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Monday, June 12, 2017

Feeling A Draft - Part II

I was hoping to dig into this a bit more than I did over the weekend but if the weather is going to be that nice damn you all, I’m sitting my butt on the patio with the grill going.  Anyway, here is a short look at some names that might be relevant to the Sox tonight;

David Peterson - LHP - Oregon - #17 Baseball America - Peterson was a 28th round pick by the Sox coming out of high school so he’s been on the club’s radar for awhile (though that was a previous administration).  The penultimate BA mock draft had him going to the Sox.  According to BA he’s a big dude but mixes a low to mid-90s fastball with an “above average change up.”  He looks pretty appealing to me as a guy who has a good idea of what he is doing.  He is not a raw material like Trey Ball was for example.

Keston Hiura - 2B/OF - UC Irvine - #14 - According to the Twitterz Hiura is the player Keith Law says the Sox are going to get.  I am less excited about this idea.  Hiura is supposed to be a good bat but there are questions about the glove.  Baseball America says he has good to very good power but he’s had arm problems and no one quite knows where he would slot in defensively.  For my money if you are drafting a bat only player I want to know that is a truly elite bat and what I have read Hiura is not at that level.  BA also says there is a good chance that he will have elbow surgery as soon as he is drafted.  Wheeee, a player who can’t field then promptly misses the season with an injury.  I’m not excited about this one.

Seth Romero - LHP - No Team - #27
- Now this one IS interesting.  Last year the Sox snagged Jason Groome due in part to some off field questions.  In Groome’s case it seemed that the criticisms were a bit unfair but in Romero’s case there may be more to it.  Despite being very good and in some corners slipping into the top 10 of the draft the University of Houston dismissed him from the team for rules violations.  It was not his first suspension and on top of that BA notes that he had a screw put his arm while in high school.  Those are all red flags but when you are drafting #24 and a top 10 talent slips to you I think you have to very very strongly consider such a player.

Jake Burger - 3B - Missouri State - #20
- The latest BA mock has the Sox selecting Burger and headline writers all over Boston are hopeful.  Baseball America describes him as a “bad-bodied but big hitting third baseman” with a comparison to Todd Frazier.  I think sometimes in the draft we get so hung up on stardom that we forget that simply landing a guy who can hold a big league job for a few years represents a win.  If the Sox can get a player at this spot who replicates Frazier’s career I’d be A-OK with that.  From my limited reading I’d be keener on Burger than Hiura.

Tanner Houck - RHP - Missouri - #22 - Houck is a classic pitcher, big at 6’5” 220, is described as one who throws a heavy sinker (BA says it grades out in some quarters as a 70 pitch) but some work to be done on secondary stuff.  His future may lie in the bullpen but he is fairly appealing at this spot as a guy who looks like just on raw stuff he has a good shot to reach the Majors.

Now look, I don’t know nothin’.  I cobbled this together from reading some stuff at Sox Prospects as well as at Baseball America.  I highly recommend visiting both of those sites.  SP is free while BA has an ESPN-type model where some stuff is free but the good stuff is behind a paywall.  Unlike ESPN the stuff behind the paywall actually IS good stuff and in my opinion well worth the $66 a year.

I post this not to try and steal their stuff but to give us a place to chat about the draft.  I can’t recommend both sites enough if you are interested in baseball at levels beyond the big leagues.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:22 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 12, 2017 at 09:36 PM (#5474544)
Tanner Houck #24 - Baseball America quote "He then spins off toward first base in his finish. It's anything but direct to the plate, but that also helps make him deadly against righthanded hitters. They struggle to pick the ball up out of his hand and his 90-94 mph heater has outstanding sink. It's a plus pitch and some scouts give it a 70 grade thanks to its movement. His slider garners average grades, and he's started to develop his fringe-average changeup as he's thrown it a bit more."
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5474796)
Chris Hatfield at SoxProspects said Houck probably slots into the 5-8 range of their prospect rankings. That means; CJ Chatham, Travis Lakins, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec. Somewhere in there.

Looks like they did well with the second pick. HS OF Cole Brannen was ranked #54 by BA and the Sox got him at 63. From BA;

Brannen can sometimes expand the strike zone and will need more reps against quality pitching to improve his pure hitting ability. While Brannen has shown some ability to loft the ball in batting practice, scouts don't envision him being a huge power producer with a wood bat. Instead, Brannen's game will be built on his quick hands, barrel awareness and speed. Brannen is a plus runner underway and his speed plays well on the bases and in center field. He also has an above-average to plus arm.

Sounds like a bit of a project to me but the Sox outfield is tolerable for a bit.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5475053)
From FanGraphs review of the first round;

I thought the Houck pick was fine. I’m more optimistic about his ability to start than others because I’ve seen him locate his slider well enough to deal with lefties. I also like Brannen’s feel to hit and think he has a chance to stay in center field.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5475058)
Pick #101 - 2B Brett Netzer (#237 BA)

He's athletic enough to be an above-average runner, and he takes aggressive, confident swings. He got off to a strong start before falling off a bit, hitting .342 after batting .384 as a sophomore, but most scouts still grade him as at least an average hitter, with some going above-average thanks to his bat speed and strong strike zone judgment

Sounds like he has work to do defensively at second base but has the physical tools to stick there.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5475092)
#131 - RHP Jake Thompson (#83 BA)

The hard-throwing righthander has improved his fastball and slider this year, with both earning plus grades at times. His fastball has peaked at 98 mph according to scouts, though that's usually in shorter stints...A fourth-year junior, Thompson will be 23 by September, and his age, excellent season and strong stuff could move him up draft boards as a college performer who also could cut a deal.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5475131)
#161 - RHP Alex Scherff (#59 BA)

Woo. Little aiming high here by the Sox. He's a high schooler so leverage is his. Evidently he's old for a high schooler (19 already) but still, to get a player rated this highly seems like a good gamble.

Scherff has one of the best arms in the 2017 draft class, something that was apparent last summer when he regularly reached 95-plus in showcase outings. Scherff has one of the class' best fastballs and one of the best changeups, a plus pitch that he already throws with deception and conviction. His control wavers at times, but generally this spring he's shown an ability to throw strikes, leading scouts to believe he'll eventually have at least average control.
   7. jmurph Posted: June 13, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5475140)
Woo. Little aiming high here by the Sox. He's a high schooler so leverage is his. Evidently he's old for a high schooler (19 already) but still, to get a player rated this highly seems like a good gamble.

Well there's this:
Alex Scherff‏ @alexscherff23 6 minutes ago
See you soon, Boston

EDIT: For the record Alex Speier RTd that, I'm not in the habit of following high school baseball prospects on twitter.
   8. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5475157)
Well that IS interesting. Wonder if the Sox have a deal in place. Chris Hatfield at SP noted that they might be able to get under slot with a couple of their earlier picks so maybe they and Scherff had worked out a number.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5475179)
#191 - RHP Zach Schellenberger (#195 BA)

This goes back to the Marrero, Bradley, Groome method of drafting where the Sox get someone who slipped in his draft year for whatever reason. If he can get back to the mid 90s the Sox could be in business here.

His stuff wasn’t quite the same in his junior year, as he sat more in the low 90s and pitched off of his slider with his fastball command lagging behind. He missed time with biceps tendonitis and pitched more at 89-92 when he returned. A team drafting Schellenger will hope that he can return to the form he showed earlier in his amateur career, when he looked like a potential shutdown late-inning reliever.
   10. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 23, 2017 at 01:11 AM (#5481423)

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