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2004 Second-Round Review, Part Two

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2004 Kansas City Royals second-round pick Billy Buckner

52---Pittsburgh Pirates: Brian Bixler, SS, Eastern Michigan University
Hitting .265/.321/.314 in 58 games, 226 at-bats for Hickory in the Sally League. 15 walks, 61 strikeouts. He does have 12 steals, but his lack of power is notable, and with poor plate discipline he is left without any serious offensive contributions. He had problems hitting with wood in college summer leagues, and it looks like that has carried over.

53---Chicago White Sox: Wes Whisler, LHP, UCLA
7.15 ERA, 29/13 K/BB ratio, 39 hits allowed in 34 innings for the Winston-Salem Warthogs in the Carolina League. Whisler was considered somewhat raw for a college pitcher, and this certainly shows up in the numbers this year: so-so command, excess hittability, etc. Still trying to transition from thrower to pitcher.

54---Montreal Expos: Erick San Pedro, C, University of Miami
2-for-19 (.105) for the Potomac Nationals, although he has managed to draw 5 walks, giving him a .292 OBP. Playing time has been limited due to an ankle injury sustained in a home plate collision.

55---Kansas City Royals: Billy Buckner, RHP, University of South Carolina
3-7, but with a 3.88 ERA and 60/17 K/BB ratio in 60 innings for Burlington, earning a promotion to High Desert, where he is 1-1, 6.55 in 2 starts thus far. Solid K/BB and K/IP ratios, however he has been hittable, and has been touched for 12 homers in 13 starts, a worry at higher levels.

56---Arizona Diamondbacks: Jon Zeringue, OF, Louisiana State University
.266/.295/.382 for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies. Biggest problem is very poor plate discipline: 6 walks, 38 strikeouts, 207 at-bats. The strikeout rate is actually decent, but the walk rate is much too low, and lack of patience is likely inhibiting his production. I expected a lot from him this year and this is a disappointing result.

57---Toronto Blue Jays: Curtis Thigpen, C, University of Texas
.272/.388/.406, 41 walks, 29 strikeouts in 217 at-bats for the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest League. Excellent patience is helping his OBP a lot, though power production has been somewhat less than expected. It should come around if he maintains the discipline, given the low strikeout rate.

58---Los Angeles Dodgers: Blake Johnson, Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge
4-3, 2.83 ERA in 11 starts, 49/23 K/BB in 57 innings, 45 hits allowed. Solid numbers from hard-throwing high school pitcher, adding yet another power arm to the Dodgers stable of mound thoroughbreds. Could use some command tweaks, but that is nitpicking.

59---Chicago White Sox: Donny Lucy, C, Stanford
5-for-22 (.227) for the Kannapolis Intimidators of the Sally League. The sample size is too small to mean anything, although doubts about his bat do exist.

60---St. Louis Cardinals: Mike Ferris, 1B, Miami University (Ohio)
.221/.311/.409, 27 walks, 39 strikeouts, 9 homers in 208 at-bats. He's shown some power and has decent plate discipline, but his overall production has been less than anticipated. He hit just .199 last year after signing, so this is a disturbing trend.

61---Minnesota Twins: Anthony Swarzak, RHP, Nova HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
7-3, 2.78 in 13 starts for Beloit, with a 77/18 K/BB ratio in 68 innings. All numbers are excellent: K/BB, K/IP, and H/IP are all strong. So far, he looks like a total steal as a second round pick.

I'll get the rest of the second round reviewed tomorrow.