A.L. North ______________________________________________________ Iowa City Barnstormers The Barnstormers did a lot to address pitching this time around, selecting arguably the best starter in this year’s class in Bobby McDonald… as well as crafty curve-baller Felix Barden. McDonald should be a bonafide #1 starter with a vicious sinking fastball that clocks in the high 90’s. He is only 18 years old, so Iowa City should take time letting him develop… with specific attention paid to being aggressive against lefties (his only slight Achilles heel). Barden is likely to start off spending time in the bullpen, as he doesn’t quite have the legs to throw starter’s innings. He boasts five pitches, including his signature filthy curveball and like McDonald, if he can figure out lefties he’ll have a ton of success as a pro. Shortstop Brendan Hale also has some of the tools needed to develop into a good major leaguer, though only time will tell what sort of impact he could have. A successful foray for the Barnstormers. Grade:A _______________________________________________________ Sioux Falls Screw Balls With the 8th selection, the Screw Balls added a serious power bat in Stone Nicholson. A fine athlete with good instincts in the field and serious home run power, Stone should enjoy a quick ascent to the majors. Without any glaring weaknesses, Sioux Falls feels that they have a potential all-star on their hands. The absolute downside for Nicholson would be an average stat line of 30-80-.265, but the ceiling is much, much higher. With the 30th choice, Garry Smart gives the Balls a tremendous defensive shortstop – slick glove and a cannon arm. Smart has a good eye at the plate, gets on base and should hit well enough to contribute a little offense too. A very solid top two for SXF! Grade: A ________________________________________________________ Syracuse Blue Sox The Blue Sox might have missed the mark a little in this year’s draft. They used their top pick to take Terry Santangelo – a safe enough choice, a little gritty with some poise at the plate, but unlikely to be a real difference maker. Santangelo is amenable to a move to first base, but the Sox could also opt to move him back to left field where he played at community college. With some good baseball instincts and smarts on the bases, he could be a piece for Syracuse – but not a building block. His agent is Bing Herges. Catcher Marcus Nation could be another solid if unspectacular contributor for the Sox. A left-handed contact hitter, he’ll need to punch singles up the middle if he’s to be successful at the plate. Behind the dish, however, Nation has a decent arm, calls a sound game and could be a viable option to manage a rotation. If Nation doesn’t pan out, they also have Brendan Meacham… with a similar skill-set: tons of potential behind the plate, but very little promise with his bat. Grade: C- __________________________________________________________ Toronto Trout Due to budgeting constraints, the Trout opted to sign Dominican righty Octavio Portillo and subsequently threw in the towel in regards to signing selections from this year’s draft class. It’s quite a shame that Scott Yount, one of this year’s top rated starting pitchers will go unsigned. Grade: N/A ___________________________________________________________ A.L. East ___________________________________________________________ Boston Red Sox Taking advantage of eight selections in the top 100, the Red Sox prioritized position players over pitching this time around. Top selection Barry Lincoln is an athletic outfielder, who uses his excellent bat speed to hit to all fields. He runs well and could boast regular 20-20 seasons in his prime. A confident 19 year old, Lincoln is one of few prospects who chose not to hire an agent, instead representing himself and hard-lining the Boston suits into a 7.5 million dollar signing bonus (on the surface quite steep in slot money terms). Lincoln’s pal Jimmie Hutch (the two met at a tournament years ago) also chose the same route and received the same money from the Red Sox. Hutch is a gifted center fielder with excellent speed and good baseball IQ. Though he was probably drafted by Boston as extra incentive for Lincoln to sign with the club, he still deserves merits based on his own abilities. Player agents are likely frustrated by the actions of this pair, as they together achieved a financial coup that nobody can take a percentage from. It’s not a concern to the team, who is only concerned with adding talent and depth to their system. Along with the selections of infielders Marty Nixon and Jackson Todd, the Red Sox appear to be making a commitment to solid defense and team speed. Grade: B+ _____________________________________________________________ Chicago County Ramblers Sometimes fans need to root for somebody to overcome the odds, and a 5’7” pitcher coming off two Tommy John surgeries at age 18 might seem like a long shot. Chicago’s first rounder Jim Jacquez is that small injury prone pitcher that Rambler fans can get behind. If he stays healthy, Jacquez has a lively sinker that he uses to induce groundball outs, ideal for the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. The patient right-hander with pinpoint control is a gritty competitor, whose finesse approach should allow him to last into the late innings of his starts. If he stays healthy, the County Ramblers look to have landed a winner. There are some other pieces in play for Chicago, as reliever Chuck Hoyt looks like a potential set up guy; Terry Bigbie won’t hit a ton, but could platoon or be a nice utility fielder off the bench; and catcher Casey Wells has great hitting instincts and looks like the real deal. Grade: A- _____________________________________________________________ Jacksonville New Jacks With the top selection in this year’s draft, the New Jacks surprised a few people opting for slick gloved New Mexico State senior Harvey Wilkins. A consensus top-10 choice, the future leadoff hitter’s ascension to the majors should not take long, but he’ll need to prove that he can hit better than .300 as a pro in order to justify going #1 overall. Wilkins needs to be on base in order to use his speed, and time will tell if his batting eye will translate against ML pitching. Without any other standout selections in this year’s draft, Jacksonville has pinned their hopes on second rounder Steve Poppel and their signing of Panama speedster Chico Maradona adding to team quickness as they appear to be moving towards a “small ball” approach. Grade: B- _______________________________________________________________ New York Crunch The Crunch were no doubt pleased to see Jeimer Cortes still available to them at #11. The five-tool athlete out of Auburn is close to ML ready and should use his speed to make a difference for New York both on the bases and in the field. Cortes projects to a 15-20 home run hitter who murders left handed pitching. His development as a base-runner and with his glove will determine how the Crunch will deploy him when he reaches the pros. Outfielder Nap Yacko is a defense first option who needs to prove his acumen at the plate to become more serviceable, while sluggers Danny Raines and Al Candelaria both have some offensive pop and could work their way into the New York lineup if they progress well through the system. While they didn’t get any pitching help whatsoever in this season’s draft, the New York brass likely felt that they already have several strong young arms in the system and addressing positional needs was a priority. Time will tell how many pieces they’ll develop, but they’re likely quite pleased to land Cortes at their draft position. Grade: B+ _________________________________________________________________ A.L. South _________________________________________________________________ Charlotte Designated Drinkers Karim Townsend has an electric fastball and a filthy curve. Charlotte sees all of the raw tools in the 18 year old’s elastic arm to invest some serious time in honing it. With plenty of natural ability and arm strength, “Project Townsend” will be mostly about locating his pitches. He’s good at changing his tempos and giving hitters different looks to keep them off-balance, but to be successful he’ll need to be more consistent throwing strikes. He also has a tendency to let pitches hang up in the zone against lefties and this will be exploited if his control doesn’t improve. If he develops improved command with a more vertical delivery he could be a solid starter for the D.D’s. Lefty Emil Stafford throws a terrific four-seamer and mixes up his arsenal well, but he has a reputation as an erratic, low-velocity hurler who on occasion will tip his pitches to an alert opponent. Second round pick Scott Chace could turn into a good short-inning guy (or at least a situational reliever) down the road if he can tame his chronic wildness. Some potential pieces for Charlotte in this season’s draft, but not a standout crop. Grade: C _______________________________________________________________ Louisville Lobsters Shortstop Harry Sowders has some serious plus defense, with some slight objection to his range. Maybe a move to third would suit Sowders, but his skill at fielding grounders is something to behold. That being said, for a first round pick, Sowders probably doesn’t have the chops to become an impact hitter. In a puzzling move, the Lobsters subsequently used four consecutive picks to choose middling highschool catchers. Of the four, Oliver Montgomery and Matthew Hayes both show tremendous poise and acumen behind the plate as signal callers. If they don’t have a future as pro players, they should at the least contribute well to help the Louisville pitching prospects along on their upwards trajectory. In summary, this is not a draft that Lobster fans will remember down the road. Grade: D _____________________________________________________________ Nashville Catfish The signings of pitchers Wilfredo Torcato and Miguel Villafuerte cost the Catfish their first two rounds in the draft, so expectations were tempered going in. With no picks in the top 60, Nashville needs to be satisfied with Matt Borders and Paul Halter. Borders projects to be a good (but not great) major league hitter, who gets around quickly on fastballs and pulls solid line drives to the left side of the field. If his defensive game plays at second base he could be rock-solid at a position of some offensive scarcity. Though his range is decent by ML standards, he has trouble with his double play pivot and can be error prone when hurried. If he needs to switch to left field down the road, his bat won’t look nearly as good. Third rounder Paul Halter is a true all-or-nothing power hitter. He doesn’t move well on the bases or in the field, so if he’s not making contact he’s not worth a roster spot. When he does make contact he’ll hit moon shots, but amassing strikeouts as he goes. If Halter can draw some walks and keeps his average afloat past .250 or so, he’ll likely pay off in long-balls. Grade: C- _________________________________________________________________ Wichita Tomcats It’s an understatement to say that the Tomcats went pitcher-heavy in this year’s draft. Taking pitchers with their first 14 selections certainly loaded up their minor league system with young arms. Fifth overall pick Malcolm Whitman has the makings of an inning-eating workhorse, with poise beyond his years and an upper-nineties fastball that’s sure to improve. Whitman is a tireless student of the game, keeping written records of each hitter he faces and leads by example with his workout regimen. He should develop into a top tier starter, though there are some concerns that he’s somewhat vulnerable against left-handed bats. Stocky righty Matty Brower could be another inning-eater for Wichita, but he’ll need to throw strikes more consistently if he’s going to compete. How Whitman develops long-term will be the real litmus test for the Tomcats’ draft success. Grade: B ________________________________________________________________ A.L. West ________________________________________________________________ Anaheim Halos The Halos chose pitchers with their first five selections in this season’s draft, but the value of those arms won’t be known for a few seasons. The standout is 6th overall pick Troy Glynn out of Baylor, a craftsman who relies on a sinker-splitter combo to keep hitters off balance. Glynn is fairly polished already, but has struggled at times against lefties and some scouts don’t see him transitioning smoothly from college to the pro ranks. While he does have #1 starter upside, Glynn still needs to mature a bit to prove he’s the real deal. The next four pitchers selected by the Halos are all long-shots to achieve much more than marginal success, and if one or more of them carves out a niche in Anaheim they’ll have surpassed expectations. Grade: C _______________________________________________________________ Kansas City Royals K.C. achieved tremendous success last season, with an A.L. best 99 wins and a World Series berth. They decided that signing a couple of free agent pitchers (at the expense of Type A draft pick compensation) was their top priority in attempt to get ready for another deep playoff run. Going into the amateur draft, the Royals seemed drawn towards under-sized Texans with limited speed and power. Their first choice, at pick #63 was maligned CSU senior Sonny Williams, who after several drug arrests, cut a plea bargain offering his testimony in a well-publicized DEA case in exchange for his freedom. After his intervention, Williams has re-focused his attention on baseball and the Royals were willing to give him a chance. A slender 5’7” he’ll never generate much power, but he’s a patient hitter with a knack for protecting the plate and fouling off pitches until he finds one to his liking. His base-running and defense are both passable, but unexceptional. Tim Griffin is more or less a smaller, weaker version of Williams, standing at only 5’5” (though some scouts expect him to eventually grow another three inches and gain 25 pounds – but then, projections are tricky). Griffin, like Williams, is a decent contact hitter who can draw some walks, but won’t drive the ball enough to generate extra base hits. They both demonstrate great range, but inconsistent glove work and weak but accurate throwing arms. For their late draft position, if one or both of these small Texan contact hitters becomes a regular in the K.C. lineup it will be a success. Grade: D ________________________________________________________________ Oakland Olmecs The only pick of significance for Oakland this time around is infielder Julio Gallardo, a near-ready major league defender with good quickness and a cannon arm. Though he played mostly shortstop throughout his college career, Gallardo could be more natural at the hot corner where his quick reflexes and strong arm will be assets. At the plate, Gallardo will need some time to develop. He has occasional power that should translate to 10-15 homers per season, but he’s more of a gap hitter who will hit his share of doubles. Projecting as a solid pro, at 22 years of age his path to the majors will likely be an accelerated one. Grade: C ________________________________________________________________ Oklahoma City Rodeo Clowns In the first round, the Clowns opted for Virginian high-schooler Julian Arroyo. Projecting defensively to gold glove caliber heights at second base, scouts have called Arroyo’s range “once in a generation”. As sterling as his defensive pedigree might be, he’ll need to work hard to become productive as a major league hitter. With a decent eye at the plate and good speed on the bases, Arroyo also bunts well and can hit to the opposite field. Strikeouts have been a problem for the 18 year old, who could fit in well at the bottom of the OKC lineup as long as he’s able to bring his batting average up to .250 or thereabouts. Michigan born Christian outfielder Gio Aguilera has great speed and tremendous patience, but like Arroyo might struggle to generate offense. Catcher Bobby (the son of) Crosby shows some pop at the plate, but despite a strong arm doesn’t necessarily have the mental make-up to be an everyday major league catcher. Grade: C- ___________________________________________________________________ N.L. North __________________________________________________________________ Detroit Tiger Sharks Coming out of the Youth Opportunities Unlimited program in Los Angeles, Victor Monroe has seen his stock rise rapidly in the last year all the way up the draft ladder to tenth overall. Monroe is an agile shortstop who has some untapped power potential and could prove to be a steal for the Tiger Sharks. One knock on Monroe is his inconsistent glove-work, which could prove less than ideal at shortstop. He has fantastic range, which might play well at third base along with his strong arm. With 20+ home runs and solid OBP being realistic targets for the infielder, Detroit should take their time to let him develop. Left fielder Brant Wight has fantastic speed, but might be best suited to a platoon situation (or coming off the bench in the late innings with his strong bunting and base-running skills). Reliever Nate Brown could easily be an “inning-a-day” reliever, but nothing at this point indicates that those innings will be good ones. Grade: B _______________________________________________________________ Madison Scavengers The Scavengers scored with their first pick, landing the much lauded midget infielder Garland Lewis. Standing at a scant 5 feet 3 inches in height, the diminutive Lewis uses his 160 pounds of solid muscle to generate surprising power and a cannon throwing arm. His compact stance will also allow him to draw more than his share of walks, projecting him to a high OPS ceiling. With stumpy legs, “Little G” has short strides and won’t dazzle on the bases or with his range as a shortstop. This could eventually mean acclimatizing him to another position, such as third base where his arm will still be an asset. Despite some minor shortcomings, Madison still has a potential all-star on their hands. They also landed serviceable catching prospect Francis Bell in the 4th round. Grade: A ____________________________________________________________________ Montreal Maroons The Maroons are coming off a World Series win and have temporarily shifted their focus away from accumulating youth in order to stay as competitive as possible at the ML level. Without any high draft picks to speak of, they still need to be fairly pleased to land young relief prospect Danys Marquez. Boasting a good 1-2 fastball-curve punch and great breaking stuff, Marquez isn’t a flame-thrower but remains quite difficult to hit. If his hones his control, he could be a lights-out closer one day. Grade: C- _____________________________________________________________________ Philadelphia Pheremoniacs At one point the highly touted R.J. Ugueto was slated to be top 10 slam dunk. Some arm troubles derailed his junior college season, and he saw his stock drop to late in the first round where Philly took a chance on him being fully recovered. Though it appears his velocity has dipped, he still mixes up four pitches and should have enough control to keep throwing strikes. There are some concerns that his stamina won’t return, potentially pushing him to the bullpen where much harder throwers than he usually thrive. Also, he can be victimized by the long ball if he leaves his fastball hanging up in the zone. Scouts are still impressed with Ugueto’s poise and determination, a hard worker who could make the Pheremoniacs gamble pay off. Philly fans are still waiting to see if they’ll ink compensation relievers Jon Peterson and Danny Forbes. Both have some upside, with Peterson being the more promising of the two. Twelfth round pick Ismael Henriquez doesn’t look very good, but his agent his Bing Herges. Maybe he’ll be a diamond in the rough. Grade: C ______________________________________________________________________ N.L. East _______________________________________________________________________ Atlanta Spartans At #18, Atlanta may have landed the best pure hitter in the draft in Enos White, a prototypical slugging first baseman with legit 40+ home run potential. White is all but a sure thing, leading a few pundits to wonder how he could slide so far down the draft board. There is something to be said for the one-faceted “offense only” nature of his skill set, as a detractor from his overall worth as a player, but hitters like White aren’t a dime a dozen and many scouts had him locked down as a top ten or even top five pick. Perhaps with his flat refusal to ever attempt a bunt (in games or even in drills), he publicly came across as stubborn and perhaps difficult personality in the club house. However, those in circles close to “The Great White”, cite him as a good team-mate and a leader on and off the field. Bunting is simply not a part of his game. With an astounding eight other picks in the first round (including supplemental), the Spartans added a serviceable catcher in Mateo Jacquez, a speed-phenom in bag-swiping second baseman Garret Jones, an all-world defensive shortstop in Claude Pederson, as well as a group of potentially useful pitching prospects. Atlanta did a good job restocking the shelves. Grade: A+ _______________________________________________________________________ Cincinnati Red Army No team put less stock in this season’s draft than the Red Army. They’ve devoted the least amount of capital towards amateur scouting of any team in baseball, and with the money they’re paying Sandoval and Rosado they were left with a pittance to sign prospects. Top pick Reggie Neal is a southpaw bullpen arm who knows how to throw strikes with consistency. The problem with Neal is that those strikes are usually quite hittable and he’s almost certain to get knocked around like a rag-doll once he reaches the higher levels. While it’s clear that Cincinnati’s focus lies elsewhere, their amateur draft still deserves a failing grade. Grade:F _______________________________________________________________________ Cleveland Bad Seeds The Seeds rolled the dice with 19 year old righty Stan Workman, a hard-tosser who keeps pitches down in the zone and likes to challenge hitters. He’ll likely be able to compensate for his slightly erratic control by keeping bats away from his sinker and cut fastball. At this point Cleveland feels that Workman might be best suited coming out of the bullpen, but the possibility does exist that he could stretch out to handle starters innings if he develops well. The Bad Seeds chose pitchers with their first fourteen selections in this season’s draft. Grade: B- _______________________________________________________________________ Huntington Dangerous Carew After missing the playoffs by the narrowest of margins, Huntington changed their approach in an attempt to win everything this year. The D.C. went “all-in” over the off-season signing an eyebrow-raising four Type A free agents, including Del Chen, Jin Ho Sano, Yonder Trevino and Willie Montanez. With less money left for their scouting and prospect budget than any team other than Cincinnati, Huntington certainly has their eyes on the prize rather than on the draft. With only one pick before the fifth round, they found the gentlest-throwing 6’8” behemoth that baseball has likely seen. Towering Quinn Pauley usually can’t muster the steam to get through an entire inning of tantalizing batters with his 65mph sinker before retiring exhausted to the showers. He only appears in a positive light when compared to Red Army draft pick Reggie Neal. While they receive high marks for some solid free agent contracts, this season’s amateur draft was a charade. Grade: F _______________________________________________________________________ N.L. South ____________________________________________________________________ Austin Metropolitans The Metros had a pretty favorable draft slot at number three, and didn’t hesitate to select Wyoming-born Esteban Pascual. A five tool star in the making, Pascual has an effortless swing and excellent bat control, allowing him to choose his pitches carefully and send them wherever he wants. A true student of the game, Pascual will consistently strive to become a better all-around player. Though he may take a few years to reach the majors, he’s already mature beyond his years and is as close to a lock as a sure-fire star as anyone coming out of this year’s draft. His agent is Bing Herges. With their subsequent pick, Austin landed catcher Dean Robinson, who is another incredibly smart and natural hitter. With great hands and plate patience, Robinson is considered to have mid-range power, but an extremely high batting average and OBP ceiling. Some tout him as a future all-star behind the plate, and while his defensive skills are adequate, he has tons of room to improve if he’s to become a high-caliber everyday catcher. In his time at USC Robinson never played a full season, so he still needs to prove that he can handle the rigors of a full major league campaign. The Metropolitans have no doubt landed two excellent players to build around and can start looking to the future. Grade: A+ ____________________________________________________________________ Jackson (Twenty) Five While top selection Rudy Jensen has no discernable flaws in his game, he projects as a “safe” pick albeit with limited upside. Scouts project the 9th overall pick as an adequate defender at shortstop, with steady if unspectacular offensive potential. While Jensen is a sure-fire major leaguer, he’ll likely be a bottom of the order bat. Injury prone lefty starter Don Buford could be a work horse for Jackson if he overcomes a myriad of issues both on and off the field – scouts peg him as quite a long shot to be sure. Where the (Twenty) Five draft got interesting is with their supplemental selections of college catchers’ Troy Rodgers and Brayan Jepsen. Rodgers has a strong arm behind the plate and has some serious promise as a top-tier hitter, but his slow learning curve in terms of baseball IQ might hinder his ability to manage a pitching staff. There are those who see Rodgers more suited shifting to first base, or DHing if he were traded to an AL team, where he could focus solely on his bat-skills. Jepsen has much more potential as a catcher for Jackson, and with some work could become a decent ML hitter as well. The 21 year old Jepsen will need to recover from his three shoulder surgeries and stay healthy if he’s to reach his potential as an everyday player – otherwise he could still find himself in a back-up or platoon situation. Grade: B __________________________________________________________________ Mexico City Jalapenos After winning a ML-best 103 games last season, the Jalapenos didn’t have a pick until #33, but they feel that they’ve found an off-the-radar gem in first baseman Emmanuel Tavarez. Big, strong and durable, Tavarez is a pure power hitter with good instincts at the plate. He’ll launch monster bombs to all fields and leave southpaws quaking in their cleats. Surprisingly, many scouts didn’t have a book on Tavarez – every team with a first round pick passed on the right-handed slugger and some hadn’t even heard his name. Mexico City knows that aging star Enrique Valdes is in his twilight years and until drafting Tavarez they didn’t have a clear heir-apparent. Even though he plays at a non-premium defensive position, not drafting Tavarez when they had a chance could be the regret of many teams around the league. Grade: A ________________________________________________________________ Monterrey Border Jumpers 18 year old righty Joe Lomasney’s fastball is his bread and butter, and when it’s working he should be a reliable starter for the Jumpers. A wiry, hard working six footer, Lomasney has a few red flags that might hinder his long term success. The first one is his “injury prone” tag, which he’ll need to shake if he’s to stay on track developmentally. The second is the inconsistency with his command, and with a pitcher who doesn’t really impress the radar guns, his location will needs to be spot-on if he’s to get the best of major league hitters. While Lomasney could turn into a solid #3 or 4 starter for Monterrey, there’s some risk attached and selecting him at #15 may have been a reach. Grade: C- _____________________________________________________________ N.L. West _____________________________________________________________ Helena Phantom der Nacht With the #2 pick in the draft, Helena added lightning quick second baseman Danny “The Jet” Beirne. A plus defender with good instincts and a reliable glove hand, Beirne’s speed is his greatest asset both offensively and defensively. While he doesn’t project game-changing power, he’s a tenacious hitter with a short swing and shouldn’t have much trouble getting on base. With his wheels, he’ll likely beat out his share of infield hits and looks like possible future leadoff man. If there’s a knock on Beirne, perhaps he’s over-confident with his legs at times and makes foolish decisions on the base-paths. Every opponent knows how quick he is, and they’ll expect him to run – he’ll need to develop a better sense for selecting his base-thieving opportunities or he’ll continue to tip his hand and fall into traps. He’s a big personality in a small body, and he’ll be a dynamic and exciting player for Helena. Grade: A ______________________________________________________________ Salem Dead Bunnies With the 7th pick overall, the Dead Bunnies shored up their defense with shortstop Len Hendrick. He should be a rock steady presence for Salem at a high-pressure position, so it’s really hard to knock the selection despite some offensive shortcomings. A methodical defender, Hendrick has a great first read as the ball leaves the bat and covers vast amounts of infield as a result. While he doesn’t throw the “frozen rope” that some of his counterparts might, his toss to first is always right on the mark. While fielding is his calling card, Hendrick does know his way around the batter’s box, demonstrating some sound fundamentals such as patience and pitch selection. He isn’t completely without speed or power, but he likely won’t do consistent or drastic damage as an offensive weapon. Hendrick looks like a sound everyday player for the Dead Bunnies. Grade: B ______________________________________________________________ San Fransisco Giants Like Troy Rodgers in Jackson or Dean Robinson in Austin, Charley Brooks is a tremendous hitter who might not be suited for duties behind the plate, yet has found his way onto an NL team. Brooks could be the best hitter of the bunch, with quick hands and a Joe Dimaggio swing. The trick for the Giants will be to find Brooks a position at which he feels comfortable and can help the team (or at least where he won’t be a liability). He does have a strong and accurate arm, and the Giants may experiment with him in the outfield, but assuming his pitch calling is never going to be pro-caliber, logic would suggest that he’ll wind up at first base. If Brooks can avoid his chronic fatigue issues, he should be a heart of the order hitter with a high batting average ceiling. His agent is Bing Herges. The Giants subsequently chose nine pitchers in a row. Brian Blauser has a nasty curveball and some excellent tools, but looks best as a one or two out specialist. Justin Jones looks like a set-up guy, but he’s awfully small for a pitcher and might come just short of a major league skill-set. Fire-baller Luis Martinez throws some serious heat, but scouts feel he may lack some of the fundamentals needs to succeed at the highest level. Grade: B- _____________________________________________________________________ Vancouver Vampire Bats Like the Dead Bunnies, the V-Bats opted for stellar defense as their top priority when they drafted Noah Albers with the 19th overall pick. Albers has great range and an outstanding arm and looks like a future gold glove candidate. As a hitter, Albers has modest power and should be able to keep himself in the lineup getting on base in a variety of ways. Hard throwing starter Trent Becker has a great mix of power and control, relying on five average pitches that he’ll need to hone before he can ply his trade against pro hitters. He relies a little too heavily on fly ball outs, which could easily turn into chronic long-balls. Becker looks promising, but he’ll need to be well-coached through the system. Hurler Davy Jennings is a dark horse candidate for success as a pro starter, but odds are good that he’ll wind up as a long reliever. Not a bad crop for Vancouver this season. Grade: B

No comments: