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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Baseball Analysts: Lederer: A Roundtable with Three of the Country’s Top Draft Experts

And that would be…Baseball America’s Jim Callis, John Manuel, and Alan Matthews.

Rich: Well, let’s do as much of a mock draft as possible. Are we all in agreement that David Price will be—or at least should be—the first pick?

Jim: Price will be and should be the No. 1 overall pick. The consensus among most scouting directors is that Price stands above everyone else in his draft class. As one put it, “There’s David Price, but after that there aren’t a lot of top-of-the-draft guys.” I’d say that he’s rated just slightly higher than Andrew Miller was as the top prospect last year. Price also is advised by Bo McKinnis, so there shouldn’t be much risk of protracted negotiations. He’ll probably get the standard contract given to the best college pitchers each year, a big league deal worth from $5 million to $6 million, and MLB may have the Rays wait to announce it because it doesn’t want that deal to affect others. Price also would be a good fit for Tampa Bay. The Rays’ biggest weakness in the majors is pitching, even though they have some impressive arms coming up through the minors.

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2007 at 11:21 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college, high school, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2382670)
No other comments? As a Pirate fan, I thought this was fascinating...
   2. Xander Posted: May 29, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2382687)
Many high school players this year are asking for astronomical bonuses which some teams are scoffing at. Just something to watch out for. Other storylines:

1. Scott Boras clients: Andrew Brackman, Matt Wieters, Jake Arietta, Julio Borbon, Josh Fields, Matt Laporta, Wynn Pelzer, Rick Porcello, Matt Harvey, Greg Peavey, Mike Moustakas, and Kentrail Davis (add Max Scherzer if he doesn't sign by midnight Wednesday). With the formal signing date now in place (August 15th), Boras Corp. will not be able to take their sweet time with these kids. Porcello has the highest price tag in the draft (I'd guess around 8 or 9 million on a major league deal), and I'm not sold that he won't slip, maybe all the way to UNC.

2. Matt Latos: He's got nasty stuff (he's better than Brackman right now), but he's a headcase, he's been tough to deal with and reports have him asking for 3.5 million dollars. The sense I'm getting is that the Padres' basic stance is "If we sign him, good. If not, good riddance."

3. Two-sport athletes: There are always football/baseball stars whose draft status is up in the air. Last year there was Brent Brewer, Joe Benson, Jared Mitchell, D'vontrey Richardson, etc. The first two signed with baseball teams (Brewers and Twins, respectively), the next two went to school (LSU and FSU, respectively). This year there is Chad Jones, Eric Eiland, Londell Taylor, and Wendell Fairley. Jones was the #1 ranked athlete among all prep football players this year, but his first love is baseball. Though he has a scholarship to LSU waiting, he is signable in the first 2 rounds. Fairley could go as high as the back of the first round, and he will most likely forego a Southern Miss. scholarship for baseball. Eiland and Taylor are up in the air.

4. The August 15th Signing Date: Because of the elimination of DFE's, the draft might be significantly shortened (by as much as 15 rounds). Teams will take some raw high schoolers or JUCO players and follow them over the summer. But it's still much tougher to get a read on them doing that than if they were headed to JUCO. Also look for a lot more senior signs to be taken where some DFE candidates would have gone in the past.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2382717)
Porcello's not going to play college ball; certainly he won't slide past the Nationals at #6, Boras or no Boras, and my understanding is that the Nats aren't going to be afraid to go over slot if need be to sign the guy they want.

Scherzer's almost 100% sure to be back in the draft, at this point.

No one has any idea what the Pirates are going to do if Vitters is gone when they pick (which I'm convinced will be the case). I can't imagine that they'd take Moustakas or Wieters (even though they should) and I can just imagine the uproar in Pittsburgh if they take yet another college pitcher. Do they gamble on Parker or do they reach for Mills?

-- MWE
   4. Xander Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2382726)
There's a very good chance that Porcello slides past the Nationals. Going over slot is one thing. He's going to be asking for the biggest deal for a prep pitcher of all time.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2382732)
There's a very good chance that Porcello slides past the Nationals.

Nope. Dana Brown loves Porcello, and Rizzo's not afraid of dealing with Boras.

-- MWE
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2382739)
"Do they gamble on Parker or do they reach for Mills?"

I still like Heyward as a good option C, personally.
   7. Xander Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2382742)
Nope. Dana Brown loves Porcello, and Rizzo's not afraid of dealing with Boras.
You'll see.

The real question is:

1. Which team is the sucker and takes Brackman?
2. How bad will Brackman be in the pros?
3. How much money will be wasted on him?
   8. Kyle S Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2382743)
The Pirates will draft Kyle Sleeth, and then curse to themselves when they realize he was drafted years ago and is suffering through arm problems somewhere else.
   9. Kyle S Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2382747)
Ooh, showdown. How do I bookmark this thread so I can see who was right in a few weeks? I can't find the option any more.

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