Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BA's on the board

to make the Rangers' first pick and they go with Miami-Dade JC CF Brian Goodwin (if he projects to stay in CF).

BA's selection committee is convinced that TX will go with the most athletic position player on the board. This does indeed sound very Rangers-like, but an Org orientation that I hate. I think I'd really enjoy being a Minnesota fan - but only for draft day of course - as they draft zero-risk college guys in the top 3 rounds who have already attained a solid average major league ceiling and who will compete for a spot on the 25 out of their first spring training. Texas' gambles on high ceiling, high risk players has been a complete bust over JD's tenure. As I have written previously on this topic, I hope that Texas' strategy changes some this year on a # of fronts, with money to spend allowing TX to finally draft the BPA no matter the cost for the first time...ever. The biggest impediments against snagging a high ceiling, low risk super star, falling because of super star bonus demands can be counted on two fingers: the Nats and the BoSox's 2 picks (with the Cards, the Reds, the Blue Jays and possibly the Giants as less-likely competitors).

Anyways, I pay zero attention to college baseball in general, and only "play" draft once the BA top 200 profiles (and PG top 250) come out 2 weeks prior to the draft, so I know nothing about these kids at present. Whatever the case, here is an excerpt of their discussion of players at 33 and the 3 picks ahead of them just to contextualize who else might still be on the board depending on how things go:


33. RANGERS (Jim): Expect Texas to grab the best remaining athlete on the board at this point. Even with Fisher and Nimmo gone, that leaves Miami-Dade JC outfielder Brian Goodwin, Farragut HS (Knoxville, Tenn.) catcher/third baseman Nicky Delmonico, New Trier HS (Winnetka, Ill.) outfielder Charlie Tilson and Central Catholic HS (Modesto, Calif.) outfielder Billy Flamion. Assuming the Rangers believe he can remain in center field, their pick is Goodwin, who wouldn't have been eligible for the 2011 draft had he not transferred from North Carolina.


32. RAYS (Conor): Speaking of not ignoring the hit tool, I really like East HS (Cheyenne, Wyo.) Brandon Nimmo for Tampa Bay's second straight pick. Nimmo's high school doesn't have a team, yet he's a sure thing to be the highest-drafted player ever out of Wyoming (current record holder William Ewing was an Angels fourth-rounder in 1976). Nimmo is one of the best pure hitters in this year's high school class. He's also an above-average athlete who won a state title in the 400-meter dash this year and runs a 6.54-second 60-yard dash.

31. RAYS (John): Tampa Bay's plethora of picks is well-publicized, as is its preference for athleticism. But they're not blind to the hit tool, either, and with so many picks, they can use a portfolio approach. That's why I'm taking C.J. Cron here. He's one of the best college bats in the draft, and he'll move quickly in an organization that needs to get some big bats to the big leagues pronto.

30. TWINS (Jim): Minnesota hasn't used a first-round pick on a college position player since Travis Lee in 1996, but Utah first baseman C.J. Cron might make a lot sense. Few players in this draft make as much consistent hard contact as he can. But I'll have the Twins take John Stilson—whom they failed to sign as a 19th-rounder our of Texarkana (Texas) JC two years ago—and let them figure out if he's going to be a starter or reliever. He has better pure stuff than most of the members of their big league rotation, and he also could develop into their closer of the future.



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