I have been busy on a freelance project over the summer, which meant that I’ve had little or no time to spend on the blog. I started a few articles which I couldn’t complete satisfactorily enough to post, but maybe I’ll be able to do that with some of those in the coming days unless they become irrelevant. I have, however, followed every game and every development closely, including the draft. I won’t bother compiling a table of the draftees, as New Bucs has already done it, and since I won’t be able to update it. I expect there will be draft trackers elsewhere too.
Wilbur Miller, perhaps better known as WTM, already has short writeups on the top 30 Bucco picks aggregating information from the internet into what is bound to become a starting point for fans looking for information in the near future- Link
Here is a quick take from me on the 2010 draft.
I love it. There is no doubt Machado was the safer pick, but there is equally no doubt that someone like Taillon is what the Bucs need to be successful. Taillon could flame out, and then this draft would be shot. But he should be a solid starter at the very least, but the reason he is the best pick is that his upside is Strasburgian. If you saw Strasburg mow down the Bucs in awe a couple of days back, you got a feel for how important that kind of performance can be to a team coming every fifth day. Taillon is rawm very very raw compared to Strasburg, but you can dream on that kind of an upside for him. There has been much speculation on the internets, but I don’t think there is any way in hell Taillon is unsigned- my biggest worry for him is the demand of a major league contract, which the FO should not agree to. It’s dangerous enough for college hitters like Alvarez, but it could absolutely kill a HS pitcher.
Stetson Allie is not a backup plan for Taillon. His is a different case altogether. Huntington and co would have asked for a number after Day 1 and wouldn’t have been close to an agreement if I am guessing things right. They took a chance on some things falling their way. I expect Allie wants around $3-4M, and I think the Bucs will not want to go higher than $2.5M. I hope they can compromise around $2.75M because it would be huge for the Pirates to sign Allie. Together, the Pirates have to expect their first 2 picks to cost around $9.5-10 M, because Taillon sure won’t settle under $7M. If, however, this is fine with the Pirates, they need to push to get this done asap. It would be very useful for them to get a look at either pitcher in the rookie leagues this year, and develop a path for them over the winter and next year. My guess though is that both might go down to the wire.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, both Taillon and Allie are Hendricks Brothers, so playing one off against another for leverage won’t work, and the negotiations will not be easier than with Boras.
Beyond this, it all goes pear-shaped. Mel Rojas Jr in the 3rd round is a bit of a reach but a decent pick nonetheless with supposed 5-tool potential. Add in about half a million there.It’s after this that the frenetic picking of RHPs start with every pick till #10 an RHP. I am not a big fan of some of these picks, but Hursh and Kubitza jump out to me. Don’t expect more than 1 of the 2 to be signed.
I know little or nothing about most of the following picks, but here are the ones I’d like to see the Bucs make runs at: Andrew Maggi, Matt Curry, Emanuel Kent, Dale Carey, Jared Lakind. Adalberto Santos and Curry are seniors and should be signable. Kelson Brown was a pitcher who hit far better and has been called an SS by the Bucs and should be signable. Connor Sadzeck in the very late rounds has received some acclaim before this, but I don’t know much about him. Will Allen was an HS catcher taken very late who might see some money come his way.
Overall, the fact that the Bucs took HS kids all the way tells you they were looking for upside in the picks so that if they did sign them either due to the kid not wanting college or due to suddenly available money, they get good value. There are 2 keys as far as I am concerned. One, sign the top 3 picks around $10M. Two, pick 3 of the highest upside guys from later, and try to get them for around $1.5-2 M, and spend another 1.5M signing the signable ones. I won’t be unhappy to see us sign only around 20 guys this year, as long as we don’t compromise on ceiling. Also, grabbing cheap HS kids late isn’t a bad strategy- some of them have significant room to improve and having them in the org in rookie ball for a year might be a good start. Some will learn quick!
So post random speculation, it seems the Bucs will need to spend about $14M to do anything with this draft. If they do, we could have a very deep prospect list in 2011. Unfortunately, not many of them will be close to the bigs. And with the lead the Orioles have, a deal with Anthony Rendon doesn’t look any too likely in the next draft. So, what should the Bucs do for the next few years at the big league level? That was the topic of another post that I hope to get done soon! Meanwhile, let’s bask in the euphoria of a spectacular draft, and a potential spectacular draft class!