Super Bowl Trivia: Four players on the rosters of the Super Bowl XLV participants, the Packers and Steelers, were drafted as baseball players. Who are they? Answer below.
The 2011 draft order is one transaction away from being set. With Carl Pavano (Twins) and Aaron Heilman (Diamondbacks) re-upping with their former teams, and Chad Qualls moving from the Rays to the Padres, that leaves Felipe Lopez as the only remaining compensation free agent on the market. Lopez is a Type B free agent, so if he signs a major league deal with another club, the Red Sox will get the 48th overall pick.
Here's the updated draft order:
7. Diamondbacks (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Barret Loux)
10. Padres (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Karsten Whitson)
15. Brewers (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Dylan Covey)
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez, Type A)
21. Blue Jays
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn, Type A)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford, Type A)
26. Red Sox (from Rangers for Adrian Beltre, Type A)
31. Rays (from Yankees for Rafael Soriano, Type A)
33. Rangers (from Phillies for Cliff Lee, Type A)
Supplemental First Round
34. Nationals (Dunn)
35. Blue Jays (for Scott Downs, Type A, to Angels)
36. Red Sox (Martinez)
37. Rangers (Lee)
38. Rays (Crawford)
39. Phillies (for Jayson Werth, Type A, to Nationals)
40. Red Sox (Beltre)
41. Rays (Soriano)
42. Rays (for Grant Balfour, Type A, to Athletics)
43. Diamondbacks (for Adam LaRoche, Type B, to Nationals)
44. Mets (for Pedro Feliciano, Type B, to Yankees)
45. Rockies (for Octavio Dotel, Type B, to Blue Jays)
46. Blue Jays (for John Buck, Type B, to Marlins)
47. White Sox (for J.J. Putz, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
47a. Red Sox (if Felipe Lopez, Type B, signs a big league deal elsewhere)
48. Padres (for Jon Garland, Type B, to Dodgers)
49. Giants (for Juan Uribe, Type B, to Dodgers)
50. Twins (for Orlando Hudson, Type B, to Padres)
51. Yankees (for Javier Vazquez, Type B, to Marlins)
52. Rays (for Joaquin Benoit, Type B, to Tigers)
53. Blue Jays (for Miguel Olivo, Type B, to Mariners)
54. Padres (for Yorvit Torrealba, Type B, to Rangers)
55. Twins (for Jesse Crain, Type B, to White Sox)
56. Rays (for Randy Choate, Type B, to Marlins)
57. Blue Jays (for Kevin Gregg, Type B, to Orioles)
58. Padres (for Kevin Correia, Type B, to Pirates)
59. Rays (for Brad Hawpe, Type B, to Padres)
60. Rays (for Chad Qualls, Type B, to Padres)
66. Phillies (from Nationals for Werth)
74. Blue Jays (from Angels for Downs)
75. Rays (from Athletics for Balfour)
Supplemental Third Round
121. Mariners (for failure to sign 2010 third-rounder Ryne Stanek)
Trivia Answer: Quarterback Dennis Dixon (who's on injured reserve), running back Mewelde Moore and wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and Hines Ward, all of the Steelers.
Dixon was drafted twice, in the 20th round out of high school in 2003 by the Reds and in the fifth round out of Oregon in 2007 by the Braves. He signed with Atlanta for $137,700 and hit .176/.322/.216 in one season of Rookie ball. The Padres signed Moore out of high school in the fourth round of the 2000 draft, and he batted .210/.294/.284 in three seasons at Rookie-level Idaho Falls while also attending Tulane.
Randle El and Ward both turned down major league clubs out of high school. The Cubs selected Randle El in the 14th round of the 1997 draft, while the Marlins took Ward in the 73rd round in 1994.
Top 10? I had to go 15 deep to include everyone who made my personal Top 50 Prospects list in the 2011 Prospect Handbook (which is now shipping, by the way) and the two best pitching prospects in the 2011 draft. Here's what I came up with:
1. Julio Teheran, rhp, Braves (age 21 on Opening Day).
The best pitching prospect around, regardless of age.
2. Jameson Taillon, rhp, Pirates (19).
His $6.5 million bonus is the second-highest in draft history.
3. Shelby Miller, rhp, Cardinals (20).
Has vaulted to top of deep 2009 prep pitching class.
4. Jacob Turner, rhp, Tigers (19).
That group also included Turner and Nos. 7 and 10 below.
5. Matt Moore, lhp, Rays (21).
Led minors in strikeouts in both 2009 and 2010.
6. Gerrit Cole, rhp, UCLA (20).
He should be the first pitcher drafted in June . . .
7. Matt Purke, lhp, Texas Christian (20).
. . . unless it's this fellow former first-round pick.
8. John Lamb, lhp, Royals (20).
Flew under draft radar in 2008 after breaking elbow in auto accident.
9. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals (21).
Kansas City drafted Lamb, Montgomery and Eric Hosmer in 2008.
10. Tyler Matzek, lhp, Rockies (20).
Could rocket up this list if he gets his command back.
11. Randall Delgado, rhp, Braves (21).
Overshadowed by Teheran, but nearly as good.
12. Casey Kelly, rhp, Padres (21).
San Diego wouldn't have traded Adrian Gonzalez without getting Kelly.
13. Martin Perez, lhp, Rangers (19).
Stalled somewhat in Double-A, but he got there at age 18.
14. Anthony Ranaudo, rhp, Red Sox (21).
Getting him in 2010 draft made Boston more comfortable dealing Kelly.
15. Trey McNutt, rhp, Cubs (21).
Chicago stole a guy with two potential plus-plus pitches in 2009's 32nd round.
The 2011 indeed is deeper than usual, and that perception comes solely from the ability and not the signability of the players involved. The college pitching crop is exceptional, starting with potential No. 1overall picks UCLA's Gerrit Cole and Texas Christian's Matt Purke and top-10-caliber talents in Texas' Taylor Jungmann, Connecticut's Matt Barnes, Vanderbilt's Sonny Gray, Georgia Tech's Jed Bradley, Virginia's Danny Hultzen, UCLA's Trevor Bauer and Texas A&M's John Stilson. The college hitters are better than usual, headlined by the draft's best prospect in Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and outfielders George Springer (Connecticut) and Jackie Bradley (South Carolina).
There are plenty of attractive high school prospects as well. As with the collegians, the prepsters stand out most for their pitching: Archie Bradley (Broken Arrow, Okla., HS), Daniel Norris (Science Hill HS, Johnson City, Tenn.), Dylan Bundy (Owasso, Okla., HS), Henry Owens (Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.), Dillon Howard (Searcy, Ark., HS) and Jose Fernandez (Alonso HS, Tampa). The high school hitting class is also solid, led by outfielder Bubba Starling (Gardner-Edgerton HS, Gardner, Kan.), shortstop Francisco Lindor (Montverde, Fla., Academy), outfielder Josh Bell (Jesuit College Prep, Dallas) and catcher Blake Swihart (Cleveland HS, Rio Rancho, N.M.).
High school players do figure to be more likely to sign this year, not so much because they fear mandated draft slotting but because the teams do. Clubs figure this will be their last chance to spend whatever they want on the draft, which also could make it their last chance to sign talented high school players who slide past the first or second round. Teams spent a record $194.8 million on draft bonuses last year, including $75.1 million on 76 above-slot deals for high schoolers, and those numbers are only going to go up in 2011.
The Nationals and Orioles have said publicly that Harper and Machado both will begin the season in the low Class A South Atlantic League. The Pirates haven't been as definitive, but righthander Jameson Taillon also appears headed to the Sally League, which would give the circuit the top three picks from the 2010 draft. Harper is ticketed for Hagerstown, Taillon for West Virginia and Machado for Delmarva.
All three players are precociously talented enough to earn a promotion before the end of the year, but prospect watchers will have several chances to watch them in action against each in the season's first half:
|April 25-29: Hagerstown (Harper) at West Virginia (Taillon)
May 9-12: Delmarva (Machado) at Hagerstown (Harper)
May 25-28: West Virginia (Taillon) at Delmarva (Machado)
June 5-7: Delmarva (Machado) at West Virginia (Taillon)
June 9-11: Hagerstown (Harper) at Delmarva (Machado)
June 16-19: Delmarva (Machado) at Hagerstown (Harper)