The Major League Baseball draft was conducted on this past Tuesday and Wednesday. It lasted for 50 rounds and many notable names were selected. Doug Drabek’s son was selected in the first round, and one of Don Mattingly’s sons was a supplemental pick. Here is the first round selections, commentary for the first 11 picks (I was only going to do 10, but Max Scherzer graduated from the same school district that I went to and I have followed him for the last 2 years), and an estimated time of arrival to the majors.
1. Royals – Luke Hochevar, RHP (None/TX)
One of the top arms coming into the 2005 draft, Hochevar slipped to the supplemental rounds due to signability issues. It happened for good reason; Hochevar didn’t sign with the Dodgers (after some confusing events where he did sign, but said the Dodgers convinced him to switch agents). He sat out last season and started again in the independent leagues a few weeks ago. This was a smart pick by the Royals, since he will sign this year to get playing time outside the indy leagues. He was also cheaper than taking Andrew Miller, the top college pitch who would command more money.
2. Rockies – Greg Reynolds, RHP (Stanford/CA)
Reynolds started his college career a disappointment when he struggle for his first 2 seasons. This past season he took a step forward. He has a high-80s 2 seam fast ball and a mid-90s 4 seam one that are considered above average (the 4 seam was clocked in the mid-90s in the 9th inning of a game). He also has an average change up and curve ball.
3. Devil Rays – Evan Longoria, 3B/2B (Long Beach State/CA)
Longoria, no relation to Eva, was considered by most scouts at the top available hitter in the draft. He has a quick swing, which should help him hit to all parts of the field and give him average power. He is an above average defender at third (his natural position), and is pretty good at second too. Since he is a polished hitter, he could be one of the first players from the draft to make it to the Majors.
4. Pirates – Brad Lincoln, RHP (Houston/TX)
The Pirates got a win-win situation with Lincoln: he’s a great pitcher, but if he can’t pitch in the big leagues, he could be a pretty good first baseman. The Pirates see him sticking with pitch, since his fast ball ranges from 91-98 mph depending on the situation. He has good curveball which normally gets hitters chasing. He also has an average change up, which is starting to develope more.
5. Mariners – Brandon Morrow, RHP (California/CA)
Some scouts had Morrow down as the best pure arm in the draft. His fastball sit at 96-98, his change up is in the 80s, and his curve is starting to improve. He has good mechanics, but his secondary pitches come and go. He also was diagnost with juvinile diabetes, which requires him to continually check his insulin levels throughout the game.
6. Tigers – Andrew Miller, LHP (North Carolina/NC)
Miller was expected to the first pick, but signability became a concern when he signed Scott Boras as an agent. His final college season went off as expected; he was the top college pitcher. His fastball hits in the mid-90 and slider in the mid-80s. The only concern is his body; he is long and lanky and lacks the strength to be a Major League work horse.
7. Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw, LHP (Highland Park HS/Dallas, TX)
Kershaw was the first high schooler taken, and was considered the best available. He has a fastball that tops out at 96 and a curveball that has become his best pitch. He did strain an oblique in the high school playoffs, but the injury isn’t considered serious.
8. Reds – Drew Stubbs, OF (Texas/TX)
Considered the best athlete in college baseball, Stubbs is a potential Gold Glove center fielder with plus raw power, plus-plus speed and an average arm. His bat is a bit of a concern since he averaged a strike out per game in college, and he is a streaky hitter. Since many are considering this one of the weakest drafts in recent history, Stubbs went about 20 picks earlier than he should have.
9. Orioles – Bill Rowell, 3B (Bishop Eustace Prep/Pennsauken, NJ)
Power is Rowells calling card. He is a decent hitter that can crush a ball without trying. He has also worked on hitting to the gaps more often. He has the hands to be a shortstop, but his frame is more suited for third base or a corner outfield spot.
10. Giants – Tim Lincecum, RHP (Washington/WA)
The NCAA strikeout leader took a step forward this past season by developing 4 solid pitches. Mix that with his unique, deceptive delivery, and Lincecum shows the possibility to be a relief ace in the making, a la Scot Shields. He is very durable and hasn’t complained of soreness after pitching.
11. Diamondbacks – Max Scherzer, RHP (Missouri/MO)
Scherzer came into the college season as a player who was expected to one of the first 3 picks in the draft. After a freak finger injury and biceps tendinitis, his stock started to drop. He did recover by the end of the season and salvage a good spot in the draft. He has an excellent fastball which tops out in the upper-90s. He doesn’t have a strong second pitch yet, but he still has time to develop one.
12. Rangers – Kasey Kiker, LHP (Russell Co HS/Seale, AL)
13. Cubs – Tyler Colvin, OF (Clemson/SC)
14. Blue Jays – Travis Snider, OF (Jackson HS/Everett, WA)
15. Nationals – Chris Marrero, 3B (Monsignor Pace HS/Opa Locka, FL)
16. Brewers – Jeremy Jeffress, RHP (Halifax Co HS/South Boston, VA)
17. Padres – Matt Antonelli, 3B (Wake Forest/NC)
18. Phillies – Kyle Drabek, RHP/SS (The Woodlands HS/The Woodlands, TX)
19. Marlins – Brett Sinkbeil, RHP (Missouri State/MO)
20. Twins – Chris Parmelee, OF/1B (Chino Hills HS/CA)
21. Yankees – Ian Kennedy, RHP (Southern California/CA)
22. Nationals – Colton Willems, RHP (John Carroll Catholic HS/Fort Pierce, FL)
23. Astros – Max Sapp, c (Bishop Moore HS/Orlando, FL)
24. Braves – Cody Johnson, 1B (Mosley HS/Lynn Haven, FL)
25. Angels – Hank Conger, c (Huntington Beach HS/Huntington Beach, CA
26. Dodgers – Bryan Morris, RHP (Motlow State CC/TN)
27. Red Sox – Jason Place, OF (Wren HS/Piedmont, SC)
28. Red Sox – Daniel Bard, RHP (North Carolina/NC)
29. White Sox – Kyle McCulloch, RHP (Texas/TX)
30. Cardinals – Adam Ottavino, RHP (Northeastern/MA)
Supplemental 1st Round
31. Dodgers – Preston Mattingly, SS (Evansville Central HS/IN)
32. Orioles – Pedro Beato, RHP (St. Petersburg JC/FL)
33. Giants – Emmanuel Burriss, SS (Kent State/OH)
34. Diamondbacks – Brooks Brown, RHP (Georgia/GA)
35. Padres – Kyler Burke, OF (Ooltewah HS/TN)
36. Marlins – Chris Coghlan, 3B (Mississippi/MS)
37. Phillies – Adrian Cardenas, SS (Monsignor Pace HS/Opa Locka, FL)
38. Braves – Cory Rasmus, RHP (Russell County HS/Seale, AL)
39. Indians – David Huff, LHP (UCLA/CA)
40. Red Sox – Kris Johnson, LHP (Wichita State/KS)
41. Yankees – Joba Chamberlain, RHP (Nebraska/NE)
42. Cardinals – Chris Perez, RHP (Miami/FL)
43. Braves – Steve Evarts, LHP (Robinson HS/Tampa, FL)
44. Red Sox – Caleb Clay, RHP (Cullman HS/Cullman, AL)
Finding the Pulse
That Bootleg Guy is back with another great feature, this time about 20 games he has been to. I have a good one. I was at the game where Mark McGwire hit home runs 69 and 70, but got kicked out of the game for underaged drinking before he hit #70.
Steve has Stanley Cup finals coverage. I really have no interest in hockey since the Blues suck.
Daniels is writing on of the best columns on the site, although Albert Pujols is not the reason for Brad Lidge’s struggles this year (more on that another time).
Also, check out last weeks Power Rankings. I have the updated ones next week.
And read all the other columns. People put some serious time and effort into them.