No. 2 pick: Marlins select high school RHP Tyler Kolek
MLB teams love the big right-handers from Texas (the Marlins once got a really good one in Josh Beckett), and Kolek is one of the biggest, checking in at 6’5″ and 250-260 pounds. He throws in the mid-90s, hitting 100 mph on occasion, and he has a pair of breaking balls. His command lags behind his stuff and he needs to work on his changeup, but he’s quite a talent.
No. 3 pick: White Sox select NC State LHP Carlos Rodon
Rodon was the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick at the beginning of the year, but a heavy workload and inconsistent velocity caused some worry among the teams at the top. He finished better than he started, and he seems like a great choice for the White Sox here. He could join their rotation in the first half of 2015.
No. 4 pick: Cubs select Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber
The first curveball of the draft, Schwarber was the star of a surprise Hoosiers team this year, hitting .358/.464/.659 with 14 homers in 232 at-bats. Taking him this high suggests that the Cubs are confident that he can stay behind the plate, which has been in question. He is fast enough to play in the outfield if necessary. Ideally, his left-handed bat will someday fit nicely behind right-handers Albert Almora, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant in the order.
No. 5 pick: Twins select high school shortstop Nick Gordon
Gordon is another son of former major league pitcher Tom and the brother of Dodgers second baseman Dee. He has a terrific arm and was a prospect as a pitcher as well, but he much preferred to play shortstop. How much he’ll hit remains to be seen. He should offer more power than Dee, and he has plenty of speed, of course. Just 18, he’s a long way from the majors.
Kyle Schwarber made a quicker-than-expected recovery from ACL surgery and then, after an Arizona Fall League rehab assignment, was shuttled up to Cleveland for the World Series. But that’s not all he has done.
Schwarber is now the latest ever Best Shape of His Life All-Star. Or so says Kris Bryant, talking to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com:
“We’ve seen first-hand the work that he’s putting in and how hard he’s been going . . . Honestly, I saw him out — maybe a couple weeks after his surgery — and he’s moving around, walking. And I’m like: ‘Dang, this guy’s not human. How? I saw your leg bend in half, and you’re walking around. This is unbelievable . . .(It’s) watching him dripping with sweat every single day. Every single day, this guy is drenched. I feel like he’s in the best shape of his life (now). There was no doubt in my mind that he could do it. It was just a matter of if they let him.”
May as well just forfeit now, Indians. No way you can deal with an October BSOHL guy.
When Mike Hazen left the Red Sox to go run the Diamondbacks, the Red Sox set out to look for a new general manager to replace him. Now, according to Pete Abraham, they may not replace him after all. Instead, president Dave Dombrowski may just leave the seat vacant and run the Sox all by himself.
Which, to be clear, is something Dombrowski is more than capable of doing, as he has been a general manager for decades now. A lot of this stuff is a function of job title-inflation, with guys in Dombrowski’s position being given elevated titles despite the fact that they are, more or less, still running the baseball operations department like they did when they were merely general managers. GM, meanwhile, has become a less authoritative position in many organizations, making it a somewhat less visible and perhaps less desirable job than it used to be.
Not that it’s totally about optics. The job of running a ball club is a lot more complicated than it used to be, and having one guy who can run big picture stuff and close deals like Dombrowski with another one being in charge of the more day-to-day tasks of the top baseball executive may be ideal. It also may help reign in some of the excesses of the top guy. Dombrowski, after all, may have been a master of a the big deal while running the Tigers, but in a lot of ways the win-now philosophy cost the club a lot of money and a lot of lower level talent. Another voice with a decent degree of power may be useful in that mix. As may a clear line of succession should Dombrowski decide to move on in a year or two.