CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Game Story: Jimenez Wi... (06/17)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Org Issu... (06/16)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Monday T... (06/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Peavy... (06/17)

June 17, 2010

Future Shock

Draft Wrap: AL Central

by Kevin Goldstein

Chicago White Sox
Day One Selections
13. Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast

Inside the Pick: Every draft has one player who takes a surprising fall, and this year it was Sale. For the player some thought was the best college pitcher in the draft to fall to 13th overall is a massive get for the White Sox.
What He is: Sale is the rare pitcher who combines size (6-foot-6), velocity (up to 96 mph), and plus command from the left side. His changeup was among the best in the draft, and he consistently dominated week after week, including in his few starts against top-notch competition.
What He is Not: Sale's low three-quarters arm slot gives some scouts concern. It prevents him from being able to get around on his slider, and gives right-handed hitters a very long look at the ball. 
Path with the White Sox: Sale shouldn't have too many problems at the lower levels based solely on his velocity and command. If he can find a dependable breaking ball, he has a chance to really move quickly.

Through Three Rounds
2 (63). Jacob Petricka, RHP, Indiana State
3 (95). Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State
3 (114). Thomas Royse, RHP, Louisville

Petricka had some big helium in the weeks leading up to the draft when he started lighting up radar guns with 95-97 mph fastballs. He has a Tommy John surgery in his past and his secondary stuff needs a lot of work, but it's a big-league arm. On a scouting level, Reed is the opposite. He has average-to-plus velocity, as well as a good slider, plus changeup, and outstanding command. Royse is more like Reed; a big, polished righty with more sink and command than blow-you-away stuff.

Of Note Afterward: Fourth-round pick Matt Grimes is a big, athletic high school right-hander with considerable upside, seventh-rounder Tyler Saladino is a very good defensive shortstop with a lot of questions about his bat.
Summary: Sale alone makes this one look like a potential winner for the White Sox, but it's not the most exciting group afterward.

Cleveland Indians
Day One Selections
5. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Mississippi

Inside the Pick: Cleveland seemed to be more focused on Sale and Michael Choice, but that might be because they just didn't expect Pomeranz to get to them. 
What He is: A big, very strong left-hander with two big-league quality pitches in a 92-95 mph fastball and one of the best curveballs in the draft. Beyond his power stuff, he's a heady, intelligent pitcher who understands his craft.
What He is Not: After getting off to a tremendous start this spring, Pomeranz struggled to throw strikes leading up to the draft. While clearly hampered by a muscle strain in his chest, command had been an issue throughout his college career. His changeup needs considerable improvement, and some think he might fit better in the bullpen down the road.
Path with the Indians: Between dropping a little farther than expected and being represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council, Pomeranz will not be the easiest of signings. Chances are good he won't make his official debut until 2011.

Through Three Rounds
2 (55). LeVon Washington, OF, Chipola (JUCO)
3 (87). Tony Wolters, SS, Rancho Buena Vista HS (CA)

After not signing with the Rays last year, Washington hoped to be a first-rounder once again, but a hand injury prevented him from playing at his best this spring. To find these kinds of tools at 55 is fantastic for the Indians, but Washington rarely lived up to expectations as an amateur. Wolters' drop was even more shocking, as some saw him as a day one pick. He was one of the most fundamentally sound high school players in the draft, with equally good makeup, but ultimately his size, or lack thereof, worked against him. 

Of Note Afterward: Fourth-round pick Kyle Blair with a fifth-round pick out of high school, and based on how well he pitched this spring, could have gone higher. He has size, stuff and is one of the better makeup guys in the draft. Seventh-round righty Robbie Aviles absolutely dominated lesser competition in New York, but he's far more about projection than right-now ability and will be a tough sign as he expected to go much higher.
Summary: The Indians clearly had no particular focus in this draft, combining college with high school talent, and safe picks with upside. By grabbing a number of players lower than expected, this is an impressive haul.

Detroit Tigers
Day One Selections
44. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL)

Inside the Pick: In the mix for several teams with first-round selections, one of the top high school hitters in the draft shockingly fell completely out of the first round.
What He is: Castellanos earns high grades not only for his power potential, but also for his pure hitting ability. He's big, and maybe even a bit bulky, but a very good athlete for his size.
What He is Not: Castellanos' bat is where most of his value lies. He's good enough to stick there, but he'll never be a valuable defender at third base. His swing can get long at times.
Path with the Tigers: Castellanos could suddenly be a tough sign, as he could still be expecting a seven-figure payday. Once he signs, he's one of the top position prospects in the system.

48. Chance Ruffin, RHP, Texas

Inside the Pick: One of the most dominating college relievers in the game had a 1.11 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings, but his stuff doesn't profile as well in the pros.
What He is: Ruffin's bread-and-butter pitch is an absolute wipeout slider that features strong two-plane break and generates some silly-looking swings. His fastball sits at 91-93 mph, has good movement, and he locates the pitch well.
What He is Not: A big-league closer. Despite his college exploits, Ruffin doesn't have the raw stuff to pitch in the ninth inning once he reaches the big leagues, so his ceiling as a good set-up man.
Path with the Tigers: Ruffin could be one of the fastest movers in the draft, despite his lack of impact potential.

Through Three Rounds
2 (68). Drew Smyly, LHP, Arkansas
3 (100). Rob Brantly, OF, UC Riverside

Smyly offers above-average velocity and movement from his cut fastball, but his command can waiver and times, and his secondary stuff is average. Brantly is a highly polished college product who, like Ruffin, has the skills to ascend through the minors quickly, while also possessing little star potential.

Of Note Afterward: Sixth-round pick Bryan Holaday was once of the best defensive catchers in the draft, and while he has trouble making contact, his power (he took Stephen Strasburg deep in college) should be enough to at least get to the majors as a backup. Cole Nelson, a 10th-round pick, is the kind of player scouting director David Chadd loves as a 6-foot-7 lefty with a good fastball, but he's still seen as a project by many, even after three years at Auburn.
Summary: The Tigers should be thrilled to nab Castellanos despite their lack of a first-round pick, and while they went primarily with pitchers in the earlier rounds, they weren't the usual upside type of arms the Tigers normally prefer.

Kansas City Royals
Day One Selections
4. Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton

Inside the Pick: In the end, the Royals didn't like the price tags of some of the top college arms or catcher Yasmani Grandal, so they went the relatively safe route with Colon.
What He is: Easily the most polished position player in the draft. At the plate, he has an excellent approach, sublime contact skills and even showcased average power this year. His defensive fundamentals and baserunning are nothing short of outstanding.
What He is Not: A player who can stay at shortstop, according to most. While he has his share of believers, for most, no amount of positioning and first-step instincts can make up for the fact that Colon is 40 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale) at best.
Path with the Royals: There is no reason Colon should struggle in the minors.

Through Three Rounds
2 (54). Brett Eibner, OF, Arkansas
3 (86). Mike Antonio, SS, George Washington HS (NY)

Eibner almost certainly would have gone higher had he wanted to pitch, but even as a outfielder, he has power, speed, center field skills and an excellent arm, although some holes in his swing drew Rick Ankiel comparisons. Antonio is an outstanding offensive prospect, but like Colon, there are plenty of questions about his ability to stay at shortstop.

Of Note Afterward:
Fifth-round pick Jason Adam was one of the best local players, as the Kansas high school righty has an ideal pitcher's frame, plenty of projection, and already consistently throws in the 90s. Ninth-round pick Whit Merrifield has power and plus speed, but comes with plenty of unanswered questions about his bat.
Summary: It was a safe, almost boring draft for the Royals. There's nothing bad to say about it, but not much excitement either. In Dayton we trust?

Minnesota Twins
Day One Selections
21. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State

Inside the Pick: The Twins had been on Wimmers all spring, and while it looked like he'd pitched his way into mid-first-round consideration, a late-season hamstring injury prevented big names from seeing him pitch, and the Twins ultimately got their guy.
What He is: Wimmers fits in perfectly with the Twins' philosophy. While he's known more for his command and depth of arsenal than his stuff, he still sits comfortably in the low 90s, and his curveball and changeup both rate as plus for some.
What He is Not: A pitcher with a high ceiling. His has the body and smooth delivery to eat up a ton of innings, but his ceiling likely ends as a No. 3 starter.
Path with the Twins: Just on the basis of his polish, Wimmers could start 2011 at High-A Fort Myers with little trouble.

Through Three Rounds
2 (71). Niko Goodrum, SS, Fayette County HS (GA)
3 (102). Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College

It's hard to find anyone who thinks Goodrum can stay at shortstop as a pro, but it's hard to not get excited about his tools, as he's 6-foot-4, over 200 pounds, has bat speed and power, as well as a plus arm and at least average speed. Dean is a another classic Twins pick, as his upper-80s fastball that tops out at 92 mph plays up due to nearly effortless command, a good curveball, and an outstanding changeup.

Of Note Afterward: Fourth-round pick Eddie Rosario is a Puerto Rican outfielder who makes up for a small frame with impressive tools. Seventh-round pick Matt Hauser was an effective college reliever with a plus fastball, but he's more known for his slider, and (what else?) outstanding command and control.
Summary: It was the usual set of picks for the Twins, who focus on tools and upside when it comes to position players, yet looking for polish and command above all else with pitching selections.  

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  A's,  Drew Smyly,  The Who,  Selections

7 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Game Story: Jimenez Wi... (06/17)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock: Org Issu... (06/16)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Monday T... (06/21)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Peavy... (06/17)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of July 25-27
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, July 28
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bochy and Peavy, Back ...
This is Not Your Father's Baseball Road Trip...
Premium Article The HOF Rule Change
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: July 28, 2014

MORE FROM JUNE 17, 2010
Premium Article Ahead in the Count: Is Jimenez In Over His H...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: AL Quadrille
Premium Article Prospectus Hit List: Turnover Time
Premium Article Overthinking It: The Carlos Guillen Club
Premium Article Under The Knife: Peavy's shoulder comes up
Premium Article Game Story: Jimenez Wins Marquee Matchup

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2010-06-21 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2010-06-18 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-06-18 - BP Podcast: BP Podcast Episode 5: "Projectio...
2010-06-17 - Future Shock: Draft Wrap: AL Central
2010-06-17 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-06-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: Org Issues: Talent Rising to t...
2010-06-16 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK
2010-06-23 - Premium Article Future Shock: Org Watch: Yankees, Red Sox, B...
2010-06-22 - Premium Article Future Shock: Draft Wrap: NL West
2010-06-21 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2010-06-17 - Future Shock: Draft Wrap: AL Central
2010-06-16 - Premium Article Future Shock: Org Issues: Talent Rising to t...
2010-06-15 - Premium Article Future Shock: Draft Wrap: NL Central
2010-06-14 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
More...