A.L. North
Ottawa Hosers

Without high expectations from a lower draft position the Hosers selected slick fielding second baseman Ray Friend. Friend won’t likely be an offensive force, but he runs well and should be a competent defender if he finds a big league role. Along with Friend, Ottawa opted for a couple of talented defensive shortstops with limited hitting skills and a pitcher who probably won’t have an impact.
Grade: D+
Syracuse Blue Sox
With the 25th selection, the Blue Sox took first baseman/left fielder Art Henderson, a sturdy hitter and a free-swinging project who probably lacks high-end power that one would hope for. Not a bad gamble late in the first round, but not a memorable draft for Syracuse this season.
Grade: D+
Toronto Trout
The only piece of significance in this season’s draft for the Trout is infielder Bill Thomas. With excellent range and a superb glove, Thomas is a sterling defender, though some have thought his arm could be a bit weak for the left side of the infield. His bat-skills are average at best and some might argue that Thomas wasn’t the best value at #15 overall.
Grade: C-
Trenton Terror Hawks
First rounder Charles Roosevelt is an 18 yr old second baseman with blinding speed and a promising all-around game. To succeed he’ll need to learn to make better decisions on the base-paths, and become more focused with his glove-work. Despite being a bit rough around the edges, Roosevelt seems a sure-fire major leaguer on athleticism alone. Trenton also drafted towering relief pitcher Charles Jackson and gritty catcher Ernie Simmons both of whom have moderate potential.
Grade: B+

A.L. East
Boston Red Sox

With the earliest pick in franchise history at #10 and a remarkable 5 supplemental picks, the Red Sox opted to choose six pitchers. They’ve landed a potential top tier starter in Ed Carpenter, an 18 yr old southpaw with an accurate and lively fastball. The other five are hit or miss, but scouts have high hopes for Ken Pettibone and Eddie Walsh, and Carlos Prado also may have some upside. Grade: B+
Durham County Ramblers
The Ramblers had four picks in the top 60, including two in the top 20. Gary Leary looks like he’ll be a good all-around shortstop, and although he may struggle to maintain a decent batting average he has plenty of power and great defense. Pinky Baez has a decent enough bat to be a ML DH or 1B if the team can deal with having a slugger named “Pinky” in the lineup. They also drafted a serviceable reliever in Fernando Rosario and solid all-around infielder Chuck Mitchell could fill a ML role if he can stay healthy.
Grade: A
Jacksonville Sunbirds
Wyatt Incaviglia will be a decent major league hitter with some power. He’s a defensive asset who could be a decent shortstop or an above-average third baseman depending on where he’s needed. Though likely never a superstar, Incaviglia looks like a solid everyday player who could provide good secondary offense behind a couple of big bats. Still unsigned, the Sunbirds would do well to lock up their first round pick. Their second pick, Shairon Douglass has borderline potential as a 5th starter or bullpen arm. He is also currently unsigned.
Grade: C+
New York Crunch
The Crunch are hoping that pitcher Pete Cortes can develop into a useful member of their rotation, but pundits have mixed reviews on the off-speed righty. Cortes has great control, and pitches well to righty hitters, but he relies on a sinker that doesn’t sink, lefties can hurt him and he’s a classic “mistake” pitcher. Left-fielder Melvin Swan is a pure hitter and perhaps a steal taken at #44. Swan is a smart hitter with natural power, and could develop into a good player if he puts in the work. Jose Molina is a less risky but less rewarding option for a first base or corner outfield job, but might end up as a “bench bat” with decent running ability. Grade: B

A.L. South
Charlotte Designated Drinkers

The D.D’s seem to have found a solid pitching talent in Troy Roberts, though despite his great arsenal and deadly control, Roberts could wind up in the Charlotte bullpen if he can’t pitch starters innings. Second rounder Kenneth Corbin is a sparkling defensive shortstop who’s only major league asset is in the field. Roberts is really the only draft value this season. Grade: B
Little Rock Razorbacks
Many scouts thought that Fritz Blackwell was a lock to be a top 5 selection, and the Razorbacks were happy to see him fall to seventh. A great all-around ball player, Blackwell has no fundamental weaknesses and even if they decide that his range isn’t best suited for shortstop, Fritz would be a gold glove caliber third baseman. It will also be interesting to watch speedy second baseman Del Cela develop, but his bat might not catch up to the other areas of his game. Grade: A
Louisville Lobsters
With first round pick Iago Todd, the Lobsters have themselves a unique talent known to have a strong arm and some pop in his bat. Todd looks like a third baseman, but he may get a chance to prove himself at short. There is some concern that despite having good power, he may strike out too much and have trouble bringing his batting average up. He crushes left handed pitching, so it would seem that a worst case scenario for Todd would be a platoon. Louisville also landed a serviceable pitcher in Michael Benes.
Grade: B+
Florida GATORs
In a very good pitching crop, the Gators wound up with Manuel Lee at the #9 spot. Lee is a hard thrower and has the potential to be an inning-eating workhorse if he finds his groove. He has fantastic control and very good fundamentals, though there is some concern that he doesn’t really have a “feature pitch”. Third rounder Geronimo Benavente may turn out to be a good value, as he plays solid defense and has a respectable bat.
Grade: B-

A.L. West
Las Vegas Numa Numa

The Numa Numa didn’t pick until late in the second round and can’t be too enthusiastic about outfielder Harry Diaz. At pick #99 Diaz isn’t such a bad value, but he’s a long-shot to develop into a useful major league talent. There wasn’t anything else of significance for Vegas in this draft, leaving the door to the international market wide open.
Grade: C-
Oklahoma City Rodeo Clowns
Though they didn’t pick until slot #29, the Clowns had four picks in the first fifty and didn’t fare too badly. Slick fielding Kent Edwards is a great athlete who excels on the base-paths and anywhere defensively that he would wind up. If he can assert himself offensively he could be a piece. Pitchers Terry Coombs, Dante Lawton and Carl Becker are all projects with slight major league upside, but they’ll need to develop well in the minors to get there. Grade: C-
Sacramento Sanguillens
With the 2nd overall selection, Sacramento passed on the high end pitching and opted for the five-tool skill set of University of Arizona product Kevin Green. Arguably the best hitter in the draft, Green displays great natural power, good speed and defense and gives the Sanguillens a star to build around. He’s really the only true talent that they found in this year’s draft, although catcher Albert Simon and speedster Braeden Kotteras may eventually prove useful. Grade: A
Scottsdale Fighting Chokes
Picking 23rd overall the Chokes opted for pitcher Charlie Ricarrdi, and unless he turns out to be a diamond in the rough his wildness should see him become a peripheral major leaguer at best. There isn’t much to be excited about for Scottsdale, as their other pitchers Orlando and John McRae are long-shots to say the least. Grade: D-

N.L. North
Chicago Crushers

With the first overall pick, the Crushers raised some eyebrows with the selection of shortstop Harvey Davidson. The well-rounded Davidson was a consensus top ten pick, but the Crushers must have seen something special in Davidson to choose him above some of the other top talents. Supplemental pick Jacque Drew doesn’t appear to have the right stuff to succeed long term, so the success of the Crushers’ draft rests solely on Davidson. Assuming they get him signed, Harvey brings solid defense, good speed and capable bat to support Chicago’s franchise player Fred Medina. Grade: B
Detroit Tiger Sharks
Picking 24th overall, The Tiger Sharks landed a solid prospect in the undersized Ryan Miller. A steal at his draft position, the 19 yr old Michigan native has good power, plate patience and a great arm. With the 40th pick Detroit chose Clayton Mahler which may be an even bigger steal, as the lanky right-hander throws a hard fastball and looks like a promising addition to their staff. Omar Valdes and Achilles Brooks are two more potentially useful arms that the Tiger Sharks did very well to find in the second round.
Grade: A+
Montreal Maroons
In taking pitcher Archie Schneider with the 33rd pick overall, the Maroons have a good arm who will doubtful ever be a great arm. With decent command of a 90+ fastball Schneider has some potential, but his stuff is average enough for Montreal to consider this a fairly forgettable draft. Grade: D
Philadelphia Pheremoniacs
Philly looks to have found a competent all-around player in second bagger Vic Little. Little doesn’t have exceptional power or speed, but he’s a smart and gritty player, selective at the plate and should contribute at some level down the road. The Pheremoniacs then drafted a couple of pitchers: the lanky Mac Ma throws a hard slider and might be an asset if he keeps his arm in shape; and WilfredoVelazquez who many feel throws too softly to compete at a high level.
Grade: C

N.L. East
Baltimore Barons

The Barons were delighted to see a top tier hurler like Maicer Calles fall to them in the #6 spot in the draft. Calles has the potential to be a true ace in Baltimore and has some of the best stuff of any young pitcher around. A truly exciting prospect for Barons fans to eagerly await, M.C. could be their staff anchor and opening day arm for years to come. They didn’t do badly with their supplemental pick either, as ourfielder David Olmeda has fantastic speed and has the power to be a good piece if his hitting develops well.
Grade: A
Cincinnati Red Army
With pick #13, the Red Army saw vast potential in Ted Washington, a power bat who could one day hit 40 home runs while contributing a sound defensive game as well. Only time will tell, but some scouts recognize Washington as the most promising hitter in the draft (though Davidson, Green and Blackwell each have a case) and his athleticism at second base should one day make him one of the best in the league. Cincy also added promising sinker-baller John DeLucia in what appears to be quite a decent draft.
Grade: A
Tampa Bay Terrific Balls
The T-Balls selected 22 yr old outfielder Paul Gomes with the 14th overall pick. The right-handed Gomes is an excellent natural swing-smith who shouldn’t take long to be ML-ready. While he doesn’t bring top tier power, scouts feel that he’s capable of somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 homers per season to go along with a high volume of doubles and a good batting average. It doesn’t appear that Tampa found any more serious prospects in this season’s draft, but Gomes should be good. Grade: B
Washington Swamp Cats
Without a pick until #30, the Swamp Cats should be pleased with their results. 6’5” eighteen yr old Milt Vaughn paints the corners with an electric fastball that he is expected to unleash either in the rotation or the bullpen. Vaughn looks a great value at the tail end of round one, as is southpaw Kevin Dodd who could prove to be a late-inning gem in D.C. when he’s ready. Knuckle-baller Ricardo Terrero is a bit more of a project, but Washington seems to have done reasonably well restocking young arms from deeper in the draft. Grade: B+

N.L. South
Atlanta World Police
The World Police didn’t pick until spot #18, but they had six picks in the top hundred. There certainly didn’t draft any blue chip prospects this time around, but they’ll really need to wait awhile to assess the results of this draft. Center fielder Benjamin Tanner is a gifted outfielder with a decent all-around skill set, but Atlanta will need to wait a few years to see how his hitting comes along. Catcher Koyie Robinson might be the best defensive catcher in this year’s draft, and will certainly be an asset down the road. Whether Robinson’s hitting is good enough to be an everyday starter remains to be seen. Slash Neal and Bubba Cedeno may be fringe talents, with some talent but some flaws as well. Pitcher Joe Darr is also a project, whose upside could be as a fourth or fifth starter.
Grade: C+
El Paso Blancos
Bruce Sellars, Sherry Grebeck, Hector Moya, Cristian Simon and Ray Fischer are five reasons that the Blancos were not major participants in this season’s draft. They shelled out some serious coin for free agent talent and were left with only two supplemental picks and a type D second rounder from last season. Despite this, El Paso found a few players worth drafting in Herm Ramirez, Sterling Anderson and Brendan Maddux. Left handed reliever Ramirez is the most promising of the three, but Anderson could also contribute from the bullpen if he stays healthy and Maddux is a good contact hitter with some speed who could be a platoon guy, or if all else fails a decent guy off the bench.
Grade: C-
Iowa City Bearcats
4th overall the Bearcats selected 6’4” righty Bill Myers. A gifted control pitcher, Myers is another of the top tier arms in a remarkable pitching draft class. It remains to be seen whether Myers will be great or merely good, but either way Iowa City has secured a key piece of their pitching future. 49th pick Craig Connelly has some decent power potential, and could contribute offensively if he settles in at a position (his arm isn’t quite good enough for third and his range isn’t quite good enough for second). Third round outfielder Harry Rodrigo also has an outside shot. Grade: A-
Monterrey Massacre
With the 3rd overall pick, the Massacre were elated to see top rated hurler Felipe Guillen fall in their lap. An all-star caliber ace if he stays healthy, Guillen’s fastball already has a reputation as one of the best most scouts have seen. With this pitching gem to build around, it hardly matters that position player draftees Eric Banks, Bubbles Benoit and Ryan Valdes are average at best. With a great arm and decent power, Banks has the best chance to be a contributor, but he swings for too many bad pitches. Guillen is the prize though, so the draft is a success for Monterrey.
Grade: A-

N.L. West
Helena Phantom der Nacht
With a late first round pick, Helena selected towering left fielder Preston Handworth. He should prove to be a durable and capable middle of the order bat, but his ceiling might be lower than other prospects. Handworth won’t blow anyone away with speed, defense or power, but he’s a gritty competitor with good raw hitting sense and is capable of playing every day. Catcher Merv Owen and first baseman James McCallum have outside chances of developing into pro players. Grade: C+
L.A. Dead Bunnies
The Dead Bunnies didn’t blow anyone away, but they made a few interesting picks in this year’s draft. Ken Prince is a solid if unspectacular right fielder displaying excellent patience and composure despite lacking star potential. Pitcher Rudy Corsi is a boom or bust pick; the radar guns laugh him off, but his control is outstanding and he has most of the tools to be competitive. Relievers Patsy Harper and Pedro Mijares are both decent enough to keep an eye on as they develop.
Grade: C+
San Fransisco Streets
In what seems to be the deepest top-heavy pitching draft in years, the Streets were able to select a gem with their #5 pick. Juan Ciriaco throws sliders and curveballs to keep hitters off-balance and will one day be the ace of the San Fransisco staff. He’s a talented pitcher and as close to a sure thing as there was in this draft. The Streets should be excited to watch Ciriaco progress through their system and help support the talented young hitters in San Fran. They didn’t really achieve much else with this year’s draft, as second round pick, defensive shortstop Ralph Martin is a speedster who will have a tough time contributing anything offensive. Nonetheless, Ciriaco is for real. Grade: A
Vancouver Vampire Bats
With the 21st overall pick, the V-Bats found a good hitting prospect in Paul Yamakazi, but he’s not quite impressive enough defensively to catch. He has a very good eye, decent power and should be a solid hitter down the road, but he’s probably best suited to DH for an American league team. Vancouver needs to decide how to make room for this offensive asset when he’s ready in a season or two. Their subsequent picks are fringe talents at best and likely won’t see their names in the paper. Grade: C-

No comments: