Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Season 23 Draft Review

While only one of us could have a player named Fritz Furbush, it still seems like almost everyone was pretty happy with their draft. How do I know? I read the following article.

I thought it might be interesting to get each owner's take on Hunter's Season 24 Amateur Draft. About 80% of the league responded with a few sentences about their first pick and how it will effect their team. For the teams who did not respond, jsturgis5866 volunteered to share his scouting reports.

Let me know what you think about this feature. If we decide it's worthwhile, I will continue to try to pull it together.

1. Mel Cortes (P) — New Britain Yorkies
With the top draft pick, the Yorkies took Mel Cortes who has hall of fame potential— projected splits in the high 90's, 5 good pitches, and excellent control—although he will only be good for about 150 innings a year.

2. Stephen Blake (P) — Arizona D-Backs
Arizona drafts Blake to help its bottom-10 pitching staff. Crafty, not a flame-thrower, currently a little light on control but won't give up the long ball. Starting at RL 4-3, 3.05 ERA, 8 starts.*

3. William Stock (SS) — Pawtucket Patriots
Future All-Star? Good speed, good makeup, good hitter (but not for power). Health in 50s could be a concern. Starting at RL, .374 / .447 / .577 in 44 games.*

4. Louie Aspromonte (P) — Tampa Bay Manatees
The first draft pick of the wolfhoundkl era in Tampa, the 4th overall in this year's amateur draft, was San Diego State standout hurler Louie Aspromonte. The three-sport star was considered a risky pick going into the draft, being looked at as an upper-tier quarterback prospect by several NFL clubs. Scouts around the league don't project him to be a true innings-eater at any point, but the young sinkerballer throws hard with good command and should be able to keep the ball on the ground. His ceiling looks to be an upper-mid rotation starter, with the ability to both miss bats and pitch effectively to contact as needed, but without the endurance of a true ace. With his widely admired mental makeup, however, the sky's the limit for the young man from Colts Neck, NJ

5. Ronnie Piper (2B) — Iowa City Humdingers
New owner bobbyj finds a gold nugget left in the inbox. Piper projects to a 2B or corner OF, and should be able to hit, hit again, and hit some more. A Humdinger. Starting at RL, .313 / .420 / .559 in 40 games but promoted to Low A by new regime.*

6. Doug Lemon (SS) — Durham Dragons
After purchasing the franchise and moving it to Durham, the new owners have decided to do a complete rebuild. Lemon is a great place to start. He’s got power. He’s got contact. He can hit equally well against lefties or righties. He’s got a great eye. He even has a ton of speed. His only downside is that he may not be quite good enough to play SS when he hits the majors. But Durham isn’t concerned. This is the kind of player you can build a franchise around. And that’s exactly what Durham is planning on doing.

7. Jair Diaz (P) — Boise Taters
The Taters are very happy with their #1 pick and think he will be a future #1 starter in Boise. There will be no rush to get him to the majors so it might be be a long wait but well worthwhile.

8. Douglas Harvey (P) — Durham Dragons
Having already taken a stellar bat two picks previous in the round, the Dragons went for a starting pitcher with their second first round pick. Harvey doesn’t have the best control, or the best splits, but he’s pretty good at both. He does however have great velocity, and a lights out first pitch with a decent second pitch and passable third and forth pitches. He’s not a shoe in for the Cy Young, but he should show up on a few ballots when it comes time to vote throughout his career.

9. Vernon Cust (2B) — St. Louis Browns
With the 9th overall pick, the St. Louis Browns selected Vernon Cust out of Amherst (Mass.) High School. Cust, just 5' 8" and 170 pounds, projects as 2B or possibly CF and Browns scouts expect big things from the young man at the plate and with the leather. The Browns have stocked their previously barren farm quite well over the last few years since new ownership took over. This year however, management signed several Type A free agents and so after picking Cust, they did not pick again until the 5th round.

10. Ross Smith (P) — New Orleans Jazz
Closer of the future has it all: splits, control, two great pitches, makeup, health ... But with speed in the 20s and base-running in single digits, he won't steal many bases. Starting at Low A, 4-4 in saves in 15 games, rarely even getting a full inning of work in.*

11. Jorel Cox (P) — Salt Lake City Mormons
With 2 first round picks including one in the top 15, the SLC Mormons were hoping to add a couple more building blocks as they work their way back into contention. I think its fair to say they failed spectacularly, having one of the worst drafts in franchise history. Bucking the trend to go with the best player available, the Mormons reached for 2 pitchers who team scouts badly overrated. At #11, the team selected Jorel Cox who projects to, at best a middle reliever, with solid stamina and pitches, but a poor vs. L rating that will limit his potential. An early season injury did nothing to quell initial concerns. With a comp pick at #36, the team grabbed Jered Hyzdu, a similar low-ceiling pitcher. Mormons GM Shmish0 acknowledged the team's shortcomings in this draft stating simply that he hopes that this an aberration from a generally well-performing scouting team, and does not anticipate that this will slow momentum in a return to respectability for the big league club.

12. Alex Benoit (RF) - Pittsburgh Studdababbas
The pitching-starved Studdabubbas went with another hitter. Alex is another big power guy who may one day be compared to Matt Buchanan. Unlike, Buchanan, Alex might be able to catch a fly ball and even steal a base or two. This just wasn't a position of need for the Studdabubbas as they are pretty stacked with young COFs and 1Bs. Benoit has all-star potential, though, and is crushing it in Low A but he will probably not be rushed to the Bigs.

13. Geovany Suarez (P) — Cincinnatti Reds
Cinci needs pitching, drafting a great fireball closer. He's a young kid with a long way to develop to reach his potential

14. Shelley Philips (P) — Boston Hot Diggity Dogs
Team went into the draft prep looking for a strong position player but when the prospects arrived, plans changed. New mindset: you can never go wrong with pitching! Shhh.. don't release this to the media but the front office doesn't have high hopes for young Phillips, more like a medium-well Diggity Dog. He projects to have the control and pitch quality required of the personnel department but only so-so splits. Upside would be a back-of-the-rotation SP, but in the end, a Long A is more likely.

15. Jerry Jacobs (P) — Richmond Rebel Rousers
Jerry Jacobs, a 6-1 sophomore from Lansing Community College, is your average Michigan farm boy if he's not playing baseball. The 15th pick of the 1st round, he was #3 on the Rebel Rousers draft board. A risky pick, but the pitching staff fell in love with his high potential. If he will live up to his lofty projections he will develop nearly perfect control on his pitches. He will especially be tough on lefties with his murderous Sinker and Change Up and could throw a decent cut fastball and screwball too. He had a very good start in rookie ball but then destiny struck as he blew out his elbow in just his second start and had to be put on DL. All of Richmond baseball is awaiting his return next year.

16. Welington Arencibia (CF) — Cleveland MooseDawgs
With two picks in the 1st round at #16 and #18 the MooseDawgs addressed 2 needs. A CF Welington Arencibia who generates a little power from his small frame and is a adequate defender (He also hails from Raleigh which be where I live )...

17. John Tessmer (P) — Tacoma Narrows
With their first round pick, the Narrows selected De Leon, Texas High School pitcher John Tessmer. Tessmer is a bit of a project, but the team believes that he will be able to develop pinpoint control combined with four strong pitches, including one of the strongest changeups the scouts have ever seen. His biggest question mark is his stamina, which will have to develop significantly if he is going to be able to pitch enough innings to be a starter. Otherwise, a closer job may be in his future.

18. Phil Jerzembeck (P) — Cleveland MooseDawgs
...and a SP, Phil Jerzembeck, the little lefty who should be a solid pitcher who eats some innings, despite his small stature. The little dude has been impressive so far down in rookie ball. The future of the MooseDawgs is riding on these 2 diminutive youngsters. The team ownership is also looking to increase their "carbon credits" by reducing the size of the players....less material on uniforms....smaller post game buffets and fuel savings....and so on.

19. Fritz Furbush (C) — Colorado Blasters
It looks as if the Blasters have their eventual replacement for Steve Murphy .Their 1st round pick, Fritz Furbush is a very different kind of hitter than Murphy, having the ability to swat the ball to the gaps and put the bat on the ball from nearly anywhere. He looks as if he'll be a better fielder as well. GM Leppy Kahn was very pleased with the pick offering "We think we got a guy who can be special, and put another guy in place to get the Blasters back to the top."

20. John Chen (SS) — Jacksonville VanZants
First of three Round 1 picks for the VZ. Chen is solid in all facets of the game, but not especially strong in any—the norm once the 20s roll around. Probably projects to 3B. Starting at RL, .299 / .411 / .563 in 44 games.*

21. Hawk Wilhelm (P) — Las Vegas Sinatras
The Sinatras are pretty thin down on the farm, and took a "best available" approach with their draft. However, their PR department are reportedly unimpressed with having to sell the fans in Nevada on two high school relief pitchers taking Hawk Wilhelm in the first round and then Kenneth Stokes in the supplemental round. Both project to be high IP horses out of the 'pen, and the team knows that those late inning, high leverage situations are where most games are won and lost, but with so much else to do in Sin City, the team is glad they can bank on the stable of young stars for a few more seasons to continue selling tickets.
22. Lawrence Hill (LF) — Columbus Blue Claws
Hill's strength is his speed and base stealing potential, but his splits and defense are weak. May or may not make it to the majors. Starting at RL, .269 / .378 / .509 and six errors in 45 games.*

23. Ted Lowell (P) — Minnesota Twinkies (Unsigned)

24. Juan Viciedo (RF) — Atlanta Cheese Grits
Juan Viciedo is a RF prospect that profiles as a Gold Glove level defender at the position. He projects to have good power and could be an impact bat if he develops according to Atlanta's HS scouts.

25. Johnny Vaughn (P) — Los Angeles Baja Racers (Unsigned)
With the 25th pick in the first round the Baja Racers gambled and took the lefty out of Georgia Tech Johnny Vaughn. Vaughn a junior has tremendous upside especially in LA's pitcher friendly ballpark. Vaughn has a plus-plus fastball, excellent control and 4 out pitches. Vaughn is also a excellent QB for G-Tech and is deciding on which direction to take his Pro Career.

26. Dwight Martin (SS) — Seattle Sasquatch (Unsigned)

27. David Moreno (P) — Louisville Sluggers (Unsigned)
Louisville was very excited to draft the players we had rated 6th on our draft board at pick 29. Unfortunately, David Moreno chose not to sign. He would have been a great value at pick 29 (90+ control 70+ splits and good pitches). With Moreno not signing Louisville's top pick was at 92 and the franchise selected Emmanuel Barney who projects to be a very good utility INF can field any position in a pinch and had a decent bat, however he promptly got hurt 2 games into his minor league career. Needless to say future championships will not be built on the back of the S23 draft.

28. Preston Durham (P) — Baltimore BayDogs
With the 28th pick in this year's amateur draft, the Baltimore BayDogs selected Preston Durham, age 20, a pitcher out of Palm Beach Community College. With ML starting rotation stalwarts Joe House and Eric Barclay moving into their mid-30s, the BayDogs are hoping to grow some new starters that will be ready in 2 to 3 seasons. Durham projects to a #3-5 place starter if he can conquer some control issues and come close to what the BayDog scouts are projecting.

29. DJ Crisp (P) — Jacksonville VanZants
Throws hard, has good control but his L-R splits could hold him back. Strong makeup and health numbers. Starting at RL, 6-2, 2.54 ERA, 10 starts, 78 Ks in 71 IP.*

30. Bob Fischbach (CF) — Cincinnati Reds (Unsigned)

31. Kirby Rooney (CF) — Little Rock Renegades
Rooney's strengths are speed and defense, and probably enough offense to make him a legit ML prospect. Starting at RL, .263 / .360 / .438 in 45 games.*

32. Juan Trinidad (P) — Kansas City Comets
What does 0 / 0 scouting get you? In this case, a possible ML bullpen guy. Control is starting out in the 30s, splits in the 40s, but he should have two strong pitches, with velocity and good health. Starting at RL, 11-14 in saves in 18 games, 1.22 WHIP, 3.50 ERA.*

40. Sam Coveleski (SS) — Charlotte Smokies
With the 40th pick in the draft, the Charlotte Smokies drafted infielder Sam Coveleski. Coveleski, who is thought to be the great-great-grandson of MLB HOF Stan Coveleski, is a sabermetric's worst nightmare, in that he doesn't seem to have any one tool that stands out. He's a scout's dream, in that he just appears to be a classic example of a passion filled ballplayer, a throwback to the days of Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang. Coveleski is a firey young ballplayer who isn't afraid to get dirty, nor to rip into others if he feels like they aren't putting forth a good effort. He's got a pretty good all around glove, which should make him a Tony LaRussa dream player, in that he can play almost anywhere. If he hits enough, he could be a GG caliber defender at 3rd or CO, or a decent fielder at 2B and CF—the latter two are best for spot duty only. The big question is his bat, which will keep him from being an everyday player. He can put the ball in play, projecting out to the upper 80's for contact, which should give him a respectable BA for platoon or bench roles. He also has doubles power and will walk into a few HR's if the pitcher is not careful. His splits, especially against righties is what will keep him as a role player. The Smokies see him as a depth player. They believe he should make the Show,but as a 4th OF/backup IF type. His ability to play multiple positions and put the ball in play will probably get him 200 to 300 AB's at the ML level. As long as his BABIP is is close to league average, he'll hit well enough to warrant those AB's.

44. Boomer Crane (P) — Washinton D.C. Quakers
Boomer is a right handed starting pitcher with excellent control and split fast ball, combined with a decent 4 seam fastball. However, his splits against RHB and LHB are average. He projects to be a 4th or 5th starter in 3+ years.
* Blurb provided by jsturgis5866 and the Boston Hot Diggity Dogs scouts.

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