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    Default Any ESPN insiders?

    Keith Law posted an article about why Bryce Harper might not go top 10. If anyone could post it, I'd read it. He also did a draft preview, if your really in the mood to pilfer from disney.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    I don't but I know a couple of people here do. I'm interested to see what he says because just a couple days ago Law said that Harper was "absolutely" or "definitely" the #1 overall pick

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    I don't have Insider so I can't get that article, but I do have his top 50 list. He stresses that it's extremely preliminary since the Division 1 season is just about to start. Says Harper and Ranaudo are the only two guys at this point who have established themselves as the big "above slot" players, but more may do so soon. The categories he sees as lacking this year are college position players in general, high school SS, and high school C.

    1. Bryce Harper, C, College of Southern Nevada
    2. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU
    3. Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands H.S., Houston
    4. Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech
    5. Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake H.S., North Hollywood, Calif. (Video)
    6. AJ Cole, RHP, Oviedo H.S., Oviedo, Fla.
    7. Bryce Brentz, CF, Middle Tennessee State
    8. Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State
    9. Josh Sale, OF, Bishop-Blanchett H.S., Seattle
    10. Austin Wates, CF, Virginia Tech

    11. Zack Cox, 3B, Arkansas
    12. Kris Bryant, 3B, Bonanza H.S., Las Vegas
    13. James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky
    14. Dylan Covey, RHP, Maranatha H.S., Pasadena, Calif.
    15. Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley H.S., Chipley, Fla.
    16. Brandon Workman, RHP, Texas
    17. Stetson Allie, RHP/3B, St. Edward H.S., Olmstead Falls, Ohio
    18. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
    19. Justin Grimm, RHP, Georgia
    20. Nick Castellanos, 1B, Archbishop McCarthy H.S., Davie, Fla.
    21. Kaleb Cowart, RHP, Cook County H.S., Adel, Ga.
    22. Manny Machado, SS, Miami Brito H.S., Miami
    23. Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami
    24. Justin O'Conner, SS, Cowan H.S., Cowan, Ind.
    25. Marcus Littlewood, SS, Pine View H.S., St. George, Utah
    26. Jake Hernandez, C, Los Osos H.S., Los Osos, Calif. (Video)
    27. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Centennial, Colo.
    28. Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton
    29. Andrew Smith, RHP, Roswell H.S., Roswell, Ga.
    30. Griffin Murphy, LHP, Redlands East Valley H.S., Redlands, Calif.
    31. Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Garey H.S., Pomona, Calif.
    32. Yordy Cabrera, 3B, Lakeland H.S., Lakeland, Fla.
    33. AJ Vanegas, P, Redwood Christian H.S., Alameda, Calif.
    34. Dixon Anderson, RHP, California
    35. Tyrell Jenkins, P, Henderson H.S., Henderson, Texas
    36. Chevez Clarke, CF, Marietta H.S., Marietta, Ga.
    37. Chad Bettis, RHP, Texas Tech
    38. Taylor Lindsey, SS/of, Desert Mountain H.S., Scottsdale, Ariz.
    39. Kyle Blair, RHP, University of San Diego
    40. Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast University
    41. Christian Yelich, 1B, Westlake H.S., Westlake Village, Calif.
    42. Garin Cecchini, if, Barbe H.S., Lake Charles, La.
    43. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, University of West Virginia
    44. Stefan Sabol, C, Aliso Niguel H.S., Aliso Viejo, Calif.
    45. Ty Linton, OF, Charlotte Christian H.S., Matthews, N.C.
    46. Chad Lewis, 3B, Marina H.S., Huntington Beach, Calif.
    47. Michael Choice, University of Texas-Arlington
    48. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Charleston-Southern
    49. Kevin Munson, RHP, James Madison
    50. Jarrett Parker, OF, Virginia

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    A crapload of pitching predicted by Law in the 1st round. I still see Neal going best overall college position player and by overall I mean someone that can hit, play defense and has a fairly sure position

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    A crapload of pitching predicted by Law in the 1st round. I still see Neal going best overall college position player and by overall I mean someone that can hit, play defense and has a fairly sure position
    Believe it or not Baseball America was even more pitcher-heavy at the top of the list. Law's list is loaded with position players compared to theirs.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    Believe it or not Baseball America was even more pitcher-heavy at the top of the list. Law's list is loaded with position players compared to theirs.
    See, that's the thing... If this draft is so pitcher heavy there could be more teams taking "reaches" in the first round to simply draft position players which could or should leave some pitchers slated for the first round fall to the 2nd round...not to mention those signability players teams will pass on ... If you're the Pirates do you draft a reach position player in the first round and turn around early in the 2nd and snag a pitcher that fell from the 1st round?

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    I'll post the articles when I get off work tonight.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    I think this is what you mean though the focus isn't really on why he might not go top ten. Rather there was only one scout he talked to who though he wasn't a top 10 guy

    Bryce Harper starts on top

    Friday, February 19, 2010 | Print Entry

    Posted by Keith Law

    College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper continues to draw attention from the scouting community, with seven scouting directors in attendance on Thursday for CSN's tilt against Chipola Junior College and their former first-round pick, Levon Washington.

    Harper brings two plus-plus tools to the table -- huge raw power and an outstanding arm behind the plate. He has ridiculous leverage in his swing, even after mechanical changes made by CSN coach Tim Chambers, who has done a good job of quieting Harper's swing down and lessening some bad habits. He's not jumping as early as he used to, although he still gets his front side open a little too early and ends up hitting off his front foot, although his hand and wrist strength make that irrelevant from a power perspective. Behind the plate, he's good enough that few runners are going to try to steal on him at this level, and he's been clocked in the low 90s off the mound. On Thursday, he also received very well, with softer hands than he's shown me in the past and good agility behind the dish.

    I spoke to several scouts and scouting directors earlier this week when assembling the über-preliminary top 50 ranking for the draft blog, and only one person raised some valid arguments about why, for him, Harper was not a top-10 pick. He had concerns about Harper's swing, particularly the way he can drag his hands through the zone, and whether or not Harper could hit when facing above-average fastballs, which he'll have to face a lot some day in the big leagues. The single most important tool for a position player is the hit tool -- the rocks along the side of minor league highways are littered with the corpses of four-tool prospects who wowed scouts in workouts but couldn't hit live pitching.

    In Harper's case, if you don't believe he'll hit, you probably shouldn't take him, especially given his age, adviser and leverage, all of which point to a bonus well north of slot. I happen to believe he'll hit. Yes, he drags his hands, but he has great hand strength, so a flaw that would mean failure for many hitters isn't likely to mean the same for Harper. But more importantly, the bar for his hit tool is not very high because of the value he'll generate via power and his glove. If he hits .250 with 30-homer power and a reasonable walk rate while catching well and nailing a third or so of base stealers, that's a star-caliber catcher. And to this point I haven't seen evidence that Harper won't stay behind the plate; the only chance he doesn't remain there, to me, is if he has another growth spurt and becomes too big or tall for the position. He's also the age of a typical high school junior, facing 19- to 21-year-old pitching in a wood bat league, when most high school bats in this draft are a year older than Harper, facing inferior competition and doing it with metal sticks.

    The Washington Nationals are on the clock for the first pick in the 2010 Rule 4 draft, and Harper is sort of staring them in the face. They need impact players of any stripe, and Harper has the highest ceiling of any candidate for that first pick. There isn't a high school bat good enough to challenge Harper for the top spot at this point, and I'm not even sure who an eventual challenger might be in this crop. There are several high-ceiling high school right-handers, but in 45 years no team has taken a prep righty first overall, and I don't see the Nationals taking on that kind of risk or long-term project over Harper.

    Their best alternatives are the best college starters, such as LSU's Anthony Ranaudo or Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire, but as good as they are, neither guy is a slam-dunk ace -- both project more as highly durable No. 2 starters than as No. 1s. And Washington GM Mike Rizzo had a history as Arizona's scouting director of taking the most famous guy on the board and being willing both to pay a premium for premium talent and to dance with Scott Boras, who is advising Harper. Nothing is assured about this draft with more than three months to go until draft day, but at this point, if you asked me to bet on who was going No. 1, I'd still bet on Harper over the field.

    • Chipola outfielder Levon Washington, a first-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2009 Rule 4 draft, returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing a few weeks with a bruised wrist. Washington still isn't fully recovered from labrum surgery in late 2008, and two of his three throws in infield practice graded out as 20s on the 20-80 scale. He's also changed his setup at the plate, starting his hands much lower than he had last year, and his hands are now "dead" until he begins his swing. He still shows good bat speed and smoked a couple of fastballs for base hits to center field, one of which had good backspin and arced toward the left-center gap. He's an above-average runner who could probably play center field if he can show a 45 arm or so, but he only DHed on Thursday and I wouldn't project him anywhere but left field until he shows he can throw again.

    • Both sides rolled out some draftable arms, although no one who was worthy of a first- or second-round pick. Chipola lefty Austin Wright was 89-93 early in the game, slowing down to 88-91 by the fourth inning, and showed a pair of solid breaking balls, with everything but his changeup moving well to his glove side. It's not a pretty arm action, with a lot of effort, and given the way his velocity slid he'd probably project as a reliever in pro ball.

    • CSN starter Joe Robinson was 89-91 with a downer curve in the mid-70s and a low-80s changeup, below reports that he was throwing in the low 90s and touching 95 or so from fall ball. They ran out two right-handed relievers with almost identical fastballs: Tyler Hanks was 92-94 with a hard, sharp slider, but struggling to maintain a consistent arm slot, while Aaron Kurcz, who threw 33 innings for Air Force last year before transferring, was 91-94 with a tight, short curveball he commanded well, and a late release point helped his fastball play up. Neither is more than a short reliever, but I expect both to be drafted fairly high because scouts will see them so many times this spring.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    See, that's the thing... If this draft is so pitcher heavy there could be more teams taking "reaches" "reacharounds" in the first round to simply draft position players which could or should leave some pitchers slated for the first round fall to the 2nd round

    FTFY, Kipper...

    BTW, Keith Law = eejit.

    I can only HOPE the Nats take him first overall. Then we won't have to hear the bellyaching from the yinzers who get all their information from Sports Illustrated...
    Last edited by cocktailsfor2; Feb-20-2010 at 04:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Thanks for posting. I agree that I hope the Nats take him. I still bet that either Brentz or Cox will be our dude. Let's also remember that last year at this time, Ackley was not as highly touted as he ended up being at draft time. So, there is still plenty of time for someone to come in and become the obvious choice.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    A crapload of pitching predicted by Law in the 1st round. I still see Neal going best overall college position player and by overall I mean someone that can hit, play defense and has a fairly sure position
    Then the Pirates will select Zach Cox.
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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    See, that's the thing... If this draft is so pitcher heavy there could be more teams taking "reaches" in the first round to simply draft position players which could or should leave some pitchers slated for the first round fall to the 2nd round...not to mention those signability players teams will pass on ... If you're the Pirates do you draft a reach position player in the first round and turn around early in the 2nd and snag a pitcher that fell from the 1st round?
    It is unlikely that any pitcher who falls from the 2nd round will be even close to the talent that the Pirates could have at #2. Furthermore, besides Cox there really isn't a legitimate college bat right now...and taking a prep bat--over possibly Harper for example--would just be stupid (because Harper even has more projection than all the rest of the HS bats by far). So sure you could take Cox...move Alvarez to 1B (Cox is better defensively than Alvarez)...but you'd lose out, likely, on a future stud pitcher--I dont agree with Law that Ranaudo isn't an ace...but even if he's right...a dominant, sturdy #2 is better than anything the Pirates have had in a long time in the pitching department.
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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    It is unlikely that any pitcher who falls from the 2nd round will be even close to the talent that the Pirates could have at #2. Furthermore, besides Cox there really isn't a legitimate college bat right now...and taking a prep bat--over possibly Harper for example--would just be stupid (because Harper even has more projection than all the rest of the HS bats by far). So sure you could take Cox...move Alvarez to 1B (Cox is better defensively than Alvarez)...but you'd lose out, likely, on a future stud pitcher--I dont agree with Law that Ranaudo isn't an ace...but even if he's right...a dominant, sturdy #2 is better than anything the Pirates have had in a long time in the pitching department.
    My first question is, why not Brentz? He's picked to go higher than Cox, and has great power potential.
    Secondly, I don't think Kipper is saying that we should hope for Talion or Ranaudo to fall to the second round, I think he's just saying that there are so many arms out there, that one who easily could be a first rounder could fall to the Pirates, whereas there is almost no chance of a first round talent position player falling out of the first. So go with the bat first, and then get the pitchers in later rounds. Exactly what they did last year, really.

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimY View Post
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    My first question is, why not Brentz? He's picked to go higher than Cox, and has great power potential.
    Secondly, I don't think Kipper is saying that we should hope for Talion or Ranaudo to fall to the second round, I think he's just saying that there are so many arms out there, that one who easily could be a first rounder could fall to the Pirates, whereas there is almost no chance of a first round talent position player falling out of the first. So go with the bat first, and then get the pitchers in later rounds. Exactly what they did last year, really.
    Bingo.

    At least I know that it's not my typing and communication skills and is Benny's comprehension skills or lack of

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    Default Re: Any ESPN insiders?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    It is unlikely that any pitcher who falls from the 2nd round will be even close to the talent that the Pirates could have at #2. Furthermore, besides Cox there really isn't a legitimate college bat right now...and taking a prep bat--over possibly Harper for example--would just be stupid (because Harper even has more projection than all the rest of the HS bats by far). So sure you could take Cox...move Alvarez to 1B (Cox is better defensively than Alvarez)...but you'd lose out, likely, on a future stud pitcher--I dont agree with Law that Ranaudo isn't an ace...but even if he's right...a dominant, sturdy #2 is better than anything the Pirates have had in a long time in the pitching department.
    I swear Benny, Something could smack you right upside the head and you will blatantly choose to ignore because the "smack" to fit your agenda .

    I'll spell one this out simple for you and hope you grasp it

    ZACH COX IS A HS HITTER!!!

    Unless there's a Highschool hitter or pitcher in the first round that projects to being either an Ace or is a monster power or hitter that is almost a sure thing, can't miss type, the Pirates WILL NOT pick them because the risk is far too high and rightfully so. Nothing Neal Huntington has said or done suggests the opposite.

    Right now, there's not a pitcher in the first round projected to be an Ace. Outside of that, First Pitchers chosen that high up generally bust more times than not. I don't want the Pirates WASTING a ton of money and a first round pick on someone they could get as easy later like in the 2nd round (#2-3 pitcher).

    With a great number of pitchers compared to position players, some teams are going to bypass choosing a pticher simply because they :

    A. don't want to draft a pitcher in the 1st round
    B. don't think any of them are worth their asking price simply because of where they lucked out to be drafted in a very weak draft class
    C. Want the best position player in the draft

    1 of those 3 things above are going to happen more than once in the first round which means a pitcher slated to go in the first round is going to fall to the 2nd round and the Pirates pick early in the 2nd round..

    What is going to be limited is the top end position players because they will be eaten up in a pitcher heavy draft in the first round and those slated for the 2nd will get eaten up in the first as well.... It makes more sense for the Pirates to take best position player in the first round, and go after a pitcher that slid a little bit from the first in the 2nd round.... then load up on some over slot prep players later on like this past year.

    What I can guarantee unless I see it happen is Huntington drafting a HS player in the first round unless they are a sure fire thing. If they aren't, NH isn't going to throw that much money at such a risk who is on;y ranked that high and commanding that much money because the draft is weak. Being Top 5 in this draft is like being top 15-20 in some other drafts... I don't see any of these players in the first round being worth more than slot and wouldn't draft a single one that commands more than draft.

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