Posted by: bhyman | June 6, 2008

First day thoughts

The first day of the draft ended after six rounds and 202 draft picks. (You can view the full results here.) We’ll have a full breakdown after the draft’s completion tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some quick thoughts:

  • The Nats, Rangers and Rockies have to be thrilled with their first round picks. Washington got Missouri righthander Aaron Crow, a player who they expected to be taken within the first five picks. Justin Smoak, South Carolina’s switch-hitting first baseman, fell to the Rangers with the No. 11 pick. Colorado couldn’t have been expecting much with its No. 25 overall selection after winning the NL pennant last season. However, Eastern Kentucky lefthander Christian Friedrich fell all the way to them and the Rockies could have another Jeff Francis on their hands.
  • The Astros reached more than any team in the first round, taking Stanford catcher Jason Castro with the 10th overall pick. Castro had a big season in ’08, but he has not performed in previous campaigns for the Cardinal. Meanwhile, he is only an average defensive catcher at best. It’s unlikely any other team would have taken Castro until at least pick No. 20 in the first round. They left Justin Smoak, Brett Wallace, Ethan Martin, Christian Friedrich and others on the board, all of whom would have been more valuable to the Astros who continue to draft inferior players who will sign on the cheap.
  • The Twins and Mets each had three picks between the first and supplemental rounds. The Twins used their picks on Aaron Hicks (OF/HS-CA), Carlos Gutierrez (RP/Miami) and Shooter Hunt (SP/Tulane), balancing between raw talent and projectability (Hicks) with low risk college pitchers (Gutierrez and Hunt). Gutierrez was a bit of a reach at #27, but he’s been underrated throughout the season as a closer who possesses a great sinker and good command. The Mets, on the other hand, drafted Isaac Davis (1B/Arizona State), Reese Havens (SS/South Carolina) and Brad Holt (SP/UNC Wilmington). These picks leave much to be desired. Davis is a fine prospect but he is a college first baseman in a draft loaded with them. Havens is regarded as a proven hitter who will have to change positions, but there were better hitters available at that point in the draft. Holt has good velocity, but he has only pitched well in this past season despite pitching in a mid-major conference. He has a good fastball but little else.

Here are my top 10 best available players entering Day 2:

  1. Seth Garrison, rhp, Texas Christian
  2. Ryan Hinson, lhp, Clemson
  3. Preston Guilmet, rhp, Arizona
  4. Eric Thames, lf, Pepperdine
  5. Chris Reap, rhp, Northern Colorado
  6. Bobby Lafromboise, lhp, New Mexico
  7. D.J. Mitchell, rhp, Clemson
  8. Chris Swauger, lf, The Citadel
  9. Andy Dirks, cf, Wichita State
  10. Dominic de la Osa, util, Vanderbilt

Here’s our post-draft schedule:

Saturday: AL East recap & grades

Sunday: AL West recap & grades

Monday: NL West recap & grades

Tuesday: NL East recap & grades

Wednesday: AL Central recap & grades

Thursday: NL Central recap & grades

Friday: Announcement of draft team. Click here to see our 2006 and 2007 draft teams and to learn about how the team is constructed.

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