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jmcclain19
03-13-2006, 12:04 PM
For the fellow Draft Junkies out there

One note in there, it appears Max Scherzer and Ian Kennedy have signed with Scott Boras - meaning one or both could fall to the Reds, but the Boras connection will likely end any chance that the Reds would pick either.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4855


Future Shock
2006 Draft Notebook

by Kevin Goldstein

It’s only March, and the 2006 Major League Draft is nearly three months away, but it’s never too early to check with the talent evaluators to get an early look at which players are gaining and slipping on early boards. The high-school season has barely begun for most teams, but the college season is six weeks in for some teams, offering plenty of opportunity for players to make an early impression. Overall, this year’s talent is weaker than it's been in previous years, particularly among position players. “Last year, we had Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Braun,” said one National League scout. “This year, there is just nothing in that class when it comes to college hitters.” One American League front-office executive speculated that as many as 22 of the 30 first-round picks in June could be pitchers, while a scouting director remarked, “Even that number might be a little low.” Again, it’s early, and as a scout based on the East Coast put it, “We still have lots of times to see these guys. Somewhere between now and June, some guy will start exploding and everyone will suddenly be all over him . . . we just don’t know who that guy is yet.”
Of what little positional talent there is in this year’s college class, much of it has been disappointing, other than Long Beach State infielder Evan Longoria (sorry, no relation to Eva). Looking to follow in the steps of recent Dirtbag infielders who went in the first round (Bobby Crosby in 2001 and Troy Tulowitzki in 2005), Longoria has been primarily playing third base this year (where he’s made just one error on the season), but had played shortstop in the past, leaving a debate as to whether he has the athleticism to play in the middle of the infield as a pro. “He’s the best college position player in the county for me, and he can play shortstop,” said an American League scouting director. “And guys from that school play in the big leagues, so the track record is nice,” he added. A National League scouting director saw Longoria as unable to play in the middle, leaving him questioning if he’ll hit enough as a third baseman. “I like Longoria plenty, but he’s too big and not quick enough to play second base or shortstop as a pro--if you draft him as a third baseman, you are buying into that power,” he added.
PLAYER TEAM AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR BI BB SO SB CS
Evan Longoria LBSU .375 .516 .569 72 11 27 3 1 3 13 19 5 3 1

One player slipping in the minds of some is Texas center fielder Drew Stubbs. Entering the year ahead of Longoria by most accounts, Stubbs is a dynamic athlete and a fantastic outfielder, but he’s yet to convince some evaluators that he can make consistent contact at the major league level, as he’s recorded 167 whiffs in 629 college at-bats. However, with plus or better tools across the board, he may have a ceiling higher than any player in the draft. “He’s a 70 [on the 20-80 scouting scale] center fielder in the big leagues right now, and if he hits, he’ll have power--but I’m still on the fence about him,” said one scouting director. Another scouting director remains high on Stubbs, seeing him as the top college position player. “He just has such great tools, and such great athleticism and he’s one of the best 10 center fielders in baseball right now, at any level,” said the scouting director. “He doesn’t have to improve that much to be more valuable long-term than Longoria--Stubbs just has far more impact-player potential.” An amateur scout who recently saw Stubbs summed up the debate concisely. “He’s the kind of guy you hope is not on the board anymore when you pick. You don’t want to necessarily take him, but you don’t want to be the team that missed out on him either.”
PLAYER TEAM AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR BI BB SO SB CS
Drew Stubbs Texas .338 .449 .563 80 23 27 5 2 3 15 16 21 9 2

Pure power has been hard to come by among college hitters. Florida first baseman Matt LaPorta, who led the nation with 26 home runs last year, has been sidelined much of the year by a strained oblique muscle, while Tulane first baseman Mark Hamilton has stuggled at the plate. With a number of scouts in every weekend to see righthander Brandon Morrow (more on him in a bit), University of California outfielders Brennan Boesch and Chris Errecart are both getting plenty of eyeball time, and both have impressed--Scouts like Errecart’s bat speed, but prefer Boesch overall, who some see as having a chance to slip into the supplemental first-round. At 6'5", 215 pounds, the left-handed hitting Boesch offers more projection than his teammate and has drawn some Paul O’Neil comparisons. Also keep an eye on Wake Forest third baseman Matt Antonelli, who offers a power bat from third base, but not enough of an all-around game to get into the first round.
PLAYER TEAM AVG OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR BI BB SO SB CS
Matt Antonelli WForest .314 .435 .600 70 23 22 2 0 6 12 15 10 6 0
Brennan Boesch Cal .272 .329 .470 66 10 18 1 0 4 11 4 8 0 1
Chris Errecart Cal .308 .375 .600 65 13 20 1 0 6 13 4 12 0 1
Matt LaPorta Florida .308 .513 .538 28 7 8 0 0 2 10 10 5 0 0

Pitching is the name of the day so far in this year’s draft, particularly on the college side. North Carolina lefthander Andrew Miller remains the early favorite to go number one to the Royals, as all teams love Miller’s size (6'6", 210) and his two plus-plus pitches--a 92-97 mph fastball and a nasty slider that features heavy two-plane break. Fellow Tar Heel Daniel Bard also could be a top five pick, as he equals Miller’s velocity from the right side, and has better command. “When I saw Bard, he sat at 95-97 in the first inning and stayed there all day,” said a scouting director who recently saw the righty. “If you didn’t use a radar gun, you’d think it’s 91-92 . . . it’s just so easy and effortless.” Bard’s breaking ball is a power pitch, but can get a little slurvy.
PLAYER TEAM ERA IP H BB K
Daniel Bard N.Carolina 1.93 28.0 15 4 35
Andrew Miller N.Carolina 0.64 28.0 14 7 33

Two west coast arms offer plenty of promise and plenty of question marks. Scouts have always loved California righthander Brandon Morrow’s pure stuff and he’s been much improved this year as the Bears’ Friday starter. Still, the inconsistency remains. He pitched just 25 innings as a sophomore, giving up 32 hits, walking 20 to put up a 9.36 ERA. Morrow struck out 12 over 6 1/3 no-hit innings in his season debut against UC Irvine, but then had just one whiff over five innings, while allowing eight hits and four runs against Long Beach State the following weekend. Morrow has the ideal pitcher’s build, sits at 95-98 mph with a fastball that has touched 100 on occasion, but his inability to command his secondary pitches is a concern, as is the fact that Morrow is a diabetic. “Purely on delivery and arm action, and stuff--I’m not sure there’s a better pitching prospect available,” said a scouting director who has seen Morrow on multiple occasions. “However, it’s hard for me to figure out why he struggles to throw strikes, as his mechanics are free and easy.” A West Coast scout pointed to Morrow’s approach as the problem at times. “He doesn’t command his secondary stuff well, and he’s throwing cutters and splitters while down 2-0 in the count when he has 98 mph in his pocket,” the scout said. “I just don’t get that.”
PLAYER TEAM ERA IP H BB K
Brandon Morrow California 1.34 33.2 22 17 36

On the opposite side of the mechanics spectrum, but with just as many concerns about consistency and command, is University of Washington righty Tim Lincecum. He was a sophomore-eligible in last year’s draft, but his high asking price kept teams away until the 42nd round, when the Indians drafted him as an insurance policy. Slight of frame (6'0", 165), and with a unique delivery that features lots of moving parts, Lincecum can be the rarest of rare when he’s on: a pitcher with two offerings that grade out as 70 or better on the 20-80 scouting scale: a 95-97 mph fastball and big-breaking curve that makes college hitters look foolish. However, his ability to dominate while not always throwing strikes, as in yesterday’s start when he struck out 11 over six no-hit innings but walked seven, keeps the righty as a big enigma for some. “I’m not sure I’d risk a first-round pick on him because of the mechanics and control,” said a scout with a National League team. “He could get big league hitters out right now, but he might walk in three runs before he does it.”
PLAYER TEAM ERA IP H BB K
Tim Lincecum Washington 3.09 35.0 22 25 60

A number of players represented by Scott Boras have tumbled in the last few drafts, and that trend is poised to continue in June. Two of the top college righthanders--Missouri’s Max Scherzer and Southern California’s Ian Kennedy--have both retained Boras as an advisor, and while both would be likely Top 10 picks on talent alone, many teams picking towards the top will likely avoid the pair. One American League team executive, when looking at the draft order, saw both possibly falling out of the first round’s upper tier. Both the Diamondbacks at No. 11 and the Cubs at No. 13 have no issues in dealing with Boras clients and would be poised to take advantage of top talent falling to them. Scherzer, who one scouting director categorized as “simply a beast,” is one of the top arm-strength pitchers in the draft, with a mid-90s fastball and power slider described as having “boom and tilt.” Kennedy only projects as a No.3 or 4 starter, but might be the safest pick in the draft. He’s a little undersized and his stuff lacks the ‘wow’ factor, but he has impeccable command of a full repertoire of pitches. “I doubt there’s a pitcher closer to the big leagues--he’s more polished than [2005 No. 6 overall pick] Ricky Romero.” said a scouting director. “There’s a whole lot of 50s [average] grades on his pitches, and nothing over 55, but he has exceptional command and could get there very quick. He just pitches like a big leaguer.” One player who could take advantage of a Scherzer/Kennedy fall is Nebraska righty Joba Chamberlain, who the front-office executive called “maybe the best all-around package out there.” Working in the mid-90s with a plus slider and solid change, Chamberlain has pitched very well this year, beating some big-name schools in the process, but missed last weekend’s start with a sore triceps. “He not an athlete, but he has a durable body and a four-pitch mix,” said one scouting director. “He’s going to eat up a lot of innings in the big leagues.”
PLAYER TEAM ERA IP H BB K
Joba Chamberlain Nebraska 1.29 21.0 11 6 28
Ian Kennedy S.California 3.02 41.2 34 11 48
Max Scherzer Missouri 2.88 25.0 18 7 31

Whither Luke Hochevar? The Dodgers' top pick (second round) in the 2005 draft, Hochevar was one of the best college pitchers available last year, but fell because of perceived bonus demands from agent Scott Boras. Negotiations between the Dodgers and Hochevar were slow to start, and quickly became acrimonious when Hochevar switched agents last September. The former Tennessee star’s new representative, Matt Sosnick, quickly worked out a deal with the Dodgers for a $2.98 million bonus, but Hochevar then returned to Boras and did not sign. The Dodgers have not negotiated with Hochevar or Boras since, and all indications are that Hochevar will re-enter the draft. Yes, six months later, teams seem to have no idea what last year’s Roger Clemens Award winner as the nation’s best college pitcher is up to. “Nobody with our organization has heard anything at all,” said one team executive, from his team’s spring training office in Florida. “It’s weird,” added a scouting director. “Last year at this time we were being notified about [2004 unsigned first-round pick] Wade Townsend having public workouts and throwing in simulated games, but with Hochevar, nobody has said anything to us.”
PLAYER TEAM ERA IP H BB K
Luke Hochevar Tennessee 2.25 139.2 104 54 154
*2005 Stats

Generally considered the top high-school hitter in this year’s crop, Florida prep third baseman Chris Marrero left a strong impression with a scout who recently saw him. “He’s a good hitter with a lot of power, but his value will ultimately come down to what position he plays,” said the scout, who saw Marrero as stiff at the hot corner with a strong, but erratic arm. “On the low end, if he has to go to the outfield, you hope he can become like Pat Burrell,” said the scout. “But you’d hope he could be like a Jim Thome and at least get to the big leagues at third before he’s forced to slide over.” The scout saw reason for optimism that Marrero had a chance to stay at third, however. “If you watched Ian Stewart in high school, there’s no way you’d think he could stay at third, but he’s was a good athlete, worked hard on it, and now it looks like he can,” the scout added. “Marrero certainly has that kind of athleticism.”

OnBaseMachine
03-13-2006, 12:16 PM
other than Long Beach State infielder Evan Longoria (sorry, no relation to Eva).

Goldstein is wrong on that; Evan is the brother of Eva.

I want a college pitcher, whether it be Miller(no chance he falls to Reds, unfortunately), Bard, Kennedy, or Scherzer. Miller, Scherzer, Bard, and Kennedy in that order. Kennedy was my favorite but he hasn't dominated lately, however, I would still be happy with him at #8.

pahster
03-13-2006, 01:44 PM
I need to start going to more MIZZOU games. It's been too cold so far, so I've only been to one. Hopefully I'll see Scherzer pitch a couple times.

kheidg-
03-13-2006, 11:51 PM
Saw a bunch of stuff on Doug Drabek's son in the latest Baseball America. What does everyone think of him? I guess he is not only a stud pitcher but quite a hitter as well. Looks to be leaning toward the draft being undecided with a college.

11-1 with a 0.82 ERA and 152 K in 77 innings.
.479 BA with 6 HR and 33 RBI in 96 ABs.

Looks like a stud to me also was the only underclassmen on the All-American team a year ago.

Gainesville Red
03-14-2006, 12:17 AM
Goldstein is wrong on that; Evan is the brother of Eva.
\

I don't think so. I saw him on Cold pizza a while ago, he said he wasn't, and wouldn't know what to say if he were to meet her.

Gainesville Red
03-14-2006, 12:19 AM
I need to start going to more MIZZOU games. It's been too cold so far, so I've only been to one. Hopefully I'll see Scherzer pitch a couple times.

Yes, enjoy him while he's there. I posted a while ago after seeing him absolutley dominate Florida here in Gainesville. He's a freakin' stud. Made the Gators look silly all night. (However, I'm not sure that's quite as tough now as everyone thought it was then.)

TC81190
03-14-2006, 08:32 AM
Hochevar or definately Stubbs.

M2
03-14-2006, 08:53 AM
I'm indiscriminate at this point.

Miller, Bard, Morrow, Scherzer, Kennedy or Chamberlain would do the trick for me. As long as Longoria and Stubbs go somewhere from 1-7, the Reds will have a shot at one of those arms.

lollipopcurve
03-14-2006, 08:59 AM
Miller, Bard, Morrow, Scherzer, Kennedy or Chamberlain would do the trick for me. As long as Longoria and Stubbs go somewhere from 1-7, the Reds will have a shot at one of those arms.

I have no problem with this approach. However, I am open to the idea of taking the best HS arm if one looks extremely good this spring -- and Stubbs may be moving ahead of Longoria for me. I didn't know he was such an excellent defensive centerfielder. If his hitting comes, he's a force.

M2
03-14-2006, 09:23 AM
I have no problem with this approach. However, I am open to the idea of taking the best HS arm if one looks extremely good this spring -- and Stubbs may be moving ahead of Longoria for me. I didn't know he was such an excellent defensive centerfielder. If his hitting comes, he's a force.

I'd be shocked if Stubbs lasts to #8.

There's too many good college arms on the board to get sidetracked by some HS mirage this spring. It's a Class A college pitching draft and the Reds have a top 10 pick. If the Reds can't connect those dots, the organization is hopeless.

lollipopcurve
03-14-2006, 10:00 AM
some HS mirage this spring. It's a Class A college pitching draft and the Reds have a top 10 pick. If the Reds can't connect those dots, the organization is hopeless.

I think the argument against the HS arm here is that the Reds have a window for this offense (which includes Griffey's last few good years), and that window may close at the end of Dunn's current contract. Still, it's best-case to think the #5 or #6 college arm will help in a significant way come 2008, so I'm not real sold on that "window" argument.

I think it's important to recognize that the media reports have this draft as a pitchers-first draft (including some HS arms) mostly because the position talent is so bad this year. It's considered an average draft, at least so far. People are not saying all of these college pitchers are can't miss. They're saying they're better than a lot of what else is out there. I, for one, am not convinced that a Joba Chamberlin and a Brandon Morrow are sure things. I'm not convinced that Ian Kennedy is Maddux-like with his 4 pitch arsenal. If he shows that mastery all spring, he won't be there at #8 anyway. My sense is that liking these pitchers simply because they're college juniors is a temptation to be wary of at the moment. A 21-year-old still has some growing and learning to do as he switches to pro ball. Though there's less projection, there is still projection, and because of that I do not separate them categorically from the very best 18-year-olds out there.

Not sure why a HS arm is necessarily a mirage, especially when you're able to have your pick of the litter. But we've argued this ad nauseum, and I don't expect anyone to change their mind.

M2
03-14-2006, 10:25 AM
I think the argument against the HS arm here is that the Reds have a window for this offense (which includes Griffey's last few good years), and that window may close at the end of Dunn's current contract. Still, it's best-case to think the #5 or #6 college arm will help in a significant way come 2008, so I'm not real sold on that "window" argument.

No that's not the argument. It's 40 years of blown HS pitching picks near the top of the draft. That's the argument. It's the measly 10% return on investment for teams picking a HS arm in the first 15 picks of the 1990s and the realization that there is no Kerry Wood or Josh Beckett in this draft. It's not wanting the Reds to plunge another dagger into the organization's entrails.

Now combine that with the organizational need for more advanced pitching and the plethora of more advanced pitchers in the draft and you've got what should be an easy choice.


I think it's important to recognize that the media reports have this draft as a pitchers-first draft (including some HS arms) mostly because the position talent is so bad this year. It's considered an average draft, at least so far. People are not saying all of these college pitchers are can't miss. They're saying they're better than a lot of what else is out there. I, for one, am not convinced that a Joba Chamberlin and a Brandon Morrow are sure things. I'm not convinced that Ian Kennedy is Maddux-like with his 4 pitch arsenal. If he shows that mastery all spring, he won't be there at #8 anyway. My sense is that liking these pitchers simply because they're college juniors is a temptation to be wary of at the moment. A 21-year-old still has some growing and learning to do as he switches to pro ball. Though there's less projection, there is still projection, and because of that I do not separate them categorically from the very best 18-year-olds out there.

You don't know who the best 18-year-olds out there are. No one does. No one ever has. If you could do like Branch Rickey and sign dozens of them to slave wages contracts and farm them out to your massive affiliate network while they sort themselves out, I'd be all for it. The system doesn't work that way anymore.

Meanwhile folks have been able to identify the best college arms with some consistency. Yes, you will like some better than others. This is why you pay scouts. This is where scouts need to earn their money. Go out and determine which college arms the Reds should be zeroing in on at the top of this draft (e.g. like princeton did with Jeff Francis in 2002).

You may not categorically separate the HS and college pitching ranks at the top of the draft, but, as has been shown to you in exhausting detail, they've separated themselves.

And this is one of the best college pitching crops of the past decade. It's been billed as such for the past two years.


Not sure why a HS arm is necessarily a mirage, especially when you're able to have your pick of the litter.

Because the Chris Grulers of the world are springtime wisps that have been trampled by 40 years of history.

flyer85
03-14-2006, 10:51 AM
Seeing as the Reds upper farm system is almost completely devoid of any major league talent they had better concentrate on college players simply because they cannot afford to continue waiting 4-5 years to get help. They need to draft some players who can contribute in 2+ years.

lollipopcurve
03-14-2006, 10:56 AM
[QUOTE]Here

lollipopcurve
03-14-2006, 11:09 AM
Here’s the same data, but stripped to its relevant core, from 1992 to 1999:


Class 1st Rd 2nd Rd 3rd Rd Overall

COL H + 21.3% + 50.7% + 30.4% + 28.2%
HS H - 22.3% - 6.8% - 49.7% - 20.9%
JUCO H SSS SSS SSS - 34.9%

JUCO P SSS SSS SSS + 4.1%
COL P - 19.6% + 14.3% - 36.9% - 14.6%
HS P - 15.4% - 15.0% - 13.1% - 14.9%


This is from Baseball Prospectus. It shows that both HS pitchers and college pitchers selected in the 1st round from 1992 to 1999 underperformed vs expectations by 15-20% (with the Hs pitchers showing a fraction better than the college pitchers). It's the most recent data they have.

To me, this is good evidence not to categorically separate the best HS arms from the best college arms.

Further, this study makes a compelling case for a college hitter in the first round.

M2
03-14-2006, 11:52 AM
This is from Baseball Prospectus. It shows that both HS pitchers and college pitchers selected in the 1st round from 1992 to 1999 underperformed vs expectations by 15-20% (with the Hs pitchers showing a fraction better than the college pitchers). It's the most recent data they have.

To me, this is good evidence not to categorically separate the best HS arms from the best college arms.

Further, this study makes a compelling case for a college hitter in the first round.

Again, 10% ROI for HS arms taken in the top 15 picks from 1990-99. Meanwhile there was a 32% ROI for college arms. Mind you, that's direct ROI (e.g. that the player drafted delivered something of value on the field for the team that did the drafting). The indirect ROI on HS arms was 0%. Not one was dealt for meaningful talent. I didn't bother to count up the college arms, but a number did get moved in trades that brought back meaningful talent.

That 10% gets even smaller when you realize that it consists of Kerry Wood and Josh Beckett, who were well-known wunderkinds heading into their draft years, and Chris Carpenter, who hardly lit the world on fire for the Blue Jays.

I'll state this again because there's no other way to say it: There is no Wood or Beckett in this draft. That screamingly awesome HS arm does not exist in the 2006 draft class. The nature of the problem has been clearly defined, namely that teams do not do well on HS arms in the upper portion of the first round. The subset of HS arms that have done well from those picks has also been clearly defined and no one in the 2006 draft class fits into that subset (clear consensus best pitching talent in the draft).

If you want to talk about taking a HS arm in the second round, I'm all ears. If the Reds had a bottom half of the first round pick, I'd consider it too. But a top 10 pick on a draft board loaded with quality college arms? No way, no how.

IslandRed
03-14-2006, 11:57 AM
Nice writeup on Bard and Miller from USS Mariner, which I found while following a link to Derek Zumsteg's sabermetric breakdown of the Bugs Bunny video:

http://ussmariner.com/2006/03/12/daniel-bard-and-andrew-miller/

LoganBuck
03-15-2006, 01:50 PM
I like the idea of picking a top end college arm to pair with Homer Bailey. Assuming no catastrophes they would both be ready about the same time. Especially if both perform, it could really reinvigorate the fan base. While I don't necessarily like having to break in a pair of rookies at the same time, it could be reminscint of when Roy Oswalt and Wade Miller broke in with the Astros. I am so wishing that Miller or Bard are availabe.