Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicago Blagos Draft Review

After seven straight division titles, the Blagos are beginning to rebuild.

Round 1 Pick 28: Clay Gonzales (C) – The top all-around catching prospect in this year’s draft, Gonzales projects as a solid ML player. He hits right and left handed pitching equally well in addition to drawing a lot of walks. While his durability may not allow him to play all 162 games, this is a solid pick for the Blagos.

ML Projections: .275 BA, .775 OPS.

Round 1 Pick 35: Rico Cruz (P) – Excellent control and an ability to induce a lot of double play balls helps to offset Cruz’s limited velocity. Much more effective against LH hitters than RH, Cruz has the potential to make the ML squad at the back half of the rotation. A bit of a reach at this point in the draft

ML Projections: 1.40 WHIP, .260 OAV

Round 1 Pick 44: Pat Romano (LF) – Good power and an above average eye makes Romano a home run threat every time he steps to the plate. His limited arm strength and overall ability in the field however limit how many positions Romano could play at the big league level.

ML Projections: .235 BA, .760 OPS.

Round 1 Pick 51: Preston Bailey (1B) – Bailey is likely to see some time at the big league level, but likely only as a situational player. He has an uncanny ability to hit LH pitching and above average range, arm strength and arm accuracy for a first baseman. That said, his below average glove and below average ability to hit RH pitching will limit how much time he’ll see on the field.

ML Projections: .235 BA, .700 OPS.

Round 1 Pick 68: Derek Dinkelman (P) – Flying beneath most scouts’ radar, Dinkelman was a solid pickup at this point in the draft. A groundball pitcher with exceptional control and 3 strong ML pitches, Dinkelman will keep the ball in the park on most nights. The only downside on Dinkelman is that the Blagos’ aren’t going to get many innings out of him due to his limited stamina.

ML Projections: 1.25 WHIP, .240 OAV

Round 1 Pick 75: Marc Dolan (SS) – Dolan is likely to max out at the AAA level or potentially as a situational ML utility player. While Dolan is solid at most aspects of the game, there is nothing about him that is going to make the team feel he needs to be on the field on a night in / night out basis.

ML Projections: .200 BA, .575 OPS.

Round 1 Pick 79: Napolean Evans (2B) – Projects as a career minor leaguer. Good range and glove for the 2B / CF position along with excellent speed. However, Evans has limited ability at the plate.

ML Projections: .200 BA, .500 OPS.

Round 1 Pick 81: P.T. Bennett (SS) – An excellent defensive SS with outstanding speed, Bennett has the potential to make the 40-man roster once he fully develops and get some time as a late inning defensive replacement or pinch runner. His offensive skills will limit how much time he sees however.

ML Projections: sub .200 BA, .430 OPS.

Round 2 Pick 83: Wilfredo Melendez (2B) – Excellent speed and a smart basereunner, Melendez may make the bigs as a situational pinch runner or occasional utility player.

ML Projections: .230 BA, .575 OPS.

Round 2 Pick 109: Del Alvarez (SS) – A solid defensive player with great arm strength, Alvarez is likely to peak out at the AAA level or perhaps make the ML squad as a utility player. Good power and ability to hit both left and right hand pitching is helped by an above average eye. The biggest knock on Alvarez is his propensity to strike out a lot, which may prove costly at the ML level.

ML Projections: .200 BA, .650 OPS.

Other notable selections: None.

Grade: B. A couple of solid selections among the Blagos’ 10 first and second round picks make this a good start to the team’s rebuild phase.

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