Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 2: Ten Names To Watch

Yesterday's coverage included profiles on Josh Sale, Justin O'Conner, and Drew Vettleson, as well as a summary post. We'll be posting profiles all day today as the draft re-starts at noon. In the meantime, here are 10 guys to keep an eye out for as teams will draft for 29 rounds today, with the final 20 coming tomorrow.

RHP Stetson Allie - All right, you knew it was coming. Arguably the most electric arm in the draft, Allie didn't hear his name called on Day 1. Kevin Goldstein at BaseballProspectus says that he "priced himself out of the market." That's probably true, and as he'd be a draft-eligible sophomore for the 2012 draft, it seems likely he'll make it to Chapel Hill to play for UNC. Still, a team with deep pockets or multiple picks will probably make a run at him soon. The Rays fall into that second category, and I think Allie could be on the table for pick #79, their protected 2nd rounder. Worst-case scenario would be they just get pick #80 next year, and since they'll need to sign pick #66 as it's unprotected, they'll still get a player from the 2nd round this year.

LHP Logan Ehlers - He's got a nice combination of polish and projection for a high school pitcher, though his current stuff is pedestrian and he didn't face great competition on the Nebraska HS circuit. His fastball is in the upper-80s, but it could tick up into the low-90s as he matures. His curveball shows promising depth, and he's able to throw both of those pitches for strikes. Like most high schoolers, his change-up is raw and needs work. He's committed to Nebraska, but should be signable if the Rays take him in the round 6-8 range.

RHP Scott Matyas - The closer for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Matyas can routinely get swings and misses from a fastball that lacks elite velocity in the 91-93 range. He's a redshirt junior, so he's ready to go pro after being drafted in the 29th round last year. His repertoire limits him to the bullpen, and even then, his curveball needs some work. Matyas could follow in the footsteps of Matt Gorgen and Zach Quate as college relievers who got off to quick starts as professionals.

2B Brodie Green - The Rays have taken a college senior in the 5-10 range for the last three years, in Brett Nommensen, Jason Corder, and Emeel Salem, so it's a reasonable assumption to think they'll do it again. Green offers better tools than you might think, as was a legitimate top-10 round talent last year as a junior. He's athletic enough to play all over the field, and at the plate he's a switch-hitter with plus speed. He's a line-drive hitter without much home run power, but his versatility makes him worth a look as a senior sign.

OF Brian Pointer - A Nevada high schooler, Pointer is a strong left-hander with some power potential. His tools aren't overwhelming, but they're solid across the board and could blossom in a few years, and he lacks a glaring weakness. If he follows through on his commitment to Oregon State, he could emerge in three years as a high draft pick given his tools. A team that drafts him in the 7-10 round range will be hoping the tools do help him take off, making for a bargain of a pick.

3B Brandon Drury - Staying in the high school ranks out west, Drury is an Oregon product whose bat has some potential. He's strong at 6'2" 200 lbs and is able to drive balls with his solid bat speed. He's in a similar situation to Pointer, where a team that drafts him will be looking to invest a little bit in a lot of prep talent and hope a few pan out. The Rays hit on a pitcher with this strategy, signing Matt Moore out of a New Mexico HS after drafting him in the 8th round in 2007.

C/OF Hunter Renfroe - A Mississippi high schooler, Renfroe hit 20 home runs his senior season. That's partly due to some weak competition, but it alludes to his plus raw power. He's got the body and the tools to be successful as a pro, but he's very rough around the edges. His arm rates as a plus, but his receiving skills need work, and he's probably not athletic enough to become an above-average defender behind the dish. But if he can even be average back there, his bat could prove worth picking up. He loses a lot of value if he has to move to the outfield, where he'd be a below-average defender without a bat so good as to make up for it. He's only committed to a Junior College, so he should be signable.

RHP Clay Shrader - In Shane Dyer and Devin Fuller, the Rays have taken a JuCo pitcher in the top 10 rounds each of the last two years. If they go that route again, Schrader is a guy to watch out for. His stuff rates as better than both Dyer and Fuller's, though Schrader does it out of the bullpen. His low-to-mid 90s fastball and hard slider make for two potential plus pitches, and he throws a promising curveball too. His max-effort delivery and smaller stature probably mean he wouldn't be able to handle a starter's workload as a pro. He's signable for slot money in the 4th-6th round.

RHP Sam Dyson - Dyson's medical history scared some teams off last year, and he slipped to the 10th round as a draft-eligible sophomore. He's had labrum surgery, elbow surgery, and surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, though he has been durable the past two seasons. Originally from Jesuit High School in Tampa, he works in the 92-93 range but can dial it up to 95 if he needs it. His curveball is above-average, and he also throws a slider and change-up. If the Rays are looking for a college pitcher with unprotected pick #79, they could take a guy with local ties in Dyson.

3B Garin Cecchini - If the Rays are looking to hit a home run, they could pick Cecchini. An ACL injury and a strong commitment to LSU make him a tough sign, but if the Rays have the budget, Cecchini would be a steal. It'll take 1st round money to sign him($1.5 million or more), but it could be worth it given his hitting ability. He has plus bat speed and projects to hit for both contact and power. His speed is average at best, probably below-average accounting for the injury. He's a gamble on two fronts (one, will he sign, and two, is he worth the money), but has the potential to pay off big.


  1. I want Ganin. Garin! Garin!

  2. Nothing to add, but your coverage has been outstanding Kevin! Thanks

  3. man i hope da Rays select Eibner!!