Gordon posted this as a comment to my draft thread, but I'm going to promote it to a full article, since it's worth it. -- Spectator
No high school catchers!
That is my demand. :)
As for the rest... This is the kind of year where we might get a real gem even though we’re not drafting in the top-10. Kinda like last year’s draft, actually, where my favorite David Dahl went 10th to the Rockies (and then had an attitude bump and a leg injury after being all kinds of awesome in early action).
Just saying, this year is weird again with nobody really standing out above the rest. It’s not a “draft 1st or be forgotten” kind of draft. Though drafting earlier is always preferable, because you don’t have to wait for somebody else to make a mistake, this should be like last year with good players available throughout most of the first round even without true standout talents.
And maybe that’s a dis-service to the best players in this draft, but I don’t think the #1 college hitter is really better than the #3, and I couldn’t tell you which prep hitter is head and shoulders better than the rest. I know who I LIKE best, but there's no Bryce Harper. Getting the third-RANKED high-school hitter still might get you the best talent. So that could be very fun. I can’t see 3B Kris Bryant ever getting to us, as the best-rated college hitter. I don’t think Moran will either, but he was a couple weeks ago and might again if Frazier and Meadows both move back up as the top prep bats. Right now it looks like 4 of the top 5 are gonna be college hurlers Gray and Appel, Bryant, and prep pitcher Kohl Stewart, with the 5th rotating in and out by site and preference. So let's talk about a couple of em.
Colin Moran , college 3B (picture) – We drafted his brother and obviously have taken a look at him, but he’s moving up draft boards the last couple of weeks and displacing prep kids left and right. Maybe he feels more like a sure thing, even though he might move to first base. Why you should care: Colin has a GREAT eye, good blood-lines (funnily enough, that does matter in baseball) good work ethic and I think we all know that we love our UNC players (and by proxy their coaching setup that delivers these kids to us). He might wind up at first base as he’s a little bit of a tweener but the Ms will no doubt let him try 3rd for a while. And he's only 20. I wanted him, but I doubt he'll fall within 4 picks of us, sadly.
DJ Peterson, RH college 1B – everyone hates his D at 3rd, but has echoes of Gar at the plate so the bat is his major league tool. Why you should care: because he looks like freaking GAR at the plate. Didn’t you hear me? He has the same batting stance, the same elbow placement, the same kind of swing, the same all-field ability… he lunges at too many pitches but other than that he’s really clean. It'll come down to pitch recognition and zone control, which I can't tell at this point. He doesn’t hit for “as much” HR power as you might want for a future 1B type (he plays in Albuquerque which is a bit of a launching pad being at 5000 feet, so don’t take his HR totals at full value) and yes, he’s RH, but man… if he comes through on his promise as a pure hitter you’re not gonna care. Some people HATE Peterson and barely have him in the first round, if at all, but I’d personally be happy to take another “worst pick in the first round” nominee like Nick Franklin was. So I guess I like him more than most. And if any team would value an Edgar-type enough to "overdraft" him it would be the Ms you'd think. Don't be surprised at all to hear his name.
Clint Frazier, RH high-school OF – amazing prep bat, a little small and a little old for those looking for reasons to doubt him. Why you should care: because if the doubters go for better height/weight players, or safer players, then it's somehow conceivable that Frazier will get to us. And if he does we should draft him and then celebrate. I would have put Frazier over Dahl last year and I adore Dahl's game. Frazier has great batspeed, quick hands, good speed and a nice arm. More importantly, he might just have "It." Clint is my favorite possible player for us this year as far as upside goes, because his upside is Eric freakin' Davis. Somebody else will undoubtedly have the same conclusion and nab him before we draft, but weird things happen in drafts, so I'm listing him here.
Other guys in our range who we'll no doubt talk about in the next couple of weeks are:
- Hunter Renfroe, college OF - gettin a lot of traction in the top half of the first recently
- Braden Shipley, college RHP – a RAW, high-velo arm without experience but with some upside (yes, that means he'll be Carter Capps-ing it in the pen, probably)
- Ryne Stanek, college RHP – we drafted him before, and he's become the pitcher we thought he'd be.
- Dom Smith, LH high school 1B – small for the position but has an arm for the OF if we want, strong swing
- Austin Meadows, LH high school OF - Michael Saunders-like
I left off the HS catchers (personal bias), prep pitchers (longest and riskiest to the majors) and some others. I find all the players on this list interesting. You may not, but this is my scatter-gun look at the top players who might slip to our spot. IMO, one of those guys should be a Mariner at the end of Day One unless all the GMs take my opinions seriously and draft them before they get to us. *laughs* There should be at least two of them at our spot though, realistically.
Hope we get the right one.