Sunday, May 29, 2011

Draft News Update And More Players To Watch For Rays 1st Pick

Firstly, I'm going to point out some draft news of interest for the Rays:
  • John Stilson will miss the rest of the season due to a SLAP tear in his shoulder. This could first of all mean that he can not handle a starting role and immediately becomes the most intriguing relief pitching prospect of the draft. Therefore he could be of interest for the Rays (and their plethora of picks) in the 1st supp. and 2nd round or later on.
  • The Rays' dream come true pick for their 1st selection, Josh Bell, informed the major league scouting bureau that he does not want to sign a pro contract. If true, this makes him this years' Austin Wilson (who is hitting .313-.349-.415 in Stanford by the way) and he highest likely will not be selected with an early round pick.
  • Baseball America and Diamond Scape Scouting recently put new mocks out. After John Sickels' next mock on Monday I'll post an updated cumulative mock draft board. Both drafts have the latest draft riser Cory Spangenberg rising even more.
3 more players to watch for the Rays 1st selection:

Kevin and I have mentioned 11 players of interest for the Rays 1st round already here and here. These players are:
  • Kolten Wong (2B/COL)
  • Andrew Susac (C/COL)
  • Brandon Nimmo (OF/HS)
  • C.J. Cron (1B/COL)
  • Josh Bell (OF/HS)
  • Jose Fernandez (RHP/HS)
  • Henry Owens (LHP/HS)
  • Tyler Beede (RHP/HS)
  • Dillon Howard (RHP/HS)
  • Robert Stephensen (RHP/HS)
  • Michael Kelly (RHP/HS)
Now I'm looking at even more possibilities I would love for the Rays 1st selection:
  • Tyler Anderson, LHP, University of Oregon - He will be one of the most polished pitchers selected in this draft. Together with Alex Meyer (while being totally different) he is - amongst college pitchers - ranked right behind the top tier talents. He sports an above average 3 pitch mix (plus change, above average FB and slider) which he commands very well.
  • Blake Swihart, C, Cleveland HS (NM), Texas commitment - Do the Rays need another prep catching talent after selecting Luke Bailey and Justin O'Conner in the last 2 drafts? That's the big question. Swihart is an elite talent, though ... definitely worth a 1st round pick. He is a switch hitter with a quick bat and top offensive potential. Behind the plate he projects to be good while not elite. His commitment to Texas lets him fall in some mocks. My take: If Swihart is the best player on the board and the Rays think they can sign him, they should take him.
  • Javier Baez, IF/C, Arlington CD HS (FL), Chipola JC commitment - Javier Baez is very versitale and could end up at 3B, 2B or even behind the plate. He has all the tools for catching but plays short right now. Scouts think he will outgrow the position though. His bat should cary him at third or second as well. Some scouts even project him as "face of franchise" player. I'd love the Rays to grab that high upside players and while some mocks even project him to go to Arizona at 1-7, other have him falling to 1-24 and the Rays. If he falls, grab him.


  1. Regarding Stilson it looks like Texas A&M over used him which could have contributed to his arm problems. If he is selected later on by the Rays he won't have to worry about over use because they are super careful with their prospects.

  2. Can you post the next cumulative in a downloadable format? Thanks for doing this either way.

  3. I wonder if the Rays look at Purke much like their offseason acquisitions. Grab him at a big discount (at 52?) and hope that his arm returns.

  4. Is it coming down to if the Rays want Cron, they will probaly have to grab him at #24? Some recent Mocks I have seen have quite a few teams grabing him before us and some picking him after #24 but before #31. Now I know these are just mocks, but still, 1 or 2 of the ones I saw have some good sources I'm guessing. He must be hitting pretty dang well to be rising so fast lately. That and I've read that teams might be concentrating more on position players early on because of all the pitching depth.

  5. @Diamondtom: That's right, but his delivery doesn't seem to be sound enough for a long-time starter role.

    @Anon 1: I'll try to do it, but I'm not sure whether it's possible. If not, mail me and I'll send you the .xlsx.

    @Anon 2: The Rays could take a gamble with Purke. If he signs for the money they offer: good. Otherwise: Extra pick for '12.

    @Anon 3: It more and more looks as if the Rays have to grab him with 24, yes. The reasons for that:
    1) More and more teams look for signable players early on.
    2) Lots of players fall due to their bonus demands (Bell, Swihart, ...)
    3) You're completely right, lots of teams try to get position players early on as this draft is especially deep in pitching.

  6. I'm not a big fan of Javier Baez, he's got great bat speed and a lot of power, but he's got a lot of moving parts to his swing and his discipline isn't that great. He could end up being a beast, but I see a high-power, medium-avg, low walk, good defense 3B as his most likely outcome (provided he even makes it), like a Kevin Kouzmanoff with more power. I would take him in the supplemental round, but I think he's a major helium guy.

    As for Swihart, I don't think he will stay at catcher, because he would only be average at best, and his bat should be good (though maybe not Wil Myers good), I would consider him at 31/32.

    I really, really like Tyler Anderson. He sounds like a left-handed James Shields to me. Same size (6-4, 215), excellent command, a great pickoff move, low-90's FB, great changeup. The differences I see are that Anderson is a lefty, and his curve isn't as good as Shields' yet, but he also has a slider he can mix in as well as some nice deception in his delivery. I would love him at 24, I had him right behind Josh Bell, who I can't see us taking at 24 anymore, especially if he'll sign for slot and allow us more flexibility to get over-slot guys later.

  7. I meant Anderson signing for slot in the last sentence of the post above.

  8. Anon,

    I really like Baez. The plate discipline is my only real worry, as the team that signs him should clean up the movement in his swing.

    As for Swihart, I think he can catch. He hasn't played catcher enough this year for teams to know, so he would still be raw behind the plate. His bat is very debateable. I'm not a big fan of his swing as he has some strange pause in his swing (not quite a hitch) and he doesn't use his lower half as well as he could.

    I don't like Tyler Anderson (lol). I have seen some video of him, but not enough to draw conclusions. Despite this, his fastball is not in the low 90s. It is more 88-91 and it looks really really weak to me. His command is good compared to the other college pitchers, but not plus. His changeup is pretty good (I would rate it near plus). I just don't see hype with him.

  9. Michael,

    Every source that I have seen talking about Anderson's command (John Klima of Baseball Beginnings, Jonathan Mayo of, perfectgame, 5 tool talk, etc.) seems to indicate plus, either rating it that way or using words like "excellent" and "exceptional."

    As far as his velocity, I stand corrected. Most reports have him at 88-92, only a couple of reports from the last week or so indicated 90-92, so I gave more weight to those, although that may not be accurate.