With the last pick in the non-compensation first round, the Yankees reeled in Warren Langerhans out of USC. A rare catching prospect with speed, Langerhans projects to something like a right-handed Joe Mauer. His agent, Louis Watson, had plenty of praise for his client at the press conference. "He hits, he runs, he throws out base runners...the only thing he doesn't do is pitch!" Solid average, very few strikeouts, and even a handful of stolen bases will be paired with solid defense to help build upon the winning culture that New York has already established.
Lonnie Hunter is one of the latest additions to the Rattlers, though at 18 years old, his ML impact will have to wait. An infielder boasting speed and a slick glove, he's looking forward to playing in the launching pad that is Sante Fe. Not known at Wahlert High School for his bat, he's hoping WhatIfSports Field can help him reach 20 HR. Hunter needs to time to mature, and he'll need to improve his strength to endure a 162 game season, but he should certainly be a starter in the next 5 years for the Rattlers.
18 year old SP with a curveball, slider, and change up to accompany his 4-seam fastball. Our scouts didn't make to see Blank before the draft, though several have volunteered to go take a look at him...in Honolulu.
A Junior out of CSU, Chico, Mike Vitiello dominated his collegiate competition. With a bit of a temper (and an incident involving a cleat, a Gatorade cooler, and a racoon), several teams were scared away, allowing him to drop to 31. He's working through some control issues, but will be a very solid pitcher for a long time at the Major League level for the Syracuse Siege. He has a high 90's fastball, with a nasty slider to complement it, and can shut down righties with ease. With $1.2MM on the table, he's anxious to get started, but he's still weighing his options. He's expected to sign in the next couple weeks, though he'll likely see if he can squeeze any more money out of Syracuse.
Vancouver was happy to bolster their bullpen with the addition of Gordon Cuddyer. Though he may not develop into a Mariano Rivera, he works a sinker together with a 4-seam fastball to confuse hitters, though he has proven to be hit-able when he's not on his game. As a fresh millionaire, he's looking forward to livin' the high life, but he'll have to continue to work to make sure his road leads to the Major Leagues and not the Arizona Penal League.
Garrett Keilty is the classic risk/reward pick. As a starting pitcher out of Madison Southern High School, Keilty has shown great control of all his pitches, but he's got a long way to go if he wants to spend anytime with the big league club. Raised by his grandmother since he was 6, he attributes his young success to the hard-nosed work ethic she instilled in him. Only time will tell if it will work out the way he's always dreamed.
Nash Clarke wanted to enter the draft last year, but his mother insisted that he give college a try. So after a year at Rose State College, Clarke jumped at his first chance to enter the draft. And the Richmond Pine Riders are glad he did. Boasting tremendous speed, he looks to ride that all the way to the top. But he won't have to rely only on his speed. He provides plus defense with a solid bat, making him a valuable 5-tool player, which GMs fall in love with. Don't forget about Nash Clarke...he'll be a household name around Richmond in just a few short years.
Steven Hayes, after being the 27th pick in the Season 2 draft, is excited to be a new addition to the Seattle bullpen. With a traditional fastball/slider combo, he has the ability to neutralize hitters by mixing up speeds. Seattle will have to be careful with how they handle him, however, because he has little patience for being moved up and down throughout the organization. But we should see Hayes in Majors in the next few years, and staying there shouldn't be a problem.
When Boston looked to build upon their 90 win season last year, they looked to Shelbyville, IN. There they found Eugene Paige. He may have a few control issues, but Boston is confident they can work through those. What really intrigued them was his nasty screwball. At 6'6", 187 pounds, his tall, lanky frame makes it seem like the ball comes out of his hand about 30 feet away. If Paige can improve his control, we should see him starting games for the Black Sox in no time.
Missouri State University is going to miss Philip Incaviglia. In his 3 seasons there, he amassed more wins than any MSU player since 1945, with a 3.12 ERA in 312 innings. He looks to continue that success in professional ball. Though his fastball tops out at 88, his high school coach taught him to throw a forkball, which he has used efficiently. The biggest knock on Incaviglia is his propensity to give up the home run, but that shouldn't keep him out of the Majors.
Like the pitcher picked directly after him, Stewart Liverman relies on a nasty forkball to shut down hitters. Though he'll never be confused for a flamethrower, he has a forkball/fastball 1-2 punch that is very effective for an 18 year old, and his control is also effective beyond his age. He's still got some growing up to do, and will need to control his temper, but he should fulfill his boyhood dream of playing in Major League Baseball at some point.
At a thick 6'0", 213 pounds, Clay Carson is a dominant presence on the mound. The first among a run of pitchers in this years draft, Carson has the stuff to be effective at the Major League level right now. But Sante Fe is hoping he becomes more than just effective. His frame puts a lot of stress on his shoulder and elbow, so staying healthy will be imperative for Carson. But look for him to improve upon his already great stuff to become a staple of the Sante Fe bullpen.