Thinking about the 2007 draft

Some various odds and ends on the brain today, so let’s crank through them. First, take a few minutes and head over to the Ottawa Lynx blog and check out the various pictures, and even some video footage of our affiliate north of the border. Second, a bit of troubling news yesterday, as Dan Brauer left after two innings pitched in Clearwater. I’ve looked, no indication yet as to what happened, but let’s hope it isn’t serious. If you hear/find anything, drop me a line. With the addition of new correspondants who will be helping with the weekly reports for each affiliate, I’ll be getting back to writing more feature pieces and profiles. First up is a profile of Jason Jaramillo (hopefully tomorrow), I’d like to also look at Welinson Baez, but after that, I’m open to suggestions. To read all past profiles, check here and if a guy you’d like to see hasn’t been done yet, let me know and I’ll do my best. I’m also planning a piece on minor league park factors, something that I think is of real importance when looking at minor league statistics. But for today, let’s take a look at the upcoming 2007 draft. I’m also pleased to announce that JE at PhilliesDraft.com has agreed to provide some insight on who the Phillies might target, as well as scouting reports on players as we get closer to the draft. Be sure and check out his site for more info than you could ever ask for on past Phillies drafts.

The Phillies have the 19th overall pick in the draft, and after the 2nd round, will pick 19th in every round until the conclusion of the draft. Because of the new changes in the collective bargaining agreement, the compensation round has been greatly expanded. Here is a look at the Phillies drafting situation this year

#19
#37 (for David Dellucci)
#84 (Second round pick)
#108 (for David Dellucci)
#114 (Third round pick)

The Indians first round pick was protected, as they are drafting in the top 15, and their second round pick goes to the Mets for the signing of Roberto Hernandez, so that means we get a sandwich pick (#37) plus their 3rd rounder (#108), which isn’t a bad return. The probability of plucking a gem is much higher at #37, but it never hurts having extra picks, and we’ll have 2 in the first 115 picks. With the draft about 2 months away, there is still quite a bit of time left, and still plenty of uncertainty as to who is going where, who’s stock will take a last minute jump, and on the flip side, who’s stock will take a dive. Just a few years ago, a big slugger had draftitis, he slid down everyone’s draft board, the Phillies were able to grab him in the 5th round. Similarly, a guy may be the “second best player on his team”, scouts might be coming to watch his teammate, and he could go from a fifth round pick to a supplemental first round pick in 2 months time. That said, speculation is fun, so let’s speculate.

Many of the popular sites like Baseball America have given very preliminary guesses as to their top 30’s, Keith Law over at ESPN has his Top 100 list, and these lists are likely to change, but let’s take a look at the prospects who might be around at #19 and #37. Baseball America lists these guys right before and right after the Phillies pick at #19.

13. Blake Beavan, rhp, Irving (Texas) HS (15)
BA’s 2006 Youth Player of the Year has shown mid-90s heat while allowing one earned run and two walks in eight starts.

14. Matt Domiguez, 3b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (22)
Chatsworth High has two of the four best prep hitters in the draft, and Dominguez offers Gold Glove defense at third.

15. Beau Mills, 3b/1b, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (NR)
His bat will have to carry him, but the transfer from Fresno State was hitting .477-21-74 through 37 games.

16. Mike Moustakas, 3b/c, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (NR)
Another offensive-minded player, he currently plays shortstop alongside Dominguez but will have to move as a pro.

17. Phillipe Aumont, rhp, Ecole Du Versant (Gatineau, Que.) (NR)
The best arm to come out of Canada since Adam Loewen, and Kyle Lotzkar (Tsawwassen, B.C.) isn’t far behind either.

18. Matt Mangini, 3b, Oklahoma State (14)
The 2006 Cape Cod League batting champ (.310) is a better defender but has less power than LaPorta or Mills.

19. Jarrod Parker, rhp, Norwell (Ind.) HS (NR)
Lacks size but has opened a lot of eyes by topping out at 98 mph and flashing a plus breaking ball in his first two starts.

20. Joe Savery, lhp, Rice (7)
After minor shoulder surgery at the end of last season, Rice has yet to turn Savery loose this spring.

21. Casey Weathers, rhp, Vanderbilt (NR)
Senior wowed scouts at Astros College Classic with a 98 mph fastball and a nasty slider, and he hasn’t let up since.

22. Brett Cecil, lhp, Maryland (NR)
Less athletic version of Moskos, power lefty reliever could move to the rotation after turning pro.

23. Josh Smoker, lhp, Calhoun (Ga.) HS (NR)
Has shown an 89-92 mph fastball to go with a solid breaking ball and a split/changeup every time out this spring.

This is a really interesting list of guys, lots of pitching and lots of “potential” 3B. I’m firmly in favor of taking the best available talent in the first few rounds, and if the best talent available is a pitcher, even though we have strength in our system in pitching, I think you have to take the guy. Looking at this list, I think it’s a stretch to think Dominguez will get to us unless he falters a bit this spring. He’s a high school bat, but is fairly advanced for a prep hitter and could move quickly. Mills doesn’t profile as a true 3B and probably won’t translate well to the OF. I know little of Moustakas, but Mangini is a name I’ve heard quite a bit, and his stock seems to be rising. For the pitchers, I’d definitely avoid Joe Savery. Rice pitchers have a horrible track record after leaving Rice, and he’s already had arm trouble over the last season or so. Smoker sounds like he could be this year’s version of Clayton Kershaw, with a tick less on his fastball. Of the pitchers, Weathers might actually be my top choice, as he’s a power righty, and that’s something our system lacks right now, as Drabek and Carrasco are both low 90’s heat guys, whereas Weathers is already consistently in the mid 90’s and has room to grow.

Keith Law gives his Top 100 list at ESPN (Insider content), and lists these guys in the 14-24 range..

14. Beau Mills, 3B/1B, Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State
15. Michael Burgess, OF, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, Fla.
16. Matt LaPorta, 1B, Florida
17. Tim Alderson, RHP, Horizon High School, Scottsdale, Ariz.
18. Mike Moustakas, 3B/C, Chatsworth (Calif.) High School
19. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell High School, Hudson N.C.
20. Blake Beavan, RHP, Irving (Texas) High School
21. Jack McGeary, LHP/1B, Roxbury (Mass.) Latin High School
22. J.P. Arencibia, C, Tennessee
23. Casey Weathers, RHP, Vanderbilt
24. Julio Borbon, OF, Tennessee

Many similar names here, and some new ones. Burgess is projected to go at #30 by BA, and he’s quite raw. LaPorta, who returned to FLA for his senior year after a disappointing junior season, is a 1B exclusive, so the Phillies will probably avoid him if he’s there, though the org really lacks anything resembling a legit 1B prospect. Baumgarner is rated in BA’s Top 10, Beavan at #13. Arencibia doesn’t show up in BA’s top 30, but as a C, he’s clearly intriguing. Borbon is probably the most “polished” of the outfielders, but I’m not real sure about his upside at this point.

At this early stage, my best case pick is Matt Dominguez, though I doubt he’ll be there at #19. Moustakas is another interesting guy, and if he has the instincts and range to play 3B, I wouldn’t mind him at all if he slides to us. If we’re taking a pitcher at #19, I’d prefer he be a power arm, preferably right handed. We’ll see what happens as we get closer, and hopefully JE and others will be able to provide more info.

9 thoughts on “Thinking about the 2007 draft

  1. Some quick thoughts on some of prospects mentioned above…

    Matt Dominguez – Had been my top choice for a long time until I saw his swing on milb.com — too much like Cal Ripken’s for my taste. Very, very good hands at third, however.

    Josh Smoker – Might be my top choice right now. Of all the prep lefties, I like his delivery the most.

    Matt Mangini – Don’t get me started on him… I’ll just politely say ‘no thanks’ and move along.

    Joe Savery – Agree with you, Rice pitchers appear to be injury-prone.

    Mike Moustakas – Love his swing, reminds me so much of Brandon Snyder (O’s top pick in 05).

    Julio Borbon – Always thought of him as a slightly bigger version of Michael Bourn. LF arm and we have bigger needs means I’ll pass.

    Beau Mills – AL 1b/dh type that’s just not a good fit for the Phils.

    Michael Burgess – Looked terrible in the Aflac game, but has some serious tools and fits the high risk/reward profile the Phillies invested heavily in last year.

    Matt LaPorta – See Beau Mills.

    Tim Alderson – Great kid (very Scott Mathieson-like), ridiculously good control, but the fact that he still doesn’t pitch from a windup is a bit worrisome to me.

    Madison Bumgarner – I’m a bit surprised he’s mentioned by BA as a potential top 5 pick. He seems a bit too raw to warrent that high a pick.

    Blake Beavan – I’ve always considered him unattainable and will probably continue to think so.

    Jack McGeary – Stanford never loses a recruit so, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no need discussing him.

    JP Arencibia – He’s played hurt and didn’t swing the bat well the other night when I saw Tenn play Vandy on TV. If he slides that far, I wouldn’t mind taking him in round 2-3.

    Casey Weathers – Very impressive outing against Tenn the other night – mid-90’s, nasty slider, and a couple of nice changeups. I’ve been leaning against taking college relievers, but this one is really, really interesting.

    I’ll throw Todd Frazier’s name out there, also. He’s really coming on this year and could fill the Phillies’ need at 3b or RF.

    JE

  2. Very niiiice. I’ve never seen Mangini play, just read reports, I’ll cede to you there. I like Smoker a lot, as well as Moustakas.

    Weathers is interesting. Is he Huston Street, only with better stuff? I’m normally against drafting a college reliever early too, but the system has very little impact talent higher up in the system, and the potential to grab a guy that could be closing games a year after being drafted is enticing. Then again, it doesn’t always work (see Hansen, Craig). Interesting tidbits, we’ll see how it develops.

  3. Of the pitchers video available- most impressive to me was Josh Fields- I understand his velocity is down, and he isn’t as successful this year as in the past. But all that on top of being short in stature, his delivery and arm speed stood out from all the other scouting video- even guys throwing harder then him. If he’s available in the supplemental round i’d be excited about him.

    I tried to see the Cal Ripken comparison in Dominguez, but i don’t see it, though Ripken changed his stance every other week. I didn’t see above average batspeed though- you hate to see a kids scouting video consist of popup in his first couple batting practice swings.

    Another guy that won’t be there for the phils- but Jason Heyward is one impressive looking hitter- very consistent and well put together.

  4. I watched the Dominguez video, and I definitely see the Ripken comparison. Very “wristy” swing, and I can see him having a somewhat difficult time adjusting to a wood bat. He looked fine on defense though, very fluid and soft hands.

  5. I’d prefer a college bat. I think Frazier makes the most sense. If there aren’t better options. I don’t have a real problem with Mills or LaPorta either though. Howard turns 28 this year and even the most advance college players have a three-year trek through the Phillies system. Give me a college bat and high school bat at 19 and 37 followed by 3-4 arms (mix HS and college) and I’m pretty pleased. I think we need a SS prospect too. I’m not sure if Frazier can do it but I’d be considering Dent, Jackson, Kozma and Colon at 37.

  6. I like Frazier, but he might be a bit of a reach at 19. Mills might be a bit more athletic than LaPorta, so he might be able to shift to LF or RF before stopping at 1B, who knows. I too would prefer a bat at 19, and a fast track guy, but we need quality ballplayers at every position. Heck, I’d even settle for Fields in the comp round, I think he might be the best all around reliever available outside of Weathers. Moskos is going to end up a starter, so he doesn’t count.

  7. Too many lefties to be ignored- given the darth of college hitters, it seems unlikely that the best player available at that slot is going to be even close to a postion player. I understand Squire’s desire for a shortstop, but short of a guy who’s going to be a good hitting prospect (but as said, there aren’t many position prospects in general likely to hit), i’d almost feel like taking a shortstop early is akin to finding another fast outfielder who can’t hit. But i’m flexible and willing to be pleasantly surprised. Its the great thing about the draft- the day after everyone looks has the potential to be the next big thing.

  8. What about this two-way player out of Albany State University; DeMario Cash. He has the prototypical body at 6’1, 200.lbs.P/3b. DeMario was effective at the Division II level this season with a 10-2 record on the mound and lead his team at the plate leading his conference in homeruns and RBI’s. His strongest attributes is his powerful arm and consistent bat with quick hands. He has been overlooked by some clubs but worth the time. A fierce competitor with impressive instincts. contact;dcashusa@yahoo.com

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