Thursday, June 5, 2008

The 1st annual Emerging Voice MLB mock draft

1. Tampa Bay Rays: Buster Posey C, Florida State
In a draft with no high ceiling prospects, productivity becomes more valuable. Not many prospects in the draft can say they have been as productive at as high of a level as Posey. Navarro is having a historic season in term of OPS this year for a catcher, but Posey presents more upside. If Posey signs quickly, He could be the starting catcher as Tampa looks to capture the Al East in 2009.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates: Pedro Alvarez CI, Vanderbilt
This is one of the few sure fire picks in an uncertain top 10 and first round. The Pirates have looked to undo their cheap ways of previous drafts with the best power prospect and Boras client. Alvarez is definitely not valued for his defense which is while he will likely be a first baseman for the Pirates.
3. Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS
Hosmer boasts some of the best power potential and is one of the best developed players out of high school in recent years. I have personally watched him play since his freshman year and he is one of those guys that the scouts have been following since he was 14. Some people believe Hosmer is as far along as college bats Smoak, Alonso, and Wallace. Hosmer even has the arm strength and athleticism to play the outfield (He hits 98 as a high school closer) but Gordon and Hosmer on the corners for the Royals is just what George Brett ordered.
4. Baltimore Orioles: Brian Matusz, LHP, San Diego
If my mock holds, it will be the lowest a pitcher is taken since 2005, when Ricardo Romero, also a lefty from a California college (Cal State Fullerton), was drafted sixth by the Blue Jays. Many of you with your “who the heck is that” expressions are currently answering how that one has turned out, but there is all the reason to think that Matusz will be the opposite. This guy has been consistently among the best and most highly regarded in college baseball and finished with a strong outing in the regionals. Baltimore needs help but the best way to build a farm system is through college pitching.
5. San Francisco Giants: Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin (GA) HS
Despite some stories, Beckham’s tools aren’t anywhere close to where the Uptons’ were at this point. He isn’t even considered the best high school hitter nor did he have a great high school season. However, unlike the Uptons he should stay at shortstop. Beckham is most importantly athletic and with that comes the upside coveted in any type of draft. The Giants have had a terrible farm system for 10 years. This is the start of a new era.
6. Florida Marlins: Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot (CA) HS
This seems like a poorly executed need pick to me, but they have been following Skipworth for awhile now. Normally a designated “need” player would be a highly developed college player who can be fastracked to the big leagues. He has had a great season and compares favorably to Brian McCann on the next level. Cuban born and UM bred Yonder Alonso would eventually be a marketing coup, but the Fish have played this strategy before (see: Alex Fernandez) and the results have been mixed at best.
7. Cincinnati Reds: Gordon Beckham, SS, University of Georgia
Ultimately, I am a bigger fan of the Georgia college shortstop named Beckham instead of the high school version. Gordon had a huge year that has scouts projecting much more power while he still has the speed of non-related Tim. This is a rather hard choice to predict and while we don’t like to talk about need in the MLB draft, Cincinnati could benefit from some middle infield help in their system.
8. Chicago White Sox: Justin Smoak, 1B, South Carolina
For some reason, Chicago seems hooked on getting a college masher. If I was them I would go for a pitcher in Aaron Crow, but this feels like the man for the southsiders. Smoak hit a ton of homeruns this year and I would rate him above Brett Wallace and on par with Yonder Alonso.
9. Washington Nationals: Aaron Crow, RHP, Missouri
I wanted to go with Yonder Alonso here, but the Nationals already have their noteworthy hitting prospect in Chris Marrero. Have any of you seen the Washington rotation this year? Slot in Mizzou’s Crow with last years’ 1st rounder and a lefty, Missouri State’s Ross Detwiler and you have something there.
10. Houston Astros: Christian Friedrich, LHP, Eastern Kentucky
I will have to admit I know little about this lefty, but I know that he is hotly rumored throughout the 10-15 pick region and I just don’t see them splurging for the big power bat many think they will. From what I have read his curveball is his top pitch and he is a highly developed arm, perhaps ready for second half big league action. This is a safe organization and they take a college lefty, which is about as safe as it can get.
11. Texas Rangers: Yonder Alonso, 1B, Miami
As you can tell, one of my favorite 08 prospects finally lands in Arlington. Alonso has such tremendous power and patience at the plate. He is also a great leader and comes through in big moments. Hopefully everyone reading this will get a taste of him soon as the 50-8 Canes is in nationally televised Super Regional action this weekend. Alonso could be one of three players from UM selected early.
12. Oakland A’s: Brett Wallace, 1B, Arizona State
Wallace, simply put, is moneyball. This guy may not have a big league body and poor athleticism but he flat out produces.
13. St. Louis Cardinals: Shooter Hunt, RHP, Tulane
This has been a team that favored collegians at one point, but with recent drafts scouting director Jeff Luhnow seems to go for the HS kids. We will go back with college guy here and draft a desperately needed arm. People were disappointed with his rough end to the year but the stuff is unquestioned. The Cardinals instructors will clean up the command issues and having Shooter thinking fly balls and St. Louis victories in 2011.

Well, we have reached the end of the road in the 1st annual Emerging Voice MLB mock draft. I stopped at 13 so I could get to my team, the Cardinals.

One final note: I may elaborate further tomorrow morning but if I don’t have time, I like the Lakers in six.

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