Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Is there a draft in here?
There will be in just about a month.
Discussion of potential draft results has been pretty quiet if you don't hold a subscription to ESPN or BA. I'm sure there are lesser sites out there who are kicking it around (feel free to throw me links to any favorites you have) - one such is My MLB Draft (linked in the sidebar) which I like for the up-to-date reporting of the draft order and other logistical matters, but I have no idea how solid the info behind their projected draft is. They have the Jays taking HS outfielder Josh Sale, by the way, who seems a solid enough pick.
But what occasions this writing is that the well-regarded John Sickels (also linked in the sidebar) has just posted a mock draft for the First Round and First Round Supplemental which gives me at least SOME material to mull over.
Rather than hijack any of his content (other than Jays' specific stuff) I'll just tell you that you can hit the link to find out who he has off the board by the time the Jays pick at #11. But the player he has the Jays taking there is Cal State Fullerton SS Christian Colon, who's a well regarded player that should make Jays' fans relatively happy. I say relatively because we've all set our hearts on Adeniy, and a college SS might not be as enticing as it would have been six months ago.
Yes, I know (and agree with) the thesis "best available player" but hear me out first.
Sickels says this of Colon:
Good tools, good bat, good makeup. Main issue is possible bonus demands, but after last year's debacle the Jays may be looking for a different course from previous conservative drafting.
There is a key component there that I want to bring out - Beeston swears to us that money will be no object in taking the best possible guy (either as a draftee or a free agent) , that it's only a matter of whether they place the player's value at the same level the player is willing to sign for.
If it's true, and I think it is, that the Jays might well take a guy who's thought to be a "tough sign" with some of their many picks, then my eyes drift to another guy: High School Outfielder Austin Wilson.
Sickels referred to him thusly (while mocking him to the Red Sox at #20):
Mega-tools with excellent makeup, which the Red Sox like. He also has a large price tag to buy him away from Stanford, but the Red Sox could afford that more than most clubs.
That certainly SOUNDS to me like a better player than Colon. And if the thesis is that the Jays will pay for premium talent, then I don't see why they would pass on Wilson because of money.
Here's what I'm saying, regarding the BAP Rule - if Wilson is at least Colon's equal in talent and makeup, and both are going to be at least somewhat hard to sign, the path to the majors is more open for an outfielder in the Jays system than it is for a shortstop right now. If either could be considered the BAP, then take the outfielder (to say nothing of the fact that he's three years younger).
Now, I asked the question on Sickel's thread about whether Wilson was, in fact, Colon's equal or better. And if there's any other source out there who can answer that for me to add to the consensus then let me know. But for now, while I wouldn't be unhappy with Colon, I'm rooting for Wilson with that first pick. For the record, that other linked site up there has Wilson at 13 and Colon at 16.
Another interesting thing about Sickel's projections comes up in the Supplemental round where the Jays have three picks.
Here's his selections for the Jays with their respective comment:
34) Toronto Blue Jays: Todd Cunningham, OF, Jacksonville State University Has decent tools but should be affordable, important for the Jays with multiple picks following last year. 38) Toronto Blue Jays: Micah Gibbs, C, Louisiana State University He won't need a lot of time in the minors, provides defense with a decent bat, and will be attractive to a team with multiple picks and a budget.
Now, color me unimpressed with spending the #34 on a guy with "decent tools" who's main selling point is that he's "affordable." Then, even worse, he gives a team with half a dozen legitimate catching prospects a choice at #38 of a catcher who "won't need a lot of time in the minors." Huh?
Here's what's wrong with that, IMO: take a look at the projected pick at #39:
39) Boston Red Sox: James Paxton, LHP, Grand Prairie Hard to know how he ranks until we get to see him pitch when the independent leagues start up, but I can see the Red Sox being attracted to the marvelous K/IP and K/BB marks he posted in college as much as his lively arm from the left side.
Um, far be it for me to disagree with a well regarded expert but, ya know, fuck that. If the Jays are thinking affordability, who's more affordable than the guy with a train-wrecked college career who has ZERO leverage? It only helps that he's a guy they thought enough of to draft last year and a guy the team admits it misplayed at the negotiating table.
In my not so humble opinion, if Paxton is still on the board at #34 and they can take him or Cunningham, that's an easy slam dunk for Paxton. if they pass there and he's still available at 38 it's a mortal lock that Paxton is the choice.
Which, by the way, would please the stuffing out of me.
If the Jays were to insanely pass on him twice and he did go to the Red Sox (of all teams) there would be rending of garments, and not just in my own household.
By the way, for the third Jays pick in the round this was Sickel's guess:
41) Toronto Blue Jays: Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State University He's polished, affordable, throws hard, and won't take long to reach a major league bullpen.
I admit I don't know enough about Reed, Gibbs, or Cunningham to disrespect them, but the description of the latter two does nothing to convince me that they are preferable to Paxton, even if Paxton has issues from his layoff.
Who else do you like for any of the Jays' multitude of picks? i'm starving for some draft discussion!