Sunday, August 10, 2008

Season 9 Draft Review - Part III (picks 21-32)

Starting with the 21st pick, the quality of the players in the draft starts to decline. There are few players available who will ever threaten to win MVP awards from this point forward.

21. Santa Fe - Lyle Dawkins - Dawkins is a solid right fielder with speed to burn. His glove is just adequate, and he will struggle to hit for a high average. However, he should become a solid starter down the road.

22. Colorado Springs - Ed Whiteside - Whiteside is a slap hitting center fielder, whose glove will keep him on the field. He lacks power, and will not make contact enough to win batting titles, but will be a decent top of the order player for the Field Mice.

23. Kansas City - Howie Hill - Kansas City continues its annual second basemen harvest. Hill should hit for power, average and draw walks. His glove is OK, though nothing special. His biggest weakness is his health, which could hold him back. He is also a hothead, who may get frustrated when things don't go his way. Despite that, Hill is a very strong pick by Kansas City.

24. Richmond - Steven Spence - Spence is a very good pick at 24, giving the Revolution a shortstop for the future. His bat will be above average for the position, though there are worries that Spence's arm strength may force a move to the outfield or the right side of the infield.

25. Las Vegas - Hank Jones - One of only two unsigned first rounders (along with Milwaukee's Gonzales), Jones could be a very good second baseman if he ever gets an offer of slot money. He can hit, though not with much power, and has excellent plate discipline. His range is outstanding for second, though he is otherwise average in the field.

26. Texas - Ismael Plata - Plata is another player who is listed as a shortstop, but simply doesn't have the range for the position. He should instead become a good third baseman, though his struggles against right handed pitching may result in a platoon role in the future.

27. Ottawa - Jamie Wilson - Wilson is a slugging first baseman who hits the ball hard with every swing. Wilson's uppercut swing doesn't result in many K's, but unfortunately, does result in more 375 foot fly outs to right center than scouts would like. Wilson is also a liability in the field. At pick number 27, though, he is a very good pick.

28. Montgomery - Brian Parrott - The Maulers went with the proverbial "best available athlete" in Parrott. Unfortunately, while Parrott makes good contact, and can draw a walk, he's best suited for the bottom of the order. Add that to his below average glove for left, and his ceiling looks to be as a 4th outfielder. His path is also blocked by last season's second rounder, Tommy Romero.

29. Buffalo - Fritz Gardner - The Blue have climbed the standings on the backs of its starting pitching, and went to that well again here. Unfortunately, unlike its current batch of major leaguers, Gardner lacks the control to be a consistent starter. Gardner already possesses a plus-plus 4 seamer, but doesn't have the other pitches necessary to overcome his lack of control.

30. Indianapolis - Harold Green - The Lancers clearly were fixated on getting a starting pitcher in the first round. A hard thrower, Green might fit in the back of the Lancer rotation someday, though his propensity to give up fly balls and a lack of stamina and durability will limit him. He would be helped greatly by a catcher who can talk him out of throwing his curveball and changeup, both of which are no better than high school level.

31. Santa Fe - Howard Wells - Though currently starting games in the Rookie League, Wells projects as a reliever in the majors. He has three plus pitches, great control, and throws as hard as anyone in the draft. Wells could become an old style two-inning closer for the Inferno.

32. Rochester - Clem Smith - Considering the success that the Big and Tall have had picking late in the first each season (see Jamie Risley and current Baptistas right fielder Doug Zoltan), the pick of Smith was a surprise. He is an adequate third baseman who will hit for power, but he does not have the upside Rochester fans have come to expect from their first round picks. Indeed, some scouts considered him little better than Tsunami third round pick Alberto Oliva.

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