2011 MLB Draft – picks 6-10: Anthony Rendon slips to Nationals at No. 6

5 Comments

Nationals picked Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon sixth in the draft.

Rendon didn’t slip too far after all. There are concerns that he might need shoulder surgery and he’s battled ankle injuries, but he had the most polished bat in the draft. He’s an interesting fit with the Nationals, who already have Ryan Zimmerman at third. It’s possible he’ll move to second. Rendon hit .327/.520/.523 for Rice this year. His power production was down, but the hope is that he’ll be a 20- or 25-homer per year guy down the line.

Diamondbacks selected high school right-hander Archie Bradley seventh overall.

Bradley is a quarterback prospect headed to Oklahoma, so it’s a bit of an interesting choice for the Diamondbacks here. Since this the compensation pick for them not signing Barrett Loux last year, they won’t get another selection next year if they fail to get Bradley signed. On talent, Bradley deserved to go somewhere in this neighborhood. He has a great build at 6’4″, 225 pounds, and he throws 93-96 mph with a strong curve.

Indians selected high school infielder Francisco Lindor with the eighth pick in the draft.

There was speculation that Lindor might go to the Mariners second overall, but it’s Cleveland instead. The 17-year-old is a legitimate shortstop with good speed. Whether he’ll develop much in the way of power remains to be seen. The Indians would likely be happy if he just turns out to be a nice .280-batting, top-of-the-order hitter. Don’t expect to see him in the majors for five years or so.

The Cubs took high school infielder Javier Baez ninth.

It’s hard not to wonder if the Cubs were disappointed to see Lindor go one pick earlier. Baez may have at least as much upside, but he’s more of a project with his subpar plate discipline. He should have the power to play third if he’s never able to push Starlin Castro off shortstop. The Cubs, though, surely will develop him at short for now.

Padres took juco infielder Cory Spangenberg with the 10th pick.

Spangenberger can put his bat on just about anything, and he should be good for plenty of singles and doubles as he climbs through the San Diego system. His power is something of a question mark, and it’s doubtful he’ll be strong enough to hit many balls out of Petco. The bigger issue is his lack of a position. The Padres will try him at either second or third, but he might end up in an outfield corner.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
4 Comments

Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

Getty Images
2 Comments

The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.