2007 Draft

Beyond my normal day job, I'm working on a bunch of other stuff for the site from articles to some permanent features to new contributors and so forth, so you'll have to bear with a few slow days until spring training starts. In the meantime, Scout.com released the Top 100 prospects for the 2007 MLB draft and with us picking third (and 31st I believe), I'd imagine that would interest us all. Any of the first four picks sure sound interesting : David Price (LHP): ...electrifying, 6-foot-6 lefty who not only has the projectability and explosive stuff, but the college polish to go along with it. Andrew Brackman (RHP): ...the towering 7-foot righty... (What else do you need to know?) Matt Wieters (C): He has thunder in his bat and has an outstanding arm behind the plate that scouts are already raving about. He's one of the best hitting prospects to come along in recent years. Rick Porcello (RHP): ....armed with a 96 mph fastball and a hard curveball, and his 6-foot-5 frame gives him a huge amount of upside. For an added bonus, three of the four (excluding Porcello) are in college right now so the road to the majors should be a little shorter.
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Andrew Brackman (RHP): …the towering 7-foot righty (What else do you need to know?)

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well, if anyone wanted to know more i wish they would have spoken up when i was around him more (i did offer).

he's um...not the brightest crayon in the box, but he knows what he wants and isnt bragging about it. he's definitely ready to get on with his professional life. good mental makeup, but prone to goofing off like most kids his age. i cant speak for his on-field work ethic.

Crunch:

I wanted to know more about Brackman! And I don't think I was the only one.

And yeah, I think Brackman will fall to the Cubs. Wilken seems to like projectable righthanders.

well, unless i run into him again at a party (doubtful with basketball season in full swing, though he's not playing) i dunno if i'll run into him again in a casual setting.

i had a class with him last semester (when he showed up) as part of the unofficial tall people in the back of the room crew and saw him around at a few basketball player parties.

and no, im not some 30 year old scamming some 18 year old ass at college parties...hehe...as if it would matter anyway. im there strictly for the people i know and the free perks they run into.

Don't be ashamed Crunch, it is perfectly acceptable to be a 30 year-old scamming 18 year old ass. Live the dream brother!!

Dude, i would totally be scamming 18 - 22 year old chicks but my wife won't let me go to those parties.

Drays and Royals need pitchers bad, I'd be surprised if Brackman is there. But hey, it's long way until June, I'd go for the catching prospect myself if he can hit and field...

I vote for the catcher.

If the Padres or Twins were drafting #1 or #2 then the possibility of Price or Brackman droping would be stronger. Royals and D Rays will pay for prospects, especially pitching, which both almost assuredly will. Hello Matt Wieters. If his bat fails he can always be converted to closer. Porcello offers the same tools as Samardzija without the makeup and experience.

yeah I should have mentioned Wieters is also a pitcher although it's believed he'll be drafted as a catcher.

Royals and Devil Rays won't pony up the cash for an expensive college arm like Brackman. Not after they spent a gazillion dollars for Gil Meche and Akinori Iwamura... plus, the Devil Rays need to start saving up for the Scott Kazmir Arbitration fund.

One thing, though, is for sure. There is some interesting first round talent this year, as opposed to 2006.

The Cubs are bound to get a quality player at #3.

Drays haven't passed up on talent in the draft yet as far as I know, why would they start now? Bringing in Dayton Moore makes me think the Royals are going to do things differently.

The Rays are paying Iwamura $1.8m this season. That's nothing. No one else makes any money of consequence on that roster other than Crawford who makes $4m this year. The Days have paid B.J. Upton $4.6m, Niemann $3.2, Dewon Brazelton, $4.2m, and Josh Hamilton $3.9m in recent drafts. They'll draft one of the two top pitchers or Wieters. New owner remember.

I don't know what KC has done in the past to tell you they won't pay for their #1 picks. They paid Alex Gordon $4m, L.Hochevar $3.5m, Greinke $2.5m. They don't sandbag like the sorry Padres and Twins owners.

oh yeah, forgot about Hochevar last year, see Carlos!!!!

The Rays haven't tanked any of their #1 draft picks in regard to money. They just haven't made great decisions considering they're drafting in the top 3 most years...outside of 2005, 8th I believe, when they likely reached on Wade Townshend. Brazelton and Hamilton busts, they've pleaded stupidity in failing to convert Upton to the outfield like AZ did with his little bro. They could've easily moved him to CF with all the time that Baldelli missed due to injury. They also paid Longoria $3m last year. They've just tanked on drafting pitching. Niemann might work out but he's the only one who has a plus upside.

The Devil Rays are paying 6.5M for Iwamura, including the posting fee they sent the Swallows.

Call me crazy (and I know some of you will), but I think the Devil Rays and the Royals will skip the most expensive talent this draft (let's see how Brackman, et al price themselves in two months) for notable bargains -- the Royals might be near their ceiling economically (they're gonna pay Gil Meche 11 million a year!) and I don't think the Devil Rays' new owner is going to spend cash on the draft this year -- draft picks don't make noise and bring people to the ballpark, big signings do. Like Iwamura.

Make that "will skip the most expensive talent of this draft."

Rob, you've got mail.

I don't recall Igacuchi bringing in the fans for the White Sox, i doubt Iwamura will matter much to the DRays. This isn't Dice-K or Ichiro.

who the hell is Igacuchi? Although I know for sure he didn't bring any fans to the park...

Tadihito Iguchi is who I meant...

If you're adding the entire total of the posting fee for this season Iwamura will cost $6.3m. If you spread that out over his 3yr deal he averages $4.05m a season which should be reasonable considering the soft 3B FA market this season. Neither club will pass on top tier pitching. Hochevar sat out an entire season and the Royals still paid him #1 money...Meche's contract won't have anything to do with the draft. Revenues from record ticket sales, luxury tax, & most importantly the new national TV deals doubled the revenue most every club grossed in 2005. To put it in basic terms, if your profit margin in 2005 was 2.5, it's now at least 5.1. That's why the FA signings were so out of control.

re: me not getting 18yr old ass

go cubs!!

in a relationship for 2 years and live with the woman...etc etc...and im a good kid, havent cheated on anyone since 96 and plan on keeping it up.

anyway...brack's still got a year to prove himself...he's got the tools, but he's also coming off a year with a bum hip (the reason he's not playing basketball and wants to enter the draft asap). prove is a strong word

btw, nickname is brick and he has it written on his backpack in magic marker...ah, the innocence of future millionaires. i call him 'brack' cuz that's what i called him (for no reason) before i met him in person and was just another prospect on paper and in conversations.

"prove is a strong word with a guy with his tools and his injury wasnt an arm injury."

accidently erased part of that sentence.

I don't wanna write the Barry Bonds contract entry for TG... blah.

heck if that catcher projects to be anything like joe mauer grab him. those are rare. we can always get pitching from japan or latin america.

The Cubs have a lot of very talented pitchers in their system. While it's obvious that some of them aren't going to pan out, we have a couple of very promising pitchers in Veal, Pawelek, Gallagher, and possibly Samardzija that should be coming up in the next 2-4 years. Price and Brackman have very bright futures, and if either one is available, I'm sure Wilken will snatch him up. But I don't think they'll be available, and because of our relative depth, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

While talented SP is obviously the most valuable commodity in baseball (speaking in generalities, of course), we have some depth in our farm system in that area, whereas we have very little depth in regards to good position prospects and catching prospects.

I know Weiters has a lot of work to do in regards to his mechanics behind the plate, but he appears to be a stud at the plate and the next Cubs' uber-position-prospect. Hopefully this one can actually pan out, assuming we can get him. Would it be unrealistic to think he could be ready in late 2008/2009?

I think the Rays get Price, Royals get Brackman, and hopefully the Cubs snag Weiters. I know there's a lot of talent in this draft, so having the 31st pick should be interesting, too. Any chance of Peavey slipping into the Cubs' hands? AZ Phil? Rob G?

Cubs need to draft some positional talent. Jesus, our positional depth is a freaking joke in the minors. It seems like it is stock full of slap hitters with little upside.

When your 1B man goes down and you have to convert a 2nd base man (who has never played that position in the majors) to 1st base, you have some serious positional shortfalls. The easiest god damn position to fill in any farm system and the best we can come up with was Todd Walker and John Mabry? Hell if Neifi went down we got about fifteen 2b/SS guys who are all pretty much identical. They can field some, but hitting? Not really their cup of tea. And apparently none can play 1b, lol.

its usually a good idea to wait until all the kids play their final years so things settle out, but i hope the cubs opt for a bat, too...for a lotta reasons ryan/mike said and etc.

with a guy lke wieters, even if he cant recieve on a pro level he's got an arm that could let him play 3rd.

still...a lot could happen to a lotta people's status in the next few months.

If Samardjiza works out, the Cubs should look at Colt Brennan and Ray Rice.

Looking at the 4 guys mentioned so far, I agree with most of the posters and say Matt Wieters looks good. The Cubs haven't had a solid minor league pitcher for as long as I can remember. Geovany Soto? Come on. He's lucky he even has a 40man roster spot. Speaking of which, he might be losing it soon depending on what the Cubs decide.

BTW, why have the Cubs been given so much time to make their 40man roster change? They are 1 man over the limit. What exactly is the rule concerning that?

So Sayeth the God of WAR!

Err I meant catcher.

I guess there is no editing on here. Shesh.

So Sayeth the God of WAR!

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the Pirates new uniform

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2007-01-...

ugly as hell. All those vest jerseys suck.

I've heard Weiters has a cannon for an arm and even does some closing, so I agree that he'd have an arm for 3rd. Maybe LF, too. Other position prospects that interest me are Vitters and Burgess, but everyone seems to agree they'll be taken early in the first round, so I doubt there's any chance of them slipping to the 31st pick.

If there's any consolation at all to the Pierre trade (and it's very little consolation, IMO), at least it's a deep enough draft this year so that we'll be getting two very high-end prospects. Hopefully Weiters and Peavey, who has low-90's heat with really good movement and gets a lot of groundballs, which would be perfect at Wrigley. He also has a pretty good slide-piece. Of course, like I said, if Vitters or Burgess dropped that far for any reason other than injury, I'd jump on the chance to take one of them instead of Peavey.

When I saw the photo of Brackman, I immediately thought of Mark Prior. He looks like a taller version of Mark Prior.

Tehmpus — January 31, 2007 @ 12:10 am
Geovany Soto? Come on. He’s lucky he even has a 40man roster spot. Speaking of which, he might be losing it soon depending on what the Cubs decide.

BTW, why have the Cubs been given so much time to make their 40man roster change? They are 1 man over the limit. What exactly is the rule concerning that?

So Sayeth the God of WAR!

===================================

TEHMPUS: There are a couple of possibilities why the second player the Cubs need to remove from their 40-man roster has not yet been announced.

One possibility is that Cliff Floyd's contract is still officially "pending" and has not yet been filed with or approved by the MLB office. If that's the case, then the Cubs will need to make a move only after the contract is officially filed or approved.

The other possibility is that Floyd's contract was filed promptly last week (the day the signing was announced or maybe the day after), in which case the Cubs have already made a roster move (by designating a player for assignment, which would give them 10 days to trade, release, or outright the player), but have not announced the move to the media yet.

Although the media made it sound like it was directly related to signing Cliff Floyd, the release of Glendon Rusch was actually almost certainly connected to the signing of Jeff Samardzija to a Major League contract on January 19th and with the Cubs probably filing the contract with the MLB office and adding him to the 40-man roster on Monday January 22nd. Rusch was released last Wednesday, meaning he was placed on Release Waivers a week ago Monday (Release Waivers are 48-hour waivers), which was a day before Floyd was signed.

So the transaction yet-to-be-announced is the one related to signing Cliff Floyd, and as I said, it all depends on whether Floyd's contract is still "pending," or, if it has been filed with and accepted by the MLB office, when the 10-day DFA period expires for whichever player the Cubs secretly DFA'd last week to make room for Floyd. If the Cubs are waiting for the ten-day DFA period to expire to make the announcement, then expect some announcement by the end of this week.

And as I've said before, if a player has already been Designated for Assignment (and that is a pretty good possibility), then that player is most-likely Buck Coats.

Depending how the Royals and Rays approach the draft, a similar situation to what happened in 2001 could possibly exist for the Cubs next June.

In 2001, the Twins selected hometown HS catcher Joe Mauer with the draft's overall #1 pick, leaving the Cubs to choose between the #1 college pitcher (Mark Prior) and the #1 college position player (Mark Teixeira).

A lot can happen between now and June, but as ROB G mentioned, the Top Three rated pre-season 2007 Rule 4 Draft prospects are college players: Vanderbilt's LHP David Price, C-RHP Matt Wieters of Georgia Tech, and RHP Andrew Brackman from NC State.

Wieters would appear to be another Mark Teixeira (a power-hitting switch-hitter from Georgia Tech), and scouts named Wieters the #1 hitting prospect and BA rated him the #3 prospect overall in the Cape Cod League last Summer. So he can definitely hit with a wood bat. He is a patient hitter (79/60 BB/K in nearly 500 PA combined at GT & Cape Cod in '06) with outstanding bat-speed, and besides his power, he is also a good all-around hitter from both sides of the plate. He can flat-out rake. The only negatives are his size (6'5 and with his weight now up to 235, he's built like a middle linebacker, and so he may be too big to be an MLB catcher), his lack of speed (he is a below-average runner), and his catching mechanics. But he has a cannon for an arm (he's been clocked at 98 MPH while serving as Georgia Tech's closer), so even if he struggles with some aspects of his catching, at least he does have a strong arm. And did I mention he can hit?

While scouts were naming Wieters the #1 hitting prospect in the Cape Cod League, they were naming Brackman as one of the league's top pitching prospects. Brackman displayed electric stuff in the CCL, throwing an upper-90's fastball (with movement) and a plus-breaking ball (called a "spike-curve"). However, compared to most college pitchers entering their junior season, Brackman has limited experience on the mound (he had his 2006 baseball season cut-short by a stress-fracture in his hip, and he didn't quit playing basketball at NC State until just this season), so he needs work. 2007 will be a big season for him, because he has a lot to prove to the doubters. As far as his size being a detriment, he is considered an excellent athlete for a seven-footer (he ran the floor as a "small forward" for most of his career on the hardwood), and so far at least (based in large part on his outstanding performance in the CCL last Summer) has drawn some comparisons to Padres 6'10 RHP Chris Young (who was a basketball star at Princeton before turning to baseball full-time). 

As for Price, he is a polished power-lefty (mid-90's fastball and a hard slider) who was the ace of Team USA at the World University Games in Havana last Summer. He struggled with his mechanics for a while last Spring at Vandy and got creamed, but then he got himself straightened out in time for his stint with Team USA. He is probably the closest to being MLB-ready among the higher-rated college prospects.

Any of the three (Wieters, Brackman, or Price) would be just fine with me, although that could change (and others could emerge) by June.                                                                   

For instance, if he's healthy (he had surgery for a bone-spur in his shoulder after the 2006 season), LHP Joe Savery (Rice) could jump into the Top Three. Like Price, Savery is a polished college pitcher with a lot of "big game" experience. He has been compared to a young Mark Mulder at a similar point in development. Savery is also an excellent hitter (he sometimes serves as the DH or plays in the outfield when he's not pitching), and that's always a plus for a National League pitcher.

Another possibility for an eventual '07 Top Three pick is LHP Daniel Moskos (Clemson). A college teammate of Cubs 2006 #1 pick Tyler Colvin, Moskos came out of nowhere (middle relief) to give the Tigers one of the top closers in college baseball in 2006. Moskos throws hard (mid-90's) and always has, but it was the outstanding change-up he developed during last off-season that took him to the next level. If he can develop a third pitch (like maybe a decent breaking ball) this off-season, he could perhaps eventually be (like Price is now) a power-lefty rotation starter. 

The one thing I will say is that I would prefer to see the Cubs select a college guy rather than a high school player or pitcher with the #3 overall pick. With college players and pitchers, you have a much better idea of what you're getting--not to mention another three or four years of physical development and injury history to consider and examine, and so there is less risk for the club, ESPECIALLY with the Cubs picking #3 overall. 

They just need to make a good, intelligent selection, and not waste the opportunity. Because hopefully this is the last time the Cubs will be picking in the upper regions of the first round of the June Draft for a while. 

Wieters is a switch-hitter? Another point in his favor.

Should we consider Colvin an uber-position prospect yet? Probably depends on what he does this year at Double-A.

I admit Wieters sounds great, but if he's possibly too big to catch, where will he go? His lack of speed won't help him in the OF and 3B is looked up for a while with ARam. And you can't convert him to 1B either.

I agree that the Cubs should look for position prospects first, if possible, because that's where they need the most help. However, if there are serious questions about Wieters will be able to stay behind the plate, I hope they go with someone else. A dynamite SS prospect or even a close-to-MLB-ready pitcher (like Price, who sounds a lot like a young Dontrelle Willis) would help this team out more in the short term.

*locked up

Re: Andrew Brackman

The 7 footer would scare the daylights out of me if I was in a position to draft him. Randy Johnson is the rare exception of a mega tall guy having success in the big leagues. And it in the case of the Big Unit, it took him nearly a decade to get things figured out. Too many mechanical issues with a guy like Brackman. While the upside might be huge, the risk would seem to be too great in selecting him.

Screw pitching. The Cubs need to get the brains and the balls to draft positional talent. Hopefully Tim Wilken is massively brighter than Jim Hendry and Oneri "How Do I Have a Job" Fleita. This organization hasn't developed a quality everyday positional player since Mark Grace and Rafael Palmiero in 1988. Or in other words the Dallas Green years !!! Pitiful.

While it would be nice to be able to develop young position players, at least the Cubs have been able to pawn off supposed top, but crappy, prospects to land very good players (Choi for Lee and Hill for Ramirez).

The problem with that is that other GM's will most likely catch on and see the position prospects aren't any good in our organization and see the other trades being so one sided and will be less likely to trade that way and want our pitchers instead (see 3 pitchers for Pierre). Of course the Lee and Ramirez trade were also salary dumps, so we should keep that in mind too.

Wilken was brought in to rebuild the farm system and get better positional players in the system. It doesn't mean he'll pass up on good pitchers, but I think the focus will change in that if you have two players they feel are similar, they'd probably go for the positional player. That being said, if David Price is somehow available and everything stays the same between now and then, it seems like a big mistake to pass him up.

Matt Wieters. Barring a poor or injury plagued srping campaign, I hope he is the Cub pick. Sound htting, sound defensively, and seems sharp and aggressive. While unfair to go labeling him the next Joe Mauer, he is very exciting nonethelss.

Rewind to June 2001. The Minnesota Twins passed on Mark Prior due to signability concerns. Instead they selected native son Joe Mauer with the first overall pick, thereby allowing Prior to fall into the lap of the Cubs. Ugh. Imagine if we had Mauer instead of Prior and his chronic case of vaginitis.

http://mvn.com/mlb-baseballistic/2007/01/31/b...

The Brewer love is growing steam....

Their staff certainly has potential to be the best in the NL and the division. Sheets/Bush could be a very, very good 1-2, Capuano and and Suppan round out a very solid top 4. But the depth doesn't seem to be there and Sheets is anything but reliable in terms of health.

And I think their offense kind of sucks, one real power bat in the whole lineup.

Prior avoided arbitration....1 yr...no terms ($) released yet.

Re: The Brewers

I agree with Rob. Seems like they are being too hyped. I love Rickie Weeks. He'll win a batting title or three during his career. And I also like Prince Fielder. But I'm not sold on Billy Hall replicating what he did in 2006. J.J. Hardy hasn't panned out. Johnny Estrada is a bad catcher in similar vein to Michael Barrett. Craig Counsell, Brady Clark, Kevin Mench, Geoff Jenkins? Yech. Of course if their pitching clicks then they just might be the best team in an ultra-weak NL Central.

TOWEL: "Matt Wieters. Barring a poor or injury plagued srping campaign, I hope he is the Cub pick. Sound htting, sound defensively, and seems sharp and aggressive."

I had asked our AZ Man not too long ago about ANY bright spots in young catchers.

He basically said that we have several who each do one or MAYBE two things, not ONE of our prospects are the entire package.

The team has a black hole at this position. If you've seen Soto live, you know what I mean. Decent arm, and decent behind the plate, but when he can't dribble out to the infield, he strikes out. Jake Fox hits - but that's about it. We have a guy like that.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/bes...

Wow, Wieters already shows up on a top ten list before even being drafted....that's impressive. :)

I love Wieters, I just don't see him falling to us. KC has a nice stable of young pitchers right now, they need a catcher (John Buck and Jason LaRue are not the answer), so I think they take Wieters and we get Brackman. Which is fine, but I would definitely prefer the catcher as a future replacement for Barrett.

There is no way in hell Tampa does not take Price.

ERIC THE GREAT: I agree with you. As things stand right now, I can't see Price or Wieters being available with the #3 overall pick.

Therefore, although I would prefer to see the Cubs go for a college player with the #3 pick, I think it's likely that if the Cubs don't get a shot at Wieters or Price, that Tim Wilken will look past Brackman, Savery, Moskos, Mangini, St. Clair, et al and pick the best HS player on the board, preferably a position player, and regardless of what it co$ts to convince the player (or pitcher) to forgo college. 

Right now (and absolutely definitely subject to change) those two groups look like this (listed alphabetically) :

* bats left

HS POSITION PLAYERS (Top 3)
* Michael Burgess, RF (Hillsborough HS –Tampa, FL)
Justin Jackson, SS (Roberson HS - Asheville, NC)
Josh Vitters, 3B (Cypress HS – Cypress, CA)

HS PITCHERS (Top 3):
Matt Harvey, RHP (Fitch HS – Groton, CT)
Rick Porcello, RHP (Seton Hall Prep – West Orange, NJ)
Neil Ramirez, RHP (Kempsville HS - Kempsville, VA)

The Cubs have a history of drafting HS players from central/northern Florida (where Keith Stohr is their area scout) and from Virginia/North Carolina (where the area scout is the legendary Billy Swoope), so I wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs take a long, hard look at both Burgess and Jackson as HS position players, and at Ramirez should Wilken opt to select a HS pitcher.

And with their second selection, I would expect the Cubs to take somebody rated as a top-half first-rounder who falls to them at #31 because of "signability" issues, since the Cubs won't pick again until #96. (There will be 33 supplemental "sandwich" picks between the 1st and 2nd rounds, and the Cubs lose their 2nd round pick at #66 to WAS for signing Type "A" FA Alfonso Soriano).

I am a Royals fan and I would like to tell you guys that if I was the guy who made the decisions for our team, I'd draft Weiters. When taking into consideration how rare and valuable getting the 2nd overall pick is, you want to get a guy like Weiters who seems to be a sure bet type of guy. He's very polished and has a ton of power, and we have very bad catching depth, and what catchers we have suck. With a Price or a Brackman, there's a lot of risk involved as far as injury goes, projectability, etc.

I don't see anybody talking about a kid who's probably the best pitcher in the Midwest. His name is John Flanagan, out of Belleville West High School in downstate IL near St. Louis. 6'6"..220 pounds..a fantastic curve..90+ mph fastball..etc. He's said to be by far the best pitcher in the St. Louis area..gets tons of press down there, but I don't see him mentioned in a lot of the top 30 or top 50 polls. This kid is fantastic. The scouts LOVE this guy. They say he is a young Randy Johnson in every sense of the word.

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