Hunter Renfroe

2013 MLB Draft: Picks 11-20 – Mets look to first base, Padres go Renfroe

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Mets picked high school first baseman Dominic Smith 11th overall.
Domonic Brown has been this year’s breakthrough player, so why not Dominic Smith. It can’t be taken as a great vote of confidence for either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda that the Mets took a first baseman here, but many, many things can happen before Smith is ready for the majors in four years or so. Smith, a left-handed bat, offers plenty of power potential and he shouldn’t strike out quite as often the aforementioned duo.

Mariners selected University of New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson with the 12th pick.
Another third baseman for the Mariners, even though Kyle Seager looks like the best of their last wave of prospects. However, Peterson will likely wind up at first base. This is the second time the Mariners have taken him, as they drafted him in the 33rd round out of high school three years ago. Peterson is an excellent pure hitter — he finished up at .408/.520/.807 for the Lobos this year — and he should be among the quickest movers in the draft.

Padres took Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe with the 13th pick.
The first of the Hunters to go off the board, Renfroe is a toolsy right fielder with the power to hit balls out of Petco but also contact issues. He hit .352/.440/.634 with 15 homers for Mississippi State this year. He may not hit for a big average in the majors, but he could be a solid enough regular anyway. He’s the first outfielder taken in the top 15 by the Padres since Thomas Howard in 1986.

Pirates selected high school catcher Reese McGuire with the 14th pick in the draft.
This was the Pirates actual pick after they drafted outfielder Austin Meadows ninth overall with their Mark Appel compensation pick. High school catchers have gotten a rather bad rep the last decade or so, and McGuire is the first one to go this early in five years. McGuire, though, was viewed as a worthy talent. He figures to prove pretty good defensively, and his left-handed bat offers some power potential. If this works out, it will help make up for the bust that was 2009 fourth overall pick Tony Sanchez.

Diamondbacks selected Nevada RHP Braden Shipley with the 15th overall pick.
The Diamondbacks, already pretty well loaded with young arms, get some very good value here; Shipley throws in the mid-90s, gets swings and misses with his curve and also throws a changeup. He probably won’t move as quickly with the Diamondbacks as he might have in another organization, but he’s be another potential No. 2 or 3 starter for the club.

Phillies added high school shortstop J.P. Crawford with the 16th pick in the draft.
Carl Crawford’s cousin was viewed as the top shortstop in the draft. He has great speed, but scouts wonder if he’ll hit for average or power. Ideally, he’ll be Jimmy Rollins replacement someday and the Phillies’ long-term leadoff hitter. But that’s a long ways off.

White Sox grabbed junior college shortstop Tim Anderson with the 17th pick in the draft.
Anderson has great speed and could stay at shortstop for the long haul, but he’s probably never going to have a lot of power and he may be more of a bottom-of-the-order guy than someone who can hit leadoff. Also, some feel he may project better in center field than at short.

Dodgers selected Jacksonville University RHP Chris Anderson with the 18th overall pick.
The hope with Anderson is that he’s a workhorse middle-of-the-rotation guy with his sinker-slider combination. He’s probably not going to come as quickly as the college pitchers drafted ahead of him, but the Dodgers took him right where he was expected to be drafted.

Cardinals selected Gonzaga LHP Marco Gonzales with the 19th pick in the draft.
If Gonzalez threw a bit harder, he would have gone in the top 10 or maybe even the top five. Not that he’s not totally a finesse guy; he can touch 91-92 mph. Both his curveball and changeup are strong pitches, and he could be one of the first pitchers from the class to reach the majors.

Tigers selected University of Florida right-hander Jonathan Crawford with the 20th pick.
Crawford is a little smaller than teams prefer their right-handers, but he’s been durable so far and he has a nice fastball-slider combination. His changeup will determine whether he sticks as a starter. If it fails to come along, he might turn out to be a late-game reliever instead.

Yadier Molina gets cast removed from surgically-repaired thumb

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Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right thumb shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the NLDS by the Cubs, and then he needed a followup procedure two months later.

It’s been an offseason of rest and rehab for the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, though he’s about ready to ramp up the intensity of workouts with the beginning of spring training approaching …

Brayan Pena was signed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract this winter to provide more reliable depth behind the plate. He’ll be the Cardinals’ starter at catcher come Opening Day if Yadi isn’t quite ready.

Molina started a whopping 131 games behind the plate in 2015.

Jose Fernandez wants $30 million a year, Marlins don’t plan on paying

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You’ve heard the stories by now. Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and is doubtful to sign a long-term contract with the team.

There’s still time for those relationships to be repaired — Fernandez can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season — but we also have a monetary issue at play.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Sunday that the Marlins are “under the impression” Fernandez and his representatives want $30 million per year on a long-term deal, a figure the Marlins “have no plans to meet.”

If the Marlins won’t pay, Fernandez and his reps will seek that number when the ace right-hander reaches free agency. That could be the same offseason Bryce Harper tries for $500 million.

A friend of Fernandez told Jackson that the 23-year-old native of Cuba was upset about some of the trades the Marlins made last summer and the removal of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. You probably heard talk of Miami shopping Fernandez this winter, but the asking price was predictably sky-high.

Fernandez has been limited to 19 starts over the last two years because of Tommy John surgery and a biceps injury, but he boasts a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league frames. He will make $2.8 million in 2016 and carries two more years of arbitration eligibility.

If he can put together a run of 30-start, 200-inning seasons, Fernandez will get that $30 million per year and probably much more.

Michael Brantley’s timetable off shoulder surgery is “hazy”

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Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an in-depth look at how the Indians will manage their outfield during the early part of the 2016 season, in the absence of star Michael Brantley.

Brantley underwent labrum surgery on his right shoulder this past November and has not picked up a bat all winter. “In the off-season people know I love to hit,” Brantley acknowledged to Hoynes late last week. ”I hit a lot. It’s just been a change in my timetable.”

Hoynes says the projected date for Brantley’s 2016 debut is “hazy,” guessing that it might happen around late April or early May if everything continues to go smoothly. Shoulders can be tricky, for hitters and pitchers.

Rajai Davis, Abraham Almonte, and Lonnie Chisenhall figure to make up Cleveland’s primary starting outfield while Brantley is finishing his rehabilitation. Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler could also be in the mix. It’s a lacking group, tasked with replacing one of the most productive players in baseball.

Brantley, 28, has slashed .319/.382/.494 over the last two seasons, tallying 35 home runs, 90 doubles, 181 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 293 games.

Could the talented Tribe be in for another slow start?

Shouldn’t this club be spending more money?

Jose Bautista had a courtside view of Saturday night’s epic NBA Slam Dunk Contest

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Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic put on a tremendous show in Saturday night’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest up in Toronto, Canada. The stars were out to see it at the Air Canada Centre, and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had one of the very best views in the house. Check out this video he posted to Instagram of LaVine’s final dunk, a between-the-legs jam from just inside the free throw line …

Its a wrap!!! #BackToBack #SlamDunk #Champion @zachlavine8 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

A video posted by Jose Bautista (@joeybats19) on

That is Toronto’s very own Drake going wild in the pink jacket. Gordon probably had the best individual dunk of the night, though, if we’re being really real …

Back to your regularly scheduled baseball programming. Pitchers and catchers report Friday.