Dreamweaving the Draft

The draft is all about dreaming on skills. You can bet that with every selection in yesterday’s first round, there was a scouting director and an area scout conjuring up the type of player their draftee could become. I thought it might be a fun exercise — especially given the pessimism that my draft history series provided — to look at who they might have been thinking of. I’m not projecting these futures, and would note the comparisons are rudimentary. But if we’re ever going to skew rose-colored, it should be today.

1. Bryce Harper, RF, Washington Nationals
Skills they love: Big left-handed power, big arm.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: It’s not my comparison, but Larry Walker‘s performance in right field is a good benchmark. I’d also point to the peaks of Shawn Green and David Justice as jumping off points.

2. Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Skills they love: Pitcher’s body, strikeout potential.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: How about Andy Benes‘ first 6 seasons, and Chris Carpenter‘s second 6 seasons?

3. Manny Machado, SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles
Skills they love: Fluid swing, power potential, natural athleticism.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: No one could rightfully be hoping for Alex Rodriguez production, but how about Matt Williams? Same height, third overall pick, started at shortstop.

4. Christian Colon, SS/2B, Kansas City Royals
Skills they love: Bat control, will stay up middle, little pop.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: 2003-2004 Mark Loretta. He hit .325/.382/.469, with a 112/107 BB/K ratio in 1360 plate appearances. Only not for just two seasons.

5. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Cleveland Indians
Skills they love: Easy velocity, snap-dragon curveball, workhorse.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: One of the Indians’ own — Chuck Finley, with a little better command. No easy comparison with this profile.

6. Barret Loux, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Skills they love: Pitcher’s build, very good changeup.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: Jason Schmidt, who only threw a breaking ball 10% of the time from 2003-2006, but managed 20 WAR over that time frame.

7. Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets
Skills they love: Big frame, big fastball, potential four-pitch mix.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: This is a fairly common pitcher, but I think if you put Matt Garza and Kevin Millwood in a blender, they might make what the Mets want from Harvey.

8. Delino DeShields Jr., CF, Houston Astros
Skills they love: Plus-plus speed, good defensive potential, leadoff stuff.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: It’s pretty hard to lock down, but I’ll throw three players out there: Chuck Knoblauch, Eric Young or Chad Curtis.

9. Karsten Whitson, RHP, San Diego Padres
Skills they love: Very good slider, projectable velocity.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: I think Jeremy Bonderman and Matt Clement are pretty accurate representations of slider-four seam guys that have had success.

10. Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics
Skills they love: Big, raw power, good patience, solid defense.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: Danny Tartabull on the athletic side, Greg Vaughn on the unathletic side.

11. Deck McGuire, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Skills they love: Innings-Eater Frame, Commanded 4-pitch mix.
They’ll be hoping for production that looks like: We can probably do better than John Lackey, so I’ll throw Scott Sanderson out there.

12. Yasmani Grandal, C, Cincinnati Reds
Skills they love: Good defender, switch-hitter can hit home run.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Perfect world? 1988-1996, Mickey Tettleton posted a 128 OPS+, and wasn’t the defender Grandal could be.

13. Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox
Skills they love: Projectable, throws strikes, death on left-handed hitters.
They’ll be hoping for production like: The best optimistic comparison available is probably Mark Mulder, who has a similar pitch arsenal, and similarly good command.

14. Dylan Covey, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Skills they love: Good fastball movement, power curve.
They’ll be hoping for production like: The most optimistic of hopes would be Chad Billingsley.

15. Jake Skole, OF, Texas Rangers
Skills they love: Hard-nosed, five-tool potential.
They’ll be hoping for production like: The easy comparison, which has already been made, is Grady Sizemore. I’d throw out Ray Lankford or maybe Steve Finley into the discussion, too, but we’re really skewing optimistic.

16. Hayden Simpson, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Skills they love: Good fastball velocity, two working breaking balls.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Scouting Director Tim Wilken already likened Simpson to Tim Lincecum or Roy Oswalt, so he did our work for us. Whatever he says.

17. Josh Sale, LF/RF, Tampa Bay Rays
Skills they love: Big-time power bat, good corner outfield profile.
They’ll be hoping for production like: How about another former 17th overall pick that slugged lefty, threw right-handed, and wasn’t very tall: Jeromy Burnitz? The Rays would hope for longer career, though.

18. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
Skills they love: Power switch-hitting bat with a canon at third base.
They’ll be hoping for production like: We won’t have a long history of powerful, switch-hitting third basemen, and since Cowart is from Georgia, the easy comp has been resorted to: Chipper. We’re pretty limited to him or Bobby Bonilla.

19. Mike Foltyniewicz, RHP, Houston Astros
Skills they love: Good fastball movement, clean mechanics.
They’ll be hoping for production like: We don’t have a ton to identify Foltyniewicz from, but I think you’d be looking at a groundballer with length and a good changeup: Scott Erickson, maybe?

20. Kolbrin Vitek, 2B/3B/CF, Boston Red Sox
Skills they love: Pure bat, good speed/arm combination.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Vitek is sort of an odd duck, so this one wasn’t easy. I would say the perfect world expectations start at 1995-2000 Jeff Cirillo (113 OPS+), and only go north from there.

21. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Skills they love: Solid command, plus-plus change, three ready pitches.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Pat Hentgen had the right mix of size, command, and home run tendencies I was looking for in a Wimmers comparison.

22. Kellin Deglan, C, Texas Rangers
Skills they love: Will stick behind plate, projection in left-handed bat.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Not a lot to go off with his offensive profile, so it’s hard to know if they are thinking Darren Daulton or A.J. Pierzynski. Maybe our best option is Brian McCann?

23. Christian Yelich, 1B, Florida Marlins
Skills they love: Pretty left-handed swing.
They’ll be hoping for production like: This is a player where the comps sort of write themselves: we’ve heard John Olerud and Mark Grace. We’d have to throw in Kent Hrbek and Sean Casey, too.

24. Gary Brown, CF, San Francisco Giants
Skills they love: Plus-plus speed, great bat control.
They’ll be hoping for production like: We talked in yesterday’s chat about how unique the Giants would need Brown to be given his walk rate, but the team has to hope he learns some patience and becomes Cesar Cedeno-like.

25. Zack Cox, 2B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Skills they love: Pure bat, has some power in it.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Cox is another guy whose value could be all over the place, but if you want perfect world, the Cardinals are probably thinking Robinson Cano with patience.

26. Kyle Parker, RF, Colorado Rockies
Skills they love: Strength and big-time power.
They’ll be hoping for production like: The list looks very similar to Michael Choice, given the short stature, the big strength and the unavoidable strikeouts. I’d add in Jesse Barfield to the list of comps given on Choice.

27. Jesse Biddle, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Skills they love: Big projectable frame, good changeup.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Big, tall lefty with a good changeup? You have to think Frank Viola, right?

28. Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Skills they love: He won’t sign.
They’ll be hoping for production like: I’m sure the Dodgers wish the best for him as a quarterback at LSU.

29. Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Skills they love: Good fastball/slider combination, attacks on the mound.
They’ll be hoping for production like: I’m guessing even more than his father, because the Angels are planning on keeping Bedrosian as a starter. A guy like Juan Guzman, in his good years, is a possibility.

30. Chevez Clarke, CF, Los Angeles Angels
Skills they love: Fast-twitch, switch-hitter in center.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Probably hoping for something like Chone Figgins, although a Brian McRae type might be the more realistic hope.

31. Justin O’Conner, C, Tampa Bay Rays
Skills they love: Athletic, big arm, big power potential.
They’ll be hoping for production like: On the high side, you’d love him to develop the patience and become Gene Tenace, but Terry Steinbach and his Midwest connections seem apt.

32. Cito Culver, SS, New York Yankees

Skills they love: Switch-hitter that could stay at shortstop.
They’ll be hoping for production like: Tony Fernandez had the speed and gap power combination that the Yankees love about Culver.




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12 Responses to “Dreamweaving the Draft”

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  1. keithr says:

    Cano with patience? Sounds terrifying.

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  2. regfairfield says:

    Give enthusiastic projection for obviously terrible picks like DeShields and Simpson.

    Make joke about Dodger pick.

    Is Fangraphs.

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  3. Note: I think you’d need a pretty big blender to get both Matt Garza AND Kevin Millwood into it. I mean, if I’m remembering correctly, a run-of-the-mill blender is approximately the size of one (1) gremlin.

    Also, I’m no scientist, but I think you’d just end up killing two major league pitchers — not producing a third one.

    Am I wrong?!?

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  4. Bill@TDS says:

    Was it hard to avoid just going ahead and saying “Delino DeShields, Sr.” for DeShields’ (which is clearly the right answer, right)? Senior is on the BBREF comp lists for both Knobby and EY…

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  5. Billy says:

    Wow, that was a waste of a read.

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  6. Preston says:

    “If we’re ever going to skew rose-colored, it should be today” – and then you snark on the Dodgers’ pick. I really don’t mind the joke, but you do a disservice to the many Dodger fans that read this site when you don’t even provide a comp for a legitimate prospect, especially when the Dodgers, and Logan White in particular, have a history of success with prospects from Texas.

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    • Bryan Smith says:

      Preston, and other annoyed Dodgers fans — if Lee signs, I will devote more than a line, I’ll write an entire piece on him. It’s just the combination of his demands and The Divorce has everyone a little skeptical. If they sign him, I really do believe it’s a great pick.

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  7. OremLK says:

    Ha, are you serious? Scott Erikson for Folty? You know, Folty? The kid with a 96mph fastball and projection up to the high 90s, a plus changeup, above average curveball, and above average command?

    I really don’t think the Astros are hoping for career 4.46 FIP from this kid. They’re shooting for the stars.

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  8. There are a lot of times where the romance altogether not there and focus on their manga domain. There will be a lot of time skip too so school life basically not fundamental, you will no longer see the school after few installments. The romance frequently serviced as back stories, a plot role for Mashiro to keep on operating, though there are several evolutions but they are not worrying much to the primary plot.

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