So, with the Fields saga over, we're pretty confident in where we'll be picking in the very early rounds of June's Rule Four draft.
The only complication lies in whether or not Crow will cave and sign on with the Nationals. If he does, each of our picks (save the second overall) will be bumped up by 1 Edit: I'm a moron. The second rounds and above won't be determined until the beginning of the season, due to unsigned type A and B picks floating around.
Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting little exercise to take a look at where we'll be picking this year and how those spots have turned out historically, so let's see where the first and supplemental rounds of the draft will take us.
2008: Pedro Alvarez, 3B. Great hitter, ranked as the #4 prospect in the country by BP this year. Has yet to play professionally, as a contract dispute with the Pirates lasted until late September.
2007: Mike Moustakas, SS. Another top prospect, spent last year as a well above average hitter in A+, despite being fairly young for the league. BP has him ranked #21 overall going into 2009.
2006: Greg Reynolds, RHP. I have no idea why this happened. He's been pretty terrible over his professional career.
2005: Alex Gordon, 3B. Destroyed college and then the minor league, hasn't translated that success to the majors as of yet.
2004: Justin Verlander, RHP. Good pitcher with great stuff but spotty command. Miscast as an ace and overrated in general.
2008: Carlos Gutierrez, RHP. Torii Hunter compensation for the Twins, Gutierrez signed in time to play last season, putting up average numbers as a reliever in A+. Nothing to write home about as of yet.
2007: Rick Porcello, RHP. Possibly the best arm in the 2007 draft, Porcello dropped to the Tigers due to signability reasons. He's been excellent as a pro, and is currently ranked #7 by BP.
2006: Jason Place, OF. I have no idea who this is. Has yet to post an above average season as a hitter.
2005: Joey Devine, RHP. Oakland ended up acquiring him from the Braves as the centrepiece of the Kotsay trade. Has been a well above average reliever since 2007.
2004: Taylor Tankersly, LHP. Mediocre reliever for the Marlins.
2008: Brad Holt, RHP. Great fastball/curve combo for the Mets, probably needs a change to succeed as a starter.
2007: Jon Gilmore, 3B. Mind-bogglingly terrible in A-ball last year, picked himself up after a demotion. Still making the transition from SS to third.
2006: Emmanuel Burriss, SS. Currently in the mix for the Giant's 2B job going into next season. Bat should be serviceable for a middle infielder.
2005: John Drennen, OF. Once a promising bat, Drennen's development has stagnated in high-A ball.
2004: Justin Orenduff, RHP: A catastrophic 2008 has undone most of the good work from 2007. Currently looks like bullpen fodder at best.
We'll also probably have pick #46, notable for Yovani Gallardo in 2004.
We have a pretty good chance of grabbing at least a top-20 prospect for next year, and it looks like there's every chance that this draft could revitalise the farm completely. But nothing is guaranteed, which is what makes this so much fun. At January's feed, Tom McNamara described the upcoming draft as the most important in Mariner history. If you're not excited for it, even though we've given up #22 in exchange for Josh Fields, I don't know what to tell you.