With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Discussion about the June amateur draft, college baseball, high school baseball, etc.
craig
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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby craig » Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:30 am

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
Rob wrote:If we could get a starter, I would complain less about picking a college arm in the 1st... but if we actually used our pick to grab a reliever, that might be one of the worst decisions we could possibly make...


We're in agreement here. I get the feel that Lawrie will be gone before the Cubs pick, he seems to be rising quick. Seems like a classic Wilken pick.


I'm no scout, and haven't read enough to have strong feelings about the candidates. Lawrie sounds very good. both of our corner OFers are in their 30's, Aram will turn 30 in a few weeks, and Lee is 32. So if Lawrie projects as a true-blue hitter with some power, it seems like all four of the corner spots might be opening up somewhere around the time when he might be ready, if he turns out great. (I assume almost no baseball for a 1st rounder this summer, so if it's A-, A+, AA, and AAA, a highly successful HS selection would still be comfortably 5-years out.)

So I'm very supportive of getting guys who are true-blue hitting prospects, despite the Cub failure rate with such. I don't think it makes sense to give up trying, maybe the next guy is the smart hitter who will hit and always hit. And who knows, maybe once Vitters hand/wrist gets right (if ever), he'll prove to be a true-blue hitter as well?

I like position players, as I've reasoned in past. If one turns out to be actually good (big if, obviously), they tend to stay healthy and productive longer than pitchers. Some get hurt, obviously (Vitters?), but it's the norm for players to keep going. Whereas for pitchers, it's the norm (despite some exceptions) for them to have much lesser arm and lesser stuff at age 25 than they have at 18. Plus, I see this season as evidence how a strong-hitting team can make some average pitchers win. So, if two best-players-available are equal, I'd break tie in favor of the bat.

Reliever? If we draft a gifted college reliever, I'll be excited. Not my first preference, I grant. But the number of guys at 19 who end up being good contributing big-leaguers is not that high. If they take a good college reliever who can quickly come up and be a good big-league reliever, I'll be glad of that. On the current team, for example, I'd love to have another Marmol reliever; or even a good-Howry. Good relievers are invaluable. I'm not sure I'm too keen on the names I've read; they seem like good arms but seem kind of wild from what little I've read.

Certainly it would be exciting to get a high-ceiling HS pitcher. Our farm is obviously very thin on high-level pitching prospects, guys who have any chance to have both the big arm and the quality control that a good #1-2 starter has. So if we draft a HS pitcher, I'll assume the scouts know the risks and decided that the potential is so good that it justifies the risk, and I'll be enthused until the kid loses his velocity or has his first surgery.

I don't know the personalities. I think when a HS kid gets the big contract, if the guy isn't both pretty grounded and pretty smart, I think there are a lot of risks. I've enjoyed having some Cubs who seem fairly smart. I'm always somewhat leary of guys who seem like jerks or seem dumb. That said, some degree of arrogance can be crucial. Thinking you're really good, and not being afraid to fail, those can be vital qualities.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby TruffleShuffle » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:21 pm

my nightmare scenario is the cubs drafting casey kelly as a ss, or anthony hewitt. so i fully expect one of these things to happen.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:47 pm

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby RammyFanny » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:30 pm

TruffleShuffle wrote:my nightmare scenario is the cubs drafting casey kelly as a ss, or anthony hewitt. so i fully expect one of these things to happen.

Kelly's only signing as a SS.

I've heard Cinci like him at their pick...
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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby craig » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:39 pm

RammyFanny wrote:
TruffleShuffle wrote:my nightmare scenario is the cubs drafting casey kelly as a ss, or anthony hewitt. so i fully expect one of these things to happen.

Kelly's only signing as a SS.

I've heard Cinci like him at their pick...


Kelly is projected for Cubs in several of the mocks. And I know some posters like him quite a bit.

What's the scouting report on him, and how many hear think he'd be a good selection?

Seems what I read from draft things, they rarely talk about his baseball projections. Rather, in the brief synopsis, it's always "Son of Pat Kelly", "QB commit to Tennessee", "football option could make him pricey", "can pitch as well as play, although he wants to play SS, not pitch, in the pros". Those are all interesting news bits, but by the time they finish with that there's no space left to discuss much of his baseball attributes.

He's a multi-athlete (QB, pitcher, SS); does that mean he's raw? Or as a baseball son, is he plenty polished? He's got a QB arm for SS; does he have the hands and quickness and when he's 26 will he have the flexibility to play SS? Does he project much power? Has he been a big hitter in HS, or like Harvey and Vitters is a he a guy who can't hit .400 in HS? Hacker who can't recognize breaking balls, but the hope is that his athleticism will someday enable that? Or is he a smart, disciplined, polished hitter already? I have no idea.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Rob » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:11 pm

craig wrote:
RammyFanny wrote:
TruffleShuffle wrote:my nightmare scenario is the cubs drafting casey kelly as a ss, or anthony hewitt. so i fully expect one of these things to happen.

Kelly's only signing as a SS.

I've heard Cinci like him at their pick...


Kelly is projected for Cubs in several of the mocks. And I know some posters like him quite a bit.

What's the scouting report on him, and how many hear think he'd be a good selection?

Seems what I read from draft things, they rarely talk about his baseball projections. Rather, in the brief synopsis, it's always "Son of Pat Kelly", "QB commit to Tennessee", "football option could make him pricey", "can pitch as well as play, although he wants to play SS, not pitch, in the pros". Those are all interesting news bits, but by the time they finish with that there's no space left to discuss much of his baseball attributes.

He's a multi-athlete (QB, pitcher, SS); does that mean he's raw? Or as a baseball son, is he plenty polished? He's got a QB arm for SS; does he have the hands and quickness and when he's 26 will he have the flexibility to play SS? Does he project much power? Has he been a big hitter in HS, or like Harvey and Vitters is a he a guy who can't hit .400 in HS? Hacker who can't recognize breaking balls, but the hope is that his athleticism will someday enable that? Or is he a smart, disciplined, polished hitter already? I have no idea.


From what I understand, Kelly is exceptional on defense and has loads of raw power (at least for a SS). Kinda the Khalil Greene mold. That's about where the extent of my knowledge ends.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:23 pm

A tremendous athlete with professional bloodlines, Kelly is committed to play quarterback and shortstop at Tennessee. He is the son of Pat Kelly, who played briefly in the big leagues in 1980 and is a longtime minor league manager, and he is fundamentally sound on the baseball field. His defensive actions are advanced and he has the hands and arm strength to stay at shortstop now. However, as he develops, Kelly may outgrow the position, leading to a move to third base. At the plate, Kelly is somewhat raw and his production is still a projection for scouts. He has raw power due to his size and will need to improve his ability to make consistent contact. While he prefers playing shortstop, many scouts like his repertoire on the mound as much, if not better, than his skills as a position player. With a fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s and one of the nation's best hammer curveballs, Kelly is a safe pick in that if he doesn't pan out in the field, he could be successful on the mound. However, with his commitment to Tennessee and his desire to play shortstop, signability could become an issue.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby TruffleShuffle » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:59 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:At the plate, Kelly is somewhat raw and his production is still a projection for scouts. He has raw power due to his size and will need to improve his ability to make consistent contact.


in other words, a terrible pick for a team that struggles mightily at developing hitters

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby GoCubsGo!! » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:48 pm

I'm not getting my hopes up...Wilken is gonna botch the pick..again.
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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby badnews » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:39 am

I have to go on the record here and state how against I am what some posters have said about the willingness to draft relievers high. I probably have less respect for relief pitching than 99% of baseball fans.

I hate the idea of drafting a reliever. Relievers have much less impact on the game, and they're not any more of a sure thing than the other guys. Seriously, let's go back over the history of badass relief prospects drafted high. Bill Bray? Not any good. Chad Cordero? Doesn't impress me even remotely. Craig Hansen? NOPE. Joey Devine? He's eh. Still a waste for the pick - he is seriously any better than a no-name draft guy like Mike Wuertz or so on? No. David Aardsma? Waste of a pick. J. Brent Cox? Bah. Mariano's successor, yeah right.

I don't like the mentality that because Carlos Marmol is neato, we should try and draft another Carlos Marmol. Carlos Marmol just proves what a crap shoot relievers are in particular. More than any other area in baseball, you can build a decent bullpen out of waiver wire crap - Justin Miller, Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, etc, all of whom may fare better than lights out sexy relief prospects like good 'ol Jose Capellan and Brandon League.

After the Craig Hansen hype-a-thon there's nothing anyone can say about a relief prospect that will excite me. We exhausted all of the superlatives on Hansen. He was amazing, incredible, women wanted to get with him and men wanted to be him, talent wise he could've gone in the top 5, his slider was more powerful than Superman and the Death Star combined, there was just no end to it. The litmus for being a reliever is so low that if you fail at that it's much worse than failing as a starter or a position player. You're still talking about an every day player vs. a 200 inning starting pitcher vs. a 65 inning guy.

Just say no to relievers.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby craig » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:05 am

Thanks for the Kelly comments. Yeah, he doesn't sound very appealing. "Raw power", "somewhat raw", "production is still a projection", and "will need to improve his ability to make consistent contact", all sound like no-no-no-no-no's to me. As does " may outgrow the position, leading to a move to third base".

And the following does not "safen" much to me: "With a fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s and one of the nation's best hammer curveballs, Kelly is a safe pick in that if he doesn't pan out in the field, he could be successful on the mound." As we've seen with other two-way guys (Ryan Harvey in particular), you choose one or the other. And if he's a raw hitter, Oneri is going to give him many years to struggle through the problems before bagging the idea. So even if he might be a top pitcher, Fleita wouldn't switch him there until he's 23 or so, by which time he's likely lost much development time and will be used only in relief.

OK, so I'll mark him off as a "definitely avoid" guy.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby craig » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:14 am

badnews, some good points on the relievers. Few of the big-stuff fast-track college relievers have actually turned out all that well. So there is strong precedent for failure. Unless there is reason to expect that the odds of success with the reliever are way higher, and history doesn't indicate such, then it really doesn't make sense.

In some ways, I think it's perhaps not so surprising. I think a lot of pitchers get put in relief because they don't have the consistency or the control to be innings-eating starters. The guy we drafted last year, for example, is having a great year, but the scouting suggests that his control isn't that hot. So it may be that if a premium college arm is pitching relief, maybe the very fact that his manager put him in relief rather than rotation might suggest that his control isn't really that hot. Or that the high-90's velocity he shows pitching only on weekends doesn't hold up when pitching starter innings, and might not hold up under the kind of heavy workload that pros like Marmol and Wood are experiencing.

Still, those are scouting/probability reasons, and they are logical. But, I'm still somewhat of the view that BPA applies. If there is a stud prospect who happens to be a reliever, and everybody else is passing because relievers aren't as valuable as starters or players; or everybody else is passing because some teams have whiffed on dumb reliever picks in the past; if there is a reliever that is really talented and is justifiably scouted as much, much better than the alternatives, I wouldn't necessarily pass just because relievers don't matter as much and don't pitch 200 innings. If you pick one at 19 or 41 and he proves to be really good, I wouldn't look back as a wasted pick.

But badnews, I agree that it's unlikely that any of the relievers this year are likely enough to become good to justify. Too many control questions. So I agree that the odds don't look to be very favorable of getting good value with a reliever at 19.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Fanzone's trumpet » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:56 pm

badnews wrote:I have to go on the record here and state how against I am what some posters have said about the willingness to draft relievers high. I probably have less respect for relief pitching than 99% of baseball fans.

I hate the idea of drafting a reliever. Relievers have much less impact on the game, and they're not any more of a sure thing than the other guys. Seriously, let's go back over the history of badass relief prospects drafted high. Bill Bray? Not any good. Chad Cordero? Doesn't impress me even remotely. Craig Hansen? NOPE. Joey Devine? He's eh. Still a waste for the pick - he is seriously any better than a no-name draft guy like Mike Wuertz or so on? No. David Aardsma? Waste of a pick. J. Brent Cox? Bah. Mariano's successor, yeah right.

I don't like the mentality that because Carlos Marmol is neato, we should try and draft another Carlos Marmol. Carlos Marmol just proves what a crap shoot relievers are in particular. More than any other area in baseball, you can build a decent bullpen out of waiver wire crap - Justin Miller, Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, etc, all of whom may fare better than lights out sexy relief prospects like good 'ol Jose Capellan and Brandon League.

After the Craig Hansen hype-a-thon there's nothing anyone can say about a relief prospect that will excite me. We exhausted all of the superlatives on Hansen. He was amazing, incredible, women wanted to get with him and men wanted to be him, talent wise he could've gone in the top 5, his slider was more powerful than Superman and the Death Star combined, there was just no end to it. The litmus for being a reliever is so low that if you fail at that it's much worse than failing as a starter or a position player. You're still talking about an every day player vs. a 200 inning starting pitcher vs. a 65 inning guy.

Just say no to relievers.


Would you just say no to Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge and Huston Street?

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby UK » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:06 pm

Lidge and Wagner were starters in college and early on in the minors, IIRC. As far as Street, he was the last of the 4 1st rd. picks Oakland had, given they had 3 players already taken, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Fanzone's trumpet » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:16 pm

PingHitter wrote:Lidge and Wagner were starters in college and early on in the minors, IIRC. As far as Street, he was the last of the 4 1st rd. picks Oakland had, given they had 3 players already taken, I wouldn't have a problem with it.



Lidge had significant arm problems in college and was never thought of as a starter in the pros. He was specifically drafted to be a reliever. Although it was a long time ago, I'm pretty certain that Wagner was viewed the same way. He never had much of a second pitch and was small.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby UK » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:29 pm

Lidge had arm problems as you mentioned but it wasn't until his his AA season and his 4th arm injury that finally scraped the idea of making him a starter. Same thing with Wagner, he started all of his minor league career, then came into the majors as a long reliever and worked his way up to closer.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Bunts Lick Butts » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:02 pm

I've always been against drafting college relievers because their window is so narrow. You draft a starter and if he can't hack that, you give them a shot in the pen. How many college relievers get drafted and then converted to starters? I bet that number is pretty low.
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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby carolinacubbie » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:53 pm

I want either Joshua Fields or Reese Havens. Fields is just flat out sick, and Havens is an exceptional SS, a position that I would say is probably our biggest need. He has the size, the bat, and he has an unbelievable glove. Coming out of high school he was going to be a 1st round pick by the Red Sox, but he wanted to come to school at South Carolina. Coincidentally the Red Sox took Jacoby Ellsbury with that pick. Havens struggled his first two years at the plate, but he really grew up this year. He changed his stance which led him to be able to get around on pitches much better, and he also had an exceptional season in the Cape last year. All three years at Carolina he had a great glove.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby badnews » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:26 pm

Brad Lidge is an example of how even elite relievers are overrated. And Craig Hansen was supposed to be the better version of Lidge.

What craig says makes sense but I don't think it works in reality because not that many teams seem unwilling to draft relievers high, so you don't see the greatly talented falling like described.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Rob » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:48 pm

Drafting a college reliever is a lot like drafting a kicker in the NFL. Unless there are some truly exceptional circumstances, smart teams just don't do it.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:12 pm

carolinacubbie wrote:I want either Joshua Fields or Reese Havens. Fields is just flat out sick, and Havens is an exceptional SS, a position that I would say is probably our biggest need. He has the size, the bat, and he has an unbelievable glove. Coming out of high school he was going to be a 1st round pick by the Red Sox, but he wanted to come to school at South Carolina. Coincidentally the Red Sox took Jacoby Ellsbury with that pick. Havens struggled his first two years at the plate, but he really grew up this year. He changed his stance which led him to be able to get around on pitches much better, and he also had an exceptional season in the Cape last year. All three years at Carolina he had a great glove.


I'd pass on Fields and his control problems (and, you know, the whole wasting a first round pick on a guy who might not even end up being a high leverage reliever).

Jack (Florida): Josh Fields - more Street/Cordero or Wagner/Aardsma?

Kevin Goldstein: If the first group is 100 and the second group is 0, Fields is a 45.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby TysonCBulls423 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:22 pm

if the Cubs were to draft Anthony Hewitt from Salisbury School, Conn...I would actually be able to provide a decent scouting report seeing that I've seen him play a lot in the Tri-State area :lol:

I would also like to add one of good buddies struck him out twice! We still lost...but that's not as important :D

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby badnews » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:03 pm

CaliforniaRaisin wrote:
carolinacubbie wrote:I want either Joshua Fields or Reese Havens. Fields is just flat out sick, and Havens is an exceptional SS, a position that I would say is probably our biggest need. He has the size, the bat, and he has an unbelievable glove. Coming out of high school he was going to be a 1st round pick by the Red Sox, but he wanted to come to school at South Carolina. Coincidentally the Red Sox took Jacoby Ellsbury with that pick. Havens struggled his first two years at the plate, but he really grew up this year. He changed his stance which led him to be able to get around on pitches much better, and he also had an exceptional season in the Cape last year. All three years at Carolina he had a great glove.


I'd pass on Fields and his control problems (and, you know, the whole wasting a first round pick on a guy who might not even end up being a high leverage reliever).

Jack (Florida): Josh Fields - more Street/Cordero or Wagner/Aardsma?

Kevin Goldstein: If the first group is 100 and the second group is 0, Fields is a 45.


Is the part where someone comes in with a bogus argument about how if we draft Josh Fields he can be our Francisco Rodriguez in September and we can win the World Series? What's the matter with you California Raisin? Aren't you in favor of winning the World Series?

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:05 pm

Don't be ridiculous, that's Angel Guzman's job.

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Re: With the 2008 MLB Draft about a Week Away...

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:06 pm

Our K-Rod to be called up in September is Angel Guzman (I can dream).


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