M’s Draft Board
Okay, today’s the day. Based on conversations with people inside and out of the organization, this is what I believe the M’s draft board looks like heading into the first round. The order isn’t as important as the names themselves, as there’s several spots (#7 and #8) where I basically just had to pick one, because both Aumont and Schmidt have their supporters within the organization. However, I’d be stunned if the pick wasn’t one of these 11 eleven guys.
1. David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt
2. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State
3. Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS
4. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Chatsworth HS
5. Daniel Moskos, LHP, Clemson
6. Casey Weathers, RHP, Vanderbilt
7. Philipee Aumont, RHP, Quebec – No High School
8. Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas
9. Mike Moustakas, 3B, Chatsworth HS
10. Beau Mills, 1B/DH, Lewis-Clark State
11. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Norwell HS Arkansas
Notably absent are Scott Boras’ three “out of the box” prospects. The Mariners won’t consider drafting Matt Wieters, Rick Porcello, or Matt Harvey, and they’re rooting like crazy for all three to go in the top ten. The problem, however, is that signability questions about the trio are threatening to push all three out of the top half of the first round, as no team is as of yet giving indications that they are willing to pay Boras’ over-slot premium for these guys.
That creates some problems for the M’s, because it means that the teams picking ahead of them are going to be picking guys off who, on talent, should be available at #11. Philppe Aumont, for instance, is a guy the M’s would have a really hard time passing over, even with their strong desire to go with a college arm who can get to the majors quickly. However, with Aumont being the easiest sign in the first round, he could very well end up going in the top 5, and it will be an upset if he slides to #11.
The same goes with Daniel Moskos, who we talked about on Tuesday. It sounds like San Francisco won’t let Moskos get past them at #10.
If the draft breaks out as expected, the out of the box guys will slide past the Mariners, and the guys at the top of their board will be picked off one by one before they are on the clock.
So, at this point, the likely selection is Arkansas LHP Nick Schmidt. If you like Jarrod Washburn, you’ll like Schmidt. 88-92 with a four seam fastball, above average change-up, mediocre curveball, succeeds with command, lacks an outpitch, very little upside, and projects as a #5 starter in the majors. A few days ago, I called him a left-handed Joe Blanton. That was probably too generous, in retrospect, as Blanton’s stuff is a tick better across the board than Schmidt’s.
In his favor, Schmidt has been durable, knows how to pitch, and isn’t that far away from the majors. The M’s would likely bring him to spring training next year and let him compete for a rotation spot, and he’d replace Horacio Ramirez as the back-end starter whose reasons for optimism are his team’s home park and defense.
Schmidt’s not a lock to be the pick – the M’s are hopeful that Ross Detwiler or Josh Vitters will slide because of their agents requests for above slot money, but both are considered far more signable than the Boras trio, and it’s very unlikely that either gets out of the top ten. The M’s also really like Matt Dominguez, and if he’s around at #11, it will make the pick more interesting, at least, as he some big fans in the organization. And, there’s still Casey Weathers, the closer from Vanderbilt who has the velocity and slider to be effective in the majors this year.
However, if you put a gun to my head, I’m saying that Nick Schmidt is the guy the M’s go with. Aumont, Moskos, and Dominguez could be selected if they end up at #11, or they could go with the high power reliever over the back end starter if Weathers is there. But you can forget about pretty much anyone else. The M’s aren’t going to take Wieters, Porcello, or Harvey, and most of the other names bandied about aren’t as high on the M’s board as the guys we’ve covered.
We’ll find out for sure in a few hours. Personally, I’m rooting for Philippe Aumont, a 6’7 groundball machine with all kinds of projection, but I don’t think the M’s will have the chance to call his name out. In the end, it’s probably going to be a low risk, low reward college pitcher.
Morning Edit: As things begin to shake out, we’re getting a better idea of what’s going to happen. With KC settling on Josh Vitters, the likelyhood of the M’s getting a chance at HS 3rd baseman Matt Dominguez have gotten significantly better. They like Dominguez a lot as an athletic third baseman with a good bat and great glove, and if Moskos isn’t there, the M’s may go offense.
Afternoon Edit: Jim Callis is now reporting that the Royals have flip-flopped, and are going to take Mike Moustakas over Josh Vitters at #2. Vitters is basically a lock to go to the Cubs at #3, however, which then leaves Dominguez as the option for anyone looking for a HS 3rd baseman in the 4-10 range. Weathers just became a lot more likely pick. Nuts.