11th Anniversary of TBO

Writing my recent posts reviewing drafts from five years ago sparked reminiscent thoughts of how long The Baseball Opinion has been in production. Flipping through the posts, I discovered that TBO’s first post was on June 22, 2001. That makes this website 11 years old as of today.

The website started out as a static website, but eventually evolved into a blog with the help of a good friend with the skills (and server space) to help me along.

Although I was surprised that it was my very first article, John Rocker’s trade to Cleveland were the first subject of TBO. I claimed it as a win for the Indians and it turned out to be a decent analysis, but mainly because Rocker fell apart after the trade. Overall, he gave them a 5.45 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP over 38 appearances, good for a -0.2 WAR. Troy Cameron, who went with him to Cleveland, never made it to the bigs. On Atlanta’s end, they received relievers Stave Karsay (0.2 WAR in 43 appearances) and Steve Reed (0.1 WAR in 39 appearances).

Time has seen spurts of articles, combined with gaps with little as far as posts. Hopefully TBO will see more consistent posting the future, but it may also evolve into something else as well.

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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Draft – NL West

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

Now we’ll look at the National League West:

Arizona Diamondbacks

In 2007 the Diamondbacks were able to draft ninth overall. This allowed them to select high school right handed starter Jarrod Parker. Although he sat out a year of his development with Tommy John surgery, he has resurrected his arm to be a viable candidate to be a #2 starter down the road. Jarrod’s off to a great start too, but in Oakland as he was included in the trade package for Trevor Cahill. They then used two supplemental round picks on righty Wes Roemer and catcher Ed Easley. Roemer eventually landed in Independent League ball, but is now in the Dodgers system. Easley is still in the Diamondbacks’ system, but has been unable to hit enough to get higher than a short stint a Triple-A.

Righty Barry Enright was drafted in the second round. He’s pitched 136.2 innings with the Diamondbacks, but has found himself back in the minors after lackluster results last season. With their third round selection, the D’Backs to Rey Navarro. They traded Navarro in 2010 to the Royals for reliever Carlos Rosa. Rey is still in the Royals system, but hasn’t been able to hit enough to get to Triple-A. He’s still just 22 though. Rosa on the other hand, pitched one season in Arizona’s system and hasn’t pitched since.

Reliever Bryan Augenstein was drafted in the 7th round. He’s had a couple stints in the Majors, but hasn’t locked into a bullpen spot. Bryan’s now in the Tampa Bay organization and off to a tremendous start in Triple-A. A return engagement for possibly one last chance may be in order. Fifteenth round pick Josh Collmenter pitched well as a starter for the D’Backs last season, but has struggled mightily this season.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies drafted righty Casey Weathers in the first round in 2007. Despite Tommy John surgery in the past, he drew the interest of the Cubs in a trade last winter that sent him and Ian Stewart to Chicago for Tyler Colvin and D.J. Lemehieu. But he’s walking a batter an inning in Double-A, not good. Second round pick Brian Rike is out of baseball. The outfielder couldn’t hit well enough to move past Double-A. Catcher Lars Davis was selected in the third round. He’s currently at Double-A, but will need to make more contact to reach the Majors.

Fifth rounder Connor Graham was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Rafael Betancourt. He’s in Indy ball now, while Betancourt has served as the Rockies’ closer. Infielder Jordan Pacheco was drafted in the 9th round. He’s been a decent player off the bench for the Rockies. Lefty Matt Reynolds, drafted in the 20th round, has been a part of the Colorado bullpen over the past three seasons. Lefty Chris Sale was drafted in the 21st round. He didn’t sign and was eventually redrafted by the Chicago White Sox. He’s now showing ace-level pitching in Chicago.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers spent their first round pick on righty Chris Withrow. He’s spent the past four seasons at Double-A. A move to the pen may be in order with him. Lefty James Adkins was selected in the supplemental round. Plagued with high walk rates, he never made it to the Majors. They took another lefty in the second round. Mike Watt gave up too many hits and is now out of professional baseball. Moving to positional talent in the third round, the Dodgers selected third baseman Austin Gallagher. He’s since switched to first base and has been slow to develop. Austin’s still only 23, so there’s a little window left for him.

Not much else has panned out of that draft for the Dodgers.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres had a very good chance to rebuild their farm system in 2007. In addition to the 1st overall pick, they also had five compensation round picks for the loss of Woody Williams, Dave Roberts, Chan Ho Park, Alan Embree, and Ryan Klesko to free agency. Lefty Nick Schmidt was the first round pick. He never progressed past A+ ball in the Padres system, but after inclusion in a trade for Huston Street, Schmidt is now pitching well at Double-A in the Rockies’ system. The supplmental picks included outfielder Kellen Kulbacki, shortstop Drew Cumberland, catcher Mitch Canham, lefty Cory Luebke, and outfielder Danny Payne. Except for a short Triple-A stint for Payne, the trio of Kulbacki, Cumberland, and Payne never made it past Double-A and are no longer in the system. Canham has been on three teams, but still hasn’t reached the Majors. The saving grace of the 2007 first round for the Padres has been Cory Luebke, who has started games for the Padres the last three seasons. He has become one of the best pitchers in their rotation.

The second round brought second baseman Eric Sogard and outfielder Brad Chalk. The Padres traded Sogard to the Athletics with Kevin Kouzmanoff for Aaron Cunningham and Scott Hairston in 2010. Sogard has played the last three seasons in Oakland, but has never solidified a roster spot. Tommy Toledo was drafted in the third round, but he never signed.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants had an eye-popping three first round draft picks and three supplemental round picks in 2007. The two additional first round picks and two of the supplemental round picks they held were due to the loss of Jason Schmidt and Moises Alou to free agency. The third supplemental pick was due to the loss of reliever Mike Stanton.

The Giants continued their 2006 draft success of Tim Lincecum with their first pick in 2007 by selecting Madison Bumgarner, an important piece of the team’s current rotation. They also selected righty Tim Alderson and outfielder Wendell Fairley in the first round. Alderson pitched well enough early on to pique the interest of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates acquired him in return for second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Fairley has struggled at Double-A and may not make it past this season.

Second baseman Nick Noonan, catcher Jackson Williams, and shortstop Charlie Culberson were drafted in the supplemental round. Noonan is off to one of his best starts at Triple-A. If he continues hitting well, the 24 year old may be able to settle a position that has been a headache for the team a number of seasons. Williams and Culberson have both had issues with the bat. Although Culberson has seen time in the Majors, neither is expected to have a regular career in the bigs.

Interestingly, with all their picks in the first and supplemental rounds, they had no picks in the second and third rounds.

Righty Daniel Turpen was drafted in the 8th round. He was sent to the Red Sox for reliever Ramon Ramirez. Turpen has since been with two other teams. Dan Runzler was drafted in the 9th round, he’s had some use as a reliever for San Francisco, but the lefty is now back in the minors after an ERA of over 6.00 last season. Lefty Joe Paterson was drafted in the 10th round. But he was also drafted again, in the Rule 5 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Joe was useful to Arizona last season, but has given up 15 hits in 2.2 innings for them this season. He’s now honing his craft at Triple-A.

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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Draft – NL Central

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

Now we’ll look at the National League Central:

Chicago Cubs

With the third overall pick the Cubs selected third baseman Josh Vitters. Many have proclaimed him as a bust over the past few seasons as he hasn’t shot through the system, but the kid was only 17 when drafted and has reached Triple-A at for his age 22 season. There’s still time for him to develop, but he’ll need to take a few more walks and make more consistent contact to get regular playing time in the Majors. Supplemental round pick Josh Donaldson was in part of the package for Rich Harden in 2008. His new team, the Oakland Athletics, moved him out from behind the plate to third base where he’s played in the place of the injured Scott Sizemore. He’s struggling to hit, but the A’s haven’t given up hope yet.

The Cubs didn’t have a second round pick, but drafted second baseman Tony Thomas in the third round. Labeled as an offensive-minded infielder, Thomas’ statistics started to dwindle as he rose through the system.

Fourth round pick Darwin Barney has emerged from the image of a bench utility infielder that won’t hit enough for a regular job to the Cubs starting second baseman. He’s nothing special with the bat, but he puts up palatable stats to go with good defense. Outfielder Brandon Guyer was their fifth round pick. He was sent to the Rays in the package compiled for Matt Garza. Brandon’s had a few at-bats with Tampa, but lingers mostly in Triple-A, posting a decent batting line. Lefty James Russell has pitched out of the Cubs pen for the past three years. He hasn’t been great, but he’s been usable.

Pitcher Andrew Cashner was drafted for the third time in 2007 (29th round), but once again, he decided to go back to college. But the Cubs got another chance on Cashner in 2008 when they drafted AND signed him. He has since been shipped to San Diego for Anthony Rizzo.

Cincinnati Reds       

Catcher Devin Mesoraco was the 15th overall pick in 2007. He struggled early in his career in the Minors, but his bat eventually turned around and he became a viable offensive prospect. Devin is now learning the ropes in his rookie season in the Majors.

The Reds had two supplemental picks in third baseman Todd Frazier and righty Kyle Lotzkar that year. Although Frazier’s bat hasn’t emerged as well as Mesoraco’s he’s still a viable player that is getting his feet wet this season in anticipation of taking over Scott Rolen‘s position full time. High school right-hander Lotzkar has been handled with kid gloves as he’s been injured numerous times, but he may still emerge to be a viable pitcher for the Reds.

Second round saw the selection of shortstop Zack Cozart. He’s currently playing alongside Frazier, but on a more full-time basis. The Reds had two third round picks which they spent on righty Scott Carroll and third baseman Neftali Soto. Carroll struggled in the upper minors and was switched to relief, but to little avail as his ERA is over 5.00 at Triple-A. Soto, yet another infielder picked by the Reds in this draft, has been moved to first base. He displays 30+ home run power, but may not hit for enough of an average or take enough walks to be viable at the next level.

Third baseman Brandon Waring was drafted in the 7th round. He was included in a trade package for Ramon Hernandez that sent him to Baltimore. He’s struggled in the upper minors though, with the same issues that Soto has.

Houston Astros

After a poor draft in 2006, the Astros did worse in 2007. Houston lost its first two picks signing free agents Carlos Lee and Woody Williams in the offseason. They didn’t pick until the third round that year, selecting third baseman Derek Dietrich. Things got worse as Dietrich passed on Houston’s offer and went to Georgia Tech. He’s now in the Rays’ Minor League system. Overall, the Astros didn’t sign anyone from the first four rounds.

In fact, no-one from the 2007 Draft seems to be working out for Houston. Not a single player from the draft is currently in the Astros organization as a player. It’s like the draft never existed…..

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers drafted slugger Matt LaPorta in the first round of 2007. Although they struggled to find a defensive position for him, LaPorta raked offensively in the Minors. He ended being part of the trade package for C.C. Sabathia. Matt’s bounce from the Majors to Triple-A the past few seasons, but he’s continually struggling with hitting with Cleveland. A change of scenery may be best. Third round pick Jonathan Lucroy has emerged as the team’s starting catcher and a decent hitter.

Speedster Eric Farris was drafted in the fourth round. He’s stolen 70 bases in the minors one season, but has had only one PA in the Majors so far. No-one else has panned out so far.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates spent their first round pick on Daniel Moskos, a left-handed pitcher from Clemson. Moskos has gone from relief to starting to relief, where he’s most suited. He’s pitched a few innings for Pittsburgh, but has found himself down in Triple-A this season looking for another chance. Second round pick Duke Welker seems to have found better control the past couple seasons and the righty is now in Triple-A looking for a shot at the Pittsburgh pen. Third round pick Brian Friday has struggled to hit at Triple-A. The infielder may not make it to the Majors at all.

Lefty reliever Tony Watson was drafted in the 9th round and has pitched decently out of the Pittsburgh pen the past couple seasons.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals had five picks in the first three rounds in 2007. Their first pick was on first rounder Pete Kozma a high school infielder. Although he’s seen some time with St. Louis, Kozma’s not hitting well enough to merit a return trip. Supplemental round pick Clayton Mortensen was sent to the Oakland Athletics in the Matt Holliday deal. He has since been traded two more times, landing the righty in the Boston bullpen, where he seems to have found his calling as a reliever.

Righties David Kopp and Jess Todd were drafted in the second round. Kopp struggled and is now out of baseball. Todd briefly saw time in the St. Louis bullpen before being included in a trade for Mark DeRosa. He pitched a few innings in relief in Cleveland, but he’s struggled and is now back in the St. Louis organization, at Triple-A. Third round pick, infielder Daniel Descalso, has played a utility infielder role for the Cardinals over the past three seasons.

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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Daft – NL East

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

Now we’ll look at the National League East:

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves had one of the best selections in the 2007 draft, even though they picked 14th. Outfielder Jason Heyward became one of the top prospects of all of baseball. He’s struggled early on, but continues to work to fix the holes in his swing and can still become a star in the future. Their supplemental first round pick, third baseman Jon Gilmore, was used in the package sent to Chicago for Javier Vazquez. However, he’s stalled out at Double-A.

The Braves had two second round picks in reliever Josh Fields and first baseman Freddie Freeman. Fields didn’t sign and was eventually redrafted by the Seattle Mariners. Freeman however, is now the team’s starting first baseman and is hitting better than Heyward.

Third round pick Brandon Hicks has had a little time with Atlanta, but the shortstop has struggled to hit in the upper Minors.

The Braves picked up righty Cory Gearrin in the 4th round. He’s had some time in the Atlanta bullpen, but is now in Triple-A. Yet his statistics at Triple-A the past couple seasons have been interesting and he could return, or be trade bait. The Braves drafted a left handed pitcher in the 11th round that didn’t sign. But that lefty went in the 5th round two years later, the Giants redrafted Brandon Belt, but as a first baseman. Hidden in the later rounds as a 33rd round pick of Craig Kimbrel. He wouldn’t sign, but the Braves picked him up the following year.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins had the 12th overall pick in 2007 and spent it on third baseman Matt Dominguez. Matt was an upper tier prospect for a few seasons, but mainly due to his terrific glove. However, he has held an average above .262 once during his entire professional career. But it was their second round pick that was the find of the draft for them.

Outfielder Mike Stanton is now their starting right fielder and is bashing monster home runs in the middle of their lineup. Catcher Jameson Smith was their third round pick, but he didn’t hit well and was out of professional baseball after 2009.

Outfielder Bryan Petersen was drafted in the fourth round, he’s hit well in Triple-A, but hasn’t played well enough in brief Major League stints to keep him with Miami. In the fifth round the Marlins picked righty Steve Cishek has pitched well out of the Miami pen. The Marlins 8th round pick, a lefty by the name of Jay Voss, was used to reacquire Nate Robertson. He has struggled in Detroit’s upper levels.

New York Mets

The Mets didn’t have a first round pick due to the signing of……  Their first picks were in the supplemental first round when they took righty Eddie Kunz and lefty Nathan Vineyard. Kunz reached the Majors quickly, pitching 2.2 innings in 2008. But the reliever still hasn’t come back. He’s since been traded to the Padres for Allan Dykstra, who hasn’t fared any better. Vineyard blew out his shoulder in 2008 and never returned.

They had two second round picks and used them on two right-handed pitchers, Scott Moviel and Brant Rustich. Moviel stalled out in Double-A and hasn’t pitched since 2011. Rustich dealt with injuries and never reached Double-A.

The third round saw two more picks for the Mets and two more pitchers, giving the Mets six pitchers in the first three rounds. Who needs balance? The third rounders picked were Eric Niesen and Stephen Clyne. Niesen had a high walk rate and never got above Double-A. He’s now playing Independent ball. The same story exists for Clyne.

The first three rounds were a flop for the Mets, but the team found outfielder Lucas Duda in the 7th round. They did find a workable pitcher too, righty Dillon Gee was drafted in the 21st round.

Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies first round pick Joe Savery already had question marks around him when he was drafted due to an injury sustained in college, but he’s still a lefty and so he has made his way to the Majors as a reliever. How long he lasts is questionable. Travis d’Arnaud was drafted in the supplemental round. He’s turned into a very good catching prospect…for the Blue Jays. Travis was involved in one of the various Cliff Lee trades.

Third baseman Travis Mattair was selected in the second round. However, he never hit for a very good average and struck out plenty. Travis is still playing but he hasn’t reached Double-A yet. The third round saw the Phillies select outfielder Matt Spencer. One year after the draft Spencer was traded to Oakland in the Joe Blanton transaction and then eventually to the Cubs in the trade that sent Jake Fox to Oakland. He hasn’t played professional ball yet in 2012.

Outfielder Michael Taylor was drafted in the 5th round. He was included in the Roy Halladay trade with Oakland (and others) and was flipped to Oakland for Brett Wallace. Taylor’s gotten a couple peaks at the Majors the last two seasons, but hasn’t locked down a spot yet.

Washington Nationals 

With the sixth overall pick that year, the Nationals selected Ross Detwiler from Missouri State. Believed to be the #2 lefty behind David Price, Detwiler rose steadily through the Minors. He’s now in the Nationals starting rotation, though it will likely still be a couple years until we see him at his best and rate the pick appropriately. The Nats also had two supplemental picks in lefty Josh Smoker and outfielder Michael Burgess. Smoker’s battled injuries and has been converted to the pen. He still hasn’t made it out of A-ball though. Burgess has shown some power in the minors, but hasn’t hit with enough contact to move past Double-A.

With two second round picks the Nationals selected Jordan Zimmermann and Jake Smolinski. Zimmermann has battled back from Tommy John surgery to return to the Nationals’ rotation. He’s pitched very well so far this season. Smolinski, an outfielder, is having arguably his best season of his Minor League career. But it’s in the Florida Marlins’ system has he was included in a trade package for pitcher Scott Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham. Also, he doesn’t hit for power or steal bases and he didn’t stick at second base. A light-hitting left-fielder without speed on the base paths isn’t too high on any team’s list these days. Third baseman Steven Souza was picked in the third round. He’s having, by far, the best season of his career. But it’s at Single-A. He’s still only 23, but time is running out and his walk rate is pretty bad still.

Catcher Derek Norris was drafted in the fourth round and became a top prospect of the Nats. He then struggled for a couple seasons and was included in the trade package for Gio Gonzalez. Norris is now on Oakland’s Triple-A team, seemingly coming back to form.


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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Draft – AL West

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

Now we’ll look at the American League West:

LA Angels

The Angels didn’t have a first round pick in 2007 due to their ill-fated signing of Gary Matthews Jr. They did receive a supplemental round pick for the loss of Adam Kennedy in free agency, with that pick they took righty Jon Bachanov. They’ve been cautious with the former high school pitcher from Florida, he’s also had his share of injury concerns. Bouncing between starting and relieving, Bachanov doesn’t give up many hits and strikes opposing batters well, but he also has a high amount of walks. There may eventually be a role in relief for him.

The Angels also lost their 2nd round pick. In the third round, the Angels drafted pitcher Matt Harvey. Harvey wouldn’t sign and eventually was redrafted in 2010 by the Mets.

Shortstop Andrew Romine, the older brother of the Yankees’ Austin Romine, was drafted in the 5th round. He’s had a couple cups of coffee in the Majors and could turn into a decent utility infielder.

Oakland A’s

The A’s had three picks in the first and first supplemental rounds in 2007. Their first round pick was utilized on right-hander James Simmons. As a starter he held a decent walk rate, but got hit around plenty. This season, his first full season in relief, he’s limited hits well, but his walk rate is high. He still has a chance as a middle reliever, but it’s limited. In the supplemental round they selected first baseman Sean Doolittle and outfielder Corey Brown as compensation for the loss of Barry Zito and Frank Thomas to free agency. Outside of a nice 2008 season at High-A, Doolittle did little to impress and is now out of baseball. Brown rose through the system before being traded to the Nationals in a package for Josh Willingham. He’s had a total of 6 PA in the Majors, he’s unlikely to grab a solid job in his career, but Corey’s off to a good start at Triple-A this season and you never know how things really will turn out.

In the second round, the A’s had a total of two picks that they used on outfielder Grant Desme and shortstop Josh Horton. Grant flashed an impressive 31 home runs with 40 SB for two levels in 2009, but hung up the spikes after the season for another following. Horton hasn’t hit well enough to believe that he’ll reach the Majors.

Third rounder Sam Demel, a right-handed reliever, drew the attention of the Arizona Diamondbacks when they traded Conor Jackson and cash to the Athletics for him. He’s since pitched two seasons in the pen for Arizona.

The A’s tried for Daniel Schlereth in the eighth round and Collin Cowgill in the 29th round, but to no avail. Both went back to college.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners first pick was high school righty Phillippe Aumont who pitched well enough to draw the attraction of Philadelphia in their trade of Cliff Lee to the Mariners. Aumont has since switch to relief and stalled out at Triple-A. He’s still young, so he could land a job in the Philly bullpen eventually.

Supplemental round pick Matt Mangini rose through the Mariners system and saw 41 PA with Seattle after a nice 2010 season in Triple-A. But he’s since been released by the M’s and picked up by the Rays. Second round pick Denny Almonte has succumbed to a massive strikeout rate, unlikely to make it to the show. In the third round the Mariners selected another high school outfielder, this time it was Daniel Carroll. But like Almonte, he had trouble hitting enough to be a viable prospect.

Righthander Shawn Kelley was found in the 13th round, he has helped the Mariners out of the pen over the past four seasons.

Texas Rangers

Although the Rangers lost their original first round pick for the signing of Frank Catalanotto, they gained two more for the Astros’ signing of Cliff Lee and the Angels’ signing of Gary Matthews Jr. The Rangers were poised to add a bevy of talent with five picks before the start of the second round. They spent their two first round picks on right-handed high school pitchers in Blake Beavan and Michael Main. Beavan was included in a deal for Cliff Lee….who else? He’s now eating innings for Seattle. Main showed early promise, but injuries ruined his career and he is now out of baseball.

In the supplemental first they selected outfielder Julio Borbon, another high school righty in Neil Ramirez, and college pitcher Tommy Hunter. Speedster Borbon hasn’t been able to secure a spot in the Rangers’ outfield yet, but he’s off to a decent start at Triple-A and may become trade bait at the deadline. Ramirez has made it to Triple-A, but a switch to relief will be needed to get him to Arlington. He too could be trade bait. Speaking of trade bait, Tommy Hunter was. After some success in Texas, Hunter was traded to the Orioles in 2011. They sent him and Chris Davis for Koji Uehara and cash. Although he’s eaten innings, Tommy hasn’t fared so well in Baltimore.

Third baseman Matthew West and righty Evan Reed rounded out the next two rounds. West could handle the hot corner, but his bat never rose to expectations. Reed was traded to the Marlins in a package for Jorge Cantu, but he has yet to see time in the Majors.

Eleventh round pick Anthony Ranaudo moved on to college and was drafted in the first round by the Red Sox. Like Ranaudo, the Rangers picked a high school pitcher in the 12th round that spurned them for college. This time it was Drew Pomeranz who was taken with the fifth overall selection by the Indians in 2010. Then there’s second baseman Matt Lawson, who was part of the a trade that sent Cliff Lee (of course) to Texas. There’s also reliever Josh Lueke, drafted in the 16th round, who’s seen some time in the Majors as a reliever. With who? Why yes, his first chance was with the Mariners due to his inclusion in the trade for ______. By now you should be able to fill in the blank. First baseman Mitch Moreland was picked up in the 17th round. It was a very good value pick if he keeps hitting like he has this season.


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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Draft – AL Central

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

Now we’ll look at the American League Central:

 

Chicago White Sox

With the 25th overall pick, the White Sox picked Aaron Poreda. The lefty pitched well enough to be included in the trade that sent Jake Peavy to Chicago, but he hasn’t pitched well since. Righty Nevin Griffith is in Double-A. The White Sox switched him to relief this season with limited results so far. His walk rate has been absurdly high the past two seasons.

Third round pick John Ely was traded to the L.A. Dodgers in a package for Juan Pierre in 2009. He’s seen some time in L.A., but all of John’s 2012 so far has been in the minors where he’s posted a good strikeout rate as a starter. He could still turn out to be a back of the rotation starter or middle reliever at the next level.

Nothing else has really materialized out of the 2007 draft for the White Sox.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians had one pick in the first three rounds in 2007 and it was spent on first baseman Beau Mills in the first round. Mills has put up mediocre to decent numbers in the minors for a corner infielder, but not the consistent impact statistics that you expect from a first round talent. He’s also struggling mightily at Triple-A this season.

Lefty T.J. McFarland was drafted in the 4th round and still has promise. Reliever Josh Judy was selected in the 34th round and made a brief appearance with Cleveland. But his high walk rate will likely keep him in the minors.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers first round pick shot to the Majors quickly and garnered Rookie-of-the-Year consideration. This pick, righty Rick Porcello is still in the team’s rotation. Supplemental pick, righty Brandon Hamilton, didn’t fare as well and hasn’t pitched professionally since 2009. Shortstop Danny Worth was selected in the third round. He’s bounced back and forth from Detroit to Toledo the past three seasons, but  may still have some value as a utility infielder. In the third round the Tigers picked up Luke Putkonen. The right-hander from North Carolina was switched to relief this season after a mediocre numbers early in his career. So far the switch has gone well and he’s pitching nicely in Triple-A.

Lefty Charlie Furbush was drafted in the 4th round. He pitched well enough to draw the attention of the Mariners and was picked up by them in the package that sent Doug Fister to Detroit. He’s now pitching well in the Mariners’ pen. Fifth round pick Casey Crosby has put up a very good strikeout ratio for a starter at Triple-A this season, but his walks continue to be too high. A switch to relief may be in order for Crosby who apparently can get to 98mph with his fastball.

Their 41st rounder DJ LeMahieu, an infielder who was the Cubs’ second-round pick in ’09, would’ve been a good eventual addition to a Tigers lineup that has struggled out of the 2nd base hole for a while.

Kansas City Royals

Mike Moustakas took a little longer to become a star than originally conceived, but he’s well on his way this season. The third baseman has exploded offensively this season for the Royals and looks to have been a very good choice in the first round. Second rounder Sam Runion has had his career riddled by injuries. The righty has now moved to the pen in High-A ball. He has the stuff to succeed in the pen, he just needs better control. Third rounder Danny Duffy made his Kansas City debut last season and has become a part of their rotation. He still needs to improve his walk rate, but the strikeouts are there. The Royals nabbed two players that should be very solid, if not very good, in the first three rounds in 2007.

The Royals picked up righty Greg Holland in the 10th round that year. He was dominant out of their pen in 2011, but has struggled mightily in his sophomore season. Outfielder David Lough was picked in the following round. He’s displayed decent numbers for a 4th outfielder type at Triple-A the last three seasons, but has yet to receive a call-up. There’s also 25th round pick Clint Robinson who has mashed the ball on his climb through the minors. He has yet to see the Majors, but some team must be looking at him despite his defensive limitations.

Minnesota Twins 

Outfielder Ben Revere may have finally entrenched himself in the Minnesota outfield this year. The team’s first round pick in 2007 has no power, but he’s a spark plug at the top of the lineup. Second round pick Danny Rams briefly made it to Double-A, but the catcher will likely not get back there or above. Same goes for their third round pick, outfielder Angel Morales, who hasn’t even made it to Double-A.

There was essentially not much else in the Minnesota draft after the first three rounds. Revere may be the Twins’ saving grace from that draft.


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Over Spilled Milk: 2007 Draft – AL East

Each year, with the draft approaching, I look back at a previous draft to see how the players drafted have worked out.  Essentially, most of the players that will be regulars in the majors will be up within five years of when they are drafted.  So I will be reviewing the 2007 draft.

Reviewing every draft pick by each team would take forever and would consist of a large amount of, “….didn’t work out”, or “….is out of baseball”.  So I’ll just review the picks of the first three rounds for each team and notables from each team’s later rounds.

First we’ll look at the American League East:

Baltimore Orioles

With the 5th overal pick in the draft, the Orioles took Matt Wieters.  Although Matt’s struggling somewhat with his average this year, his power has increased. An uptick in average will likely come with more experience. Wieters has also impressed a many with his defense.  The Orioles didn’t have any picks in the next two rounds as they gave up those picks to sign relievers Danys Baez and Chad Bradford, something that wouldn’t have happened under the new CBA.

Their third pick of the draft came in the 5th round when they took Jake Arrieta. Although scouts were high on him this spring, he continues to pitch relatively mediocre. Outfielder Matt Angle was taken in the 7th round. The speedy outfielder displayed good OBPs in the minors, but this started to tail off in the higher levels. He’s had a cup of coffee in the majors, but nothing else yet.

The rest of the team’s picks haven’t panned out that well.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox lost their first round pick to the L.A. Dodgers for signing Julio Lugo the previous winter. They had the 55th and 62nd picks of the first supplemental round that year.  With those picks Boston took lefty Nick Hagadone and shortstop Ryan Dent. Hagadone pitched well as a starter early in the minors, but succumbed to Tommy John surgery. Nick has since been switched to relief pitched well enough to be called up last season and is pitching every well in the pen now. He was included in a trade package for Victor Martinez in July 2009. Ryan has struggled at every level past Rookie League and will likely not make it past Double-A.

Third baseman Jeff Morris was taken in the second round, but there aren’t even records on him at Baseball Reference or FanGraphs. Third rounder Brock Huntzinger has at least pitched professionally. But he’s struggled mightily in Double-A and is unlikely to reach the Majors, unless the switch to the pen this season results in a drastic improvement, but that is doubtful.

In the sixth round Boston took first baseman Anthony Rizzo. He’s since been traded in a package for Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres and then to the Cubs. He’s now tearing the cover off the ball, waiting for a call that will keep him in the bigs for good.

They also took catcher Yasmani Grandal in the 27th round, but the catcher decided to go to college and was drafted in the first round in 2010 by the Reds. He’s already been traded once and is now hitting well enough in Triple-A that a call up shouldn’t be too far away.

New York Yankees

The Yankees took Andrew Brackman with the 30th overall pick. He was considered by many as one of the top picks, but elbow concerns slid him down to the Yankees. He was signed to a significant contract and immediately underwent Tommy John surgery. But Brackman never fully recovered to the level that scouts envisioned and he was eventually released.

Catcher Austin Romine was picked up in the second round. He’s shown some promise as he’s climbed through the minors and has had a little time in the Majors. But Austin’s currently on the 60-day DL with back issues. Righty Ryan Pope was selected in the third round. He’s been mediocre in the minors, but has slipped climbing up the upper levels. Big league time is unlikely.

Reliever Chris Carpenter was picked in the 18th round, but went back to college and then eventually drafted by the Cubs. Corner infielder Brandon Laird was drafted in the 27th round. He’s had a little time in New York, but is unlikely to make an impact. Outfielder Erik Komatsu was drafted in the 38th round, went back to school, and was drafted again by the Milwaukee Brewers. After a couple of stops on the way he has played a few games for Minnesota.

Mike Axisa has more on the Yankees’ 2007 draft over at River Avenue Blues.

Tampa Rays

With the first overall pick in 2007 the Rays took lefty David Price. Price has shown signs of being a great pitcher, he just hasn’t become what scouts think he will be. David has the potential to become an ace and that potential may be realized soon. Second round pick Will Kline struggled and suffered injuries early on, he hasn’t pitched in a professional game since 2007. Nick Barnese was picked up in the 3rd round. He has had very good potential, but injuries have impacted his rise to the Majors. Nick is currently on the DL in Double-A.

The gold in this draft was lefty Matt Moore. Picked up in the 8th round, the high school pitcher was honed into a potential ace in the minors. He’s struggling in his rookie season, but he has the stuff to turn things around eventually and become dominant.

Toronto Blue Jays   

After having only one pick in the first three rounds in 2006, the Jays five in the first round of 2007 alone and eight in the first three rounds overall. The first selection was compensation from the Texas Rangers for the signing of Frank Catalanotto. It was spent on third baseman Kevin Ahrens. Ahrens has never made it past Single-A and has never carried a good average or the power associated with a corner infielder. J.P. Arencibia was also taken before the supplemental round. He’s of course playing in the Majors with an all-or-nothing style bat. Impressive power, but he has Travis d’Arnaud coming on fast behind him. The supplemental round saw picks of lefty Brett Cecil, shortstop Justin Jackson, and righty Trystan Magnuson. Cecil is an innings eater that has bounced between Toronto and Las Vegas the past three seasons. He may find himself as trade bait soon. Jackson, like Ahrens hasn’t panned out and is unlikely to do so. Magnuson pitched well enough in relief in the minors to get a cup-of-coffee in the Majors in 2011, but has yet to find success in 2012.

The first of two second rounders was John Tolisano. This utility IF/OF has had little success in the minors until this season his strikeout rate is way down and his average and OBP are good. I’m not sure if this is sustainable though given his history. Outfielder Eric Eiland struggled in the minors and hasn’t been in the Toronto system since 2010. Third round pick Alan Farina showed impressive statistics in relief in 2010-2011, but Tommy John surgery has derailed the righty for now. Still, future Major League action isn’t out of the question.

Lefty Marc Rzepczynski came up as a starter but excelled in relief. The groundballer was traded to the Cardinals last summer and has become an important cog to their bullpen. Brad Emaus was drafted in the 11th round. He hasn’t played much in the Majors, but he has already been with four organizations.

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Miscellaneous Rants – May 17, 2012

Every once in a while there’s certain opinions on numerous aspects that can be said in a few lines, rather than in numerous full posts. Here are a few to ponder today:

    • There have been a few rumblings that, with the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, that Kevin Youkilis will be on the market. Please note, there’s no doubting Youk’s ability to field, he would be a good addition to many teams that need defense, but I’m very worried about his bat. His awkward stance may have worked when he was younger, but as he is growing older, he needs to make some major adjustments to remain offensively viable. On a side note, I’ve been wondering about Oakland’s interest in him after the season if Josh Donaldson doesn’t work out. The impact of Moneyball on my mind still lingers…
    • Jamie Moyer is a stud….that is all. He remains a viable starting pitcher at age 49 and he continues breaking various age-related records (including his RBI feat last night). On top of that, he obviously has a very attractive wife, the camera man during the Rockies game last night seemed like he didn’t want to pan away from her.
    • When will the Ryan Dempster trade speculation start in earnest? Though not sustainable at its current level, he has a very good ERA and should be drawing plenty of interest. Sure, it is plenty early in the season, but trade speculation is already floating around on other players.
    • Cubs fans are already salivating over the fact that their payroll commitment in 2013 is very low. But will Theo and Co. really be interested in obtaining some top free agents this winter? They still need to gather some young talent that will be on the rise when they decide to throw enormous sums of money at free agents.

 

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Royals Need New Blood

Those poor Kansas City Royals. The subject of numerous jokes over the past couple decades, the Royals have mired in the basement of the American League standings with limitations on payroll and mediocre player development hampering team building. But lately things have been looking up for the Royals. After the 2010 season, their farm system was regarded as the best in baseball and now some of those players are playing in the Majors.

Yet with the notoriety also comes expectations, many of them unwarranted. Most of their young potential star player don’t even have a full year of service time in the majors and most of the pitching talent is still in the minors. Regardless, people start seeing the names on the backs of the uniforms and want immediate results.

During their recent and admittedly lengthy losing streak Sam Mellinger of Kansas City.com crafted a diatribe on the state of the Royals. One of the most profound statements in his post read:

Building the Greatest Farm System In The History of Upright Man is apparently no cure for historic stink, and the Royals deserve every bit of venom you can muster for a franchise that’s been a ubiquitous letdown for most of the last two decades.”

Ouch. Is this one of those, “It’s gonna hurt you more than it hurts me,” types of drubbings? His hand had to have hurt after slapping the Royals with that rant.
But if you analyze the numbers a little further, there’s more to their failures than just the fact they’ve played badly. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs recently did a little statistical analysis of the Royals recently and it seems that the team performs well….except under pressure.
To quote Cameron:
“With the bases empty, the Royals have posted a .333 wOBA, fourth best in the American League. With men on base, that’s fallen to .298 – third worst in the league. With runners in scoring position? .275, ahead of only the Oakland Athletics.”
As goes the pitching, here are the BABIP splits as Cameron deduced:

Bases Empty: .295 (t-10th in AL)
Men On Base: .317 (11th in AL)
RISP: .369 (14th in AL)

The Royals just haven’t been playing well in the clutch. Dave Cameron points to regression to the mean, meaning that these poor numbers under pressure should revert to average numbers over time and the team should be playing more like a .500 team. I agree with Cameron’s belief that the team will regress to the mean and play better in the clutch over time. The Royals should be mostly a .500 team moving forward.

After all, shouldn’t the fans just be expecting the team to play .500 ball as they are so young? Throw in the fact that many of their top pitching prospects are still on the farm and it becomes even more obvious.

Still, results are results and there may be more to the lack of ability for a team to play well in the clutch. A manager is supposed to provide confidence in his players that they can excel under pressure. A manager is supposed to pull the right triggers to squeeze a little more run production out of the offense when it struggles. A manager must appropriately recognize pitching situations that his young staff is getting into and adjust who’s on the mound accordingly.

For those reasons, shouldn’t we ask: “Is it time for Ned Yost to go?”

 

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Kellogg tries out for the NFL

“With their first pick in the draft, the Baltimore Ravens take Umpire Jeff Kellogg.”

The above statement is one of the main reasons I would not be a good baseball game announcer. Umpire Jeff Kellogg would’ve given me the chance to voice that remark over the loudspeakers that would’ve likely gotten me a pink slip by the Orioles staff. But it would’ve been fun to make that statement after Kellogg’s recent tackle of a streaker in Baltimore:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Technically speaking, Jeff was supposed to stay back from the streaker running on the field and let security take care of everything. Taking things into your own hands is the quickest way to find yourself listed in a lawsuit. THIS OF COURSE IS VERY UNFORTUNATE AND A PATHETIC REFLECTION ON WHAT OUR SOCIETY HAS BECOME. Yes, I just yelled there. But it is completely warranted. This lawsuit-crazy society has resulted in the handcuffing of many of the better people from personally policing the vapid lawbreakers around us.

But enough of the rants on the current state of society.

Kellogg’s tackle was great to watch. Notice how he played it calm until the streaker was walking away from him. He wrapped up the streaker and planted him into the ground with a move that would bring a smile to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Note that he still held his face mask in his hand while tackling the streaker, he didn’t even need to drop his gear to be effective. Jeff then held the perp down until the police arrived and walked away from the scene. Thankfully, there was one aspect that looked very little like an NFL sack, he didn’t provide some celebratory dance, just went back to the game at hand.

This is apparently the fourth time this young season that an Orioles game has been interrupted by streakers. Outfielder Adam Jones had an interesting idea of having a K9 unit on the field to strike fear into would-be streakers. However, maybe they should just hire more umpires to provide security.

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