Season 41 Draft Overview

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Plumpy Season 41 Draft Analysis

Six years have passed since the Season 41 Plumpy Draft and it’s a decent time to evaluate the top 10 picks of the draft.  I’m going to borrow from Mel Kiper Jr and assign a grade for each of the picks, and one pick outside of the top 10 that I find to be spectacular.  I can’t say I have reviewed all picks so I certainly could have missed a golden one, but I feel pretty darn good about the player I’m calling out.
For the team making each selection I am showing the current franchise the player is affiliated with (due to change in owner).  In all other cases I am showing the original franchise that made the selection regardless of trades subsequent to the draft.

Pick #1
1.      Lewis Hatley, SS Kansas City Kilroy
Lewis Hatley
Lewis Hatley
Kansas City
Kilroy
Age: 25B/T: R/R
Born: Ridgway, CO
Position(s): SS/IF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: A+

What a stud.  Hits like a 1B/DH but has been playing SS (I'd argue he SHOULDN'T play SS but that's another matter).  Ideally he'd be a gold glover and silver slugger at 3B.  He even has some speed - he's a true 5-tool player.  His career slash line is .292/.377/.536 and averages 30 HRs/year.


Pick #2
Devon Clark, 2B  Florida Fire Frogs

Devon Clark
Devon Clark
Florida
Fire Frogs
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Elsberry, MO
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: C+

Clark was a compensatory pick for the previous season's #1 pick not signing.  With a #1 or #2 pick I’m always hoping for a Hall-of-Famer.  Clark will be a great 2B for many years but with such a high pick I would rather he have a bigger bat at 2B, play a premium position like CF or SS, or be a SP.  He will not be a Hall-of-Famer.  His slash line after 1,300 PA's is .252/.317/.420 with 16 HR's/yr and about 20-25 SBs/yr.  I'll put a positive spin on him here, though: his OPS has gone from .696 to .735 to .884.  So which one of these is he?  If he settles in as a .800 OPS 2B with a plus glove - then this grade improves considerably.  


Pick #3
Miller Cortes, SP Tacoma Trail Blazers (traded twice since then!!!)

Miller Cortes
Miller Cortes
Tampa Bay
Barracudas
Age: 24B/T: L/L
Born: Indianapolis, IN
Position(s): P (SP5)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: A-

Cortes has been traded twice in his short career and now resides on the Tampa Bay Barracudas.  He's a lefty who can easily throw 200 innings/year as a #2 starter.  His career line is 1.14/3.05 (WHIP/ERA, which I will use going forward as well) but he's only struck out 122 versus 70 walks.  He doesn't overpower anyone but is very crafty and induces a lot of groundballs.  He was the rookie of the year in Season 46 by going 11-5 with a 1.05/2.22 line.  Season 47 is off to a shakier start - with a 4-6 record and 1.37/5.02 line.  I tend to think in the long term he'll live in the middle.

A quick aside about my personal beliefs of a #1 starter: I only consider there to be about 5-8 true #1 starters at any given time.  It's a guy like Julio Rijo who will absolutely deliver sub-2.50 ERA seasons every year and come through in the playoffs.  I don't see this for Cortes so he gets the "#2 SP" tag from me.  Would he be the best SP on my own team?  Absolutely!


Pick #4
Art Lee, 1B San Antonio Forgotten Alamos
Died at age 22 of a sex and cocaine overdose.  RIP Art.

Art Lee
Art Lee
none
none
Age: 22B/T: S/R
Born: Little Falls, NY
Position(s): 1B/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: A       

In one of the saddest stories in Plumpy world history, Art Lee was drafted at #4 and was immediately busted for running a clown and furry based sex ring that spanned 18 states.  He spent 24 months in prison.  After his release he said all of the right things to management about his recovery - and it all appeared to be valid.  He ripped the cover off the ball in Seasons 43 and 44 in Low A with a .347/.435/.739 slash line and 164 HR's.  Fans were livid about him being kept back in the low minors, some even clamoring for him to get a call directly up to the big leagues.  A Sports Illustrated cover story in March of Season 45 highlighted his recovery efforts and how pleased he was to be promoted to AAA that spring with a real chance at cracking the ML roster.  However, shortly before the season began he banged himself to death while high on cocaine.  He had sex with 57 people in one night, which some call a record.  He was adamant about beating his HR number of 56 from the previous season - but it was the 57th bang that did him in.  At the time of his death he had batting ratings of 68/95/63/67/72, with a legitimate chance of bumping those another 5 or 6 points each.  He is now used as a warning to other young players about the dangers of coming into fame and success too quickly.

But seriously, this one made me sad and I was previously unaware of this situation.  It's terrible that we as a league (and especially for this franchise) lost a player with a bright future due to owner mismanagement.


Pick #5
Erv Crawford, SP Mexico City Monarchs

Erv Crawford
Erv Crawford
Mexico City
Monarchs
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Rainbow City, AL
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Grade: A

When I first looked at Crawford's ratings I anticipated assigning him a low grade.  Splits of 63/66 typically don't get it done in the Majors.  But on top of winning the Season 45 Rookie of the Year with a 16-4 1.04/2.89 campaign he has continued to provide solid results, posting a career line of 1.23/3.65.  He accomplishes this with a mix of 4 pitches above 64 with a 5th pitch at 54 and impeccable control.  To top it off, his velocity and GB rating are top-notch.  He's proof that a pitcher truly is the sum of all parts.  I would like to see him get closer to 250 innings/year if properly managed, and he's a solid #2 starter that will be a long-time contributor to Mexico City.  Very solid pick here.


Pick #6
Addison Mullens, SP Charlotte Hummingbirds

Addison Mullens
Addison Mullens
Charlotte
hummingbirds
Age: 26B/T: S/R
Born: Uniondale, NY
Position(s): P (SP1)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: B+

Mullens was basically Major-league ready from the get-go - but was horribly mismanaged his first two seasons receiving zero playing time.  In fact, even though he was drafted at age 20 he only made one appearance in Low A and threw 5.2 innings and that's been the entirety of his minor league development.  This can be disastrous for a player - but he's in a decent place now.   I wonder what his ceiling originally was - because his 5 pitches are what keep him from reaching a higher tier and perhaps they never developed?  He can easily throw 275 innings/year and is a solid #3 starter with a career 1.33/4.01 line.  It's fascinating to compare him to Crawford at #5 - as Mullens' splits are 65/84 but all of his pitches are no better than 68, with two of them at 43 and 32.  I believe really low pitch ratings can be detrimental, particularly with a low-PC catcher.


Pick #7
Tomas Espinoza, RP Montreal Magma

Tomas Espinoza
Tomas Espinoza
Montreal
Magma
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Hillside, IL
Position(s): P (SuA)
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Grade: A+

At around pick #7 you can often be looking at a player with noticeable faults - or you can grab a stud RP like Espinoza.  While SP are certainly more valuable - a RP that can throw 100+ innings is the next best thing.  His career 1.15/3.12 mark will probably improve over time - and in the current season he's at a sparkling 0.96/2.52.  Many owners would make the mistake of slotting him as the Closer and limit him to 60 innings - but for Montreal he pitches every other game and throws an inning and a half each time out.  Would Montreal trade Espinoza for #6 pick Mullens?  If no - then this pick looks better.  Considering Espinoza is 2 years younger and is a rarer breed - my guess is the answer is indeed "no".


Pick #8
George Bermudez, RP Florida Fire Frogs

George Bermudez
George Bermudez
Florida
Fire Frogs
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Oconto Falls, WI
Position(s): P (ClA)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: B+

There's similar logic here as mentioned above - if you can't hit the top position player or SP you start to look towards those RP gems.  Bermudez is very similar to Espinoza with the primary difference being lower splits but higher pitch ratings.  In an interesting case study, his career numbers of 1.35/3.98 are not in the same league as Espinoza - and in a glaring case of mismanagement (note these are my opinions for entertainment purposes only) - he has thrown only 149.1 innings versus 398.1 of Espinoza.  "But Schnoogens!" you might say, "Bermudez has 131 saves versus only 54 saves for Espinoza!".  Take those saves and shove 'em.  This opinion applies to real baseball too: I think saves are a stupid stat - as useless as wins.  Bermudez is leaving so many innings on the table that I might try to trade for him immediately while he's undervalued.  All harshness aside, this continued the run of solid picks in an overall very well-executed draft.


Pick #9
Mac Pavlov, CF/2B Buffalo Lake Effect

Mac Pavlov
Mac Pavlov
Buffalo
Lake Effect
Age: 24B/T: S/R
Born: Gurnee, IL
Position(s): CF/CIF/2B/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: B+

Pavlov has been an inconsistent but very useful player at CF and 2B with a line of .272/.336/.428 (he should stick to 2B though unless it's an emergency in CF).  The fact that we're about to compare him to the #2 overall pick Devon Clark is good news for Buffalo.  Clark as you'll remember has a career line of .252/.317/.420 - and don't get me wrong, Clark is a better player and SHOULD hit better in the long run.  But career-to-date - Pavlov edges him out.  The batting ratings for a solid 2B typically aren't very exciting.  You get the high contact, low power, decent eye, maybe a little speed - and the OPS of the very best 2B who doesn't crap the bed on defense sits around .750.  Sometimes you can even forget these guys are on your team.  But having someone solid to plug in for 10 years is not bad, and that's what Pavlov delivers.


Pick #10
Willie Gabriel - 3B Toledo Scots

Willie Gabriel
Willie Gabriel
Toledo
Scots
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Gladewater, TX
Position(s): 3B/IF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Grade: B

I can't quite compare Gabriel to fellow 3B and #1 pick Hatley - there's too wide of a gap.  Gabriel's career line of .254/.321/.427 is a little underwhelming, and recall that Hatley is at .293/.377/.538.  This shows why a top 5 pick is so valuable - there is a real dropoff in what talent is available as you fade towards the double digits.  Gabriel has already made 39 plus plays in his career, mostly at 3B (where he should be playing) and LF (where he is wasted).  Sometimes 3B is a tough spot to fill or defensive sacrifices are made.  Gabriel has an ok bat - I think he can put up some better numbers in the future - and he can be plugged in for 10 years as the solution.  Solid pick to round out a draft that seemed to have more overall talent and was more expertly chosen than in season 40.   


Honorable Mention Picks

I'm not able to click on every single player to find the "best" pick outside of the top 10, but I do try to find an outlier that will provide unexpected value for where they were selected.  This season I found two noteworthy picks - and while I'm certain I missed others, these two are pretty darn good.

Round 1 Pick #17
Larry Miller SP Ottawa Eh's

Larry Miller
Larry Miller
Ottawa
Eh's
Age: 24B/T: R/R
Born: Armonk, NY
Position(s): P (SP1)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Miller features splits of 59/74 and his top 3 pitches are 80, 81, and 73.  Career line of 1.17/3.50.  A top 5 talent at pick 17 is a great find.

Round 3 Pick #136
Davey Rijo, C Pittsburgh Wannabees

Davey Rijo
Davey Rijo
Pittsburgh
Wannabes
Age: 25B/T: S/R
Born: Snyder, NY
Position(s): C/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Helped by a DITR designation, Rijo will be a career backup C and defensive replacement - with his Durability of 40 the only thing holding him back from being a career starter behind the plate.  He will allow Pittsburgh to have a big bat or another low-Durability Catcher to be on the roster - like let's say

Al Gonzales
Al Gonzales
Pittsburgh
Wannabes
Age: 32B/T: R/R
Born: Gardner, MA
Position(s): C
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

and keep both of their Stamina high enough as the season rolls along.  Getting anyone in the 3rd round to stick on a ML roster is a feat.

Round 16 Pick #555
Gail Dixon, 1B Syracuse Wiffleballers

Gail Dixon
Gail Dixon
Syracuse
Wiffleballers
Age: 24B/T: S/R
Born: Oakland Park, FL
Position(s): 1B/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

In full disclosure, I wrote about the previous two honorable mentions before remembering I had a gem of my own in this draft: Gail Dixon!  Even though he has a girl's name, Dixon is my starting 1B with a slash line of .255/.317/.436 and I expect that to improve over time.  I really don't know how he fell to the 16th round - his low health of 52 is obviously a factor, but I'm guessing he is one of those random players the game has been inserting lately as a surprise.  His batting ratings of 77/79/76/66/73 are top 15 pick material.  Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Schnoogens

Developer

Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111

1 comments:

DawLog said...

Heh, the Season 41 draft recap makes me real annoyed with this team's previous owner. But, Mullins did start 16 games his rookie season and pitched for 231 innings in Low A in season 42. Then he was rushed to the majors. This franchise had terrible pitching coaches, which I bet severely restricted his ability to develop his pitches. Very frustrating to see that happen to a could have been ace.