AUPPL Draft Update
30 Rounds into the MLB Draft and only two former Tigers heard their name called. However, the draft hit the Tigers hard when it came to “potential” players.
War Damn Joe
Joseph Sanders was selected in the 5th round (151st overall) to the Colorado Rockies. An interesting part of the MLB Draft; Once all the glitz and glamour of Day One is over, the Draft reverts back to its boring roots. It’s a conference call. Plain and simple. It can also get pretty tedious. Also, when a team selects a player, it goes ahead and lists where they see him playing. In Sanders case it was a 3B. Here’s his scouting video. That’s a pretty high selection for Sanders, so I would be surprised to see him back on the Plains.
Atta Boy Shu
Scott Shuman was also selected. However, I almost missed him because MLB.com had him listed by his first name: Rutherford. So you have to excuse me when I glazed over “Rutherford Shuman” and didn’t think twice. Scott was selected in the 19th Round (589 overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s actually the second time he was selected in the draft. He was picked in the 23rd round of the 2006 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. So his time at Auburn did help his draft stock a little bit.
Auburn has now had at least one player selected in the draft in each of the past 35 drafts, dating to the 1975 season. It is tied with Arkansas for the second-longest streak in the SEC behind Georgia's 37-year run.
Two Big Surprises
First surprise? Auburn Signee Nick Franklin (Lake Brantley HS Longwood, FL) was selected in the First Round by the Mariners ( overall). Why the surprise? Probably because he wasn’t on any of the Draft Projections. Not even, the MLB’s own projection. His scouting report wasn’t exactly high praise either:
He's a real "baseball player" with solid tools across the board.
That's all he is ... solid. He doesn't have any tools that jump out at you.
It seems every Draft class has a few middle infielders from Florida who don't wow you with tools, but impress with how they play the game. Franklin might be in that group with a solid, if unspectacular, tool set. Nothing jumps out at you tools-wise, but he just goes out and does a good job and can do a little bit of everything. He won't be the first prep shortstop to go in the Draft, but his kind of solid all-around profile usually gets taken early.
That’s not exactly screaming, “WOW”. Still it’s not that big a loss. Considering the fact that our current shortstop not only a Freshman but an All-American at that, I’d say we are set at that position for about 2 more years.
Second Surprise? How far Luke Bailey dropped. The Catching prospect, fresh off Tommy John surgery, was thought by some to still be a first round guy. However, he dropped to the 4th Round (139 overall). The scouts still love him. He still can come back to Auburn, rehab one year, play two, and leave a potential first round guy. However, 4th Round Money isn’t anything to sneeze at and he’s likely gone. Then again, it’s a little early to tell.
If he does sign, again, it’s not that big a deal for the current Auburn Tigers. Tony Caldwell (our current catcher) was, to me, one of the most pleasant surprises from last year. Considering the fact that he was thrust into a starting role after the loss of Ryan Jenkins for the year and handled the job surprisingly well.
The draft did take some other Auburn signees:
Drew Madrigal, a late JUCO addition, from Paloma Valley HS/Menifee, California, was selected in 11th Round by the Padres.
Garrett Bush, a High School Pitcher from Stanton Prep HS/Jacksonville, FL, was selected in the 15th Round by the Orioles. Bush has a nasty changeup that was clocked at dropping from 88pm to around 60mph earlier this year and was evidenced in his scouting video.
Right now, I’d say Madrigal has about a 30% chance of coming to Auburn, but Bush was about an 80% chance. Remember last year, Adam Purdy was selected in the 35th Round by the Twins, but elected to come to Auburn. Yes, there is a big difference money-wise from the 15th and 35th rounds.
Madrigal could surprise folks by heading to Auburn. Especially because he would only be required to stay one year.
Baseball affects Football
One of the biggest surprises of the draft was that it cost Auburn a football player. Brandon Jacobs, a Running Back out of Parkview HS in Georgia, decided to play baseball for the Boston Red Sox instead. He was selected in 10th Round by the club and said he was offered 2nd Round money (between $500-800,000) to sign. Did he make the right choice? Maybe. Here’s what one Sox Blog had to say:
In the tenth round of the 2009 draft, the Red Sox used the 318th pick overall to select leftfielder Brandon Jacobs from Parkview High School in Lilburn, Georgia. Jacobs was a top football recruit who signed with Auburn to play running back. He once said he is focused more on football than baseball, but recently has stated that he would probably sign for slot money for rounds seven and up. A big kid at 5’11”, 240 pounds, Jacobs has plus raw power with natural lift in his swing. He hit .511 his senior season for baseball powerhouse Parkview, hitting 7 home runs and posting a 1.307 slugging percentage. He ran slow 60-yard times this spring (7.56 seconds), but has run the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds in football workouts
That 5’11 height is a little odd. Auburn had him listed at 6’1/230 lbs.
Personally, I don’t think he made the right choice, but that’s just me looking at from a baseball perspective. The Red Sox have him penciled in at LF; where you shove guys who are so-so defensively but can swing a big stick. Compare him to similar major leaguers who fit that same Defense lacking Offense bringing description:
Carlos Lee (6’2/240), Pat Burrell (6’4/235), Matt Holliday (6’4/235), Garrett Anderson (6’3/225), Ryan Ludwick (6’3/218)
Most of those guys at least have some height. Also, having seen some film, he has a short arm swing and normally tries to “muscle” the ball.
THE NEXT STEP
The final rounds of the draft conclude tomorrow. Follow the AUPPL on Twitter for continuous updates throughout the day.