Longshoremen Get Their Man – A (Tape-Delayed) 2020 Draft Review

Updated: December 10, 2014

Longshoremen Get Their Man – A (Tape-Delayed) 2020 Draft Review

Written by Stevedores_Fan_Bob, Special to The Record

It was an odd draft for the Canton Longshoremen.  With the #2 pick overall, and no second round pick (that having been traded to Aurora for Carlos Perez), it was always going to be a top-heavy draft.  Fortunately or unfortunately, communication issues and a botched negotiation made the draft even more top-heavy than it would have otherwise been, and the bottom of the draft was perhaps the most underwhelming of all time.  But, oh what a top!

Longshoremen Draft Steal SS Gonzalo Gonzalez

Coming soon. . . to a Wheaties box near you!

1/2 SS Gonzalo Gonzalez, Stanford

This pick came as a surprise to no one who follows the organization, as head scout Tatsuzo Ono had practically set up residence in Palo Alto to watch Stanford Axe games.  Gonzalez commanded the highest draft bonus in the organization’s history ($8.5 million) thanks to a profile that had scouts and stats geeks alike drooling over his potential.  Add in a pristine reputation and a marketable good guy image, and you have an organization that is more excited about Gonzalez than about any other draft pick in its history.  A true shortstop, the 22 year old Gonzalez hit 420/548/613 in his career as a 4-year starter at Stanford and was a gifted enough athlete to also have played 2B, 3B, and CF during his college career.

3/2 CF Sean Peters, Illinois

This pick was a surprise, as a mix up in the war room led to the selection of a former high school phenom (4th round pick in the 2017 draft out of Katy HS) who spent most of his college career as a DH.  Peters was high on the Longshoremen draft list, but not this high, as he profiles to be a high empty average hitter who is very raw defensively.  On the plus side, he is a good athlete who runs and throws well enough to become a plus centerfielder someday.  He is also a ‘clubhouse’ guy who commands the respect of his peers.  He broke out in his senior season at Illinois, hitting .390 with 17 HR and 82 RBI.

4/2 CL Will Douglas, Iowa

Here was the second, and perhaps biggest hiccup of the draft, and one that can’t be blamed on the draft room.  “Oh, we wanted Douglas, all right – he was the top guy on our board by far,” said an unnamed source, “but we were shocked by the demand that his agent made.”  The decorated college closer will have to wait a year for his professional debut, as talks were shut down early in the signing period.  The Longshoremen will receive a supplemental pick in next year’s 4th round.

5/2 LF Tong-yeop Chang, California

This was another mistake pick, but one where the Longshormen organization may come out smelling like a rose.  “Honestly, he wasn’t even on our radar,” said one source who was in the war room when the pick was announced, “We all looked around to see if anyone knew who he was, and no one did.  When we back checked some tape, though, and looked at some old scouting reports, we all warmed to the pick.  We could do a lot worse with a fifth round pick.” Chang projects to be a smart, heady lead-off man who can draw a ton of walks and spray line drives around the park.  The knocks against him are a lack of power, and an inability to play CF despite a speed resume that would suggest otherwise.

6/2 MR Ricardo Aguirre, Seton Hall Prep HS

Draft experts were calling the 2020 Draft a shallow one for months, and the Longshoremen’s 6th round pick would seem to indicate that the experts were right.  Aguirre, a high school middle reliever with a career 5.14 ERA, has an ability to induce ground balls, but not much else.

7/2 SP Alan Wright, Michigan

A four-year member of Michigan’s starting rotation, Wright is a rotund worm-killing pitcher who was elected the team’s captain his last three seasons despite middling success on the hill (4.97 ERA).  With four pitches ranked with major league potential, but no idea where they are going, Wright would not be a good bet to make the majors.

8/2 MR Roberto Figueroa, Washington

Another pick, another middling college pitcher.  Figueroa is a 2-pitch righty reliever who can dial it up to 94 on the gun and get groundballs.  With a college ERA of 5.37, he projects to be roster filler.

9/2 SP Kyle Hamm, Houston

Two things separate Hamm from the two college pitchers that the Longshoremen picked before him: he throws with the left hand, and he did not get enough time on the hill in college to generate the ‘meh’ stats that Wright and Figueroa generated.  As a senior, he pitched just shy of 11 innings.  If Hamm can learn to harness his slider/changeup/cutter arsenal and continue his groundball-inducing ways, he might find some time as a LOOGY in a major league bullpen who could make the occasional spot start.

 10/2 CL Pitcher Anthony Gregory, Oregon State

Gregory is arguably a better pitcher and better prospect than Wright, Figueroa, or Hamm.  He won the closer job at Oregon State only as a senior, and didn’t muck it up at all, converting 15 of 16 save opportunities, and turning in a 3.27 ERA.  A lefty, he absolutely shut down left-handed batters, who hit 200/259/240 off of him.  He’s a better bet to make the big leagues than any of the Longshoremen’s picks after the 5th round.

11/2 MR Michael Callahan, South Florida

A big, raw thrower who can dial his cut fastball up to 95, scouts believe that he has a potential ‘80’ curve ball.  He pitched sparingly for South Florida, making 11 starts as a junior and 20 relief appearances as a senior.  If his college stats are any indication, he’s far better suited to be a reliever than a starter – he had an ERA of 7.66 as a starter, walking more batters (35) than he struck out (26), but had a 4.70 ERA in the bullpen, with a 20/31 BB/K ratio.

12/2 MR Jim Willis, Cy-Fair HS

A big, raw high school pitcher, Willis is a projection pick who scouts hope will grow into his 6’4”, 225 pound frame.  Another low round pick, another high school reliever who has not tasted success since Little League.  Willis had one solid year in high school baseball, as a sophomore.  Scouts project him to have a major league curve ball, but that’s really all that Mr. Willis has on which to hang his hat.

13/2 MR Enrico Sanchez, Lakewood HS

A big, raw high school pitcher, Sanchez is a projection pick who scouts hope will grow into his 6’4”, 220 pound frame.  Another low round pick, another high school reliever who has not tasted success since Little League – is this draft review starting to sound like a broken record?  With a fastball-curveball repertoire, the big righty may never make it out of the low minors.

14/2 MR Norm Marks, East Carolina

What is the sound of one hand clapping? Is it better to draft a no talent college pitcher or a no talent high school pitcher? With Norm Marks, the Longshoremen will test the former (and with their 15th round pick, they will test the latter).

15th round pick Robert Taylor, who will never play in PEBA.

Coming soon. . . to a grocery bagging line near you?

15/2 MR Robert Taylor, Seton Hall Prep

Well, you’re not allowed to pass on a pick.  That, and perhaps an as yet undiscovered nepotism have to be the reasons that Robert Taylor is a professional baseball player.  There have been several draftees who had undistinguished high school or college resumes.  That’s not Taylor; he was awful in high school, turning in a career high school ERA of 10.69.  And he saved the worst for last, “pitching” his way to a 14.29 ERA as a senior, walking 11 batters and striking out none.