MLB Draft Losers

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Everyone who watched the first round on the MLB network
It was their first try, but MLB really botched this by giving us a
panel of Harold Reynolds, Josh Hart and MLB scouting bureau director
Frank Marcos, all of whom liked all 32 picks. Hart is still picking up
a paycheck from the Rangers, so he had nothing interesting to say.
Marcos was especially bad as the one supposed expert. Meanwhile,
Baseball America’s Jim Callis, who knew more about the prospects than
all three panelists put together, was shoved off into a corner
somewhere to be given 15 seconds of air-time every half hour.

N.Y. Yankees – Might the Bombers have some actual
budgetary concerns after all? The first pick, Slade Heathcott, was a
first-round talent, but the Yankees shouldn’t have to go above slot to
sign him, and they chose to shy away from expensive players later on.
Second-rounder J.R. Murphy was their only other player in Baseball
America’s top 100 and he came in at No. 95. Fifth-rounder Caleb Cotham
could be the toughest sign in the bunch. The Red Sox, in comparison,
took five top-100 players and another in Branden Kline who could have
been there. It wasn’t about opportunity: the Red Sox had just one more
pick, that being a third-rounder. Of course, it’s possible that the
Yankees are merely saving up for the international signing period.

Atlanta – With the highest pick they’ve had since 1991,
the Braves suddenly chose to play it safe and draft a potential third
or fourth starter in Vanderbilt lefty Mike Minor. Granted, the draft
didn’t have a ton of high upside players, but there were plenty of
intriguing high school arms on the table and it was stunning that the
Braves didn’t grab one of them. Minor was just the second collegiate
they drafted in the first round since Mike Kelly in 1991, the other
being Joey Devine in 2005. Incredibly, you have to go back to 1978 and
first overall pick Bob Horner to come up with the last collegiate
first-rounder to turn in a nice career for the Braves.

Max Stassi – Stassi was viewed by many as the top catcher
in the draft, yet his bonus demands knocked him into the fourth round,
where he was taken by the A’s. He’s hardly Oakland’s only potential
tough sign, so he’s probably UCLA bound.

Jacob deGrom outduels Clayton Kershaw, Mets take 1-0 NLDS lead

Jacob de Grom
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.

deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.

In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.

Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.

deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.

Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.

Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.