Draft Day One Recap
We’ve made our opinion on drafting a college reliever in the first round known, so let’s move on to the rest of the picks the M’s made today. Here’s a quick recap of the players taken and a preliminary opinion on what their futures may hold.
First Round: Josh Fields, RHP, Georgia
Fields has good velocity and a big hook of a curveball despite being undersized, and when talking to people about him tonight, the name Troy Percival came up several times. Of course, the name Blaine Boyer came up just as often as a reminder that a 95 MPH fastball and a 12-6 curve doesn’t make you a guaranteed all-star. In reality, his command problems shouldn’t be that big of a deal, because 9th inning walks aren’t a serious problem if no one is hitting you. His ceiling isn’t that high, but he should be in Seattle in 2009, so that’s something.
Best Case Scenario: Troy Percival
More Likely Outcome: Taylor Buchholz
Second Round: Dennis Raben, OF, Miami
I’ll just quote Scout Friend on this one: “Fifteen years ago, Ben Grieve was the #2 pick in the draft with this exact same package. Grieve had a shorter stroke and more bat speed, but Raben’s pretty much a Grieve clone. That kid got a lot of crap for not living up to the hype, but he had a pretty decent career, and where you guys took him, that’s a good value.”
Best Case Scenario: Pat Burrell
More Likely Outcome: Ben Grieve
Third Round: Aaron Pribanic, RHP, Nebraska
Let’s get the negative stuff out of the way quickly; he’s a tall and fall guy who doesn’t get the most out of his leg strength and doesn’t repeat his delivery very well. That said, he’s got the classic pitchers frame, good arm strength, sits in the 91-94 range with his fastball, has a useful slider and change, and he doesn’t have much wear and tear on his arm. He’s not your typical college pitcher – there’s untapped talent here. He’s got some similarities to Tony Butler, and if the coaching staff can clean him up a bit and improve his secondary stuff, I think he could be a solid major league arm.
Best Case Scenario: Kyle Lohse
More Likely Outcome: Phil Dumatrait
Fourth Round: Steven Hensley, RHP, Elon
Not as big a fan of this one, unfortunately. Hensley is a short-armer whose velocity is more 87-91 and telegraphs his breaking ball with a wildly different arm action. He might as well just yell curveball during the wind-up. He’s going to take a good amount of work to make it.
Best Case Scenario: Francisco Cruceta
More Likely Outcome: Rich Dorman
Fifth Round: Brett Lorin, RHP, Long Beach St
This is a Bob Fontaine special right here. A couple of years ago, he snagged Kam Mickolio in the 18th round as a guy that few teams had seen much of, but the M’s saw sitting at 95 late in the year when most teams had taken him off their follow lists. Lorin fits the Mickolio mold, though obviously, the M’s felt the need to take him off the board earlier. At 6’7 and 245, he’s a huge kid, and his size has always intrigued scouts, but he’d been a career disappointment. He went to Arizona, struggled, transferred to Long Beach St and couldn’t find a home there either, even after working with pitching guru Troy Buckley. Barely used and almost never effective, Lorin was basically an afterthought for most teams. But he pitched the best baseball of his life the last two weeks with M’s scouts in attendance, and they believe that with a few tweaks, they can get his velocity up to 94. If they’re right, this could be a steal.
Best Case Scenario: J.J. Putz
More Likely Outcome: Dennis Sarfate
Sixth Round: Jarrett Burgess, RF, Florida Christian HS
The first non-collegian taken by the M’s, he attended the same high school as Denny Almonte, last year’s second round pick. Burgess doesn’t have Almonte’s raw physical skills, but he’s a better hitter. Of course, considering that Scout Friend asked me last week if Almonte was “the worst draft pick ever”, that’s not saying much. Generally, when you take a high school position player this late, you’re gambling that you can sign him, because you’re not going to be offering him that much money. It’s possible that Burgess ends up in college instead of joining the M’s.
Best Case Scenario: Someone Good
More Likely Outcome: We Never Talk About Him Again