Jun 062011
 

No, that’s not a misplaced slug. That’s the intended headline.

With the First-Year Player Draft tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday, I realize there’s high interest (and high intrigue for the first time since 2009), but it’s not on my part. But I want to give folks a place to discuss it, hence the post.

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a draft guru. It just doesn’t interest me to speculate on who “we” might get so much as I like to follow who “we’ve” got. As a buddy of mine put it, it’s hard for MLB to manufacture the excitement of the NFL or NBA drafts because you’re pretty much going on the opinions of perhaps a dozen people; there’s simply not the same level of coverage for the segment that folks covet the most: high-ceiling high school ballplayers.

I’ll do my best to cover the draft after the fact, but the timing his year couldn’t be worse: Right as the Potomac Nationals are about to embark on 14-day homestand. My apologies in advance to those I may have disappointed, but I think I’ve been fairly consistent in my stance.

Discuss away… but be civil!

  35 Responses to “Obligatory Draft Post”

  1. OT: How can I get the autofill to say my twitter feed instead of a blog that is now defunct?

    I’m totally with you on this post. I love the game. I do like following the players and once we pick guys I think that it makes sense to try to decipher what we can from the Nats strategy. On the whole, though, I feel that the draft is such a crap shoot that it’s best to focus on the games. I want all of the players in our system to know that they have fans that care about every pitch, every fundamental play, and every at bat. We’ll cheer when you play the game right way. I’ll boo when you exhibit lack of effort or focus by certain ages. But if you’re asking us to worship you before you’ve signed or played a day in our system, you’re barking up the wrong tree with me, Mr. Boras.

    I’m a lot more interested in Auburn and the GCL Opening Day rosters than I am with the draft. If MLB was as well, then they’d be onto something.

    [the above rant was a rationalization for my lack of resources to devote time to a dynasty fantasy baseball league where the draft *would* mean something to me]

  2. Do the Nats still take Rice 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon if Seattle passes on him and he drops to #6? Best available player stuff aside, he would seem to be the one top 6 gimmee that the Nats probably don’t want to draft.

    • Most scenarios that the pundits have laid out don’t seem to have Rendon dropping past the 4th pick. So I doubt that we will get that option.

      Trevor Bauer and Bubba Starling seem to be the two most likely picks for the Nats assuming that everything goes according to plan with the first five. At least that is what people seem to be saying.

    • I think the Nats get a nice choice at #6 as signability becomes an issue, I don’t see Rizzo shying away.

      Rumor has it that Hultzen has let the Orioles know somehow that he doesn’t want to play there. Rumor, so if true, the Nats may have a pick from Hultzen and Starling…..who do you pick them?

  3. I view the MLB draft exactly the way that I view the NFL draft – I don’t know any of these players (I don’t watch college sports, much less high school). So I hope that, whoever the Nationals (and Yankees, my other MLB rooting interest) draft, the players turn out to be good. And I know that there is no way of knowing whether they will or not for at least a couple of years.

    So like SD I’m interested, but I have nothing to add to the discussion. And yet I’ve posted anyway. Isn’t the internet a great thing? :-)

  4. Hey everyone Frank Piliere is having a live draft chat at: http://sbb.scout.com/2/1077197.html

    Bauer will most likely not be available when we pick latest rumor is AZ is going to pick him 3rd overall. Also new rumor is A. Bradley might be picked by the O’s at 4. Royals are looking for an arm but could end up taking Starling. Most likely player out of the elite 6 to fall to us is Bubba Starling.

  5. Sickels’ weekend Mock Draft had us getting da Bubba.
    ww.minorleagueball.com/2011/6/4/2206417/2011-minor-league-ball-community-mock-draft-round-one

    Consensus is there 6 top flight talents out there and the Nats will pick the one that is left. (Gerritt Cole, Anthony Rendon, Danny Hultlzen, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy and Bubba Starling). If available at 23, most have us going for Alex Meyer, but he may go earlier.

    That’s consensus, doesn’t mean it’ll go that way, rumors of someone picking Francicsco Lindor (HS, SS) ahead of our 6 slot would mean we get either of 2 of the top 6, instead of the default.

    Imagine an OF of Harper, Bubba and Werth?!

    • I really can’t see KC passing Starling. They have plenty of pitching already in their system and this kid is a local product. Basically a local legend. I don’t see him getting past #5.

      I suspect the Nats will be looking for left-handed starters again. And relievers. The system is short in that category. I’m still confused about what plans they have for Attie Severino he seems like an org guy but he is still on the 40-man?

      Van Allen started to look good and then tapered off. Of course everyone’s favorite Manno is doing well but he seems like the lone lefty reliever doing well? Smoker is still struggling.

      Top lefty starters look to be Detwiler, Solis, Robbie Ray, and I guess McGreary when he comes back from TJ? There is Matt Grace and Mitchell Clegg but I wonder if the seeming shortage of higher minor success for left-handed starters isn’t why they took a flier on Oliver Perez?

      In any case I could be wrong but I expect to see a few left-handed pitchers drafted.

  6. What’s exciting about the MLB draft is that tomorrow morning we have 3 new guys to root on as they chase their dream of making the bigs.

    The three names don’t matter that much, so long as it is clear they were chosen for our scouts measure of their talent and not their price tag.

    And for at least a week, we can all dream that they’re going to grow up to be Mickey Mantle and Nolan Ryan and not worry quite so much about the Nats getting shut out twice over the weekend.

    • A whole lot more than three… and for the chronically negative, those new guys are going to push out some OGs.

      • …Or once signed, underachievers from the last draft or two. Depending on the timing of the signings, most will get posted to either Auburn or GCL.

        I’d like to see another 30-or-so signed draft picks this year, with fewer UFA’s than in the past. That would signify to me that there are fewer percieved holes in the overall system.

  7. Latest MLB mock draft has us getting HSer Dylan Bundy, which would be wonderful. Just a speck better than Baseball America’s latest in which we get Danny Hultzen!

    As far as number of new Nats to be, look to the 25-32 range, probably on the higher side (directly from the draft). Well established, solid farm systems will look to sign their top 25 picks. As evidenced by the whoppping 10 Undrafted Free Agents we signed (passed up by all teams in 50 rounds of drafting), we are not “well-established” nor “solid”. We signed 33 drafted players (7 in rounds 31-49), 33 Caribbeans, 2 International Free Agents (Maya & Martin) and still had too many organizational guys (minor league free agents) to suit my tastes.

    • Refecting what Sue said above … seems like some guys are likely going to be moved out come this winter. I bet JD Martin hangs on though … ;)

  8. Peric, the Royals are taking Bundy not Starling. He is a Boras guy and the Royals don’t want to do that dance.

    • Looks like KC took Starling as expected and had a hunch Rendon might fall to Rizzo. Also that was a possibility for Cole as well … but the Pirates took him.

      Starling is a local legend where people drive from hundreds of miles to see him play. He lives 36 miles from Eugene Kaufman stadium. You don’t think that was lost on the KC FO do you? For this guy they’ll gladly pay Boras his money.

  9. Yes, sign-ability and Boras and $,$$$,$$$ are the main factors with the Orioles and Royals so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nats got a few available studs at #6.

    • You don’t want to look back 2 to 4 years from now and say, why didn’t our team take _______ player with the #4 pick. So much goes into the why’s and where’s of picking and hindsight is always easy to look back and say we should have known.

      Starling seems to me to be one of the intriguing players but what to do if Hultzen and Starling are both there at #6.

      • Hultzen vs Starling – Hultzen would be a nice story (regional kid) if he makes it, but has a middling projection from the majority of the draftniks. Starling could be a 5-tooler, or a complete bust at a fairly high price (Bora$ client, already in school at NU). Tough call, and one I’m glad falls to someone else.

  10. So, Rendon falls to the Nationals at #6; Interesting. Expect pitchers at #23 & 34 at this point, I suppose.

  11. A hypothetical initial offer to Rendon – $4M bonus over 4 years, and a minor-league deal. Offer to ‘scope the kid’s shoulder & ankle on the team’s dime in the off-season – Get him under contract quick & get him started at Auburn ASAP.

  12. Michael, the Royals took Starling. Let’s see if they sign him.

  13. Happy days for a certain Brian Oliver of Nats_farm fame. This looks his perfect scenario: Zim, Stras, Harper, and now Rendon. Throw in Espinosa and boy-oh-boy things could get really interesting.

    Congratulations Brian Oliver you picked it again!

  14. Souldrummer are you sure you aren’t interested? They drafted another Brian Oliver favorite from 2 years ago? They drafted Alex Meyer RHP from Kentucky? Rendon is KLaw’s #2 prospect. Meyer is his #6 prospect. Usually both he and NFA_Brian are right more than wrong?

  15. It would be interesting to see what Potomac SS Rick Hague and Auburn RF Chad Mozingo think of the nats picking their former RICE teamate #6

  16. Purke! Nats loves to take the kids from Texas.

  17. Looks like I was right in the “later rounds”. First Purke and then Turnbull both left handed pitchers. Purke looks to me like a potential great left-handed reliever. But I suppose they will try him as a starter first. Kylin Turnbull another lefty, interesting video. The central coast is extremely windy and he is pitching on a field open to the ocean. His pitches had enough to overcome the wind with some decent break. The guy has what looks like a splitter and a curve. Fast ball nothing special. Looks to me like a John Lannan clone. Throws strikes but JC is low pressure. Have to see how he does in Hagersttown

  18. Prefer the GA bulldogs over the any Yellow Jackets. Skote looks really slow. Not speed there? But he bats left. Gee, how did I know? ~smiles~

  19. Rizzo has just stopped trying, drafting 5 Senior pitchers in a row from rounds 6-10 and a Senior OF at 11. These guys will sign for pocket lint. Potential of a hockey puck.

    Of course, absolutely zero High Schoolers drafted in top 12 rounds. No use following this anymore.

    • Not that I’m a draft guru or anything, but at the end of day two it looks like Rizzo went for the long ball in the 1st four picks (Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin, Purke), then backed off & played for signability (six NCAA seniors, two CC players, and three NCAA Junior classmen through round 15. The bottom half of day two saw four HS players drafted (a SS & three pitchers), five underclassmen (four pitchers & a RF), and six more graduating players (three pitchers, two catchers, and a RF).

      If the Nationals can sign their top four, and half of their day two picks, it will still have been a great draft, imo. Anybody that signs off a day three offer is just gravy.

    • Vladi: SIgnability is OK at a certain level – Auburn & the GCL squad need players that can fill a roster & contribute something, right? This years’ top four could easily eclipse anything the Nationals have spent in a given draft year, if they all agree to contracts. If they’re all healthy & sign contracts, I’m absolutely giddy about the next two-to-three years.

      • Yes, the top 4 show alot of promise and to have 4 from a draft class to be regulars in the majors would make it a prettty good draft. To have more, would make a great draft – but we didn’t take any “risks” and choose potentially high ceiling guys. To totally blow away your 6-11 round picks on seniors (floor = ceiling guys), shows you’re only picking the filler and organizational guys and giving up trying to have that Great Draft. But of those 4, we got 2 injury risks already.

        The slot for last years draft had the #6 at $2.5m, #23 near $1.3m and #34 near $920k. Rendon with injury history, does have not have alot of bargaining power, figure him for near slot, say Meyer gets $2m, Goodwin probably near slot, give him $1m. Then add in our 3rd rounder Purke (draft eligible Soph) and give him $3m and 4th rounder Turnbull $500k (thinks he’s in his 3rd year) – that’s $9m for this year for our top 5. There aren’t any HS, over slot signs after that like we had last year (Cole/Ray).

        Last year Harper got $6.25, Solis $1m, Hague (3rd round) $430k, AJ Cole (4th) $2m and Robbie Ray (12th) $799k that’s $10.5m for the top 5. So far we’re looking about $1.5m less than last year in comparing top 5 signs.

        To discover how much the Nats save by picking a Senior, need only look to last year. Our 8th round pick, got Matt Grace (Jr) for $125k. 9th round Austin Garrett (Sr.) got $35k. 10th round Blake Kelso got $115k. Last year Nats spent around $625 on rounds 6-11 with 1 Senior picked. This year they chose ALL Seniors in 6-11, so figure they get Garrett money and spend $210k, saving all of $415k. So we’ve probably saved $2m over what we spent last year.

        In 2k9, we spent about $11.5m on our signees. in 2010, it was $11.9m. This year should put us under $10m.

        • But could you say that it’d be twice as much as ’08 ($4,761,500)? I can’t see how it couldn’t be, but this kind of money talk is too much like the stock porn of CNBC for my tastes [insert joke about Keith Law = Maria Bartiromo here].

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