I can't help but recommend this book to anyone and everyone who likes baseball... and even those who really don't. A funny book about all the cheaters in baseball? What can be better than that during the steroid era?
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It will be really interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks when the details of bonus demands and signability become more clear.
I am still hoping that one of the top players falls to the M’s due to money concerns. I still think that Miller is the guy who could fall if it looks like his demands will be out of control. In the position that he is in, as the consensus top guy on everyones draft board, he could go for a Justin Upton deal on a ML contract.
In that case, we could see him drop to the M’s:
1. KC – Lincoln
2. Colo – Brandon Morrow or Evan Longoria
3. TB – Lincecum
4. Pitt – Kyle Drabek or Longoria
5. Sea – Miller
I know that this may seem like a pipe dream. But most years there are a few guys that fall due to signability. Last year Mike Pelfrey and Luke Hochevar dropped. The year before everyone dropped a bit when SD picked Matt Bush, and the 2 consensus top players (Jarrod Weaver and Stephen Drew) fell to 12 and 15. The 2002 , 2001 and 2003 drafts were very volatile, and the highest-rated players didn’t go #1 in either year. So this type of things isn’t at all unprecedented.
If the top 4 teams to end up taking Miller, Lincoln, and Lincecum, then the M’s will have to seriously consider prep guys, like Kyle Drabek and Clayton Kershaw, or even reaching a bit for Luke Hochevar.
I hope that you are right about one of the top-4 college guys falling to the M’s. I don’t think that that is at all unrealistic. Evan Longoria could fit in there somewhere as well. The Rockies and Pirates could easily go for a position player.
We can sit and drool over the idea of Miller falling to us, but even if he doesnt we are prob gonna add a new #1 pitching prospect in our organization. While this is obviously good, its also a little sad. Needless to say however, Im stoked to see how it unfolds.
Do you think Travis Snyder may last until the second round? I am a sappy sucker and like the idea of drafting local when it makes sense, like Tim Lincecum in the first if Miller is off the board, and Travis Snyder in the second.
I definitely think the M’s will have a new #1 pitching prospect. If they take a pitcher with their second round pick, they could have a new #2 pitching prospect as well.
Speaking of Snider, he will almost definitely be gone by the end of the first round, and surely by the end of the 1st supplemental round. The only thing that could change that is if his committment to ASU looks really really firm. If that happens, the M’s could take a shot at him and see if they can milk the local connections. But he is one of the few position players whose stock hasn’t dropped this year. He is in the top 2 or 3 prep hitters.
Lincecum’s mechanics don’t scare me anymore. They haven’t since April 14th, not to a large degree anyway. What does scare me is how he sky-rocketed from the 2nd round to 1st round in a month. And before this year he wasn’t even that high. He’s like a boy wonder hidden somewhere in the middle of nowhere (pacific northwest) that noone’s seen, but everyone’s heard that he is phenomenal … flashback to Darko Milicic.
While Lincecum has done well with the scouts watching these past few months, something just doesn’t feel right. I would feel safer going with someone without that electifying stuff, but with a few more percentage points on the guarantee of success. It might be just a hunch, or the potential heartbreak of seeing a sure-thing fail, but I would prefer the safe pick.
The Darko comparison doesn’t make sense on any level.
Lincecum is playing in one of the top 5 conferences in college baseball. He has a measurable level of competition.
Furthermore, he’s pitched there for three years, not to mention on the Cape. Scouts have had plenty of opportunities to see him. And the more they see, the more they like.
I don’t think you have anything to worry about, as I don’t think the M’s will have a shot at Timmuh. But if they do (and Miller’s off the board), they’d be fools not to take him, IMHO.
We’re not talking about some toolsy HS’er, we’re talking about a kid who’s absolutely dominating college baseball, and who’s thrown enough pitches and enough innings to show that his unconventinoal mechanics are quite durable.
Lincecum very nearly has Mark Prior’s repertoire – same fastball, same curve, slightly lesser change and slider. Sure his cmomand isn’t Prioresque, but his dominance is.
You better have a dang good reason to pass on Mark Prior lite.
I know, you’re probably right. I just have a hunch. I don’t like the hunch, but I have it. And Darko was playing in a professional league whose level of competition as compared to the NBA is somewhat akin to the MLB-NCAA levels.
I suppose that Mario Williams can also be a good comparison. Few have heard of him at the start of his last season, yet there he is, the #1 pick over the sure-thing Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush has the pure skill of any running back this side of Barry Sanders, yet he is a bit undersized, and you never know.
Best news is, were gonna get someone who should have an impact on the future of the M’s. And, they are high enough in the second round, to get a talent who just needs some development.
I’m hoping one of the four above us draft Longoria. He’s the best position player in the draft. However, in last year’s draft, he’d probably be mid first round talent. Hoping somebody takes a stretch.
As bad as losing has been the last few years, it may very well pay off for the M’s as it did for they A’s, in the mid-late ninties. There is a huge drop off when you are picking after #10, in a good draft season. This year, I don’t see any great picks past #5 or #6.
Good news on the draft… now if only we could get Travis Snider to talk up his ASU commitment so he could slide to use in the second or later. He’s been talked of as going in the 16-20 range, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for local picks.
Baseball America did a mock draft, and had the M’s taking Luke Hochevar. Interestingly, in their mock draft, Lincecum and Morrow were still available.
Here is what it says about the M’s in particular:
“5. MARINERS. GM Bill Bavasi, who’s on shaky ground, is expected to seek more immediate than long-term help. Local product Lincecum would be a natural choice who should reach the majors faster than any player out of this draft. But Seattle is believed to prefer Hochevar, the Dodgers’ 2005 supplemental first-rounder. Hochevar wants a big league contract and he’ll probably get it.”
Huh. It will be interesting to see how BA’s view changes in the next two weeks. Last year, they nailed the Clement pick, and have a pretty good track record overall. On the other hand, at this time last year (and until the night before the draft) everyone including BA had the M’s taking Troy Tulowitzki.
As a side note, they have Snider going 16. Snider would have to have a really really firm commitment to ASU to drop to the M’s. There are so few good position players in this draft, some club will likely reach for him.
Cody Johnson would be another huge power guy (though also unathletic) who could slide.
It seems like the best value in the second or third round could be prep players. I was reading something that mentioned that Matt Latos is likely to go somewhere in the second round. He has some character issues, but touches 100MPH with good overall stuff. He would be a really good pick as well. Or some other prep player (Casey Kiker?) who falls.
Getting a college guy in the first round seems like the best bet, but after that…
I think that they key to the draft isn’t just in selecting the right player. Right now, the M’s are definitely going to be able to take one of Miller, Lincoln, Lincecum, Morrow, or Hochevar. All of those guys are good players. Even if the M’s don’t have a decision in the matter, they will still get a damn good starter from that pick.
The problem with the M’s drafts have been lost picks. Continually giving away picks due to free agent signings is what killed the club in the Mattox years. People always bring up the bad choices (which is valid), but the M’s also lost a ton of picks over the past decade of drafts. When you only make 1 or 2 choices in the top 4 rounds of the draft every year, it greatly decreases the likelihood that you will get ML players out of each draft.
The one thing that is nice about this draft is that the M’s finally managed to keep all their picks. Even if the guy they take in the first round struggles, they still have a good shot at having a productive draft with their other early picks. Its nice not having to wait until the 4th round for their second selection.
It would be really nice to see the M’s start to actually accumulate extra picks rather than crap them away. It seemed like Gillick actually TRIED to lose picks sometimes. For instance, in the 2003-2004 offseason, they signed Ibanez before KC had the opportunity to not offer him arbitration, which they are not that likely to do. Then, they didn’t offer Mike Cameron arbitration. If they had waited a while, and offered Cammy arbitration, they could have gained draft picks. Instead, they lost one. For no reason.
This isn’t just a big market/small market issue. Teams like the Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox, Braves, and a few other teams seem to consistently gain picks. The Red Sox are the most interesting example, as they are one of the most active clubs in free agency every year. Its a skill, and the M’s don’t have that skill.
If you gain picks instead of losing them, your chances of hitting the jackpot multiply. Hopefully, the M’s learn how this works soon. Regardless of how good Fontaine is, losing 2 picks/year hurts.
The only way to get extra picks is to have valuable free agents that you dont mind grossly overpaying for one year (arby) and getting lucky that someone else wants them so much that they are willing to go multi-years at a similar price to lure him away.
It’s a risk the M’s don’t need to be taking with just any player.
With there being such a lack of impact free agents these days, I don’t think that it is that much of a risk.
Obviously, it depends on the player. But if Meche has a good year, and for some reason the M’s don’t trade him, some team would likely be willing to give him a multi-year deal. For a guy like Meche, that multi-year deal would be worth more than a one-year cash-in. Obviously, that depends on how he does.
If Guardado somehow gets back into a groove and ends up putting up similar numbers to the past two years, he would be a near certainty to be getting multi-year offers. I wouldn’t underestimate the value of a multi-year, guaranteed contract from the players perspective. Even if the first year isn’t as lucrative, a 3-year, 24 million deal is worth more than a one-year, 10 mil deal.
But you are correct that the M’s don’t have that many impact guys nearing free agency in the next year. Pineiro and Ichiro will be there soon. Ibanez would have been a possibility had they not resigned him.
The point is to milk both sides of the equation: good short-term contracts, not pissing away picks on mediocre players (eg Greg Colburn), letting aging vets walk away, and, ideally, developing more home-grown talent.
This is a process, not something that you decide to do one season.
Guardado will likely be a Type A FA if he returns to something resembling the player he has been the past two years. I don’t think that that is unlikely.
Beyond this year, my point above focused more on the general approach the club has taken. For instance, I think that resigning Ibanez was a really strange move. If the M’s had just waited, they could have decided to resign him later on. Or they could have let him walk and brought in someone via free agency. Or they could have promoted someone internally. Now, they don’t really have many options. They can either trade him or keep him.
Of course, if the M’s had to sign a free agent to replace Ibanez, they would lose a draft pick. But Ibanez will likely be a type A player. If they let him walk and offer him arbitration, they would get two picks back, then likely would lose their second rounder. It would be a net gain of one draft pick, with the two draft picks that they get back likely being higher picks than the one they would lose.
This is the approach that has worked so well for Boston. Every year, they are very active in free agency. But they always seem to come out with a net gain of draft picks. In this sense, I think that Theo Epstein deserves a huge chunk of the credit for rebuilding the Red Sox farm system. He may not have had much to do with which players were chosen, but he put his club in a position to gain extra picks every year. Now, Boston has a very strong farm system. The fact that they were able to improve their farm system while being a playoff team every year (and WS Champs) is pretty amazing.
I would also add that the M’s are not in a particularly good spot to maximize their draft picks at this point. They have Meche, Eddy and Moyer coming off the books this year, and Ichiro and Pineiro after the 2007 season. With all of those guys besides Moyer, it might be better to trade them at the deadline. On the other hand, you have to weigh that return via trade against the value of two draft picks. For instance, I think that the M’s might have done better getting two picks for Randy Winn than they what they ended up getting from San Fran (although hindsight is 20/20 on this one). Yet, you also have to calculate the risk of offering arbitration and having a player accept.
Right now, the M’s have a team composed of a good young core (Felix, Reed, Lopez, Yuni, Putz, Soriano), some older vets (Moyer, Everett, Guardado) and some players on big, long-term contracts (Washburn, Ichiro, Beltre, Sexson), with a very thin farm system. The M’s aren’t in a position where they can decide between resigning potentially expensive home-grown players or promoting guys through their farm system. The former are the guys that get you extra draft picks, and the latter are the best way to continue to restock your roster.
When the M’s are a year or two further along in their rebuild, they will be in a better position to take advantage of this. The Braves, Twins, Red Sox, and other clubs have been successful in doing this.
When the M’s were a really good club, they didn’t do this. They pissed away draft picks on role players and mediocre veterans, while failing to offer arbitration to a few guys who could have netted them extra picks. This is a big reason why the M’s are so bad right now. If they had full drafts over the past 10 years, they would be in much better shape than they are now.
I was wondering if anyone has baseball america insider. On the high school page it says they will be discussing Cam Nobles. Right hander from Jackson. Can anyone give me the run down of what there talking about. thanks
Havent been over there to look at it yet, but i can share what I have seen and heard and read on Nobles.
Noble is a projectable starting pitcher with a good physical tools and an idea how to pitch, but he’s been inconsistent with his velocity and most believe he’ll attend college.
He regularly sits 86-88 on the heater, and occasionally touches as high as 92-93, but according to scouts who saw him last weekend, his fastball stays up in the zone a bit too much making it more hittable than a pitch of that velociy should.
His breaking stuff is ok, but he needs better command of both his curve ball and changeup to use them effectively in pro ball.
The consensus is that he’d be a pick somewhere between rounds five and nine.