Well, the 2010 draft is in the books and teams are now madly trying to sign their top picks. To celebrate the influx of new talent, we’re looking back to the first round of the ’09 draft and checking in on each player’s progress to date. Yesterday, we looked at the first 16 players chosen in the draft. Today, we’ll look at the final 16.
17. A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona
Pollock jumped out to a solid start in his pro debut in ’09 at low-A ball but he’s projected to miss all of 2010 after hurting himself in spring training.
18. Chad James, LHP, Florida
James isn’t as flashy as some of the other ’09 prep pitchers, but he’s looked good in low-A ball. He has 42 strikeouts in 38.2 innings and has given up just 34 hits. Right-handers are hitting just .226 against him.
19. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis
Miller has performed well in low-A with a limited pitch count, but he’s also been pretty inconsistent. He needs to be more efficient with his pitches, but he’s also a strikeout pitcher so those totals will always be high. Miller started out the year with very good ground-ball rates but he’s become more of a fly-ball pitcher lately.
20. Chad Jenkins, RHP, Toronto
The Jays organization has a new go-slow approach with its young players so Jenkins, 22, began the 2010 season in low-A. His performance has been somewhat underwhelming so far with 87 hits allowed in 79.1 innings of work. He also has 63 strikeouts. On the plus side, he’s issued just 13 walks and has a solid ground-ball rate (55%).
21. Jiovanni Mier, SS, Houston
Mier performed well in his debut in the Appy league in 2009, but he has slumped terribly this season and is batting just .199/.297/.252 in 226 at-bats. After hitting seven homers in his debut, he has yet to go deep in 2010. He’s also stolen just five bases in eight tries, after posting double-digit steals in ’09.
22. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota
Gibson began the year by dominating high-A ball with 33 hits and 12 walks allowed in 43.1 innings. The right-hander also had 40 strikeouts and a ground-ball rate of 68%. Moved up to double-A, his worm-burning rate is still good at 55%, but his strikeout rate has dropped and he’s given up 45 hits and 11 walks in 41.0 innings. Those are still good numbers, but they’re not quite as eye-popping.
23. Jared Mitchell, OF, Chicago AL
Like Pollock, Mitchell injured himself this spring and will miss the entire regular season.
24. Randal Grichuk, OF, Los Angeles AL
Earlier this season, Grichuk was having trouble living up to his solid debut numbers for ’09. He was hitting just .229/.280/.431 in 109 at-bats. Grichuk was then placed onto the disabled list in early May and hasn’t played since. He hurt his thumb and is expected back in early August.
25. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles, AL
Trout has been one of the breakout players from the ’09 draft. He hit .360/.418/.506 in his debut in ’09 and is currently hitting .360/.440/.546 with 33 steals in 39 tries. The speedy outfielder also projects to have solid power. Take his career batting average with a grain of salt, though. His career BABIP is over .400 and should come down over time despite his good speed.
26. Eric Arnett, RHP, Milwaukee
Arnett has been a disappointment to this point. The 22-year-old pitcher has been demoted to short-season ball after allowing 70 hits and 20 walks in 56.1 low-A innings. Right-handers were hitting .340 against him.
27. Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle
Franklin has been a surprise star in low-A ball this season. The teenage shortstop is currently showing above-average power with 13 homers in 255 at-bats and he has a triple-slash line of .306/.350/.553. The switch-hitter also has double-digit steals and looks like a potential 20-20 player. On the downside, he has just 17 walks compared to 50 strikeouts.
28. Reymond Fuentes, OF, Boston
Fuentes has a respectable triple-slash line of .274/.322/.400 and 25 steals in 26 tries but he’s going to have to tweak his aggressive approach at the plate. The speedster has walked nine times with 54 strikeouts, which is not going to cut it for a lead-off hitter.
29. Slade Heathcott, OF, New York AL
Heathcott, 19, began the year in extended spring training but headed to low-A ball in June. He’s currently hitting .327/.397/.418 in 55 at-bats.
30. LeVon Washington, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay
Washington failed to sign with Tampa Bay and went to junior college, after failing to meet the academic requirements to attend a four-year college. The speedy player had an OK offensive season in junior college and was picked up by Cleveland in the second round of the ’10 draft.
31. Brett Jackson, OF, Chicago NL
After hitting .318 in his debut in ’09, Jackson has continued to perform well in ’10. At high-A ball, he currently has a triple-slash line of .292/.404/.451 in 233 at-bats. He has an impressive walk total at 41 but the strikeouts are dangerously high (61) for someone with gap power. Jackson has stolen 11 bases in 17 tries.
32. Tim Wheeler, OF, Colorado
Wheeler has posted modest numbers in 2010 at high-A ball. He’s currently hitting .253/.351/.394 with six homers and 12 steals in 62 games. The left-handed hitter is batting just .210 against southpaws.
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