Friday, May 19, 2006

Draft-and-follow

What a week. It seemed like all our cross-checkers and our national scouting director couldn't get enough of Florida. Apparently, Florida talent is on the top of the food chain this year. It doesn't work that way every year, but this year seems to be one of those years. As an area scout, I don't really know how my kids stack up to other regions during the year. Sure, there are a number of publications that attempt to show the differences, but I never pay much attention to those. It isn't until a couple weeks prior to the draft that you really get to see what's going on. And it was obvious that the cross-checkers were much more impressed with the Florida talent level as well as the depth of talent that will populate the late stages of the draft.

Incidentally, we signed draft-and-follow prospect Diego Gutierrez this week. If you recall, he was the third baseman from Wekiva Community College that we chose in the 34th round of last June's draft. Diego's sophomore year did not disappoint. He developed as I expected, only with better arm strength. Other scouts were definitely high on him, but most of them projected him somewhere in between the 10th and 15th rounds. Diego knew this. As a result, DeSear and I offered him a package comparable to someone drafted in the 10th round. After he talked it over with his father, it was a done deal.

At our private workout in Orlando, we had you know who show up. Dallas Parker. All the cross-checkers were fully aware of his walk-off episode. One had even called the Wekiva coach to get his personal report on the incident. It certainly tainted their analysis of Dallas, as none of them thought he was ready to play pro ball at any level. I could sense that they saw the raw talent, but with the number of talented pitchers available across the country, Dallas didn't fit with their plans. It also didn't help Dallas when he boasted that several scouts have rekindled their interest and have said they will take him near the 30th round. It came off like we'd better get back on the bandwagon or else. The guy continues to keep shooting himself in the foot.

Anyhow, we just finished up private work outs in south Florida today. I'll recap those tomorrow since I need to take DeSear to the airport so he can catch his 10:45 flight out of MIA.

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