31 Special

Considering 31 was the jersey number of former Duke basketball all-American Shane Battier as well as future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, it’s fitting it’s been one of the more eventful rounds of the afternoon.

Keaton Hayenga, a projectable righthander who showed lots of promise last summer but never really put everything together this spring, was the first intriguing selection, going to Kansas City.

The Rockies popped Israel Troupe, an uber-athlete who has committed to play football at Georgia following an outstanding career at Tift County High in tiny Tifton, Ga.

Astros’ 31st-rounder Jason Dominguez from Pepperdine, is the older brother of Matt Dominguez, the Marlins’ first-round pick (12th overall) yesterday from Chatsworth (Calif.) High. Matt Dominguez was the ace pitcher on Chatsworth’s national title team in 2004.

I love the Dodgers’ 31st-rounder, Rafael Thomas, who like Troupe was a standout specialist as a football player. The Lufkin (Texas) High product made the initial cut of USA Baseball’s junior national team last summer before being one of 18 players cut before the team played in Cuba.

And the Toronto Blue Jays became the first team to stop drafting, passing in the 31st round and thanking the commissioner’s office.

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