The Draft Liveblog

June 5th, 2008 · 18 Comments

By Kiley McDaniel

This is the place where I’ll yammer on and on about all kinds of stuff. Join me in the comments with some of your thoughts, or hit me at [email protected]

And if you’d like to talk to Frankie, he’s liveblogging this thing for FoxSports.com here.

Join me after the jump for periodic updates and an updated stab at the mock draft just before we get started.

Here’s my last attempt at mocking these picks, but not before a note about last night’s mock update before we get going here. The heavy rumors of Jersey prep arm Jason Knapp to Philly would’ve had me project him there…but it was really late and I forgot. Just a housekeeping note for those of you that want to hold me to every prediction I’ve made.

Many of these picks are reportedly done deals, some are still up in the air. The difference? Perceived accuracy, so I won’t say which ones I’m confident in. And if you want some info on these players and mock commentary, check out the first half of the mock draft, the updated top 100 prospects list, or just poke around the site’s last few posts and you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.

1:44 PM

1. TB - Tim Beckham

2. PIT - Pedro Alvarez

3. KC - Eric Hosmer

4. BAL - Brian Matusz

5. SF - Justin Smoak

6. FLA - Kyle Skipworth

7. CIN - Gordon Beckham

8. CHW - Yonder Alonso

9. WSH - Aaron Crow

10. HOU - Brett Lawrie

11. TEX - Gerrit Cole

12 through 30 to come right after I pour myself a big glass of water…

1:54 PM

Posey could potentially be in free fall and the team that it has been strongly suggested to me is behind this slip is none other than the New York Yankees. I still don’t think he gets that far (Tigers at 21), but that’s what I’m hearing.

12. OAK - Aaron Hicks

13. STL - Shooter Hunt

14. MIN - Christian Friedrich

15. LA - Ethan Martin

16. MIL - Jason Castro

17. TOR - Brett Wallace

18. NYM - Zach Collier

19. CHC - Casey Kelly

20. SEA - Andrew Cashner

21. DET - Buster Posey

1:59 PM

Down to the wire…

22. NYM - Jemile Weeks

23. SD - Ryan Perry

24. PHI - Anthony Hewitt

25. COL - Jake Odorizzi

26. ARZ - Josh Fields

Can I just stop guessing? Okay, I’ll finish this out. Man, there’s no way this is going to be right…

2:03 PM

27. MIN - Brett DeVall

28. NYY - Mike Montgomery

29. CLE - Reese Havens

30. BOS -Daniel Schlereth

Here’s Jim Callis’ mock (probably better than mine), MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo’s mock, and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein’s and ESPN’s Keith Law’s mocks.

2:09 PM

The Rays are on the clock, and are all but assured to choose Tim Beckham, the prep shortstop from Griffin HS outside of Atlanta. Here’s the page with his scouting bureau video and here’s a story about Rays scouting director RJ Harrison in a late-season visit to see Beckham go insane at the plate. He’s really legit, super athletic, and…well just read the report we have on him here.

2:16 PM

Karl Ravech adds that Tim Beckham, “is an African-American.” Ummm…thanks.

2:18 PM

Karl also must’ve seen my Beckham graphic, mentioning that he Beckhams aren’t related.

Here comes Pedro Alvarez, was confirmed as done late last night.

2:21 PM

Some talk now that Gerrit Cole will fall to the Yankees and be their over-slot goodness. They aren’t worried about his makeup like some are and would be thrilled to pick him up.

2:24 PM

Look for Eric Hosmer to go to the Royals, another pick that was confirmed as done late last night/this morning. Again, look to the Top 25 capsules for breakdowns on these guys.

2:27 PM

Some thoughts on how an up-to-date Rays top prospect list may look, keeping in mind that 2-6 is closely crammed together

1. David Price

2. Tim Beckham

3. Wade Davis

4. Reid Brignac

5. Jake McGee

6. Desmond Jennings

2:29 PM

It’s been all but confirmed that Brian Matusz is the guy here for the O’s. After that, the Giants at #5 are the first real wildcard in the draft, with a tossup between Justin Smoak and Gordon Beckham, possibly with a third guy being considered. I’d guess Smoak at this point.

2:32 PM

Did they get an animatronic Bud Selig from Chuck E. Cheese to make the pick announcements?

2:33 PM

It’s been confirmed that it will be a college hitter at #5 for the Giants, I’m still saying Justin Smoak, about 75% sure, but Gordon Beckham and Bustey Posey are now in play. Be sure to keep up with the BA Draft Blog, as they totally stole my idea for a liveblog.

2:37 PM

Okay, I was wrong, didn’t see that one coming, as I didn’t think the Giants would pay the price, but a fantastic pick for San Fran if they can sign him (which you assume they will if they take him at #5). Meanwhile, the Posey, Detroit, and Yankee camps all stomp on their hats for all that money they could’ve paid to get a premium catcher.

At #6, the Marlins are ALL OVER Kyle Skipworth. Unless they’re the masters of the dry hump, he’s the pick here. And at #7, Cincinnati is really on Gordon Beckham, with the White Sox thrilled to get Justin Smoak at #8 and the Nats with Aaron Crow at #9. Now the Astros at #10 are the interesting pick: could be Christian Friedrich, Brett Lawrie, or Shooter Hunt.

2:45 PM

So, a spectacular pick for the Marlins with Skipworth, a super-premium catcher for a team that really needs one. But now Alonso at #7 threw us a curve. Gordon Beckham now looks like a lock at #8 to the White Sox, and now Justin Smoak could slip to the Astros at #10, who would be ever more excited to get him than the White Sox would. But, really, nobody knows. Maybe Smoak to the White Sox and Gordon Beckham is the one getting the short end of the stick, slipping to #9 or #10.

2:55 PM

Now we’re at #9 and Aaron Crow has been heavily rumored here in the last few hours, but they didn’t know that Justin Smoak would be here. I say they skew to pitching with Crow, Smoak goes 10th to Houston, Gerrit Cole or Shooter Hunt (I’ll say Cole, but a signability college bat could also be a surprise pick here) to Texas at 11, and then Jemile Weeks, Christian Friedrich, or Aaron Hicks to Oakland at 12, I’ll say Hicks, but the Weeks rumors are coming on strong. Friedrich seems like the guy that’s in play from 10-20 and is the backup plan for each team at 10-19, going around 20th.

3:00 PM

Karl Ravech has forgotten how to count, points out player’s races while video of them runs, and Bud Selig has just given up trying to look like a human. I think they’re both sipping some scotch off air.

3:04 PM

Slaves to the slotting system, Houston, go to that off-the-board college bat I was suggesting may happen, although for a signability pick, I’d go with Brett Lawrie here for the upside. I’m not really a Castro guy, and Houston already has a young big league backstop J.R. Towles and recent 1st rounder Max Sapp in the system, so I’m not sure I’m on board here. A lot of teams, like Milwaukee at 16 and the Mets at 17 and 22 reeeeeeeally wanted Castro, so it’s not a huge overdarft.

Houston is in love with Kyle Skipworth and was obviously crushed that he didn’t make it to them. Does Texas take Smoak, or stick with the power arms Cole or Hunt? If Smoak (rumored as high as 4th this morning) makes it to Oakland, Billy Beane may be doing backflips, as they really wanted to sign him in the 1st round out of high school, but he asked for a few hundred thousand too much for their tastes.

3:09 PM

No storybook ending for Beane here, and Texas gets a new Teixeira, who they must be thrilled to get their hands on. Cole now looks to be landing at #21 to Detroit (talk has cooled on that front) or all the way down to the Yankees at #28 (talk heating up here). Who does Oakland take here? College pick Jemile Weeks or super premium athlete Aaron Hicks? And is Hicks a pitcher for them, or maybe an outfielder?

3:15 PM

Jemile Weeks it is. I like Jemile, and he’s in the jumbled next 15 players on everyone’s board. He’s a solid, old-school college pick for Oakland, but isn’t necessarily the fat guy that walks a ton, traditional Oakland pick.

3:18 PM

For St. Louis, who will it be? Ryan Perry or Christian Friedrich seem the leaders with some bats like Lawrie and Wallace coming on late.

3:20 PM

And Brett Wallace it is. Twins look to be all over Aaron Hicks here at 14. Also, I’ll be doing the shadow draft thing at the middle of each round for the first 5, which would be at 15, 38, 61, 92, 127, 157. For the Dodgers at 15, they’ve been on Zach Collier, Ethan Martin, Andrew Cashner, Aaron Hicks (if he makes it) with some talk of Tim Melville and Jake Odorizzi

3:27 PM

Hicks is the guy, and he’s an outfielder in the Torii Hunter mold the Twins are looking to develop. I’ll project Andrew Cashner to LA with Ethan Martin and Casey Kelly as a backup possibilities. I’m still split on Shooter Hunt, Casey Kelly, and Brett Lawrie for my shadow draft choice, leaning to Casey Kelly’s two way upside that could be Shooter Hunt or Brett Lawrie level in value.

3:33 PM

Not a suprise that Ethan Martin went 15th, but very surprising that he was announced as a third baseman. These announcements have been misread in the past and corrected, but it appears the Dodgers like Ethan Martin as a hitter, which isn’t super surprising, and he’s got an Andy LaRoche type package, but with even more power.

And Bud Selig officially is illiterate.

Shadow draft pick: Casey Kelly, SS, Sarasota HS (FL)

He could surpass Hunt and Lawrie as a hitter and pitcher, so I’m oddly playing it safe with a high school pick.

Props to Gordon Beckham for being the first intelligent sounding person on the telecast. Okay, friend of SS Jonathan Mayo sounded like a human not terrified to be on television as well.

Looks like Milwaukee will be looking hard at Brett Lawrie with Jason Castro off the board. With Lawrie and Wallace potentially off the board at 17, the Jays are just pissed. Look for Hunt or Friedrich here.

3:42 PM

Cooper is a bit of a surprise here, but fits the mold of Wallace, who many projected here. Cooper was a hot name to the Yankees at 28 if an overslot guy didn’t fall and would’ve been a 25-35 range pick if he doesn’t go 17. That kind of mild overdraft is fine with such a jumble of players at this juncture. Hunt is now in freefall as many said he would be. And the Friedrich prediction looks like it’s coming true as well.

Mets could go in a lot of directions here: Hunt, Friedrich, Perry, Cashner, Fields, Ike Davis, Havens on the college side, Collier or Odorizzi on the prep side, with an unlikely shot at over-slot preps Melville, Cole, or Kelly. I’ll go with Hunt here, with Friedrich the backup pick.

3:48 PM

I underestimated the Mets love for Ike Davis, maybe because I don’t like him much at all at 18, but he does have the most power on the board. I just thought he’d be there at 22 and Hunt/Friedrich wouldn’t be.

Look for Casey Kelly at 19 to the Cubs with hometown prep hurler Jake Odorizzi as a darkhorse.

3:53 PM

And I’m wrong again. Cashner certainly fits the Tim Wilken mold and probably would’ve been the third guy I projected here, but there’ve been far too many 3rd guys and off-the-board guys going that my predictions are worth bubkus at this point. I’ll stick to reporting what others are telling me and giving some commentary.

Seattle had heavy rumors on Cashner in the last few days, may look to Field or Perry for MLB bullpen help, or the guy they’ll actually take that I haven’t thought of yet. I can say that the Tigers really want to get Casey Kelly at #21 if the pricetag fits how much they like him. If Kelly gets past Detroit, the Yankees will be primed to pay the man his money.

4:10 PM

Took a quick lunch break as the reliever run went down and the Yankees now look like they’ll get their man in Casey Kelly, and should still have Gerrit Cole on the board too if they prefer him. Not a huge fan of Dykstra’s awkward hitting mechanics this early in the draft, but he should hit in the minors and hit for power, just not sure if it happens at the big league level.

I’ve got the Phils taking Anthony Hewitt here.

4:25 PM

Hewitt it is and I’m back on track. Odorizzi had been rumored heavily to Colorado, but Friedrich fell a long way to 25, about 10 spots farther than he should have, great pick for them. Shooter Hunt is shockingly still around—many said he could fall, but I’m not sure many thought it would be this far. He’s similar to Max Scherzer and I think Arizona pops him here, although they could go with a reliever like Schlereth or Weatherford, or go over-slot for a prep arm like Melville or Cole.

4:32 PM

Schlereth it is, going with the hometown reliever that Peter Gammons shared a great anecdote about. Mark Schlereth was coming from the Rockies complex in Tucson (city of U. of Arizona as well) and asked Rockies AGM Josh Byrnes if he would watch his middle school son, Daniel pitch. Byrnes said he could be really good someday and now as GM of the D’Backs, he’s got his man that could help them win a title this season.

28. NYY - Casey Kelly

29. CLE - Conor Gillaspie

30. BOS - Gerrit Cole

4:37 PM

Carlos Gutierrez? There’s a surprise, but the Twins do that frequently, we’ll see if this one works out as a fast track sinker/slider reliever. Here comes the anticipated Casey Kelly pick to the Yankees, who they appear to be ecstatic to select.

4:42 PM

Cole was certainly on the shortlist here for the Yankees, but I’m surprised they didn’t take Kelly. Maybe they know he’ll be around in the supplemental round and Cole would’ve gone to the Red Sox if he was still on the board after #28. Or maybe Kelly is going to the Red Sox. I give up. The Yanks are also on Aaron Weatherford and Brett Marshall in the supplemental round if Kelly isn’t an option, for all you Yankees fans out there.

I’ll be signing off at the end of the first round with another crack at the supplemental round as my last futile effort at predicting what will happen.

4:49 PM

Just ignore everything I’m saying from now on. Had heard a lot of Chisenhall buzz in the supplemental round, just didn’t think he’d sneak into the first round. Shooter Hunt, Tim Melville, and Zach Collier have all slipper a long way, with only Melville having signability concerns. Gillaspie, Hunt, Collier, Melville, Odorizzi, Weatherford, Kelly, and possibly Wade Miley as a longshot in play for the Sox here.

4:52 PM

And Casey Kelly finds his landing spot. Kelly’s agents at SFX deal with the Red Sox a lot on the big league side, so the negotiation shouldn’t be too difficult as basic parameters have probably been hammered out. We expect about 10,000 additional hits on our Casey Kelly stories from all the Sox message boards.

5:00 PM

Is it just me or does Karl Ravech seem really creepy on today’s coverage?

And now my swan song, a projection of the sandwich round:

31. Minnesota - Brett DeVall, LHP, Florida HS
32. Milwaukee - Shooter Hunt, RHP, Tulane
33. New York Mets - Brad Holt, RHP, UNC-Wilmington
34. Philadelphia - Jason Knapp, RHP, New Jersey HS
35. Milwaukee - Evan Frederickson, LHR, San Francisco
36. Kansas City - Mike Montgomery, LHP, California HS
37. San Francisco - Brett Hunter, RHP, Pepperdine
38. Houston - Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State
39. St. Louis - Zach Collier, RF, California HS
40. Atlanta - Ezekiel Spruill, RHP, Georgia HS
41. Chicago Cubs - Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Illinois HS
42. San Diego - Wade Miley, LHP, Southeastern Louisiana
43. Arizona - Aaron Weatherford, RHP, Mississippi State
44. New York Yankees - Brett Marshall, RHP, Texas HS
45. Boston - Isaac Galloway, OF, California HS
46. San Diego - Stephen Fife, RHP, Utah

A slew of others are in play for the round like Chris Carpenter, Zach Putnam, Ross Seaton, Dennis Raben, Tyler Ladendorf, James Darnell, Bryan Price, Adrian Nieto, Tim Murphy, Kyle Weiland, Lance Lynn, Scott Gorgen, Aaron Shafer. And obviously more. Signing off…

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Tags: 2008 MLB Draft · Draft Buzz · Our Opinion

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 dan // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    It would make my year if Posey slipped to 28

  • 2 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Brian Cashman would do a backflip…just for that I’m hoping he makes it.

  • 3 Mike R. // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Any predictions on what team will surprise us first?

  • 4 dan // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    I think you have your answer, Mike

  • 5 Mike R. // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Yes I do. Wow! I did not see that coming.

  • 6 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Yeah, Alonso…no one saw that one coming. They weren’t even linked, like at all.

  • 7 Mike R. // Jun 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Castro!?!? With Smoak there???????? :O

  • 8 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Yeah, guess they didn’t want to pay Smoak.

  • 9 dan // Jun 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my god look at Beckham’s hair

  • 10 Mike R. // Jun 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Cooper over Davis. That seems like a strange move.

  • 11 Doug Gray // Jun 5, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Yonder Alonso to the Reds…. as of last night he was behind Beckham on their board according to a scout they have. Interesting that he went ahead of Beckham. Wonder what changed.

  • 12 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Beckham’s got some serious hair for sure.

    Cooper and Davis were ranked closely by most teams, we had Cooper a few spots ahead of Davis in the late 30s.

    That’s especially interesting about Alonso getting ahead of Beckham late, given that he’ll likely want more money and plays a less premium position that the Reds have a young start at in the big leagues. That one is just surprising on a few fronts.

  • 13 The Fallen Phoenix // Jun 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Yankees get their man. Thank God for runs on relievers.

  • 14 Doug Gray // Jun 5, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Kiley,
    I am not disappointed in the pick really, just confused as to what happened. My guess is that it could mean Adam Dunn wants too much money, Votto heads to LF (where he has played before) and Alonso is fast tracked to 1B.

  • 15 jscape2000 // Jun 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Kiley,
    Ever hear of Jeremy Bleich? We Yankee fans are scrounging the internets trying to figure out how this guy was worth the 44th pick?

  • 16 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Have heard of Bleich, added him to the keep an eye on list for the top 100 a few days ago as he’s been emerging lately after coming back from an injury (what injury? Not sure, things are dicey with stuff like that in college).

    He was ranked 97th in the country out of HS by Baseball America as a part of an elite Louisiana HS crop a few years back (the Beau Jones/Sean West class) and had been hurt recently at Stanford but came back with 4 solid innings in relief for the Cardinal in regional play.

    He’s a lefty with three solid pitches (fastball from 88-91, plus change, good curve) and command that has been coming and going this year, but has been a strength in the past (#3 in HS command on the BA top tools for 2005 draft) and a clean arm and solid mechanics indicate it will continue to be.

    He was thought to be a late-rising 2nd to 3rd round pick with the lack of immediate track record this season, but he has been considered a 1st rounder in the past. I’m sure the Yanks have followed him for awhile and were comfortable that he’s at 100%, particularly with his regionals performance, and after a few more weeks of postseason pitching, may have been a consensus sandwich round type.

    Okay, I cheated some, that wasn’t all off the top of my head.

  • 17 Andrew // Jun 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Do you think the Royals will be able to sign Tim Melville? Are his bonus demands known?

  • 18 kileymcd // Jun 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    He’s said top-15 pick money in a letter he recently sent to teams, so that’s the $1.6 million area. UNC commit, similar to the Matt Harvey situation last year (who turned down 7 figures from Anaheim). We’ll see what happens, but you have to think KC has a shot if they popped him in the top 5 rounds.

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