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.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.