Plumpy Rules!!!111 First Round Draft Review

by 1:28 PM 0 comments
In an attempt to use my powers for good, I have gone through each pick in the first round and write a little bit about every player taken. I tried to be magnanimous in my analysis and used poetic license to make it a bit more interesting so if you disagree with me, just remember its all in fun and take it with a grain of salt. It should at least make for some good discussion, so enjoy!

1. Kansas City Monarch- Branch Glaus - P
The Monarch weren't deterred by the rumors of Glaus routinely enjoying the late night entertainment options of Reno and selected the senior RHP. Glaus combines excellent command with a plus-plus fastball and a plus sinker, but what has scouts fawning over him is his advanced approach to both lefties and righties. If the Monarch's coaching staff can keep Glaus focused and develop his secondary offerings he should develop into an effective starter.
Perfect World Projection: Glaus is an ace on a second tier team or #2 on a contender
Glass Half-Empty: Makeup and health issues impede his development and he's only a good #3-4 starter

2. Toronto Grizzlies - Norman Boyd - P
With the 2nd overall pick, Toronto picked up 20 year old JUCO star LHP Norman Boyd. Boyd was the #1 player on a lot of people's boards mostly to due to his pitching repertoire which features three above average pitches and anchored by his fastball which is projected as an 80 on the 20-80 scale. That combined with above average control allows him to miss a lot of bats without overpowering velocity. The fact he his only 20 only sweetens the pot as he could possibly be ready to face ML batters in 2-3 years. The only red flag was the overconfidence of his JUCO coach in his durability which led to his overuse and subsequent arm troubles.
Perfect World Projection: He is an all-star caliber SP
Glass-Half Empty: Much like Glaus, health and makeup concerns only allows him to be pretty good.

3. Atlanta Shockers - Guillermo Guerrero - P
The last of the top tier SP talent comes with the most question marks. Senior RHP Guillermo Guerrero suffered the wrath of overuse by his college coach and blew out his elbow during a Super Regional Finals and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. His recovery is a testament to his patience and attitude and convinced enough scouts he would bounce back to be taken #3 overall there are serious doubts that he will be able to be an effective long term pitcher. He relies heavily on his slider as other pitches are mediocre and its unknown if his elbow will be able to stand up to strain. If he can stay healthy, his command and approach are solid.
Perfect World Projection: A healthy solid mid rotation starter
Glass Half-Empty: His elbow is one bad slider away from retirement

4. Salt Lake City The Salt - Damon Hampton - 1B
Damon Hampton is as polished a hitter as you will find coming out of high school. His outstanding raw power with patience and an advanced approach has already drawn comparisons to Todd Ford. While these reports might be overstated, scouts have a tough time finding a hole in his offensive game. He is young and may take a few years to grow into his power, there isn't much doubt he will hit. His only downside is that despite his size, he isn't very athletic and often forgets to bring his glove to the park. Twice in the Indiana state championship he was intentionally walked only to be picked off first, of course this was after he had slammed two homers in his previous at-bats.
Perfect World Projection: MVP candidate on a contender
Glass Half-Empty: All-Star 1B on a bad team

5. Hartford Submarines - Brian Carr - CF
Hartford grabbed the HS OFer at #5 and quickly signed for slot. He is quite raw and almost all projection but you would be hard-pressed to find a scout that doesn't think he will capitalize on his considerable tools. His work ethic and coachability has most thinking his contact and glove skills won't be far behind the power and discipline he showed in high school. He has already has good range in center and has impressed with his routes on flyballs, which is a major positive since he doesn't have burner speed to cover up any mistakes. Word there has been internal debate in the Hartford front office on a potential move to 2B as Juan Sosa has yet to log a day of ML service time.
Perfect World Projection: Perennial GG CF/2B and sometimes All-Star
Glass Half Empty- He can't capitalize on his tools and he is only a GG CF/2B who needs some days off against tough RHP

6. Indianapolis Freeze - Juan Cruz - 2B - Unsigned
The sweet swinging HS 2B slipped down to #6 due to signability issues. Consultant Dennis Bruske has taken a hard-line stance demanding a 6.5 mil signing bonus or he will advise his client to take a D-1 scholarship. Cruz has above average power for an up-the-middle defender and makes good contact. There are questions about his approach and his ability to stay at 2B long term. His worth ethic is beyond reproach and scouts are optimistic about his glove work being strong enough to stick.
Perfect World Projection - He an everyday offensive 2B and occasional all-star.
Glass Half-Empty- Setbacks in his defensive development require a move to a corner OF where his bat doesn't play as well

7. Portland Killer Whales - Ricardo Pineiro - SP
On the advice of their sabermetric department that Midwestern, collegiate pitchers have the highest success rate of all draft picks grabbed innings eating, groundball machine, Ricardo Pineiro with the #8 pick. Pineiro with his solid 6'2, 190 lbs frame can work deep into games due to his pinpoint control and pitch-to-contact style and a good fit for the spacious confines of PGE Park. His offerings are good, not great and he doesn't have the kind of stuff that will consistently strike a lot of hitters out. But again, Pineiro isn't going to walk many or give up many HRs either.
Perfect World Projection: Mid rotation starter
Glass Hall-Empty- He gives up too many hits and becomes a 5th starter-long relief type

8. Montreal Expositions - Brook Gonzales - RF
Sticking with the trend of college pitchers and high school bats, Montreal grabbed speedy, slap hitting Brook Gonzales. Gonzales is a lefty who doesn't necessarily need the day off against a tough southpaw since he hits whoever is on the mound, regardless of which hand they throw with. He also brings decent speed and secondary skills to the table as he is able to bunt, draw the occasional walk and steal at a reasonable clip. Despite being athletic, he struggles on defense and his arm is below average. A move to LF would decrease the value of his wide array of offensive skills, he will go as far as his bat is able to take him
Perfect World Projection: An everyday corner outfielder with on-base skills and 20-30 SBs
Glass Half-Empty- His poor defense forces him to LF or 4th outfielder on a contender

9. Trenton Titans- Chris Jensen - P
With a few better choices on the board, Jensen is probably the biggest reach of the first round. He is a hard throwing lefty with four average to above average pitches. He uses a hard 4-seam fastball-change combo mixed in with a sharp 12-to-6 curve, his best pitch. Unfortunately, he doesn't miss as many bats as he should and sacrifices command for stuff. The make or break area is how effective against right handed batters as he will be. If he can't get righties out, he might have a tough time sticking around.
Perfect World Projection- 5th Starter or long reliever
Glass Half-Empty- AAA could be his ceiling.

10. San Juan Elephant Seals - Miguel Martin - RP
The season 11 draft class was one of the shallowest Plumpy's has seen, however, the one position that had the most depth was the relief corps and San Juan cashed in with Miguel Martin. The diminutive Martin provides one of the best one-two punches in terms of pitches: his fastball and slider already graded out to be plus pitches. Now if only pitching coach Jeremy Maurer can make him forgot to throw his split-finger which quite hittable. Martin shows great control and the ability to get hitters out on both sides of the plate. With no real holes in his game and advanced command of his pitches, Martin could be ready for the Biggs in 2-3 years depending on the approach that the Seals take. At 20 years old there is no rush.
Perfect World Projection: Big league closer
Glass Half-Empty: A top set-up man who can go an inning at a time.

11. Honolulu Kahunas - Miguel Martin - P
For the 3rd year out of the last four, the Kahunas grabbed a starting pitcher with their top pick as they drafted the JUCO power pitcher Valent. Scouts fawned over Valent's two best offerings, his fastball and forkball as the project both to be plus-plus. His secondary pitches are less glamorous but he has excellent command and doesn't struggle against lefties. Valent's signing set ups what could be a dominating rotation in season 14 or 15. When asked about the recent addition to the franchise, GM Jeff Grant said, "We won't really know what he's got until he's thrown 200 pitches...on three consecutive days...several times in a row."
Perfect World Projection: Mid rotation starter
Glass Half-Empty: Like most Kahunas pitchers, he has to be taken out in the woods and shot

12. Norfolk Needlefish - Bo Guerrero - RP
Trying to look for faults with Bo Guerrero is nitpicking. Guerrero has two outstanding pitches that border on unhittable with great control. Hitters don’t make contact against him often and can heat it up with good velocity. He can also go out for more than inning at a time every other day or an inning a day, every day. Guerrero at #12 appears to be the steal of the draft.
Perfect World Projection: HoF closer with at least 35-40+ saves per year
Glass Half-Empty: All-star closer

13. Louisville Brown Bears - Sal Wilkerson - P
The Brown Bears snatched up last of the top tier SP prospects with the choice of Sal Wilkerson. The soft tossing ECU senior won’t dazzle you with anything but rather is above average in just about everything. His outpitch is a plus-plus fastball with three more plus to average pitches which he can again locate with above average ability. Both lefties and rights have trouble staying back against him as he flutters in his pitches. The odd thing is that despite not throwing hard, he has trouble going deep into games and takes his time recovering after starts. Regardless, he is a solid all-around hurler.
Perfect World Projection: 3-4 starter
Glass Half Empty: The wear and tear from four years of college catches up with him and he settles for being a back of the rotation starter.

14. St. Louis Crazy Horses - Will Blake - P
The raw high school lefty that the Crazy Horses’ picked at #14 represents the dilemma with drafting high school pitchers: he is all upside. Blake projects to have above average control and middling approach to hitters with a decent out pitch in his screwball. The trouble is that he is years away from being ready and a lot can happen between now and his debut.
Perfect World Projection: Back of the rotation starter
Glass Half-Empty: Who knows? He is as raw as they come but could only end up seeing time out of the bullpen

15. Vancouver Mounties - Haywood Michaels - SS
At the NC Regional D Cross Country Trials, Michaels broke the State course record until it was discovered he took a wrong turn adding an extra .6 of a mile and was disqualified. Michaels brings his similar sense of direction to the basepaths. If that is the downside, here is the upside: he knows how to use an infielder’s glove with incredible instincts. He is no slouch with the stick either, he has good plate disciple with decent contact skills and some pop. His overconfidence in his speed could be a problem as he lacks the awareness of how to apply it, but not something good managing cannot overcome.
Perfect World Projection: An everyday SS and occasional all-star
Glass Half-Empty: He doesn’t develop the arm strength and has to move to 2B

16. Jacksonville Alcoholics - Trace Bennett - RP
After the turmoil Owner Frankum created after publicly disparaging the choice of his GM dies down, he might realize he got one of the better relief prospects available. Bennett’s durability and stamina will allow him to pitch 120-150 innings of relief. His ability to fool hitters and control only increase his value. His fastball-slider combo isn’t anything special but should be adequate. If Frankum decides Bennett’s future isn’t in Jacksonville, he will have a valuable trade chip.
Perfect World Projection: He provides +150 innings of relief
Glass Half-Empty: He provides less than 100 innings of relief

17. Tampa Bay Pirates - Aaron Kaufman - Unsigned
Kaufman fell into the laps of the Pirates due to signability issues. His advisor Tomas Romero told teams from the get go that Kaufman would demand top 5 money in order to sign. Sixteen teams passed before the Pirates jumped at the opportunity to grab a major talent at #17. When asked about him, one team official who passed on Kaufman said, "[Missing out on him] brings up a sick feeling in my stomach." Kaufman can effectively spot his two plus-plus primary pitches and two average secondary offerings. So far he has owned left-handed batters while managing right handers. He is a bit homer prone and doesn't have the kind of stuff that will blow you away, but is a consistent strike thrower.
Perfect World Projection: Top of the rotation starter
Glass Half-Empty: Kaufman may end up heading to college, but even if he signs he is years away from the Bigs.

18. Omaha Settlers Minnie Mills - RF
The Settlers went after one of the pure power hitters in the draft in Minnie Mills. Scouts project Mills to have perfect power the trouble is translating that power from batting practice to games. His believers point to his unquestionable work ethic as to why he will succeed. His approach and plate discipline aren’t great, but they grade out to average and his power maybe be enough to overshadow his other weaknesses. However, there are additional questions about his health and nothing saps power like nagging injuries.
Perfect World Projection: Middle of the order hitter with 40-50 HRs
Glass Half-Empty: Injuries catch up with him and the power doesn’t come.

19. Monterrey Jacks - Hod Forster - SS
Monterrey couldn’t have been more pleased when Forster dropped to them at #19. He presents a high risk-high reward investment for the Jacks. His health is a question mark but his skills are not. Hod is a high contact hitter with an advanced approach that some think his bat could play right now. His defense has a away to go but he should become an average defensive SS. All of this depends heavily on his ability to stay healthy as Forster has been criticized as being aloof.
Perfect World Projection: All-Star offensive SS
Glass Half-Empty: Setbacks could push him to 3B or 2B which would devalue his bat.

20. Tacoma Chicken Dance - Horace Fick - 2B
A tall, lean, offense-first 2B, Horace Fick is possibly the premiere base stealer in the draft. He doesn’t have great speed but uses his instincts and ability to read pitchers to get good jumps. These skills are set up by his good on-base abilities as he can work a count to draw the walk or just plain hit it. His defense is passable but he lacks the range and arm strength to be a great all-around player. His game doesn’t have any major holes in and is a safe bet to succeed.
Perfect World Projection: An offensive everyday 2B with 30-40 SBs
Glass Half-Empty: He is merely an average 2B

21. Richmond Tyrants - Jason Harris - P
Here the lack of depth in the pitching corps of this draft class begins to show. Harris doesn’t have the lights out stuff or an advance approach to hitters. What he does have is good control, good velocity, highly durable, and a respectable array of pitches. While he won’t anchor a staff or start a game 7, he can strike out some, walk few, and eat up innings. He is a bit homer prone as are most power pitchers, but he can fill in the back end of a rotation.
Perfect World Projection: 4-5 starter
Glass Half-Empty: A good quality long reliever

22. Pittsburg Wannabes - Garry Pearce - C
The first backstop taken in the Season 11 draft, Garry Pearce is pretty respective of the catchers available. He is a good, not great prospect whose value is increased because he is a left handed hitter. A natural righty, watched his father, who was left handed play, softball and would mimic his swing. He credits his ability to hit lefties due to his right eye being his dominant eye. Behind the plate, Pearce can hold his own. He has a strong throwing arm and outstanding footwork for a guy his size. His game calling needs work and his ability to block the plate spotty. His best attribute may simply be that he can crouch for 140 days a year. As more and more teams reach for DHs who can fake managing a pitching staff, you could do much worse than Pearce. He makes for nice, reliable choice.
Perfect World Projection: Everyday catcher with a +.700 OPS
Glass Half-Empty: Everyday catcher with OPS below .700

23. Philadelphia Regulators – Chris Sinclair – 2B
The only one who fears Chris Sinclair on skates more than opposing players in the Tampa Bay Junior Hockey League is the Philadelphia front office. With the Tampa Bay Lightening holding the #4 pick in the NHL draft and sagging attendance revenues, the Regulators want nothing more than to contribute to their financial woes. Sinclair has great pitch recognition and good plate discipline. He can also play a passable 2B or at least knock down what is hit his direction. The only question is whether he picks knocking down groundballs or linesmen. Philly would be getting a top 15 talent in the late 1st round and as I am sure the Philly front learned in the last few days, NHL contracts are guaranteed.
Perfect World Projection: Offensive 2B with a shaky glove
Glass Half-Empty: He’s a tree falling in the woods of the NHL.

24. San Francisco Steroid Sluggers - Sammy Paul - 2B
If Sammy Paul is a 2B, then I am a Poet Laureate. Watching him field a groundball is like watching the Road Runner take off. For a brief moment it looks as if he is moving so fast that he is running in place. There is also the question of whether Paul could catch the ball if he ever made it to it. That is the bad news. The good news is that his bat will play in a COF spot, most likely LF. Paul can crush lefties and hold his own against righties with good plate discipline and if he could stay at 2B he would be an All-Star. His health is a major concern, but at 22 he doesn’t have far to go to make to the ML.
Perfect World Projection: An average everyday COF
Glass Half-Empty: Injuries for a move to 1B or DH where his bat isn’t so impressive.

25. Chicago Cubs - Oswaldo Alonso - CF
Alonso is the second true CF took in the draft who made his reputation with his glove while being respectable with the bat. He makes good contact, has good power, and can handle LHP. He can take a walk, steal a base, and even drop down a bunt if need be. Nothing in his game stands out offensively, but the quality of his defense makes the damage he can do with his bat worthwhile. His range is a bit questionable but its his only area he rates below average.
Perfect World Projection: A good everyday CF with 20 HRs and 20 SB
Glass Half-Empty: If he doesn’t have the range for CF, his options are limited. Great 4th OF or weak hitting LF.

26. Chicago Fatties - Chris Payton - RF
The Fatties grabbed seasoned college hitter who looks like a player who could fit well with their hitter-friendly park. Payton has good plate discipline, decent power, and makes good contact. Scouts feel he will have trouble as he moves up the ladder and faces more advanced competition, but playing 80 games at US Cellular should help with any problems a young hitter might face. He is athletic enough to play a solid RF with a good strong throwing arm. He has also gotten rave reviews for his attitude.
Perfect World Projection: He hits enough to justify a COF spot
Glass Half-Empty: A solid 4th OF

27. Arizona Armadillos - Jeremy Cashman - P
Cashman is a tall, lanky junkballer who relies heavily on nibbling around the zone with breaking balls and off speed stuff to get by since opposing hitters have found his 2 seam fastball to be quite hittable. He is a pitch-to-contact guy who lacks a real outpitch to keep hitters from crowding the plate to get after his breaking pitches. There have been some knocks on his worth ethic that has some scouts wondering if he has the determination to make it to the higher levels of professional ball. The fact is that every club is looking for left handed starting pitching depth and that is exactly what Cashman will provide. He isn't normally the type of pitcher that would be taken in the first round, but due to the lack of depth in the draft, especially starting pitching he was one of the better prospects still available.
Perfect World Projection: 4-5th starter
Glass Half-Empty: He finds his way to the bullpen as a long reliever

28. Washington Monuments - Arthur Hines - SS
Hines is another reach for the first round. His bat plays like a SS, but his glove plays like a 3B. He has good contact skills and plate discipline but gets fooled by pitchers that change speeds effectively. His offensive skill set would be more than adequate if his he could stick at SS. Scout say a slow first step makes it likely that a shift to either 2B or 3B somewhere down the road. Hines has value on the basepaths where he makes up for the slow first step with his high baseball IQ. He is still very young and a long way from the big leagues.
Perfect World Projection: A SS with good stick with a below average glove
Glass Half-Empty: Super sub utility guy who can play all IF spots in a pinch

29. Hartford Submarines - Rod Kelly - RP
With their second pick of the first round thanks to Columbus signing Type-A FA Benny Alexander, Hartford added Coastal Carolinas' closer Rod Kelly. Kelly relies on his biting 2-seam fastball to get ahead in the count. His 4-seam fastball is under developed since facing hitters with aluminum bats didn't have much trouble with the hard, straight pitch. Now that he will be facing pros will wood bats, look for the Hartford coach staff to have him mix it in more frequently since he shows he can command the pitch without losing velocity. At CC he wasn't used for more than an inning at a time, but he kept his inning totals up by being able to be effective on consecutive days. Also his ability to get right handers out and keep the ball in the park make him a candidate for a full time set up job.
Perfect World Projection: 70+ inning set up man
Glass Half-Empty- His 4-seamer doesn't come along or RHers find they can hit him he has value as a ML LOOGY.

30. Oakland Hammers - Mac Clark - RP
There aren't many that doubt Clark's ability on the mound but there is significant doubt whether he can stay healthy enough to be put on the mound. A former starter in college, a Tommy John surgery and labrum surgery has left his arm hanging on by a thread. The multiple operations have sapped his stamina and velocity to the point he is one more injury away from being done. The reason Oakland took a chance on the right hander is that when he is on the mound, he is lights out. His 4-seamer borders on unhittable and his curve is a plus pitch as well. He does sacrifice control for movement and due to lost velocity he has become a flyball pitcher. The Hammers hope there is enough left in his tank to get some use out of his talented but fragile left arm.
Perfect World Projection: He stays healthy and fills a ML bullpen role
Glass Half-Empty: He is one injury away from being out of baseball

31. Minnesota Rails - Damaso Rodriguez - SS
Before the draft there were signability issues with Rodriguez, however, when the Evil Empire selected him at the end of the 1st round he quickly signed for slightly above slot. Rodriguez is a true SS as scouts feel he will be able to stay there long term. He is a lefty with an average approach, power, and contact skills with little upside beyond what he is capable of now. His value lies in the ability to hit RHP and play 140 games at SS. He might need the occasional day off against a tough lefty but as soon as his glove comes along, he is going to find himself on a ML roster.
Perfect World Projection: Average everyday SS
Glass Half-Empty: With his base running, defense, and ability to hit RHP he is a great utility guy.

32. Montgomery Burns - Braden Schmidt - P
Adding to their seemingly endless supply of prospect trade fodder, the Burns picked up HS wildman Braden Schmidt with the last pick of the opening round. Right now his change up and slider are ML average and many think his forkball and curve aren't far behind. The trouble is that his pitches have enough movement that he has trouble spotting them in the zone. He is a workhorse who while setting the Montana HS record for complete games he also set less prestigious records for hit batsmen and walks. While his control will always likely be below average, his wide array of quality pitches and ability to eat up innings has value as an organizational solider. Or at least until he is dangled by TTJack as trade bait to bring in more ML talent to keep putting NL South pennants on the walls of Riverwalk Stadium.



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