2011 Draft – Rounds 6-10 wrapup: Trevor Gretzky to the Cubs

3 Comments

The Cubs picked one of the draft’s biggest names in the seventh, grabbing Wayne Gretzky’s son, Trevor, a high school first baseman.

Trevor Gretzky, who was the backup quarterback to Nick Montana (Joe’s son) on his Oaks Christian high school football team, is thought to be on his way to San Diego State.  At 6’4″ and 190 pounds, he’s thought to have pretty good power potential.  Still, most didn’t believe he’d go this high.  Bloodlines probably played a role in his selection, but given that very few players outside of the first few rounds go on to make the majors, one can’t blame the Cubs for wagering a seventh-round selection on the Great One’s progeny.

Other notes:

Four rounds after taking Vandy’s Jason Esposito, the Orioles picked another highly regarded third baseman, high scholer Nick Delmonico, in the sixth.  Back problems apparently scared some teams off.  He’s also committed to Georgia and may opt for school after getting drafted so much lower than expected.  He was viewed as a catcher by some, but the Orioles are going to see if he can make it at the hot corner.  His left-handed bat promises 20-homer power, and he’s quite discliplined for a high school product.

– The Padres went for Kyle Gaedele in the sixth.  He’s the great-nephew of tiny major leaguer Eddie Gaedel and a pretty fine prospect with ample power.  For thos curious, he stands 6’3″ and weighs 220 pounds.

– One pick later, the Rangers chose Derek Fisher at No. 204.  He’ll be an expensive sign if the team is going to lure him away from the University of Virginia, but he projects as a power-hitting left fielder.

– And one pick after that, Reds scouting director Chris Buckley chose his son, third baseman Sean Buckley.  It was actually something of a surprise he waited until round six to do so.  Sean was being looked at as a fourth or fifth rounder by teams other than Cincinnati.

– Oregon State’s Josh Osich, who missed the 2010 season following Tommy John surgery, was viewed by some as the top pitcher left on the board after rounds four and five.  The Giants grabbed him at No. 207.  He may have a future as an eighth-inning guy.

– Ivan Rodriguez’s son — also named Ivan, but who goes by Dereck — was picked by the Twins in round six.  He might have been a better prospect as a pitcher, but he wants to stick in the outfield.

– The Cards picked Kansas State outfielder Nick Martini in the seventh.  He hit just one homer in 221 at-bats this season, but he had a .503 OBP as a sophomore and a .442 mark this season.  At one point, he reached base in 93 straight games.  Unfortunately, he figures to move to left field in the pros and he’s going to have to show some power if he’s going to be a success there.

– The Pirates made another nice upside pick to begin the ninth round, selecting right-hander Clay Holmes.  The Auburn commit touches 95 mph with his fastball and has a promising curve.

– Milwaukee went with Dustin Houle in the eighth and will give him a look as a catcher.  The native of Canada was primarily a third baseman in high school.

– The Red Sox are going to see if Travis Shaw’s bat translates to wood after selecting him in the ninth.  The Kent State product hit .307/.405/.553 with 14 homers this season.  He’s sure-handed at third, but he lacks range.

– I haven’t written much about the Diamondbacks, but I do believe they’ve had a really good draft.  In the 10th, they took a flier on Kyle Winkler, a teammate of Matt Purke’s at TCU and another anticipated tough sign.   Baseball America rated him the draft’s No. 43 prospect.

Struggling Francisco Rodriguez’s job seems to be secure

David Maxwell/Getty Images
1 Comment

Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.

Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”

“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”

Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.

The Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
1 Comment

Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.

The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.

The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.

The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.

The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.

Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.