Marlins sign No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek to $6 million bonus

6 Comments

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins have signed No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek to a $6 million bonus. The terms were first reported by Jim Callis of MLB.com.

Kolek actually signed for $821,000 under the slot value for the pick, so the Marlins have extra draft pool money to use elsewhere, but Callis notes that it’s still third-highest bonus ever for a high school pitcher. Brady Aiken, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Astros this year, and Pirates prospect Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon each received $6.5 million.

Checking in at a sturdy 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Kolek is an 18-year-old right-hander out of Texas who is best known for his 100 mph fastball. Not surprisingly, he still has some work to do with his command and secondary pitches, but the upside is immense.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

Getty Images
1 Comment

When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

Getty Images
1 Comment

The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.