Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bolts' Draft ... Hope for the Future

The Brookfield Bolts are pleased with the results of their 2008 draft. They managed to bring in some talented youngsters who may make an impact as soon as next year, and grabbed some inexpensive to fill in some gaps.

The top pick for the Bolts (6th overall) was Geovanny Soto, a young catcher who is expected to start this year for the Cubbies. Soto projects to be a high average, moderate power players who also provides solid defense behind the plate. He will transition to the starting role in 2009 when Ivan Rodriguez moves on.

Joakim Soria, a hard-throwing righty out of Kansas City was the second pick (8th overall). Bolts management had wanted to grab Kelly Johnson, but we were out-of-town and unable to get back in time to change the auto-draft. Still, Soria should provide solid to excellent relief numbers for the next few years. There had been talk of his moving into the rotation, though that appears to have slowed of late.

Manny Parra, the Bolts' third first round pick at #17, is listed just outside the Milwaukee Brewers projected 5-man rotation for the coming season, but given the annual health issues surrounding ace Ben Sheets, the serious questions regarding Chris Capuano's ability to regain form and questions regarding whether Dave Bush would be better off in the bullpen, this year could be Parra-time. He has an electric arsenal and could, eventually, slide into the number 3 spot in the rotation. The Bolts are ecstatic to have been able to acquire him.

In the second round, the Bolts acquired 23-year old righty, Jo-Jo Reyes. He will be in the running for a rotation spot with the Braves and given the injury problems of Mike Hampton, and the age issues of the staff as a whole, Reyes has a chance and has the talent to win a spot.

The third round was dedicated to bolstering the bullpen for the future. Manny Acosta, a 27-year old reliever who is slated to be Rafael Soriano's setup man and Jose Ascanio, an intriguing 23-year old Cubbie were selected.

The fourth and fifth rounds were dedicated to giving hope to those running out of big league chances. Buddy Carlyle and Horacio Ramirez were selected in the hopes that they may 1) eat up some innings this year and 2) hope that Ramirez regains his form of a few years ago when he pitched in the Braves organization (notice a trend here, by the way ... 5 former or current Braves pitchers)

Tyler Johnson, a lefty reliever, looks to have a good opportunity in St. Louis and was selected in the sixth round.

The remaining four players were selected to back up others. Gary Bennett will back up I-Rod at catcher. Nelson Cruz and Craig Monroe were selected to prove some outfield ABs, and for the slim chance they might contribute next year and Lance Cormier was brought back because Bolts management still thinks he may turn into something useful if he can overcome injuries.

0 Swings of the bat: