Hunter Renfroe

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


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.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.