Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Season 7 Draft Review -- New York Pride of the Yankees

With the Pride we have another flagship organization within Cobbfather. Winners of the season 5 WS championship, Pride has made it to the playoffs every season and has made 2 World Series. Though they draft low each season, NY has managed to find some decent players with their past draft picks and have been able to maintain at least some talent in the pipeline. Given that, let's see if the Pride was able to continue to find players, especially given they had two 1st rounders in this draft.

Bill Lombard was taken with the first of NY two 1st rounders. Lombard keeps himself in great health, and should easily be able to play everyday if asked to do so. Though NY typically plays players with Lombard's range and glove at 2B -- even though he'd be below average defensively there -- so far NY has played him exclusively at RF. He doesn't have the arm to be an effective everyday RF, though he could be a GG caliber LF if given the chance. Offensively, Lombard is a solid if not spectacular hitter. A switch-hitter, Lombard is more comfortable from the right side, but does show the ability to handle RH pitchers. Makes average contact but does have a good eye at the plate -- Lombard could turn into a very solid #6 hitter at the ML level. Pride usually finds a legit ML player with their first pick, and they've done so here.

With the #40 pick, Pride chose Jorel Swift. Swift brings high velocity and a dominant fastball with him and is extremely tough on RH batters. As good as his fastball is, lefties do a good job making contact against him due in large part to Swift being a 1 pitch pitcher. Swift definately has all the potential to be a reliever in the big leagues, though his inability to keep lefties at bay probably result in his being a set up guy instead of a lights-out closer. Still a good pick here though.

In the 2nd round, Pride did something uncommon: they focused on defense. R.A. O'Leary is a fantastic defensive SS. His offense is a little lacking, and certainly not up to NY standards, but given his defense his offense will play at the ML level adequately enough. A very solid draft choice here.

The defensive theme continued for Pride in round 3, where they nabbed Bump Bigbie. With a bat that probably struggles if exposed everyday to ML pitching, Bigbie is probably best suited as a utility player. With GG caliber defense at CF and 2B along with being able to combine outstanding speed and with a very good ability to run the bases, Bigbie has an awful lot of what managers like to see out of bench players. Bigbie will make it to big leagues, and his defense may just be good enough for some team to try and play him everyday -- especially an NL team.

4th rounder Alan Locke is my sleeper pick for Pride. Able to play either corner in the outfield along with 1B, Locke is a very solid hitter against lefties even if he is a lefty himself. A good baserunner as well. A good chance at being an ML bench player.

The Pride showed in the Season 7 Draft what has made them such a strong franchise since the inception of Cobbfather. They found ML level players all the way into Round 4, and they earn a B- on the draft that could be even better if a couple of their picks reach their full potential. Given where Pride drafted in the order of picks, this has to be considered a good draft for them.

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