Reviewing the 2007 Draft: NL Third Round by Marc Hulet May 30, 2008 For the next two weeks, in honor of the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft on June 5-6, I will be devoting my posts to a review of the 2007 draft. Today, let’s take a look at how some of the key National League third round picks are faring in their first full season in professional baseball. We are starting to get into a territory where the quality of picks really begins to think out. Tony Thomas (Chicago) had an excellent offensive junior season at Florida State University and a solid pro debut in 2007, but his numbers are average this year while playing at High-A ball. The second baseman currently has a line of .269/.317/.401 with three homers and nine stolen bases in 182 at-bats. Thomas has walked only seven percent of the time and he has struck out at a rate of 25 percent. Brian Friday (Pittsburgh), a Rice University grad, is showing the makings of a solid big league utility player, or possible starter. So far this season, in High-A ball, he is hitting .309/.388/.433 with one homer in 194 at-bats. Friday’s base running needs a little work as he has been successful in only 50 percent of his attempts (eight for 16). He has walked 9.8 percent of the time, with a strikeout rate of 16.2 percent. Steven Souza (Washington), a prep third baseman, is holding his own in A-ball. He currently has a line of .266/.348/.392 with two homers and eight stolen bases in 79 at-bats, but he hasn’t played since May 6. He has walked 9.2 percent of the time, but has struck out at a rate of 32.9 percent. Despite being drafted out of college, Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee) has moved relatively slowly and is currently playing in A-ball, where he has a line of .314/.389/.524 with eight homers and six stolen bases in 185 at-bats. The catcher’s bat appears ready for a promotion but his defence might be holding him back. Lars Davis (Colorado), a Canadian catcher, has struggled offensively in A-ball. He is currently hitting .215/.277/.323 with three homers in 93 at-bats. Davis has walked 6.2 percent of the time, with a strikeout rate of 28.6 percent. Right-hander Scott Carroll (Cincinnati) began the year in A-ball and posted a 3.75 ERA in 48 innings, with 50 hits allowed, 16 walks and 24 strikeouts. He was recently promoted to High-A ball and has made one start. Carroll allowed five runs in 5.2 innings of work. Jameson Smith (Florida), drafted out of community college, has struggled with the bat in A-ball. The 21-year-old catcher is hitting .221/.357/.279 with no homers in 68 at-bats. The left-handed batter is only 2-for-14 (.143) against southpaws. He has as many walks as hits (15) this season. Left-hander Eric Niesen (New York) currently has a 5.20 ERA in 45 High-A ball innings. He has allowed 52 hits. Niesen has posted rates of 5.60 K/9 and 3.80 BB/9. Shortstop Brandon Hicks (Atlanta), drafted out of Texas A&M University, is showing surprising power with 11 homers in 148 at-bats. He has hit four in his last 10 games. He currently has a line of .257/.358/.588. He has walked 13 percent of the time, but struck out at a rate of 42.1 percent. Matt Spencer (Philadelphia) has struggled to hit for average as a pro after signing out of Arizona State University. He currently has a line of .249/.300/.370 with four homers in 181 at-bats in High A-ball. Spencer has walked 7.9 percent of the time but has struck out at a rate of 22.4 percent. The Mets just did not have a lot of luck drafting college relievers in 2007. Stephen Clyne (New York) currently has a 10.42 ERA in 19 High-A ball innings. He has allowed 26 hits and 10 walks. Both Cincinnati and Arizona took interesting, young Puerto Rican infielders – Neftali Soto and Reynaldo Navarro – but both have been playing in Extended Spring Training so far this season.