They saved the best for last this year at PG National. After more than 50 hours spent at Tropicana Field over four days, the scouts that hung around for the final day must have been excited to see Science Hill High (Johnson City, Tenn.) lefthander Daniel Norris. Norris pitched the third and fourth inning of the final game and provided a much-needed boost to a crowd running on fumes by that point. Norris sat 92-94 mph with his fastball and mixed in a dirty 2-7 curveball in the 73-75 range and a couple 83 mph changeups.
I caught up with Norris after the game to talk about his experience at the event, his summer plans and what major league pitcher he looks up to. . .
You looked really good out there today. How did you feel?
"You know, I felt really good. I got the nerves out and it was just fun. There were a bunch of people here and it's just a nice place to play. I've never been in this kind of environment before, so it's kind of fun and just being in a major league ballpark is a great experience and I appreciate the opportunity. I was glad to be able to come down here."
[...] Continue Reading »
When Chris Sale started to slide in the first round of the draft because of his perceived signability, it was a surprise that the thrifty White Sox were the team that selected him. Now comes a bigger surprise: the first- or second-rated college pitcher on most draft boards has agreed to terms for a bonus equal to MLB's bonus recommendation for his No. 13 slot a year ago: $1.656 million.
Sale will take a physical on Monday and likely will sign his deal on Tuesday. He's the highest-drafted player to agree to terms so far this summer. [...] Continue Reading »
Taylor Lindsey, the supplemental first-round pick who signed on Friday with the Angels, received an $873,000 bonus.
A shortstop from Desert Mountain High in Scottsdale, Ariz., Lindsey went 37th overall despite not ranking on Baseball America's Top 200 Prospects list. His bonus matched MLB's estimated recommendation for the No. 37 slot in 2009. The Blue Jays failed to sign Kentucky lefthander James Paxton with that pick a year ago.
Although the two players will be roommates at next week's Tournament of Stars, Southeast Guilford High shortstop Josh Tobias from Greensboro, N.C., and Edison High shortstop Christian Lopes from Huntington Beach, Calif., went head-to-head in PG National's postgame festivities Saturday night.
After five games took place, most players participated in the 60-yard dash and then 18 players were picked for a metal-bat home run derby.
Tobias came out as the best in both events.
First, in the 60-yard dash, Tobias posted the best time of the group at 6.35 seconds, which drew some oohs and aahs from the crowd. Tobias said he has been working hard to improve his speed.
[...] Continue Reading »
The Perfect Game National Showcase is loaded with some of the country's best players. The event does a great job of getting many of the top high school players under one roof, and they're not afraid to flaunt it. In fact, the cover of this year's program features the photos of 19 players drafted in the first or supplemental first round this year that were at the 2009 National Showcase.
It's been a bit of a blur trying to soak it all in, which is why most teams have small armies of scouts camped out at the event. Many players have stood out so far and a more in-depth recap of the event will come later.
Yesterday's grueling 14-hour day doesn't leave much time for blogging, but I did catch up with one of today's standouts, righthander Joe Ross, whose brother, Tyson, is a rookie for the Oakland Athletics.
[...] Continue Reading »
One sandwich pick signed and another agreed to terms today. Connecticut third baseman Mike Olt, the 49th overall pick, signed with the Rangers for $717,300. California high school righthander Taijuan Walker, the No. 43 selection, agreed to terms with the Mariners for what the Associated Press has reported is an $800,000 bonus.
Olt's bonus is nearly identical to the $717,000 that Pirates righthander Victor Black got as the No. 49 pick a year ago. Last year's No. 43 choice, Reds righthander Brad Boxberger, signed for $857,000–above the estimated MLB recommendation of $789,300 for that slot.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct Olt's bonus.
First-round pick Cito Culver and the Yankees have agreed to terms on a $954,000 bonus. Culver, the No. 32 overall pick, received the estimated MLB recommendation for his slot a year ago. Last year's No. 32 choice, Cubs outfielder Tim Wheeler, signed for $900,000.
There were several memorable moments (many of which can be seen by following @conorglassey on Twitter), but the highlight of the day was Redmond (Wash.) High righthander Dylan Davis striking out all six batters he faced over two innings of work.
Davis' four-seam fastball was sitting 92-93 mph and touched 94. He also mixed in a slider in the 81-84 range. His slider is a little short, like a cutter, and he also throws a two-seam fastball and an occasional changeup.
[...] Continue Reading »
Southern Arkansas righthander Hayden Simpson, the 16th overall pick in the draft, has agreed to terms with the Cubs on a $1.06 million bonus. His signing is expected to become official this weekend.
Simpson, rated No. 191 on Baseball America's Top 200 Prospects list, was the biggest surprise selection in the first round. While the Cubs believed he was a legitimate first-round talent, they also took a discount on MLB's recommended bonus for the No. 16 slot, which was $1.512 million in 2009. Had Chicago waited until the second round to draft him, the slot for that pick (No. 65) was nearly $1 million less ($562,500) a year ago.
It's believed that the Cubs and Simpson worked out a deal shortly before the team made the pick official.
Two more sandwich picks have signed. Madison (Miss.) Central high outfielder Ryan Bolden received an $829,800 bonus from the Angels as the No. 40 pick, while The Citadel righthander Asher Wojciechowski got $814,500 from the Blue Jays at No. 41.
Both bonuses matched MLB's slot recommendations for those picks from a year ago.
Wojiechowski received more than the two supplemental first-rounders Toronto drafted ahead of him, Aaron Sanchez ($775,000 at No. 34) and Noah Syndergaard ($600,000 at No. 38).
The MLB Urban Youth Academy is a free baseball (and softball) training complex that encompasses more than 20 acres on the campus of El Camino College's Compton Center. The facility offers free instruction and hosts many events year-round. This year, 25 players were drafted that participated in events at the complex.
“It is most gratifying to see so many outstanding student-athletes that have come through the Academy selected in the MLB first-Year Player Draft,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, Major League Baseball. “While this is just a part of our work at the Academy, it is very rewarding to witness the success of these young men.”
Here are the players drafted with MLB Urban Youth Academy experience. . .
[...] Continue Reading »
The Red Sox announced the signing of first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek today. Vitek, a Ball State second baseman who will convert to center field, signed for $1,359,000.
The 20th overall pick in the draft, Vitek received the same bonus as last year's No. 20 pick, Chad Jenkins of the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays have announced the signing of two of their three sandwich picks, high school righthanders Aaron Sanchez (the No. 34 overall pick) and Noah Syndergaard (No. 38).
Sanchez signed for $775,000. Last year's slot recommendation at No. 34 was $918,000.
Syndergaard signed for $600,000. That's less than MLB's 2009 slot recommendation of $858,600 for the No. 38 choice but more than the money he would have received if he has gone in the fourth or fifth round as expected.
The Astros have agreed to terms with two of their top three draft picks, though the deals haven't been officially completed yet. Mike Foltynewicz, the No. 19 overall pick, has agreed to a $1.305 million bonus. Mike Kvasnicka, the No. 33 choice, has agreed to a bonus worth $936,000.
Foltynewicz, a righthander from Minooka (Ill.) Community High, received slighlty less than the $1.386 million estimated slot for the No. 19 pick in 2009. The Cardinals gave righthander Shelby Miller, who fell because of signability concerns, a $2.875 million bonus at No. 19 a year ago.
Kvasnicka, a catcher/outfielder from Minnesota, got a bonus equaling the estimated slot for the No. 33 choice in 2009. The Mariners gave catcher Steven Baron, another tough sign, $980,000 at No. 33 last year.
Houston's top pick, Woodward Academy (College Park, Ga.) outfielder Delino DeShields (No. 8 overall), remains unsigned.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to correct Foltynewicz's bonus.
The Red Sox have agreed to terms with supplemental first-round pick Bryce Brentz for $892,000. An outfielder from Middle Tennessee State, Brent will report to short-season Lowell.
Brentz was the 36th overall pick in the 2010 draft. His bonus is identical to that received by last year's No. 36 choice, Dodgers lefthander Aaron Miller.
The Rays signed No. 31 overall pick Justin O'Conner today for $1.025 million. A catcher from Cowan High (Muncie, Ind.), O'Conner becomes the fourth of the 32 first-round picks this year to sign.
O'Conner is the first of the four signed first-rounders to receive a larger bonus than the corresponding pick in the 2009 draft. Last year's No. 31 choice, Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson, signed for $972,000.
Auburn and UCLA led the way among the most popular sources of 2010 draft talent, as both schools had 11 players picked. Auburn's top selection was surprisingly outfielder Trent Mummey, who went in the fourth round to the Orioles. UCLA's top selection was second-round lefthander Rob Rasmussen, drafted 73rd overall by the Marlins.
Four schools checked in next with 10 players picked: Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and San Diego. Two junior colleges, Southern Nevada and San Jacinto (Texas), as well as Division II Tampa, were among the six schools next in line with nine.
Six U.S. high schools had three players picked apiece: Barbe High in Lake Charles, La.; Brandon (Fla.) High; Lakeland (Fla.) High; Scripps Ranch (Calif.) High; Upland (Calif.) High; and Walsh Jesuit High in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
• Mr. Irrelevant, baseball style, is Matt Rice, the catcher out of Western Kentucky. He's interesting on many levels—he performs (.369/.446/.585) despite an unorthodox stance and swing, and he's Western Kentucky's first-ever Rhodes Scholar candidate.
Also popped in the 50th and final round were NFL draft picks Chad Jones (Brewers) and Golden Tate (Giants). Jones is a great pick, frankly. Drafted as an outfielder, he has all kinds of athletic ability as he showed in Omaha last year, with speed to patrol the outfield and a powerful left arm that allowed him to become LSU's top setup man down the stretch last year. He hit 92 mph repeatedly in last year's College World Series while showing off a nice slider.
• Two Georgia preps went out in the 37th round, much lower than they hoped. Outfielder Trey Griffin, an Oklahoma State signee, was expected to go in the first 10 rounds earlier this season but is raw at the plate. He's the half-brother of Orioles farmhand and 2008 second-round pick Xavier Avery. Another excellent athlete, 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander Demondre Arnold, went to the Rays in that round, pick 1,121. [...] Continue Reading »
The Rangers have signed both of their first-rounders, while the Phillies have agreed to terms with theirs in a deal expected to be announced tomorrow.
Jake Skole, an outfielder from Blessed Trinity High (Roswell, Ga.) and the 15th overall pick, signed with Texas for $1.557 million, MLB's bonus recommendation for his slot. Skole will give up a football scholarship to Georgia Tech, while the Rangers will take advantage of MLB's provisions for two-sport athletes and spread his bonus payments over three years.
Kellin Deglan, a catcher from Mountain Secondary School (Langley, B.C.), got a below-slot $1 million bonus from the Rangers as the No. 22 choice.
Jesse Biddle, a lefthander from Germantown Friends High in Philadelphia, has agreed to a $1.16 million bonus with his hometown team. The 27th overall pick, he received a bonus that matches MLB's slot recommendation.
It may not bring the same fame that comes with the NFL Draft's final spot (and no free trip to Newport Beach, Calif.), but the 2010 baseball Mr. Irrelevant is Western Kentucky catcher Matt Rice, who was selected with the 1,525th pick of the 2010 draft by the Yankees.
Rice had a very solid junior season for the Hilltoppers this year–he led the team with a .369 batting average and a .446 on-base percentage while slugging .585. He was also named a second-team academic all-American and was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench award, given to the nation's top college catcher.
Last year's Mr. Irrelevant, Alibay Barkley did sign and hit .389 in limited action (18 at-bats) with the Angels Arizona League club last year.
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