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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:19 pm 
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Location: San Diego, CA
The Bakersfield Bears have their first draft in the books under new GM Bobby Fuhrman and fan reaction is mixed. The resulting players have the qualities of a track and field club but their ability to play baseball is questionable. Everyone is excited about getting former Southern Cal star Jose Garcia, and the women love the boyish good looks of Paul Mitchell, but some of these other guys??!?!

Rd 1 (14) – SP Jose Garcia, USC – Jose won the College Baseball Pitcher of the Year Award in 2024 while leading USC to the National Title. In 4 seasons at USC, the southpaw put up a 1.83 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 226 innings to go along with 227 strikeouts. We had him at #2 on our board, and it’s just gravy that he’s an easy sign looking for slot money. I’m also a big USC fan, so happy to add that back story to my first round pick. He will likely make a few starts at SS-A with the plan to progress him to A-ball in Chula Vista by the end of the season. We think he has ace potential and hoping that at worst the floor is as a middle or back of the rotation option within a few years. The rest of our draft is filled with high upside guys that haven’t necessarily had on the field success that backs up our assessment of their ability, but this pick comes with a solid resume of achievements to round out that risk. We think he also has great “tools” as he can bring it at 98mph, has showcased excellent control, and has the tendency to keep the ball on the ground. Fight on!

Rd 2 (11) – 2B Leland Young, Massachusetts HS – He was made known to PEBA teams as he’s the son of former MLB #1 overall pick Delmon Young, who has recently made headlines with a startup company making $495 bats under the brand BBB which stands for Big Basher Bats. Strangely enough, he has not played high school baseball since his 2022 Freshman Year. It’s thought that Young has some upside with the bat and will be a proficient fielder, but his father’s disputes with his HS coach have prevented him from seeing the field the past 3 years. We see him as a potential .270 / .350 / .450 second baseman with better than average defense. His slugging is a result of great gap power but his home run ceiling is probably 15.

Rd 3 (14) – CF Paul Mitchell, Texas HS– One of the most talked about players on draft day due to his status within the legendary hairstyle family, he will be a difficult sign for the Bears as he’s contemplating a career in Cosmetology. He is a great leader and fun to hang out with, but relies on natural athletic talent and doesn’t work very hard. Right now he projects as a burner on the bases and a plus defender at centerfield with some ability to play infield. Mitchell successfully stole on 37 of his 44 attempts in high school. At the plate, he’s got a great eye but leaves a lot to be desired aside from that as his HS career .640 OPS shows. He’s also got great hair and has the ladies of Bakersfield swooning already. If he reaches his full potential we think he could be a valuable centerfielder by saving us a lot of runs, while providing a switch-hitting solid on base percentage despite little power and a low average.

Rd 4 (10) – SS Norm Moore, California HS – The scouting team was high enough on Moore that we considered selecting him in Round 2. Oddly enough, the 3 players considered for that pick (Young, Mitchell, Moore) all ended up having their name called by the Bears on Draft Day. All 3 are toolsy high school hitters that are considered extremely difficult signings, and none of them saw much success on high school baseball fields. It’s a rather odd approach but in Year 1 of the new regime, we decided to trust our scouting team and base things on their evaluations. Similar to the others, we have Moore as a 4-star potential player who plus defense at an up the middle position. Norm’s career on-base percentage is over 100 points higher than his average and he saved 22 runs over the course of his career at shortstop, so you can see what the Bears value.

Rd 5 (10) – SP Turlough Rainforth, Ireland HS – This is a bit of an odd story as he signed up for international high school ball at the age of 21 just 2 weeks before the draft. He’s never played an organized game, nor was he scouted by the OSA, so there is some mystery surrounding his ability. It is tough to project him without more data points but he seems to have good control and movement, which should translate to him keeping the ball on the ground. We were surprised that he fell to Round 5, but a lot of teams were likely scared away by the lack of data points, or just completely overlooked him since he was a late arrival to the draft scene. Our scouting team thinks he could be ready to start his professional career at Single-A Chula Vista, but due to the lack of organized ball we are planning to deploy him to SS-A Cold Bay. We did have to go significantly above slot to $500k to lock him in, as he was expected to be one of our more difficult signings. We feel that he could one day be an option in the back half of our starting rotation.

Rd 6 (10) – RF Jorge Valdez, Penn State – Jorge was a 14th round draft pick of the London Underground in 2022 but opted for college. His first two years at PSU were decent, but Jorge’s performance suffered a big drop off from a .784 to .531 OPS his junior year. This left-handed outfielder profiles to above average defense at the corner positions as well as decent contact and eye at the plate. He also sprinkles in some speed and could be taught to play first base. He is really smart and a great leader, and could ultimately become a reserve outfielder/first baseman that is used as a pinch hitter or even as a runner.

Rd 7 (10) – 3B Mark Clark, California HS – His high school performance was all over the place. After looking like a promising prospect after his sophomore year, he completely fell off the map in his junior and senior seasons which saw a .565 and .385 OPS. Despite the poor performance, we do see some potential with the bat primarily tied to his tendency to draw walks. He jumped a few rounds up our board because of having the underlying defensive skills to play both infield and outfield. A more natural third baseman, we will try to further develop his skills there along with first base and the corner outfield spots. The upside here is a utility player who can work counts and be difficult on pitchers.

Rd 8 (10) – SP Ken Holland, California HS– He pitched out of the bullpen in his last high school season and put up a 1.42 ERA in just 6.1 innings during his senior year. However, with 6 pitches and good stamina we plan on putting him in the SS-A rotation and seeing where it takes us. He is definitely a project and OSA / my scout have a huge disparity on they view his control potential. That seems to be the biggest factor in determining if he can ever climb through the minors. He walked almost 4.5 batters per 9/IP in high school but trimmed it down to 1 walk in his 6.1 IP his senior year.

Rd 9 (10) – SP Luis Reyes, Cal-Berkeley – He is one of the hardest working players you’ll ever come across and it aided in his progression through college. His Freshman through Junior years at Cal he worked out of the bullpen and saw his ERA dip every year from 6.43 to 3.69 to 0.63. In 2025 he earned his first crack at the rotation and did not disappoint, putting up a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 12 starts. He was also stellar in the 2025 postseason, where he had a 0.79 ERA in 2 starts. Hopefully he can continue to improve the way he did throughout college. His first SS-A start was a solid 6 IP with 0 ER, 6 K’s, 1 B, 3 H.

Rd 10 (10) – SS Dirk Anderson, New York HS– An athletic slick fielding infielder with some speed, Dirk rarely misplays anything and creates more than his share of double plays but his range leaves a lot to be desired so he’ll probably end up getting SS-A reps at 2B behind 2nd Rounder Leland Young. Additionally, he has decent outfield ability and could be turned into a jack of all trades utility man. In retrospect, the Bears feel that they got a few too many of these athletic high schoolers that project out as speedy defensive utility players. Dirk doesn’t seem like he has a great chance at the show as he’s not particularly smart and is a bit lazy.

Rd 11 (10) – SP Dave Greer, Ohio State – He’s 5’10’’ 165 lbs and really surprised scouts when they saw his primary pitch, a 95mph cutter. He is a groundball pitcher who throws hard with decent control and stamina and was worth a flier despite his sub-optimal frame and lack of eye-popping stats in college. He had a 3.15 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his college career but only pitcher 23 games, 10 of them being starts. He likely will not ever contribute in the PEBA, but not many at this point of the draft will.

Rd 12 (10) – SP Cale Frey, UConn – He was used primarily out of the bullpen in his 3 years of college ball and compiled a modest 3.49 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 90.1 college innings. However, the Bears will slot him into the rotation at SS-A Cold Bay with the hope that 3 pitches, mid 90’s heat, and exceptional stamina translate into a potential 5th starter or emergency starter pitcher down the road which is likely his maximum ceiling. He has great make up of high intelligence and work ethic which could help reach the fringe of a PEBA roster someday.

Rd 13 (10) – 1B Charlie Perry, Maine HS – He is extremely hard working and has blazing speed but not many skills in the field. All in all, his skills sets leads to an unusually lean and fast first baseman. Charlie had a monster freshman year with 10 dingers and a .325/.409/.544 slash but was never able to duplicate that promise for the rest of his high school career. Our scouting team thinks that there is potential to fill out his 6’3’’ frame and develop into a power hitting walk machine. We’re a little bit skeptical of the 4-star assessment assigned to a 13th round pick, but it was enough for us to spend a pick on a first baseman, which is not believed to be a tactic the Bears will use frequently. We were sitting on this pick for a few rounds.

Rd 14 (10) – C Carlos Miranda, Notre Dame – He is a slightly above average defensive catcher with a little bit of potential upside him his bat. As you’d expect from any Notre Dame guy, he is extremely intelligent which should be helpful for his pitch calling and development of our young pitchers in the minors. He had a really good Junior year at Notre Dame, hitting 9 homers to go along with a .241/.380/.440 slash line but fell back to earth with a .713 OPS in 2025. Maximum upside here seems to be a backup catcher with above average defensive skills and a below average bat.

Rd 15 (10) – CF Kelly Murphy, California HS – He has the potential to become a serviceable bat and has decent speed, but Murphy projects as an outfielder with minimal range or a first baseman. Quite frankly, he doesn’t have the bat to make up for his lack of defensive ability that our scouts are projecting but we made this pick based on the fact that he was actually an above average CF this past HS season from a runs saved perspective. He is a smart player so hopefully he can learn to leverage his speed and cover more ground in the outfield than is currently being projected.

Conclusion - Our scouting director grew up watching 2000's MLB and thinks every guy with a skillset of Billy Hamilton, Tony Womack, and Dee Gordon could have the potential to turn out like Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout and Barry Bonds. He truly appreciates speed and athleticism and while that could help us find the next Starling Marte, it could also deliver us a lot of guys who can't actually hit a baseball. I've yet to determine how biased he is towards pitching but I'm thinking it might be just overestimating every guy who throws hard. With a lack of PEBA experience, I just kind of said what the heck, and drafted based almost purely on ratings this year. I'll monitor the results of the Paul Mitchell's of the world and adapt accordingly in the future. If all else fails, I think I got a really good starting pitcher in Round 1.

Bobby Fuhrman
Bakersfield Bears

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