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Thread: Reverse Standings and the 2014 MLB Draft

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    Reverse Standings and the 2014 MLB Draft

    As of this morning the Twins are 54-69 and if the season ended today would have the 6th overall pick in the 2014 mlb draft. Why should fans pay attention this early to something that is 9 months away? While giving his top 10 draft prospects for next year Jim Callis at BaseballAmerica proved why it is at least reasonable to care about early lists:

    "Much can happen between the end of the summer circuit of college leagues and showcase circuits and the draft nine months later. Players can progress and regress, they can get hurt, they can emerge from relative anonymity, they can develop signability concerns. That doesn’t stop us from projecting future drafts well in advance, however. Here at Baseball America, we rank everything.


    We usually line up the next year’s draft prospects in a College Top 100 and a High School Top 100 in the fall, then combine them in one list for our Early Draft Preview in January. I can’t review past combined overall Top 10s from this time of year, but I can look back at our recent college and high school lists from the fall before the next year’s draft:


    2013 College Top 5:
    Mark Appel, Sean Manaea, Ryne Stanek, Colin Moran, Jonathon Crawford.
    Appel and Moran went in first six picks, while No. 6-rated Kris Bryant was second overall choice.
    2013 HS Top 5: Austin Meadows, Clint Frazier, Trey Ball, Reese McGuire, J.P. Crawford.
    First three guys were among top seven selections, McGuire and Crawford went in the teens.

    2012 College Top 5: Mark Appel, Deven Marrero, Mike Zunino, Chris Beck, Kevin Gausman.
    Zunino and Gausman were first college players taken, Astros considered Appel at No. 1.
    2012 HS Top 5: Byron Buxton, Lucas Giolito, David Dahl, Walker Weickel, Stryker Trahan.
    Only Buxton and Dahl cracked first 10 picks, Giolito would have if he hadn’t blown out his elbow.

    2011 College Top 5: Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, Matt Purke, Taylor Jungmann, George Springer.
    Cole was No. 1 overall choice, Rendon was No. 6, Springer and Jungmann went 11th and 12th.
    2011 HS Top 5: Bubba Starling, Daniel Norris, Archie Bradley, Dillon Howard, Dylan Bundy.
    Bundy, Starling and Bradley were first three prep players selected, signing for $18.725 million.


    Of the last 30 players to rate among our top five college or high school overall prospects in the fall before their draft, half of them became top-10 picks. That includes two of the three No. 1 overall selections (Appel in 2013, Cole), with 2012′s first choice (Carlos Correa) ranking No. 11 on our High School Top 100 the previous fall. Manaea, Giolito and Purke almost certainly would have gone in the top 10 if healthy, and Giolito was one of six of the players mentioned above taken in the 11-20 range.


    Overall, that looks like a pretty good track record to me. But I suspect that Bill and most of you reading this are more interested in my projections for 2014, so let’s get to those."

    Jim Callis goes on to list his top 10 prospects (5 college/5 HS) which using his basic analysis we can guess 5 will go in the top 10 next year, 1 will go in the teens, and 4 should fail to produce or get injured. Obviously this isn't an exact science and a lot could happen but I think this proves that following prospects this early isn't a complete waste. Here is his list:

    "1. Carlos Rodon, lhp, North Carolina State
    Spectacular summer with Team USA cements him as clear top prospect for now.
    2. Jeff Hoffman, rhp, East Carolina
    Starred in Cape Cod League last two summers with mid-90s fastball, big-breaking curve.
    3. Tyler Kolek, rhp, Shepherd (Texas) HS
    His size (6-foot-6, 250-pounds), consistent upper-90s fastball make him the top prep prospect.
    4. Trea Turner, ss, North Carolina State
    More than just a burner, he also offers hitting prowess and the ability to stick at shortstop.
    5. Alex Jackson, c/of, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
    Plays a premium position, has some of the best power potential in the 2014 crop.
    6. Jacob Gatewood, ss, Clovis (Calif.) HS
    Put on a show during Home Run Derby at Citi Field, may wind up at third base down the road.
    7. Tyler Beede, rhp, Vanderbilt
    Can make hitters swing and miss with three pitches but can’t always control and command them.
    8. Touki Toussaint, rhp, Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian HS
    Has struggled with command this summer but his premium stuff is impossible to deny.
    9. Brady Aiken, lhp/of, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego
    Projectable athlete could have three plus pitches in time, reminds me of Trey Ball at same stage.
    10. Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State
    With his solid fastball, plus changeup and impressive pitchability, he’ll move quickly in pro ball."

    He lists 7 pitchers, 2 possible SS, and 1 possible catcher. All are need positions for the Twins. Till the end of the regular season I plan to update this thread on the Twins current reverse position and post updates on not only the players posted above but other top prospects for those interested.

    (P.S. I know I copy and pasted a lot of the article but I felt it was too good to chop up. For those interested in the full article Callis goes on to talk about the newly acquired Miguel Sulbaran. Well worth the read. Link here:
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/ask-ba-2014-draft-top-prospects/)

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    Apologies if this is a tangent to your post, but I'm wondering if MLB will switch to a draft lottery in the future, like the NBA. Maybe it's my perception, but I can't recall seeing so many MLB teams that just flat-out stink the way that this year's cellar dwellers do. It almost seems as if there's a race to the bottom, just so a team can lock up the next future star. Maybe it's a result of baseball's growing gap between the big media money players and the small market moneyball squads. Or maybe it's just what I'm seeing.

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    The Twins are one game behind/ahead of the 4th pick (Cubs/Brewers), but if they start winning they are four games off the 14th pick (Rockies). So lots of volatility.
    Last edited by PseudoSABR; 08-20-2013 at 02:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LastOnePicked View Post
    Apologies if this is a tangent to your post, but I'm wondering if MLB will switch to a draft lottery in the future, like the NBA. Maybe it's my perception, but I can't recall seeing so many MLB teams that just flat-out stink the way that this year's cellar dwellers do. It almost seems as if there's a race to the bottom, just so a team can lock up the next future star. Maybe it's a result of baseball's growing gap between the big media money players and the small market moneyball squads. Or maybe it's just what I'm seeing.
    I wouldn't throw out the possibility of there ever being a draft lottery but there has never been any public talk about it. In the NBA and NFL you have a possibility of drafting a player who could immediately come in and be a starter while in baseball even the best prospects have to spend time in the minors. Not only does this increase the possible length of a rebuild but decrease the immediate financial incentive to tank. Tanking and rebuilding are often confused to be one and the same. Players and couches play for the now while GMs have to keep one eye on the present and one on the future.

    Also, while the NBA does have a draft lottery has it ever stopped teams from tanking?
    Last edited by cmb0252; 08-20-2013 at 03:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    The Twins are one game behind/ahead of the 4th pick (Cubs/Brewers), but if they start winning they are four games off the 14th pick (Rockies). So lots of volatility.
    The worst possible spot, draft wise, is to end up at 11. Not only will your pick not be protected but you won't actually have the 11th pick. The Blue Jays failed to sign their first round pick, 10th overall pick, so they will get the 11th pick. Any team that finishes 11th or worse, better in reality, will get bumped down a spot.

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    Rodon isn't likely, but you might catch me dreaming about his teammate (Trea Turner) plenty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LastOnePicked View Post
    Apologies if this is a tangent to your post, but I'm wondering if MLB will switch to a draft lottery in the future, like the NBA. Maybe it's my perception, but I can't recall seeing so many MLB teams that just flat-out stink the way that this year's cellar dwellers do. It almost seems as if there's a race to the bottom, just so a team can lock up the next future star. Maybe it's a result of baseball's growing gap between the big media money players and the small market moneyball squads. Or maybe it's just what I'm seeing.
    Oh please god no lottery.
    Congrats NBA on being a circus act.

    I don't think that I have ever once watched an MLB game where I got the feeling that a team was intentionally trying to lose. Having a crappy team because you are rebuilding is not tanking, telling Mark Madsen to jack up 15 3 pointers is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
    Oh please god no lottery.
    Congrats NBA on being a circus act.

    I don't think that I have ever once watched an MLB game where I got the feeling that a team was intentionally trying to lose. Having a crappy team because you are rebuilding is not tanking, telling Mark Madsen to jack up 15 3 pointers is.
    I agree, although Jamey Carroll lobbing 75 MPH meatballs from the mound may make a compelling arguement for those that disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    I agree, although Jamey Carroll lobbing 75 MPH meatballs from the mound may make a compelling arguement for those that disagree.
    Which would be a funny but poor argument. Playoff teams, this year, have thrown out position players after being blown out. While not common it is always awesome!

    Even if teams were tanking, which they are not, no one can out suck the Astros! Luckily for bad teams there look to be multiple studs up top. Turner has been one of my personal favorites but Kolek has been killing it lately! Dude hit 99 last week.

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    Not tanking? Operating on mini-budgets like Houston and Miami? Houston isn't poor and yet they will use a mini-budget and select 1st overall for the third consectutive year! I have yet to hear that Houston will make a substantitive investment to make 2014 season a .500 or better season--I'm not holding my breath either!

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    Perfect Game All American (best high school players in the country) expert notes:

    Chris Crawford: "I had a chance to sneak down to San Diego for the weekend to check out the Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego; and I think the overall talent was a notch-above what we saw last year, particularly on the mound. I wasn’t in love with everything I saw, especially in the field, but there were some clear first-round guys that stood out over the weekend. These events are far from a perfect look — several of these kids are clearly worn down from the season and the other events — but it’s a good chance to see some of the better talents in the class face off against each other, and several players stood out over the two days I was there."

    Notes to his article on the players:
    http://mlbdraftinsider.com/2013/08/thoughts-on-perfect-game-all-american-classic/

    Matt Garrioch : "The Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego last Sunday was a high scoring game, but didn't have a lot of offense. It ended at 8-6 with the West on top but it was a sloppy game and was much more showcase than game. Many of the better players played showcase games to show off what they had, tools wise, than a baseball game to show their ability.That is typical of these games and of many of the games that I see. I don't get the chance to sit on a lot of games in season for these guys as I am in the north and most of the best players are in Cali, Florida, Georgia and Texas. For that reason, many times, it's hard for me to get a grasp on the level of polish that a player actually has.
    The way I approach these games is watching to see what level of tools and ability a player has and what he could do with them if it works out right and less on how likely a guy is to work a count, hit the cut off man or make a productive out. This is finding how much "clay" a player has to work with. Will player development have enough to make a statue or just a small bowl?
    Like I said, the game wasn't that great. It was sloppily played. Catchers got crossed up. There were errant pick off moves and catcher interferences and so on, but it still had a pile of talent."

    Notes to the article on the players:
    2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic Recap - Minor League Ball

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    Perfect Game All American (best high school players in the country) expert notes continued:

    BaseballAmerica: "
    Throughout the summer, high school pitching class has emerged as the strength of the rising senior crop, and those arms were showcased on national spotlight during the Perfect Game All-American Classic held Sunday night.

    As 51 of the best high schoolers in the country played in Petco Park in San Diego, on a national stage on MLB Network, the West topped the East 8-6. Despite 14 runs scored, pitching dominated the game. With 34 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, nearly two-thirds of the recorded outs came on strikeouts (63 percent). Seven errors in the game helped account for the scoring.


    The depth of power arms displayed unprecedented velocity for high school standards. In one-inning stints, the pitchers were able to rear back for their best stuff. All but one of the 19 pitchers touched 91 mph or better. The peak velocity at last year’s Perfect Game All-American Classic, for comparison’s sake, was 94 mph by eventual No. 4 overall draft pick Kohl Stewart. This year nine pitchers hit 95 mph or higher.


    The pitching was so strong that each player warranted recognition. Below you will find each pitcher’s box score line to explain how he performed in his inning and his peak velocity. Then a brief description his stuff follows"

    Notes, scouting reports, and stat lines from the game:
    Pitching Dominates Perfect Game All-American Classic Despite High Score - BaseballAmerica.com

    Keith Law: "Shepherd, Texas, right-hander Tyler Kolek, all 6-foot-6, 245 pounds of him, showed big velocity yet again. He worked 93-97 mph, throwing just one off-speed pitch in an 81 mph curveball. Assuming he stays healthy, he'll probably be the first prep pitcher taken next spring because of his sheer size and fastball. However, other guys in the class have better feel or command.

    Touki Toussaint showed his usual arm strength, although 89-94 is actually a little low for him. His curveball, at 72-73 mph, ranged from a 59-footer to an absolute hammer, but he had no command of anything. That has been the norm for him in showcases. He's lean and athletic with a quick arm and he's hit 97 mph lots of times, but I'd like to see Touki (pronounced TOO-key) show he can pitch too.

    The position player crop wasn't as promising as the arms were. Alex Jackson andJacob Gatewood are the two famous names in the draft class, with Gatewood particularly gaining wider notice after his performance in the home run derby at Citi Field, but neither player looked good this weekend or at the previous week's Area Code Games (which I'll discuss in a separate post). Gatewood seemed to have "homeritis," trying to pull everything as far as he possibly could, even though scouts know he has huge raw power and would prefer to see him make contact and use the whole field more. He does have a plus arm at short that would play at third base. Jackson scuffled behind the plate -- to be fair, I didn't get a throw time under 2 seconds from any catcher during my whole week in SoCal -- and was overrotating at the plate, also trying to do too much. I think he's the better pure hitter, although his future probably isn't as a catcher."

    For more of Law's thoughts on other players (insiders):
    http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/keith-law/post?id=1187

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
    Not tanking? Operating on mini-budgets like Houston and Miami? Houston isn't poor and yet they will use a mini-budget and select 1st overall for the third consectutive year! I have yet to hear that Houston will make a substantitive investment to make 2014 season a .500 or better season--I'm not holding my breath either!
    Houston had an absolutely barren minor league system, a high payroll from trying to buy victories in FA, and an aging and declining core. They went the complete teardown route got a few decent prospects for trading away those aging player and probably accelerated their rebuild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iastfan112 View Post
    Houston had an absolutely barren minor league system, a high payroll from trying to buy victories in FA, and an aging and declining core. They went the complete teardown route got a few decent prospects for trading away those aging player and probably accelerated their rebuild.
    So did Miami....and when they trade Stanton, they will be a good 2 years ahead of MN in the rebuild I'd guess.

    I'm hoping for a starting pitcher again, this system is still a long way from having enough pitching at the high levels. I hope the Twins lose every game the rest of the way, and get Rodon.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    So did Miami....and when they trade Stanton, they will be a good 2 years ahead of MN in the rebuild I'd guess.

    I'm hoping for a starting pitcher again, this system is still a long way from having enough pitching at the high levels. I hope the Twins lose every game the rest of the way, and get Rodon.
    You should probably change your handle to mike wants losses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iastfan112 View Post
    Houston had an absolutely barren minor league system, a high payroll from trying to buy victories in FA, and an aging and declining core. They went the complete teardown route got a few decent prospects for trading away those aging player and probably accelerated their rebuild.
    And now Houston has one of the top 5 talent pools, and trending upward still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    You should probably change your handle to mike wants losses.

    Good thing I was on mute on this call at work, I laughed out loud! good one.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    One mock draft has three college pitchers as the top four players drafted--five of the top nine. If 2015+ are the years of Twins productivity, I would love to see one of those college-age arms in the Twins rotation. Mike Wants Losses? So does Mark

    2014 MLB Mock Draft | 2014 MLB Draft | MLB Draft |

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    One mock draft has three college pitchers as the top four players drafted--five of the top nine. If 2015+ are the years of Twins productivity, I would love to see one of those college-age arms in the Twins rotation. Mike Wants Losses? So does Mark

    2014 MLB Mock Draft | 2014 MLB Draft | MLB Draft |
    Unfortunately, unless he slips, Rodon is a pipe dream at this point. Even if the Twins trade off Morneau and Mauer gets shutdown, I don't see them losing enough games to pick one overall. Definitely would be nice to be in the top 3. There's some great talent there that fits some positions of need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    The Twins are one game behind/ahead of the 4th pick (Cubs/Brewers), but if they start winning they are four games off the 14th pick (Rockies). So lots of volatility.
    I'm unreasonably concerned that the Twins are going to go on some kind of hot streak and end up with a pick in the teens next June rather than one in the top-5. The spread between 4 and 14 are so close, and it makes it hard to cheer for the Twins to win. Last night I was super pumped up and excited when Perkins slammed the door in Cabrera's face. However, I looked at the overall standing this morning and saw that they are now at #8 instead of #5, and the gap to #14 is still only 3 games. Hopefully some separation will form in the bottom of the standing so that I can cheer for the Twins to win without reservation.

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