As I sat down to do my annual first round write-up I realized one thing – this is one of the best drafts the BCBL has seen in years.  There are quite a few guys that will slip into the second round that would be first rounder’s in many of the previous drafts.

Of course every year looks good and 90% of the players turn into Mark Bellhorn and Travis Buck, but I think there really is a lot of promise after the defacto #1 pick Mark Wieters (just testing you Joe…) This is also one of the first drafts where there are actually a ton of guys that can help teams right away – be it Beckham, Hanson, McCutchen, Fowler or Wieters, a lot of these guys have promise and numbers for right now. 


So without any further ado here we go…


#1 – RIB à Matt Wieters, the guy had his own fan club before he was even drafted by the Orioles.  Unlike Alex Gordon, this guy has big hype and he is rapidly delivering.  While I know you flip flopped over him or Hanson, its not often that guys like Wieters show up. He will go number one and he deserves it.  How many of us wish they took Mauer higher in 2005?

#2 – SIS à Tough one here as the consensus number 2 would be Gordon Beckham but his move to second instead of shortstop makes him slightly less valuable.  That being said you can’t really choose a pitcher number 2 so you choose Beckham here and realize that he probably gets at bats at second, short and third thereby making him a very valuable commodity.  Also lets not forget that this guy only spent one half season in the minors and is already hitting like a stud!

#3 – PEN à Trading up Daryl makes sure that he gets the pitcher he wants in Tommy Hanson.  A great K/BB ratio, great lefty righty splits, Hanson is the real deal. In a normal year a guy like this goes number 1 overall, but with two future superstars in front of him, he slips to #3.

#4 – CRC à lots of offense on this team has CRC looking at pitching for the future.  This draft has lots of potential big time starters Niemann, Tillman, Porcello, Cahill and Price and all will go in the first round but with this pick you need someone really special and that man is Brett Anderson. With an insane 3:1 K/BB ratio and already showing signs of being a superstar, Anderson has the potential to outshine Hanson. 

#5 – JED à Annoyed that Anderson went at #4, Jedi looks around and still sees a ton of talent here.  Looking towards the future where Beltran no longer roams centerfield Jedi chooses Andrew McCutchen.  Expected to be an impact player two years ago McCutchen’s time has come.  Showing power, speed and great fielding (although he somehow got a FR), McCutchen has a chance to be a real special player. 

#6 – JUN à breathing a massive sigh of relief, John Moore pounces on the guy he wanted all along, Rick Porcello. 3 pitchers in the top 6? You bet and all of them will be stars.  Concerns over Porcello’s low dominance rate (Shandler’s fancy term for K/IP) should subside as he learns to mix up his stuff more and more.

#7 – CJF à What can I say, this team is offensively abysmal but blessed with some very good starting pitchers.  The outfield is an utter wasteland outside of Podsednik, so you take the future star Dexter Fowler.  Already showing an amazing eye and tremendous speed and range, the power should develop over time making him a true 7 tool star. The PR in center was a total anomaly and won’t be repeated.

#8 – JED à Taking a big chance on a slap hitting but very good fielding Elvis Andrus.  The guy has speed to burn but you can’t steal first base.  However he did show a developing eye and heck his first name is Elvis, you can’t go wrong with a guy named Elvis! Lets just hope he avoids the drugs, booze and buffets!

#9 – FFF à This one was tougher to figure out.  Frank is always of the mind that he takes the best player available – but who? Lots of talent and Frank does tend to shy away from pitchers but the best player available here is a pitcher and Frank’s offense isn’t too bad so you take the previous year’s consensus #2 (after that Wieters fellow) David Price. Price has a great dominance rate and that 1.26 whip in the second half definitely shows what he is capable of.

#10 – HIL à with Elly I never know what the guy is thinking, years ago he took Guthrie in the first round and that completely flabbergasted me.  As a fairly large fellow I guess I do get flabbergasted quite often so maybe it didn’t take all that much, but Guthrie was a major stretch and its this unpredictability that makes me take a moment of pause before projecting a pick for the Stat Man.  There are a few players that are worthy of this pick and fit Mr. Kaufman’s team quite well.  Niemann is certainly one of them because while Elly has plenty of starts, most of them just aren’t all that good. Another guy Elly will look at, but should ignore, is JA Happ. Guys like Cahill,  Tillman and Matusz are all better suited for this pick but bucking trend Elly picks the player that makes the most sense Colby Rasmus.  Elly’s team is a bunch of big hitters that just can’t field all that much and he could really use a centerfielder of the future.  Both Maybin and Rasmus fit that bill but Rasmus (despite his struggles vs lefties) looks like the safer long term bet. 

#11 – PLS à In the rare position of not having a playoff team – PLS breathes a sigh of relief when Elly takes Rasmus, as Maybin was Tim’s guy all along.  Cameron Maybin has seen a bunch of the bloom come of the rose but he remains a rose and should develop nicely in the low pressure environment in Florida. Also viewed as a 7 tool guy, Maybin will get all the chances in the world this year to succeed.

#12 – MAC à Macon has had some of the worst first rounds in history, the last three years: Aviles, Bannister, Olsen à basically you know you made bad picks when all your guys you have picked the last three years end up back in the draft a year later.  One would even argue that picking Blanton (over Ryan Howard, Scot Baker or even third round sensation Adrian Gonzalez) in ’06 wasn’t all that great either (caveat on this one – the ’06 first round featured some real busts in Dan Johnson, Derrick Turnbow, Matt Murton, Connor Jackson) but at least he has given Mr. Vinson innings over the past four years.  Now I have to say I have never recommended any of the guys that David picked so I assume he won’t go with my recommendation this year either.  The Macon Peaches are just downright terrible.  The pitching staff of the ’79 Mariners could out duel these guys and the lineup has gotten old real quick.  Needing a lot of everything David makes the safer choice and sticks with a young hitter with a lot of upside (although with hints of Mike Aviles written all over him)- Chris Coghlan. Coghlan put together a real good year but a lot of it was Hit % driven.  Hard to imagine he can keep up this trend but given that he did it in over 500 at bats means that he does have a chance to repeat.  Plus his flexibility at multiple positions gives him added value. LaPorta or Cahill are probably the smarter picks here but I think Coghlan should be ok.

#13 – ALA à A team on the decline (although the Damon/Javy trade gives Rick some great future talent) ALA still has a lot of offense and could benefit from a real good young starting pitcher. The debate in Rick’s mind; go with Neimann, Cahill or Tillman or do a 180 and take Cabrera or Escobar the two shortstops of the future?  Tillman is probably too raw and Cahill just doesn’t have enough innings under his belt so Rick goes with a future SS in Alcides Escobar.  Escobar is a great fielding and fleet a foot – two things that Rick values as he hasn’t been either in many years.  Hoping to live vicariously through Milwaukee’s shortstop of the now and future, Rick immediately signs him to a lifetime services contract. 

#14 – MGE à I didn’t even realize Dan was back in the league until I went through the rosters and managers list! Shows how much of an impact his team has made so far.  The former Buccaneers squad is a real odd mix of players but could certainly benefit from Jeff Niemann.  Niemann really showed the promise that people have been waiting for since he was a top pick several years ago.  With a 7.1 DOM and a 3.3 command in the second half this guy could be very good for years to come. Of course if he flames out it would be quite apropos that he be on the same squad as Andy Sonnanstine!

#15 – WSW à Frank still has a good deal of offense and some real nice starting pitchers but one more great starter for the future couldn’t hurt my pick would be Trevor Cahill, but knowing Frank I bet he’s leaning towards JA Happ. Cahill is very young and never even pitched at AAA, heck he only threw 37 innings in AA, but the ability is there.  He could really be a great pitcher in the mold of Halladay. Already a decent ground ball inducing pitcher, guys that passed on him probably will regret it a few years from now.

#16 – PEN à The second part of the swap with Jedi, Daryl traded Juan Rivera to open up room in the outfield for one of the good ones available in this draft. Now according to my list the top 4 will all be gone but as a betting man I do think that one of them might sneak through to #16, but given what I have to work with on the draft sheet and given that the Dutch are actually shaping up to be quite a good looking squad I would take JA Happ, however it seems that Daryl is quite a conservative team builder so he will probably take Chris Tillman. Tillman is a tall power righty who should develop nicely into a top of the rotation guy that will be a great complement to the Dutch’s Tommy Hanson.

#17 – NCN à Gary is building a team that can win now and he needs a shortstop.  Cabrera somehow snuck through to him and he pounces jumps all over Everth Cabrera. A great eye and tons of speed, Cabrera looks to be quite good for the long run.  His fielding is slightly better than when Sheffield played short but I would assume that will improve with time and besides thanks to a trade with Jedi he has Izturis as a late inning defensive replacement.

#18 – Devon à with his first of two picks Devon takes Matusz. Brian Matusz, one of the top prospects on Baltimore, showed tremendous poise for a guy with very limited minor league experience.  Already a groundball machine, Matusz is perfect for Camden Yards. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that Matusz is actually better than Tillman in the long run.

#19 – FSR à you don’t need much but you traded Hafner to make room for the future slugging star Matt LaPorta.  I would be amazed if he actually makes it down this far but LaPorta has a ton of potential and was the key to the CC trade two years ago.  Not known for his glove LaPorta won’t have to do much fielding on the FSR squad.  My fear here is that Greg, an enigma wrapped in a riddle, might get lulled into thinking that Casey McGehee is the real deal, he is probably too smart for that and wisely passes on Aviles, I mean McGehee. (another side note – interesting that this draft has several comparisons to Aviles à Coghlan (probably a decent long term player), McGehee (who knows), Garrett Jones (who cares will be perfect for a contender this year).

#20 – SDP à The puppets need everything, they mortgaged the future for a run at the playoffs and fell flat on their faces. Management’s insistence that everyone play while wearing Disney character outfits is probably the reason why they came up so short. You ever try swinging a bat or fielding a ground ball with one of those huge helmets on your head??? Look at what just a slightly oversized helmet did to David Wright’s performance post his concussion? This pick is a tough one as there are a lot of possibilities here. Reimold makes sense but he is a better fit at the corner and SDP is actually covered there. Borbon was too fluky and Fernando Martinez is too green so you go with the developing pitcher Matt Latos. Latos is really young but looks like he is going to be a real good pitcher. Also won’t have too much pressure pitching in Petco.

#21 – PLS à Tim nearly jumps out of his seat to grab the big and powerful slugger Kyle Blanks. Voted the player most likely to also be a success in the NFL, Blanks is strong, like Pedro Serrano whatever Blanks hits he destroys, it’s the making contact part that gives him fits. Very athletic for his size blanks could be great or he could be Roberto Petagine.

#22 – RIB à With a team that’s on the cusp of being good Joe Sweet is thrilled to grab potential over achiever JA Happ. Chances are he will be gone by this pick but this is where he deserves to be picked. Happ was probably pitching over his head last year and playing in Citizens certainly won’t help him long term but he has good numbers for now and is still very young.

#23 – DEV à Needing a third baseman of the future Bob takes a chance that Casey McGehee is the real deal and not another Dallas McPherson.  Bob’s team is oddly constructed with too many players and too little positional flexibility. That being said McGehee sure can hit so he is a good fit at #23.

#24 – JED à Always looking to do something stupid in the first round the Knights jump on closer extraordinaire Andrew Bailey. Was his year a fluke? Who knows but someone is always looking for a good closer so why not.  I would probably be better served taking Fernando Martinez (the guy I will probably take) here but knowing the Mets he will get messed up somehow by the pressure of playing in NYC.


There are plenty of notable omissions from this first round Randy Wells for one will probably go somewhere in the top 24 as will Nolan Reimold.  Also Marc Rzepczynski might be interesting although no one will take him since I don’t think any of us can actually pronounce his name correctly. Josh Outman ought to go in the first round just because he has a great last name for a pitcher. Drew Stubbs, Justin Maxwell, Jordan Schafer and Ryan Roberts are also very interesting picks as well but I just didn’t think they deserved to be in the first round. The last three Julio Borbon, Mat Gamel, and Michael Brantley all have serious concerns for me so also don’t belong in the first round.


Well this is just one man’s opinion, until next year…