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.

Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day disabled list with neck inflammation

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The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.

Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.

It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.