Friday, February 20, 2009

Sante Fe is On the Clock

Reigny and the Sante Fe Firehawks are on the clock. This will mark the 4th consecutive season that Sante Fe has picked in the Top 5, so reigny is used to it. The major league team continues to try to recover from the long period of mismangament by texas_ron while the team was in El Paso. So how has Reigny done with all the high picks?

Season 7 - Chris Boswell P (#1 overall): Boswell wasn't given much time to develop after being chosen first overall in the Season 7 draft. The HS lefty spent just 1 season at Low A before debuting in the bigs and posting a 7.47 ERA out of the pen. He was dealt to what's now the Ottawa franchise very early in Season 8. He's career mark stands at 30-35 with a 6.40 ERA. Scouts feel that Boswell was rushed and has never really reached his potential. He's still just 22, but makes $6.875M.

Season 8 - Clay Burnett P (#2 overall): Despite spending the full 4 years at Georgia Tech, Boswell was allowed to develop at a more moderate pace, making 33 minor league starts (11-14, 4.48) before debuting in Sante Fe early in Season 9. He struggled mightily as a rookie (1-6, 10.35 ERA), but found some success in season 10 making 19 starts and 50 appearances (8-11, 7.21). The Goldendale, WA native seems to have found his sea legs at 25, making 12 solid starts so far this year while posting a 6-4 record and 3.81 ERA.

Season 9 - Pascual Guzman P (#3 overall): Guzman came to Sante Fe from Palinville HS in Kansas. The tall (6'6) lefty jumped from rookie league to AA last year and posted a respectable 11-4 mark and 4.97 ERA. He's at AAA this season where his record stands at 2-2 with a 6.04 ERA. Guzman is just 20 years old and the Player development folks are urging caution with his development. He's already hit the DL twice with elbow and shoulder injuries, but scouts still see him as a potential workhouse, capable of 220+ innings of excellent work if he's allowed to develop and stays healthy.

Season 10 - Mark Wan P (#5 overall): The charismatic Wan signed a $7M contract out of Ambassador Christian HS in Fontana, CA. For that kind of money the team was not willing to baby him, sending Wan to AA where he went 3-3 in 12 starts with a 3.38 ERA. That was enough to bump him to AAA this year, where the 19-year old is the youngest in the league. He's been knocked around by the older hitters to the tune of an 8.76 ERA and 1-6 record. Wan's sinker and change are both considered potential out pitches but he's ball has so much movement that he struggles to command the strike zone (90 BB in 134 IP). Fire Hawk management is also worried about Wan's card playing habits where he's become a regular at the Buffalo Thunder Casino, the only American casino offering Wan's World, known as poker's answer to Balderdash, the fabulous bluffing game.

Season 11 - Who knows what this year's draft brings. Sante Fe has shown a proclivity for pitching, selecting starters in each of the last four drafts, including 3 HS hurlers. Whoever it is better be ready to contribute as he's not likely to spend long in the low minors. Several pitchers are considered to be among the draft's top prospects and Sante Fe has one of the top amateur scouting departments in the league.

Other top draft stories include Fresno's 3 picks in the top 33, Scranton's 4 in the top 42, including 3 straight selections (40, 41, and 42), and Mexico City who will choose at 30, 32, and 39. Those 3 franchises will combine for 10 picks before Baltimore makes its first choice at #48 or Ottawa awakens at pick 66. Finally Kansas City got to keep it's #15 pick which is protected, but lost it's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks as compensation for signing 3 Type A free agents.

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