Draft, Draft, and more Draft
Baseball America deserves some major kudos for getting the first eighteen picks dead on and got about twenty one of the thirty first round picks right. From a quick glance, it looks like the Red Sox were the big winners getting two of my favorite players in Craig Hansen and Jacoby Ellsbury and an offensive second baseman Jed Lowrie early in the draft. I wanted Hansen badly, but I can rest easier he will be fighting evil in the AL East and not coming back to haunt the Mets unless they face each other in the World Series. The Red Sox got a hell of a closer, a guy to take over for Johnny Damon, and gave a boost to the right side of the infield.
Back to the Mets...
Here is Pelfrey's, Hector Pellot's, and Drew Butera's scouting report from Baseball America for you cheap bastards that do not want to pay for it.
MIKE PELFREY, rhp (National rank: 5)
School: Wichita State.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: Jan. 14, 1984.
Previously Drafted: Devil Rays 2002 (15).
Scouting Report: Pelfrey and Tennessee's Luke Hochevar have been running neck and neck all spring as the top pitching prospects in college baseball. Pelfrey moved ahead as the draft approached, though where the two would go in the draft remains uncertain because both have Scott Boras as an adviser. Shockers pitching coach Brent Kemnitz says Pelfrey is the best pitching prospect in school history, a rich tradition that includes seven first-rounders, and his 2.03 career ERA is a Wichita State record. Pelfrey suffered from draftitis in 2002, when he entered his high school senior season as a projected first-round pick, but that hasn't been the case this spring. He has blown away hitters consistently with a 92-97 mph fastball that's as notable for its sink as for its velocity. He's adept at getting grounders or strikeouts, depending on the situation. He has refined a straight changeup that will be a plus pitch and keeps lefthanders in check. He also has tightened his curveball and become more consistent with it. Add in a perfect pitcher's frame, good control and a competitive makeup, and the only thing that really bothers scouts about Pelfrey is Boras. Pelfrey could fall to No. 10—where the Tigers have a scouting director who used to coach at Wichita State (David Chadd) and an owner who has signed Boras free agents the last two offseasons (Mike Ilitch)—or perhaps further.
While De Jesus is motivated to sign, the island’s No. 2 prospect, SS Hector Pellot (2), may not be. Pellot made several college visits, including one to Southern California, before committing to Santa Clara. He has a bit more speed and arm than De Jesus, meaning he’s more likely to stay at shortstop, but he’ll need to work on his hands. They’re a little stiff. Pellot needs work at the plate as well, where he lacks strength and can get the bat knocked out of his hands. A team that believes in his bat will take Pellot with a single-digit pick.
Does having Carlos Beltran help him sign? Hey, if you got it use it. Beltran has to be pretty iconic over there so he may be able to be convinced to sign with the Mets.
DREW BUTERA, c (National Rank: 180)
School: Central Florida.
Hometown: Lake Mary, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: Aug. 9, 1983.
Previously Drafted: Twins 2002 (48).
Scouting Report: Butera is one of several Central Florida players with famous fathers. Outfielder Dee Brown, who should be a decent senior sign, is the son of former NFL defensive lineman Jerome, and infielder Chandler Rose’s father is an NFL referee. Butera is following in his dad’s footsteps; his father Sal spent parts of nine seasons in the big leagues in a career that ended in 1988. Sal was known for his defense, and so is his son. While Drew has just average arm strength, he has a quick transfer and one of the most accurate arms in the nation. He threw out 28 of the 58 runners who tried to steal on him this season and helped nurse along a pitching staff decimated by injuries. His catch-and-throw skills should get him to the big leagues as a reserve at the least. While Butera showed some offensive aptitude this season—he set career highs in every category that matters, from walks to batting to home runs—he still has below-average bat speed. His best-case scenario offensively is a .250 hitter with 10 homers, but that would make him a big league starter because his defense is that good.
Aaron Hathway, part deux. If you loved him the first time, you'll love him the second time.
Gregory Cain has no scouting report, but was ranked as the 43rd best prospect out of the California region. He is an outfielder and there is little doubt he is toolsy.
Jonathan Niese is a left handed pitcher from Defiance, Ohio and he is 6-3, 190.
Jonathan Niese became the first Ohio prep to claim back-to-back Gatorade state player of the year honors. The senior lefthander from Defiance (Ohio) High was 11-0, 0.11 with two saves, 127 strikeouts, 22 walks and 23 hits in 65 innings. Niese, who has committed to Cincinnati, is projected to be drafted in the sixth to 10th round range.