Major League Phase
Randor Bierd - RP - Tigers
Last season in A and AA (AA primarily) went 4-3 striking out 81 over 67.2 innings. The big 24 year old righty is a strikeout machine and, I think, a good bet to stick in the bullpen in 2008. I mean, really, could he be any worse than what we had last year? I like the choice and shockingly at least one member of the national press does too. Chris Constancio (who follows minor league prospects) wrote an article over at The Hardball Times that examines some of Bierd's credentials and ranks him as the #1 pitching prospect taken in the Rule 5 draft.
Ryan Rodriguez - RP - White Sox
A big lefty reliever this time, only 23, with good but not great peripherals, a bad record and ERA but was better once he switched to relief.
I am going to guess this guy has something the scouts like and think he can be coaxed into better performance because I see no evidence in any of the numbers that this guy is better than anything we already have at Norfolk.
Tim Brown - 1B - Padres
Drafted by Pirates back in 2001, Brown struggled for four years and was released. In 2005, he played for Kalamazoo in the independent league and got his stroke back hitting .323. The Padres signed him and put him in high A where he excelled again hitting .300. He hit .273 and 13 homers for AA San Antonio last season and has fairly good control of the strikezone with a career OBP of .391. We really don't have anybody better to play 1B at Norfolk so this isn't a bad pick either.
J.P. Martinez - RP - Twins
This righty reliever put up great numbers, especially big strikeout totals until hitting a bump last year when he reached AA level. He'll be at Bowie trying to recapture that magic at the ripe old age of 26.