Some Sleepers from the 2011 Draft, Rounds 10 to 20
Several readers have asked me for a look at sleepers from the later rounds of the 2011 draft. The draft is my favorite part of the baseball season, and we'll be doing a LOT more with that this year now that we have Matt Garrioch (who knows a ton about the draft) on board.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite sleeper types from last year's class. Two ground rules:
**I am avoiding guys who signed for huge overslot bonuses and should have gone earlier in the draft. Amir Garrett isn't a sleeper. Phil Evans isn't a sleeper. Shawon Dunston Jr. is not a sleeper.
**This article is for rounds to 10 through 20. I will do separate articles soon for middle round guys (fourth round to ninth round) and 20 round+.
Vaughn Covington, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: Drafted in the 11th round from high school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Covington was recovering from Tommy John surgery last spring, but has sleeper markers, including a big frame, a 90-95 MPH fastball (before the injury) and a good curve. If he recovers from surgery properly, he has unusually high upside for an 11th round pick.
O'Koyea Dickson, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers: A star at Sonoma State, Dickson is a short, stocky first baseman drafted in the 12th round who was big threat in college (.341/.438/.565 with good plate discipline) and continued to hit in pro ball (.333/.402/.603). We need to see him outside the Pioneer League and he has to mash to play, but his swing draws good reviews and he has some solid hitting skills to go with his power.
Kyle Hallock, LHP, Houston Astros: Drafted in the 10th round from Kent State, Hallock outpitched college teammate Andrew Chafin (a supplemental first round pick) at times last spring. He throws strikes with an upper-80s fastball and a good assortment of secondary pitches, and showed more velocity and sink on his pitches than expected in the New York-Penn League, posting a 2.63 ERA with a 61/17 K/BB in 62 innings.
Kentrell Hill, OF, San Francisco Giants: Drafted in the 10th round from Arkansas Baptist JC, Hill has noisy tools with above-average speed, a strong throwing arm, and some power potential. He hit just .256/.316/.360 in the Arizona Rookie League, with poor plate discipline, but the Giants knew he was raw and will be patient.
Chris Joyce, LHP, Cincinnati Reds: A 19th round pick from Santa Barbara JC, Joyce is well-known to scouts but saw his draft stock sag when his fastball lost velocity during the spring. He was effective in pro ball however, with a 1.37 ERA and a 23/7 K/BB in 20 innings of rookie ball, and his slider/cutter gives him a chance to move forward.
Manny Rodriguez, RHP, Washington Nationals: Drafted in the 10th round from Barry University in Florida, Rodriguez is a Cuban who has a low 90s fastball and showed a solid curve and change in college. He has a shot as a fourth/fifth starter or relief option. His stats in the New York-Penn League were nothing special (4.65 ERA, 39/18 K/BB in 50 innings, 55 hits) but he has the physical tools to build on.
Hayden Sharp, RHP, New York Yankees: Drafted in the 18th round from high school in Morris, Oklahoma, Sharp signed for $200,000, which isn't a lot considering his potential. A 6-6, 200 pound right-hander, he is a premium athlete and showed a mid-90s fastball in high school, but is also very raw on the mound and was crushed for 12 hits and nine runs in four innings of rookie ball. He is a long shot, but has upside for a high school player in the later rounds who signed for reasonable money.
D'Andre Toney, OF, Kansas City Royals: Drafted in the 14th round from Gulf Coast Community College, Toney is undersized at 5-10, 175, but has solid tools and hit .340/.432/.587 in the Arizona Rookie League. He's got some work to do with the strike zone and needs to use his speed better on the bases, but upside is clearly present.
Dan Winkler, RHP, Colorado Rockies: A 20th round pick from Central Florida, Winkler has an average fastball and a good slider, posting a 3.92 ERA with a 65/19 K/BB in 57 innings in the Pioneer League, with a 1.66 GO/AO. He could make it as a reliever or back-of-the-rotation starter if he shows sufficient command at higher levels.