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:
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.
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 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.
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 ….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.