University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker is a couple months from being drafted by an NFL team, but in 2009 he was also a 10th-round pick in the MLB draft and signed for a $250,000 bonus that gives the Angels his baseball rights through 2015.
Angels general manager Tony Reagins talked to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com about Locker’s status and suggested that he may choose to play baseball if there’s an NFL work stoppage:
I think there are some factors out there that are going to make his decisions more difficult. The labor situation is one, where he’s selected is one of them. Our eyes are wide open in this regard and we’ll see how it plays out. You always have a chance.
Locker’s football stock has dipped somewhat, but he’s still likely to be a high-round pick who’ll receive more than $250,000 to sign with an NFL team. However, if there’s no football to be played in 2011 he’s a legitimate outfield prospect and the Angels have enough invested in him to give him an extended opportunity in the minors.
Mets minor league outfielder and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was recently promoted from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie. Critics suggested that, because Tebow wasn’t exactly lighting up competition with Columbia, the promotion was just about marketing.
Tebow, to his credit, has gotten off to a good start with St. Lucie. In his first at-bat with his new team, he hit a two-run home run, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The home run came on a 3-1 count against starter Junior Fernandez of the Palm Beach Cardinals. Fernandez is the Cardinals’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
With Columbia, Tebow was hitting a paltry .220/.311/.336 with three home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances.
The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A Memphis and infielder Alex Mejia’s contract has been purchased from Memphis.
Diaz, 26, impressed last season when he posted an .879 OPS and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. This year has been rough on Diaz, as he’s batting .260/.293/.396 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in 288 plate appearances. He’s the second major Cardinals player to get sent down to the minors along with Randal Grichuk.
Diaz was surprised by the demotion. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:
Mejia, 26, opened the season with Double-A Springfield but was promoted to Triple-A two weeks ago. With Springfield, he hit .251/.305/.366 in 251 PA. In 42 PA with Memphis, he hit .263/.333/.289.