Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Draft this!

No. 4 with a bullet and, if you can believe it, a wallet

Just a few days away from the MLB draft, folks. ("Quick picks, no analysis and tinny audio quality: I live for this!") Rocket Bill has the organizational skinny, which can be summed up in three points:

---> Hey, we're not cheap!
---> We're looking for an impact position player; and
---> No, really: we're not cheap!

One could add a fourth point, as well: thanks, Jim Bowden, for signing Sirs Castilla and Guzman. Now we lack second and third round picks. Not to worry, though, because we'll compensate:

However, the money they had allocated for those rounds will now be spent on signing players in the Dominican Republic. Bowden would not say who they are trying to sign from the Dominican Republic, but they are looking for an impact player on offense. "We are going to be better with the way we have done it. We are very excited about that," Bowden said. "I don't want to make the other 29 clubs aware who we are going to sign. Unlike the United States, there's no draft when it comes to signing players from Latin America."

As noted above, the article presents a tone that stresses (in almost Pravda-esque quality, indeed) that, this time, the team will be able to draft for considerations outside "Golly, Mr. Agent, that sure sounds like a lot of money." According to Rocket Bill:

No longer will they avoid the best players simply because they will ask for more money. The Nationals also feel the best players in the country are willing to sign with them because they know the team
has a pleasant future in Washington.

He then interviews the Nats' scouting director, who insists Bowden will be good for the money, even if it means giving a little more to those pesky high school kids.

In the end, though, Rocket Bill repeats the conventional wisdom that the Nats will go for Virginia third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Bodes is high of the hog with this guy:

"Is Zimmerman in our mix? Yes, he is in our mix.," Bowden said. "Zimmerman is projected to be a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman like Scott Rolen. He even has the agility and body control to play
shortstop. He is a guy who should hit .300 with 20 to 30 home runs."

For what it's worth, Baseball America rates Zimmerman at No. 9 among position players in its Mel-Kiper type, best-available analysis.

Well, I'll be the first to concede that I know next to nothing about college baseball or its best players. All I know is that "PING!!!" is a pretty darned annoying sound to hear one time and almost intolerable to hear once or twice a minute.

Two points:

1. The #9 ranking is actually overall, not just among position players.

2. He actually moves up to #7 because Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew signed with the teams that drafted them last year just before the deadline.
1. Yep, you're right.

2. That's true; forgot about them.
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