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June 5, 2008
  
2008 Amateur Draft Live Blog
by: Alex Nelson on Jun 5, 2008 6:19 AM | Filed under: Articles

As promised, I’ll be around for the entirety of Day 1 of today’s draft, starting at about 1:30. Please look for content over the course of the day, including analysis of the Mets’ picks and maybe my opinion on a few other players.

If you have any questions before the blog/chat begins, leave ‘em below, and I’ll answer when I get a chance.

Here’s the first round draft order. I’ll update it with selections as they happen.

Round 1
1. Tampa Bay Rays: Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin H. S. (GA)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt
3. Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage (FL)
4. Baltimore Orioles: Brian Matusz, LHP, San Diego
5. San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey, C, Florida State
6. Florida Marlins: Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot H. S. (CA)
7. Cincinnati Reds: Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami
8. Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham, SS, Georgia
9. Washington Nationals: Aaron Crow, RHP, Missouri
10. Houston Astros: Jason Castro, C, Stanford
11. Texas Rangers: Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
12. Oakland Athletics: Jemile Weeks, 2B, Miami
13. St. Louis Cardinals: Brett Wallace, 3B/1B, Arizona State
14. Minnesota Twins: Aaron Hicks, OF, Wilson H. S. (CA)
15. Los Angeles Dodgers: Ethan Martin, RHP/3B, Stephens Co. H. S. (GA)
16. Milwaukee Brewers: Brett Lawrie, C/IF/OF, Brookswood S. S. (BC)
17. Toronto Blue Jays: David Cooper, 1B, California
18. New York Mets (from Braves): Ike Davis, OF/1B, Arizona State
19. Chicago Cubs: Andrew Cashner, RHP, Texas Christian
20. Seattle Mariners: Josh Fields, RHP, Georgia
21. Detroit Tigers: Ryan Perry, RHP, Arizona
22. New York Mets: Reese Havens, SS/2B, South Carolina
23. San Diego Padres: Allan Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest
24. Philadelphia Phillies: Anthony Hewitt, SS, Salisbury H. S. (CT)
25. Colorado Rockies: Christian Friedrich, LHP, Eastern Kentucky
26. Arizona Diamondbacks: Daniel Schlereth, LHP, Arizona
27. Minnesota Twins (from Angels): Carlos Gutierrez, RHP, Miami
28. New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Orange Lutheran H. S. (CA)
29. Cleveland Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall, SS/3B, Pitt C.C. (NC)
30. Boston Red Sox: Casey Kelly, RHP, Sarasota H.S. (FL)

Supplemental Round 1
31. Minnesota Twins: Shooter Hunt, RHP, Tulane
32. Milwaukee Brewers: Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Highland H.S.
33. New York Mets: Brad Holt, RHP, UNC-Wilmington
34. Philadelphia Phillies: Zach Collier, OF, Chino Hills H. S.
35. Milwaukee Brewers: Evan Frederickson, LHP, San Francisco
36. Kansas City Royals: Michael Montgomery, LHP, Hart H.S.
37. San Francisco Giants: Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State
38. Houston Astros: Jordan Lyles, RHP, Hartsville H.S.
39. St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn, RHP, Mississippi
40. Atlanta Braves: Brett DeVall, LHP, Niceville H.S.
41. Chicago Cubs: Ryan Flaherty, SS, Vanderbilt
42. San Diego Padres: Jaff Decker, OF, Sunrise Mountain H.S.
43. Arizona Diamondbacks: Wade Miley, LHP, Southeastern Louisiana
44. New York Yankees: Jeremy Bleich, LHP, Stanford
45. Boston Red Sox: Bryan Price, RHP, Rice
46. Sam Diego Padres: John Forsythe, 3B, Arkansas

* * * *

Update [2:02]: I should’ve mentioned this before, but there’s a lot of other great places to go. Baseball Analysts, Baseball Prospectus, and Saber-Scouting are my three favorites.

* * * *

Update [2:32]: Four picks down and no surprises so far, as the best prep school athlete, the best college hitter, the hitter with the most raw power, and the top starter go off the board to the teams expected to take them. The Giants will be the first team in flux to choose, and they could go a number of different ways.

* * * *

Update [2:38]: The Giants take Posey, who falls to the fifth pick. Posey has made some outrageous contract demands ($12 million bonus), but I don’t the Giants have to worry about him going back for senior year. He’s an advanced bat with a limited ceiling who has nowhere to go but down. They’ll call his bluff.

* * * *

Update [2:49]: First surprise as the Reds take Alonso. Alonso’s as polished a hitter as exists in this draft, and he’ll advance very quickly. He hadn’t really been linked with the Reds, and it’s mildly surprising to see him off the board before Justin Smoak.

* * * *

Update [3:05]: Major surprise as the Astros take Jason Castro, the catcher from Stanford the Brewers and Mets had the eye on. He’s a clear step behind Skipworth and Posey, but he’s projects to have average (maybe a tick above) defense with good contact skills and power for a catcher. Most important, he’s a good bet to stay at the position, which is a problem for many young catcher. Still an odd choice, as Justin Smoak is still sitting on the board.

* * * *

Update [3:10]: Smoak finally off the board.

* * * *

Update [3:39]: After a shocking pick by the Jays (David Cooper, who was more of a supplemental guy, I think), the Mets are up. Expect them to go after an arm, with toolsy outfielder Zach Collier being a slight possibility. Could be Friedrich, Shooter Hunt, or Tim Melville. I’ll make my shadow draft selection afterward.

Update [3:47]: Mets take Ike Davis, a fast track position player, who has plus power and fair contact skills.

My choice in my shadow draft, is Christian Friedrich, a safe college pitcher with some projection left.

More in a moment.

Update [3:52]: Here are my notes on Davis:

DAVIS, IKE
Arizona State University • Outfield / First Base • 6-4 • 205 lbs. • B: L • T: L • 3/22/87 (21)

THE NUMBERS:

Year    G   AB    H  2B  3B  HR  SB  CS  BB   SO   AVG   OBP   SLG
2006   58  240   79  20   2   9   2   1  20   58  .329  .387  .542
2007   64  231   80  22   0   7   6   2  26   39  .346  .400  .532
2008   49  198   78  26   1  16   5   2  30   31  .394  .468  .778

ASSETS:
A line drive hitter with good batspeed. Smooth swing. Fair approach at the plate. Big frame and excellent extra-base total this year suggest there could be more power down the line. Probably enough range in the outfield and looks comfortable around first base. Good instincts and a smart baserunner. Has shown improvement every year he’s played at the college level.

WEAKNESSES:
Lacks great velocity as a pitcher, so his future is in field. Below average speed, which could limit him to first base in the majors. Questions over how well he’ll adapt to wood bats. Contact skills bear doubts, and he might strike out too much.

PROJECTION:
A corner outfielder with decent contact skills and above average pop.

* * * *

Update [4:03]: Mets back on the clock, and the same players are still there.

Update [4:10]: Mets took Reese Havens, who I like a lot. He’s a polished bat with some pop, who some scouts think will stick at short, others think will move to second.

HAVENS, REESE
University of South Carolina • Shortstop • 6-1 • 195 lbs. • B: L • T: R • 10/20/86 (21)

THE NUMBERS:

Year    G   AB    H  2B  3B  HR  SB  CS  BB   SO   AVG   OBP   SLG
2006   65  239   62  12   1   4   0   2  30   37  .259  .348  .368
2007   65  234   64  12   0   5   3   1  21   42  .274  .337  .389
2008   63  248   89  13   2  18   1   4  58   44  .359  .486  .645

ASSETS:
Was highly regarded in high school but teams were scared off due to his commitment to South Carolina. Simple, uncomplicated, short swing with good balance. Uses his hips and hands to great effect. Good approach at the plate, and he will jump on fastballs in the zone. Has pretty good pop in his bat for a shortstop. Defensively, he has a strong arm and soft hands. Good instincts.

WEAKNESSES:
Moves his head too much when he swings. He’s probably not quick enough to stick at shortstop. Will likely wind up at second base, where his bat will have less value. He’s pretty slow-footed.

PROJECTION:
A line-drive-hitting second baseman with so-so defense.

My shadow draft selection, having previously taken Friedrich, would be Zach Collier, the toolsy high school outfielder. He has big power potential, and has a real chance to be a star hitter. A great value here.

Update [4:37]: The Twins do it again, picking a guy out of left field late in the first round. Gutierrez, a reliever from Miami has an injury history, a power sinker, an inconsistent slider, and some mechanical issues that can cause further health risks. I don’t get it.

Update [5:06]: The first round is finished, so here’s my say:

Best pick: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates, #2 - Maybe the best player in the draft, he’s exactly what the Pirates needed. St. Louis’s pick of Brett Wallace was a great pick.

Worst pick: Jason Castro, #10 - He’s a fringe first round player at best, in my eyes, and it just doesn’t make sense for the ‘Stros. He wasn’t the best player available. Carlos Gutierrez, at #28, was poor, too.

Update [5:14]: The Mets take Brad Holt, and I like the pick. Having already taken Friedrich, I’d opt for Tim Melville, the prep school righty.

My notes on Brad Holt:

HOLT, BRAD
University of North Carolina at Wilmington • Pitcher • 6-4 • 195 lbs. • B: R • T: R • 10/13/86 (21)

THE NUMBERS:
Year    W   L    ERA   G  GS     IP   R    H  HR   BB   SO
2006    3   3   3.48  14   8   54.1  25   54   5   28   42
2007    5   5   5.90  15  15   76.1  58   83  14   32   53
2008   11   1   3.18  15  15   93.1  40   78   8   36   95

ASSETS:
Big arm. Fastball sits 92-95 and touches 97. Velocity endures late into games. Projectable frame. Holt’s slider has potential to be a good pitch. Shows a feel for a changeup. Good approach to pitching. Has shown much improved command. Clean delivery. Athletic. Serious helium right now.

WEAKNESSES:
Slider needs work. It’s spin is loose, and he tends to telegraph it. Changeup needs even more refinement. Hasn’t faced top competition. Has had command issues in the past.

PROJECTION:

He needs work, but if he develops a true out-pitch, he could be a frontline starter. If not, he might make it as a reliever.

* * * *

Update [5:56]: So far, the Mets have drafted Arizona State first baseman Ike Davis, South Carolina infielder Reese Havens, and UNC-Wilmington righty Brad Holt. It’s a polished trio with Holt expected to require the most time. He’s got a great fastball and height on his side, and he throws strikes, but he does need to work on his secondary stuff.

I’ve selected Eastern Kentucky lefty Christian Friedrich, high school outfielder Zach Collier, and prep school righty Tim Melville. I’ve accomplished my goal of taking a polish guy and an upside guy in the first round, and while it wasn’t according to my plan, I found Melville too much to resist in the supplemental.

I like mine a little better, but considering the direction the Mets seemed intent on going, I think they’ve done a good job.

* * * *

Update [6:24]: The second round just began. The Pirates take a gamble by taking Tanner Scheppers, a college pitcher who was expected to go in the first round until a shoulder injury pushed him down. The Mariners were rumored to be interested despite the injury but the Pirates do the surprising thing and take another guy who might be a tough sign.

Update [6:29]: With the 54th pick, the Brewers take Cutter Dykstra, Lenny’s son. It was, in my opinion, a little early to take him, but the Brewers have a ton of picks, so they can grab a guy they like. He’s short on talent, heavy on hustle, like his dad, but he doesn’t bring the left-handed bat Nails brought.

Update [6:45]: With their second-round pick the Mets took Javier Rodriguez, from Puerto Rico. Here’s what I got:

RODRIGUEZ, JAVIER
Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (PR) • Outfield • 6-2 • 165 • B: R • T: R • XX/XX/XX (18)

ASSETS:
Best pure hitter from Puerto Rico this year. Good bat speed. Has some raw power to pull side. Solid average running speed. Lean, athletic body. Some projection. Strong arm in the outfield.

WEAKNESSES:

Mixed reviews of his fielding. Might wind up in a corner. Swing can get long, so he might have problems with strikeouts.

PROJECTION:
Maybe a corner outfielder if his power develops a little. Sounds like he’d be fringy as a starter, though.

My pick is Dennis Raben, a power-hitting outfielder from Miami.

Edit: Raben had actually gone two picks earlier. Instead, my pick would be Roger Kieschnick, a similar player.

Update [7:22]: Mets just selected Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Azusa Pacific University with their third round selection. I have to admit; I’m stumped. I’m working on it, though.

My choice is Mississippi State reliever Aaron Weatherford, who could move into the pen very quickly and is a steal taken here, in my opinion.

Update [7:33]: Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a ton in the NAIA this year, hitting .400/.496/.724 with 39 extra-base hits (15 homers), walked as often as he struck out, and he was the MVP of the Alaska League last summer. Sounds like a guy worth pursuing, though I haven’t found a scouting report on him yet.

Update [7:59]: The Mets’ fourth round choice was Sean Ratliff.

RATLIFF, SEAN
Stanford University • Outfield • 6-4 • 225 lbs. • B: L • T: L • 2/14/87 (21)

THE NUMBERS:
Year    G   AB    H  2B  3B  HR  SB  CS  BB   SO   AVG   OBP   SLG
2006   28   14    0   0   0   0   0   0   1   10  .000  .063  .000
2007   55  233   79  13   4  12  10   4  19   67  .339  .396  .584
2008   61  228   68  13   4  20   8   3  30   76  .298  .381  .654

ASSETS:
Lots of power, especially to the pull side. Solid average speed. Smart on the bases. Shows okay range in center.

WEAKNESSES:
Very unrefined. Doesn’t hit to all fields, strikes out a ton. Swing is very long and his stance is very upright. Average bat speed. Won’t hit for average and probably won’t stay in center.

PROJECTION:
Power-hitting bench player, I think. Might top out before the pros due to a lack of contact ability.

My shadow-draft choice was Austin DiCharry, a Texas prep school lefty.

Update [8:25]: With their fifth round choice, the Mets took Dock Doyle, a 6′0″, 200-pound catcher from Coastal Carolina. I don’t have a profile written up for him, but he has solid receiving skills, a good enough arm, and an intriguing bat, hitting .361/.435/.681 with 20 doubles and 16 homers over 235 at-bats.

I was headed in a similar direction with Yale catcher-outfielder Ryan Lavarnway, but he projects more as an outfielder, and I’m willing to follow the Mets’ lead here, as is my right in a shadow draft. I’ll concede that the Mets might know something I don’t.

Update [8:56]: The Mets drafted Josh Satin in the sixth round. He’s an offense-first second baseman out of UC Berkeley. He’s an intelligent guy who put it all together this year, hitting .388/.508/.745 with 18 homers. I’m not convinced he’s going to keep it up; he’s a senior, and his extra-base hit total was still on the low side. He did, however, have a strong showing in the Cape Cod League last summer, a good indicator, so he’s worth the pick. Defensively, he’s not as advanced, and he’s probably going to wind up in the outfield. Both his range and glove are a little below average.

My pick is Brett Marshall, a signable prep righty from Texas with a great arm.


1,009 Responses to “2008 Amateur Draft Live Blog”

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 [11]

  1. Comment posted by john on June 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm (#718062)

    I wanna see how he does in rounds 15-20 lol

    jk……..good job alex.

  2. Gravatar
  3. Comment posted by Alex Nelson on June 5, 2008 at 9:12 pm (#718063)

    wait, you wrote all of those individual profiles yourself?

    For the most part. I watched video where I could find it, utilized Milb.com, Saber Scouting, and Baseball America, spoke to a couple scouts I knew, and wrote it up myself.

  4. Gravatar
  5. Comment posted by tim from St.L on June 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm (#718064)

    I despise the city of boston, yet I am not fond of the lakers…..but I bet on the Lakers….
    go lakers?

  6. Gravatar
  7. Comment posted by Dep on June 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm (#718065)

    damn right go lakers.

  8. Comment posted by cp on June 5, 2008 at 9:14 pm (#718067)

    Bravo!

  9. Comment posted by Danny on June 5, 2008 at 9:14 pm (#718068)

    Game Thread Open

    I think I like our draft so far.

  10. Gravatar
  11. Comment posted by Jessica on June 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm (#718072)

    Alex = the awesomeness. Excellent work.

  12. Comment posted by Tim in LA on June 5, 2008 at 9:23 pm (#718076)

    Alex, between this scouting and the pitching previews, you really deserve a full-time professional job. So much better than the bums at the Times and Post. We’ll all write you up letters of reference, I’m sure, if you want to apply for any columnist opening.

  13. Gravatar
  14. Comment posted by grex in austria on June 6, 2008 at 2:27 am (#718686)

    Great job alex! thanks so much!

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