I went to the MLB site today, and didn’t see my blog on the list of blogs. I have nothing prepared, but I want to save something and see if I show back up. So today will be just some ramblings, no rankings.
This is the last year of the draft-and-follow rule. Players drafted last year that attended junior college could be signed this year before the draft. The biggest names this year were Matt Latos and Jordan Walden. They have both signed big contracts and should start playing around June 20th this year.
The draft-and-follow rule has also been used by Scott Boras to get around signing rules. In 2006, it was Max Scherzer who didn’t sign with Arizona, quit college, and gambled that he would get more money by wasting one of the best years of his life. Now he has signed for less money than he turned down last year. He also has a huge target on his back for putting money ahead of the game. My sad prediction for Scherzer is that he will never fully recover from the year away from organized baseball. Injury will be a possibility if he is not prepared for the grind of minor league ball. So he missed one year by holding out. This year he will try to build up strength. But if he gets hurts and needs surgery, then he misses another year, then after a year of rehab, he looks forward to another year of building up strength again. So his timetable could have him making his major league debut in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, or never.
Don’t forget that the early part of the draft is being televised on ESPN2. The draft has also been moved to Thursday and Friday this year. Each year I take the first Tuesday in June off for the draft. So this year, I had to change my request.
If you want to test your drafting ability, find out when your team drafts, and make your own picks. I always draft in the Twins draft position. You can do this real time by choosing an undrafted player. Or you can do a delayed draft, where you choose players the following day. Some of my most successful picks have been drafting Jake Peavy in the 6th round of the 1999 draft and Dontrelle Willis in the 3rd round in the 2000 draft. Both of those players would look great in the Twins rotation this year.