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.
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.
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.
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.