Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2005 1st round draft - one for the ages?

Going into the 2005 draft, it was said to be a deep draft. Even at the time, people were touting the impact talent throughout. It was heavy in HS hitters, especially CF's, and college 3B. It's fair, 5 years later, to look back and evaluate things a bit. At the end in bold, I've included their accumulated WAR to date in the majors. The age in parentheses in their 2010 season age.

1-1 J. Upton ARI (22) - Said to be a few levels above his brother, BJ (drafted 1-2 in 2002 by TB), Justin got off to a slow start in Low A in 2006 (756 OPS). But pretty much after that year, he has been in beast mode since. He's 22 and he's a power hitting RF that just signed a long-term deal with ARI. 5.4 WAR

1-2 A. Gordon KC (26) - Next to Upton, he was the prize of the draft. A cornerstone 3B that would stay at the position. He has been beset by injuries and is back in the minors at age 26, after a lackluster career in the majors, and switched to LF. 4.5 WAR

1-3 J. Clement SEA (26) - Hey, I know that name! SEA thought they had a power hitting C for the next decade. They got a guy who may be a AAAA hitter with knees that make him a 1B/DH. Which is a problem considering the Pirates are in the NL. -0.3 WAR

1-4 R. Zimmerman WAS (25) - I consistently underrate Zimmerman and I should stop that one of these days. He plays near Gold-Glove defense and is good for high 20's/low 30's in HR's. He is owning the WAR from this class so far, especially since he got at least 1 year jump on everyone else to the majors. 20.2 WAR

1-5 R. Braun MIL (26) - It was soon realized that Braun had an iron glove and he was switched in the minors to LF. No matter, his bat plays at any position and he's good on the bases as well. Personality wise he needs a punch in the face. 13.8 WAR

1-6 R. Romero TOR (25) - For a while this was looking like a huge fail on TOR's part, especially with Tulowitzki taken right after them and TOR with a gaping hole at SS at the time. But in 2009, Romero finally established himself in the rotation and he should be good from here out. 3.9 WAR

1-7 T. Tulowitzki COL (25) - Natural leader at the most key position of SS. Good with the stick, great with the glove. Great choice. 11.6 WAR

1-8 W. Townsend TB (27) - Wade did not sign the year before with BAL. The rumor is that the TB front office was dead split on either Townsend or Andrew McCutchen. Thanks, TB...we're even from the Upton v. Bullington fiasco in 2002. Had arm troubles, thanks to his alma mater -- the arm shredding university of Rice. Never made the majors and out of baseball. 0 WAR.

1-9 M. Pelfrey NYM (26) - Pelfrey scuffled a little bit, but he is establishing himself as a solid mid-rotation option in the tough market of NY. 5.8 WAR

1-10 C. Maybin DET (23) - Little run of HS CF's here...Maybin was supposed to be pure power, with a wee problem of K's, but that was glossed over by everyone (except me). He was traded to FLA for Cabrera and rushed to the majors. It's hurt his development, IMO. 1.1 WAR

1-11 A. McCutchen PIT (23) - Sweet science...did Littlefield actually do something right? Cutch-22 has exceeded even my expectations to date. He could very well put down a 20 HR/40 SB season this year at 23. That's what analysts squinted and predicted his peak would be at age 28. I hope he stays a Pirate his whole career -- my first true favorite Pirate since the early 90's. 4.1 WAR

1-12 J. Bruce CIN (23) - Supposed to be a huge slugger and would always move to RF. To date, he's had some contact problems in the majors with a low average and high K's. He should be fine long-term. 3.1 WAR

1-13 B. Snyder BAL (23) - Ahhh...lucky 13. You had to try to not make a good pick in this draft, but it was kind of acknowledged at the time that BAL did not. High school Catchers are the toughest picks. The large majority do not stay there and if they have to move, either the bat isn't good or the mobility is lacking. Snyder moved from C to 3B to 1B. He's doing OK, but has still not tasted the majors. 0 WAR

1-14 T. Crowe CLE (26) - CLE went with a college CF and it hasn't worked out. There was a weird experiment mid-stream to make Crowe a 2B, but that was short-lived. He will be a bust, as he only tasted the majors last year. 0.1 WAR

1-15 L. Broadway CWS (26) - College "pitchability" pitcher (read: Fastball sucks). He's a middle reliever now with the Mets. 0.6 WAR

1-16 C. Volstad FLA (23) - I always love the tall pitchers that don't have blazing fastballs. It's just such a weird juxtaposition. Volstad will be a solid mid to back end starter for the foreseeable future. 2.0 WAR

1-17 C. Henry NYY (24) - Busted out and left baseball. Went to Kansas U. to play basketball with his stud brother. Absolute miss. 0 WAR.

1-18 C. Carillo SD (26) - He's been operated on already and is in AAA this year, but there's not much to get excited about. -0.7 WAR

1-19 J. Mayberry TEX (26) - College OF who doesn't hit well enough to be a ML-starter. May be a reserve outfielder, now with PHI. -0.3 WAR

1-20 M. Pawelek CHI (23) - Had conditioning and attitude issues. If he's not out of baseball by now, he will be soon. 0 WAR

1-21 C. Pennington OAK (26) - Scrappy college middle infielder. Of COURSE he was going to get drafted by Billy Beane and Oakland. He is an acceptable option until he hits arb and starts to become expensive. 1.0 WAR

1-22 A. Thompson FLA (23) - Still struggling to get out of AA, now with the Nats. 0 WAR

1-23 J. Ellsbury BOS (26) - Great value for BOS near the end of the first round. Scrappy college CF with movie star looks. A touch overrated as a player in the majors. 8.2 WAR

1-24 B. Bogusevic HOU (26) - Was awful as a pitcher, but he "Ankieled" himself into a good hitter with power. He is in AAA waiting to get recognized by the animatronic GM known as Ed Wade. 0 WAR

1-25 M. Garza MIN (26) - Geez oh man...I don't know what to say here. Total steal by the Twins. And then an even bigger steal by TB to get him in a trade for the terrible Delmon Young. What a beast master. 9.3 WAR

1-26 C. Hansen BOS (26) - Another familiar name to Pirates fans. NH had his 2005 draft guide out in full effect, I guess. Supposed to be a quick-ascent closer type, but he had injury problems and never developed right. Career in jeopardy with neck issues. -0.4 WAR

1-27 J. Devine ATL (26) - Another guy who was supposed to help a bullpen soon. Injuries...ineffective...yada yada. 1.2 WAR

1-28 C. Rasmus STL (23) - Someone will have to tell me how he slid this far. Small HS? Great speed-power combo, but I don't like his K rate long term. 3.6 WAR

1-29 J. Marceaux FLA (26) - FLA lost a lot of Type A free agents and had a ton of 1st round picks as a result. This one won't work out. 0 WAR

1-30 T. Greene STL (26) - He's made the majors, but is nothing great now or in the future. -0.2 WAR

So there you terms of getting people to the majors, this was a successful draft (23 out of 30, with maybe 1-2 more soon). The total WAR to date for this 1st round is 97.6 WAR. Cutch-22, even with being 3 years younger than most of those ahead of him in WAR, is still the 9th highest in WAR totals to date. I expect him to improve on that total.

This was a fantastic draft, with some real cornerstones. It has lived up to the hype so far.

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