NCAA Regionals 1st Round draftee Performances

Now that the NCAA regionals are over, lets take a look at the pundits’ first round predicted draftees, their performances and whether or not they helped/hurt their cause (apologies for length of this post in advance).

Steven Strasburg: see here for in-depth discussion already done on this board.  Verdict: was going #1 unless his arm fell off in the regionals.

Dustin Ackley 1b/of UNC: - game 1: 3/5, 2rbi 1dbl - game 2: 4/4, 2 walks, 1rbi 2runs - game 3: 3/5, 3runs 2rbi 1bb.  played some CF as well.

Verdict: 10/14 on the weekend?  Absolutely solidified his status as #2 overall pick.

Kyle Gibson, RHP Missouri - started game 2 (elimination game) vs Monmouth: 8ip 6hits 8ks 0bbs, 0runs 102pitches, moves to 11-3 (velocity down whole game 83-87 per Law).

Verdict: improved his cause with 8 shutout innings albeit against an inferior team.  Velocity issues very concerning; probably costing himself draft slots.

Alex White, rhp UNC - started game 2 (winners bracket) vs Coastal Carolina: 4 2/3, 4hits 5runs, 5ks 4walks, 104 pitches (no decision).

Verdict: not effective at all; 100+ pitches for less than 5 innings, close to a 2.00 whip.  He needs to step it up in the super regional.

Mike Leake, rhp Arizona state - started game 2 (winners bracket) vs Oral Roberts: 9ip, 5hits 1run, 15ks 2bbs ? pitches (7th cg of season).  Leake also named pac10 pitcher of the year and the academic all-american of the year this week.

Verdict: I’m starting to come around on Leake.  Despite pitching against weaker opponents all year, he continues to be dominant despite not having the best fastball speed (88-92 range).  I can’t wait to see him against Clemson in the super regional.  The Academic all-american part is very imporant too; it means he’s got a good head on his shoulders and can’t possibly be a knucklehead.  I’m thinking a good comparison might be Mike Mussina, who finished up his Economics degree from Stanford in 3 years so he could have it before starting his Baltimore career.

Other names further down in the 1st round projections that aren’t necessarily in the Nationals drafting range but who were playing this weekend:

Mike Minor: lhp Vanderbilt: - started game 1 vs Middle Tennessee state: 8ip 10hits 5runs 7ks 4bbs 134 pitches loss (moves to 6-5 on season) - started game 6 vs Louisville on 3 days rest: 3 2/3, 4hits 3runs 4ks 2bbs 68 pitches loss (6-6 on season)

Verdict: one really bad start and a less-effective start gives Minor 2 losses in the regionals and he continues his freefall down draft boards.  He was a top 10-talent at the beginning of the year, now he’ll be end of 1st round.

Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College - game1: 1/5, 1run 1rbi - game2: 1/8, 1rbi, 1bb (this, by the way, was the infamous 25 inning game.  Sanchez caught all 25 innings.  Unbelievable.  If you didn’t see it, here’s Keith Law complaining about the use of some of the pitchers, one of whom pitched 13 scoreless innings on 169 pitches.) - game3: 2/4, 1rbi

Verdict: Sanchez has rocketed up the draft boards and has gone from a supplimental rounder to a potential top 5 pick (if you believe Keith Law’s latest thoughts).  I say great news: if Sanchez goes to Pittsburgh at #4, that means Washington may have one more pitching prospect to choose from at #10.

Billy Bullock, rhp, Florida (closer) - game1: 1ip, 1hit 1run, 0bb 0k gets the win 3-2 on the year - game2: 1ip, 2ks ? pitches - game3: 1ip, 1hit 1bb, 2ks

Verdict: as people have noted here before, it would be unwise to draft a college closer.  For his 3 innings of work he had a 9.00 whip and a 3.00 era with 4ks.  Is that good?  Is that bad?  No way to tell really.

Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana University - started game 1 vs Louisville: 7ip, 5hits 5 runs (1 earned), 6k 4bb 118 pitches, loss 12-2 on year

Verdict: His defense certainly didn’t help him against one of the better teams in the tourney in Louisville.  He might have improved his late first round positioning a bit.  Still had a great year.

Rich Poythress, Georgia, 1B - game1: 4/4  3home runs?!, 4 runs 2 walks 7 rbi - game2: 1/4, 1hr, 1run 2rbi 1k - game3: 0/2 2bbs

Verdict: 4 homers in 3 games on the biggest stage of the season?  He Definitely earned himself some cash this weekend.

Kendal Volz, Baylor, RHP - relief in game 2 vs LSU: 2 2/3, 2hits 1run, 2ks 4bbs 54 pitches, gets the loss

Verdict: wow, the freefall for Volz continues.  Didn’t even get a start in the regionals.  He started the year with top 10 potential and now might not get drafted in the 2nd round.  I’ll bet that someone takes a flier on him considering how good he was the past 2 years.

Andrew Oliver, Oklahoma State, LHP - starts game2 (winners bracket) vs Clemson: 7 1/3, 8hits 2runs, 6ks 1walk ND. ? pitches - relieved game6 (champsh game) vs Clemson: 1/3 inning, 1k

Verdict: pitched very well against a tough Clemson team.  6 of the 8 hits were singles.  He’s had a tough year; challenging the NCAA legally over the use of an agent and then struggling all year.  Probably moves himself into supp-1st territory.

Jared Mitchell, LSU, OF - game1: 1/4, run rbi (batting 8th) - game2: 2/3 hr, 2rns 1rbi 2bb 2ks. (batting 6th) - game3: 2/4 run, bb (leadoff)

Verdict: was seen as a late 1st round talent to begin with but was batting 8th in the first game?  Had a decent regional.  Season stats: .333/.478!/.569 with 50bbs, 9hrs, 33/41 sbs in 59 games.  Sounds like a Rickey Henderson-type CF/leadoff hitter.  Law has him ranked #36 overall.  Perhaps a Washington 2nd rounder?

Sam Dyson, South Carolina, RHP - started game1 vs GMU: 7ip 7hits 3runs 5ks 4bb  130pitches, victory 9-4 on season - relieved game6; 0ip, gave up game-winning hit to cost his team the tourney.

Verdict: Handled a good-hitting George Mason team but wasn’t overpowering.  Law has him #44, so early-2nd round sounds right.  Might be there for the Nationals, but would we want a third college pitcher in a row?

Alex Wilson, Texas A&M, RHP - relieved game 1: 4ip, 8hits 5 runs, 4ks 3bb 82 pitches.

Verdict: he’s right there with Bullock and Minor, all ranked mid #30s for supp-1st territory.  Cost himself positioning in the regional thought, no doubt.

These first round-possible talents didn’t make the tournament, so there’s no helping/hurting at this point: Grant Green ss USC: AJ Pollock, CF, Notre Dame Rex Brothers, lhp, Lipscomb Chad Jenkins, RHP, Kenesaw State (Man, i hope Baseball America is wrong about us wanting this guy this early.  Law has him #48!) Kyle Heckathorn, lhp, Kennesaw State Drew Storen, rhp, Stanford Brett Jackson, of, University of California Tim Wheeler, cf, Sacramento State James Paxton, Kentucky, LHP Jason Stoffel, Arizona, RHP

Last note: only 5 of these guys will be playing next weekend.  Ackley and White with UNC, Leake for ASU, Bullock for UFlorida and Mitchell with LSU.

  1. #1 by Cole - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:10

    Jim Callas at BA says that Ackley is “going to contend for batting titles and hit 20-plus home runs per season.” One scouting director says, “Ackley is the best hitter I’ve seen in years.” With quality pitching available at #10, isn’t Ackley, as an easier sign and a centerfielder, just a little bit tempting at #1? I’m not saying that I’d do it, but it sure seems that I’d have to at least consider it.

  2. #2 by Todd - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:20

    Its the Thomas Boswell argument! Draft a hitter instead of a pitcher if at all possible. Ackley may be the consensus #2 but I’m not seeing anything that makes me thing we should draft him ahead of the “greatest pitching prospect of all time.”

  3. #3 by Dick - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:31

    As I’ve noted many times before, Leake has better stats than Strasburg, except in Ks. Arguably faced better talent, too. I’ll be slitting my wrists if he is there at 10 and we pass on him. Hopefully Mike Rizzo’s dad has seen him and sold him on Leake!

  4. #4 by cjrugger - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:40

    Nice wrapup Brian. I cant wait to see Leake this weekend, he could work out well at 10. Gibson and White are sliding

    Yeah Cole I am very intrigued by Ackley. Hopefully he doesnt sign and we can take him next year

    Intl note from about a big time workout:

    According to one estimate, more than 60 scouts attended the workout, including top executives from the Cardinals, Cubs, Mariners, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers, Mets, Padres, Tigers, Braves, Diamondbacks and Rockies

    Not good, although Jose Alberto Peña, a 16-year-old power-hitting outfielder, did work out for us. They have him in the 500K-1mil range

  5. #5 by Ted Leavengood - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:45

    We don’t need to take Leake over Strasburg, but Ackley/Strasburg is at least an interesting argument. The hype around Strasburg seems justified, but Boswell is correct as well. And at the end of the day, does having Ackley and Mike Leake help you more than Strasburg and Jenkins. I hope BA is wrong about Jenkins too. Leake would be a much better choice. Signing Leake and Strasburg would be a very nice draft.

  6. #6 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:54

    CJ: Who was at the “big time” workout? Was it for one player or several? Does it say the Nats weren’t there?

  7. #7 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 10:58

    I found this on Pena in a comment on an earlier NFA post.

    Peña has attracted interest from Cincinnati, Boston, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers. According to one observer, Peña outshined top prospect Mateo at a workout Monday at the Dodgers’ Dominican academy by hitting a home run in a game and then also hitting a ball over the batter’s eye in centerfield during batting practice.

    “He shows some raw power and he is a decent athlete,” Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White, who attended Monday’s workout, wrote in an e-mail. Said one international scouting director of Peña: “He’s a good kid with talent and plus makeup.”

  8. #8 by Wallyball - June 2nd, 2009 at 11:06

    If they are both available at #10, I would go with Gibson over Leake, with one very big caveat (although I would be happy with either). What is with Gibson’s velocity drop? If it persists, it is usually a reliable sign of injury.

    And I think that it has to be Strasburg at #1.

  9. #9 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 11:11

    Wally: Gibson says he has forearm tightness. He said it’s not a big deal and it’s just from pitching a lot this season. I haven’t read any reaction from scouts or anything and as of now, he still seems to be a top 10 pick.

    My guess is the Nats will go for someone like Jenkins or Gibson at 10 and more of a signability guy at 50. Not someone in the Purke/Tate range, but more of a Smoker/Hood pick. Perhaps someone like Dan Fields or Brian Goodwin.

    Brian: To answer your question, I would definitely take a third college pitcher if that was the best player there.

  10. #10 by cjrugger - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:00

    John- I wouldnt consdier Smoker/Hood a signability pick, Smoker was about Slot and Hood was over

    Re the tryout: It was run by a buscon showing his players off against a canadian junior national team. He hit the HR off of a top 3 round talent

  11. #11 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:05

    I thought Smoker was considered a tough sign. I seem to recall him being considered a top 10-15 pick by some. Didn’t it take until nearly the deadline to sign him?

    Who hit the HR? Pena?

  12. #12 by Eric - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:06


    Now that the Nats are on pace to challenge for the worst record of all time, who are the possibilities for #1 overall next year?

  13. #13 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:18

    Eric: I like Anthony Renaudo of LSU. He’s 6′7″ 231 RHP for LSU. You should be able to see him play this weekend. He throws 91-93, touching 96. It’s always down in the zone. He has a good curveball and change as well. He’s shown very good command. He missed most of last season and is young. He doesn’t turn 19 until September 9. He has a chance to make a big leap next season IMO.

    Jameson Taillon is a HS pitcher in Texas. He’s 6-6 225. He’s already hitting 95 at 17. He pitched a playoff game with a blister on his hand and gutted it out after a bad start. He’s another guy that could take a huge leap next season.

    Those two are my top 2 at the moment. Deck McGuire, a RHP for GA Tech sounds good as well(90-94 sinking fastball and slurve). As does LHP Drew Pomeranz of Ole Miss(Fastball, curve, change). I believe both will be in action this weekend.

    Kyle Blair of SD is a power sinker pitcher, with a great slider. He was injured much of this season. If he stays healthy he could dominate next year. It would be funny to have both a an SDSU and a USD player at the top of the rotation.

    Tony Thompson of Kansas is the most interesting hitter to me. He had 20 HRs and 80+ RBIs. He’s an outstanding defensive 3B according to those who’ve seen him. 6′5″ 220. If he takes another leap forward, he could be in the mix.

    Renaudo would be my guess at this point, especially if he adds velocity and continues to improve his command.

  14. #14 by Brian Oliver - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:18

    There is no Strasburg in 2010.

    Ask BA touched onthe 2010 class in March

    Anthony Ranaudo (Louisiana State; more on him below), Brandon Workman (Texas) and Kyle Blair (San Diego) are lining up as the next three picks, follow by a prep righthander: Jameson Taillon (The Woodlands, Texas, HS), by a nose ahead of A.J. Cole (Oviedo, Fla., High). Most of the top college position players for 2010 are off to slow starts this spring, and the best of them looks like slick-fielding Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon. The top high school position prospect is Aycock High (Pikeville, N.C.) shortstop Connor Narron, whose father Jerry played and managed in the big leagues
  15. #15 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:19

    Sorry Ranaudo turns 20 this year.

  16. #16 by Brian Oliver - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:19

    along with UNC RHP Matt Harvey

  17. #17 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:20

    Harvey has great stuff, but was brutal this year. I would not want to be the UNC pitching coach with the way he and White and fallen off a cliff this season.

  18. #18 by Brian Oliver - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:30

    John – I’m with you 100%.

    I’m hoping some college bats develop in the summer leagues (Cape Cod, etc).

  19. #19 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:37

    Brian: That’s what I’m hoping for as well. Thompson as a power hitting OFer would be nice. Colon could be good, but doesn’t seem to have the tools of a #1 overall pick.

    I’m really hoping guys like Hood, Nieto, and Ramirez take off. There is definitely a shortage of bats.

  20. #20 by Brian Oliver - June 2nd, 2009 at 12:43

    I was scanning through PGCC mid-year review of the top college sophomores (AKA 2010 draft candidates)

    Catchers: Blake Forsythe (Tenn), Tobias Streich (WV – 2009 draft eligible), Yasmani Grandal (Miami FL), Rafael Neda (NM), & Cody Stanley (UNC Wilmington)

    First basemen: Cody Hawn (Tenn), Mike Canha (Cal), Andy Wilkins (Ark), Curt Casali (Vandy), & Matt Smith (Ole Miss – 2009 draft eligible) along with Hunter Morris (Auburn)

    Second basemen: Phil Gosselin (UVA), Carter Jurica (Kan St), Ross Wilson (Bama), JB Brown (Pacific), & Chris Bisson (Kentucky)

    Third basemen: Tony Thompson (Kansas), Greg Hopkins (St Johns), Jayson Langfels (E Kentucky), Dan DiBartolomeo (WV) & Mickey Wiswall (BC)

    Shortstops: Ricky Hague (Rice), Josh Adams (FL), Derek Dietrich (GA Tech), Danny Munoe (Fresno St) and David Herbek (JMU) along with Cristian Colon (Fullerton), LeMahieu (2009 draft eligible) and Devin Lohman (Long Beach St)

    Outfielders: Jarrett Parker (UVA), Tyler Holt (Fl St), Ryan LaMarre (Michigan), Trent Mummey (Auburn), Mike McGee (Fl St), Michael Choice (Texas-Arlington), Dan Grovatt (UVA) Devin Harris (East Carolina – 2009 draft eligible), Mike McCann (Manhattan), and Cory Vaughn (SD St)

  21. #21 by Todd - June 2nd, 2009 at 13:18

    Deck McGuire looks good on the year as Georgia Tech’s friday starter (11-2, 3.50 era, 1.27 whip in 16 starts, 118ks/41bbs in 100 ip). But I like Drew Pomeranz’s power pitching stats better (8-4 3.46 era, 1.27whip in 15 starts, 114/34 in 88ip). 114 ks in 88 innings, nice. Plus, in 2 regional appearances, Pomeranz pitched 8 shutout innings vs Monmouth, and then took a no-hitter into 7th pitching a complete game 2-hitter with 0 earned runs and 16ks on 2days rest vs WKentucky in reg champ. That’s pretty clutch.

  22. #22 by Pilchard - June 2nd, 2009 at 13:54

    With the top pick next year, the Nats need the “best HS baseball prospect ever” Bryce Harper to take his GED before the 2010 draft.

  23. #23 by Brian Oliver - June 2nd, 2009 at 14:00

    Pilchard – It would be nice from a selfish “we want him in DC” point of view. But I say let the kid enjoy his senior year of high school, he’ll still be the clubhouse favorite in 2011

  24. #24 by SlowPitch63 - June 2nd, 2009 at 14:01

    My vote is for Strasburg and then Leake. I agreee with the Mussina comparison. After that I would say rounds 3-40 best player available and 41-50 best college player available. Brian made a point last year, unless I misunderstood it, that HS players at the end of the draft have a lot to gain by going to school and improving while college players, especially seniors, really have no where else to go and are much more likely to sign for very modest bonuses.

    Let’s play two!

  25. #25 by Ronny - June 2nd, 2009 at 14:20

    Forget that. If this Bryce Harper kid can find a way to come out early. I say let him do it. Because as bad as the Nationals suck now, I don’t think they will be #1 pick bad when they finish the 2010 season. We can’t be that bad 3 years in a row(can we?). Maybe if we finished somewhere like 5 or 8 this year and then have another season like we had in 08 in 2010 we can get Bryce, but 3 first overall picks in a row isn’t going to happen.

  26. #26 by rukidding - June 2nd, 2009 at 14:21

    How bad did the Ohio State pitchers hurt their draft status this past weekend. The 24 runs given up to Georgia looked good compared to the 37 given up to Florida State. Brian any of the Florida State players being mentioned in the draft?

  27. #27 by mfeld - June 2nd, 2009 at 16:28

    Can you imagine if we grabbed Strasburg and Leake? The two best pitchers in college baseball…that would be like drafting Clemens and Glavine in the same class.

    Make it so Rizzo!!!

  28. #28 by John - June 2nd, 2009 at 18:19

    Pomeranz is inconsistent. If you look at the two starts before the regionals, he gave up four runs in five innings and five runs in 5 2/3 or something like that. That and character issues puts him behind Ranaudo and McGuire for me. Let’s see what he does this weekend, later this summer if he pitches, and obviously next season.

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