New Milford AP
Thursday night was a big night in the BDBL, as the mid season farm and free agent draft took place. New Milford, with the second best record in the BDBL, drafted 23rd out of 24 teams. “It’s very difficult drafting at the bottom of the draft every year,” explains GM Anthony Peburn. “You go into the draft with a certain strategy and then abort all your plans as they blow up in your face.” This years draft was no different, he explained.
Seth Beer, the dynamic Freshman OF from Clemson was the first pick taken by the Slyme. “We had Beer and Tyler O’Neil (who went 10th) at the top of our list,” said Peburn. “We knew neither would slide but were hoping guys who could help immediately as next year would, such as Robbie Grossman and Junior Guerra.” No dice, as Ravenswood and Flagstaff grabbed the top two free agents before Peburn even started stretching to walk to the podium.
Thursday night we got an exclusive look into the Blazers war room to see the magic that keeps churning out winners. “We have a master list, with multiple sub-lists,” boasts Peburn. “We have a list of free agents, farm eligible players who can help next year, and farm eligible players with future potential. Each list is separated into hitters and pitchers. Then we have a board with our potential cuts from the 35 man and the farm. As we draft guys, we slide them onto our new roster.”
Before pick 23 was called, Peburn moved a guy from the “cut” list back to the active roster. “We were planning on grabbing Hernan Perez late and sticking him on our active roster THIS year to play against lefties and dropping Brendan Ryan, who has NO future potential.” That plan was blown up when Perez surprisingly went in the first round. When Chris Herrmann went to Cleveland picks before New Milford, Peburn let out a groan. “I was planning on taking him in the third round. I fucking HATE this time of year.”
When pick 23 arrived, the first name on the master list was Harrison Bader. “We are NOT drafting Harrison Bader,” proclaimed Peburn. We lost out on a guy who can start next year, and there is only one other guy who can start. Plus lots of “immediate” guys are coming off of the board, so we are taking Chris Devenski.” Devenski is a swing man who Peburn envisions as an Adam Warren type for next year. “A very valuable piece for a contender.”
Of course, Bader went 2 picks later, as well as then next guy on the immediate pitching list Ryan Buchter. When pick 23 in round 2 came up, there were a bunch of relievers at the top of the immediate farm and FA boards. “I’m pissed we lost out on Solis (who went to Salem) but there is a very like lefty reliever in Jerry Blevins who will probably be there in round three. So lets grab a hitter from the farm future board who also has a chance to contribute soon. Let’s re-acquire Brett Eibner.” Eibner has some power and can play the OF well. A right handed bat, he can contribute some as a reserve OF next year.
When pick 23 in round 3 rolled around, Blevins was still on the board as Peburn predicted. “Finally I got something right here,” smiled Peburn. “Let’s take the only guy left on the board with a sub 2.00 CERA and select Jerry Blevins.” While Blevins lacks the upside of Buchter and Solis, he is a solid bullpen piece for next year.
In round 4, Peburn again called an audible. “Still quite a few relievers on the board. We will probably land some, as quite a few teams have finished drafting. Let’s take another guy from the farm future list who also has a chance to contribute soon. We will take JaCoby Jones.” Jones is a converted SS who can play CF and has some pop currently with a 900+ OPS. “We are aware of his off field issues and are pretty sure he is not going to pull an Elijah Dukes on us.”
In round 5, Peburn stayed true to the master list. Hunter Cervenka is a lefty specialist who does not completely suck against righties. “If it pans out, having a few guys on your roster at 100K allows you to go out and grab the few guys you need,” Peburn explains.
Round 6 was the last of Peburn’s audibles. “I’m pissed we lost out on Suarez in round 4 (by three picks to Bear Country) so I want to take a gamble on one more guy who may be able to help our starting rotation next year.” That gamble was lefty Tyler Anderson. Anderson has some pedigree and is major league ready. “Sometimes these moves pan out, sometimes they are cut in 6 weeks. That’s the fun of it.”
Peburn then made another procedural move, shifting Richie Shaffer from the farm roster to the 35 man. “We had two 35 man spots and only one guy worth drafting, so we made a move. This will also allow us to maybe cut a farm guy down the road and add a 35 man guy by shifting him back.”
By the time round 7 came around, only New Milford and New York were left drafting. Peburn selected reliever Matt Bowman. He’s a righty and a groundballer. Interesting guy.
Round 8 was the last 35 man spot, taken by veteran reliever Andrew Bailey. “We met with Andrew before the draft and he was OK with a minor league deal while he rehabs and will get a shot in spring training next year.”
New Milford selected lefty Buddy Boshers in round 9. “A good arm, but I love the name. I really hope he makes the team next year.”
In round 10, New Milford wanted one more hitter with upside and selected CJ Hinojosa. A SS who may eventually move to 2B, he has been on the Blazers radar for years.
“All in all this was a great draft. Not at all how we scripted it, but it never is. We have lots of interesting guys and hopefully some good, cheap value that can blend with the veterans next year.” All players will report to AAA Hartford and play for the Illuminati except for Hinojosa, who will play for the A ball Kwick.
Getting pink slips were Luis Sardinas, Trevor Brown, Colin Walsh, Drew Stubbs, Garin Cecchini, Malquin Canelo, Kyle Kubitza, Chris Betts, Matt Krook, and Martin Maldonado.