2011 MLB Draft – picks 21-25: Jays take high school righty Tyler Beede at No. 20

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The Blue Jays selected Massachusetts high school pitcher Tyler Beede at No. 21 overall.

Beede has mature mechanics and throws three quality pitches: a low-90s fastball with good life, a hard-breaking slurve and a changeup. The 20-year-old right-hander is committed to Vanderbilt, so the Blue Jays will have to flash some dollar signs to get a deal struck.

The Cardinals took Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong with the 22nd overall pick.

Wong doesn’t have great size, but his plate approach is fantastic and he’s a plus runner. The Cardinals will hope that he eventually turns into a reliable leadoff hitter, something they’ve needed for years. He posted a remarkable .429 on-base percentage this season as a college junior.

Nationals took Kentucky righty Alex Meyer with the 23rd pick.

The lanky 21-year-old posted a 2.94 ERA and struck out 110 batters in 101 innings this season for Kentucky. Meyer is still quite raw, but he throws a high-90s fastball and has the stuff and build of a potential ace. Another nice selection for the Nats.

The Rays drafted right-hander Taylor Guerrieri at No. 24.

Most thought Guerrieri would go higher. A high school righty with a mid-90s fastball and a plus curve, he possesses an awful lot of potential. The Rays have 10 of the draft’s first 60 selections and are going after talent no matter the cost.

The Padres selected California high school pitcher Joe Ross with the 25th overall pick.

The younger brother of A’s pitcher Tyson Ross, Joe has a great build and a fastball that has been clocked at 95 MPH. He also throws a curve and changeup, but both pitches need work. The 18-year-old is committed to UCLA and could decide to become a Bruin if the Padres don’t pay up. If he does sign, he’ll have the spacious confines of PETCO Park to look forward to.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.