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2007 Tulsa Drillers pre-Preview

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Rotation:

Franklin Morales
Greg Reynolds
Ching Lung Lo
Marc Kaiser
Ryan Mattheus

Greg Reynolds has gone from overdrafted to underrated fairly quickly. While 2006 draft mates Evan Longoria and Tim Lincecum got most of the press for their hot starts to their professional careers, Reynolds just went and played solidly at a high level of competition relative to most of the draft class. We could argue about the merits of choosing him number two overall, but at the end of the day he's still a very solid prospect, and one pundit's pre-draft comparison of him to Aaron Harang is something I could live with. Just to illustrate my point, let's just compare the stats put up in High A by Reynolds last year, with those of Pittsburgh prospect, Brad Lincoln, who's often listed higher on overall prospect boards:

Reynolds, Modesto: 48.2 IP, 51 H, 22 R, 14 BB, 29 K, 1 HR, 3 HBP

Lincoln, Lynchburg: ...hmm, that's odd, Lincoln doesn't appear to be listed. Oh, wait, there he is, putting up a 6.75 ERA in a classification lower at Hickory. Snarkisms aside, Reynolds will be overshadowed by Morales at Tulsa this season, but don't think about equating him as a bust.

Lo is also under the radar, and although he doesn't have the ceiling of either Morales or Reynolds, he could still be a quality major league starter at some point. His first half at Modesto was a lucky aberration of lots of wins without much to back it up peripherally thanks to run support, while his second half showed him a more effective pitcher. That said, the last half of the season in the California League seemed notable for pitchers league-wide beating up on weakened lineups. For this reason, how Lo starts in Tulsa could be a telling sign of whether he's really taken a step forward. The same caveat applies for Morales (and the Giants' Lincecum,) actually, although to a lesser extent.

Kaiser repeats, mostly thanks to a projected glut of starters in Colorado Springs, and I'm unconvinced that I have Mattheus in the right spot. The fifth slot could go instead to another repeater like Sandy Nin or Enmanuel Ulloa, or possibly if he's still with the organization, Humberto Cardenas.

Bullpen:

Cardenas/Mattheus
Steven Register
Adam Bright
Scott Beerer
Jarret Grube
Matt Daley
Darren Clarke

Jon Huizinga has a shot of being here, and/or Jentry Beckstead might have to repeat given that we'll have several pitchers in the Springs. I expect most tinkering to be done with this group.

Lineup:

Catcher: Neil Wilson
First Base: Christian Colonel
Second Base: Corey Wimberly
Shortstop: Jonathan Herrera
Third Base: Matt Macri
Right Field: Joe Gaetti
Center Field: Chris Frey

Update [2007-3-10 18:4:41 by Rox Girl]:

There are some reports that Dexter Fowler could be ticketed for center field in Tulsa this season.


Left Field: Matt Miller

I think Gaetti and Colonel are probably ready for AAA, but there's just not going to be enough room there for everybody this year. Macri and Miller have to prove themselves capable of AA yet, and I project Macri sliding back to third to give way for Wimberly but still get a lot of AB's.

Bench:

Rick Guarno
Tomas Duenas
Jeff Dragicevich
Duke Sardinha
Justin Nelson
Kyle Wilson

Too many catchers, not enough outfielders, so I've probably got something wrong, but everybody except Guarno on this list can play multiple positions, so maybe it will work out. I think I'll have to tease this some more to get it to my liking.