Hello again gentlemen.
Long time no news!
As you all know, weíve made the move to southeast, North CarolinaÖ on the west side? It has not been without some difficulties.† We still have a shitload of stuff in boxes and totes lining the walls of the apartment.† We live in a cave.† It has windows, but just on one side of the building and that is about 6 feet from some tall trees that allow very, very little light in.† We have been spending our Saturday mornings cruising the neighborhoods, looking for a home.
My students are pretty diverse, which is a bit of a departure from a county school in the sticks of Indiana.† I could go on that topic for a while, but letís just say that these students come with different challenges.†
Unless you visit Rich and Dana during the summer, you canít get a feel for the amount of traffic around here.† Most of us have just experienced Wilmington for the meetings, but the place is nuts during the vacation season.† We are still trying to dodge people doing u-turns when we have a green for a right turn.† I guess bigger vehicle or bigger balls has the right of way.
There are cool thing though, that we just didnít have in Muncie.† Every eatery has some good beers on tap.† Downtown stays pretty busy and the beach is clearing out.† It hit about 80 today and we spent about 4 hours at the beach.† Yes, it is still bikini season around here. I donít have to take time off or work or make travel plans, we just hop in the Blazer and drive about 15 minutes.† Heck, parking is even free starting today.† Of course Rich and New Bob have been rolling out the welcome mat, with Bob providing a huge help on move in day.† Rich has been watching Colt games with me, but converting him will be impossible with the way they are playing this year.
The World Series might be over by the time this hits the presses.† I didnít think I cared who won, but I found myself getting pissed when the Royals would take the lead, so at least subconsciously, I must have been for the Mets.† With the carded rosters listed on the web site, I figured it couldnít be too early to put out a list of first rounders.
All that you can really say about the rookie crop this year is WOW! This is not a group that came from nowhere; these are the guys that have had greatness predicted for them for the last couple of years.† I think if you looked at the group starting two years ago, you might say that Lindor would have been the hottest prospect. Injuries slowed his progress. The same could be said for last yearís all world prospect, Buxton.† In the spring of this year, we all fell in love with Bryantís power, but for the first couple of months in the season, you saw Joc Pederson work his way into top slot consideration.†
After the all-star break, Correa stuck his nose ahead of another newcomer in Sano, but a bit of a fade near the end may have brought us full circle back to Lindor, unless you really like what Seager did in his small sample size. Oh, and there is this catcher eligible dude in Chicago with 30 homer power over a full season.
All of this without mentioning a pitcher?† There is this guy in New York (the good New York) that they call Thor.† He hits 100 with some regularity and actually appears to know where itís going.† I would have put my money on Walker up in Seattle at the beginning of the year and I still think he is better than his numbers have shown.† There is McCullers in Houston and Norris, who was pried away from the Jays in the Price deal.† The White Sox have a hurler that was picked 3rd overall two drafts ago, and we have some guys ďwho loves them some White SoxĒ.† Oh, and the Mets say that their other rookie arm Matz, (just 35 innings) may be the best of their young group.† Remember, this group includes DeGrom, Harvey, Wheeler, and Syndegard.
So, pick your poison. You hope you donít have to make your #1 rookie pick out of need, but there are players at each position, with shortstop and 3rd base boasting the best quality and depth.
Here is my list as of now.
#1 With a gun to my head, Iíd take Correa.† I would put him slightly ahead of Bryant based on his, position, his ball park, and his ability to take off the occasional day off with the DH.
#2 Bryant is going to win a few HR crowns.† He will cut down on the Kís and take advantage of those wind-blowing-out days.† Heís second, only because he may never be great at any position.
#3 Iím watching Syndegard strike out 6 over the first three innings and wanting to bump him up, but after watching Trout slip to 4th overall because of lackluster numbers during his first rodeo, Iíd be scared shitless not to take Buxton.
#4 Having a guy that you can plug into the 3 hole or cleanup role for the next 15 year is crucial for any team and Sano could be that guy.† The K rate is brutal, but the 40 homer potential and pretty fair obp help any lineup.† Could be Adam Dunn?
#5 I know that most of Pedersonís stats came early in the year, but I think we will see him make the adjustment after pitchers made the adjustment to him.† He continued to draw some walks, even after the average took a dive.
#6 I really didnít think I would have an arm as a lottery selection, but Syndegardís combination of size and stuff has me wedging his way into the top 6.
#7, #8, #9 Well, I am stuck here. Iíd put the next three SSís pretty close.† I donít think there is a great deal of difference between Lindor, Seager and Russell. Maybe not middle of the order guys, but all have been considered top 10 prospects.† Seager may have the body type that provides the most power, Lindor looks to have the best contact skills, and Russell is just fun to watch and may end up being the leader of the young Cubs.† All are within 5 months of each other in age.
#10 Another brutal choice here, but Schwarber may always get some time behind the plate and should be good for 30 if he gets 500 abís.† The only thing that is scary is that with all the young talent, is where he will end up playing?† Oh, scary part two.† I thought the same thing about Salty.
#11 Maikel Franco should be a middle of the order contributor to a Phillies team that is finally starting to see some of the changes that everyone has been calling for, for the last 3 years. Protection may be his only issue with this roster.
#12 The Mets may be rivaling the Cubs and Twins for the most impactful players in this draft.† At 22, Conforto could be seen as the same kind of contributor to the Mets success, as were the trade deadline acquisitions.† He gets that bump from being one of the last rookie images you will see in the season.
#13 Where is Si picking?† I imagine he is counting on a spot a bit higher, but a Justin Bour type is a welcome addition.† I only mention Si because this dude is 27 and old for a rookie, but we know the York GM is not one to age discriminate.
#14 The 3rd Met in the lottery might be Matz?† Upside and hype out the wahzoo and impressive in his brief time with the big club are reasons to like him.† He may be worth waiting on, even if he follows the Mets starterís habit of having TJ surgery.
#15 We have too many Sox fans for Rodon to drop out of the lottery round.† He handled himself as a first rounder should in his first time around the league.† Everyone loves a lefty with a chance to dominate, this one wonít last long on draft day.
#16 The only thing that works against Piscotty is that the health of some of his teammates might take away some abís.† But, if his post-season was for real, he will have to have a spot made for him.
And now some candy for those fortunate enough to have made the playoffs.† At this point in the draft we may be getting to the ďmehĒ players.† Ones that have some flaws that we hope go away after we get our hands on them.† They are first rounders for a reason, but sometimes that reason is that the obvious choices are already gone.† Not this year!
#17 Tajwan Walker may have been picked around this pick last year if he had got a card.† Maybe even higher if last yearís draft had not also been a great one.† Dude has size and is ready to settle into 200+ innings, plus he pitches in a great park
#18 As much as I hate to say it, Ryan Goins is only keeping second base warm for Devon Travis. His power was a little unexpected, but the rest of his game is repeatable and those were some nice stats before the injury.
#19 Archie Bradley is a former number 7 overall pick, that Law had as the best pitching prospect in that draft.† He was a QB on his way to Oklahoma and has a hell of a presence on the mound.† Just looks like a pitcher.
#20 Houston needed an arm to come up and give them a jolt and McCullers was up to the task.† He could go higher if he snags a B.† Iím sure that someone loved his dad back in the day.
#21 The next pick is a player that didnít end up with great stats at the end of the year, but he had a couple of hot streaks that remind us that he has some great raw talent. Michael Taylor should force his way into a good lineup.
#22 Schwarber will be the highest catcher eligible player picked, but Blake Swihart came in and hit enough to complement his solid catching skills. He looks like a guy that you could trust at the position for a good while.
#23 There are some speedy guys that would provide good limits and help, but when there is someone out there with the power to hit the tape measure jobs, we all get a little starry eyed.† Gallo has to find a position, but heís going to walk into some monster shots.
#24 Just because he might get the B and he had pretty good limits is not the only reason to like Andrew Heaney.† The 24 yr old lefty that pitches in a pretty good pitchers park should build on a good rookie season and slide into the #2 arm on the staff.
So, who did I snub?† Well, since it is really early in the hot stove talks I reserve the right to make these picks a ďfluidĒ situation and put the qualifier on it that this is not necessarily my big board.† The following guys could work their way to the list:
Thatís 36 names that could be lifers for their lucky suitors.† Wil is opting not to put out a list at this time.† Iím not sure if this is for the whole off-season or just waiting until after the lottery.† It might just be that he doesnít want to tip his hand with 3 Cubs that should go high.
I hope it wont be as long next time, but for now and for Wil, this is Cross signing out.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Schmidt Conference
Canaan Polar Bears:
Cleveland Hit Men:
Kalamazoo Black Knights:
Sparrow Lake Stallions:
Gulf Breeze Aardvarks:
Magic City Maulers:
North York Warthogs:
Three Mile Island Tigers:
Green Mountain Canucks:
New England Elite:
Muncie Black Wolf:
East York 66erís:
York First Capitols: