Monday, October 25, 2010

Season 10 Draft Review (Cont.)

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Category - The best of the best

4. Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens

Sacramento was unable to sign their first pick, but managed to make do with their other seven first and second round picks. Sacramento picked up the most offense in the draft. Chet Corey has a high offensive ceiling. Andrew Redman could be a solid defensive catcher, but should be great contact hitter with a fantastic eye and affinity for hitting LH pitching. Paul Wills and Jerry Tillman have an outside chance of reaching the Majors. Cy Telford is a nice second round steal, and could be a mid-rotation starter. Jose Goya could be a backup 1B someday.

Internationals: None

3. Fargo Fighters

Lewis Peterson, the draft's third pick, has arguably the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the draft. He features three good pitches, elite velocity, and is especially hard on right handers. His only vice is a lack of great control. Nick Werth has elite defensive potential

Internationals: Edgar Henriquez will struggle with his control, but otherwise has teh potential to be a top-of-the-rotation guy. Ruben Jacquez has an incredibly high defensive ceiling, and could be perfect as a platoon SS. Even if he sees action against RHs, he should be good enough to be a top-half SS.

2. St. Louis Beermen

18-year old Dustan Jackson has the highest ceiling in the draft, and has the potential to be the best player in baseball. He has a long way to go; however, even if he doesn't fulfill his limitless potential, he will still be an elite player barring injury. In an incredibly weak draft, this pick alone lands the Beermen in the top two.

Internationals: None

1. Chicago Puppies

Ned Meyers is currently the most complete pitcher in the draft and will likely be the best. Junior Armas is another SS with elite defensive potential, and could hit enough to stick in the bigs. Hugh Dransfeldt could be a fantastic DH or 1B platoon option against lefties. Ross Stephens likewise has ML potential, especially as a CF platoon option against righties.

Internationals: None

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Season 10 Draft Review (Cont.)

The Captain Morgan Category - Good by itself, but needs some help to be great

11. Austin Rock Stars

First round pick David Silva projects as a good hitter with a very good eye. Initially slotted as a CF, it is more likely that he ends up as a corner player. 18-year old Ralph Drew has control issues, but is otherwise a solid starter prospect.

Internationals: None

10. Hartford Huskies

Daniel Grove, the 12th pick, projects as a very good reliever with a fantastic fastball/slider combo. At 18, Grove is raw, and has a lot of room for growth. Chili Xaio has the potential to be a back-end starter.

Internationals: None

9. Boston Massacre

25th pick Andre Wood has a decent ceiling, probably as a number 2 or 3. Wood projects with good control and velocity, and a nasty slurve. Third round pick Duffy Waters has the potential to be a ML catcher.

Internationals: None

8. Charleston Chew

Charleston comes away with maybe the steal of the draft, nabbing Chris Nye with the 9th pick. Nye has elite defensive potential, and projects with a ton of power for a premium position. He is also blazing fast and could be 100 steal guy if used correctly. The one downside is that he is raw, and will have to be developed properly to have any chance of being an elite player.

Internationals: None

The HPNOTIQ Category - Won't completely blow you away, but it's time to party with class

7. Syracuse Sycophants

With seven picks in the first two rounds, it would have been impossible not to get some talent, even in this draft. Julian Beltre projects as a decent hitter if he can stick at 2B or in CF, but will struggle if he has to play a corner spot. B.C. Fussell may have some moderate value as a reliever someday, but isn't great against either righties or lefties. Steven Robinson is similar to Beltre, but is less selective and doesn't have the plate patience. Jimmie Beltre, the first of two second round picks, projects with ML potential.

Internationals: None

6. New York Pride of the Yankees

As we've seen so far, this was not a good year for team with multiple, but late, first round picks. New York is no exception. Moose Gonzales is the best of the group, and projects as an up-the-middle defender. Whether his glove will be good enough to play SS is the only question. He may struggle at the plate because of a subpar eye, but he should be acceptable with his defense. Pedro Barrios may end up as a decent reliever, while Dante Iwamura may end up as NY's future CF. Stu Thomas is the best hitter of the group, but his ceiling isn't much above average.

Internationals: None

5. Tacoma Termites

Basically the same as the previous two teams on the list, Tacoma had a ton of picks in the first two rounds, and that is why they are listed here without any top-tier talent. Vladimir Rosario projects as to be a very good, well-rounded pitcher. Jonathan Lawton will see the Major Leagues some day as a reliever. Roy Phillips will have trouble making contact, but has good power. Davey Torres is the opposite. Juan Sanchez, one of the many decent catching prospects in this draft, projects as a ML catcher.

Internationals: Javier Vega should be a very solid corner OF, but lacks power.

Season 10 Draft Review (Cont.)

The Don Q Category - Unknown and underrated, but smooth and effective

17. Cheyenne Chiefs

With the fourteenth pick, Cheyenne took 22-year old Reid Aldridge. Aldridge is not flashy, but he should be a solid middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. Supplemental pick Todd Roberts should be a ML reliever, and could be tough on LH hitters. Second round pick Steve O'Brien also ceilings out as a second-tier ML reliever.

Internationals: Dominican Quilvio Trinidad secured $12.0M on the international market, although there were better deals this season. His ceiling is as a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, although he could be a very strong power/control pitcher.

16. Buffalo Sabres

Johnny Saunders, the Sabres' first round pick, is one of the few corner players in this draft with a decent glove and bat. He projects with good power and a decent eye. Second round pick Dustin Grieve and third round pick Brandon Small both lack power, but are otherwise decent bats.

Internationals: Dominican Edgar Castro has a high defensive ceiling with a good bat. He has a long way to go, however.

15. Nashville Mayhem

Although Nashville was unable to sign its first pick, the draft's fourth, they were able to sign Louie Murphy, an early supplemental pick. Murphy, who has yet to be assigned and is wasting away, has a very high ceiling, with good control, velocity, and three solid pitches. He needs to play to get there, though, and even then it might be difficult. The first of two second ronud picks, Scott Rice, has limited offensive potential, but has a high ceiling as a defensive SS. Don Maxwell has no power or discipline, but is a great contact hitter.

Internationals: Nashville snagged this year's biggest profile international, Albert Pineda, for $22.0M. He has a monstrous ceiling, and if he reaches it, could be the best player in the Majors. Nashville also signed an under-the-radar pitcher, Ozzie Kimura, who may have some limited ML value someday. Coincidentally, he is also the first Japanese Ozzie I've ever heard of.

The Jack Daniels Category - For no other reason than my girlfriend drinks it like a fish

14. Vancouver Canadians

Fifth pick in the draft Arthur Stern has the highest offensive ceiling in the draft, although no better than mediocre defensively. At only 18, however, he is raw, and has a long way to go.

Internationals: Vancouver dropped a ton of cash on Sammy Otanez and Pedro Mijares. Otanez has front end potential, while Mijares probably ceilings out as a mid-rotation guy.

13. Arizona Hammer'd Leprechauns

Arizona signed just one pick in the first five rounds, but it was a good one. 22-year old Homer Butler is a future 150-inning set up man/closer with decent control and a power arm.

Internationals: Arizona has a productive international season, signing pitcher Bengie Martinez for $19.0M, and snagging legitimate CF prospect Paul Tamura
for just $2.2M.

12. Little Rock Lewinskys

First round pick Daniel Haselman is arguably the third most talented starting pitcher in the draft. His ceiling is as a second-tier number one pitcher, although he has a long way to go to reach that. Second round pick Bill Nix also has ML starting rotation potential.

Internationals: Manuel Estrada has closer potential.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Season 10 Draft Review (Cont.)

The London's Dry Gin Category - Palatable, but not preferable

24. Atlanta Expos

The Expos had four first round picks, although none before number 47. Nicholas Herndon has decent power potential and should be able to LH pitching, however his limited glove might restrict him to a corner OF spot. Ernest McConnell has ML potential, although fellow first rounder Bryan Lennon probably does not.

Internationals: None

23. Colorado Abominable Snowmen

First rounder Vasco Mendoza could end up being an elite defensive SS with a pretty solid bat, especially against LH pitching. If Tom Munoz could develop stamina, he could please fans in Colorado, and his girlfriend might be a little happier, too.

Internationals: None

22. Honolulu Haloes

First rounder Trent Park probably won't play a premium position, and his below average power won't play there. 64th pick Ariel Guerrero is a potential steal, and although he won't ever be an ace, he could be a solid pitcher.

Internationals: Harry Manuel could be a solid reliever.

21. Ottawa Renegades

Ottawa was unable to sign its first pick, but did sign supplemental pick Joakim Martinez. Martinez doesn't have great stuff, but is hard on LH hitters and has good control and velocity. Second round pick Daric Marshall rarely strikes out and has a good eye, but limited power for a corner position. Third rounder Abraham Dunn may make a ML roster someday.

Internationals: Ricardo Lugo could be very tough on RH hitters.

The Jose Quervo Category - Most people don't want it, but after you have it, you don't mind

20. Rochester Rolling Rocks

The non-moss gatherers had three first round picks. Willard Lo Duca may be a decent back-end starter someday. Geronimo Martin probably won't. This ranking is based on 71st pick Yunel James, one of the few true MLers found this late in this draft. Perez has true ML potential, although he needs to improve quite a bit as a 22-year old.

Internationals: None

19. Durham Radicals

The Radicals' first two picks were catchers. The 17th pick, Kennie Fister, calls a great game, although his glove is lacking. He won't strike out much, and rakes LH pitching. He will struggle to hit for power and against righties, but his eye should play against everyone. Parker Johnston has a massive defensive ceiling, but has a long way to go. He should hit enough to see the Majors, and has a decent eye. Durham's thir first rounder, Leonardo Schilling, has unlimited defensive potential, but will struggle at the plate. Second round picks Nick Burns and Brook Haselman have a chance to reach the Majors.

Internationals: None

18. Kansas City Tweakers

The Tweakers had two supplemental picks. Fred Mullaney has some control problems, and will struggle against RH hitters, but is otherwise good. At 67, Herb James is a steal. He has a devastating changeup and curve ball, and has great potential for control. He should be solid against RH hitting, and has good velocity. Second round pick Zachrey Valiquette also has some ML potential. Third rounder Davey Guardado has good power and a good eye.

Internationals: Ivan Cairo doesn't strike out, but may not have enough power to play a corner spot.

Season 10 Draft Review

This year's draft was disappointing for, well, just about everyone. Initially, the plan was to grade every team's draft, but the grades were so embarrassing, they've been omitted from the review. Internationals will be mentioned, but not factored in the draft's rankings.

This draft saw seventy-two first round picks, a couple of potential stars, a few top-of-the-rotation pitchers, and a very few game-changing hitters. The draft was heavy on defense, and light on greatness.

With that, here are the rankings, from worst to first:

The Milwaukee's Special Reserve Ice Category - Causing headaches after just one

32. Houston Space Cowboys

Houston had six picks in the first three rounds, including four in the first. They signed one player, Reed Rigby. Rigby's ceiling is as a decent defensive SS with no offensive upside. At best, he's a bench player, but it's more likely he'll never see the Majors.

At least he's fast, just like Al Davis likes 'em.

Interationals: None

The Smirnoff Ice Category - For those light on quality and light on testicles

31. New York Primetimers

With only one pick in the first three rounds, the Primetimers had to make their first pick count. They didn't. Alex Beamon, the eleventh pick in the draft, has almost no power and a mediocre eye. He won't strikeout much, and should be OK against LHP, but won't have the glove to play a premium position.

Internationals: None

30. Jackson Rockets

Of the seventy-two first round picks, Jackson had none. Their first pick, Trevor Collier, has a big arm, but not much else. Jackson sneaks ahead of Houston and New York based solely on depth, although their draft is not qualitatively better.

Internationals: Despite spending just $3.7M, Jackson signed three potential ML pitchers: P.T. Arias, Enrique Aguilar, and Yamil Gonzalez.

29. Dover Diamond Dogs

Dover is almost a mirror image of Jackson except with slightly better draftees. Dmitri Monroe is the best.

Internationals: Esteban Estrella should be solid defensively and provide massive power.

28. Richmond Rat Bastids

First round pick Philip Wells is best of the class, but will struggle badly against right handed hitters. He does have a moderately high ceiling, but for a 22-year old, he doesn't have much time to reach it, and he's not nearly ready.

Internationals: None

The Franzia Category - Making you feel sick when you think about last night

27. Cincinnati Red Stockings

First round pick Cozy Powell is a phenomenal defensive catcher with minimal offensive upside. Third round pick Luther Wright has decent upside and fourth round pick Terry Hall projects as a below-average ML bat without a position.

Internationals: 2B Willie Andujar is light on power, but otherwise has ML-starter potential.

26. Minnesota Modern Gentlemen

With four first ronud picks, you would hope for more talent. After being unable to sign sixth pick Dave Burch, the Modern Gents were left with Buddy Palmer, Seop Gong, and J.D. Upshaw in the first. Palmer ceilings out as a light-hitting third baseman. Gong could be a top-tier CF with his potential, but his lack of power will probably keep him from ever being better than a middle-of-the-road player. At best, Upshaw could be a mopup ML reliever.

Internationals: Jose Volquez has some moderate potential, but nothing really exciting.

25. Los Angeles Penguins

First round pick Albert Rodriguez projects as a very good defensive CF, with some offensive potential and good speed. Second round pick Sherman Stark has a decent offensive ceiling, although his value is limited as he projects to be a corner OF, not a CF as once thought. The Penguins added more defense in the third and fourth rounds.

Internationals: Following their draft plan, the Penguins signed Pedro Felix, a projected ligh-hitter with a good glove. Also, LA fleeced us all by stealing Tony Lopez. Lopez has a filthy curveball, and should be very tough on right handers. He could end up being a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week in Cobbfather

This Week in Cobbfather

Cobbfather is at the point in the season where the draft will occur on Sunday.  In an attempt to recap the season thus far the Post Gazette will be taking it from the beginning, starting with the offseason.  

The biggest free agent story of the year involved stud SP Ken Evans, who spurned the only franchise he had ever played for to date, the New York Pride of the Yankees and manager domiisgod for a max deal with rival Kansas City Tweakers and owner dirtyhill03.  domi had offered a max deal, along with at least 3 other teams to Evans, who had 140 wins at age 30 going into the season.  To deal with his disappointment domi called out Evans on the chat board as the loser we all know he is, and proceeded to sign veteran free agent SP Gordon Oliver, who has more than made up for the loss thus far with a 7-2 record.  Evans meanwhile is only 4-4 and hasn’t lived up to his deal. 

Other big free agent signings included Justin Kennedy signing with the Jackson Rockets, and the Syracuse Sycophants signing 3 type A free agents and a type B FA as well.  Jackson’s signing has certainly paid off as they are on top of the NL South.  Syracuse hasn’t been so lucky as they only competing for a wild card at this stage as powerhouse and defending World Series Champion Rochester has already put a 10 game lead on the rest of the division. 

The draft class which was revealed last Sunday proved to be a disappointment, as it is not very deep at all.  There is some great talent in the first 10 slots, but after that it will probably be a down draft year for most teams.  SP Ned Meyers is probably going to be the #1 pick, but there are a few position players who are also worthy of that position in the draft.  Meyers has gotten the most draft pre-pub in the league though so he is the odds on favorite.  Teams that are getting screwed by the poor class include Sacramento and their seven comp picks, and Syracuse, who also have seven picks. 

As poor as the draft class has been the international market has been good.  In fact this is the best international class Cobbfather might have ever seen, as there have been no less than nine stud internationals before the draft has even occurred.  The biggest paycheck was doled out by Nashville to projected 93 overall SS Alfredo Pineda at 22.4 million dollars.  But by far the biggest steal, perhaps in the history of all Cobbfather, were the Los Angeles Penguins nabbing projected 80 overall stud SP Tony Lopez for a mere 3.4 million dollars.  Lopez would be a top 5 draft pick in most drafts, with control and splits in the 90 range, and an excellent pitch selection to boot.  With over half of the season left to go one can only wonder at what kind of vulture market bargains will be available at the end of the year when most teams have spent their prospect budget.

Thus far in the season the biggest surprise has been the Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens, who are tied for 1st place in the NL West despite jettisoning 5 type A players and several type B’s through free agency and trades in a rebuilding effort.  The Arizona Hammer’d Leprachauns are the surprise of the AL, topping the West over heavily favored Kansas City.  Otherwise the division leaders are all the usual suspects.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

31% Season Power Rankings

1. Houston (37-11) - The defending AL champ has jumped out to an early 5.5 game lead behind an Al-best 3.75 ERA. Edgar Cortez is 7-0 and 6th in AL with a 2.74 ERA. Dan Carter leads the AL with 21 HRs and Zach Charles tops the league with a .362 AVG.

2. Rochester (35-14) - The reigning World Series champs look strong again. By far the best offensive team in baseball, the Rolling Rocks lead the Majors in runs, hits, doubles, walks, AVG, OBP, and SLG. Bill Everhart leads the world in AVG and SLG. Four other Rolling Rocks can be found in the top eleven in OPS.

3. Atlanta (33-16) - The Expos, a perennial World Series contender, just went from second tier to first with the addition of Talmadge Malone, currently hitting .347/.424/.579/1.003. As usual, Chris Pendleton and Carl Sosa are putting together Cy Young seasons, and are more likely to sustain production that some of the others on that list.

4. Richmond (32-17) - Richmond leads the AL in OBP and runs, mostly behind monster seasons from Alex Coombs and Albert Crespo, both OPSing over 1.000. Richard Jackson leads the AL in ERA and WHIP.

5. Dover (32-17) - Dover has won the NL East three years in a row, and with a huge lead, looks like they will make it four. Nothing flashy here, they just get it done.

6. Jackson (30-19) - Following a "rebuilding year" that saw a playoff berth for the Rockets, Jackson appears to be back as an elite in the NL. Medicore offensively, they are third in the NL in ERA, with Vic Brohawn (3.07) and Willy Murray (3.32) leading the way.

7. New York (AL) (30-19) - Gordon Oliver may not be Ken Evans, but he's certainly pitching like it (3.68 ERA). Sting Bailey is having a strong year at the plate (.317/.399/.550/.949), but the real key to this offense is depth.

8. Boston (30-19) - Boston gets it done with power, leading the AL in HRs, SLG, and OPS. Reigning HR champ Johnny Sherman is second in the AL with 17 HRs, and Gabe Butler is a close third with 16.

9. Arizona (28-21) - Arizona is third in AL in ERA; Sam Cohen and 23-year old Duffy Hughes lead the charge. Tom Weston leads the offense with 15 HRs, 50 RBIs, and a 1.019 OPS.

10. Los Angeles (27-21) - The abandoned playoff team apparently has some talent. Benny Lima and Louis Kirkland lead the team offensively.

11. Ottawa (26-22) - Ottawa has no real deficiencies. They are slightly above average offensively and on the mound. 26-year old Eduardo Redondo is having a monster offensive season (.317/.384/.630). Milton Henry is fourth in NL in ERA with a 2.35.

12. Minnesota (28-21) - Minnesota is headed in the right direction, although they are playing a bit over their heads right now. Arthur Weaver, the former Rule 5 draftee, is second in the AL in ERA, and Geraldo Bautista is eleventh. Expect regression from both.

13. Durham (26-22) - Durham is fourth in AL in ERA. The offense is below average, and they would be in serious trouble if the league's top all-around hitter, Rafael Benitez, was unable to play.

14. Honolulu (25-24) - The Majors' best pitching staff is led by Walt Kennedy (2.11 ERA /1.05 WHIP), Justin Powell (2.71/0.95), Alberto Beltre (3.45/1.07), and Jospeh Hyun (3.63/1.15).

15. Cincinnati (24-24) - Fourth in the NL in ERA, the offense will need to surge to keep playoffs hopes alive later in the season. Ismael Ortiz is second in the NL with a 0.95 WHIP. Dennis Jeffries and Marvin Mays are both having terrible seasons, expect huge improvements, giving a boost to the offense.

16. Cheyenne (25-23) - Jose Rijo is second in the NL in average (.359) and OPS (1.113). Alex Hernandez is fifteenth in OPS (.941) and twelfth in OBP (.402). Jacob Tebeau and Sammy Pinzon are thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively, in ERA.

17. Syracuse (26-23) - Syracuse is above average on the mound, but has scored just 4.2 runs per game. Alfredo Lindsey is putting together a nice season at the plate.

18. Sacramento (26-23) - Sacramento is a mirror image of Syracuse. Brandon Chouinard is third in the NL in ERA (2.14). Dennys Cromer is seventh (2.50).

19. Chicago (21-27) - The Puppies' pitchers lack bite, but the offense has shown some signs of life. Ronnie Bannister and Daniel Russell are a nice one-two punch at the plate.

20. Kansas City (21-28) - The usually-strong-in-all-aspects Tweakers are struggling a bit to start the year. They are near the bottom of the AL in runs scored, and in the middle of the pack in ERA. Benito Guerrero is having a typical monster season (.310/.442/.601/1.043). Greg Maduro and 23-year old Nicholas Atkins have been strong on the mound.

21. Charleston (22-26) - The Chew are in second place in the NL South, but are already 7.5 games back of the Rockets.

22. Buffalo (20-28) - Buffalo is the most one-sided team in the league; second in the Majors in ERA, and last in runs. Brian Wang leads the NL in ERA (1.88) and Sherm Gates is fifth (2.41).

23. Hartford (21-27) - The Huskies are fifth in the AL in runs scored, but sport an awful team ERA (5.82).

24. Tacoma (19-29) - Tacoma's staff has struggled (5.14 ERA), causing the ten-games-under-.500 record. Timo Green's current injury hasn't helped the situation, and was having a good year prior (3.44 ERA).

25. New York (NL) (19-30) - The Primetimers' offense has struggled, scoring the second fewest runs in the NL. Shayne Lemon leads the offense with a .929 OPS.

26. Little Rock (18-31) - The Lewinskys suck (see what I did there). The staff is second-to-last in ERA, and despite being second in the NL in SLG and HRs, they are just ninth in runs scored. Chip James is second in the NL in HRs (17), 4th in OPS (1.053), and fifth in SLG (.640).

27. St. Louis (19-30) - The Beermen's offensive numbers are ironically sobering. Last in the AL in runs scored, OBP, and SLG. 26-year old Harry Mieses is third in the AL in ERA (2.59).

28. Fargo (17-31) - Al James' debut was the first excitement in Fargo since the great cow tipping exhibition of 1973, and before that when Anheuser Busch unveiled Busch Ice.

29. Colorado (17-31) - Terrible pitching (6.31 ERA) neutralizes and decent offense (.782 OPS). Charlie Dickerson (.963) and Travis Lieberthal (.953) are fourteenth and fifteenth, respectively, in AL in OPS.

30. Nashville (16-32) - The former NL South powerhouse rounds out the bottom of the NL. They are last in the NL in ERA, and below average in run scoring. Taylor Overbay has been the lone bright spot for the staff (2.75 ERA).

31. Austin (13-35) - Texas' capital anxiously awaits the true Rock Star, James Hasselman. As of now, Austin doesn't have a lot going for it.

32. Vancouver (13-35) - Welington Lorenzo's (3.43 ERA) emergence as a potential number one is the lone bright spot.