Draft Roundtable; 3/4/2013
We are going to begin a weekly roundtable post, touching on various draft topics. If you have any questions for future posts, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
With the first pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, the Houston Astros select…
Jeff Sullivan: To me, it’s a two player race right now between Manaea and Appel. Frazier has the talent to go there as well. But, I prefer Manaea, and I think they will pass on Appel again this year.
Mack: I believe every team should pick the “best player available” on the board and that would be Manaea. Manaea looks like the best player regardless of position.
Matt Grabusky: I believe there are probably four possibilities for the top spot, but right now my best guess would be Mark Appel.
Kevin Gallo: With the #1 pick I am going with Ryne Stanek because he is the top SP that isn’t a Boras client and that may give the Astros the ability to free up money for the later rounds.
Assuming that Mark Appel, Ryne Stanek, and Sean Manaea are your top three draft-eligible pitchers, who would you put fourth right now?
JS: Coming into the season, I would have had prep RHP Kohl Stewart. However, he hasn’t pitched yet this season with a mild injury to his throwing shoulder. As of today I would go with Jonathon Crawford of Florida a tick ahead of Bobby Wahl. If Vanderbilt LHP Kevin Ziomek contiues to dominate, he could be the fourth pitcher selected in June.
MG: I think when all is said and done, a high school pitcher will be among the top four pitchers to come out of this draft class. The problem is, which one? Give me a field of Kohl Stewart, Justin Sheffield, Clinton Hollon, and Carlos Salazar and I will feel pretty good. If I had to pick one today, I would probably go with Sheffield.
KG: The 4th best pitcher for me, and I am going off board, is Carlos Salazar. He throws in the high to mid 90s with good movement. His secondary stuff profiles to be above average to plus stuff.
Among the players who are generally not viewed as top round possibilities at the moment, who do you think has a good chance to surprise down the road?
JS: I love Kerman HS RHP Carlos Salazar, but he moves up in the rankings after each time throwing. I had him at 24 in my pre-season rankings but he would be even higher now. LHP Jake Brentz continues to impress and could be a day one selection. As for players who will be drafted a little later, I like the players who I have seen perform on the biggest stages. Three prep hitters in Nick Longhi, Joe Dudek, and Dylan Manwaring can all flat out hit. As for pitchers, I think Tyler Danish will be a quicker moving HS pitcher.
Mack: Texas State RHP Kyle Finnegan (3-ST, 1-0, 1.59, 17-IP, 26-K) and Seminole State RHP Teddy Stankiewicz come to mind.
MG: I really believe in Nick Longhi’s bat. I haven’t seen Konner Wade pitch yet this year, but I am a big fan of his. Tyler Horan has a chance to make an impact at the next level. Finally, I thought Buck Farmer should have been taken higher last year and still think he is undervalued.
KG: My surprise would be Thaddius Lowry. I think he may even bust into the 1st round, it wouldn’t surprise me. Good lively FB with an excellent slider and a devastating split finger. He just isn’t getting enough press.
With three weeks of the college season in the books, what college player or players have jumped out to you?
JS: I mentioned Kevin Ziomek above, he has dominated early on. FGCU RHP Harrison Cooney has come out of nowhere sitting 94-96. He could continue to climb. UNC freshman Skye Bolt is hitting just under .500 and looks like an early pick in 2015.
Mack: In no particular order, Vanderbilt OF/2B Tony Kemp (.383), Rice RHP Austin Kubitza (34-K in 19.2-IP), and Vanderbilt LHP Kevin Ziomek (33-K, 22.0-IP) are playing well above their originally projected slots.
MG: Eric Jagielo is one of the players whose performance I was waiting to see this season, and at .394 with 3 home runs, he hasn’t disappointed. Cal-State Fullerton’s freshmen starters, Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza have gotten off to betters starts than anyone could have anticipated.
KG: The college player that has jumped out at me is Ziomek. He has been better then advertised.
Looking down the road, and knowing there is alot of change likely to happen between now and the 2014 draft, what 2014 players already have your attention, not including Carlos Rodon?
JS: Rodon is the clear 1 right now, but I like prep RHP Touki Toussaint a lot. I have him as the best HS pitcher in the country, even as a junior. HS C Alex Jackson would be right in the conversation with Reese McGuire and Jon Denney as the top catcher in the class this year. The last player would be HS OF Kel Johnson. He can just hit and shows true plus power. First rounder next year.
Mack: particularly like Rodon’s teammate, SS Trae Turner, C Alex Jackson, and Vanderbilt RHP Tyler Beede.
MG: Rodon is number one, but Tyler Beede and Jeff Hoffman are both impressive. I have been a fan of Virginia’s Derek Fisher since he was in high school. Among high school players, my top three right now would be Touki Toussaint, Alex Jackson, and Jacob Gatewood.
KG: I am going to go pitcher crazy on this roundtable. The player that has caught my attention is a pitcher out of UCSD named Michael Cederoth. He has a Mid to high 90s and it is said that he has hit triple digits. His secondary stuff also profiles well. He has some command issues but I think he will iron them out by next year.