Friday, July 21, 2006

Predicting the future part 2 (picks 12-21)

Donny:

Well, I went through the same thought process, and was about to pull the trigger on Kazmir, but then I looked at his break out year in comparison to Bonderman's and I came to some obvious conclusions. Bonderman strikes out less guys, but 119/35 in 125 IP is just better than 125/45 in 115 IP. So what, he Ks fewer guys. He walks less and 8.6 K/9 aint too shabby anyway, and remember dominance is more about relative strike out ability (K/BB) than ability to strike guys out (K/9). If you consider that Kazmir walk more guys and thus probably faces more batters, I bet their K rates are closer than you would think at first. I’m not bashing Kaz just saying when you consider the difference in experience, history and yes age (which I think is good for Bonderman because he is closer to being out of the period where young pitchers break down) then Bonderman is the choice.

Wood has some K issues, but they are getting better and he is the number one power prospect in the game, and he plays shortstop, so I think I will let passable SS defence slide especially when you see…

#12) Jose Reyes
Age: 23
Position: Shortstop (potentially moving Wood to 2B)

Ok I am going to pull a bait and switch and move Wood to 2B and stick Reyes in at SS. There is a very high likelihood that his current 350/500 hitting is a fluke, but you never know, guys who make it to the majors very young, well there is usually a reason. Add in his statistically great defence and this is a risky pick I am willing to take.

#13) Jered Weaver
Age: 23
Starting pitcher

Ok this could end up looking pretty stupid down the line, but I think this might be a guy who the scouts just missed on. They said he was an extreme fly ball pitcher, but, hey keep him out of Chicago and maybe he might just make it. Weaver had comparable stats to Prior in college, but played in a weaker conference, and now he is looking like a latter day Prior in a brief stint in the majors. Speaking of upside, I am going to take him here, which would have seemed extremely high in the offseason, on the hope that he is going to fullfill his brothers promise.

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Walter:

Two interesting picks by you. Reyes was a guy I had my eye on for later in the draft. The best word I can think of to describe Reyes' game is dynamic. He definitely passes the Walter "my two eyes" test because of his speed and abilitiy to just make things happen on the field. That said, he doesn't hit for any power, and is more of a singles hitter than anything else. He belongs at the top of an order, but he strikes out too much and walks to little to leadoff. He is an incredibly talented player but would not fit into what I want in a baseball team (or you, I am surprised you picked him to start for your team at SS). Oh and he is marvelous defensively. Wood can move to 2B but you are looking at a team very weak defensively up the middle (outside of Reyes).

Weaver is a real interesting pick. He reminds me a lot of his brother who I always thought had a chance to be a perrenial all star. The problem with Jeff, though, was that his stuff just wasn't good enough. Once guys got used to his herky-jerky motion he became eminently hittable. I could see that happening to Jered also, although his delivery is a bit more deceptive than big brother and his stuff is a little better. You've got to be encouraged by his college numbers though. True he didn't play in the Pac-10 like Prior, but he put up a 10:1 K:BB ratio his senior year which is impressive at any level. Risky pick, but an interesting one.

#14) - Daric Barton
Age: 20
Position: 1B

Another real risky pick because of his age (I guess I'm no longer gravitating towards guys who have proved it on the ML level huh?) but I am absolutely in love with his numbers. In 4 full minor league seasons he has never put up an OBP less than .410. He has shown unbelievable plate discipline while walking over 30 times more than he has struck out in his minor league career.....And he is only 20 years old. I know that his power is going to come along slowly, but he is going to hit a ton of doubles and get on base enough that it will be worth it. Even still, it's a bit risky taking a 20 year old 1B who projects to only about 25 HR per season.

#15) - Delmon Young
Age: 20
Position: OF

Unbelievable potential here (especially power) despite not having the type of numbers the other hitters I have chosen have. Plus he's a total asshole but whatever. Delmon had one of the finest 1st seasons in pro ball ever hitting .320 with 25 HR and 115 RBI in 131 games for Tampa's single A affiliate. I am a bit worried about his strikeout rate but his raw power potential is just too high to ignore. He is a potential triple crown candidate and projects to the next level as an Alberte Belle type. I would not be surprised to see him put up a 50 HR-50 2B season at some point in his career........Although I also wouldn't be shocked if he were out of baseball before he turned 32 (like Belle). Still Alberte Belle was the offensive force in baseball for almost 8 years. Delmon Young has the potential to dominate this league and my team could definitely use someone to produce some runs behind all my high OBP guys.

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Donny:

How can I be weak up the middle when I only have 2 out of the four picked?

As for your picks, I understand the Barton pick, but I cannot agree with it. Aside from being too high, I am not convinced his HR power will magically appear. Remember walks follow power, not the other way around.

Ok quickly, my next two...

#16) - Chris Young
Age: 22
Position: CF

You were right I needed some help up the middle, and I think I go a way to fixing it here. Prototypical power/speed guy in the minors right now, and whose upside is Cameron without the strikeouts. I'll take it. He is hitting well in Tuscon right now, but then again, so is everyone so it is hard to distinguish how good he has been.

#17) - Justin Verlander
Age: 23
Position: Starting pitcher

I am not convinced he is going to be as good as this, especially when the lack of strikeouts catch up with him. But according to scouts, and you, he definitely has the stuff to convert it into Ks. Look for him to wear down a little as he extends his innings count.

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Walter:

Two good picks by you. One note on Barton though, I admit that he is very young and its a risky pick, but his upside is 2006 Bobby Abreu. Whether he develops power or not Barton should be a .400 OBP machine.

Good pick with Chris Young, although could be a bit early. I think Mike Cameron without the K's is a good comparison, but I guess I'm not certain if that is a good thing. There are still OF's with far more upside. You do realize Delmon Young was picked with the preceeding selection. As for Verlander I agree with everything you said. His stuff is wicked nasty but he is gonna dip a lot in the 2nd half. If Verlander becomes a dominant pitcher it will be by striking guys out (which he is definitely capable of doing) not by doing what he has so far.

#18 - Jeremy Hermida
Age: 22
Position: RF

Prototypical Walter pick. High OBP, tons of walks, not a ton of HR power. Anyone who can walk 100 times in the minors is OK by me. 255 career minor league walks in under 400 games works for me. Right now he could be a 20 HR guy but I doubt he will develop more power than that. I project Hermida as a Brian Giles type right now, but he has the skills to develop a bit more power and better defense.

#19 - Huston Street
Age: 22
Position: Relief pitcher

By far the best under 23 closer in the game. With all due respect to Craig Hansen, Huston Street is the only guy who has proven he can consistenty close the door in the ninth inning. Though he hit a rough patch earlier this season, he has rebounded nicely and I don't think there is any cause for concern. Owns a career MLB WHIP under 1, ERA at 2.18, and a sterling 111:35 K:BB ratio. Two concerns that I do have, though, are (1) he doesn't have truly dominating stuff, and (2) he is an extreme fly ball pitcher. That said, in his ML career he has almost struck out a batter per inning. As for being a fly ball pitcher, that is the MO of most closers (when was the last time you saw a sinkerballer close out a game), and if he stays in the spacious Oakland Coliseum being a flyball pitcher will actually help him. Bottom line is that Street is a top 10 MLB closer right now and he is only 22 years old (that's 3 years younger than Papelbon for those of you paying attention). When he retires we might be talking about him as the greatest closer ever.

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Donny:

good pick on Street, proven young pitcher. People at work are being suspicious so I will keep this brief.

#20) - Prince Fielder
Age: 22
Position: 1B

Ok I know you aren't supposed to pick firstbasemen this high, and that you can basically make a first basemen out of anyone else, but I going with the 'take the best player available' in this part of the draft.

#21) - Brian McCann
Age: 22
Position: Catcher

Well, if I cannot get the defense of Mauer, I will go for the bat of McCann, reports on defense have been positive and you can't argue with his .408 OBP .555 SLG line thus far.

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