David Wells re-signed with the Padres, making him the only compensation free agent (Type B, in his case) to cut a deal in the last week. Since there were no changes to the draft order, we'll save the chart this time around. Just two more Type B free agents remain on the market, and they'll each yield a supplemental first-round choice if they find a new club: Chan Ho Park (Padres) and Ron Villone (Yankees).
I spent Friday chasing the Jeff Samardzija signing, so Ask BA went on the back burner. You get just one question today, but we'll make it an interesting one . . .
Price, Brackman and Harvey, in that order, are still the best pitchers available in the 2007 draft. When it comes to putting them in context with mound prospects already in pro ball, they rank further down my list because I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to players who have proven themselves at higher levels than high school or college.
From a stuff standpoint, Price is comparable to Cubs lefty Donald Veal, but Veal has conquered high Class A. Brackman's top-end velocity is higher than just about anyone in the minors, yet he hasn't pitched more than 43 innings in a college season. Harvey has plenty of arm strength but hasn't developed a consistent curveball yet and his competition in Connecticut is several levels below Rookie ball.
Samardzija is an interesting case. From the standpoint of ceiling, he compares favorably to just about any prospect. He has size, athleticism and an electric arm. But he's also unpolished and inexperienced, and at this point he's further from his ceiling than any of the game's best pitching prospects. Veal can't match Samardzija's fastball, but he has a very good one, a better breaking ball and he's lefthanded, not to mention that he has proven a lot more to this point. So on our soon-to-be released Cubs Top 10 list, you'll find Veal ahead of Samardzija.
I very well may be conservative in my evaluations of Price, Brackman, Harvey and Samardzija. Here's how I stack them up among the game's more-established pitching prospects.
|1. Daisuke Matsuzaka, rhp, Red Sox|
|2. Philip Hughes, rhp, Yankees|
|3. Homer Bailey, rhp, Reds|
|4. Tim Lincecum, rhp, Giants|
|5. Andrew Miller, lhp, Tigers|
|6. Yovani Gallardo, rhp, Brewers|
|7. Matt Garza, rhp, Twins|
|8. Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Dodgers|
|9. Scott Elbert, lhp, Dodgers|
|10. Adam Miller, rhp, Indians|
|11. Mike Pelfrey, rhp, Mets|
|12. Luke Hochevar, rhp, Royals|
|13. Nick Adenhart, rhp, Angels|
|14. Jacob McGee, lhp, Devil Rays|
|15. Jeff Niemann, rhp, Devil Rays|
|16. Donald Veal, lhp, Cubs|
|17. David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt|
|18. Clay Buchholz, rhp, Red Sox|
|19. Jason Hirsh, rhp, Rockies|
|20. Troy Patton, lhp, Astros|
|21. Humberto Sanchez, rhp, Yankees|
|22. Carlos Carrasco, rhp, Phillies|
|23. Brad Lincoln, rhp, Pirates|
|24. Brett Sinkbeil, rhp, Marlins|
|25. Jeff Samardzija, rhp, Cubs|
|26. Andrew Brackman, rhp, North Carolina State|
|27. Franklin Morales, lhp, Rockies|
|28. Ubaldo Jimenez, rhp, Rockies|
|29. John Danks, lhp, White Sox|
|30. Eric Hurley, rhp, Rangers|
|31. Chris Volstad, rhp, Marlins|
|32. Jaime Garcia, lhp, Cardinals|
|33. Matt Harvey, rhp, HS/Connecticut|
|34. Brandon Erbe, rhp, Orioles|
|35. Johnny Cueto, rhp, Reds|