"This whole Weaver/Drew situation reminds me of a couple of years ago when the Angels passed on Scott Kazmir because they were scared of his demands and took another lefty Saunders. Could you imagine what out farm system would look like if we had Kazmir instead of Saunders."
Kazmir has been injured almost all year, while Saunders is pitching lights out at Rancho.
Funny how people bagged on the Angels last year when Saunders was hurt and Kazmir was healthy, but now that it's the reverse you don't hear a peep from those same people.
"Baseball America's latest mock draft has weaver and drew falling into the 2nd half of round 1. To me this doesn't make sense for the Angels to pass those two guys up."
BA's Jim Callis had a long article the other day about Weaver. Here's what Callis wrote:
When Weaver put up big numbers start after start, and when Padres GM Kevin Towers raved after watching Weaver fan 15 against UCLA, a lot of people assumed that Weaver was the second coming of Mark Prior. But he never was. Prior has great command of great stuff with great mechanics. Weaver has great command of good stuff with OK mechanics.
While I do believe Weaver moved to the forefront of San Diego's draft plans for part of this spring, he never was the slam-dunk, case-closed No. 1. I've talked to several teams, and while some of them would take Weaver No. 1 if the decision were based purely on talent and money wasn't a factor, they all believe that Weaver is part of the top tier of pitching in this draft—as opposed to establishing himself as a cut above that top tier.
So if you have a half-dozen pitchers you view as comparable in value to one another, would you rather have the one guy who wants Prior money (that would be a $10.5 million major league contract, plus incentives) or one of the other five who will sign for slot money? If you rate them all as fairly equal, the answer is obvious. No one is sure where Weaver's reported demand originated, as it hasn't been traced back to him, his family or adviser Scott Boras. But in my years of covering several drafts, when these numbers come out, they usually do turn out to be true.
The consensus as of now is that Weaver isn't likely to be drafted before the Rockies at No. 9. But we're also hearing that Colorado may have no desire to get involved in fighting Boras for Weaver. If that's the case, I don't think there's another team with the financial resources to do so until the Dodgers pick at No. 17. And with an extra first-rounder at No. 28 and a supplemental first-rounder at No. 31, they could afford to walk away from Weaver if the price doesn't come down. They'd still have two picks before the start of the second round, and they'd collect a supplemental first-rounder next year for failing to sign Weaver.
"Dont get me wrong I like Saunders and still think the guy could come through with the Angels, my point is that Kazmir has the potential to be a lights ace and so far has pitched great in the minors while Saunders has a chance to be a soild #2/3 guy."
In six starts this year, Kazmir has an ERA of 6.23 and a .318 OBA.
In 11 starts this year, Saunders has an ERA of 3.84 and .265 OBA. Toss out the anomalous start at Lancaster on May 6, and his ERA drops to 2.54 with a .232 OBA.
So how is it that Kazmir is pitching better than Saunders?
I'm not bagging on you, I'm just tired of people putting other organizations' prospects on a pedestal while running down our own prospects. Some people go on ad nauseum about Joe Torres, when for all we know Kazmir could turn to be another Torres for the Mets.
A player will turn out to be what he'll be. Outside of Casey Kotchman, I don't think anyone is a sure thing, and even then Casey is susceptible to injury just like everyone else.
12. Angels: Philip Hughes, rhp, Foothill HS, Santa Ana, Calif.
After making this pick, the Angels won't choose again until No. 113 after surrendering their second- and third-round picks as compensation for free agents Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar. Anaheim's best-case scenario would be to nab Bailey, Rogers or Nelson, but they look like they'll be long gone. Plan B for the Angels is Hughes, Elbert or Hurley.
"I know that Kazmir could turn out like Torres. Even before that draft I thought Kazmir had such a huge upside that when the Angels passed him I couldn't believe it. Like you said no prospect is a sure thing so isn't better to draft the player with the higher upside. I remember after we drafted Saunders you asked BA if it was a safer pick since he went to college and Callis researched it and said not really it is all a gamble."
I think it was more a matter of the Angels needing an advanced left-handed pitcher who could move rapidly through the system. The Angels at the time had very few left-handed pitching prospects. They're still thin. Someday, maybe, Kazmir will amount to something but the Angels needed someone sooner.
The fact that Saunders is pitching so well even though he missed all of 2003 is a great sign. You watch him pitch and you think he's struggling because he always looks dissatisfied with his effort, but then you look at his line at the end of the game and he was lights out. He should be really something once he gets back his sharpness and a little more velocity.
Look at it this way -- Saunders is projectionable for 2006. Is Kazmir? I doubt it. Besides, with kids like Shell, Santana, Jenks, Jepsen and a few others in the system, I don't think Kazmir will be missed. :-)
Also keep in mind that 11 other teams passed on Kazmir before the Angels, and two more after us before the Mets selected him. So if you're going to find fault, make sure you find fault with those other 13 teams.
"Do you think the Angels will keep Saunders in High A the whole season or move him up to AA."
Maybe not the whole season. The Angels realize he needs work. They seem inclined not to promote prospects rapidly this year unless it's critical (Kotchman). Poor Salt Lake has been stripped by promotions and injuries; rather than moving up top prospects from Arkansas, the Angels have been signing minor league free agents and acquiring players from independent teams. They've even sent three players from extended spring training with no experience above Rookie-A. So I don't see them moving up Saunders for a while. But you never know.
"Coming off an injury, it doesn't seem a good idea to rush Saunders. Stephen Shell is the pitcher that seems destined to move up to AA soon considering he's already spent a year in Rancho."
Actually, Shell has had two half-seasons. In 2002 at Cedar Rapids and 2003 at Rancho Cucamonga, he was shut down mid-season with elbow problems. Steven seems fine now but I think the Angels will be very careful with him.