Dave Saltzer

The Official 2018 Amateur Draft Thread

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With all the talk about our Major League doing well, and our Minor League prospects developing nicely, let's start talking about this draft. Supposedly it is deeper in HS talent, and in pitching talent. So, with that, let's start posting mock drafts and thoughts in here.

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Looking forward to about 6 weeks from now

Nice to have the #17 pick in each round, time for more Eppler magic?

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I know we all want the BPA (Best Player Available), but what I would like to see us do is go after a lefty starter. With Griffin, Barria, and others developing, we have a real shortage of lefties in the system. There is Suarez and then not much (especially for starters) until we get down to Jerryell Rivera. Ideally, a lefty from college would work best, so he could catch up with the rest of our developing talent. 

Here's an article listing the top 7 college lefties: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/top-7-college-lefthanders/

I saw on one site linking us to Pilkington. Here's the discussion https://247sports.com/mlb/scouting/Article/Way-Too-Early-2018-MLB-Mock-Draft--108332780

17 Los Angeles Angels - Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State
The Angels bucked the trend of taking the safe route last year with Jo Adell. The feeling is that, as an organization, they have been looking for an arm, for the last two years, who has consistently performed, which would be Pilkington at Mississippi State. The lefty does not get the talk of the players ahead of him in this mock, but has been a top pitcher in the top conference the last two years. He had limited experience as a freshman, but the numbers were strong even then. He is a safe arm, more of what we have seen the Angels do traditionally. This is a spot that seems likely to have more college depth than high ceiling talent like the Angels took last year.

Here's more on Pilkington from: http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018/?list=draft

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Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

In the 2018 Draft, few college players can match Pilkington's youth (he won't turn 21 until September) and track record. He cracked Mississippi State's Southeastern Conference rotation as a freshman, became its No. 1 starter as a sophomore and performed well in the Cape Cod League and with Team USA during his two summers. He could become the third Bulldogs pitcher to go in the first round in the last seven Drafts, following Chris Stratton (2012) and Dakota Hudson (2016).

Pilkington could have three solid or better pitches when all is said and done. He works with an 88-93 mph fastball that tops out at 96, using his 6-foot-3 frame and a high three-quarters arm slot to deliver it on a steep downhill plane. He trusts his advanced changeup more than his slider, which can get slurvy at times.

Pilkington's stuff, strong frame and competitiveness could make him an innings-eating No. 3 starter. He generally throws strikes but has occasional lapses of control. He'll need to watch his conditioning to reach his potential.

 

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I've also seen some people linking us to a couple of RHPs. One is a local HS pitcher out of Orange Lutheran, Cole Winn.

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Cole Winn | Rank: 42

School: Orange Lutheran (Calif.) HSYear: SeniorPosition: RHPAge: 18 DOB: 11/25/1999Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6'2" Weight: 195 lb.Commitment: Mississippi State

Watch

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

As a junior, Winn was named the Colorado State High School Pitcher of the Year. He won't be able to repeat, as he transferred to Southern California powerhouse Orange Lutheran for his senior year. That will give the projectable right-hander a lot more exposure, which will raise the level of scrutiny on the Mississippi State commit.

After a solid summer showcase circuit, Winn belongs in the same group of second-tier high school arms in California as guys like Ethan Reed in the south and Dominic Pipkin up north, and he might end up ahead of them in terms of his combination of polish and stuff. He can flash three plus pitches at times and was up to 94 mph at Perfect Game's World Wood Bat Association Championship in Jupiter, Fla., in the fall, up a tick from previous readings. He'll throw two different breaking balls at times, a power curve and a cutter-like slider, with focus on one a likelihood in the future. He has feel for a changeup as well and with his clean and easy delivery, he should develop more consistent command.

How much projection his body has and how much strength he can add to his slender frame are questions scouts will try to answer. They'll also want to know how he'll respond to the better level of competition in his new home. If he proves he's ready, Winn will move up Draft boards this spring.

 

The other is Jackson Kowar, a college RHP

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Jackson Kowar | Rank: 10

School: FloridaYear: JuniorPosition: RHPAge: 21 DOB: 10/04/1996Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 6'5" Weight: 180 lb.Previously drafted: 2015, 40th (1210) - DET
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Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

While Brady Singer understandably gets most of the attention in terms of the Florida Gators staff, recent history should show the school typically has a deep stable of arms for scouts to evaluate. Kowar pitched behind 2017 first-rounder Alex Faedo and Singer in the weekend rotation last year and opened some eyes with how he threw this fall to jump up on Draft radars.

Kowar's size and live arm make him stand out immediately. With a clean, repeatable delivery and easy arm action, the 6-foot-5 right-hander was up to 98 mph this fall and can sit in the mid 90s with ease. It can be a little bit too true at times, in contrast to Singer's live heater, leading to a lower strikeout rate during his sophomore year than one would expect. His changeup is his best secondary offering, a plus pitch right now. His breaking ball is behind the other two, but it will flash above-average at times. He generally throws strikes and with a solid delivery, his command should improve.

With some projection and that arm strength, there's a lot scouts will want to see in the spring. Some thought he threw better than Singer this fall, albeit in a much smaller sample size. The two should combine to be another exciting 1-2 punch in Gainesville.

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Kowar's ERA is almost 2 runs better, and his hits allowed are significantly less so far this season.   However, his K's are still a little under 1 per inning. 

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Kowar is my pick, Potential front of the rotation stuff and i really love that mid 90s Fb with that Plus change. He a guys that could move fast through a system.

 If we decide to take the high school way: Rocker, Winn or  Harkins could be interesting picks!!

 

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I don't know if a worse image could be posted for this guy. That just screams Florida Man...

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Im no good at this, but the last pitcher named cole that came.out of orange lutheran is pretty good, and this one is named win. I know thats a team stat, but its a good omen. 

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12 hours ago, Vlad27Trout27 said:

Kowar is my pick, Potential front of the rotation stuff and i really love that mid 90s Fb with that Plus change. He a guys that could move fast through a system.

 If we decide to take the high school way: Rocker, Winn or  Harkins could be interesting picks!!

 

By any chance, John Rocker's son?

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I've heard a lot of speculations from "stat guys" that, because of so many arm injuries in modern baseball, pitching prospects can be much more volatile than hitting prospects. Because of that, the conventional wisdom is turning towards drafting hitters, and trading for pitching prospects once they are closer to the majors. It may be wise to cut against conventional wisdom at a point though, because that will likely lead to an undervaluing of pitching prospects.

We managed to not give away any of our draft pics, right?

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My pick John India, with all the pitching dept in the draft go for a position of need.

Jonathan India, 3B, Florida - source Jeff Ellis

I am pretty sure that I am the high man on India, yet this still feels too low, to me, for what he is doing this year. India has been on the radar since high school when he was viewed as a shortstop who could do a bit of everything. He had top three round talk, but went to Florida and was solid until this season. This season, he has been the top bat in the country in the top conference in baseball. He has hit for power and is walking at a fantastic rate. His walk percentage alone has jumped over 10% from a year ago. The reports of him at third range from average to a plus defender there. There is no doubt that he will be able to handle the position once drafted. He has the chance to be a 55 bat with 55 defense at third. His lack of size and the fact that his power and approach change have only a year of data will push him down, but he should be a safe, quick moving bat who I think will overperform his draft position. I think the ceiling is Justin Turner with a strong chance of being closer to Yangervis Solarte.

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I am thinking the Angels will be looking to draft projectable starting pitchers. Hopefully, durable ones. Eppler seems to have turned the farm system around with position players. But with the big clubs starting pitchers looking like china dolls in a pen full of Texas Longhorns, we are going to need more durability. It is much cheaper to draft those types, rather than paying for those types in the free agent market. Past history seems that it is unlikely to go the free agent route. I can only recall CJ Wilson as the only starter picked up in free agency. His contract was a little over $50 mil.

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Josh Rosen says top 9 picks were mistakes.  We'll see about that.

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

Josh Rosen says top 9 picks were mistakes.  We'll see about that.

Wrong thread

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What if we took the best player available with every pick?

Let's use the 2009 draft as an example

1(24) - Trout 1(25)
1(25) - James Paxton 1(37)
1(40) - Nolan Arenado 2(59)
1(42) - Jason Kipnis 2(63)
1(48) - DJ LeMahieu 2(79)
2 - Kyle Seager 3(82)
3 - Brandon Belt 5(147)
4 - Dallas Keuchel 7(221)
5 - Paul Goldschmidt 8 (246)
6 - Brian Dozier 8 (252)
7 - Chase Anderson 9 (276)
8 - Yan Gomes 10 (310)
9 - Matt Carpenter 13 (399)
10 - JD Martinez 20 (611)

This is how hard the draft is btw.  

The most impactful player from rounds 25 and beyond of the 2009 draft is Justin Bour.  After Martinez in round 20, to Bour it's Mike Fiers, Dan Straily, Trevor Rosenthal, AJ Ramos,  From 13 to 20, it's Scooter Gennett and that's it.  Brock Holt is there in round 9, Khris Davis in 7, Adam Warren and Chris Rusin in round 4.  Wil Myers, Joe Kelly, and Jake Marisnick in 3, Steven Matz, Billy Hamilton and Mychal Givens in 2.  

So outside of the first round, there are about 15-20 players that are going to have a significant major league impact.  

If you can grab 1-2 players per draft that can eventually help you at the major league level for more than a mere cup of coffee, you are doing pretty well.  

The odds overwhelmingly favor the 1st three rounds by far.  




 

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10 hours ago, Dochalo said:

What if we took the best player available with every pick?

....

So outside of the first round, there are about 15-20 players that are going to have a significant major league impact.  

If you can grab 1-2 players per draft that can eventually help you at the major league level for more than a mere cup of coffee, you are doing pretty well.  

The odds overwhelmingly favor the 1st three rounds by far.  




 

THIS GUY GETS IT!

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Mike Piazza is maybe the ultimate one.   Drafted in something like the 62nd round (not even having that round anymore), and ONLY as a favor to his godfather, Lasorda.

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12 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Mike Piazza is maybe the ultimate one.   Drafted in something like the 62nd round (not even having that round anymore), and ONLY as a favor to his godfather, Lasorda.

*

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Or a guy that gets drafted by absolutely no one and ends up 2nd in ROY voting.

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Only 10 percent of the guys drafted will make it to the big leagues. Whether it is cup of coffee or it is as an All-Star. 

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