Thursday, June 05, 2008

Happy Draft Day

As a Tigers fan, one thing to watch for is the reaction of teams to bonus demands this morning. Andrew Miller and Rick Porcello weren't thought to be available until they scared teams away right before the draft. Catcher Buster Posey of Florida State, once thought to be the first choice of the Rays wants a $12-millon bonus. This will likely be enough to scare several teams away. Could he fall all the way to 21?

Speaking of players who fell because of Bonus demands, there is a premium article on today with computer projections of each of last year's draft picks. To put it nicely, Porcello's projection was not pretty, as his top comparable was Jon Garland. The main reason is the extremely low strikeout rate. Even for a high level, this is quickly becoming a major red flag for the young pitcher. Hopefully all the talk of him working primarily with his fastball and not his breaking stuff is true.

Buster Posey just went to the Giants, as they call his bluff. Hosmer and Posey, two of the guys who were thought to be potential drops have now been taken.

And the first rounder was Ryan Perry, a big hard throwing reliever out of Arizona. Will he be moved to the rotation? Will he stay in the pen? Will he be ready this year? I'm not enamored with the pick. He seems like a hard thrower with command problems and a fast, yet hittable fastball. Then again, I'm far from a scout, and there wasn't much available. After all, I didn't like the Verlander pick either.

I wasn't exactly thrilled with the rest of Day 1 either. Satterwhite, Green, and Jacobson all seem like virtual clones. One thing to note is that it won't be fair to judge them on their performances. All three pitch in the difficult SEC, and they all throw hard. If they can straighten things out, the potential is there. There was a definite trend with the first four picks. I didn't agree with the selection, but if one of them turns into a solid bullpen arm, the draft is a success. The fifth round saw Alex Avila, the son of assistant general manager Al Avila. This is not like drafting Colin Kaline or Wade Lamont. Avila is a legit prospect out of the University of Alabama, having moved from the infield in high school to catcher at Alabama. Finally, sixth rounder Tyler Stohr is another hard throwing relief type.

On one other note, the most surprising moment of the draft was the spot where ESPN panned to Al Kaline, Al Avila, and Willie Horton. Kaline was laughing so hard, and it was the first time I've ever seen him even crack a smile.

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