In the first part, we tried to explain, in NFL terms, the manner in which MLB draft picks are “deliberately underemployed” in order to “trade up” with dollars.
The picks still exist, but they are used for guys who will use up only a fraction of the allotted money. For whatever reasons, this only affects guys picked through Round 10.
So here’s our go-around for the picks that are deliberately “different” — using the “employment” metaphor.
Also in the first part, we introduced this guy — Way-Overachieving Draft Blogger — who ranked and assessed signability of no less than 748 players. We call him “WODB.”
Now on to the thumbnail analysis!
3. Austin Cousino, CF Kentucky. Mildly underemployed. Cousino is sort of a more well-rounded version of our favorite Aaron Barbosa. As in: he might get extra-base hits every so often. Cousino actually hit pretty well as a college freshman, but then regressed, which is why he was a below-slot pick. Looks like role-player ceiling, but we like the scrappy, good-glove role players (as long as they’re role players). And he racks up hit-by-pitch (21 in his sophomore year!), FWIW.
4. Ryan Yarbrough, LHP Old Dominion. Significantly underemployed. WODB did have Yarbrough as a likely pick in the top 10 rounds, but 4th round is only due to the money-rearranging factor. But the M’s have a great track record with bullpen guys from smaller southern schools (when they’re healthy — Stephen Pryor, Carter Capps, Carson Smith, Emilio Pagan), and they seem to think Yarbrough could fit right in.
5. Dan Altavilla, RHP Mercyhurst. Mildly underemployed. The M’s also have some success with underrated northeastern guys (Mercyhurst is in Pennsylvania). Altavilla’s concern is his height (5-10 or 5-11).
6. Lane Ratliff, LHP from a junior college in Mississippi. Maybe about right. WODB had Ratliff as a probable top-10-rounds pick. Only 19 and could develop into something.
7. Taylor Byrd, LHP from Nicholls State. Mildly underemployed. WODB didn’t have him in the top 748, but his numbers are kind of interesting, and, again, we have the pitcher from the smaller southern program.
8. Kody Kerski, RHP from Sacred Heart. Significantly underemployed. And now back to a 5-11 guy from the northeast (Sacred Heart is in Connecticut). Not as highly regarded as Altavilla, though.
9. Peter Miller, RHP from Florida State. Significantly underemployed. Took his lumps as a senior with a high walk rate who got only occasional starts.
10. Adam Martin, C from Western Carolina. Mildly underemployed. Not in WODB’s top 748, but he apparently can catch and hit with some power. Also shows some of Cousino’s HBP “skills” (11 this year).
End of the Forced Underemployment Period (as a result of Gareth Morgan’s over-slot bonus).
Now we move to the non-underemployed section.