Sunday, September 7, 2008
Rule 5 Draft Winners
Even though Reps is a division rival, I have to give him credit when it's due. I really like what he was able to do for his Baltimore Blast club in the Rule 5 draft.
With the 1st overall pick, he lands Monte High who should be a great relief pitcher in a few years. His ratings aren't quite there yet, but his ability to throw groundballs should make him somewhat effective in this coming season. I also really like his 3rd round selection, Herbert Benjamin. Benjamin is a speedy contact hitter with a pretty good batter's eye. Benjamin's moving up from High A so he'll probably struggle at first, but I think he'll be solid if the Blast stick with him. Baltimore also picked up 2 pretty good players in Mike Clark and power-hitter R.J. Jacquez. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty good day for a Baltimore team that has struggled in recent seasons.
While I don't think they did as well as Baltimore, the Chicago Old Style also had a solid Rule 5 Draft led by the very last pick in the draft, Erv Ryan. My blog yesterday was about Durham's iron man, Bart Kirby. Take a look at Ryan's ratings and you'll notice they're pretty similar to Mr. Kirby's. Ryan is already 26 so he won't have the sustained career that Kirby has enjoyed, but he could provide some pop in the middle of Chicago's lineup for the next several years. While these guys aren't superstars, Horace Patterson, Todd Davis, Vin Gonzalez and Ismael Santana have potential to show some future promise for the Old Style.
Now obviously, both teams I mentioned above had a handful of picks which helped them become Rule 5 draft day winners, but there were others with less picks that I thought did themselves well. Here's a quick rundown of the other draft day pickups that should have an impact:
Virgil Benjamin - Colorado Ligers. The glove and range projections will be a HUGE help when playing at Coors Field. He has a decent bat and a good batter's eye as well.
Javier Alicea - Detroit Bad Seeds. Alicea possesses an exceptional forkball which should lead to a lot of ground ball outs. The other great thing about Alicea is you can call on him just about every day.
Harry Cruz - Salem Oles. If he lives up to his potential, watch out. Cruz possesses 3 excellent pitches and precision control. He could be a stud in a few seasons.
Willie Iglesias - Colorado Springs Mile High Marines. At 6'4", 195 pounds, Iglesias is a big-time power hitter with an above-average batter's eye. Iglesias's ratings make him ideal for right field or 3rd base.
Charlie Carter - New York Metros. Did this guy really stick around to the 13th pick of the draft? That's a steal! He may be 30 years old, but he's major league ready and, with a 91 health rating, he's got plenty left in the tank. His ratings might even improve over the next season or two. Additionally, he's heading to a -1's ballpark where his ERA will certainly drop and his groundball/flyball ratio will probably increase as it frequently does as players get older.