If Rod Barajas passes his physical with the Mets, finalizing a one-year major league contract he agreed to over the weekend, the 2010 draft order will be set. Barajas is a Type B free agent, so the Blue Jays would get a supplemental first-round pick (41st overall) for losing him. Toronto would own seven of the first 80 choices in the draft.
The complete order:
11. Blue Jays
13. White Sox
15. Rangers (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke)
18. Angels (from Mariners for Chone Figgins, A)
19. Astros (from Tigers for Jose Valverde, A)
20. Red Sox (from Braves for Billy Wagner, A)
29. Angels (from Red Sox for John Lackey, A)
31. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder LeVon Washington)
Supplemental First-Round Picks
33. Astros (Valverde)
34. Blue Jays (Marco Scutaro, A, to Red Sox)
35. Braves (Mike Gonzalez, A, to Orioles)
36. Red Sox (Wagner)
37. Angels (Figgins)
38. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 sandwich-rounder James Paxton)
39. Red Sox (Jason Bay, A, to Mets)
40. Angels (Lackey)
41. Blue Jays (Rod Barajas, B, to Mets)
42. Rays (Gregg Zaun, B, to Brewers)
43. Mariners (Adrian Beltre, B, to Red Sox)
44. Tigers (Brandon Lyon, B, to Astros)
45. Rangers (Ivan Rodriguez, B, to Nationals)
46. Cardinals (Mark DeRosa, B, to Giants)
47. Rockies (Jason Marquis, B, to Nationals)
48. Tigers (Fernando Rodney, B, to Angels)
49. Rangers (Marlon Byrd, B, to Cubs)
50. Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, B, to Angels)
53. Braves (from Orioles for Gonzalez)
57. Red Sox (from Mets for Bay)
69. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Jake Eliopoulos)
79. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger)
80. Blue Jays (from Red Sox for Scutaro)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
113. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Jake Barrett)
114. White Sox (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Bryan Morgado)
115. Angels (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Josh Spence)
I'm not sure my answer will make a lot of sense, unless the talent is just spread around the 30 teams more equitably than usual. But when I was editing the 2010 Prospect Handbook and putting together my personal list for our overall Top 100 Prospects (which we'll unveil tomorrow), I thought there were more talented individual players than usual. At the same time, I wasn't impressed by too many of the farm systems.
When I'm stacking up all the prospects in rough order for Top 100 discussion, I usually start hitting the wall at about 30 deep. After that, there are still intriguing players but they often have a glaring flaw and don't blow me away. This time, there were a number of players who couldn't crack my personal Top 50—such as Cubs third baseman Josh Vitters, Padres righthander Simon Castro, Nationals catcher Derek Norris, and I could go on for a while—who would have ranked 20-30 spots higher in most years.
So I'm not sure why I wasn't similarly impressed with the farm systems. I ranked the Rangers No. 1 (though the Rays came out No. 1 in our preliminary ratings in the Handbook), but that was in large part because of the star power of Feliz, Smoak and Perez and I didn't think their Top 10 was as formidable as it was a year ago. There were only six systems that stood out as having a quality Top 10 and nice depth in the 11-30 range on our prospect lists: the Rangers, Rays, Indians, Giants, Red Sox and Athletics. (Those weren't my top six overall systems, but the only six that were notable in both regards.)
Going back even further, Harvey entered 2007 as our top-rated high school prospect for that year's draft, just ahead of Rick Porcello. While Porcello won 14 games for the Tigers last year as a big league rookie, Harvey has regressed.
Harvey's ERA rose from 2.79 as a freshman to 5.40 as a sophomore. He struggled in the Cape Cod League last summer as well, with one scouting director who saw him there noting, "He was really disappointing. He looked like an old man out there because his delivery was so out of whack." Harvey has difficulty commanding all of his pitches, sometimes having to dial his fastball down to 88-90 mph so he can throw strikes.
Harvey had better pure stuff in his season opener than he did in the Cape, but he still had trouble harnessing it. He lasted only 5 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out three in a no-decision against George Washington. Harvey sat at 92-94 mph and touched 96 with his four-seam fastball, and he also showed a mid-80s slider and a changeup with good sink. But the only pitch he showed much command of was his two-seamer, which he used to generate weak contact.
Harvey has the raw stuff to go in the upper half of the first round, but he'll have to demonstrate better mastery of it to go that high.
An average (or 50) hitter would bat around .270 with 18-20 homers (or, say, .170 isolated power, giving him a .440 slugging percentage). That's roughly what David Murphy did last season.
On the high end of the scouting scale, an 80 hitter would have a .320 average and 40 homers (or .280 isolated power, giving him a .600 slugging percentage). The only hitter who accomplished both those feats in 2009 was . . . Albert Pujols. No surprise there.
A 20 hitter would bat .220 with only a homer or two (let's call it .080 isolated power, for a .300 slugging percentage). Anyone who's that futile at the plate isn't going to see regular playing time. The lowest-hitting qualifier last year was Carlos Pena at .227, but he led the American League with 39 homers. There were several qualifiers who showed 20 power: Luis Castillo, Emilio Bonifacio, Jason Kendall, David Eckstein.
Among players who had at least 200 plate appearances in 2009, Alexi Casilla was a 20 hitter on both counts, batting .202 with no homers and a .259 slugging percentage.