Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Season 19 Draft Analysis: Picks 11-20

11. Sacramento Screaming Eagles - Dale James: James is going to be a very solid player, but in a draft this deep there were star-quality players still on the board at the time he was picked. He's got solid splits, solid power, solid batting eye, and mediocre contact, which means he'll be an average to slightly-above-average starter in RF for the Screaming Eagles. I had him ranked 8th, but his post-draft projections are worse than pre-draft for me. Grade: C

12. Las Vegas Rounders - Rajai Milledge: Milledge would be an excellent value pick near the bottom of the first round (though, once again, my scouts didn't see him), but he's a little iffy in the top half. He's got the control and velocity to be successful, as well as a killer sinker. He's fine against lefties, but the question is whether he can get righties out...and that's kind of an important thing to be able to do. His lack of a solid secondary pitches is troubling as well, but he should be able to pitch a lot of innings as a #4/#5 SP in the ML's...but this high in the draft, you want more. Grade: C-

13. Tampa Bay Sun - Cookie Beltran: Beltran is a rock solid pick (that my scouts once again missed) at this point in the draft. He's no top-of-the-rotation stud like several of the SP's taken above him, but with 4 good pitches, solid splits, and great control, he will be a good #3 SP for a long time...barring injury. And injury is a big worry for someone with as low of health as Beltran. Grade: B+

14. Oklahoma City Outlaws - Ross Venafro: Venafro is a talented bat that is a good pick for middle of the 1st round. He's got a poor glove in RF, but his arm and bat make up for it. He hits RHP's very well, and with good contact and power and solid speed, Venafro (ranked 9th by me) should see the All-Star game at some point in his career. Grade: A-

15. New York Stink Palmers - Sadie Downs: Downs is another good pick for this part of the draft. Catcher is a position with high durability demands, and Downs should be able to play just about every day. Downs will be about average defensively, but his .300 bat will make him a good option at C for a long time. I had him ranked 17th, but his post-draft projections are significant improvements over what I saw before the draft. Grade: A-

16. St. Louis Arch Angels - Derek Zaun: Zaun is another unspectacular but rock solid pick for the middle of the 1st round. Although listed as a 2B, he will probably end up playing LF, which makes his bat a little less impressive. Only slightly above average hitting RHP's, his good contact, power, and very good batting eye should nonetheless allow him to succeed at the plate. Health could be an issue. I had him ranked 10th. Grade: B

17. Charleston Vampires - Bobby Simontacchi: With the Vampires' 2nd 1st-round pick they got one of the best steals of the draft in Simontacchi. The only knock on him is a poor change-up and low velocity...but his great splits, excellent control, and fastball/slider combo will make him a top-of-the-order SP in the future. He was my 2nd-ranked player, behind only Martin. Grade: A

18. Hartford Pit Bulls - Kip Donnelly: Donnelly is an interesting player whose bat reminds me a lot of my own Rafael Quixote: excellent contact and power, above average vL, and a weak vR and batting eye. Quixote has had a successful career, and Donnelly should have him beat in both splits, meaning he should be a very productive player. He also has great speed, though it's hampered by his baserunning skills. Donnelly's bat at 2B would probably make him a frequent All-Star. More likely, though, he will play LF and be an above-average bat for the Pit Bulls. My scouts missed him. Grade: A-

19. Cheyenne Warriors - Achilles Uribe: Uribe is an interesting choice as a 1st round pick. At first glance, he seems like a poor pick due to his very average bat. However, he's got blazing speed, with baserunning skills to make him a true demon on the bases, and he's also going to be a defensive whiz in CF. I think that his speed will really improve his offensive impact, and the (+) plays he makes in CF will probably earn him his share of Gold Gloves. I've also seen guys with worse bats make the All-Star team. Uribe is an unspectacular pick, but he is a guy who can really help his team win without lighting up the box score with big offensive numbers. I had him ranked 29th, but his post-draft defensive ratings outshine the ones I saw pre-draft. Grade: B-

20. Pittsburgh Penguins - Allan Holland: Holland is a player who can play a contributing role on a good team, but guys like him are often available after the 1st round. He will be Gold-Glove caliber at SS, but he is simply unable to hit RHP's. He can be a solid platoon SS against LHP's, but guys like this are frequently available in lower rounds and in free agency, which makes me think he is not worthy of a 1st round pick. Grade: D-

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