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   1. UnclePab Posted: June 05, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3845673)
I know as little, and most likely less, about high school and college players than anyone else here, but Baseball America's latest mock draft has the Red Sox taking Josh Bell at 19, and HS catcher Austin Hedges with the 26th pick. An earlier (April 2011) article about Hedges HS team had this to say about him:
Catcher Austin Hedges is helping the offense chug along with a .415 average in 53 at-bats. He's also keeping up with his typical defense, shutting down the running game.

"No one runs on him," Kay said. "One kid on a team from Utah tried to steal third on him. I think he was a freshman. He didn't have a chance to slide Austin was so quick. He's a stud."

A catcher who can throw out runners?!?
Like MCoA, I'd also love to hear from people who actually know stuff.
   2. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 05, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3845677)
soxprospects.com has a seven part draft preview. The site is through five.

Sorry, it is difficult to link to.
   3. UnclePab Posted: June 05, 2011 at 12:29 AM (#3845680)
Edit: thought I found a direct link all 5 draft preview segments. Didn't work.
   4. Tor Posted: June 05, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3845734)
The expectation that this is the last year of 'hard slotting' will reduce the leverage of the players, I would think. Small budget teams may draft more aggressively.
   5. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 05, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3846061)
If a team isn't willing to spend in the draft, their owner should probably sell.
   6. OCD SS Posted: June 06, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3846260)
If there is one thing I am certain of in this world, it is that the more Bud tries to manage the draft to keep bonuses down, the more he will royally f@ck it up to the detriment of the game as a whole.

In addition to the Sox spending big, some of the other recent big spenders have been teams like the Rays, Royals, and Pirates. Slotting would ultimately deplete the amount of talent going into baseball, as it would make high upside athletes go to college where scholarship allocation favors them moving into other sports. It's the sort of penny-wise myopia you'd expect from a used car salesman.
   7. villageidiom Posted: June 06, 2011 at 12:51 PM (#3846390)
Slotting would ultimately deplete the amount of talent going into baseball, as it would make high upside athletes go to college where scholarship allocation favors them moving into other sports. It's the sort of penny-wise myopia you'd expect from a used car salesman.
Under that scenario, will there be more major-league starting positions available in those other sports? No. There will be just as many wide receivers, quarterbacks, etc. as there are now. The difference is the other leagues (and realistically we're talking NFL moreso than any other sport) would now be able to pay those positions less due to the increase in available talent at those positions. And even if that weren't true, those leagues have salary caps, non-guaranteed contracts, etc.

Taking the other-sport scholarships just because they couldn't get an extra million dollars today from MLB is the sort of penny-wise myopia you'd expect from a used car salesman. And that's the career they'll have in the end.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2011 at 01:11 PM (#3846394)
We expect 18-year-olds to be bad at long-term planning. They're eighteen years old!

It's when baseball commissioners are bad at it that's a problem.

EDIT: Also, the difference between college baseball and college football is not just one of scholarship application. College football stars are celebrities who play on tv every Saturday, and football stars get paid under the table through boosters and the athletic department and whatever else. College baseball stars are anonymous, and no one's paying them squat. MLB clubs need to buy players away from other sport scholarships because it's better to be a scholarship athlete in a major sport other than baseball. These are eighteen-year-olds - being a big star on campus is a big deal, and an under-the-table free watch and tattoo offer is a big deal, and you probably get laid more, too.
   9. OCD SS Posted: June 06, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3846439)
VI, you also have to consider that these HS players will not be focusing on baseball through some key developmental years (if they're on a full ride football scholarship, you can bet that football practice and training is going to take precedence); MLB should be doing whatever it can to get top athletes to commit to baseball, not pushing them away.

As an example, what would happen with a talent like Bo Jackson if he didn't have the wear and tear of football to account for?
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2011 at 04:57 PM (#3846572)
Keith Law has the Sox taking Alex Meyer, a RHP from Kentucky. Law's quote on this pick;

I don't think they'll break the bank on this pick but will do as they did last year with Kolbrin Vitek, taking a higher-probability player first and spending later. That could be (Sonny) Gray, Jed Bradley or (Mikie) Mahtook if any get here.


He's also got them going for LHP Chris Reed of Stanford with the supplemental pick (for VMart I guess).

I'm passing along info here, I have zero knowledge about any of these guys.
   11. villageidiom Posted: June 06, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3846796)
We expect 18-year-olds to be bad at long-term planning. They're eighteen years old!
I don't expect them to become materially worse at it because of slotting. Everything you mention in your edit is already true now without it, and yet the vast majority of players sign.
VI, you also have to consider that these HS players will not be focusing on baseball through some key developmental years (if they're on a full ride football scholarship, you can bet that football practice and training is going to take precedence); MLB should be doing whatever it can to get top athletes to commit to baseball, not pushing them away.
I'm sure HS players would love to just jump straight to the big leagues. If MLB is to do "whatever it can" to get them to commit, shouldn't they eliminate the minor leagues?
   12. karlmagnus Posted: June 06, 2011 at 11:13 PM (#3846936)
Doesn't BTF have a draft thread this year?
   13. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 06, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3846939)
I put a shadow draft thread on the front page.

-- MWE
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 07, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3847056)
Red Sox take Matt Barnes at #19. RHP from UConn, thought he'd go a little higher, a good value pick.

-- MWE
   15. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 07, 2011 at 01:29 AM (#3847093)
#26 pick is Blake Swihart, HS C from New Mexico, probably the best catcher available, but a strong commitment to Texas.

-- MWE
   16. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:00 AM (#3847127)
Kevin Goldstein said in the draft thread that "Swihart is going to sign. Sorry Longhorn fans."
   17. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#3847129)
I think the Red Sox did a nice job here. Barnes has really taken huge strides forward since being undrafted out of high school; he now tops out at 97 and his secondary pitches, while they need work, are fairly well advanced for someone his age. Swihart can hit - he's been compared to both Posada and Varitek - and the Red Sox are one of the few teams who can get him signed.

-- MWE
   18. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:06 AM (#3847131)
Mike: Do you think Barnes will be a starter or a reliever? His control issues make me think of Bard.

Edit: Originally wrote Swihart instead of Barnes.
   19. villageidiom Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:10 AM (#3847135)
Baseball America's latest mock draft has the Red Sox taking Josh Bell at 19, and HS catcher Austin Hedges with the 26th pick.
Round 1 done, and both Bell and Hedges are still on the board.
   20. villageidiom Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3847146)
Henry Owens taken by Boston with the 36th pick; Bell and Hedges are still on the board. There are only 4 remaining from BA's mock first round.
   21. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#3847158)
Owens will have to learn some deception. That offspeed pitch is telegraphed by the slower motion.
   22. villageidiom Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:35 AM (#3847161)
With the 40th pick, Boston took Jackie Bradley. The four left from BA's mock first round are Bell (21), Hedges (26), Dillon Howard (25), and Daniel Norris (28).
   23. villageidiom Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:49 AM (#3847168)
50 picks in, and those 4 are still on the board. Yankees are about to make their first pick. And... they selected Dante Bichette, Jr.
   24. John DiFool2 Posted: June 07, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#3847191)
<snigger> The next Francoeur no doubt, performing his One Hot April act in the Bronx.
   25. Norcan Posted: June 07, 2011 at 07:04 AM (#3847222)
Do you think Barnes will be a starter or a reliever? His control issues make me think of Bard


What control issues? His walk rate of 2.7 and 2.4 the past two seasons are fine. His command apparently needs some work, as is the case with many young pitchers but statistically, there's nothing that says he can't throw strikes.

Bard also didn't have major control issues in college. Those only developed during his disastrous first pro season but I remember reading that that could have been due to mechanical changes the Red Sox had him make. He went back to his old mechanics the next season and has been fine since. The big issue with him coming out of college was his lack of secondary pitches. His slider, now great, was a flat pancake. He infamously (well, to some maybe) threw about 95 percent fastballs in his College World Series start because every slider he threw in the first two innings was flat and got crushed.

I'm happy with Barnes, enthused even. I love his fluid mechanics. He gets great extension and releases the ball with great timing between his upper and lower half. I'm simplifying a bit but it seems like the Red Sox under Theo have had very good success with pitchers who had fluid mechanics and very good now stuff like Buchholz and Bard and less success with guys with funky deliveries and/or needed projecting. Henry Owens sort of fits into the latter group.

I hope Jackie Bradley Jr rebounds. Reminds me of Jacque Jones a little.
   26. Dan Posted: June 07, 2011 at 08:56 AM (#3847234)
Any chance that the Sox break in Barnes as a reliever, possibly even fast-tracking him to MLB like the White Sox did with Sale?
   27. Dan Posted: June 07, 2011 at 11:17 AM (#3847246)
I saw that possibility mentioned somewhere though I can't remember where it was offhand, so it wasn't my idea really, but it got me wondering.
   28. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2011 at 12:43 PM (#3847268)
The Rays had TEN picks in the the first 60. That's amazing. They could have fielded an entire team before the second round even started!
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2011 at 02:07 PM (#3847322)
Any chance that the Sox break in Barnes as a reliever, possibly even fast-tracking him to MLB like the White Sox did with Sale?
I doubt it, just based on track record. They've never moved a guy up the ranks as a reliever, then switched him back to starting. Craig Hansen is the only early draftee I can think of who began as a reliever - even the pitchers who were tagged as relievers nonetheless began as starters, guys like Papelbon and Bard and Masterson.

I don't think the Sox particularly need an arm for the bullpen right now - they might, if Jenks can't cut it, but he's looked pretty good since coming off the DL.
   30. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: June 07, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3847648)
I wish ChadBradfordWannabe was around. Looks like Barnes has the "inverted w" throwing motion.

So, can I call it this early? He'll have a blown-out elbow or shoulder in 2 years?

OR, did I get it wrong? I couldn't start and stop the video very well, so I'm not sure if his pitching arm side elbow actually gets above the shoulder. Looks like it's close.
   31. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 07, 2011 at 08:13 PM (#3847655)
Not draft related but some info from PeteAbe today about a few minor league All Stars at Greenville;

Miles Head, who was the leading vote getter for the Southern Division, gets the nod at first base and Brandon Jacobs will start in leftfield, while lefthander Manuel Rivera is amongst the 11-man pitching staff...Outfielder Bryce Brentz and righthandeder Anthony Ranaudo were also selected, but will not participate due to their recent promotions
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 08, 2011 at 12:30 PM (#3848266)
So, per the earlier slotting discussion, the Red Sox took Senquez Golson in the 8th round. He's a high school CF who was recruited to play cornerback for Ole Miss. He was on a lot of top 100 boards for the draft, and so he'll require a significant bonus to sign. If MLB limits the money that can be spent on the draft, a bunch of guys like Golson aren't going to sign.
I don't expect them to become materially worse at it because of slotting. Everything you mention in your edit is already true now without it, and yet the vast majority of players sign.
I really don't follow. Everything I mention in my edit is true, that's why baseball clubs have to throw more money at them. If MLB sets a hard limit on money that can be spent, then a bunch of these bonuses won't be given to guys like Golson, and the Golsons of the future will go to college where the incentives weigh heavily for football.
   33. Dan Posted: June 09, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#3849035)
Apparently Pedroia is going to Boston tomorrow to get his knee checked out, potentially getting surgery and missing around a month. ####. I guess that means we'll see a lot of Scutaro at 2nd base and Lowrie staying as the everyday SS. Hopefully Yamaico Navarro will be healthy enough to be contributing soon, since Sutton's defense in the middle infield seems suspect.

Edit: Now they're saying that it's mostly precautionary and surgery isn't expected, but still possible.
   34. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 09, 2011 at 05:52 AM (#3849061)
OR, did I get it wrong? I couldn't start and stop the video very well, so I'm not sure if his pitching arm side elbow actually gets above the shoulder. Looks like it's close.


It doesn't look like it's quite above his shoulder to me, but it's hard to tell. Of course, even if he's not inverted w'ing, it's still likely he gets hurt at some point, since he is a baseball pitcher.
   35. Mattbert Posted: June 09, 2011 at 11:02 AM (#3849082)
Looks like Barnes has the "inverted w" throwing motion.

Hard to tell from one still, but that doesn't look too bad to me. There's a certain amount of "inversion" that occurs during scap load, even in CBW-approved deliveries.

I'd be more concerned that his arm position looks a little tardy compared to where I'm extrapolating his landing foot is. Again, it's difficult to tell from one still (and his feet are out of the frame!), but at first blush I'd say his arm ought to be closer to the cocked position given that he appears to be quite close to footstrike on the front side.

EDIT: Having watched the MLB scouting video in the OP, I don't think the inverted W is an issue. Timing is hard to assess from full speed video, but the overall delivery seems very smooth. I would like to see him finish his pitches a bit more aggressively, but he may not really be getting after it in the video as it appears he's throwing warm-up pitches for the most part.
   36. Joel W Posted: June 09, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3849176)
@Dan,

I was talking with a couple friends about Pedroia, and how it seems like he's just not "right." He's a player who needs everything to be timed almost perfectly for his swing to work. He swings so hard to generate his power, that if it's not all working, he'll hit...well like he has this year. Striking out more with less power. He's still a valuable player because of his defense and OBP, but maybe he needs a bit of rest given his foot injury and how it could be affecting the rest of his body. Given that he referenced Grant Hill with respect to his foot injury, I'd be very cautious with him. Those injuries can transfer to all different places on the body.
   37. Norcan Posted: June 10, 2011 at 07:41 AM (#3850032)
Barnes doesn't have an inverted W. Those are fairly easy to spot anyway as an elbow flying above the shoulder is conspicuous.

Check out this video from a bullpen session. It's pretty obvious that his elbow never goes above his shoulder.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=video&cd=2&ved=0CDoQtwIwAQ&url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6iBPmgMVE&ei=dMjxTafFA4mgtweikpWXCA&usg=AFQjCNGY9wreJ4XRJRyn1tCZsFzy0avweg

I like Barnes more than Ranaudo. His stuff is just as big and he doesn't have an injury history like Ranaudo and his delivery is smoother. I don't like how Ranaudo brings the ball up with his palm underneath the ball. I feel like that's going to cause him more shoulder or elbow problems. He almost has a shot putter delivery.
   38. Norcan Posted: June 10, 2011 at 08:48 AM (#3850039)
Barnes' delivery reminds me of James Shield's. Physically they could be similar too if Barnes puts on weight as they both stand 6'4. They both have the same high leg kick, point their feet, have full arm actions and finish with their drive leg pointed at first. Unlike Shields though, Barnes firms up his glove side. Stuff wise they're not alike.
   39. tjm1 Posted: June 12, 2011 at 08:47 PM (#3851510)
As an example, what would happen with a talent like Bo Jackson if he didn't have the wear and tear of football to account for?


I agree with your larger point that limiting draft bonuses isn't necessarily in the long term interest of baseball, but for every Bo Jackson, there are several guys who went through college on football or basketball scholarships and then became very good major leaguers (e.g. Frank Thomas, Kenny Lofton, Randy Johnson). I don't think there's really that much evidence that playing college football ruins players' baseball ability. I think the more serious issue is the guys who go pro in football, not the guys who get hurt.
   40. villageidiom Posted: June 13, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3852210)
I really don't follow. Everything I mention in my edit is true, that's why baseball clubs have to throw more money at them.
More money than what? Than they currently throw to a lesser player? That would still happen with slotting. More money than slot? Well, sure, but that's because right now slotting doesn't actually mean anything.
If MLB sets a hard limit on money that can be spent, then a bunch of these bonuses won't be given to guys like Golson, and the Golsons of the future will go to college where the incentives weigh heavily for football.
Golson, the 107th best draftee according to BA, says he wants better than top-50 money. The Golsons of the past went to college - or chose to sign for less than demanded - and slotting had nothing to do with it.

I think we agree that players will have more incentive to go to college if they don't get the bonus they want. Perhaps where we disagree is that I think "the bonus they want" is heavily defined by "the bonus they think they can get", and that a change in the latter (via slotting or other forces) in many cases will change the former. I get the sense that you think the former is far more static than I do.
   41. Mike Webber Posted: June 14, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3852561)
Sickel's Red Sox Draft Review

SUMMARY: Barnes/Swihart/Owens/Bradley is a fine mixture of upside and polish at the top of the draft. Middle rounds mixed high-upside signability risks with some interesting college products. Overall I am impressed with this class, and the Red Sox have enough money to make it work.

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