With less than two weeks before the draft kicks off (day one begins Tuesday, June 9th), we’ll start increasing our draft coverage. Today, we’ll start by featuring some of the content from the main folks covering the draft.
Baseball America unveiled their Top 100 today, and they’ll be releasing numbers 101-200 tomorrow. The top 100 rankings are available for everyone, while the scouting reports are subscriber only. If you’re at all interested in minor league/draft coverage, BA is worth the money. Plus, supporting them gives them additional revenue to give Conor Glassey a big raise.
Keith Law has a Top 100 and a first round projection, both of which are only available to ESPN Insider subscribers. The draft blog that Keith and Jason Churchill have been running is very good, including tons of video of these guys so you can see them for yourselves.
Finally, MLB.com has a ton of draft reports from the major league scouting bureau, including video. The content/price ratio is unbeatable, but the reports are more geared towards the player’s skills, so you won’t get any of the rumors attaching players to teams or projecting who goes where.
For those who don’t want to be bothered to do research themselves and just want a summary, here’s the Mariner-centric thoughts as of today.
Washington is not passing on Strasburg. Don’t bother hoping.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Dustin Ackley represents the next best risk/reward package in the draft after Strasburg. There are some high school pitchers that theoretically have higher ceilings, but none of them have established themselves as genuine phenoms whose upside can overcome the tremendous risk with drafting an 18-year-old arm. Despite the talk that the draft is unpredictable after #1, pretty much everyone agrees that Ackley is the logical choice at #2. Left-handed, high on base percentage line drive hitter, won’t need much time in the minors – he fits the M’s needs almost perfectly.
Trying to project names for the #27 and #33 picks is next to impossible, given the uncertainty over how the first round will play out. However, smart money is on college pitching. The M’s have basically nothing in terms of upper level starting pitching prospects, and this is a deep draft for college arms. There are lots of scenarios where the M’s could end up with a guy like Rex Brothers at #27, and it’s not very often that you can peg a college lefty starter who throws 96 at the end of the first round. Especially if the team takes Ackley at #2, I’d imagine they focus on pitching at #27 and #33.
Oh, and MLB is slashing the bonus recommendations again, trying to force an across the board 10% cut in signing bonuses. It’s not going to work, and will instead just lead to approximately no one signing before the deadline on August 15th. I love baseball, but MLB does a lot of stupid stuff.