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Talking Draft Already


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Talking Draft Already

The season is hardly old enough for uniforms to be dirty. But that doesn't stop the draft prognosticators from doing their thing. Here's the take from Todd Morgan at Oakland Clubhouse:
The college and prep seasons are underway, which means it's time to start thinking about the 2006 draft class. Last year, I decided to project the first round based not only on player talent, but also on predicted 2006 performance, June draft order and organizational need. I was successful in some places (Jeff Clement to the Mariners at #3 overall and Mike Pelfrey to the Mets at #9) and not so successful in others (Sean O'Sullivan to the Devil Rays at #8 and Stephen Head to the Pirates at #11). For the second consecutive year, I've gone through scouting reports and watched a lot of video to bring you my early edition of the 2006 first round. Somewhere around the halfway point of the college and prep seasons I plan to write an updated first round projection, with a final projection to come in the week preceding the draft...

6. Detroit Tigers - Evan Longoria, SS, R/R, 6'2, 185, Long Beach State

Evan Longoria enters the 2006 season trying to become the next Long Beach State infielder to be taken in the first round after Bobby Crosby (Athletics, 2001) and Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies, 2005). He came of age last summer when he was named MVP of the Cape Cod League, hitting .299/.331/.500 with eight homers and 35 RBI with wooden bats. He generates tremendous loft with his swing, but doesn't have the polish of his Dirtbag predecessors. Still, his power is special and the Tigers will take him as a third baseman and look forward to seeing him reach Comerica Park's left-field seats on a regular basis...

28. Boston Red Sox - Jared Hughes, RHP, R/R, 6'7, 235, Long Beach State

The Sox follow up their Antonelli pick by taking another collegiate standout. Coming out of high school in 2003, Jared Hughes was a power pitcher with first round talent who consistently threw in the mid-90s. He didn't get the signing bonus he was after and wound up heading to college rather than signing with Tampa Bay after they took him in the 16th round. Since transferring to Long Beach from Santa Clara Hughes has learned to pitch. He now works in the low-90s with good sink on his fastball, changes speeds and uses all four corners of the strike zone to put hitters away. His height allows him to throw down at hitters and he's adept at keeping the ball around the knees when necessary. At the same time, he is effectively wild, hitting 19 batters but walking only 23 against 87 strikeouts in 89 innings last season. Six-foot seven and willing to come inside? That's pretty intimidating. He probably doesn't have a lot of room to improve, but he should make quick work of the minors on his way to a big league rotation spot...
As Rich Lederer at The Baseball Analysts notes, there were quite a few MLB scouts in attendance during the Dirtbags/USC series. The Padres Director of Scouting, Bill Gayton, was one of them, there to watch Evan Longoria and other Dirtbag prospects.'s Frankie Piliere interviewed Evan. Here's a few excerpts (the full article is in the paid area):
On his MVP season in the Cape Cod League in 2005: "That was a lot of fun playing there. It is a great atmosphere to play in and just gives you some great experiences. But, the most important thing for me was the talent that I had the opportunity to play with. When you play with guys that talented, it just makes you a better player because you have to elevate your game."

On the most important thing he's learned in college baseball: "I've learned the importance and value of work ethic. There is nothing more important than working hard. You can be the most talented guy in the world, but the guy who works harder is going to come out on top."

On his thoughts about the 2006 draft: "It is tough to keep off your mind because you know it isn't that far off. A lot of people like to speculate about where I'm going to be picked, but I know that stuff takes care of itself. So, I just let other people do that speculation and I'll just do my thing on the field."

posted on 2/07/2006 by Jeff Agnew

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