In what might go down as the most disappointing yet most exciting draft ever, the MLB Blog was on hand to give a blow by blow account of draft night. Ace reporter FW_Kekionga (no relation to ace GM FW_Kekionga) was there to record the live proceedings held at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Here is the draft as it happened, raw and uncensored!
6:50pm - The air in the room is electric, commissioner hopkinsheel is on the stage giving his last few bits of his pre draft speech, and in 10 minutes San Francisco will be on the clock. The Giants have already announced their intention to draft 1B Jeff Phelps, the monster slugger sensation from Suffolk County Community College-Grant Campus. That's right, SCCCGC, more initials than a directional college from North Dakota! Word on the street is that Phelps will be happy to play for a team with a mere two initials on the ball cap.
6:56pm - Rumblings have abounded about how poor this draft class is, and the top 5 teams have all expressed disappointment in having to choose from this crop of players, with owners FW_Kekionga and hurricane384 calling it "underwhelming." The lack of draft buzz pretty much cemented that opinion. Still, it is draft night and all the owners are at least mildly excited about the prospects of new talent.
6:59pm - hopkinsheel has left the podium and a video display is being projected to the big screen showing great players from the past three years of MLB history. The big question is, "are any of these new players going to ever be able to perform well enough to end up in a video themselves?" Consensus answer is no.
7:00pm - SF GM Allsox is officially on the clock. Although everyone in attendance knows who he is going to pick he seems to be waiting until the last minute to drop his card off with the commissioner. Sources indicate he is working an angle that would possibly trade Phelps for a seasons worth of paid team salary and a fifth of Jack Daniels. There was a deal in place with Anaheim but SF backed out after the Angels GM mskakunan lowballed Allsox with a fifth of Old Crow instead.
7:05pm - It's official! Jeff Phelps is the first pick of the season 4 draft. He makes his way to the podium and dons a Giants jersey with a giant smile, knowing that he really lucked out to be the top pick as 1B with elite power but limited durability and ability to pick up movement at the plate. Had this been any other year he would be looking at 1/2 the bonus money. Still, Allsox is pleased, although that may be attributable to the drink glass in his hand.
7:06pm - Now the big question arises, who will be picked second? Anaheim has been mum on the subject, and they are taking their sweet time getting their envelope to the front. Cincy GM hurricane384 can be seen nervously pacing back and forth while checking his depth chart every 3 seconds. The look on his face is grave, and he seems to be sweating quite a bit from the stress.
7:09pm - Still nothing from the Anaheim camp. Their high school scouting was pretty slim so you would have to think they will be taking a college kid here.
7:10pm - At the last second the Angels deliver their envelope and with the second pick of the draft select SP Trever Crawford from Liberty University! The Angels fan section erupts as mskakunan presents the lefty with his jersey. He looks pretty thrilled. Meanwhile the Reds GM hurricane384 looks as if he has just seen his Ferrari catch on fire, not happy at all.
7:11pm - Crawford is a hard throwing lefty with great control, great GB/FB skills, excellent pitches, and good stamina. But he is a bit of an injury risk, and more importantly, has real trouble against right handed hitting. It may have been a bit of a reach to take him 2nd overall, but sadly he was the best college pitcher available this season, and took full advantage of that, leaving school at 19 years old.
7:12pm - The Reds camp is scrambling, you can tell they clearly wanted either Phelps or Crawford. Meanwhile the Detroit GM dakar is looking on in amusement, and seems to have already resigned himself to a less than desirable draft pick. In his camp are his scouts, his manager, and the rap crew D12. Looks like there is going to be a Detroit party going on no matter what.
7:13pm - For the first time activity in the Phillies camp can be seen. GM FW_Kekionga can be seen talking rapidly with his head scout. Could they have something up their sleeve? They invested quite heavily in scouting this year, maxing out both college and high school budgets, while the Reds didn't invest at all in the prep school kids.
7:15pm - Having run out of time (and options) the Reds submit their pick to the commish, RP Ned Gold out of the University of Mississippi. Gold dons his Reds jersey and GM hurricane384 does his best to look happy about it, but he is a very bad actor.
7:16pm - Ned Gold is a.... Wait! Phillies GM FW_Kekionga is running up immediately after the Reds announcement, trying to get his pick in to lock down the Reds selection. The first three GM's are looking on quite obviously stunned and confused! I'll have more as soon as I figure out what is going on here.
7:16pm - Meanwhile, Gold is the best relief prospect in the draft, he has wicked control and nasty stuff, great movment, pitches, etc... He is the complete package for a shutdown closer. But normally relievers aren't chosen #3 overall.
7:17pm - The commissioner announces the Phillies pick at #4 overall, SP Sam Phelps from Clarksville HS, Clarksville AR. Simultaneously the Giants, Reds, Angels, and Tigers GM's all look up in complete confusion, then immediately start looking back down at their draft charts. You can see now Giants GM Allsox frantically yelling at his team for paperclipping the Sam Phelps file to the Jeff Phelps file, mskakunan of the Angels still looking confused, and Reds GM hurricane384 trying to leave through the back door. Tigers GM dakar looks stunned, but quickly recovers and downs a 40oz with D12 to dull the pain. All the while Phillies GM FW_Kekionga is leprechaun hopping up to the front.
7:18pm - Sam Phelps isn't in the building to be at the draft, as his parents said he needed to study for finals, but from what we can gather about him he is an elite SP prospect. The Phillies scouting team says he projects to elite control, splits, pitches, and pretty much everything else. If this is true it is a stunning development, as he would clearly be the top player in the draft pool this year. It's shocking that four of the top five teams missed this guy!
7:20pm - Houston GM drichar, clearly amused by this spectacle, submits the Astros pick at #5, SS Adam Hannahan, from Cresten HS in Stuart IA. Hannahan is everything you would expect from a top 5 pick, an above average hitter and defender at the position, and a great all around utility pick. It's definitely a safe pick, as Hannahan will clearly be a big leaguer, but whether or not he will be an all star is up for debate.
7:22pm - Tigers GM dakar throws his papers down in disgust, walks up to the podium, and hands a hastily scribbled note to the commissioner. It appears the Tigers pick at #6 is SP Howard Watkins, from Rarity Valley Community College. The commissioner gets a bit of a shocked look as dakar then says, "screw it, this sucks" and leaves the front to go back to his desk to hang with D12. It looks like D12 aren't the only ones over at the desk, as now hurricane384 and Allsox seem to have left their teams to share in the misery over some Colt .45s. Over at the Angels table mskakunan still looks shocked.
7:23pm - Howard Watkins can basically be described as very similar to Trever Crawford, but not quite as good.
7:27pm - The Indians continue the run on pitchers with the selection of SP Chance Malloy, as GM abeseman hands him a Jersey. Chance is a good name for this young fellow, as that is what you are taking every time you put him on the mound thanks to his control. But when he has it, his stuff is pretty good.
7:28pm - Just got a text on my phone, there's an afterparty in the suite that dakar is staying at, word is Eminem is going to be there in addition to the D12 B team. Text also says there will be beer and ladies.
7:29pm - Looks like every GM who has made their pick, and some who haven't, are leaving the building, following the Detroit crew out the door.
7:30 - There are obviously more picks, but forget this, it's not like any of them are going to be any good. Look for my tweets from the party! Welcome to D12 World!