• 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.
• Round 38: Utah Valley's Jace Brinkerhoff (Angels) ranked among the national batting leaders this season, hitting .456/.518/.710 with 13 home runs. The Twins popped injured Houston righthander Jared Ray, who was projected as the Cougars' ace in the preseason but never pitched during the season, as a summer follow. And the Diamondbacks took one of the better catch-and-throw defenders in the country in Graham, N.C., catcher Matt Roberts, a North Carolina recruit. Another member of that recruiting class, righthander Andrew Smith, lasted until the 40th round, where Oakland snagged him.
• In Round 39, the Nationals started with righthander John Simms, a Rice recruit who was the prep rival of another Rice recruit, Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick. We liked Simms at last year's Area Code Games.
The Cardinals got righty Ian Parry, who was Furman's ace. He was a favorite of opposing Southern Conference coaches, and no, not because he gave up 34 homers the last two seasons. Parry has a below-average fastball but throws from a variety of arm angles and has several different breaking balls as well as excellent command (175-47 K-BB ratio in 179.1 IP the last two seasons).
Also in the 39th round, the Rangers popped righthander Andrew Woolley of Alabama-Birmingham, who was an unsigned Braves fifth-rounder a year ago. Woolley throws hard but didn't perform well this season (3-4, 7.03).
The Diamondbacks took Garrett Nash, an infielder who missed the last two seasons at Oregon State while serving a mission trip for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was one of the fastest players available in the 2007 draft, when he was a fourth-round pick.
• Two Floridians drafted in the 40s have little chance to sign. Florida State's most valuable player may be outfielder/closer Mike McGee, who lasted until Round 41, where the Diamondbacks picked him. The Phillies took one of the state's top prep lefties in Jimmy Hodgskin, who's headed to Troy.
• In the 44th round, the Indians took Nevada's top player, righthander/DH Brock Stassi. He's also the older brother of Athletics prospect Max Stassi. The Mets popped physical lefty Kevin Gelinas, who took a medical redshirt at UC Santa Barbara. Gelinas has been a tease at Pepperdine, Central Arizona CC and now UCSB, touching 94 at times in the past with his fastball, but all his best performances have come in summer ball. Detroit drafted Florida Gulf Coast signee Ricky Knapp, the son of pitching coach Rick Knapp. Detroit drafted Ben Verlander, a righthander like his older brother Justin.
• East Carolina had a tough season, failing to make regionals, and that extended to outfielder Devin Harris, who was an unsigned eighth-rounder as an eligible sophomore last season. This year, even though Harris still has plus raw power and arm strength and hit .314/.392/.589, he fell 40 rounds in the draft. The Giants stopped his free-fall in the 48th round. One round later, the Mariners selected Colton Keough, brother of A's farmhand Shane, son of "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Jeana and son of ex-big leaguer Matt.
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