2008 MLB Draft Xtravaganza!

For the past couple months, I've been wanting to boost our site's popularity, and here is a surefire way to kill that dream: talk about the Major League Baseball draft.

Truth is, a decent number of people out there actually do care about baseball's draft, but its popularity pales in comparison to the NBA Draft, let alone the NFL Draft, which is treated like a theoretical Olympic games with the Presidential election thrown in during the opening ceremonies, with hyped-up Star Wars trailers showing for commercials. That stuff is for serious journalism (tm) only, so I'll step aside and continue to talk MLB draft.

This year's draft can once again be seen on ESPN2, Thursday at 1pm. They will carry the first round on television, including sandwich picks (...mmm sandwich picks). The rest will be covered on mlb.com. The Good Face and I will be live-blogging this event, with instant analysis from Big Head, Sir, and maybe others if we're having a hard time coming up with something funny to say. This will be the second live-blogged event on bertflex; while the first one was quite memorable, technically it was "pre-recorded" as we did not enter our thoughts in real-time. On Thursday, we'll be off work, getting fat, and talking baseball here on the ol' bertflex.com.

Today is the first installment of our Draft Xtravaganza, and let's start by looking at who the Tampa Bay Rays will take with the first pick. Scanning the internet, it looks like it is down to three players: High School SS Tim Beckham, Florida St. C Buster "Busta" Posey, and Vanderbilt 3B/Good Face mancrush Pedro Alvarez. I've only seen a handful of clips of each guy, so let's defer to the actual "experts" and see what they say in their mock drafts:

Baseball America's Jim Callis (5/16): Beckham
ESPN's Keith Law (5/31): Posey
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (5/21): Beckham (but had Posey the week before)

Alvarez is a sleeper because he's considered "best player available," but by a slim margin. Even calling him that is debatable in some circles. I would join in that debate, but not when The Good Face is around, he'd slice me open if I said anything bad about Pete Alvarez. Reports say that Tampa is considering 5 players for the #1 pick: the three above, along with San Deeyago P Brian Matusz and high school C Kyle Skipworth. They are both long shots compared to the other three.

And your fun fact of the day, courtesy of FL newspaper The Ledger: The Rays will be the eighth team in the 44-year history of the draft to have a winning record while making the first pick.

For my bold prediction, I'm going to do a little extra mo' research on the fly. Here's Beckham's video on mlb.com. Everyone talks about how athletic he is, and that's great. But I don't like his swing in this clip. I think the one of him in the cage is alright, as he shifts his weight nicely. But the game videos don't look good, he's way out in front of both balls. Not a poopy swing by any means, it just looks a little wild to me.

Posey's video is horrible and purely worthless, unless you love foul balls. So let's try youtube. This is what I'm talking about. The crowd reaction is great. Also, here is a little interview CBS did with Busta after he played all nine positions in a game a few weeks ago.

And finally, Pedro Alvarez. I love his swing in the first clip, even though it looks like he missed it. Here is a youtube clip that is awesome on many levels. First, you have Vandy wearing the yellow on yellow uniforms (feat. pinstripes), then there's some jackass in the crowd doing the one-man "O-VER-RA-TED!" chant (it wasn't me guys, honest), he proceeds to hit the first pitch 10,000 feet, does a sweet mini bat flip, and stomps the shit out of home plate. I'm sold on Alvarez. (CBS also has an interview with Pedro here.)

My pick: Pedro Alvarez.

Tampa could use a position-scarce guy like Beckham or Posey, but you're an AL team in the East: go with the big bat. I am safe from the wrath of The Good Face for another day.

Other topics to discuss this week will include:
-The Aaron Crow watch (on mizzourah.net)
-How will the Cardinals piss off HMW this year?
-Why I love Eric Hosmer


Anonymous said...

I will be available for a Bertflex teleconference from our Omaha office after 2:30p on Thursday. Before that, email or text works. I have a prior...uhhh...money making opportunity that I can't pass up or the bills for our Omaha office won't get paid.

I could have my secretary in the 'Flex office give instant analysis, which may be worse than Roy the gay assistant from Entourage.

Anonymous said...

And I agree, with a soft draft, Alvarez is the one sure thing. He would have been a co-#1 last year with teammate David Price if PA went.

The Good Face said...

Brien Taylor was (and I assume still is) black? How about that.

sir said...

I'm with you on Beckham's swing; too long, too Soriano-esque. Busta and Pedro can both swing it and Busta definately boosted his stock with his performance for FSU this weekend.

I think Matusz will be a top-flight ace in the future but you never take a pitcher #1 overall. Remember kids, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PITCHING PROSPECT!

Anonymous said...

Busta had 4 pingers, including a jack to straight away center on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

i was all-in on brien taylor back in 1992. i had a few of those topps cards, and i think he had an expensive stadium club card that only the rich kids could afford.

but yes, he is black. it took me a while to realize tim beckham is too, and i just found out when doing research for the cardinal column that zach collier is too. neat-o stuff.