Crossposted at Minor League Ball (it's my draft obligation).
Finally. With the mock draft tomorrow, I'm spending most of today polishing my board and working out strategies for player selection. As I've said before, the downside of not having a first-rounder is that planning becomes tougher. Right now I'm leaning toward taking 3 bats and 1 arm total, with the two supplemental picks being bats. I really like Garin Cecchini (HS 3B), Reggie Golden (HS OF) and Justin O'Conner (HS SS/C) though O'Conner probably won't drop. As far as arms go, I'm looking for a player to drop. There are some nice pitchers that should be available in the second and third rounds so I'll try to split picks there (one going to bat and one going to arm).
I'm looking to grab a prep infielder and a college pitcher with the second and third round picks, and I've listed some of the players I'm looking at below. Once again, discussion is welcome- I'd really like people to chip in.
Tony Wolters: HS SS/2B: Wolters really projects as a second baseman in the end, and his tools are nothing to brag about. But he's average to above in all aspects of his game and has a great work ethic. He's also patient and a tough out. He reminds me a bit of a high school version of Scott Sizemore, and his ceiling is probably similar to Sizemore's.
Zach Alvord: HS SS/2B: Alvord's an offensive minded infielder- he might have to move from SS unfortunately. He's got good bat speed and power but his swing mechanics are a little wacky and his speed is lacking. Still not a horrible choice and he's got some upside.
Jacoby Jones: HS SS: He's got a weak arm. He may outgrow SS. But he's also got a great bat that showcases power, speed and contact ability. The big problem is a strong college commitment... but with no first rounder, we can afford to sign him to a million dollar deal if we think he's worth it.
Kendrick Perkins: HS RF: He's got all the hitting tools- good bat speed, power and speed. The problem is that his defense is mediocre. He's also a pretty raw young OF. But he's got a high ceiling, and that's the type of player this system needs.
Matt Lipka: HS SS/CF: The bad news is that he may have to move out of the infield. But he's fast and has some power with projections indicating he'll gain more. The best part: his strong arm in CF gives him the potential to be a plus.
Addison Reed: College RHP: His fastball sits in the low 90's, but the thing moves. His slider flashes plus and his change looks to be average- he's a good candidate to be a solid #3 or, if he moves back to the bullpen, a solid setup guy.
De'Andre Smelter: HS RHP: His fastball sits in the low to mid 90's, and he has two potential plus pitches in a slider and splitter. The problem is mediocre command and control and a college commitment to Georgia Tech. But his great stuff and size (6'3", 210) makes him a traditional Detroit pick.
Dave Filak: College RHP: His fastball sits at 92-94 with movement. His curveball is plus-plus. His change is... okay, it's only average. But the fastball/curve combination is pretty awesome and his ceiling is either #2 starter or closer if the command doesn't come around.
Rob Rasmussen: College LHP: Okay, he's not a high ceiling guy. He's also smaller than most of Chadd's pitchers. But he's got a fastball that sits in the low 90's consistently as well as a good curve and average changeup and slider. He may land up being a #4 starter, but he's a nice arm to have around.