Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Season 1 Draft Grades -- NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks
With 3 picks in the first round, ARZ was looking to make a big splash in this season’s draft. While not signing Matt Foxx has tempered that enthusiasm some, picking up Preston Byrne in the 3rd round should certainly lift the spirits of ARZ ownership. With great makeup, he should come very close to his legit back of the rotation potential. #10 overall pick Jim Schafer should turn into a great OBP machine and his speed and baserunning skills make him a legit leadoff threat. The potential to do more was there for ARZ, but getting pitchers like Byrne in the 3rd round just doesn’t happen often, and their grade gets a bump just for that.
Overall Grade: B+
Best Pick: Preston Byrne – 3rd Round

Los Angeles Dodgers
In the beginning, WiS created an MLB world devoid of any real catching. With the #15 pick, LAD took what should turn out to be one of the better overall catchers by the time he reaches the Majors. Donnie McInerney may end up being slightly below average defensively, but he should be an average pitch caller and his offense will more than make up for whatever he may lack defensively. Geraldo Pimentel was found in the 6th round – the 6th round!! – and should also turn out to be a solid ML catcher. Greg Watson in the 2nd round is also a solid pickup. Very nice draft.
Overall Grade: B+
Best Pick: Donnie McInerney – 1st round

San Diego Padres
Owners of the #1 overall pick, and they didn’t waste it. Phil Lowery should be at worst a legit #2 starter for a first division playoff team, and has all the potential of becoming a TORP. Phil Gonzales in the supplemental round should be an above average defender at one of the most important defensive positions – CF. He probably will wind up being a bit inconsistent at the plate, but he’ll be an above average ML player when he reaches the Majors. If Bernard Townsend (2nd round) can take full advantage of his potential, he should be a very solid ML shortstop.
Overall Grade: A-
Best Pick: Phil Lowery – 1st round

San Francisco Giants
A bit of a tough draft for SFG, but not having a pick until #50 can do that to a franchise. Willy Valentine was that pick at #50, and while he projects to have elite range, his glove doesn’t quite play at CF. Being left-handed limits his defensive position options. He’s probably not more than a 5th OF, but he does have serious speed and is very smart on the bases, and his ability to play any OF position (though RF is a bit of a stretch for his arm) makes him a likely candidate to find a role on an ML squad. Not much else was found in this draft for SFG.
Overall Grade: C-
Best Pick: Willy Valentine – 1st round

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