2011 MLB Draft – picks 16-20: Dodgers reach for left-hander Chris Reed at No. 16

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Dodgers selected Stanford left-hander Chris Reed with the 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Reed has served as Stanford’s closer this season but will get a chance to start in the Dodgers organization. He’s a solid left-hander with three good pitches, but it’s fairly clear the Dodgers opted for signability here as opposed to raw talent. He was not projected to go in the first round by many draft services and could wind up back in the bullpen.

Angels picked Utah first baseman C.J. Cron with the 17th pick.

Cron also played some catcher for the Utes, but the Angels are expected to keep him at first base.  He won Player of the Year honors in the Mountain West twice and posted an .803 slugging percentage this season in 198 at-bats.  The 21-year-old has serious offensive updside — maybe the most of anyone in this year’s draft pool.

The A’s took Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray with the 18th pick.

Gray is a bit small at 5’11”, but he has a very good one-two punch in his low-90s fastball and slider, and if his changeup comes, he could be a No. 2 starter someday. He’s not as polished as most of the college pitchers taken ahead of him.

The Red Sox took Connecticut right-hander Matt Barnes at No. 19.

Barnes, the second UConn player to go in the first round, throws 91-94 mph and has an excellent slider. He has a long way to go before he’ll be ready to help as a starter, but some think he could come quick as a reliever. Maybe he’ll go the Justin Masterson route.

Rockies picked Oregon left-hander Tyler Anderson with the 20th selection.

Anderson doesn’t have dominating stuff, but he’s a smart left-hander with great control and a highly developed changeup. The 21-year-old doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he has the tools to become a reliable member of the Colorado rotation and could move quickly.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.