Before the 2006 Amateur Draft, I identified 15 prospects the Mariners should be looking at, and at the top of that list was Tim Lincecum. I was very disappointed when the M's passed on him with the fifth pick, though to this point Brandon Morrow looks very good. So, since my top-rated prospect from the 2006 draft just made the majors, I figured now is as good of a time as any to check up on the 15 players the M's should have been looking at in the 2006 draft:
15. Whit Robbins, 1B, Twins (68, High-A): He is struggling some with a .235 batting average and no home runs. However, he's still got great plate discipline with a .361 on-base percentage. Robbins only has 98 bats so far this year, so he could heat up.
14. Evan Longoria, 3B, Devil Rays (99, AA): The consensus was that Longoria was the best position prospect in last year's draft and now I agree. Right now, his adjusted Major League rating in my 100-point system is a 69. Outside of Lincecum, Longoria is the closest to major-league ready on this list.
13. Chad Huffman, OF, Padres (88, High-A): He hit every at TCU, and (surprise!) he's hit at all the minor league levels he has been at so far!
12. Luke Hopkins, 1B, Blue Jays: He struggled after getting drafted last year, and is yet to appear in a minor league game this year.
11. Ryan Strieby, 1B, Tigers (89, Low-A): Like Hopkins, Strieby struggled after getting drafted this year, but is off to a good start this season. He has cut back on his strikeouts, which is very promising.
10. Brad Lincoln, P, Pirates: Lincoln was the Pirates' top selection, but despite that he has not appeared in a minor league game this year.
9. Steven Wright, P, Indians (68, Low-A): He has recorded great strikeout numbers so far this year, but been mediocre to sub-par in everything else.
8. Wade LeBlanc, P, Padres (95, High-A): LeBlanc, like Wright, is also posting great strikeout numbers. However, he is dominating no matter what the stat. He stood in the SEC, the king of all baseball conferences, and so far he has stood out in the minors.
7. Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals (66, AA): Jay was outstanding in his pro debut last year, but so far he has also struggled. I think the Cardinals have rushed him some, but he will have to prove he can hit in AA at some point.
6. Cole Gillespie, OF, Brewers (71, High-A): Gillespie is another guy who tore up the minors after getting drafted this year, but has gotten off to a rather slow start this year. His strikeout rate is high, which does not bode well for sudden improvement.
5. Max Scherzer, P, Diamondbacks: Arizona is yet to sign this guy, their top pick in the '06 draft, so he has not played at all yet.
4. Eddie Degerman, P, Cardinals (99, Low-A): He's only had one start this entire year, so it's unfair to rank him, but I did anyway. He was very good after getting drafted last year though.
3. Craig Cooper, 1B, Padres (83, High-A): He's neither the most nor the least successful prospect on this list. If he cuts down on his strikeouts some he could be a really special hitter.
2. Andrew Miller, P, Tigers (89, High-A): The consensus #1 player from last year's draft has been very good so far, but not the best. His strikeout rate is lower than expected.
1. Tim Lincecum, P, Giants (118, AAA): This kid dominated from pitch one in the minors, and didn't let up until the Giants called him up for his first start on Sunday. He got roughed up a little by the Phillies, but his adjusted Major League rating in my formula is 100. Lincecum has the potential to be this year's Francisco Liriano.