Updating the 2010 first-round picks; Bryce Harper and more


Checking in on how the first 32 picks of the 2010 draft are doing approximately 30 games into the 2011 season.

Hitters first, then the pitchers.

1. Bryce Harper (OF Nationals): .371/.460/.701, 7 HR, 5 SB in 97 AB (low-A Hagerstown)
3. Manny Machado (SS Orioles): .333/.450/.611, 5 HR, 3 SB in 90 AB (low-A Delmarva)
4. Christian Colon (SS Royals): .260/.351/.365, 2 HR, 7 SB in 96 AB (AA Northwest Arkansas)
8. Delino DeShields Jr. (2B Astros): .250/.330/.438, 4 HR, 7 SB in 96 AB (low-A Lexington)
10. Michael Choice (OF Athletics): .241/.349/.435, 4 HR, 3 SB in 108 AB (high-A Stockton)
12. Yasmani Grandal (C Reds): .278/.421/.546, 7 HR, 0 SB in 97 AB (high-A Bakersfield)
15. Jake Skole (OF Rangers): .240/.301/.327, 1 HR, 5 SB in 104 AB (low-A Hickory)
17. Josh Sale (OF Rays): Yet to play
18. Kaleb Cowart (3B Angels): Yet to play
20. Kolbrin Vitek (3B Red Sox): .333/.405/.480, 0 HR, 4 SB in 102 AB (high-A Salem)
22. Kellin Deglan (C Rangers): .240/.305/.380, 1 HR, 0 SB in 50 AB (low-A Hickory)
23. Christian Yelich (OF Marlins): .289/.389/.454, 3 HR, 6 SB in 97 AB (low-A Greensboro)
24. Gary Brown (OF Giants): .357/.438/.492, 2 HR, 19 SB in 126 AB (high-A San Jose)
25. Zack Cox (3B Cardinals): .288/.314/.315, 0 HR, 1 SB in 111 AB (high-A Palm Beach)
26. Kyle Parker (OF Rockies): .311/.356/.467, 2 HR, 1 SB in 90 AB (low-A Asheville)
30. Chevy Clarke (OF Angels): Yet to play
31. Justin O’Conner (C Rays): Yet to play
32. Cito Culver (SS Yankees): Yet to play

Machado is currently shelved with a knee injury, but he was right there with Harper as a top performer on this list before going down.

Grandal and Brown should be the first players here to get promoted this season.  Both were college products, and many figured the Reds would start Grandal in Double-A anyway.  Brown struggled in his pro debut last year, so starting him in high-A was the right move.  However, he seems too good for the California League now.  He just had nine hits and eight RBI in a three-game series against Bakersfield over the weekend.

Cox and Choice have been the biggest disappointments so far.  Cox, who likely would have been a top-10 pick if not for high bonus demands, has just three extra-base hits and a 22/4 K/BB ratio.  Choice, who is in the best league for hitters in the minors, has fanned 37 times in 27 games this season and 82 times in 217 at-bats as a pro.

The “yet to play” guys all figure to be assigned to short-season teams next month.

2. Jameson Taillon (Pirates): 1-1, 1.64 ERA, 11/2 K/BB in 11 IP (low-A West Virginia)
5. Drew Pomeranz (Indians): 1-0, 1.27 ERA, 42/10 K/BB in 28.1 IP (high-A Kinston)
6. Barret Loux (Rangers): 2-2, 3.19 ERA, 38/6 K/BB in 31 IP (high-A Myrtle Beach)
7. Matt Harvey (Mets): 4-1, 1.10 ERA, 39/11 K/BB in 32.2 IP (high-A St. Lucie)
9. Karsten Whitson (Padres): Did not sign
11. Deck McGuire (Blue Jays): 1-2, 2.93 ERA, 26/10 K/BB in 30.2 IP (high-A Dunedin)
13. Chris Sale (White Sox): 2-0, 7.15 ERA, 13/5 K/BB in 11.1 IP (ML White Sox)
14. Dylan Covey (Brewers): Did not sign
16. Hayden Simpson (Cubs): 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 21/8 K/BB in 26 IP (low-A Peoria)
19. Mike Foltynewicz (Astros): 0-5, 5.51 ERA, 16/9 K/BB in 32.1 IP (low-A Lexington)
21. Alex Wimmers (Twins): 0-1, infinite ERA, 0/6 K/BB in 0 IP (high-A Fort Myers)
27. Jesse Biddle (Phillies): 1-4, 5.47 ERA, 24/16 K/BB in 26.1 IP (low-A Lakewood)
28. Zach Lee (Dodgers): 3-0, 1.17 ERA, 28/11 K/BB in 30.2 IP (low-A Great Lakes)
29. Cam Bedrosian (Angels): Yet to play

Loux was the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick last year, but the team decided not to sign him after a physical turned up some serious red flags.  He was declared a free agent and signed with the Rangers in November.

The Pirates and Indians probably don’t have any regrets about their picks, but Harvey is looking terrrific and is closer to the majors than anyone else here (Sale excepted).

Simpson, who was widely viewed as a third-round talent before the draft, has yet to make the Cubs look any better for picking him 16th.   He’s the only one of the seven college products here currently pitching in low-A.

Wimmers was placed on the DL with an illness after walking all six batters he faced in his first start of the year.  He’s currently trying to work through his control problems in extended spring training.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.