Random Thoughts on the Amateur Draft

Just for giggles, I decided to go through the list of players drafted over the last three days and see what came of it.  Lots of interesting names, people, and relationships in there.

1. Washington Nationals – Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State – If not the most talented amateur player ever, then certainly the most hyped.  For me, however, he’s the most elusive.  I’m going on a road trip later this month with my brother and a couple friends, and it seems that every stop on our trip is someplace that Strasburg could be, at some point – Washington, Harrisburg, Troy (when they play Vermont, Washington’s New York-Penn League affiliate).  Unfortunately for us, he won’t be in any of those places when we are.

12. Kansas City Royals – Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats – The Luke Hochevar Experiment is working out so well that the Royals decided to try it again.  Offhand, I can’t think of very many situations where a player went to the independents for a year and had it work out in the long run.  J.D. Drew is the highest profile name that comes to mind.

45. Arizona Diamondbacks – Mike Belfiore, RHP, Boston College – Austin Wood got most of the publicity, good and bad, from the epic BC-Texas game a couple weeks ago, but Belfiore might have risked more, throwing 129 pitches in an effort to get his team the win.

150. Detroit Tigers – Austin Wood, LHP, Texas – The arm is still attached after throwing 199 pitches in twenty-four hours against Boston College, so that’s a good thing.  He’ll be an interesting one to watch in the future, in part because he clearly needs a manager who will know when to draw the line between guts and craziness.

168. Boston Red Sox – Seth Schwindenhammer, OF, Limestone Community HS (IL) – His name is Schwindenhammer.  The Red Sox should promote him right now.  I can’t wait to do an All-Name Team for this draft.

184. Texas Rangers – Ruben Sierra, OF, San Juan Educational School (PR) – I suspected when I saw this last night that this youngster was related to THE Ruben Sierra, and this impressive article confirmed it.  The sheer number of names included in that piece highlights the nice part about the Amateur Draft: because it is so darn long and so many players are selected, teams can afford to take a flyer on a player for personal reasons (see Mike Piazza for an instance where this worked out quite well for both sides).

306. Arizona Diamondbacks – Tyson Van Winkle, C, Gonzaga – I love it when a player comes with a ready-made nickname.  It just makes our work so much easier.  Welcome, Rip.

318. Boston Red Sox – Brandon Jacobs, OF, Parkville HS (GA) – Another name list that needs to be done: the “Hey, somebody famous already has that name!” list.  We should follow the rules of the Screen Actors Guild: if a pro athlete is already “registered” with a name, no one else can use it.  This young man would probably become Don Jacobs, unless he has a middle initial.

412. Washington Nationals – Naoya Washiya, OF, College of the Desert – College of the Desert?  That sounds badass, and apparently they turn out some decent players.  Washiya has an interesting name and story, as well.

630. Detroit Tigers – Giovanni Soto, LHP, no school (PR) – Same theory as Brandon Jacobs, although Soto probably gets a pass because his name is spelled different than the Cubs catcher.  Still, how cool would it be to see a Soto-on-Soto matchup at some point?

850. Toronto Blue Jays – Zachary Outman, RHP, Saint Louis – This makes me think of the commercials I used to see for “American Pie: Band Camp” where Eugene Levy increduously exclaims, “Another Stiffler?!”  Josh Outman already had one of the best names for a pitcher in major league history; now that there’s two of them, they cannot be stopped.

1098. Boston Red Sox – Michael Yastrzemski, OF, St. John’s Prep HS (MA) – We’ll have to see if this is a favor to a local legend or if Yaz The Younger can hold his own on the ballfield.

1442. Kansas City Royals – Kevin Kuntz, SS, Union HS (OK) – The greatest name in baseball history lives on.

1521. Los Angeles Angels – Alibay Barkley, 1B, George Washington HS (NY) – Mr. Irrelevant, MLB Draft-style.

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