For the next two weeks, in honor of the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft on June 5-6, I will be devoting my posts to a review of the 2007 draft. Today, let’s take a look at how some of the key National League second round picks are faring in their first full season in professional baseball.
Right-hander Jordan Zimmerman (Washington) is looking like the steal of the second round, having out-performed a number of higher-drafted pitchers so far. He posted a 1.65 ERA in 27 High-A innings before moving up to Double-A. He allowed 15 hits and eight walks. He struck out 31. So far in Double-A, Zimmerman has posted a 3.80 ERA in 21.1 innings. He has allowed 19 hits and 11 walks. He has struck out 20.
Third baseman Jake Smolinski (Washington) was drafted out of high school and has played both third base and second base in his pro career. He hit well in his debut (.305 in the Gulf Coast League) and earned a spot in full-season ball in 2008 at the age of 19. He is currently hitting .261/.338/.402 with four homers in 184 at-bats. He has walked 9.4 percent of the time and has struck out at a rate of 17.5 percent.
Despite a .296 average in his debut, Brian Rike (Colorado) has moved slowly for a college draft pick and is currently hitting .267/.393/.483 with 10 homers in 180 at-bats in A-ball. He has also stolen 10 bases in 14 attempts. Strikeouts are a concern as he has whiffed 34.4 percent of the time, but he has also walked at a rate of 15.1 percent.
The Marlins organization has to be pretty happy with outfielder Mike Stanton. The 6-5 outfielder will be 18 all season long and is currently posting a line of .273/.332/.494 with eight homers in 176 A-ball at-bats. Unfortunately, he is still raw and has struck out 35.8 percent of the time and walked only 5.4 percent. All in all, not bad for an 18 year old in full-season A-ball.
At 6-11, Scott Moviel (New York NL) towers over opponents at the age of 20. He has struggled in A-ball, though, with a 6.15 ERA in 45.1 innings. He has allowed 59 hits and has posted rates of 6.55 K/9 and 2.98 BB/9.
Eric Sogard (San Diego), 22, has moved quickly through the system and is currently hitting .320/.434/.412 in 194 at-bats at High-A ball. He has yet to hit a home run and he doesn’t steal a lot of bases so his value is tied directly to his average and his ability to get on base. So far, he has posted excellent rates by walking 17.5 percent of the time while striking out only 10.1 percent. He’s probably due for a promotion to Double-A.
Jess Todd (St. Louis), a college-reliever-turned-pro-starter, has been brilliant so far for the Cardinals organization. He began the 2008 season in High-A ball and posted a 1.65 ERA in 27.1 innings with 18 hits allowed. He posted rates of 11.52 K/9 and 2.30 BB/9. So far in Double-A, Todd has posted a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings with 13 hits allowed. He has rates of 7.54 K/9 and 2.38 BB/9.
Brant Rustich (New York NL) did not make his season debut until May 9 and has struggled at A-ball. The 23-year-old reliever has a 7.94 ERA in five games and has allowed two runs or more in three of his appearances. He has walked three and struck out three.
Despite posting a respectable 3.00 ERA in the Gulf Coast League in 2007, prep lefty Michael Watt (Los Angeles) has remained in extended spring training in 2008.
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