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.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.