The 2009 MLB Draft has helped a number of teams re-stock the cupboard in an attempt to get better both in the short term and the long term, and the three worst teams from the 2008 season seem to have been able to come away with a number of gems in the 2009 Draft. The Nationals, Mariners, and Padres all walked away with several players that could make a difference in their future fortunes, and though some of their draft picks may be a few years away from actually making an impact, some of them could be ready to go in 2 or 3 years of minor league seasoning.
Washington Nationals Draft Pick Analysis
The Washington Nationals had the first pick of the 2009 MLB Draft, and with it took San Diego State University pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg already has the talent that could succeed in the Major Leagues, with a fast ball rumored to hit triple digits, he could be a starting pitcher in Washington in only about a year. The Nationals also were able to draft in the #10 spot after failing to sign their pick last season, and acquired Stanford pitcher Drew Storen. Storen is another pitcher who could be ready quickly, and could be a top-notch closer in the Nationals system very soon. Other notable picks that could be difference makers were second baseman Jeffrey Kobernus from UC Berkeley, pitcher Trevor Holder from the University of Georgia, and pitcher Anthony Morris from Kansas State University.
Seattle Mariners Draft Pick Analysis
With the second pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, the Seattle Mariners drafted outfielder Dustin Ackley from North Carolina. Ackley is a pure hitting machine, and has already set the record for most hits over a career in the College World Series. He will fit nicely into Safeco Field when he is ready to go in about one or two years. Shortstop Nicholas Franklin was the Mariners second pick, and Franklin is a very young kid drafted from high school. He is a multi-tool player that is way off, but who really has a lot of upside when it comes to future talent. The M’s have some waiting to do on him, but he could be an infielder of their future. The Mariners were also able to draft catcher Steven Baron in the supplemental rounds, and he too looks to be a great player when he gets a few years under his belt in the minor leagues. Other future difference makers in their draft include first baseman Richard Poythress from Georgia, and second baseman Kyle Seager from North Carolina.
San Diego Padres Draft Pick Analysis
The Padres drafted rather conservatively in 2009, and with their first pick went with high schooler Donavan Tate, who played center field. He is a five tool player that could be a future all-star, but he will have a lot of development time in the minor leagues coming up. Expect him to be ready in about 3 years for the big team. With their second pick in the draft, the Padres drafted center fielder Everett Williams from high school in Texas, who is also a project, but comes with excellent speed and a great set of tools. He too will be patrolling Petco Park in the future, but has some developing to do. Finally the Padres drafted pitcher Gerald Sullivan from Oral Roberts, who is a big right hander, and could provide some power pitching for the big team in a few years.
Source: MLB.com Draft Pick Results