We’ll have pick-by-pick coverage of the draft on Circling the Bases
tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET, but in the meantime here are the top
10 picks projected by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and Jim Callis of Baseball America:
Pick/Team Mayo Callis
1. Nationals Stephen Strasburg, RHP Stephen Strasburg, RHP
2. Mariners Dustin Ackley, OF/1B Dustin Ackley, OF/1B
3. Padres Mike Minor, LHP Donavan Tate, OF
4. Pirates Aaron Crow, RHP Aaron Crow, RHP
5. Orioles Zach Wheeler, RHP Zach Wheeler, RHP
6. Giants Tyler Matzek, LHP Tyler Matzek, LHP
7. Braves Alex White, RHP Alex White, RHP
8. Reds Mike Leake, RHP Mike Minor, LHP
9. Tigers Jacob Turner, RHP Rex Brothers, LHP
10. Nationals Drew Storen, RHP Drew Storen, RHP
Mayo and Callis both have the top 10 dominated by pitching, and there’s
quite a bit of agreement within their projections. San Diego State
phenom Stephen Strasburg at No. 1 and North Carolina hitting machine
Dustin Ackley at No. 2 seem all but guaranteed, but no one is quite
sure what the Padres will do at No. 3 and Aaron Crow’s potential
signability issues could potentially shake things up after that.
Interestingly, both projections have Washington taking Stanford
closer Drew Storen at No. 10, which makes sense given that he’s
considered the most MLB-ready reliever in the draft and the Nationals’
bullpen has been historically awful. If they can get Strasburg signed
and take Storen with their second first-round pick, the Nationals’
pitching staff could look a lot different time next year.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.