2007 Sickels Mock Draft

Sunday, June 03 2007 @ 07:00 PM EDT

Contributed by: Pistol

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 (MILB.com 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.