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.

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.

Josh Hamilton leaves camp with a tweaked knee

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers poses during a spring training photo shoot on February 28, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.

As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.

You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.