And so they come to the hour of decision, when all things will be revealed, the curtain drawn aside and the future embraced, all mystery gone and only the cold, bright light of reality left to illuminate the day.
Yes, that's right, ladies and jellyspoons, it's draft day! Can I get a Woo! from somebody? Just one solitary Ric Flair? Please? Alright, anyway, enough of the frivolity and joviality; that's not what you come to this wonderful laser-focused baseball site for, right? (Even I can't tell if I'm being sarcastic in that sentence.) No, you come here for the anal. Which is what I call analysis; I don't have time to say whole four syllable words, so we're going to have some hot anal all over some really young men today. It's going to be awesome.
I'm not doing any new players today; the time for scouting reports has come and gone. This, instead, is the master list of all the previous reports, plus my own personal list of the players I feel most strongly about in the draft this year. Not all first round guys, mind you; I'm talking about players throughout the early to middle rounds I really like, for one reason or another. (The reason I say early to middle is because, quite honestly, once you get past probably the first ten or maybe a dozen rounds, roughly, the players often being chosen are far enough off the beaten path that it's really hard to hear about them in the first place if you aren't, you know, doing this for a living, most likely on the road.
First, the reports:
- Part One -- Previously drafted players (actually labeled as part zero, but I then screwed up and went to two)
- Part Two -- Early pitcher favourites
- Part Three -- Early positional faves
- Part Four -- Speedy players
- Part Five -- High School Righthanders
- Part Six -- College Bats
- Part Seven -- College Relievers
- Part Eight -- Middle Infielders (the Dr. Seuss one)
- Part Nine -- College Righthanders
- Part Ten -- More High School Righthanders
- Part Eleven -- Again, High School Righthanders
- Part Twelve -- High School Bats
- Part Thirteen -- High School Lefties
- Part Fourteen -- Persons of Interest #1
- Part Fifteen -- Infielders
- Part Sixteen -- Persons of Interest #2
- Part Seventeen -- Risers and Fallers
- Part Eighteen -- College Position Players
- Part Nineteen -- Persons of Interest #3
- Part Twenty -- Mock Draft
I kind of doubt you have either the time or desire to read all 45000 or so words of those previews today, but just in case you want to go back and check out a specific player or group of players or something, there you go. The master list, as it were.
Edit: if you want to just go to a given player's profile, either when they're mentioned during the day or at the time they're actually drafted, the wonderful Wayne Coyne doppleganger himself Craig Edwards put together a list just for you. Here it is.Thank you to Craig.
First Round Favourites
These are players I feel almost certain will go in the first round.
Michael Chavis, 3B -- Covered in part fifteen, Chavis grew on me more and more as the spring went on. I feel he has one of the best hit tools in the entire draft, college or high school, and he's going to make an impact that belies his relatively modest stature. Probably my favourite position player in the draft -- or at least of the early guys -- he's a stealth-premium athlete who is going to hit like crazy. What's not to like?
Kodi Medeiros, LHP -- Previewed all the way back in part two, Medeiros remains my favourite pitching prospect, and number one guy overall, on draft day morning. He has a repertoire that qualifies in my mind for unreal status and lower-risk mechanics than many of the other guys in my estimation. He's not big, and the arm slot is unorthodox, so he gets dinged by a lot of analysts. Not me.
Braxton Davidson, 1B/OF -- Previewed in part twelve, Davidson has the highest offensive ceiling of any player in this draft, I think. There's some Joey Votto in his approach, but with maybe even more power potential. I love what he can do with a bat in his hands.
Sean Newcomb, LHP -- Previewed in part two along with Medeiros, the big lefty with the big fastball has very good mechanics and a power repertoire. I don't think there's any way he gets close to the Cards' slot.
Max Pentecost, C -- Previewed in part three, Pentecost has done nothing but hit this spring, which shouldn't surprise anyone who read my scouting report on him. More athletic than most catching prospects, Pentecost gets a lot of Jason Kendall comps, but I think he'll be a much more complete hitter than Kendall, rather than a slap-hit specialist.
Early Round Favourites
Player I consider to be possible first round guys, but more likely supplemental through third round talents.
Foster Griffin, LHP -- Previewed in part sixteen, Griffin is tall, projectable, already throws hard, and has an arm action I wish I could clone and give to dozens of young pitchers. Love this guy. He's moved up draft boards quite a bit this spring, though, so he may be out of reach for the Cards even by 27. If not, almost certainly by the time the second round proper begins.
Alex Verdugo, LHP -- Previewed in part thirteen, Verdugo is yet another high school lefthander I'm a big fan of. He's tremendously athletic, already throws in the low 90s, and has a power slurve that can be positively Ankielian at times.
Mike Papi, OF/1B -- Previewed in part eighteen, Papi is, in my humble estimation, one of the best pure hitters in the draft this year, even if the numbers aren't quite as ridiculous as some of the other big bat guys. I have dreams, I have to admit, of seeing "Papi - 3" written on a Cardinal lineup card in the future.
Ti'quan Forbes, SS -- Previewed in part eight, Forbes is one of the most ridiculously athletic players in the entire draft. He's raw, but the sky is the limit for him.
Aramis Garcia, C -- Previewed way back in part one, er, zero, Garcia was already drafted once by the Cards back in 2011. He's got big-time power potential, solid hittability, and is as sure a bet to stay at catcher as any player in the draft.
Cobi Johnson, RHP -- Previewed in part five, Johnson has a better delivery than many of his contemporaries, a solid-average fastball, and an advanced feel for one of the best curves in the draft and a very promising changeup.
Middle or Later Round Favourites
These guys are real wild cards, as it's tough to tell where some of them will be taken, but every one has something about them I find incredibly exciting or intriguing.
David Berg, RHP -- Previewed in part seven, Berg is the sidearming closer for UCLA who I think is going to be a big deal in pro ball. I would never, ever argue he's anywhere near the best player in this draft, or the most talented, or the most likely to make an impact. But I feel as strongly about him as I do just about any other player I can think of.
Kevin Padlo, 3B -- Highlighted in part three, Padlo is a premium athlete at the hot corner with excellent power potential and bat speed to burn. The most likely to turn into Brett Lawrie. (The good version.)
Greg Deichmann, 2B -- Previewed in part eight, Deichman has taken a real tumble down draft boards this spring, largely because teams think he's limited to second base. At this point, his bat is far underrated, in my ever so humble opinion.
Carl Chester, OF -- Previewed in part four, Chester is a speed demon both in the field and on the bases, and I think he has a chance to develop into a very good hitter down the line. Reminiscent of Peter Bourjos, a bit.
Jordan Yamamoto, RHP -- I somehow missed out on writing him up, but the diminuitive right-hander from St. Louis school in Hawaii has a present low-90s fastball and a wide repertoire of offspeed stuff. The delivery is a little risky, I think, but I really enjoy watching him pitch.
Luke Eubank, RHP -- Profiled in part fourteen, Eubank is a sinker-throwing bulldog from Oxnard community college. Just a feeling guy, but the stuff plays, and I think he's got a real chance.
Slade Heggen, C -- Previewed in part nineteen, Heggen is a crazy athlete at a position you don't get many of those. I would kill to get this guy into the Redbirds' system. (Then again, the last high school catcher I said I would kill to see the Cards draft was Stryker Trahan, soooo.... my opinion probably doesn't mean much.
Keith Greishaber, SS -- Also profiled in part nineteen, Grieshaber is a local kid, an off-the-charts athlete, and an all-time great high school soccer player. I'm a big fan.
I'm going to call it good here, folks. The FR guys have plenty of other coverage planned today, and I'll be around at various times today to answer any question you might want to ask about players or anything else in this thread. I can't guarantee I'll be timely, exactly, but I'll try to check back in and at least attempt to answer you. The kick off of the draft is one of my favourite days on the baseball calendar; it's why I spent the last six months writing nothing but draft posts, essentially. Now that it's here, I can't wait for the Cards to go on the clock.
So tell me: who do you want to see the Cards take tonight?
And thanks for reading all of these, everybody. It was a fun draft season this year.