2013 First Annual MLB Draft Draft

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So the draft happened about a week and a half ago, and it got us thinking. What other fun stuff could we draft ? The possibilities are/were endless, but we decided on drafting the obvious: other drafts. The goal was to build the best possible 25 man major league roster using only players selected in the first round of each draft between the years 2000 – 2011. We decided to exclude this year’s draft and last year’s draft on account of it’s way too early to even judge what those players are. We decided to include 2011 since it’s actually produced a few major leaguers already. Also, our rosters must include one designated hitter, two catchers, five bench players, three relievers, six starters, and a closer. But we got creative. To the picks!

  • 1st PICK (JAKE): 2005 draft

This was an easy pick, as it remains the most loaded first round we’ve seen in a long time. Jake immediately receives four of the best players in baseball in Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen and Justin Upton. Not to mention Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Gordon and Ryan Zimmerman. It was a crazy year on the position side, but this round definitely lacked pitching. The best pitchers taken were probably Matt Garza and Ricky Romero, neither of which made Jake’s final squad.

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The Most Predictable CFB Post of All Time: The Best Names of the 2013 MLB Draft

You were expecting a list of the best names from this year’s First Year Player Draft ?

Arizona Diamondbacks: 

  • Pick #300: RHP Jimmie Sherfy – University of Oregon (Oregon)
  • Pick #750: RHP Bud Jeter – Presbyterian College (South Carolina)
  • Pick #840: RHP Jimmy Shuttlesworth – Faulkner University (Alabama)
  • Pick #900: 2B Denver Chavez – Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (California)
  • Pick #1050: RHP Tyler Toyfair – University of Massachusetts Lowell (Massachusetts)

Atlanta #BARVES:

  • Pick #223: RHP Ian Stiffler – Somerset Senior High School (Pennsylvania)
  • Pick #283: 3B Dylan Manwaring – Horseheads High School (New York)
  • Pick #313: 3B Ian Hagenmiller – Palm Beach Central High School (Florida)
  • Pick #793: RHP Dakota Dill – Sul Ross State University (Texas)
  • Pick #913: RHP Sterling Sharp – North Farmington High School (Michigan)

Baltimore Orioles:

  • Pick #61: C Chance Sisco – Santiago High School (California)
  • Pick #399: RHP Jimmy Yacabonis – Saint Joseph’s University (Pennsylvania)
  • Pick #909: SS Federico Castagnini – Creighton University (Nebraska)
  • Pick #1029: RHP Parker Bugg – Rancho Bernando High School (California)
  • Pick #1179: LHP Augey Bill – University of Arizona (Arizona)

Boston Red Sox:

  • Pick #45: RHP Teddy Stankiewicz – Seminole State University (Oklahoma)
  • Pick #233: OF Forest Allday – University of Central Arkansas (Arkansas)
  • Pick #713: 3B Jantzen Witte – Texas Christian University (Texas)
  • Pick #743: RHP Derik Beauprez – Cherry Creek High School (Colorado)
  • Pick #923: 1B Ryan Rippee – Jefferson College (Missouri)

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First Base Prospects Will Probably Disappoint You

Prospects are fun. They allow us to dream on their basic skill sets and imagine greatness eventually produced at the major league level. First base prospects in specific present a certain type of vision. While the offensive standard for first basemen of late has plummeted, we still want that .300/.400/.500 type slugger at first for our favorite teams. It’s a commodity that has become increasingly hard to find over the last few years. We’re all still waiting for Eric Hosmer to break out. Yonder Alonso has yet to really show anything and Anthony Rizzo still struggles mightily against lefties. Paul Goldschmidt has been very impressive so far but not many people saw this level of production coming. The only true high-end first base prospect in the minors today is Jonathan Singleton for the Astros.

With the help of the free archives of Baseball Prospectus (specifically Kevin Goldstein ‘s scouting reports from his Top 11 lists), I’m gonna look back a few years. This was a time with several high end first base prospects on the rise. These were supposed to be superstar level talents, getting on base at high clips and hitting for plenty of power. This is not meant to discredit Baseball Prospectus in any way; all five of these players were highly regarded throughout the industry.

Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics (2008):

barton 2008

Just a glowing report. He’s gonna bring offensive firepower to Oakland for years to come. No doubt. FLAWLESS PLATE-DISCIPLINE.

Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics (2013):

Besides a freak 2010 season, in which he expressed his “flawless plate-discipline” in the form of a major league leading 110 walks, Barton has yet to show much of the hitting acumen he was praised for as a prospect. He has yet to play a game for Oakland this season, and has 27 career home runs through 1,901 career plate appearances. He has slugged .371 for his career. Daric Barton is 27 years old.

Lars Anderson, Boston Red Sox (2009):

lars 2009

An elite offensive talent. Maturity and intelligence well beyond his years. He’s going to mash.

Lars Anderson, Chicago White Sox (2013): 

Anderson got 56 major league plate appearances over three years with the Red Sox in which he posted a .455 OPS. Last summer, the Sox finally gave up on Anderson and traded him to Cleveland for a knuckleballer named Steven Wright. Several months later, he was traded to Arizona. After that, he was DFA’d by Arizona, claimed by the White Sox, DFA’d by the White Sox, claimed by the Blue Jays, and finally traded back to the White Sox this April. He is currently slugging .267 at Triple-A Charlotte. Lars Anderson is 25 years old.

Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians (2009):

laporta 2009

The key piece in the Sabathia deal (!!!!!!). Plus-plus power to all fields. Cleanup hitter on a championship-level team.

Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians (2013): 

LaPorta has pretty much exhausted all of his opportunities to start for the Indians. He’s got a career OBP of .301 through 1068 plate appearances, with his “plus-plus power to all fields” only producing 31 home runs. He has not played a single game for Cleveland this season. Matt LaPorta is 28 years old.

Brett Wallace, St. Louis Cardinals (2009):

wallace 2009

Outstanding hand/eye coordination. Enough arm for the hot corner (!!!!!!!!!!!!!). He’ll be among the league leaders in batting average.

Brett Wallace, Houston Astros (2013): 

Outstanding trade bait indeed, as Wallace was traded three times before landing in Houston.  Since making his debut in 2010, Wallace has posted an OPS of .682 through 818 plate appearances. Both FanGraphs and Baseball-reference have Wallace at well below replacement level for his career. Before being optioned to Triple-A, Wallace started the 2013 season 1-24 with 17 strikeouts. Brett Wallace is 26 years old.

Justin Smoak, Texas Rangers (2009):

smoak 2009

An impact hitter in the middle of a lineup. Power from both sides of the plate. Let’s face it, HE’S GOING TO HIT.

Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners (2013):

Since being traded to Seattle for CLIFF LEE in 2010, Smoak has disappointed the Mariners and their fans to the point that I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to get through this paragraph without getting emotional. Smoak has shown flashes of competency but has mainly expressed his appreciation for groundouts and lazy flyouts through the form of a .372 career slugging percentage over 1,500 plate appearances. As one of 17 first base/designated hitters on the Mariners, I’m curious to see how much playing time he gets this year as the season goes on. HE CAN’T BE THIS BAD. Justin Smoak is 26 years old.

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IN CONCLUSION…baseball is hard. It’s easy to look back at these failed prospects and get frustrated with what never came to be. I think it’s also a way to appreciate how incredibly difficult major league baseball is. Justin Smoak is a horrendous major league baseball player but holy crap he is an amazing baseball player. It’s never stressed enough how insanely hard it is to succeed at the highest level of this sport. There are success stories, and there are these five players. All five player reached the major league level. And sure, over a combined 5,384 plate appearances they’ve only hit 122 home runs (one every 44 at-bats). And sure, they’ve amassed an astonishingly low total of 6.9 b-ref WAR and 3.5 FanGraphs WAR (which is even more nuts when you realize that Daric Barton’s 2010 alone was worth 5.4 wins and 4.8 wins respectively). But they reached a level that thousands upon thousands of players will never even sniff. Baseball is hard.

 

Baseball America 2013 Best Tools Compilation: The Pitchers

Dylan Bundy

There are an endless number of sites devoted to baseball prospects, and while I think it’s safe to say our personal favorite here at CFB is Baseball Prospectus, the other giant in the internet world of prospecting, Baseball America, does something extremely fascinating every year to go along with their Top 10 lists. They take 15 tools, from Best Hit Tool to Best Outfield Arm, and assign one player from each organization one of these distinctions. Over the past few months, I’ve been compiling them in a spreadsheet as the team lists have come out. They concluded with the San Francisco Giants last week, so all the Best Tools have been handed out. It should be noted that some of these lists came out before certain trades, so you will see some players (new Marlin Justin Nicolino, for example) on teams that they no longer play for. However, I think a general compilation of these tools is helpful and interesting to look at.

We’ve seen the offense and the defense, so let’s take a look at the pitchers.

A breakdown by handedness:

Best Fastball: 29 RHP’s and 1 LHP

Best Curveball: 24 RHP’s and 6 LHP’s

Best Slider: 24 RHP’s and 6 LHP’s

Best Changeup: 17 RHP’s and 13 LHP’s

Best Control: 21 RHP’s and 9 LHP’s

AL EAST

AL east pitching

AL CENTRAL

AL central pitching

AL WEST

AL west pitching

NL EAST

NL east pitching

NL CENTRAL

NL central pitching

NL WEST

NL west pitching