Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Countdown to the Draft 

The Draft is just over two hours away. I'm 90% convinced that the Phillies will take High School shortstop Anthony Hewitt at #24. He's an exceptional talent and benefit from grooming within the Phillies system. Adrian Cardenas, another talented high schooler in need of grooming, is doing quite well at Clearwater with the Advanced Single-A Threshers. Imagine a future Phillies infield filled with Hewitt, Cardenas, Utley and Ryan Howard ...

Baseball Prospectus projects that the Phillies will pass on Hewitt and take Zach Collier, an outfielder from Chino Hills High School in California. Others say the Phillies will go with Andrew Cashner, a six foot six relief ace from Texas Christian who almost certainly would have a shorter path to the major leagues than Hewitt or Collier. I'm banking on the Phillies being more interested in developing a player in the long-term. That's why I am going with Hewitt, whom is the person Baseball America says is going at #24.

I really liked this article from SI's Tom Verducci about why the MLB Draft is so important now that we live in the post-steroids era.

Meanwhile ... Don't be fooled by Brett Myers performance last evening. Yes, he surrendered just one hit and one run in seven and one-third of an inning. Yes, he struck eight Reds out. He also surrendered six walks. Volquez, in contrast, tossed a third of an inning less than Myers and got the same number of strikeouts. He allowed just two hits and walked just two Phillies. Even when Myers held onto the no-hitter it struck me that Volquez was still out-pitching him.

Losing John Smoltz has to be a bitter blow to the Atlanta Braves, weakening their rotation and costing them a key veteran in their search to return to the playoffs for the first time since '05. I think Smoltz will return in '09, but it will be his final season. This loss will really hurt though. I'm not sure that the Braves will survive and catch up to the Mets and Phillies.

Speaking of the Braves, anyone notice the extreme home/road split that the Braves have? The Braves are 24-8 at home and 7-21 on the road. Compare the winning percentages:

N.L. East: (Home Pct / Road Pct / Diff.)
Atlanta: .750 / .250 / +.500
New York: .607 / .433 / +.174
Phillies: .606 / .536 / +.070
Marlins: .600 / .500 / +.100
Nats: .448 / .366 / +.082

The only team that comes as close to matching the Braves variance is the Reds, whose .655 home winning percentage is .333 higher than their .322 road winning percentage (although last night's game helped matters). If the Braves were homebodies, they'd be unbeatable.

I'll comment on the Draft later.

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