With just over 24 hours to go before the 2007 Amateur Draft, the top of Thursday’s first round has turned into a minefield for a number of reasons, and just like clockwork this time of year, a few Oliver Stone-level rumors are flying about as well.
Even Numbers, Uneven Information
A significant number of decisions depend upon what the Royals (second overall), Pirates (fourth), and Nationals (sixth) do with their picks. The Royals have been keen on New Jersey high school righty
While Beckett inked a four-year big league deal eight years ago for $7 million, scouts are unsure how Boras is defining inflation, while also pointing out that such a deal would accelerate the timetable for a pitcher who lacks the experience of those from warmer environments. “Well, what’s the inflation exactly?” asked one scouting director. “If it’s normal inflation, its $8-9 million, [and] if it’s bonus inflation, it’s more than that, and if it’s inflation based on revenue, then that figure goes through the roof.” It’s the kind of money that would scare off the Royals and several other teams, causing Porcello to drop to a team that might pony up–which of course is exactly what Boras wants for his client. If the Royals pass on Porcello, their decision would then be between the top high school hitter in the draft,
The Pirates were one of the easier teams to project as late as last week, with all indications being that their short list consisted of those same two players, Vitters and Detwiler. Unable to convince ownership to allow them to spend the big bucks on a player like Georgia Tech catcher
Picking sixth, there is much debate over what the Nationals will do, and it seems at times that not even the Nationals themselves know. With money to spend, multiple sources have heard that Washington will “make a big splash,” without knowing exactly what that splash will be. Porcello and Wieters will both likely be available to tempt them, with Wieters making more sense as a player who could move quickly, as opposed to a high-ceiling/high-risk pitcher. But nobody is sure at this time whether Washington will make that big splash or instead make a more conventional selection, like Detwiler, California high school slugger
Whither Andrew Brackman?
Beyond Porcello and Wieters, several other Scott Boras clients are the subjects of interesting rumors during the final week of preparations. No player draws stronger reactions than North Carolina State righthander
Another insider sees no conspiracy, but rather a not altogether honest reaction by his college team. “I really, really don’t want to come off as insensitive here, but he misses a key late-season game because his ex-girlfriend died?” questioned the source. “I think it might be a nice way for the coaches to say that based on the way he’s pitched lately, we don’t think he gives us the best chance to win.”
Sean Doolittle? Really? You’re Kidding, Right?
not the kind of name one would expect to come up multiple times in discussions
about the top 10 picks. And yet, that’s the rumor that’s spread like wildfire
It revolves around two teams with single-digit picks who are possibly being hamstrung by Major League Baseball in their decision-making process. According to one source, the Diamondbacks are considering Doolittle as a quick signability pick with the ninth overall choice after getting a beat-down from MLB in regards to
The good news is that nobody is buying these rumors. “It just makes no sense,” said one source. “Even if you are going to go way cheap there, why Doolittle? There are plenty of players better than him who would be more than happy to go third or ninth,” he added. “I’m not biting on that stuff at all,” said a scouting director. “This is all manufactured–in reality, he’s sliding because he’s a first baseman without power.” Another scouting director was also unimpressed. “If you take him, you are hoping for Mark Grace. In today’s game, that’s not worth what it once was, and if it doesn’t work out, you’re stuck with
Top Three Risers
Devin Mesarococould be the second high school hitter off the board, thanks to outstanding private workouts. Nick Schmidt‘s late-season performance combined with
some easy projection (and an expected quick trip through the minors) make the big lefty with finesse stuff highly attractive to teams in the 8-12 range.
Jarrod Parkermoves up a couple of notches seemingly each day, and seems a lock to go within the first seven picks.
Top Three Fallers
Andrew Brackmanis seemingly out of the first round
entirely, as no team will admit any interest at this time anywhere in the draft.
Philippe Aumontseems to be many teams’
Plan B, but few teams’ top target.
Matt LaPortaseems to suffer from the fact that teams in the first seem to prefer the high school arms and players with more defensive flexibility over the guy who is arguably college baseball’s top hitter.