to an already
strong bullpen. Solid left/right splits complimenting very nice control
and velocity. 2 Quality ML pitches, with the sinkerball being the
feature pitch. Also, nice FB/GB ratio, will grow to be a reliable set-up
ML Proj: 50-60 IP/2.50-3.00 ERA
Round 4 Pick 142 RP Darren Bell
Rounds 4 and 5 are for picking flyers, guys who have talent, but need
work, and that's exactly what Ball is. His talent numbers are all very
nice, but he fatigues easily and often. When he is healthy, he can do
the job. If a team wants a left handed specialist to pitch to one
batter, Bell is the man for the job.
ML Proj: 25-30 IP/2.30-2.70 ERA
Round 5 Pick 174 RP J.T. Allen
Not as talented as the previous pitchers, but still enough there to
find steady work somewhere. Slightly above average left/right splits
are strengthened by good velocity and control. His stock is even
further enhanced by 2 solid ML pitches that are equally effective, the
sinker and the fastball. As a result, he keeps most balls on the
ML Proj: 60-70 IP/3.50-4.00 ERA
Hidden Gems: Amp Rusch RP
Overall grade: A+
Brilliant job of drafting. Although Columbus appeared to get
slightly less than full value for its top choice, they slam dunked the
remainder of the draft. The best job of targeting specific players to
fill needs I may have yet seen in a draft. Amazingly, when my search had
ended, I found no less than 7 solid future ML prospects!