Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Season 5 Draft Recap - AL North

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Now it's time to see how the teams in the AL North did. It's been a bit of a down season for the AL North in the standings, let's see how they drafted.


Cleveland Kings

Benji Martinez
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Elizabethtown, NC
Position(s): SS
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Cleveland got SS Benji Martinez with the 18th pick, although looking at his projected ratings it appears that 3B might be a better home for him when he hits the bigs. His biggest asset at the plate is his power. His splits are mediocre, as is his contact, and he has a pretty good batting eye. He also has very good speed, and is a decent baserunner. He should be a fairly good major leaguer. Supp round pick C Mandy Vander Wal is another powerful bat, especially for a catcher. Defensively, he has good pitch calling skills, but a weak arm behind the plate. But decent splits and contact with a good batting eye and great power will make him an asset behind the plate in the majors. The rest of their draft looks like career minor leaguers, with maybe one or two fringe major leaguers hiding in there.

Final Analysis: Got 2 very good players here, they have to be happy.

Grade: B+

Detroit Dirt Dogs

Ted Whitaker
Dirt Dogs
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Westmoreland, NY
Position(s): P (SP3)
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With the 9th overall pick, Detroit selected hurler Ted Whitaker. It will really be interesting to see how he does in the majors. He won’t give you a ton of innings, but is still capable of starting. His control and LH split are fairly good, but not great. He has an excellent RH split, and really keeps the ball down, and has very nice pitches. We think he’ll have some very good seasons at the big league level, still you’d expect more of a sure thing with the 9th pick. After that, the players that they drafted appear to be major league backups in the future, at best. Nothing really jumped out at us.

Final Analysis: We like Whitaker, but expected a little better for a 9th overall pick, and they didn’t get much after that.

Grade: C-

New York Pride of the Yankees

Joel King
New York
Pride of the Yankees
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Milwaukee, WI
Position(s): CF
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New York selected slick fielding CF Joel King, who looks like he has the potential to win a few gold gloves some day. His bat is decent, enough to hold his weight as a major league, but won’t be outstanding. His best qualities at the plate are RH split and a good batting eye, and also has some power. He has pretty decent speed; he could swipe 25 bags per season. Supp pick, Derrik Jefferson is a lefty hurler who can eat innings, and has excellent control, velocity, and pitch quality. His splits are very mediocre, which probably makes him a 5th starter/long relief type once he hits the majors. After that, they got a couple of decent arms with big league potential, and a few position players who could be backup types in the majors.

Final Analysis: They had a good draft, but this one doesn’t blow us away like some of New York’s past drafts have.

Grade: B+

St. Louis Silver Sluggers

Benito James
St. Louis
Silver Sluggers
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Stafford, TX
Position(s): P (SP1)
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St. Louis took hard throwing lefty Benito James with the 20th overall pick. James, also has great control, and looks to be masterful at keeping the ball on the ground. He has a lights out screwball, a good slider, and also throws a curve. He could have some trouble against righties, as the RH split isn’t great. He has the upside to be a #2 starter, and should be no worse than a solid #4. 2nd round pick SS R.A. Paige is a whiz in the field. He is pretty poor at the plate, but with 85+ projected ratings in the fielding categories, he should be in the majors if he hits those projections. They didn’t get much after that, as their 3rd, 4th and 5th rounders have not signed.

Final Analysis: James is a quality arm, and Paige was a good pick for his fielding ability.

Grade: B


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