The Rangers officially confirmed the signings of their top three draft picks prior to Friday’s game against the Mariners. First-round draft pick Chris Seise reportedly received a signing bonus of $2 million, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis, while the bonuses for fellow first-rounder Bubba Thompson and second-round draftee Hans Crouse have yet to be disclosed.
Thompson, a 19-year-old outfielder from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, was the Rangers’ first selection. A multi-talented athlete and former quarterback, Thompson reportedly declined a baseball scholarship to the University of Alabama in order to pursue a deal with the Rangers and further his career track in professional baseball. His speed and power suggest that he’s best suited to center field, and his glove work has drawn praise as well.
High school shortstop Chris Seise, 18, was selected as a compensatory pick in the first round. He was ranked No. 38 by MLB.com with an average glove and a bat that showed power potential, though he has yet to develop into a potent hitter at this point in his career.
Crouse, 18, was taken in the second round at No. 66 overall. He profiles as a relief pitcher due to his relatively limited pitch repertoire, which currently features a sharp fastball and an unrefined curveball-slider combo and changeup.
Per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Thompson, Seise and Crouse have all been assigned to the rookie-level AZL Rangers.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.
Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.
“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.
The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.
“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”
The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.
“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”
Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.
Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.
Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.