Thursday, June 08, 2006

New GM and the Draft

I had a feeling when I left on my trip three weeks ago that the organization would be considerably different after I returned and it appears I was right.

The “changes” have begun. As the Daily Lancer reported, Dayton Moore is about to become the team’s general manager (press conference today). I couldn’t be happier with the Royals’ choice for general manager and it sounds like the Royals are making the changes needed to get the organization back on track. In particular, it appears that the Glass family has changed their role in the organization, relinquishing the control of baseball operations to the new general manager. Moore is considering one of the best young GM candidates and has a good track record with an organization that has developed good young talent. He also comes from an organization that has been built around pitching, so hopefully he will be able to rebuild the Royals organization in a similar manner. I was very skeptical that the Royals would make a good choice for general manager. I also didn’t think Mr. Glass would give up control of baseball operations, which would also restrict the candidate pool. Surprisingly, it appears that Mr. Glass made the right decision and the organization can start rebounding with the right general manager.

The Royals selected Luke Hochevar with the first-overall pick, surprising the baseball world. Most of the discussion had focused around North Carolina left-hander Andrew Miller, who was selected by the Tigers. Most publications considered Miller as the best talent in the draft, although there isn’t considerable separation among the top few college pitchers. Miller ended up with the Tigers, who are amassing an impressive collection of power arms in their organization. Brad Lincoln, Brandon Morrow and Tim Lincecum also drew consideration.

This is just my speculation, but I’m guessing the Royals had about $4 million to spend on their pick and Andrew Miller exceeded that, so they passed on him. So, the Royals thought that Hochevar was the best talent among the rest of the available college pitchers. Was Miller worth an extra million or two? Tall, hard-throwing lefties don’t come around very often, especially with the stuff Miller has. The Royals will take a lot of heat if Miller turns out to be a great pitcher and they passed up on him. The Royals had 5 very good college pitchers to choose from and hopefully they picked the right one.

Here’s the video of Hochevar: Hochevar Video

Hochevar’s fastball showed good sinking action and his curve looked very good. However, I wasn’t particularly impressed with his command in the video, but he was probably having a bad day. His delivery doesn’t look like it will produce excellent consistency, which is a bit worrisome. He falls over his left ankle and doesn’t have very good balance at the end.

I will comment more on the rest of the draft as well as Moore’s press conference in upcoming posts.


At 9:43 AM, Blogger Jim said...

It does look like that wasn't his best night. While it has been a year since I've been able to see him in action, I don't remember him looking unbalanced like that. But once he gets going, he's as consistent as I've seen.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

It probably was just a bad night. If he can become consistent with his stuff, then he'll be a very good pitcher.


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