Saturday, November 5, 2011

S20 Draft Review - Columbus Clippers

Columbus Clippers 

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.

Draft Preparation:
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 feature pitch.
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 guy.
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 ground.
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!

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