The ever-hyped, much-anticipated time has come for the Turtle to hand his card to the commissioner and hear his pick announced to the world, changing the course of Major League Baseball forever!
OK, so maybe it’s not quite that earthshattering. Today, though, I’ll reveal whom I think the Reds should select with the 27th overall pick in Monday’s MLB Draft. Keep in mind, No. 27 is way down the list. In real time, I might well like someone else, depending on who slides and who is picked higher than anticipated.
Before I make the selection, however, let’s review how well the Turtles and Reds have dueled since 2000. Last year, I frowned at the choice of Miami C Yasmani Grandal, preferring Ohio State RHP Alex Wimmers. While the jury remains out, Grandal has performed reasonably well in High-A. Wimmers, on the other hand, faced six batters this spring and walked all of them before being shut down. Wimmers’ inexplicable case of the yips has the Twins wondering if they have a Steve Blass/Rick Ankiel situation without the major league history. Advantage Reds on that one.
Through the oughts, the Turtles have outdrafted the Reds from time to time: Jeff Francis over Chris Gruler in 2002 and Tim Lincecum over Drew Stubbs in 2006. At times, the Reds held the advantage: Jay Bruce over Lance Broadway in 2005 and Devin Mesoraco over Kevin Ahrens in 2007. Mostly, it’s roughly been a draw: David Espinosa-Corey Smith (2000), Jeremy Sowers-Dallas McPherson (2001), Ryan Wagner-Conor Jackson (2003).
This year, with the 27th overall pick, the Turtles select Tyler Anderson, LHP, Oregon.
I’m fine with Kent State LHP Andrew Chafin, Alhambra HS RHP Robert Stephenson or Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong, as well. Of course, if a highly touted player drops because of signability concerns, that’s a whole other ballgame.
I like Anderson’s ability to throw strikes with five pitches. He pitches off his fastball, which features above average movement. That’s a big thing for me. Straight fastballs tend to get hit the second and third time through the lineup. That Anderson backs the heater, which at 89 to 93 m.p.h. is plenty good enough, with an above average changeup is promising.
Anderson isn’t afraid to throw inside, is a fine athlete and for a college pitcher still has plenty of projection. He has the command to hit the corners. A junior, Anderson (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), he has gone 8-3 with a 2.17 ERA. In 107 2/3 innings, Anderson has allowed 73 hits, struck out 114 and walked 35. He has allowed just two home runs and foes batted .201.
Anderson’s performance in the PAC 10 is encouraging overall. He didn’t pitch well against UCLA, No. 15 Arizona State or Washington State, but was outstanding against ranked teams in No. 23 Arizona, No. 20 California and No. 6 Oregon State this season, and beat No. 1 Arizona State and non-conference foe No. 4 Cal State-Fullerton in 2010.
I’d certainly prefer a player with a vastly higher ceiling, but at No. 27 that’s not nearly as likely to come by as in the top 12, where the Reds have drafted much of the last 10 years. I like Chafin for his ability to possibly be a No. 2 starter, but have concerns about his injury history/potential. Anderson is a safer bet and the Turtles like that at this spot. Stephenson offers terrific upside, balanced by the risk that comes with high school arms. Wong is a fairly safe bat who could move quickly.
My plans for draft coverage, if you’ll indulge me, are similar to what we’ve done before. I’ll be here Monday for updates and general discussion throughout the day. The Draft begins at 7 p.m. As the Reds pick is announced Monday night, I’ll provide background and thoughts.
The same will take place Tuesday. The Draft begins at noon with picks 2 through 30. They’ll come in rapid-fire fashion and I’ll supply as much information as I can throughout. The same goes for rounds 31-50 on Wednesday.
On Thursday, I’ll offer a follow-up on each pick with a “Turtle’s Take” comment on each player.
Thanks for all the kind comments and for reading this stuff. It’s a lot of fun for me and you folks make it even better.