Several people have noted that NH’s first draft looks like a good one. Charlie commented that 14 players still look like viable candidates, and players from the 2008 draft have formed the core of the 2010 Altoona and 2009 Lynchburg championship teams.
So let’s take a look at that draft in some detail. NH led with two aggressive moves that were new to Pirate fans: drafting the best player available even though he was represented by Scott Boras and taking a flyer on a high-upside, but injured player. The first has worked out; the second did not. In rounds 3-5 NH selected Jordy Mercer, Chase d’Arnaud, and Justin Wilson. All three are prospects. What is interesting is that several players drafted after the fifth round may still be legitimate prospects. My personal dark horse is Tyler Cox, who was drafted in the 35th round. Who has impressed you? Why?
For your browsing pleasure I’ve included a brief comment about all 50 players who were drafted. That includes the round and draft number for each player, their announced position when drafted and where they played. Players who signed are bolded. Those who are active and in the minors are linked to WTM’s insightful commentary and data.
3(79), Jordy Mercer SS, Oklahoma State. Had an OPS of 699 at Altoona last year, keeping offensive worries alive. Seems to be a capable shortstop, so he might make the majors.
4(114), Chase d'Arnaud SS, Pepperdine. Had a disappointing offensive year at AA, with dreadful BABIP and an OPS of only 709. With even a moderate rebound he'll make the majors.
5(144), Justin Wilson LHP, Fresno State. Reduced his FIP from 4.90 to 3.49 at AA. John Sickles's #9 prospect, who notes that "he does need to lower his walk rate."
6(174), Robbie Grossman OF, Cypress-Fairbanks HS, Cypress, TX. Had an OPS of 683 at Bradenton last year. Seems to be a capable center fielder. Reduced his strikeout rate from 31% to 21%, which is still too high.
7(204), Benji Gonzalez SS, PRBA, Gurabo, P.R. A glove-first shortstop who still has not hit. Had an OPS of 579 at WV, though the second half was better than the dreadful first half.
8(234), Jeremy Farrell 3B, Virginia. Had an OPS of 856 at Bradenton and was mid-season all star. Missed time due to injury. Still may be a prospect, but may need to move from third.
9(264), Matt Hague 3B, Oklahoma State. Had an OPS of 819 at Altoona (14th in league),. Still a prospect, but will have to show more power.
10(294), Drew Gagnon RHP, Liberty HS, Brentwood, CA. DNS
11(324), David Rubinstein OF, Appalachian State. Had an OPS of 755 at West Virginia. He may still be a prospect, though he's getting a bit old for his level.
12(354), Calvin Anderson 1B, Southern. A huge (and apparently poor fielding), first baseman who had an OPS of 720 and 141 K at Bradenton.
13(384), Seth Gardner OF, Highland Park HS, Dallas. DNS
14(414), Mike Colla RHP, Arizona. A reliever at Bradenton and Altoona with unimpressive FIP but decent BB and K rates.
15(444), Chris Aure LHP, North Pole (Alaska) HS. Released in 2010. Never made it out of the GCL.
16(474), Wes Freeman OF, All Saints Academy, Lakeland, FL. Had an OPS of 495 at West Virginia. Hard to imagine he's still a prospect.
17(504), Jaron Shepherd OF, Navarro (TX) JC DNS
18(534), Jarek Cunningham SS, Mount Spokane HS, Spokane, WA. Had an OPS of 745 at West Virginia after missing 2009 with a knee injury. Played second base and is still in the mix.
19(564), Jason Haniger C Georgia Tech DNS
20(594), Quinton Miller RHP, Shawnee HS, Medford, NJ. FIP of 3.66 in 10 starts for WV despite arm miseries. Adam Reynolds observes that, "He's built up a medical record, but he has major league stuff when on the field."
22(654), Patrick Palmeiro 3B, Heritage HS, Colleyville, TX DNS
23(684), Austin Wright LHP, Conant HS, Hoffman Estates, IL DNS
24(714), Brian Litwin 3B, St. Stephens HS, Hickory, NC DNS
25(744), Brian Leach RHP, Southern Mississippi. A starter for Bradenton with a FIP of 3.72. Still a prospect.
26(774), Zach Wilson 3B, Wilson HS, Long Beach, CA DNS
27(804), Edwin Roman OF, PRBA, Gurabo, P.R. Never made it out of the GCL.
28(834), Kyle Saukko RHP, Sierra (CA) JC Released in 2010.
29(864), Kevin Komstadius 1B, East Valley HS, Yakima, WA DNS
30(894), Daniel Martin RHP, Panola (TX) JC DNS
31(924), Ryan Hinson LHP, Clemson DNS
32(954), T.J. Forrest RHP, Bossier Parish (LA) CC DNS
33(984), Mark Carver 1B, UNC Wilmington No longer in baseball
34(1014), Matt Payne 3B, North Carolina State Released in 2009
35(1,044), Tyler Cox LHP, Illinois State. An effective reliever for Bradenton.
36(1,074), Kyle Morgan OF, San Francisco. Released after 2010 season.
37(1,104), Matt Curry 1B, Howard (TX) JC DNS
38(1,134), Alan Knotts RHP, Louisiana Tech. Apparently out of baseball.
39(1,164), Albert Fagan RHP, Yonkers, N.Y. Released in 2009
40(1,194), Beau Didier 3B, Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma, WA DNS
41(1,224), Chris Simmons C Army. Had to fulfill Army commitment.
42(1,254), Cole White OF, Army. Came back from Army commitment and had OPS of 723 at State College.
43(1,284), Johnny Gunter RHP, Chattahoochee Valley (AL) CC DNS
44(1,314), Mike Williams LHP, Mount Olive, NC, JC. Not impressive in relief at WV.
45(1,343), Allen Ponder RHP, Auburn-Montgomery Put on restricted list in May of 2009, not heard of since.
46(1,371), Scott McGough SS, Plum HS, Pittsburgh DNS
47(1,398), Jordan Craft OF, Kennesaw Mountain HS, GA DNS
48(1,425), Owen Brolsma RHP, Texas Tech Released at the end of 2009
49(1,452), Zach Foster RHP, Pittsburgh-Bradford. The closer for WV, but FIP of 5.04. Probably not a prospect any more.
50(1,479), Craig Parry OF, South Dakota State Released after spring training in 2010