Monday, June 05 2006 @ 11:59 AM EDT
Contributed by: Pistol
Here's a look at who may go at the top of the draft and who will be available when the Blue Jays select.
There are eight players that I believe have no shot of making it to the Jays pick at #14.
After that there are several players who are likely to be selected, but not necessarily selected.
- Andrew Miller, LHP
- Evan Longoria, 3B/SS/2B
- Brandon Morrow, RHP
- Clayton Kershaw, LHP*
- Luke Hochevar, RHP
- Brad Lincoln, RHP
- Tim Lincecum, RHP
- Drew Stubbs, OF
(High school players are noted with an asterisk)
- Billy Rowell, 3B*
- Max Scherzer, RHP
- Greg Reynolds, RHP
- Daniel Bard, RHP
- Joba Chamberlain, RHP
- Kyle Drabek, RHP*
- Chris Marrero, 3B*
- Travis Snider, OF*
That's obviously 16 players listed above. That means that the Jays would have their shot at three of the players on the list above (or possibly more if someone sneaks up higher who's not on the list above).
The players that I've read that are associated with the Jays are Billy Rowell, Travis Snider, Matt Antonelli (3B), and David Huff (LHP).
Rowell is very close to being included in the first list so the chance that the Jays get him are minimal. The Reds and Orioles are both apparently interested in him, and they're both in the top 10.
I believe Snider has about a 70/30 chance of making it to the Jays. There's a shot that the Cubs might take him, but it looks like they may be the only team that would select him ahead of the Jays. For what it's worth, Tim Wilken is now the scouting director for the Cubs.
Until recently I hadn't heard much talk about Antonelli, with the exception of the Jays being interested in him. After that it look iiked he was destined for the mid to late 20s. However, in last Friday's BA chat it was noted that the Tigers and Giants had interest in Antonelli as well. I can't imagine the Tigers taking him at #6, but the Giants are certainly a possibility. In the past they've intentionally lost their first round picks so perhaps they're going to do a pre-draft deal with Antonelli at below slot money. Or perhaps they just like him, period.
I haven't seen anything that indicates that David Huff would be selected prior to the Jays selection. Perhaps they want to take use their first round pick on another lefty college starter. They've done it with their last three first round picks (Pucey, Jackson, Romero).
The draft is tomorrow and it looks like it'll start around 1:00 pm. As the Blue Jay picks are made the draft thread will be updated with profiles of each of the players.
Additionally, inspired by John Sickels, I'm going to do a Blue Jay 'shadow draft' this year. So when the Jays pick comes up I'm going to 'pick' who I think the Jays should select. Then, hopefully, years down the road we'll see that the professionals do a lot better than a guy with an internet connection and a spreadsheet.
Speaking of John Sickels, he held his 2nd annual 5 round mock draft yesterday. I held a hostile takeover of the Jays scouting director when the original one no-showed. Prior to the draft I set up my board like this:
From conventional rankings I eliminated a few players. With the exception of Kershaw I eliminated the HS pitchers (Drabek, Jeffers). I also took out a few college pitchers as well that I didn't have a good gut feeling about (Morrow, Reynolds, Beato) and I took out Drew Stubbs because I don't like his bat at all.
That was only 12, but I knew there'd be a few players not on my list that would go ahead of the #14 pick so I wasn't worried.
Here's how the top 13 ended up going:
1) Royals: Andrew Miller, LHP, North Carolina
2) Rockies: Brad Lincoln, RHP, Houston
3) Devil Rays: Tim Lincecum, RHP, Washington
4) Pirates: Greg Reynolds, RHP, Stanford
5) Mariners: Brandon Morrow, RHP, California
6) Tigers: Evan Longoria, 2B, Long Beach State
7) Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Texas HS
8) Reds: Luke Hochevar, RHP, Fort Worth Cats
9) Orioles: Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Virginia HS
10) Giants: Kyle Drabek, RHP, Texas HS
11) Diamondbacks: Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Nebraska
12) Rangers: Max Scherzer, RHP, Missouri
13) Cubs: Bill Rowell, 3B, New Jersey HS
The order of the top 13 went almost exactly as expected, or at least the 13 players selected. There were a couple players that went a bit lower than expected (Longoria, Hochevar) and I thought Reynolds went a lot higher than I expected.
That left me with Snider, Antonelli, and Sinkbeil to pick from my original top 12 players. Snider is considered the consensus best HS hitter, although his defense is apparently a little shaky. However, I like the idea of a great LH hitter in the middle of the lineup so I ended up taking him. We'll worry about a position later.
14. Travis Snider, OF, Jackson HS
After that the rest of the first round went like this:
15) Nationals: Pedro Beato, RHP, St. Petersburg JC
16) Brewers: Daniel Bard, RHP, North Carolina
17) Padres: Drew Stubbs, OF, Texas
18) Phillies: Chris Tillman, RHP, California HS
19) Marlins: Hank Conger, C, California HS
20) Twins: Brett Sinkbeil, RHP, Missouri State
21) Yankees: Matt Antonelli, 3B, Wake Forest
22) Nationals: David Huff, LHP, UCLA
23) Astros: Kyle McCulloch, RHP, Texas
24) Braves: Brett Anderson, LHP, Oklahoma HS
25) Angels: Chris Marrero, 3B, Florida HS
26) Dodgers: Jordan Walden, RHP, Texas HS
27) Red Sox: Colton Willems, RHP, Florida HS
28) Red Sox: Stephen King, SS, Florida HS
29) White Sox: Adrian Cardenas, INF, Florida HS
30) Cardinals: Chris Parmelee, OF, California HS
Fast forward to round 4 where the Jays select next.
After killing some time (each round takes about an hour) I made a list in the early third round of players I wanted with the 4th round pick. My initial list had 8 players on it:
Harold Monzingo, RHP, Virginia Commonwealth
Ryan Wherle, INF, Nebraska
Wade LeBlanc, LHP, Alabama
Cole Gillespie, OF, Oregon
Matt McBride, C, Lehigh
Chad Huffman, 1B/2B, TCU
Jordan Newton, C, W Kentucky
Brad Furnish, LHP, TCU
Jeff Manship, P, Notre Dame
Jeremy Barfield, OF, HS - Texas (Jesse's son)
After making that list the top three and Barfield were all taken before pick 100. That left me with 6 players and I was confident one would make it to me (and figured another might make it to round 5).
After I write that I check the draft and Gillespie and Manship went at 103 and 104 (to the Red Sox and Yankees no less!). McBride and Newton go early in the 4th round. We're down to two players for the next pick, and now I'm a little nervous (well, as nervous as one can be in a ficticious baseball draft). I need to find some other potential picks to make here now.
Luckily, Chad Huffman is available. He's the second hitter selected today, and like Snider, isn't known for his defense. But I love his bat so there'll be a place for him in my fake organization.
One pick remaining, and here's my next list of 8, all of whom were in my 'Beyond the First Round' columns:
Brad Furnish, P, TCU
Whitt Robbins, 3b/1B, Georgia Tech
Tim Bascom, P, Central Florida
Eddie Degerman, P, Rice
Keith Weiser, P, Miami OH
Bruce Billings, P, San Diego St
Hector Ambriz, P, UCLA
Stephen Holmes, P, Rhode Island
Robbins went near the end of the 4th round and the 5th round began with the other 7 available. It'd be great if Furnish was there, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Well, it turns out I could have held my breath. My other 7 choices were there including Furnish, the LHP for TCU, who was my second choice 30 picks earlier.
Interestingly, I ended up with two players from Texas Christian which was more a coincidence than anything else. Early in the 4th round when the two catchers I liked were selected I was nervous about how my draft would end up, but with Furnish falling to the 5th round and getting two good bats early I'm satisfied with how things went (of course everyone says that).