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Baseball America mock draft


Baseball America has the Brewers taking Joshua Fields with the first pick. I was wondering how people feel about this. I have never been sold on taking a closer with the first round pick. I think it's shortsighted to take him thinking he will help considerably this season. Craig Hansen and Ryan Wagner make me think its too risky, plus I'd rather take a player with a very high ceiling. Even a high school position player. I just don't want to see another high school pitcher, at least not in round 1.
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Typically I agree with your sentiment on closers in round one, but with the extra picks this year, I wouldn't mind them taking Fields. I do agree with you though, that should be done with an eye on next year, not this year.

 

I think that first pick is the classic "best player available" scenario, with that many early picks, they should just take the guy they like best, without regard to position, if that happens to be Fields, I'm fine with it.

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That's exactly the player I want. Assuming that Skipworth isn't around, but I think it's highly unlikely that he is.

 

It's all fine to go after the best player available, but when you've got the chance to add a guy who could be a key piece to their bullpen in the immediate future, adding that to a team that's close to contending is something that you can't pass up when you've got 5 more picks in the next 45.

Hell, I'd like to see them go after Weatherford as well. Add two guys who could be back of the BP type guys for 09 would allow us to focus on other areas of this team first.

 

Then you've still got 4 picks you can use for the BPA.

 

Plus, it's not like you're settling for two loogy's. You're still getting two guys with exceptional stuff. Most starters who are drafted end up not making it, or in the bullpen anyway.

 

I would also like to see Jemile Weeks if he lasts to the Supplemental round. We could draft him and Weatherford back to back after taking Fields earlier.

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I'd love to see Jemile Weeks as well...especially with our lack of second basemen. I just think 16 is too high and the next pick we have is not high enough.
BA didn't have Weeks in the top 30, and the Brewers pick again at 32 and 35, so it looks like they have a very good chance of landing Weeks. A number of other really intriguing players are still available, such as Sonny Gray, Brett Hunter , Tanner Scheppers and David Cooper.

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Yes, ESPN is televising the first round or two, on ESPN2.

 

I grow less comfortable with the idea of Fields at #16 for the simple fact that it is a deep year for college closers, as you might be able to get a guy just as good as Fields with one of the sandwich or second round picks, as I would prefer to see the team try to take one of the best hitters or prep pitchers they can with their first pick before addressing the bullpen, which is always somewhat of a risky pick.

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I dont want to see a prep pitcher, at least not with #16...they are just too risky, and considering how few pitching prospects we have in the system, I'd rather take a college pitcher, even if his ceiling isnt quite as high. The thing I see with high school pitchers, at least the ones we take.....are flame throwers who cant throw strikes and get hurt. Gallardo seems to be the lone exception. Neugebauer, Gold, Jones, Rogers, Jeffress (not hurt but other issues). None of them could throw strikes.
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I would love to see them take Fields with #16. With six more picks in the top 100, they'll have plenty of opportunities to draft the Brent Brewers of the world. Also, I read that a guy at UC-Irvine, Scott Gorgen, has the best changeup in the draft; he's used it to post a great 95/25 K/BB in 85 IP despite a fastball that tops out around 90 MPH. Since he sounds like a hybrid of Villanueva and Inman, he seems like he'd be a great value pick in or about the third round, since the Brewers love drafting players that are the best at something.
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Jonathon Mayo has us taking Anthony Hewitt a high school SS.

 

From Jim Callis.........

 

How does Anthony Hewitt's name not show up at all on any of your top prospects lists, and then he shoots into your recent first-round projections? I know a player's stock can rise and fall, but what took you so long to catch on?

 

Paul Morgan

Salisbury, Conn.

 

Paul has a particular interest in Hewitt because he's an assistant coach at the Salisbury (Conn.) School, where Hewitt stars as a shortstop. Hewitt is one of the more intriguing players in the 2008 draft, because he's not only the best pure athlete available, but he's also the ultimate high-risk, high-reward talent in this class. Thus there's some difference between how we regard him as a prospect and where he might go in the draft.

 

Hewitt's athleticism stood out on the showcase circuit last summer, but his performance didn't. As a result, he didn't make our preseason Top 100 High School Prospects list . And though he has plenty of helium, Hewitt has yet to appear on our Draft Tracker.

 

Hewitt's power potential, speed, arm strength and overall athleticism are all tantalizing. At the same time, he's also extremely raw offensively and will have to move off of shortstop. As one front-office executive put it, "He has first-round tools. But he's not a very good player yet, and he will need some time."

 

When we release our Top 200 Draft Prospects later this week, you'll see that Hewitt didn't rank among the first 30 players. Yet he has a strong chance of going in the first 30 picks. I projected him to go 24th overall to the Phillies, and the Brewers (No. 16), Cubs (No. 19) and Rockies (No. 25) have shown varying degrees of interest.

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I say in the first two rounds they draft any combination of 3 Closers, 2 SP, and 1 Catcher. Draft college players, not HS players as we should be in a win now mode anyhow. If we draft a bunch of college closers chances are we will have them in our bullpen next season because they are ready to step up quickly.
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This Hewitt from Connecticut sounds way too risky to be taken at 16. I cringe every time I hear "high risk high reward" and "raw". When I hear these terms it tells me that a guy is more of an athlete than a baseball player and I dont like using ultra high picks on guys like that. Now I obviously havent seen Hewitt play but if reports are right that he is very raw then I would hate to use a first round pick on him. Second round or later maybe but not first round.
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Just to give some perspective with Hewitt, if he attends Vanderbilt, he is slated to fill the shoes of Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was considered raw coming out of high school as well, but had a monster freshman year and immediately made everyone wonder how he was "missed." (He wasn't missed, as he was well known coming out of HS, but his Vandy commitment and overall unrefinement made him somewhat unsignable).
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I don't know. This just seems way too risky (Hewitt).

 

I wasn't aware that college closers were bad picks inherently--too bad really.

 

I guess I think the Brewers should continue on the best signable player, though once I'd like to see them make a splash with an over the slot price pick.

 

The problem with their philosopy is that when they do have a need (pitching of all kinds) and nobody fits the bill where they draft, then they're going to have to depend on free agent signings (dubious given our financial restraints) or trades (we've seen the down side of that as well).

 

Maybe for this draft I go for the best signable pitcher at each early pick.

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Brewer may be a fair comp for Hewitt, although Hewitt is soaring up since he's showing that he's more than just an athlete. Usually, you've got to be able to hit to go in the first round, not that Brewer could not, but he clearly was a little more raw in that area, and the Brewers took Brewer in the 2nd round two years ago because they couldn't pass on his off the charts athleticism.

 

Here is a brief scouting report on Hewitt from last summer's East Coast Professional Showcase, from Jeff Simpson at PGCC:

 

Arguably one of the best pure athletes at the event, Hewitt has a set of raw tools that could play anywhere on the field. He's listed as infielder right now, but outfield might be his best position in the future. He has game-changing speed and lots of offensive upside.

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On the one hand I really believe in the draft philosophy of BPA, but pretty soon I have to question drafting guys who play the field with a frying pan instead of a glove. Weeks, Fielder, Braun, LaPorta and Gamel...we can only hide them in so many places. If this Hewitt is already projecting as an OF plus he is raw Id rather look for more of a sure thing.
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Yeah, I don't like the term "raw" associated with "position player" and "first round pick". Hitting a baseball, primary job description of a position player, is something I'd prefer a first round pick be fairly skilled and accomplished at. A second or third round pick I'm OK with taking a flyer on, but I'd want the first round pick to be more polished.

 

Anything less than three pitchers in the first six picks and I'll be disappointed. One college starter who can move through the system quick, one college closer who can do the same, and one high-ceiling HS pitcher to develop would be a nice blend. Add in a SS (I'm not sold on the ability of any SS in the system to hit), a 3B, and either a C or another pitcher and that would make for a nice first two rounds. What order I don't care, but I want to see a minimum of three pitchers in the first six picks. Fortunately the draft looks to be heavy in pitching.

 

As for Jemile Weeks, he is talented alright, but 2B is one of the better-stocked positions in the system (Rickie Weeks, Iribarren, Crabbe, Bell, Farris). And it could be awkward for him to replace his older brother. I wouldn't argue with it too much if they can nab him at #32 or #35, and being a switch hitter is a plus.

 

Based on the list, assuming that guys go somewhere around that number, I think this would be nice:

 

#16) Jake Odorizzi, RHP (HS) - a HS Lincecum?

#32) Connor Gillaspie, 3B (Wichita St.) - somewhere between Gamel and a left-handed Cirillo

#35) Ryan Perry, RHP (Arizona) - Melvin likes to draft the best of something, and Perry has perhaps the best stuff in the draft

#53) Anthony Gose, LHP/CF (HS) - power lefty who can bring the heat and athletic enough to roam CF

#54) Tim Murphy, LHP (UCLA) - thriving now that he's focused on pitching

#62) Antonio Jimenez, C (HS - Puerto Rico) - potential 5-tool catcher

 

I don't know where their 3rd round pick is, but another college pitcher like Chris Carpenter (injury risk/high reward) or Luke Burnett (successful in Cape Cod league) would suit me just fine.

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I'd still go Jemile at 16, and try him at third or short. Hardy and Hall will both be nearing FA, and having a replacement for them might not be a bad idea. Then try to get a college closer to help with the bullpen, and then start looking for BPA down the road... Antonio Jimenez looks like someone I'd be willing to reach for, although if a college catcher is available... I'd try to get that as well.
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On the one hand I really believe in the draft philosophy of BPA, but pretty soon I have to question drafting guys who play the field with a frying pan instead of a glove.

 

What I'd really like to see is fielding figuring more prominently into the Brewers' assessment of "BPA". Imho, I think that's what RyDogg is getting at. It's not that BPA isn't a great strategy, it's what is factored into defining it. Is fielding harder to project than hitting? I'd think it would be the other way around.

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