With most of the first round players signed, I thought it was time for an analysis of this year's draft. Interesting that the first round was so pitching heavy. So without further ado:
1 (SLC) Tuck Howard. Ostensibly a SS. Arm won't let that happen, but CF/2B should be a solid option. Will hit with very good contact, especially against lefties. All other hitting attributes are good but not stellar. Good player, should play in a couple of AS games, but as an overall #1, he gets a B+.
2 (CHY) Wayne Langerhans. Great pick....except for that whole not signing thing. Hopefully nicbase has the cash to get the comp pick next year. Grade: Incomplete.
3 (SD) Mark Pettitte. Not HOF fame material, but should make several AS games, especially pitching in Petco. An above average player in every respect, the main quibble I have is that he will probably struggle to go over 200 IPs. Grade: A-
4 (BOI) Jayson Purcell. Another really good pitcher except for one little thing. He can probably only make 15-20 starts per year. Relief looks like the better option. Still a quality arm who should sign fairly soon. Grade: B+
5 (NY1) Heath Dickerson. My scouts missed him. Grade: Incomplete.
6 (PIT) Theo Schulte. Another solid arm who should sign soon enough. Soft tosser who may struggle with the occasional tough righty, he is otherwise a good SP. In this draft: Grade A-
7 (SAL) Arthur Taylor. A future LF masquerading as a 2B. His best attribute is speed, should be a good base runner who will draw walks. Otherwise, he is pretty pedestrian at the plate. Should be a plus defender in Left. Grade B
8 (IND) Pep Walsh. A good hitter with plus power. Probably a better 1B than LF. Won't steal bases and could do a better job drawing walks, but that is nitpicking. Grade A-
9 (SFE) Chris Lemaster. Looks like the sort of player I usually pick. Doesn't look even close to what the scouts are saying. Definitely a RF rather than a 3B, his splits look more like 70's rather than 80/90's, and all his other hitting numbers scream mediocre at best. Hitting in Santa Fe can only help so much. To top it off his health and playing time both look sub-par. Grade C+
10 (TEX) Rico Alomar. SP whose splits look to undermine some decent ancillary numbers. I'm seeing number 5 starter....maybe. We are definitely at the point in the draft where talent is dropping off. Still, there were better players out there. Grade: B-
11 (DUR) Victor Brady. Another of the many SS prospects destined for 2B, He has the ability to steal a ton of bases, and should be a decent hitter despite his lack of power. While his splits do not impress much, his eye and contact are both quite good. Grade B
12 (NAS) Dan Eibner. Classic soft tossing lefty reliever. May strufle to get some right handers out, but great 1st pitch and GB rating. Grade B
13 (VC) Arodys Herrera. Not a bad pick for this spot. Will struggle some against lefties, but I have come around to thinking that the importance of the vL rating is overrated. Otherwise projects as a solid middle of the rotation SP. Grade B+
14 (ROC) Matt Shaben. Should be an OK 4-5 SP. Throws very soft, and could keep the ball down better, but otherwise looks to be a major league caliber pitcher. Grade B
15 (SCZ) Walt Hughes. Think Matt Shaben with better velocitya nd FB/GB, but lesser pitches. Grade B
16 (CHA) Freddy Martin. Good setup A pitcher. None of his ratings are eye-popping, but they are all at least above average and should be mostly better than that. If he could throw more innings or start, I would rate him higher, but still a solid Grade B.
17 (LOU) Dave Zerbe. We are definitely at the point in the draft where there are still ML quality players, but they are all roster fillers rather than potential stars. Zerbe looks a lot like Shaben but with lower quality pitches. Grade B-
18 (SJU) Dicky Kubitza. One of those RPs who can save a staff by throwing a ton of innings. Only problem is that his innings won't be real high quality. His other numbers may not be too bad, but his vR looks marginal. Grade B-
19 (CHR) Steven Decker. Good news is he is a 2B who actually should be able to play decent defense there. Bad news is his hitting may not make it worth playing him. If he was a GG caliber SS, you would be ecstatic with his bat, but otherwise he is average at every thin ecept his batting eye, which is not good. He should be able to steal a base though. Grade B-
20 (SCO) David Kivlehan. I like this guy. Hs only Achilles Heel is his vL, but it should be good enough to get by. He won't pitch a ton of innings as a SP, but they will be good quality. Grade B+
21 (CH2) Matty Reyes. If he was 18, he would be an exciting prospect, but at 22 he looks to be a bottom of the rotation SP. Looks very average other than his velocity and GB/FB, which should both be well above average. This late, that is worth a Grade of B.
22 (JAC) Carter Altherr. This old man may turn into a late first round gem. His power bat may make him worth playing his just acceptable defense at catcher. Of course, his low health may mean he is too busy picking splinters to ever develop. Grade B
23 (PHI) Chris Lush. Assuming he signs (and he should), he is yet another SP who is weak against lefties, but should make up for it with his power arm and pounding it into the ground. Solid B pending the outcome of his ratings when he signs.
24 (JAX) Sidney Seaton. My scouts were afraid to look at him as they thought he was a gay porn star. Grade Incomplete.
25 (SLC) Benjamin Peacock. Speaking of gay porn stars, Mr. Peacock looks to have the range of a 2B stapled to the glove of a LF. He does possess the ability to steal bases, but his bat looks like a backup for a few seasons at best. Grade C+
26 (BUF) Colin Basile. Another inning-eating RP, who will struggle to hang on to a big role in a big league bullpen. Should make an OK SetupB for a few seasons. Grade C+
27 (KC) Carter Rowen. Maybe destined to be a reliever rather than a starter, but for this point in the draft I am happy with his potential. Definitely a flyball pitcher, but that plays better in Kaufman than many stadiums. If only his last 4 pitches were a little better....Grade B
28 (LV) Ignacio Morlan. If that tightwad mongoose would actually sign his players, we would know more, but he looks like a potential GG LF who might platoon against lefties. Grade C+
29 (LV) Orval Schneider. Won't be worth signing for the money he will want. Grade D-
30 (SAL) Gareth Damon. May be a signability issue. Looks like he will be a very good RP capable of over 100 quality innings. Assuming he signs, and his projections are fairly accurate, Grade B+.
31 (DOV) Will Acker. Appears to be a possible number 5 SP....or, just as easily, a mopup. Grade B-
32 (NO) Tony Pelaez. See Acker, Will. Just not quite as good. Grade C+
33 (HUN) Rick Ondrusek. Same thing, just a liiiitle worse. Grade C+