With the 2011 MLB Draft coming up on June 6, I prepared for it the only way I could: Recap previous drafts. If you haven’t been following the series, check out the 2005 draft and the 2006 draft. Both of them are worthy drafts that have some interesting players on both ends. The ’05 draft has possibly the best collection of first rounders ever (including Colby Rasmus) and the ’06 draft has three players that the Cardinals brass are kicking themselves over giving them away.
I have gone into each of the past two drafts nearly as clueless as most of you reading this. I have simply looked at the drafts and saw what happened from a later perspective. So I’m a little worried about the 2007 draft. I’m getting to the point where only draftniks will have heard of the 1st rounders unless they burst onto the major league scene or at least this is what I’m thinking. I could be wrong. I’ll try to write as little as possible about the irrelevant players. On to the post…
The draft starts off with a bang. The Rays, who remember still were not good in 2007, drafted David Price, a 22-year-old lefty coming out of Vanderbilt. Now we all know him as a Cy Young candidate as he has improved every year he has been in the big leagues. Last year, he threw over 200 innings with a 2.72 ERA. This year, he has incredibly improved his BB/9 from 3.41 to 1.53 while maintaining the same K/9.
At second overall, a high school shortstop was drafted who would probably have to change positions was setting California records with his homer totals. Currently ranked as a #9 prospect by Baseball America, Royals 3B Mike Moustakas still has not quite cracked the major league roster, but through no fault of his own. Last year in AAA, he hit .293 with 15 homers in just 293 plate appearances but walked in just 3.4% of his at-bats. So far this year, he has hit .264 but with a much better 9.1% BB rate and with 8 homers in 198 plate appearances. He might get called up in the middle of the year or at the latest in the September call-ups.
It may be early, but the first two picks seem like hits. The third one is nowhere near as promising as the first two in Cubs prospect Josh Vitters. Ranked #7 in the Cubs Top 20 prospects by John Sickels, he dropped out of the Baseball America Top 100 after struggling in AA last season. He hit just .223 with a .292 on base percentage but at least showed power with 7 homers and 12 doubles in 228 plate appearances. So far this year, he has improved his average to .269 and his OBP to .312 and his power with 16 extra-base hits in less than 200 plate appearances while remaining in AA.
At fourth overall, the Pirates drafted Daniel Moskos from Clemson U. I was certain this was a bust since the name doesn’t even register on the map. However, he is with the Pirates major league team right now (Who knew?!). But I wouldn’t exactly call him a success. They have rushed him to death here and he is now 25-years-old. How much have they rushed him? Despite a near 2.00 WHIP, he got promoted from A- level to A+ in his second year. He has played 29 AAA innings in his life and he hasn’t done that well with them. He has a 7.45 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 21 walks. When he started the season with a 3.09 ERA, the Pirates jumped to promote him to the majors. I am extremely perplexed at how much he was rushed.
The Orioles drafted a soon-to-be way over-hyped catcher from Georgia Tech named Matt Wieters. I’m sure you all know this story. Before the 2009 season, he was Baseball America’s #1 prospect and proclaimed the future best catcher in baseball by some pretty smart people. His 2009 season didn’t exactly deter his believers with a .288 line. He was just a rookie and he had time to improve. But he didn’t improve, he got worse batting .249 and suffering a bad sophomore slump. This year, he has near identical numbers to his rookie years and is a good warning sign for expecting the best case scenario (In other words, temper expectations for prospects).
(After the jump, I delve into the rest of the 1st round; Also look at the Cardinals players drafted.)
At #6 overall, the Nationals selected Ross Detwiler. He started out in rookie league, dominated, and then did ok in the A+ league. This was all in 2007, still the year he was drafted. Oddly enough, he was brought to the majors and pitched one inning. Anybody else find it weird he pitched one inning exactly in 2007? In 2008, he climbed up to AAA quickly after dominating AA. He made it back to the majors in 2009 and in 75.2 innings did alright with a 5.00 ERA but a good K/BB. With less than 100 innings pitched in 2010, I figure he spent some time on the DL and did pretty good with a 4.25 ERA in 29.2 innings. He is stuck at AAA right now but he’s struggling right now.
The Brewers made a solid selection for the next pick even if he isn’t with their team anymore. Matt Laporta was drafted as a corner outfielder coming out of the draft and immediately landed on the Baseball America Top 100 prospects at #23 overall before the 2008 season. He was a cornerstone of the CC Sabathia trade to the Indians in July with his .288/.402/.588 line in AA. After improving those numbers in 2009 in AAA, the Indians promoted him to the majors. He showed some power, but his .304 OBP left something to be desired. He is now a starting first baseman for the best team in the league with an .801 OPS.
The Rockies selected Casey Weathers, whose future is not very promising. He’s now 25-years-old and has a 5.65 ERA in AA right now. But he missed 2009 due to Tommy John surgery so he has some time to use that as an excuse. The only issue is that he wasn’t that great in AA in 2008.
At ninth, the Diamondbacks selected top prospect Jarrod Parker. Parker was on the fast track to the majors as the #29 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America. Unfortunately, Parker got Tommy John surgery missing all of the 2010 season. He seems to be a completely different pitcher. After 78 innings in AA ball in ’09, he had a 8.50 K rate and 3.91 BB rate along with a 3.21 ERA. Now, Parker has a lower K rate, higher walk rate and a 5.87 ERA in 43 innings.
Madison Bumgarmer, recent winner against the Cards on the Giants, immediately made it to the majors despite being a high school pitcher back in 2009. This year he is 2-6 although his 3.66 ERA suggest it has more to do with the worst offense in the league than his pitching ability.
Phillippe Aumont is a 22-year-old pitcher with high potential involved in the Cliff Lee deal. He is still in AA despite being there when traded although his 26 Ks and 6 walks are dramatically better than his previous seasons there.
Matt Dominguez, a 3B drafted out of high school, has made his way to AAA, however is struggling with a .186 batting average. He is the #83 prospect in Baseball America’s Top 100 and is expected to take over 3B as soon as next season. Next pick, the Indians selected a 1B out of a little college. He made it to AA fast, but remains there with mediocre numbers at best.
At #14, Jason Heyward was selected out of high school. Nearly managing a .400 OBP in his rookie season, I don’t think I have to tell you who he is. At #15, the Reds selected a catcher who can rake. He still rakes and is the #64 rated prospect according to Baseball America. He is batting .306 with a .388 OBP right now… as a catcher.
At #16, the Blue Jays selected a high school shortstop who hasn’t made it to AA yet. At #17, Blake Beavan has made it all the way to AAA, but I don’t like his chances to contribute even at 22-years-old. In 40.1 innings, Beavan had a 6.47 ERA in AAA and this year as barely fared better with a 5.40 ERA in 55.1 innings. He doesn’t walk many batters, but he doesn’t hardly strike out anybody. Probably 5th starter at best.
Skipping the Cardinals (look below if you want to skip), the Phillies drafted a pitcher out of Rice. He made it to AAA last year, but his numbers were horrible and now this year he starts out at A+ level. He is 25-years-old so things are not promising. At #20, the Dodgers selected a high school pitcher who is wild. He walks nearly half a batter per inning, but he strikes out nearly a batter an inning. He is still in AA and 22-years-old so there’s time.
J.P. Arencibia was the #43 rated prospect as a catcher for the Blue Jays. He batted just .143 in limited time last year, but has shown some of the offensive promise scouts see with a .258 average and eight homers. At #22, the Giants selected high school pitcher Tim Alderson. Called quickly up to AA, he was fairly successful with a 3.46 ERA. They traded him for Freddy Sanchez at the deadline and he remains in AA after a 5.62 ERA last year. He has improved so far this year though with a 1.17 ERA.
The next two pitchers, a college lefty and a high school righty, are both in A+ right now and don’t have great stats. Aaron Poreda, the #63 prospect by BA before the 2009 season, made it to AAA in 2009. Originally drafted by the White Sox, Poredo was traded along with other players for Jake Peavy. The rest of the season he had 37 walks and 30 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. He has maintained pretty much the same walk rate the past two years at almost 9.0 BB/9.
The A’s drafted Donald Simmons who has not played in a game since 2009. Rick Porcello was drafted next. Immediately promoted to the majors, he has been an average pitcher with a 4.36 career ERA. At #28, the Twins selected Ben Revere, an outfielder out of high school. He fast-tracked his way to the MLB with a .300 average in nearly every level, but with mediocre on base skills and little to no power and he is now struggling in the MLB. He has a .242 average and a .265 OBP and is basically an automatic out right now.
At #30, the Yankees selected Andrew Brackman who, represented by Scott Boras, went immediately on the 40 man roster and then immediately on the 60 day DL for Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2008. With 70 Ks and 30 BBs in 80 innings in AA, Brackman got promoted to AAA where he is currently struggling to the tune of a 6.35 ERA.
Once again, I’ll go through them by level. I’ll grade Pete Kozma and Tony Cruz as AAA players since they have only been up because half of our middle infield is injured.
Daniel Descalso – #112 – Descalso was drafted out of UC Davis as a 3B. He moved to 2B sometime while in the minors. He was expected to be an average hitter and an average fielder when promoted to the majors with his rise through the system. He has actually been a horrid hitter and an amazing defender. So nearly the same as we expected value-wise overall just in a different package.
Clayton Mortenson – #36 – Mortenson was aggressively promoted while in the system. In 2008, he made it to Springfield and his 4.22 ERA over 80 innings was enough to get him promoted mid-season to Memphis. With a 4.37 ERA, the Cardinals traded him a package with Brett Wallace to get Matt Holliday. Mortenson was traded to the Rockies for a minor league pitcher before the 2011 season (possibly due to his arrest for drunk driving). Mortenson has not been very good with 21 strikeouts and 19 walks in 29 innings. He does have a 3.69 ERA though.
Pete Kozma – #18 – Making the majors already would appear I would praise him. But he’s awful. He had 34 errors last year and had .600 OPS in Springfield, known for being a hitter’s park. The Cardinals inexplicably promoted him to AAA where he has done worse with a .568 OPS. And now he’s in the majors. So hopefully he will get sent down soon because he is awful.
Jess Todd – #82 – In 2008, he started out at Palm Beach at 22-years-old. After just seven games with a 1.65 ERA, he advanced to Springfield. He lasted seventeen games until he was promoted to Memphis that same year. He started off 2009 well with 59 strikeouts and 13 walks in 49 innings at Memphis. Near the end of the year, he was named the PTBNL in the Mark Derosa trade. He was promoted to the majors for a while to end the year but didn’t do well with a 7.40 ERA in 19 games. May of this year, the Indians put him on waivers when his numbers didn’t improve. The Yankees claimed him and then 10 days later put him on waivers where he was claimed by the Cardinals, the team that drafted him. In Memphis, he has a 6.75 ERA in 5 innings but 7 strikeouts and 2 walks makes me think he’ll improve.
Adam Reifer – #352 – Reifer started his professional career in Batavia closing out games. He dominated striking out 41 in just 30 innings. To start 2008, the Cards promoted Reifer to Palm Beach where he again dominated striking out 50 in 48.1 innings. In 2010, he started the year in Springfield where he again dominated with 52 strikeouts in 54 innings with a 3.00 ERA. So far this year in Memphis, has has a 1.42 but he has not been able to strike out batters as well in his six innings with just one strikeout. At 25-years-old, the clock is ticking.
Chuckie Fick – #472 – Fick was drafted out of Cal State Northridge as a tall and lean right-handed pitcher at 6’5. With a 1.85 ERA between Johnson City and Quad Cities in relief, the Cards tried him out at starter at Quad Cities in 2008. He was fairly successful with a 3.17 ERA and just 15 walks in 93.2 innings. In 2009, he went all the way to Springfield where he finished the year with a 1.50 ERA albeit with 12 strikeouts and 10 walks in 24 innings. To begin 2010, Fick pitched 27 innings with 32 strikeouts and earned himself a promotion to Memphis. He did not do well with a 4.78 ERA and 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 49 innings. As a 25-year-old to begin 2011, he has pitched 26 innings in relief with 22 strikeouts, 14 walks, and a 3.12 ERA.
Andrew Brown – #562 – After signing, Brown had a wild line in Batavia – In 236 plate appearances, he managed 14 doubles, 7 triples, and 7 homers with a .238 batting average. Next season at Quad Cities, he was quickly promoted after having an .OPS of .855A. At Palm Beach, he raked with a .330 average and four homers in 100 plate appearances earning a promotion to Springfield. There he hit .251 with a .794 OPS and 12 homers. In 2009, he hit .285 with 13 homers, but only managed 302 plate appearances through injuries while remaining at Springfield. After repeating his 2009 line with more homers and better health, he was promoted to Memphis for the beginning of this season. At 26-years-old, he is raking in Memphis with a .351/.447/.611 line. If he was on the 40 man roster, I’d bet he’d be in the major leagues right now.
Brian Broderick – #652 - Drafted young at 20, Broderick pitched 67 innings between Batavia and Johnson City with a 2.55 ERA, 53 strikeouts, and seven walks. He played all of 2009 in Quad Cities as a starter with a 4.57 ERA with only 38 strikeouts in 81 innings. Nonethless, the Cardinals promoted him to Palm Beach where he did ok. He had a 4.61 ERA in 109.1 innings with 64 strikeouts and 17 walks. He was advanced to Springfield in the middle of the year where he went 0-5 in 29 innings with a 5.90 ERA. In Springfield in 2010, he had a 2.77 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 14 walks in 100 innings. The Nationals claimed Broderick in the Rule 5 draft where he made the team out of Spring Training. After 11 games with an 11.57 ERA, they sent him back to the Cards. He has pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless ball for Memphis since they claimed him.
Tony Cruz – #802 – Drafted at 20-years-old as a 3B, Tony Cruz advanced four levels after being drafted finishing the year in Quad Cities with a .282 average, a .333 on base percentage, and five homers in 216 plate appearances. The Cardinals were thinking his offense would play out ok at 3B, but if they moved him to catcher, then his offense would become great. So in 2008 at Palm Beach he started 43 games at catcher hitting .279 with just a .316 OBP and a .743 OPS. The Cardinals promoted him to Springfield where he really started hitting bad with a .220 average. Meanwhile he started 72 games at catcher and only 32 at 3B. Disconcerted with his performance, the Cards started Cruz at Palm Beach where hit decent with a .746 OPS but more importantly a .282 average. After 169 plate appearances, he went to Springfield and hit .289 with a .363 OBP. Cruz shows offensive potential, but he is wildly inconsistent year-to-year so it remains to be seen how good he is offensively.
Nick Derba – #922 – Derba is an interesting player. I assume he’s well known for his defense because his bat is terrible. Also I think he comes of the Matt Pagnozzi variety in that he’s a MiLB backup. His career MiLB average is .197 so I don’t know why he is in Memphis. He’s 25-years-old right now as well.
Adron Chambers – #1153 – Chambers is currently a 24-year-old who is drawing reviews of Jon Jay by some. I wouldn’t say he’s near that good however. In 2008 as a 21-year-old, Chambers hit .238 with a .667 OPS in a corner outfield spot. He was promoted to Palm Beach where he had a much better line of .283/.370/.400. He started last year in Springfield and batted .282 with a .376 OBP. Injuries to the major league outfield went all the way down to him as he was promoted to Memphis. So far this year, he is batting .247, but with a .366 OBP and a .390 slugging percentage in Memphis.
David Kopp – #71 – Kopp was a right-hander out of Clemson drafted in the 2nd round. He was drafted knowing that his command and delivery were questionable at best. Kopp made his way to Springfield as early as 2009. He had 11 walks and six strikeouts in 21 innings so you could say he was unsuccessful. He fared better in 2010 with a 3.05 ERA, 78 strikeouts, and 39 walks in 121 innings. A late season promotion featured awful results at Memphis: 24 IP, 8.62 ERA, 12 Ks, 11 BBs. He is currently in Springfield with 20.2 innings pitched with a 6.10 ERA.
Deryk Hooker – #232 – Hooker was drafted in the 7th round as a high school flamethrower out of San Diego. He ended the year he was drafted in the Gulf Coast League, dominating with a 2.32 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 11 walks in 31 innings. He started 2008 in Johnson City at 19-years-old where he also dominated. He had 42.2 innings with a 3.38 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 14 walks before they decided he should be up a level. He finished the year in Quad Cities with 18 strikeouts and 6 walks in 22.1 innings. In inexplicably, they demoted him to start 2009 at Batavia. He played the whole year there with a 3.98 ERA in 61 innings, but more impressive was the 127 strikeouts over 111 innings. Last year he begin the year at Quad Cities but after 88 strikeouts and 22 walks over 70 innings proved he was advanced beyond his years, he was promoted to Palm Beach. At Palm Beach last year, Hooker had 39 strikeouts, 13 walks, and a 3.27 ERA over 41 innings. He is currently in Springfield struggling with a 6.14 ERA. He has 27 strikeouts and 14 walks in 36.2 innings. Currently a starter, it is believed he will have to become a reliever. He’s still only 21-years-old as well.
Tyler Henley – #262 – Drafted out of Rice as an outfielder, the left-handed hitter rose to Springfield in the 2009 season. He hit well there with a .303 average with a .367 OBP and a .419 slugging percentage. To begin 2010, he hit .367 in Springfield forcing a promotion to Memphis. He hit just .205 there and was sidelined after 157 plate appearances to Tommy John surgery. Now at 26-years-old in Springfield hitting .156, things are not looking good.
Steven Hill – #412 – Hill made a quick rise to Springfield in the middle of 2008, but unfortunately is there again three years later. He played all of 2009 at Springfield batting .282 with a .333 OBP and 19 homers as a catcher. Since the organization has so much depth at the catcher position, this did not warrant a promotion, but when he improved his numbers, it did. He made it to the major leagues when Jason LaRue was injured for just one game where he went 1-3 with a homer. He finished the year in Memphis only hitting .176. The Cards put him back in Springfield to begin this year where he so far has an .828 OPS in over 50 plate appearances.
The Rest – The Cards fifth round pick didn’t sign with the Cardinals, likely because of money issues. The next year he was drafted by the Dodgers and he is currently in AA for the Dodgers. Their sixth round pick is out of the majors already. In the 24th round, the Cards drafted Sam Freeman who refused to sign. The next year, they drafted him eight rounds later in the 32nd round. I’ll go over him next look back but he is in Springfield.
I’ll probably do the 2008 draft and then combine the ’09 and ’10 with less talk about the first round since not many have likely made an impact so soon. The draft is Monday and I should be able to report on the picks there.