(AP) - The 2015 Amateur Draft is complete. So, in what hopefully
will become a new tradition with the pre-season rankings,
I present the Amateur Draft Report Card. Normally, each team
has one pick per round for three rounds. Teams are graded
on player drafted at position held, as well as overall quantity
and quality of the picks. Teams without any draft selections
will receive an NA.
Tequilas = B-
With their standard allotment of picks, the Tequilas faired
well. Catcher Brent Hollister, at only age 19, could easily
be the best catcher of this draft. Already with a big gun
behind the plate to throw out base runners, his hitting and
speed are both quite nice. His only knock is the glove behind
the plate. Tex Mayo probably will spend his time as a DH,
rather than an outfielder. His bat and base running are solid,
but his defense isnt. Third round C Sam Law is 18, and
thats about it.
White Sharks = C
With only a third round pick, Amity selected right fielder
Irv Aldridge. He was one of a handful hopeful talent left.
Aldridge is a lefty and in need of defensive improvement,
but has some potential for power.
Archers = A-
The Archers held two first rounders and total of seven picks
this draft. Clearly in rebuilding mode, they did extremely
well. Southpaw starter Doug Garwood has a great arm, but his
four pitches will need some work. Argentina then shifted gears,
grabbing the two fastest outfielders in the draft, Shane Walters
and John Bradshaw. Though their plate discipline will need
to be worked on, theres no question about their ability
to play the field. Third Baseman Pete Kahoe looks very promising
as a fielder and runner. The rest, P Collison, SS Bush, and
1B Grant, are all really young and could develop into decent
players. This was a very strong draft for Argentina.
Brewmasters = B+
Holding the number one pick, the Brewmasters chose 20 year
old pitcher Carlos Cotter. Great arm, great endurance, a great
fastball and solid sinker with two other pitches in the mix
make him one of two arms to consider with the first pick.
His control, however, should have made him the second selection.
With their only other pick, Berlin selected first baseman
Henry Shorter. Clearly he was the best hitter in the draft
and could be starting as early as next season. Shorter was
also one of the oldest players taken.
Elephants = C+
Shortstop Hal Murphy was Bombays only pick. For a third
rounder, Murphy has decent speed, a nice arm, and decent ratings.
He could possibly be in a platoon or a good bench player against
Bora Surfriders = C+
With a middle high first round pick, Bora Bora went for pitcher
Eugene Lowry. A good selection, with three quality pitches
already. Still, there are questions about his endurance, arm
strength, and control for a 22 year old. It was in the second
round that the Surfriders reached by taking 3B Kid Fluery.
Kid is aptly named, since he was the youngest player in the
draft at 17 years, 3 days old. Unfortunately, Fluery is more
noted for his swim and track athleticism more than baseball.
In the third round, CF Nichols and 3B Berman were swept up
with the dregs of the draft. Both are probably career minor
Scorpions = A+
Landing the second pick in the draft, the Scorpions jumped
on pitcher Danny Mathews, who should have gone first. Mathews
blazing fastball, solid change, good slider, and tight curve
make him as good as the number one pick. But, its his
early plate mastery that gives Danny the edge. Cairo then
landed a gem with the sixth pick, taking fireballer Bill Krapp.
His 90 mph fastball is complemented by a solid slider. With
a bit of control, he will be fast tracked to the majors. The
other pitcher taken was reliever Larry Rice, who has two neat
breaking pitches and will eventually become a solid bull pen
option. Add to that Brandon Villenueva and Brian Kimmick,
who are decent right field prospects. A year apart in age,
they should progress at the same rate and produce equal results
for their age. Overall, the strongest draft and great picks
for their position.
Mutants = B
The Mutants did their homework. Young knuckleballer Quentin
Barnes was sliding through the middle of the first round and
he snagged the high endurance, solid arm starting pitcher.
Chernobyls other two picks of C Asadoor and RF Fallis
were the best bats available at the time. An good draft for
where the picks were every time.
Mayans = D
The Mayans seemed blinded by youth as they drafted all teenagers.
Their late first round pick shortstop Joey Jones has better
than average speed, and could learn to hit, but there were
clearly better options. Both 1B Nellie Ward and CF Bill Davis,
Cozumels second and third round picks respectively,
will be stuck in the minors for a long time and may never
start in the majors.
Orcas = A
Eleven total picks, of which the first eight were pitchers,
and four of those were left handed. So, just like that, Edmonton
restocked their pitching staff. Even if only half of the players
pan out, it is still a good draft. First rounders Pete James,
Anthony Mura, and John Rushmore should develop into specialists
out of the bull pen. Roy Romano, Ron Young, and Jack Bilas
each have their own weakness, but all have starter potential.
Glen Duende and Bob Hearn are young enough to allow the seasoning
and tweaking they need before they are ready. The third round
for the Orcas yielded two decent catchers in Guido Lowry and
George Scott, as well as a project utility infielder, Billy
Durant. Quantity and quality make this a great draft.
Kong Dragons = B
The Dragons found pitcher Buck Cliburn, who should have gone
earlier, with their middle high first round pick. He has one
of the best arms in the draft, phenomenal endurance, and good
control. With a killer curveball and three other developing
pitches, he should turn into a solid starter. Left fielder
Theo Herring, a good second round pick, was the best home
run threat of the bunch, moved well in the outfield and on
the base paths, and could make the outfield throw well enough.
Having not a slow first baseman and a bright future is what
Bernardo Wallace offers Hong Kong, who selected him with their
Volcanos = C+
A skip hurts, even in the third round. Honolulu had four picks,
and only selected three players. Why bother trading then if
the pick goes unused? Still, Jamie Pena was a good pick in
the late first round. At 20, he has plenty of time to improve
on his curveball. LF Theo Herring could be something special
as his decent plate discipline is coupled with decent speed.
2B Herbie Brooks has one thing going for him, hes 18.
Thats about it.
Rastafarians = NA
Lacking picks means no grading and time to sit around.
Beach Lobsters = B
Even with the depth of the pitching prospects, speed and hitting
was the focus of Long Beach in this draft. The first position
player taken was catcher John Blue, who has all the earmarks
of being great at the plate and behind it. Both second rounders,
RF Hubie Poole and SS Fernando Hibbard, were fine picks when
made. Poole has good speed and fielding ability for right
field. Hibbard was the all around best fielder for shortstops.
The question is can they, and third round pick LF Bill Utley,
turn into professional hitters.
Angeles Riots = C-
Another team with only a third round pick, the Riots grabbed
shortstop Gerry Hale. He might have some pop in his bat, and
is a switch hitter, but the defense has a long way to go for
the most demanding position on the infield.
Marauders = C-
Center fielder Lou Wise is fairly quick, good arm, decent
fielder, left handed, and should develop into a solid average
and power guy. Not bad with a late first round pick. Milan
then grabbed the best third baseman of the draft, Art Williams,
in the second round. However, the Marauders skipped their
third round pick, which is a waste.
York Nukes = B-
Despite the deep pitching of this draft, New York went with
hitters. Third baseman Donald Kelly has the arm and range
for a great hot corner defender. A lefty and only 19, his
offense should improve. Right fielder Randy Pappas, another
19 year old, looks almost as good as Kelly in potential, but
probably better suited to DH. Outfielder Frank Manning is
18 and quick, but no more can be said really.
De Janerio Capybaras = F
The Capybaras had a pick. Yes it was the last of the third
round. But, Rio De Janerio did not even bother to make it.
Instead, it was registered as a skip. Ah well.
Godfathers = NA
No picks, no grade, and a long break to do nothing.
Swedes = C
All three pitchers, Joe Branson, Jerry Martin, and Ben Mason,
went a little higher than they should have. Branson, a lefty
with three great off speed pitches, isnt really disciplined
and might not have what it takes to be an every day starter.
Martin falls in the same boat. Another first round pick, he
doesnt have much endurance, has weak control, but makes
up for it with a sweet slider and two other developing pitches.
Mason, a high second round pick, has the endurance and control,
but four mediocre pitches. Finally, LF Ed Plodinec is another
18 year old with youth on his side and not much else. This
wasnt a bad draft, it just wasnt great for where
these players were taken.
Rebels = B+
Taking all pitchers, Sydney landed a stud arm in the first
round with Charlie Cutshaw as well as two 18 year old projects
in Jim Floyd and Rich Petrocelli. Cutshaw was one of three
cannon arms in the draft, the other two went first and second.
Floyd has some great stuff, but like Petrocelli, needs to
learn the strike zone.
Tsunamis = B-
The Tsunamis held onto their first round pick and took the
best outfielder, Brian Phelps. Phelps has great speed and
ability to put the ball in play. Mix in a decent glove and
arm, he was clearly the best choice and Tokyo called it right.
Mounties = C+
The second best hitter in the draft, center fielder Clem Hines,
went to the Mounties in the first round and was a good late
pick. Left fielder Gene Livingstone has equal speed to Hines,
but less contact and much less power. Both are solid defensively
and could play in Vancouvers future outfield. Third
round 3B Joe Henderson again has the defense, but probably
not the offense to make it to the big leagues.