Sunday, January 10, 2010

Season 7 Draft Review -- Kansas City Tweakers

After several seasons as cellar-dwellers, the Tweakers are now starting to see the returns for some of their past drafts and International signings. With the depth of their farm system, it may be a while before KC picks as high again as they did in Season 7. Let's see how their draft went.

1st rounder Jo-jo Strickland brings well above average velocity and a very good ability to induce ground balls with him. Sporting a 4-seam FB, a cutter, and a slider that are all well above average and the ability to spot his pitches where he wants, Jo-jo is a very solid pitching prospect. He should develop into a innings eater MORP (middle-of-the-rotation pitcher) and maybe even has the ceiling of a legit #2 starter. He's got a long way to go, but KC has shown the ability to be patient and let their top prospects develop on their schedule. Expect them to do the same with Strickland.

2nd rounder Richie Buss was a known signability concern going into the draft. Rumors of a change in bonus demands to that exceeding what the top draft choices got have pretty much stalled negotiations. Look for KC to get a compensation pick next season.

3rd rounder Robert Sierra has terrific speed and causes absolute chaos on the basepaths for opposing defenses. Probably limited to LF as a big leaguer, he does have enough arm to spot-start in RF if necessary. A solid offensive player yet not spectacular at anything, though he can make pretty decent contact and that along with his speed and wits on the basepaths should allow him to be fairly effective at getting on base.

4th rounder Julian Samardzija is a true 3 outcome hitter. He'll strike-out, draw a walk, or hit a HR if/when he makes contact (as evidenced by his 11 HR in 32 games in Rookie ball so far). He'll struggle in the upper-minors, but may have enough OBP ability and certainly has enough power potential to warrant sleeper status.

KC turned their fortunes around mostly because of very good drafts. Unfortunately, other than Strickland there really isn't a standout pick for this season. KC did add Edgard Fernandez from the International scene so they have added talent to their already loaded farm system, but they didn't do it in the numbers they have in the past. Overall, their draft gets a C, and without Strickland it likely would have been lower.

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