Season 14 Draft Retrospective

3 03 2011

We just had our Season 19 Draft, which I chronicled in amazing detail already. But to show you how this draft nonsense plays out, here is a view of what we can potentially expect five seasons from now.

This is the Season 14 draft. It had been blogged about on this site by someone else at an earlier point, so I figured it was a fair enough place to start and highlight where these guys are at now.

  1. Milwaukee, under the previous owner mikesons and stationed in Minnesota, took Sam Swindell first overall. Where is he now? On my roster. He took $4,000,000 to sign as a 19 year old. His low stamina kept him stationed as an elite closer in the minor leagues until he made his pro debut last season. How’d he do? Co-Rookie of the Year, bitches. The control and splits are still awesome, and as long as he’s managed properly he’ll put up nice numbers.
  2. Tpete took Kyle Leary with the second pick of this draft. What has he done since then? He plowed through the minor leagues and made his major league debut last season, when he became the ace pitcher on the World Series champions.  His ERA/OAV/WHIP don’t look as pretty as they should, but he’s been a quality pitcher and has a ring to show for it. He won four games during the Milwaukee playoff run last season.
  3. Patrickm took Randy Pote with the third pick. Compared to the first two, he’s not been that awesome. But he did make the NL All-Star team last season as a rookie last season. He’s been traded twice so far in his career, but he seems to be quite happy in Mexico City with cbriese.
  4. It’s looking like this was a nice draft for pitchers. With the fourth pick, golfteach took Harry Lewis. Lewis made his Major League debut last season in St. Louis and wound up winning 16 games and taking home the NL Rookie of the Year. He’s the foundation of the St. Louis rotation, and a still-improving player.
  5. Our next player off the board was the first hitter in the draft. Robin Leonard was part of a blockbuster trade in Season 17 that sent him from Cincinnati to Salem, and he wound up being an instrumental part of their World Series run. Leonard deserved postseason MVP consideration when he put up a ridiculous 1.296 OPS on Salem’s title-winning run. Since then he’s already put up a 51 home run season and an All-Star appearance.
  6. Matty Duran went off the board next as a lower-control pitcher who offered high peripherals in every other regard. He’s still playing in Albuquerque, and a career 3.48 ERA indicates he’s doing pretty well.
  7. Bill Fornataro was picked out of college by Milwaukee, which is now Minnesota, and was traded to Minnesota, which is now Toledo. Already a Gold Glove winner at the ML level, Fornataro is in the middle of a career year that is helping the Tapefaces push for a bye in the American League. His .323 average places him in the league leaders.
  8. Blackmink picked Jamie Green, a college catcher, and he decided he’d just rather not sign. I don’t blame him. But considering the talent in this draft, it’ll seem like mink is awfully retarded.
  9. Trading card magnate, Don Russ, went ninth overall to kbjone’s Vancouver squad. Since that point, he’s been traded to Norfolk, where he’s been serving as the team’s primary set-up man this season. His stats haven’t been bad, and his ratings suggest he can thrive in this role.

10.  Tracyr selected Al Adams as the Centerfielder of his future. He was one of the first players in the Major Leagues drafted in this class, and has produced adequately. He hit for 29 home runs in his first full season, last year.

11.  Philadelphia selected LHP Ajax Hogan, and wound up acquiring a very solid arm. Hogan is still developing and has had to get over more injuries than his health rating would indicate, but he’s grown into a solid pitcher in one of the National League’s best rotations. His stats aren’t showing his ability at this juncture, but he will be an instrumental part of any playoff push that Philadelphia were to make.

12.  When I had said with this most recent draft that bret’s pitcher was better than ones he had taken in previous drafts much higher, you can hastily throw Ringo O’Neill into that group. He does have his merits, however. He won a Gold Glove as the American League’s best defensive pitcher last season. After making a jump from AA to the Majors last season, O’Neill wound up pitching 199 innings, and going 9-8 with a 3.84 ERA. That’s Stan Rhodes numbers if you consider he was pitching for bret. Yet somehow this season he’s regressed horribly and has been demoted to Long Relief duty.

13.  With jwelsh’s second pick of this draft, he selected Rafael Oliva. Oliva never had the range to stick at shortstop, but he’s made his debut in right field in Philadelphia this season. He’s held his own by hitting .274 and having stolen 11 bases so far this season.

14.   I remember when mbriese selected Kirt Garcia, people seemed to think he was worth the risk. Like if he signed he’d be right up there with any of the other top players that came out of this class. I really wish HBD let you see a player’s profile after he chooses not to sign. Regardless, he shot mbriese down.

15.  Alcheez took switch-hitting first baseman Philip May. He made his ML debut last season and hit .333 and finished somewhere on the NL Rookie of the Year ballot. For some reason you can’t see voting results other than the top vote-getter once you’re beyond that season.

16.  Dover selected utility player Kent Sheldon, despite injury concerns, and have been using him semi-frequently as a third baseman. His ML numbers are underwhelming at .240/.316/.402, but they should improve with more playing time. It just doesn’t appear his defense will ever reach the projected levels that would have had him near a Gold Glove level.

17.  Cleveland selected high-contact Ed Wagner out of college. His range never developed enough to adequately play centerfield, but some of the blame could be the fact that he’s been sitting in AA every season since Season 15. Could be our first draft choice from this class to retire if he continues to stagnate.

18.  Dherz drafted Harry Valenzuela out of college to serve as a potential closer of the future. He wound up getting traded to Boise in Season 17, and he’s been an effective set-up pitcher at the Major League level this year.

19.  When stu was able to get pitcher Matty Villafuerte this late in the draft, it seemed to be consensus opinion to be a steal. Villafuerte doesn’t have ideal health, but it was enough where he can be relied upon as a starting pitcher. Unfortunately, a brutal arm injury set him back greatly in season 18 and his progress was cut off. His projections seemed Cy Young caliber when he came out, but now he’s settled into a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. Still 23, it’s not inconceivable that he improve some more, but it’s still a tale of wasted potential already. His ML career numbers of 3.36 ERA, .231 OAV, and 1.22 WHIP indicate that he’ll be productive for the bulk of his career. Just not what he could have been.

20.  The Danzas selected Morgan Haney later in the draft, and wound up centering their rebuilding project around him. With good splits and high speed, Haney’s Major League debut this season has been a bright spot on a dark season. Of course, all that speed with that bad of baserunning is going to get him caught an awful lot. Going 1 for 8 in the Majors this year is pretty terrible…

21.  When Montreal drafted Wilfredo Mercado, they acquired a potentially elite closer. Mercado’s development was slow after being promoted quickly and traded twice, but it’s picked up greatly the past few seasons where his splits and peripherals indicate he has the potential to be a reliable, if not All-Star caliber, closer.

22.  Montgomery drafted Reggie Walker and he wound up signing late in the season, but proceeded to develop quickly. His high make-up got him promoted relatively quickly through the minor leagues. He has the jawline of a Bruce Campbell. He wound up being an integral part of a blockbuster trade which sent him to Scottsdale. So far in the Majors, he’s been hitting a .267/.332/.454 line and getting caught stealing near two-thirds the time. Will be a large part of Scottsdale’s most recent rebuilding project.

23.  San Diego drafted Randall Young despite him not fitting the usual model of tisi’s Chicken Fukkar. He wound up being part of a significant trade that relocated him to Montgomery, where he’s proceeded to develop into a premier power hitter and AL Co-Rookie of the Year with teammate Sam Swindell. He’s flashed an ability to hit for a .300 average and hit 40+ home runs a season, and will be a core player in Montgomery for a while.

24.  Philadelphia’s third pick of the first round was LHP Marshall Sanders, who was eventually sent to Texas via trade. Despite being 27 years old, he has yet to make his Major League debut. He does, however, have more ability than the sort of pitchers vandydave tends to post on the league chat around the time of arbitration hearings.

25.  Salem selected DH Tanner Miller as a future replacement for Hootie Stewart. He never could play a position in the field with any skill, but he could be a designated hitter and had the contact, power, splits, and eye to be a dominant bat. His first taste of the Majors was during Salem’s run towards the World Series where he managed to drive in 10 runs in 12 games. While his durability, health, and fat face prohibit from playing as many games as an owner would like, he’s proven to be a great value. After an offseason trade to Montgomery, he’s putting up career numbers with a .323/.404/.677 line where he’s hitting a home run every ten at bats.

26.  San Diego’s second pick of the first round was elite defensive shortstop Tony Lawrence. While his glove and arm accuracy are still developing, he’s getting his first taste of the ML this season. While his bat has been cold (.180 average),  his defense has been strong. He’s valued as one of the more important young players in tisi’s organization.

27.  Acecards broke from an organizational staple of picking players with speed when San Francisco selected Galahad Fowler and his powerful bat in the first round. He’s particularly adept against right-handed pitchers, so he’s been mostly involved with a platoon now that he’s making his Major League debut.

28.  Detroit drafted Bob Schmidt due to his high splits, good power, and projectable arm for RF. But Schmidt has never stayed in one place for long, as he’s been traded four times in five seasons. He currently calls Minnesota’s AAA affiliate home. A recent injury has derailed his progress a bit, but his high patience and make-up has him still improving.

29.  Scottsdale selected Emmanuel Figureoa, but traded him to Montgomery in the next offseason. Since that point, Figureoa won many accolades across the minor league level and wound up making his first appearance in the Major Leagues last season. He has plus-power, and is starting to flourish in a powerful Montgomery lineup, which if you haven’t noticed has a lot of these first round picks playing for them. Figureoa has a .291/.351/.515 line going this season.

30.  Spacecoyote selected Alex Woo, who overcame an early career shoulder surgery, to develop into a versatile player. He was traded to Salem in Season 18, and been a large part of that team. He does a really good impression of Leslie Chow from The Hangover when he runs around naked in the lockerroom.

31.  Mexico City wound up drafting Bing Sutton, and he fits their mold of plus-defense players. While his arm accuracy has never fully matured, his other defensive ratings have him at Gold Glove caliber at a few positions. That’s not good enough for cbriese, so he traded him to Albuquerque. Even though his splits are skewed towards hitting left-handed pitchers, he’s had a very successful season this year with a .286/.333/.508 batting line.

32.  Vandydave selected Johnny Dipoto as a powerful catcher. His plus-power and good eye helped him tear through the minor leagues, which showcased him before he was eventually traded to Colorado. His power plays well at Coors Field, as he possesses a career .864 OPS in the ML.

33.  With the last pick before the sandwich picks, San Antonio selected pitcher Phillip Friend. While not having the health one normally looks for in a pitcher, Friend possessed good peripheral stats. He was promptly to Norfolk where he’s done all his developing. He saw his first action last year when he threw for 153.2 innings and went 6-13. This season hasn’t been much better, but he has the potential to be an above average SP5 for stu.
So what can we take out of this draft? Other than that I’m awesome at trades?

First of all, this was an incredibly deep draft. Some of the guys going in the 20’s wouldn’t have made it out of the top ten this season. But it also highlights that talent can be acquired at any point in the draft. And that blackmink is awful.

There are many players who are already making huge Major League impacts drafted outside of the first round, I’m just too lazy to go through them all.




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