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2007 Draft Preview: Part I

According to RJ Harrison, there's 3 choices for the #1 pick

Scouting director R.J. Harrison said Sunday the Rays are down to three finalists for the top overall pick in the June 7-8 draft: Vanderbilt left-hander David Price, Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters and California high school third baseman Josh Vitters.

"I've gone and had lunch or dinner with all three of them and the area scouts that are involved, and that's where we're at in the process," Harrison said.

The Rays' scouts will convene a week from today to start putting all their information together and assembling a draft board. While the Rays say they'll keep their options open up until draft day, most believe Price will be their selection.

Although it's basically a given to the readers at DRays Bay that Price will be our #1 pick, there's a few reasons why Wieters could be taken.

  1. The last left-handed starter taken #1 was Brien Taylor by the New York Yankees. If you don't know who Taylor is, there's a reason for it.
  2. Most perceive Matt Wieters to be the most polished amateur catcher since Joe Mauer.
  3. Wieters plays at a "need" position. Our organization hasn't ever really had any real "talent" in the catching department.
  4. Wieters' 94 mph fastball
  5. Wieters, I believe, is a senior and Price is a junior. There's a minor chance that Price could re-enter the draft next year if we don't offer him enough.

    [editor's note, by Jacob Larsen]As pointed out to me by a few people, Wieters is also a junior

In the same breath, there's plenty of reasons to draft David Price.
  1. No "Boras" factor, unlike Wieters or Vitters.
  2. 164 Ks to 29 BBs in 114 Innings in a tough SEC conference.
  3. Corbin's program with pitchers has never yielded a pitcher who had to undergo a major arm/elbow/shoulder-related surgery. Never.
  4. Price hit 11 batters, which means that he loves to control the zone. Unlike MLB, college hitters don't have to attempt to move away from a pitch.
  5. Price averaged 7.2 IP per outing, which is a bit skewed to his short start in his season debut.
  6. 6'6" 215 lb frame left-handed pitchers don't come around too often.