Brian Matusz Rumors

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: 2008 Amateur Draft

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.

Cork Gaines writes for Rays Index and can be reached here.

Rays Could Take Catcher No. 1 Overall

In a recent blog post, ESPN’s Peter Gammons told us not to be surprised if the Rays take Florida State catcher Buster Posey first overall in the June draft.  Posey, a former shortstop, has the skills and frame to behind the plate in his career.

Baseball America’s Jim Callis recently analyzed the Rays’ most likely options (print issue 0809).  He doesn’t see the Rays choosing Boras-represented corner infielder Pedro Alvarez.  Pitchers Brian Matusz and Aaron Crow and shortstop Tim Beckham are the top talents after Alvarez.  Callis, like Gammons, notes that the Rays could go for Posey if they choose to draft for their "biggest organizational weakness."

It seems that the experts’ expectation for the Rays’ pick is Beckham, but we’ll keep you updated in the coming months.

Royals Considerations For No. 3 Pick

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star has an article discussing the Royals’ third overall pick in the June draft.  The Royals are giving the usual line about taking the best available player.

It seems logical that the Rays could take shortstop Tim Beckham first, and then the Pirates would take corner infielder Pedro Alvarez.  That’d leave pitchers Aaron Crow and Brian Matusz and first baseman Eric Hosmer as possibilities for KC.  Saberscouting did a mock draft today, suggesting Crow and Hosmer as the likely candidates.  Additionally, ESPN scouting guru Keith Law dropped me a line suggesting catcher Buster Posey is a definite top three draft candidate.