2007 Draft Mailbag #3: Draft Positioning

Is Ed Easley a high round pick?

The questions keep rolling in, so Todd Morgan has returned to answer another batch of questions about the 2007 MLB Draft.

Ed. Note: Back with more draft questions. As an FYI, I'm going to stick to answering questions about specific players going forward. Regional player pool questions take a lot of time to research, and my grad program just doesn't allow me enough time to undertake it. My apologies. - Todd

Since you have Phillippe Aumont going to the Dodgers at 20, could you see them getting Jack McGeary with their sandwich pick? Or do you see them going for more position players this year?
-Joseph

It's really too hard to say. If the draft unfolds like my projection, sure. But then again, if I was writing my projection now I might bump McGeary as high as the Dodgers pick… and it's only been two weeks since I wrote it! That's just the nature of draft prospect evaluation – things change quickly.

There's more buzz around McGeary now, with some scouts and journalists calling him the best prep lefty in the draft. He's definitely the most polished, which for some people puts him a tick ahead of guys like Madison Bumgarner and Tanner Robles. I don't agree with that, but I haven't seen any of them pitch yet this year. It certainly isn't a stretch. The Dodgers might even grab him at 20 instead of Aumont. It's definitely something I'll look at when I write my mid-season and/or early-June projection(s).

I was reading you 2007 MLB draft article, and an curious what scout info you have on Sean Yost?
Thanks, Cassie

I was wondering if you had any information on Sean Yost from Lincoln, Nebraska (SouthWest High School) just wondering if you have any input on what round he might be drafted if at all?
Thanks alot, Nathan

Wow, Sean Yost has some fans out there.

According to the reports I've read, Yost offers a lot of upside but is still pretty raw on the mound. He's tall at 6'5, but gangly if the 180 lbs. he's listed at still holds true. He'll need to iron out his delivery, which currently starts out deliberately and then speeds up to a jerky finish. His arm speed and fastball seem to intrigue scouts, but I only found one velocity listing of 87-92 mph. I'm not sure how accurate that is, so it's tough for me to assess its projectability.

Right now Yost is probably a 9th or 10th rounder. With work on his mechanics and a solid performance this season he could move up a ways, but without a better idea about his velocity and secondary offerings I couldn't say with any certainty how far.

I was reading your inaccurate assessment of Andrew Brackman and your reasoning for saying that he would not go high in the draft just didn't make sense. The stress fracture that he had in his leg came after he played a full season on the basketball team and played baseball and basketball at the same time for a couple of months. Also, you should considering checking out his numbers from his healthy freshman season in which NC State won every game that he pitched in. In a head-to-head matchup between Brackman and UNC's Andrew Miller, Brackman outpitched Miller and won the game.
-James

Indeed Brackman's freshmen year was very promising. Indeed he out-dueled Andrew Miller. Unfortunately both arguments for Brackman fall prey to the dreaded question of "sample size." Or, to be a bit more blunt: What have you done for me lately?

Brackman's injury doesn't only affect him on the basketball court, does it? Where or why the injury occurred doesn't matter much to me. He's a huge guy who developed a stress fracture in the hip he uses to drive off the mound. Playing two major collegiate sports probably isn't any more stressful than the rigors of professional baseball.

The fact is that Brackman hasn't been healthy since 2005 and has never been dominant as a regular starting pitcher. He's had some success and shown tremendous potential, but there are other factors that determine whether a team feels he's worthy of a major league contract and a $4-$7 million signing bonus. Let's be clear on that – a top three pick coming out of college with Scott Boras advising him is going to demand the moon and get it. He'd better not have many question marks, and Brackman's hip injury and lack of success over an extended period of time are major question marks.

I am not invested in Brackman's future – I'm not a Wolf Pack fan, nor a relative, so I have the luxury of objectivity. But I'm also not a Brackman hater either. If he proves me wrong I'll be thrilled, first because I'd love a world where everyone succeeds, and second because a deeper draft means that my team has more players to choose from.

What about Robert Willis, C/RHP/2B from Trinity and Iden Nazario, 1B/LHP from Southridge? Where do you see them projecting in the 2007 Draft?
-Joe C.

It's hard to get a read on Willis because he doesn't stand out in many ways. He's probably a 20th rounder at best right now, with average tools across the board. His future is probably at catcher because he doesn't have the range to play 2B and his fastball tops out around 80 mph, which just isn't hard enough.

Nazario is probably somewhere in the fifth or sixth round right now with a good bat at first base and a fastball that touches 92 mph. He has good power and good bat speed along with soft hands at first and a strong, accurate arm. On the mound he looks like he might make a good reliever, but right now I think he's more likely to be taken as a position player.

I was wondering if JC and CC players that were drafted in the 2006 Draft and didn't sign could be drafted again in the 2007 MLB Draft?
Thanks, Justin

As far as I know, juco players taken last year follow the same rules as other college players – they have until a week before the draft to sign with the organization that drafted them. If that doesn't happen, they go back into the pool of eligible draftees.

I just recently stumbled upon your writings for scout.com, and I have to say that I am glad that someone out there is finally giving us baseball fans some information on the MLB draft. That's the hardest draft to find any information on. Now, to my comment and question:

I was wondering what you thought about Mississippi State's catcher Ed Easley? He was a top-rated catcher coming out of high school that honored his commitment to Mississippi State. I believe he is being seriously underrated by the people who give out what little draft information I've been able to find. You will not find a catcher that has a better throwing arm than Ed Easley. IMO, he's the best defensive catcher in college baseball with his ability to work the pitching staff, throw out base stealers, and pick guys off.

His pop time is probably going to be in the 1.7 to 1.8 range. He's also very versatile, as he could also be graded as a third baseman. Ed is a great athlete. As far as his hitting goes, he hasn't shown the power that I believe some people want to see, but everyone knows that Dudy Noble is one of the hardest places to hit home runs in college baseball. Ed did lead the team in doubles last season and was a .336/.421/.457 hitter.
Thanks, Keith

From what I've heard and read, Easley might be a tenth rounder, at best. Reports on him say that he's not good at blocking balls in the dirt, and runners stole successfully on him 20 out of 28 times in 2006. His arm strength is above average, but his agility behind the plate is a question mark.

His best trait is probably his make-up. He plays the game hard, makes good decisions and handles pitchers well. Unfortunately that isn't what makes scouts push players to be picked early. Like you say, he is versatile because his athleticism allows him to play 3B and even 2B adequately, but unless he starts hitting for more power – even an increase in doubles will help – he's not going to be an early round pick.

More questions? Contact Todd directly.

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