Posted by: bhyman | June 10, 2008

NL West wrap-up

Arizona Diamondbacks

First-rounders: Daniel Schlereth (1, 26) anchors a strong Arizona bullpen with fellow first-rounder Ryan Perry. A Tommy John survivor, Schlereth is a lefty with a mid 90s fastball and a nasty curve. He has plenty of stuff to be a closer or setup man in the big leagues. His command has improved significantly. Wade Miley (1, 43) is a nice steal in the sandwich round. He’s got two plus pitches: a low 90s fastball and a power slider. He also throws a changeup and a curve which have promise. He needs to improve his control.

Late round gem: Pat McAnaney (8, 258 ) is a senior lefty who emerged as Virginia’s best pitcher in ’08. He overshadowed fellow prospect Jacob Thompson and shut down ACC competition to the tune of a 3.89 ERA, 93 strikeouts, 28 walks and 3 home runs allowed in 83 1/3 innings. He’s a crafty lefty who offers a 90 mph fastball, a plus changeup and a decent slurve.

Hometown heroes: Schlereth plays his home games in nearby Tuscon. Other Grand Canyon State draft picks include Josh Spence (25, 768 ), Riccio Torrez (32, 978 ), Jake Elmore (34, 1038 ) and Andrew Maggi (47, 1419).

Tough sign: LHP Danny Hultzen (10, 318 ) jumped onto prospect watch lists after an impressive season at St. Albans High School in Washington, DC. He has a strong commitment to Virginia.

Top 100 talents: Miley, McAnaney, Bryan Shaw (2, 73), Collin Cowgill (5, 168 ).

Summary/Grade: B+. The Diamondbacks loaded up on pitchers, taking pitchers with the four picks, the first three of whom played at four-year colleges. Arizona had a balanced draft, taking low-risk, low-reward players like McAnaney and Miley and projectable high schoolers like Daniel Webb (12, 378 ) and Danny Hultzen.

San Diego Padres

First-rounders: Allan Dykstra (1, 23) is another first baseman in a deep college class. The Wake Forest product has as much power as any college player in the draft and shows an advanced approach at the plate. Although he has a strong arm, he is limited to first base as a pro. Jaff Decker (1, 42) is a high school outfielder from Arizona with above-average power and a strong arm. However, he’s undersized at 5-foot-10. Logan Forsythe (1, 46) is a good defensive third baseman from the University of Arkansas who has a line-drive approach.

Late round gem: Nick Vincent (18, 555) may only play one season at Long Beach State. A transfer from Palomar Community College, he anchored the back of the Dirtbags bullpen with Bryan Shaw. In 30.2 innings, he had a 1.76 ERA with 33 strikeouts, only 5 walks and 0 home runs allowed.

Hometown heroes: Vincent plays his home games less than two hours away from San Diego. Logan Gelbrich (35, 1065) is University of San Diego’s catcher.

Tough sign: LHP Brett Mooneyham (15, 465) is advised by Scott Boras and has a strong commitment to Stanford.

Top 100 talents: Dykstra, James Darnell (2, 69), Sawyer Carroll (3, 111).

Summary/Grade: B. The Padres loaded up on college players, selecting only two high schoolers with its first 22 picks. San Diego, however, could have made better selections in the first few rounds. Forsythe was a bit of a reach in the supplemental round. But the Padres got value in the middle of the draft, so this was a solid effort.

Los Angeles Dodgers

First-rounders: Ethan Martin (1, 15) emerged as one of the best two-way high school players in the country. Scouts were impressed when the power-hitting third baseman showed mid-90s heat and a plus curve from the mound. The Dodgers drafted him as a pitcher.

Late round gem: Zach Cox (20, 607) is one of the best high school hitters in the draft, featuring plus power and hitting ability. He doesn’t fit well at any position, though the Dodgers drafted him as a third-baseman. He may become an outfielder as he moves through the minors because he doesn’t have much athleticism or agility.

Hometown heroes: Nick Buss (8, 247) attends USC. Chris Joyce (10, 307), Matt Magill (31, 937), Andrew Darwin (34, 1027), Jett Bandy (41, 1237) and Greg Zebrack (43, 1297) are all local high school players.

Tough sign: Will Clinard (37, 1117) is a righthanded pitcher from Tennessee committed to home state Vanderbilt. Cox may also be tough to sign because he fell farther in the draft than expected.

Top 100 talents: Martin, Kyle Russell (3, 93), Tony Delmonico (6, 187)

Summary/Grade: B-. Ethan Martin was a good choice in the first round, but this draft lacks depth. Russell has big power, but otherwise this draft has surprisingly few good mid and later round picks. The Dodgers drafted plenty of high school pitchers and usually does a good job of developing them but we won’t know for a few years if they were successful.

Colorado Rockies

First-rounders: The biggest shock of the draft was the free fall of Eastern Kentucky lefty Christian Friedrich (1, 25). He’s got a low 90s fastball and a true 12-6 curve to pair with a decent slider and changeup. He struck out 108 and only walked 33 in 2008.

Late round gem: Ryan Peisel (12, 377) has been a catalyst to Georgia’s College World Series run. After transferring from East Carolina, he’s been a solid contributer and team leader for the Bulldogs in three seasons in Athens. To date, he’s hit .335/.410/.528 with 10 home runs in 2008.

Hometown heroes: Andy Burns (25, 767) has a strong commitment to Kentucky, but if any team were to sign him it would be his home state Rockies. Kyle Ottoson (39, 1187) is also from the Centennial State.

Tough sign: If Burns signs, it could be for first-round money. Chris Dominguez (5, 167) is a sophomore-eligible from Louisville who has two years of college eligibility and extra leverage.

Top 100 talents: Friedrich, Ethan Hollingsworth (4, 137)

Summary/Grade: C. Friedrich fell into Colorado’s lap in the first round. However, the Rockies didn’t capitalize on their good fortune. Hollingsworth is another good value in the fourth round and Charlie Blackmon (2, 72) and Peisel are decent picks. However, the Rockies only drafted two of our top 100 and missed out on drafting home stater Chris Reap.

San Francisco Giants

First-rounders: Buster Posey (1, 5) was seriously considered by the Rays with the first overall pick. It must be considered a victory, therefore, that Florida State’s athletic catcher fell to the fifth pick. He put up an offensive season that rivals Georgia’s Gordon Beckham and he is considered a plus defensive catcher. Posey has hit .460/.564/.887 with 26 home runs. Conor Gillaspie (1, 37) is a plus hitter who projects to have gap power as a big leaguer. He’s defensively average at third base, but he’s got good makeup.

Late round gem: Caleb Curry (14, 417) is a good hitter who hits for average and some power (7 home runs in 2008 at Iowa). He’s also a plus runner and plus defender who can handle center field.

Hometown heroes: Justin Fitzgerald (11, 327) is a redshirt junior at nearby UC Davis. Abe Ruiz (47, 1401) is an Arizona State recruit and a senior at Pacific Grove High School.

Tough sign: Posey will sign, but he will command a well-above slot bonus. Ruiz has a strong commitment to ASU.

Top 100 talents: Posey and Gillaspie.

Summary/Grade: C. This draft couldn’t have started better for the Giants. Posey was an excellent choice in the first round and Gillaspie is a smart supplemental pick. However, the Giants struggled with their mid-round selections. Brandon Crawford (4, 117) has major question marks surrounding his ability to hit at UCLA. Roger Kieschnick (3, 82) and Curry are decent picks, but there are too few of them.

The draft recaps roll on with the NL East on Tuesday.

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