2008 MLB Draft – Revised First Round
The Major League Baseball Amateur draft doesn’t really receive as much attention as the other professional sports drafts. But us baseball enthusiasts pay close attention to our organizations' top prospects and previous draft picks.
This is a revised version of the 2008 MLB first round, which still is unproven. The list was inspired by Jim Callis’s Baseball America 2007 revised first round.
1. Gordan Beckham CWS: This was the hardest ranking I had to make. I still believe Gordan Beckham is a great player, even though this year has really been a down year. He shouldn’t have been in trade talks. I think he’ll rebound and play like he did when he first came up.
2. Buster Posey SF: We can’t deny it. Buster has been the most exciting player on the San Franciso Giants roster. He also added a 20 game hit streak to his resume. Oh and his defensive skills make him the best buy of the 2008 MLB Draft.
3. Brian Matusz BAL: He’s had a mediocre year for a terrible team. Last season he showed glimpses of what he can do. He’ll rebound next season.
4. Eric Hosmer KC: The Royals organization is set for the future with the power produced between him and Moustakas. The Royals have a legitimate chance at becoming a contender if all these young guns pan out.
5. Jordan Lyles HOU: Only 20 years of age, Jordan Lyles shot through the farm system for the Astros. He was a sandwich pick in 2008 and has proven to date that he is a top five prospect. Lyles posted a 7-9 record with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP. While his Triple-A resume wasn’t great, he might be able to break into the Astros rotation sometime in 2011.
6. Pedro Alvarez PIT: He doesn’t move much on my list. He has the power at the major league level, now I’m just waiting for the average to come up. I don’t think he’ll be sticking at third base due to his glove skills. His best fit might be first or even the outfield.
7. Daniel Hudson ARZ: In his first full year of professional ball, Hudson owned hitters at every level in 2009. For some odd reason, the Chicago White Sox decided to place him in Triple-A to start the season and have a washed up Freddy Garcia take his role. The White Sox gave up on Hudson, who’s proven them wrong since being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s currently 7-2 with a 2.58 ERA, while holding opponents to a .199 batting average. He is my favorite player out of this draft.
8. Ike Davis NYM: As a New York Mets fan, the 2008 draft might just be promising. We already have one of the pieces from the draft in Ike Davis. Davis has blasted 18 homeruns this season with the major league club and has played gold glove caliber defense. While his average is not what we expected (.261), he will be playing in a Mets uniform for a while.
9. Justin Smoak SEA: I’m not a big fan of Justin Smoak. I believe the power is there and the All-Star numbers will be, but at this very moment, he hasn’t proven himself at the major league level. He’s only 23 but will start the 2011 season as a 24 year old. Will it hurt his status? No. But I do expect him to produce next season, or he might just end up like ex teammate Chris Davis, a minor league stud but a nobody at the top level.
10. Casey Kelly BOS: The 2010 season for Casey Kelly has gone absolutely sour. I don’t think it’ll hurt him so much as he’s only 20, but he’s got some time before we see him at Fenway. Still a great prospect and a future star. And if worse comes to worst, maybe he’ll make a transition to hitting like Rick Ankiel or Adam Loewan.
11. Christian Friedrich COL: Injury has hampered Friedrich’s seasons this year, though he wasn't performing well prior to that (3-6, 5.05 ERA). I still have high hopes for him and expect him to rebound next season.
12. Jay Jackson CHI-NL: A steal of their own, the Chicago Cubs drafted Jay Jackson as a 9th round selection out of college. He’s proved to every team before the Cubs that he deserved a higher selection. In his career of three seasons, Jackson has posted a 3.74 ERA. He’s pitched the 2010 season in Triple-A, posting a 4.63 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP and a 2.48 SO/BB ratio. I guarantee that Jackson will start the 2011 season in the Cubs starting rotation, as they are in desperate need of help.
13. Danny Espinosa WAS: So far, he’s producing at the major league level. Recently, he crushed two homeruns against the New York Mets. The Nationals are lucky to have a young combo up the middle for years to come. (Ian Desmond + Danny Espinosa=Success!!)
13. Tim Beckham TB: I didn’t really like the selection of Tim Beckham as the number one overall pick in the 2008 draft. Hell, I never really saw the hype about him. Is it his great glove or blazing speed? I’m not sure. All I know is he has a while before he comes up. Not to mention the fact that Jason Bartlett is blocking him for some time to come.
14. Jake Odorizzi MIL: Odorizzi made Brewers fans forget the terrible signing of 2007 first rounder Evan Fredrickson. Jake Odorizzi found his groove this season, with a 7-3 3.43 ERA in Class-A Wisconsin. Posting an eye-blowing 10.1 SO/9, Odorizzi has made himself a household name. He’ll be blowing up on all of your prospect sheets next year.
15. John Lamb KC: The Kansas City Royals farm system is stacked with talent. Leading the way is Mike Moustakas, followed by Eric Hosmer, and not far behind is Aaron Crow, Mike Montgomery, Daniel Duffy, Wil Myers and now John Lamb. Lamb could be considered the biggest steal in this draft. A 20 year old lefty drafted in the 5th round, Lamb has rode three different team buses this season, the latest for the Double-A NW Arkansas Naturals. When Mike Montgomery went down with an injury, Lamb got his turn to shine. Lamb posted a brilliant 10-7 record with a 2.38 ERA, in addition to 159 K’s in just 147.2 innings pitched. Lamb will likely start 2011 back in Double-A but could be a late season call up. All there is to know is that the Royals will have one of the best homegrown rotations in the coming years.
16. Brett Wallace HOU: Just like Smoak, he’s another guy who’s been given a chance to produce and just hasn’t. He’s been traded three times and is now 24 years of age. He doesn’t play third anymore, which makes him much less valuable. It will be interesting to see what the Astros do with Wallace because, if they think Castro is a bigger prospect, you can guarantee a position switch for Castro, and Wallace to be the odd man out yet again.
17. Andrew Cashner CHI-NL: Andrew Cashner hasn’t been my favorite pitcher. I really wanted to see him remain a starter, but he’s been converted to a relief pitcher, looking like the Chicago Cubs future closer. He’s been god-awful this season at the top level. To go along with a 5.40 ERA, Cashner has had some control issues (27 BB’s) and when he does get the ball across the plate, hitters seem to have him figured out (.274 opponents average).
18. Tyler Chatwood LAA: Another guy who shot through the system this year, Tyler Chatwood might have been roughed up in his only outing for Triple-A Salt Lake, but he’s got a lot of promise. He’s very young and could be the next phenomenal pitcher out of the Angels organization as their trend of drafting high school players continues.
19. Derrick Gibson BOS: Down year. I expect him to be moved somewhere else. Excellent speed to go along with his other skills.
20. Kirk Nieuwenhuis NYM: He’s my current favorite New York Mets prospect. He’s an excellent defender, hits for power and knows his gaps. He also adds a little speed to his arsenal. While he has struggled at Triple-A Buffalo, he’ll have to make adjustments in order to reach the majors. He’s not along as Lucas Duda is currently struggling in the majors (although Duda didn’t in Triple-A).
21. Jason Castro HOU: His defense is great, his bat this year has been another story.
22. Anthony Gose TOR: Very fast, very exciting. He’s coming very soon.
23. Mike Montgomery KC: If Montgomery didn’t get injured this season, he’d be higher up on this list. But due to injury, he’s down here. He still racks up strikeouts and is a very crafty lefty reminding me of Tom Glavine sometimes. It’s going to be interesting to see where he projects in the Royals rotation in the coming years.
24. Ethan Martin LAD: Another guy with a mediocre season, he might end up as a reliever, not too sure yet.
25. Tyson Ross OAK: Tallest pitcher on the list, standing at a staggering 6’6”. He showed dominance in his brief stint in Triple-A this season, averaging 10.7 SO/9.
26. Ryan Westmoreland BOS: One of my favorite players and stories ever in the game of baseball. He’ll resume baseball activities this year in winter ball. I’m really pulling for him to make an impact, and if he does, a movie will follow.
27. Brett Lawrie MIL: Very young. Once Rickie Weeks leaves Milwaukee, he’ll be in line to take over for many years to come. Has a good bat and outstanding speed (30 SB’s and 16 Triples)
28. Jaff Decker SD: What happened to the power? He’s still doing better then half the first round picks from 2008.
29. Zach Collier PHI: Meh.
30. Destin Hood WAS: Big kid (6’1” 225), has shown gap power with 30 doubles this season. Could potentially become a Mike Cameron kind of guy.
31. Yonder Alonso CIN: Alonso should probably be higher up on my list. He’s shown gap power again, as well as homerun power with 12 jacks on the year. He’s also hit for average this season with a splendid .296 average.
32. Dee Gordon LAD: Probably the fastest man in the minor leagues, Dee Gordan is the shortstop of the future for the Dodgers. His 53 steals is signs of early Jose Reyes and as he plays more games we could easily see that number eclipse 70 stolen bases.