Author Topic: 2014 draft thread  (Read 61265 times)

Jacksonian

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2014 draft thread
« on: July 17, 2013, 08:41:23 am »
Post 2014 draft musings and information here.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 10:27:22 am by Jacksonian »
Goin' for a bus ride.

jbm

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 12:55:28 pm »
Are there any other 1-1 candidates in this draft other than Rodon?  All I ever hear is Rodon, Rodon, Rodon.  The announcers in the CWS kept saying he would have gone 1-1 in the last two drafts, and it seems that all the internet chatter leads to him, like he is the slam-dunk choice for 1-1. 

I get that he is talented, but don't understand the hype that he is some can't miss star. 

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 01:16:38 pm »
Are there any other 1-1 candidates in this draft other than Rodon?  All I ever hear is Rodon, Rodon, Rodon.  The announcers in the CWS kept saying he would have gone 1-1 in the last two drafts, and it seems that all the internet chatter leads to him, like he is the slam-dunk choice for 1-1. 

I get that he is talented, but don't understand the hype that he is some can't miss star. 

http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/07/15/3389156/clovis-slugger-shines-in-nyc.html


Jacob Gatewood rubbed elbows with the stars, got some face time on ESPN and outhomered some of baseball's best sluggers on a dream night for one of the Fresno area's most promising high school players.

The Clovis High senior-to-be and potential top pick in next year's amateur draft slugged 13 home runs to win the junior portion of Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby on Monday at New York's Citi Field. Gatewood finished with more homers than five of the eight Derby participants, including major league home run leader Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles.

"They treat you like big leaguers. I felt like I was a part of the American League All-Star team," Gatewood said by telephone from New York. "All the guys were congratulating me. It couldn't have been any better. It was the best experience of my life."

Using an aluminum bat, Gatewood blasted three of his homers into the third deck during a two-round performance that took place while ESPN was on commercial breaks. Fellow prep standout Kel Johnson of Palmetto, Ga., hit 11 homers............
He is committed to USC but recently was projected by Sports Illustrated as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft.

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 01:18:37 pm »
Scout. com's Kiley McDaniel has Gatewood as the top HS prospect for 2014

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1306609.html



1. Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS (CA)

6'4/190, R/R, Previous Rank: 2, Draft Day Age: 18.70, USC commit

Scouting Report: Gatewood announced himself on the national prospect scene at last August's Area Code Games, the premier west coast showcase. He put on a show in BP and in one of the games he hit a tape measure homer to center field that traveled an estimated 430 feet. This spring he reportedly hit 95 mph on the mound and had appeared to have added another dimension to his game, but Gatewood has said he has no interest in pitching beyond high school. He has plenty of tools as a position player though, as his overall package is reminiscent of two premium 2012 draft picks, high school shortstops Carlos Correa (#1 overall, Astros) and Addison Russell (#11 overall, Athletics). Gatewood has bloodlines, too, as his father Henry was a catcher that went 11th overall to the Dodgers in the 1982 MLB Draft

Gatewood is one of those players that jumps out at you right away: a 6'4 shortstop with electric bat speed. His BP swing can get into lean back/uppercut/yank homers territory pretty quickly but if you had easy plus power at 17 years old, you'd probably do that, too. Gatewood's raw power comes from quick, strong wrists, leverage and bat speed; it's at least a 60 right now and may be a little better, with more on the way as he adds strength. That's the calling card and, as you might guess, I don't think he'll stick at shortstop long-term as he adds some of that weight but he has a longer, more narrow frame than most guys with his height/weight. Since he isn't a guarantee to add lots of weight, I can't rule out a shortstop future--his hands, arm, actions and footwork could all conceivably be enough--but he'd be a fringy shortstop at best as his lateral quickness isn't elite and his actions/release can get a little long for that play deep in the hole. I think his most likely big league defensive fit is third base where he could be above average. Gatewood is an above average straight line runner but likely settles in closer to average, so center field isn't really an option long-term.

The big question on Gatewood is how his bat will play. He has power-oriented swing and he's still growing into his long frame, so his mechanics broke down in a couple different ways in some game swings I saw last week. Off-speed stuff gives him some trouble and he'd often offer off-balance swings if he wasn't leaking his front hip or over-striding and making contact with his back leg off the ground. These issues led to less hard contact than you'd expect given the raw tools and there's already concerns he won't be a high average hitter with his bat waggle and long arms. Gatewood has good bat control but these other issues obscure that talent and he'd probably be best served to simplify and focus on hard line drives to the middle of the field. The elements are here for an average or better hit tool but very few guys this size hit for power and average at this age, so it wouldn't necessarily be obvious in games just yet.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 01:19:38 pm »
College guys-

NC State LHP Carlos Rodon
2013 stats: 132.1 ip, 94 h, 45 bb, 184 so, 2.99 era, 1.05 whip

Vandy RHP Tyler Beede
2013 stats: 101 ip, 64 h, 63 bb, 103 so, 2.32 era, 1.26 whip

NC State SS/CF Trea Turner
2013 stats: 368/455/553, 38 walks to 31 strikeouts, 30 stolen bases in 36 attempts

San Diego State RHP Michael Cederoth
2013 stats: 95.1 ip, 72 h, 48 bb, 109 so, 4.25 era, 1.26 whip

LSU RHP Aaron Nola
2013 stats: 126 ip, 83 h, 18 bb, 122 so, 1.57 era, 1.06 whip

Louisville RHP Nick Burdi (their closer last year but will supposedly be turned into their Friday night starter, hits 100 consistently)
2013 stats: 35.2 ip, 25 h, 13 bb, 62 so, 0.76 era, 1.07 whip

Hartford LHP Sean Newcomb
2013 stats: 72 ip, 53 h, 37 bb, 92 so, 3.75 era, 1.25 whip

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 01:20:46 pm »
Perfect Game's Top Five High School Prospects

http://perfectgame.org/


1. Alex Jackson - C Rancho Bernardo HS, CA
Huge power, very good defensive catcher, Also play OF well. Has all the tools, outstanding at PG Nat. Games and Area Codes. Outstanding at PG National

2. Nicholas Gordon - SS Olympia HS, FL
Good athlete, really projects both ways, outstanding defensive SS stood out at WWBA, BCS and PG Nat., great bloodlines, up to 94 @ PG World

3. Tyler Kolek - RHP Shepherd HS, TX
Big RHP was up to 97 mph at PG National. Arm works well and off speed shows good potential

4. Jacob Gatewood - SS Clovis HS, CA
Good athlete, very projectable all around player, huge power potential. Very good at PG and Area Codes

5. Dylan Cease - RHP Milton HS, GA
Lightning fast arm! Fastball up to 97 mph at PG National

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 01:26:26 pm »
Kiley McDaniel's top five prep arms in order are RHP Tyler Kolek, RHP Dylan Cease, RHP Touki Toussaint, RHP Grant Holmes, and RHP Luis Ortiz.

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1301426.html




It's too early to compare this class to previous year's classes as there's a whole year for guys to rise and fall and generally mature. That said, this class is so deep with premium arms, comparing them directly to the 2013 class today gives you an idea. After comparing notes with some people to make sure I wasn't crazy, it sounds like most scouts would take four if not all five of the guys listed below before the 2013 #22 overall pick Hunter Harvey. In addition, all of these guys are well ahead of where Harvey or late-rising #10 overall pick Phil Bickford were at the same stage and four of the five are over six months younger than #7 overall pick Trey Ball. (I think both Bickford and Ball were over-drafted for various reasons, so the #7 and #10 picks are not indicative of their talent, while Stewart and Harvey went where their talent dictated.) It's too early to tell whether any of the guys listed below will end up at the Kohl Stewart/Jameson Taillon/Dylan Bundy-level by draft day, but it's in play for more than one of them.

Why I Ranked The Top Three This Way

It's important to point out these five could be put in almost any order and the #2-#5 ranked players especially are all very similar. I went back and forth on Toussaint vs. Cease vs. Kolek before settling on this ranking. Touki is the most athletic, with a clean delivery, is about 6 months younger than the other two and has shown plus-plus stuff in the past. Cease is similar in size and stuff to Touki, isn't as obviously athletic and his off-speed stuff can be inconsistent but he showed much more present stuff in Minnesota with a very clean delivery and arm action. Kolek is by far the biggest, showed as much now stuff as anyone in Minnesota, has more projection and could be a monster when/if he grows into his frame. Ultimately, Kolek has more now stuff and I constantly harp on scouts for picking projectability over now stuff since projectability is sexier, looks better and is generally in the "selling jeans" box.

Touki's arm action and delivery are clean, but his whippy, athletic arm action creates velocity by putting a little more stress on his elbow than Kolek's or Cease's does, which is hard to see unless you slow the above video down to frame-by-frame speed. This isn't normally something I'd bring up, except when we're splitting hairs about super-high-end, super-young arms where projecting velocity/arm speed/health is the best tiebreaker. All that said, all three are still 17 and we're trying to pick which one will be better at 25, so stuff improving a notch in their next outing is enough to change the projection and, when it's this close, flipping this ranking.

jbm

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 01:32:12 pm »
http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/07/15/3389156/clovis-slugger-shines-in-nyc.html


Jacob Gatewood rubbed elbows with the stars, got some face time on ESPN and outhomered some of baseball's best sluggers on a dream night for one of the Fresno area's most promising high school players.

The Clovis High senior-to-be and potential top pick in next year's amateur draft slugged 13 home runs to win the junior portion of Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby on Monday at New York's Citi Field. Gatewood finished with more homers than five of the eight Derby participants, including major league home run leader Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles.

"They treat you like big leaguers. I felt like I was a part of the American League All-Star team," Gatewood said by telephone from New York. "All the guys were congratulating me. It couldn't have been any better. It was the best experience of my life."

Using an aluminum bat, Gatewood blasted three of his homers into the third deck during a two-round performance that took place while ESPN was on commercial breaks. Fellow prep standout Kel Johnson of Palmetto, Ga., hit 11 homers............
He is committed to USC but recently was projected by Sports Illustrated as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft.

Thanks for the info.  Props to the kid for performing in that environment.  I'll never fully grasp just how cool that must have been for him.

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 01:37:02 pm »
I think Rodon gets so much hype because when he is on he has two legitimate 70 pitches in his fastball and slider. He also bumped his strikeout rate from 10.60 per nine innings his freshman year to 12.51 per nine innings his sophomore year while lowering his walk rate from 3.22 per nine to 3.06 per nine.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 01:37:24 pm »
Rodon had a few games he struggled in this last season, but still dominated
Led the NCAA in Ks by a lot (was tied for 3rd in his freshman year)

Outstanding in the CWS:
Dominated the first game
Second game on 3 days rest

Oh and he's a lefty. 

ETA.  IMO, if he improves at all next year he's 1-1 and it's not close
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 01:39:38 pm by pots »

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 01:42:33 pm »
Thanks for the info.  Props to the kid for performing in that environment.  I'll never fully grasp just how cool that must have been for him.

No problem and I agree. Sports Illustrated compared him to Tulo and called him a once in a decade type talent. But then others think C/OF Alex Jackson is the best HS position player. This is a very strong class in general so teams picking high are going to be very happy most likely. The only weak group it seems like is the college position player group where SS/CF Trea Turner is the only legitimate guy in the running for 1-1 in the early going.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 01:47:04 pm »
Not sure I'd call the fastball a 70.  I sure don't think he feels that way either, based on how little he turns to it, and instead leans so heavily on his slider.  To me, that has to be the biggest concern: why doesn't he use his fastball more, or alternatively, why does he turn to his slider so much?  It's a rhetorical question as no one squares up his slider, but can he continue with that mix up the ladder?  That would give me pause.

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 01:48:05 pm »
Rodon had a few games he struggled in this last season, but still dominated
Led the NCAA in Ks by a lot (was tied for 3rd in his freshman year)

Outstanding in the CWS:
Dominated the first game
Second game on 3 days rest

Oh and he's a lefty. 

ETA.  IMO, if he improves at all next year he's 1-1 and it's not close

I agree with this. Rodon did have some shoulder pain this past season, though, and if he struggles a bit or anything flares up next season then guys like Beede, Gatewood, Jackson, and Turner could bump him from the top spot.

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 01:54:33 pm »
Not sure I'd call the fastball a 70.  I sure don't think he feels that way either, based on how little he turns to it, and instead leans so heavily on his slider.  To me, that has to be the biggest concern: why doesn't he use his fastball more, or alternatively, why does he turn to his slider so much?  It's a rhetorical question as no one squares up his slider, but can he continue with that mix up the ladder?  That would give me pause.

McDaniel had Beede rated above Rodon before Rodon's strong finish to the season. Here's what McDaniel wrote...

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1291189.html


Given what I know right now, Rodon and Beede would both rank behind Stanford RHP Mark Appel and Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray, the top two prospects in this year's draft, and be in the same range as Nevada RHP Braden Shipley, a projected top 10 pick in my most recent mock draft. As you can read below, Rodon has the upside to be in the class of Appel and Gray if he regains the form of his freshman year. The depth of the 2013 and 2014 college pitching crops look pretty similar, but what makes 2014 a superior overall draft class is the high ceiling prep talent.

Rodon was the big name in this group entering the spring, so I'll start with him. I saw him in late March this season an he told me after I watched a disappointing start (from a scouting perspective) that he's had soreness in the area around his throwing shoulder all spring and volunteered his velocity had been down all season. In the game I saw, he flashed a 94-96 mph heater with a plus slider in the first (roughly the stuff that gave him buzz as a freshman as a slam dunk #1 overall pick for 2014) and was 89-92 mph with a solid-average slider and diminished command the rest of the game. I'm told this has happened most of the season and he acknowledged as much. Rodon flashes two 65 or 70 pitches when he's right but his fringy changeup, height, lack of projection, lack of standout athleticism and vanishing stuff all are big hurdles to consistently showing and commanding that knockout stuff that could make him the #1 overall pick. Rodon is now the second-best college pitcher in the class for me right now, but, much like Sean Manaea in this year's draft, his stuff/health will be talked about a lot and if he can get things straightened out, he'll shoot to the top of this list.

After opting not to sign out of a Massachusetts high school as the 21st overall pick of the Blue Jays in the 2011 Draft, Tyler Beede was instantly a front-runner to go #1 overall in the 2014 Draft. He's slowly made progress for the Commodores, where he works 91-93, hitting 94 mph with a changeup that flashes plus at 79-82 mph and a slider he's added since he got to campus that also flashes plus at times, better than his average loopier curveball he used as a freshman. Beede could use more consistency to his stuff and his command comes and goes--not quite the pinpoint location you'd like to see for a top 5 pick. He's a soft #1 college pitcher right now as he has some work to do and there's two pitchers below him that with a couple strong summer outings could jump ahead of him.

The big name newcomer to the top of the list is Hartford lefty Sean Newcomb. Similar to Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea's rise last year, multiple sources have predicted Newcomb will have a coming-out party this summer with Team USA, with one scout saying he thinks Newcomb will go in the top 10 picks next June. Why are they so sure? The 6'5, 240 pound lefty hit 95 last summer in a very short stint on the Cape and has hit 97 this spring with comparisons to Jon Lester, if you're into that sort of thing. His upside is right there with Rodon and if he can show it with positive results over the summer, he could easily enter the spring as my top college pitcher, which is exactly what Manaea did before his current troubles.

morningwood75

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 02:05:46 pm »
More on Rodon...

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/05/20/2905967/nc-state-pitcher-carlos-rodons.html

Avent said the decision to rest the southpaw this past fall had an effect. Rodon pitched 114 2-3 innings for the Pack as a freshman, when he was the ACC pitcher of the year and everybody’s All-American, then another 19 innings for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in competition last summer in Cuba and The Netherlands.

"He accumulated too many innings," Avent said. "I think in the shutdown he lost some preparation in the fall that hurt him in the spring, especially in the beginning."

Rodon and Turner again have been selected to play for the Collegiate National Team this summer, but Avent noted of the plans for Rodon, "We probably won’t shut him down next fall."

Rodon said he didn’t throw until late-December and didn’t throw off a mound until mid-January, saying, "That’s when I got my arm going again."

Mostly, Rodon did some hitting in fall ball and spent time improving his conditioning – running, lifting weights, cardiovascular work.

"All the fun stuff everybody loves to do," he said, grinning.

But Rodon now appears to be back in form on the mound, back in "beast mode," as he calls it. In his past five starts, he has allowed 11 earned runs in 39 2-3 innings, with 52 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Against Florida State, Rodon had a pitch clocked at 101 mph. He has been strong late in games, his velocity remaining high.

"It took a while to come back and get the arm strength," he said. "Now I’m seeing the ‘velo’ I had last year, which is good to see."


http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130617&content_id=50878950&c_id=mlb

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 09:24:43 am »
All I ever hear is Rodon, Rodon, Rodon. 

I thought the "Rodon detection" scare passed a few years ago.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 10:04:20 am »
Are there any other 1-1 candidates in this draft other than Rodon?  All I ever hear is Rodon, Rodon, Rodon.  The announcers in the CWS kept saying he would have gone 1-1 in the last two drafts, and it seems that all the internet chatter leads to him, like he is the slam-dunk choice for 1-1. 

I get that he is talented, but don't understand the hype that he is some can't miss star. 

Kind of like me hearing "Appel, Appel, Appel" for 2 years. And then they went out and got him this year.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 11:38:58 am »
And Rodon pitched last night against the Cuban National Team (?), throwing 3 1/3, giving up 1 hit and 1 walk with 4 Ks.  Was 92-94 (96 in 1st), nasty mid/upper 80s SL, low 80s CH.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 01:56:46 am »
We've opened up a 3 1/2 game lead on the Fish for the 1:1 pick.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 02:35:28 am »
We've opened up a 3 1/2 game lead on the Fish for the 1:1 pick.

The Marlins are bringing up two of their best position player prospects in Yelich and Marisnick while sending Ozuna and Dietrich back down to the minors. I'm curious to see how those guys play.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 04:55:38 am »
We've opened up a 3 1/2 game lead on the Fish for the 1:1 pick.

I only hope we aren't in the lead for 1.1 in 2015 as well.  Setting a record for three in a row sucks....four years with the top pick though...I wonder if Luhnow would still be the golden boy.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2013, 07:50:35 am »
I only hope we aren't in the lead for 1.1 in 2015 as well.  Setting a record for three in a row sucks....four years with the top pick though...I wonder if Luhnow would still be the golden boy.

I'm hoping we aren't having this conversation in a year, but I think people are going to expect progress next year.  They don't have to be close to .500, but 70 wins in 2014 should be a distinct possibility in 12 months (they're on pace for 55 right now).  The difference next year is that the first real wave of the future will be regulars.  This is the blueprint that Luhnow's been selling and while most of the players entered the system before he arrived, they're banking heavily that they'll succeed.  Others, like Folty and possibly Appel, will be right there to step in at some point and they've been talking about adding some mid-level free agents.  The rookies obviously won't peak right away, but if people are able to see the talent and believe in the talent, he'll continue to get leeway.  If it's another train wreck...

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2013, 08:03:53 am »
I only hope we aren't in the lead for 1.1 in 2015 as well.  Setting a record for three in a row sucks....four years with the top pick though...I wonder if Luhnow would still be the golden boy.
Is he still the golden boy?

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2013, 08:49:53 am »
Is he still the golden boy?

I think that, to the folks who matter, he is still being accorded significant leeway. However, if the club doesn't show some signs of an upward trend, he could easily fall out of favor.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2013, 09:12:26 am »
I think he has until 2017.  Hasn't he been preaching 4-5 years all along?

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2013, 09:23:02 am »
Astros have an 11 game lead on the Cubs, who are dumping folks left and right.  9 game lead on the Brewers.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2013, 09:49:12 am »
Is he still the golden boy?

Luhnow is successfully executing the plan as described of building up the MiL system. I'm sure the casual fan is fast losing confidence though because what they see is onlythe ML team.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2013, 09:56:15 am »
I'm hoping we aren't having this conversation in a year, but I think people are going to expect progress next year.  They don't have to be close to .500, but 70 wins in 2014 should be a distinct possibility in 12 months (they're on pace for 55 right now).  The difference next year is that the first real wave of the future will be regulars.  This is the blueprint that Luhnow's been selling and while most of the players entered the system before he arrived, they're banking heavily that they'll succeed.  Others, like Folty and possibly Appel, will be right there to step in at some point and they've been talking about adding some mid-level free agents.  The rookies obviously won't peak right away, but if people are able to see the talent and believe in the talent, he'll continue to get leeway.  If it's another train wreck...
I, for one, am getting pretty tired of the shit show this year. I'm not even allowing myself to ponder if next year's team will be this terrible, because that would be too damn depressing. It just can't be.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2013, 10:06:27 am »
I, for one, am getting pretty tired of the shit show this year. I'm not even allowing myself to ponder if next year's team will be this terrible, because that would be too damn depressing. It just can't be.

Probably not much better, but much more fun to watch.  Less Ankiels/Penas and more Springer/Singletons.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2013, 10:20:30 am »
Luhnow is successfully executing the plan as described of building up the MiL system. I'm sure the casual fan is fast losing confidence though because what they see is onlythe ML team.
I not trying to trash Luhnow, as he does many things real well.  However, his job is greater than just "building up the MiLB system."  His job is to build a MLB club.  I feel too many people excuse EVERYTHING based on the fact that they see his sole job as building the minors.  He needs some heat about the beyond miserable shitshow this team displays almost every day.  There are other clubs with similar "woe is me" excuses as the Astros, yet they look like progress is being made.

Sorry, just venting, and didn't intend to hijack the thread, but even knowing they lack much talent, this team is hard to watch.  Someone has to be acountable.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2013, 10:33:03 am »
I not trying to trash Luhnow, as he does many things real well.  However, his job is greater than just "building up the MiLB system."  His job is to build a MLB club.  I feel too many people excuse EVERYTHING based on the fact that they see his sole job as building the minors.  He needs some heat about the beyond miserable shitshow this team displays almost every day.  There are other clubs with similar "woe is me" excuses as the Astros, yet they look like progress is being made.

Sorry, just venting, and didn't intend to hijack the thread, but even knowing they lack much talent, this team is hard to watch.  Someone has to be acountable.

We are all frustrated right now-the weather is hot and the astros are not.  We all have hope that help is coming through our farm system-problem is, there are going to be some people we are counting on who will the the reincarnation of Wallace...its just part of the game of course, but after being spanked by the M's, the fact that we have an overall top tier farm team is cold comfort.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2013, 10:42:23 am »
I not trying to trash Luhnow, as he does many things real well.  However, his job is greater than just "building up the MiLB system."  His job is to build a MLB club.  I feel too many people excuse EVERYTHING based on the fact that they see his sole job as building the minors.  He needs some heat about the beyond miserable shitshow this team displays almost every day.  There are other clubs with similar "woe is me" excuses as the Astros, yet they look like progress is being made.

Sorry, just venting, and didn't intend to hijack the thread, but even knowing they lack much talent, this team is hard to watch.  Someone has to be acountable.

He will have expectations for the MLB club when the time is right.  I don't think 2012-2013 are the years for that.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2013, 10:46:04 am »
Someone has to be acountable.

The guy who is most accountable sold the team.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2013, 11:08:10 am »
The guy who is most accountable sold the team.

Yes.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2013, 11:15:40 am »
I hate to cite the Rangers as an example of anything but one of the key prospects the Cubs are getting for Garza, CJ Edwards, pitcher, was a 48th round draft choice that is throwing lights out this year.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2013, 11:32:54 am »
I think that, to the folks who matter, he is still being accorded significant leeway. However, if the club doesn't show some signs of an upward trend, he could easily fall out of favor.

I'm lost.  I'm no expert, but by all accounts the farm system looks to have made a 180 over years past.  We have tons of SP now and will most likely have more after Norris and hopefully Bedard are dealt.  Remember that we still have White and Ely on the mend as well.  Both could come back from their surgeries better than ever.  Then you look at the MLB roster.  It looks as though we have legitimate players at the catching position and 2B.  Wallace, Carter, Dominguez all seem like they have the potential to be pieces.  Keuchel & Lyles look to be nice pieces as well.  I guess I just become more and more positive about the prospects each and every day.  Seems to me like Luhnow's doing a pretty good job.  I know the rubber still has to meet the road in terms of prospects performing but I'm hopeful.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2013, 11:53:25 am »
I not trying to trash Luhnow, as he does many things real well.  However, his job is greater than just "building up the MiLB system."  His job is to build a MLB club.  I feel too many people excuse EVERYTHING based on the fact that they see his sole job as building the minors.  He needs some heat about the beyond miserable shitshow this team displays almost every day.  There are other clubs with similar "woe is me" excuses as the Astros, yet they look like progress is being made.

Sorry, just venting, and didn't intend to hijack the thread, but even knowing they lack much talent, this team is hard to watch.  Someone has to be acountable.

I totally understand and can empathize with your position. However, I judge him by his progress thus far. He started with nothing. The minor leagues were awful; the big league club was sucking wind. In less than two years, he's rebuilt the farm system and received some players that should be big league ready by next season. I, for one, expect progress next season, and I will hold him accountable if the club doesn't progress.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2013, 12:04:25 pm »
I totally understand and can empathize with your position. However, I judge him by his progress thus far. He started with nothing. The minor leagues were awful; the big league club was sucking wind. In less than two years, he's rebuilt the farm system and received some players that should be big league ready by next season. I, for one, expect progress next season, and I will hold him accountable if the club doesn't progress.

+1 - Well said.  As usual, wish I'd of just held off on my post in favor of others like yourself.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2013, 12:43:10 pm »
Luhnow is successfully executing the plan as described of building up the MiL system. I'm sure the casual fan is fast losing confidence though because what they see is onlythe ML team.

The casual fan is an idiot.  To have expected anything other than what is here, now, is either delusion or stupidity.  Most prospects don't pan out or at least live up to other people's expectations.  The only free agents willing to sign with Houston are those that have no shot of signing with a contending team.  If they did, they'd do it.  The Astros only get the free agent hoping to catch lightning in a bottle (rebounding from suck) and get dealt to a contender.  That's why they landed Carlos Pena instead of Lance Berkman.

They were able to secure Pena, Ronny Cedeno, Brandon Laird, Ankiel, Bedard, Ambriz, Edgar Gonzalez, Philip Humber, Wade LeBlanc.  They got Veras on the promise of being the closer.  Of that group only Bedard and Veras have proven worth anything.  Luhnow would have loved to secure other free agents who would have offered promise in trade right now.  Those guys don't come to a team like this.

When the youngun's play well and boost the team then Luhnow will be able to secure better free agents.  And that's the plan.  Crane and Ryan know it.  They clearly endorse it.  Luhnow believes in it.  His job is on the line when Crane and Ryan see that the prospects who should be making the Astros a contender arrive.  That probably starts now, with Cosart, but certainly extends to 2014 and 2015.  Beyond that, without success (defined by Crane and Ryan not the fan), Luhnow is likely gone.  With success, he's God's gift to the Astros.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2013, 02:00:49 pm »
Very good point. While one could quibble with some of the partially salary-driven purging (ie. Wandy), their lack of FA signings is a different matter. It's important to ask exactly which players they could have signed in the last year or two that would have been better choices than the likes of Pena, Veras, et al. The correct answer is, as you say, probably not many, if any.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2013, 02:04:29 pm »
Very good point. While one could quibble with some of the partially salary-driven purging (ie. Wandy), their lack of FA signings is a different matter. It's important to ask exactly which players they could have signed in the last year or two that would have been better choices than the likes of Pena, Veras, et al. The correct answer is, as you say, probably not many, if any.

Remember, Crane said he would not be spending for a couple of years. I wonder if that has been put back further with the failure of Comcast to get traction.

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Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2013, 03:23:08 pm »
I think that it is safe to assume that any free agent signing with the Astros had no other offers; at least offers any where nearly comparable.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2013, 03:56:22 pm »
How much of this years team is Luhnow's fault?  IF his payroll budget was 20 million, there isn't much you can do to improve last years shitshow.  Crane didn't want to spend money, he has stated publicly that the payroll will go up significantly next season.  Does that mean 20 to 40 million, which would still be pathetic.  If Crane is willing to triple the current team payroll and push the budget just over 60 million, the Astros would have the 3rd lowest payroll in baseball.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2013, 04:39:13 pm »
How much of this years team is Luhnow's fault?  IF his payroll budget was 20 million, there isn't much you can do to improve last years shitshow.  Crane didn't want to spend money, he has stated publicly that the payroll will go up significantly next season.  Does that mean 20 to 40 million, which would still be pathetic.  If Crane is willing to triple the current team payroll and push the budget just over 60 million, the Astros would have the 3rd lowest payroll in baseball.

If Crane's buddies are getting cash calls for the CSN mess, those plans to raise payroll next year may be delayed.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2013, 04:48:34 pm »
If so, how can anyone reasonably expect Lunhow to field a competent MLB team?   Astros are a couple years away from being able to reproduce what the Rays are doing.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #45 on: July 23, 2013, 09:07:36 pm »
John Manuel (@johnmanuelba): Carlos Rodon just annihilating Cuba right now with FB at 95 consistently on stadium gun, SL at 87, cutter at 89-90. 7 K's thru 3

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #46 on: July 23, 2013, 09:09:52 pm »
John Manuel (@johnmanuelba): Carlos Rodon just annihilating Cuba right now with FB at 95 consistently on stadium gun, SL at 87, cutter at 89-90. 7 K's thru 3

He ended up going 6.2 with 2 hits and 11 SOs.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2013, 12:53:02 pm »
http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/tyler-koleks-heavy-fastball-among-tournament-of-stars-standouts/

The 2012 Tournament of Stars, a showcase tournament organized by USA Baseball as the first step in the selection of its 18-and-under national team, was below-average from a talent perspective, even in an overall down year for high school talent.

For example, not a single player from Georgia, which produced four of the 10 high school position players taken in the 2013 first and supplemental first round, attended TOS last year.

This year’s crop was better, with pitching as the strength. The top fastball velocity recorded at last year’s event was 93 mph, by two players. This year, nine players hit 93 mph, and three hit 95 or better, led by No.1 prospect Tyler Kolek, who hit 97. Here are the Top 10 Prospects from the event, listed with their high schools as well as their travel teams. The Top 10 is followed by 25 reports on quality prospects at the event; those players are listed alphabetically.

1. Tyler Kolek, rhp, Shepherd (Texas) HS/Houston Banditos

Kolek broke his non-throwing arm early in his junior season. He resumed throwing in early May and within a month his 91-94 mph velocity jumped to 97, and he touched 99 mph at an Area Code Games tryout. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Kolek has strength throughout his extra-large frame, long levers and athleticism, garnering Division I scholarship offers as a defensive end. A Texas Christian signee, he delivers his fastball from a three-quarters arm slot, giving it heavy boring action and good downhill plane. Both his low-80s slider and mid-70s curveball show plus or better potential, with the curveball showing more promise.

2. Jacob Gatewood, ss/3b/of, Clovis (Calif.) High/SGV Arsenal

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Gatewood has a lanky, projectable physique with a high waist and long limbs. He uses a toe tap, pronounced weight transfer and quick hands to generate some of the best raw power in the class. Gatewood put on a show in batting practice, hitting balls off the batter’s eye in center field and into the trees well beyond left field. He has an aggressive, pull-oriented approach. Gatewood has a strong arm and has displayed low-90s velocity on the mound . A shortstop currently, Gatewood’s size will likely push him off the position, as will his average-to-tick above speed. The Southern California signee has a strong chance to become a first-round pick like his father, Henry, the 11th selection in the January 1982 draft.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2013, 01:03:53 pm »
http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2013/7/25/4555334/astros-minor-league-recap-mike-foltynewicz-max-stassi-lance-mccullers

posted by Osiris3657...

Keith Law on Rodon


Law watched Rodon pitch for the US National team on Tuesday and had high praise.

“He started out at 90-93 mph with his fastball but by the third inning was picking up steam, hitting 95 frequently and eventually topping out at 96 on a strikeout to end the sixth inning.

That was merely the appetizer to Rodon’s main course, one of the best sliders I’ve ever seen from an amateur, 84-88 with power and bite, at both sides of the plate, to right- and left-handed hitters. It’s so obscene the FCC might not allow basic cable channels to show it before 11 p.m.

With that pitch, and the fastball to set it up, he could have gone once through a major league lineup on Tuesday night and wouldn’t have looked the least bit out of place. His changeup is the one pitch that needs improvement, although he flashed a few grade-55s where he pulled the string on hitters at 81-83 mph. He’s willing to double up on it, so it’s not a question of confidence in the pitch.

Rodon starts his delivery with a high leg kick, staying over the rubber well, and takes a long stride toward the plate while pronating his arm early enough to be ready to fire when his front leg lands. He’s a good athlete — taking a great BP last summer during the defunct Prospect Classic event — who repeats his delivery well, with no major red flags.

He relied pretty heavily on the slider during the college season, which is a concern for elbow health and general wear and tear, but otherwise checks every box you might want to see in a potential first overall pick and projected No. 1 starter. Finishing with the majors’ worst record this year will bring a nice consolation prize for some lucky team."

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2013, 02:11:00 pm »
http://sbb.scout.com/2/1308966.html

Kiley brings us video of the top arm in the Cape Cod League and possibly in the whole 2014 MLB Draft class, East Carolina righty Jeff Hoffman

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2013, 02:16:26 pm »
In the 2012 Cape Cod League, Hoffman had a 2.40 era and a 1.03 whip over 30 innings pitched.

30 ip, 21 h, 10 bb, 30 so

During the 2013 season for ECU, he had a 3.20 era and a 1.26 whip over 109.2 innings pitched.

109.2 ip, 99 h, 39 bb, 84 so

He has gotten some Appel comps.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2013, 09:30:54 pm »
Was I the only one who had to look up where Shepherd, TX is?
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2013, 09:58:19 pm »
Was I the only one who had to look up where Shepherd, TX is?

No.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2013, 07:25:20 am »
There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2013, 07:56:03 am »
Reverse Standings

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/reversestandings2014

I didn not realize the ChiSox have become the biggest competitor for the #1 pick.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2013, 08:44:17 am »
I didn not realize the ChiSox have become the biggest competitor for the #1 pick.

The dealt Peavy and have lost 13 of their last 15 games.  They're all in for the win.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2013, 08:51:31 am »
While the Astros starting rotation seems to have gotten a significant boost from a couple rookies, I think the Astros shitastic bullpen of shitslingers will be able to hold them off.   12 of the Astros next 15 are vs the Rangers, BoSox and As.  Big series near the end of the month @ the White Sox too.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2013, 09:29:48 am »
Big series near the end of the month @ the White Sox too.

It will be fun to watch the managerial moves in that one.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2013, 10:39:49 am »
Found this interesting:
Quote
Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA 1m
Yes. @arankin11: If the #Astros draft Rodon, where would he fit in their system? Above Appel?
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2013, 10:48:06 am »
The dealt Peavy and have lost 13 of their last 15 games.  They're all in for the win.

Pikers.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2013, 11:45:51 am »
Pikers.

Yes, but they're learning.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2013, 03:32:52 pm »
Found this interesting:
Quote
Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA 1m
Yes. @arankin11: If the #Astros draft Rodon, where would he fit in their system? Above Appel?
Oh good god. A little early to talk about that, perhaps?
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #63 on: August 06, 2013, 03:42:00 pm »

Oh good god. A little early to talk about that, perhaps?

Well, we're within 51 games of it.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2013, 03:48:48 pm »
Well, we're within 51 games of it.

What's the magic number?

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2013, 03:59:56 pm »
What's the magic number?

51 is doable.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2013, 12:13:06 am »
Well, we're within 51 games of it.
I meant declaring where Rodon would rate among Astros' prospects in one year. That seems extremely silly to me.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2013, 02:51:20 pm »
A top 50 2014 draft prospects list: LINK
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2013, 04:01:05 pm »
A top 50 2014 draft prospects list: LINK

Do you have to subscribe to get that, because I couldn't get it to work?
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2013, 04:10:56 pm »
I was able to see it and don't subscribe to anything.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2013, 04:13:10 pm »
I was able to see it and don't subscribe to anything.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2013, 04:17:30 pm »

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2013, 04:35:23 pm »
Do you have to subscribe to get that, because I couldn't get it to work?

Worked fine for me.  all you need to know:
Quote
1. Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State
 
The prize of the draft, the 6’-3” southpaw continued to demonstrate his silly array of abilities against the rest of the world after posting a 2.99 ERA, 1.05 WHIP with 184 K/45 BB over 132.1 innings for the Wolfpack this year. Pitching for The Collegiate National Team, he went 3-0 with 21 K/4 BB over 17 shutout innings, allowing just five hits. He has a five-pitch arsenal that includes a mid-90s heater, a power slider, a lethal cutter, an above-average curveball and a change-up with nice fade. He commands all of them well and is comfortable throwing any of them in any situation. There may not be much projection left but what more do you want?

Read more at http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50-prospects/36463#VSbCebVx4lJUF21X.99

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2013, 06:42:17 am »
I was able to see it and don't subscribe to anything.

In Google Chrome both at the office and at home, I was unable to see it for more than a few seconds before the background took over and made it unreadable.
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2013, 08:09:53 am »
That report, whoever did it, is misleading.  To characterize him as a five-pitch pitcher who throws anything at anytime is the misleading part.  The dude rarely throws anything but his slider at key moments.  I've seen him four times now and I don't ever recall a curve, at least one that breaks on a different plane from his slider, and I've never seen a change in a tight situation.  There is nothing wrong with dominating hitters with your best pitch, but characterizing him as something way beyond a slider/fastball pitcher is inaccurate. 

In sum, he deserves the hype as he is certainly special, but don't make him out to be more than he is.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2013, 07:48:05 pm »
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #76 on: August 20, 2013, 07:50:44 pm »
Is it really broken?
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #77 on: August 20, 2013, 07:54:30 pm »
Is it really broken?

Only to the extent you're an agent trying to extort money from teams to sign a player over slot...
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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #78 on: October 15, 2013, 05:58:54 pm »
BA with their top 50 for next season. No surprise at #1:

Quote
The two headliners of the class are both college pitchers in North Carolina. N.C. State lefthander Carlos Rodon, who had a strong summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, gives the class a clear No. 1 prospect, combining size, plus stuff, good makeup and a strong track record of success. Jeff Hoffman was the top prospect in the Cape Cod League, solidifying his status as the draft’s No. 2 prospect, with a fastball up to 97, an out-pitch curveball and changeup that flashes plus. Hoffman stacks up well with any college pitcher in the last two classes at this point in the draft calendar.

1. Carlos Rodon, lhp, N.C. State: Could have ranked No. 1 in previous two draft classes with a 93-95 mph fastball and premium slider.



http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-50-october-2013-carlos-rodon/

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #79 on: October 15, 2013, 09:24:56 pm »
I would love to see the Astros get some college players with power bats who might be useful more quickly perhaps with their competitive balance pick (#34) and/or their second round draft pick.  So this line in the article made me happy:

"There is a fairly deep supply of college power hitters in the class, but as usual the college ranks are light on up-the-middle players, as many of the top hitters in the class likely profile in left field or at first base."   
Boom!

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #80 on: November 06, 2013, 05:29:00 pm »
Update on Rodon. Sounds like he's gotten better this fall, or at least cleaned up some things. The article also looks at the most strikeouts in a season for college pitchers since 2000; Rodon's 2013 performance was 7th. The six ahead of him were all by pitchers in their draft season and all six were big jumps over their previous season. If history continues, Rodon could be in for a huge season.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/north-carolina-state-fall-world-series-carlos-rodon/

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #81 on: November 12, 2013, 06:41:02 pm »
In kind-of news:

Quote
We're going to meet with several guys," Elias said. "We have a few meetings lined up this month, and he (Rodon) is on the list.

We try to get to know the kids personally so we have some relationship and feel for his personality and relationship history going into the process. We're doing that with several players this winter, particularly college ones over the winter time. Typically, as the high school field emerges through the spring, we may or may not meet with some of those kids as well.

The article speculates that they could meet with him as early as this week.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/hou/houston-astros-to-meet-with-nc-state-left-hander-carlos-rodon?ymd=20131112&content_id=63874930&vkey=news_hou

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #82 on: December 02, 2013, 06:12:34 pm »
Follow-up to the previous post:

Quote
The Astros, who are picking first overall for the third consecutive year, expect to meet with several potential candidates for that slot by New Year's Day. The team won't comment on individual visits, but righthanders Jeff Hoffman and Tyler Kolek - the latter a senior at East Texas' Shepherd High School - and shortstop Trea Turner are on the list.

So, too, is the player many industry experts believe will go No. 1 - North Carolina State junior lefthander Carlos Rodon. By the time the season starts, the Astros expect to have met with as many as four collegians and three high schoolers.

They also talk about how they conduct the interviews, what they look for, and how they adapt for collegiate players versus HS players.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Draft-prospects-face-scrutiny-from-Astros-off-the-5024634.php?t=46ca96601466506723

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2013, 04:13:53 pm »
Jim Callis talks about Cosart's brother Jake as an early round prospect from the JUCO ranks.

There's also a follow-on article from Callis where he currently projects how the non-Rodon guys will fall in the top 10 picks.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #84 on: December 27, 2013, 07:14:26 pm »
Astros first 3 picks currently at 1/35/41 per the draft order page maintained by Callis and company. Updated as FA signings occur, with Kendrys Morales/Ervin Santana/Nelson Cruz/Ubaldo Jimenez/Stephen Drew the remaining 5 guys which could impact the draft order.

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Re: Early 2014 draft thread
« Reply #85 on: January 22, 2014, 08:29:33 am »
Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersPG): "Scary thought, #NCState[/url]’s Elliott Avent tells me Carlos Rodon’s slider/cutter are much better than last year. That is scary. #mlbdraft"

Oh boy.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #86 on: February 17, 2014, 06:27:15 pm »
Not a great start to 2014 for Rodon.

http://www.gopack.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2013-2014/st1.html

He gets the start as #5 NC State falls to Canisius 3-0.  Goes 6 gives up 4 Hits, walks 1, hits 3 batters allows 3 runs, only 1 earned.

BA has a writeup on his outing, plus video if you are interested. 

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/college-draft-prospects-stat-roundup-week-1-5/
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #87 on: February 17, 2014, 06:58:04 pm »
Thanks for the report. On a side note, I think Canisius might have one of my favorite team names in college sports: the Golden Griffins.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2014, 02:52:33 pm »
Some more stuff from BA today...

Early Draft Preview: College Best Tools
http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/early-draft-preview-best-tools/

The Rodon mentions:

BEST FASTBALL: Nick Burdi, rhp, Louisville. First-team preseason All-America closer works comfortably in the high 90s and has topped out at 101 mph.
Other candidates: Carlos Rodon, lhp, N.C. State

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Rodon. WIth a devastating power slider that earns 70 and even 80 grades, Rodon ran away with the scouting director vote in this category.

BEST COMMAND: Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State. Nola hammers the strike zone with all three of his quality offerings.
Other candidates: Rodon;

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Rodon. Many scouts believe Rodon was good enough to get big league hitters out last year. He should fly to the majors.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2014, 10:33:27 am »
Rodon's 2nd outing not so great against bad competition too.   His is the report with video.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/game-report-carlos-rodon-improves-but-not-as-much-as-hed-like/
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #90 on: February 25, 2014, 11:27:02 am »
Rodon's 2nd outing not so great against bad competition too.   His is the report with video.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/game-report-carlos-rodon-improves-but-not-as-much-as-hed-like/


So if this keeps up over the next couple months, 1) will the Astros still view him as the guy? and 2) might they be able to get him at a bit of a discount?

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2014 draft thread
« Reply #91 on: February 25, 2014, 11:40:13 am »
Maybe he is trying to fall out of the No. 1 position so that he doesn't go to Houston.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #92 on: February 25, 2014, 12:09:39 pm »

So if this keeps up over the next couple months, 1) will the Astros still view him as the guy? and 2) might they be able to get him at a bit of a discount?

Barring injury, no.  Everything I have read says he is a lock.

He did throw 140 innings with NC State, then went off to play with Team USA in the summer, including a dominate performance against Team Cuba.  He will likely throw another 130+ innings this spring.  I would guess the Astros draft him, and have him throw a couple games and shut him down like they did with Appel.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #93 on: February 25, 2014, 12:41:32 pm »

So if this keeps up over the next couple months, 1) will the Astros still view him as the guy? and 2) might they be able to get him at a bit of a discount?

I'm not reading too much into his start.  In the first game, the team made a last-minute switch from playing in SoCal to playing at home against Canisius, where it had snowed the day before.  He was sharp at the beginning of the second game before it started to come apart a little.  I imagine he'll continue getting sharper and more consistent.

But, if he does remain inconsistent, I think there could be other guys who receive consideration, perhaps Jeff Hoffman.  The club could still go with Rodon based on the quality of stuff and track record.  But, he may not be a slam-dunk choice at that point.  I do think he turns it around, though.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2014, 05:20:42 pm »
Couple of quotes:

Quote
"Sometimes we'll be scouting the guy early in the season for the No. 1 pick and he sort of works his way out of the group a month or two into the season, and we stopped having someone at every game," Elias said. "We expected to be in the ballpark for 90 percent, if not 100 percent, of the games for these college pitchers we're considering.

"We like to see how they look early, how they in the middle of the season and like to see how they look late in the season, when they're tired. There's a lot of people that need to see them. ... We're careful not to form opinions too early in the process and be close-minded about players."

Quote
@EvanDrellich: The Astros bought 2 season tickets for N.C. State baseball, scouting dir Mike Elias said. Should save them $! Draft update coming. #rodon

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140225&content_id=68321630&notebook_id=68321466&vkey=notebook_hou&c_id=hou#68321540

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2014, 03:04:03 am »
Rodon's 2nd outing not so great against bad competition too.   His is the report with video.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/game-report-carlos-rodon-improves-but-not-as-much-as-hed-like/

Things went better this past weekend for Carlos against 13th-ranked (and defending national champs) UCLA. Although he took the loss, allowed just 1 ER in 7 IP while giving up 3 hits and 3 walks and whiffing 8. Game story and box score here.

Notre Dame* visits Raleigh this weekend while a visit to 2nd-ranked Florida State is on tap the following weekend. The NC State schedule says the games on both weekends are televised via ESPN3.

*Both Biggio boys of course are on the Fighting Irish squad as is a Brad Lidge cousin, Ryan, who's a freshman catcher with what is described as a "plus throwing arm".

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2014, 01:15:09 pm »
In a recent Baseball America podcast, two of their writers were talking about Rodon. Among other statements of what a great talent they think he is:

* They said that he'd rank as the No. 2 prospect in baseball right now, behind only Buxton;
* They agreed they'd easily take him over Tanaka right now, if both were draft eligible;
* They said he's the best pitching prospect to come along since Strasburg, and maybe even further back, with the potential to be the best pitcher drafted out of college in the modern draft era.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2014, 06:02:29 pm »

Notre Dame* visits Raleigh this weekend while a visit to 2nd-ranked Florida State is on tap the following weekend. The NC State schedule says the games on both weekends are televised via ESPN3.

*Both Biggio boys of course are on the Fighting Irish squad as is a Brad Lidge cousin, Ryan, who's a freshman catcher with what is described as a "plus throwing arm".

Today's game vs ND postponed. Rodon pitches the 1:00 game tomorrow, again on ESPN3.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #98 on: March 07, 2014, 08:04:18 pm »
Today's game vs ND postponed. Rodon pitches the 1:00 game tomorrow, again on ESPN3.

Thanks. I'll be sure and tune in.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #99 on: March 08, 2014, 03:49:26 pm »
Curious about what those of you who saw Rodon today. He threw a complete game for the win, 5-3.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #100 on: March 08, 2014, 03:53:43 pm »
Today's game vs ND postponed. Rodon pitches the 1:00 game tomorrow, again on ESPN3.
Shoot, wish I'd come across this earlier, I ended up with lots of free time this afternoon.

I managed to catch the 9th inning. NC State had scored 2 in the 8th to break a 3-3 tie, and Rodon came back out to try to close it out. The first two batters reached on a grounder and a blooper, both just out of reach of the 2B's glove. Next guy popped up a bunt. Count went full on the next guy before he hit into a 6-4-3 to end it.

Rodon finished with 115-120 pitches I think. Fastball was still at 93 and he worked very quickly - didn't look tired or like he was laboring at all. My video feed wasn't sharp enough to really tell what kind of break he had on the slider or anything. The announcers mentioned that Notre Dame had a lot of bloop hits on the day, and they were clearly very impressed by Rodon's performance.
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astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #101 on: March 14, 2014, 08:49:46 pm »
Some draft stuff from today:

Quote
@KendallRogersPG: #NCState’s Carlos Rodon lifted after 6 2/3 IP vs. #FSU. 12 strikeouts, 4 walks, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 H. Escaped some jams along the way. #mlbdraft

@FPilierePG: All hail Carlos Rodon's slider. I might be known as the contrarian on him but oh my that pitch is beautiful to watch

And this from Mayo this morning:

Quote
Likewise, Rodon's stock hasn't changed as he has gone 2-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 30 innings through four starts. His command and consistency have wavered at times, but he's still sitting around 94 mph with his fastball and snapping off some nearly unhittable sliders.

"Everybody's talking like he's Stephen Strasburg and David Price, and he's not that for me," the scouting director said. "He's good, he's probably the No. 1 pick in the Draft, but he's just a notch below those guys. He's not burying his competition yet.

Still seems like the guy, and he has pitched in some less-than-ideal weather and situations (short rest, starts pushed back). But, I can't say I'm as excited about him as I was before the season.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #102 on: March 15, 2014, 12:32:50 pm »
Luhnow was at the game to see Rodon. No comments as to his thoughts. Said both teams had alot of potential draftees.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #103 on: March 18, 2014, 10:05:49 pm »
I know the Astros traded for the O's competitive balance DP, but why didn't the 'stros get one on their own based on revenue?  Surely they were in the bottom 10 of revenue last year?
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astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #104 on: March 19, 2014, 06:47:45 am »
I know the Astros traded for the O's competitive balance DP, but why didn't the 'stros get one on their own based on revenue?  Surely they were in the bottom 10 of revenue last year?

Probably, but that doesn't guarantee a pick:

Quote
The 10 smallest-market teams and the 10 lowest-revenue teams were placed in the lottery to have a chance to win one of these six extra picks in 2014. There aren't 20 teams in the lottery because there's plenty of crossover between the two lists.

The second group of six picks come after the conclusion of the second round. The teams from the first group that did not get one of the early picks were re-entered, along with any other Major League team that receives any revenue sharing. For this year, that was the Mariners.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130717&content_id=53967108&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #105 on: March 19, 2014, 08:12:55 am »
I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that the Astros weren't in the lottery, which means somewhere in the middle with revenue.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2014, 10:25:00 am »
Another brutal outing from Rodon.  Didn't make it out of the 4th.  4.2 IP, 6 Hits 4 Walks, 8 Runs, 8 Ks.  None of the runs were "earned" but sounds like his command was really bad.

http://www.umterps.com//ViewContent.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=29700&CONTENT_ID=896969

And this wasn't some high powered offense he was facing, Maryland was hitting 255 as a team with e .340 SLG%...

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #107 on: March 24, 2014, 04:25:58 pm »
From BA's College Baseball Chat today....

 Aaron Fitt: My conviction is wavering a bit—the reports from this weekend were not encouraging. He’s certainly no longer the slam-dunk No. 1 guy on the board he was heading into the season. He could still be the No. 1 guy, but we’re six weeks into the season now. It’s time to get going. And I do know there are some scouts who really don’t love some of his mound histrionics and question his maturity. That could also impact his stock, frankly. He’s always been an emotional guy and an in-your-face competitor, but there is a line between emotional and immature, and I think he needs to prove to some evaluators that he’s on the right side of that line. When Gerrit Cole was a junior, he had a pretty frustrating year—he went 6-8 even though he pitched pretty well. He just didn’t get any breaks whatsoever. But he never expressed frustration with his teammates, and he handled himself with grace all the way through, on the field and in his dealings with the media. I think that is the model for Rodon to follow.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #108 on: March 24, 2014, 04:57:18 pm »
So, assuming he is not a slam dunk, are there some other candidates creating a buzz?  I know of the big high school kid north of Houston, but who else?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #109 on: March 24, 2014, 05:53:44 pm »
So, assuming he is not a slam dunk, are there some other candidates creating a buzz?  I know of the big high school kid north of Houston, but who else?

That's the problem. Looking at MLB.com's Top 50 list, it goes Rodon, Hoffman, Alex Jackson, Tyler Kolek, Trey Turner, Tyler Beede. None of the college players have been great. The pitcher's have shown signs at times, Turner has made a few nice plays, but none of them have looked like 1/1 so far. Jackson has done well, from what I recall, but there are questions about him as a catcher and his profile as a corner OF doesn't scream 1/1, either. Kolek has been good and has high-end talent, but HS RHP and 1/1, yada yada yada. So, while there's still plenty of talent in the draft, 1/1 has its warts right now.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #110 on: March 24, 2014, 05:59:34 pm »
I think a strong April and/or May will put all of this nonsense to bed.  Hopefully.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #111 on: March 24, 2014, 07:53:58 pm »
I think a strong April and/or May will put all of this nonsense to bed.  Hopefully.

Sort of. There will still be questions; this is two years in a row with a lingering slow start. Why? Last year was blamed on him taking the fall off after pitching the previous summer, what's this year's reason? He's had problems with his defense at times, but errors don't create walks. Is his command going to waver at the next level?

I do hope he finishes strong. Having a lefty with two 70-80 pitches and a decent change up is rare. Him at his best could fly through the system and give us a true ace as the club matures together. But, what's stopping him from proving he's the best now? I don't think the questions go away any time soon, not before the draft, at least.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #112 on: April 02, 2014, 07:01:05 am »
Callis with the pools for the draft and international market. Astros have the highest value for a draft pick at $7,922,100, but have the second-highest pool at $13,362,200, which is behind the Marlins ($14,199,300). The club has the top value and pool ($5,015,00) for the international market, but who cares as the Yankees have already said that they intend to fly by flipping everyone off in their Ferrari on their way to spending $10M in that market.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #113 on: April 02, 2014, 08:30:18 am »
The more Rodon shows he is human, the more likely they might replay the 2012 strategy.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #114 on: April 02, 2014, 09:37:09 am »
The more Rodon shows he is human, the more likely they might replay the 2012 strategy.

It's a shame if that happens because there is no one who looks as good as he has in the past.  Even if you fall in love with Kolek's fastball velocity, he doesn't have a second pitch as good (or potentially as good) as Rodon's slider.  Neither of the other top college arms has been consistent enough to pass up Rodon.  But, if you want to keep looking, another arm who is looking like he could be an option is California HS LHP Brady Aiken.  Aiken was a good prospect last summer, but has seen a significant jump in velocity (from 88-91 to 91-94) and has good command and two off-speed pitches with at least above-average potential.  FWIW, Keith Law has Aiken and Kolek as 1-2, ahead of Rodon. 

I'm not opposed to the 2012 strategy, I'm just disappointed that it might be an option. 

http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/draft-tracker-high-school-hurlers/

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #115 on: April 03, 2014, 08:49:37 am »
These are the slot values for the Astros' first 11 picks: http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2014-draft-assigned-pick-values-for-top-10-rounds/

1-1: $7,922,100
1-37 (Pick received from Orioles): $1,534,100
2-42: $1,350,000
3-75: $748,600
4-106: $494,800
5-136: $370,500
6-166: $277,400
7-196: $207,800
8-226: $162,800
9-256: $152,000
10-286: $142,100


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #116 on: April 03, 2014, 09:55:49 am »
It's JDJO, so down it with the usual dose of skepticism (though I don't think any of this is particularly shocking at this point and/or it may just be the Astros are looking for some negotiating leverage):

Quote
A scout I respect tremendously tells me NC State's Carlos Rodon is no longer viewed by the Astros as a slam dunk choice for the 1st pick.

I'd be shocked if the Astros take RHP Tyler Kolek, but the big country kid from outside of Houston will be seen by a huge Astros group soon.

The Astros have done plenty of homework on Kolek, and the kid checks lots of boxes off the field as well.

(all tweets)

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #117 on: April 03, 2014, 04:49:16 pm »
It's JDJO, so down it with the usual dose of skepticism (though I don't think any of this is particularly shocking at this point and/or it may just be the Astros are looking for some negotiating leverage):

(all tweets)

I remember, maybe a month ago, reading that Luhnow/Elias would be hitting campuses on Fridays, including high schools in California and Texas. Kolek is the obvious guy in Texas, California has Aiken, as well as Jacob Gatewood. So, they were going to be looking at other players as part of the process, anyway. With Rodon's struggles, it makes the first comment seem very plausible.

As for Kolek's personality, Kendall Rogers went to his last start and spoke with him afterward. Some of the comments he made included terms like "very humble" and "gets it", so the third statement lines up, also. Whether they take him is still in the air, and will likely be until some club representative takes the stand at the draft. But, everything else sounds factual.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #118 on: April 04, 2014, 06:58:17 pm »
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #119 on: April 04, 2014, 09:21:52 pm »
Jeff Bradley on Mister Rodon's season to date:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20140404/carlos-rodon-nc-state-mlb-draft/

Thanks for that link.

Also, Rodon goes on Sunday against #15 Clemson and according to this the game will be televised on ESPNU at 2:00 PM.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #120 on: April 04, 2014, 11:19:50 pm »
Thanks for that link.

Also, Rodon goes on Sunday against #15 Clemson and according to this the game will be televised on ESPNU at 2:00 PM.
Sunday, not Friday? Where can you find that info, btw? I'm going to be in the Raleigh-Durham area starting next week and I'd like to see the boy wonder pitch; thought it was always on Friday.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #121 on: April 05, 2014, 12:43:12 am »
Sunday, not Friday? Where can you find that info, btw? I'm going to be in the Raleigh-Durham area starting next week and I'd like to see the boy wonder pitch; thought it was always on Friday.

The series at Clemson is a Sat/Sun/Mon schedule as opposed to the typical Fri/Sat/Sun and I cannot tell you why. I also can't explain why Rodon is pitching the Sunday game as opposed to the opener on Saturday. But if you click that link in my original post you can double check me on all that info. As far as next weekend goes, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is the Wolfpack won't be playing at home. The good news is they're playing Duke (at the  Durham Bulls Park). The NC State website will post a series preview a day or two prior and that will confirm for you that Rodon is pitching the Friday opener versus the Blue Devils.

BTW, much as been made about his slow starts the last two years but I did run across this in game notes for this weekend's games:

Quote
For the record, after seven starts in 2013, Rodon was 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA. He turned his season around in mid-April, going 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA his last two starts that month. He was 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in May and June.

So his 2.09 ERA thru 7 starts this year doesn't look bad at all in comparison even if he hasn't yet had any dominating performances.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #122 on: April 05, 2014, 12:08:59 pm »
Thanks, Nate. Great stuff, as usual.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #123 on: April 05, 2014, 04:21:52 pm »
The series at Clemson is a Sat/Sun/Mon schedule as opposed to the typical Fri/Sat/Sun and I cannot tell you why. I also can't explain why Rodon is pitching the Sunday game as opposed to the opener on Saturday. But if you click that link in my original post you can double check me on all that info. As far as next weekend goes, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is the Wolfpack won't be playing at home. The good news is they're playing Duke (at the  Durham Bulls Park). The NC State website will post a series preview a day or two prior and that will confirm for you that Rodon is pitching the Friday opener versus the Blue Devils.

BTW, much as been made about his slow starts the last two years but I did run across this in game notes for this weekend's games:

So his 2.09 ERA thru 7 starts this year doesn't look bad at all in comparison even if he hasn't yet had any dominating performances.


Mix up somewhere, as he threw a complete game (8 innings) today, giving up 3 ER, striking out 5 against no walks. The downside, he gave up 11 hits and an additional 3 unearned runs, which leads to a glaring concern: he has given up a ton of unearned runs. Granted, it takes defensive miscues to lead to an unearned run (sometimes the pitcher's miscue), but he has now given up 16 unearned runs in 55 1/3 innings for a total of 30 runs allowed. He can't get a pass on all of the unearned runs, so how much blame does he get for them? The 2.28 ERA only tells so much of the story. Not asking about the box score, but at what point do you judge a pitcher for continually allowing those gift base runners to touch home plate?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #124 on: April 05, 2014, 06:42:48 pm »
From a NC State fan/blogger who apparently was at today's game about Rodon's performance:

Quote
His fastball was topping out at 91 miles per hour (if the stadium gun is to be believed) and his slider lacked its typical bite...

Quote
...his own inability to hold runners or get in position to back up.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #125 on: April 05, 2014, 09:03:08 pm »
Mix up somewhere, as he threw a complete game (8 innings) today, giving up 3 ER, striking out 5 against no walks. The downside, he gave up 11 hits and an additional 3 unearned runs, which leads to a glaring concern: he has given up a ton of unearned runs. Granted, it takes defensive miscues to lead to an unearned run (sometimes the pitcher's miscue), but he has now given up 16 unearned runs in 55 1/3 innings for a total of 30 runs allowed. He can't get a pass on all of the unearned runs, so how much blame does he get for them? The 2.28 ERA only tells so much of the story. Not asking about the box score, but at what point do you judge a pitcher for continually allowing those gift base runners to touch home plate?
I don't think you go by earned runs when deciding on him.  You go by what you can see and possibly dream on. 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #126 on: April 06, 2014, 11:09:03 am »
I don't think you go by earned runs when deciding on him.  You go by what you can see and possibly dream on. 

Right, the decision isn't going to be made by looking at box scores. But, when analyzing his season, analyzing him as a pitcher, how much weight do you give his propensity for allowing unearned runs to score? Is it something that is a red flag by itself; does he lose focus when the defense messes up or are the extra runs just compounded by his command already being off? Really, as dominant as he should be, and has been in the past, he should be able to pitch out of more jams than he has. This isn't something I've seen addressed, so I don't know what the thinking is from scouts, but I'm sure it is a question that is being asked.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #127 on: April 06, 2014, 11:32:39 am »
Mebbe we should ax Mike Fast.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #128 on: April 06, 2014, 05:36:43 pm »
Right, the decision isn't going to be made by looking at box scores. But, when analyzing his season, analyzing him as a pitcher, how much weight do you give his propensity for allowing unearned runs to score? Is it something that is a red flag by itself; does he lose focus when the defense messes up or are the extra runs just compounded by his command already being off? Really, as dominant as he should be, and has been in the past, he should be able to pitch out of more jams than he has. This isn't something I've seen addressed, so I don't know what the thinking is from scouts, but I'm sure it is a question that is being asked.

I strongly suspect that it's an outing-by-outing analysis. Traffic is traffic. However, if the errors are on base and are the traffic, it's kinda hard to pin that on the pitcher. Have you looked at the stats of the other pitchers on that staff? Maybe there is a pattern that shows that the club just doesn't field well.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #129 on: April 07, 2014, 05:23:35 pm »
I strongly suspect that it's an outing-by-outing analysis. Traffic is traffic. However, if the errors are on base and are the traffic, it's kinda hard to pin that on the pitcher. Have you looked at the stats of the other pitchers on that staff? Maybe there is a pattern that shows that the club just doesn't field well.

You're right that it has to be analyzed as different situations. A two-base error or multiple errors on a single play are tougher on a pitcher than other scenarios may be. Their defense hasn't been great (though SS Trea Turner's defense is supposed to be top-notch), but they have a cumulative .969 FLD%, 13 points better than their opponents. Rodon has allowed 15 unearned runs in 55 1/3 innings, the rest of the staff has allowed 7 in 214 1/3 innings.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #130 on: April 07, 2014, 05:42:22 pm »
You're right that it has to be analyzed as different situations. A two-base error or multiple errors on a single play are tougher on a pitcher than other scenarios may be. Their defense hasn't been great (though SS Trea Turner's defense is supposed to be top-notch), but they have a cumulative .969 FLD%, 13 points better than their opponents. Rodon has allowed 15 unearned runs in 55 1/3 innings, the rest of the staff has allowed 7 in 214 1/3 innings.

Then there may well be something to this. We'll have to continue to watch Rodon.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #131 on: April 08, 2014, 10:55:07 am »
Then there may well be something to this. We'll have to continue to watch Rodon.
I just bought my tickets to Friday's State/Duke game; hopefully that's when he's actually pitching. Hard to find that info online.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #132 on: April 08, 2014, 11:30:27 am »
I just bought my tickets to Friday's State/Duke game; hopefully that's when he's actually pitching. Hard to find that info online.
We'll expect a great report!
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #133 on: April 09, 2014, 08:54:15 pm »
Keith Law is calling Brady Aiken the number 1 prospect

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #134 on: April 10, 2014, 10:10:00 am »
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #135 on: April 10, 2014, 10:57:59 am »
Keith Law is calling Brady Aiken the number 1 prospect

As is BA (LINK)
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #136 on: April 10, 2014, 01:10:40 pm »
As is BA (LINK)

Perhaps more importantly, in that article, BA says "San Diego prep lefty Brady Aiken to the No. 1 spot, as he and Shepherd (Texas) High righty Tyler Kolek appear to have passed Rodon on most draft boards."
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #137 on: April 10, 2014, 01:59:06 pm »
Perhaps more importantly, in that article, BA says "San Diego prep lefty Brady Aiken to the No. 1 spot, as he and Shepherd (Texas) High righty Tyler Kolek appear to have passed Rodon on most draft boards."

I assume that they have surpassed Rodon due to a perceived regression from Rodon rather than they being better than what Rodon was thought to be.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #138 on: April 10, 2014, 02:50:55 pm »
Velocity down, command down, given a couple of extra days before start.  Perhaps he was getting extra work on the side or perhaps he's hurt. 


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #139 on: April 10, 2014, 05:36:43 pm »
More about Rodon from that BA article linked to above:

Quote
The less he throws his fastball—more consistently in the 89-92 mph range rather than the 92-96 peak he flashed in each of the last two years—for strikes, the more he comes to rely on his still-plus slider. An ugly start in late March at Maryland raised questions about his ability to handle adversity, as he has allowed as many unearned runs (15) as earned.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #140 on: April 10, 2014, 06:24:23 pm »
I assume that they have surpassed Rodon due to a perceived regression from Rodon rather than they being better than what Rodon was thought to be.

Yep. That's not to say that they haven't progressed, because they have, especially Aiken. But, Rodon, at his best, is still the better pitcher. The problem is that he hasn't been anywhere near that.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #141 on: April 10, 2014, 08:25:11 pm »
Yep. That's not to say that they haven't progressed, because they have, especially Aiken. But, Rodon, at his best, is still the better pitcher. The problem is that he hasn't been anywhere near that.

It's beginning to sound like he's got a bit of Chris Holt in him.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #142 on: April 11, 2014, 10:00:51 am »
It's beginning to sound like he's got a bit of Chris Holt in him.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #143 on: April 11, 2014, 06:35:18 pm »
Aaron Fitt of BA tweeted:

Quote
Reports of Rodon's demise were greatly exaggerated. He looks special today: sitting 94-96, up to 98, slider 87-89, cutter 90-91 both filthy.

But later tweeted:

Quote
Rodon has 7 K thru 4 IP, but he has not worked a clean inning, and he's down 2-0. Allowed 9 baserunners. Fastball command has not been great

And finally:

Quote
Rodon exits with 2 out in 8th, to a standing ovation from NCSU fans. Unofficial pitch count: 134. Struck out 12, still up to 94 mph in 8th.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 08:22:35 pm by Nate Colbert »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #144 on: April 12, 2014, 07:23:43 am »
Aaron Fitt of BA tweeted:

But later tweeted:

And finally: 134 pitches


Uh oh, coach. The pitch count police will be at the next game with pitchforks, tar and feathers for you.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #145 on: April 12, 2014, 05:51:09 pm »
So we saw Rodon pitch last night. The game was played at the Durham Bulls' park (capacity 10,000) instead of Duke's stadium. I doubt there were more than 1,000 people there, if that. We walked in 40 minutes before game time and had our pick of the section right behind home plate.

As we're settling in with our food before first pitch, I notice my friend Rob joking with a guy behind him about the meager concessions offerings (all but 2 stands were closed, and the service was awful at 1 of them). The guy, I realized suddenly, is Kenny Williams of the White Sox (ex-GM, now President? I forget). The Sox have the 3rd overall pick, so presumably with Rodon's stock falling he's now a legitimate option for them. He disappeared (to a private box maybe?) after the 4th inning.

As for Rodon, the box score pretty much tells the story. He really scuffled early. The HR was a shot to dead CF over the 400 sign. I asked the guy behind me (who worked for NC State, and had a radar on their pitchers all game) and he said it was a 94-mph fastball. Later said he had sat mid-90s most of the game and touched 98 (as BA tweeted).

A couple telling quotes from the Raleigh paper's story:
“I don’t know who it was that hit the home run,” Rodon said dismissively. “The ball is up. You throw a slider there, he’s out, you throw a fastball down there, he’s out. That’s probably the only ball he’ll ever hit off me.”

“Basically every hit we had came on a fastball,” Duke coach Chris Pollard said of his team versus Rodon. “I was surprised, after he got two strikes on Betts with the runner at third that he stayed fastball. I thought he would just hammer breaking ball at that point.”

Duke hitters came into the game hitting .123 vs. ACC LHP in 114 ABs.

I will say that State's hitters and fielders seemed really psyched out. They looked like they were trying not to fuck up. It seems like the pressure of the team's and Rodon's high expectations have gotten to them.

To Rodon's credit, I didn't see any poor body language or disrespecting of his teammates or anything. When he was removed in the 8th he didn't throw a tantrum in the dugout, just stood and watched and went over and was the 2nd guy to fist-bump the reliever who finished the inning.

I only saw maybe 4 other guys with radar guns, in our section at least; but where else would they be?
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #146 on: April 13, 2014, 10:58:26 am »
“I don’t know who it was that hit the home run,” Rodon said dismissively. “The ball is up. You throw a slider there, he’s out, you throw a fastball down there, he’s out. That’s probably the only ball he’ll ever hit off me.”

What a douchebag thing to say.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #147 on: April 13, 2014, 11:24:08 am »
What a douchebag thing to say.

Agreed. He's obviously not handling the pressure as well as Strasburg or Appel. You might think that privately, but never say something like that to the press. That's probably going to come back and bite him in the ass.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #148 on: April 13, 2014, 11:54:55 am »
I'd like to give the kid the benefit of the doubt, but I can't come up with a context in which that was anything less than jackassery.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #149 on: April 13, 2014, 11:57:58 am »
And yet, it's a lack of that kind of cockiness that gives people pause about Appel.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #150 on: April 13, 2014, 12:02:44 pm »
It's one thing to be cocky after dominating some team, but they lost to Duke.  Maybe it is just frustration, which would be understandable considering the expectations vs results for NC State this year.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #151 on: April 13, 2014, 12:53:32 pm »
It's one thing to be cocky after dominating some team, but they lost to Duke.  Maybe it is just frustration, which would be understandable considering the expectations vs results for NC State this year.

That's the only thing that it could be: frustration and feeling the pressure.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #152 on: April 13, 2014, 03:07:27 pm »
And yet, it's a lack of that kind of cockiness that gives people pause about Appel.

I think it was more of an issue with Appel's demeanor on the field than off the field that was the knock, that he didn't have the aggressive streak to impose your will and dominate hitters. Like Mr. Happy said, you can have that kind of attitude on the field, but keep it to yourself off the field.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #153 on: April 13, 2014, 08:23:46 pm »
I'd like to give the kid the benefit of the doubt, but I can't come up with a context in which that was anything less than jackassery.

I wonder how many times he heard a question like that before he answered.  If it was the fifth time I could see an irritated answer.  Dunno if that's what happened though.
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Re: 2014 draft thre
« Reply #154 on: April 13, 2014, 10:43:57 pm »
He tried to show people the home run had no affect on him whatsoever yet he did the exact opposite. I get that he's a kid and he's a competitor but shit like that really pisses me off.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #155 on: April 13, 2014, 10:53:29 pm »
I wonder how many times he heard a question like that before he answered.  If it was the fifth time I could see an irritated answer.  Dunno if that's what happened though.
BA's write-up of the game expands the quote a little... comes out slightly less douchey.
Quote
“When I leave the ball up, I just beat myself,” Rodon said. “That ball that, I don’t know who it was that hit that home run, the ball’s up. You throw a slider there, he’s out. You throw a fastball down, he’s out. That’s probably the only ball he’ll ever hit off me.

“Then it was another fastball up that scores that second run, a fastball up and away. So I came in, was real frustrated, and (assistant coach Brian) Ward and I talked about it. That’s where I got it from, made an eye adjustment. Just tried to throw down in the zone. When I was in between innings, I was just trying to throw fastballs low, just trying to almost hit the dirt.”

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #156 on: April 14, 2014, 09:20:58 am »
BA's write-up of the game expands the quote a little... comes out slightly less douchey.link

His quote kind of reminds me of Billy Wagner.  "He hit the perfect pitch."

Rodon said the pitch was high.  He recognized his error.  And the kid that hit it might not ever have the chance to hit one off him again.  I rather like the cockiness.  But, there is a fine line.  Personally, his comment didn't pass it for me.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #157 on: April 14, 2014, 09:51:36 am »
His quote kind of reminds me of Billy Wagner.  "He hit the perfect pitch."

Rodon said the pitch was high.  He recognized his error.  And the kid that hit it might not ever have the chance to hit one off him again.  I rather like the cockiness.  But, there is a fine line.  Personally, his comment didn't pass it for me.
Like Jacksonian said, we don't know what questions they were asking him to get him to say certain things, but that kind of cockiness is a bit much for me. Far worse, though, would be if he were dissing his own teammates, and it doesn't seem like he's doing that, though they have certainly let him down this year (something like 3 runs scored total in his 6 losses).
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #158 on: April 14, 2014, 09:44:41 pm »
Pitch count is a hot button issue for KLaw, and I realize many of you here think pitch count is an overblown issue, but he was pretty vocal about the usage of Rodon recently.  Apparently he threw 134 pitches on Friday on short rest.  Lincecum was the only pitcher last year in MLB to throw that many pitches in a game last year, which he threw in his no hitter.

Something to think about, even if you roll your eyes at pitch count stuff.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #159 on: April 15, 2014, 05:52:44 am »
Pitch count is a hot button issue for KLaw, and I realize many of you here think pitch count is an overblown issue, but he was pretty vocal about the usage of Rodon recently.  Apparently he threw 134 pitches on Friday on short rest.  Lincecum was the only pitcher last year in MLB to throw that many pitches in a game last year, which he threw in his no hitter.

Something to think about, even if you roll your eyes at pitch count stuff.

Overuse is one thing, but measuring overuse by pitch count alone is, in my opinion, a fool's errand. I certainly believe that pitchers should get adequate rest between outings. However, the arm is more resilient than you think. Witness some of the performances on very short rest in a tournament setting, etc.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #160 on: April 15, 2014, 07:44:12 am »
Overuse is one thing, but measuring overuse by pitch count alone is, in my opinion, a fool's errand. I certainly believe that pitchers should get adequate rest between outings. However, the arm is more resilient than you think. Witness some of the performances on very short rest in a tournament setting, etc.

His issue is long term health implications, not the performance in the short term.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #161 on: April 15, 2014, 08:52:37 am »
His issue is long term health implications, not the performance in the short term.

Then there is even less to support his case. Witness how much the Japanese pitchers throw. I happen to think that some pitchers are getting hurt because they aren't throwing enough.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #162 on: April 15, 2014, 11:22:31 am »
Then there is even less to support his case. Witness how much the Japanese pitchers throw. I happen to think that some pitchers are getting hurt because they aren't throwing enough.

I honestly haven't studied enough of it to really have an opinion.  I'm just stating his thoughts.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #163 on: April 15, 2014, 01:22:27 pm »
I honestly haven't studied enough of it to really have an opinion.  I'm just stating his thoughts.

I understood that. This is all based in the fact that the clubs have a significant amount of money invested in each pitcher, and they're being cautious. However, for over 100 years, we didn't even keep pitch counts, and pitchers did just fine, and that's even before Tom,my John surgery came into being back in 1974. I think that this pitch count and the associated pitch count police started against college coaches about draft-eligible pitchers, and it was the clubs that started it. I remember them dogging Skip Bertman at LSU about his alleged overuse of Ben McDonald back in the 1980's. I'm not quite sure where 100 pitches became the barometer. If it is dangerous to throw over 100 pitches, then surely a limit of 80 would be better, if we're really going to be cautious. My point is that this argument has its limits in common sense. Every pitcher knows when it is too much for them. Again, check out the Japanese pitcher's regimen. For some pitchers on some days, if their arm isn't feeling good, even 15 pitches might be too many. We have to start listening to the pitchers again instead of simply yanking an effective pitcher because they hit the vaunted 100 pitch count.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #164 on: April 15, 2014, 02:00:21 pm »
It's a bit disingenuous for Law to say that he was pitching on "short rest". He'd pitched the previous Saturday, so he had 5 days off in between, instead of the normal 6. I seriously doubt that would matter at all.

And, like Happy is saying, # of pitches alone isn't so important as whether the pitcher is laboring, having a lot of high-stress innings, that kind of thing. Rodon labored early but retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced or something like that.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #165 on: April 15, 2014, 02:10:56 pm »
It's a bit disingenuous for Law to say that he was pitching on "short rest". He'd pitched the previous Saturday, so he had 5 days off in between, instead of the normal 6. I seriously doubt that would matter at all.

And, like Happy is saying, # of pitches alone isn't so important as whether the pitcher is laboring, having a lot of high-stress innings, that kind of thing. Rodon labored early but retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced or something like that.

Leo Mazzone, thinks the same as far as the amount of laboring a pitcher may have...along with how many pitches were fastballs versus say, sliders.  I'm not quoting, just going off memory of what he said.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #166 on: April 15, 2014, 02:13:30 pm »
Leo Mazzone, thinks the same as far as the amount of laboring a pitcher may have...along with how many pitches were fastballs versus say, sliders.  I'm not quoting, just going off memory of what he said.

That's correct. I used to use his book on pitching the most out of all of them. He recommends lots of throwing.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #167 on: April 15, 2014, 02:58:06 pm »
There's no way you can intelligently say, with a straight face, that pitchers did 'just fine' before people started to count pitches and therefore, pitch counts are the devil. The history of baseball is littered with tales of pitchers who developed 'sore arms' and then their careers ended. It wasn't even possible to diagnose what happened to them, but even the most cursory look into the past gives us hundreds of these guys.

There is conclusive research to show that there are injury correlations with age and pitch counts, as well as age and frequency of heavy pitch counts. What we don't have is conclusive evidence regarding all the other factors in play - how work as a youth affects them, the types of pitches thrown how often and at what age, the prevalence of new pitches such as the slider and how their stresses come into play, the factors of travel, exercise, strength training, how hard pitchers throw now versus back then, and dozens of other factors. That doesn't even take into account that arms and people, although similar, are not the same so the study will never be absolute, just possibly indicative.

Teams would LOVE to figure this out. They've got most of their money tied up in these ridiculously expensive assets, and they can't figure out why they break so often. The resources they employ to deal with this are staggering, and you can bet they know a hell of a lot more than they used to, but the simple truth is the research in this area is at best embryonic and at worst futile. I don't know how we even get off on pitch count discussions - the informed discussions, a la Keith Law, are far more nuanced than simply, "What? 134 pitches? That's too many!" None of it is that simple. If it was, we'd all know it by now. It's part of an intricate mosaic and it doesn't do the various arguments justice to reduce it to shorthand.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #168 on: April 15, 2014, 03:05:50 pm »
There's no way you can intelligently say, with a straight face, that pitchers did 'just fine' before people started to count pitches and therefore, pitch counts are the devil. The history of baseball is littered with tales of pitchers who developed 'sore arms' and then their careers ended. It wasn't even possible to diagnose what happened to them, but even the most cursory look into the past gives us hundreds of these guys.


I say that the overwhelming number of pitchers pitched a helluva lot more than they do today without injury. How is that explained? If there is such a correlation between use and injury, why didn't more pitchers get hurt back then. I guarantee you that many pitchers who played back in the day threw well over 134 pitches in a game on a bad day. Sure, there are some arm injuries, but coddling them as we do today hasn't stopped the ever burgeoning list of Tommy John victims. I'm willing to assume that throwing more may well be the answer.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #169 on: April 15, 2014, 03:21:28 pm »
Don't you think that if it was as simple as 'throw more,' then that's what would be going on now? They've thrown millions of dollars at this problem, and doesn't it seem likely that 'hey, exercise more by throwing more' would've popped up into the list of possible answers by now?

Yes, lots of pitchers threw a lot more back then. They also didn't throw as hard, and they didn't throw balls that required the hard snaps, etc. that they do now. There were also a lot fewer pitchers who threw those 300+ inning seasons. Four man rotations and fewer teams means fewer total pitchers, and the ones who could throw a lot of innings were able to do so and thrive, few though they were, while others came up with the 'sore arm' and became outfielders or had to quit. Just leaf through the Baseball Encyclopedia for five minutes - for every Lefty Grove or Joe McGinnity or Ed Plank, there are a hundred guys who had one or two heavy use seasons and then they're done. Even in the 60s, durable guys like Bob Gibson had their careers shortened prematurely by arm woes. It may seem like there was just one big happy family of guys throwing 300+ innings for 15 years, but the reality isn't there.

There are plenty of outliers - Cy Young, Warren Spahn, Walter Johnson, Nolan Ryan - but my contention is that the problem is a hell of a lot more complex than just saying, "Oh, it's the pitch counts, that's the whole discussion" because it isn't. That's a shorthand for the tip of the iceberg, the problem of why arms break. Comparing them across eras isn't really useful because almost every variable is so significantly different now from then.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #170 on: April 15, 2014, 03:28:14 pm »
I say that the overwhelming number of pitchers pitched a helluva lot more than they do today without injury. How is that explained? If there is such a correlation between use and injury, why didn't more pitchers get hurt back then. I guarantee you that many pitchers who played back in the day threw well over 134 pitches in a game on a bad day. Sure, there are some arm injuries, but coddling them as we do today hasn't stopped the ever burgeoning list of Tommy John victims. I'm willing to assume that throwing more may well be the answer.

Probably a very interesting thing to look at, playing lives of pitchers, average pitches in games, number of games pitched--back in the day there weren't 162 games a year I suspect, and kids didn't pitch year-round, mostly.  For anecdotal injuries, though, I'm certain Sandy Koufax would still be pitching if they'd only had pitch counts in place.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #171 on: April 15, 2014, 03:31:45 pm »
I thought Koufax' problem was arthritis?
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #172 on: April 15, 2014, 10:08:18 pm »
I thought Koufax' problem was arthritis?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #173 on: April 16, 2014, 06:14:07 am »
I thought Koufax' problem was arthritis?

if he hadn't thrown so many pitches maybe his arthritis would have been so bothersome.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #174 on: April 16, 2014, 07:29:50 am »
Don't you think that if it was as simple as 'throw more,' then that's what would be going on now? They've thrown millions of dollars at this problem, and doesn't it seem likely that 'hey, exercise more by throwing more' would've popped up into the list of possible answers by now?

Yes, lots of pitchers threw a lot more back then. They also didn't throw as hard, and they didn't throw balls that required the hard snaps, etc. that they do now. There were also a lot fewer pitchers who threw those 300+ inning seasons. Four man rotations and fewer teams means fewer total pitchers, and the ones who could throw a lot of innings were able to do so and thrive, few though they were, while others came up with the 'sore arm' and became outfielders or had to quit. Just leaf through the Baseball Encyclopedia for five minutes - for every Lefty Grove or Joe McGinnity or Ed Plank, there are a hundred guys who had one or two heavy use seasons and then they're done. Even in the 60s, durable guys like Bob Gibson had their careers shortened prematurely by arm woes. It may seem like there was just one big happy family of guys throwing 300+ innings for 15 years, but the reality isn't there.

There are plenty of outliers - Cy Young, Warren Spahn, Walter Johnson, Nolan Ryan - but my contention is that the problem is a hell of a lot more complex than just saying, "Oh, it's the pitch counts, that's the whole discussion" because it isn't. That's a shorthand for the tip of the iceberg, the problem of why arms break. Comparing them across eras isn't really useful because almost every variable is so significantly different now from then.

You make a good point. However, what you're overlooking is the fact that there is a school out there right now that says that throwing more is at least part of the answer. I consider myself in that group. The problem is that the clubs have bought into the whole pitch count business because they're scared of being second-guessed. They'd rather coddle the pitchers than overwork them in any way. I suggest that a lack of throwing may well be harmful when you're asked to perform.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #175 on: April 16, 2014, 08:07:19 am »
I thought Koufax' problem was arthritis?

Koufax thought the cause was use, as I recall.  He said that he was quitting pitching so that he could still use his arm when he was really old, like 40.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #176 on: April 16, 2014, 10:35:25 am »
I thought Koufax' problem was arthritis?

it was.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #177 on: April 16, 2014, 12:40:29 pm »
Sorry, I should have been clearer.  Koufax thought the cause of the arthritis was use.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #178 on: April 16, 2014, 05:19:45 pm »
PG rundown with survey, with most, but not all thinking the prep arms have moved ahead:

Quote
“Aiken really separated himself with the way he perfomed in a couple of outings,” an American League crosschecker said. “He had great stuff with his fastball touching 96-97 to go with an even more dominant breaking ball. He really stood out with his ability to command all his pitches, along with his excellent feel for pitching. Right now, he’s a pretty clear No. 1 for me.”

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Kolek has been even more electrifying than Aiken with his steady diet of triple-digit fastballs, and opened the 2014 season by hurling 18 straight hitless innings. But he is not considered as polished a product overall as Aiken, and Aiken has the perceived additional advantage of being lefthanded.

“Aiken and Kolek have clearly helped themselves this spring, no question,” a National League crosschecker said, “but I will be shocked if Rodon doesn’t go No. 1.”

The article also looks at some of the other top arms and gives a more-detailed look at Rodon.

http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9746

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #179 on: April 16, 2014, 05:26:39 pm »
Seems like more than just a "perceived advantage" to me, and it looks like someone is going to be shocked or surprised no matter who is taken 1-1.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #180 on: April 17, 2014, 05:38:58 pm »
You make a good point. However, what you're overlooking is the fact that there is a school out there right now that says that throwing more is at least part of the answer. I consider myself in that group. The problem is that the clubs have bought into the whole pitch count business because they're scared of being second-guessed. They'd rather coddle the pitchers than overwork them in any way. I suggest that a lack of throwing may well be harmful when you're asked to perform.

Here is an article with some more analysis.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #181 on: April 17, 2014, 08:35:34 pm »
No surprise, but:

Quote
@MarkBermanFox26: Astros led by GM Jeff Luhnow,Sig Mejdal, dir.decision sciences,Kevin Goldstein,dir. pro scouting @ Shepherd HS scouting  pitcher Tyler Kolek

@MarkBermanFox26: Clubs scouting 6-5, 250lb RHP Tyler Kolek from Shepherd HS include Astros, Cubs, Nationals, Mariners, Giants, Phillies, Red Sox, White Sox.

@MarkBermanFox26: 7 teams scouting Shepherd High School pitcher Tyler Kolek tonight including the Astros led by GM Jeff Luhnow.Scouts say Kolek throwing 94-96


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #182 on: April 18, 2014, 02:36:17 pm »
It wasn't his best start, but Aiken had plenty of eyes on his start Wednesday, including Elias. I did not realize that he led Team USA to the gold medal last summer. I don't know what his ultimate ceiling is, but sounds like he is at least low-risk for a HS arm.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140418&content_id=72515470&notebook_id=72516602&vkey=notebook_mlb&c_id=mlb

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #183 on: April 19, 2014, 01:32:28 am »
The ECU RHP Hoffman went 8 innings Thursday against Middle Tennessee and allowed only 3 hits and 0 runs while walking 1 and striking out 16.

Rodon went Friday night and his line was 8 ip, 6 h, 1 r, 1 er, 3 bb, 7 k. He threw 115 pitches after throwing 134 last week.

@kileymcd: ECU righty Jeff Hoffman has been 95-97 early on tonight w/heat in the building from both Chicago clubs, including Theo Epstein & Jed Hoyer.

 @FPilierePG: Heard Jeff Hoffman was electric in front of some heavy hitting talent evaluators today. 16 Ks, 1 BB in 8 innings. 3 hits allowed

 @kileymcd: Rodon ticked up last week & I'm told Hoffman was the mythical Cape Hoffman I won't shut up about. 20-25 scouts w/CHW+CHC heavy hitters there


@kileymcd: Hearing Rodon is back to 90-93 after last week's tick up & Hoffman made the leap last night so pin the tail on the #1 pick I give up   

@kileymcd: To be clear the top of the draft is still very hazy. Various publication rankings may make it look like consensus has formed, but it hasn't.

@kileymcd: And in a few weeks I'll take a stab at lining these guys up, but I'm glad it isn't that time yet because it keeps changing every weekend.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #184 on: April 25, 2014, 10:09:48 pm »
Several tweets regarding Rodon tonight:

Quote
#Rodon tonight vs. Georgia Tech: 9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 15 K


Quote
132 pitches for Rodon? NC State won't be happy until they've wrung every last drop of blood from him, will they?

The latter one was from Keith Law.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #185 on: April 25, 2014, 11:30:08 pm »
Mark Berman on Tyler Kolek's outing on Friday:

Quote
Kolek worked seven shut-out innings against Splendora, giving up three hits with one walk and 16 strikeouts.

He hit 100 miles per hour multiple times.

The general managers from the Florida Marlins and the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox president were on hand for Kolek's performance.





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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #186 on: April 25, 2014, 11:37:26 pm »
Odd he doesn't mention whether the Astros at least had scouts there. I'd assume so.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #187 on: April 25, 2014, 11:55:20 pm »
Odd he doesn't mention whether the Astros at least had scouts there. I'd assume so.

Do you pick Rodon, Aiken, or Kolek? I thought Hoffman was starting to make a case but now he's out of the conversation with the sore elbow.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #188 on: April 26, 2014, 12:00:19 am »
Do you pick Rodon, Aiken, or Kolek?

Yes
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #189 on: April 26, 2014, 02:20:32 am »
Yes

Aiken, Rodon and Kolek are joined by San Diego's Rancho Bernardo High catcher Alex Jackson, East Carolina University righthander Jeff Hoffman, University of San Francisco center fielder Brad Zimmer and LSU righthander Aaron Nola on the Astros' short list for No. 1. NC State shortstop Trea Turner, who is considered one of the best college bats in the draft and was tracked early on as a potential top pick, appears to have fallen off the Astros' list of candidates for No. 1.

The Astros have seen every start Rodon, Aiken, Kolek, Hoffman and Nola have made this year. They've had scouts on hand for about 75 percent of Zimmer's and Jackson's games.






Elias:
"We recognize that the top of the draft is pitcher heavy," Elias said. "But that said, we like to have all kinds of options. We usually like for one of those options to be a college position player. Historically a college position player is a sound investment.

"We're mindful of the fact that they're often times under-appreciated in the draft. We do believe we will enter the draft with a college position we'll have an eye on."


http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-scouting-staff-entering-final-important-5430675.php

« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 02:22:57 am by morningwood75 »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #190 on: April 26, 2014, 05:20:24 am »
Aiken, Rodon and Kolek are joined by San Diego's Rancho Bernardo High catcher Alex Jackson, East Carolina University righthander Jeff Hoffman, University of San Francisco center fielder Brad Zimmer and LSU righthander Aaron Nola on the Astros' short list for No. 1. NC State shortstop Trea Turner, who is considered one of the best college bats in the draft and was tracked early on as a potential top pick, appears to have fallen off the Astros' list of candidates for No. 1.

The Astros have seen every start Rodon, Aiken, Kolek, Hoffman and Nola have made this year. They've had scouts on hand for about 75 percent of Zimmer's and Jackson's games.






Elias:
"We recognize that the top of the draft is pitcher heavy," Elias said. "But that said, we like to have all kinds of options. We usually like for one of those options to be a college position player. Historically a college position player is a sound investment.

"We're mindful of the fact that they're often times under-appreciated in the draft. We do believe we will enter the draft with a college position we'll have an eye on."


http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-scouting-staff-entering-final-important-5430675.php



I saw Nola shut out Mississippi State. He sat 92-93 on the four seamer, but his off-speed stuff looked pretty good. Still, I think that they'll take a more electric arm if they go the pitcher round 1-1. Nola knows how to pitch though.
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astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #191 on: April 26, 2014, 10:00:23 am »
I saw Nola shut out Mississippi State. He sat 92-93 on the four seamer, but his off-speed stuff looked pretty good. Still, I think that they'll take a more electric arm if they go the pitcher round 1-1. Nola knows how to pitch though.

I agree. I love Nola, and he may be the best combination of stuff and command in the draft among college pitchers, but that's more of an indictment on the "stuff" guys.  The ceiling isn't as high as the other guys, but he is a very safe bet to become a #3 starter in the majors, possibly a #2.

On some of the other guys:

Read that Rodon was hitting 96-97 early last night. Don't know what his velocity was later in the game, but seemed to be doing someone right. I found this in a PG chat on the 17th, which kind of makes you pause:

Quote
Comment From Chris
Are the concerns over Carlos Rodon's season warranted? Or is this just the norm for Rodon, that he's not a cold weather pitcher and not a fast starter? I've read that some scouts feel Rodon will be a consistent low 90's guy earlier than expected in his pro career.
 
David Rawnsley: My personal scouting opinion is that the concerns over Rodon's season (more his stuff than his season) are warranted. Aaron Nola can be a consistent low 90's guy and be a successful big league starter with his command and change up. Even with the killer slider, Rodon doesn't have the command and feel of his stuff to be a #1/#2 type guy with a low 90's fastball.

Alex Jackson: I've seen more than one place suggest that as a fairly mobile catcher with an advanced bat, he may be moved to RF as a professional to expedite his ascent. That's the approach the Nationals used with Harper and the Royals took with Myers. That doesn't mean he has a Harper/Myers ceiling, though as his power isn't in that same class. Still could be a good hitter.

Zimmer: Most surprised to see him on this list. Doesn't really have a standout tool, though he is solid all-around. Doubt he's getting too much consideration, but I would hope they don't try to get too cute with the "high-probability positions" stuff.

Hoffman: Injury isn't considered serious. I would put more weight into how he finishes the season and why he was so mediocre early than missing one start.

Aiken: I made sure that I described Nola as possibly having the best combination of stuff and command among the pitchers in college. Aiken, however, has an argument for best overall if you give weight for being him being just in high school. That's what makes him such a strong candidate. The stuff is very good, but then you throw in his advanced pitchability. On a side note, I don't think it's fair that JdJO just insinuated that HS LHPs drafted 1/1 would be unsuccessful because the only two who were were "utter failures". I'm sure teams are smart enough to look into why guys like Clyde flamed out and not just dismiss an entire pool of players. But, they have passed over some pretty good HS RHP at 1/1 over the years. Don't know why I'm putting so much time into a jab that he's making, anyway.

Kolek: Pitchers tend to begin losing velocity in their early-mid 20's, Kolek could still be hitting upper-90's for a while, having velocity to spare. Secondaries aren't as strong as Aiken's. Here's another quote from that PG chat:

Quote
11:10
Comment From Sam
If the draft were held today, who would you take #1 overall?
 
AllanSimpson: It seems to be a 3-horse race at this point, with Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek and Carlos Rodon. Aiken and Kolek have outperformed Rodon, and flashed better stuff/command more consistently, but it would be a mistake to dismiss Rodon from being squarely in the mix to go No. 1.

It should be the other way around, with the college pitcher showing more command on a consistent basis. Anyway, Kolek's command isn't as strong as Aiken's, but it isn't bad for a HS arm who throws as hard as he does.

Just a few of my (and others) thoughts. Here's a link to the chat. It has plenty of other good nuggets in it.

http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9743

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #192 on: April 27, 2014, 06:41:04 am »
I agree. I love Nola, and he may be the best combination of stuff and command in the draft among college pitchers, but that's more of an indictment on the "stuff" guys.  The ceiling isn't as high as the other guys, but he is a very safe bet to become a #3 starter in the majors, possibly a #2.

On some of the other guys:

Read that Rodon was hitting 96-97 early last night. Don't know what his velocity was later in the game, but seemed to be doing someone right. I found this in a PG chat on the 17th, which kind of makes you pause:

Alex Jackson: I've seen more than one place suggest that as a fairly mobile catcher with an advanced bat, he may be moved to RF as a professional to expedite his ascent. That's the approach the Nationals used with Harper and the Royals took with Myers. That doesn't mean he has a Harper/Myers ceiling, though as his power isn't in that same class. Still could be a good hitter.

Zimmer: Most surprised to see him on this list. Doesn't really have a standout tool, though he is solid all-around. Doubt he's getting too much consideration, but I would hope they don't try to get too cute with the "high-probability positions" stuff.

Hoffman: Injury isn't considered serious. I would put more weight into how he finishes the season and why he was so mediocre early than missing one start.

Aiken: I made sure that I described Nola as possibly having the best combination of stuff and command among the pitchers in college. Aiken, however, has an argument for best overall if you give weight for being him being just in high school. That's what makes him such a strong candidate. The stuff is very good, but then you throw in his advanced pitchability. On a side note, I don't think it's fair that JdJO just insinuated that HS LHPs drafted 1/1 would be unsuccessful because the only two who were were "utter failures". I'm sure teams are smart enough to look into why guys like Clyde flamed out and not just dismiss an entire pool of players. But, they have passed over some pretty good HS RHP at 1/1 over the years. Don't know why I'm putting so much time into a jab that he's making, anyway.

Kolek: Pitchers tend to begin losing velocity in their early-mid 20's, Kolek could still be hitting upper-90's for a while, having velocity to spare. Secondaries aren't as strong as Aiken's. Here's another quote from that PG chat:

It should be the other way around, with the college pitcher showing more command on a consistent basis. Anyway, Kolek's command isn't as strong as Aiken's, but it isn't bad for a HS arm who throws as hard as he does.

Just a few of my (and others) thoughts. Here's a link to the chat. It has plenty of other good nuggets in it.

http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9743

Nola's last start wasn't good. I didn't see the game, but my dad did and said that his command was off and that he walked a bunch of guys.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #193 on: April 27, 2014, 02:57:08 pm »
Quote
]@BenBadler: Carlos Rodon struck out 15 with one run over 9 IP in his last start. 26 of 27 outs were Ks or grounders. Up to 97 mph, acc to @jimshonerdBA.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #194 on: April 28, 2014, 12:39:29 pm »
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #195 on: April 29, 2014, 03:53:48 pm »
More from Mike Elias, this time in an interview with Jim Callis:

Quote
“We’re definitely happy with the level of talent among the players we’re considering. It’s a good group. All of them are extraordinarily talented and a lot of them should be extremely valuable Major League players. But in terms of having a huge separation between the first and second pick, I don’t really feel that’s the case. We can go in a number of different directions and be happy with that pick.

I feel this is a much deeper Draft class. There’s a lot of high school pitchers and they can be unpredictable as to where they go in the Draft. This year, you might see more players with first-round talent not get selected in the first round. You might see some teams with resources strike later. We’re spending a lot of time on 1-1, and if we decided after watching guys for five months that we have a split camp, it’s possible that we could do that*. But we’re not going to do it if it feels like we’re trading off on talent at the No. 1 pick.”

*The "that" being referred to is the Astros' 2012 draft strategy.

Callis wrote this to go along with the above interview excerpts:

Quote
Elias said Houston had narrowed its pool of candidates for the top choice to seven players. He wouldn’t identify them, but it’s believed that Cathedral Catholic High (San Diego) left-hander Brady Aiken, North Carolina State lefty Carlos Rodon, Shepherd (Texas) High right-hander Tyler Kolek and East Carolina righty Jeff Hoffman — the first four players on our Top 100 list — are the front-runners. The Astros also are considering Rancho Bernardo High (San Diego) catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson and Louisiana State righthander Aaron Nola, and they’re monitoring North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner and San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer.



« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 03:57:44 pm by Nate Colbert »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #196 on: April 29, 2014, 10:57:35 pm »
So it looks like the only guy that fell who they were willing to go way overslot on last year was Manaea and the Royals got him with the competitive balance pick by going way underslot on Dozier at 8. Also, does anyone else think Kolek might give a discount not only due to him growing up near Houston but because no HS RHP has ever gone 1-1? I could see the Astros going that route if Rodon doesn't dominate the rest of the way. I wonder if Aiken would go underslot? A lot of people have him at 1 now so probably not. I'm also curious to see how Hoffman bounces back from the arm soreness.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #197 on: April 29, 2014, 11:13:21 pm »
Also, does anyone else think Kolek might give a discount not only due to him growing up near Houston but because no HS RHP has ever gone 1-1?

That thought crossed my mind as well but given all the recent hype about him that may no longer be possible.

#####

In an article from Jonathan Mayo, he polled 9 scouting directors as to who they would pick 1/1. Four voted Kolek, four picked Aiken and one took Rodon. A couple of comments:

"I think it's Kolek, being a hometown guy," one national scout said. "Rodon has Scott Boras [as an advisor]; you're not going to get a discount there. If it comes down to Kolek and Aiken, it has to come to the guy in your backyard, especially if he's throwing 100 mph."

"Aiken's a strike-thrower with a big body, a good delivery and plus pitches. What else would you want?" one scouting director added. "He's an athlete on the mound, too, who just happens to be blessed with a big body."




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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #198 on: April 30, 2014, 07:41:11 am »
That thought crossed my mind as well but given all the recent hype about him that may no longer be possible.

#####

In an article from Jonathan Mayo, he polled 9 scouting directors as to who they would pick 1/1. Four voted Kolek, four picked Aiken and one took Rodon. A couple of comments:

"I think it's Kolek, being a hometown guy," one national scout said. "Rodon has Scott Boras [as an advisor]; you're not going to get a discount there. If it comes down to Kolek and Aiken, it has to come to the guy in your backyard, especially if he's throwing 100 mph."

"Aiken's a strike-thrower with a big body, a good delivery and plus pitches. What else would you want?" one scouting director added. "He's an athlete on the mound, too, who just happens to be blessed with a big body."





I'm liking what I read of Aiken more and more for that pick.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #199 on: April 30, 2014, 09:59:13 am »
I'm liking what I read of Aiken more and more for that pick.
I feel like it really depends on how Rodon does in his remaining starts. If he puts up a string of gems like his last start, how do you not take him, with his resume, stuff, and proximity to the majors? I feel like they've been almost counting on him being part of their return to competitiveness in 2015-16.

Even if Aiken is very polished for a HS arm, that's still maybe late 2016-early '17 at soonest, I'd think.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #200 on: April 30, 2014, 10:25:18 am »
I suspect the decision on Rodon, if he regains his form, must hinge on an explanation of his struggles, and whether they expect the cause in their explanation to have long-term effects.  In other words, even if he dominates every start from here on out, they night still have reasons to avoid him. 

Given that many folks have soured on him, I suspect a lot of knowledgeable people haven't dismissed his troubles as simply overwork from last year.  On the flipside, if the Astros think the cause is behind him, they might pull the trigger.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #201 on: April 30, 2014, 10:51:58 am »
On the flipside, if the Astros think the cause is behind him, they might pull the trigger.

Or work a discount somehow.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #202 on: April 30, 2014, 12:07:04 pm »
Or work a discount somehow.

Boras is Rodon's agent.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #203 on: April 30, 2014, 12:48:09 pm »
I suspect the decision on Rodon, if he regains his form, must hinge on an explanation of his struggles, and whether they expect the cause in their explanation to have long-term effects.  In other words, even if he dominates every start from here on out, they night still have reasons to avoid him. 

Given that many folks have soured on him, I suspect a lot of knowledgeable people haven't dismissed his troubles as simply overwork from last year.  On the flipside, if the Astros think the cause is behind him, they might pull the trigger.

Right.  There are causes behind the struggles and clubs will base their decisions on how they see the future playing out.  They'll determine, as best they can, why his velocity has fluctuated and will I get the 94-96 consistently in five years or the 90-93?  What is causing his command to waver and is it something we can fix?  How do I see his changeup progressing?  Are there makeup issues, etc.  They could have a level of skepticism and still pick him, though.  They could still pick him even if he has a few more bumps in the road before June; it just depends on what they envision and how he compares to the other options.  Or, as Elias alluded to, they could spread the money out if it made more sense to spread out the money. 

All things equal, I think they would like to pick Rodon, as Reuben said.  Luhnow doesn't mind picking HS players, but overall, his drafts have been college-heavy.  But, at the same time, he does have a preference for high-probability players and Aiken could be the higher-probability player despite being three years younger than Rodon. 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #204 on: April 30, 2014, 02:50:49 pm »
Aiken is definitely interesting. One thing in his favor is he's a full 8 months younger than Kolek; he won't turn 18 til mid-August. We know from the Correa pick that the Astros pay attention to player age when doing evaluations/projections. Aiken has gained a few mph on his fastball in the past season. Maybe they feel like he has a good chance to gain a little bit more?

If his likely ceiling is he becomes as good as Rodon, then they should just take Rodon (who, after all, has been called "the best college LHP since David Price" - and some think may be better than Price). On the other hand, if they think his ceiling is higher...

Clayton Kershaw was taken 7th overall in 2006, and he was the first HS player drafted. In front of him were Longoria and 5 college pitchers; Brandon Morrow and Luke Hochevar having had the "best" careers out of those 5 so far. Sometimes you're better off taking the high-ceiling HS kid.

FWIW, BA's Draft Report on Kershaw:
Quote
The draft's best high school prospect, Kershaw projected as only a second- or third-round pick before blossoming as a senior. He had gotten exposure as a member of the USA Baseball national junior team and had a solid fastball for a lefthander at 88-92 mph. Now he has grown into his strong, athletic 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, and his stuff has taken a leap. He has pitched at 90-96 mph all spring while continuing to pound the bottom of the strike zone. His curveball has improved even more than his fastball and now ranks a legitimate second plus pitch.
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astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #205 on: April 30, 2014, 04:46:55 pm »
Aiken is definitely interesting. One thing in his favor is he's a full 8 months younger than Kolek; he won't turn 18 til mid-August. We know from the Correa pick that the Astros pay attention to player age when doing evaluations/projections. Aiken has gained a few mph on his fastball in the past season. Maybe they feel like he has a good chance to gain a little bit more?

If his likely ceiling is he becomes as good as Rodon, then they should just take Rodon (who, after all, has been called "the best college LHP since David Price" - and some think may be better than Price). On the other hand, if they think his ceiling is higher...

FWIW, BA's Draft Report on Kershaw:

From what I've read, the thought is that he doesn't have a lot of projection left. But, he doesn't really need a lot, either. Part of the problem with comparing him to Rodon is figuring out which Rodon you're getting. There have been plenty of days this season where Aiken has been the better pitcher. But, Rodon, at his best, has tremendous stuff and movement that Aiken cannot match. Which guy are you getting and for how long? Good Rodon could fly through the system, other Rodon will have trouble some days getting AA hitters to chase pitches and may take a few years to reach Houston. Aiken may be a guy who is up late in '16, if he is as polished as advertised.

Interesting report on Kershaw.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #206 on: April 30, 2014, 06:03:40 pm »
Of course there is the story going around that Rodon does not pitch well in cool/cold weather, which would make sense since Rodon seems to be improving toward the end of the season.  If so, draft him and keep the roof open during the summer when he pitches...this would quickly prove or disprove this theory.

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #207 on: April 30, 2014, 07:53:12 pm »
Of course there is the story going around that Rodon does not pitch well in cool/cold weather, which would make sense since Rodon seems to be improving toward the end of the season.  If so, draft him and keep the roof open during the summer when he pitches...this would quickly prove or disprove this theory.

I've heard it, and mentioned it in the thread at one point. Even if MMP is his home park, I don't know that I would want a pitcher I couldn't count on in colder weather, especially if he is supposed to be the ace. You can control your park, but you can't control others. How would he fare pitching in an early-season game in Boston or New York? Or in a playoff game late in October?

There may, or may not, be truth in the theory. I don't want to say to stay away from him, but I don't want to gamble unnecessarily at 1/1, either.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #208 on: May 01, 2014, 03:10:09 pm »
There may, or may not, be truth in the theory. I don't want to say to stay away from him, but I don't want to gamble unnecessarily at 1/1, either.

Isn't the definition of gambling taking a HS pitcher 1/1? 


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2014, 05:43:10 pm »
Isn't the definition of gambling taking a HS pitcher 1/1? 



No, gambling would be taking a less-polished player with the hope that he'll reach a higher ceiling. If the HS pitcher is more polished, I would say he's the safer bet, even if his ceiling is lower (though Aiken's is still very high). There will always be a level of uncertainty with a pick, so you have to weigh that in your decision. But, by unnecessary, I was alluding more to a hypothetical risk that Rodon would just need to pitch in a warm, controlled environment and he would be at his best. Since that couldn't be proven without drafting him (for several millions of dollars), developing him in outdoor stadiums, and hoping it all clicks once he reaches the majors, I would call that unnecessary risk.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #210 on: May 01, 2014, 08:05:00 pm »
JDJO tweeting live from Kolek's start tonight. Of note:

Quote
His parents tell me he missed school yesterday with strep throat.

Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Astros manager Bo Porter and bench coach Dave Trembley just arrived to see Kolek.

Kolek has 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 HBP and 2 hits allowed through 4 innings, but 3 errors behind him cost him 2 Unearned runs.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 08:06:31 pm by Nate Colbert »

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #211 on: May 01, 2014, 08:59:16 pm »
Well, he shouldn't have let the other team hit the ball, then his teammates couldn't have gotten the errors...

On another draft-related note, Mike Elias did an interview with Ben Nicholson-Smith recently. The interview was draft-centric, but he did talk about Springer and Appel. Couple of interesting things he said about Appel:

Quote
There were a lot of good choices, but we felt to get somebody who we viewed as a potential anchor for a rotation that’s going to throw 200 innings per year and be an above-average MLB starter, it’s not very easy to find and we thought with Mark’s track record and ties to Houston on top of it. Plus he’s intelligent with a bulldog mentality he brings to the mound, so it really made it hard for us to pass up...

He had a start [recently] where he was back to his peak velocity, sitting 95-96 and touching 97-98 [mph] which is what we’d seen from him in the past and what he’s capable of. It’s exciting to see him ramped up to full strength and he has continued to adapt to the pro throwing schedule after four years in college.

So, Appel's ties did play somewhat of a factor, even if it was the icing on the cake. Makes me look at Kolek a little different. Not expecting them to pick him, but it could play more of a factor than I anticipated.

It's also nice to see Appel regaining his velocity. Hopefully, he'll be returning to full-season ball before too long.

Good read.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/astros-elias-details-search-for-elite-draft-talent/

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #212 on: May 02, 2014, 09:09:37 am »
If the HS pitcher is more polished, I would say he's the safer bet, even if his ceiling is lower (though Aiken's is still very high).
I'll let history speak for itself.   Three High School Pitchers drafted 1/1 since 1965.  1 bombed, 1 managed to start 73 games at a 4.63 ERA, and Hochevar who is far from an ace (courtesy of thebaseballcube.com):
YearPlayerTeamPositionHighest LevelYears PlayedC/HFrom
2013Mark AppelHouston AstrosPA+2010-2014CStanford University
2012Carlos CorreaHouston AstrosSSA+2012-2014HPuerto Rico Baseball Acad (Gurabo,PR)
2011Gerrit ColePittsburgh PiratesPMLB2009-2014CUCLA
2010Bryce HarperWashington NationalsOFMLB2010-2014CCollege of Southern Nevada
2009Stephen StrasburgWashington NationalsRHPMLB2007-2014CSan Diego State University
2008Tim BeckhamTampa Bay RaysSSMLB2008-2014HGriffin (Griffin,GA)
2007David PriceTampa Bay RaysPMLB2005-2014CVanderbilt University
2006Luke HochevarKansas City RoyalsPMLB2003-2014HFowler (Fowler,CO)
2005Justin UptonArizona DiamondbacksssMLB2006-2014HGreat Bridge (Chesapeake,VA)
2004Matt BushSan Diego PadresSSAA2004-2011HMission Bay (San Diego,CA)
2003Delmon YoungTampa Bay RaysOFMLB2004-2014HCamarillo (Camarillo,CA)
2002Bryan BullingtonPittsburgh PiratesPMLB2000-2013CBall State University
2001Joe MauerMinnesota TwinsCMLB2001-2014HCretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul,MN)
2000Adrian GonzalezFlorida Marlins1BMLB2000-2014HEastlake (Chula Vista,CA)
1999Josh HamiltonTampa Bay RaysOFMLB1999-2014HAthens Drive (Raleigh,NC)
1998Pat BurrellPhiladelphia Phillies1BMLB1996-2011CUniversity of Miami
1997Matt AndersonDetroit TigersPMLB1995-2008CRice University
1996Kris BensonPittsburgh PiratesPMLB1994-2010CClemson University
1995Darin ErstadCalifornia AngelsOFMLB1993-2009CUniversity of Nebraska
1994Paul WilsonNew York MetsPMLB1992-2008CFlorida State University
1993Alex RodriguezSeattle MarinersSSMLB1994-2013HWestminster Christian (Miami,FL)
1992Phil NevinHouston Astros3BMLB1990-2006CCal State Fullerton
1991Brien TaylorNew York YankeesPAA1992-2000HEast Carteret (Beaufort,NC)
1990Chipper JonesAtlanta BravesSSMLB1990-2012HThe Bolles School (Jacksonville,FL)
1989Ben McDonaldBaltimore OriolesPMLB1987-1997CLouisiana State University
1988Andy BenesSan Diego PadresPMLB1986-2002CUniversity of Evansville
1987Ken GriffeySeattle MarinersOFMLB1987-2010HMoeller (Cincinnati,OH)
1986Jeff KingPittsburgh PiratesSS-3BMLB1984-1999CUniversity of Arkansas
1985B.J. SurhoffMilwaukee BrewersSS-CMLB1983-2005CUniversity of North Carolina
1984Shawn AbnerNew York MetsOFMLB1984-1995HMechanicsburg Area (Mechanicsburg Area,PA)
1983Tim Belcher **Minnesota TwinsPMLB1984-2000CMount Vernon Nazarene University
1982Shawon DunstonChicago CubsSSMLB1982-2002HThomas Jefferson (Brooklyn,NY)
1981Mike MooreSeattle MarinersPMLB1980-1995COral Roberts University
1980Darryl StrawberryNew York MetsOFMLB1980-1999HCrenshaw (Los Angeles,CA)
1979Al ChambersSeattle MarinersOFMLB1979-1988HJohn Harris (Harrisburg,PA)
1978Bob HornerAtlanta Braves3BMLB1977-1988CArizona State University
1977Harold BainesChicago White Sox1B-OFMLB1977-2001HSt. Michaels (Easton,MD)
1976Floyd BannisterHouston AstrosPMLB1975-1992CArizona State University
1975Danny GoodwinCalifornia AngelsCMLB1974-1985CSouthern University
1974Bill AlmonSan Diego PadresSSMLB1974-1988CBrown University
1973David ClydeTexas RangersPMLB1973-1981HWestchester (Houston,TX)
1972Dave RobertsSan Diego Padres3BMLB1972-1982CUniversity of Oregon
1971Danny Goodwin **Chicago White SoxCMLB1974-1985HPeoria Central (Peoria,IL)
1970Mike IvieSan Diego PadresCMLB1970-1983HThe Walker School (Decatur,GA)
1969Jeff BurroughsWashington Senators IIOFMLB1969-1985HWilson (Long Beach,CA)
1968Tim FoliNew York MetsSSMLB1968-1985HNotre Dame (Sherman Oaks,CA)
1967Ron BlombergNew York Yankees1BMLB1967-1978HDruid Hills (Atlanta,GA)
1966Steve ChilcottNew York MetsC-HAntelope Valley (Lancaster,CA)
1965Rick MondayKansas City AthleticsOFMLB1965-1984CArizona State University

Mr. Happy

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #213 on: May 02, 2014, 09:16:58 am »
Wow, Pots. Thanks for posting that. It seems that drafting a HS pitcher as a 1-1 is a riskier proposition than I even thought.
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pots

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #214 on: May 02, 2014, 09:24:35 am »
Drafting a pitcher is a risk.  Drafting any player before he's done growing/filling out and with 3 years less time to observe them is a risk.  Putting both those together at 1/1 is gamble. 

« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 09:26:29 am by pots »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #215 on: May 02, 2014, 09:29:26 am »
Drafting a pitcher is a risk.  Drafting any player before he's done growing/filling out and with 3 years less time to observe them is a risk.  Putting both those together at 1/1 is gamble. 



You're absolutely right. Makeup is almost as important as talent. Work ethic maybe even moreso.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #216 on: May 02, 2014, 09:55:37 am »
My gut reaction to these general draft maxims is extreme skepticism.  I'm unable/too lazy to research this, but assume a more useful and honest study is available somewhere. 

For starters, taking only the top pick for the sample seems like sketchy methodology.  Also, not looking in depth at the individual successes and failures opens the doors to many questions:  Why did the player fail?  Did most clubs feel the player was actually 1/1 talent at the time?  Are clubs in general picking at 1/1 representative of quality talent evaluation (there are reasons they are picking 1/1) or was the club who picked Bust #1 competent to begin with?

One thing I do think is true is that if you are good at your profession, and get to follow a player for year(s), interview and learn to know him, and do whatever else you think is required, you should hit on that pick.  Looking back at past drafts, I am not critical of teams who failed to grab the greatest player at 1/1, but barring an injury, they should at least correctly evaluate the one they pick.   

In sum, if they think so and so high school lefty or righty is the one, then take him.  But don't be wrong as they have had years to evaluate him.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #217 on: May 02, 2014, 10:02:21 am »
My gut reaction to these general draft maxims is extreme skepticism.  I'm unable/too lazy to research this, but assume a more useful and honest study is available somewhere. 

For starters, taking only the top pick for the sample seems like sketchy methodology.  Also, not looking in depth at the individual successes and failures opens the doors to many questions:  Why did the player fail?  Did most clubs feel the player was actually 1/1 talent at the time?  Are clubs in general picking at 1/1 representative of quality talent evaluation (there are reasons they are picking 1/1) or was the club who picked Bust #1 competent to begin with?

One thing I do think is true is that if you are good at your profession, and get to follow a player for year(s), interview and learn to know him, and do whatever else you think is required, you should hit on that pick.  Looking back at past drafts, I am not critical of teams who failed to grab the greatest player at 1/1, but barring an injury, they should at least correctly evaluate the one they pick.   

In sum, if they think so and so high school lefty or righty is the one, then take him.  But don't be wrong as they have had years to evaluate him.
You said what I was thinking, except way better than I could have said it.

David Clyde, for example, was horribly mis-handled by an attendance-starved Rangers org. Brien Taylor messed up his pitching arm in a bar fight a year or so after being drafted. And Luke Hochevar wasn't a HS pitcher, he had pitched 3 years of college and 1 in Indy ball IIRC.
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pots

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #218 on: May 02, 2014, 10:21:37 am »
I'm unable/too lazy to research this

It is ridiculous easy to do this with http://www.thebaseballcube.com/draft/research.asp

Here are the top 3 picks that were high school/pitchers.  Each pick into a draft having less high talent/safer players to choose from.  Therefore the farther you go into a draft the better the chances of finding those aces that were drafted out of high school.

YearPick#PlayerTeamHighest LevelH/CFrom
20102June-RegJameson TaillonPittsburgh PiratesPAAA2011-2013HThe Woodlands (The Woodlands,TX) TX
20061June-RegLuke HochevarKansas City RoyalsPMLB2003-2014HFowler (Fowler,CO)
20023June-RegChris GrulerCincinnati RedsPA2002-2006HLiberty (Brentwood,CA) CA
19992June-RegJosh BeckettFlorida MarlinsPMLB2000-2014HSpring (Spring,TX) TX
19911June-RegBrien TaylorNew York YankeesPAA1992-2000HEast Carteret (Beaufort,NC) NC
19893June-RegRoger SalkeldSeattle MarinersPMLB1989-2000HSaugus (Saugus,CA) CA
19883June-RegSteve AveryAtlanta BravesPMLB1988-2003HJohn F. Kennedy (Taylor,MI) MI
19873June-RegWillie BanksMinnesota TwinsPMLB1987-2010HSt. Anthony (Jersey City,NJ) NJ
19823June-RegJimmy JonesSan Diego PadresPMLB1982-1993HJefferson (Dallas,TX) TX
19772June-RegBill GullicksonMontreal ExposPMLB1977-1994HCatholic Academy (Joliet,IL) IL
19762June-RegPat UnderwoodDetroit TigersPMLB1976-1984HKokomo (Kokomo,IN) IN
19752June-RegMike LentzSan Diego PadresPAA1977-1978HJuanita (Kirkland,WA) WA
19742June-RegTommy BoggsTexas RangersPMLB1974-1985HLanier (Austin,TX) TX
19731June-RegDavid ClydeTexas RangersPMLB1973-1981HWestchester (Houston,TX) TX
19723June-RegLarry ChristensonPhiladelphia PhilliesPMLB1972-1983HMarysville-Pilchuck (Marysville,WA) WA
19712June-RegJay FranklinSan Diego PadresPMLB1971-1977HJames Madison (Vienna,VA) VA
19692June-RegJ.R. RichardHouston AstrosPMLB1969-1983HLincoln (Ruston,LA) LA

pots

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #219 on: May 02, 2014, 10:26:51 am »
I lost the late 60s on my pull.  Here are the rest:
19682June-RegPete Broberg **Oakland AthleticsPMLB1969-1978Palm Beach (West Palm Beach,FL)
19673June-RegMike GarmanBoston Red SoxPMLB1967-1979Caldwell (Caldwell,ID)
19663June-RegWayne TwitchellHouston AstrosPMLB1966-1979Wilson (Portland,OR)
19652June-RegLes RohrNew York MetsPMLB1967-1969Billings West (Billings,MT)
19653June-RegJoe ColemanWashington Senators IIPMLB1965-1982Natick (Natick,MA)

pots

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #220 on: May 02, 2014, 10:41:30 am »
With the new draft rules, it's a little surprising that we haven't seen any high school pitchers taken in the first 3 picks yet as you'd like to think those would come at a big discount for later picks.  Though last year was not a deep draft and the year before it was new.  Kohl Stewart was a high school pitcher that was toyed at with the first few picks.  Figuring to take a big discount.  He fell to 4th though as teams went with safer options.  He is fairing well so far;
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=kohl-stewart
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 10:43:28 am by pots »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #221 on: May 02, 2014, 11:08:14 am »
Thanks for sharing that site.. it really is a treasure trove of information.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #222 on: May 02, 2014, 12:46:44 pm »
Wow, Pots. Thanks for posting that. It seems that drafting a HS pitcher as a 1-1 is a riskier proposition than I even thought.

Is it? Would your opinion be different if the Royals had taken Clayton Kershaw (1.7) instead of Hochevar?
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #223 on: May 02, 2014, 12:50:46 pm »
Is it? Would your opinion be different if the Royals had taken Clayton Kershaw (1.7) instead of Hochevar?

I really don't know. I'd probably have taken Kershaw simply because he's a portsider.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #224 on: May 02, 2014, 12:56:15 pm »
As was mentioned, Hochevar played 3 years at Tennessee and 1 year of Indy league ball before being drafted 1.1
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #225 on: May 02, 2014, 02:18:24 pm »
As was mentioned, Hochevar played 3 years at Tennessee and 1 year of Indy league ball before being drafted 1.1

Yeah likely the website doesn't have a value for independent ball and that's why it was an H

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #226 on: May 02, 2014, 02:30:30 pm »
Is it? Would your opinion be different if the Royals had taken Clayton Kershaw (1.7) instead of Hochevar?

6 teams passed over Kershaw.  They all likely wish they had taken Kershaw, though the Rays probably aren't as disappointed.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #227 on: May 02, 2014, 05:03:16 pm »
HS pitchers are riskier than college pitchers.
HS hitters are riskier than college hitters.
Pitchers are riskier than hitters.

If one lets risk be their guiding factor - and I don't think anyone would argue the truth of the above 3 statements - then, logically, drafting a college hitter would be the best 1/1 pick.

So, do you want the Astros to take Brad Zimmer? I didn't think so. You take the individual that you think has the best chance at being a great, perennial-All-Star-level player. Risk is just one element that you weigh alongside all the other pros and cons that each player has. And Brady Aiken will probably not be graded the same in the Risk column as David Clyde or Brien Taylor or even Tyler Kolek.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #228 on: May 02, 2014, 05:12:29 pm »
Someone already posted this interview with Mike Elias, right? I'm getting senile and can't remember if I saw it linked here or astroscounty.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #229 on: May 02, 2014, 06:40:01 pm »
HS pitchers are riskier than college pitchers.
HS hitters are riskier than college hitters.
Pitchers are riskier than hitters.

If one lets risk be their guiding factor - and I don't think anyone would argue the truth of the above 3 statements - then, logically, drafting a college hitter would be the best 1/1 pick.

So, do you want the Astros to take Brad Zimmer? I didn't think so. You take the individual that you think has the best chance at being a great, perennial-All-Star-level player. Risk is just one element that you weigh alongside all the other pros and cons that each player has. And Brady Aiken will probably not be graded the same in the Risk column as David Clyde or Brien Taylor or even Tyler Kolek.

Right. You can't operate in a vacuum. While there may be more inherent risk with a HS pitcher, that doesn't mean that the HS pitcher will always be riskier. In addition to the HS arms you listed, there's a good chance that Aiken will be graded less risky than Rodon, as well. His control is already better and while that can surely deteriorate, that would seem to be less likely than a college guy figuring his out.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #230 on: May 05, 2014, 09:35:05 am »
HS pitchers are riskier than college pitchers.
HS hitters are riskier than college hitters.
Pitchers are riskier than hitters.

If one lets risk be their guiding factor - and I don't think anyone would argue the truth of the above 3 statements - then, logically, drafting a college hitter would be the best 1/1 pick.

So, do you want the Astros to take Brad Zimmer? I didn't think so. You take the individual that you think has the best chance at being a great, perennial-All-Star-level player. Risk is just one element that you weigh alongside all the other pros and cons that each player has. And Brady Aiken will probably not be graded the same in the Risk column as David Clyde or Brien Taylor or even Tyler Kolek.

Talent weighs into the picture.  I would not have been upset with Kris Bryant last year.  This year, Kris Bryant doesn't exist.


Extra Note on the 2012 strategy as it pertains to taking Aiken with the expected money savings.  The Astros have picks 1, 37 and 42.  But unfortunately the Marlins have 2, 36, 39, 43.  Meaning any big names that fall due to signability, the Marlins will have first pick. 
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 09:56:24 am by pots »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #231 on: May 05, 2014, 10:59:13 am »
Rodon had a nice line in Friday's NC State win, though I'm not sure how formidable Coastal Carolina's supposed to be.
Quote
Carlos Rodon (4-7) scored the win with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering five hits and two walks. In his last four starts combined, Rodon sports an 0.86 ERA and 12.06 Ks per nine innings. The junior has 42 strikeouts to 10 walks over that stretch.
edit: box score says Rodon threw 107 pitches, 66 strikes.

Trea Turner also had a nice weekend: he hit .818 (9-for-11) with 11 runs, three RBIs, four walks, six stolen bases, a double, a triple, and a home run.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 12:04:36 pm by Reuben »
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astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #232 on: May 05, 2014, 06:46:58 pm »
Rodon had a nice line in Friday's NC State win, though I'm not sure how formidable Coastal Carolina's supposed to be.edit: box score says Rodon threw 107 pitches, 66 strikes.

Trea Turner also had a nice weekend: he hit .818 (9-for-11) with 11 runs, three RBIs, four walks, six stolen bases, a double, a triple, and a home run.

Not sure how his stuff was either. One of the BA guys (Glassey?) was at the game, but never said anything about how he looked. Didn't hear any reports from anyone else, either.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #233 on: May 07, 2014, 01:59:58 pm »
Bad news on Jeff Hoffman, who has missed his last couple of starts after really turning it on.  He will undergo Tommy John surgery next week.  The good news, he will slip in the draft, possibly a ways (like Manaea last year).  The other bad news, the Marlins would have opportunity and extra picks/money to gamble before us.  Of course, that's assuming he falls into the supplemental rounds, anyway. 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #234 on: May 07, 2014, 10:34:59 pm »
Here's BA's article on Hoffman. They list the Marlins, Astros, Jays, and Royals as teams with money and an extra pick.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #235 on: May 07, 2014, 11:05:49 pm »
Kiley McDaniel's Overall Top 116 (written before the Hoffman TJS news and the HS RHP Bukauskas news came out but updated after)

http://sbb.scout.com/2/1400460.html


I'd have a top tier of three (Aiken, Hoffman, Rodon), then a tier of one (Kolek), then would have players 5 through 24 all pretty similar in value, with it hard to see where to split that third tier of 20 players. I would take last year's top two picks (Mark Appel and Kris Bryant) as amateurs over anyone in this year's draft, but after that the two crops are similar in overall talent.

The effect we should expect from this distribution of talent is that the top 4 players go in the top 4 picks, then a bunch of below-slot deals get cut. There are already rumors that my #5 player, Nick Gordon, will cut a below slot deal with the Twins at pick #5 with his father, former big league reliever Tom Gordon, acting as Nick's advisor. Every player/advisor in this range knows they could slip to the bottom if they lose a few coin flips in split war rooms, so they are incentivized to market themselves as signable because if they slip 5-10 picks, even an over-slot deal at a lower pick would likely be for less money.




keithlaw @keithlaw 

Potential first-round pick @JBukauskas22 sent scouts a letter last night saying he's going to attend UNC rather than sign with an MLB team.

6:34 AM - 7 May 2014

This isn't shocking because Jacob Bukauskas reclassified to the 2014 class last fall in an effort to get to UNC faster, not to turn pro. As referenced above, I won't move Bukauskas in the rankings as a result of this since it doesn't affect his talent, but also because some (not many) players have sent this letter and still signed. Scouts thought going from a maybe $500,000 bonus to a maybe $2 million bonus when his velo spiked from 89-91 to 93-97 in February would change Bukauskas' tune about school.

While I was adding the Bukauskas news to this article, it broke that ECU righty Jeff Hoffman is getting Tommy John surgery (and was broken by multiple writers at the same time, at the same time as I also received the news). I've now updated the rankings to reflect this. Early reaction from scouts matches my own: Hoffman is still arguably the top talent in the draft, so this surgery just makes him more of a high school-type talent in the timetable and risk, so putting him at or near the top of the 5 to 24 tier is the right move. Where he gets picked and for how big of a bonus is a matter I'll tackle in my next article, about the strategy of the clubs with the top few picks.



1. Brady Aiken
HS LHP


2. Carlos Rodon
LHP


3. Tyler Kolek
HS RHP


4. Nick Gordon
HS SS


5. Jeff Hoffman
RHP


6. Grant Holmes
HS RHP


7. Aaron Nola
RHP

8. Max Pentecost
C
 
9. Brad Zimmer
RF

10. Alex Jackson
HS RF




morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #236 on: May 07, 2014, 11:07:39 pm »
http://sbb.scout.com/2/1400460.html


Signability Questions

Of the signability question marks, Atlanta-area prep righty Dylan Cease has a strong commitment to Vanderbilt and an elbow injury clouding his future. Two Tampa-area prep righties (Stanford commit Keith Weisenberg and Florida State commit Cobi Johnson) have always been considered tough signs and both have had uneven springs, making it less likely a club will meet their price.

On the college end, San Diego State righty Michael Cederoth went from potential first rounder to huge question mark when the Aztecs fireballer was moved to the bullpen early this spring and his command issues got even worse. He's a Boras client with big bonus expectations and more than a few scouts think he'll float a big price tag that will cause him to slip out of the top few rounds and then return to school for his senior year.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #237 on: May 08, 2014, 07:58:24 pm »
BA with their first mock draft up. Here's Manuel's pick for 1/1, but I'd recommend reading it anyway, as he has some names in the first half of the round that haven't been mentioned a lot.

Quote
1. ASTROS

Scouting director Mike Elias says the Astros have a couple of dark horses in the mix in case signability becomes an issue, but this draft class features three elite talents that Houston will focus on.
Texas prep fireballer Tyler Kolek would become the first high school righthander ever to go No. 1 overall if Houston selects him. His local appeal and 100 mph fastball would win the press conference.
But more likely, Houston looks to the draft’s two top lefthanders, who both have longer track records of success. San Diego prep Brady Aiken has thrown harder and had a sharper breaking ball while maintaining excellent command for a high schooler, and his star turn with USA Baseball’s 18-and-under team is another asset. But neither Kolek nor Aiken has Carlos Rodon’s combination of stuff, physicality and track record. Even when he’s not at his best, Rodon shows scouts a fastball/slider combination that could fit in a big league bullpen now. That makes him Houston’s best bet.

Projected Pick: Carlos Rodon


http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-mock-draft-track-record-lands-rodon-atop-first-mock/?sm_id=social_20140508_23487044

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #238 on: May 08, 2014, 09:08:25 pm »
Having local appeal should be irrelevant.  Also, having a floor as a bullpen arm should also be irrelevant.  If they pick Rodon and he ends up in the pen, they blew the pick, IMO.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #239 on: May 08, 2014, 09:47:27 pm »
If he ends up in the pen, yeah, but if he ends up as Goose Gossage or Craig Kimbrel or Mariano Rivera, then it's no blown pick.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #240 on: May 08, 2014, 10:13:08 pm »
I understand, but they presumably would be picking him because their evaluation leads to a 1 or 2.  Ending up a reliever would be a very bad miss on their evaluation. 

I'm not saying they shouldn't pick him if they think he is right, but I hope negative thoughts like a bullpen floor don't play into the decision.  1-1 isn't about the floor.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #241 on: May 09, 2014, 05:27:39 am »
I understand, but they presumably would be picking him because their evaluation leads to a 1 or 2.  Ending up a reliever would be a very bad miss on their evaluation. 

I'm not saying they shouldn't pick him if they think he is right, but I hope negative thoughts like a bullpen floor don't play into the decision.  1-1 isn't about the floor.

I agree with you. Unless he's lock down closer material at the big league level, then the 1-1 arguably is wasted. He needs to pan out as a top-of-the-line starter.
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Ron Brand

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #242 on: May 09, 2014, 06:47:43 am »
I know that's what you want out of a 1-1, but they often don't pan out that way. Somewhere in the first round is that breakout stud, and you want to think you can do your work and get them with the first pick, but the reality is that if you can get a steady longterm contributor at the major league level then you've done well. Especially when it comes to the volatility of pitchers.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #243 on: May 09, 2014, 07:30:43 am »
I know that's what you want out of a 1-1, but they often don't pan out that way. Somewhere in the first round is that breakout stud, and you want to think you can do your work and get them with the first pick, but the reality is that if you can get a steady longterm contributor at the major league level then you've done well. Especially when it comes to the volatility of pitchers.

I agree with you. However, when you look at the good first round starters there are in the big leagues now, that really should be the goal.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #244 on: May 09, 2014, 08:27:40 am »
Having local appeal should be irrelevant.  Also, having a floor as a bullpen arm should also be irrelevant.  If they pick Rodon and he ends up in the pen, they blew the pick, IMO.

Agreed.  The local appeal is completely worthless.  What is this, like an extra 50 tickets a year?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #245 on: May 09, 2014, 09:16:58 am »
I think the writer is saying that he is good enough to fit into the pen now but would need more time to refine his game into a ML starter. At least that's the way I took it. I don't think he's disparaging Rodon's talent or his ceiling.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #246 on: May 09, 2014, 09:19:22 am »
I think the writer is saying that he is good enough to fit into the pen now but would need more time to refine his game into a ML starter. At least that's the way I took it. I don't think he's disparaging Rodon's talent or his ceiling.

I think that you're right. Rodon is probably the most polished of the pitchers that we're considering, but that's what I would expect since he's had three years of college ball under his belt.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #247 on: May 09, 2014, 09:24:45 am »
Yeah, I didn't read it as the writer disparaging his talent or potential.  I read it as "Well, even if he doesn't pan out as a stud starter, you still got a useful arm in the pen."  That's great.  If I buy a $100 dollar stock and it ultimately drops to $15, I might still have something, but it was a shitty pick. 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #248 on: May 09, 2014, 10:52:33 pm »
Rodon with 7 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 0 er, 1 bb, 9 k against Wake Forest. He threw 104 pitches and 77 were strikes.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #249 on: May 09, 2014, 10:56:12 pm »
Jim Shonerd @jimshonerdBA        
Rodon hits 94 mph with his 102nd pitch, then finishes his 9th K with an 88 mph SL.


Rodon has one start left most likely. His season stats to date are 93.2 ip, 76 h, 29 bb, 111 so, 1.73 era.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 11:00:42 pm by morningwood75 »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #250 on: May 09, 2014, 11:04:33 pm »
From the NC State twitter feed:

Quote
#Rodon's last five starts: 0.70 ERA, 38.1 IP, 27 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 11 BB, 51 K, 11.97 Ks/9

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #251 on: May 09, 2014, 11:13:47 pm »
From the NC State twitter feed:


I love Kolek's size, velocity, and upside but you have to take one of the two lefthanders with TOR potential, right? And do you take Rodon or Aiken? Rodon has the long track record and is closer to the bigs. He could have gone number one overall after his freshman and sophomore years if eligible. Aiken has had his stuff move up a notch and is very polished for a hs pitcher. What does Luhnow do?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #252 on: May 10, 2014, 06:36:43 am »
I love Kolek's size, velocity, and upside but you have to take one of the two lefthanders with TOR potential, right? And do you take Rodon or Aiken? Rodon has the long track record and is closer to the bigs. He could have gone number one overall after his freshman and sophomore years if eligible. Aiken has had his stuff move up a notch and is very polished for a hs pitcher. What does Luhnow do?

He has to go with a lefty in my opinion--they don't come around everyday with that type of stuff. It may well boil down to mental makeup and personality. I could make a case for both of them.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #253 on: May 10, 2014, 08:40:16 am »
At this point it seems like the negatives about Rodon are nitpicking.  His stats were just as good, if not better, this year than in years past.  I get the concern about overuse, but just put him on an innings limit on this year and shut him down July 31.  Let him rest up and compete for a spot in the rotation for 2015.  This doesn't seem like the year to get cute with the first pick.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #254 on: May 10, 2014, 09:22:41 am »
I haven't seen him this year, but stats are a meaningless way to evaluate him, IMO.  In the past, their scouts have seen his ability and projected it forward.  They have done the same this year, but not only have to project him forward but also explain whether his present abilities are in line with their projections from year's past.  If not, they have to answer why and then evaluate whether that reason significantly clouds their future projections. 

Stats are borderline irrelevant to the process described above.  Besides, kicking ass in college is like kicking ass in A ball, it is preferable to not kicking ass I suppose, but hardly an assurance of major league dominance.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #255 on: May 10, 2014, 09:34:48 am »
I haven't seen him this year, but stats are a meaningless way to evaluate him, IMO.  In the past, their scouts have seen his ability and projected it forward.  They have done the same this year, but not only have to project him forward but also explain whether his present abilities are in line with their projections from year's past.  If not, they have to answer why and then evaluate whether that reason significantly clouds their future projections. 

Stats are borderline irrelevant to the process described above.  Besides, kicking ass in college is like kicking ass in A ball, it is preferable to not kicking ass I suppose, but hardly an assurance of major league dominance.

It looks like Rodon is healthy after all. Maybe he is not a cold-weather guy?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #256 on: May 10, 2014, 10:00:42 am »
I haven't seen him this year, but stats are a meaningless way to evaluate him, IMO.  In the past, their scouts have seen his ability and projected it forward.  They have done the same this year, but not only have to project him forward but also explain whether his present abilities are in line with their projections from year's past.  If not, they have to answer why and then evaluate whether that reason significantly clouds their future projections. 

Stats are borderline irrelevant to the process described above.  Besides, kicking ass in college is like kicking ass in A ball, it is preferable to not kicking ass I suppose, but hardly an assurance of major league dominance.

I understand, but he's done it for 3 years now.  He seemed to have started slow, but didn't he start slow in years past?  At some point, the ball doesn't lie.  He still has nasty stuff and the results back it up.

He also seemed to be lacking in support from his team, which probably led to some frustration.  Although now that I think about it, he better get used to having a shitty team around him if he's going to be in Houston soon.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #257 on: May 10, 2014, 05:22:33 pm »
Another top college pitching prospect to have tjs.......

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/unlv-ace-erick-fedde-to-have-tommy-john-surgery/

Baseball America confirmed Saturday that UNLV ace righthander Erick Fedde will have Tommy John surgery. He is the second potential top-10 pick this week to suffer this fate, following on the heels of East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #258 on: May 10, 2014, 05:23:45 pm »
I understand, but he's done it for 3 years now.  He seemed to have started slow, but didn't he start slow in years past?  At some point, the ball doesn't lie.  He still has nasty stuff and the results back it up.

He also seemed to be lacking in support from his team, which probably led to some frustration.  Although now that I think about it, he better get used to having a shitty team around him if he's going to be in Houston soon.

Did he start slowly his freshman year? Looking at his game by game box scores wouldn't say that he did. He was shut down in the fall of his sophomore season due to his previous season's load and summer stint. They attributed his slow start last year to that, but no one ever said anything about a slow start his freshman year. This year, it became the weather that causes his slow starts.

As far as nitpicking, his velocity has rarely been as high as in previous seasons and has been inconsistent from week-to-week and fluctuated during some starts. His changeup hasn't really improved, giving him a fastball that sometimes has plus-plus velocity, consistently has strong movement, and erratic command, to go along with that slider. His WHIP has risen each season, going from .98, to 1.05, to 1.15. His ERA is down compared to last season, but he's given up runs at a higher rate this season (3.40 to 3.53/9IP) than last season. Yeah, errors have led to the unearned runs, but he hasn't kept them from scoring, either.  Unless there are valid reasons that scouts can identify, I wouldn't call those issues just nitpicking.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #259 on: May 10, 2014, 05:24:49 pm »
I understand, but he's done it for 3 years now.  He seemed to have started slow, but didn't he start slow in years past?  At some point, the ball doesn't lie.  He still has nasty stuff and the results back it up.

He also seemed to be lacking in support from his team, which probably led to some frustration.  Although now that I think about it, he better get used to having a shitty team around him if he's going to be in Houston soon.

Yep, they had scored something ridiculous like 2 earned runs all year for him before last night.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #260 on: May 11, 2014, 11:53:11 am »
Since the Astros will be picking very early next year, too:

@nathanrode: Potential 2014 No. 1 pick Carlos Rodon is at Duke-Miami watching potential 2015 No. 1 pick Michael Matuella. #mlbdraft

It's on one of the ESPN channels right now.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #261 on: May 12, 2014, 05:38:10 pm »
BA with a good article on the conundrum that is Tyler Kolek. There's even a Kirk Saarloos (forgot that guy is at TCU) quote. He's probably #3 on my list of the Big 3 in this year's draft, but he's just so hard to find a comparison, especially among past HS pitchers.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/kolek-sets-new-bar-for-texas-heat/

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #262 on: May 14, 2014, 01:18:34 pm »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #263 on: May 15, 2014, 12:11:16 pm »
posted today. Current rankings with Rodon 3rd.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-top-100-draft-prospects-list/

The top 100 draft chat...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-100-prospects-chat/

Casey (Fort Worth): If you are the Astros, who do you take number one and why?
John Manuel: Good afternoon everyone. Based on the information we have, I would take Rodon. He’s been better in the last month or so since improving his direction to the plate in recent weeks. He’s less side to side and more north-south in his delivery, hence the velocity has improved. His slider’s the best pitch in the draft. I think he’ll be a productive big league starter sooner than either of his main rivals to go 1-1, and he has as good a chance to be a No. 1 starter as Kolek or Aiken. I think Aiken’s ceiling & lesser risk are the next-most attractive package. Kolek probably has the highest ceiling but he’s such an outlier, it would be tough to take him No. 1 overall.

Kyle (Dallas, TX): Do you see Bukauskas signing with a team (despite his letter), assuming he gets taken in the first couple of rounds?
John Manuel: I just learned this yesterday—Bukauskas plans to take his drug test as a MLB Top 200 prospect. He will not be removing himself from the draft a la Nathan Kirby. So he has not completely closed the door to signing. That said, I don’t think the kid should be mocked for writing the letter. He’s 17, and this can be an overwhelming process. The draft rules are different than they used to be and he’s not going to get a $5 million Josh Bell deal. If he’s there for the Astros’ 2nd pick at 37 or at 42, I could see them taking him if he is signable. Scouting director Mike Elias has ties to the area and knows the player well.


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #264 on: May 15, 2014, 12:25:56 pm »
The top 100 draft chat...

http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/2014-draft-top-100-prospects-chat/

Casey (Fort Worth): If you are the Astros, who do you take number one and why?
John Manuel: Good afternoon everyone. Based on the information we have, I would take Rodon. He’s been better in the last month or so since improving his direction to the plate in recent weeks. He’s less side to side and more north-south in his delivery, hence the velocity has improved. His slider’s the best pitch in the draft. I think he’ll be a productive big league starter sooner than either of his main rivals to go 1-1, and he has as good a chance to be a No. 1 starter as Kolek or Aiken. I think Aiken’s ceiling & lesser risk are the next-most attractive package. Kolek probably has the highest ceiling but he’s such an outlier, it would be tough to take him No. 1 overall.

Kyle (Dallas, TX): Do you see Bukauskas signing with a team (despite his letter), assuming he gets taken in the first couple of rounds?
John Manuel: I just learned this yesterday—Bukauskas plans to take his drug test as a MLB Top 200 prospect. He will not be removing himself from the draft a la Nathan Kirby. So he has not completely closed the door to signing. That said, I don’t think the kid should be mocked for writing the letter. He’s 17, and this can be an overwhelming process. The draft rules are different than they used to be and he’s not going to get a $5 million Josh Bell deal. If he’s there for the Astros’ 2nd pick at 37 or at 42, I could see them taking him if he is signable. Scouting director Mike Elias has ties to the area and knows the player well.




That's good news on Rodon if Manuel's info is correct. Mechanical rather than tired or sore arm.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #265 on: May 15, 2014, 01:11:20 pm »
Law has Aiken going number one in his latest mock. He says it's down to Aiken, Rodon, and HS RF/C Alex Jackson.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #266 on: May 15, 2014, 01:49:08 pm »
Law has Aiken going number one in his latest mock. He says it's down to Aiken, Rodon, and HS RF/C Alex Jackson.

There was a mention of Jackson in the BA chat, as well:

Quote
Roger (Greenville, SC): What separates Alex Jackson from the trio of pitchers being considered at 1/1? If I were the Astros, I think I'd take the potential middle of the order bat and use the pitching depth of the draft to build up my pitching.

John Manuel: There’s some merit to this approach. Jackson is the best power hitter in this draft; his 47th homer the other day tied the San Diego section record, and he did it in a dead-bat era. SD has had some fair players over the years as well. If you thought Jackson could remain a catcher and would not lag behind defensively, I think the Astros would seriously consider it. I will say historically, position players at the top of drafts have out-performed pitchers at the top. If the Astros do take a hitter No. 1, I think it would be Jackson.

I agree on the last sentence, I don't see any other hitters worth going that high.  I don't know what guys are looking for, bonus-wise, but being that he could easily slide to 4 or 5 (or lower), he has the most incentive to sign below-slot, if they feel he makes sense there.  I don't know if he will be a catcher, long-term, though, so you have to make the decision based on his bat.  He's athletic and has a strong arm, so he could be your RF of the future.  But, an RF at 1/1 better provide plenty of offense, so again, I think you have to really believe in the bat if you pick him.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #267 on: May 15, 2014, 02:34:23 pm »
If he's that good a hitter (Jackson) and is chosen at that spot I would seriously look at now putting the extra burden of catching on him. Just let him hit.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #268 on: May 15, 2014, 02:48:33 pm »
If he's that good a hitter (Jackson) and is chosen at that spot I would seriously look at now putting the extra burden of catching on him. Just let him hit.

He's not at the same level, power-wise, but that's what their respective teams did for Harper and Wil Myers.  It's the quickest way to get them to the majors and likely keep them healthier (though, if they run into a fence at catcher, at least they have pads on).

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #269 on: May 15, 2014, 03:06:07 pm »
Alex Jackson is a 2014 C/3B/OF with a 6-2 210 lb. frame from Escondido, CA who attends Rancho Bernardo HS. Outstanding athletic build, unique blend of strength and explosive looseness. Right handed hitter, gets coiled and moves into contact, calm load and approach, very aggressive swing with plus/plus bat speed, easy over the fence power, ball explodes off the barrel, very high ceiling offensive tools. 6.83 runner, arm strength stands out both in the outfield and behind the plate, very solid mechanics behind the plate, quick feet and quick exchange, can show either elite arm strength or elite pop times. Highest level right field tools on defense should he end up there, also has experience at third base. Top ranked player in the 2014 class, tools are eye opening and performs at a very high level. Verbal commitment to Oregon. Selected to the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Huge power, very good defensive catcher, Also play OF well. Has all the tools, outstanding at PG Nat. Games and Area Codes. Outstanding at PG National. PG All American


http://www.perfectgame.org/players/playerprofile.aspx?ID=288713

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #270 on: May 16, 2014, 12:55:50 pm »
Couple of new mocks out, with MLB.com (Mayo) and BA releasing their latest versions.  I'll link Mayo's at the bottom, but spoiler alert, he continues to go with Rodon and the top looks consistent with his previous attempts.  BA had some interesting notes, though:

Quote
1. ASTROS
HoustonAstros

Jackson’s power barrage has thrust him into the conversation for the top three selections. It’s unlikely the Astros take him at No. 1, however, and then move him from behind the plate to right field or third base. They’re expected to choose between two of the many lefthanders with upside in this draft, North Carolina State’s Carlos Rodon and San Diego prep Brady Aiken. Rodon has more upside thanks to his top-shelf slider, but as one crosschecker put it, “Aiken does it easier and throws a lot more strikes. He may not have the same present stuff, but he’s more consistent, and his stuff is plenty good. He just does so many things well.”

Industry opinion appears to favor Aiken as the top prospect in the draft, and he’s the rare high school player with a long-enough track record to earn the No. 1 selection. But Rodon’s trend lines continue to point in the right direction, and the Astros’ big league struggles likely bring pressure to speed up the rebuilding process in Houston. Rodon’s talent is worthy of the No. 1 pick, and so is the buzz factor he would bring.

Projected Pick: LHP Carlos Rodon


Also, on Jackson (under Miami's pick):

Quote
Several scouting directors have said they believe Jackson’s likely position switch would drive him down the board, but he also has the draft’s best bat. He has the most usable power in the class as well as one of its best hit tools, and he has enough experience in the outfield to move quickly.

Couple of thoughts:

1. This is starting to remind me of the past two drafts.  Last year, Frazier was the HS bat who had some buzz as a possible pick at 1/1.  Two years ago, it was Buxton.  There were other guys in the mix, Zunino, Gausman, Bryant, Gray, even Moran (who was spotted being scouted by Luhnow and Crane), as well.  Appel was surely someone who was looked at by outsiders as an option, but wasn't an overwhelming favorite.  Correa seemed to come out of nowhere. 

2. Track record matters, but the private workouts can help separate players.  The club will have multiple private workouts in different parts of the country, including at MMP, and an overwhelming display could help propel some players.  Correa definitely benefited from his workout; Jackson could be a candidate this year.  Then again, he could be a smoke screen and they just go with Rodon. 

Overall, I am disappointed that Rodon hasn't dominated like expected.  I was hoping that he could add some polish this season and be a slam dunk choice who flew through the system to the top of the MLB rotation.  But, at least it's getting interesting now.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/2014-draft-preview-rodon-remains-atop-mock-draft-2-0/
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140516&content_id=75655476&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb&tcid=tw_article_75655476

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #271 on: May 16, 2014, 02:07:59 pm »
BA has Kolek falling all the way to #7. Quite a difference from possible 1/1.

Jackson is certainly intriguing. Typically I would think only an up-the-middle hitter, and/or Griffey Jr.-type bat, should go 1/1, but if Jackson is the hitter they say he is, and if "Highest level right field tools on defense" is accurate, maybe he's worth it to take there and then move off of catcher.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #272 on: May 16, 2014, 02:49:37 pm »
Rodon scuffling today against Virginia Tech. His line so far is 4 ip, 7 h, 4 er, 2 bb, 6 so, 93 pitches.

Update: Now at 5 ip, 8 h, 4 er, 2 bb, 6 so, 109 pitches...........I would assume that he's done....and he is.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 03:20:46 pm by morningwood75 »

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #273 on: May 16, 2014, 05:21:11 pm »
Rodon scuffling today against Virginia Tech. His line so far is 4 ip, 7 h, 4 er, 2 bb, 6 so, 93 pitches.

Update: Now at 5 ip, 8 h, 4 er, 2 bb, 6 so, 109 pitches...........I would assume that he's done....and he is.

Quote
@BenBadler: RT @Clint_BA Rodon 90-93, touching 95 thru 3 vs VT. 2 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 6 Ks. 11 swinging strikes. 70 pitches. Favoring slower mid 80s SL


morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #274 on: May 17, 2014, 06:28:26 am »
http://athletics.scout.com/story/1403250-2014-mlb-draft-mock-v1-0?s=304

Kiley McDaniel's First Mock

1-Carlos Rodon
ANALYSIS: The Astros decision has been narrowed down to Rodon and Aiken, but it's far from decided right now. We didn't learn who the Astros chose with their last two #1 overall picks until they announced it and, in both cases, the final decision wasn't made until the last few days before the draft, if not draft day itself. The Astros know the track record of #1 overall picks (read: top talent) is better than every other pick, but also aren't afraid to go below slot for the guy they want and won't shy from bucking industry consensus. The interesting decision here is to take the high school arm that checks every box and is the slight industry preference as the top talent or take the college arm with a high upside but lots yellow flags that are starting to add up. The industry perceives that Houston is feeling some heat about getting some results at the big league level soon and that will drive this decision with the talent basically a coin flip. GM Jeff Luhnow has seen Rodon pitch well a couple times down the stretch as his stuff has been better than it was early in the season. I would take Aiken here, in part because he'll likely be cheaper than Rodon (who is advised by Scott Boras), but this isn't a vacuum for Houston. Even those like me who are low on Rodon still think that, in a bad scenario, he's a league average starter and quickly, so it's hard to knock the decision.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #275 on: May 17, 2014, 06:31:45 am »
NC State swept their doubleheader and clinched an ACC Tournament Berth so Rodon will get at least one more start.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #276 on: May 17, 2014, 08:05:03 am »
So the Cali HS lefty Matzek is on the Top 25 Draft Prospects of the Last Ten Years list (I posted the list in the Appel to extended thread). His scouting report sounded a lot like Aiken. Just shows how volatile high school pitching is.

22. Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS (Mission Viejo, California)
 Drafted: No. 11, Colorado Rockies

Matzek’s strong commitment to the University of Oregon led to his drop to No. 11, but in terms of pure stuff, few if any prep left-handers have shown better pitches and command in the last 10 years. He touched 95 mph with his fastball, and he also featured a filthy slider that could cause lefties and righties to swing and miss. Add in an above-average curveball, an average changeup from a clean delivery, along with an advanced ability to throw strikes, and you have a prospect who, on paper, seemed like a can’t-miss star.

The control he showed as a prep hasn’t shown up as a professional. Matzek has struggled to throw strikes at every level. His ability to miss bats is undeniable, but until he can show at least average command, he’s likely to end up as a reliever at the big league level.


http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 08:07:03 am by morningwood75 »

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #277 on: May 17, 2014, 04:15:22 pm »
So the Cali HS lefty Matzek is on the Top 25 Draft Prospects of the Last Ten Years list (I posted the list in the Appel to extended thread). His scouting report sounded a lot like Aiken. Just shows how volatile high school pitching is.

22. Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS (Mission Viejo, California)
 Drafted: No. 11, Colorado Rockies

Matzek’s strong commitment to the University of Oregon led to his drop to No. 11, but in terms of pure stuff, few if any prep left-handers have shown better pitches and command in the last 10 years. He touched 95 mph with his fastball, and he also featured a filthy slider that could cause lefties and righties to swing and miss. Add in an above-average curveball, an average changeup from a clean delivery, along with an advanced ability to throw strikes, and you have a prospect who, on paper, seemed like a can’t-miss star.

The control he showed as a prep hasn’t shown up as a professional. Matzek has struggled to throw strikes at every level. His ability to miss bats is undeniable, but until he can show at least average command, he’s likely to end up as a reliever at the big league level.


http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674

Even without hindsight, Aiken still is the better draft prospect. More velocity, more consistent command, better focus, secondaries are at least as good. Good track record, also.

On the flip side, there should be concern that Rodon could mimic Andrew Miller's career.

Quote
Miller was a heavy favorite to be the first player to come off the board in 2006 immediately after he didn’t sign as a third-round pick of Tampa Bay out of high school in 2003. As a 6-7 left-hander with a fastball that touched 96 mph and a slider that flashed plus-plus with hard, late tilt, many thought he would be an ace.

He fell to the sixth pick in 2006 because of his bonus demands, and his erratic command as a professional has prevented him from being anything but a situational reliever. He's the first player in this ranking who could be classified as a major disappointment.

You have to pick someone, though. Rodon should be the safer pick, and seemed like he would be three months ago, but he scares the crap out of me.

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #278 on: May 17, 2014, 04:19:59 pm »
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@MEliasBaseball: First regional workout is tomorrow: West Coast!  Very important to us; prior years' attendees include Rio Ruiz, Jacob Nottingham.

Participants are generally kept secret, so it's more of an event than revelation of who they have their eyes on, but hearing this means it's getting closer to draft day. That's good news to me.

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #279 on: May 18, 2014, 12:31:51 am »
Even without hindsight, Aiken still is the better draft prospect. More velocity, more consistent command, better focus, secondaries are at least as good. Good track record, also.

On the flip side, there should be concern that Rodon could mimic Andrew Miller's career.

You have to pick someone, though. Rodon should be the safer pick, and seemed like he would be three months ago, but he scares the crap out of me.

http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1674

All pitching scares the crap out of me. But unfortunately there's no slam dunk bat that can be taken 1-1. I see why you'd bring up Miller for sure but let's compare their college stats....

In college, Miller went from 4.85 BB/9 and 8.90 K/9 to 4.84 BB/9 and 9.68 K/9 to 2.92 BB/9 and 9.71 K/9. He had a career 4.08 BB/9 and 9.47 K/9. His whip was 1.24. Rodon has gone from 3.22 BB/9 and 10.60 K/9 to 3.06 BB/9 and 12.51 K/9 to 2.79 BB/9 and 10.67 K/9. His career BB/9 is 3.04 and his career K/9 is 11.35. His whip is 1.04. Rodon has definitely been the better college pitcher between the two of them. He has had better command and has struck out more guys.

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #280 on: May 18, 2014, 01:10:38 am »
http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24565160/may-17-prospect-watch-harvey-hedges-standing-out-from-the-pack


2014 DRAFT STOCK UP

 OF Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit HS (Missouri): Harrison is an outstanding athlete who is committed to play wide receiver at Nebraska. Both his bat speed and foot speed are top of the line, and his route-running and instincts in the outfield are very good for someone who has been splitting his time between two sports these last four years. Harrison, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 200 lbs., offers big time upside but will be something of a long-term project because he needs experience and refinement, especially with his swing. Close your eyes and you can dream up a Gold Glove caliber center fielder who goes 30-30 during his peak years. Harrison was considered more of a second round talent coming into the spring, but he seems likely to go in the back half of the first round right now. A seven-figure bonus will surely dissuade him from becoming a Husker.

 2014 DRAFT STOCK DOWN

 RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepard HS (Texas): Why is a kid who regularly runs his fastball into the high-90s and has been clocked at 102 mph multiple times this spring seeing his stock fall? Because so many pitchers are blowing out their elbows these days. Kolek is massive -- he's listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 lbs., though the belief is that is selling him a bit short -- and he puts everything he has into each pitch, which is why he struggles to hold his velocity late into games. He's a big outlier in terms of size and arm strength that there's concern over how long he will hold up, especially since Colt Griffin, another huge Texas fireballer with a triple-digit fastball, broke down soon after being drafted ninth overall in 2001. Obviously Kolek is his own person and what happened with Griffin has no bearing with what happens to him, but that seed has been planted and it is in the back of everyone's mind. On talent, Kolek is a candidate to go first overall. He was considered a lock for the top three picks for most of the spring, but now is there are some rumblings he could fall into the 5-10 range. So, while his stock is "down," he's still going very, very high.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #281 on: May 18, 2014, 07:52:17 am »
Worrying about a draftee pitcher is understandable, but I'm not sure I buy the idea that Kolek is more worrisome because he is big, throws hard every pitch and is a Texan. Someone could just as easily say "remember so and so, he threw a shitton of sliders and his elbow is shot, so folks should worry about Rodon." 

You can run yourself off everyone with that type of thought.

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #282 on: May 18, 2014, 12:36:47 pm »
All pitching scares the crap out of me. But unfortunately there's no slam dunk bat that can be taken 1-1. I see why you'd bring up Miller for sure but let's compare their college stats....

In college, Miller went from 4.85 BB/9 and 8.90 K/9 to 4.84 BB/9 and 9.68 K/9 to 2.92 BB/9 and 9.71 K/9. He had a career 4.08 BB/9 and 9.47 K/9. His whip was 1.24. Rodon has gone from 3.22 BB/9 and 10.60 K/9 to 3.06 BB/9 and 12.51 K/9 to 2.79 BB/9 and 10.67 K/9. His career BB/9 is 3.04 and his career K/9 is 11.35. His whip is 1.04. Rodon has definitely been the better college pitcher between the two of them. He has had better command and has struck out more guys.

Rodon has been the better pitcher over his college career, but while Miller trended upward, Rodon has not. Rodon's WHIP his freshman season was .98, then 1.05, then 1.17 this year. Miller's line was 1.26, 1.34, then 1.14 his junior season. With Rodon's WHIP going up at the same time that his walk rate has gone down, it's showing that he's been more hittable (from 5.57 to 7.66 hits/9). That, along with the decrease/fluctuation in velocity and fastball command is what has me concerned. You'd like to see guys getting better heading into the draft not worse.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #283 on: May 18, 2014, 03:10:08 pm »
Worrying about a draftee pitcher is understandable, but I'm not sure I buy the idea that Kolek is more worrisome because he is big, throws hard every pitch and is a Texan. Someone could just as easily say "remember so and so, he threw a shitton of sliders and his elbow is shot, so folks should worry about Rodon." 

You can run yourself off everyone with that type of thought.

You're absolutely right. The more that I read, the more I like Kolek.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #284 on: May 18, 2014, 04:40:28 pm »
You're absolutely right. The more that I read, the more I like Kolek.

I agree that, if this is true, there seems to be an over-correction in the industry.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #285 on: May 18, 2014, 05:19:01 pm »
If they are to take a HS pitcher I prefer the port-sider.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #286 on: May 18, 2014, 06:33:12 pm »
If they are to take a HS pitcher I prefer the port-sider.

As do I, just don't think Kolek should slide out of the top 3-4 because teams are suddenly scared that he throws too hard.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #287 on: May 19, 2014, 03:37:44 am »
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-report-Villar-suffers-minor-hand-injury-5488057.php

Scouts attend California review

Amateur scouting director Mike Elias held the first of four crucial invitation-only regional workouts Sunday in Fullerton, Calif.

A group of 20 high school and junior college prospects worked out in front of Elias, Astros head of decision sciences Sig Mejdal, Astros national cross-checker David Post, West regional cross-checker Kris Gross, and the team's five West Coast-area scouts.

San Diego Cathedral Catholic High lefthander Brady Aiken and San Diego Rancho Bernardo High catcher Alex Jackson - two the Astros are considering for the top pick in the draft - did not attend.

"This is our opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the top players in the draft for the top three or four rounds," Elias said from Huntington Beach. "We're also getting a chance to see a lot of the players our scouts like for lower in the draft.

"Those are players that me, David and our cross-checkers haven't seen. This gets these lower (round) players in front of the decision-makers there."

As policy, Elias didn't divulge the identity of the players.

The Astros are considering Aiken, Jackson, North Carolina State lefthander Carlos Rodon, Shepherd High righthander Tyler Kolek, University of San Francisco center fielder Brad Zimmer and LSU righthander Aaron Nola for the top pick, according to multiple amateur scouting evaluators.

East Carolina righthander Jeff Hoffman, who was in consideration for the top pick, is no longer a candidate because he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery this month.

"We have a group of candidates for the first pick we're very excited about," Elias said. "We're comfortable with the pool (for the first pick). There are a lot of different directions we can go. I personally feel good about all the options.

"All that said, we haven't decided what our favorite option is and what direction we want to pursue. I think we're going to have to get together as a group and meet and discuss all these players before we know which direction."

That meeting will occur after Elias and general manager Jeff Luhnow gather the full-time amateur scouting staff in Houston by June 1 in anticipation of the final invitation-only workout for elite prospects June 2 at Minute Maid Park.

Several of the top prospects are expected to attend the June 2 workout. The Astros will hold their next regional workout May 26 in Atlanta and then another May 28 at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla.

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #288 on: May 19, 2014, 03:44:09 am »
http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/05/mlb-draft-notes-marlins-ramping-up-scouting-efforts-on-alex-jackson-and-could-sox-pick-nick-gordon/

It seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Marlins were going to draft Tyler Kolek just a few weeks ago but I was just told that the Marlins have been leaning heavily now toward OF'er Alex Jackson.   It was described to me as "Kris Bryant heavy" in reference to how the Cubs revved up scouting efforts on the slugging 3B just as everyone was assuming they'd take whoever was left between Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray.

Jackson is the best hitter in this year's draft in terms of upside and has a lot of polish because he basically plays year round between the sunny California weather and the countless showcases he's been invited to attend over the past 2 years.

I'm told it's all about the bat for the Marlins and that they'd strongly consider taking him 2nd even as a corner outfielder.

The Marlins are said to also like Brady Aiken very much but it would seem that Houston will take him first -- it makes too much sense as I think he has clearly become the best player in the draft with Jackson now 2nd.  The Astros will almost certainly see who will sign for less (with Carlos Rodon possibly part of that equation as well), but getting Scott Boras to go significantly underslot again could be a problem -- and if it is, then you have to go with the BPA, which is Aiken.

It also seems to indicate that teams have soured somewhat on Carlos Rodon, who had another pedestrian outing yesterday ( 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks on 27 batters faced. Finished w/ 11 swinging strikes. 109 unofficial pitches).  I've actually been told for over a month that he could fall to #4 but it seems more plausible than ever of late and that is because the White Sox are making things interesting as well.


Boras represents both Rodon and Alex Jackson.

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #289 on: May 19, 2014, 03:49:28 am »
This is a random Pioneer Press Chicago writer so take it for what it's worth.

Ty Youngfelt ‏@TyYoungfelt  · 5h 
Hearing more and more that the Astros may take Jackson at a discount at 1...


morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #290 on: May 19, 2014, 04:34:00 am »
http://www.studentsports.com/baseball/2014/05/16/heading-draft-aiken-top-prep/


With three weeks remaining until the Major League Baseball Draft, only one thing is for certain, and that’s that nothing is certain, as there’s no clear-cut, surefire No. 1 player. There are, however, a number of talents worthy of the No. 1 pick, including two prep pitchers in Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, Calif.) left-hander Brady Aiken and Shepherd High School (Texas) right-hander Tyler Kolek. Kolek began the amateur season as the top high school prospect. Aiken has taken over that spot.

 Aiken being left-handed has a little bit to do with it; southpaws are not as common and it’s worth noting that no high school right-hander has ever been selected No. 1 overall. But it’s not handedness that has made the difference for Aiken this spring.

 The 6-foot-4, 200 pounder has combined a 91-95 mph fastball with two offspeed pitches that each show long-term promise, including an above-average curveball and a changeup that flashes average or better. He’s been known to occasionally cut the fastball away from left-handed batters, often using it to get in on right-handed hitters to keep them honest.

He’s commanded his fastball very well for the most part, repeating a clean-and-easy three-quarter arm slot. His pitchability and all-around mound presence suggest a potential future No. 1 starter the Houston Astros may not be able to pass on come June 5. Aiken has signed a letter of intent with UCLA, but his spring showing has all but guaranteed he’ll never step foot on campus.

 Kolek , a TCU commit, throws harder, sitting 93-96 mph and touching as high as 101 mph. At 95 the pitch has late life, particularly when he climbs the ladder, and he complements the heat with a curveball that shows occasional plus bite at 74-77 mph. Kolek also offers a soft slider and a below-average changeup.

Kolek’s biggest knock is his spotty command and occasional problems throwing strikes. He’s a beast at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds so repeating can be difficult, but scouts generally don’t throw the red flag at his mechanics and the 17-year-old draws rave reviews for his feel for pitching. One scout opines that Kolek lacks future projection – it’s difficult to imagine him adding weight organically and in a way that may help him add velocity and raise his overall profile – but adds that “it’s also difficult to imagine that stuff not working in the majors, even right now.

 “He’ll need to refine the secondary pitches,” the scout noted. “I’ve seen him dominate, a lot, but he rarely needs the changeup and even when his curveball isn’t there it hasn’t hurt him, so there hasn’t been a lot of reason to keep going back to it … and I don’t feel his slider is a pitch he should keep, at least for now.”

Even after Aiken and Kolek, who appear headed for the top three picks, the prep class does not lack a presence in what may be a first round dominated by high school talent. Olympia High School (Orlando, Fla.) shortstop Nick Gordon is being discussed as a potential Top 5 pick, thanks to bloodlines – he’s the son of former big-league pitcher Tom Gordon and the younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon – tons of athleticism, including plus speed and above-average tools that project at shortstop. Scouts believe it may take a few years, but the bat should play and could eventually be more than just adequate for the position. Gordon is committed to Florida State.

The top high school bat in the class is Rancho Bernardo High School (San Diego, Calif.) catcher and outfielder Alex Jackson. He’s a right-handed hitter with future power that could lead to 25 home runs, and if he can stick behind the dish he’ll be an absolute steal anywhere below the first few picks. Jackson’s swing can get a little bit prone to fly balls, with one scout mentioning a “sell-out” version that is likely to be exposed in pro ball. He’s left some of those concerns behind with a strong spring and there are clubs who view him as a future .300 hitter. Jackson has a scholarship to Oregon sitting there if he decides against pro ball, but he’s likely to go in the Top 6, guaranteeing him at least $3.5 million.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 04:39:49 am by morningwood75 »

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #291 on: May 19, 2014, 04:41:55 am »
The poster texcoast46 from Crawfish Boxes was listening to the Lancaster game and Chron writer Evan Drellich was in the booth. This is what was said about the draft.


"On the draft – don’t be surprised if the Astros try to replicate 2012 and draft someone at 1.1 who will command less than slot."

morningwood75

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #292 on: May 19, 2014, 06:41:38 am »
http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2014/5/9/5699992/seattle-mariners-mlb-draft-player-profile-alex-jackson

Jackson, a 6'1'', 200 lb  right-handed catcher, is all hitter through and through, and his chances of sticking at catcher has sparked some debate. His situation has been compared to Rays outfielder Wil Myers, a catcher who will eventually moved to a corner outfield spot for both defensive and health reasons.

Turning to Chris Crawford for an initial profile (I recommend his draftbook preview for full breakdowns on hundreds of players - it's only $1.99 and you can buy it here), here's what he has to say about Jackson.


Hit / On-base – Jackson has one of the better swings in the class, staying through the zone with good bat speed and has shown a willingness to hit the ball with authority the other way.

Power – Jackson has plus power to the pull side thanks to his ability to transfer his weight and strong wrists and – as stated above – he has shown the ability to hit the ball hard to right field, and could be a 25-35 homer guy as a big leaguer.

Speed – Similar to Gatewood, Jackson is not a burner but he’s not going to be a detriment on the base paths with his average speed.

Glove – Jackson has the ability to stick behind the plate, but most that I’ve talked to believe that his bat is going to be moved from behind the plate to a corner outfield position. He’s a good enough athlete to handle right field, and has a well-above average arm. If a team truly wants to maximize his value they may try him behind the plate, where he’s a decent receiver but would project as below-average.

Keith Law reinforces the notion that it's all about Jackson's bat no matter where he plays, and it is impressive:


Jackson's a very physical kid, 6-foot-1 or so and probably pushing 220 pounds at this point, with a mostly clean, potent right-handed swing that should generate line-drive power to his pull side and at least doubles power to the opposite field. His swing is very rotational, with good but not top-of-the-line bat speed, adding to his strength by getting his lower half involved and showing good loft in his follow-through. He's a bat-first prospect, with the potential to be average on defense given time to work on it, but with All-Star offensive upside in the long run no matter where he plays.


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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #293 on: May 19, 2014, 12:21:41 pm »
Great work with all the links.


The Astros will almost certainly see who will sign for less (with Carlos Rodon possibly part of that equation as well), but getting Scott Boras to go significantly underslot again could be a problem -- and if it is, then you have to go with the BPA, which is Aiken.


That sounds like such a novel approach: take the best player and save money in the process.


astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #294 on: May 19, 2014, 12:28:39 pm »
A quick note from Callis on how special the draft is to have both Aiken and Kolek at the top:

Quote
Aiken has the makings of three above-average pitches and is one of the more polished pitchers in this Draft class, high school or college. Kolek throws harder more consistently than any prep pitcher ever, reaching triple digits on radar guns game after game.

Longtime scouts can't remember ever seeing two high school pitchers in one Draft class who could rival them. Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley created a stir when they came out of Oklahoma in 2011, but the consensus is that Aiken and Kolek are better.

"I've seen two college pitchers but not two high school pitchers like this in the same year," a club executive said. "With Josh Beckett, there wasn't another high school guy that year. You've got a lefty with velocity and all of the other stuff, present body and command and secondary pitches, and the other guy averages 100 mph it seems. Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley were maybe the closest a couple of years ago, but these guys are special."

That's pretty high praise, that they are better than Bundy and Bradley.  I really liked that duo in '11 and was pretty disappointed when Arizona used their second top-10 pick to grab Bradley (Bundy was a lock to go well before our pick). 

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/talented-group-of-high-school-hurlers-headline-draft?ymd=20140519&content_id=76006524&vkey=news_mlb

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #295 on: May 20, 2014, 02:39:53 pm »
Rodon's collegiate career is likely over, with NC State being knocked off by North Carolina today.  Rodon did not pitch, but did DH. 

astrosfan76

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #296 on: May 21, 2014, 12:22:15 pm »
Behind paywall, but PG projects Aiken at 1/1 in their latest draft, which they say is one of their three safest picks in the top 10 (meaning they have a fair amount of confidence that he could go 1/1).  Another interesting note:

Quote
A completely new name has surfaced as a potential sleeper for the Astros No. 1 pick, Evansville southpaw Kyle Freeland, according to scouting sources. Freeland wasn’t even on many pre-season first round lists.

MLB.com has him as the #9 draft prospect and BA had him going #4 in their most recent mock.  Using MLB.com's grades, he compares well to Rodon, not necessarily better, but a case could be made.  Here's their report on Freeland:

Quote
Batters react to Freeland's fastball as if he's throwing harder than 90-93 mph, because he has some deception in his delivery and the pitch has heavy life, and he can reach 95-96. He throws a true slider in the low 80s and can turn it into more of a mid-80s cutter at times. He'll also display an average changeup at times, getting good sink on it.

Freeland throws from a lower arm angle and features more effort in his delivery than scouts like to see in a starter. But he should be able to work out of a rotation in pro ball because he has two swing-and-miss pitches and throws strikes.

They both throw 90-93 and can reach a little higher with good movement (Freeland may be more deceptive):  both pitches receive a 65.  Rodon's slider receives a 70, while Freeland's is still above-average at 60.  Both receive 50s on their changeup.  Freeland has better control of his pitches, receiving a 60 to Rodon's 50.  Freeland had a 1.90 ERA on the season, a 128-13 K-BB ratio, and a .92 WHIP.  He did pitch for a smaller school, but was very successful at the Cape last summer, so he has been tested.  This isn't to say that they should draft him, but he's not illogical, either, especially if they see him as a surer thing and really want a college LHP.

On an unrelated note, Ortiz has Kolek going to the June 2nd workout, but just to talk to Luhnow, not to pitch. 

http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2014/05/21/tyler-kolek-invited-to-astros-pre-draft-workout/#22822101=6
http://www.perfectgame.org/Articles/View.aspx?article=9910

jbm

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #297 on: May 21, 2014, 12:37:10 pm »
I imagine there will reports linking them to almost every potential 1-1.  Leverage is their friend.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #298 on: May 21, 2014, 02:11:20 pm »
I imagine there will reports linking them to almost every potential 1-1.  Leverage is their friend.

I'm sure there will be; doesn't mean they aren't at least considering it, though.  PG isn't exactly a mouthpiece, like Heyman, so I'm at least going to look into the guy and figured others may be interested, also.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #299 on: May 21, 2014, 02:22:59 pm »
I wasn't implying that he wasn't actually under consideration, and I appreciate the info on him.  From my limited knowledge point, I assume that all the ones who are reported to be under consideration probably are under consideration. 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #300 on: May 23, 2014, 07:49:54 pm »
BA and Callis both out with mock drafts today and had these comments/quotes:

Quote
“The $6 million question is whether or not he (Rodon) is athletic enough to start long-term,” one executive said this week. “Some guys think he is, but other guys aren’t so sure and think he may wind up a reliever. It just seems like there isn’t a $6 million player in this draft.” If the Astros agree with that assessment, then they won’t be selecting Rodon No. 1 overall.

...then Houston likely will select San Diego prep lefty Brady Aiken, who has an easier delivery and better body than Rodon.

BA

Quote
Houston likely will choose between the top three pitchers and Jackson, and is believed to prefer the two left-handers. The Astros may save money versus the $7,922,100 assigned pick value to spend later in the Draft but won't compromise on talent at No. 1.

Jim Callis

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #301 on: May 26, 2014, 03:10:13 pm »
Whitey weighs in:

Quote
As clubs gather their scouts, there is virtually no consensus on the top picks. “No one knows what the Astros are going to do with the first pick,” says one executive from a club with one of the top six picks. “They keep things close to the vest, and they are meticulous (Jeff Luhnow currently is in Japan, in fact). What they eventually do will be very well thought out, within the context of their entire allotted pool and what they may or may not be able to do lower in the draft.” Back in the spring, it was assumed that they would take North Carolina State lefthander Carlos Rodon. There have been concerns about Rodon’s use of his slider, some of his pitch counts, but he is dominant, he is strong and the slider is a wipeout pitch—with the command of his fastball differentiating whether or not he is a starter or a closer in the grind of major league baseball. “Many of the Astros people believe that picking a pitcher at the top is a gamble because of the historical predictability of pitchers,” says another club official friendly with the Houston front office. Last year, if they hadn’t been able to do a deal with (Stanford pitcher) Mark Appel, (North Carolina third baseman) Colin Moran was in their mix. I think it’s certain that Alex Jackson is a name they are looking at closely.”

Jackson is a California high school catcher/outfielder regarded by many as the best hitter in the draft, albeit a high school player far from the majors. But think about the 2011 draft, the last one under the old system, when teams knew the new system was coming, they tried to buy the top high school players out of college and now there is a lack of Kris Bryant-type power among college players. The top of that draft was pitching-heavy. Gerrit Cole was the top pick, brought carefully to the majors by the Pirates and is a number one. But Danny Hultzen, the second pick, has had should problems, the Diamondbacks traded Trevor Bauer in little more than a year, and the three top high school pitchers—Dylan Bundy, Archie Bradley, Jose Fernandez—have two Tommy John Surgeries and a couple of physical setbacks between them.

Houston has been linked to San Diego lefthanded pitcher Brady Aiken and Texas fireballer Tyler Kolek, even LSU’s solid RHP Aaron Nola. The Marlins, who pick second, seem to prefer Jackson because their system is loaded with pitchers and not with bats, but they love Kolek and it would be hard to pass on Rodon, who in 2016 could be matched with Fernandez in a two Cuban rotation in Miami. The White Sox, at three, likely will go pitching, and while the Cubs need pitching and Rodon, Nola and the high school arms are tough to pass, Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost—likened to a 6-2 Craig Biggio—is in their mix; Theo Epstein watched him two days last week. Minnesota, with one of the game’s most underrated systems, loves Kolek, but also loves Tom Gordon’s son Nick Gordon, another highly-skilled shortstop.

Now, unlike the NFL, we know these players don’t provide instant gratification the way, in the past, Lew Krausse, Pete Broberg, David Clyde and Eddie Bane went right from signing to the big leagues. Appel was the top pick in 2013; right now, he is in extended spring training, partly the result of trying to deal with the Astros piggyback program that clearly worries the Rodon folks. The only player from last year’s draft to play in the big leagues thus far this season is Tigers pitcher Corey Knebel, who has one inning of three run relief on his ledger. The players from 2012 are Michael Wacha, Alex Wood and Paco Rodriguez.

At least two certain first round college pitchers—East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman, certain to be in the top four, and UNLV’s Erick Fedde—have had Tommy John Surgery; they both could still be first rounders like Lucas Giolito and Nick Adenhart in drafts past. Clubs have been worried about the shoulder of TCU lefthander Brandon Finnegan, who burned it for Falmouth on The Cape last summer, but one team that saw his last start reports he threw very well.

Mr. Happy

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #302 on: May 27, 2014, 09:38:27 am »
The SEC just named Aaron Nola as SEC Pitcher of the Year.
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roadrunner

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #303 on: May 27, 2014, 10:41:46 am »
Latest BP mock has the Astros taking Aiken, but they admittedly are just guessing.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #304 on: May 27, 2014, 10:49:48 am »
Latest BP mock has the Astros taking Aiken, but they admittedly are just guessing.

As is everybody else.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #305 on: May 27, 2014, 11:25:50 am »
As is everybody else not named Luhnow.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #306 on: May 27, 2014, 11:59:53 am »
It is possible the Astros haven't decided yet. If they are to be believed, they went down to the wire on Correa two years ago.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #307 on: May 27, 2014, 03:06:36 pm »
When they pick we'll know if they went BPA or top 3 or 4/position of org need.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #308 on: May 27, 2014, 03:27:57 pm »
When they pick we'll know if they went BPA or top 3 or 4/position of org need.

Who is the BPA?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #309 on: May 27, 2014, 03:29:23 pm »
Who is the BPA?

I suspect for them it's either Aiken or Rodon.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #310 on: May 27, 2014, 03:35:35 pm »
What are their top positions of organizational need?

 

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #311 on: May 27, 2014, 03:45:58 pm »
What are their top positions of organizational need?

 

IMO corner outfield, corner infield.
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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #312 on: May 27, 2014, 08:11:48 pm »
IMO corner outfield, corner infield.

so Austin Jackson?

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #313 on: May 27, 2014, 08:44:03 pm »
Goin' for a bus ride.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #314 on: May 27, 2014, 08:49:30 pm »
I'll be shocked if they pick based on organizational needs. They could have Jackson as the best player available though.

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Re: 2014 draft thread
« Reply #315 on: May 27, 2014, 09:49:17 pm »
If you made me guess right now, I would say they employ the 2012 strategy and go Jackson for the following reasons:

- Rodon's inconsistency this season
- The supplemental pick from the Norris deal
- The ridiculous amount of pitcher injuries this year

But who knows.  This isn't exactly Clowney