Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Draft Time!

It's 1 PM, and it's about to start. I'll update here as info about the Nats pops up; I'll be googling as fast as my fat fingers'll let me.

  • Welcome to the Nationals.... Chris Marrero? He's a high school OFer [MLB Radio says he's a 3B, but their draft tracker said 3B] that I know nothing about.

    --MLB radio says he swings and misses a lot, but that he had an excellent workout for the Nats.
    --He was supposedly the top-rated HSer before the season started.

    Here's the MLB.Com scouting report on him:
    Chris Marrero, 3b School: Monsignor Pace HS. Class: Sr. Hometown: Miami B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 7/2/88. Scouting Report: Marrero entered his senior season with high expectations, and by most accounts did not live up to them. He held down the starting third base job since his sophomore season at Monsignor Pace, and asserted himself as the nation's top prep position player in the fall, displaying remarkable power at a showcase in Orlando. Marrero has the look scouts savor. Tall, strong, lean and loose, he shows average to plus tools in all five categories, with 70 power on the 20-to-80 scale. His swing has good leverage and he can drive balls out to all parts of the park. He has adequate plate discipline and good pitch recognition. He hasn't shown an ability to make consistent hard contact, but remains high on draft boards based on projection and power. He needs to improve his plate coverage, as he prefers to pull the ball, and tends to fly open and miss pitches on the outer half. He has well-above-average arm strength and shows some ability to make accurate throws from different arm angles and on the run. Some scouts envision him moving to first base or left field, developing into a player the ilk of Pat Burrell. Marrero's power potential won't let him slide out of the first round.

  • With their second first-round pick, they've selected Colton Willems, RHP from a HS in Florida. Here's his MLB.com capsule:
    Colton Willems, rhp School: John Carroll Catholic HS. Class: Sr. Hometown: Fort Pierce, Fla. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 7/30/88. Scouting Report: Willems surfaced as an elite arm last summer, garnering most valuable pitcher honors at the Cape Cod Classic in July. His velocity spiked this spring, and he came out pitching at 92 mph and bumping 97 in a relief outing. He is compared to Matt Latos, another hard-throwing righthander from southeast Florida, and Willems holds the edge entering the draft because of better makeup and fastball command. Willems pitches off his fastball and spots it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. He has thrown both a curve and a slider, and both pitches are inconsistent. His slider will likely be his best secondary option. His changeup isn't a put-away pitch, but he does have a feel for it. While he's not muscular, he should be able to log innings as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He could be drafted as high as the back of the first round.

  • MLB.com's scouting video of Marrero and Willems.

  • Here's Baseball America's thumbnail capsules of our first-round picks.

  • In the second round, the Nats select Sean Black a RHP from a NJ High School. Baseball America says that Nats had thought about taking him in the first round:
    The Nationals, whose scouting director Dana Brown hails from New Jersey, coveted New Jersey high school righthander Sean Black, even considering him in the first round. He would have been a reach that early, so they passed, but they were able to pounce on him in the second round with the 59th overall pick. Black's stock skyrocketed this spring as he showed off a fresh, electric arm and low to mid-90s velocity and a promising, biting curveball.

  • With the 70th pick, they took a HS shortstop from Washington, Stephen Englund. Here's his less-than inspiring profile:
    A third-team preseason All-American and key recruit for Washington State, Englund has all the tools scouts could want in a high school hitter. Like many of his peers, he just didn't show the most important tool--hitting--often enough as a high school senior. Englund is an excellent athlete and passes the "eye test"--he looks like a player in uniform. The same is true in batting practice, when Englund can put on a show with long home runs thanks to his excellent bat speed and a swing with plenty of leverage. Englund also impresses during infield practice, showing off a plus arm that should help him make the transition to third base from his prep position of shortstop. But in games, the tools just haven't played consistently. As one scout put it, his high school career just has involved too much drama, including being kicked off the team once and reinstated. Englund's inability to close up holes in his swing points to his inability to make adjustments, and even his advocates warn that Englund's bat could take five years to reach its potential. Scouting directors and organizations that covet high-end tools are likley to be too tempted to let Englund slide out of the first five rounds, however.

  • 91st pick, Stephen King, SS from a FL High School. MLB's scouting report uses the phrase "tools galore." MLB Radio said that's he's the top defensive SS in the draft, that he's highly athletic and could be a good player 'if he hits.' Yay, it's Ian Desmond! They also said that signability could be a concern, meaning don't be surprised if he runs off to college instead.


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