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2008 Amateur Draft Rumors
MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has some draft tidbits tonight.
- The idea has been floated that the Rays could draft Pedro Alvarez with an eye on moving Evan Longoria to second base down the road. Alvarez’s position really shouldn’t be a concern – Carlos Pena might be gone by the time he’s ready. Mayo’s heard buzz that the Rays have narrowed it down to Alvarez or Buster Posey, despite what Tim Beckham‘s dad said.
- Standard speculation is that the O’s are looking at Brian Matusz and Justin Smoak, but Mayo’s heard there might be a non-Beckham dark horse.
- The White Sox have Smoak, Yonder Alonso, and perhaps Andrew Cashner on their radar at #8.
I’m surprised they are so certain. Isn’t it possible that the Rays draft Buster Posey and the Bucs opt for Pedro Alvarez?
All kinds of good draft info surfacing today. Let’s take a look.
- MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo projects the top 30 picks. College closer Andrew Cashner moves up the rankings to the Rangers at #11, among other changes. Mayo has even heard a rumor that the Marlins could consider Cashner at #6 instead of Kyle Skipworth. Back on May 16th, Baseball America chose the Tigers for Cashner at #21.
- Mayo sees the Rangers at #11 and the Yankees at #28 as possibilities for Boras advisee Gerrit Cole. MiLB.com has compared Cole to Kyle Farnsworth. Baseball America suggested Cole could slip to the Cubs at #19 or the D’Backs at #26.
- Back to the Rangers…beat writer Evan Grant sees them springing for Eric Hosmer or Shooter Hunt.
- Jim Callis notes that raw first-round bats (Aaron Hicks for example) often do not pan out.
- Will the Mets stick to slot this year?
All kinds of draft links today.
- Baseball America explains the basics in their How The Draft Works column.
- Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein gives his take on each of the first twelve picks.
- Keith Law: the Nationals invited Zach Collier to work out, the White Sox are eyeing Brett Wallace, the Marlins may like Eric Hosmer, and Tanner Scheppers is getting a second opinion.
- Jim Callis names high schoolers/Boras clients Hosmer and Gerrit Cole as possible wild cards who could head to college. Callis also talks about Casey Kelly as a possibility for Cincy.
- Derrick Goold on the Cardinals’ "signability board."
There’s been quite a bit of conjecture that the Pirates will draft Pedro Alvarez with their #2 pick. Alvarez, a Scott Boras advisee, may require a Major League contract. The Bucs’ new management team will be making a statement to fans if they pony up for Alvarez.
Devan Kovacevic did a Q&A on the draft with Pirates GM Neal Huntington and team president Frank Coonelly. He didn’t shy away from tough questions, touching on the Matt Wieters subject. Kovacevic also referenced Alvarez, asking how a player demanding a big league deal would impact the team’s draft choice. Said Coonelly:
The preference is to sign any amateur player to a minor-league contract. It gives the club more flexibility. With a player signed to a major-league contract right out of the draft, you have to use an option immediately to get him to the minors. If he has a minor-league contract, you can have him for three years in the minors before having to use an option. Does that mean I’m saying the Pirates would never consider that? No. We would if there were a unique set of circumstances.
So…is Alvarez special enough to warrant it for the Pirates?
With last year’s top pick, David Price, making his pro debut yesterday, we are now two weeks from the 2008 "Rule 4 Draft" and the top of the draft is not as clear this time around. There are five candidates that could go in the top slot: Buster Posey, the FSU catcher; Vanderbilt’s third baseman Pedro Alvarez; San Diego lefty Brian Matusz; Southern California high school catcher Kyle Skipworth, and Georgia high school shortstop Tim Beckham. Earlier this week we heard that the Rays were leaning towards Posey or Alvarez, while the Pirates were said to be torn between Alvarez and Beckham with the second pick. Recent mock drafts from Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, have Beckham going to the Rays with the top pick.
Let’s take a look at what is being said about the upcoming draft in the Blogosphere…
- Minor League Ball ranks the top 30 prospects, with Posey and Beckham at the top of the board, while Alvarez’ injury knocks him down to #8.
- Baseball Mastermind would like to see a push for a little more hype in the baseball draft and feels that baseball fans would benefit from more debate on the merits of the available talent. They also can’t see the Rays taking Alvarez with the top pick now that they have Evan Longoria locked up to a long-term deal.
- DRays Bay wonders if recent reports of the Rays drafting Beckham or Posey were just smoke-screens to lower the price on Alvarez, who is a Scott Boras client.
- Rays of Light note that Alvarez would be the ideal choice, but believe signability may be too big of a factor to ignore, making Posey more attractive.
- Bucs Dugout feels a team should select the best available player with the second pick, but suggests that a team like the Pirates, that is still several years away from contending, may be better off drafting high school talent. The idea is that an Alvarez will not help a Bucs club in ’09 or ’10 while a Beckham will remain under the team’s control for more years.
- Camden Depot doesn’t sound very excited about the prospect of the Orioles drafting Matusz.
- McCovey Chronicles is hoping that Alvarez falls to the Giants at #5.
Today from Buster Olney’s blog:
I talked to a couple of folks with rival teams who say that their understanding is that Tampa Bay is leaning toward picking either Florida State catcher Buster Posey or Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
Olney apparently hasn’t heard much about the Rays considering shortstop Tim Beckham, though other insiders such as Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have him in the mix. Mayo says "it’s still very much in the air" among five candidates for the Rays.
MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo is making a splash today, posting a brand new top 20 mock draft. He’s also conducting a chat that begins right about now (I’m sure the transcript will be up after). Some interesting nuggets from Mayo’s latest mock draft:
- Mayo isn’t so sure the Rays have narrowed it down to Tim Beckham and Buster Posey.
- There’s apparently some buzz that the Nats might consider Zach Collier way up at the ninth pick.
- Mayo replaces his Tanner Scheppers pick with Yonder Alonso for Houston.
4:45pm: Updating the Tavarez item – the Boston Herald reports that he’s accepted a minor league assignment in order to buy the Red Sox more time in trading him.
10:38am: Here’s today’s link collection.
- MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel hears the Royals are leaning toward an impact bat in the June draft. Baseball America predicted catcher Buster Posey, while Jonathan Mayo went with first baseman Eric Hosmer. First baseman Justin Smoak is another possibility.
- Paul DePodesta tells a story about the gamesmanship of the draft.
- Hank Steinbrenner says there’s a chance Brian Cashman will be the Yankees’ GM next year, if he wants to be. He might be able to find a better situation. If there’s a new GM, his first task might be negotiating with Scott Boras for Mark Teixeira.
- The Rockies still might have mild interest in Julian Tavarez, who will become a free agent today.
- The Marlins, Rockies, and Rangers were the three clubs interested in Edinson Volquez when he was a kid in the Dominican.