Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.
Prior to the season, the story of UNC righty Matt Harvey was an unfortunate one. He and Rick Porcello were considered the top two high school pitchers in the 2007 draft, though Harvey priced himself into the third round and declined to sign with the Angels as the 118th overall pick. While Porcello was busy establishing himself as one of the game's best young pitchers, Harvey was struggling with the Tar Heels and his stock took a significant hit.
The good news is that an improved delivery has helped turn Harvey back in a prospect, and he's once again in the mix for the first round. ESPN's Keith Law and Baseball America are in agreement that he is the 20th best player available in next week's draft. Harvey owns one of the best fastballs in the class, which MLB.com's Draft Report says is up 96-97 mph. The great curveball he showed in high school is now inconsistent, but he's added a decent changeup and slider to his repertoire. There's a chance he may wind up in the bullpen down the road. The MLB.com link has video.
During Harvey's first two years on campus he walked 89 batters in 142.2 innings of work, not to mention the 18 wild pitches he threw. His strikeout rate was very good at 10.2 K/9, but it didn't mitigate all the free passes. Through 14 starts and 96 innings this spring, Harvey posted a 102/35 K/BB ratio, though he still chucked nine wild pitches.
Baseball America's Jim Callis projected the Mets to take Harvey with the seventh overall pick in his latest mock draft, while Law had him going to Diamondbacks at number six (sub. req'd for both). However, Law did say the Mets have been heavily linked the righty, and Yasmani Grandal's reported deal with the Royals could push him into their laps. Harvey is a Scott Boras client, so whoever drafts him shouldn't expect a discount for his struggles as a freshman and sophomore.
When I do a top 20 list, I am listing the guys "I" like the best from 1-20. So, if all 20 were available, the guy ranked #1 is who I would take. If guys #1-4 and #7 were gone I would take #5 first. Then #6, then #8, etc....
RDriesenUD wrote: Wouldn't my top 20 list be that? Just take out the guys you don't think will be there when the Reds pick and the guys left would be who I would want at 12.
RDriesenUD wrote: I am going to do an updated top 20, maybe a top 30 tonight or tomorrow. I am going to do an updated mock draft tomorrow and maybe another on Monday. It is getting close :).
I'd still like to see a list of those (and only those) who you'd be satisfied with at #12.
And from anyone else who's game to making a list.
Myself, I'm not going to be real pleased if we take Wimmers or McGuire. I'd prefer going the high school route (if we take a pitcher) over either of those two guys.
Are you listing them 1-20 in order starting with the top player?
RDriesenUD wrote: CC has 2 2R HR's tonight, but hasn't looked great defensively at SS. From the games I have seen of him, granted not many, he looks like he has very little chance of playing SS in the bigs.
I am with you. Without even having to think about it I would take Vitek and Wimmers over McGuire. For some reason it seems like we really like McGuire. Every time I see someone talk about the Reds I see them talk about how we would take him if he fell to us.
Dude he's a guy who gets a ton of support. IMO not elite stuff.
All this being said, I honestly do not believe he gets to #12.
I am warming up to Vitek a lot.
RDriesenUD wrote: I am with you. Without even having to think about it I would take Vitek and Wimmers over McGuire. For some reason it seems like we really like McGuire. Every time I see someone talk about the Reds I see them talk about how we would take him if he fell to us.
WASHINGTON -- The baseball draft doesn't get as much media coverage as the NFL Draft. Well, presidential elections and wars don't get as much media attention as the NFL Draft. But just because the baseball draft isn't front-page news doesn't mean the baseball draft isn't important. This year's three-day draft begins Monday. The Reds pick 12th, 62nd, 94th and 127th in the first four rounds.
Nothing has shaped the recent history of the Reds so much as the draft. From 1996 to 2003, the Reds took John Oliver, Brandon Larson, Austin Kearns, Ty Howington, David Espinosa, Jeremy Sowers, Chris Gruler and Ryan Wagner with their first-round pick. Four of the eight never made it to the big leagues. Kearns is the only one to make it and have any kind of sustained success.
Baseball America, which analyzes drafts, gave the Reds F's for their 2000 and 2001 classes. The Reds got a B in 2002 (the Joey Votto draft) and a D for 2003. After a C in 2004, the Reds have gotten B+, C+, B, B+ and B+. Those recent good drafts are part of the reason the Reds are a contender and have reason to be optimistic that it's not a mirage. From 2004 to 2009, the Reds took Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Devin Mesoraco, Yonder Alonso and Mike Leake with their first-round pick. Four have already reached the majors.
The draft is a tricky process. You draft on potential. No one goes from the draft to the big leagues; well, no one but Mike Leake. "You gather as much information as you can," scouting director Chris Buckley said. "The biggest change I've seen is it's a year-round process. We'll start working on the next draft in a few weeks. We scout these guys all summer, fall and spring."
Buckley was hired by former general manager Wayne Krivsky. Walt Jocketty kept Buckley on. But the director is only as good as staff. The Reds have four cross checkers, 18 scouting supervisors and nine part-time scouts. "We had some good scouts when I got here," Buckley said. "And I think I've added to it."
The first round is always what gets everyone's attention. But deep drafts are the key to long-term success. The 2004 draft is the best example of the Reds getting a lot of players in one draft. Besides Bruce, LeCure (fourth round), Jeff Stevens (sixth round), Carlos Fisher (11th round), Adam Rosales (12th round) and Logan Ondrusek (13th round) have reached the majors. Second-rounder Travis Wood is a good bet to be in the majors soon as well.
A player doesn't have to make it with your club to pay dividends. Stevens was sent to the Cleveland Indians to get Brandon Phillips. Rosales was sent to Oakland with Willy Taveras for Aaron Miles. Miles didn't work out, but the money cleared in the deal gave the Reds the flexibility to sign Jonny Gomes and Orlando Cabrera.
One of the reasons the Reds have been able to do better in the draft is there's some stability in the baseball operation. This will be the fifth draft for Buckley. Player development director Terry Reynolds presided over the Bailey and Bruce drafts, arguably the two best of the past 20 years.
Under former GM Jim Bowden, scouting directors came and went. Here's an example of how messed up things were in the Bowden years. In 2002, Kasey McKeon, then the scouting director, discovered Votto. But he didn't tell Bowden's top assistant about Votto. Why? He knew one of the key lieutenants loved to talk. If the guy found out the Reds were on to a hot prospect in Ontario, he would have bragged about it to his buddies, and Votto would have likely been gone when the Reds picked.
Monday's Draft is essentially a three-player showcase -- Harper, Machado, Taillon. "After that," said one National League general manager, "there's virtually no difference between the fourth and 44th picks. So in many ways, it's really a scouts' Draft. If your scouts are really good, you will be fine, except that it will be expensive."
The Indians, for instance, have the fifth pick because of their run of bad luck, yet they see no one of impact.
"This would be a great year to be able to trade picks," said another GM. "You could deal a first-rounder for a veteran Major League pitcher. Or the Indians could trade down, deal the fifth pick, get, say, the 20th and 35th, and feel better about Monday."
Most teams project the 2011 crop to be far superior to '10, so a team like Cleveland could not sign its pick and get the same (in this case the sixth) pick next June.
Last June, the Pirates were second-guessed for taking Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez with the fourth pick, because the gurus didn't rate Sanchez as a prime draftee. Sanchez now is hitting .318 in the Florida State League. He catches like a Molina. Then, general manager Neal Huntington went above slot in later rounds to sign six high school arms, so if Sanchez is a .250 average/20 homer, Gold Glove receiver (i.e., an All-Star) and three arms make it, then it will have been a great Draft for a team that has been one of the biggest investors the past two years in the Draft and the international market.