MLB draft – Picks No. 25-32

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Angels selected outfielder Mike Trout with the 25th pick in the draft.
Unlike
Randal Grichuk, Trout was expected to go at least this high. It’s
expected that he’ll start switch-hitting in the pros, and he’s
displayed 15- or 20-homer power as a right-handed hitter. He has the
range to play center and a great arm. He’s a nice pick.

Brewers chose Indiana RHP Eric Arnett with the 26th pick in the draft.
Arnett,
a 6-foot-5 right-hander, has a strong low-90s fastball that should
generate grounders. He doesn’t have a second above average pitch yet,
but the Brewers will work with him on his slider and changeup. 26th
overall seems about right.

Mariners selected high school shortstop Nick Franklin with the 27th pick.
The
switch-hitting Franklin doesn’t stand out when it comes to tools, but
he has enough range to be a major league shortstop and he should be
able to hit singles and doubles from both sides of the plate. He’s a
fine pick for a Mariners team that needs a shortstop of the future.

Red Sox selected high school outfielder Reymond Fuentes with the 28th pick.
It
figured that Boston would go with a signability player, but Fuentes
doesn’t really qualify. An outfielder from Puerto Rico, Fuentes is a
Jacoby Ellsbury-type and he could be another leadoff hitting center
fielder for the Red Sox.

Yankees selected high school outfielder Slade Heathcott with the 29th pick in the draft.
This
is the Yankees’ compensation pick for failing to sign their first
rounder last year. Heathcott projects as a right fielder with 25-homer
power. He may not hit for average, and he has had injury issues,
including a torn ACL that limited him this year.

Rays selected infielder-outfielder LeVon Washington with 30th pick in the draft.
Washington
was viewed as a center fielder by most, but the Rays have drafted him
at second base. They figure to have more of a need there than in the
outfielder by the time he’s ready. A true burner, Washington could be a
40- or 50-steal guy. He won’t hit for much power.

Cubs chose California outfielder Brett Jackson with the 31st pick in the draft.
Jackson
hit .321/.407/.564 with 11 steals in 16 attempts for California this
season. He has a solid all-around game, but he doesn’t offer vast
amounts of power and, if he can’t last in center, he may be a tweener
fourth outfielder rather than a major league regular.

Rockies selected Sacramento State outfielder Tim Wheeler with the 32nd and final pick of the first round.
Colorado
picked up this pick from the Angels as compensation for losing Brian
Fuentes. Wheeler, a left-handed hitter, is a legitimate center fielder
with leadoff potential and doubles power. For where they picked, the
Rockies, who selected left-hander Tyler Matzek 11th overall, had an
excellent first round.

See analysis of picks 17-24, 9-16, and 1-8.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.