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The Moose from Goose Creek

    61-101, the season is over, and the Rays have finished with the worst record in baseball. With that un-desired title comes the number one selection in the June 2007 Amateur player draft. At this point in time there are truly two options that most fans are considering. One being a left handed pitcher from Vanderbilt University, David Price. The other is a catcher who closes and plays first base for Georgia Tech, Matt Wieters.
    Who should the Rays draft? As I mentioned before at this point we really don't know who will have a good season and help their stock, and who will bomb and hurt their stock. At this point however if I were to take the place of Andrew Friedman my selection would be Matt Wieters.
    Price, though a tall lefty with impressive K:BB rates (91:28) and only a BAA of .230 does have a surprisingly high ERA of 4.41. 67 innings of work yielded only 59 hits, and he did go 7-2, but he gave up 7 homers, and 15 doubles, along with 5 wild pitches, and 7 hit by pitches.
    Wieters 6'6, 230, a switch hitting catcher that some have compared to Joe Mauer with more power. He also is the closer for the Yellow Jackets, and occasionally plays first base.  He's probably going to end up as a catcher in the major leagues and has impressive numbers, especially in the Cape Cod league.
    Wieters line : 329/.447/.529
    Longoria's line : 299/.331/.500
    The speculation is that Scott Boras will represent Wieters. Now I'm not saying Boras is a gold digger...well actually yes I am (you know he ain't dealing with no low figures) thus he may become expensive to sign, and has leverage considering he could go back to G.T. for his senior season. To this we could make a stand and show fans and foes alike that the Longoria over Miller pick was not about sign-ability, but rather based n the talent levels. Even the casual fan would have to take notice that money is no longer a consideration in the draft.
    Best case scenario would be this turns out like 2001, with Joe Mauer and Mark Prior, hopefully we, like the Twins, make the right choice. In my views we should model ourselves after the Twins as well as the A's in their approach to free agency and such.
    Wieters has been compared to Jason Varitek, which of course so was Seattle's Jeff Clement, and that hasn't turned out great as of yet. Not to say G-Tech isn't due for another superstar bat, Mark Teixeria is the most recent to burst on the scene with V-Tek and Nomar being the elder alumni.
    The main argument that will be pouring out from the pro-Price group will be; it's another bat and not an arm, that's true, but if we're going to compete it's not going to be by just drafting arms and hoping all of them work out. We will have to sign one or two pitchers through free agency for the 2007 season if we hope to improve to the point of a season over .500, or a 20 win improvement.
    Even the most die-hard Price fan would have to admit a lineup of - Rocco, B.J., C.C., Delmon, Guzman, Longoria, Brignac, Wieters, and Gomes is the stuff that legends would be built of. Forget `the hit show' or `murderer's row' that in effect would become quite possibly the best lineup in the majors for years to come, but then again that's suggesting all will live up to their potential, and as I've covered before, potential is hope, we need results.