I'll start with my draft first impressions:
1st round 1st overall-Stephen Strasburg, RHSP, San Diego St. (Jr.)
Obvious choice, and I'm glad they didn't do anything stupid to screw it up. A
1st round, 10th overall-Drew Storen, RHRP, Georgia (So.)
I like this pick more than most. As much as I would have loved to take a Matzek or Purke here, this pick had to be signable, whether the team admits it or not. And that is the right decision here-I would have preferred Grant Green or Alex White, but the Nats made a decision here that was more smart than safe, going with a college pitcher who is supposedly close to the majors. All I needed to see, though is this: 42 and 2/3 innings, 66 K and 8 BB.
From an interview at Baseball Analysts: (What statistics do you look at to measure success?) Drew: Strikeout-to-walk ratio...not necessarily because of K’s, but I try to minimize walks. If you’re walking guys, you’re giving up free baserunners. I’d rather have them earn it. But I don’t really look at stats. I usually go off of feel. That's what tells me how I'm pitching." Sign me up. B
2nd round, 50th overall-Jeffrey Kobernus, 2B, Cal-Berkeley (Jr.)
Like the Storen pick, I like it more than most. Kobernus isn't a knock-your-socks-off type of player, but instead the type of guy I love to have on my team. "Well-rounded" and "projectable" are two things I definitely want to hear out of my 2nd round pick, especially at 2B. I think a big problem with some peoples' opinions on baseball is that they leave well-roundedness out of the equation. Cal baseball spectators seem to adore him for being a model of consistency, flexibility, adaptability and maturity (lots of ity's) and that's something the Nats really lack throughout the system, from top to bottom. B
I'd also like to point out that Storen and Kobernus are both supposedly high-character guys, ones who will not cause clubhouse problems. Considering the state of the Nats right now, I think they could use a few more of these guys. Obviously not a sticking point, but it never hurts.
3rd round, 81st overall-Trevor Holder, RHSP Georgia (Sr.)
This is where they lost me. While not everyone would agree with me that Storen and Kobernus were both solid picks, I doubt I'll find many people who find Holder at 81st overall a good pick outside of his immediate family. It's not Holder that's the problem-he's a solid pitcher who will run through the organization quick, but spending a 3rd round pick on a guy with little upside at a position we're deep in is just silly. Like it or not, you always draft for need in the back of your mind, and we did not need a RHSP with control problems and only 1 pitch projected to be above average. A high school pitcher would have made more sense here, at least to get someone with some potential. I don't know why Holder is screaming Adrian Alaniz to me (because they don't have really similar stuff), but I do think Holder would have been around in the 4th or 5th round. Bad pick by the Nats, they get an F for Holder. Trevor, if you're reading this, please prove me wrong!
Now that we have all of that figured out, I'll talk daaaaaabears. I was up in Hershey for the Bears-Moose game tonight...never knew a referee could swallow a whistle for 45 minutes (only making a bad coincedental minor call) and then call 11 penalties in the last 15 (most of which were because he let the game get out of hand). The Bears outplayed the Moose everywhere tonight but the scoreboard and in goal-Cory Schneider was very good in between whines to the referee. Hershey has two more shots at the Calder Cup...just wish they could have gotten it at home for the first time since the '60s.
And one side-note: John Carlson is the real deal. I'm going to fearlessly say that he will play more games for the Caps next year than Alzner, and do better. That may be because I'm comparing Carlson to Alzner while Karl plays through a concussion, but I really do believe Carlson is a special player now and is ready for the NHL.