First off, I would threaten to beat up every other GM in baseball unless they passed on Strasburg. I figure those guys are just a bunch of older business types, so I’ll bet I could scare ‘em. I’m a pretty intimidating guy.
On the other hand, if I were running the Cardinals’ draft, and local laws had some sort of prohibition against racketeering, I might go with something like this. Note that I’m trying to pick players I think will be available in whatever round; this isn’t any kind of talent ranking or anything. I just happened to be awake and bored, so I thought I might throw a little something together.
Round 1: Chad James, LHP, Yukon HS (OK)
I’ve oscillated between James and Matt Hobgood as my two favourite guys in this draft; I think both have outstanding mechanics to go along with front of the rotation potential. In the end, James gets the nod largely due to his sinistrality, as he helps address a glaring weakness in the system. I also like his body better; Hobgood looks like the type that would really need to watch his weight. More projectability and throwing from the wrong side makes Chad James my first rounder.
Round 2: Richie Shaffer, 3B, Providence HS (NC)
I actually really like Randall Grichuk, the outfielder Erik wrote about the other day, at this spot, but I don’t see Shaffer being around in the 3rd, so I have to choose between the two, and Shaffer’s place on the defensive spectrum gives him the edge. One of the better HS bats in this draft, as well as a capable defender at the hot corner, the big questions about Shaffer are where he projects down the road. He has the hands and arm to stick at third, but his lateral movement leaves a bit to be desired. I really like him, and he’s my boy in the 2nd.
Round 3: Robbie Shields, SS/2B, Florida Southern University
I’ve been a big fan of Shields for quite some time, and I think he’s one of the more underrated players in this year’s draft. He’s got a live body, good defensive actions (though he would likely be better at second than short), and a better bat than I think he gets credit for. I’m really tempted to take one of the college sophomores or a tough sign HSer here, as it’s a protected pick, but I believe in Shields, and he won’t be around ’til the 4th.
Round 4: Craig Fritsch, RHP, Baylor University
If Scott Bittle is still hanging around here, I probably take him, but I think some team will like the performance more than they fear the question marks and pop him before this. I love Fritsch’s repertoire, and I think he gets overlooked because of his unorthodox mechanics.
Round 5: Jon Pokorny, LHP, Kent State
Pokorny isn’t going to wow anyone, and he’s already mature physically, so there isn’t any real projection left, but he has posted K/BB ratios consistently in the 3:1 range, and has a nice high floor.
Round 6: Brett Nommensen, OF, Eastern Illinois University
Okay, let me just get this out of the way: I love Brett Nommensen. He has, quite possibly, the best plate discipline of anyone in the draft. He isn’t big, but he does have some pop in his bat to go along with plus speed. In the end, though, I believe in his ability to get on base, and I think he could end up being one of the real hidden gems in this year’s draft.
Round 7: Josh Olson, 1B, Hill Murray HS (MN)
You may not have heard of Olson, but chances are you will before the 2012 draft comes along. He’s a big, strong kid with the kind of swing you get with big, strong kids from Minnesota. The thought is that he’ll go to Holy Cross and develop for a couple of years, but I like his bat enough to pop him here and buy him out of that commitment.
You know what? Beyond here, I would really just be pulling names out of a hat, so I’m going to stop. Happy Draft Day, everyone.