It's time for the latest draft review. This should have come out last season. My apologies for the delay. As always, we look at first round selections only.
1.Willie Perez (RP) Drafted by gocubz for the Chicago Fire. Traded in S12 for Alejandro Feliz, Erik Barclay and Manny Cameron. It's pretty unusual for a reliever to go #1 overall. Perez is certainly a special reliever with sky high splits, velocity and pitches. He broke into the majors with CHI in S8 and has been a closer since that day, making 2 All Star appearances. He's racked up 131 saves and a 3.03 ERA in his career. He was used as a setup man with NB after the trade, where he posted a dominating season in 127.2 relief innings.
The Fire got some good players in return for Perez. Cameron is a high quality closer prospect who is currently in AAA. Barclay is a young SP with promising ratings, but poor control. His rookie season in S13 was rough as he posted a 6-17 record with a 6.51 ERA and a WHIP over 1.8. Feliz is a talented young SP who was allowed to walk after only 1.5 seasons as a Free Agent.
Grade: A- for draft pick (I can't give an A to taking a closer #1 overall) and a B- for the trade (it would have been better had he kept Feliz).
2.Trace Manning (2B) Drafted by KSBeachbums for Iowa City (now the Cincinnati Jerry Springers). Manning is a solid player for the Springers. He's a middling defensive 2b (4+, 10-) with a good stick. He has posted a career OBP of .364 and has 164 SB in 4 full seasons. He has a touch of power and had his best season is S13, posting a .308/.386/.468 line making the NL All Star team for the first time.
Grade: B+ He's a fine player, but not quite a superstar.
3. Ted Bolick (1B) Drafted by bearclan1 for the Sante Fe Flyers. Traded in S9 to the St. Louis Mashers for Benji McGee. Now with the Louisville Sluggers. Bolick is your classic mashing 1b/DH type. Bolick broke into the majors with Lousiville in S10 and has posted a .298/.365/.525 line in 3+ seasons. S13 was his best as he hit .308 with 42 HR and 117 RBI and made the All Star Team.
The trade for McGee was inexplicable. He had been horrid for the seasons leading up to the trade. He pitched 11 IP for St. Louis before retiring.
Grade: B+ for draft, F for trade.
4. James Owens (2B) Drafted by jag884. unsigned.
5.Anthony Butler (C) Drafted by shmish0. Butler is a catcher who can rake, and calls a pretty decent game behind the plate as well. His throwing arm is weak, but for Piazza like production, it's worth it. In 5+ seasons, Butler has posted .320/.402/.569 and made 3 All Star teams. He's also won 2 Silver Sluggers. Butler was a key cog in the Mormons first pennant in S13.
6.Joe House (SP) Drafted by dufferman for the Baltimore BayDogs. House was a promising pitching prospect who hasn't quite hit the ceiling, ratings wise, he was thought to have, partly due to injuries. That said, he has produced pretty well for the BayDogs. His first full season was S11, when he went 13-11 with a 3.44 ERA in 211.2 innings. After another solid season in S12, he was felled by elbow surgery in S13. He is back in S14 and it remains to be seen how he will bounce back from surgery.
7.Larry Dixon (2B/LF) Drafted by rockydawg07 for the Cleveland MooseDawg. Traded to Louisville in S8 with Alberto Cordero for Miguel Lugo and Hector Tavarez. Dixon brings a power bat to the table. In his first full seasons (S13), Dixon hit 40 HR on his way to a .287/.346/.587 line for the Sluggers. His glove is light for 2B, so jahu has Dixon play LF a fair bit of the time. He received a Gold Glove for his LF play. Jahu also received Cordero, who was flipped in another trade. Rocky received Lugo, a solid RH SP who has posted consistent seasons of 190-200 IP and ERA's between 3.50 and 4.00. His best season was 17-8 3.59 ERA in S10. Tavarez is a subpar RP who was lost in a Rule V draft.
Grade: A- for selection, a solid A- for the trade. Both parties won in this trade.
8.Al Pulido (SP) Drafted by redsox666666 for the Honolulu Hurricanes. Traded to the Buffalo Nickels in S10 along with Vladimir Martin and Santos Cedeno for Al Wise and Woody Barnes. Currently pitching for New Orleans. Pulido is a hard throwing RHP with awful control. He has stunk up the joint everywhere he's been. In 324.2 innings, he's posted a 6.04 ERA. Of the players traded, only Barnes has made any impact as a modestly talented SP.
Grade: F for selection, the trade was inconsequential.
9.Willie Moses (SP) Drafted by wolfhoundkl for the Texas Beefeaters. Moses is big, strapping 6-7 righthander who throws hard and has a good assortment of pitches. He also gives up a lot of fly balls ,which results in a very large opponents' SLG. After breaking in the majors in S11, Moses has posted a 29-24 mark, mostly as a SP, with a 4.84 career ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Moses has enough stuff to compete in the majors and make most teams as a #4 or #5 starter. He is probably not what was hoped for with the #9 overall selection.
10.Miguel Jacquez (RP) Drafted by Oli35 for the Scottsdale Aces. Currently with the same franchise (now the Salem Witch Hunters). Jacquez is an immensely talented, fireballing LHP with pinpoint control and 2 plus, plus pitches. He has probably underachieved a little bit since his debut in S10, but he posted an All Star S12 when he went 12-5 in 75 games with a 3.16 ERA in 79.2 IP. He has a career ERA of 3.57 in 253 relief outings. In S14, he has started the season 15/15 in saves in 15 games. Perfection.
11.Vin Maduro (SP) Drafted by thunderstrik for the Arizona Thunderstrikers. Traded to the Memphis Redemption (now Austin) in S10 for Zeus Stewart. Maduro is a hard throwing LHP with poor control, but good stuff. He has pitched only one season in the majors, S10, going 7-9 in 26 starts with a 5.60 ERA in 146.1 innings. He has languished in AAA since, providing yet another cautionary tale about starters with poor control. Stewart is a "SS" with poor fielding ability. He played 2 seasons as the starting SS for the then Salem Bald Beavers. he posted anemic OBP's in his 2 seasons in Salem, but showed some pop, averaging about 15 HR and 40 2b a season. He is a speed demon with 499 career SB against just 39 CS. He is currenly an unsigned FA.
Grade: F for the pick, B for the trade. Getting anything useful for Maduro was a good move.
12.Darron Stoddard (CF) Drafted by eclipse33 for the Vancouver Velvet Vultures. Traded to the Washington Generals with Lon Wilkinson and Orlando Vega in S11 in a 6 player deal that netted Carlos James, Willie Gutierrez and Irv Peterson. Wow, where to begin. Stoddard is a slick fielding 2b with big power and speed. His debut was in S12, but his coming out party was an All Star S13 when he hit .274/.324/.587 with 44 HR and 111 RBI. Throw in 11 + plays in CF and you have a high impact player. Washington also got Wilkinson, a patient 2b with a good stick. He debuted in S14 with good results thus far. Vega was a banjo hitting speedster who has retired. In return, the (then) Twilight got James, an immensly talented LH starter who's main weakness is an inability to go much deeper than 5-6 IP per start. He posted a horrible 4.90 ERA in one season before being dealt to the LA Baja Racers. Gutierrez is a talented workhorse LH reliever who was excellent after the trade. Peterson has, thus far, been a journeyman RH reliever. It would seem that Washington definitely got the better end of this mega-deal.
Grade: Draft: A Trade: C-
13.J.R. Cox (CF) Drafted by mase4342 for the Rochester Scorpions. Traded to the Scottsdale Aces for Marquis Fischbach. Cox is a Willie Mays/Andruw Jones type defensive talent in CF. No one can hold his jock when it comes to patrolling the OF. In 2 full big league season, he has 2 Gold Gloves with an astounding 57 + plays in those 2 seasons. That was before the fix!!! He has blazing speed and is a top notch baserunner. His offense isn't as good, but it is certainly respectable. In S13, he posted a .293/.342/.481 line with 23 HR, 107 runs and 68 SB. I think anyone would take this combo of studly defense, speed and solid hitting in a heartbeat. But what did Rochester get in return? Fischbach is a RH hitting RF with a good eye. He has been around since S4, posting a career .294/.379/.449 line with 186 HR. He has posted solid .800-.850 OPS type seasons since coming to Rochester (now Norfolk). He's certainly a nice player, but he's no Cox.
Grade: A+ for draft, C- for trade.
14.John Robinson (UT) Drafted by cliff357 for the El Paso Kamikazees. He was traded in S13 to the Richmond War Pigs for Ricardo Martinez. Robinson is a mediocre RHH with no special talents. His metrics are best suited for RF, his hitting has produced a pedestrian .720 OPS in 450+ AB. He is an unremarkable player who can probably fill bench roles. Martinez is another journeyman RH reliever who has posted a 5.18 ERA in over 700 career innings. He did go 20/20 in saves for Richmond after the trade in S13.
Grade: D- for the pick, C+ for the trade
15.Frank Cunningham (SP) Drafted by pfontaine for the Atlanta Cheese Grits. Traded in S10 to the Memphis Redemption with Craig Byrne and Tim Morton for Ignacio Cruz. Cunningham is a big innings eater with nice control and a decent assortment of pitches, but is not overpowering. In his debut season in S13, he got roughed up to the tune of 8-14 with a 5.64 ERA in 143.2 innings boucing between starting and relieving. He was dealt with Byrne, a talented, but injury prone RHP who had a solid 13-9 season with Louisville in S13 and Morton a 1B who hits LHP well. In return, Atlanta got Cruz, a talented RH starter who helped propel the Grits to 4 straight postseason appearance during his tenure in Atlanta. His best season was S11, when he went 24-4 with a 2.59 ERA and captured the AL Cy Young award. He won 17 games in S13 and is currently off to a good start with Las Vegas.
Grade: C- for the pick, A for the trade
16.Frankie Haas (SS) Drafted by ewchippe for the Wichita Bad Boys (now Austin Coeur D'Alenes). Haas is a switch hitting SS with good range and throwing arm, but a weak glove. He is patient and a good baserunner, but a weak hitter. He's done OK in very limited time in the big leagues, posting a .291/.375/.378 line in 127 big league AB. He is unlikely to maintain that level of performance over the long haul. He will probably stick as a utility man long term.
17. Chief Van Poppel (3B) Drafted by dizzlebob for the Pittsburgh Studdabubbas. Unsigned.
18.Deivi Pelaez (C) Drafted by djbradford for the New Britain Yorkies. Pelaez is a strong throwing catcher with a thunder in his bat. He has patience, power and makes excellent contact. In 3 full seasons plus, he has put up a .318/.421/.582 line. He hit a career high 25 HR in S12. His one flaw is his durability, which limits him to 90-100 games per season.
19.Billy Crabtree (RP) Drafted by 13black for the Tucson Shockers. Traded to Hartford The Whale in S10 with Wilfredo Pena for Sammy Nichting. Crabtree is a hard throwing LHP with excellent stuff. He was ultimately acquired by the Buffalo Nickels in S11. He has racked up 85 SV in 4+ seasons with a 4.20 ERA in 287.1 IP. He is certainly capable of better and should be a strong asset for many seasons. Pena is a LHH LF with some power and good contact. After a lackluster rookie year, he powered 30 HR and 98 RBI in S13 for Syracuse. They were dealt for Nichting, a RH starter who's pitched 10 big league seasons. He's never been a frontline starter, posting a 100-125 record with a 5.37 ERA. He was flipped to LA the following season.
Grade: B+ for the pick, D for the trade.
20.McKay Mitchell (1B) Drafted by baldric for the San Juan Ring to Rule Them All. Mitchell is your prototypical power hitting RH 1B. In his first full season in S13, he smacked 45 HR and drove in 139 runs to go with a .264 AVG. He won't walk a whole lot or hit for high average, but he brings plenty of power production. Should be an excellent power hitter for years.
21. Rigo Gonzalez (P) Drafted by tbook for the Helena Hashies. Unsigned.
22.Chad Blake (RP) Drafted by lets_try for the Minnesota Explorers. Traded to Tucson in S9 for Macbeth Ward. Rule V'd by Washington. Blake is a hard throwing LH reliever with decent stuff.
He's had just a cup of coffee in the bigs, taking a beating with Washington in S11, posting a 6.81 ERA in 38.1 IP. Currently in AAA. He'll never be a great pitcher, but he probably will merit another look in the bigs at some point. Could stick as a SuB somewhere. Ward, now retired, was a RH starter who went 13-12 in 33 starts the season after the trade with a 4.43 ERA in 178 1/3 IP. He walked as a FA after that season.
Grade: D for the pick, C for the trade
23. Gary Lemon (LF) Drafted by the_e_man for the Toledo Mud Hens. Unsigned.
24.Walt Darr (RP) Drafted by bjb2378 for the San Francisco Night Demons. Darr is a crafty LH long reliever with an assortment of quality pitches. He has pitched 3+ big league seasons, posting a 3.97 career ERA in 315 big league innings with a 1.29 WHIP. Darr is a quality arm out of the pen and fills an important role. He has consisitently put up 90+ IP in each full season. Darr was a compensatory pick after the Buffalo Nickels signed Type "A" free agent Chris Rose.
25.Stuart Cloud (SP) Drafted by bkdries for the Burlington Black Sox (now Scranton Scrapples). Currently a Free Agent after being removed from the 40 man roster at the start of S14. Cloud has Nuke LaLoosh type control to go with mediocre stuff. He will never sniff the big leagues.
26.Cesar Acevedo (2B/CF/3B/SS) Drafted by radek for the New York Metropolitans. Traded to the Kansas City Knights in S8 with J.J. Richardson and Torey Barkley for T.J. Croushore and Dean Lukasiewicz. Acevedo has big time power and the flexibility to play 3 different positions fairly well. He was dealt 2 more times, ultimately landing with Washington. He burst onto the scene in S12, posting a .279/.347/.586 line with 42 HR and 110 RBI and winning AL Rookie of the Year. He posted another solid season in S13. He's best suited to man 3B, but can also capably play 2B and RF. With his power and versatility, he is certainly a nice asset to have. He was dealt with offensive C Richardson to KC. Richardson did little in KC before moving on to Pittsburgh. KC also got Barkley, a career minor league LF who is now retired. In return, NY got the famous Croushore, who is known for his prodigious talent that can only be used on a limited basis. Croushore pitched well in NY, when he pitched, and helped NY win the championship in S9. Lukasiewicz is a utility man who has a cup of coffee in the bigs and probably will never hold down a job in the majors.
Grade: A solid A for the pick. The trade was really to KC's benefit, but Croushore helping NY win it all is a strong mitigating factor. A solid B+ for the trade.
27.Sean Wills (SP) Drafted by jahu43 for the Louisville Sluggers. Traded to the New Orleans Zydeco in S11, along with Alberto Delgado and Grover Chase for Yamid Molina. Wills ultimately ended up on the Richmond War Pigs. Wills is your typical journeyman RH starter. In 2+ full big league seasons, Wills has posted a 17-25 record with a 4.71 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 346 IP. Wills should be able to stick as a #4 or #5 type starter for a number of seasons. Delgado is a power hitting RHH LF. His best season was his first in NO, posting a .302/.362/.538 line with 40 HR and 102 RBI. He's probably closer to his career totals as a player, .272/.337/.476. Nice player, but not special. Chase is a LH starter who was subsequently flipped to Washington by NO. Chase is a journeyman, posting a 33-30 4.59 ERA in 106 career starts. Molina is an 3 time all-star power hitting RF. In 9+ seasons he has hit 533 career HR with a .298/.356/.628 line.
Grade: C for the pick, A+ for the trade, which created some controversy on the chat boards at the time, but ultimately went through unchallenged.
28.Iago Andrews (SS) Drafted by mdukes13 for the Washington Generals. Traded to Louisville in S11 along with Pablo Chavez for Cesar Acevedo (him again?) and Omar Tavarez. Andrews has a solid/average glove at SS with an average bat. He has had very little playing time in the majors thus far, posting a .716 OPS in 201 AB. He is more than capable of manning the SS position on a regular basis, but does no one thing really well. Could bounce between starting and utility work in his career. Chavez is a big time power hitting CF now with Colorado. His range is a little light for CF, but his hitting is first class. He mashed 41 HR in 3 stops in S13. In return, the Generals for Acevedo (profiled above) and Tavarez, a talented 1-2 batter reliever.
Grade: Solid C+ for the pick, B for the trade. Both teams got some quality with Acevedo and Chavez.
29.Del Silva Drafted by mdukes13 for the Washington Generals. Silva was a compensatory pick for the Type "A" FA signing of Dan Miller by Charlotte. Silva was traded to Louisville in S12 along with Harry Astacio for Derrick LaRocca. Silva is a RH power hitting 3B with a mediocre glove. He's now with the LA Baja Racers. He's been a part time player in 2 seasons with only 1 season as a full time player, S11. He hit 31 HR, but posted just a .244/.297/.467 line. He doesn't get on base enough to justify playing full time, nor is he a good enough fielder. Can be a useful bench player. Astacio is a nice RH reliever enjoying some success in his first big league season, also in LA. LaRocca is a solid RH starter who pitched very well in Washington before going back to Lousiville in Free Agency. He had some mixed results in Louisville.
Grade: D+ for the pick, B+ for the trade.
30.Steven Sanders (RP) Drafted by leppykahn for the Colorado Blasters. Sanders is a talented RH reliever with good control and a hard fastball. He's capable of closing or can be a prime SuA. He's posted a 4.53 ERA in 232 2/3 relief innings. In Coors Field, that's pretty good. He should be an excellent reliever for years.
Grade: A for this spot in the draft
31.Lyle Kinney (SP) Drafted by jdbkaput for the St. Louis Clydesdales (now Augusta Caesars). Kinney is a mediocre RH starter with 3 middling to weak pitches but solid control. He's a #5 starter at best, posting a 32-53 career record in 126 starts (138 games overall) with a 5.38 ERA.
32.Frank Morris (DH/1B) Drafted by bjb2378 for the San Francisco Night Demons. Traded to the Colorado Blasters in S11 with Felipe Bournigal for Quentin Lary and Carlos Castillo. Morris was later traded to the NO Zydeco. Morris is a wicked RH power hitter. He's a DH masquerading as a 1B since he's playing in the NL. In 2 full big league seasons plus, he's hit .301/.357/.573. He hit 43 HR with 115 RBI in S11. He's best suited to the AL. Bournigal is, of course, Hunter's greatest pitcher. He was on his last legs when leppy took a gamble that he could put the Blasters over the top in S11. Alas, it was not to be as he ended up on the 60 Day DL and the Blasters fell short. The price was steep as the Demons got Lary, a superbly talented LH starter who went 17-6 in S13 with a 3.46 ERA. He should anchor the Demons staff for many seasons to come. Castillo is a minor league utility man.
Grade: B+ for the pick, A+ for the trade.