2008 Amateur Draft Rumors

Cardinals Eyeing College Pitcher With 13th Pick

The Cardinals have the 13th pick in the June draft.  The team’s VP of scouting and player development, Jeff Luhnow, says "there’s a real possibility that we go college pitcher."  MLB.com’s Matthew Leach admits that Aaron Crow will probably be gone.  Ditto Brian MatuszChristian Friedrich or Shooter Hunt remain possibilities.

Leach also suggests the Cardinals could take one of the many first baseman and move him to the outfield (Yonder Alonso, for example).  Baseball America’s May 16th mock draft projects the Cards will take Zach Collier, a high school outfielder. 

Pirates Likely To Draft Pedro Alvarez

John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times chronicles the Pirates’ recent draft blunders.  So many wasted picks.  Under different management, the Pirates could have David Wright, B.J. Upton, Carlos Quentin, Tim Lincecum, and Matt Wieters in the organization.  Sounds like a fantasy team.  Such hindsight cherry-picking is unfair, but the Pirates should have Upton and Wieters right now.

Anyway, the depressing trend of bad picks for the Pirates is likely to change this year.  For the first time, the Bucs might give out a Major League contract to a draft pick.  That pick would be Pedro Alvarez, who Perrotto believes the Pirates will take at #2.  Rumblings do not indicate the Rays want Alvarez.  Both Jonathan Mayo and Baseball America believe the Pirates will get their man.

Rangers Leaning Toward College Pitcher In Draft

According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers "would love to take a high upside college pitcher who could shoot through the system" with their 11th overall pick this June.  Sullivan suggests Shooter Hunt, Tanner Scheppers, and Christian Friedrich as possibilities.  Scheppers may be out of the picture given the stress fracture of his shoulder.

ESPN’s Keith Law ranked his top 60 for the draft on May 10th, and he considered the top college pitchers to be Aaron Crow, Brian Matusz, Scheppers, Friedrich, Josh Fields, and Hunt.  In their May 16th mock draft, Baseball America picked high school first baseman Eric Hosmer for Texas.

By the way, check out the June Amateur Draft link.  This will remain on the sidebar until after the June 5th draft takes place.

Giants Aiming For Position Player In Draft

The Giants have the fifth overall pick in this June’s draft, and Peter Magowan said yesterday that the team hopes to take a position player.

Baseball America recently predicted the Giants would take first baseman Justin Smoak, while Jonathan Mayo went with shortstop Tim Beckham.  Beckham might be the superior choice, but he could be snagged by the Rays, Pirates, Royals, or Orioles.  It’s been rumored that the Orioles are leaning toward a college player, so perhaps they’ll pass on Beckham if he’s there at #4.

Odds And Ends: Bellhorn, Astros, Scheppers

Like most Saturdays at this time of year, it’s a bit slow. So here are a few links to pass the time.

  • The Dodgers have signed veteran IF Mark Bellhorn to a minor league deal. Tony Jackson from Inside the Dodgers says this happened a few weeks ago, but was well under the radar. After some extended spring training, Bellhorn has reported to AA, where he will simply fill a roster spot. He is not expected to help the major league team this year.
  • Richard Justice says he wouldn’t change a thing about the surprisingly-good Houston Astros.
  • Fresno State ace and potential top-10 pick Tanner Scheppers has gone down with a stress fracture somewhere in his shoulder. Jonathan Mayo suspects he could fall to a big market team in the latter portion of the first round, a la Andrew Brackman last year.

Joe Pawlikowski writes for River Ave. Blues, a Yankees blog, and can be reached here.

Baseball America Projects The First Round

Baseball America attempted to project the entire first round of the June amateur draft.  Their top ten:

1. Rays – Tim Beckham, SS.
2. Pirates – Pedro Alvarez, 3B.
3. Royals – Buster Posey, C. 
4. Orioles – Brian Matusz, LHP.
5. Giants – Justin Smoak, 1B.
6. Marlins – Kyle Skipworth, C.
7. Reds – Aaron Crow, RHP.
8. White Sox – Gordon Beckham, SS.
9. Nationals – Yonder Alonso, 1B.
10. Astros – Shooter Hunt, RHP.

BA is in agreement with Jonathan Mayo on picks #2, 4, 6, 7, and 8.  Plus we can assume that Mayo wouldn’t have chosen Scheppers for Houston had Scheppers’ injury been fully realized at the time.

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Scheppers Injury Will Affect Draft Position

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that Fresno State righthander Tanner Scheppers will be sidelined with a stress fracture in his shoulder.  Mayo suggests that the serious injury is likely to drop Scheppers out of the top ten picks.  The risk is increased, but now Scheppers will drop and could become a steal.

By the way, bookmark Mayo’s new blog, Geeking On The Draft.  I am pretty sure we have some draft geeks in this crowd.

Jonathan Mayo Projects The Top Ten Picks

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo admits it’s too early, but still takes a stab at projecting the first ten picks of the June draft.  Here’s what he’s come up with:

1. Rays – Buster Posey, C.
2. Pirates – Pedro Alvarez, 3B.
3. Royals – Eric Hosmer, 1B. 
4. Orioles – Brian Matusz, LHP.
5. Giants – Tim Beckham, SS.
6. Marlins – Kyle Skipworth, C.
7. Reds – Aaron Crow, RHP.
8. White Sox – Gordon Beckham, SS.
9. Nationals – Justin Smoak, 1B.
10. Astros – Tanner Scheppers, RHP.

Interesting note from Mayo: he’s hearing that the Orioles are leaning toward a college player.  Mayo has also heard buzz that the Marlins "have been all over Skipworth."  Read Mayo’s column – it’s a nice blend of inside info and educated guesses.  What do you think about this mock top ten?

Also, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has some White Sox draft tidbits.

Odds and Ends: Jacque, Vizquel, Greinke

Today’s linkage…

Odds and Ends: Millwood, Posey, Igawa

Here’s the latest link collection.

  • Former Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta is now blogging for the public.  He currently works for the Padres as Special Assistant for Baseball Operations.
  • In his words, Kevin Millwood felt a stabbing pain even though he hadn’t been stabbed.  He’s on the shelf with a groin injury, taking him off the trade market temporarily.
  • Rays Index had some quality draft links yesterday about the Rays and their #1 pick.  Jim Callis of Baseball America says catcher Buster Posey is "the current favorite."
  • Joel Sherman wonders what might’ve been if the Yankees had signed Ted Lilly instead of Kei Igawa.
  • Ken Davidoff reminds us of the Padres’ past claim on Igawa, and also notes Boston’s interest.
  • Giants owner Peter Magowan may move on.
  • This email exchange between Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger and Carlos Delgado‘s agent David Sloane is entertaining.
  • Here’s a valuable free agent to consider: Leo Mazzone.