Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tacoma Downriggers Draft Review

Solid pitching at the ML level continues to be the core strength of this team, with Al Gardner a budding superstar among a strong group of young arms.

Round 1 Pick 25: Buck Oberholtzer (P) – A lanky lefthander, Oberholtzer looks to be a potential standout closer at the ML level. Exceptional control and a propensity to induce ground balls along with two ML pitches and good effectiveness against both right and left-handed batters suggest Buck will be a very successful pitcher for Tacoma. An excellent pick at this spot in the first round.

ML Projections: 1.10 WHIP, .235 OAV

Round 1 Pick 42: Asdrubal Diaz (CF) – While Diaz has among the best range and glove within this year’s crop of CF, his lack of arm strength may lead the coaching staff to move him to 2B. A good baserunner with outstanding speed, Diaz could also see time as a pinch runner in clutch situations.

ML Projections: .235 BA, .625 OPS

Round 2 Pick 93: Karim Throneberry (P) – The Downriggers second round pick projects to be a solid pitcher at the AAA level unless the coaching staff can work on his erratic control.

ML Projections: 1.60+ WHIP, .300+ OAV

Round 2 Pick 106: Rickie Allen (P) – Allen has the control and tendency to induce groundballs that may allow him to be effective at the ML level, but concerns remain about whether these strengths will compensate for his effectiveness versus right and left handed batters and less than dominant pitches.

ML Projections: 1.60+ WHIP, .300+ OAV

Other notable selections: None.

Grade: B-. Olberholtzer, to the extent he can remain healthy, may become one of those pitchers that several teams picking in the late teens will regret not having selected. The remainder of this class looks only to have a few borderline ML prospects.

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