Archive for the ‘MLB Draft’ Category

Early Progression Of 2009 First Round Draft Picks

Now that the deadline has passed for 2009 draft picks to sign with their teams, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the first round selections, where they landed, and how they’re doing.

1. Stephen Strasburg, 21, RHP (Washington Nationals) – Expected to make his debut with the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.

2. Dustin Ackley, 21, 1B (Seattle Mariners) – Expected to make his debut with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League

3. Donavan Tate, 18, OF (San Diego Padres) – Expected to make his debut in 2010 due to injury.

4. Tony Sanchez, 21, C (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Hitting .331 with 6 homeruns and 42 RBI in 40 games between State College (A-, New York-Penn League) and West Virginia (A, South Atlantic League); he was named the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week on August 17.

5. Matt Hobgood, 19, RHP (Baltimore Orioles) – Has compiled a 1-1 record, 5.40 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 21.2 innings over seven starts for the Bluefield Orioles (R, Appalachian League).

6. Zack Wheeler, 19, RHP (San Francisco Giants) Expected to make his debut in 2010.

7. Mike Minor, 21, LHP (Atlanta Braves) – Has started two games for the Rome Braves (A, South Atlantic League), allowing no runs on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.  He will play for the Peoria Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League.

8. Mike Leake, 21, RHP (Cincinnati Reds) – Expected to make his debut in the Arizona Fall League; he was not on the original roster because he signed after rosters were submitted, but the Reds are petitioning to add him.

9. Jacob Turner, 18, RHP (Detroit Tigers) – Appears to be looking at instructional leagues this fall and winter, leading into a 2010 debut.

10. Drew Storen, 22, RHP (Washington Nationals) – Has made stops at Hagerstown (A, South Atlantic League), Potomac (A+, Carolina League), and Harrisburg (AA, Eastern League), compiling a 1-1 record, 2.14 ERA and nine saves in 25 games.  He has struck out 44 batters in 33.2 innings and will pitch for Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League.

11. Tyler Matzek, 18, LHP (Colorado Rockies) – Indicated soon after signing that he was headed to the Pioneer League, but has compiled no stats and does not appear to be slated for the AFL.

12. Aaron Crow, 22, RHP (Kansas City Royals) – One of three first rounders who did not sign prior to the deadline, Crow’s lack of college eligibility actually gives the Royals until just before next year’s draft to sign him.

13. Grant Green, 21, SS (Oakland Athletics) – Doesn’t have any stats yet and I can’t find anything that says where he might be headed.

14. Matt Purke, 19, LHP (Texas Rangers) – Did not sign; will attend Texas Christian University.

15. Alex White, 21, RHP (Cleveland Indians) – Will not pitch this season due to a heavy workload in college; he may make his debut in the AFL.

16. Bobby Borchering, 18, 3B (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Hitting .167 with one homerun and four RBI in eight games for the Missoula Osprey (R, Pioneer League).

17. A.J. Pollock, 21, OF (Arizona Diamondbacks) – Hitting .269 with three homeruns and 22 RBI in 54 games for the South Bend Silver Hawks (A, Midwest League).

18. Chad James, 18, LHP (Florida Marlins) – Doesn’t have any stats yet and I can’t find anything that says where he might be headed.

19. Shelby Miller, 18, RHP (St. Louis Cardinals) – Reportedly assigned to the Quad Cities River Bandits (A, Midwest League), but has not appeared in a game yet.

20. Chad Jenkins, 21, RHP (Toronto Blue Jays) – There’s a Chad Jenkins pitching in the Nationals system, but it’s not the same one, which is weird because Washington was looking at this Chad Jenkins prior to the draft.  I’m not sure where the Blue Jays’ Jenkins has landed.

21. Jiovanni Mier, 19, SS (Houston Astros) – Hitting .277 with six homeruns, 27 RBI, and ten stolen bases for the Greeneville Astros (R, Appalachian League).

22. Kyle Gibson, 21, RHP (Minnesota Twins) – Not sure where he will land; had a stress fracture in his arm that caused him to drop in the first round, not sure how that’s still affecting him.

23. Jared Mitchell, 20, OF (Chicago White Sox) – Hitting .296 with no homeruns and ten RBI in 34 games for the Kannapolis Intimidators (A, South Atlantic League).

24. Randal Grichuk, 18, OF (Los Angeles Angels) – Hitting .329 with seven homeruns (five in the last nine games), 53 RBI, and ten triples in 52 games for the AZL Angels (R, Arizona Summer League).

25. Mike Trout, 18, OF (Los Angeles Angels) – Hitting .369 with one homerun, 25 RBI, and seven triples in 38 games for the AZL Angels (R, Arizona Summer League).

26. Eric Arnett, 21, RHP (Milwaukee Brewers) – Has compiled an 0-3 record with a 4.57 ERA in 11 games (six starts) for the Helena Brewers (R, Pioneer League).

27. Nick Franklin, 18, SS (Seattle Mariners) – Hitting .282 with one homerun and four RBI in nine games for the AZL Mariners (R, Arizona Summer League).

28. Reymond Fuentes, 18, OF (Boston Red Sox) – Hitting .296 with one homerun and 14 RBI in 39 games for the GCL Red Sox (R, Gulf Coast League).

29. Zachary Heathcott, 18, OF (New York Yankees) – Hitting .100 with no homeruns and no RBI in three games for the GCL Yankees (R, Gulf Coast League).

30. LeVon Washington, 18, OF (Tampa Bay Rays) – Did not sign; will attend Chipola College.

31. Brett Jackson, 21, OF (Chicago Cubs) – Hitting .325 with seven homeruns and 35 RBI between stops with the AZL Cubs (R, Arizona Summer League), Boise (A-, Northwest League), and Peoria (A, Midwest League).

32. Tim Wheeler, 21, OF (Colorado Rockies) – Hitting .256 with four homeruns and 31 RBI in 60 games for the Tri-City Dust Devils (A-, Northwest League).

From MLB Draft Pick to NCAA Champion?

C.J. Henry (Getty Images)

C.J. Henry (Getty Images)

I know, I’m like you. That sounds totally backward to me.

In the course of doing research for an upcoming college basketball project, I looked into the much-vaunted Henry brothers, both of whom were set to play for the Memphis Tigers this season before coach John Calipari bolted for Kentucky. Instead, the brothers opted to switch their allegiance to the University of Kansas, which happens to be my alma mama, and that of Henry mom and pop, both of whom starred in basketball there.

This is all nice, Eric, but what does it have to do with baseball?

Well, while both Xavier and C.J. Henry are listed as freshmen on the KU roster, only one of them is truly a spring chicken. Xavier is a hotly-recruited blue-chipper who is only in college because of NBA rules. C.J. is a 23-year-old walk on who spent four years swinging a bat for the farm clubs of the Yanks and Phillies before deciding his future lay on the hardwood.

The Yankees made Henry – a 6’3″, 205-lb. shortstop from Oklahoma City – the #17 pick of the 2005 June draft. That’s the draft that gave us Justin Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ryan Braun, not to mention Troy Tulowitzki and our hero, Jay Bruce. For perspective, the following players were drafted lower in the first round than C.J. Henry: Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Colby Rasmus, and Clay Buchholz.

The elder Henry brother had a modest first season with the GCL Yankees, then started 2006 with the Charleston RiverDogs. 77 games into the Sally League season, he was traded to the Phillies as part of the deal that sent Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to New York. Henry was racking up errors as a shortstop, and his hitting was nothing to write home about, so 2007 saw him auditioning at third base and every position in the outfield for the Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws. The experiment failed, and Henry was released.

Believe it or not, that wasn’t his last gasp. The Yankees re-signed CJ in 2008 and even moved him up a level, to the A+ Tampa Yankees. He played in 20 games, put up a .237 average with no errors in left field, and then abruptly quit. He walked on at Memphis but sat out the season as a redshirt with a foot injury. Then Calipari left, and CJ rode his younger brother’s coattails to national title contender KU.

C.J. Henry has actually played this pretty well. As a walk-on, he doesn’t have to take up a precious scholarship, which would probably have limited his options, though his ability to bring his superstar kid brother along might have induced someone to burn one on a guy who might still be able to play. At 23, he probably still has his skill-set intact, and he had a year of practice time while sitting out at Memphis to shake off some of the rust. One assumes he still has some of his bonus-baby money to keep him in pizza and beer while he lives the college life. Even if he isn’t a major contributor, he’s going to be a member of a team that has Final Four written all over it.

They say there are no second acts in American lives. C.J. Henry begs to differ.

It’s Deadline Day For MLB Draftees – Lots To Do, Lots To Do

As mentioned here the other night, today is the deadline for major league organizations to come to terms with the players they selected in June’s First Year Player Draft.  Call me crazy, but this strikes me as one of the more exciting days of the summer.  According to’s Jonathan Mayo, thirteen first-rounders remained unsigned as of early this afternoon:

Stephen Strasburg (No. 1, Washington); Dustin Ackley (No. 2, Seattle); Donavan Tate (No. 3, San Diego); Zach Wheeler (No. 6, San Francisco); Jacob Turner (No. 9, Detroit); Tyler Matzek (No. 11, Colorado); Aaron Crow (No. 12, Kansas City); Grant Green (No. 13, Oakland); Matt Purke (No. 14, Texas); Alex White (No. 15, Cleveland); Shelby Miller (No. 19, St. Louis); Kyle Gibson (No. 22, Minnesota); LeVon Washington (No. 30, Tampa Bay).

Most of those are likely to agree to terms before midnight, which means that the next seven hours should be very busy for all parties involved and very interesting for casual observers such as myself.  I plan on following along throughout the night (or trying to, at least) and trying to keep Bus Leagues updated as much as possible.

Rumor has it that Baseball America is tracking all unsigned picks in the first ten rounds.  Unfortunately, Firefox does not seem to like Baseball America (or vice versa), so I’ll have to take Alex Pedicini’s word for it.

Update (5:24 PM): Rangers Blog at the Dallas Morning News  web site reports that Matt Purke has been in town for about a week (he’s preparing to attend Texas Christian University if a deal can’t be worked out with the Rangers) and negotiations are ongoing.  Jeff Wilson compared and contrasted Purke’s situation with that of Justin Smoak:

That’s about on par with the Justin Smoak negotiations from last year. That ended well for both sides. Purke, though, seems to have a genuine fondness for TCU, and the Tom Glavine fan has been given No. 47 for next season.

Via the comments section of Nationals Journal at the Washington Post, Baseball America’s Jim Callis is reporting that Donavan Tate has been seen in San Diego and could be close to signing with the Padres.  (How’s that for hearsay?) Tate is a Scott Boras client and outstanding athlete who held a football/baseball scholarship offer from North Carolina as negotiating leverage.

Update (5:41 PM): Saw this somewhere a little bit ago, maybe in that Mayo column linked above, but it also just came to me from CBS Sports via Baseball Musings.  The Tampa Bay Rays do not expect to sign either their first or second round picks.  As David Pinto said in his post, “Losing out on two picks has to hurt.”

Update (5:56 PM): Via Yahoo’s Kendall Rogers on Twitter (@ysportsncaabb) about 45 minutes ago, Shelby Miller passed up Texas A&M to sign with the Cardinals.  Rogers also reports that the Aggies also lost K.C. Hobson, Butch Hobson’s son and Toronto’s sixth-round selection.

Update (6:04 PM): Maury Brown is tracking the remaining draft picks and their bonuses at The Biz of Baseball.  He started with seventeen names, including three supplemental first rounders, and has updated two: New York’s Slade Heathcott ($2.2 million) and St. Louis’s Shelby Miller ($2.875 million).  Both signings are well over the recommended slot for their draft positions.

It is noted in the comments that Heathcott announced his signing on his Facebook page.

Update (6:49 PM): LeVon Washington’s willingness to sign with the Rays has changed greatly from Draft Day to Deadline Day.

Cleveland isn’t getting anywhere with Alex White.

Update (7:22 PM): Kendall Rogers hears good things about Kyle Gibson’s chances of signing, bad things about Alex White’s.

Update (9:38 PM): Jon Heyman says that the Padres are close to close to a deal with Donavan Tate (via MLB Trade Rumors).  Gammons apparently sees that news and raises him: picks two through ten have agreed to terms.  No attribution beyond that, so take it with a grain of salt.

Update (10:47 PM): Alex White WANTS to sign with Cleveland.  The two sides just haven’t been able to agree on a deal.

Supplemental pick Kentrail Davis signed with the Brewers.

Maury Brown has three players signed – Miller, Heathcott, and Davis – and I’ve seen stuff here and there that says Tate has also reached an agreement.  Just outside one hour to go – this will either be one hell of a finish, or an amazing cluster you-know-what for next year’s draft.

Update (10:57 PM): By the way, I forgot to mention that I totally friended Slade Heathcott on Facebook earlier (me and hundreds of others, no doubt).  So now I have a friend named Slade, which is really all anyone should want out of life.

Update (10:59 PM): RumorsandRants on Twitter – “Padres officially just announced signing of No. 3 overall pick Donavan Tate”

Update (11:06 PM): ysportsncaabb – “The Tigers also have signed first-round pick Jacob Turner, who was committed to play at North Carolina.”

Update (11:12 PM): The folks at USS Mariner are offering to sweeten any prospective deal for Dustin Ackley.  The Nationals would like to do the same for Stephen Strasburg, according to Jon Heyman.  One of those “sweeteners” involves actual money.

Update (11:28 PM): Donavan Tate is officially a Padre.

Update (11:41 PM): Twenty minutes, ten first-rounders still unsigned (or at least unannounced).  Maury Brown noted on Twitter earlier this hour that news of Aaron Crow’s failure to sign last year didn’t emerge until after 1 PM EST.

Update (11:46 PM): Seattle has scheduled a teleconference with general manager Jack Zduriencik for 9:15 Pacific time.  Announcing a deal, Mr. Z?  I’m sure he hopes so.

Via Twitter: Will Carroll, Aaron Gleeman, and Kendall Rogers note that Kyle Gibson has signed with the Twins.

Eleven minutes to the deadline.

Update (11:51 PM): And there goes Zach Wheeler.  Picks three through ten are now official.

Update (12:00 AM): Tracy Ringolsby breaks the news that Tyler Matzek signed with the Rockies.  Supposedly, the Nationals were very close with Strasburg as the deadline approached, still awaiting final word.

Update (12:04 AM): Ackley and Green have signed.  Strasburg might have signed for more than $15 million over four years.  Crow, Purke, White, and Washington are left from the first round.  Of those, Crow has the ability to continue negotiating because he is not eligible to return to college.  Purke will go to TCU, White will either return to North Carolina or hit the independents, and Washington, I believe, was heading to Florida.

Update (12:10 AM): As soon as I wrote that, I flipped back over to Twitter (that’s where all my info is coming from at the moment) and saw that Baseball America’s Jim Callis is reporting that Alex White has signed with the Indians.

Update (12:19 AM): I usually hear nothing but good things about the MLB Network, but what little coverage I’ve seen tonight has dropped the ball.  They “broke” the story of Strasburg’s signing at almost 12:15, nearly ten minutes after I saw repeated mentions of it on Twitter, were very late on the Tyler Matzek signing, and for some reason teased Zach Wheeler’s deal before unveiling it as though it was the biggest signing of the night.

And maybe I’m just biased because I think this whole signing deadline thing is kinda fun, but couldn’t they have devoted more in-studio attention to the deadline as the clock wound down?  Showing the late innings of a meaningless Yankees-A’s game and going to commercial at 11:59?  I expect better.

Update (12:29 PM): Well, that’s all for me.  After seven hours, it’s time to call it a night.  My brain can’t handle all this stress, and I didn’t even do anything – guys like Keith Law and Jon Heyman and the guys from Baseball America, who do this for a living and know everything that’s going on and keep it all straight, they amaze me.

All I know is that everyone that was supposed to sign, did sign.  Matt Purke clearly wanted to attend college (and who can fault him for that?) so Texas was in a tough spot to begin with.  It was obvious early today that LeVon Washington wasn’t going to become a Tampa Bay Ray.  And I’m sure we’ll be hearing from Aaron Crow and the Kansas City Royals before too long.

Baseball’s Mr. Irrelevants

Every year, the last player chosen in the NFL draft is lauded as Mr. Irrelevant. Sometimes he makes the roster out of training camp, sometimes he doesn’t, but for awhile, at least, he enjoys some measure of semi-celebrity status.

The baseball equivalent, however, has never been as celebrated. This clearly has a lot to do with the fact that Major League Baseball’s draft is nowhere near the event that the NFL draft is – Mel Kiper has been a household name for twenty years, while baseball only started televising the event within the past two or three years.

There is also the problem of visibility. There have been 45 Mr. Irrelevants in major league history. Of those, only two have played in the major leagues, and only then after they went back to school and were selected higher in a later year. Don Wakamatsu, currently the manager of the Seattle Mariners, got into 18 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1991 (both and list Wakamatsu as having been drafted by the Reds in the 11th round in 1985; no mention is made 1984, when he was the last pick, except in the year-by-year databases. Some articles have mentioned his Mr. Irrelevant status).

In 1989, the Houston Astros spent the draft’s 1,490th pick on Desi Wilson, a first baseman from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Wilson’s draft odyssey was interesting to say the least: he was a fifteenth round selection by the Red Sox in 1987, but failed to sign. The Astros took him in the 87th round in 1989 – understandably, he again refused to sign. Finally, the Rangers nabbed him in the 30th round in 1991. He wisely signed. Though his major league career only lasted 41 games, he enjoyed a seventeen year career in professional baseball.

Thirty-two Mr. Irrelevants didn’t even play in the minor leagues, according to the two Web sites referenced above. Between 1985 and 1995, only Wilson had any statistics available. For seven of those years (1989-95), the last pick was made by either the Houston Astros or the Florida Marlins.

At least two of these players are still active. Boston’s Kyle Stroup did not play after being drafted last year but is listed as a member of the Gulf Coast League Red Sox this season, and Los Angeles’ Alibay Barkley was chosen out New York’s George Washington High School just last week. According to the New York Times, he is still undecided between signing a contract immediately or attending junior college for a year and re-entering the draft in 2010.

Major and Minor League Experience

Year Round Pick Team Player Position Years

High Level
1984 51 839 New York Yankees Don Wakamatsu C 12

1989 87 1490 Houston Astros Desi Wilson 1B 17


Minor League Experience

Year Round Pick Team Player Position Years High Level
1977 42 775 St. Louis Cardinals Deron Thomas INF 4 AA
1980 44 832 Cleveland Indians Shanie Dugas SS 10 AAA
1981 44 853 San Francisco Giants Mark Winters LHP 4 High A
1982 47 832 New York Yankees Robert Woodcock 2B 1 Low A
1983 50 827 Texas Rangers Brad Hill OF 4 AA
1996 100 1740 New York Yankees Aron Amundson 3B 2 Independent
1997 92 1607 Tampa Bay Rays Andy Baxter SS 2 Low A
2000 50 1452 Atlanta Braves Drew Jackson OF 5 Rookie
2002 50 1482 St. Louis Cardinals John Powell RHP 2 Rookie
2004 50 1498 Atlanta Braves Eric Gonzalez RHP 2 A
2007 50 1453 New York Yankees Larry Day C 2 A

No Stats Available


Round Pick Team Player Position
1965 72 824 Houston Astros Reginald Thomas OF
1966 63 833 New York Yankees Matt Galante INF
1967 77 975 New York Yankees Donald Van Deusen SS
1968 71 913 Los Angeles Dodgers Carl Amendola C
1969 90 1044 Kansas City Royals James Beal 2B
1970 60 929 Pittsburgh Pirates Anthony Buckley RHP
1971 48 803 Los Angeles Dodgers Don Stackpole C
1972 46 791 San Francisco Giants Carl Wesley OF
1973 52 747 St. Louis Cardinals Bert Francks RHP
1974 41 690 Baltimore Orioles Ron DeGrande OF
1975 37 679 Minnesota Twins Al Arthur RHP
1976 40 713 San Francisco Giants Sammy Bickham RHP
1978 48 779 Cleveland Indians Delbert Stacey RHP
1979 44 870 Pittsburgh Pirates Paul Cox LHP
1985 39 832 Cleveland Indians Clay Parrach 1B
1986 49 891 Baltimore Orioles Daniel Johnston 2B
1987 74 1263 Kansas City Royals Stewart Anthony SS
1988 75 1433 New York Yankees Robert LeFebre OF
1990 99 1489 Houston Astros Jeff Caldwell OF
1991 96 1600 Houston Astros Brian Hudson RHP
1992 50 1412 Florida Marlins James Woods OF
1993 91 1721 Florida Marlins Shawn Summers OF
1994 98 1707 Houston Astros Cameron Saska LHP
1995 87 1666 Florida Marlins Brian Haught SS
1998 50 1446 Arizona Diamondbacks Lucas Gruner C
1999 50 1474 Atlanta Braves Scott Leitz LHP
2001 50 1485 San Francisco Giants P.J. McGinnis RHP
2003 50 1480 Atlanta Braves John Scaglione RHP
2005 50 1501 New York Yankees Blake Heym C
2006 50 1502 St. Louis Cardinals Charles Matthews RHP
2008 50 1504 Boston Red Sox Kyle Stroup RHP
2009 50 1521 Los Angeles Angels Alibay Barkley 1B

Random Thoughts on the Amateur Draft

Just for giggles, I decided to go through the list of players drafted over the last three days and see what came of it.  Lots of interesting names, people, and relationships in there.

1. Washington Nationals – Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State – If not the most talented amateur player ever, then certainly the most hyped.  For me, however, he’s the most elusive.  I’m going on a road trip later this month with my brother and a couple friends, and it seems that every stop on our trip is someplace that Strasburg could be, at some point – Washington, Harrisburg, Troy (when they play Vermont, Washington’s New York-Penn League affiliate).  Unfortunately for us, he won’t be in any of those places when we are.

12. Kansas City Royals – Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth Cats – The Luke Hochevar Experiment is working out so well that the Royals decided to try it again.  Offhand, I can’t think of very many situations where a player went to the independents for a year and had it work out in the long run.  J.D. Drew is the highest profile name that comes to mind.

45. Arizona Diamondbacks – Mike Belfiore, RHP, Boston College – Austin Wood got most of the publicity, good and bad, from the epic BC-Texas game a couple weeks ago, but Belfiore might have risked more, throwing 129 pitches in an effort to get his team the win.

150. Detroit Tigers – Austin Wood, LHP, Texas – The arm is still attached after throwing 199 pitches in twenty-four hours against Boston College, so that’s a good thing.  He’ll be an interesting one to watch in the future, in part because he clearly needs a manager who will know when to draw the line between guts and craziness.

168. Boston Red Sox – Seth Schwindenhammer, OF, Limestone Community HS (IL) – His name is Schwindenhammer.  The Red Sox should promote him right now.  I can’t wait to do an All-Name Team for this draft.

184. Texas Rangers – Ruben Sierra, OF, San Juan Educational School (PR) – I suspected when I saw this last night that this youngster was related to THE Ruben Sierra, and this impressive article confirmed it.  The sheer number of names included in that piece highlights the nice part about the Amateur Draft: because it is so darn long and so many players are selected, teams can afford to take a flyer on a player for personal reasons (see Mike Piazza for an instance where this worked out quite well for both sides).

306. Arizona Diamondbacks – Tyson Van Winkle, C, Gonzaga – I love it when a player comes with a ready-made nickname.  It just makes our work so much easier.  Welcome, Rip.

318. Boston Red Sox – Brandon Jacobs, OF, Parkville HS (GA) – Another name list that needs to be done: the “Hey, somebody famous already has that name!” list.  We should follow the rules of the Screen Actors Guild: if a pro athlete is already “registered” with a name, no one else can use it.  This young man would probably become Don Jacobs, unless he has a middle initial.

412. Washington Nationals – Naoya Washiya, OF, College of the Desert – College of the Desert?  That sounds badass, and apparently they turn out some decent players.  Washiya has an interesting name and story, as well.

630. Detroit Tigers – Giovanni Soto, LHP, no school (PR) – Same theory as Brandon Jacobs, although Soto probably gets a pass because his name is spelled different than the Cubs catcher.  Still, how cool would it be to see a Soto-on-Soto matchup at some point?

850. Toronto Blue Jays – Zachary Outman, RHP, Saint Louis – This makes me think of the commercials I used to see for “American Pie: Band Camp” where Eugene Levy increduously exclaims, “Another Stiffler?!”  Josh Outman already had one of the best names for a pitcher in major league history; now that there’s two of them, they cannot be stopped.

1098. Boston Red Sox – Michael Yastrzemski, OF, St. John’s Prep HS (MA) – We’ll have to see if this is a favor to a local legend or if Yaz The Younger can hold his own on the ballfield.

1442. Kansas City Royals – Kevin Kuntz, SS, Union HS (OK) – The greatest name in baseball history lives on.

1521. Los Angeles Angels – Alibay Barkley, 1B, George Washington HS (NY) – Mr. Irrelevant, MLB Draft-style.

Hey, I Know Him

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this here before, but I used to work for the Nashua Pride.  At the time, the team was managed by former Red Sox infielder Butch Hobson (lovingly referred to in all team promotional materials as “Red Sox legend Butch Hobson”).  Our goal was to infuse a family atmosphere into the ballpark, an objective that was aided by the fact that Butch’s three sons were constantly running around the place.

The Hobsons moved to California a few years ago and Butch took a job managing the Atlantic League team in Southern Maryland, but at some point I heard that the oldest boy, K.C., was a pretty good ballplayer who might have a chance of being drafted.  I thought of that tonight and decided to give it a look.  To my surprise, there it was: with the 190th pick in the draft, the Toronto Blue Jays had taken Kristopher Hobson, outfielder, out of Stockdale High School in Stockdale, California.

Good for K.C. and good for the Hobson family.  I’m not sure what’s coming down with the other two boys – the general consensus was that Hank, the middle son, didn’t have as deep an interest in sports as his brother, and Noah, the third boy, was too young to judge as an athlete when Butch was in Nashua – but it’s nice that at least one of Butch’s sons has the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.

And the really cool, sort of ironic, thing?  K.C. was drafted right out of high school, so he’ll probably start in Rookie or Low A ball.  But if he progresses through the system and jumps a couple levels to AA within the next couple years, he will play for the Fisher Cats in Manchester, New Hampshire, about fifteen minutes up the road from the city where his father led teams to championships in two different leagues.

How to Become a First Round Pick


Listen. I’m not going to pretend I’m OMDQ up in this bitch. My research skills are mediocre at best. But I did spend five minutes making hashmarks on a piece of paper just to satisfy my own curiosity (look out, Baseball America!) Here’s a breakdown showing where our first-round MLB draftees last practiced their trade.

College – 13

High School – 16

Independent Ball – 1

My own home team, the Kansas City Royals, took the lone flyer on an Indie guy, drafting Aaron Crow. For what it’s worth, Crow was drafted last year by the Nats, and went to Indie ball because he didn’t like the pace of negotiations with Washington. So, he’s like better than you’d think, eh?