Ask BA

We have our first compensation draft pick of the offseason! Because the Rangers lost Type B free agent Mark DeRosa to the Cubs, they’ll receive a supplemental first-rounder in 2007. Under the old rules, Texas would have received Chicago’s second-round choice.

Ask BA will be off next week, eating turkey (yet still working on the Prospect Handbook), so Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

    What do you think if the numbers that Marlins righthander Rick Vanden Hurk and Mariners catcher Jeff Clement are putting up out here in Hawaii Winter Baseball? Vanden Hurk’s ERA is a little high (4.11), but he has 55 strikeouts in 35 innings. Clement isn’t catching every day here, so maybe that has something to do with it, but his statistics are lousy: .174 average, one homer and 12 strikeouts in 46 at-bats.

    SSgt Justin Rusnak
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

I don’t put too much stock in winter league numbers. It’s a small sample size, the quality of competition can really vary and some players are simply worn out after the regular season. I’m more concerned with how they’re compiling those numbers.

In Vanden Hurk’s case, he has been putting up all those strikeouts with a fastball that has reached 96-97 mph. He also has a 12-to-6 curveball and he looks fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins are high on him and his stock will continue to rise as he proves he can stay healthy. His command isn’t all the way back yet, but that’s typical of the Tommy John recovery path.

Clement has had a strange year. Though the Mariners had Kenji Johjima in the big leagues, they jumped Clement to Double-A. He got off to a good start before he jammed his left knee into a wall while chasing a foul popup, requiring surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Clement also had bone chips removed from his left elbow and missed two months. When he came back, Seattle inexplicably promoted him to Triple-A, where he predictably struggled.

I’m giving Clement, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2005 draft, the benefit of the doubt. He has been hurt and he has been pushed, and I still believe in his bat. His main point of emphasis is supposed to be his defense, which may be taking away from his offense. With Johjima coming off a solid rookie season and signed for two more years, I could see the Mariners moving Clement to another position to turn his bat loose and get it in their major league lineup sooner.

For more on Hawaii Winter Baseball, check out our HWB Top 15 Prospects listPremium, which just went live on the website today.

    I enjoyed your column, “Draft Changes, But Slotting Could Fall ApartPremium,” but had a question. You wrote: ‘”MLB frowns on six-figure bonuses after the seventh round, but the Braves, Cubs and Red Sox handed out five apiece. The Blue Jays, Cardinals and Indians each gave out four.” Could you list those players and their bonuses? If teams thought those players were worth the money, that could make for a great sleeper list.

    Phil Case

Ask and ye shall receive. Below is the list, in descending order of bonuses:

Six-Figure Bonuses After Seventh Round, 2006 Draft
Player, Pos, Team Round Bonus
Chris Huseby, rhp, ChC 11 $1,300,000
Dellin Betances, rhp, NYY 8 $1,000,000
Lars Anderson, 1b, Bos 18 $825,000
Ryan Kalish, of, Bos 9 $600,000
Mark Melancon, rhp, NYY 9 $600,000
Drew Rundle, of, ChC 14 $500,000
Ty Weeden, c/1b, Bos 16 $420,000
R.J. Seidel, rhp, Mil 16 $415,000
Nate Boman, lhp, LAA 9 $400,000
Shane Lowe, ss, Col 29 $375,000
Tommy Pham, ss, StL 16 $325,000
Jeff Manship, rhp, Min 14 $300,000
Jamie Arneson, lhp, Cin 16 $245,000
Duente Heath, rhp, Atl 19 $245,000
Tim Gustafson, rhp, Atl 9 $200,000
David Robertson, rhp, NYY 17 $200,000
Dominic Brown, rhp, Phi 20 $200,000
Graham Godfrey, rhp, Tor 34 $200,000
Cliff Andersen, of, ChC 9 $155,000
Josh Morris, 1b, Atl 12 $155,000
Brandon Holden, rhp, Pit 13 $155,000
Kyle Ginley, rhp, Tor 17 $155,000
Kyle Harper, rhp, Cle 17 $155,000
John Gaub, lhp, Cle 21 $155,000
Nate Samson, ss, ChC 34 $155,000
Matt North, rhp, StL 9 $150,000
Desmond Jennings, of, TB 10 $150,000
Paolo Espino, rhp, Cle 10 $150,000
Richie Lentz, rhp, Bos 19 $150,000
Casey Mulligan, rhp, StL 22 $150,000
Hassan Pena, rhp, Was 13 $149,500
Shane Hill, rhp, Mil 8 $145,000
Nathan Hedrick, rhp, NYM 8 $140,000
Josh Reddick, of, Bos 17 $140,000
Chase Lirette, rhp, Tor 16 $135,000
Derrik Lutz, rhp, Cin 19 $135,000
Chris Armstrong, lhp, LAA 14 $130,000
Tyree Hayes, rhp, TB 8 $127,500
Michael Dubee, rhp, Phi 18 $125,000
Josh Stinson, rhp, NYM 37 $125,000
Nick Papasan, ss, Min 24 $115,000
Jon Edwards, of, StL 14 $110,000
Jonathan Del Campo, ss, Tor 20 $110,000
Casey Beck, rhp, Atl 8 $100,000
Matt Jaimes, 3b, Tex 12 $100,000
Kevin Kreier, rhp, ChC 20 $100,000
Vinnie Pestano, rhp, Cle 20 $100,000
Ryne Reynoso, rhp, Atl 26 $100,000

    With the signing of Mark DeRosa, is Eric Patterson no longer part of the Cubs’ future? It looked to me as if he made steady progress and was ready to contribute soon.

    Chris Collins
    Janesville, Wis.

Patterson is still very much a part of the Cubs’ future. He hit .276/.339/.419 with 10 homers, 60 RBIs and 46 steals in 138 games this year between Double-A West Tenn and Triple-A Iowa. He has well above-average speed and surprising power for a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, though sometimes he has too much power for his own good. He’s making strides defensively at second base.

But his ETA is 2008, not 2007, and after a horribly disappointing season Chicago is going all out to provide new manager Lou Piniella with enough talent to win a weakened National League Central. Unless the Cubs rushed Patterson, their other in-house options were Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Theriot.

While DeRosa got a three-year deal, that doesn’t necessarily make him a three-year starter at second base for the Cubs. He’s 31, coming off a career year and never has played regularly at second. If Patterson keeps developing, he could be Chicago’s second baseman by mid-2008 or 2009, with DeRosa becoming a regular at another spot or assuming his usual utility role.

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