Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Round 1 Draft Candidates

No introduction, just some guys who have been tied to the Rays at #30(all scouting notes from BaseballAmerica):
C Wil Myers, Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point N.C.
What he can do: Scouts consider him one of the draft's safer hitters, with a smooth swing he repeats and quick, strong hands. He has the bat speed and leverage to produce future power. A South Carolina recruit, Myers plays all over the field for his high school team—showing upper 80s velocity as a pitcher—but scouts want to try him behind the plate, where he's shown solid catch-and-throw tools. He has yet to handle premium stuff on a consistent basis, so there's no guarantee he'll remain a catcher.

My take: This is who BaseballAmerica's Jim Callis has the Rays taking in his latest mock. High school catchers are a risky proposition(moreso than other positions), but scouts like his bat and athleticism, meaning Myers' value isn't completely tied to his position. If I had my choice between Myers and another high school catcher, Tommy Joseph(see below), I'd take Joseph.

SS Jiovanni Mier, Bonita HS, LaVerne CA
What he can do:
He has been inconsistent with the bat, struggling last summer during showcases but looking sensational last fall at the World Wood Bat Championship and the Southern California scout ball all-star game.

My take: Now here's a pick I'm not sure I'd like. Callis says if Mier is available the Rays would take him, but I ask: Why? I understand Tim Beckham is years away from the majors, but going SS two years in a row doesn't make a lot of sense. And I hate the idea of taking a guy with an inconsistent bat in the 1st round. Here's hoping he's off the board before the Rays pick.

C Tommy Joseph, Horizon HS, Scottsdale AZ
What he can do:
At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, the Arizona recruit is a big kid with tree trunks for thighs. He has worked on his defensive fundamentals to stay behind the plate as a pro and is above-average in both arm strength and accuracy. He's been sitting lower and working on the mechanics for blocking. With comparisons to both Mike Napoli and Kelly Shoppach, Joseph's calling card is his bat.

My take: Joseph was the pick in several earlier mocks, as well as my pick in John Sickels' community mock. Again, the key here is that his bat is his calling card. I'd prefer him over Myers as far as catchers go, but both over just about anyone else.

Athletic Outfielders
Who they are: All three are high schoolers: Todd Glaesmann, LeVon Washington, Jacob Stewart.

What they can do: Glaesmann is big(6'4" 205) and athletic, flashing five-tool potential. Washington is a more prototypical athletic outfielder, hitting for contact and utilizing his speed. He had surgery to repair his labrum so his arm is a question mark, and scouts aren't sure about his power. Stewart is perhaps the most athletic of the three, but also has the most question marks(particularly about his bat).

My take: To me, all three of these guys would be first-round reaches, and perhaps the Rays are only looking at them as second-round possibilities, which I'd be on board with.

Final Verdict
I took Tommy Joseph at #30 in the community mock draft and I'll stick with it. I wouldn't be upset with Wil Myers or another high school catcher, Max Stassi. I'd rather they don't opt for Tony Sanchez, the top-ranked college catcher(from what I can gather, he doesn't offer a whole lot more than Jake Jefferies and isn't worth a 1st rounder). One thing I'm disappointed in is that the Rays apparently aren't interested in any high school arms, or at least haven't been tied to any. Garrett Gould and Matt Hobgood are two pitchers from the high school ranks who I like.

I'll be back later this afternoon with 2nd/3rd round guys I like.

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