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.

64 comments:

Doc said...

Good job MarkMeister!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the this draft is supposed to be deep with the Nats holding 6, 23 and 34, I think. Rizzo should shine here. I was glad to see Jason Reid take him to task, largely on preventing the media from accessing Eckstein, but Jason should have been more concerned with Rizzo's very spotty record than his stepping o nthe media's toes. It is not about Rizzo trying to control the media; it is about Rizzo trying to assemble a club.

Gonat said...

MLB Network just did a great piece on Bubba Starling with Harold Reynolds. Very impressive kid. No doubt he is ready for baseball as he said its his favorite sport. That is his sport of choice although he says he loves dunking the basketball.

That gap power and speed is impressive. I think the Royals get nervous and don't want to take the chances on Starling or Hultzen for the same reason the Orioles will pass on both.

Would love to see the Nats take a 1st baseman with #34.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Regarding Hultzen - also on MLB Network there was a brief mention of Hultzen wanting to go to medical school. Something about inheriting a large sum of money if he enrolls in med school in the near future. Was that real? What's the story?

masnstinks said...

Hultzen went to St. Albans -- very high-calibre private prep school in the dc area. Apparently his family is very unimpressed with baseball and he is in line to inherit something like 20 mil if he goes to med school. Apparently he is also a genius and can handle med school. Makes a signing bonus look like chump change. He will truly have to make a choice based on what he really wants to do with his life. I think he should become and arm surgeon - that's a good way to stay in baseball!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Okay - thanks. But why does that sound like something from a 1930s movie? Maybe with Kate Hepburn as his love interest?

masnstinks said...

He's definitely not your usual college baseball kid. He does go to UVA, a top academic university -- he probably got into the school legitimately, too. I am a huge baseball fan, but giving up med school for it? I can understand why his family is not thrilled with the idea of baseball.

Andrew said...

Hultzen to Seattle with the #2!!!!!!!

Gonat said...

Draft boards all messed up now!

Anonymous said...

Why did he look so shocked?

Will said...

Rumor is that the Royals are looking to draft locally, and Starling fits that description, which would set the Nats up to draft locally as well.

However, rumor also has it that Hultzen's agent is throwing around ridiculous numbers, like $13mil. That could be reason for concern, because for as good as Hultzen is, he's no Strasburg.

Regarding his career as a doctor, why not do both? It would make the perfect follow-up career when his baseball career ends in (best case scenario) 15 years.

FS said...

Come on, no one saw that coming. I am shocked and disappointed that Seattle chose to go that way. I really wanted Danny boy for our team or even Orioles. Anyways, we will end up with a hitter at #6 I think.

Anonymous8 said...

Rendon is slipping. The shoulder must be a question mark.

Will said...

Crap, nevermind. That's pretty surprising, as it looked like Seattle was pretty sure to take Rendon...

That would be awesome if he fell to #6!

Anonymous said...

Will Clark and Rizzo pick Rendon?

Gonat said...

Will, Hultzen has been drafter already.

Anonymous said...

Starling is next you have to know ...

Will they pick NFA_Brian fav Anthony Rendon?

FS said...

OMG, we are stuck with Rendon. For sure.

Anonymous said...

Here we go ... the Nats can pick Rendon another 3rd baseman ... hmmmm ...

Gonat said...

Darn, Starling is gone.......

Anonymous8 said...

Have to go with Rendon according to the best player available theory.

SCNatsFan said...

Couldn't have worked out worse for the Nats. I think you take the bat in Rendon - if we think he is healthy - and worry where to play him in a couple of years. My head says we take Bradley.

Gonat said...

Boras and Bubba are going to bend the Royals over. There will be no hometown discount given there!

JohninMPLS said...

According to Baseball Reference, no player named Bubba has ever been an MLB All-Star.

TimDz said...

Where does Rendon fit?

Anonymous8 said...

Well, it was the right move. Nats pick up a #1 at #6

masnstinks said...

Harper was a catcher. Morse was a shortstop. Get the guy in the organization and then figure it out later.

Gonat said...

Rendon will be converted to an outfielder!

Oldguy said...

The MLB guys are all over Rendon as a second baseman. What an insult to Danny. Rendon can play outfield--I'm betting that's what they'll do. They wanted his bat. Good choice.

bgib said...

Well, after Zimm leaves as a free agent....

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with Rendon given Zim's contract renewal is coming up and money won't be the big issue.

Pitching next.

Will said...

2B looks appealing for Rendon, then shift Espinosa to SS.

Either way, it's a great pick. The injuries will heal, and we'll be left with 3 straight #1 overall picks.

Drew8 said...

I know Rendon is a talent, but this must be a private disappointment for the Nats. Gotta believe they wanted Hultzen, Bauer or Bubba.

Well, I hope a stud pitcher is there at 23.

I guess Rendon will become a left fielder or a first baseman.

Anonymous said...

Danny? Oh no ... that's your budding superstar, Now, Desmond is an entirely different story.

Anonymous said...

Unless the shoulder is a real issue Rendon will be an infielder. The Nats had him listed as a 3rd baseman not RF like catcher Harper.

Anonymous said...

He's barely six ft and 190 lbs. He has played all infield positions. He led team in stolen bases. He's playing second base and the cannon Espinosa is the shortstop. This kid was projected number one pick. Trades coming for cf bj uptown or then red sox.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I guess we have a backup plan for when the FoF becomes the Pride of the Yankees.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I guess we have a backup plan for when the FoF becomes the Pride of the Yankees.

Yup. If they want him at 2nd they would have said it. Right now he is a CI.

Will said...

Well the Mariners' blogs are going crazy right now. They were convinced that Rendon was theirs, and now they're pissed they passed on him. They were all pretty sure that Rendon was the best talent, which he was. He was the consensus #1 pick until he picked up a couple injuries this season.

Good pick by Rizzo.

Anonymous said...

We are the worst hitting team in baseball. Let's take the best college hitter in years and see how it works out. Or, we could pass on him because we have a couple young middle infielders who are hitting .220 and striking out every other at bat.

Will said...

This is a glorious day for the Nationals. Anyone how has seriously watched Rendon play -- and I have, in person (as an opposing team's fan) -- knows he's the best pure hitter in college. And has been for awhile.

I love Espinosa, but Rendon has a special enough bat to move anybody off their position except Zimmerman, Werth and Harper. Danny can play SS anyway.

JaneB said...

How long before we see Rendon, do you all think? Is he on the same schedule Zimm was, out of school? Or does the shoulder have to heal so he can learn another position? Sorry...I don't know how this goes. Will, I hope you are nit just RIGHT but a shrewd observer of hitterishness.

baseballswami said...

When is our next pick? Pitching this time?

Anonymous said...

I love Espinosa, but Rendon has a special enough bat to move anybody off their position except Zimmerman, Werth and Harper. Danny can play SS anyway.

Don't make the mistake of underestimating Espinosa and his bat. Think about it. Sure he is hitting under .250 BUT HE LEADS THE TEAM IN RBI DUDE! With 33!!! That's HUGE given that only Morse is even close with 30. Where TF is Werth? What's his excuse hitting where he hits? Look where Danny hits ... and WAIT HE'S still adapting /adjusting to switch-hitting in the majors this year!!! (Remember, Rizzo warned everyone that that would likely happen with Espinosa!) Espy is going to be HUGE.

Espinosa is surely a KEEPER! I sure hope they don't trade him!

Now, Ian Desmond perhaps not ... imagine an infield of Zim, Rendon, Espinosa and Morse. Then an outfield of Harper, Werth and perhaps BJ Upton?

All that's left is the bench and pitching. Pitching starts with Stras and JZimm ... and they will likely pick up some more with the next two picks. Peacock may be the real deal and that would give them 3 power pitchers. They just need a couple on the left side. They have Gorzelanny, Lannan, Milone, and perhaps Detwiler.

It all might just come together just that way?

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm already looking forward to Fall Instructional League and see where we play Rendon. Can't complain about getting the best bat in the draft.

Anonymous said...

@JaneB, you'll have to wait and see what Rizzo has to say on his conference call. Rendon is likely more than good enough to start in Potomac now. He'll move to Harrisburg fairly quickly and join Harper. Now, you might just see both come to the majors together?

CBinDC said...

All I know is another Minor affiliate of the Nationals is going to be very happy

Will said...

Sorry, don't know how to quote on this thing.

@ Anon: "Don't make the mistake of underestimating Espinosa and his bat."

Like I said, I love Espinosa*. But he's got the arm and range to play shortstop, which upgrades two positions when you include Rendon. Rendon doesn't really have prototypical 3B size or SS tools, so 2B makes the most sense. I don't like him in the outfield.

Werth isn't moving off his position because of his contract, unless you want to flip him to left field when Harper comes up.

* as for RBIs, those fluctuate a lot and I'm in the belief that they're more dependent on runners on base than an actual ability to create runs. considering the Nationals don't have a lead-off hitter or much protection for Werth, it's not a surprise his numbers are low. Look at the RBI totals for Adrian Gonzalez compared to this point last season.

Tim said...

Good pick. We need some good hitters in the organization.

Drew8 said...

Some good-looking college arms are still on the board, like Meyer of Kentucky, Barnes of UCONN and Sonny Gray of Vandy.

Seven picks to go. Fingers crossed.

Drew8 said...

Will Meyer get past three more teams?

(Chews nails)

TimDz said...

You can stop chewing now Drew....
Question is will the Nats take Meyer?

Anonymous said...

I am a big Nats fan who goes to graduate school at Rice. Very excited about Rendon. I figured it would not happen like all of Seattle. I was at Rice watching him yesterday in his last NCAA game.

The thing to know about Rendon this year is he walked 80 time this year out of about 260 PAs. He was so respected that no one pitched to him. Over .500 OBA

Anonymous said...

Meyer!

Drew8 said...

Woo hoo!

Man that's a lot of value in the top two picks.

Now get another arm at 34.

Anonymous said...

The Nats have now drafted Keith Law's #2 and #6 Prospect.

Water23 said...

So. do they go with a P next or hitter? Jackie Bradley would be a nice pick up in the compensatory round but with no 2nd round pick I have a feeling we will be seeing a P.

Anonymous8 said...

Thank you Adam Dunn for Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin

Jamie Tallman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew8 said...

Wow.

Goodwin's your center fielder, pairing with Werth and Harper.

Guess that means Rendon stays in the infield.

Joe Seamhead said...

Someday soon people will be saying " Can you believe that five teams had the chance to take Rendon and didn't?"

natsfan1a said...

Was clicking over to watch on MLB Network. Funny to see all of the prognosticating fall apart with the first couple of picks. That's why I don't do predictions. :-) Will be interesting to see what develops with all of these guys. Welcome to the club (well, assuming that they all sign).

Navy Nats Fan said...

The Nats missed a chance to draft a legacy - Pudge's son Ivan Dereck Rodriguez was drafted by the Twins at #208. Congratulations to the family!

Navy Nats Fan said...

But I think Bryce's brother is still available!

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