Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Season 16 draft review

It's time to review picks 6-10 in this seasons draft. Once again I'll throw in some reviews of players taken by each franchise in rounds 2-5 as well. I think it adds a little bit to the review and gives teams something to think about. If not, then it at least interests me.

St. Louis Vipers
1(6). Sean Shipley(P) S/L, 18, Hiland, IL
         Shipley is a pitcher with some tremendous upside. The knock on Shipley is his stamina projections, but with his durability and control, this guy could be a 200 inning a season pitcher. He projects to have outstanding control to go along with good velocity. He'll be really tough on both right handers and lefties alike. He should develop a good 4 seamer and a really good second pitch slider. His change up will be pretty good for a third pitch and his curveball will be a great fourth pitch. Throw in a split finger fastball as a fifth pitch to keep hitters thinking. He's not much of a groundball pitcher, but I doubt that will stop him from being a great pitcher. This guy has the projections to be a top pitcher in Pine Tar down the road.

5(177). Kevin Craddock(LF) L/L, 22, Hinsdale, NH
             Usually I wouldn't write anything about a 5th round pick, but this guy surprisingly has some decent projections and could eventually spend a little time in the bigs. I doubt he'll ever be a regular, but he could fill in for sure. Low contact, decent power, good splits and a decent eye, make this guy a fringe major league talent.

Boston Pilgrims
1(7). Bucky Simpson(P) R/R, 18, Thomasville, GA
        Simpson is right in line with what a team would expect with this pick. He's not great, but he's still pretty good. He has low to average stamina with good durability. He projects with very high control which will help him pitch deep into games even with the lower stamina. He'll only be average against lefties and just above average against righties. He has lower velocity and won't be much of a groundball pitcher. He does project to have a decent 4 seam fastball to go with a good slider a below average change up third pitch and pretty good fourth pitch curveball. I don't think he'll be a cy young winner, but he should have some good seasons.

1(53). Brian Lowrie(SS) S/R, 18, Sabinal, TX
          Lowrie was drafted as a shortstop, but ideally he's more of a thirdbaseman. He has the range and arm to play the position but his glove doesn't look like it will develop to that point. He's not fast, but he isn't slow either. I don't see him stealing bases, but he won't hurt a team with his base running. He projects to have good contact with really good power. His splits are both projected low, but he does have a decent eye. This is a solid pick at number 53 and he should be a major leaguer in the future, but not much of an impact player.

2(81). Vincenzo Tenbrink(LF) L/L, 20, Shelton, CT
          To think that with the 81st pick of the draft this team was able to get Tenbrink shows the depth of this draft. While he isn't projected to be a great player, he should still be able to crack the major league roster in the future. He has lower contact, but good power. He is below average against lefties, but he'll hit righties pretty good. He doesn't have much of an eye at the plate. He projects to have good base running, but he's not fast. Tenbrink should be a solid role player one day.

3(114). Hack Washington(SS) R/R, 21, Blooming Grove, TX
            Washington isn't much of a hitter, but has a little bit of power. He projects to have a decent glove with a phenomenal arm. He could spend time in the bigs as a reserve, but not much more.

4(146). Darren Urich(C) R/R, 22, Red Oak, OK
            Ok, seriously? How in the heck did this guy fall all the way to pick 146? Am I missing something? He projects to be a decent catcher behind the plate. He looks like he'll have good contact, good power, with really good splits and a decent eye. If this guy isn't a major leaguer then maybe I'm seeing his projections incorrectly. He should have a solid big league career if I'm right.

5(178). Jerry Twitchell(SS)

Charlotte Bad News
1(8). Rafael Unamuno(LF) R/R, 18, Los Olivos, CA
        Another solid selection at the top of the draft with Unamuno. He'll be a solid fielder out in left and won't hurt the team there. He isn't much of a base runner if there is any knock on him. He projects to have real good contact and power. He should crush left handers and still be pretty good against righties. He also has a real good eye at the plate. Unamuno should be able to bat a .300 with a .380 OBP and throw in 30-40 homers. This is a pretty good get at the 8th spot in the draft.

1(54). Edwin Reese(CF) R/R, 18, St George, UT
          Reese could be a great centerfield glove one day. He projects to have really good range and a pretty good glove to go with it. His arm isn't great but isn't terrible either. He has good speed and base running and will be a stolen base threat. He has lower contact and very little power. He is below average against left handers, but real good against righties and has a below average eye. I could see Reese manning center in the bigs eventually and having a solid career.

3(115). Logan Hearn(P)
4(147). Daryl Jensen(P)
5(179). Miguel Ugueto(P)

Minnesota PeaceFrog
1(9). Gil Wainwright(LF) L/L, 22, Leamington, ON
         Wainwright projects to be a solid ML player in the future, but not a difference maker. I'm not sure he has the abilities to be an all star, but he should help out the big league team. He isn't much in the field but should be OK out in left. His hitting projections are better than his fielding. He should have good contact, and decent power. For a left hander he'll hit lefties pretty good and do fairly good against right handers as well. His batting eye worries me a bit, but it isn't terrible. He should be a real good base runner for a slow guy. He should develop into a .280+ hitter with 20 homer potential.

2(83). Pedro Delgado(SS)
3(116). Clark Truman(P)
4(148). Ricardo Megias(C)
5(180). Luis Ozuna(RF)

Kansas City Kardinals
1(10). Elroy Epstein(SS) R/R, 18, Hartland, WI
          Epstein should turn out to be an average shortstop in the field. He could be a really good thirdbaseman as he lacks ideal shortstop range. He has average speed and good base running projections. He may be able to steal a couple bases in his career but not many. Epstein shows average contact projections with some power. He has good splits and a decent eye. I could see him hitting around .270 with 10 homers regularly.

2(84). Kenneth Miceli(P) R/R, 18, Swampscott, MA
           Miceli is a decent pick at this spot. He has good stamina, and durability. His control will be an issue that may keep him from ever being a major leaguer. His splits are good and he's a groundball pitcher. He projects to have a good 4 seamer and cut fastball. His third pitch curveball is good and he has a decent change up for his out pitch.

3(117). Alton Trammell(SS)
4(149). Stuffy Hyers(P)
5(181). Lance LaRocca(2B)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Season 16 draft review

I guess I should get on this now that most of the picks have signed. It was a pretty deep draft class with plenty of players that could play in the majors one of these days. There wasn't many impact players but it was still a good draft. I'll take a look at each teams draft in a series of posts and give my insight as to how these players should turn out.

Iowa City Hawkeyes
1(1). Sticky Farquhar(P) L/L, 18, Lincoln, NE
         While there weren't many impact players in the draft, the top overall selection should be. This is a franchise that is need of some good young talent and direction, and this pick should provide that for them. With real good stamina and durability, this guy should be able to pitch every 4th or 5th day without problem. He projects to have great control, and should be tough on right and left handers. He won't have good velocity, but should be a groundball pitcher. He should develop a real good 4 seam fastball an even better slider, a pretty good curveball and he'll even have a decent change up as a 4th pitch. If Farquhar develops like he should, then this pick could be the start of good things to come from this franchise.

2(33). Gary Graves(P) R/R, 22, Coral Gables, FL
          Graves is a pretty solid pick at this spot. Another starter for this team that should be a good #4 or 5 guy. Decent control, decent splits, great velocity, and good at getting the groundball. He should develop a good 4 seamer, with a decent slider, a below average change up for a 3rd pitch, but good 4th pitch curveball and 5th pitch sinker.

3(107). Russell Fleming(CF/2B) R/R, 20, Rochester, NY
            Projects to be a solid fielder in centerfield or a real good second baseman. Not much of a hitter, but could see time in the big leagues as a reserve and defensive replacement.

4(140). Francisco Valentin(SS)
5(172). Dusty Robinson(SS)

Chicago Wind Tunnel
1(2). Russell Powell(1B) S/R, 18, Courtland, AL
        Powell looks like he could develop into a very good hitter in the future. He looks like a pretty good fielder for firstbase, but that is likely the only position he could play. He lacks speed but should develop good base running skills. His projects to be a good contact hitter with a little bit of pop. He could be a 20 homer guy. He should hit lefties and righties very good and has an outstanding eye. He should easily be a 300 hitter. While I'm not sure he will put up hall of fame numbers, he should turn into a really good major leaguer and make his fair share of all star games.

1(52). Kyle Olsen(C)

2(76). Gus Castillo(SS) S/R, 18, Kansas City, KS
           Castillo was drafted as a SS, but I don't think he can develop into one. He's at best a solid 3B. He has a little speed, but not enough to be a base stealer. His hitting is below average. I doubt he'll make it to the big leagues if he even signs.

3(109). Christopher Darnell(RF) S/R, 22, Kansas City, MO
4(141). Al Bush(CF)
5(173). Howard Lary(P)

Austin Tumbleweeds
1(3). Harvey Merrick(C) R/R, 20, University City, MO
        Merrick was a solid pick at this spot. He has the arm to play catcher, but doesn't appear to have the ability to learn how to call a game. His contact and power are solid and he should hit pretty well against righties and lefties. He has a great eye which should make him a higher OBP player. He should develop into a 20 homer, .290 average and .350 OBP player that is best suited as a DH.

2(77). Ken Martin(P) R/R, 20, Arecibo, PR
          I could see this guy contributing in the big leagues one day. He has the stamina to be a starter but the durability to only be a spot starter. He won't develop the control to be a great pitcher, but he should be good against left handed hitters and real good against right handers. His velocity isn't good, but he should be a decent pitcher at forcing groundballs. He should develop a good 4 seam fastball, a great slider, and decent change up, curveball and forkball out pitches. Not a bad pick in this spot at all.

3(110). Ed Perez(P) L/L, 21, Greenville, MS
            Perez may likely never be a solid major leaguer, but he has most of the tools. He should develop real good stamina, control, and a couple good pitches. What will hold him back is he doesn't pitch good to either righties or lefties and has bad velocity.

4(142). Nate Ryan(P)
5(174). Bo Corcoran(P)

Colorado Springs Night Watchmen
1(4). Pedro Reyes(RF) L/L, 19, Palmyra, VA
        For a team that doesn't have many picks in the first five rounds after losing them with free agent signings, this team had to go big early. They did just that with this pick. Reyes should develop into a real good right fielder for this team in the field. He projects to have unmatched contact, and awesome power. He'll hit lefties real good but may struggle against righties, but being a left handed hitter will off set that. His eye is real good as well. He has decent speed and base running projections as well but won't steal many bases. I think he'll be good for 40 homers, .300+ average, and .380+ OBP in his career. He should be a perennial all star in his career.

4(143). Alex Cairo(P)
5(175). Charlie Peterson(CF)

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
1(5). Clay Vernon(P) R/R, 18, Lithonia, GA
         Vernon was a very nice grab in the 5 spot here. He should turn into a very nice #2 or 3 starter in his career and for most teams a #1. He should develop pretty good stamina and durability. His control will be good but not great and he will pitch good against lefties and should be even better against right handers. He should develop great velocity and will be a pretty good groundball pitcher. He should also develop a real good 4 seamer, but a below average 2nd pitch sinker. His 3rd pitch split finger fastball is decent and his curveball is below average for even an out pitch. Overall, he should have a pretty good career and was a nice find with this selection.

3(112). Don Hatcher(3B) R/R, 21, Caguas, PR
            Not a bad pick for the 3rd round and this deep into the draft. He has a solid glove and decent arm for 3rd base. He doesn't have much speed. He has just below average contact projections and not much power. He will have good AB's against righties and lefties, but doesn't have much of an eye at the plate. Hatcher could see some time in the bigs, but will never be a regular.

4(144). Gus Moreno(CF)
5(176). Henry Rivera(2B)

That's it for today's review of the draft's opening rounds. I'll try and get the next 5 up soon so stay tuned into the Pine Tar blog to see how each team did with the draft this season and see how I feel about your top picks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hall of Fame Review-Frank Martin

Hall of Fame-Frank Martin
In season 16 here at Pine Tar, the owners chose to vote just one player into the Hall of Fame and that player is Frank Martin. Martin becomes the fourth member of the Hall and he surely had the career to back up the selection. He displayed power, pure hitting ability and patience at the plate. He won many awards and was part of championship teams. Let me tell you a little more about our latest inductee.

Frank Martin got his career started back in season 1 with Washington, when he made a splash in half of a season with a .349 average, 14 homeruns, 54 rbi, 52 runs, and 54 walks compared to just 18 strike outs. A trip to the 60 day DL curtailed a season in which he very well could have won his first MVP award. That first MVP award, however came in season 2, when he hit at a .338 clip, with 34 homers, 133 rbi, 128 runs and 140 walks with just 41 strikeouts. That would also be the season in which he won his first World Series ring. Martin would play the next 2 seasons in Washington, until the franchise moved to Hartford. After 6 seasons with the same franchise, his option for season 7 was declined and he became a free agent. That season he was signed to a 5 season deal with a player option by Milwaukee. That was where he would stay until season 12 when he once again became a free agent. This time he signed a 2 year deal with Charleston. After his contract expired in season 14 he resigned with the team for 1 more season. In season 15, Martin signed a 1 season contract to play for Minnesota and never had an impact there. He retired after the season.

Martin finished his career with 389 homeruns, and had 8 straight seasons with more than 30. The most he hit in one season was in season 6 when he hit 50. He also finished his career with 1344 RBI's. He had 8 seasons of more than 100, and his most came in season 6 with 171. Martin had 1318 runs scored, and 8 seasons of more than 100 with his most coming in season 6 with 143. Martin put up the power numbers, but he was much more than that. He finished his career as a .330 hitter. He batted over .300, twelve times with a high of .367 in season 6. He also had a .460 career OBP. He finised season 6, with an unheard of .501 OBP. He had 1431 walks and drew more than 100 walks ten times.

Martins numbers could have been even more had he not spent so much time on the DL. He lost half of season 1 to an injury. He also spent parts of seasons 3, and 8 on the DL. Season 10 was a completely lost season as he spent the majority of it on the DL and only played 7 games.

There aren't many players that have an awards case as big as Martins. Martin had many accolades throughout his career, led by his 3 World Series rings. His first came back in season 2 with Washington. His second ring was with the same franchise, but this time they were in Hartford in season 6. The final ring was won in season 12 with Charleston. The personal awards start with his 4 MVP awards. As stated earlier, his first was season 2 with Washington. The second was in season 5 in Hartford. The third was his stellar season 6 campaign with Hartford as well. The final MVP was won in season 9 with Milwaukee. The biggest surprise with Martin, is that he only made the all star game 4 times in his career. Seasons 5, 6, 7, and 9 were the only seasons that he was elected to the team. He also won 7 silver slugger awards and even won 1 gold glove in RF.

Martins season 6 batting average of .367 still ranks 4th all time. His .501 OBP from that season is 1st all time and he actually holds the top 4 spots in single season OBP. His 1.240 OBP+SLG is 1st all time. He also holds the top 3 spots in single season walks. For career ranks, he is #3 in batting average, #1 in OBP, #2 in OBP+SLG, #4 in Slg, and #2 in walks.

Frank Martin had a phenomenal career and I believe the voters got it right by electing him into the Hall of Fame. A great career and one that will be put up for all to see on his Pine Tar Hall of Fame plaque.