The AL South's up next - here's how their drafts went!
Atlanta’s owner was absent for the draft, so let’s see how AI did for them! First rounder Hector Matthews is a workhorse lefty, with excellent control and velocity, is very good against lefties, can keep the ball down, and has good pitches. A slight weakness is his RH split, although it’s not too much of a concern. Matthews looks like a #2 starter, with upside to be a #1. They got a nice value in 3rd rounder RP Bret Fleming, who has a shot at the majors. Other than that, not much really stands out about Atlanta’s draft class.
Final Analysis: Simmy didn’t do all that bad by them – Matthews is a great prospect
Austin Rock Stars
Austin’s top pick, 3B Ernest Bailey projects out nicely at the plate, with his strength being his ability to hit lefties. He wouldn’t be a liability though against RHP either. He’ll put up solid numbers at the plate, but not quite all-star caliber. Not a bad value at all at #28. 2nd rounder Raymond Stone, is an above average hitter for a catcher, and has excellent defensive skills – definitely a nice grab in round 2. They got a few other fringe major leaguers, although nothing spectacular. It may be the first draft class ever with both a Hick and a Hod. Hod Kreuter has nice power, for what it’s worth.
Final Analysis: 2 solid players in the first 2 rounds, although neither will be an all-star.
Florida Shark Waves
Florida got a nice pitcher in righty Gene Burke for picking from the 32 spot. His only glaring weakness is that he doesn’t keep the ball down well, but he looks very good in all other categories. He should be able to crack a major league rotation one day. Supp pick Gus Wood is a nice long relief prospect with excellent control, RH split, and 2 great pitches. 2nd rounder Harold Fraser is a decent 2B prospect, about what you’d expect to find at the end of the 2nd round.
Final Analysis: They got a few nice prospects here picking from the bottom.
Top pick Kenny Cooper hasn’t signed yet, word is he’s holding out for Longhorns College Football Season Tickets. No clue if this guy is any good – we have no info. They had a 2nd first rounder in SP Bob Halter. Halter has superb control and velocity, and very nice splits and GB/FB ratio. It also looks like he’s a workhorse who can eat innings. The quality of his pitches isn’t great, which is a concern, still, he should be an excellent big league pitcher one day. Supp pick SS Jaime Davis is a contact hitting specialist with some power, and can really hit lefties. He is a legit shortstop defensively, which makes him a nice addition to the system. They haven’t signed their picks from rounds 2-5, and nothing else really impressed us.
Final Analysis: Halter and Davis are two very nice prospects, but 5 out of the top 7 picks unsigned has to be considered a disappointment.