Monday, June 6, 2011

The first round is in the books


The Indians chose to go risky in the first round.  Can't say that I find anything wrong with this pick.  I would not have taken the risk but if what I have read about Lindor is true, he is a great athlete with a potent bat who has a chance to stay on the infield, if not at SS then at 2B or even 3B if he bulks up a bit.  He obviously fell into the Indians' lap because of things that transpired early in the first round.  Clearly Jungmann and Barnes, and even Jed Bradley, hurt themselves a little with their performance.  I am still predicting that Milwaukee (Jungmann AND Bradley) and Boston (Barnes) will be crowing in 3 years that they got steals at this point of the draft.  We better be able to pound our chests, too, about Lindor.  Otherwise, we should have gone safe as I suggested the Indians do.

Now, let's take a 5,000 foot look at the rest of the first round. 

There was fluidity in this round as there was absolutely no consensus who was on whom and where guys would go.  Signability picks will always exist and certainly there were some in the first 60 picks.

Chris Reed  (16) (60) - Los Angeles Dodgers (biggest surprise in the first round)
Jake Hager (32) (122) - Tampa Bay (12 extra picks in the top 200)
Kevin Matthews (33) (105) - Texas  (1 extra pick in top 200)
Jacob Anderson (35) (157 by BA) - Toronto (8 extra picks in top 200)
Jeff Ames (42) (119) - Tampa Bay
Dante Bichette (51) (108) - Yankees (no first round pick or extra picks)
Blake Snell (52) (184) - Tampa Bay
James Harris (went 60) (rated: not in top 300 of my list) - Tampa Bay

Also Zach Cone (Texas), Tyler Goeddel (TB), Joe Musgrove TOR) and Keenyn Walker (White Sox, no extra picks) were all drafted almost twice as soon as they had been projected to have been drafted.

In every draft you will have the flyer/against-the-grain picks like Reed, Matthews, Cone, Walker and Bichette Jr., who may also be nothing more than cheap signing picks.  Texas appears to be going that way early, maybe saving their money for later in the draft or for international free agents or, maybe, just cutting budget this year by not spending much on the draft at all.  We will only know this by the end of the summer.

 However, in this draft as I had indicated earlier in the year we also saw the teams with the most early picks take a number of signability picks just because they wouldn't have the draft budget to sign 15 guys at the slots that they deserved to be drafted.  Tampa, with its 15 picks in the top 200, select 5 players in the first round and supplemental round projected to go no higher than the late second round/early third round or later (Harris).  Toronto, with 8 extra picks,  selected two of those types, as well.    Combined with the cheap/signability selections, this leaves more quality guys left for the second and later rounds, exactly what I hoped would happen...and does happen every year.


The strength of this draft is pitching and there are a number of good HS arms still available as I thought there would be.  The standout is Daniel Norris, a LHP from a Tennessee HS who was projected to go 16th overall.  In addition to Norris, other HS pitchers who were projected to go already but whom were still on the board are:

Dillon Howard (projected to go 31st)
Jorge Lopez (39th)
Dillon Maples (46th)

There are also college pitchers:
 John Stilson (23rd before injury)
Matt Purke (6th before uneven performance and possible injury this year)
Josh Osich (41st)
Kyle Winkler (43rd but potentially falling due to injury worries)
Tony Zych (50th) - college reliever
Anthony Meo (55)

Finally, there are a number of highly rated HS position players who have not yet been drafted, led by #16 overall rated OF Josh Bell who apparently has sent MLB a letter telling teams not to draft him.  However, after Lindor and with the pitching talent left, I don't know if the Indians will be prone to drafting HS players at this point.

Also,  no college relievers other than Reed have been drafted and there are highly touted HS pitchers still in the draft.  This sets up the second and third round for the Indians if it goes as I have predicted.  Stilson is still on the board and Purke hasn't been drafted yet so maybe the thought of drafting an injured pitcher in the 4th round is not yet out of the question.   Remember, also, that the 4th round was an opportunity to draft a HS position player who has dropped.  If they get a HS pitcher in the second round and a college reliever in the third round and no injured quality college or HS pitcher is available in the 4th round, they may take a shot at a Josh Bell-type HS position player in the 4th round. 

In any case, as I have said before, I think they will gamble in the 2nd and 4th rounds and be conventional in the 3rd and 5th rounds going:

Round 2: HS pitcher
Round 3: College reliever
Round 4: Injured pitcher or high end HS position player
Round 5: Josh Tomlin-like highly rated college pitcher who may have the ability to go to the bullpen if he can't start.

The draft, at least so far, has set itself up so far for the Indians to get a very good draft out of this year. 

Would you like to see our first 5 picks be the following guys:

Cole Green

I would, espeically if we could sign all of them without giving out a ML contract!

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