Pick Me! Pick Me!

Today was day two of the 2008 First Year Player Draft. Yesterday the draft completed the first 12 rounds. Today they plan to complete the remaining 38 rounds. Yes you heard me right, the remaining 38 rounds. It seems somewhat appropriate that the MLB draft is being held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World since it lasts longer than standing in line for Test Track at Epcot. Perhaps Bud Selig should introduce Fast Pass into the draft sequence to allow teams who know who they want to draft to get to the front of the line quicker. Day one was brutal as each team was given 10-15 minutes per selection for the first round. There is just so much drama you can build into a draft pick and baseball as usual went well beyond that line.


By now there has been numerous stories written about the Diamondbacks first round draft pick Daniel Schlereth. Many baseball experts feel as though Schlereth will move quickly through the Diamondbacks minor league system reaching the big leagues sooner rather than later. Player personnel representatives must have been collectively holding their breath when Schlereth was shut down during warm ups today in the game against Miami of Florida. University of Arizona officials assured everyone it was just precautionary and that there is not any need for concern. Considering the health of Daniel Schlereth, I am sure Diamondbacks fans are a little restless and jumpy until after Diamondbacks doctors have an opportunity to examine him fully.

I am feeling a little vindicated today as I look over the draft results. I had suggested that the Diamondbacks would maintain their preference to draft college versus high school players. I also suggested that perhaps they would focus on junior college or two-year players. Before I go patting myself on the back for being such a great prognosticator I should also point out that I felt as though they should focus on corner infield and outfield from a position perspective. I could not have been more off. The Diamondbacks looked to corner the market on shortstops. They did take an abundance of outfielders but many of these kids were centerfielders. Mostly this draft was an arms race. Of the 51 selections the Diamondbacks made (they received a compensatory pick between round 1 and round 2 as a result of the Minnesota Twins signing Livan Hernandez this past off-season), more than half were pitchers. Some of this could be attributed to the depth of pitchers in the draft. Another reason for this is the fact that the Diamondbacks must stalk the Missoula, Yakima, and rookie league squads and it takes a lot of pitchers at those levels.

I thought that rather than focus on what a great pick the first round selection was or even providing my take on the overall draft I would instead take a look at one player from the draft. Yesterday I commented that there were probably very few people who remembered Dylan Moseley as the Diamondbacks final selection in 2007. So in an effort to not let this year’s 50th round selection go unappreciated I thought I would spotlight Mr. I’m Number 50, Sean Koecheler. When his name was announced I have to be honest I knew very little about him. So like any other blogger I turned to my favorite source of information – Google. What I found was a little surprising. This is not the first time that Sean Koecheler has been drafted. Coming out of high school last year he was the 20th round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sean had a great career at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida and the Dodgers thought highly of his skills. Koecheler though felt he was better served by rebuking the Dodgers and instead enrolled at Palm Beach Community College where he pitched in 10 games during the 2008 spring season. Sean threw 41.2 innings which lead the team in innings pitched. He allowed 25 runs during the season while only 13 of those runs were earned. He was second on the team with 42 strikeouts (the team lead was 43 strikeouts). Koecheler walked 17 and gave up 36 hits earning a 2.81 ERA. Sean was described as having a bulldog mentality and poise on the mound. On the surface this looks like a great pick. The question becomes one of signability. If he was unwilling to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school when they made him a 20th round pick you have to wonder what it would take to sign a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a 50th round pick. So unless there is some relationship with the Diamondbacks area scout that makes Sean Koecheler more comfortable that what he was last year I would expect him to return to Palm Beach Community College for the 2008-2009 season. If that happens; Sean Koecheler will end up being a trivia question among diehard Diamondbacks fans. Here’s hoping that Sean does not want to be a piece of Diamondbacks trivia.


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