2012 Draft: Update on Fourth Round Picks
Continuing with our 2012 draft updates, we move forward to the fourth round and examine how everyone is doing so far. This seems like a popular feature, so we'll keep doing it as long as there is interest.
129) Rio Ruiz, 3B, Houston Astros: .271/.361/.412 with 12 walks, 22 strikeouts in 85 at-bats in Gulf Coast Rookie League, followed by .258/.361/.419 with four walks, six strikeouts in 31 at-bats for Greenville in the Appalachian League. Very good defense so far, will take a walk. There are good things to work with here. Huge overslot bonus but could well be worth it.
130) Zach Jones, RHP, Minnesota Twins: Excellent so far, 0.57 ERA with 25/6 K/BB in 16 innings between Elizabethton in the Appy and Beloit in the Low-A Midwest League, just six hits. So far, a better pitcher in pro ball than in college.
131) Patrick Kivlehan, 3B, Seattle Mariners: .294/.364/.476 with 10 homers, 12-for-13 in steals, 16 walks, 81 strikeouts in 248 at-bats for Everett in the Northwest League. Power/speed combination is completely genuine and exciting, but he's got serious contact questions and some defensive issues, not unexpected for a guy with an extensive football background. Despite his weaknesses, I like him.
132) Christian Walker, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: Hit .284/.376/.420 with 10 walks, 14 strikeouts in 81 at-bats for Aberdeen in the NY-P, before going on the disabled list with a back injury. No change in status: he can hit, but will it be enough to play regularly as a RH-hitting first baseman in the majors? An open question.
133) Kenny Diekroeger, 2B, Kansas City Royals: .223/.289/.397 with 16 walks, 51 strikeouts in 184 at-bats for Burlington in the Appy. The little voice of doubt in college worried that he wasn't living up to his tools. The voice is now a choir.
134) Josh Conway, RHP, Chicago Cubs: Recovering from Tommy John.
135) Walker Lockett, RHP, San Diego Padres: 3.78 ERA with 10/3 K/BB in 17 innings in Arizona Rookie League, 23 hits, 1.71 GO/AO. Small sample, etc., but nothing here contradicts pre-draft reports of a big right-hander with a live arm who needs development time, breaking stuff, etc.
136) Brandon Thomas, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: Didn't sign, returns to Georgia Tech. I'd love to know the full story here. Is he banking on a bigger payout as a senior?
137) Austin Dean, OF, Miami Marlins: .223/.337/.338 with 24 walks, 35 strikeouts in 148 at-bats for Gulf Coast League Marlins. Two steals. Draws walks but that's about it so far.
138) Seth Willoughby, RHP, Colorado Rockies: 1.50 ERA, 25/3 K/BB in 24 innings for Tri-City in the Northwest League, 18 hits, 1.76 GO/AO, seven saves. Outstanding performance in all respects thus far. Fastball/cutter combination could get him to the majors very quickly.
139) B.J. Boyd, OF, Oakland Athletics: .318/.412/.462 with 21 walks, 33 strikeouts, 15 steals in 132 at-bats in the Arizona Rookie League. Good tools, has speed and power, was supposed to be raw but he's done well thus far. Intriguing prospect going forward, needs more attention than he's received.
140) Branden Kaupe, SS, New York Mets: .174/.373/.193 with 34 walks, 35 strikeouts in 114 at-bats for Kingsport in the Appalachian League. Has struggled in conversion to 2B. Other than drawing walks, he's been terrible so far, but you know the next phrase: he's just 18.
141) Brandon Brennan, RHP, Chicago White Sox: 3.65 ERA with 22/10 K/BB in 25 innings for Great Falls in the Pioneer League, 29 hits, 2.43 GO/AO. These results fit pre-draft reports of a powerful sinker but erratic command.
142) Jon Moscot, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: Going easy on the pitch counts with this one. Has made nine starts between the AZL and Billings in the Pioneer League, but pitching just 20.1 innings. 18/9 K/BB, 17 hits, 2.23 GO/AO, 2.21 ERA. Keeps the ball down, average velocity, knows how to pitch.
143) D'vone McClure, OF, Cleveland Indians: .213/.322/.307 with 11 walks, 16 strikeouts in 75 at-bats for AZL Indians. Considered raw but talented with a football background, and it shows so far.
144) Brandon Miller, OF, Samford: .232/.317/.554 with four homers, six walks, 17 strikeouts in 56 at-bats for Auburn in the NY-P. Small sample, but fits the scouting reports perfectly: he's got a ton of power, but struggles for contact.
145) Tucker Donahue, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: 5.56 ERA with 20/12 K/BB in 23 innings for Vancouver in Northwest League, 26 hits, 1.47 GO/AO. Good sinker, but he was erratic in college. Bonus: $5000. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
146) Justin Chigbogu, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers: .204/.282/.316 with 11 walks, 42 strikeouts in 98 at-bats in the AZL. Pre-draft report: tons of power, but quite unrefined even as high school first basemen go. Well, that's still the report.
147) Alex Yarbrough, 2B, Los Angeles Angels: .275/.312/.387 with 10 walks, 18 strikeouts, 9-for-11 in steals, in 204 at-bats for Low-A Cedar Rapids. Very reliable on defense, just two errors with decent range. Overall, handling jump from college to full-season ball pretty well.
148) Steven Okert, LHP, San Francisco Giants: 2.45 ERA with 27/10 K/BB in 26 innings between AZL and Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League, with a 3.25 GO/AO. Numbers fit college scouting reports of a strong sinker/slider combination just fine.
149) Justin Black, OF, Atlanta Braves: .188/.300/.266 with 19 walks, 53 strikeouts in 128 at-bats for GCL Braves. Runs well but is just 3-for-7 in steals. Montana high school product is supposed to be toolsy-but-raw, and that's exactly what he is. It is too soon to know if he's hopelessly raw or not.
150) Alex Mejia, SS, St. Louis Cardinals: .250/.265/.333 with two walks, 13 strikeouts in 96 at-bats for Batavia in the NY-P. Handling shortstop well so far. Bat highly-questionable but small sample. Out with torn ACL.
151) Ty Buttrey, RHP, Boston Red Sox: 1.80 ERA with five strikeouts, one walk, five hits in five innings, 1.67 GO/AO. Microscopic sample but nothing contradicts pre-draft reports. Could have been a first round pick in some drafts.
152) Nolan Gannon, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 3.12 ERA with 28/13 K/BB in 26 innings in the GCL, 16 hits. Nice to see K/IP and H/IP marks strong, walks are a bit high, OK for a debut out of high school and an underslot bonus.
153) Chuck Taylor, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: .239/.317/.294 with 18 walks, 48 strikeouts, 15-for-21 in steals in 180 at-bats. Fast, but lacks power and unlikely to develop much at 5-7, 180. Will need to improve on-base skills to have a chance.
154) Drew VerHagen, RHP, Detroit Tigers: 2.51 ERA with 18/13 K/BB, 20 hits allowed in 29 innings between GCL Tigers and Lakeland in the High-A Florida State League, 3.33 GO/AO. Vanderbilt product could move quickly if he can improve his command and keep the grounders, but lack of Ks is notable.
155) Tyler Wagner, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers: 5.72 ERA with 34/18 K/BB in 39 innings for Helena in the Pioneer League, 42 hits, 2.04 GO/AO. University of Utah product gets grounders, signed for underslot, good slider, but needs better command.
156) Alec Asher, RHP, Texas Rangers: 3.60 ERA with 41/8 K/BB in 30 innings for Spokane in the Northwest League, 28 hits. Signed for well under slot, with fine results so far, component ratios are quite good.
157) Corey Black, RHP, New York Yankees: 43 innings combined at three levels, with composite 3.80 ERA, 38/14 K/BB, 39 hits, 2.28 GO/AO and just one homer. Easy to overlook because his stats are spread out with three teams, but there are good markers here. Another underslot guy who has shown something nice.
158) Chris Serritella, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies: .299/.357/.461 with 21 walks, 44 strikeouts in 241 at-bats for Williamsport in the NY-P. Power the key attraction here and he's showing it, but there are some concerns about how it will play against more advanced pitching. Lacks tools otherwise.
As you can see, the fourth round is where teams started to get cute with the underslot picks to manipulate their bonus pools, not that there's anything wrong with that.