Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects: Blue and Orange

Blue and Orange is a common color scheme where I live. That's because I live in the heart of Boise State University country-where Bronco fans, myself included, abound. And there's no doubt that wherever I may go today, I'm sure to be swimming in a sea of Bronco blue (they are playing the Washington Huskies in the MAACO Bowl today).

Another blue and orange I've become fond of are the Bowman parallel cards. I may no longer desire to collect the base Bowman set, but I certainly won't pass up the parallels-should they be had for the right price. I recently picked these up for next to nothing, hoping that each player can eventually work their way up to the big league club.

2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP56 Blue Justin Black (128/500)
Black, the Braves 4th round pick in '12, struggled during his professional debut in the the Gulf Coast League.   The toolsy, but very raw, player posted a slash line of .182/.292./.258 while striking out 54 times in 132 at-bats. As a player coming out of the state of Montana, where his high school didn't even have a team, Black lacked the experience that most draftees have, and that certainly could explain his struggles. One thing is clear: Black is a huge upside player who will not be rushed through the system. One would think that the Braves will send him to extended spring training before assigning him to their advanced-rookie club in Danville, Va.

2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects #BDPP47 Orange Bryan De La Rosa (156/250)
 Atlanta certainly isn't lacking in catching prospects, and De La Rosa is the latest in the pipeline. Like Black, De La Rosa began his career in the GCL, where he too struggled offensively with a slash line of .162/.194/.221 and 30 strikeouts in only 68 at bats. Defensively, the third round selection is agile with good hands and got rave reviews on his defense-particularly for his great catch and throw skills. He projects to be an above-average to plus defender, but it's his bat that will determine whether or not he will be a starter or a back-up. Sounds very similar to Braves prospect Christian Bethancourt, but with perhaps a better approach at the plate.

2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospectxs #BDPP129 Blue Fernelys Sanchez (294/500)
A Sixteenth-round selection from George Washington High School in NYC (Manny Ramirez' high school), Fernelys is yet another 'toolsy' type of player, whose primary tool is his speed-which rates as a 70 on the scale of 20 to 80 (he was considered one of fastest players in the draft). If not for the broken left fibula he sustained in March, Sanchez, ranked as Baseball America's 58th top high school prospect in 2012,would have gone much higher in the draft. Despite falling to the sixteenth round, Sanchez was thrilled with the opportunity to go to the Braves, and he, too, began his career in the Gulf Coast League. The switch-hitting outfielder appeared in 17 games, in which he had 58 at-bats, with 32 strikeouts, 3 stolen bases, and 1 homer along with a line that reads .155/.269/.224

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