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John Sickels held his 3rd annual 5 round mock draft on Sunday. I was the mock Blue Jay scouting director.

In the first round the Jays select at #16 and #21. Going into the mock draft I had 6 players I was considering at those two spots: Beau Mills, Matt Dominguez, Devon Mesoraco, Nick Noonan, Kevin Ahrens, and Blake Beavan.

For the most part the first 15 picks went as expected:

1) Devil Rays: David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt
2) Royals: Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
3) Cubs: Rick Porcello, RHP, NJ HS
4) Pirates: Josh Vitters, 3B, California HS
5) Orioles: Mike Moustakas, 3B, California HS
6) Nationals: Beau Mills, 3B, Lewis Clark State
7) Brewers: Jarrod Parker, RHP, Indiana HS
8) Rockies: Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State
9) Diamondbacks: Jason Heyward, OF, Georgia HS
10) Giants: Madison Bumgarner, LHP, NC HS
11) Mariners: Phillipe Aumont, RHP, Quebec HS
12) Marlins: Matt Harvey, RHP, Conn. HS
13) Indians: Dan Moskos, LHP, Clemson
14) Braves: Josh Smoker, LHP, Georgia HS
15) Reds: Matt Dominguez, 3B, California HS

I was hoping Dominguez would make it to 16 but the Reds got him at the pick before. Mills went earlier at number 6. That left me with 4 players. I decided to go with Devon Mesoraco, the HS catcher from Pennslyvania.

A quick synopsis from BA:
Mesoraco compares favorably to 2001 Angels first-rounder Jeff Mathis, with athleticism serving as the foundation of an agile, quick-twitch player who receives and blocks exceptionally well. He shows above-average bat speed and 50-55 power at the plate.
After Mesoraco both Beavan and Ahrens went off the board in the next two picks leaving me with only Noonan as a player I originally targeted. At that point my contingency was going to be Casey Weathers if Noonan was taken. The Phillies took Justin Jackson (who I wasn't considering until the 56 pick) and the Dodgers took Tim Alderson.

16) Blue Jays: Devon Mesoraco, C, Pennsylvania HS
17) Rangers: Blake Beavan, RHP, Texas HS
18) Cardinals: Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Texas HS
19) Phillies: Justin Jackson, SS, NC HS
20) Dodgers: Tim Alderson, RHP, Arizona HS

So my choice was easy and I went with Noonan. From what I've read his bat is really advanced, but the question is whether he can stick at SS or move to 2B. But there doesn't seem to be much question that he's a major league hitter so worst case you might have a LH Aaron Hill. Keith Law in his scouting profile of Noonan thought he might be able to stay at SS.
Noonan offers one of the most polished bats in the draft. While he's just an average runner, he's a good baserunner and basestealer, and he's a solid defender thanks to good hands and sound footwork. While he doesn't have flashy tools, he's one of the steadiest players in this draft class.

Then here's the rest of the first round:

22) Giants: Corey Brown, OF, Oklahoma State
23) Padres: Michael Main, RHP, FLorida HS
24) Rangers: Julio Borbon, OF, Tennessee
25) White Sox: Matt LaPorta, 1B, Florida
26) Athletics: Casey Weathers, RHP, Vanderbilt
27) Tigers: Todd Frazier, 3B-SS, Rutgers
28) Twins: Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma State
29) Giants: Nevin Griffith, RHP, Florida HS
30) Yankees: Andrew Brackman, RHP, NC State

No real surprises, except for Mangini. I was hoping he'd last to 45.

At this point the players at the top of my list for #38 and #45 are Schmidt, Kozma, Middlebrooks, Canham, Cecil, Simmons, Poreda, Carpenter and Roemer. I'm not sure if I'd take Kozma having already taken Noonan. The same thing applies to Canham having selected Mesoraco.

Supplemental Round:

Schmidt, Kozma and Middlebrooks are off the board prior to the pick at 38. I went with Brett Cecil, a lefty pitcher from Maryland. He's been a reliever in the past but there's a good chance he can be converted to starting.

Cecil's future figures to be as a starter. He has four pitches, solid-average command and durability. His fastball has been up to 94 mph and sits near 91. His slider can touch 86 with good tilt and depth. His repertoire includes a a curveball, changeup and split-finger fastball, and the changeup has enough fade and deception to become a usable third offering, especially against righthanded hitters.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2005 43 3.77 8.4 2.7 0.0 8.6
2006 58.1 4.78 8.4 3.1 0.5 8.5
2007 62.1 3.32 9.0 2.8 0.4 9.0

Prior to picking at 45 three pitchers went off the board that I had interest in: Poreda, Simmons and Arrieta. However, there were still a bunch of pitchers I had interest in, and the position players were getting lean so I went with Ryan Dent, a SS out of a California HS. My thought is that he'll play CF. If I didn't take him at 45 I didn't think he would have been available at 56 so I took him a little higher than most rankings had him.

Dent lashes line drives from gap to gap with a short, quick stroke and has sound hitting mechanics. His speed is in play from his first step out of the batter's box; he aggressively stretches singles into doubles. His aggressiveness works against him in his impatience at the plate. He's athletic enough to handle either second base or center field and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, especially if he can learn to take a walk as a pro.

At 56 it came down to a decision between Chris Carpenter and Wes Roemer. I waffled over this decision for awhile before going with Carpenter. He had Tommy John surgery a couple years ago and had a cleanup job in the elbow since then. He hasn't pitched a lot this year, but the BA report on him sounded good (they ranked him #31). So I went with his upside over Roemer's control.

Carpenter pitched from 93-97 mph with a lively fastball and hit 96 mph as late as the sixth inning. He also flashed a quality curveball and showed feel for a changeup. His command and secondary pitches are inconsistent, though that's to be expected from someone who has pitched 30 innings over the last two seasons. The effort required to come back from Tommy John surgery has brought out the best in Carpenter, who previously cruised on his natural talent.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2005 49.1 7.66 4.8 3.7 0.9 15.4
2007 42 4.50 6.6 6.4 0.2 6.6

(Yeah, this pick was made on the scouting report and not the stats)

At the end of the supplemental round there's several players available who I would have considered taking, including: Roemer, Josh Fields, Jordan Zimmerman, and James Adkins. I'm hoping Zimmerman falls to 85.

Second Round:

Two picks here, but not until the second half of the round at 85 and 88. There aren't too many position players I'm interested in at this point so hopefully I can hit on some of the pitchers out there. Roemer and Zimmerman both go prior to 85, but Fields and Adkins are both there. Keith Law had Fields, the Georgia closer, rated at 27 overall and wrote that he could make the majors by September so I went with him first. After two picks passed I went with James Adkins, a lefty from Tennessee who has a chance to start but probably isn't a top 3 starter.
Fields' fastball and slider are electric. Both pitches exhibit excellent late life. Fields attacks hitters on the inside half and will finish with either pitch. Two-pitch reliever who was dominant in the past but has struggled with control this spring. His mechanics are sound and he shows excellent quick arm action.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2005 27 7.00 16.3 4.0 0.3 8.7
2006 50 1.80 10.1 2.0 0.0 6.5
2007 38.1 4.46 10.6 5.7 0.7 8.0

Adkins is most comfortable pitching off his secondary stuff. He throws a hard slider at 79-82 mph as well as 76-78 mph curveball. He throws them both for strikes, mixing in a fringe-average fastball that sits at 87-90 mph and a rudimentary changeup. His plus command and feel for pitching make him a No. 5 starter candidate.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2005 127.1 3.32 9.6 3.6 0.6 7.6
2006 106 4.50 9.5 3.6 0.5 8.2
2007 122 2.80 9.8 3.2 0.8 7.7

So after the first 7 picks in the top 88 I ended up selecting three HS hitters and 4 college pitchers ( profiles linked):
  1. Devon Mesoraco, C
  2. Nick Noonan, SS
  3. Brett Cecil, LHP
  4. Ryan Dent, CF
  5. Chris Carpenter, RHP
  6. Josh Fields, RHP
  7. James Adkins, LHP

Round 3:

For whatever reasons college hitters and HS pitchers are going higher than where I would take them. So I've ended up with college pitching and HS hitting. The trend continued this round. There were a few college pitchers I liked but I already had 4 and I felt I could wait another round for one that's similar to the one I'd take in this round. So I went with another HS hitter - Lyle Allen, an OF from Georgia who was more of a football player prior to this year. Keith Law compares him to Shawn Green and calls him a 'championship type player'. Works for me.
Athletic HS RF with ML body who hasn't played as much baseball as some due to career as D-1 recruited QB. Has strength, skills and stroke to hit .280, 25-30 HR; will have plus bat speed with easy leverage stroke. Slight uppercut; bottom hand stroke reminiscent of Shawn Green.

Round 4:

Prior to the draft I wrote a handful of names down for each pick through the second round. At the 85/88 spot in the second round I had 7 names written down. At the beginning of round 4 Tommy Hunter, Duke Welker and David Newman were still available from that list of 7. So I'm hoping one of them ends up at 145. Hunter is the only one left of the three so I take him.

Hunter has a four-pitch repertoire, working off a solid-average fastball that bumps 93 mph and a power slurve at 82-84. Some scouts see him as a two-pitch set-up man in the mold of Braves reliever Tyler Yates, something of a poor-man's Jonathan Broxton. Others point out his ability to hold his velocity late into games and believe he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2006 117.1 3.30 6.1 1.7 0.6 8.8
2007 107 3.87 8.1 2.9 1.0 8.4

Round 5:

I went with Arik Hempy, a LHP from South Carolina. He also had Tommy John surgery and I'm banking on improvement once he's all the way back and his numbers were pretty decent this year in limited time on the mound.
Confident, aggressive guy; believes he will be ML. Bet on continued recovery and being better than before with plus FB, above-average CB and average CH. No. 3 starter potential; No. 4 or 5 at worst.

Year Innings ERA K/9 BB/9 HR/9 H/9
2004 52.1 3.27 8.5 2.4 0.5 6.6
2005 27.1 2.63 6.0 7.3 0.3 6.3
2006 34 2.65 12.4 2.9 1.1 5.8
2007 53.1 2.87 9.3 4.2 0.5 7.6

When you select players that you like you always think you did well. I ended up with only HS position players and college pitchers, although that was nothing intentional. Both Carpenter and Hempy have some upside to them, while Adkins and Hunter are more back of the rotation players a little high risk/high reward and low risk/low reward there.

If a decent starter, good reliever, and two starting position players come out of this draft I'll consider it a success. It's always easier when you have 10 picks as opposed to having 3 or 4 in the previous two years.
2007 Sickels Mock Draft | 48 comments | Create New Account
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tstaddon - Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#169174) #
Cannot see Weathers making it to 26. I feel like he's at the top of the Jays' draft board and if he makes it to 16, I feel like the only way they don't take him is if they grab Dominguez. And if he's there at 21, he's money.
ayjackson - Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#169176) #

If we take a reliever in the first round (Weathers), I'll spit.

Not a bad draft.

ayjackson - Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#169177) #


I see on either side of your Chris Carpenter pick in the supplemental round, were Kentrail Davis and Joe Savery.  These two interested me in my (very limited) research.  What are your thoughts on them?

Also, pre-season you were very high on Cole St. Clair, where would you have considered him?

Craig B - Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#169183) #
If all you see in players are the negatives, you'll never draft anybody.
Pistol - Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#169186) #
Law's scouting report on Savery was pretty bad - I wasn't considering him until the 3rd round at the earliest.

You could certainly make a case for Davis at 45 - I just preferred Dent because I see him as a leadoff hitter who can run down everything in CF with top speed.

I've cooled a lot of St Clair.  I originally thought he might be able to covert to a starter like Cecil, but that doesn't seem likely now and he's had recent shoulder problems (which seems to be a common problem with Rice pitchers).  I may have considered him in the 2nd round, but I would have taken Fields and Adkins over him.

Mike Green - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#169190) #
Nothing but a pat on the back from me.  Nice draft, Pistol.  Actually, the scouting directors seem to have done their homework quite well, so the options were not quite as good as in previous years. 
PeterG - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#169192) #
I like these selections. Should this turn out be be close to reality on Thursday, I will be pleased with that result.
Pistol - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#169194) #
The scouting directors seem to have done their homework quite well, so the options were not quite as good as in previous years.

It's hard to say for me.  There always seems to be players dropping further than you expect them to so you always think you're getting a bargain after the first round.

I always find it interesting to see where players that I take in the mock draft are taken in the actual draft.  In prior years I was more statistically oriented, but those players all went earlier in the real draft any way.

Last year:
  1. Travis Snider, OF, Washington HS (14 in the real draft)
  2. Chad Huffman, INF, Texas Christian University  (53 in the real draft)
  3. Brad Furnish, LHP, Texas Christian University (54 in the real draft)
We're all familiar with Snider, Huffman is crushing the ball in High A and Furnish is pitching decently albeit in low A.

Two years ago:
1---6th---Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, University of Virginia  (4---Nationals)
3---86th---Matt Green, RHP, University of Louisiana-Monroe   (49---Diamondbacks)
4---116th---Chris Nicoll, RHP, UC Irvine   (82---Royals)
5---146th---Brad Corley, OF, Mississippi State University (59--Pirates)

Zimmerman has worked out well, Green looks to be a good prospect pitching well in AA, Nicoll is struggling in High A, and Corley is struggling in High A.

So of the 7 picks I made over the past two years I'm pretty satisfied with 4 of them, which is about as good as you can expect in the draft (especially with no 2nd rounder and only one 3rd rounder).
Ryan Day - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#169195) #

Promising quote from Ricciardi:

"We're not going to take a college kid, just to take a college kid. We're going to take someone who we think is like Snider last year -- a premier high school player."

Pistol - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#169197) #
More dirt:
On Friday, the Blue Jays held a workout at Rogers Centre for around 20 players whom they are interested in for the First-Year Player Draft, which will take place on Thursday and Friday. Ricciardi said three potential first-round picks and two standout high school catchers were among those in Toronto.
It'd be nice if there were names attached to this.  Last year the Jays ended up drafting a lot of the players they worked out.  Off the top of my head I believe Snider, Hopkins, and Baksh were all in for workouts last year.

I imagine that the two HS catchers are Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal or Travis d'Arnaud
Mike Green - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#169200) #
More time at the video just for fun. Vitters has a great swing and approach.  He looks like he'll be a right-fielder and a great one. On the other hand, Price looks good but nothing like what I would expect to see in a #1 overall in a strong draft.  None of this matters for the home nine...

Paul D - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#169202) #

"We're not going to take a college kid, just to take a college kid. We're going to take someone who we think is like Snider last year -- a premier high school player."

To be honest, I don't see this as a positive quote.  You don't draft well by deciding to draft only one segment of the draft-eligible population, whether it's college or high schoolers.  There seems to be a thought-trend that high school position players are a better bet to be superstars than college position players, despite a lack of evidence (I wonder if Russ Adams vs. Travis Snider is the cause of this).   I strongly believe that teams should take the best player available, regardless of background.  Now, obviously this more challenging than it sounds - if a high school pitcher or catcher is 50% more likely to burn out than a college 3b, which of them is the best player?  But that's what JP and the scouting department are paid to figure out.

Ryan Day - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#169205) #
I think he's espousing a general philosophy rather than a specific plan of action. He says they're not taking a college player just to take a college player, as some have  complained over the past few years. They're focusing on high school athletes, not excluding college players.
moffydream - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#169212) #

Not bad draft but not good draft either IMO.

Mesoraco was good pick but Noonan,Dent was overdrafted. As Noonan he reminds me Russ Adams, and Dent I think he's not fit to CF. I want to see Kentrail Davis than Dent.

JP's comment is very interesting.. maybe Sniders's success breaked JP's philosophy.

I really want to see JP picks two HS pitcher in 1st Round. That could be real surprising.

PeterG - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#169213) #
Not going to happen. There is good reason to avoid HS pitchers in the early rounds.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#169218) #
I think we might be reading too much into JP's comments.  We don't know what question was asked to promote that response, nor what he said directly before or after - nor if the grammar truly represented what he meant (for example, JP's previous sentence in the article has an obvious grammatical error in it, so taking things too literally may cause misinterpretation). 

One thing I've learned over the years from watching press conferences is that a lot of the time, people do have legitimate beefs when they say reporters take things out of context and that could easily be the case here.  Although, all the reporter claims is that people shouldn't be surprised if JP takes a high school - not that he's wedded to the idea, so I think I'll rely on his interpretation of the quote instead of exactly what the quote says with no context.
Craig B - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#169222) #

Real plus bats with good size who have the athleticism and discipline to play in the middle infield (not "plus bat for a middle infielder") are rare; I like Noonan a fair bit as a result.  Only maybe five guys a year like this come along.  He doesn't have big power yet, but he should develop some.  Is #21 high for him?  Yes, but how else do you ensure you're going to get him.

As for Kentrail Davis, I don't see anything in him that Richie Robnett didn't have, and Robnett has had troubles going up the ladder.  Plus, Davis just isn't the athlete that Dent is.  Still, we could argue all day over what kind of high schoolers we like without solving anything...

Dent reminds me of Shane Victorino.  That wouldn't be a bad haul out of a mid-round supplemental pick.

Ron - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#169225) #
Let's hope the Jays selections are based on best player available and not: If Scott Boras is his agent/Excluding a segment of the population (i.e HS pitchers)/Current Team Needs

With 7 picks in the first 2 rounds, I wonder what the Jays draft budget is. Hopefully somebody passes a memo to JP that the draft is currently the most under-valued way of getting talent. Even Scott Boras draft clients don't get 15+ million contracts while the Miguel Batista's of the world land 3yr/25 million contracts. The Pads selecting Matt Bush number 1 because he would sign for cheap is a perfect example of why you shouldn't do this.

Ryan Day - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#169226) #

On the other hand, taking Joe Mauer over Mark Prior is a pretty convincing case for taking the player who's going to be easier to sign.

I don't really think Matt Bush is an example of anything. He wasn't a #1 pick on talent, but he was still a first-round player, top-ten according to BA:

Had San Diego not chosen Bush, he likely would have gone to either the Indians or the Reds as the sixth or seventh pick. A pure shortstop, he had the best defensive skills and the most arm strength (he has been clocked up to 96 mph on the mound) of any position player available. 

He flamed out spectacularly, and it's certainly more disappointing because he was the first overall pick. But the Padres took a raw, talented, high school shortstop and he didn't work out. It's easy to pick on the Padres, of course, but they're hardly alone: Both the Brewers and Indians have well-regarded farm systems, but both of them passed on Weaver and Drew as well.

Ron - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#169227) #
That fact that nobody thought Bush was a top 5 talent is a good enough reason why he shouldn't have been selected number 1. The Pads can spin it anyway they want, but it doesn't take a person with a high IQ to figure out he was selected mostly because he would sign for cheap. Overall, the draft is a crapshoot. But the reward is much higher than the risk when it comes to the draft and the dollars that are involved. It's a wise thing for any club to expand the draft budget. You can easily waste a lot more money on signing free agents that become a bust.
Craig B - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#169229) #

Ron, I agree that you're right in general that the rewards are higher than the risks in the draft.  However, that's not the case for all drafts, all draft strategies, or especially all draftees.  Matt Bush would not have been a good pick at #6 or #7 either and picking him #1 actually exacerbated those risks.  Picking J.D. Drew third overall, thinking that his contract demands are a bluff, is not necessarily good risk management.

Good risk management (and I agree, that means using risk to your advantage and not just minimizing it blindly) is a key to good drafting.

Ryan Day - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#169230) #

But in any given year, there are always players who are drafted before or after than they "should". I don't believe there are any teams - aside from the Yankees and Sox, perhaps - who draft 100% on the basis of talent and disregard any issues of signability.

It's not just the Padres taking Bush first, or the Jays taking Russ Adams instead of Kazmir or Hamels; those picks just look worse because the player performed worse than anyone expected. Matt Bush looks like a total washout for the tenth pick, never mind the first. But I haven't seen any suggestion that he didn't deserve to be one of the top 5-10 players chosen.

Plenty of smart teams pass on elite talent for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they look good, sometimes they look stupid. It's easy to say "draft the best talent" when you're not the one left with a) a draft pick you can't sign, or b) a guy with a huge signing bonus that got wiped out in AA.

Pistol - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#169231) #
If the Jays pay slot for each pick they'll end up around $7.5 million in bonuses this year.  The 16 pick will be right about $1.5 million - or about what the Jays are paying Royce Clayton to be a .650 OPS shortstop this year.

Just hitting on one good player can pay for an entire draft and then some.

Pistol - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#169232) #
Picking J.D. Drew third overall, thinking that his contract demands are a bluff, is not necessarily good risk management.

Teams have a bit more leverage this year with the new CBA.  If they don't sign a player they get that pick back the following year.  So if the Pirates take Wieters at #4 and don't sign him they'd get the #5 pick next year (in addition to their normal picks).

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
Manhattan Mike - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#169234) #
Not going to happen. There is good reason to avoid HS pitchers in the early rounds.

Why? The last three times the Jays picked a high school pitcher in the first round (excluding supplemental picks), the results have actually been quite favorable:

Chris Carpenter, Steve Karsay, and one Harry Leroy Halladay.

Of course there have been some supplemental picks and early round picks that haven't worked out but this has been the case for early round pitching picks that have a college background.

If there's a quality high school pitcher to be drafted early on, I say that the Jays should take a chance.
MatO - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#169235) #

I wonder what the Jays draft budget is.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the Toronto Star that the Jays were no longer insuring player contracts as the premiums and restrictions were now too onerous.  Godfrey said that the money previously paid on premiums would be used in player signings and in particular on this year's draft.

Mark - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#169237) #
I remember when BJ Ryan was first injured (before the TJ) there was an article in a Toronto paper about insurance and how the Jays self insured this year.  Godfrey was quoted as saying the extra money they would normally spend on insurance would go towards the draft. Assuming their commitment didn't change after BJ went down for the year, where is this extra money going?  Almost certainly the money was designed for the extra picks, but I hold out hope that if Wieters makes it to16 (like Law and BA have mocked up) the Jays grab him. Besides getting one of the best players, It would be a heck of a PR move for a team that could use one.

I know it is not likely but it would be nice to see.
Mark - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#169238) #
That's what happens when you take a phone call while writing a post. At least my unlinked story has been confirmed by a credible source.
parrot11 - Monday, June 04 2007 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#169247) #

On the other hand, taking Joe Mauer over Mark Prior is a pretty convincing case for taking the player who's going to be easier to sign.

Ryan, I don't really agree with you there. Sometimes, you can't really account for some combination of bad luck/injuries and bad management. Prior was a good pick, but had the misfortune of freak injuries and having to pitch for Dusty Baker, which led to his downfall. Also, one example doesn't prove anything. Hindsight is always 20/20 and who is to say that Mauer won't suffer some kind of catastrophic injury.


"We're not going to take a college kid, just to take a college kid. We're going to take someone who we think is like Snider last year -- a premier high school player."

To be honest, I don't see this as a positive quote

Paul, I see it more as a positive. The strength of this year's draft is by far in the high school class. That's not to say that if a really good talent like Wieters fell to us and we were willing to spend the money that we wouldn't take him. It just means that the staff has focused it's attention alot more on the strength of that specific draft class.

I also heard that one of the reasons that they traded away guys like Hinske, Schoenweis, Hillenbrand, ... was to use the money for the draft. So I take it as a positive that they spend alot more on the draft this year and probably in upcoming years.


Pistol, I can't say that I'm to thrilled with your draft haul. I felt you were too conservative. I think that it might be fairly similar to what JP actually does, but that really wasn't the point of the whole exercise. I like the Mesoraco pick, but not much else. I would have preferred Main at #21 or even rolled the dice on Brackman (who has one of the highest ceilings in the draft). I really didn't like the Cecil pick who has too much control problems and not enough upside. I would have preferred Poreda or Burgess (who has huge upside and have faith in my development staff to iron up the kinks). I don't have a problem with the Dent pick, but I would have probably considered Kentrail Davis and Travis d'Arnaud. I really liked the Carpenter pick which was good value where you drafted him. I don't have much of a problem with Josh Fields, although I would have taken Neftali Soto. Ilke the Lyle Allen pick as well. But I really would have liked you to take more chances in the 1st round. Pistol, please don't take my critcism personally or anything, but more as my 2 cents worth.

Pistol - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#169256) #
And just in time for the draft has draft histories ( has them too, but I had a hard time working my way through that site).  The bonus is that there's all sorts of way to sort the data.  Want to know who were the #38 picks in the draft?  You might end up with a manager (1977).

They even have the player's real names.  Preston Patton.... who knew?

Ryan Day - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#169264) #

I was being kind of facetious with the Mauer/Prior comparison. The Twins look great because Mauer turned out better than anyone could have hoped for and Prior fell apart; that isn't hugely different from choosing Matt Bush, who fell apart beyond any reasonable expectations. Similarly, if Scott Kazmir and Cole Hamels had blown their arms out at AA, Russ Adams wouldn't look nearly so bad.


Mike Green - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#169270) #
Bauxite and Baseball Analyst minor league correspondent Marc Hulet has an interesting interview with Phillippe Aumont today.  Aumont's line about "not thinking" brought me back...
MatO - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#169271) #
A claasic case is the 1990 draft where Todd Van Poppel was the consensus number 1 overall but his bonus demands (I think he was a Boras client) scared off so many teams he dropped to the A's at #14.  The Braves with the #1 overall "settled" for Chipper Jones.
Pistol - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#169272) #
New mock draft from Jonathan Mayo.

It's funny to see Beau Mills be projected anywhere from #4 to #21.  Devin Mesoraco is in the same boat.

Manhattan Mike - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#169290) #
Similarly, if Scott Kazmir and Cole Hamels had blown their arms out at AA, Russ Adams wouldn't look nearly so bad.

Kazmir and Hamels aren't comparable to Adams since JP had ruled out selecting high school players early in the draft. Remember, 2002 was the ultimate Moneyball draft. While certainly selecting either of those pitchers, or Francoeur (23rd) or Cain (25th) would have been better than Adams (at this point in time), the better comp to whom the Jays should have selected instead of Adams in 2002 would be Nick Swisher (who could have been trained to play first base, given that it was understood that Carlos and his big contract were soon-to-be-gone anyways) with the 16th pick.  Or, instead of Swisher, drafting Guthrie (22nd - looks to be off to a fine start with the O's) or Blanton (24th).

FranklyScarlet - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#169299) #

It's funny to see Beau Mills be projected anywhere from #4 to #21.

Francona told reporters over the weekend that Beau Mills and the family will be with Coach Mills in Oakland, in a box at the afternoon game, waiting to see where Beau goes........Everyone expected to go in the draft gets asked "where will you listen or watch?" 

This is one of the better answers I have heard. 


metafour - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#169300) #
Good attempt Pistol, but I have some beefs and questions regarding some of your picks (which I'll make below).  I noticed that you seem to have used Keith Law's opinions pretty heavily, why?  Law is a good draft source but wouldn't it make more sense to use BA which is way ahead in terms of draft knowledge?  Just wondering because I noticed a few of your picks were basically made with the thought process: "Keith Law likes him so thats good enough for me."  I agree with the previous comment stating that you didn't take enough risks as well.  On to the picks themselves....

16) Mesoraco - Good pick and I'm perfectly fine with this.

21) Noonan - First question - why Noonan over Kozma?  Noonan supposedly has a better bat but I'm really not sure that its good enough to overpower the fact that Kozma is one of the few "top" middle infield prospects who actually projects to stay at SS.  I think that Noonan's and Kozma's bats are comparable (both project as top of the order hitters with a bit of pop) to the point where it would make sense to draft the SS over the 2B.  I really dont agree with Law if he thinks that Noonan can stay at SS, he has the same problem that Russ Adams had and thats below-average arm strength.

38) Cecil - Decent pick, nothing I'd really get that excited over.

45) Dent - Really not a fan of this pick.  Dent's speed is exciting, but we're not even a team that values speed or stolen bases very much at all.  Looking past that I've heard that Dent's approach at the plate isn't very good and that he needs a lot of work to do with the bat - this worries me heavily.  At the HS level you can get away with hacking away because the pitching you're going up against isn't very advanced, but that type of approach at the plate will NEVER work at the higher levels unless you possess a VERY good bat, and Dent doesn't.  The fact about Dent is that he's a player who for the most part is getting drafted on his one tool (speed), however, his only real strong tool (speed) is totally negated if he cant get on base.  If he cant get on base then what else does he really bring?  He apparently isn't likely to stay at SS either so a move to 2B or CF is likely.  You mentioned moving him to CF, but I question that considering that he doesn't have a lot of power and his arm isn't very strong at all.  I guess he could be a lead-off type CF but that once again goes back to his "hack" mentality at the plate which suggests otherwise.

56) Carpenter - Finally a true big-upside pick, but I'm really not sure that this is the right one to make.  Between Carpenter's injury history and the fact that his stuff is VERY raw (his secondary pitches need a TON of work) I'm really leaning against drafting him.  He just looks like an injury-riddled, right-handed version of David Purcey: a very strong fastball with a potentially great second pitch, very little command and very little control.  Like Purcey I'm also worried about the fact that Carpenter really only has 2 pitches at the collegiate level (and he cant even command his 2 pitches very well), that just sends out a huge "FUTURE RELIEVER" signal in my opinion.

85) Fields - Pretty good pick at this point.  Good arm, but do we really need to draft 2 collegiate relievers (Cecil and Fields) this early? I realize that Cecil is supposed to move into the rotation, but its something I've noticed.  I could also add Carpenter to this category because he's a guy who I consider to be a strong candidate to move over to the bull-pen as well for obvious reasons: injury problems (bull-pen would help save his arm), lack of starter arsenal pitches (he only really throws 2 and you cant do that as an ML starter unless you possess ridiculous stuff), and command and control issues.

88) Adkins - Once again, not that exciting.  I guess his slider is something to get excited about, but a pitcher with a below average fastball isn't exactly what I'd start drooling over.  His upside is very limited that that isn't the way I'd approach this draft.  We already have a TON of 5th starters/reliever types in the minors, why draft another this high?  With a weak farm system and a perfect situation this year (with a ton of top picks) I'd look to spend the HIGH picks more on home-run type talents and not fringe starters.

115) Allen - Pretty good pick which I wouldn't mind at all.  I'll admit I dont know much about Allen but a HS outfielder with good hitting tools is better than some of your earlier picks IMO.

145) Hunter - Another pick I dont really like OR understand.  Another end of the rotation/bullpen guy, he carries the same criticism as Adkins.  I read's draft profile and found it puzzling to say the least.  They mention that Hunter has 3 average pitches and below average command.  Uhh....why are we drafting a guy with average stuff AND below average command this high?  Thats probably the worst combo you can have as a pitcher.  If everything works out he projects to have a few average pitches and average command...sounds like a total bust.  If you're going to draft a guy who has below average command he better be packing a serious arm.  On the contrary - if you're drafting a guy with average stuff he better possess pin-point command.  I dont like this pick at all.

175) Hempy - Pretty decent pick although another guy who underwent TJ surgery.  I can live with this pick because he at least appears to have some potential as  more than a 5th starter/reliever type, and he's left-handed.


Overall I just feel that you went with way too many low-impact picks, and the high-potential players you did draft just appear to have too many question marks (Carpenter).  You drafted  SIX pitchers and not even one of them possesses Ace type potential, or even front-line potential (OK, maybe Carpenter, but I pointed out my concerns about him).  Our minor league system is weak and filled with multiple guys like Hunter, Adkins, etc.  In a draft where we have so many top picks I'd personally look to target WAY more high-impact players at the top than you did.  Use picks in rounds 6-7 and on to draft fringe starters or more "safe" picks, focus the first 7-8 picks on mainly guys who have legit potential and upside.

R Billie - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#169306) #

I guess the question is, who are the high impact guys who don't have question marks?  And why wouldn't they be gone in the first half of the first round?  Generally, the star players of a draft are found early and thereafter they tail off and it becomes a lottery to find the right guys.

I think all you can do is load up on the guys who excel at one or two important things once you get past the multiple tools guys in the first couple of rounds.  Or who have tools and need a lot of training and experience to realize them (see League, Brandon).

But you also look at some of the successful major leaguers with long careers and they aren't always the flashy, overwhelming tools types.  Jamie Moyer has won 221 big league games and was a 6th round selection.  Do you think he ever projected as anything more than a back-of-the-rotation type in most scouting evaluations?

So a guy being a 5th starter type isn't necessarily the kibosh on his ability to be part of a winning team.  Chacin has shown to be a winning (if not lucky) pitcher when healthy.

Pistol - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#169313) #
Law is a good draft source but wouldn't it make more sense to use BA which is way ahead in terms of draft knowledge?

Well, I used a blend of BA, Law and the profiles (and the profiles weren't particularly flattering of these picks).  I'm not sure why BA is 'way ahead' of Law.  Baseball America is mostly a collector of opinions of baseball personnel (and the people they talk with could be talking up or down a player to try and benefit themselves).  Law's scouting reports were all first person accounts.

You drafted  SIX pitchers and not even one of them possesses Ace type potential, or even front-line potential (OK, maybe Carpenter, but I pointed out my concerns about him).

Are there pitchers that went after 38 that you think are frontline type pitchers? 

Regarding Noonan I'm just convinced his bat is a major league bat.  While Kozma may have a better chance at sticking at SS, I'm not convinced he'll be a good enough hitter to make it (at least to take at 21, I probably would have at 38).  I'd rather have one great tool than a bunch of mediocre tools.

Getting a player after the second round who ends up as a reliever is a successful pick (especially when good setup men can get $3-4 million these days).  And really, getting any player to the majors after the first few rounds is a huge success.  Just looking at the 2002 draft the only successful player in the 3rd round is Curtis Granderson.  So if a player has a major league ready pitch now, or a couple plus pitches, but doesn't profile as a starter who cares?  You're not going to have a lot of success expecting starters out of the 3rd round and later.

I just looked real quick at 3rd pitchers from 1990-1999 (this B-R feature is terrific).  The best pitchers are Dave Fleming (38 wins), Chad Ogea (37), Matt Clement (87), Brain Meadows (47), Dempster (58), Arroyo (49), Chacon (39), Schoeneweis (43), Maroth (48), and Fogg (51).  In a 10 year period Arroyo is the only one that even resembles a frontline pitcher.

I'm pretty comfortable with all of the picks now, but I can see how people don't like it.  Time will be the ultimate judge of how successful these picks are (not that it matters too much).
Pistol - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#169320) #
For what it's worth, BA rankings (top 200) and Law rankings (top 100):

Draft    Player           BA    Law      Notes
16        Mesoraco    24    25         
21        Noonan       41    18   
38       Cecil             25    23   
45       Dent              46    56   
56       Carpenter    31    57   
85       Fields           58    27   
88       Atkins           80    58   
115    Allen              n/a    n/a        Law rated him as a 2nd/3rd rounder, BA outside top 200
145    Hunter         121    86   
175    Hempy         n/a    n/a         Law rated him a 3rd rounder, BA outside top 200

metafour - Tuesday, June 05 2007 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#169326) #
Pitchers taken after 38 who have legitimate potential:

Neil Ramirez: Mid 90's fastball (up to 96mph) with solid command, curveball projects to be a ML pitch, changeup is lagging behind but few HS pitchers have usable changeups.  Projectable body.

Danny Duffy: low 90's fastball with good movement, slider projects to be a true strikeout pitch,  good feel for a changeup, shows potential to have a solid 4-pitch arsenal, still has room to fill out.  He hit 94mph this year and apparently hit 96mph at some All-Star event recently.

Aaron Poreda: Huge lefty with 95-96mph fastball with above average movement, super projectable body, slider and changeup are very raw but the potential is there.

Chris Withrow: 91-93mph fastball (touches 94mph) with natural sink, solid curveball which projects to be an above average pitch, good feel for a changeup.  Very projectable body with a VERY easy delivery and clean mechanics, easily repeats delivery.

Thats off the top of my head, just a few guys who I like and feel have the potential to be third starters and above.  Obviously the HS pitchers are harder to project because very few of them have finished developing, while most of the supplemental/2nd/3rd round HS pitchers dont have ace stuff right now you never really know which of them are going to fill out, add a few mph to a current 90mph fastball, and become great prospects.  Really what I'm saying is I'd look at guys who just have more potential.  The majority of the guys you drafted are highly ranked by BA/Law because they're guys that are fairly low risk.  Those types of guys get ranked higher because there are quite a few teams who want less "projection" pitchers, and we've been one of those teams in the past.  In this draft I'd personally look to take more chances.
Pistol - Wednesday, June 06 2007 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#169372) #
Keith Law had a note in his blog that the Jays may take Will Kline, a starter from Mississippi in the late supplemental round.  He has good numbers, but isn't in BA's top 200.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 06 2007 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#169374) #
BA in their latest Draft Tracker now has Brett Cecil at the end of the first round. I don't know squat about him, but nabbing him in the middle of the 3rd round of the mock draft could end up as a coup.
ChicagoJaysFan - Wednesday, June 06 2007 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#169377) #
I'd be curious if anyone has ever done a study comparing actual draft slots versus BA pre-draft projections to see which is more accurate for predicting future success.  I think most of us (me included) end up judging a draft based on how the 3rd party groups rank players before the draft.  However, if they are usually worse off than the market (i.e. the major league teams on the call on draft day), then maybe that's not the best way to evaluate drafts.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 06 2007 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#169380) #
Studies have been done of the actual return on draft picks, using Win Shares and perhaps VORP/WARP.  I do not recall if anyone has done a comparable BA study.  One of the problems is that BA does not uniformly publish a top 200 immediately prior to the draft.  Their draft trackers are typically top 30 only, and signability is a big issue for them.
Pistol - Thursday, June 07 2007 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#169498) #
Here's how my mock draft picks have fared in the draft through 150 picks:
  • 16 Mesoraco - 15
  • 21 Noonan - 32
  • 38 Cecil - 38
  • 45 Dent - 62
  • 56 Carpenter -
  • 85 Fields - 69
  • 88 Adkins - 39
  • 115 Allen -
  • 145 Hunter - 54
  • 175 Hempy -
Carpenter is a draft eligible soph so he might be a signability issue.

College pitchers went much earlier in the real draft, particularly Adkins and Hunter.

Smithers - Thursday, June 07 2007 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#169499) #
Pistol, I just want to congratulate you on the great work you've done all along in preparing us Bauxites for this year's draft.  Nailing Cecil on the head in the supplemental round was just the topper! 

Let's just hope that everyone signs, stays healthy and keeps progressing.

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