The draft, of course, is now officially over and the signing season has begun. I’ll be back as signings occur and with other news and notes, maybe even some early stuff on the 2009 class as some summer stuff gets going. For now, though, I leave you with this image of the 2008 Draft from down in Orlando…
or…What’s love got to Matusz with it?
This one comes from Dennis in West Springfield:
Since this is most likely the last start for each pitcher before the draft, I’m
curious as to which dominant CGSHO performance today would impress you more. I
know you probably didn’t see either in person,
Missouri IP H R ER BB SO AB BF
Aaron……… 9.0 3 0 0 5 10 29 35 122
Diego IP H R ER BB SO AB
Matusz, Brian……. 9.0 3 0 0 1 10
Crow was facing Ole Miss (37-25) while Matusz got California
I know that Crow was on the slide lately (but still in the top
10), but I’m wondering if this might get him reconsidered a little higher (maybe
KC or Baltimore)
p.s. — I couldn’t think
of an appropriate Schoolhouse Rock title for the email so I went with the old
Rocky and Bullwinkle double-barrelled alternative.
Dennis — First off, appreciate the effort with the title. Secondly, your comparison does bring up something interesting. Just how much can one last performance in a regional help or hurt someone? I don’t know that there’s a hard and fast answer to that. With Matusz, I don’t think it matters either way — he’s going to go where he’s going to go. That CG SHO isn’t suddenly going to make him the No. 1 pick.
For Crow, it might be interesting. I’d been hearing he was sliding, but perhaps not so much because of performance (though he had a mini-slump earlier). Word is he (well, his advisor) has been floating that they want a Major League contract and that’s why he’s dropped a few slots. Truth be told, though, I don’t see him dropping too far because of that and his regional start against Ole Miss (and Lance Lynn) certainly won’t hurt as teams in the top 10 (Cincy?) are considering him. That being said, I don’t see any teams higher than that taking him.
Some other interesting performances from possible top picks over the weekend of Regional play:
Buster Posey, FSU: 8-for-15, 5 HR, 12 RBI in four games (with one to play vs. Tulane tonight)
Justin Smoak, S. Carolina: 7-for-15, 2 HR, 6 RBI (USC season is over)
Yonder Alonso, Miami: 2-for-10, 4 BB as Miami advances
Gordon Beckham, Georgia: 8-for-18, 1 HR, 6 RBI (one to play vs. Ga. Tech)
It’s a-rolling hot and heavy these days. Here’s the thing, it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s legitimate and what’s hogwash (always wanted to use that word). Here’s what I’ve heard tossed out there today. Take it or leave it at your own risk. Hopefully, in the coming days I’ll be able to sort some of this out. But here are some tidbits.
- The Rays have narrowed their choice to either Buster Posey or Pedro Alvarez. Some I spoke to thought it might just be propoganda, so proceed carefully here. The Rays haven’t said anything about cutting names from the original five. If they take Alvarez, the idea would be to move Evan Longoria to second base when the time comes, which could be right around when Mr. Iwamura’s contract runs out.
- The Orioles top choices remain the top college arm in Brian Matusz and one of the better college bats in Justin Smoak. But there’s some talk of there being a third candidate, a “dark horse” if you will. No idea who that is at this point, but something tells me one of the Beckhams does not count as a dark horse.
- The Chicago White Sox, while looking hard at some of the corner infield power bats — namely Justin Smoak or Yonder Alonso — are also looking at a power arm. Word has it that GM Kenny Williams is in Stillwater, Oklahoma this weekend for the regional hosted by Oklahoma State. At that regional is Texas Christian University, whose closer is power-armed Andrew Cashner, the fast-rising reliever who’s been hitting the upper 90s as a short man, but has the size and delivery to make many think he can be a frontline starter.
That’s all I got for right now. As I do, remember to take any and all of these items with at least one grain of salt.
This may come as a shock to all of you, but I’m not perfect. There, I said it.
Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve managed to write up a grand total of 124 Draft Reports on the 2008 draft class. I couldn’t, tried as I did, get to every player I would have liked to write about in detail. With that in mind, over the next several days leading up to the draft, I’m going to give at least nutshell “reports” on guys I missed in TDR. Today, I’m starting with Purdue closer Josh Lindblom:
With a fastball that has been clocked up to 97 mph with some sink, Lindblom has the power arsenal you look for in a short reliever. His curve is inconsistent, but his splitter has the chance to be a plus pitch in the future. He’s also got a changeup that can work against left-handed hitters. He’s been up-and-down this season, sometimes being very hittable and sometimes being untouchable. But with his live arm and big-league body and stuff, someone is sure to bite fairly early on.
Talked to a lot of folks today and news of the Scheppers injury was topic No. 1. The reaction pretty much came in one of two ways:
1. I’ve never heard of an injury like this. Not from pitching, anyway.
2. I wonder if this is the whole story.
Now, the scouting industry is skeptical by nature, and for good reason. As one scout told me, he’s seen a player sit out with a reported groin strain only to need elbow surgery a week later (who knew the groin and elbow were connected like that???). The point is that people don’t always tell the truth about injuries. Is the “stress fracture” just masking something else, like a torn labrum or rotator cuff? I don’t know if that’s true, but there is some concern out there that there’s more going on here.
Another worry was if Scheppers hurt the shoulder doing something off the field. No one, and I mean no one, had ever heard of a pitcher getting a stress fracture in the shoulder from pitching. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen — you’ll hear about elbow stress fractures from hard throwers like Bobby Jenks from time to time — but this would mark the first time many baseball lifers had ever seen anything like this. So even if it is just a stress fracture, there has to be concern over how a guy manages to do that while pitching.
I’m curious where people think he’ll end up going when all is said and done (leave your thoughts in comments). The main choices seem to be:
1. Back to school, like Kent State’s Chris Carpenter last year.
2. Much later in the draft, but he signs anyway because he really wants to play pro ball.
3. To a team with lots o’ resources near the back of the first round, a team that can afford to wait if it’s a lengthier injury recovery period than expected and can even afford if the pick never pans out.
My vote is for No. 3. Without any inside info on this one, I say the Yankees take him and let him hang out with Andrew Brackman. They can form one of the greatest rehabbing potential future rotation duos of all time.
A week ago, Fresno State ace
— and potential top 10 pick — Tanner Scheppers was scratched from his weekend start. The
Bulldogs tried to give him some extra rest and back
him up to Sunday, but ended up scratching him altogether. The reason given was shoulder tenderness. The word this week was that he’d be good to go for his planned Saturday start at Sacramento State.
It turns out that the right-hander’s injury is worse than originally thought. I’ve learned thatScheppers actually has a stress fracture in the shoulder and won’t be able to throw for six weeks, severely damaging his draft status.
In my first crack at projecting the first 10 picks, I had Scheppers going No. 10 overall to the Astros. Behind Aaron Crow, he was considered by many to be the next best college right-hander, perhaps along with Tulane’s Shooter Hunt. The chances of him still going that highly are now greatly minimized. Someone will surely take him with the hopes he’ll be completely healthy once the stress fracture heals, but obviously the risk involved should lower his value.
Hey all. Ready to get this thing going?
Draft season is really upon us and our draft section launches today. Be sure to check it every day for the latest news and features, a virtual one-stop shopping center for all things draft. Just today, you can find a draft preview by yours truly, a story on what the Rays are looking at as they prepare to pick No. 1 overall for the second year in a row, a rundown on our coverage of draft day and enough multimedia to keep you busy for a long time. Arizona State’s Brett Wallace, a potential first-round pick, will be blogging on his own to give you some insights into what it’s like for a prospect to play for a big-time program while waiting to find out about his professional future.
Here at Geeking on the Draft, I’ll try to keep you updated on all the news and rumors as we speed toward draft day on June 5. For now, I’ll throw some names at you, guys who have been mentioned as potentials for the No. 1 overall pick by the Rays. Feel free to weigh in with what direction you think Tampa should go in. I’ll put them in alphabetical order since it’s extremely unclear what the Rays are thinking (there’s no David Price this year, that’s for sure).
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Vanderbilt University
Tim Beckham, SS, Griffin HS, Griffin, Ga.
Aaron Crow, RHP, University of Missouri
Brian Matusz, LHP, University of San Diego
Buster Posey, C, Florida State
Kyle Skipworth, C, Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif.