Patrick Kivlehan

MLB draft rounds 4-5: Mariners add a hard-hitter in Kivlehan

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Notes from rounds four and five:

– Third baseman Patrick Kivlehan got picked 131st by the Mariners despite spending just one year on the diamond at Rutgers after four years as a reserve defensive back and special teams player on the football team. He was far and away the Scarlet Knights’ best hitter, coming in at .392/.480/.693 with 14 homers in 189 at-bats.

– The one remaining player from Baseball America’s pre-draft top 40, high school right-hander Ty Buttrey, went to the Red Sox at pick No. 151. Buttrey skyrocketed up draft boards when he was flashing a mid-90s fastball early on this season, but his velocity dipped some as the year went on and his stock went with it. He’s still a very intriguing prospect, and the Red Sox might be able to spare the money to sign him away from Arkansas after focusing primarily on college players with their early picks.

– The Royals took Stanford shortstop Kenny Diekroeger with the 133rd pick. He was the Rays’ second-rounder in 2009, but he passed on their offer then. He’s due for less money now. Diekroeger’s stock peaked after a strong freshman season in which he hit .356/.391/.491. In two seasons since, he’s come it at .293/.356/.364 and .269/.335/.370. Also, he’s likely to move to second base in the pros.

– Coastal Carolina right-hander Josh Conway was taken 134th overall by the Cubs even though he just underwent Tommy John surgery that figures to sideline him into the 2013 season. He was viewed as a likely second-rounder before getting hurt.

– The Angels picked an offensive-minded second baseman in Ole Miss product Alex Yarbrough 147th overall. He hit .380/.437/.508 with a 24/22 K/BB ratio in 250 at-bats this season. His future could be at third base if the Angels think he has the arm. Otherwise, he could end up in left field.

– I haven’t really mentioned the Mets yet, but they are having a nice draft. Their top two picks, shortstop Gavin Cecchini at No. 12 and catcher Kevin Plawecki at No. 35, are both very well-regarded. Reliever Matt Koch was a great get in round three, and fellow righty Brandon Welch looks like another smart pick in round five. A juco product with a strong fastball-slider combination, he’d also make for a pretty intriguing reliever if the Mets opt to go in that direction.

– The name is a lie: Nationals fifth-round pick Spencer Kieboom is a catcher who slugged .343 in three seasons at Clemson.

– The name is a lie — part two: Brewers fifth-rounder Damien Magnifico had a 4.01 ERA and a 27/20 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings for the University of Oklahoma this year.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.

The Blue Jays will . . . not be blue some days next year

blue jays logo
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The Toronto Blue Jays, like a lot of teams, will wear an alternate jersey next year. It’ll be for Sunday home games. They call it their “Canadiana,” uniforms. Which, hey, let’s hear it for national pride.

(question to Canada: my grandmother and my three of my four maternal great-grandparents were Canadian. Does that give me any rights to emigrate? You know, just in case? No reason for asking that today. Just curious!).

Anyway, these are the uniforms:

More like RED Jays, am I right?

OK, I am not going to leave this country. I’m going to stay here and fight for what’s right: a Major League Baseball-wide ban on all red alternate jerseys for anyone except the Cincinnati Reds, who make theirs work somehow. All of the rest of them look terrible.

Oh, Canada indeed.