Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The draft, Day 2

Monday was the flashy day of the baseball draft, one round (well, the first round plus the supplemental round) taking more than three hours for the sake of television — even though it's not widely seen television, relatively few of us having MLB Network.

Tuesday was the meat of the draft — the old-school teleconference, with picks following each other like bullets on D-Day. Twenty-nine-plus rounds on Tuesday, rounds 2 through 30 with three more supplemental rounds for good measure.

A few comments:

* The Twins, as usual, focused on college pitchers — with good command and at least the beginnings of a quality changeup — and on high school position players. Also as usual, the middle infielders they drafted are generally expected to move to other positions.

They're good at finding and developing these kinds of players. Sometimes I wish they'd break their mold and pick a bona fide shortstop prospect, or a pitcher with major velocity but control issues. Good teams have more than one kind of player on their rosters. You need some speed, some power, some hard throwers, some junkballers.

But they play to their strengths, and there's justification for that. If they're not good at finding the wild hard thrower who can be taught to harness his stuff, let somebody else draft him — and then find a way to pick him up later.

* The Dodgers used their first-round pick on Zach Lee, who is expected to bypass pro baseball to play quarterback (and baseball) for LSU.

The Dodgers say they'll make a good-faith effort to sign him. I have my doubts. If they don't sign him, they'll get a compensation pick in about the same place in next year's draft (Lee was the 28th selection; the comp pick, if it happens, would be 29th), and the 2011 draft is reckoned to be a deeper draft than this year's.

So in effect, they may be trading this year's pick for a similar pick next year, sparing themselves the hassle of paying a bonus during the bitter ownership divorce fight. If Lee signs for a lower-than-expected price, great; if not, the Dodgers might still be the winners.

*The Twins' ninth-round pick, Kyle Knutson, was the Gophers' catcher this year. It occurs to me that there are few worse organizations for a catcher to be drafted into right now — Joe Mauer and Wilson Ramos are formidable roadblocks, not to mention Jose Morales, Drew Butera and Chris Herrmann (a 2009 draft pick). Still, one never knows exactly what the future holds.

* Pitcher Bret Mitchell of MSU went in the 12th round to the New York Mets, number 362 overall.

No comments:

Post a Comment