Friday, June 6, 2008

MLB Daft Day One Recap – Alvarez, Flaherty, and Jacobson Headed for the Show

Yesterday, around 2:15-2:30 the Pittsburgh Pirates selected, with the No. 2 pick, well-known and praised Vanderbilt 3B, Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez hails from Washington Heights, NY – the same community that has seen stars Manny “Being-Manny” Ramirez and A-Rod, though he moved to Miami at age one. Neal Huntington, Pirates General Manager, made it clear that Alvarez was atop the Bucs board despite missing the 23 of the Commies first 24 games with a broken hamate bone in his wrist and his (or Scott Boras’s, his agent) bonus demand – in the $7 million range (last year’s No. 2 got $4 million) and a guaranteed major league contract.

"The dream scenario," Huntington explained, "is you get a large-frame athlete with skills, attitude and aptitude….With Alvarez, we look at a guy who can hit in the middle of the order and be a strong lineup presence. His injury did hurt him this year, but it is not a concern long-term."

Something to note: Alvarez, being a left-handed hitter, will mesh well with the dimensions at PNC Park, a venue that favors lefties. In the future, look out for some “Splash Hits” from Pedro into Allegheny River.

Keith Law, MLB Draft “insider”, thinks Pedro has 40 home run potential in the majors and playing his natural 3rd base position, or first, would fast track him to the majors.

In the compensatory round, with the 41st pick, the beloved Chicago Cubbies (except by Boyer in the District), and now Pedro’s NL Central rival, selected Ryan Flaherty, a.k.a., “Flash”. Flash has a collegiate career .349 average (same as Alvarez), 20 HR, and 169 RBIs. Scouts like his smooth swing (projected to hit for average), size and fielding, but not his speed and range. Many believe that he’ll need to make the transition from short to third to be successful in the bigs.

The Detroit Tigers took Brett Jacobson in the 4th round with the 133rd pick. He finished this season with 42 K’s in 40.0 innings. Not stellar, but not bad either. Jacobson is tall (6’6”) and scouts like his ability to throw from a downhill plane. Unfortunately, he seems to have developed some control issues with his fastball that will need some serious tweaking for big-league consideration. From everything I’ve read, his curve ball (breaks from 11-5) is above-average and with work on his delivery his change could be right there too. Bottom line: Jacobson has work to do.

Coach Tim Corbin has to be sweating just a bit: two of his signees were also selected on day one: Ryan Westmoreland ( No. 172 to the BoSox) and Adam Milligan (No. 190 to Stanimal’s Braves). Westmoreland is a two-way player (outfielder/pitcher) from Portsmouth, R.I., and struck out 19 of 21 batters in a perfect game this season. Milligan just finished up his sophomore season at Walters State Community College which finished with a 55-9 record and the Junior College World Series. This marks the third time he’s been selected by the Braves.

As a reminder, day two kicks off today at 11:30, EST. VSL will release it’s day two recap when all is said and done with.
News & Notes: provides a roundup of all the summer league sites so that fans can follow all the Commies on the diamond, wherever they may play.
David Price, last year's No. 1 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays is projected to make his professional debut in September.

1 comment:

Stanimal said...

Likely lost a couple of recruits to the majors too (Anthony Hewitt and Jason Esposito)