Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Draft Day has come and gone, bringing in a new crop of prospects that will provide more talent into NCAA II and more bargaining chips for the trading season next year. In the first round 12 pitchers were selected, the top 3 picks all drafting that position and 17 position players, 13 of which were listed as CF or SS. Only two owners are still sitting at the negotiating tables trying to ink their 1st round draft picks to a deal while the rest are busy watching the development of our picks in the minors. While most of us were excited to see the new players on draft day, after looking through it doesn't look like this draft class will be remembered for elite talent. Here's my take on the top 5 selections and the 10 teams that stood out the most.
#1 Oscar Rolls - Rolls gets the title of #1 draft pick in S1, signing for $3.905M. He's got the stuff a manager wants to see with a pick this high in the draft and can be a #1 SP for the Blue Demons. Only knock on Rolls is if his health allows him to develop into those projections. The Blue Demons better hope so as they didn't have another pick until the 4th round and as of now only have their 25th RD pick (#791) signed to a contract.
#2 Jeromy Stern - Another great SP who has all the ratings to make him a solid #1 SP. With his durability/stamina combination he should be able to pitch deep into games. Has the best health out of the top 3 pitchers taken which is important to me but also the lowest makeup.
#3 Cecil Traynor - The 3rd SP taken in the 1st 3 picks, he also has great numbers to make him a #1 SP. Traynor should be able to pitch deep into games as well with his 99 stamina. His health is a little lower than the Bears probably like but if he stays healthy he should be dominate.
Owner mr_stickball: The Golden Bears landed their #1 guy with the third overall pick in Season 1's Amateur Draft, Cecil Traynor. Thing is, despite having "Superstar SP" tattooed across his forehead, he, at 6'0" tall mind you, "... thinks the deal is fine, but he is still weighing the option of playing professional basketball. He needs some time." We think, with his Baseball Projections, he'll sign (eventually) and love this kid's potential. His key to success is staying healthy while getting lots of preparatory minor league innings. Cy Young SP's are "Golden" (eh hem...).
#4 Izzy Grieve - See Scranton Nittany Lions
#5 Gorkys Calderone - Has the defensive to possibly play SS, but will be in contention for gold glove at 3B. Either way has a great, solid bat and some good speed. Makeup and health is high which should allow him to play quite a few seasons for the Rebels as he is currently tearing up Low A ball for them with 8 HR and 30 RBI in 24 games played.
Winners on Draft Day
Scranton Nittany Lions - With the #4 pick you think you should be able to land an impact player and I think the Nittany Lions did that with the first position player selected in the draft, Izzy Grieve. I can see him playing 2B and RF, while possibly being able to handle 3B but no matter what position they decided to play him at his bat will provide some big offensive numbers and his speed will have him flying around the bases. Bert Mercedes and Ervin Bradley will be interested to watch, both selected in the 1st round of supplemental picks. While their stamina is very low, all the other numbers I like in a pitcher are great. They've got the control, splits, pitches, durability, health and makeup all there. I'll be interested in seeing how the Lions will use these guys to get the most out of them. Also drafted was Paul Barnes (2nd Rd, #65) who has a good enough bat to play the 2B position with his defense and speed; a good value pick up in the 2nd round.
Charlotte Tar Heels - Anytime we're talking draft recap it seems like the Tar Heels and owner hopkinsheel are mentioned and in NCAA II this is no different. Marc Breen has the projections to be one of the better starting pitchers in this draft class and the Tar Heels manage to be fortunate enough that he drops to them at the 9th pick. With the 63rd pick in the draft they manage to find Yunesky Castro who looks to have great offensive numbers, and while he might not see the NL as a great fit with his defense, I can see AL teams wanting to trade for his offense production at the DH spot. Andy Wells (3rd Rd, #95) would probably be a bullpen pitcher in most worlds but with the lack of pitching in NCAA II he should make a decent #3 SP. Ted Simpson (4th Rd, #127) will make the majors as a solid defensive back up catcher and Dennys Finley (5th Rd, #159) should be able to make the majors as a CF/2B defensive backup as well. While the last two players aren't the offensive type, I can see all 5 of the Tar Heels' first 5 selections making the major league roster someday.
Hop's quote: ..."The Heels were very excited when Breen slipped to us at #9. I think we got pretty lucky in what prospects we saw as we actually had a solid list of 6 or 7 guys we would be OK with at #9...Breen was third on the list. He immediately becomes the top prospect of the organization and hope that he will develop into an ace pitcher every 5 days."
Trenton Scarlet Knights - Trenton only signed 6 draft picks out of their 24 selections and I'm only interested in one of them. Some may wonder why Trenton gets the "Winner" label with only one player but when I see Jimmie Butler I love the pick. Taken in the 1st Rd with the 12th selection, I was surprised to see Butler drop this low. While he might only be a 1B player defensively and struggling beating his grandma, who uses a walker, in a footrace, his bat is great. He should put up MVP type numbers even in a world with solid pitching but as NCAA II doesn't seem to have too many of those, I think he'll be able to put up world record type numbers and with high durability, health, and makeup I can see him doing it for quite awhile.
Boston College Eagles - With the lack of pitching talent in this world, I think the Eagles did well in grabbing 3 pitchers that should see some ML action. Bruce MacFarlane (1st RD, 14th pick) has the type of stamina, control and splits you like to see for your SP's. The individual pitches are a little low but he still should put up solid numbers for the Eagles. Charley Dodson will be a nice pitcher out of the bullpen. Great control and good splits to help in the later innings of games. Ken Shermann (3rd RD, 100th pick) is not the greatest pitcher, but to get him with the 100th pick he's got decent enough numbers to make the ML bullpen as a setup pitcher.
Arizona State Sun Devils - Another team that signed less than half of their picks (10) I really like what the Sun Devils did in this draft. While none of the draft picks are elite type players, I think they got some nice players that will add depth to their team. Omar Campos (1st RD, 15th) should be a nice back end SP for the Devils; Kevin Sullivan (3rd RD, 101) defensive SS; Art Friend (5th RD, 165) same type of player as Ken Shermnn for the Eagles; Lloyd Park (6th RD, 197) nice bat for this late; and Denny Pierce (7th RD, 227) defensive SS projections but might need a DITR to get there. Regardless of Pierce's development I was still seeing guys in the 5th and 6th round that I could see on a major league ball club for the Devils draft. Great signings in those late rounds.
Seattle Huskies - Bernard Burks (1st RD, 16th) looks like he should be able to handle the SS position defensively and will have a great bat for that position; if not he'll be a gold glove 3B and still have a good bat for that position. The Huskies also grabbed Virgil Villalona (1st RD Supplemental, 38th) who should be a good pitcher out of the bullpen for them. Also taken in the supplemental round Jeremy Galloway will make a nice defensive SS. An intriguing pick in the 2nd round with Izzy Reynolds. His vR is avg while his vL is low but with his power he could still put up some big numbers, especially with the lack of talented pitchers in this world. He'll be an interesting player to watch.
Richmond Cavaliers - Another team who didn't waste any picks. Deion Burgess (1st RD, 17th) is a closer who can pitch the 8th and 9th and still be ready to pitch possibly the next day. His vR is a little low but still above average and all his other numbers are great. Dwight Osbourne (1st RD supplemental, 39th) has the defensive to play catcher and has a great bat even if the power is low. His stamina will keep him from playing alot but he should play very nice when he is in the game. Merkin Cook (1st RD supplemental, 50th) is another nice arm to add to the bullpen. Just like his teammate Burgess his vR is lower but all the other numbers very nice. Greg Jones (2nd RD, 60th) will bring the power that teammate Osbourne is lacking, although Jones will be playing the DH position; very nice bat for this late in the draft. Bernard Nickeas (2nd RD, 71st) is another nice bullpen arm to add to the minors for the Cavaliers. I can see all first 5 selections helping out in the majors when ready.
Atlanta Yellow Jackets - With two first round selections Atlanta had a nice draft night, getting Ricardo Cubillan (1st RD, 18th) and Eddie Williams (1st RD, 19th). Cubillan has the defense to play either 2B or CF for the Yellow Jackets and will have an adequate bat while Williams has the numbers to be a decent SP for them, ratings that compete with a few of the pitchers taken early in the 1st round. Hector Shannon (1st RD, 40th) will be a nice SP to help in the rotation with Williams; Eddie Gaetti (3r RD, 104th) will be a nice defensive SS; and Adam Sherman (4th RD, 136th) could see some action in the majors as a 2B player.
Since there are winners on draft day, that also means that some teams strike out on draft day:
Cincinnati Bearcats - As of this write-up Solly Grahe (1st RD, 7th) hasn't signed yet and Willie Brito (1st RD, 28th) just tore his ACL and is out 357 days for the Bearcats.
Salem Beavers - Not a single draft pick signed yet although 1st pick was the 30th overall.