Dave Pease (2:49:56 PM PT): Please join BP prospect experts Kevin Goldstein and Bryan Smith on Thursday, June 7, at 11:00AM Pac to cover the 2007 Major League draft.
In the meantime, check out our continuing draft coverage here:
KG (2:51:39 PM PT): We'll see you all tomorrow to discuss the picks as they fly out the board, so join me and Bryan Smith tomorrow afternoon -- see you then.
Kevin Goldstein (11:13:31 AM PT): Ok, here we go -- I'm here with Bryan and they're showing Philippe Aumont in a suit on the TV, so it's time to go.
BSmith (11:18:02 AM PT): All right, one hour until the draft begins, so let's get started. It appears today's draft will be as volatile as ever, with late-changing draft boards and bonus demands constantly changing picks.
Last night, talking to Kevin about his mock draft at around 11, he expressed concern that one team could derail his projected top five. "I think the Royals could go with Moustakas and screw me." Well, this morning, other sources are reporting that the Royals are slated to draft Mike Moustakas after the Devil Rays select David Price.
Kevin, what overnight factors led to the Royals change in decision?
Kevin Goldstein (11:20:12 AM PT): I actually just got off the phone about 20 minutes ago with a high-ranking team exec, and he says that Scott Boras' intial comp of Moustakas to A-Rod scared the Royals off, but when they got down to the nitty gritty and into the actual dollars, it suddenly wasn't too unreasonable. If they DO go w/ Moustakas, the question is what happens to Vitters. The Cubs and Tim Wilken certainly love him, but they've also been pretty solid on Jarrod Parker all along.
Kevin Goldstein (11:22:04 AM PT): looks like our clock is about 10 minutes fast -- so maybe we'll look like we're psychics here . . . or not. Oh wait, wouldn't that be reversed? Meanwhile, the D-Rays are on the clock -- like they need these five minutes.
BSmith (11:22:47 AM PT): The Devil Rays are now officially on the clock, so it should be five short minutes until David Price hears his name called. Last night, a late rumor was that Tampa had gotten hot on Matt Wieters, and were considering taking the Georgia Tech catcher. If this rumor has any truth to it, and it probably doesn't, it was merely a move by the Devil Rays to try and get a discount on the big, Vanderbilt southpaw.
Kevin Goldstein (11:29:01 AM PT): Shock of all shocks -- Tampa takes Price. Bryan talkes about his signability above and it's still an open question. I'm told Tampa thinks it will be "a lot, but not insane." He probably won't pitch again this year, and we'll see him next year on the Miller/Verlander plan -- 1/2 a year in the Florida State League, then Double-A and go from there.
BSmith (11:31:44 AM PT): Kevin mentioned Andrew Miller, and one of the questions I get the most is whether I would prefer Price or Miller. I know Kevin disagrees with me, but for me, Andrew Miller is the better prospect. Both have similar four-seamers, but Miller has that two-seam fastball that acts as a change-up and gets huge groundball rates. Price has the better slider and might get more strikeouts in the Majors, but Miller's groundballs give him the edge for me. With that being said, the Devil Rays would have chosen Price over Miller, because the court of public opinion has had Price on top of this draft class for about an entire calendar year.
Kevin Goldstein (11:33:58 AM PT): As discussed, the Royals took Moustakas. Great hitter, but I'm not crazy about taking a player at No. 2 who is only six-feet tall and doesn't have a clearly defined defensive home. One scout I talked to this morning said he'd put him at second base, hoping to get major production out of the position. Now, what do the Cubs do -- they love Vitters, and he's now available.
BSmith (11:36:09 AM PT): What I'm expecting the Royals to do with Moustakas' position is leave him at shortstop in short-season ball, keeping their bonus baby as comfortable as possible. Then, in the Instructional League this fall, the Royals can see how the Californian slugger profiles behind the plate, at second base or in the outfield.
You can bet the Orioles are hoping the Cubs pass on Vitters, which would make him or Ross Detwiler available to them. I don't think they'll get their wish, however, Tim Wilken has been on Vitters since last spring.
Nate Silver (11:37:04 AM PT): KG/BS: Are the teams actually doing anything during their 5 minutes or is that just for show?
Kevin Goldstein (11:37:04 AM PT): He does love Vitters -- but will money be a factor?
BSmith (11:38:22 AM PT): Nate, these teams are used to making their choices within seconds, for those of you that were familiar with the previous conference call format. These teams might be making last minute calls on signability issues, but for almost every team, the decision was made this morning.
Kevin Goldstein (11:38:31 AM PT): Cubs just popped Josh Vitters -- and Rany isn't happy. I spoke to Rany this morning, and he wanted Vitters to the Royals, noting that he's nearly a full-year younger than Moustakas. Great pick.
Kevin Goldstein (11:40:39 AM PT): Nate, I'm w/ Mr. Smith there -- team finalized all their if/then scenarios late last night/early this morning. Maybe one last call to the agent to make sure the numbers haven't changed too much, and that's it.
BSmith (11:40:47 AM PT): Cubs fans around Chicago have been asking me why the Cubs would pass on Wieters, a future catcher, for Vitters. The answer I always give is to trust Tim Wilken, who has believed for a long time that Vitters has better future power than Wieters. Wilken has been right a lot of times, and even if Wieters has a little more value behind the plate, his cost and Vitters' offensive profile made Wilken's choice.
BSmith (11:42:02 AM PT): Pirates on the board, and as I've previously written, the club loves left-handers and left-handed power, but they also love the local angle Devin Mesoraco could give. Will it be Ross Detwiler, Jason Heyward or Mesoraco?
Kevin Goldstein (11:44:25 AM PT): The Pirates just took Moskos. That's the first real surprise. I have no idea what caused them to take him over Detwiler -- I can't think of anyone I talked to who preferred him over Detwiler -- but I bet Baltimore is pretty thrilled right now to see Detwiler on the board.
BSmith (11:45:30 AM PT): One thing that may have led to the Pirates taking Moskos is his presence as a reliever his first two years at college. Moskos has a lot less wear-and-tear on his arm than most college pitchers, but I'm not sure he is less of an injury risk than Detwiler -- his delivery is very max-effort.
The Orioles are the big winners here, I believe they had Detwiler behind just David Price and Mike Moustakas on their draft board.
BSmith (11:49:02 AM PT): Well, nevermind, apparently Wieters was above Detwiler. This is a big move for the Orioles to put extra money in the kitty to select the draft's second or third-rated talent. Wieters should give the Orioles what former first rounder Brandon Snyder hasn't: big offense behind the plate.
Nate Silver (11:51:39 AM PT): Bryan, when I was watching Kevin's draft preview on MLB.com, Moskos was the one guy that I came away with a really negative intangible feeling about. Something about his delivery screams injury risk, especially his landing point.
Kevin Goldstein (11:52:22 AM PT): I noted in my mock that there were some rumors about this taking place, and now it looks like they were accurate. The interesting thing now is Washington. The Nats were willing to spend, with Moustakas and Wieters their No. 1 targets. Do they take a big time roll of the dice and write an even bigger check for Rick Porcello, or do they just say to themselves, "we can't get our guy here" and be happy w/ Detwiler?
BSmith (11:54:52 AM PT): Dana Brown has a long history of taking New Jersey players, but in the six spot, he passed on Porcello for Ross Detwiler. The latter will be much cheaper, and he has one of the highest ceilings in the draft behind Porcello. I worry a little bit about Detwiler because I thought his breaking ball was a little slurvy and he has really feasted on lesser competition, but the projectability is there. If the guy is throwing 94 when he weighs 175 pounds (at most), what will he throw when he weighs 200?
Kevin Goldstein (11:57:46 AM PT): Great pick for Washington here, they were also willing to take a guy that dropped, but you gotta imagine that even they're surprised it's Detwiler. I said in my mock that Mesaroco is at the top of the Brewers list -- I just didn't think he'd be available.
Kevin Goldstein (11:59:56 AM PT): First big shocker of the draft as Milwaukee takes LaPorta. Totally shocking, and equally baffling. He's gonna come quickly, Fielder can't move anywhere, and neither can LaPorta -- I'm just confused.
BSmith (12:01:34 PM PT): I wrote in my scouting director series that Jack Zduriencik likes big power, and that must have paved the way for this pick. They must have some belief that LaPorta can play left, but here's my question: if you want an outfielder with plus power, does LaPorta really project better than Jason Heyward?
Kevin Goldstein (12:03:13 PM PT): Well, he's certainly a much smaller risk, and the kind of guy who could come pretty quickly -- LaPorta was in much better shape this year -- but left field? Could be Kittle or Cust-esque out there.
BSmith (12:05:47 PM PT): Not exactly back to normalcy with the Rockies, who go with the quick fix that is Casey Weathers. I think Daniel Moskos was the player they had really wanted, and in the end, I think both players end up in the bullpen. Weathers should get to the Rockies quickly, but to me, he made a lot more sense for a team like the Indians, Cardinals or Phillies ... teams close to taking the next step who would be shopping for a reliever next winter. The Rockies need a little more.
Kevin Goldstein (12:08:31 PM PT): With Weathers going just a little ahead of expected, that blows things up just a little bit. Weathers was San Francisco's top target at 10, and now do they go Mills at 22 or overdraft him at 10 to avoid losing two guys they wanted. With all the top college arms off the board, Arizona could go the easy route here with Nick Schmidt -- a pick I'll rip when it comes off the board.
Kevin Goldstein (12:11:16 PM PT): Arizona does the right thing and takes Parker. It's a possible steal at nine. I'm glad they avoided Schmidt, but one of the next two teams, the Giants and Mariners, will not.
BSmith (12:12:00 PM PT): Great situation for Arizona, especially after signing Max Scherzer a few weeks ago. Parker should come in pretty close to slot, and he gives great value for first-year director Tom Allison. Parker is small, but his arm action is truly ridiculous ... better than last year's short player, Tim Lincecum.
BSmith (12:14:37 PM PT): The Giants have three picks in the first round and a lot of holes in their farm system. Matt Nerland has very little success with position players, so the question becomes whether he'll attempt to buck the trend or continue with what he's comfortable drafting ... pitchers like Nick Schmidt.
Kevin Goldstein (12:17:51 PM PT): Giants kick things off in the double-digits with Madison Bumgarner, the top prep lefty in the draft. He tried to scare some teams away by saying he wants "Kershaw money" -- which is 2.3M, and while it worked for the Braves -- who really wanted him, the Dodgers were will to pay him and now they're scrambling to figure out what HS arm they will take. I don't like Bumgarner here -- the arm slot prevents him from taking advantage of his height, and his breaking ball is slurvy. I might be in the minority here, but I think that's an overdraft.
BSmith (12:21:30 PM PT): I agree with the arm slot questions, the Giants are going to need to raise him up to get a consistent breaking ball. But, it's hard to question the Giants history developing pitchers, so I'll leave it to them with what gave him the lead over the other high school talents.
Aumont to Seattle is, for me, a much better pick. I really like Aumont, because for a prep pitcher his size, the delivery is more consistent than most of his peers. His ball is among the heaviest in the draft, and while he has consistency issues, I just love his upside. Great pick by Bob Fontaine.
Kevin Goldstein (12:24:44 PM PT): I like Aumont much more than Bumgarner as well -- nothing better than an interview with a kid who barely speaks english! Aumont and Dominguez were the two guys everyone knew should go high, but nobody could really find a home for. Dominguez should be pretty attractive in Florida and Cincinnati right now. Falling: Schmidt and Mesaroco.
BSmith (12:27:33 PM PT): Nice call, Kevin, as Matt Dominguez goes to the Marlins. Florida has taken so many pitchers over the years, so despite a deep pitching class, the hole of offense in their farm system makes Dominguez fit in well. He's a good third baseman that should be good for 20 home runs down the line, and with Chris Coghlan at second, the Marlins have landed a pair of future infielders in consecutive years.
Kevin Goldstein (12:30:18 PM PT): Seriously, who's a better defensive third baseman RIGHT NOW, Miggy Cabrera or Dominguez? I just might go Dominguez. Braves are jumping up and down right now possibly -- with joy. Jason Heyward is their kinda guy, and it looks like he'll be there as Cleveland is gonna take an arm here, probably Blake Beavan.
Kevin Goldstein (12:34:20 PM PT): Cleveland surprises by taking Beau Mills, I don't know if anyone heard that attachment at any time. Also note that they announced him as a first baseman, which is where he belongs. Atlanta now has Heyward in front of them, as well as some high school arms like Blake Beavan who they didn't expect to be there. As an aside, in a recent BP workout, Mills had some swings and misses -- lots of power, but some holes there too.
BSmith (12:36:34 PM PT): The last Indians college first baseman was Michael Aubrey, and while that didn't go well, Mills is a completely different type of player. There are some holes probably spawned from a hitch early in his swing, but the raw power is good, and Mills is an intelligent hitter. It should be noted the Indians have stayed pretty far away from high school pitchers since the 2001 draft (with the exception of Adam Miller), so that might have put Mills ahead of Beavan at the last moment.
Kevin Goldstein (12:37:54 PM PT): Braves love tools, Braves love guys from the local East Cobb program, Braves love Heyward. They wanted him all along, they just didn't think he'd be there. Great pick, and he'll outperform some of the high school bats that went ahead of him.
BSmith (12:38:37 PM PT): It appears Heyward was Plan B for a lot of teams, which was great for the Braves, who got their guy at 14. No surprise from Georgia, but this isn't merely a local pick, this is a really good move by the Braves. I like Heyward's potential a little more than LaPorta and Mills, and his plate discipline doesn't mean his bust potential is as high as a lot of prep players.
BSmith (12:43:21 PM PT): Two years ago, the Reds took Jay Bruce in the first round, a high school outfielder who had flown up draft boards in workouts weeks before the draft. This season, they take Devin Mesoraco, who had flown up draft boards in weeks before the draft. A semi-local kid, this is a good pick by the Reds, as this catcher could have gone in the top five if things went a little differently.
Kevin Goldstein (12:46:16 PM PT): Nice pick there. Blue Jays in a pickle here, they were hoping for Weathers, they were hoping for Mesaraco, and they were hoping for one of the big high school bats. They're all gone. Do they take the suddenly dropping Blake Beavan -- a high school arm to Toronto? no. Tennesse catcher J.P. Arencibia to makes sure they get SOMETHING they want? Julio Borbon for the only true centerfielder worthy of a first round pick? This one is going to be interesting.
BSmith (12:47:11 PM PT): The Blue Jays love left-handers from big-time colleges, so Nick Schmidt makes a lot of sense here. He has slid a little bit today, but relative to what we thought a week ago, 16 would be a great spot.
Kevin Goldstein (12:50:11 PM PT): And Toronto takes Kevin Ahrens. He was attached to the Reds for a long time, but he seemed to be dropping entirely out of the first round of late. Beavan continues to plummet, and as Bryan mentioned, so is Schmidt, who looks to be falling to slot more in line with his talent. Sure, he finished the year with a great run, but in the end, teams took the body of work into consideration and realized you can't spend huge cash on a guy who rarely hits 90 on the gun.
BSmith (12:52:02 PM PT): I like Ahrens a lot, but the one thing that bothers me is that I'm not sure he's equal on both sides of the plate. He came late to switch-hitting, and while he's very good on both sides, his left-handed swing doesn't have as much loft or power potential as he does on the right side. This happens a lot with switch-hitters, but no so much with switch-hitters who hit like third baseman.
BSmith (12:55:09 PM PT): I've written that the Rangers don't shy away from high school pitchers, and they take a lot of Texans, which ended Beavan's slide down the board. Beavan was the king of the summer showcase circuit last summer, but he was a bit lost in the fray because his ceiling is a bit lower than the players in front of him. However, for an organization short on pitchers, getting a big, strong Texan will play well in the newspapers tomorrow.
Kevin Goldstein (12:57:14 PM PT): He was the obvious pick there for Texas once he slid. For you Tivo folks, go back on watch the Beavan video and you'll see why he dropped -- bad mechanics, throwing STRONGLY across his body, and that's why some scouts saw him as no more than a closer.
Kevin Goldstein (12:57:57 PM PT): Cards on the clock -- huge wild card -- most tight-lipped team in the draft.
BSmith (12:59:59 PM PT): Interesting pick by the Cardinals, who take the draft's first shortstop in Peter Kozma. It's a bit of an overdraft relative to most draft boards, but Kozma has a little less risk than your average prep shortstop. What comes with that, however, is less of an upside than other prep shortstops in the draft like Justin Jackson, Will Middlebrooks, and to me, Drew Cumberland.
Kevin Goldstein (1:06:10 PM PT): Give credit to Bryan Smith here -- he mentioned Savery prior to the pick over IM. I love this pick, and like they said on TV, this is a guy who is a top 15 talent who was hurt this year, and if he comes back, he's possibly a steal here. I love this pick. Dodgers go next, and they have some high school arms to choose from still with Bumgarner off the board (their favorite). Main? Smoker? Some think Tim Alderson was the backup plan.
BSmith (1:08:08 PM PT): Man, the Phillies must like their Texas area scout. Philadelphia is a good fit for Savery, particularly because of their history with Cole Hamels. Cole had some slight arm troubles in high school, and immediately upon getting in the Phillies system, they played it really careful with him. Savery is going to need the same type of baby-feeding, but the upside if there -- he was considered a top-five guy in this class for a long time.
Logan White is next, and he always makes it interesting.
Kevin Goldstein (1:10:34 PM PT): And the Dodgers throw a bit of a curveball with Withrow. Not that he's a bad pick, but it's interesting to note that he's passed up some of the bigger names I mentioned above. One happy team right now is the White Sox. They seem to want a young power arm, and there is one available.
BSmith (1:15:31 PM PT): Since KG gave me credit a few picks ago, he now gets credit for predicting J.P. Arencibia moments ago. I'm not a fan of Arencibia, because I don't believe he is going to stay behind the plate. I watched him on Team USA with a scout last summer, who said something along the lines of: "Well I know he's not going to catch, and while the bat's there, his arm is so bad that I don't think left field is an option either."
Kevin Goldstein (1:17:04 PM PT): I don't think he'd go this high intially either, but word came in a couple days ago that he was pretty much done with TOR @ 21. If he gets healthy, it's a real good pick.
BSmith (1:19:06 PM PT): The Blue Jays have been loading up on college catchers over the last few years, with Curtis Thigpen, Josh Bell, and now, J.P. Arencibia. The Tennessee catcher is the highest yet, and I think they'll push him a bit since Thigpen's defense has not gotten any better in the minors.
Kevin Goldstein (1:21:26 PM PT): The Giants just took Alderson -- and this means two thing for picks below them. Number one, the Athletics have cleared one of their major hurdles in the desire for Aaron Poreda at No. 26 and number two, the White Sox just lost their No. 1 target at 25.
BSmith (1:23:21 PM PT): Matt Nerland just doesn't break stride, does he? If you go back and look at the success rates for the most controlled prep pitchers taken in the first round, it's pretty high, so I like the Tim Alderson pick for that reason.
However, the Giants really need to take a position player at 29. I know drafting for need is shunned upon in Major League Baseball, but their offense is really old, and Eddy Martinez-Esteve and Marcus Sanders should not be the future of this team.
Kevin Goldstein (1:24:44 PM PT): I agree, and think they'll take your suggest and go with a bat -- but they might go cheap for budgetary reasons. With the Padres up next -- they love college strike throwers and James Simmons is there, but does Nick Schmidt change things up for them?
BSmith (1:26:55 PM PT): Indeed, it does change things for them. The Padres stay with a low upside player this year, and I'm a little surprised they went with a player with such high innings totals after Cesar Carillo's problems. Nonetheless, in the SEC, Nick Schmidt has had similar numbers to David Price under the years, and he is going to get to the Majors quick. PETCO will be a great stadium for Nick, and he should be a successful back-end starter by 2010.
Kevin Goldstein (1:28:28 PM PT): . . . if not earlier. Call me crazy here, but this upcoming pick (Tex @ 24) might be the most intesting pick. They are the first team we've seen for a while who actually might take one of Boras' other big-name clients (Matt Harvey, Rick Porcello).
Kevin Goldstein (1:32:18 PM PT): And they don't, they take Michael Main, who slipped a little bit with some bumpy late-season outings. Excellent arm, crazy great athlete, very good pick, and the kind of guy the White Sox would have loved to have seen on their board still. White Sox want upside, and they want a power arm, but who's left that's easily signable?
BSmith (1:35:05 PM PT): Michael Main and Blake Beavan are two totally different pitchers with one thing in common: big-time fastballs. Of the two, I actually like Main a little bit more, even if ends up a reliever in the end. His fastball has been so good for so long, and the power curve had led to some Tom Gordon comparisons. I like it.
The White Sox have got to be really frustrated right now. They liked Alderson and Main, and the two players with the highest upside, Porcello and Harvey, are Scott Boras guys. Kenny Williams hates dealing with Boras, but if he really wants a big-time player here, he should bite the bullet.
BSmith (1:37:03 PM PT): In my rumor-less mock draft, I had the White Sox taking Kyle Russell, a college player with prep upside. Kevin reported they wanted a pitcher, and in Poreda, there's a similarity, he's got a ton of upside. Poreda might have the best size in this draft, and while his development has been slow, he's a much better selection than Lance Broadway and Kyle McCulloch were.
Kevin Goldstein (1:39:24 PM PT): They better not turn on the Oakland draft room camera right now, because that was their No.1 target and somebody might be throwing a chair. While the White Sox where going with a power arm, they weren't expected to go the college route. With Poreda and Arencibia off the board, Oakland becomes a real wild card -- James Simmons of UC Riverside comes to mind, as does college hitters Todd Frazier and Corey Brown, as well as Maryland lefty Brett Cecil.
Kevin Goldstein (1:43:04 PM PT): And it's Simmons -- very much the righthanded verson of Schmidt. Gonna move quickly, but never going to be anything more than a three or four.
BSmith (1:44:09 PM PT): The A's like California collegians almost like the Braves like Georgians, and Simmons is a real good arm. He's Jason Windsor with better stuff, better command, and less tear on his arm. This is an Oakland A's type of player.
Now the question becomes whether, for the third straight season, Detroit goes over slot. What do you think, Kev?
Kevin Goldstein (1:45:48 PM PT): It's going to be CRAZY tempting for Detroit to take Porcello here. It's what I did in my mock, and it's a bit of a reach, but scouting director David Chadd loves pitchers with Porcello's profile, and he's not afriad to take the best player on the board on worry about money later -- see Verlander, Maybin, Miller in the last three years.
BSmith (1:47:28 PM PT): Big time props to Kevin Goldstein, who absolutely nailed Porcello in his mock draft. Man, the Tigers are going to be good.
Kevin Goldstein (1:49:19 PM PT): Look I'm not one to wax my own car, and while everyone's mock isn't looking to good right now, including mine, I couldn't be happier with nailing this pick, and doing it a few more times in yesterday's chat. It looked like Detroit was willing to pick a guy who fell, and there he was. Detroit's MVP? In a few years, it just might be David Chadd.
BSmith (1:50:52 PM PT): Dave Dambrowski should get a lot of credit for this pick, too, because he's the rare General Manager that truly understands the importance of this draft. We don't exactly know where this draft money is coming from, but the Tigers are certainly budgeting well. Mixing intelligent free agent signings with blue-chip prospects is a way to win the World Series. The Tigers should be back before too long.
Kevin Goldstein (1:54:04 PM PT): Ben Revere is a big big surprise at 28 for the Twins. We all knew they were going with a hitter, but it was hard to get a hold of their mix. The Twins don't take college guys early, and they take tools guys, but I'm not sure a lot of guys saw Revere coming.
BSmith (1:56:07 PM PT): Kevin's right, this is a big surprise, but there will be no questioning of Mike Radcliff. Well, until everyone sees that Ben Revere doesn't weigh 160 pounds. But seriously, the Twins absolutely love up the middle talents, and if they believe they have the shortstop and catcher position locked up in the future, drafting an outfielder makes a little sense. A little sense.
Kevin Goldstein (1:57:15 PM PT): Expect a name here that's not a first-round talent, it's the Giants 3rd round pick and they've spent good money on their first two -- also expect a position player.
BSmith (1:58:35 PM PT): OK, we finally get a position player from the Giants. I had thought the team might take Borbon, but with the Tennessee centerfielder sliding, they take one of the draft's faster players in Wendell Fairley. The Mississippi outfielder has drawn some Carl Crawford comparisons, and he's a really good fit for the San Francisco ballpark.
Kevin Goldstein (1:59:49 PM PT): I'm now officially ending any comments about the Giants and budget constraints. They're in this thing for real now.
Kevin Goldstein (2:04:02 PM PT): The Yankees finish up the first round by taking Andrew Brackman. Maybe the Oliver Stone theories were correct, and it really was a big ol' orchestration to drop him to the Yankees -- and maybe not. I don't think I like the pick, even at 30.
BSmith (2:05:35 PM PT): He's fun to watch pitch, I know, but at some point, the results have to matter. The consistency isn't there, the dominance has never been there, and earlier in the year, I wrote about his struggles against 1-5 hitters in the ACC. He is probably going to do well in the low minors, if he's healthy, but I don't see him having much more success than Jon Rauch.
BSmith (2:10:28 PM PT): Winners of the round: Arizona, Atlanta, Texas.
Most surprising pick: Matt LaPorta
Biggest drops: Matt Harvey, Julio Borbon
BSmith (2:13:08 PM PT): The supplemental round opens with these five teams: Washington, San Francisco (again), Atlanta, Cincinnati, Texas (again).
One of the biggest drops I forgot above was Josh Smoker, and if he's there at 33, the Braves will likely select their second Georgian.
Kevin Goldstein (2:15:41 PM PT): Best players from my Top 50 still on the board.
#13: Matt Harvey
#21: Corey Brown
#22: Josh Smoker
#28: Kyle Russell
#29: Kyle Blair
BSmith (2:33:18 PM PT): And Smoker doesn't make it to the Braves, as the Nationals take their second southpaw of the day to lead off the sandwich round. This is a great pick for Washington, as there isn't really a good explanation why Smoker fell this far. His upside isn't as high as a lot of prep arms, but he's been pitching successfully at a high level since his freshman season, and he has four pitches. I really think Smoker could turn out better than Detwiler ... love the pick.
Kevin Goldstein (2:38:48 PM PT): So much for draft coverage on ESPN -- picks are flying off the board, and nobody wants to talk about them! Nice!
Most interesting picks are Todd Frazier #34 to the Reds (borderline first round talent), Boras client Julio Borbon going to Texas at 35 (makes sense, and he's better than that pick), and Maryland lefty Brett Cecil to the Blue Jays at 38 (he's their kinda guy).
Kevin Goldstein (2:39:59 PM PT): Bryan lost connection for a bit -- he'll be back soon. At #40, the Padres took Kellen Kulbacki, who has a crazy great name, and put up crazy great numbers as a sophomore in 2006. He was good -- but not AS good this year, and his bat is his only tool really.
Kevin Goldstein (2:41:32 PM PT): Sean Doolittle just went to the A's @ 41. For those of you who are mathemetically challenged, that's 38 picks under the silly Cubs @ 3 rumor.
BSmith (2:43:04 PM PT): The state of Iowa has its highest prep selection ever as Jon Gilmore heads to the Atlanta Braves at 33. Gilmore is a brother in law of Ben Zobrist, but unlike his family member, he probably won't stick at short, but his bat will play at third.
Gilmore is likely to shun Wichita State, his college commitment, meaning the Shockers lost out on Gilmore and Pete Kozma. Tough day.
Kevin Goldstein (2:44:44 PM PT): With picks coming hot and heavy now, we may not hit every pick. The Mets finally get to go at 42 and don't go over budget, taking Oregon State closer Eddie Kunz. He's built kinda like Lee Smith, and throws as hard, but needs secondary stuff -- almost a reach here, really.
BSmith (2:45:19 PM PT): The Mets had to wait a couple hours to start their day, but at pick 42, New York took Eddie Kunz from Oregon State. Kunz is a huge right-hander that, unlike Moskos and Cecil, was not given the attempt to move to the rotation this year. He probably doesn't fit there, but his big-time fastball will fit in the Mets bullpen by next season. Solid, unspectacular pick.
BSmith (2:47:43 PM PT): The Rangers took a break from drafting pitchers with Julio Borbon, but after taking Blake Beavan and Michael Main in the first, Neil Ramirez goes in the sandwich round. Ramirez would have been a first round pick last August, but he struggled a bit in the spring. It's a good pick, and it looks like the Rangers are taking the Florida Marlins in 2005 draft philosophy: prep pitchers like crazy.
BSmith (2:52:08 PM PT): Earlier I wondered why the Cardinals took Peter Kozma ahead of Justin Jackson and Drew Cumberland ... now, the two go back-to-back in sandwich round. The Blue Jays and Padres, respectively, drafted the two, despite historically being college-geared organizations. The Padres now have taken three very different players, with Nick Schmidt, Kellen Kulbacki and Drew Cumberland now in the system.
Kevin Goldstein (2:52:10 PM PT): The Blue Jays aren't totally associated with high school athletes, but they just grabbed N.C. high school shortstop Justin Jackson, the son of former big leaguer Chuck Jackson and a former high school teammate of Cameron Maybin. I'd take him over Peter Kozma, and still don't understand how he lasted this long. Seriously, what's going on at ESPN. Is this the draft or Baseball Tonight?
BSmith (2:56:04 PM PT): I mentioned early in this thing that Cubs fans were surprised they didn't go with Matt Wieters, the catcher, ahead of Josh Vitters. Perhaps it's because Tim Wilken had his eyes on a different catcher, Josh Donaldson, in the second. Donaldson hit very well in the Cape Cod League, and while new to the position, he has the lateral movement of a good third baseman and the arm strength of a good high school pitcher. Good pick by the Cubs.
Kevin Goldstein (2:57:24 PM PT): You know, you gotta give the Nationals some credit here, as they are clearly cointining to go with bigtime upside to resurrect a dormant system. At #49, the Rangers selected Michael Burgess -- a guy who came into the season as a top 10 pick, but proved to be too raw, not taking the steps forward that many hoped for. He's still a great athlete with pure 80 raw power, and maybe the biggest high-risk/high-reward guy in the draft.
BSmith (3:01:14 PM PT): Before the Mariners made their selection in the first round, I was convinced Seattle would take third baseman Matt Dominguez. They went upside with Phillipe Aumont, a pick I loved, and now they go with Matt Mangini. A Cape legend, Mangini is a good-not-great hitter that struggles against southpaws and faded as the year went on. He's a good pick because of his body of work as a whole, but I'm not convinced he'll work out.
And Mangini going before Corey Brown seemed a given four months ago, but today, I'm telling you that it's foolish.
Kevin Goldstein (3:06:58 PM PT): Boston finally picks at 55 and they take Nick Hagadone from the University of Washington. He's the team's closer, but will likely move back into a starting role, like he pitched last year. He's big, he's lefthanded, and he throws strike. His stuff is pretty average, but comes up a click for the command. There were some strange rumors that he was Seattle's backup-backup-backup-backup plan at 9, but in the end he went about where he belonged.
BSmith (3:07:05 PM PT): My favorite experience with a scout ever was in the stands of a Team USA game last summer, listening to his scouting report of pick 54, Tommy Hunter. Tommy had a good sophomore season at Alabama, but his body, leaves something to be desired. I remember the scout writing "tree trunk thighs ... literally" as well as "a pregnant woman's hips." It was brutal, but apparently not enough to sway the Texas Rangers, who will look to buy out his junior season.
Kevin Goldstein (3:10:56 PM PT): Mitch Canham going #57 to the Padres seems like an excellent pick to me. It's going to come down to defense in the end. If he stays at catcher, he's a borderline first round talent. If he can't . . . .
Kevin Goldstein (3:12:01 PM PT): Seriously, I love ESPN and think they're one of the most important things in the history of sports. At the same time, they just went off the air while mentioning TWO or THREE of the last 29 picks.
BSmith (3:12:22 PM PT): And the next Bryan Smith guy to get drafted is ... drum roll, please ... Corey Brown to the Oakland A's. Brown is the rare high-upside college guy, sort of like a more advanced version of Jermaine Mitchell, last year's pick. This gives the A's a really interesting few picks, with two dependable guys in Simmons and Sean Doolittle, as well as Brown, who could be anything and it wouldn't surprise me. But at 59, his bonus will be a fraction of what Drew Stubbs got at near the same talent level.
Kevin Goldstein (3:17:37 PM PT): Hoping to make up for not having a first rounder, the Red Sox use their second supplemental pick (#62) on high-school infielder Ryan Dent. He has a higher ceiling than quite a few of the players selected ahead of him, but at the same time, Boston is betting on his athleticism, as he's still a long way from converting his tools into baseball skills.
BSmith (3:18:11 PM PT): I feel that it's my responsibility to point out that the Big 10 just had a player go off the board, as Cory Luebke went 63 to the Padres. He's sort of like a poor man's Nick Schmidt, a low upside lefty that eats a lot of innings. The Padres seem to like guys like this ... they drafted Wade Leblanc last year, if you recall. Luebke likely helped his stock by pitching a 10-inning complete game in Ohio State's regional.
BSmith (3:25:10 PM PT): The sandwich round is over, and Tampa's wait between picks will end soon.
We knew San Diego would be busy in the round, and they were, making picks that Kevin and I both loved. Texas continued their pitching-heavy draft, and Washington its two-year trend of high upside players. Those drafts, at present, stand out.
Right now, we have to wonder if Matt Harvey is going to really slip, possibly far enough to be forced into going to Chapel Hill. He would be a huge coup for the Tar Heels. However, if he slips to 112, I think the Astros should really consider breaking the bank. At 112, what do you have to lose.
Other Kevin Goldstein top 50 talents missing: Kyle Russell, Kyle Blair, Jack McGeary, Casey Crosby, Brad Suttle, Chris Carpenter, Yasmani Grandal and Kentrail Davis. Looking at that list, one thing sticks out: what's wrong with the Longhrons?
Kevin Goldstein (3:41:25 PM PT): The 2nd round is finally underway and the first interesting pick is Josh Fields to Atlanta at #69. He went into the year as a potential first round pick and one of the elite college closer, but he dropped on a bad year. Bit of a risk, but some upside there, and of course, he's local.
Kevin Goldstein (3:51:04 PM PT): The A's may be sticking to the college route, but after two low upside guys to start in Simmons and Doolittle, things are a little more interesting with Brown and their 2nd round pick, Grant Desme. He was rocketing up draft lists before he broke his wrist, and probably would have gone higher had he stayed healthy and continued to perform. His tools are at least average across the board and he's a good pick here.
BSmith (3:51:51 PM PT): A lot of interesting college arms going in the early parts of the second round. A college arm run through...
Will Kline, Tampa Bay: Kline is an SEC pitcher, like David Price, who went toe-to-toe with Price earlier in the season. It's likely Tampa Bay brass was present and impressed in the outing.
Duke Welker, Pittsburgh: Nick Schmidt's mate at Arkansas, I did not think Welker would go before teammate Jess Todd. But the right-hander has really good size and a solid fastball, it's a good pick by Pittsburgh.
David Kopp, St. Louis: The Clemson starter, Kopp has really crept up on teams in the late-going, but he's a pretty average arm. He's been an innings-eater at Clemson, and has, Kevin's favorite word, lots of pitchability.
Barry Enright, Arizona: Great pick by the Diamondbacks, as the Pepperdine ace had some first round interest early in the year. Smart pitcher with average stuff, Enright is a good arm for that system.
Kevin Goldstein (3:52:05 PM PT): At 79, the Reds took shortstop Zach Cozart from U.Miss, which is interesting, as they already have his doppleganger in the system with Paul Janish. Outstanding defender, bat is a question mark.
BSmith (3:56:28 PM PT): I mentioned Jess Todd a couple posts ago, and on cue, the Cardinals take him with the 82nd pick. Todd really impressed in the Texas Collegiate League last summer before transferring to Arkansas, where he was both dominant as a closer and starter. He's a little on the short side, but throws a good sinking fastball and, sometimes, a plus slider. I think he might be a reliever in the next one, but if so, he does have closer stuff.
Kevin Goldstein (3:56:41 PM PT): It's Moneyball all over again, only this time for the Padres.
23. Nick Schmidt - low upside, finesse guy
40. Kellen Kulbucki - bat is the only tool
46. Drew Cumberland - the one outlier
57. Mitch Canham - college catcher, we went over him
63. Corey Luebke - Command and control guy
64. Danny Payne - undersized college grinder who gets on base
81. Eric Sogard - Payne as an infielder
BSmith (3:59:39 PM PT): If you had told me the Blue Jays would draft high schoolers with three of their first six picks, I would have called you crazy. We all thought one of the first two would be a prepster, but the Blue Jays have found good value since with Justin Jackson and now John Tolisano. A long-time scouted prospect, Tolisano is less of a prospect than he was a junior, but he has pretty good power for a second baseman ... where he'll play at the next level. Middle of the second round, this is a good choice by Toronto.
BSmith (4:04:20 PM PT): The White Sox take Nevin Griffith late in the second round, where I didn't think he'd be left. Griffith might be blown over by the Chicago winds at this point, but when he adds 15-20 pounds to his frame and tightens his curveball, he could be a good arm. The Sox got two good fastballs in Poreda and Griffith.
BSmith (4:12:06 PM PT): We move blindly into the third, after the second round came and went without a Kevin Goldstein Top 50 prospect being drafted. You can bet Augie Garrido will sleep soundly tonight, as it looks like Kyle Russell and Brad Suttle might be returning to Austin.
Kevin Goldstein (4:13:06 PM PT): More Moneyball like antics in the second with San Diego taking powerless college speedster Brad Chalk, the Yankees end the second round with catcher Austin Romine. It's far, far too early to call him the heir apparent to Jorge Posada, but he's a gut with good power, and a good arm, if not some roughness around the edges.
Kevin Goldstein (4:15:41 PM PT): at #97 in the third round, the Cubs took Tony Thomas, the Florida State second baseman who put up huge numbers without huge tools. He's a favorite of the stat-heavy folks, so it's a surprise to see him end up in Chicago.
BSmith (4:20:01 PM PT): The Brewers have been dormant since surprising all with Matt LaPorta, but at #101, the Brew Crew took catcher Jon Lucroy. Similar to Andy Bouchie, the catcher they took last season, Lucroy is an all-around talent from a small, impressive program, in this case, Louisiana-Lafayette.
Kevin Goldstein (4:20:53 PM PT): With the 101st pick, the Brewers took catcher Jon Lucroy from Louisiana-Laffayette. He's a pretty good pick here, as college catchers normally slide up due to positional scarcity and Lucroy was one of the better offensive options around. The defensive skills are why he got drafted here.
BSmith (4:21:44 PM PT): The Astros first pick in the draft is coming up, and other than a late-round snag by the Angels, Red Sox or Yankees, it might be the last barrier between Matt Harvey and the University of North Carolina.
Kevin Goldstein (4:24:22 PM PT): We finnally have our first Puerto Rico prospect off the board with shortstop Rey Navarro going 103rd to the D-backs. I'm not gonna lie, I don't know much about him other than he's really fast. Most teams thought we'd see toolsy centerfielder Angel Morales to be the first from the island.
Kevin Goldstein (4:25:09 PM PT): Just throwing my Astros grasping at straws pick -- why not a guy like Kentrail Davis -- more expensive than 111 slot, but easier to sign than Harvey.
BSmith (4:28:41 PM PT): I really, really like the Braves draft so far, and not because they just drafted Brandon Hicks at pick 108, or an Iowan at pick 33. Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman have really big-time power, and Josh Fields and Brandon Hicks are two toolsy college players. Roy Clark is, without question, one of the best in the business.
Kevin Goldstein (4:30:18 PM PT): Atlanta grabbed Brandon Hicks with pick #109 -- and it's kind of a surprise that he lasted this long. He's one of those polished college shortstop types, and many teams had him in the mix for the second round, but as a backup plan that just never came up.
BSmith (4:39:18 PM PT): Mentioned a few posts ago that the Angels would be one of the few teams who could keep Matt Harvey from UNC, and it appears they will try. The Angels didn't pick until 58, and now at 118, they make their splash. You can bet coach Mike Fox isn't a fan of Eddie Bane, first Nick Adenhart, now Harvey.
Kevin Goldstein (4:40:16 PM PT): Seriously, how perfect is this? The Angels take Matt Harvey in the third. Eddie Bane has found a lot of guys later on in the draft who other teams have passed on, getting guys like Nick Adenhart, Jordan Walden, and technically Jered Weaver, who 13 teams passed on in the first round three years ago. Just a great pick here, and he's pretty signable, relative to other Boras guys like Porcello and Brackman.
Kevin Goldstein (4:47:23 PM PT): I mentioned Morales a second ago, and he just went at 122 to the Twins. Very fast, excellent defender, now a power guy, but if he can hit just a little, watch out. Wait a second, they already have one of those in Denard Span. At least this one didn't go in the first round.
BSmith (4:48:21 PM PT): Clemson underachieved for much of the season, but if you want a reason why they find themselves in the super regionals, draft day should explain why. Stephen Clyne was taken by the Mets at pick 123 (who are having a disastrous draft), and he is the fourth Clemson pitch to be taken today, after Daniel Moskos, David Kopp and Alan Farina.
BSmith (4:59:39 PM PT): Another good pick by R.J. Harrison and the Diamondbacks in the fourth round, as they choose Sean Morgan from Tulane. Morgan fell apart this season, but it wasn't long ago he was considered a fringe first rounder. Give the guy the year off, bring him to instructs and extended spring training and Arizona may have gotten first round value.
Kevin Goldstein (5:01:12 PM PT): When you look at the Arizona system, you can understand while they've gone pitcher-heavy so far, and fourth-round selection Sean Morgan from Tulane is a nice value pick. He dropped off some teams radar in the last month or so, but he still missed a ton of bats this year, mostly thanks to an outstanding slider. He might be more of a reliever down the road, but again, nice value pick.
Kevin Goldstein (5:04:26 PM PT): At 135, Seattle took Noel Gallagher of Stanford, who went into the spring as one of the more interesting college pitchers around, but just never performed well for anyone ever. You hope he can figure things out when you take him here, but Gallagher might want to return to school to see if he can figure things in his senior year and move back up into the big money rounds for '08.
Kevin Goldstein (5:10:32 PM PT): Looking to find some bigger talent in the late rounds, the Cardinals have taken a flyer on Texas slugger Kyle Russell in the fourth round. He's a late-first talent, and expect to be paid like one to avoid returning to the Longhorns for his Junior year. If the Cardinals pony up, it's a nice find.
Kevin Goldstein (5:12:37 PM PT): The Phillies took Oklahoma State second baseman Tyler Mach in the fourth round. Statistically, he outperformed both Matt Mangini and Corey Brown, teammates who went well ahead of him, but nobody knows what to do with him defensively, as he's simply proved to be pretty bad at both second and third base.
Kevin Goldstein (5:21:49 PM PT): In projecting Rick Porcello to the Tigers, I noted how much Detroit scouting director David Chadd loves big pitchers -- and so far it's proving out.
27. Rick Porcello: 6-5, 195
60. Joey Hamilton: 6-2, 205
121. Luke Putkonen: 6-6, 200
151. Charlie Furbush: 6-5, 215
Kevin Goldstein (5:28:08 PM PT): The end of the third round featured a pair of interesting picks. The Mets took third baseman Richard Lucas, who's not nearly at the same talent level but comes out of the same high school in Jacksonville that gave us Billy Butler and Eric Hurley, while the Yankees finished up the round with the other Texas draft-eligible sophomore who dropped, third baseman Brad Suttle. Suttle will require much more than late-fourth round money to sign, and he might not be worth it as a corner infielder with good hitting skills but not a ton of power.
Kevin Goldstein (5:28:51 PM PT): With the second pick in the fifth round, the Royals took Pepperdine's Adrian Ortiz, which is a little strange, as he's basically Joey Gathright without the walks.
Kevin Goldstein (5:30:18 PM PT): The Orioles just nabbed TCU's Jake Arrietta in the fifth round, and as to why he dropped -- it's quite a mystery. He's a guy who was expected to be a late sandwhich pick or at least an early second rounder, and I never heard anything different. There might be a story here, we just don't know what it is.
Kevin Goldstein (5:38:53 PM PT): The Mariners just took Oklahome outfielder Joe Dunigan in the fifth round. Joe's from Chicago and one of the best athletes in the draft. He's also still a long way from being a great baseball player, but he made good progress this year, and most fifth rounders don't have his kind of ceiling. Great makeup as well, and his dad is a detetive in the Chicago Police Department.
Kevin Goldstein (5:44:26 PM PT): Hah! I projected the Astros to take Colin Delome of Lamar with their first pick in the draft at #111. They took him two rounds later. Pure luck here, or at least mostly. Houton likes athletes, Houston likes local, Delome fit the bill.
Kevin Goldstein (5:47:51 PM PT): When talking about the Phillies, toolsy players always come to mind, and that's what the Phillies just took in the first round with Michael Taylor. When he went to Stanford three years ago, most scouts thought he'd be a first-rounder at this time, but the 6-6, 250 lb. monster just never developed. Nothing wrong with taking a chance on him in the fifth, though.
Kevin Goldstein (5:52:35 PM PT): Here comes the signability guys. The Red Sox finish the day with Will Middlebrooks, a guy I projected to the Twins in the first, and the Dodgers follow that up with righty Kyle Blair, who was in their mix in the first. Blair will likely need something close to $1 million in order to avoid going to college -- he's committed to San Diego.
Kevin Goldstein (5:54:10 PM PT): We have our first brothers as the Angels finish the day with Arizona State shortstop Andrew Romine, the older brother of Yankee second-rounder Austin Romine. Their father Kevin, the former big league outfielder must be awfully proud.
Kevin Goldstein (5:56:49 PM PT): The Tigers go big again in the fifth, and in my opinion, get a steal in Casey Crosby, the Illinois high school lefty. Don't be shocked to hear that he's six-foot-five, and while he's rough around the edges, he throws hard and was thought to go somewhere around the second round.
Kevin Goldstein (5:59:39 PM PT): And Day One is over. Teams now have to get ready for FORTY-FIVE round tomorrow. Should be fun.