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Thread: 2014 MLB Draft Thread

  1. #41
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    Given people are talking about Gatewood in the top 5, I'm surprised that his name was in the last tier. That's my 2 cents, but there were a lot of guys I've seen talked about in the top 5 overall who weren't anywhere near it on this list.

    Personally, not high on Turner, or anyone whose primary game is speed. If he can hit for some power and put those questions to rest, my opinion will change there. Right now, I want Kolek or Gatewood... All will likely change come June....

  2. #42
    Senior Member Triple-A maxisagod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    It's fine with me; we KNOW the rankings will change between now and June, so "4" becomes the LEAST likely number of top-tier players. I hope it becomes "5", but if it's "3" then at least the team above us in the draft is the one shedding bitter tears.
    Yep, I'm guessing this ranking will be an outlier. Alex Jackson has been pegged as maybe a top 3 guy, so I'm guessing picks 2-5 or 3-6 will end up being a tier. McDaniel has a lot of other guys much lower than I'd expect too.
    Last edited by maxisagod; 02-18-2014 at 07:52 PM.

  3. #43
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    Riddle me this: Why is 1 month of play against MLB players in spring training or Sept irrelevant or hopelessly SSS, while 3+ months of play against wildly divergent college or high school competition (with metal bats) highly determinant? Hell, I've seen whole MLB seasons be waved off as outliers.
    It's not only about seeing them play, it's about seeing them, period.

    How do you know a kid is the fastest thing from first to this unless you get to see him run from first to third? How do you know a kid has grown into his frame unless you see him take BP swings? How do you know a pitcher has added 4mph to his fastball unless you see him pitch?

    MLB players are ghosts for five months of the season. We know virtually nothing about what they did during the offseason until they show up to ST. Multiply that by a hundred and that's how much we know about prep and college players during their offseasons. To boot, these kids are still growing and changing rapidly. In February, we know little more about them past what they looked like 6-8 months ago.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    It's not only about seeing them play, it's about seeing them, period.

    How do you know a kid is the fastest thing from first to this unless you get to see him run from first to third? How do you know a kid has grown into his frame unless you see him take BP swings? How do you know a pitcher has added 4mph to his fastball unless you see him pitch?

    MLB players are ghosts for five months of the season. We know virtually nothing about what they did during the offseason until they show up to ST. Multiply that by a hundred and that's how much we know about prep and college players during their offseasons. To boot, these kids are still growing and changing rapidly. In February, we know little more about them past what they looked like 6-8 months ago.
    All of that is undoubtedly true. I am just perplexed as to how Jonathan Gray can go from way outside the top 30 guys to consensus top 5 in 3 months, while Sean Maneaea does the opposite? Did their skill sets change that much in such a short time?

  5. #45
    It is easy to agree Jacob Gatewood has extremely high upside and the fact is the baseball draft is about projecting a player's future. His combination of size, arm, fielding and bat speed is rare. If his in game results that more closely mirror the shows he puts on in BP there would be little discussion about him being a top 5 pick. The fact is his junior HS school left more questions than answers as he didn't even earn first team all conference honors in a 6 team conference. It would be nice to see a player of his stature dominate inferior competition. Of course this can all be erased with his senior year. If his hit tool improves his stock will sky rocket but if he shows little progress with contact and pitch selection I would rather see us select someone with a higher floor but ultimately lower ceiling. We simply can't afford to miss on a top 5 pick.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    All of that is undoubtedly true. I am just perplexed as to how Jonathan Gray can go from way outside the top 30 guys to consensus top 5 in 3 months, while Sean Maneaea does the opposite? Did their skill sets change that much in such a short time?
    Gray always had plus stuff but had problems with conditioning which lead to poor mechanics. Over the summer he worked his butt off to get in shape and worked on his mechanics which lead to increase command he never had. Also his third pitch, his change up, became an average pitch. Having two tools go from below average to average makes a big difference.

    Manaea became a star playing fall baseball where his 55 grade fastball suddenly became a 65-70 grade fastball. Not many lefties can hit 97 so it opened some eyes. Manaea put together a few bad outings in a row and then got injured before the end of the college season. Also, just because he went in the supplemental round doesn't mean he didn't get paid like a top 10 pick. Heck, he had a higher signing bonus than the #6th pick.

    Just because these kids are playing college ball doesn't mean they are finished products. Most of them are still growing into their bodies and are still learning how to play the game. Just as we have 20 year old prospects in the minors make big steps forward we should expect the same for college players.

    As for spring training I have no idea why people pay attention to those numbers. Most players who start spring training with the team won't make it. Those who do are usually there to work on things before the season. All the time in interviews you see pitchers saying all they did was work on fastball location or hitters say they were out there just trying to pull the ball.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsin17 View Post
    I would rather see us select someone with a higher floor but ultimately lower ceiling. We simply can't afford to miss on a top 5 pick.
    The Twins have plenty of prospects of all caliber, high ceiling is more important in my opinion. High floor/low ceiling is how you end up with the Alex Wimmers and Levi Michaels of the draft world. And interestingly enough, the high floor often ends up being a mirage as it turns out to be just as low as it is for the perceived risky picks. Rare is there a "safe" pick, they all have bust potential, so grab the guy who best can demonstrate star potential.

  8. #48
    This is a top 5 pick in a perceived strong draft so throwing out Wimmers (#21) and Michaels (#30) as comps is not an accurate analogy. Looking at the 2014 draft eligible players today, I consider Trea Turner, Tyler Beede, Luke Weaver and Alex Jackson players with a higher floor than Gatewood. Based on what I know today it is easier to see them reach the bigs and have an impact than Gatewood, although one could argue Gatewood has a higher ceiling than any one of these four.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
    Gray always had plus stuff but had problems with conditioning which lead to poor mechanics. Over the summer he worked his butt off to get in shape and worked on his mechanics which lead to increase command he never had. Also his third pitch, his change up, became an average pitch. Having two tools go from below average to average makes a big difference.

    Manaea became a star playing fall baseball where his 55 grade fastball suddenly became a 65-70 grade fastball. Not many lefties can hit 97 so it opened some eyes. Manaea put together a few bad outings in a row and then got injured before the end of the college season. Also, just because he went in the supplemental round doesn't mean he didn't get paid like a top 10 pick. Heck, he had a higher signing bonus than the #6th pick.

    Just because these kids are playing college ball doesn't mean they are finished products. Most of them are still growing into their bodies and are still learning how to play the game. Just as we have 20 year old prospects in the minors make big steps forward we should expect the same for college players.

    As for spring training I have no idea why people pay attention to those numbers. Most players who start spring training with the team won't make it. Those who do are usually there to work on things before the season. All the time in interviews you see pitchers saying all they did was work on fastball location or hitters say they were out there just trying to pull the ball.
    Well argued. I think your point is that it makes sense that the rankings/perceived skills of young prep and college players are correctly extreme in their volatility. We don't know exactly what they are; when they are making their way through the minors and early in their MLB careers, this volatility in rankings decreases as we learn more about them.

    The lesson I take from this is that the 2nd round pick the Twins might surrender to get Stephen Drew is even more valuable than we think. That pick could turn into nothing...or six months later, we might have gotten Jonathan Gray. I think the Astros, given a second crack at the 2012 draft and 12 extra months of baseball knowledge, would pick Buxton.

    The other lesson I draw from this is that, to the extent it can be determined, it is critical to pick players who have big upside and the biggest potential to make a Jonathan Gray-like leap. I think the Twins usually do that...Buxton, Stewart, Gibson, and Hicks all fit that description, in my opinion. AP fit that description when the Vikings got him.

    BUA, not BPA.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
    Well argued. I think your point is that it makes sense that the rankings/perceived skills of young prep and college players are correctly extreme in their volatility. We don't know exactly what they are; when they are making their way through the minors and early in their MLB careers, this volatility in rankings decreases as we learn more about them.

    The lesson I take from this is that the 2nd round pick the Twins might surrender to get Stephen Drew is even more valuable than we think. That pick could turn into nothing...or six months later, we might have gotten Jonathan Gray. I think the Astros, given a second crack at the 2012 draft and 12 extra months of baseball knowledge, would pick Buxton.

    The other lesson I draw from this is that, to the extent it can be determined, it is critical to pick players who have big upside and the biggest potential to make a Jonathan Gray-like leap. I think the Twins usually do that...Buxton, Stewart, Gibson, and Hicks all fit that description, in my opinion. AP fit that description when the Vikings got him.

    BUA, not BPA.
    The Astros have George Springer for CF. Correa was the correct choice for them--and as a bonus, Appel refused to sign in 2012 so they got him in 2013. They showed considerable foresight by choosing as they did.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    The Astros have George Springer for CF. Correa was the correct choice for them--and as a bonus, Appel refused to sign in 2012 so they got him in 2013. They showed considerable foresight by choosing as they did.
    Springer is far from the prospect that Buxton is, his minor league numbers look good, but I bet anyone would be hard pressed to find a guy who strikes out that much in the minors and still turns out to be a consistant upper echelon player at the MLB level. The guy's going to strike out 220 times a year, maybe 250.

    However, I don't think the arguement is, or should be, that the Astros passed on Buxton because they had Springer. The argument is that by signing the lesser prospect in Correia they were able to pay him less and were able to also sign Lance McCullers in the second round.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Springer is far from the prospect that Buxton is, his minor league numbers look good, but I bet anyone would be hard pressed to find a guy who strikes out that much in the minors and still turns out to be a consistant upper echelon player at the MLB level. The guy's going to strike out 220 times a year, maybe 250.

    However, I don't think the arguement is, or should be, that the Astros passed on Buxton because they had Springer. The argument is that by signing the lesser prospect in Correia they were able to pay him less and were able to also sign Lance McCullers in the second round.
    Compare Springer to Sano. Then add about another 100 pts to the OPS. It's great that Twins fans gush over their "prospects", but the same rubric must be applied for other team's prospects! In short, it is unrealistic to get on "fan girly" with future Twins players, and then apply different logic to dismiss those on other teams. As you can see, it is a lot easier to find a plus CF than it is a plus SS. My goodness, the Twins have had substantial difficulty in finding an average SS, much less a superior one.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Compare Springer to Sano. Then add about another 100 pts to the OPS. It's great that Twins fans gush over their "prospects", but the same rubric must be applied for other team's prospects! In short, it is unrealistic to get on "fan girly" with future Twins players, and then apply different logic to dismiss those on other teams. As you can see, it is a lot easier to find a plus CF than it is a plus SS. My goodness, the Twins have had substantial difficulty in finding an average SS, much less a superior one.
    Springer is 4 years older than Sano.

    Positional difficulty should be considered, I suppose, but at the end of the day the Astros ignored the BPA and that was probably a big mistake. Callis at BA (now mlb.com) had noted several times that the Astros could have drafted both Buxton and McCullers (but not Ruiz).

  14. #54
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    Not to be out done by Kiley McDaniel, Mr.Law over at ESPN released his own tiers of the first round prospects today. Let me tell you, while a lot of the names are the same they are not in the same order. McDaniel had 5 tiers Mr.Law leaves it at 4 saying that tier 5 would be too big. (Also, this is insider so I will only post the first two tiers. If you want to know where a specific player lands just ask).

    Tier 1: Rodon by himself.
    - He gives Rodon a 70 fastball and at least a 70 slider

    Tier 2: Jeff Hoffman, Tyler Kolek, Jacob Gatewood, Alex Jackson
    -Hoffman has one of the best fastballs in the draft.
    -He notes that Kolek threw last week and hit 100. He also showed improved secondary stuff.
    -Jackson appears to want to move off catcher

    Tier 3: 3 college pitchers, 3 college position players, and 3 HS arms
    - All 6 college players could move up with a strong spring.
    - The 3 HS arms are very good but without velocity spikes Law finds it hard to see them jump into the top 8.

    Tiers 4
    - A lot of arms who could move up a tier with good springs
    - Position players have talent but most are missing truly elite tools

    Tier 5 (while he didn't have a tier 5 he mentioned what would be in it)
    - College starters who may project to be RPers
    - Power before hit bats
    - Raw toolsy HS bats

    Full article for insiders here:
    http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/mlb-draft/post?id=1254

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
    This is a great post about why draft BPA vs positional need.
    Overall I agree. But if you accept a few things off the bat as truths, I think you need to adjust this somewhat:

    1) We have no SS in our system that projects as the answer. Good SS rarely hit free agency. Remember what we paid Adam Everrett a few years ago?

    2) Buxton should be our CF for the next 10+ years. Guys that have value at CF typically have a lot less value at LR or RF.

    3) We will never sign a top of the rotation free agent starting pitcher

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Compare Springer to Sano. Then add about another 100 pts to the OPS. It's great that Twins fans gush over their "prospects", but the same rubric must be applied for other team's prospects! In short, it is unrealistic to get on "fan girly" with future Twins players, and then apply different logic to dismiss those on other teams. As you can see, it is a lot easier to find a plus CF than it is a plus SS. My goodness, the Twins have had substantial difficulty in finding an average SS, much less a superior one.
    I do have big concerns about Sano's strikeouts, I'd guess aside from the defense, that's likely what most people are concerned with. Still, as mentioned, he's much younger than Springer. Regardless, the discussion wasn't about the Astros passing up Correia for Sano, the discussion was passing up Buxton for Correa and every ranking we've seen this year has Buxton in a class by himself, above Springer, Correa and even our beloved Sano.

    Still, I wasn't arguing against your point that you liked the Astos draft move, I was just stating that the Astros didn't bypass Buxton because they had Springer, they bypassed him so they could ALSO snag a top prospect like McCullers. I'd rather have Buxton and Berrios than Correa and McCullers, but there's some merrit to the Astros approach even if I'd prefer the Twins to not follow that lead come draft day 2014.

  17. #57
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Overall I agree. But if you accept a few things off the bat as truths, I think you need to adjust this somewhat:

    1) We have no SS in our system that projects as the answer. Good SS rarely hit free agency. Remember what we paid Adam Everrett a few years ago?

    2) Buxton should be our CF for the next 10+ years. Guys that have value at CF typically have a lot less value at LR or RF.

    3) We will never sign a top of the rotation free agent starting pitcher
    In my opinion, all of those are linked and Denard Span is the rebuttal.

    One of the easiest things to do in baseball is flip a young, cost-controlled MLB player for a prospect. The Twins had Hicks and Buxton coming so they dished Denard Span, a guy in his late 20s and a decent player, for a guy that looks to be a potential #1 starter, or at the very least, a very good #2 starter.

    Logjams of too many good, young players is an incredibly easy hurdle to overcome and pays huge dividends, as you often get a player's best years and then dish him off for another stud prospect. That's why you rely on your scouting department to tell you who is the best player on the board and you take that player, position be damned.

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  19. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    In my opinion, all of those are linked and Denard Span is the rebuttal.

    One of the easiest things to do in baseball is flip a young, cost-controlled MLB player for a prospect. The Twins had Hicks and Buxton coming so they dished Denard Span, a guy in his late 20s and a decent player, for a guy that looks to be a potential #1 starter, or at the very least, a very good #2 starter.

    Logjams of too many good, young players is an incredibly easy hurdle to overcome and pays huge dividends, as you often get a player's best years and then dish him off for another stud prospect. That's why you rely on your scouting department to tell you who is the best player on the board and you take that player, position be damned.
    Yep. Take the best player available. Manage your system through trades.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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  21. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    In my opinion, all of those are linked and Denard Span is the rebuttal.

    One of the easiest things to do in baseball is flip a young, cost-controlled MLB player for a prospect. The Twins had Hicks and Buxton coming so they dished Denard Span, a guy in his late 20s and a decent player, for a guy that looks to be a potential #1 starter, or at the very least, a very good #2 starter.

    Logjams of too many good, young players is an incredibly easy hurdle to overcome and pays huge dividends, as you often get a player's best years and then dish him off for another stud prospect. That's why you rely on your scouting department to tell you who is the best player on the board and you take that player, position be damned.
    True, but you don't see young, good SS being shipped off in these deals. Profar for example was un-touchable to the point it was ridiculous. Terry Ryan even said they had to target a pitcher in low A because teams don't trade SP's in the MLB or close to.

    I think you do have to balance BPA with the supply available. Either way, the good news is this draft appears heavy at SP and SS, so we may be able to do both.

  22. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    True, but you don't see young, good SS being shipped off in these deals. Profar for example was un-touchable to the point it was ridiculous. Terry Ryan even said they had to target a pitcher in low A because teams don't trade SP's in the MLB or close to.

    I think you do have to balance BPA with the supply available. Either way, the good news is this draft appears heavy at SP and SS, so we may be able to do both.
    Jason Bartlett says hi. Bad example, but teams do trade shortstops.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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