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Riot Tales 4: The Night Before

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Posted 09-20-2009 at 12:44 AM by battists
Updated 09-20-2009 at 12:47 AM by battists

It was 1:37 am, and Harris Anderson was exhausted. He'd spent the past month watching players at various tryouts, interviewing team personnel, double-checking on facilities projects, meeting with senior management, and spending what seemed like endless hours in discussions with his scouting director, Mo Jackson. After so many consecutive 14-hour days, he was well beyond burnt-out, but they were down to a little less than twelve hours before the draft began. They'd gone around and around on some of the potential top picks, and it seemed like the pressure was worse than ever.

It was like he'd told Pat Hain -- he wished they'd gotten a middle pick. With the first pick in the draft, every pundit in the country would be expecting them to have an advantage; it would create some crazy expectations. He took a sip of Coke and wiped his brow.

At the heart of it was a simple question: starting pitching, or a position player? Everyone knew you won with pitching, and pitching was likely to be scarce with the lack of professional baseball in recent years. On the other hand, out of all the possible players out there, why pick a player who would only be on the field every five days?

Harris rifled through a stack of printouts, each with a detailed scouting report on thirty or so players Philadelphia would at least consider taking first. This had been whittled down from the complete list of players eligible for the draft. "OK, Harris," he muttered to himself, "Let's go through them one more time..."

On the pitching front, there were a few possibilities:
  • Mo was high on David Edwards, a 25-year old southpaw from Illinois with a nasty sinker and a hook up there with the best of them. He had great intangibles, too, smart and fiercely competitive, and one of the hardest-working kids he'd met.
  • Ron Anderson, a righty, was another good possibility. With a dizzying array of pitches, and pinpoint control, he wasn't as likely to blow guys away, but he was as smart as a whip, and seemed a little more mature than Edwards. But scouts were much more divided on Anderson.
  • Riot scouts didn't have Rich Ranby rated quite as highly as the other two, but there were some who felt he was the best of the bunch, and more importantly, his leadership intangibles were off the charts, and that was certainly important to consider in someone who you expected to be your front-of-the-line starter.

There were other options as well, at least four or five possibilities if they elected to go with a starter. Among position players, there were plenty to choose from:
  • Tim Miller was a sexy choice. The big Californian was like a panther at short, as graceful as could be. And he could hit for average or for power. He wasn't hopeless on the bases, but perhaps just short of being considering a true five-tool guy.
  • Kent Gilbert looked to be a complete stud at third base. Solid in all phases of hitting, and capable of winning awards with his defensive play.
  • George Peterson didn't have the hitting pedigree of the other players, but catchers were in short supply, and he looked like the best of the bunch. Plus, he had a reputation for being an outstanding leader, almost like having an extra coach for the pitching staff.
  • There were some who said Randy Erickson was the best thing since sliced bread, but Mo's team didn't see it that way at all, so Harris wasn't sure.

There were so many more to consider! Plus, with so little effort going into scouting over the past decade, and so little high-level ball to base opinions on, it was a crap-shoot. Mo thought Gilbert was going to be a sure-fire superstar, but some of the other scouts he'd come across thought he'd be no more than adequate.

Harris put his head down on his desk, and wondered what he'd gotten himself into...
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  1. Old Comment
    I would choose between Rich Ranby or Randy Erickson. It's always been my experience that you take the best starter first as there will probably be some good bats left when the choice comes around to you for the 2nd time therefore Rich Ranby would be my guy.
    PS. This sounds really cool - keep it up!
    Posted 09-20-2009 at 04:11 AM by Raffke Raffke is offline
    Updated 09-20-2009 at 04:13 AM by Raffke
  2. Old Comment
    exoverge's Avatar
    Mike Fullerton would be my choice, a SS who can do just about everything.

    Player Report for #2 Mike Fullerton
    Posted 09-20-2009 at 07:51 AM by exoverge exoverge is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Afino's Avatar
    Yeah, Ranby or Erickson and I'd lean towards Ranby.
    Posted 09-20-2009 at 09:47 AM by Afino Afino is offline
  4. Old Comment
    battists's Avatar
    I hadn't even noticed Fullerton yet. My scouts have him 67/68/77/54/59 for his batting skills...

    OSA likes him a whole lot more than my guys do!
    Posted 09-20-2009 at 10:32 AM by battists battists is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Edwards, Erickson or Fullerton. I'd be tempted to go after Edwards, since lefty starters that can throw his kind of gas don't come around very often.
    Posted 09-20-2009 at 05:08 PM by timmermac timmermac is offline
  6. Old Comment
    TribeFanInNC's Avatar

    I can here the chants in Philly now.

    Posted 09-21-2009 at 03:27 PM by TribeFanInNC TribeFanInNC is offline
  7. Old Comment
    battists's Avatar
    LOL, that actually would be pretty cool.

    I need to look into their demands. At this point I think that will play into this to a certain extent.
    Posted 09-21-2009 at 10:04 PM by battists battists is offline

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