Friday, June 6, 2008

MLB Draft Recap: Day 1

Three Vanderbilt juniors, headlined by Pedro Alvarez, and three recruits were drafted on the first day of the MLB Draft.

Alvarez was selected with the second pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The third baseman had 49 career homers, tied with Scotti Madison for tops in school history, with 51 doubles and a .349 batting average. Read this great New York Times piece about draft day in the Alvarez house.

Shortstop Ryan Flaherty was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 41st pick overall in the compensatory round. He had a career-high 14 homers and 63 RBI in 2008 and leaves Vanderbilt with a career .349 batting average along with 52 doubles, 20 homers and 169 RBI. The Pride of Maine was all smiles yesterday, and for good reason.

Pitcher Brett Jacobson was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round with the 133rd overall pick. He finished the year with four saves and 42 strikeouts in 46.0 innings and while he underachieved as a Commodore, major league teams love his potential.

Anthony Hewitt, a shortstop from Salisbury, Conn., was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies with the 24th pick in the first round. In Maurice Patton's story in The Tennessean, coach Tim Corbin says there is a chance Hewitt still enrolls in school.

"A lot of people think it's a slam dunk, he's going to sign," Corbin said of Hewitt. "And he may sign. But there's a lot that can happen in negotiations, and usually that process takes a little bit of time. If he gets what he financially wants to dismiss school, then we're going to wish him well.

"It's a tough decision for a kid. A lot of people would say, 'what's tough about it?' But it is tough. Professional baseball is not an easy life. College is not an easy life. But the thing you do when you come to college is, you don't say no to professional baseball. When you sign a professional contract, in a lot of cases, you're saying no to college. It's tough to go back and get your education."

Still, articles like this one make it seem inevitable that Hewitt will sign.

Ryan Westmoreland, a pitcher/outfielder from Portsmouth, R.I., was a fifth-round selection of the Boston Red Sox (172nd overall). He is a two-time All-State selection and two-time Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year. Westmoreland said he has a difficult decision to make.

Adam Milligan was a sixth-round selection (190th overall) by the Atlanta Braves. He recently completed his sophomore season at Walters State Community College, helping lead the team to a 55-9 overall record and the Junior College World Series. The outfielder batted .395 with 21 homers and 76 RBI. This is the third straight year the Braves have drafted him.

Perhaps the most important developments from day one, however, are the players that weren't drafted. The fact that only three recruits were selected means that most of them have made it clear that they plan to enroll in school, which is great news for Corbin.

Day 2 of the MLB Draft, which includes rounds 7-50, begins at 10:30 a.m. CT and you can follow it on draft-tracker here.

1 comment:

Tony Arnold said...

Great update. Thanks for taking the time.