2011 MLB Draft – picks 11-15: Astros grab George Springer at No. 11

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Astros picked Connecticut outfielder George Springer with the 11th selection.

Springer was expected to go right around here after hitting .350/.458/.628 with 12 homers for the Huskies this season, but it’s something of a surprise to see him land with Houston. While he’ll play center initially, he may need to move to an outfield corner in time. He has a lot of power potential, but since he does swing and miss quite a bit, he may struggle to hit for average in the majors.

Brewers selected Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann 12th overall

Jungmann was a rock-solid pitcher for the Longhorns, going 13-1 with a 1.40 ERA this season, and one of the most polished arms in the draft. His low-90s fastball, curve and changeup all project as major league pitches. He may not be the most exciting selection, but he’s a good value here, and he might be a candidate to join the Milwaukee rotation before the end of next year.

Mets took high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the 13th pick.

Some really like Nimmo’s potential. He’s an especially raw talent since his high school in Wyoming didn’t have a baseball team, but his swing promises lots of power and he has plenty of athletic ability. The Mets could have played it safer, but they’ve opted to swing for the fences instead.

Marlins selected high school right-hander Jose Fernandez 14th.

This wasn’t a very tough call: the Marlins love high school pitching and Fernandez, a Cuban defector, was right in their backyard in Florida. Fernandez has hit 98 mph on the radar gun, and his slider could be a plus pitch in time. His changeup needs work, but he was pretty much a lock to go in the middle of the first round.

The Brewers picked Georgia Tech left-hander Jed Bradley 15th overall.

Picking 12th and 15th, the Brewers come away with two of the best college pitchers available. Bradley has four pitches, including a low-90s fastball. At 6’4″, 225 pounds, he also possesses the size that teams like. He was something of a disappointment for Georgia Tech this year, going 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA. Still, he’s a very good value here.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.