View Full Version : June draft - Updated Top 20

04-21-2006, 10:26 AM
Here's Jim Callis' (from BA) updated top 20 draft eligible prospects. Since Cincy drafts #8, we should be hoping for close to the majors pitching. They are saying this draft is strong on college pitchers and that's about it. Rumors are floating around that KC is thinking Lincecum at #1.

1. Andrew Miller, lhp, North Carolina
Would have been a first-rounder out of high school had he been signable
2. Brandon Morrow, rhp, California
Starting to harness his upper-90s heat and flashing good secondary stuff
3. Tim Lincecum, rhp, Washington
Has blown away college hitters since last summer in Cape Cod
4. Brad Lincoln, rhp, Houston
Should be even more effective on the mound once he gives up hitting
5. Evan Longoria, 3b, Long Beach State
The best position player available, but more of a solid guy than a superstar
6. Drew Stubbs, of, Texas
Scouts love his tools but still have questions about how he'll hit in the majors
7. Matt LaPorta, 1b, Florida
Turning on the power after being slowed by an oblique strain
8. Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Highland Park HS (Dallas)
Top high school prospect after entering year as projected second- or third-rounder
9. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, Nebraska
Regaining his form after early-season bout with triceps tendinitis
10. Kyle Drabek, rhp, The Woodlands (Texas) HS
Could be first prep middle infielder taken—if he weren't so talented on the mound
11. Max Scherzer, rhp, Missouri
Can't rank him higher until he bounces back from shoulder tendinitis
12. Ian Kennedy, rhp, Southern California
Has lost a little off an already average fastball, but he knows how to pitch
13. Kyle McCulloch, rhp, Texas
Like the Longhorns and Stubbs, getting it going after a slow start
14. Wes Hodges, 3b, Georgia Tech
One of only a handful of position players with a chance to go in the top half of the first round
15. Daniel Bard, rhp, North Carolina
Would move up if he showed a more consistent breaking ball and success
16. Chris Tillman, rhp, Fountain Valley (Calif.) HS
Classic high school projectable pitcher at 6-foot-7 and 185 pounds
17. Brett Sinkbeil, rhp, Missouri State
Doesn't get Scherzer's hype, but he has been the top pitcher in Missouri this spring
18. Chris Marrero, 3b, Monsignor Pace HS (Opa Locka, Fla.)
Best high school position player has impressive tools but hasn't performed up to expectations
19. Justin Masterson, rhp, San Diego State
The breakout player in the Cape Cod League summer starts for the Aztecs but projects as a reliever
20. Mark Melancon, rhp, Arizona
Might be the next college reliever to reach the majors a few months after signing

04-21-2006, 10:33 AM
I still like Bard, he seems to be a pitcher with a similar history to Verlander.

04-21-2006, 11:17 AM
Joba... Joba... Joba... Joba...

04-21-2006, 11:37 AM
This draft is said to be VERY weak...and it kind of worries me even with a top 10 pick that we are going to be overpaying for an underplaying guy. I do see the Reds taking a college pitcher, but this years class doesnt have a whole lot of seperating between 1-10 on the best pitchers available.

04-21-2006, 11:39 AM
This draft is said to be VERY weak...especially at the top. This is not the year to have a #1 or top 5 pick because there aren't any locks. Picking 8th isn't a bad spot.

NC Reds
04-21-2006, 11:44 AM
Max Scherzer

04-21-2006, 11:45 AM
College position players are the safest picks. Clearly the system needs arms, but I am intrigued by the Reds having a shot at Stubbs (a great defensive CF with speed and power potential) or LaPorta (seemingly the top power prospect).

Hard to know which of these college pitchers will succeed.

04-21-2006, 11:48 AM
McCulloch for me based soley on last year's steal of the draft LeCure.

04-21-2006, 11:49 AM
Hard to know which of these college pitchers will succeed.I'd take my chances with Bard, overpowering stuff and inconsistent command and a career eerily similar to Verlander.

04-21-2006, 12:19 PM
First base looks like such a need it would be hard to pass up Laporta if he fell into our laps.

04-21-2006, 12:22 PM
Wow, not the best things to say about a top 20 list. Lots of injuries and question marks.

04-21-2006, 12:39 PM
First base looks like such a need it would be hard to pass up Laporta if he fell into our laps.first base is never a need, its where hitting prospects that can't play anywhere else end up(like Joey Votto).

04-21-2006, 01:02 PM
College position players are the safest picks. Clearly the system needs arms, but I am intrigued by the Reds having a shot at Stubbs (a great defensive CF with speed and power potential) or LaPorta (seemingly the top power prospect).

Hard to know which of these college pitchers will succeed.

I like the LaPorta suggestion, but Stubbs wouldn't be a fit right now. With Kearns and Dunn possibly locked in to the corners and Bruce (hopefully) on his way up, I think pitching, catching and a 1st baseman would be the best moves. If Stubbs is mentioned, we might have to assume that Kearns or Dunn are not expected to be here in a few years, or that Dunn will become the permanent 1b in the near future.

04-21-2006, 01:28 PM
I doubt Dunn will be at first base. He doesnt want to play there.

04-21-2006, 01:31 PM
The undiscussed player who I wish the Reds would look at with a later round pick is Jay Heafner from Davidson College. He was a third team All-American last year when he hit.448, had an obp of .533 and slugged .700 for a OPS of .1233. I remember reading he throws in the 90's but could not find a link.


His 2006 stats, not as impressive as last year but still not bad:

Overall Statistics

Davidson Baseball 2006
Overall Statistics for Davidson (as of Apr 18, 2006)
(All games Sorted by Batting avg)


10 Jay Heafner...... .329 37-37 140 41 46 9 1 6 28 75 .536 28 2 20 0 .444 1 0 12-16 52 132 12 .

10 Jay Heafner...... 3.18 0-1 13 0 0 0/0 7 11.1 10 4 4 4 12 2 0 1 44 .227 1 2 0 1 0

04-21-2006, 01:31 PM
I doubt Dunn will be at first base. He doesnt want to play there.In three years Dunn will be a first baseman or a DH, the choice will be up to him.

04-21-2006, 01:38 PM
some food for thought


April 13, 2006
Future Shock
When Translating College Statistics Is a Bad Idea

by Kevin Goldstein

It's one of the great challenges of performance analysis: translating college stats. At first glance, it's an incredibly difficult project to scope. The hardest aspect would be adjusting for the level of competition, which can vary greatly not only on a team-by-team basis, but on a game-by-game basis as well. Trying to adjust for ballpark effects when splits are rarely available only adds to the confusion. I'm not saying it's impossible: it's possible to do the incredible amount of work to come up with a series of coefficients for teams, stadiums, schedules, etc., that would balance the statistical playing field and let us better compare one player to another. However, I have one piece of advice to anyone starting to wrap their brains around the task:

Don't do it. The data will be useless.

The purpose of such an effort is what I'm calling into question here. Translating college statistics is one thing, and translating college stats in an attempt to give us a better idea of what a player will become is an exercise in futility. When we look at the college numbers of top prospects and big leaguers, they are, in general, very good. This creates the illusion that translated college statistics will give us a valuable tool in projecting professional performance. The missing piece, however, is all of the outstanding college players who never make it, so we don't look back at their college career. The majority of big league players who played in college put up big numbers there. However, the corollary is anything but true: Not all top statistical performers will make good pros. There are definite patterns to the ones who make it and the ones who don't. The patterns, though, cannot be measured in raw statistics. They can, however, be measured in scouting reports.

At the big league level, performance is everything. Once we move down to the minors, we begin to split the values of performance and projection. The lower the level, the more important projection is, and the less important pure statistical performance becomes. At these lower levels, two things must be asked: What is the player doing (performance), and how is the player doing it (scouting)?

At the college level, how a player is accomplishing good offensive numbers is far more important than the raw numbers because of the presence of the metal bat. Metal bats can play a significant role in creating 'false power,' as a physically strong player can power a ball out of the park without making solid-centered contact, while that same contact off the handle or end of a wooden bat more often than not leads to an easily played fly ball.

So let's look at some numbers. During this decade, college baseball has had four power conferences: The ACC, The Big 12, the PAC-10, and the SEC. Just looking at those conferences in order to somewhat mitigate the level of competition issue, it becomes pretty clear that the top hitters in the league do not necessarily equal top professional prospects. Here's a list of all the players in those four conferences from 2003-2005 who accomplished the following four things:

* Were among the top 60 in the nation in batting average
* Hit at least one home run for every 20 at-bats
* Walked at least once for every 10 at-bats
* Struck out no more than twice for every 10 at-bats

2003 Jeff Van Houten* Arizona .413 231 11 24 27
2003 Jeremy Cleveland N.Carolina .410 251 19 37 34
2003 Ryan Garko Stanford .402 259 18 28 17
2004 Jed Lowrie* Stanford .399 233 17 50 40
2004 Eddy Martinez-Esteve Florida St. .385 270 19 32 41
2005 Aaron Bates* N.C. State .425 214 12 37 27
2005 Ryan Braun Miami .388 219 18 33 39
2005 Chase Headley Tennessee .387 238 14 63 23
2005 Brian Pettway Mississippi .383 266 21 35 47

It's a short list, as this is, statistically speaking, the cream of the crop. These are players whose raw numbers indicate an ability to hit for average, hit for power, draw walks, and make contact. But are they the best pro prospects? Certainly not to a man, and for some, it's not even close. Take Jeremy Cleveland, who in 2003 absolutely dominated the ACC. He won the batting title by 39 points, walked more than he struck out, and was second in home runs, trailing only Wake Forest's Jamie D'Antona. If we just did raw translations of college stats prior to the 2003 draft, we would probably be saying that Cleveland was one of the top three hitters available, maybe even the best. Scouts disagreed, seeing an unathletic body and, more importantly, a swing that was far more designed for aluminum than wood. So when the draft rolled around, nearly 60 college hitters went ahead of Cleveland, who was drafted by Texas in the eighth round and signed for $85,000. On an economic scale, he was worth somewhere between two and eight percent of the investment put into a first-round pick. And in the end, the scouts were proven right, as Cleveland hit .322/.432/.512 in the Northwest League in his pro debut, but was released following the 2005 season after batting .253/.355/.298 at Double-A and just .263/.339/.379 after a demotion to the California League. Sure, it's an extreme example, but a clear exhibit for evaluating college players where knowing how a player accomplished something was far more important than knowing what he actually accomplished.

As stated before, the illusion of power created by the metal bat is the most difficult to deal with on a pure statistical level. Looking at the home run leader boards from 2003 alone we see players who had little or no shot at a pro career--like Nebraska's Matt Hopper, who led the Big 12 with 22 home runs in 233 at-bats, Washington's Chad Boudon, who led the Pac-10 with 22 home runs in 209 at-bats, and Alabama's Beau Hearod, who led the SEC with 20 blasts in 231 at-bats. Hearod slugged 25 home runs in 2004 for Low Class A Lexington, but he was 23 years old at the time, and hit just .255 with 135 strikeouts. He retired the following spring. As for Hopper and Boudon, they're both also out of baseball, combining to hit just .193 in 187 at-bats with a grand total of three home runs in the minors. Any purely statistical translation would have seen these players among the top power hitters available, but in reality, none of the three was selected in a single-digit round that June.

Believe me when I tell you that this is not an anti-statistics column, and that many mistakes have been made on college players who did not put up good numbers, but offered plenty of projection or athleticism. The point is that to base professional projections solely on amateur statistical information is futile, because without having the necessary scouting information, you just have half of the puzzle. It's like watching a black and white movie like Psycho and then being asked to name the color of Janet Leigh's sweater. You saw the sweater, but you don't have all of the necessary information to answer the question. The same is true when you just have college stats and not scouting reports. We're back to beer and tacos--you want to evaluate amateur talent? Both have to be there, and both have to complement each other.

Next week I'll take a look at how college pitching statistics play into the argument, and present some ideas about making the project of translating college statistics more worthwhile.

04-21-2006, 07:07 PM
I really want Andrew Miller, but there is little chance of him falling to the Reds. Joba Chamberlin, Daniel Bard, Max Scherzer, Tim Lincecum, and Brandon Morrow, any of those college pitchers would be fine with me. I've cooled a bit on Ian Kennedy after his recent struggles.

I wouldn't be too disappointed if the Reds drafted Matt LaPorta, however, I prefer they go with a college pitcher. This draft is loaded down with college pitching.

04-21-2006, 07:15 PM
I don't undersand how Eva Longoria is even on this list - is the Wisteria Lane Woeboegones Tuesday Evening Ladies league THAT good??

Oh, wait...whoops..my bad - that's EVAN Longoria.

Rats, she'd look good in red... :evil:

On a serious note, is the Drabek kid, Doug's son?

04-21-2006, 07:17 PM
Eva Longoria :thumbup:

04-21-2006, 07:21 PM
I don't undersand how Eva Longoria is even on this list - is the Wisteria Lane Woeboegones Tuesday Evening Ladies league THAT good??

Oh, wait...whoops..my bad - that EVAN Longoria.

Rats, she'd look good in red... :evil:

On a serious note, is the Drabek kid, Doug's son?

Yep, that is Drabek's son. He's a stud at both SP and SS.

04-21-2006, 07:58 PM
Possible Early Round Pitchers
The pitching is better than the hitting, and it seems likely that most of the early college picks will come from the mound. Although depth is better, there are no obvious Mark Prior-super-stud types around this year. Which doesn't mean that an excellent pitcher won't come out of this class, of course. Here are some good candidates to go in the first round.

Andrew Miller, LHP, University of North Carolina
Power lefty is 8-0, 1.33 in nine starts so far, with a 66/18 K/BB ratio in 61 innings, allowing 41 hits. His command has been erratic at times, but in general he's lived up to expectations and is still a candidate to go number one overall to Kansas City. If the Royals don't take him, I doubt he will make it past slot five. Fastball can hit the mid-90s and he continues to refine his secondary pitches and improve his control.

Brad Lincoln, RHP, University of Houston
An impressive spring is moving him up the charts rapidly, and he could go in the first five picks. Now 8-1, 1.78 ERA with a 98/20 K/BB in 81 innings, with only 57 hits allowed. K/IP and H/IP are excellent. Lincoln throws hard and is more athletic than most pitchers. He posted a very good K/BB ratio last year but a 4.76 ERA: this year his ERA has come down to more closely match the component ratios.

Tim Lincecum, RHP, University of Washington
1.48 ERA, 8-2 in 11 starts, with a 129/41 K/BB in 79 innings, allowing only 36 hits. K/IP and H/IP are off-the-charts, reflecting the velocity and movement on his 95 MPH fastball and big curve. His control is not always reliable, and he is a smallish guy, standing 6-0, leading to some worries about durability and injury risk. He has eaten innings like potato chips in college. Can he do this as a pro?

Max Scherzer, RHP, University of Missouri
Considered a possible number one pick pre-season, but his stock has slipped a bit due to injuries, erratic control, and his perceived bonus demands. Has a 2.67 ERA in six starts with a 36/10 K/BB in 34 innings. His innings have been limited this spring due to biceps tendonitis, although he has pitched well when on the mound. Could still go very high if he is healthy down the stretch.

Brandon Morrow, RHP, University of California
7-0, 1.67 in 10 starts, with a 76/34 K/BB in 70 innings, only 46 hits allowed. Having a fine season although his control remains inconsistent, granted it doesn't hurt him much in college since he is tough to hit. Can hit the upper-90s with his fastball, but is still learning how to pitch. Excellent potential but may need longer to develop than some college guys.

Ian Kennedy, RHP, USC
Considered a "safe" pick entering '06, though his stock has dropped somewhat. 3.63 ERA with a 71/21 K/BB in 69 innings don't look as impressive as what some of these other guys have done, but that's actually very good considering the offense-heavy nature of the USC context. . .the team ERA is 4.50 and that of their opponents is 6.23. Still, Kennedy hasn't been as sharp as he was last year, and he doesn't have as much pure stuff as guys like Miller, Scherzer, or Morrow.


04-21-2006, 08:04 PM
College pitcher please. Our clock is ticking.

04-22-2006, 11:15 AM
I'd take my chances with Bard, overpowering stuff and inconsistent command and a career eerily similar to Verlander.

I was thinking the same thing.

cincinnati chili
04-22-2006, 12:24 PM
Yep, that is Drabek's son. He's a stud at both SP and SS.

Drabek.... Nothing but offspead stuff. What a "sissy."