-- continued from Mile High Ramblings -- :
Pick 1 SonDog: Matt Cain -- His super-human fastball is awesome. I don't even know if he throws another pitch. Here's something interesting though: He needs to put people away quicker this year. Last year his Achilles heel was getting to 100 pitches after three innings.
Pick 2 BH: Barry Bonds -- I'm taking Bonds. I don't give a shit. He'll hit 35 bombs, .313, 87 RBIs. I don't know if he'll have over 100 hits, but I'll still take him. He'd probably go in the 8th round in any other draft, but this is the Giants.
Pick 3 SonDog: Barry Zito -- I'll take Zito and his $126 million worth of luggage with the third pick. If he goes 15-12 though, the fans and media will be all over him. He has to win 16-17 games with an ERA in the mid to low 3.00's to avoid having Henry Shulman, Andrew Baggerly and the fans from biting his head off in print. As long as he pitches like this, he will be fine.
Pick 4 BH: yeah. It's always good to have the looming threat of catching shit as
your motivation. He's sure to perform. I'll take...fuck, who is there? Durham? Yes, Ray Durham at 4. I don't know. His power numbers have been up over the past couple of seasons, and now he's going to be hitting in the 4 spot. The big question is durability. The hope is that he has adapted to a bulkier, older body, not hitting in the leadoff spot. If they get 130 games out of him, that's a steal.
Pick 5 SonDog: Brian Wilson -- There's no way Benitez is the closer. No way. If Wilson falls on his face, that leaves... Um... Uhhhhhhh... Mark Gardner?
Pick 6 BH: Let's go with big Russ Ortiz as the 5th starter. If he's actually the guy that put together a good winter and is hitting the mid-90's, that will completely change the season for this team. If he blows it and they have to put up with a Ryan Jensen-ish pile of shit in the 5th spot or the ups and downs associated with a young guy like Jonathan Sanchez, not only will it be hard to watch, but...they will be...hard to watch and suck.
Pick 7 SonDog: Guh, Ortiz. We'll see. You're right though, he would change the dynamic of the whole rotation. Noah Lowry at 7. Pitching is going to be the key, as you point out. Because there is no way they generate enough offense (I mean, Durham is your cleanup hitter, Sabes? Seriously? That's not a joke?) to put up with shoddy pitching. I think this is a critical year for Lowry. He needs to prove that last year was a mirage and he's the 200 inning, 15-win kind of pitcher that he was two years ago when he led them in wins, ERA and strikeouts. I'm not saying he has to do that this year, since he's the #3 starter and all, but he needs to be consistent.
Pick 8 BH: I think Lowry's 2005 was a mirage. Matt Morris at 8. He has to be better than last year. Having written that, he gave them over 200 innings last year, and should give them more this year with someone other than Felipe running the show. They don't really need 200+ innings of 5 ERA pitching, but I'll take that over 150 and a taxed bullpen with inflated ERAs. I've got to take a leak. It might be a few minutes before I can respond.
Pick 9 SonDog: Matt Morris... If they are out of contention by the all-star game, Morris is trade bait. Not sure exactly what kind of "bait" he will be, but I can't see them blocking Sanchez or Lincicum if they are out of contention.
Kevin Correia at 9. If Wilson becomes the closer (meaning, if Sabean doesn't sign Craig Lefferts in the interim), Correia likely assumes setup duties. It will be imperative for him to succeed. He showed last year that he can do it in a less-pressure situation. Let's see what he can do when there's more on the line each night. Plus, he's best friends with Bochy's kid, so he'll likely get every chance imaginable.
Pick 10 BH: I've heard Correia is basically seen as the setup guy now. His big issue has always been control, so we'll see. I'm not really interested in seeing 'Mando come in in the 8th with the bags full and no outs. Speaking of...
I'll take Armando Benitez at 10. We know the deal. Fat. Old. Slow. Cranky. Hurt. I don't know. Basically they have done what they've done the last two years with a pile of goo throwing bluh at hitters. Anything above average they can get from this guy is a huge bonus. I'm rooting for him, but who knows what we'll get.
Pick 11 SonDog: I hate Benitez. He's the closer on my all-hate baseball team.
Dave Roberts at 11. Did you know the most games he's played in his career is something like 130? Hopefully his legs can withstand the season. Then again, he's a couple of pulled hamstrings away from batting cleanup. Seriously, if he can swipe 40-50 bags with Vizquel swiping his 25, they could provide a spark at the top of the lineup.
Pick 12 BH: Did you know that Roberts stole second, starting a rally for the Red Sox against the Yankees in 2004? DID YOU KNOW THAT!! NO ONE EVER BRINGS THAT UP!!
Rich Aurillia at 12. The Giants haven't had a useful offensive corner infielder since JT started declining in 2000. He's not going to hit 23 bombs or .300 playing in a real ballpark, but if he can keep his OBP up, that will be useful.
Pick 13 SonDog: I heard he was some sort of hero in Boston, but I wasn't sure as to why.
Randy Winn at 13. Is it just me, or do the Giants have (with the exception of Bonds) the weakest collection of corner outfielders/infielders in the history of the game?
Pick 14 BH: Pedro Feliz at 14. He needs to see more pitches. He had a useless OBP last season, and should have had 25 more RBIs. He's the new Glenallen Hill, he of the worst at-bat in MLB history. He's a stud defensively, and he's a better 3B option both at the bag and at the plate than any other option they've got, but he needs to hit the ball more than he has in the past. That's the magical BH formula for baseball success: hit the ball with the bat, therefore putting the ball in play.
Pick 15 SonDog: You sound like Tim McCarver.
Benji Molina at 15. He's fat and slow. Kind of like the guy they already had, but whatever. If the pitching staff is as successful as it needs to be, his most important job will be behind the plate rather than at the plate. Whatever he hits is a bonus.
Pick 16 BH: Has anyone taken Omar?
I'm gonna take Omar Vizquel.
He's my favorite Giant, but I don't know that he's that important to this team aside from being a steady player. If he hits 2nd or 8th, maybe he'll be a help offensively. He's always good for a long AB, and his OBP is nice, which makes him a good fit for those two spots. I just don't see that big a difference between Omar hitting .260 and .290 as far as affecting (effecting) team results. It is really far more effective to measure his OBP than anything else. Defensively, we know the deal.
Pick 17 SonDog: At 17, Brad Hennessey. I love his name. Plus, he'll be moping up Matt Morris's mess more often than not, and that is an important job.
Pick 18 BH: At 18 I'm taking I'm Not Playing Anymore. At this point, we're cleaning up douche runoff at the Red Bluff City Pool. Unless we are into discussing the importance of the Vinnie Chulk coming in to face the Brewers vaunted #8 righty, marginal utility has decreased beyond the point of interest. It was fun though. If you want a prediction, 92-70. Fuck yeah!!
As far as the rest of the team is concerned, SonDog thinks 18-25 is as follows:
18: Todd Linden -- He will be playing a ton with Bonds and Roberts making up 2/3 of the outfield. If he goes into the season as the #4 outfielder, as discussed, he's going to play at least 100 games. The question is whether those will be "quality" games.
19: Kevin Frandsen -- Vital as a utility infielder. A Ray Durham injury is about as predictable as a Ray Durham injury, so Frandsen is sure to see a lot of time at 2B and backing up Omar at SS.
20: Steve Kline -- Because 80-year-old lefty relievers on two-year contracts must still serve a purpose.
21: Ryan Klesko -- No longer on the juice, so his power numbers are non-existent. Great signing.
22: Mark Sweeney -- See Klesko, Ryan. Same player, but he never had the power.
23: Eliezar Alfonzo -- Backup catcher. I love Mike Krukow's description of Alfonzo running the bases: "Watch out! It's a runaway beer truck!"
24: Jason Ellison -- Likely to be Fred Lewis by May.
25: Vinnie Chulk -- BH talked about him in #18.