DeJesus picked up the McDonald support and barely beat out Andrew Lambo for the 2nd spot. I could have a run off between Lambo and Elbert in case many of the DeJesus supporters picked switched over to Elbert but I'm declaring Lambo the victor at number three based upon his strong showing in both polls and Elbert's lack of support in either poll. It is easy to come up with our top 4 picks and really they all might be interchangeble.
The next group is a big drop off from our top four. Some are merely here because of where they were drafted since they have very little professional experience to judge them by. Others were slowed by injuries in 2007, while others have done slow but steady progress up the ladder. Feel free to add a name in the comments that you think should be considered for the 5 - 8 slots.
Ethan Martin - Number one pick in 2008 out of high school turned 19 this summer.. Another in the line of our power right handed number one picks. Was ranked by BA as having the best fastball and best curve ball in our draft which you would expect with your number one pick.
Josh Lindblom - Number two pick in 2008 out of Purdue where he was the closer during his final year. Only threw 184 innings in three college seasons. Dominated low A and was promoted all the way to AA. He did what was expected out of Adkins in 2007. Even though he was a college reliever, he has been put into the rotation, and so far the results have been more then satisfactory. BA ranked him as having the best life to his fastball in the 2008 draft.
Austin Gallagher - Turns 20 this November and was one of the youngest players in the California league this summer at 19. He's a 6'5 left handed hitting 3rd baseman who shows alot more power in practice then in the real games. Only 9 home runs after two professional seasons. He was drafted in the 3rd round of 2007 and has progressed rapidly for a high school draftee. I'd be more impressed if I felt he could stay at 3rd base but there is a reason you don't see many successful 6'5 3rd baseman.
Josh Bell - last years belle of the ball had knee surgery during the season and that is why Austin Gallagher ended up playing 3rd base in the California League at the age of 19. Bell was drafted in the 4th round of the 2005 and is going to be 22 in a week. Losing 1/2 year of development time didn't help him any. Still power hitting switch hitters who can play 3rd base don't grow on trees. He didn't dominate the Cal League but he held his own. Plate discipline seemed to take a step up this year. Unlike Austin he has a better chance of sticking at 3rd base.
Xavier Paul - 23 year old former 4th round pick in 2003 has made every single step up the ladder. Slight Center Fielder was the only real prospect who played all year in AAA this year. He started out very slow but came on and ended up with a solid year. He played CF but the review say he's not very good there, which is to bad because he does not seem to have the bat for a corner. If he can play CF then he might have more of a future then as a 4th outfielder. He certainly has the arm for it as it was once rated the best arm in the organization. In 2008 he cut down on his strikeouts and for the first time in three years did not strike out 100 times while keeping his walk rate at a decent level. None of his skills stand out and he will be ignored by all the prospect lists but he's on this list.
Chris Withrow - This 19 year old has thrown exactly 13 innings since being our number one pick out of Midland Texas. To soon to call this a bust but man get on the mound so we can see what you got. We keep hearing he has stuff like Billingsley but we need to see it soon. This boy has got to get some innings in.
Nathan Eovaldi - Could we have a sleeper? This 18 year old out of Alvin, Texas was an 11th round pick and has wowed the scouts with his arm. TJ surgery while in High School turned off the scouts this spring and maybe we got lucky. He didn't pitch enough innings to make any determination about his abilities but the scouts seem to love his fastball.
So we have some young pitchers with talent but who haven't logged much professional time. So while our depth looks lean, if some of these kids can measure up to the draft expectations we might not be so barren after all.