Results tagged ‘ 2009 Draft ’

B3 Draft Top 10 Signing Game!

That’s right, folks. I know everyone’s been clamoring for such a contest. No? Too bad, you’re getting it anyway.

Here’s how it works. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess the date and signing bonus of the aforementioned top 10. And guess what? Thanks to Tony Sanchez and Drew Storen, everyone starts out with two correct! Just download this file:
 
Top 10 signings.xls

Fill it in and email it back to B3 headquarters at jonathan.mayo@mlb.com. Let’s see who can do the best job predicting how the signing period will go down! Good luck and have fun!

Follow me on Twitter for Draft updates

Hey B3 fans, sorry I haven’t been on here much lately, but as you know, it’s been quite busy. Just wanted to throw up a quick note  to tell people to check out Draft updates, mostly tomorrow, on my Twitter account @JonathanMayoB3

I probably won’t be able to blog until post-draft, so go over there for up-to-the-minute updates about what I’m hearing in Draft rooms around Major League Baseball.

Kyle Gibson update

I’m still trying to figure out the balance. Do I post draft notes on Twitter, then here? Or here, then Twitter? In this case, the update came first on Twitter @JonathanMayoB3.

It seems that Missouri right-hander Kyle Gibson has paid a visit to the Cincinnati Reds for a meeting/workout/medical exam. Two weeks ago this wouldn’t seem like much as Gibson was a sure-fire top 10 pick and might not have gotten to the Reds at 10. But his velocity dropped over his last 2 starts and the word was he had some forearm tightness. And that sets off alarms because it’s often a precursor to elbow trouble.

No word yet what the results of said meeting/exam were, but suffice to say that Gibson is under consideration for Cincy at No. 8.

Whither Scheppers and other tidbits

It can be a little difficult to keep tabs on the indy league front, what with all the college regional action and the end of the high school playoffs. Obviously, there’s an interest in knowing what’s going on in St. Paul and Fort Worth, the temporary homes for Tanner Scheppers and Aaron Crow.

Scheppers hasn’t pitched since May 27, a game in which he was still lighting up the radar gun, but scuffled a bit with command (though he settled down). He was supposed to pitch on Monday, but it got rained out. Imagine my confusion when I didn’t see his name in the reports for either game of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

Here’s, evidently, what happened:

The Saints are on the road and after his Monday start was rained out, they realized that whenever he made his next start, it would be his final one with the Saints. There was a desire, from all parties, it seems, for that last start to be at home. Obviously, the Saints want to reap the benefits of one more outing from the potential first-rounder and the Scheppers camp liked the idea of it as well. So a plan was made to have Scheppers make his final indy league start on Friday at home. A few big-league teams asked if it could be moved to Saturday — I guess to make it more feasible for some to make it to the start for one final look-see — and the Saints and Scheppers were amenable. So Scheppers will make his final pre-draft outing on Saturday.

Some other bits of information and rumor. Keep in mind that rumors can be just that.

  • Zach Wheeler was in Baltimore yesterday for a
    private meeting/workout, but my understanding was that they didn’t talk
    money.
  • The O’s did, it seems, have a
    conversation with Alex White‘s advisor about whether he would sign for slot if
    they took him at No. 5. I haven’t heard what the response was.
  • Matt Hobgood and others were in  Baltimore for a
    separate workout. No idea who else was there.
  • Drew Storen and Chad Jenkins threw in
    Washington
    today. I heard both threw pretty well. They
    also had a bunch of HS SS in for later-round consideration – Stephen Perez, Nick Franklin,
    Billy Hamilton were all there and all performed well.
  • Latest word on the Royals’ pick at No. 12 is that they might be honing in on a college position player, with a bent toward a premium position. That would make the rumors of BC catcher Tony Sanchez make some sense. So would USC shortstop Grant Green, if they feel they can afford that. Wil Myers has come up here, and while he’s not a college guy, he would fit the “premium position” part of the deal and he supposedly impressed in workouts.
  • Speaking of workouts, they’re one of those funny draft-related things that can be over-valued from a rumor standpoint. Just because a guy goes to a workout doesn’t mean the team is going to take him in the first round. Case in point: Hobgood going to Baltimore shouldn’t make him the front-runner to be a sleeper pick at No. 5. Could they consider him? Maybe. Are they taking him, not necessarily. That being said… Cameron Garfield has reportedly been tearing it up at workouts for a number of teams, including the Angels, Diamondbacks and the Astros. Not sure what that means yet, but he could be erasing any doubts based on his up-and-down senior season in high school.

That’s it for now, but trust me. There’s going to be much, much more

Regional wrap-up — AKA the Money Round

A scout told me before the regionals started this past weekend that someone was going to make himself a million dollars (no, he didn’t say it like Dr. Evil). What he meant was that, especially with the lack of separation among college pitching, that a good performance over the weekend could enhance a guy’s draft stock. He moves up enough spots, he gets that much higher a bonus… get it?

Some are through to super regional play, where they can get one more shot to show off. ASU’s Mike Leake, UNC’s Alex White (along with Dustin Ackley et al, of course) and LSU’s Jared Mitchell are all first-round hopefuls who will keep playing.

Boston College’s Tony Sanchez, San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg (Yes, he doesn’t need more help, but he did lose his first game of the year by giving up two runs over 7 IP, albeit with 15 K, on Friday), Georgia 1B Rich Poythress, Indiana’s Eric Arnett, Mizzou’s Kyle Gibson — they are all done.

Still waiting to see what happens with games tonight are guys like Oklahoma State’s Andy Oliver, Clemson’s Chris Dwyer and South Carolina’s Sam Dyson. They could get one more pre-draft start in if their teams can win tonight.

So, looking back over the weekend, who made money and who may have lost some? Let’s take a look and the winners and losers from an exciting weekend of college action:

Winners

leaker.JPGMike Leake, RHP, ASU: This guy has been all about performance and he did it again at the regional Arizona State hosted. Facing No. 2 seed Oral Roberts, the top-seeded Sun Devils won, 4-1, behind Leake’s complete game. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out 15. He’s now 15-1 with a 1.23 ERA, a .169 batting average against, 20 walks and 143 K’s in 124 2/3 IP. His name isn’t just being whispered in the top 10 right now, he’s being seriously discussed.

Chris Dwyer, LHP, Clemson: He’s a tough one to figure out, both from a peformance standpoint and because he’s an anomaly — a draft-elibible freshman. He certainly didn’t pitch like one on Sunday. Needing a win against Oklahoma State to force a game on Monday to decide who goes to a super regional, Dwyer went 8 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking one and striking out 12.

Andy Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State: One of the reasons for Clemson’s need to beat Ok St. on Sunday was because of what Oliver did on Saturday. He didn’t get the win, but he did go 7 1/3 IP, allowing just two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out six. It wasn’t a hugely dominant performance, but the enigmatic lefty hadn’t pitched this well in a while and it came in a big spot with plenty of scouts on hand.

Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia: I had to throw one hitter on here, right? Poythress began his regional experience quietly, by going 4-for-4 with three homers and 7 RBIs. He homered again on Saturday, though his season ended with a hitless day on Sunday. Still, he finished with a .376 average, 25 homers, 86 RBIs and a .764 SLG. Not too shabby.

Losers

Alex White, RHP, North Carolina:  Boy, he’s picked the wrong time to pitch poorly. White had the opportunity to reverse the trend with a strong regional start. Instead, he didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, allowing five runs on four hits and four walks, striking out five. The Tar Heels won the game and did advance to the super regionals.

Brooks Raley and Alex Wilson, P, Texas A&M: It was an ugly day on Friday for A&M pitchers. Raley started the game, went two innings, gave up four runs (just one earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out two. Wilson, once considered to be the top starter on this team, came on in relief and promptly yielded five runs on eight hits over four innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Huh? Not sure what to make of it

Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri:  On the results side, it looked just fine. He tossed eight shutout innings against Monmouth on Saturday, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out eight. Perhaps he should have pitched Friday, but the plan was to have him for Saturday against Ole Miss. But since Mizzou lost on Friday, it had to play Monmouth. But the real reason for the question mark are reports coming from that start that had the right-hander throwing in the 82-86 mph range. Is he overworked? Perhaps. But if the velocity reports are true — and I’ve heard they are from two different national scouts (who, granted, weren’t at that particular start) — teams are going to be concerned.

Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt: On the one hand, he gave up four runs in the first inning, five total, while losing to Middle Tennessee State on Friday. He walked four and allowed 10 hits. On the other hand, he battled like heck and kept his team in the game by going all eight innings. He put up five shutout frames after that rocky first before giving up run No. 5. Unfortunately, Vandy scored two in the eighth to make it 5-4. The Commodores play today with a chance to move on to a super regional in the balance.

Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana:
It wasn’t a great start for Arnett, who lost to Louisville. He went seven innings, gave up five runs (only one earned) on five hits while walking four and striking out six. I got very contrasting reports on the start. One scout told me he really liked what he saw, that his team’s defense didn’t do him any favors and threw the ball really well. Another scout really didn’t like what he saw and thought he’s a reliever in the future. That’s what makes the world go ’round. And while this second scout felt it would be a reach for Arnett to go too early, it still sounds like he’s creeping into conversations in the top half of the first round as teams look at least to have a viable, affordable option if all else fails.

Last thing, on the indy front. Aaron Crow pitched over the weekend. Went 6 innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked three, struck out four. Tanner Scheppers goes tonight.

Taking the plunge

That’s right, folks, I did it. I’ve joined the throng on Twitter.

As if you haven’t gotten enough of me here, you can now get pithy (I hope) updates, particularly leading up to the Draft, over there. So be sure to follow me @JonathanMayoB3.

I’ll try to update everywhere about regional play, about the Florida HS All-Star thing in Sebring, etc. after the live chat which starts up in about a half-hour. Thanks all.

Top 20 and much, much more

Hey all…

Be sure to check out my latest draft projection covering the Top 20 picks. Also up today: A breakdown of both college and high school pitching in this draft class. Oh, and the final batch of Draft Reports has been posted as well. Needless to say, I’ve been busy.

I got some good questions in comments from old friend jfish the other day and I wanted to get to those. If you have draft questions, come on over to my Draft Chat on Friday, 1 p.m. ET. I’ll try to cram in as much as I can into that one and we’ll probably do one more  right before the Draft as well.

So most people seem to think Oliver has fallen out of 1st round
consideration. Do you agree? If so, is there anything he could do in
the tournament to change that?

I don’t know if Oliver has completely fallen out of the first round. Yes, his results haven’t been good, but if he has a dominant start in regional play, that could lift him back up. College lefties with that kind of fastball command don’t come around all the time.

What sort of odds do you give Josh Phegley sticking at C at the next
level? I know of a least one site that has absolute confidence in him
as a hitter and feels the odds of him sticking at C are good enough to
consider him a 1st round talent.

I think he’ll be given every opportunity to stick at catcher. There are certain things he gets, like calling his own game. He’s just not so good with guys that have a lot of movement, like Arnett. If he doesn’t have the ability, he doesn’t have it, you know? It won’t be from lack of effort. With the bat, he’s probably a supp first guy if you think he might be able to catch.

I think I read somewhere that Rich Poythress could maybe handle 3B at
the next level. Is that true? How does he compare to Brett Wallace if
that were to be the case?

Don’t believe everything you read. He’s played some third, but I haven’t talked to anyone who feels he can play there. Of course, all you need is one team to think he can (like the Cardinals and Wallace). Wallace is a much better all-around hitter with better bat speed than Poythress. Poythress is more of a strength guy, leading some to wonder how much power he’ll have as a pro. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll hit some out, but when the game speeds up, it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep up quite as much.

Aaron Miller from Baylor was someone I heard about out of HS, what is
his draft stock like? Would he be more of a positional player or a
pitcher in your eyes? How does he stock up to the other OFers or LHPs?

You answered your own question in that the report I had on Miller was as an OF because the scout I talked to liked his bat. But it seems that most teams like his arm more right now and are looking at him as a pitcher.

I’m curious, why is NOBODY talking about Kentrail Davis? I understand he
had a down year and hasn’t developed like most thought he would but he
seems to still be considered an early 1st round type talent.

I combined a couple of questions here. Davis didn’t just have a down year, it was pretty much bad. Combine that with the fact he’s a draft-eligible sophomore (having leverage to return for a junior year scares some teams off) and is advised by Scott Boras and he’s slid off the charts. Yes, he does have some talent, but I have to think that unless someone takes a shot late and pays him, he’s heading back to Tennessee for his junior year.

Conference Tourney Time!

I know I’ve been college heavy of late, but that’s just the way it is. I promise to have more in the way of high school stuff later in the week, particularly in my next Draft Notebook.

But today is a great day for draft — and college baseball — fans. While some may have started yesterday (though rain interrupted the Big East), most of the big college tournaments start in earnest today. Here are some highlights:

SEC

5 p.m. CT: Vanderbilt vs. LSU
You get lefty Mike Minor against top-seeded LSU (Jared Mitchell, DJ LeMahieu, etc) right off the bat.

Big 12

4 p.m. CT: Missouri vs. Texas A&M
I was hoping for a Kyle Gibson  vs. Brooks Raley game, but you’ll have to deal with just Gibson. Raley will pitch for A&M on Friday.

Big 10

3:35 p.m. ET: Indiana vs. Purdue
Eric Arnett
should get the ball for the Hoosiers. There was some concern when he didn’t pitch over the weekend, their last regular-season series. From what I’ve been told, there’s nothing to worry about. Arnett had thrown a LOT of pitches in his previous few starts and while college coaches don’t worry too much about abusing arms to get wins, when the Big 10 regular season title wasn’t up for grabs when Arnett’s usual turn came up, they decided to let him rest to put all of the proverbial eggs in the conference tourney basket. It should be interesting to see how he does with the extra rest, and if he’ll pitch more than once in the tourney should the Hoosiers get that far.

Atlantic Sun
3 p.m. ET: Lipscomb vs. Mercer
Lipscomb is the No. 2 seed and will send Rex Brothers to the mound in the opener against the fifth-seeded Mercer. His last start was washed out by rain in the early going. Could be the last look at him and he’s the type teams are probably still trying to figure out a bit.


Mountain West

3 p.m. CT: San Diego State vs. New Mexico
You didn’t think I could get through a post about college baseball and not mention Stephen Strasburg, did you? SDSU won their first game yesterday to move into the winner’s bracket. The 4th-seeded Aztecs take on No. 2 seed New Mexico and give the ball to Strasburg. The Lobos have the best offense in the conference and have five .400 hitters in the lineup. That didn’t seem to bother Strasburg when he faced them in Albuquerque during the regular season. He tossed a seven-hit shutout with 14 K’s.

Ewwww!

I’m always so positive, focusing on good performances and guys really stepping up. Today, I feel like being negative.

It’s not that I’m in a bad mood or anything — I sure could give Mike Leake and his complete-game shutout or fast riser Chad Jenkins’ complete-game victory over the weekend some love — but come on, we all know negativity sells. Besides, at this point in the amateur season, a bad performance can be magnified. It was the last week of regular-season games in the college ranks and here are some performances that made me say, simply, “Ewww!”

Kendal Volz, Baylor: I already labeled him as a “Lead Balloon” player in Friday’s Draft Notebook, and he didn’t do anything over the weekend to have it removed. Against Nebraska on Friday, he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits over 3 2/3 IP, striking out just one. He’s now 3-6 with a 4.62 ERA.

Mike Minor, Vanderbilt: Not as big of an “Ewww,” but considering I had Minor in the “Something to Prove” category of that notebook, he didn’t exactly go out and prove it. Against Tennessee, he did pitch into the eighth and didn’t get a decision, so he gets some kudos for going deep and keeping his team in the game, but he also gave up five runs on 10 hits, not exactly the stuff you want to see down the stretch for a potential first half of first round guy.

Andy Oliver, Oklahoma State: He wasn’t going to be the first college lefty to go and he might not even be the second, but most had him pegged as a first rounder. Again, it’s just one start, but after giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and three walks (only one strikeout) in 2 1/3 IP,. how many will reconsider?

Brooks Raley, Texas A&M: Raley gave up six runs on nine hits over six innings  for the loss against Oklahoma. Raley had kind of passed up Alex Wilson in the A&M draft prospect pecking order, but didn’t pitch very well this past weekend. Wilson, meanwhile, has been pitching out of the pen and went twice in the series against the Sooners, allowing one unearned run over four total innings.

James Paxton, Kentucky: The lefty had been moving up charts and there’s a lot to like about his arm, but the peformances haven’t always been there. He’s now got a 5.86 ERA following his last start that saw him produce the following line: 5 1/3 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 6 K.

Draft Aft: Early series starts

It’s the week before college conference tournaments and, as a result, many of the weekend series are Thursday-Saturday, rather than the usual Friday-Sunday. As a result, there were some pretty good matchups yesterday that probably had good heat (meaning: a lot of scouting types) at them. For example:

Boston College 3, North Carolina 1
The key draws were Tar Heels starter Alex White and 1B Dustin Ackley to along with BC catcher Tony Sanchez. White was solid, going 7 innings, allowing two earned runs (three total). He allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six, but got the loss. Ackley went 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts. Sanchez went 0-for-3, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. A bonus was BC lefty reliever Mike Belfiorie, who tossed three shutout innings, striking out four, for his 8th save. He struck out Ackley looking with two runners on and one out in the ninth, then getting Kyle Seager to fly out to end the game.

Florida 10, Kentucky 3
Ooof! Kentucky ace, and first-round hopeful, James Paxton, did not throw well. The lefty went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and nine runs (eight earned). He didn’t walk anyone, at least, and he racked up six strikeouts. Not exactly the kind of outing against a good team you want to see this late. As good as his stuff is, he’s got a 5.86 ERA now.

South Carolina 7, Georgia 2
Unlike Paxton, South Carolina ace Sam Dyson, had an outstanding start against a good Bulldogs team. The right-hander pitched a complete game, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out 13. Big Georgia 1B Rich Poythress went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Kenesaw State 6, North Florida 5, 11 innings
Kyle Heckathorn
went nine innings for Kenesaw State, but didn’t get a decision. The big right-hander allowed four runs and “scattered” 11 hits, but he also struck out 15 while walking only one. You try to put that in context.

Lipscomb at East Tennessee State, suspended
Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather and that’s a shame for scouts who went to this game to see Lipscomb lefty Rex Brothers throw. The first-round potential starter did get in four innings of work, where he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five.

Finally (you didn’t think I forgot, did you?):

San Diego State 11, Utah 2
Stephen Strasburg
didn’t let any suspense build, giving up two runs in the first inning after throwing a no-hitter in his last start. He gave up a total of six hits in seven innings of work, walked just one and struck out 10 for the win. He’s now 12-0 with a 1.34 ERA. In 94 1/3 innings of work, the right-hander has allowed 54 hits (.167 BAA) and 18 walks while striking out 174.

My first weekly Draft Notebook is up on the site now, so go check that out.

I’m working on my first projections — top 10 comes out on Thursday. Feel free to weigh in on who you think will go where in comments. The things I’m struggling with right now are:

1. Who will take the gamble on Tanner Scheppers and his shoulder? The Mariners seem interested, but is that too big of a risk at No. 2?

2. I keep hearing over and over that the San Diego Padres really like toolsy high school outfielder Donavan Tate at No. 3. Why can’t I believe it? Maybe it’s the organization’s draft history, maybe it’s Tate’s potential price tag, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I need some convincing.

I’m hoping maybe some of the college guys, particularly the arms in top 10 contention, separate themselves in conference tournament play next week.

Be back soon…  

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