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2011 Draft: Day 2 Recap

There's a ton more to cover on this day. There's no way to say everything, but I'll do my best to highlight what strikes my fancy as I go through the picks.

One quick note: I plan on doing a pick-by-pick analysis of the Mariners draft, but I will wait until the very end to do that. However, my quick take on today is that the Mariners made many unspectacularly solid picks. It was college heavy, and particularly heavy on guys that are simply "ballplayers" - not necessarily the tallest, fastest, or strongest, but a bunch of guys that found ways to get the job done with what they've got. They are unlikely to flame out, and also unlikely to be stars.

On to specific picks, in bullet points, organized by round. If I didn't write anything about the player mentioned, I most likely covered him either on my top 33 list, or as part of my day 2 preview:

  • The Pirates started with a big splash by picking Josh Bell. If people thought they were aggressive when they took Stetson Allie early on the second day last year, what do they have to say now? Bell might be just as pricy as Cole. I don't think Pittsburgh will get Bell signed, but we will see. It does make a statement that they are serious about the draft, especially if they pony up a pretty sweet offer. This was a stunning start to the day.
  • Contrast that with the next pick, where the Mariners took Brad Miller. I looked at Miller in my day 2 preview, but this was a little early for him. He doesn't have power, and I don't think he's good enough defensively to justify the lack of power. He's a solid utility type in my eyes, with upside to be a dependable starter if he sticks in the middle of the diamond with good defense.
  • The Diamondbacks took yet another power righty in Anthony Meo. While I like Meo (another guy I previewed heading into today), he's redundant for Arizona, considering all the pitching they already had drafted. It's too much duplicity for my taste. Even though Meo was a good pick at the slot, he wasn't the only good value pick, and there were others that would have diversified Arizona's haul more.
  • Dillon Howard, 30th on my top 33 list, went to the Indians with the 67th pick.
  • WSU lefty Adam Conley went 72nd overall to the Marlins.
  • The Rangers might have a bit of a find in Clemson southpaw Chris Lamb, the 83rd overall pick. He has great size (6'6"), and has split his time between the mound and the field. Since he was announced as a pitcher, I'm assuming that he will be a pitcher for Texas. They have a strong track record of developing pitching, and Lamb might be a bit of a blank slate, especially compared to most college arms. He has power though. Usually I'm not a big fan of such developmental picks this early, but Texas knows its development system. This guy fits their organization well.
  • The Nationals took a chance on Matt Purke, 96th overall, and 32nd on my top 33. He's a high upside pick that fell only due to quite legitimate injury concerns. I still think Purke will cost a pretty penny to sign, because if he can bounce back and have a strong year at TCU next spring, he likely shoots up draft boards. I am interested to see what Purke does, and what the Nationals offer. This was a good risk taken by the Nationals, especially with the impressive haul they got on day one. Love, love, love the Nats attack in this draft.
  • John Stilson went 108th overall to the Blue Jays. I should have written something about him, so I will now. He is a right-handed pitcher that was lights-out in relief last year, and was impressive as a starter this year. The problem is that he has a labrum problem, which means massive surgery and a long recovery time. It's a huge blow that came down a few weeks ago. Obvious, on a personal level, it's hard not to be heartbroken for Stilson. However, he was easily in my top 33 before the injury, and a consensus first round pick. I wasn't sure how hard he'd be hit by the injury in the draft, but this seems like a pretty optimistic landing spot. 
  • There is a compensation round after the third round, and the Mariners were the only team with a pick in it. They took Carter Capps, and I don't know anything about him at this point, but I will when I write about him tomorrow. It was just funny to see a whole round with only one pick.
  • The Mariners took John Hicks, a catcher, with the 123rd overall pick. I am sorry that I overlooked him as I looked through college players, because he looks like a solid backstop. It made me happy to see the M's address the catching position with a guy like Hicks.
  • Jake Lowery, listed as Mark Lowery in the draft, was the Indians selection at 128th overall. He was a senior at James Madison, and although I included him in my day 2 preview, I'm surprised he went this early. I'm not even sure I would have gone with him this early, and I liked him. The Indians must really believe in his power potential.
  • The Brewers selected Nick Ramirez with the 131st overall pick. He is listed as a first baseman, but what's so special about him is his ability to hit and pitch at a remarkably high level. He's a pitcher for me, but apparently a hitter for Milwaukee. We'll see. How about a pinch hitting reliever? Why don't more teams look for a guy like that? There are a handful of guys that hit and pitch in college every year, though Ramirez is a cut above the "normal" two way player.
  • The Rangers selected speedy prep outfielder Desmond Henry 144th overall. When I saw that he was drafted, I kicked myself for not writing about him in my preview for today. I liked him quite a bit with the tape I saw on him leading up to the draft. I think he's got a nice swing, and tremendous speed. While a little raw, there's alot to like, especially if he gains noticeable power as he matures. I didn't think Texas had all that great of a first day, but they followed up with some nice selections early in day two.
  • Sam Gaviglio, a pitcher I really liked at Oregon State, went 170th overall to the Cardinals.
  • Ryan Wright, 24th on my top 33, was drafted by the Reds 175th overall.
  • Chris Marlowe, a reliever from Oklahoma State that intrigues me, went to the Giants 177th overall. His numbers are very interesting. The K rate is massive (like over 15 K/9 massive), but so are the walks and ERA. He is definitely wild, but there is some promise in his stuff. My question is whether or not Marlowe's K rate is inflated because it's the only way he can really get outs. Regardless, the control must improve, but Marlowe could be quite the diamond in the rough if he figures out how to harness his stuff a little better.
  • Greg Bird, 19th on my top 33, went 179th overall to the Yankees. They listed him as a catcher, which makes sense. Only move him off the more premium defensive position if needed, but it will be needed.
  • One of the best base-stealers in college baseball this year, Bryson Myles, was selected by the Indians 188th overall.
  • Charlie Lowell, the last player to crack my top 33 list, went to the Marlins 193rd overall.
  • The Dodgers took one of the tougher guys to rate in the draft, Scott Woodward, with the 224th overall pick. He is known as a good defender with the ability to play multiple positions. As a hitter, the swing is nice, and he flashes some power along with good speed. The problem is strikeouts, so many that it's hard to believe he will hit at all in the pros. However, if he can reel those in some, he could be a really nice bench player, or even a super sub type.
  • Gonzaga pitcher Cody Martin went to the Braves 236th overall.
  • Another Gonzaga pitcher, Ryan Carpenter, was selected by the Rays 240th overall. I expected him to go much higher. This could be a steal for Tampa Bay, because they really needed a steal with the small army they drafted on day one.
  • I like the Mariners pick, right-hander Carson Smith, a bunch at this point. He was highly productive at Texas State, with a particularly high strikeout rate. His 6'6" frame seems built for power pitching. However, he's got a quirky wind-up that seems destined to blow out his elbow if he doesn't strain his lower back first. At this point in the draft, there are reasons guys didn't go higher though. If he learns how to drive better off of the mound, he might throw even harder. I am curious to see what the Mariners do with Smith, as he seems to profile as a reliever for me without an overhaul of his mechanics.
  • Tommy La Stella, the most productive draft eligible college player, went 266th overall to the Braves. It's interesting to think that the best went 266th. Perhaps this is one reason the draft seems like such a crapshoot?
  • Not much really interesting going on this round. The guy I like best picked was outfielder Chad Wright, who went to the Tigers 287th overall.
ROUNDS 10 -14
  • Dan Paolini, a second baseman that really intrigues me with the home runs he hit this year, was the Mariners selection at 303rd overall.
  • Pick 304 was Kyle Winkler, a righty I liked quite a bit. He is D'Backs property now, because they hadn't picked enough pitchers I liked already.
  • Pick 305 was Tyler Wilson (listed as Philip Wilson officially by MLB), a righty I liked from Virginia. It was kind of fluky/interesting to me that three guys I took pretty long looks at went in a row as late as the tenth round. Baltimore was the team that picked him.
  • Robert Kral, an undersized catcher that walks a ton from a relatively small school (College of Charleston), went to the Padres 323rd overall. I'm not sure how his skillset plays as a pro, but I think he has a chance to be a bit of a surprise.
  • The Pirates kicked off round 11 with Jo-El Bennett, another guy that is probably tough to sign away from his college commitment. I wonder if the Pirates see him as their backup plan if they can't get Josh Bell to sign. Pittsburgh definitely took some tougher guys to sign, and will have to go over slot to get a few of these players in the fold. There is no way that they get all of these players to ink on the dotted line, but that might be part of the strategy. They seem to have zeroed in on high upside talent, with little regard for price tags.
  • Whoever scouts the Pacific Northwest for the Rays has some serious pull in their draft room. Trevor Mitsui, a prep outfielder from Shorewood, was their 12th round pick. Mitsui has a commitment to the UW, and I'd imagine Tampa Bay would have to go well over slot at this point in the draft for Trevor to break that commitment. My hunch is that he goes to college, but we'll see. I like his power potential.
  • Washington State outfielder Derek Jones was the Orioles 13th round pick.
  • The original Moneyball team made a pick that just hit the soul nicely. The Athletics took Stetson backstop Nick Rickles in the 14th round, he of the wondrous strikeout-to-walk ratio that I talked some about in my day 2 preview.
ROUNDS 15-20
  • Fresno State ace Greg Gonzalez went 473rd overall in the 15th round to the Padres. Even though he is a senior, I am surprised he lasted so long. I like his chances to follow the lead of a previous 15th rounder, Josh Collmenter, who has been a minor revelation in the majors this year. It doesn't hurt that Gonzalez's home park will be spacious Petco if he can make it.
  • I had to laugh a little bit when the Mariners took Jack Marder, a jack of all trades from the University of Oregon, in the 16th round. I don't think he'll ever hit, but he gets tons of praise for playing the game "the right way." He just strikes me so much as a lovable player the same way that Willie Bloomquist and Tug Hulett seemed so annoying, laughable, and endearing at the same time. I should have known that the M's would continue the legacy, though I also find it interesting that they had Marder listed as a catcher. His value would increase if he can handle the position, though I think ultimately his ticket to the majors (if he can make it) will be his versatility.
  • Florida first baseman Preston Tucker went to the Rockies 498th overall, in the 16th round. He has his reasons he wasn't a top prospect in this draft, but this is way too low for him. It really seems like power is out and speed is in. I have a hard time believing someone like Tucker would have lasted this long a decade ago, in the height of the steroid era when baseballs were flying out all over the league.
  • Chad Smith, a righty reliever from USC with promising numbers and even a scouting video I can link to, was picked by the Tigers in the 17th round. If you can't tell from the bullet points, the intriguing picks at this point are fewer and farther between at this stage in the draft.
  • Chris O'Brien, the switch-hitting catcher from Wichita State that intrigued me in my day 2 preview, was picked by the Dodgers in the 18th round. Even though he is more or less a one-year wonder at the plate, I am still surprised he lasted this long in the draft.
  • Arizona State change-up artist Mitchell Lambson, with his unsustainably high BABIP, got selected by the Astros in the 19th round. He got lost in the shuffle and fell like I thought he might. We will see if Houston is the beneficiary, and gets a decent left reliever for their bullpen in the future.
  • Chris Joyce, one of the few community college guys that caught my eye looking at stats online, also went in the 19th round, to the Cincinnati Reds.
ROUNDS 20-30
  • Big lefty Mitchell Beacom of UCLA went in the 20th round to the Giants. I like him as a relief prospect.
  • Jordan Ribera, a senior first baseman for Fresno State, was the Rockies 21st round pick. He struggled mightily this year, but had over 20 home runs as a junior. Colorado is banking on a bounce back, though really at this stage any risk is a worthwhile one.
  • Cincinnati's 22nd round pick was was high school pitcher Amir Garrett, one of the first significant stars in another sport to go in the MLB draft. He apparently throws in the low to mid 90s, but of course is a project because he's been too busy doing things like this on the hardwood.
  • Richard White, the Mariners 23rd round pick, had no school listed when he was picked. Luckily, Larry Stone tweeted some details, and Rainiers play-by-play man Mike Curto had one of the more geekier and amusing tweets of the day.
  • Washington State first baseman Taylor Ard was selected by the Red Sox in the 25th round. I am not sure how he lasted this long, as he looked pretty good on video, and came on strong statistically to finish the season. Boston is one of those farm systems that seems to do a good job developing talent too. For instance, Alex Hassan was a 20th round pick in 2009 for them, and his AA numbers this year are outstanding.
  • Tennessee senior second baseman Khayyen Norfork was the Nationals 23rd round pick. I don't think he has much power, but I like his speed, and I think he has a chance to hit enough to provide organizational depth in the middle infield.
  • Casey Hauptman is a tall senior right-hander from Nebraska, but gets by with impeccable control. The senior soft-tosser went to the Mets in the 26th round.
  • The Tigers took University of Minnesota reliever Scott Matyas in the 27th round. It's easy to see how a fifth-year senior working out of the bullpen would last a while, but he was overpowering in relief. He could be a late round surprise quasi-prospect.
  • Gonzaga catcher Cameron Edman went to the Orioles in the 29th round.
  • The Nationals picked South Carolina lefty Bryan Harper in the 30th round. He has some control issues, but some teams like his stuff. Probably more importantly, Harper is Nats top prospect Bryce Harper's older brother.
  • Jordan Steranka, one of the better hitters in the Big 10 this year, got picked by the Astros in the 30th round.
This is the fun day where draft classes truly form. Diamonds in the rough were found today, and it's only a matter of time as those emerge. Only one player from my top 33 list, Trent Gilbert, remains undrafted. That's likely because I underestimated his college commitment. If I throw him out, the last guy drafted off of my list was Charlie Lowell in the 6th round.
    There are still 20 rounds left tomorrow, and of course I will reload the draft board yet again, in case you are a brave soul that plans to follow the draft all the way to its conclusion. Budweiser could make a Real Men of Genius ad out of a day three draft follower.

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