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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Kevin Goldstein's Draft Preview

In today's Future Shock column:
24. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Nobody really has any idea what the Angels are doing with their back-to-back picks. They love Mike Trout, and will pounce on him if available, but he's gone in this scenario. Chad James needs a home, and as a tall, projectable lefty who's been clocked at speeds as high as 95 mph this year, he could go much higher. On the other hand, he could have some signability issues this low.
Pick: Chad James, LHP, Yukon HS (OK)

25. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: If there's one other pattern for the Angels, it's their affinity for young local talent, and Jiovanni Mier is the only high school shortstop on the board who looks like he can stay at the position and is worthy of a late first-round selection. Reviews are mixed on him however, as some see him as a front-line defender with a 70 arm, while others see him as a 45-50 runner with a good first step and merely solid arm strength. This is not a projection made with much intelligence, other than the fact that it just kind of makes sense.
Pick: Jiovanni Mier, SS, Bonita HS (CA)


Massive Helium Watch: Reymond Fuentes, OF. The top talent in Puerto Rico has been in the US this week, and his private workouts have been nothing short of stunning. He's a 70-plus runner with impressive bat speed and some power, and the teams that like him think he could develop into a true power/speed threat in center field. He wasn't even in my Top 50 on Saturday, but in the last 24 hours he's been attached to teams as high as Detroit at #9 (where his workout for them bordered on legendary), to plenty of teams picking in the 20s. Most likely to take a shot at him? The Astros at 21, the Angels with one of their picks at 24 and 25, or the Rays at 30.

Update: Related stuff in his Monday Ten Pack:

Scott Boras, Scott Boras Corporation
I received a phone call over the weekend from a big-league executive, and we began a discussion about Saturday's Top 50 Draft Prospects article. "Did you notice what the first five have in common?" I was asked. I certainly didn't notice it while writing the piece, but another glance and I required just seconds to put it all together: all five are being advised by Boras. It might be his greatest draft ever, and the Boras Factor is wreaking havoc both for people working on mock drafts and for teams working on their war-room boards.

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