Draft Analysis

Inaugural Draft: Part V of a Series


New Orleans Voodoo: Grade = B+ The Voodoo made three high impact picks in the initial rounds, grabbing one of the best young pitchers in the league in Smoltz and an excellent #2 with Schourek. And while he may be almost 32 years old, Caminiti could easily lead the Aaron conference in WAR in 1995, and is a solid bet for a gold glove at the hot corner. Overall, New Orleans struck an even balance between picking for present and future value, and is poised to be good, but not yet great, both today and tomorrow. Karros is a good all-around hitter, and Floyd will be soon, but some fans are fantasizing about whom the Voodoo could have picked for more valuable positions up the middle in these rounds, especially with an eye toward building a club that maximizes run prevention. While Devereaux (and later Strawberry) offer very good veteran value in the later rounds, and Young is a nice leadoff guy and league average player at the keystone, Grudzielanek looks quite lost at the plate, and may need to take reps in the minors before the season is done, leaving a gaping hole between second and third.

SP Smoltz – A
SP Schourek – A-
3B Caminiti – A+
1B Karros – B
LF Floyd – B
SP McDowell – B
2b E. Young Sr – B+
CF Devereaux – A-
SS Grudzielanek – C-
C D. Wilson – C+

Houston 36ers: Grade = B. The 36ers picked up three iconic infielders in the first three rounds, who will make an immediate impact on the club, before switching to youthful prospects in Damon and Beech, the 2nd of which seems like a big risk for the fifth round. Kile and Guzman are good value for the rotation, but are not talented enough to carry the team, which puts more pressure on Beech to develop quickly. Jefferies as a corner outfielder in the 10th round is an absolute steal; he should hit better than Alou without Alou’s frequent defensive blunders. Lead by Grace, Houston may well score the most runs in the division, but the lack of pitching depth will prevent them from challenging New Orleans for the next couple of years.

1B M. Grace – A-
2B Biggio – A
C I. Rodriguez – A+
CF Damon – B
SP Beech – C-
SP Kile – B-
3B Livingstone – B
RF Alou – C-
SP Guzman – B+
LF Jefferies – A+

Gobbler’s Knob Turkeys: Grade = B The Turkey’s went with baseball’s iconic center fielder with the 4th pick, but with several scouts casting doubt on Griffey’s continued ability to hit for average, there is a small risk this pick may turn into an overdraft. The Turkeys stayed young, avoiding all 30+ year olds until well beyond the first ten rounds. As a result, unless/until Griffey develops further, there are no current superstars on this club, and success on the field in the near term will depend on breadth rather than depth of talent. Baerga and Alomar Jr. represent excellent value for their respective rounds, while the rotation should ring up a good number of Ks, but also a bad number of BBs. At shortstop, a weak spot across this entire division, Stocker just won’t hit enough to justify keeping his glove in the field.

CF Griffey – B+
SP Hampton – B
RF Mondesi – B
2B Baerga – A
C Alomar Jr. – A-
3B Castilla – B
SP Astacio – B+
RP Wetteland – B-
SS Stocker – D-
SP Rijo – A-

San Antonio Armadillos: Grade = B- The Armadillos get our highest grade in this division for their first two picks, landing two superstars entering their prime years in Reynolds and Sheffield. For the next three rounds, the club went with youthful prospects unlikely to have an immediate impact on the field; however, once Cordova and Lieber fully develop, the Armadillos could have a very good rotation. On the other hand, we see the Delgado pick in the fifth round as a significant overdraft. Dean Palmer looks like a good pick at first glance for the hot corner, but to avoid a comedy of errors at third the Armadillos should start teaching him first base right away. Finally, every fan loves a good knuckleballer; Candiotti gives the team a second ace behind Reynolds while they continue to build for the future. San Antonio could challenge New Orleans for fewest runs allowed in the division, but frequent gaffs in the field will allow too many unearned.

SP Reynolds – A
RF Sheffield – A+
SP Cordova – B+
SP Lieber – B-
LF Delgado – C-
LF Longmire – B
RP Nenn – B-
3B Palmer – D+
C Nevin – C+
SP Candiotti – A-

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