To those who have already sent me an e-mail about editing the MLB Draft Notebook, thank you. I’m going to start going through them tomorrow, as I simply haven’t had any time to do so yet.
If you are interested in editing, I’m still taking applications for the unpaid spot, so e-mail at MLBBonusBaby at Gmail dot com.
I’ve also gone through and answered most of the comments from the last week or so, so take a look through them if I had something unanswered.
Something interested will be coming out tomorrow morning, so stay tuned.
My wife and I have been suffering the effects of sitting directly in the hot sun for 4 hours since the game on Saturday, so my ability to write out a report has been a little slow. Note to self: bring sun screen when it is 85 degrees and you know you’ll be without shade for hours on end. That’s my first real sunburn experience at a game this year, so I figure I get one free pass. The game report will be up this evening.
In the meantime, with the draft just two months away now, and with Opening Day upon us, I’m putting out a call for an editor or two for the MLB Draft Notebook. This position would be unpaid, but with credit in the book as an editor.
I need people to go through and help me with typos and consistency, meaning that if I spell groundball pitcher like this, then I don’t spell it ground ball pitcher in another player’s writeup. Stuff that is that simple.
If you’re interested, send an email to mlbbonusbaby at gmail dot com, and include your name, contact info, your education, and your schedule availability from mid-May through the weekend before the draft. Also include a writing sample or a link to something you’ve written so I can see your ability in terms of spelling and grammar. It doesn’t have to be baseball writing. Any writing will do.
Just to be clear, the editing won’t involve changing any content. The reports you receive will be in final form, and your job will be to polish them by fixing typos and ensuring there is consistent grammar. Once you’ve sent them back, I’ll be looking them over one last time, then inserting them into the book.
Just as a sign that I am making good progress with my preliminary draft reports for the MLB Draft Notebook, I’m going to pepper with you with excerpts throughout the week of various players, some already known, some not as well-known.
Here’s what I have written for Jonathan Gray, keeping in mind this information isn’t reflecting his spring performance so far:
Jonathan Gray Position: RHP
School: Chandler HS State: OK Height: 6’4’’ Weight: 240
Birth Date: XX/XX/XX Seiler Rating: XXX
Jonathan Gray is a big-bodied right-handed pitcher from Chandler, Oklahoma, a town roughly equal distance from Oklahoma City and Tulsa in the middle of the state. Gray is a late riser up draft boards, and while he doesn’t offer a lot in terms of projection, he offers a durable body with solid current stuff. Using a pro body that profiles to eat innings, he brings an above-average fastball with average to above-average command, and it sits 88-92, touching 94. It plays up due to his command, so while it doesn’t have elite velocity, it is a solid first pitch to his arsenal. He only throws one other pitch consistently, a slider, but that doesn’t seem to be a major issue for most scouts. The slider flashes above-average potential, sitting 78-80, and he can spot it pretty well, too. There’s concern that he struggles with repeating it, and he might be prone to some elbow troubles as the result of some awkward deliveries of the pitch. He throws a variant of a splitter as his neutralizing pitch for lefties, but it’s fairly raw, and it’s likely to get scrapped in favor of a true changeup in the pros. Much of Gray’s value is in his body, and his raw stuff profiles best as a number four starter that eats innings at league average production. His Oklahoma scholarship may get in the way, but he profiles as a solid 6th-8th round prospect that could go a couple rounds higher if a team believes his stuff is a little better.
Mike Antonio Position: SS School: George Washington HS
State: NY Height: 6’2’’ Weight: 180
Bats: R Throws: R Birth Date: 10/26/91
Seiler Rating: XXX Commitment: St. John’s
Mike Antonio is a solidly-built infielder from the Bronx. He easily rates as the best New York City prospect in this draft class. At the plate, Antonio is still developing what his style of execution is going to be. At the moment, his body is more of a leadoff player’s body, and he has average to above-average speed, so he could fit in that mold if he wanted to. However, his body still has good projection, and if he adds enough strength, he could conceivably turn into a hitter with solid power projection. How he develops physically will dictate that, but the consensus is that he’s probably more of a number two hitter, one with solid athleticism, but not enough speed to leadoff and not enough pop to bat in the middle third. Defensively, he has solid actions and should be able to be an average shortstop if he doesn’t fill out too much and lose range. He has an average arm, and he could move to third base if needed, though second base is probably the better option for him both offensively and defensively. He should be signable in the top seven rounds, and I project him as a third to fifth round prospect and a solid sign.
Will Allen Position: C School: Buchholz HS
State: FL Height: 6’3’’ Weight: 215
Bats: B Throws: R Birth Date: 3/25/92
Seiler Rating: XXX Commitment: Ole Miss
Will Allen is a catcher from Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida, where he was 2009 first-rounder LeVon Washington’s teammate for three years. Allen relies on a game that is built on power on both sides of the ball. His arm is his best tool on the defensive side of the ball, and it’s above-average, pretty much the minimum requirement to be a solid pro catcher. He’s had to work hard on his transfer skills, and he still turns in average pop times around 2.00, despite having an above-average arm. He’s big for the position, and he’ll always have to work to stay behind the plate. His secondary position is first base, which would put enormous pressure on the offensive side of his game. At the plate he’s a switch-hitter with above-average raw power, though he struggles to tap into it against more advanced pitching. He profiles as an offense-first catcher either way, and his advancement will depend almost completely on his bat. Despite being from the Gators’ back yard, Allen committed to Ole Miss, as his chances of catching are much better there, as the Rebels are expected to have a catching opening after 2010. Allen should be signable in the first five rounds, but I see him going anywhere from round seven to twelve on talent.
Michael Arencibia Position: OF School: Key West HS
State: FL Height: 6’1’’ Weight: 165
Bats: L Throws: R Birth Date: 11/20/91
Player Rating: XXX Commitment: Florida State
Michael Arencibia is the type of raw athlete that could really profit from increased attentiveness to defense in baseball front offices. A raw hitter, Arencibia has all the tools to be a truly plus center fielder in the pro game. He’s a plus-plus runner with a plus arm, and with some cleanup of his routes, he could really turn into a true gold glover. That’s all dependent on him getting through the minors, though, and that might be a bit of a chore. He has future ratings of average for both his hit tool and his power, though he’s pretty far away from those grades at the moment. His bat speed is good, but he really needs to work on pitch recognition and taking some pitches in general, as he could turn into someone that walks once a week. I personally think he’s good enough to be an average pro hitter, but he might need to go step-by-step through a minor league system, including stops at two short-season levels. His Florida State commitment might mean he’s not as signable as he appears, and he’ll go somewhere from round three to six on talent. He might take $750,000 to sign, perhaps more.
Stetson Allie Position: RHP/3B School: St. Edward HS
State: OH Height: 6’4’’ Weight: 225
Bats: R Throws: R Birth Date: 3/13/91
Seiler Rating: XXX Commitment: North Carolina
Stetson Allie is probably one of the more well-known players in this draft class, and he profiles as a true first-round arm. What makes it interesting is that Allie can put a charge into a ball with his bat, too. On the mound, Allie features a plus-plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s and has touched 99. It’s truly a special pitch, and even though it isn’t known for any amount of movement, it’s still unhittable to the vast majority of hitters he’s ever faced. Combined with a high-80s to low-90s slider, Allie can simply be unhittable at times. He’s had no use for a changeup yet, and there’s no rush for it, either, as he can develop as a closer in a fairly short amount of time. His command is never even going to be average, but his delivery is fluid and easy, and there aren’t a lot of concerns for injury. At the plate he features plus raw power, but he has a much higher bust rate there. He’s a below-average runner and his fielding is currently rated the same. I expect Allie to be taken in the middle of the first round by a team looking for the kind of raw arm that can impact a game in the ninth inning. Starting is likely not in his future. His North Carolina commitment may cost $2 million or more, as he’ll be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2012 if he follows up on his commitment.
On the blog’s ChipIn page, we’re now up to $70 in donations. Thanks for your generosity!
On another note, there are currently 14 spots left for the Jameson Taillon special. Pre-order the 2010 MLB Draft Notebook now to be entered in a drawing to win an autographed Jameson Taillon baseball.
If you want to check out the MLB Draft Notebook excerpts I’ve posted, here’s the list so far:
I’m trying to stick to more well-known names for the excerpts right now. I’ve written 67 reports so far, which is right on schedule for what I wanted. I’m planning on having the first 150 done by the end of this month, then all the preliminary reports done by the end of March.
I’ll start adding and subtracting names at the beginning of April, and I’ll start polishing the final forms of the writeups in May. Stats will be current as of June 1 for college players in the final form.
Hope this helps you know a little bit more about what you’re getting.
Thanks for reading and the generosity you’ve shown towards me so far this year.
Ryan Bolden Position: OF School: Madison Central HS
State: MS Height: 6’3’’ Weight: 190
Bats: R Throws: L Birth Date: 9/17/91
Player Rating: XXX Commitment: Ole Miss
Ryan Bolden is one of those rare Rickey Henderson-like players who bats from the right side and throws from the left. Bolden’s from Madison, Mississippi, about 15 miles north of Jackson, and he bears one striking similarity to the all-time great in Henderson. Bolden’s plus-plus speed is his standout tool, and he could steal 40 bases in the big leagues with work on his jumps. He could also use that speed in the outfield, where his fringe-average to average arm could make him an above-average Major League center fielder. His routes are very raw for now, but teams live on projection with someone like Bolden, whose frame also has great strength projectability. At the plate, Bolden is considerably rawer, but the projections run wild there. He has below-average current power, but some scouts project him to be above-average in that department as he fills out. There’s a lot of projection in that assessment, but it’s not an uncommon one. His hit tool is much better, though he hasn’t seen the sort of elite stuff that one would hope. However, he projects to be above-average at the plate, possibly a .290-.300 hitter with elite speed. All this adds up to a prospect that’s likely to go in the 2nd to 4th round range, and his Ole Miss commitment shouldn’t be a big hurdle in that range.
Chad Bettis Position: RHP School: Texas Tech
State: TX Year: Jr. Height: 6’1’’ Weight: 210
Birth Date: 4/26/89 Player Rating: XXX Last Drafted: 2007 (HOU-8)
Chad Bettis has now gone from rotation arm to bullpen arm and back to rotation arm again. Now we must answer what his long-term role is. Bettis is a west Texas product, and if you’ve ever seen Friday Night Lights, you know baseball isn’t exactly the focal point of sporting in that area of the country. However, he turned plenty of heads as an amateur, and he ended up not signing as an 8th round pick of the Astros in 2007. Hyped coming to Texas Tech, he was pretty bad as a starter, and it wasn’t until he started pitching in relief that he encountered much success. He boosted his draft stock while closing for Team USA last summer, flashing plus stuff worthy of first round consideration. His fastball is a mid- to upper-90s offering with good life and deception. It’s a plus-plus pitch, a true 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He complements it with an above-average slider that could firm up into another plus offering. He hasn’t worked much with a changeup, and his arsenal may indeed lend itself better in relief in pro ball. Either way, Bettis is an elite talent, and he’s expected go anywhere from the middle of the first round into the supplemental first round, and he’ll sign for slot money.