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Dochalo

GM Billy Eppler draft review

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2016

Thaiss - while some consider this a bit of disappointment, he still made it to the majors and has some potential to be an everyday player with the right adjustments.  Yes, there were likely some better options in retrospect, but that's pretty much the case for every draft.  I know people don't love WAR, but right now he's third overall from all players in the first round that year with 0.7 WAR in a small sample.  One thing that sorta bodes well is that his offense wasn't great but metrics on his defense were very good.  The eye test tells me he's currently avg at 3b and good at 1b with room to improve for sure at 3b.  He also owns a .280 avg in the minors with a .363 obp.  Which to me means that he knows how to have an at bat and that .264 BABIP from last year will improve IF he can adjust.  He doesn't have the upside of some of the other first round guys from that year, but at least he has the potential of being an average or even slightly above avg. major leaguer for awhile.  Like a CJ Cron type who plays better 1b defense and can also play some 3b.  

Marsh - took off this year and his status continues to skyrocket.  Could be a top 50 prospect or at least top 75 at the beginning of the year and should be major league ready sometime this year.  Plays GG defense and is an absolute grinder at the plate.  Power potential is the big key as if that takes off, he becomes one of the best prospects in the game.  Probably ends up that his power is slower to develop and comes about in 2-3 years but still a really strong 2nd round pick.  

Chris Rodriguez - top of the rotation stuff if healthy, but that's a big IF.  Could be in Anaheim this year or could be on the shelf again but huge potential for a 4th rounder.  

Others from that draft - a couple with 4th/5th OFer potential like Torii Jr, Brennon Lund, Franciso Del Valle.  Back up C potential in Kruger.  Outside shot at being a major league reliever - Justin Kelly.  Cole Duensing still has some potential as well (6th round pick) of at least being a reliever.  He's had major control issues the last couple years but throws hard and has a good slider (I think).  Jose Rojas - 36th rounder with a couple monster minor league seasons and ready to break into mlb.  probably ends up a AAAA type player but impressive for where he was drafted. 

Overall though, a solid draft and could be very good if Rodriguez develops.  

2017

This was Billy's first year of drafting without Ric Wilson.  

We all know about Jo Adell and Griffin Canning which already makes this a damn good draft.    

After that though, it thins out pretty quick.  Their 3rd rounder - Jake Pearson - wasn't a great choice but it was a good call to use him as a way to get more intl bonus money for Ohtani.  

John Swanda - a HS pick in the 4th who was showing some real promise at A ball in a small sample until he needed TJ surg.  There is still some potential for him.  My guess is that he's back mid 2020.  

They went for volume on the pitching side and there are a bunch of guys who could end up major league relievers like Denny Brady (used mostly as a starter or tandem starter with a 3.64 era in A+ and 86k in 76.2ip), Brett Hanewich (9th rounder.  Big RHer.  Throws hard.  Big overhand curve.  3.03 era in A+/AA.  50k in 38.2ip.  Most of the success in A+), Jerryell Rivera (numbers weren't good at all but still has some potential), Isaac Mattson (2.33 era at 3 levels last year.  110k in 73.1ip. - probably one of the better relief prospects in the system), Zac Ryan (23rd rounder - 70k in 53.1ip.  outside shot).  

Zane Gurwitz - outside shot at a util inf role.  Probably tops out at AA.  

Jeremy Beasley - 30th rounder.  Has a shot to be a back of the rotation starter or AAA depth guy.  

Overall, the very top of the draft was great.  The rest has limited potential.  

2018

Jordyn Adams and Jeremiah Jackson still have huge unrealized potential.  Both could end up top 100+ by the end of 2020.  

Same applies to Aaron Hernandez who had a very good showing in the AFL.  Most like him as an eventual reliever but still a starter for now.  

Kyle Bradish - 4th rounder - He was very good this year with 120k in 101ip and 90h jumping straight to A+ in 2019 after not pitching in 2018.  Has middle of the rotation starter potential.  

William Holmes - fun player to follow.  two way guy who has shown major raw potential on both sides of the ball.  

A few potential high leverage relievers in:
Austin Warren (3.12 era in A+/AA with 77k in 57.2ip),
Andrew Wantz (got hit hard in AA this year but still had 112k in 96ip between A+/AA),
Tyler Smith (another meh showing overall but 70k in 60.2ip at A/A+),
Jake Lee (starter/tandem guy with only 35ip in 9 appearances.  4.11 era, 49k.),
Ben Morrison (45.2ip, 54k, 1.58era in A/A+),
Cooper Criswell (a Noe Ramirez type.  Tandem starter with 111k in 117.1ip.  mid 4's era in high A).  
Luis Alvarado - 3.68 era in A ball with 100ip, and 108k as a starter/tandem. 22yo from nebraska.  
Dylan King - 48k in 38.1ip for Orem/Burlington.  
Kyle Tyler - 20th rounder from Oklahoma.  2.59 era at A/A+ with 106k in 121.2ip as a starter/tandem.  
Dazon Cole - 3.03 era at Orem with 45k in 35.2 ip.  23yo from Central Michigan. 
Connor Higgins - 3.49 era in A/A+.  got hit hard in A+, but 74k in 56.2ip overall.  30th round LHer from ASU

A couple guys with some upside 

Connor van Scoyoc - high era but 50k, 36bb, 35h in 40.1ip for AZL.  19 year old 
Daniel Nunan - another super young guy at 19 who whiffed 25 in 17.2ip.  6-6' lefty.  
Drevian Nelson - speedy HS kid that looked better with the bat this year in Rookie ball.  played some 2b and RF.  5-7'.  .355 obp.  19yo. 

2019

Will Wilson - wasn't impressed with his initial showing but a lot of people still really like him.  

Strong early returns for guys like Paris, Kochanowicz, Stallings and a few others. 

Overall, pretty darn good.  Recent drafts still have a strong number of high upside guys and some solid picks for drafts further back.  

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16 minutes ago, mymerlincat said:

Maybe wait until we get more than one productive MLB player before we say it's good?

Well it's "good" based on the early returns in the minor leagues. We can circle back a few years down the road to really judge how well he did. 

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2016 has the potential to be a good draft, but it will require Thaiss and Marsh turning into everyday players and Rodriguez developing into a SP. 

2017 seems like it will be the most impactful draft, with Canning and Adell both having featured roles with the Angels from a very young age.

2018 looks like it will generate the most major leaguers of all the drafts, but with the exception of Adams and Hernandez, it remains to be seen if any of it will be very impactful.

2019, it's too early to tell. But at first glance, Wilson looks like he'll be a pretty typical starting 2B, Paris a show developing SS with major upside, Kochanowicz may be the steal if the draft with clear top of the rotation potential. We'll see how it all shakes out.

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I think my only legitimate complaint about Eppler's draft strategy is that while he's added pitchers in volume, and has managed some decent value picks, (Kochanowicz, Hernandez, Bradish, Stallings) Billy has failed to properly invest in upside arms. Most arms like those guys make it to the majors, but rarely end up being impactful, at least not in a rotation.

The Angels have a few upside arms in their farm, which are Rodriguez, Soriano and Kochanowicz, and then a couple of guys to dream on, like Stiward Aquino and Hector Yan, but by and large, there aren't many sure things. They're all in the low minors and come with one question mark or another.

The best pitching prospect the Angels have had in several years is Griffin Canning, and the Griffin Cannings of the world leave the draft board in the first round usually, second round of you're lucky. 

But Eppler has not invested early round picks on pitching. He's used those early picks on Marsh, Adell, Adams etc... And those were all good picks, but this system is starved for elite pitching.

Eppler has done a good job trading for guys like Sandoval and developing Barria and Suarez, but these guys are back end starters. And without that type of impactful depth, the Angels are forced into a situation where they'll need to spend 50 million a year on two starters just to remain competitive.

It's just not a sustainable practice.

He needs to use a first or second round pick on some collegiate starting pitching with upside in the worst sort of way.

Edited by Second Base

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34 minutes ago, Second Base said:

I think my only legitimate complaint about Eppler's draft strategy is that while he's added pitchers in volume, and has managed some decent value picks, (Kochanowicz, Hernandez, Bradish, Stallings) Billy has failed to properly invest in upside arms. Most arms like those guys make it to the majors, but rarely end up being impactful, at least not in a rotation.

The Angels have a few upside arms in their farm, which are Rodriguez, Soriano and Kochanowicz, and then a couple of guys to dream on, like Stiward Aquino and Hector Yan, but by and large, there aren't many sure things. They're all in the low minors and come with one question mark or another.

The best pitching prospect the Angels have had in several years is Griffin Canning, and the Griffin Cannings of the world leave the draft board in the first round usually, second round of you're lucky. 

But Eppler has not invested early round picks on pitching. He's used those early picks on Marsh, Adell, Adams etc... And those were all good picks, but this system is starved for elite pitching.

Eppler has done a good job trading for guys like Sandoval and developing Barria and Suarez, but these guys are back end starters. And without that type of impactful depth, the Angels are forced into a situation where they'll need to spend 50 million a year on two starters just to remain competitive.

It's just not a sustainable practice.

He needs to use a first or second round pick on some collegiate starting pitching with upside in the worst sort of way.

It’s this reason alone that makes me think he will have no choice but to use his 1st round pick in the 2020 draft for a pitcher. Let’s say we sign Cole and Wheeler in the offseason. We will forfeit our second and third round picks which could force Eppler to go high upside pitcher in round one. 

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45 minutes ago, Second Base said:

I think my only legitimate complaint about Eppler's draft strategy is that while he's added pitchers in volume, and has managed some decent value picks, (Kochanowicz, Hernandez, Bradish, Stallings) Billy has failed to properly invest in upside arms. Most arms like those guys make it to the majors, but rarely end up being impactful, at least not in a rotation.

The Angels have a few upside arms in their farm, which are Rodriguez, Soriano and Kochanowicz, and then a couple of guys to dream on, like Stiward Aquino and Hector Yan, but by and large, there aren't many sure things. They're all in the low minors and come with one question mark or another.

The best pitching prospect the Angels have had in several years is Griffin Canning, and the Griffin Cannings of the world leave the draft board in the first round usually, second round of you're lucky. 

But Eppler has not invested early round picks on pitching. He's used those early picks on Marsh, Adell, Adams etc... And those were all good picks, but this system is starved for elite pitching.

Eppler has done a good job trading for guys like Sandoval and developing Barria and Suarez, but these guys are back end starters. And without that type of impactful depth, the Angels are forced into a situation where they'll need to spend 50 million a year on two starters just to remain competitive.

It's just not a sustainable practice.

He needs to use a first or second round pick on some collegiate starting pitching with upside in the worst sort of way.

Yeah well the entire minor league system on both sides of the ball was absolute garbage when Eppler got here. He can’t rebuild the entire system (Both pitching and position players) in 3 drafts, bro. 

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35 minutes ago, TroutField said:

Yeah well the entire minor league system on both sides of the ball was absolute garbage when Eppler got here. He can’t rebuild the entire system (Both pitching and position players) in 3 drafts, bro. 

Billy is good at a lot of things when it comes to being a GM, and building a farm system is at the forefront of those. The only drawback is that it's unbalanced. Where Dipoto drafted large amounts of low upside collegiate starters, Eppler has drafted a metric ton of high upside prep players. To Billy's credit though, even his collegiate starters have fared better than Dipoto, who focused almost solely on them, which will just tell you how bad Jerry was at this job.

Even Billy's international signing classes have been marked by upside position players like Maitan, Deveaux, Alex Ramirez and this year, Arol Vera and Jose Bonilla. 

It would've been nice to see Eppler replace Will Wilson with Jackson Rutledge or Zach Thompson this year in the draft. If that trade were offered I would make it in a heartbeat. Rutledge specifically had shots getting on the dominance he showed in advanced A Ball as a 20 year old that had just been drafted. Rutledge would've immediately come our top pitching prospect, which can tell you lots about the system.

Wilson will likely be a starting middle infielder, but in a system with Simmons, La Stella, Fletcher, Rengifo, Jahmai Jones, Jeremiah Jackson, Livan Soto, Arol Vera and Jose Bonilla, middle infield depth likely won't be an issue for another decade.

Edited by Second Base

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3 hours ago, Second Base said:

I think my only legitimate complaint about Eppler's draft strategy is that while he's added pitchers in volume, and has managed some decent value picks, (Kochanowicz, Hernandez, Bradish, Stallings) Billy has failed to properly invest in upside arms. Most arms like those guys make it to the majors, but rarely end up being impactful, at least not in a rotation.

The Angels have a few upside arms in their farm, which are Rodriguez, Soriano and Kochanowicz, and then a couple of guys to dream on, like Stiward Aquino and Hector Yan, but by and large, there aren't many sure things. They're all in the low minors and come with one question mark or another.

The best pitching prospect the Angels have had in several years is Griffin Canning, and the Griffin Cannings of the world leave the draft board in the first round usually, second round of you're lucky. 

But Eppler has not invested early round picks on pitching. He's used those early picks on Marsh, Adell, Adams etc... And those were all good picks, but this system is starved for elite pitching.

Eppler has done a good job trading for guys like Sandoval and developing Barria and Suarez, but these guys are back end starters. And without that type of impactful depth, the Angels are forced into a situation where they'll need to spend 50 million a year on two starters just to remain competitive.

It's just not a sustainable practice.

He needs to use a first or second round pick on some collegiate starting pitching with upside in the worst sort of way.

Some good points.

I see other organizations that draft many arms some seem more polished and future top to mid rotation arms with good secondary pitches. 

The cards come to mind.

They historically draft well and even a few of the kids that throw hard or have either a curve or slider they push into a bullpen spot and turn and burn move to the next one.

I would like us to start promoting some of the young guys that throw hard with decent secondary pitches. No need to wait on their clocks. If they make it they push a peanut or a more expensive guy to trade bait.

Maybe, it's a organizational thing. They usually make them spend time at each level.

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more position players are needed to make a good team.  they're just more valuable.  especially with an emphasis on fewer innings pitched per starter.  

and position players are less susceptible to career ending/altering injury.   

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:10 AM, Dochalo said:

more position players are needed to make a good team.  they're just more valuable.  especially with an emphasis on fewer innings pitched per starter.  

and position players are less susceptible to career ending/altering injury.   

Which is interesting as we are pushing for Cole and starters who usually go deeper in games than previous starters that weve had?

Starters have to go 6+ then you can have a bullpen by committee and run the peanuts out in force!

You're not saying Arte is going to drop 30M on Cole to make him a 5 inning pitcher?

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And what do Cole and Strasburg have in common? Yes, overall #1 picks. But so were Luke Hochevar,  Brady Aiken, Mark Appel......

let someone else draft and develop the stud starters then go get them when you’re ready to go for it 

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:38 PM, Second Base said:

Billy is good at a lot of things when it comes to being a GM, and building a farm system is at the forefront of those. The only drawback is that it's unbalanced. Where Dipoto drafted large amounts of low upside collegiate starters, Eppler has drafted a metric ton of high upside prep players.

I’d like to think this was by design and that Eppler has been playing the long game since Day One. By targeting high-upside prep players he was able to spread the money around each draft, allowing him to add a wider swath of high-upside prospects, with a belief that it would be much more worth it to develop a ‘star’ or three and little else - guys like Adell, Canning, Adams/Marsh - rather than produce a bunch of safe, league-average players out of college players. He felt he could grab those players off waivers and in minor trades, Goodwin, La Stella, Maldonado, Pena, or through Arte’s money, guys like Maybin, Cozart, Kinsler, Nolasco. 

Essentially, he knew he didn’t need to draft those types of players - for now - because he could fill in the gaps at the MLB level fairly easily. He needed as many boom or bust prospects as possible to prepare for a potential Trout-less team, or, if things did break our way in recent years, have a couple prospects he could trade if the plan shifted to win right now. 

I also could see their strategy shift as soon as next draft. Presumably, we’re going to lose a pick or two, so it might be more worth it to take the 2020 draft as opportunity to bring in a college wave to support our current very young, very raw prospect class and what looks to be a very young MLB core. 

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On 11/12/2019 at 3:30 PM, mymerlincat said:

Maybe wait until we get more than one productive MLB player before we say it's good?

When you have a player that is ranked anywhere from the 2nd to 5th best prospect in baseball after only two years, that is what is called good. Even just one player since top 5 pospects are gold.

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:21 PM, Second Base said:

I think my only legitimate complaint about Eppler's draft strategy is that while he's added pitchers in volume, and has managed some decent value picks, (Kochanowicz, Hernandez, Bradish, Stallings) Billy has failed to properly invest in upside arms. Most arms like those guys make it to the majors, but rarely end up being impactful, at least not in a rotation.

The Angels have a few upside arms in their farm, which are Rodriguez, Soriano and Kochanowicz, and then a couple of guys to dream on, like Stiward Aquino and Hector Yan, but by and large, there aren't many sure things. They're all in the low minors and come with one question mark or another.

The best pitching prospect the Angels have had in several years is Griffin Canning, and the Griffin Cannings of the world leave the draft board in the first round usually, second round of you're lucky. 

But Eppler has not invested early round picks on pitching. He's used those early picks on Marsh, Adell, Adams etc... And those were all good picks, but this system is starved for elite pitching.

Eppler has done a good job trading for guys like Sandoval and developing Barria and Suarez, but these guys are back end starters. And without that type of impactful depth, the Angels are forced into a situation where they'll need to spend 50 million a year on two starters just to remain competitive.

It's just not a sustainable practice.

He needs to use a first or second round pick on some collegiate starting pitching with upside in the worst sort of way.

Will agree the system is starving for elite pitching but has Eppler had the draft position to choose such an arm? 

Below aren't all the elite arms but enough to see where such arms have been selected in the past.

1st round picks: Cole #1, Scherzer #11; Verlander #2, Price #1, Sale #13, Kershaw #7 Strasburg #1, Grienke #6, Wheeler #6, Bumgarner #10, Fried #6, Bauer #3 and Nola #7.

Lower 1st round picks: Berrios #32, Snell #52, Soroka #20, Flaherty #34 Buehler #24, Giolito #16, Hudson #34, Odorizzi #32, Foltynewicz #19.

Of course there's deGrom in 9th round that's an outlier.

So what elite arm has Eppler not chosen in the past three years that he should have chosen rather then Adell, Adams,Thaiss, Marsh, Wilson, Paris, Jackson or Canning....etc?

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, ksangel said:

Will agree the system is starving for elite pitching but has Eppler had the draft position to choose such an arm? 

Below aren't all the elite arms but enough to see where such arms have been selected in the past.

1st round picks: Cole #1, Scherzer #11; Verlander #2, Price #1, Sale #13, Kershaw #7 Strasburg #1, Grienke #6, Wheeler #6, Bumgarner #10, Fried #6, Bauer #3 and Nola #7.

Lower 1st round picks: Berrios #32, Snell #52, Soroka #20, Flaherty #34 Buehler #24, Giolito #16, Hudson #34, Odorizzi #32, Foltynewicz #19.

Of course there's deGrom in 9th round that's an outlier.

So what elite arm has Eppler not chosen in the past three years that he should have chosen rather then Adell, Adams,Thaiss, Marsh, Wilson, Paris, Jackson or Canning....etc?

I'm probably in the minority, but I kind of like Eppler's draft strategy for pitching. He sprinkled in some upside arms, but overall, just went after bringing in a massive volume of pitching that was cheap, collegiate, versatile...

Backing up what you said, I think in a way he 'punted' the odds of finding top arms (at least ones that wouldn't cost a fortune or that came with high risk) and decided that when time would come to need one of those, he'd be able to sign one (like Cole now) or trade for one (pulling from the well of exciting, high-upside prep hitters he drafted) and acquire one that way that came with more of a guarantee of success. It was just too much gamble to draft one in an early round and risk paying over-slot to land them, especially when he needed to spread that money around picks 2-10 to round out the farm.

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4 minutes ago, ksangel said:

...

So what elite arm has Eppler not chosen in the past three years that he should have chosen rather then Adell, Adams,Thaiss, Marsh, Wilson, Paris, Jackson or Canning....etc?

 

This is also true of position players; when you look at who we've drafted, you have to look at what "stars" he passed on, and how well other teams have drafted.

It's too early to be certain, but I think his draft success, relative to number of picks and draft position, puts him in the upper tier.   

I still think the Cardinals might be the best at consistently finding talent in the draft (which might explain the allegation that Houston stole their draft info) - and do I want to mention the Dodgers here?  I do not.  :\

Speaking of Houston, between 2010 and 2015, they had 12 picks in the 1st round or 1s round, the #1 pick 3 times, and the #2 pick once.  Springer (#11),  Correa (#1), and Bregman (#2) were drafted with those 1st round picks.  

(Our own disastrous 2010 draft and all the players we passed on, and the Hamilton signing - where for some reason, I have the idea we'd have drafted Judge in 2013 with that lost pick - make me regret what could have been.)

 

 

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2 hours ago, totdprods said:

I’d like to think this was by design and that Eppler has been playing the long game since Day One. By targeting high-upside prep players he was able to spread the money around each draft, allowing him to add a wider swath of high-upside prospects, with a belief that it would be much more worth it to develop a ‘star’ or three and little else - guys like Adell, Canning, Adams/Marsh - rather than produce a bunch of safe, league-average players out of college players. He felt he could grab those players off waivers and in minor trades, Goodwin, La Stella, Maldonado, Pena, or through Arte’s money, guys like Maybin, Cozart, Kinsler, Nolasco. 

Essentially, he knew he didn’t need to draft those types of players - for now - because he could fill in the gaps at the MLB level fairly easily. He needed as many boom or bust prospects as possible to prepare for a potential Trout-less team, or, if things did break our way in recent years, have a couple prospects he could trade if the plan shifted to win right now. 

I also could see their strategy shift as soon as next draft. Presumably, we’re going to lose a pick or two, so it might be more worth it to take the 2020 draft as opportunity to bring in a college wave to support our current very young, very raw prospect class and what looks to be a very young MLB core. 

He's stocked up on college arms the past couple drafts. That was never my issue as much as he has chosen not to use early picks on these pitchers.

And it's a fault.

Jackson Rutledge was ranked higher before the draft, and was still on the board when Will Wilson was selected. Rutledge went on to dominate advanced A Ball after being dragged, as a 20 year old. The scouting reports were there and a lot of very smart people that saw it coming.

It's just a decision not to draft pitchers high, and it's bitten them in butt.

Eppler's been a great drafter. Better than his predecessors. But he is unbalanced. Nobody is perfect.

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57 minutes ago, ksangel said:

Will agree the system is starving for elite pitching but has Eppler had the draft position to choose such an arm? 

Below aren't all the elite arms but enough to see where such arms have been selected in the past.

1st round picks: Cole #1, Scherzer #11; Verlander #2, Price #1, Sale #13, Kershaw #7 Strasburg #1, Grienke #6, Wheeler #6, Bumgarner #10, Fried #6, Bauer #3 and Nola #7.

Lower 1st round picks: Berrios #32, Snell #52, Soroka #20, Flaherty #34 Buehler #24, Giolito #16, Hudson #34, Odorizzi #32, Foltynewicz #19.

Of course there's deGrom in 9th round that's an outlier.

So what elite arm has Eppler not chosen in the past three years that he should have chosen rather then Adell, Adams,Thaiss, Marsh, Wilson, Paris, Jackson or Canning....etc?

 

 

 

 

Jackson Rutledge last draft.

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4 hours ago, Second Base said:

Jackson Rutledge last draft.

Would you consider Rutledge a higher ceiling "elite arm" prospect (also considering he is 2 years older) than Jack Kochanowicz?

Or in two years, when he is 20 like Rutledge is now, could Kochanowicz have become an "elite arm" prospect on the level of a Rutledge?

Now looking at Rutledge it is a bit baffling why Eppler would not draft him over Wilson though Wilson produced in the ACC in his three years there.

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48 minutes ago, ksangel said:

Would you consider Rutledge a higher ceiling "elite arm" prospect (also considering he is 2 years older) than Jack Kochanowicz?

Or in two years, when he is 20 like Rutledge is now, could Kochanowicz have become an "elite arm" prospect on the level of a Rutledge?

Now looking at Rutledge it is a bit baffling why Eppler would not draft him over Wilson though Wilson produced in the ACC in his three years there.

Kochanowicz has greater upside, but at age 18, it's largely unrealized. Whereas Rutledge at age 28, has realized potential.

For me, Will Wilson's selection was baffling. But perhaps there's something there with Wilson I'm not seeing. Perhaps there's something I'm not seeing with Rutledge that will prevent him from becoming an ace.

But if it were me, I would've chosen Rutledge.

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