Thursday, March 26, 2009

Season 4 Draft Recap - AL West

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Last, but not least - it's the AL West - let's see if any studs from the draft are heading out west.

Colorado Springs Hammer’d Leprechauns

Esteban Amezaga
Colorado Springs
Hammer'd Leprechauns
Age: 22B/T: L/L
Born: Albany, KY
Position(s): RF
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Colorado Springs’ top pick was RF Esteban Amezaga, who has great contact and has the power of a 100 leprechauns. In our estimation – that adds up to a lot of 40 HR plus seasons. He also has a very good batting eye. There’s a slight concern with his splits, but it shouldn’t affect his numbers much. Supp pick Milt Ramsay was a nice find – and projects to be a middle of the rotation starter – great control, good splits, a couple of nice pitches, but tends to leave the ball up in the zone. 2nd rounder Al Lugo is another masher, but his subpar splits may limit his effectiveness if he reaches the majors. They got a few decent players after that – another masher, a couple of defensive wizards, and a decent arm or two – who might have a shot at the bigs in some capacity.

Final Analysis: The first two picks are great prospects – after that it gets a little shaky.

Grade: B+

Kansas City Tweakers

Dennis Gulan
Kansas City
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Anamosa, IA
Position(s): 2B
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#2 overall pick Dennis Gulan is a future all star. He projects excellent or better in all of the hitting categories, and has tremendous speed and baserunning ability on top of that, and also great defensive skills. It’s hard to come up with any negatives about him. 2nd rounder Pepper Cunningham is a righty with superior control, 4 great pitches, great velocity and GB/FB ratio. Mediocre splits and durability are the only thing holding him back from stud status. Hurler Paulie Thompson was a nice value in the third round, and could pitch in the bigs one day. They had a few other good value picks in the later rounds as well.

Final Analysis: Gulan is a hugh catch for them, and they got a few other solid players as well.

Grade: A

Oakland Bruisers

Marvin Collier
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Gaston, NC
Position(s): P (SP1)
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Oakland’s top pick was lefty hurler Marvin Collier – who definitely has major league potential – projecting excellent across the board, except for splits – which are still good, just not great. He could be a solid middle of the rotation guy for years to come. 2nd rounder Brandon Stone is similar to Collier, except his control isn’t as good, which makes his big league potential questionable. They haven’t signed their 3rd – 5th rounders yet, and landed a decent arm or two after that.

Final Analysis: We really like Collier, but aren’t that impressed with the rest of the class.

Grade: C

Vancouver Blaze

Chip James
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Jonesville, LA
Position(s): C
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Vancouver’s first rounder, Chip James, might have been the best pure hitter in the draft. There’s no doubt he can absolutely crush the ball. His drawbacks are his limited durability – which may limit him to 110-120 games or so per season, and the fact he’d probably be better off as a DH than a C because of his defense. Regardless of where he plays, his bat will be a major asset to the Blaze lineup. 2nd rounder Al Rios is a decent arm, who could probably be a back of the rotation guy in the bigs if needed, but more likely would be best in long relief. They got a decent arm or two in the later rounds, including a nice reliever in round 3.

Final Analysis: James is pure hitting goodness – the rest of their draft didn’t impress much though.

Grade: B

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