Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Quick Hit: MLB Draft Day One

You have plenty of sources better than this one for draft info, so I'm not going to pretend to be an expert when I'm not. What I do want to do is give you a brief synthesis of what I've picked up so far on the five players the Blue Jays drafted tonight.

1.21 - Tyler Beede, RHP - 5/23/93 - 6'4" 200

The thing that jumps out from all the various descriptions on Beede is how polished he is for a HS pitcher. I won't try to cover all the details here but he sounds like a player with not only great physical ability, but great baseball skills and a very good makeup. While acknowledging I was only mildly enthused with last year's #1, I'm going to say my first impression on Beede is that he's a better prospect than any of the pitchers we took last year except maybe Sanchez.

The downside is that he sent signals indicating he had a fierce commitment to Vanderbilt University and the assumption is he'll be a very difficult sing. This is mildly mitigated by the speculation that the Massachusetts native was trying to scare other teams off him so that he could get drafted by the Red Sox - but the Boston FO passed on him two picks before the Jays tabbed him so possibly that bit of fanboy longing being off the table, he might be more open. I, for one, an very confident the Jays will get him signed and not let money stand in the way. The tone of the comments in the ESPN article here is not that of people who are dead set against signing. We heard much more firm language from the Thon family last year. However, it's entierly possible it will take right up to the deadline to make it happen.

1S.35 - Jacob Anderson - OF/1B - 11/22/92 - 6'4" 190

Anderson is another player that was described as a tough sign, but on Twitter tonight you didn't get the impression he was unenthusiastic about going pro. The "bio" under his name on his profile page already says "Go Blue Jays." Anderson is described in some quarters as a smooth, solid defender who's bat has raw power in it. My instinct is that he'll end up at 1B as he climbs the ladder and might contend for the title of highest-ceiling 1B prospect in the system right now. But the team might keep their options open by starting his pro career in the outfield.

1S-46 - Joe Musgrove - RHP - 12/4/92 - 6'5" 230

Musgrove is, as they say down in the south, a "big ol' boy" for an 18 year old. Said to have a solid-plus fastball and a "hammer curve," the team probably sees good upside from this pick. One thing you can definitely say about Musgrove, he's NOT going to be a hard sign. Read the article here, and note the money quote:

Musgrove has accepted a scholarship offer to San Diego State but said he is eager to work out a deal with the Blue Jays. “I want to finish up my senior year (he graduates June 16) and get out there in time for the start of rookie (league) ball,” Musgrove said. “This is what I’ve been working toward, so I want to sign and get going on my career.”
Would that all of the Jays picks were so motivated.

1S.53 - Dwight Smith, Jr. - OF - 10/26/92 - 5'11", 180

You might remember his dad, who played over 800 major league games, mostly with the Cubs, from '89-'96. He was just an average guy, a little power, a little speed, decent contact. Smith is an advanced player for a high schooler as you might expect from a "bloodlines" guy, and might end up being a somewhat better hitter. But he profiles right now as a pretty similar guy (he's even virtually the same physically as his dad was in his playing days) and as much as i love a bloodlines pick, he's probably the draftee I'm least enthused with tonight. If he wasn't the son of a major leaguer I'd have a hard time not being a critic on this one.

1S.57 - Kevin Comer - RHP - 8/1/92 - 6'3", 205

Comer is another guy who has made his college commitment to Vanderbilt. I'm not 100% sure of the dynamics of having drafted the top two recruits from the same school, but Comer, like Beede, is said to be a player who'll expect some respectable dollars to turn pro. But he's a talented guy, on pure talent maybe the second best guy the jays drafted (I confess I don't understand when teams insist they take "the best available talent" and then you see them take a Comer AFTER someone like Smith. Can it REALLY be that's the order they had them in?).

According to this ESPN feature, he's got a well above average fastball which ranges through the mid-nineties, and a delivery that leaves hitters guessing. Just as important, he's said to be a plus-plus makeup guy (it seems to be a high priority for the jays in their scouting to find such high-character types). When I first heard about this pick I reacted with a sort of "eh, never heard of him" dismissal but having read up on the guy, there's a lot to like here.

Potentially, the Jays might get 2 or 3 of these guys on the field in relatively short order, while Beede and Comer probably won't sign in time to play any official games this season. I'd love to be surprised on that prediction. Day Two starts in the AM, I expect more good things to come. I hesitate to publish my "wish list" of players I've been eying who are still on the board, since I didn't see ANY of these picks coming (nor, as far as sites I've seen, did anyone else). but here are a few names I'd love to see the Robbie Alomar call tomorrow:

Josh Bell - OF (first round talent, dropping because he apparently expects huge payday)
Nick Delmonico - C (Can I confess, I just love this guy's name! Plus, there are skills)
Daniel Norris - LHP (had been called a mid-first rounder all spring)
Dillon Howard - RHP (Boras client, sadly)
Rick Oropesa - 3B/1B (lots of power)
Jorge Lopez - RHP (Haven't found too much info on this Puerto Rico product
Dillon Maples - RHP
Matt Dean - 3B

We'll see!


Mylegacy said...

No question this draft is gonna cost Rogers beaucoup d'argent.

IF - they will sign.

I LOVE - what's going on here. This being the last draft without hard ceilings on what can be paid is a two way sword. The last time for the teams to get prospects in later rounds by paying more - guys who would just go to college if they don't like their slot. It is also the last time players can get millions being drafted out of the top half of the first round.

I suspect that the Jays will be surprised how many of these HS guys will want to take the money and begin their careers now instead of waiting to see what kind of a crap shoot awaits them after the new deal is imposed.

Anonymous said...

Wow, not bad - they grabbed two guys off you wish list. Nice one.