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2013 MLB Draft: Picks 21-33 – Yankees make their three first-round picks

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Rays selected catcher Nick Ciuffo with the 21st pick in the 2013 draft.
The second high school catcher to go, Ciuffo has a promising left-handed bat with quite a bit of power potential. He’s still rather raw behind the plate, but he has a good arm and the tools to turn into an adept catcher in time.

Orioles drafted high school right-hander Hunter Harvey 22nd overall.
Hunter is the son of former major league closer Bryan Harvey. The hope is that Hunter will make it as a starter with his low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup, and he could add some velocity as he fills out. There’s a lot of upside here.

Rangers picked Oral Roberts right-hander Alex Gonzalez with the 23rd selection.
Yes, another Alex Gonzalez. This one pitches, though. He’s not very polished for a college pitcher, but his low-90s moving fastball could prove to be an excellent weapon. He also has a slider. Some think he’s more likely to make it as a reliever than as a starter.

Athletics picked high school outfielder Billy McKinney 24th overall.
McKinney figures to hit for both average and power, but he probably won’t be an asset defensively in the process. He did play center in high school, but he figures to soon find himself in left field or maybe right as a pro.

Giants selected shortstop Christian Arroyo with the 25th pick in the draft.
Buster Posey excepted, the Giants don’t have nearly as much luck drafting hitters as pitchers. Still, Brian Sabean opted to go for a shortstop here. Arroyo is expected to stay at the position, but he was a surprise as a first-round pick. While the Giants obviously disagree, it seems like most project him as a utilityman.

Yankees took third baseman Eric Jagielo 26th overall in the draft.
With three of the last eight picks in the first round, the Yankees played it rather safe with the first pick. Jagielo upped his stock in the Cape Cod League last year and then hit .388/.500/.633 with nine homers for Notre Dame this season. He’s questionable to last at third base, and he may not run well enough to be an asset in an outfield corner either. He does possess plenty of power from the left side of the plate, so with hopes of playing in Yankee Stadium, he’s an intriguing fantasy prospect.

Reds selected Samford outfielder Philip Ervin with the 27th pick.
Ervin was the Cape Cod League MVP last year, giving him some momentum headed into his Junior season at Samford. Some teams liked him better as a pitcher, but the Reds drafted him as a center fielder. He’ll probably move to a corner later if Billy Hamilton develops as hoped.

Cardinals selected high school LHP Rob Kaminsky 28th overall.
The Cardinals took left-handers with both of their first-round picks, the difference being that this one is from the high school ranks. Kaminsky certainly has better pure stuff than 19th overall pick Marco Gonzales, but he’s a rather raw talent without much of a changeup at the moment.

Rays selected University of Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek with the 29th overall pick.
Stanek, no relation to Ryne Sandberg, might be the steal of the first round at No. 29. The 21-year-old has struggled with consistency in college, but he has arguably the best fastball in the draft, a quality slider and the making of a legit curveball. The Rays have plenty of pitching in front of him, which is probably for the best. He’s not as close to being major league ready as some of the other college hurlers.

Rangers picked high school shortstop Travis Demeritte 30th overall Thursday.
This was supposed to be a very weak draft for middle infielders, but four shortstops went in the first round. Demeritte, though, is the least likely of the group to stay at the position, which would have been the case even if he wasn’t drafted by the team that already has Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. The Rangers probably see him as a long-term third baseman.

Braves selected Oklahoma State right-hander Jason Hursh with the 31st pick in the draft.
The Braves gave up their first-round pick to sign B.J. Upton, but they got one back for losing Michael Bourn. Hursh, a Tommy John survivor, went 6-5 with a 2.79 ERA and an 86/28 K/BB ratio in 106 1/3 innings for the Cowboys this year. A sinkerballer, he could move quickly, though he doesn’t have the kind of upside one might prefer from a first-round pick.

Yankees picked Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge with the 32nd selection.
Judge is a big guy, standing 6-foot-7, but he hit just six homes in his first two seasons for Fresno State before upping his total to 11 this year. On the other hand, he’s always been an excellent OBP guy, finishing his career with a .451 mark. If he learns to better use his strength to turn on fastballs, he could end up as one of the top hitters in the draft. He’s a worthy gamble for a team with three first-round picks.

Yankees took high school left-hander Ian Clarkin with the 33rd and final pick in the first round of Wednesday’s draft.
Clarkin throws in the low-90s and shows potential with both his curve and changeup, so it would have been no surprise had he gone 15 or 20 spots higher tonight. Command has been an issue, and he’s not someone who figures to rise through the ranks rapidly.

The Mets are among six teams that help Dominican prospects earn high school diplomas

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 19:  A detailed view of the blackboard with theoretical physics equations in chalk by Alberto Ramos, Theoretical Physics Fellow and visitor, Antonio Gonzalez-Arroyo from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (both not in frame) at The European Organization for Nuclear Research commonly know as CERN on April 19, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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In a special for USA TODAY Sports, Mike Vorkunov details how six teams — the Mets in particular — provide an education program that helps their Dominican prospects earn high school diplomas. It seems like an obvious win-win: smarter players make smarter decisions, making them more likely to achieve their potential as athletes. That, of course, requires spending money, which is why only six teams make the investment. For the players, if baseball doesn’t work out, they are better able to support themselves in other ways.

Vorkunov lists the Pirates, Tigers, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Mariners as the other teams who provide an education program for their Dominican prospects. We learned earlier this month that the Phillies were also investing in making sure their minor leaguers eat healthy. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “few teams” supply their minor league players with healthy food options.

Juan Henderson, the head of the Mets’ Dominican academy, said, “We see the benefit of it. I gotta tell you, we’re working with a new generation of baseball players. You see in the past that players just carry a bat and a glove and a helmet on the baseball field and in the academy. Those years, I think, are going to be pretty much over. Now they also do that, but they also carry books, they also carry an iPad, they also carry a laptop.”

Kudos to the six teams for making a great decision and here’s hoping the other 24 teams follow suit.

Video: Albert Pujols hits 569th career home run, tying Rafael Palmeiro

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 22:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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Angels first baseman Albert Pujols cranked out a two-run home run in the third inning against Rangers starter Derek Holland, breaking a scoreless tie. It’s the ninth homer of the season for Pujols and the 569th of his career, putting him into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for 12th on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard.

Harmon Killebrew is Pujols’ next target at 573, followed by Mark McGwire at 583 and Frank Robinson at 586.

Pujols hadn’t homered since May 13. He entered Monday night hitting a mediocre .228/.309/.395 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 188 plate appearances.

Alex Gordon to miss three to four weeks with a fractured scaphoid bone

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22:  Alex Gordon #4 and Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals collide going for a foul ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Royals 3-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Monday has unfortunately been a day of injury news. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is the latest to hit the 15-day disabled list, as he has been diagnosed with a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist. The club has recalled infielder Cheslor Cuthbert from Triple-A Omaha.

Gordon suffered the injury colliding with third baseman Mike Moustakas attempting to catch a fly ball on Sunday afternoon. He is expected to miss three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Gordon was having a tough 2016 campaign and the injury only makes it worse. He’s hitting .211/.319/.331 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 166 plate appearances on the year.

The Royals will likely use Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando in left field in Gordon’s absence.

Orioles trade reliever Brian Matusz to the Braves

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17:  Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning on May 17, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Orioles announced on Monday night that the club has traded reliever Brian Matusz to the Braves in exchange for minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek. The Braves are also receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick (76th overall) in the 2016 draft.

Matusz, 29, made his season debut on April 23 after battling a back injury since early March. It’s been a struggle, as the lefty has yielded eight runs on 11 hits and seven walks with just one strikeout in six innings. He is earning $3.9 million and can become a free agent after the season.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are expected to designate Matusz for assignment. Essentially, the Braves bought the draft pick for Matusz’s remaining salary of $3 million of $3.9 million total.

Barker, 23, has been pitching at Double-A Mississippi after getting a taste of Triple-A last year. So far this season, the right-hander has a 2.00 ERA with a 40/12 K/BB ratio in 45 innings spanning eight starts and a relief appearance.

Belicek, a 23-year-old left-hander, has spent most of the year with Single-A Rome, compiling a 2.49 ERA with a 29/1 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings over 11 relief appearances.