DRAFT 101: A VIEWERS GUIDE
Before they became the talk of the AL East, the Rays were huge in the MLB draft. Coincidence? We think not. For the fourth time since 1999, they're on the clock first, so when the drafting starts on June 5 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN2), you'll want to be as prepared as the suits in St. Pete.
1. Penny-Pinchers: Moths fly out of their wallets faster than dollars do.
2. Safety-Seekers: They just love low-risk (and low-ceiling) college guys.
3. Risk-Takers: If a guy's good—or just looks like he could be—they'll go for it.
4. Slot-Busters: They've got Scott Boras on speed dial.
|TEAM||DRAFT STYLE||WHAT THEY'LL DO|
|1.||Well-stocked with kids, they can address their biggest weakness by picking Florida State C Buster Posey.|
|2.||The Bucs like to go for college pitchers. Unfortunately, none of them has worked out. Next!|
|3.||With the organization thin up the middle, Georgia prep SS Tim Beckham would be a good choice.|
|4.||Some teams avoid Boras clients. But the O's will take Vandy slugger Pedro Alvarez if he's around.|
|5.||They've done a good job of drafting and developing pitchers, but now they need hitters. Desperately.|
|6.||The Fish have been hoarding pitchers, and Missouri RH Aaron Crow could be sitting right here.|
|7.||Cueto, Volquez and Votto have given the Reds a future. Cincy should simply draft the best available athlete.|
|8.||They need a big talent infusion. Georgia SS Gordon Beckham (no relation to Tim) would be a start.|
|9.||They drafted Jack McGreary in the sixth round last year and gave the LHP $1.8M not to play for Stanford.|
|10.||With a top-10 pick for the first time since 2001, they have a significant chance to upgrade.|
|11.||Florida high school 1B Eric Hosmer (Boras client and best prep bat in the draft) won't fall past Texas.|
|12.||Trades of Haren and Swisher reloaded the farm system; now Oakland has its highest pick since '99.|
|13.||Though the A's are famous for targeting college players, the Cards do it more frequently.|
|14.||Recent drafts haven't been as fruitful as 1997-2001, when Minny landed Cuddyer, Morneau and Mauer.|
|15.||The success of Martin, Kemp and Billingsley shows thta LA isn't afraid to pick and develop raw talent.|
|16.||With six of the first 62 picks, they have a chance to restock a farm system thin on pitching.|
|17.||They might take Eastern Kentucky's Christian Friedrich, the most polished LHP in the draft.|
|18.||A comp pick from Atlanta for Glavine will help rebuild a farm system depleted by Santana deal.|
|19.||Alex Meyer, a 6'7'' prep RHP from Indiana, is the kind of high-reward player they typically covet.|
|20.||They better be thankful for the international market. Recent drafts haven't helped their aging roster.|
|21.||Their strategy has been to wait for a big-money player to fall to them. That's less likely this year.|
|22.||The last time they had two first-rounders was 1994; they picked Paul Wilson and Terrence Long.|
|23.||They tend to target low-ceiling (i.e. safe) college guys, but the lineup is crying out for high-end talent.|
|24.||They like raw kids, so this could be prep SS/RHP Casey Kelly, arguably the best athlete in the draft.|
|25.||The Rox excel at finding talent in later rounds (Atkins and Hawpe, fifth and 11th, in 2000).|
|26.||They're so stocked with young talent, MLB should confiscate their first-round pick.|
|27.||They got Torii Hunter with a comp pick in '93. VP Mike Radcliff has been making solid choices ever since.|
|28.||They flexed their muscle for years, but with more teams willing to spend, top kids won't fall in their lap.|
|29.||A college hitter such as ASU's Ike Davis (1B) or Brett Wallace (3B) could provide good value here.|
|30.||The champs routinely spend big money to buy prepsters out of their college commitments.|
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