<
>
Insider

Wrapping up Rounds 4-17

6/10/2009

The second day of the 2009 MLB draft had some big names many expected to be off the board in Rounds 1 through 3. Oakland finally took Yuba City (Calif.) H.S. catcher Max Stassi in Round 4, with fellow backstop Luke Bailey of Troup County H.S. (LaGrange, Ga.) going to Tampa Bay 16 picks later. Other fourth-round picks of note included Arizona closer Jason Stoffel going to San Francisco, RHP Keyvius Sampson of Ocala Forest H.S. (Fla.) landing with the Padres and freshman-eligible left-hander Chris Dwyer of Clemson heading to Kansas City.

Minnesota took 2B Derek McCallum from the University of Minnesota, while first baseman Jeff Malm of Bishop Gorman H.S. (Las Vegas) went to the Rays in Round 5. In Round 6, sophomore-eligible left-hander Brooks Raley went to the Cubs, and Ian Krol of Neuqua Valley H.S. (Ill.) went to Oakland. Krol did not pitch for his high school this season after being suspended for breaking school rules and ultimately could decide to head to Arizona, where he has a full-ride scholarship.

Boston had an interesting Day 2, adding power arms to its system, including Mauldin (S.C.) H.S. right-hander Madison Younginer and Baylor right-hander Kendal Volz. Add to those two the first-day selection of Texas A&M righty Alex Wilson, and the Red Sox did a good job keeping their organization stocked with high-ceiling arms. Wilson could remain in the relief role in which he served the second half of this season for the Aggies and could break in to the big leagues as early as this season.

Younginer was not used like most high school prospects, pitching in relief often and rarely going more than three innings per outing. But he touched 98 mph on the gun on several occasions and flashed a good curveball. Boston might choose to test him out as a starting pitcher if it can sign him away from his commitment to Clemson.

Volz had a tough year after dominating as Team USA's closer last summer. His future might be in relief, but he has the build, delivery and potential, stuff-wise, to start games and go deep. Like Wilson, Volz could be a quick study as a relief option in the near future.

Getting Stassi and Krol so late could be a coup for the A's, but neither player is certain to sign, and rumor had it Stassi would be expensive. Oakland tabbed South Carolina right-hander Sam Dyson in Round 10, a good value pick for one of the top pure arms in the draft. Dyson possesses below-average command and similar control, but touches the mid-90s with his fastball and uses an above-average slider as his out pitch. Dyson might be an ideal fit for the end of the game, where his fastball could play up and cover for his command problems.

Tampa might have problems signing Bailey away from his Auburn commitment, and since Bailey's stock fell only due to the Tommy John surgery he had late in April, he might be able to get himself back into Round 1 with a good few years in college. Malm is sure to hit for power, but he's a 1B/DH type whose bat has to lead him to the big leagues.

Texas senior RHP Austin Wood went to Detroit in the fifth round, but one has to wonder whether he fell a round or two or jumped up some boards after his uber-risky, but valiant, 13 shutout innings in the NCAA regionals late in May.

University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who hasn't played baseball since high school, was taken in Round 10 by the Angels. NFL scouts already have expressed doubt that Locker has the passing skills to play the position in the league, but Locker is unlikely to sign with the Angels as he readies for his third season of Pac-10 football.

The Yankees' selections of right-handers Sean Black of Seton Hall (Round 7) and Graham Stoneburner of Clemson (Round 14) are intriguing for the future of their bullpen. Keith Law calls Black's fastball and curveball above-average offerings, touching 94 mph with the heat, so he could start. Stoneburner, a draft-eligible sophomore, might elect to stay in school and start games, potentially improving his draft stock for 2010.

New York also took 6-foot-8 right-hander Chad Thompson of El Toro H.S. (Calif.) in Round 17, a high-upside power arm who had elbow surgery this spring and is likely headed to Arizona State.

Also in Round 17, Pittsburgh selected right-hander Jordan Cooper from Shelbyville (Tenn.) Central H.S. He is No. 99 on Law's Top 100, but didn't get much attention early because of the strength of his commitment to Kentucky. The Pirates would have to grossly overpay here to get him to sign.

Philadelphia had a strong Day 2, tabbing RHP Brody Colvin of St. Thomas More H.S. (Lafayette, La.) in Round 7 and C Andrew Susac of Jesuit H.S. (Carmichael, Calif.) in the 17th round.