Updating the 2010 first-round picks: looking at Bryce Harper, Zack Cox and more

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Here’s a revised edition of something I tried in May. I thought it was a good time to look at the 2010 first-round picks again with the slate of midseason promotions starting to arrive.

Hitters
1. Bryce Harper (OF Nationals): .322/.421/.569, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 13 SB in 239 AB (low-A Hagerstown)
3. Manny Machado (SS Orioles): .276/.376/.483, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 3 SB in 145 AB (low Single-A Delmarva)
4. Christian Colon (SS Royals): .257/.341/.336, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 11 SB in 253 AB (AA Northwest Arkansas)
8. Delino DeShields Jr. (2B Astros): .193/.283/.325, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 13 SB in 249 AB (low-A Lexington)
10. Michael Choice (OF Athletics): .255/.355/.500, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 7 SB in 278 AB (high-A Stockton)
12. Yasmani Grandal (C Reds): .296/.410/.510, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 0 SB in 206 AB (high-A Bakersfield)
15. Jake Skole (OF Rangers): .260/.360/.336, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 11 SB in 223 AB (low-A Hickory)
17. Josh Sale (OF Rays): .059/.238/.235, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB in 17 AB (Rookie Princeton)
18. Kaleb Cowart (3B Angels): .538/.594/.577, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB in 26 AB (Rookie Orem)
20. Kolbrin Vitek (3B Red Sox): .271/.334/.365, 1 HR, 23 RBI, 9 SB in 266 AB (high-A Salem)
22. Kellin Deglan (C Rangers): .235/.323/.353, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 0 SB in 136 AB (low-A Hickory)
23. Christian Yelich (OF Marlins): .280/.359/.432, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 14 SB in 243 AB (low-A Greensboro)
24. Gary Brown (OF Giants): .322/.391/.465, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 33 SB in 301 AB (high-A San Jose)
25. Zack Cox (3B Cardinals): .282/.342/.379, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 2 SB in 280 AB (high-A Palm Beach/AA Springfield)
26. Kyle Parker (OF Rockies): .280/.356/.449, 9 HR, 53 RBI, 1 SB in 243 AB (low-A Asheville)
30. Chevy Clarke (OF Angels): .148/.233/.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB in 27 AB (Rookie AZL Angels)
31. Justin O’Conner (C Rays): .211/.286/.421, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB in 19 AB (Rookie Princeton)
32. Cito Culver (SS Yankees): .211/.302/.211, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB in 38 AB (Rookie Staten Island)

Harper is back in Hagerstown’s lineup now after dealing with a minor thumb injury last week.  He’s 1-for-12 the last three days.

Machado and Grandal received their promotions last week. Machado is 2-for-12 in four games since moving up to high-A Frederick, while Grandal is 3-for-12 in four games for Double-A Carolina.

Cox was the only first-round pick to receive an early promotion.  He was still struggling in high-A when we checked on him in early May (.288/.314/.315 with no homers in 111 at-bats), but he went on a tear soon thereafter and ended up at .335/.380/.439 in 164 AB for Palm Beach.  Since moving up to Double-A, he’s struggling again, having hit .207/.290/.293 in 116 at-bats.

Choice is the one player here that’s really stepped it up of late.  He’s hitting .350 with four homers over his last 10 games, and his OPS is up 70 points from where he was back on May 9.

Pitchers
2. Jameson Taillon (Pirates): 2-1, 3.16 ERA, 38/4 K/BB in 42.2 IP (low-A West Virginia)
5. Drew Pomeranz (Indians): 2-2, 1.81 ERA, 81/27 K/BB in 64.2 IP (high-A Kinston)
6. Barret Loux (Rangers): 7-3, 3.44 ERA, 81/21 K/BB in 73.1 IP (high-A Myrtle Beach)
7. Matt Harvey (Mets): 8-2, 2.37 ERA, 92/24 K/BB in 76 IP (high-A St. Lucie)
9. Karsten Whitson (Padres): Did not sign
11. Deck McGuire (Blue Jays): 5-3, 2.89 ERA, 74/30 K/BB in 74.2 IP (high-A Dunedin)
13. Chris Sale (White Sox): 2-0, 4.11 ERA, 31/14 K/BB in 30.2 IP (ML White Sox)
14. Dylan Covey (Brewers): Did not sign
16. Hayden Simpson (Cubs): 1-5, 4.98 ERA, 46/25 K/BB in 59.2 IP (low-A Peoria)
19. Mike Foltynewicz (Astros): 4-6, 4.54 ERA, 40/30 K/BB in 75.1 IP (low-A Lexington)
21. Alex Wimmers (Twins): 0-1, infinite ERA, 0/6 K/BB in 0 IP (high-A Fort Myers)
27. Jesse Biddle (Phillies): 3-6, 3.70 ERA, 66/40 K/BB in 73 IP (low-A Lakewood)
28. Zach Lee (Dodgers): 5-1, 3.47 ERA, 44/15 K/BB in 49.1 IP (low-A Great Lakes)
29. Cam Bedrosian (Angels): Yet to play (Tommy John surgery)

Harvey finally got his promotion to Double-A last week and gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings in his debut for Binghamton.  Pomeranz should be the next to move up.

It looks like Taillon might end up spending the whole season at West Virginia.  The Pirates have been very careful with him, never letting him throw more than five innings in an outing.  He’s missed the last two weeks with tightness in his pectoral muscle.

Whitson, who went to Florida after turning down the Padres last summer, will face South Carolina in the second game of the College World Series finals on Tuesday.

Wimmers still hasn’t returned to action since walking all six hitters he faced back on April 11.  The Twins had him working in intrasquad games in Florida earlier this month.  If he makes enough progress, he might be assigned to a Rookie ball club next month.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.