Pre-Draft Poll and Such

We're pretty sure Pedro Alvarez is all but out of the discussion for the Rays pick, same with Kyle Skipworth and Brian Matusz. That leaves us between Buster Posey and Tim Beckham...

The entire argument here comes down to two simple ideas:

1. Tim Beckham's ceiling is higher than Posey's. This is almost certainly a fact, and great young shortstops are hard to find.

2. Buster Posey's floor is higher than Tim Beckham's. Again, almost certainly a fact, and good young catchers are hard to find.

I'm convinced Posey is the Rays pick. Forget about the Russell Martin and Kenji Johjima comparisons for a paragraph and remember back to the Evan Longoria pick, pre-draft comparisons of Joe Randa and Aaron Hill were flying around, and with Tim Lincecum and Andrew Miller -- two players that were far sexier at the time -- still on the board the Rays went with Longoria and had him signed within hours. Some called the pick one of pure signing ability and therefore thinking with the wallet instead of the mind, and some questioned what this meant for B.J. Upton and Julio Lugo, still with the Rays at the time.

If the Rays take Posey I don't know what that means for Dioner Navarro, and frankly it shouldn't matter, the only thing that does matter is the Rays think that Buster is the more likely to reach his potential, or that they think Beckham's swing (which to my untrained eye is as ugly as Whoopi Goldberg) is unforgivable or simply not worth the hassle.

Statistically the average shortstop since 1998 has a VORP of 22 compared to the average catcher's 20. Of course you could take the absolute value route and determine that a catcher with a 30 VORP is more valuable than a shortstop with a 30 VORP, but that's all up for debate.

One thing is for certain, the Rays won't please everyone, but they will please themselves.

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