Tag: Evan Longoria

Reggie Jackson - Oakland Athletics

The best the top of the MLB draft has had to offer


As a little warmup for tonight’s MLB Draft coverage, here’s a quick look at the best players to come from the top 10 spots in previous drafts. I’m also noting who is picking in each spot tonight.

No. 1: Alex Rodriguez – 1993 Mariners (2015 Draft: Diamondbacks)

For the first 20 years of the MLB Draft’s existence, No. 1 overall picks were largely disappointing. The first ever in 1965 produced Rick Monday, and he was the best of the bunch until Harold Baines in 1977. It wasn’t until 1987 and Ken Griffey Jr. that a future Hall of Famer was picked first overall. He was followed by Chipper Jones in 1990 and, the best of the lot, Rodriguez in 1993.

No. 2: Reggie Jackson – 1966 Athletics (2015 Draft: Astros)

The first overall pick in the 1966 draft, taken by the Mets, was catcher Steve Chilcott. He was the only No. 1 overall pick not to reach the majors in the first 25 years of the draft (the Yankees’ Brien Taylor (1991) was the second). The A’s followed that pick up with Jackson, the lone Hall of Famer to go second overall. Justin Verlander has a chance to join him someday, as might Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton way down the line.

No. 3: Robin Yount – 1973 Brewers (2015 Draft: Rockies)

This one is a pick’em between a pair of Brewers stars; Paul Molitor was chosen in the very same spot four years after Yount. Both went on to become first-ballot Hall of Famers. The third overall pick has been a great spot for third basemen, but little else. That was Molitor’s primary position before he became a full-time DH, and Matt Williams, Troy Glaus, Evan Longoria and Manny Machado were also drafted here.

No. 4: Dave Winfield – 1973 Padres (2015 Draft: Rangers)

The No. 4 spot is home to two Hall of Famers, Winfield and Barry Larkin, plus a guy in Kevin Brown who finished with comparable numbers to some Hall of Famers. It’s also been home to a ton of disappointments; Ryan Zimmerman is the only impact player to come from this spot in the last 15 years, though the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman could get there. 2014 first-round Kyle Schwarber is also awfully promising.

No. 5: Buster Posey – 2008 Giants (2015 Draft: Astros)

There aren’t any Hall of Famers here, though Dale Murphy has his backers and Dwight Gooden certainly had the talent. So, I’ll reach a little bit and anoint Posey the best of the bunch, even if that’s still a little premature. Gooden, Mark Teixeira, Murphy, J.D. Drew and Ryan Braun currently rank as the top five players by bWAR.

No. 6: Barry Bonds – 1985 Pirates (2015 Draft: Twins)

This was a no-doubter, even though the No. 6 spot also produced Derek Sanderson Jeter in 1992. The Yankees got more from their pick than the Pirates did, but that’s not really what I’m going by here.

No. 7: Frank Thomas – 1989 White Sox (2015 Draft: Red Sox)

This could eventually become Clayton Kershaw’s spot, but it goes to the first-ballot Hall of Famer for now. Picked ahead of Thomas in the 1989 draft were two guys who failed to make the majors (Jeff Jackson and Paul Coleman), two guys who might as well not have (Roger Salkeld and Donald Harris), a journeyman in Tyler Houston and No. 1 overall selection Ben McDonald.

No. 8: Todd Helton – 1995 Rockies (2015 Draft: White Sox)

This is the weakest spot in the top 10, with little beyond Helton to salvage it. Jay Bell (1984 Twins) rates as the second best No. 8 pick, and Jim Abbott (1988 Angels) is probably the third for now, though Mike Leake (2009 Reds) should eventually overtake him. The big hope here for the future is 2011 selection Francisco Lindor.

No. 9: Kevin Appier – 1987 Royals (2015 Draft: Cubs)

The No. 9 spot is without a single superstar, though the terribly underrated Appier was an excellent pitcher for a lot of bad Royals teams in his career. Barry Zito is the runner up here. Javier Baez might factor into the mix somewhere down the line.

No. 10: Mark McGwire – 1984 Athletics (2015 Draft: Phillies)

Again, there are no Hall of Famers here. McGwire, though, has the numbers, and Robin Ventura is an inner-circle Hall of Very Good guy. Plus, there’s Madison Bumgarner as a future possibility, not to mention two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. Overall, 41 of 50 No. 10 picks have reached the majors, which is the most of any spot outside of the top three. In comparison, just 29 No. 5 picks and 30 No. 8 picks have reached the majors.

Evan Longoria sidelined again Sunday with sore wrist

evan longoria getty

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was held out of Saturday’s game against the Mariners and he won’t play in Sunday’s series finale due to soreness in his left wrist. Tampa Bay is off Monday, and manager Kevin Cash said he’s hoping that a three-day period of rest will help Longo get over the minor injury.

Jake Elmore is at the hot corner and leading off for the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Longoria, 29, has batted .273/.351/.414 with five home runs, 25 RBI, and 27 runs scored in 55 games this season. Tampa Bay entered play Sunday just 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the American League East standings with a record of 30-27. Not bad for a team that has seen all sorts of turnover.

Kevin Cash on umpiring in the Rays-M’s game: “It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed.”

Kevin Cash

Rays manager Kevin Cash was not a happy camper after last night’s game. Particularly, after a call that led to a replay review.

In the first inning, Mariners outfielder Seth Smith scored on a fielder’s choice. While Smith slid before the tag was applied, Rays catcher Rene Rivera had the ball and blocked the front of the plate with his foot, applying the tag. There wasn’t a question over the plate block, just over whether Smith got his foot on the bag:


Cash took issue with the initial “safe” call, which weighed the replay review in the Mariners’ favor, given how the burden of proof works on replay challenges. And after the game he sounded off:

Noting he had no recourse “other than just to tell them how bad they stink,” Cash made clear how much he disagreed with the call.

“Terrible. Terrible. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “We spend so much time on pace of play, let’s just the damn call right on the field. It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.”

Cash was also upset on base-runner placement on a later review in which an Evan Longoria hit was initially called foul but then ruled fair. The runner who was on first at the time time was awarded third base but Cash thought he should be awarded home, believing he would’ve scored had the umps called the ball fair initially. Which seems correct, as the left fielder fell down trying to catch it and the baserunner, Joey Butler was in between second and third already. Watch it here.

It’s easy to understand Cash’s frustration. Maybe even more so on the second play than the first. But it’ll also likely be the case that Major League Baseball will fine Cash for his postgame comments. Because, while umpires don’t have much apparent accountability for their actions, managers do.