Monday, June 6, 2011
MLB Draft live blog
It's just about that time. The MLB Draft begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, and though the Nationals don't own the No. 1 pick as they did the last two years, they'll certainly be paying close attention to what players are selected 1 through 5 and who remains available when their No. 6 pick comes up.
Based on various mock drafts and conversations I've had both with Nats executives and writers covering other clubs, here's my best guess how the first five picks will go...
1. Pirates -- Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA
2. Mariners -- Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice
3. Diamondbacks -- Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA
4. Orioles -- Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso, Okla.
5. Royals -- Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner, Kan.
If that all plays out -- and mind you, there's no guarantee that's how it will go, I'm simply making an educated guess -- the Nationals would be in position to draft left-hander Danny Hultzen of the University of Virginia. They would absolutely jump at that opportunity if it presents itself.
That said, the Royals could easily choose Hultzen themselves at No. 5, which would leave the Nationals to decide if they want to take a chance on Starling, who has committed to play quarterback at Nebraska in the fall. I think Mike Rizzo would take that gamble, believing he could work out a deal with agent Scott Boras to sign Starling.
We're closing in on the time to find out for sure. You can watch the draft on MLB Network, and be sure to stay clicked in here as I break down each of the first five picks as they're made and how they impact the Nationals. Until then, you can also click on the above video for my last-minute analysis of the upcoming draft.
Updates to come...
7:00 p.m. -- We are underway, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the clock...
7:07 p.m. -- And with the first pick, the Pirates select ... Gerrit Cole. The UCLA right-hander didn't have the country's best numbers this season (6-8, 3.31) but he had the best stuff and as a college pitcher will be on a fast track to the majors. Earlier this season, scouts said Cole had stuff nearly as good as Stephen Strasburg, high praise indeed. Up next: Seattle.
7:14 p.m. -- With the second pick, the Mariners select ... Danny Hultzen! Surprise. So much for the Bethesda native and UVA left-hander to stay at home and join Ryan Zimmerman in D.C.
7:19 p.m. -- With the third pick, the Diamondbacks select ... Trevor Bauer. So there you have it, all three top college pitchers are off the board after three picks. Which means the Nats are going to be looking at either Bundy (HS pitcher), Rendon (3B) or Starling (OF).
7:24 p.m. -- With the fourth pick, the Orioles select ... Dylan Bundy. Top high school pitcher, and the fourth-straight pitcher taken to start this stuff. So the Nats' fortunes are now in the hands of the Royals. If they take the hometown Starling, the Nats will have to decide if they trust Rendon's shoulder or if they go elsewhere. Could be a tough call.
7:31 p.m. -- With the fifth pick, the Royals select ... Bubba Starling. Couldn't pass up the hometown kid. So do the Nats take Rendon? I'm not sure they expected him to be available. If not him, though, who?
7:36 p.m. -- There it is, the Nationals take Anthony Rendon, third baseman from Rice. A couple months ago, he was considered the clear-cut best player in this year's class. A shoulder injury clearly made his stock fall big-time. Now the Nats can claim in some ways to have drafted the best player in three consecutive drafts. Pretty amazing. That'll do it from here for a little while. Mike Rizzo is about to conduct a conference call, and I'll have details from that and a full story on Rendon coming soon.
8:21 p.m. -- Here's my full story on the Rendon selection. I'll update it later after the Nats make their 23rd and 34th selections.
9:00 p.m. -- OK, updating all the picks that have come since Rendon...
7. Diamondbacks -- Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow HS
8. Indians -- Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde Academy
9. Cubs -- Javier Baez, SS, Arlington Country Day
10. Padres -- Corey Spangenberg, 2B, Indian River State
11. Astros -- George Springer, OF, Connecticut
12. Brewers -- Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas
13. Mets -- Brandon Nimmo, OF, Cheyenne East HS
14. Marlins -- Jose Fernandez, RHP, Braulio Alonso HS
15. Brewers -- Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech
16. Dodgers -- Chris Reed, LHP, Stanford
17. Angels -- C.J. Cron, 1B, Utah
18. A's -- Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt
19. Red Sox -- Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut
20. Rockies -- Tyler Anderson, LHP, Oregon
21. Blue Jays -- Tyler Brede, RHP, Lawrence Academy
22. Cardinals -- Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii
9:11 p.m. -- OK, the No. 23 pick is in, and the Nationals have selected ... Alex Meyer, right-hander from the University of Kentucky. He's 6-foot-9, just a beast.
9:16 p.m. -- Meyer, by the way, is another Scott Boras client. Just like Anthony Rendon. Just like Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, Danny Espinosa, Ivan Rodriguez and just like several more Nationals whose names elude me at the moment.
10:17 p.m. -- And with the 34th pick, the first "sandwich" pick of this draft, the Nationals take Brian Goodwin, an outfielder from Miami Dade College. Hey, what do you know: He's another Scott Boras client!
10:40 p.m. -- I'm hearing that the Nats are considering drafting Scott Boras in the next round. He'll have outrageous contract demands, but we all know he'll still sign at the last second.
Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 6:12 PM