Other than Bud Selig being the worst public speaker of all-time and the awkward Zack Wheeler interview where he admitted he knows nothing about the San Francisco Giants, I thought the MLB Network did a very good job of producing the 2009 MLB Draft.
Here is a recap of the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft...
1. Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, RHP
If this guy doesn’t pan out, he will be the biggest bust of all time.
2. Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley, 1B
Ackley will play the OF for the Mariners, and in my opinion, he will be the best player in this draft.
3. San Diego Padres: Donavan Tate, OF
Super athletic. Has a full ride to UNC to play football.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Tony Sanchez, C
John Hart said there are hitting concerns with Sanchez. Not something you want to hear about the fourth pick.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Matt Hobgood, RHP
The first surprise of the draft. Many didn’t have Hobgood going this high. Reminds John Hart of Brad Penny. Somewhere Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku are smiling.
6. San Francisco Giants: Zack Wheeler, RHP
Don’t the Giants have enough pitching? My pick to be the second best player in this year’s draft. My only concern is that his windup is very similar to Rich Harden’s.
7. Atlanta Braves: Mike Minor, LHP
As soon as this pick was made, Harold Reynolds said throw stats out the window. What? Projects to be a back of the rotation starter. Always good to hear with the No. 7 pick in the draft.
8. Cincinnati Reds: Mike Leake, RHP
The Reds have drafted well recently, and it looks like they hit another HR with Leake. I like the ASU pedigree.
9. Detroit Tigers: Jacob Turner, RHP
Perhaps the most upside of all the high school pitchers in this draft.
10. Washington Nationals: Drew Storen, RHP
The future closer for the Nationals.
11. Colorado Rockies: Tyler Matzek, LHP
The only reason he lasted this long is because of signability issues. Matzek is asking for the moon. Matzek is probably the poster child for what is wrong with the current draft system.
12. Kansas City Royals: Aaron Crow, RHP
Good pick by the Royals. Crow was drafted last year in the first round by the Nationals but did not sign.
13. Oakland A’s: Grant Green, SS
Many thought Green would go to the Royals at 12. Frank Marcos describes him in the same way many described Dustin Pedroia.
14. Texas Rangers: Matt Purke, LHP
John Hart, who is a special adviser to Rangers GM Jon Daniels, thinks this is a great pick by the Rangers. Shocker there.
15. Cleveland Indians: Alex White, RHP
All of a sudden UNC is becoming a baseball powerhouse. White might be in the Indians’ bullpen next year.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bobby Borchering, 3B
The best high school hitter on the board, Borchering projects to be a No. 3 or No. 4 hitter. He might move over to first in the future.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks: A.J. Pollock, OF
MVP of the Cape Cod League. Good pick by the Diamondbacks. This pick was compensation for the Dodgers signing Orlando Hudson.
18. Florida Marlins: Chad James, LHP
Another young pitching stud for the Florida Marlins.
19. St Louis Cardinals: Shelby Miller, RHP
Sounds more like my accountant than a flame-throwing pitcher. Frank Marcos and John Hart love this pick for the Cardinals.
20. Toronto Blue Jays: Chad Jenkins, RHP
Pitched at Kennesaw State University. Where exactly is that? This kid is a big boy.
21. Houston Astros: Jiovanni Mier, SS
High school SS who will take some time getting to the majors. Good glove, little bat.
22. Minnesota Twins: Kyle Gibson, RHP
There are some injury concerns with Gibson, who had a stress fracture in his pitching forearm. If not for that injury, he would have been a top five pick.
23. Chicago White Sox: Jared Mitchell, OF
Mitchell also plays football at LSU. Just a ridiculous athlete. Already has the biggest neck I have ever seen for a baseball player.
24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Randal Grichuk, OF
Good hitter who Hart describes as a grinder.
25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Michael Trout, OF
Trout was the only player to show up to the studio for the draft. My guess is that if Trout wasn’t from NJ (MLB Network is in NJ), he wouldn’t have been there. Marcos compares him to Craig Biggio.
26. Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Arnett, RHP
Draws comparisons to Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson. Good athlete who used to work out with the University of Indiana Basketball team.
27. Seattle Mariners: Nick Franklin, SS
Steady ballplayer who can switch-hit. I like what the Mariners have done in this draft.
28. Boston Red Sox: Reymond Fuentes, OF
Hart loves this pick and thinks Fuentes is a future leadoff hitter. Fuentes has blazing speed and is the nephew of Carlos Beltran.
29. New York Yankees: Slade Heathcott, OF
Classic Texas name. Reminds me of former University of Texas QB Major Applewhite. Left-handed hitter who has tremendous tools.
30. Tampa Bay Rays: LeVon Washington, 2B
Classic Rays player. Great speed, great athlete, and has a great glove. He needs to grow into his body because right now he looks like a stick figure.
31. Chicago Cubs: Brett Jackson, OF
This is Harold Reynolds' No. 1 hitter in this draft. Which means that he will never reach the major leagues.
32. Colorado Rockies: Tim Wheeler, OF
Wheeler played at Sacramento State University. I didn’t even know that was a school. How much is Wheeler loving life right now? He gets drafted in the first round and has a chance to hit in Coors Field.
So that concludes the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft. I love the four minutes between picks. Makes everything just go so smoothly.
Here is my suggestion for Bud Selig in order to give the draft some juice.
Unless you are a real die-hard baseball fan, other than Stephen Strasburg, you don’t know 99 percent of the players drafted in the first round.
The MLB Network should show a high school or college “Showcase Game of the Week.” Once a week, broadcast a game that features a projected first round pick. This will allow fans to get to know some of the players their team is interested in. I think this will really help the draft.