Scheduled to take place on June 7, 2010, the countdown for the 2010 MLB draft is underway.
Teams are doing their last minute scouting and research hoping to find the next "diamond" in the rough.
For some, dreams are going to come true, knowing they will have the opportunity to play in the majors. While others will have to continue to work on improving their game before they get the chance to become a major leaguer.
It's my pleasure to welcome you to Round One of my 2010 MLB mock draft.
The Washington Nationals are now on the clock.
With the first pick in the 2010 MLB draft, the Washington Nationals select...
Ht/Wt: 6-3/205 lbs
School: Las Vegas HS, NV
Scouting Report: At the age of 17, scouts say he's more talented than Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez were at the same age. Referred to as the anti Joe Mauer, Harper is believed to be extremely arrogant, and his on-field bad behavior includes taunting opponents. There is no question the talent is there, but at such a young age, Harper already feels a large sense of entitlement, and that not does bode well for his future.
After selecting Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, for the second year in a row the Nats are on the clock.
Since catcher Ivan Rodriguez is on the DL, and since either Will Nieves or Carlos Maldonado are starting in place of Rodriguez, the Nats need a new face behind the plate.
There are rumors Harper may not remain a catcher for his entire career, but it doesn't matter what position he plays. He is by far the most talented player in this year's draft and maybe the most talented prospect of all time.
The Nats are drafting a future All-Star, and there is no doubt, Harper will one day have his name enshrined into the baseball Hall of Fame.
He's simply that good.
Ht/Wt: 6-2/180 lbs
School: Brito HS, FL
Scouting Report: Growing up idolizing Alex Rodriguez, Machado has tried to emulate his game similar to that of A-Rod. He has great footwork and quick hands, and is extremely athletic in the field. Machado's an excellent power hitter for his size and position. He has the swing and ability to catch up to a 90-plus mph fastball, and can hit the ball hard and in all directions. The Pirates are going to draft Machado as a shortstop, but the question is whether Machado will remain a middle infielder because of his size, as most power hitters often get moved to the corners or the outfield.
Represented by agent Scott Boras, his client will be expecting a major contract from the Pirates, before ever playing a Major League game.
Reports are Machado has already begun discussing a deal even before the draft, allowing the Pirates to be relaxed heading into the draft.
During the Summer of 2009 in the USAB 18U National Tournament, Machado had two home runs, nine runs batted in, a .630 slugging percentage and a .370 batting average in seven games played, proving he can perform on the big stage.
But no stage is bigger than the majors, even if it means playing for the dismal Pirates.
Not since Arky Vaughan, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985, and of course, Honus Wagner, have the Pirates had a shortstop of Machado's potential.
Labeled as a future number-two hitter, the Pirates can ill afford to draft another player who cannot immediately produce. Not since Andrew McCutchen was drafted in 2005, have the Pirates had a draft pick that has produced.
The Pirates better hope Machado is part of their future, otherwise, it's go Steelers and Penguins for a few more years in the Steel City.
Ht/Wt: 6-5/215 lbs
School: The Woodlands HS, TX
Scouting Report: Arguably one of the best high school arms to emerge in recent years, Taillon must be drafted in this spot, and cannot be passed on. Standing at a dominating 6'5" tall, Taillon has the mound presence and ability to be the second coming of a "shorter" Randy Johnson. Scouts report his fastball is unhittable as it can reach up to 99 mph, his slider possesses great movement and his curveball makes the knees buckle. Taillon has explosive movement in his stride, which gives his arm plenty of time to wind up before he fires to home plate. If all the scouting reports are correct, the Orioles got themselves a future All-Star, and maybe, even a future Hall of Famer.
Over the past eight seasons, the Orioles have drafted talented players including Nick Markakis, Brian Matusz, and in 2008, number one rated prospect Matt Wieters.
All three players are currently on the Orioles roster, and will play a pivotal role for the future of this team. Current starter Kevin Millwood will possibly be traded before the trade deadline, and the Orioles desperately can use a pitcher, considering they rank towards the bottom of the majors in all pitching categories.
Taillon is projected to be a middle reliever or a starter, but if I were Orioles general manager Andy MacPhail there is no question he'd be on the mound starting, as soon as he's ready for the show.
It's no secret that the Orioles finish near the bottom of the pack in the American League every season, and Taillon will be called upon to be the next ace of the staff.
If his career is similar to that of Mike Mussina or Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, the Orioles will not be disappointed with Taillon's success in the majors.
But if he ends up like Daniel Cabrera, who finished the 2008 season with an 8-10 record with a 5.25 ERA and had the majors' worst strikeout:walk ratio, the Orioles would have wasted a Top Five draft pick on a player who had all the potential in the world to be a future All-Star.
Ht/Wt: 6-5/231 lbs
School: University of Mississippi
Scouting Report: The 2010 winner of the Cellular South Ferriss award as Mississippi’s top college baseball player, arguably has the best pitching repertoire in this draft class. Although Pomeranz can be inconsistent and struggles with being wild, the southpaw has two legitimate swing-and-miss pitches. He has the ability to throw to both sides of the plate, and although his fastball only reaches the 89-92 mph range, he can strike people out with his devastating 12-6 curveball that sits in the 77-79 mph range. Pomeranz has yet to gain a feel for his changeup, causing him trouble at times. Pomeranz was named SEC Player of the Year after throwing to a 1.38 ERA and recording a 90/24 K/BB in 59 innings, while giving up only 34 hits.
Pomeranz has the stuff, and is expected to move through the minors very quickly. The Royals would love to see him as their number two starter for years to come.
Besides 2009 Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke, the Royals are a long ways away from being a contender in the American League. Even with Greinke's 2009 season, the Royals ranked near the bottom of the league in ERA, opponents batting average, and strikeouts. Along with 24-year-old Billy Butler and 27-year-old Alberto Callaspo, who tied for the major league lead in errors by a second baseman (17), and had the lowest fielding percentage of any starting second baseman (.973), the Royals are young in the infield and even younger on the mound, as only relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is over 30 years old.
Pomeranz was drafted in 2007 by the Texas Rangers, but opted to attend Ole Miss. Pomeranz will now be joining a pitching staff whose average age is 27.8 years old.
If all these pitchers can develop into their full potential, baseball fans might be seeing the Royals back in the playoffs in the near future.
However, the Royals should be looking for a reliable middle reliever. Because of Pomeranz's erratic command and high strikeout totals, leading to high pitch counts, Pomeranz has trouble working deep into games.
But when Pomeranz matures and understands how to pitch in the bigs, the 1-2 punch of Greinke and Pomeranz can make the Royals a formidable force in the AL Central sooner than people may think.
Ht/Wt: 6-6/172 lbs
School: Florida Gulf Coast
Scouting Report: According to many scouts, Sale's strength is his ability to throw strikes, with a fastball that sits between the 89-93 mph range, to go along with a good low-80s changeup and an above average slider. Through the month of May, Sale led all Division One pitchers in strikeouts with 135, and for the second consecutive year, Sale (10-0, 1.97 ERA) was named the Pitcher of the Year in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Sale has great command and control of his pitches, and can crank his fastball up into the mid-90s with outstanding movement. He has a chance to rack up high strikeout totals, low walk rates and good ground ball rates. But Sale’s mechanics have put him at a very high level of injury risk, and can force him to convert into a closer's role. However, if Sale doesn't often find himself on the disabled list, he will be a very valuable starter in the majors.
Indian fans can only wonder what their pitching staff would have been like if CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee had stayed in Cleveland.
Instead, the Indians have never recovered from losing both aces, and now, are currently one of the worst teams in baseball, as they sit in last place in the AL Central.
Jake Westbrook, who is the Indians number one starter, is 32 years old, and is reaching the end of his career. While Fausto Carmona went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 2007, he has struggled since due to injuries.
Other starter Justin Masterson, who was acquired in a trade when Victor Martinez was shipped to the Red Sox, is only 25 years old, but has had a dismal 2010 season thus far.
Sale will be called upon to fill a major void in the Indians pitching rotation.
Sounds to me like Sale is a major risk, but he might be worth it.
Ht/Wt: 6-6/223 lbs
School: Georgia Tech
Scouting Report: In his first year starting, as a sophomore, the 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year went 11-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 118 while walking 41 in 100.1 innings, en route to not losing a game in the regular season. Although in 2010 his ERA was lower, McGuire won seven games, pitched 92.2 innings, striking out 99, while walking 24. McGuire is considered a safe pick, but has limited upside. He struggled during the 2009 postseason, and that has many people wondering if he can handle the big stage. McGuire's success during the regular season, along with playing in a difficult conference, should allow him to move through the minors pretty quickly. McGuire has a four pitch repertoire which includes a low-90s fastball, a hard slider, a mid-70s curveball, and according to scouts, his low-80s changeup is his best pitch. McGuire is a durable righty who throws strikes, and will be dependable down the road for whatever team he ends up pitching for.
The Diamondbacks have been among the most up-and-down franchises in baseball since their inaugural season in 1998, highlighted by a World Series championship in 2001.
The Diamondbacks entered the 2010 season as one of youngest teams in baseball.
Arizona acquired 2009 All-Star Edwin Jackson and former Yankees prospect Ian Kenndy to pitch behind Dan Haren, who has led the NL in strikeouts-to-walks ratio the last two years and led all pitchers with a minuscule 1.003 WHIP.
The Diamondbacks are still waiting for the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner and a 22-game winner in 2008, Brandon Webb, to return from shoulder surgery, and if Webb is able to regain his old form this will be an extremely solid staff in the desert.
Along with Stephen Drew, who's looking to become one of the top leadoff men in baseball, outfielder Chris Young is looking rebound from a .212 campaign, and catcher Miguel Montero is eager to show that his breakout 2009 campaign was not a fluke.
When the D-Backs draft McGuire, the organization will have plenty of time for him to work in the minors, and to learn how to become a suitable starter in the majors. According to scouts, McGuire is one of those players who might never become an All-Star, but has the potential to become a pretty good player.
The D-Backs would certainly take that.
Ht/Wt: 6-2/210 lbs
School: Miami (FL)
Scouting Report: Yasmani Grandal is the best defensive catcher in the 2010 MLB draft class (Bryce Harper might not remain a catcher). Grandal has the talent to do everything behind the plate, including throwing runners out and handling pitchers. Coming off freshman and sophomore seasons hitting just .234 and .299, respectively, although he hit .428 and belted 13 home runs during the 2010 season, his offensive skills need some fine tuning before he steps foot into the batter's box. Grandal’s catching tools are good, but being a switch hitter makes him a more enticing pick than just a regular catcher coming out of college. If he becomes more consistent as a player, Grandal will have a long and successful career in the majors.
No one expected Rod Barajas to have the impact he's brought to the big apple during the 2010 season.
The Mets have caught lightning in a bottle with the 34 year old Barajas, but he doesn't have many productive years left.
The Mets can use another outfielder, and possibly select Bryce Brentz with this pick, but Grandal will hear his name called, as the Mets will be drafting Grandal to be their catcher of the future.
Although Mike Piazza was a detriment to the Mets behind the plate with his lack of defensive ability and throwing arm, Piazza brought life to the organization both on and off the field.
Does Grandal have the potential to be the next Piazza?
Met fans will find out soon enough.
Ht/Wt: 6-0/215 lbs
Scouting Report: For a future cornerstone third baseman, Cox's defense is extremely shaky, but he makes up for it with his bat, hitting for plenty of average with some decent power. He has played some second base in college, and that position may be better for Cox as a professional. According to some scouts, he has the best bat in the 2010 class, and does play some solid defense. Cox has good bat speed and is able to catch up to 90-plus mph fastballs. The raw power is there, and he has the potential to become a home run hitter, if he continues to tweak his approach. Playing in the minors will certainly help Cox in becoming one of the most powerful hitters in the majors.
The Houston Astros will most likely be saying goodbye to Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman when the trade deadlines approaches, as the Astros are looking to begin their rebuilding process.
The Astros are in dire need of offensive help. Carlos Lee is having one of the worst statistical seasons of his career, and only a couple of players are currently hitting over .300.
They do not have the pitching staff to shut down their opponents or the offensive weapons to outscore their opponents.
If the Astros cannot score, they can't win. Cox's bat will certainly help them on the scoreboard, and in the standings too.
Ht/Wt: 6-1/190 lbs
Scouting Report: He was named the Southland Conference Preseason Player of the Year. Although Choice played center field in college, all signs point towards him becoming a corner outfielder in the pros. He doesn't have the speed to play center, but for someone his size, should have no problem covering the left or right side of the outfield. Choice is a solid athlete, and should make the transition from center to left or right, just fine. Choice is another college player who has one of the better and more powerful bats in this draft class. But as much raw talent as he's shown, he will need to learn to become more of a contact hitter, and to be patient at the plate. Although he led all Division One players in walks with 66, averaging 1.35 BB/game, Choice was often pitched around due to the lack of hitters in the lineup. There is no debating Choice has the bat and could ultimately settle in as a solid No. 5 or No. 6 in a good pro lineup. But many questions surround Choice, and his ability to keep up with major league pitching—that is yet to be seen.
Choice will be heading to an organization that has been the surprise of this season. As long as the Padres continue to excel in '10, Adrian Gonzalez will not be going anywhere (at least during the season).
In all likelihood, the Padres will be unable to re-sign Gonzalez, but maybe Gonzalez will be willing to take a pay cut, if he understands the talent (Choice) that is coming to California this summer.
The Padres have a talented pitching staff with arms that include Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc, and a young budding star in Chase Headley.
And when Choice is ready to make an appearance in the majors, the Padres will continue to show that their 2010 season was not a fluke.
Ht/Wt: 6-0/185 lbs
School: Middle Tennessee State
Scouting Report: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians out of high school, Brentz has since moved to the outfield, and has become one of the top prospects in the draft. In his sophomore year, Brentz ended the season with a .465 batting average, 28 homeruns, 107 hits in 230 at-bats, and had a outstanding .930 slugging percentage. Proving he has the ability to put up great numbers, Brentz is another player in this draft with incredible bat speed, adding to his natural power. Brentz experienced an ankle injury this season. Although he played mostly center field, he moved to right in wake of the injury, and scouts state that is where he belongs. He has an above average arm, and is a very smart baseball player with a great work ethic. Overall, it appears Brentz will be willing to do whatever it takes for him to improve, and along with the talent, Brentz is worthy of a Top 10 pick.
With a lackluster outfield, both in names and in the offensive categories, the A's should point towards Brentz to make an immediate impact.
A young superstar in Oakland that might be ready to play right away.
Have we heard that before?
Ht/Wt: 6-2/200 lbs
School: Maranatha HS, CA
Scouting Report: Covey has the build to be an innings eater, and has the pitches to be successful in the majors. Covey's pitches include a four-seam fastball that can reach 96 mph, a two-seam fastball that sits between 92-94 mph, while commanding both halves of the plate. His curveball ranges between 83-86 mph, and his third best pitch, his change-up, is thrown between 80-83 mph. Covey has an excellent arm, while creating deception for the batters, and has great velocity and control of his pitches. There are no glaring weaknesses, but he must begin facing better competition on a routine basis, and learn what he needs to work on. Covey is the most complete HS RHP available for the 2010 Draft, and has the potential to be a successful starter in the majors.
Who would have thought that after the Blue Jays lost Roy Halladay to the Phillies, and two seasons ago, losing A.J. Burnett to the Yankees, the Blue Jays pitching staff would be having this successful of a season.
Led by Shaun Marcum, and Ricky Romero, the Blue Jays sit near the top of the AL East.
I do not see the Blue Jays maintaining this type of pace, and I expect them to finish near the bottom of the AL East when the season ends.
Covey is a polished right hander who appears to be ready to pitch in the majors next season.
If Toronto begins to fall apart, Toronto should bring Covey up to the majors, and learn what he needs to refine.
The time in the bigs will pay major dividends in the long run for both Covey and the Blue Jays.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/190 lbs
School: Chipley HS (FL)
Scouting Report: In a draft class filled with high school arms, Whitson might be the most durable, and the hardest thrower out of any pitcher in this class. His fastball reaches the mid-90s, and he throws a breaking ball and good changeup, that makes all three pitches extremely difficult to hit. Dylan Covey appears more major league ready than Whitson, but Whitson might have more of an upside to his career. Whitson has a special arm, and if he works on improving some of his mechanics, he has the ability to be a dominating force on the mound. Whitson will add even more strength upon his maturation process in the majors. Whitson is a solid athlete. When we look back at the draft class, besides Jameson Taillon, Whitson has the potential to be the second best pitcher that was selected on draft day.
After the early success of Mike Leake, to go along with Johnny Cueto and closer Francisco Cordero, Whitson will be joining one of the youngest pitching rotations in baseball.
The Reds will be forming one of the most formidable staff's in the National League.
Not only are they young and talented on the mound, the Reds have two youngsters in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce who are potential superstars, and a All-Star in Brandon Phillips.
Combining the talents of the Reds, you can expect them to be a playoff contender for years to come.
Ht/Wt: 6-2/195 lbs
School: Ohio State
Scouting Report: Wimmers is a hard-throwing right hander whose fastball ranges from 90-93 mph, to go along with a curveball, that has late movement, making it difficult for hitters to hit. His third best pitch, the circle changeup, is still a work in progress. Wimmers has a power repertoire, causing some scouts to project him as a closer down the line. During the summer of 2009, he spent the summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Bourne Braves, appearing in six games including four starts, recording a 2-0 record with an ERA of 1.23, striking out 37 batters in his 22 innings of work while walking 13 batters. Wimmers will need to cut down on his walks. Although Wimmers won't blow professional hitters away, he has solidified himself as one of baseball's most promising arms in this draft, and the White Sox will be very happy when his name is called.
White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, who settled on a one-year, $7.5 million contract in his second year as an arbitration-eligible player, believes and trusts general manager Ken Williams who told the players he wasn't looking to trade anyone.
Jenks is currently nursing an injured right calf, but according to Jenks, he adamantly states the injury is not serious.
While Jenks is watching from the dugout, the White Sox have ample opportunities to try out different pitchers for the closers role, as Jenks has struggled during the 2010 season.
Chicago is the perfect situation for Wimmers to become a closer in the majors. He'll have time to pitch in the minors, and when he's ready, he can take over the reign of closer from Jenks, or whoever the closer will be.
If I were Williams, that's what I would do with Wimmers.
For all the White Sox fans, let's hope that's the case.
Ht/Wt: 6-5/220 lbs
Scouting Report: Workman has two impressive pitches with a lot of movement on both: a 92-94 mph fastball and a sharp 76-79 mph spike curveball with a lot of break. He possesses great life on his fastball, and utilizes his curveball as his strikeout pitch. Workman has a fairly simple motion from start to finish, but there are some inconsistencies in his mechanics. Being a dominating presence on the mound, Workman gets good drive and extension towards home, but has some tendencies to get a little wild. To date, he doesn't rely heavily on his changeup or his slider, but once he begins pitching on the major league level, he will need to start working both pitches into his routine. He's built to be an innings eater and teams will notice that on draft day. But until he develops into a major league pitcher, he will be spending his time getting ready for the next level in the minors.
If the Brewers are relying on Workman to be an immediate force in their rotation, it's going to be another long season for Milwaukee.
Pitcher Yovanni Gallardo and hitters Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are the only bright spots for the Brewers this season.
Prince Fielder is having an extremely disappointing year, as rumors are swirling around Milwaukee that Fielder will be traded when the trade deadline rolls around.
It appears the Brewers are in a rebuilding mode, and will lay another brick to their foundation when they select Workman in this year's draft.
He's not major league ready yet, but with his height and powerful fastball, maybe one day he will be.
Ht/Wt: 6-3/215 lbs
School: St. Edward HS, OH
Scouting Report: Allie already has a major league body, strong quick hands at the plate resulting in power to all fields, and has a cannon of an arm. Allie's fastball has reached up to 96 mph and he has one of the most dominating fastballs in this class. His lack of control is a cause for concern, and needs much improvement. His slider consistently reaches the upper 80s and breaks 90 occasionally. Allie doesn't depend heavily on his changeup, but he will need to if he wants to be successful in the pros. There is no denying Allie has one of the best pure arms in this class. Allie is also a third baseman and has the tools to make a career at third. He has shown enough comfort to at least be able to begin a pro career at the hot corner, and certainly has the accuracy and the arm for it. Although Allie is verbally committed to the University of North Carolina, the Rangers should make sure a deal with Allie gets done, because it would be a shame if this talent got away.
Current president and partial owner of the Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan is always looking to strengthen his rotation. The Rangers have a youthful and talented left side of the infield with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, and have pop in the outfield with Josh Hamilton.
Allie is a great value pick in this slot because he cannot only be a major league pitcher, but can also play the infield.
The health of Kinsler is always going be a concern, so maybe Allie will be needed to play third base down the road.
Whether he's used as a pitcher or a third baseman, there is no doubt, Allie will one day find a spot on the Rangers roster, and be a part of the Rangers future.
Ht/Wt: 6-3/195 lbs
School: Ball State
Scouting Report: Although Vitek doesn't have the build and ability to hit for power and who knows if he ever will, he is one of the best contact and pure hitters in this draft. He can also hit the ball to all directions of the field. Vitek has well-above-average speed, but that sometimes translates into problems on the base paths with poor decision making. However, Vitek does have the speed to turn a walk or a single into a double, and is a very dangerous base stealing threat. Vitek's arm is average to solid, but his defensive ability at second base is highly questionable. Vitek may be better served by playing the outfield, where he has enough speed to handle an outfield position. The Cubs will be drafting Vitek to produce runs with his speed and his contact hitting. He's currently a second baseman, but once he enters the bigs, that could certainly change.
The 2010 Cubs do not have a permanent second baseman as manager Lou Piniella is currently platooning Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot at second base.
Although Vitek may not be the ideal future second baseman for the Cubs, his bat and speed will one day earn him a spot in the starting lineup.
Ht/Wt: 6-0/205 lbs
School: Bishop Blanchet HS, WA
Scouting Report: Sale is a physical specimen, who has tremendous bat speed and can hit for power to all fields. Aside from Bryce Harper, Sale is the best pure hitter in this year’s draft class, and has all the upside in the world. Sale has potential to be a .300 hitter with big-time power, having the potential to be hit 30 home runs or more a year. Scouts state Sale is not the most athletic, but his bat and power are the ingredients for Sale to have a successful baseball career. He has a commitment to Gonzaga, so if he doesn't feel his contract is worth it, he has the option of going back to school to refine his game. If he goes back to college, next time he enters the draft, he will become the number one overall pick.
The Rays are currently in the midst of a magical season, but the future of the Rays is unknown. Unless Carl Crawford takes a pay cut, they cannot afford to sign him to a long term deal, leaving a major hole in the outfield.
Although Sale is currently a third baseman, he's too athletic to play the infield, and almost every scout sees him as a future corner outfielder.
Goodbye Crawford. Hello Sale.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/200 lbs
School: Archbishop McCarthy HS, FL
Scouting Report: Castellanos is one of the top hitters in the 2010 class. He has displayed some pretty good pop in the batter's box, has plus bat speed, and is an average hitter to all fields. Castellanos is a good young hitter, and as he continues to put on weight and mature at the next level, his power stroke will only improve with practice. Scouts report he has a tall, broad-shouldered frame similar to Scott Rolen and makes all the plays at third base with ease. He will be a future part of any team's heart of the order. The 2010 Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year has a strong arm and is a solid corner infielder. He's highly regarded for his ability to hit, and has displayed great patience at the plate.
With Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui nearing the end of their careers, the Angels are going to be looking for a bat in their lineup.
Although Kendry Morales is currently on the 15-day disabled list, the Angels are set at the first base position for quite some time.
Third baseman Maicer Itzuris is no more than an average player, and the Angels will be looking for someone with more pop, and a more powerful arm to rule the hot corner.
Castellanos can be their future third baseman, but he has some improving to do. If the Angels are patient with him, it'll pay off in the end.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/215 lbs
Scouting Report: Originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 37th pick of the 2009 draft, Paxton did not sign with the team, thus making him available for this draft. Paxton has two pitches: a fastball, which has been clocked up to 98 mph, and a short power slider. Paxton also has a changeup in his repertoire, but he hasn't displayed it at the college level. Some scouts believe Paxton is a future reliever in the majors due to his command and arm action, but others feel he can start. Paxton competes well on the mound, and is a big power lefty, who isn't that athletic.
The Astros got their bat when they selected Zack Cox with the eighth overall pick, and now have found their pitcher in Paxton.
Paxton appears to be a work in progress, but if the Astros dedicate the time to work with him, he can be a part of their future.
Paxton is certainly not being drafted to replace Roy Oswalt. He's not that good, but if the Astros expect him to be a third or fourth starter in their rotation, Paxton is there guy.
Then again, he has the stuff to be a closer, so that might be his calling when he's ready for the majors.
Ht/Wt: 6-0/185 lbs
School: Cal-State Fullerton
Scouting Report: Colon, who is recovering from a broken leg which occurred while playing for Team USA this summer, is the best defensive shortstop in this draft. Colon is a bit undersized, and must add strength entering the next level. Since he is athletic, he has the range and motion to play the shortstop position. Colon displays excellent balance throughout his swing, and is extremely quick out of the batter's box. Colon understands the shortstop position, so he understands what he is and isn't capable of doing. Colon is a plus defender with solid arm strength and has a very high ceiling as he prepares for the next level.
Not since Nomar Garciaparra have the Red Sox had an All-Star caliber shortstop manning the position.
Current shortstop Marco Scutaro is dependable, and can hold down the position until Colon is ready for the majors. It might be a few years, so the Red Sox need to be patient.
Colon has the talent, making the wait well worth it.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/210 lbs
School: Harvard-Westlake School, CA
Scouting Report: Wilson is an extremely talented, five-tool player, destined for stardom. California’s best baseball player, who is committed to Stanford, has natural power, and has displayed the ability of staying within the zone. He has extremely strong hands, but doesn't get out of the box all that well, and when he matures, he could even lose a step or two. He doesn't have the greatest arm in the world, but it is above average, and will suffice just fine for a right fielder. If needed, Wilson can play any outfield position. Scouts state Wilson is big and strong, and as he begins to fill out, he'll begin to draw comparisons to Vladimir Guerrero. Wilson has some work to do, but with his raw power, great character and work ethic, he's an extremely impressive package that will no doubt, make an impact in the majors.
Johan Santana or Carlos Gomez?
How'd that work out for Minnesota?
Thank G-d for Minnesota, Wilson is on the way.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/210 lbs
School: North Carolina
Scouting Report: Harvey has a lightning-fast fastball, and has been known to reach 97 mph on the gun, to go along with a decent changeup and a slider that shows some late movement. Although Harvey recorded 93 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched this year, he does not have that one reliable pitch that consistently gets hitters to strike out. He does depend heavily on his off-speed pitches, causing batters to put the ball in play. Harvey threw a curveball in college, but now has gone more to his decent slider, which needs to be refined. His command and control aren't great, but at 6'4", he has great mound presence and is a durable pitcher. Once a top high school prospect, Harvey will hear his named called in the first round of the draft.
Nolan Ryan loves young arms, and if he has the chance to add a young arm to his pitching staff, he is going to seize the opportunity.
Harvey may never have the stuff to be a dominant starter, but with an unhittable fastball, the Rangers might have found their closer of the future.
Ht/Wt: 6-3/195 lbs
Scouting Report: In the 2009 Cape Cod League, Eibner was used as a hitter, but all signs point to him being drafted as a pitcher. Eibner needs to improve his stamina on the mound. He has reached 94 mph with his fastball and sits comfortably in the 92-93 mph range. His slider, which has the potential to be a solid Major League pitch in the future sits between 81-84 mph, but has very little movement. He doesn't really throw a changeup, and his command is only average. Eibner is a two-way player who has some ability as an outfielder, but his future in the majors is that of a pitcher. He's an intriguing college starting pitching prospect, and has all the upside in the world to be a successful pitcher in the majors.
Not needing to fill any major holes in their lineup, the Marlins enter the 2010 draft in the thick of the NL East race.
Florida is a young and talented team, and if all their players develop into their full potential, the Marlins will be a major threat in the NL for years to come.
Having the opportunity to go to the minors and work on improving his game, Eibner should jump on this opportunity and enjoy not having to deal with the pressure of making an immediate impact.
The young arms on the Marlins staff, which include Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco, will be part of the Marlins rotation for a long time, thus, making Eibner fight for a spot on this rotation.
Ht/Wt- 6-0/185 Ilbs
School: Cal State Fullerton
Scouting Report: Brown consistently makes contact with the ball, and is extremely good at hitting the fastball. Brown might not be the biggest of outfielders, but he does provide some pop every now and then. He's a speed demon on the base paths, but according to scouts, needs to understand the "nuances of base running." He uses his speed as a weapon, but has a below average arm for an outfielder. Brown has improved playing center field, and has a better understanding of reading the ball off the bat, and with his speed, he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. He's a better hitter than people give him credit for, but there is no question, speed is his biggest weapon.
With the dynamic, young pitching trio of two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez, the San Francisco Giants are set with their pitching rotation for years to come.
However, their lackluster offense is what is preventing this team from taking the next step in becoming a serious contender in the National League.
Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey are two young studs who have a lot of pop and can carry the offense. Although Aaron Rowand is a great defensive outfielder, he has never been a great offensive threat.
Brown doesn't have the greatest arm in the world, and is an above average defensive center fielder, but if he continuously gets on base, his speed will wreak havoc on the base paths.
And Sandoval and Posey will certainly love that.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/235 lbs
School: The Citadel
Scouting Report: Wojciechowski is a big, strong right-hander who possesses plenty of arm strength. He's got a great fastball and an improved slider. He's durable enough to start, but the concern is that his command isn't where it needs to be to fit into a major league rotation. He has the potential to gain some speed on his fastball in a short relief role. He'll have every opportunity to start, but he could one day, find himself being a set up man or closer at the big league level. That might be what Wojciechowski is meant to do.
Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.
Do they really need any help right now?
I'll let you be the judge.
Ht/Wt: 6-5/190 lbs
School: Oviedo HS, FL
Scouting Report: Cole is one of the top pitchers in the 2010 class. He commands his fastball to both sides of the plate and consistently reaches the low 90s and has touched as high as 96 mph. He combines athleticism, velocity and movement with a decent curveball and a developing changeup that has dominated high school hitters. Cole is ready for the majors. Cole has a big, lean build with long arms and legs, and there is still room to physically mature. Cole has the potential to be an excellent pitcher, and there really aren't many weaknesses in his game. However, he can work on developing his slider and changeup making him an even more dangerous on the mound. He may never be as dominant as Jameson Taillon, but if he works hard, he can become very close.
The Rockies have an ace in Ubaldo Jimenez, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind adding another one. To say Cole will be the next Jimenez is putting a lot of pressure on a kid who's coming out of high school, and hasn't pitched a Major League game in his life.
Some scouts have Cole as a top 10 overall pick, so when Cole is available at this pick, he has too much potential to pass on.
And if he doesn't work out as a starter, he can become a dominating closer in the bigs.
Ht/Wt: 6-4/175 lbs
School: Henderson HS, TX
Scouting Report: Being a three-sport star for Texas, Jenkins has already committed to play football for Baylor this upcoming fall. He's shown good velocity, and throws up to 95 mph, to go along with a solid-average slider, and has displayed a feel for a changeup. Jenkins is tall, lean, athletic, with plus-arm strength making his fastball extremely lethal. Jenkins might be one of the top pure athletes in this draft class. Although he's a little rough around the edges, Jenkins has solid command of the baseball, considering he has primarily focused on football throughout his life. The kid is a remarkable talent, and if a team can pry him away from playing football this winter, they will be very fortunate down the road.
Not many teams have the name or the resume that would entice Jenkins to focus on baseball, and call it a football career. The Phillies are one of those teams, and could use a dominant relief pitcher in their bullpen.
Closer Brad Lidge has spent some time on the disabled list this season after receiving two cortisone injections in his right elbow, but Lidge is expected to return to the closer's role.
At times, the Phillies bullpen has struggled this season, and Jenkins would be a great addition in the future.
Jenkins has a decision to make: play football at Baylor or pitch for the 2008 World Series champions and two-time defending NL champions?
We'll just have to wait and find out what decision Jenkins is going to make.
Ht/Wt: 6-1/190 lbs
School: Cowan HS, IN
Scouting Report: O’Conner is very athletic and has a very strong upper body. His plus bat speed is remarkably similar to Manny Ramirez's—not a bad comparison for a an 18-year-old out of high school. O'Conner has excellent arm strength and a extremely quick release. He has been clocked in the mid-90s on the mound, and carries that arm strength into the field. He should have the athleticism to stick at short or even move behind the plate, as a pro. O'Conner has an impressive collection of tools. Scouts report his athleticism and arm strength stick out most, but his hitting and power tools are potentially equally impressive.
By selecting O'Conner the Dodgers are getting a future catcher to replace Russell Martin, or a shortstop that will replace Rafael Furcal.
Although O'Conner has been clocked in the upper 90s, his fastball doesn't have much life, to go along with a curveball and change-up that need much improvement. Therefore, O'Conner's future is either behind the plate or in the field, because it is not on the mound.
O'Conner is a talented athlete who will need to work at his game to earn a roster spot. He has the talent, and I think we will eventually see O'Conner playing in the majors.
Ht/Wt: 6-3/170 lbs
School: Barstow HS, CA
Scouting Report: Sanchez is a long and slender right hander and is one of the most projectable pitchers in the 2010 class. Sanchez has a clean and fast delivery, and sits between 92 and 94 mph on his fastball with a lot of movement. All signs point towards Sanchez consistently throwing in the mid 90s for his career, which is great for any team Sanchez ends up with. Sanchez throws a low to mid 70s curveball as his breaking ball has the potential to be a devastating major league pitch. He’ll also drop in an 80 mph changeup on occasion, making Sanchez a very valuable pick in this year's draft.
A kid from Southern California, who will be staying at home for his major league career.
Nothing is better than that.
Ht/Wt: 5-8/185 lbs
School: Woodward Academy, GA
Scouting Report: Although power is not part of his game, DeShields has the ability to hit line drives consistently to all fields. He has great speed and can wreak havoc on the base paths. He doesn't have the greatest arm for an outfielder, but has the potential to become a very good center fielder, while showing some range. DeShields has displayed laziness at times, making him a risky pick. But if a team can work on that, he's a great value pick in this slot, and is definitely worth taking a chance on.
"Like Father, Like Son."
In 1997, Delino DeShields, Sr. led the NL in triples with 14. Junior has the potential to one day lead the majors, as well.
DeShields will be a perfect fit for the Angels. He's a speedy player, who can find different ways to get on base.
Manager Mike Scioscia loves those types of players, and there is no doubt, he will certainly love the type of player DeShields will hopefully become.
Ht/Wt: 6-7/231 lbs
Scouting Report: Ranaudo was originally drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 draft by the Texas Rangers, but decided to attend LSU. He's a hard-throwing right-hander, who's displayed a mid-90s fastball, and is considered one of the best pitching prospects in the country. Ranaudo made a name for himself by winning the clinching game of the 2009 College World Series, giving the Tigers their first National Championship since 2000. He was also on the mound when LSU captured the 2010 SEC championship. He throws an average curveball, and an 80-81 mph changeup. Ranaudo suffered a stress reaction in his elbow earlier this year. Although reports indicate his injury is not an issue, Ranaudo hasn't been the same pitcher since.
Being advised by agent Scott Boras, to a go along with his injury, Ranaudo will be a risky pick and a headache entering the draft.
He'll be joining a team with a lot of young arms, and there will be no place for him in the rotation. Ranaudo is not major league ready, so he'll need to spend some time in the minors refining his command, control, and improving his pitching repertoire.
He's a great prospect, but he might not find himself pitching for the Rays any time soon.
He'll get to the majors one day, but it might be with a different team.
Carl Crawford will be patrolling the outfield for the New York Yankees next season.
Does it really matter who they draft?
I don't think so.