Anthony Rendon - Rice

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

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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.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.