Evil Allen Webster of the Alternate Universe
Alternate Universe 2011 Baseball Draft, Part Four (Later Round Picks, M through Z)
As good as the 2011 Baseball Draft class is, it could have been a lot better. Many current to prospects were drafted out of high school in 2008, and many of them had strong college commitments. How would the 2011 draft class look if some of these '08 guys had gone the college route?
We looked at the first and second rounds of the '08 draft on Friday. Today I'm going to focus on high schoolers drafted in '08 who weren't in those rounds but who have emerged as strong prospects, and get a feel for where they might fit into the '11 draft class if they'd gone to college.
This article is the last of the four-part series.
Brett Marshall, RHP: Sixth round pick in 2008 by the Yankees, who spent $850,000 to buy him away from Rice. He got hurt in 2009 and had Tommy John surgery, came back last year and pitched well but has struggled in the Florida State League this year. Velocity fluctuates between 89 and 96, good slider. If he'd gone to Rice and blown out the elbow, people would look at him like a typical Owl pitching prospect: good stuff but risky. He'd probably be a fourth or fifth round pick is my guess. Apparently, even Rice pitchers who don't go to Rice are injury risks.
Trevor May, RHP: Drafted in the fourth round in 2008 by the Phillies, who spent $375,000 to keep him away from the University of Washington. Heavy sinker, good breaking ball, pitched great last year in Low-A but struggled with command in High-A. Returning to High-A this year and has performed well, though command still wobbles. Would probably be a second round candidate in 2011 class, maybe third.
Tim Melville, RHP: Fourth round pick by the home-state Royals in 2008, would have been a first-rounder if not for strong North Carolina commitment. Cost $1.25 million. After a solid 2009, he struggled badly in '10 and has continued to pitch poorly in High-A this year. Mechanical problems, velocity fluctuations, and inconsistent secondary stuff are all issues. Can't see him as higher than a third-rounder in the '11 class and probably lower.
Ty Morrison, OF: Athletic outfielder was a fourth-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, cost $500,000 to sign away from the University of Oregon. Very fast, athletic, stole 58 bases last year in Low-A, but hampered by poor strike zone judgment, career .257/.336/.380 hitter in the low minors. Currently out with a shoulder injury. Draft status for '11 would depend on that injury, but based on what he did in '09 and '10, he'd still be something like a fourth or fifth round pick I think, fast, toolsy, but raw for a college guy.
Edgar Olmos, LHP: Third round pick by the Marlins in 2008, signed away from the University of Arizona for $478,000. Missed most of '09 with elbow injury, but was OK last year in Low-A and is having a good year in High-A this year. Projectable with low-90s fastball, decent slider and changeup, still has command issues. Would still be a third or fourth round pick out of college.
Jon Pettibone, RHP: Third round pick in 2008 by the Phillies, signed away from Southern Cal for $500,000. Struggled in '09, solid last year in A-ball, and excellent so far this year in High-A (1.69 ERA in seven starts). Strike-thrower with 90+ fastball and good changeup, but low K-rate coincides with scouting reports that his breaking stuff needs to be improved. Would still be something like a third round pick if he'd gone to USC.
J.P. Ramirez, OF: Drafted by the Nationals in the 15th round in '08, but cost $1 million (a record for that round) to keep away from Tulane. Mediocre in 2009, excellent last year in the Sally League, then mediocre again in 2011. A similar college profile (so-so freshman year, excellent sophomore year, so-so junior season) combined with scouting reports of an excellent swing but plate discipline and defense problems, I think he would be something like a fourth or fifth round pick this year.
Ross Seaton, RHP: Third round pick in 2008 by the Astros, cost $700,000 to buy out of Tulane. He had a good year in 2009 but was crushed in the California League last year and has been ineffective so far this year in the Texas League. His fastball is in the 90s but is straight and breaking stuff hasn't been good enough to compensate. No way he would get anywhere close to that bonus or draft position this year; obviously his college numbers would be better than his pro numbers, but I'm assuming that scouts would detect the same flaws in his stuff.
Allen Webster, RHP: Webster was drafted in the 18th round from a North Carolina high school by the Dodgers in '08. He was mostly a shortstop at the time, got a small $20,000 bonus, wasn't highly-recruited, and was pretty much an unknown to draft experts not in the Dodgers front office, but he's emerged as a fine prospect and currently has a 2.40 ERA with a sharp 45/17 K/BB in the California League. The Dodgers really did their homework with this one; he'd be a second-round candidate now, if not higher.
Joe Wieland, RHP: Drafted in the fourth round in '08 by the Rangers, who spent $267,000 to keep him away from San Diego State. Rough season in '09, but pitched well last year in A-ball and has been excellent this year in High-A, showing outstanding command (43/3 K/BB in 38 innings). Best pitch is a curveball, also has 88-92 fastball and a decent change. Command and three-pitch mix would probably make him a third or fourth round pick this year given the depth in the class.