Thursday, June 08, 2006

Couple Bites From The Sox Draft

Blogger pimped me yesterday, but today we shall try again. Will I be able to recreate all my painstaking research? Probably not. But I'll make up for it with even more mockery than ever. I'm kidding of course, the mockery bar has been set so high that it cannot even be approached.

First a quick note on tonight's Sox hammering of the Yanks. It was way overdue. End of story. Well, not totally end of story. I just want to point out my favorite incident of the night, which was happy-go-lucky Coco Crisp going batshit in the dugout after grounding out with the bases jacked in the sixth. I was pretty surprised to see him get so fired up, but I am a bigger fan of his than I was before. His coming back to drive in two RBIs with two outs his next at-bat was huge, and I think that fire will serve this team well. I've been on Coco somewhat since his return because he's been finding his way a bit, but regardless of the slow restart, you have to love Coco. Coco is a ballplayer.

So, as promised, some quick hits from the Red Sox shopping day in the 2006 MLB Draft. It should go without saying that I will avoid talking about first rounders Bard and Place: that's why you have the Globe.

The next two picks are far more interesting to me anyway: pitchers Kris Johnon at #40, a lefty, and Caleb Clay at #44, a righ-hander (we got a lot of those).

Johnson is intriguing because he a) hates the Yankees and b) is not media-savvy. Just about his first quote after being drafted? "Hopefully, maybe someday I'll get to Fenway (Park) and pitch against that evil empire of the baseball world known as the Yankees," he said Tuesday outside Eck Stadium. "I've never really liked the Yankees. Not one bit. The whole money deal -- they just go out and buy All-Stars every day. That's not how baseball should be done. This just couldn't get any better right now." Haha! He already has Schilling's charm, now if he pitches half as well he'll be a fan favorite. The article is here.

Clay is a big position player turned pitcher, and has shown a great work ethic. Good article on that here. The short version is the kid is new to pitching with a fresh arm, works hard, and throws 94 mph. Bueno. His high school coach seemed to take a real shine to the kid too..."Caleb is as good a high school talent as I've seen," Bowen said. "His raw skill, his ability to hit, throw, run and of course pitch. He has all that athleticism and I think he'll go high in the draft. Three or four years from now, if it's his goal and it's something he wants to do, he has a good shot at being in the big leagues." Caleb Clay is a big league name, so here's hoping he gets it done.

Jumping up to pick #193 we grabbed one of our few positional players in
Zachary Daeges, a 3B from Creighton. Daeges improved at the plate steadily throught his playing years and his senior year was something to write home about. An average of .350, OPS of 1.053 and 61 RBIs in just 214 ABs. That's pretty impressive folks. MLB has a scouting video of Daages, but this video of a single pure swing is better by far. The kid made You Tube! Like 5 times! I don't know what that means but I'm a little impressed.

Another prospect who made the internet on his own is Columnes JC Player of the Year Kris Negron - shortstop chosen at #223. He has a My Space page that he updated (he made it private after the draft; wonder why) immediately upon being drafted by the Sox with a giant Sox logo. He also refers to himself on the page by a term I assume people call him at school, "That One Brown Dude", which I thought showed a pretty healthy ability not to take himself too seriously. The kid can play some ball though - check it out. He is perhaps my favorite draftee.

My next favorite (or perhaps favorite, they're neck and neck) is another shortstop by the name of Ryan Khoury who we got at #373, the Utah Utes all-time hits leader. He is basically Dustin Pedroia, at least thats the impression he gives when he says "I've always been a small little runt kid that's running around out there trying to figure out ways to get stuff done". This is the article, and Khoury has put up some pretty impressive stats as you can see. I look forward to he and Negron battling it out in rookie ball. Good times.

Last for today is high-schooler Devin Foreman of Hales Franciscan, pick #883. Good Sun-Times article on him here. The highlight is this quote: "The way he hit the ball just stopped traffic," Thornton said. "The sound of the ball coming off his bat was just unbelievable." I haven't been able to figure out his signability, but it's easy to get excited about a kid when you read things like that. Especially at pick 883.

Next blog I'll try to take a look at some of the stretch signings, and we can follow the negotiations. The ones that got away can leave a mark of course (see Pedro Alvarez who escaped us laast year, and who is going to just be a beast), so we should identify them now to maximize our future angst.

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