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.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.
MLB.com’s William Kosileski reports that Indians starter Danny Salazar is being moved to the bullpen and will be available as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Indians will go on a five-game road strip starting on June 2, and manager Terry Francona said that Salazar could get a start during that trip.
Salazar, 27, has struggled to a 5.50 ERA over his first 10 starts this season. While none of those starts were absolute disasters, he failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of those 10 starts. It’s a far cry from his performance over the last two seasons, when he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 3.87 ERA.
Salazar’s walk rate is up to a career-high 11.9 percent, per FanGraphs, and he’s allowing many more line drives at the expense of ground balls. Compared to 2016, his line drive rate is up 8.9 percent and his ground ball rate is down 10.4 percent. All of that could explain Salazar’s struggles to some extent.