Thanks for tuning into "Inside the Draft." In our last episode you got to a quick look at the GM's mindsets going into the draft, today we will focus on those players that were drafted.
"With the first overall pick in the season 16, Murph League draft, the Richmond Rusty Trombones select Don Hill."
D.M.F.P.: What were your thoughts when you first heard your name called?
Hill: I knew it was going to happen after pieo called me but actually hearing my name was a very good feeling. I'm looking forward to getting out there and showing the world why I was taken number 1.
D.M.F.P.: You signed a nice signing bonus as the number 1 overall pick and got started with no delays. After seeing pitchers taken after you in the draft, York Spence (7th overall) and Elston Rucker (3rd overall), sign larger bonuses do you regret being so quick to sign?
Hill: I don't. It's not about the money it's about the chance to get out there and play right away. Both those pitchers are fresh out of high school and have that ego about them that they are the 'best.' I'll tell ya what, the best player in the draft this year, went number 1 overall!
Don Hill has started his career in the Rookie League, in his two starts he has pitched 10 innings without allowing a run.
Second overall draft pick, shortstop Mariano Nieves, was unable to meet with us as he is currently on the road playing with the Low A squad of the Rochester Golden Breakers. This gave us a chance to meet up with the before mentioned duo of Elston Rucker and York Spence.
D.M.F.P.: Elston, you were taken third overall by the Florida Tsunamis then you held out. Why's that?
Rucker: It's nothing against the organization but they've had what, three GM's in the past three years? I don't want to sign my life away to a team who can't even keep a GM.
D.M.F.P.: You signed a 5 million plus bonus when you joined, that made you the highest paid prospect until York Spence came along and signed a deal including a 6 million plus bonus...
Rucker: The bonus wasn't anything like, 'I need to get this I'm the best pitcher, etc.' I just thought if I raise my demands and they're serious about this team then they'll pay it. Look into our team, I believe we have some great pitching talent in the minors here. The league better continue taking their shots at us right now because in a few seasons we'll be taking over.
D.M.F.P.: York, you were taken 7th overall and at one point it didn't look like you were going to get signed.
Spence: Management made a smart decision in drafting me. They made an even smarter decision in signing me. Richmond, Rochester, Florida, Montreal, Lousiville, Arizona; they're all going to regret this.
D.M.F.P.: Do you think you'll ever regret missing the first few weeks of Rookie League?
Spence: No. I'm a get my starts, I'm a get my wins, I'll be in the big leagues and it's over. I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to do my job and help my team win while showing the other teams what they missed out on.
York Spence is surely frustrated by not going higher, but the biggest drop in the draft was catching prospect, Stretch Haney.
D.M.F.P.: Many people thought you would be a top 5 selection, you wound up dropping to 15th overall where you got picked up by Kansas City what were you thinking as the draft went on.
Haney: Richmond came out and said who they were taking so I was like okay, I'll go number 2. After Rochester didn't pick me I thought surely Florida would. They passed on me as well and I was really frustrated with it. I thought I did well in front of all the scouts and it was just frustrating. When Colorado Springs came on the clock I thought I was definitely going there. They like players with big bats, they've got some great players on their team, but they passed me by. Then Augusta came on the clock and they've openly said that they all ready have the catcher of their future, so I knew they weren't taking me. I was just hoping that somebody would!
D.M.F.P.: So you get taken 15th overall and your agent talks with Kansas City and says what?
Haney: He said I deserve to be paid like the top draft pick. I was guaranteed I would be a top 5 pick which is why I entered the draft. To drop to number 15, it's embarrassing.
D.M.F.P.: Any chance you sign with Kansas City this season?
Haney: I don't know, probably not. I've gave them the price I want to be paid (8 million) and if they're willing to give it to me I'll play. If not, I'll be back in the draft in a few seasons.
The steal of the draft may wind up being Alex Lucas. Lucas was selected in the 5th round, 170th overall, by the Florida Tsunamis. Or, if you like bats, Delino Arredodo could very easily be your man. Arredodo was taken in the 4th round, 153rd overall, and is all ready batting .441 in the rookie league.