Tick, tock: 13 first-round picks remain unsigned

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With the midnight deadline to sign draft picks looming the focus has obviously been on No. 1 overall pick and “greatest college pitcher since [fill in the blank]” Stephen Strasburg, but there also are a ton of other first rounders still unsigned. Here’s the complete list, as of noon today:

1.   Stephen Strasburg   RHP    Nationals
2.   Dustin Ackley       OF     Mariners
3.   Donavan Tate        OF     Padres
6.   Zach Wheeler        RHP    Giants
9.   Jacob Turner        RHP    Tigers
11.  Tyler Matzek        LHP    Rockies
12.  Aaron Crow          RHP    Royals
13.  Grant Green         SS     A's
14.  Matt Purke          LHP    Rangers
15.  Alex White          RHP    Indians
19.  Shelby Miller       RHP    Cardinals
22.  Kyle Gibson         RHP    Twins
30.  Levon Washington    OF     Rays

Everyone expected Strasburg and agent Scott Boras to drag things out until the last second, but with about 12 hours remaining until the deadline each of the top three picks and 13 of the first 30 picks are still unsigned. There are also plenty of prominent non-first rounders still negotiating, including Tanner Scheppers, who dropped to the Rangers at No. 44 after not signing last year.
There are last-minute signings every year, but it seems like there’s more uncertainty than ever on this deadline day, perhaps because teams are able to take a hard-line (or harder-line, at least) stance while knowing that not signing a first rounder will result in receiving a compensatory pick one slot down next June. In other words, the worst-case scenario no longer involves being left empty handed.
For the latest updates on all the signings, check out Rotoworld’s player news page and Baseball America‘s draft blog.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.