There are all kinds of interesting reactions to last night’s selections by the Jays of prep arms Phil Bickford and Clinton Hollon with the tenth and forty-seventh picks in the 2013 Rule 4 draft respectively, but since I’m lazy and spent way too much time digesting today’s roster moves, let’s just focus on what all Keith Law, who was a fan of neither pick, had to say.
Eschewing the concept of “winners” and “losers” that just doesn’t make sense given the vast uncertainty surrounding all things to do with the draft and how far off we are from realistically being able to call anything a losing pick, Law posted a piece in the early morning hours revealing his “Winners and questions” at ESPN.com (Insider Only). The Jays were one of the questions.
Law has been clear all along about his issues with Bickford and his lack of secondary stuff, as I noted in yesterday’s Draft Day Primer post. He takes issue with the selection of second rounder, Kentucky high schooler Clinton Hollon, as well, explaining that he “has first-round stuff but not command or control and has had arm trouble that wiped out most of last summer.”
Perhaps even more troubling, in the “Winners and questions” post, Law tells us that “both kids also earned negative makeup comments from scouts with whom I spoke.” So… perhaps they took a deep look into Clinton Hollon’s (apparent) Twitter feed. Ugh.
That said, it’s not all bad. As I noted yesterday, Law’s colleague Jason Churchill had Hollon, last year, prior to the injury, rated as the top junior arm in the nation. And as for Law himself, he offered a glimmer of hope on Bickford in the pre-draft chat he had with readers yesterday at ESPN.com.
Craziest rumor you are hearing right now?
Nothing I haven’t posted – Dominic Smith to Colorado was one, Phil Bickford to Toronto or Seattle was another. Bickford is an odd one, because some scouts adore him, and others want no part of him because he doesn’t have a present average breaking ball.
So, at least the Jays aren’t entirely on an island with this one. And, in fact, as I noted in yesterday’s primer, Baseball Prospectus had him at 17th on their board, compared to Law’s ranking of 55th.
Here are some other highlights from yesterday’s chat:
Jeff Sullivan (Belchertown, MA)
Any idea on Bickford’s asking price?
I won’t repeat the number I heard, in case it’s inaccurate. It’s large.
Jay (Gilbert, AZ)
Why are scouts/analysts so split over Bickford? Is the lack of quality secondary pitches? Is that somewhat normal for prep pitchers?
He has a 40 breaking ball right now. How many big league RH starters are there who operate with no better than a fringe-average breaking ball?
Finally, here the Jays-related tidbits from today’s KLawchat, looking back at last night, and also at some of the picks that were made on Friday, as the draft continued on…
What do you think the Jays are thinking with this draft? drafting a hard sign and reach on first two picks and now a TJ guy?
I believe the two overdrafts were to pay Bickford at 10.
Are the Bickford-AJ Burnett comparisons even close?
No. Those comparisons on the broadcast last night made little sense to me.
What are your thoughts on teams (like the Blue Jays you mentioned earlier) overdrafting certain players in order to go over slot on certain players?
I like the strategy – just not for Bickford in particular.