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Analysis: Steals in Rounds 5-10

6/8/2010

Rounds 5-7: The standout picks in Rounds 5 through 7 include the New York Yankees getting RHP Thomas Kahnle, Philadelphia selecting prep righty Scott Frazier and Texas tabbing Georgia right-hander Justin Grimm.

Frazier is another project for the Phillies to turn into a potential No. 3 starter, and Grimm could have pitched his way into Round 1 with a better spring.

The White Sox took a shot at Arkansas 1B Andy Wilkins, who has power but also concerns about how his swing will work with a wooden bat.

Arizona's selection of Coastal Carolina southpaw Cody Wheeler is intriguing, as he offers plus velocity despite his stature.

The Dodgers' pick of Kevin Gausman in Round 6 may simply be another way for them to avoid spending money, as Gausman's commitment to LSU is stronger than sixth-round bonus money.

Tampa continues to have a strong draft with Virginia Tech right-hander Jesse Hahn, who touched the mid-90s but profiles best in relief. His injury late this spring had an impact on his draft stock.

Prep right-hander Adam Plutko could have gone in the sandwich round but lasted until No. 183 to the Houston Astros. Unless the club goes well over slot here, Plutko is likely headed for UCLA.

Baltimore's pick of Cal right-hander Dixon Anderson appears to be good value for a potential rotation candidate with a chance to close as well.

The Angels took a stab at injured Oregon State left-hander Josh Osich, who may have been among the top 20 picks had he not had elbow surgery last winter and missed the entire season. He's likely to return to school and re-enter the draft next spring, but the Halos could make him an offer he can't refuse, rehab the kid themselves and get him into pro ball sooner.

The Padres, who are having one of the better drafts, took RHP AJ Vanegas in the seventh round. The question here is whether they can buy him out of his commitment to Stanford. The word early this spring was that Vanegas was going to school.

The Indians' selection of recently-injured right-hander Robby Aviles could pay off if they are willing to pay him top-100 money or better, and such a get could save the Tribe's draft, as it doesn't look particularly strong after 10 rounds.

Rounds 8-10: LSU right-hander Austin Ross showed improved stuff late this spring, and the Brewers selected him in Round 8. If he signs, Milwaukee can add him to their recent collection of arms that includes Eric Arnett from last year's draft class and Dylan Covey from this year's first round.

Oakland's selection of A.J. Kirby-Jones from Tennessee Tech intrigues me quite a bit, but it doesn't surprise that the A's landed him -- he's their kind of college performer.

San Diego drafted Josh Spence out of Arizona State after the senior lefty missed the year due to elbow surgery. Spence is somewhat similar to current Padres left-hander Wade LeBlanc -- not much velocity, but good off-speed stuff and command to go with it.

The Pirates are having a strong draft and selected Georgia Tech right-hander Brandon Cumpton in Round 9. He had a tough spring but entered the season with a chance at the first three rounds, suggesting he could find his stuff and make this a steal.

Florida State CF Tyler Holt went to Cleveland in the 10th round, and he might be a better player than first-round pick Gary Brown (SF), thanks to a better approach at the plate. Both players may be extra outfielders, but this is good value for the Indians.

Bryce Harper's teammate Aaron Kurcz, an undersized right-hander with a loose arm and above-average stuff, reminds me of Brewers right-hander Ruben Flores, who developed a plus change after draft day and might be in the big leagues today if it weren't for injuries.

The most notable names still on the board after Round 10 included Harvard-Westlake High School outfielder Austin Wilson, who has a strong commitment to Stanford but went in Round 12, and prep right-hander DeAndre Smelter, who is ranked 46th on the top 100 but is committed to Georgia Tech.

Kris Bryant, a third baseman out of Bonanza High School in Nevada, is still available, but, like Wilson and Smelter, is likely headed for school at the University of San Diego.

Other notables include Jake Hernandez, C -- Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos; Jordan Shipers, LHP -- Bethany, Mo./South Harrison; and Jacoby Jones, SS -- Richton, Miss./Richton.