Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Draft 2005 - Day One

Kansas City did not go cheap with the second overall pick, nor did they go for the 'toolsy' high school phenom. Instead, the Royals took exactly who they should in Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon. Here's a quick rundown of the day one picks (and I apologize for the incomplete research - I'm on jury duty this week, so I am slacking off a little):

First - Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska
There is an excellent summary of Gordon over at Royals Corner and a less comprehensive one back on few days on this blog. Bottom line, this kid can hit and then he'll hit some more. He is better defensively than he was his first two years here at Nebraska, but he still may project out at first base in the long run. The Royals think Gordon can make the big time in 'one and a half to two years'. Bank on him for April 2007.

Second - Jeffrey Bianchi, SS, Lampeter HS PA
Ranked as the 126th best prospect by Baseball America (BA for short) and described as very athletic and agile by MLB.com. He was the best prep talent in Pennsylvania and Bianchi's high school coach is the brother of KC Minor League instructor Jeff Garber. He could very well be a good player down the road (say about 2009 when Berroa's contract is running down), but I wonder if maybe the Royals opted for signability with this pick.

Third - Chris Nicoll, RHP, UC-Irvine
Although picked 32 spots lower than Bianchi at number 82, Nicoll was actually rated slightly higher by Baseball America (121). Here's some numbers you will like: 111 innings pitched, 113 strikouts and just 24 walks. Here's a comment you many not via BA: 'saavy pitcher makes hitters swing and miss with average stuff'. Baird refers to him as a strike thrower who could move through the system quickly. You would maybe like someone with a more electric arm this high, but if he truly is 'saavy' and not a 'nibbler', Nicoll could be a major leaguer at some point.

Fourth - Joseph Dickerson, OF, Esperanza High CA
At 6'1", 190 you have to like the frame on this high schooler. A left handed hitter who played centerfield, probably projects in left in the majors.

Fifth - Shawn Hayes, SS, Franklin Pierce College
This left hander stands 6'4" and weighs 220 lbs, making one think he may not end up at shortstop when he starts playing for money. He is an athlete who projects with gap power and then some. You have to question his exposure to upper level talent at a small college, but you have to like the potential.

Sixth - Ryan DiPietro, LHP, Eastern Connecticut State
Skinny, or 'narrow' according to MLB.com, at 6'0" 170 lbs. Something of a finesse pitcher, again it all comes back to is he nibbling or working the plate? Basically, does he think like Darrel May or more like Jamie Moyer.

Seventh - Brent Fisher, LHP, Tolleson Union High AZ

Eighth - Nicholas Doscher, C, Moore Catholic High NY
The first of three pitchers taken in a row to 'fill an organizational need'. I'm not so sure picking catchers is a more inexact science than pitchers. At any rate, the Royals have a bunch to pick from now.

Ninth - Kiel Thibault, C, Gonzaga University
6'0" 200 lbs sound like a catcher to me. Has quick defensive skills and a good arm, with solid leadership skills. That's pretty much the description for 97% of all the catchers in America.

Tenth - Jeffery Howell, C, Florida Southern
Same size as Thibault, line drive hitter, good hands. I don't think John Buck needs to be looking over his shoulder at any of these guys...maybe Adam Donachie should be, but not Buck.

Eleventh - Michael Penn, RHP, Michigan
Big kid, 6-4 200 lbs, from a major college program. You have to have guys on the mound in Rookie ball and I always favor the big guys from the big schools, if only because they have faced other big guys from big schools.

Twelfth - James Harkcom, RHP New Mexico JC
Fastball/slider pitcher who sounds good on paper. A fast worker, which I always thinks indicates a pitcher instead of a thrower. Of the pitchers drafted to this point, this guy could be a suprise once they start playing. I guess I am annointing James as the Royals Op-Ed draft sleeper.

Thirteenth - Andrew Larsen, OF, NYU-Stonybrook
Hard nosed player, agressive in the field and at the plate with a quick bat. Again, the talent level question comes up, but this guys does not sound like someone who will give up easily.

Fourteenth - Antonio Sabatini, OF, Erskine College SC
With that name you ought to able to play.

Fifteenth - Brady Everett, C, Washington State
Because you need four catchers.

Sixteenth - Mario Santiago, RHP, Baton Rouge CC

Seventeenth - Miguel Vasquez, SS, DeWitt Clinton High Bronx NY
Supposedly has great range in the field and is a solid character guy. It's touch and go down in this part of the draft, but that does not mean we will never hear of these guys again. We didn't hear much about Ruben Gotay when he was drafted in the 31st round and I like guys that can play defense, so maybe Vasquez is another sleeper.

Eighteenth - Paul Ragilone, RHP, Grant High OR


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