Updating the 2010 first-round picks; Bryce Harper and more

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Checking in on how the first 32 picks of the 2010 draft are doing approximately 30 games into the 2011 season.

Hitters first, then the pitchers.

1. Bryce Harper (OF Nationals): .371/.460/.701, 7 HR, 5 SB in 97 AB (low-A Hagerstown)
3. Manny Machado (SS Orioles): .333/.450/.611, 5 HR, 3 SB in 90 AB (low-A Delmarva)
4. Christian Colon (SS Royals): .260/.351/.365, 2 HR, 7 SB in 96 AB (AA Northwest Arkansas)
8. Delino DeShields Jr. (2B Astros): .250/.330/.438, 4 HR, 7 SB in 96 AB (low-A Lexington)
10. Michael Choice (OF Athletics): .241/.349/.435, 4 HR, 3 SB in 108 AB (high-A Stockton)
12. Yasmani Grandal (C Reds): .278/.421/.546, 7 HR, 0 SB in 97 AB (high-A Bakersfield)
15. Jake Skole (OF Rangers): .240/.301/.327, 1 HR, 5 SB in 104 AB (low-A Hickory)
17. Josh Sale (OF Rays): Yet to play
18. Kaleb Cowart (3B Angels): Yet to play
20. Kolbrin Vitek (3B Red Sox): .333/.405/.480, 0 HR, 4 SB in 102 AB (high-A Salem)
22. Kellin Deglan (C Rangers): .240/.305/.380, 1 HR, 0 SB in 50 AB (low-A Hickory)
23. Christian Yelich (OF Marlins): .289/.389/.454, 3 HR, 6 SB in 97 AB (low-A Greensboro)
24. Gary Brown (OF Giants): .357/.438/.492, 2 HR, 19 SB in 126 AB (high-A San Jose)
25. Zack Cox (3B Cardinals): .288/.314/.315, 0 HR, 1 SB in 111 AB (high-A Palm Beach)
26. Kyle Parker (OF Rockies): .311/.356/.467, 2 HR, 1 SB in 90 AB (low-A Asheville)
30. Chevy Clarke (OF Angels): Yet to play
31. Justin O’Conner (C Rays): Yet to play
32. Cito Culver (SS Yankees): Yet to play

Machado is currently shelved with a knee injury, but he was right there with Harper as a top performer on this list before going down.

Grandal and Brown should be the first players here to get promoted this season.  Both were college products, and many figured the Reds would start Grandal in Double-A anyway.  Brown struggled in his pro debut last year, so starting him in high-A was the right move.  However, he seems too good for the California League now.  He just had nine hits and eight RBI in a three-game series against Bakersfield over the weekend.

Cox and Choice have been the biggest disappointments so far.  Cox, who likely would have been a top-10 pick if not for high bonus demands, has just three extra-base hits and a 22/4 K/BB ratio.  Choice, who is in the best league for hitters in the minors, has fanned 37 times in 27 games this season and 82 times in 217 at-bats as a pro.

The “yet to play” guys all figure to be assigned to short-season teams next month.

2. Jameson Taillon (Pirates): 1-1, 1.64 ERA, 11/2 K/BB in 11 IP (low-A West Virginia)
5. Drew Pomeranz (Indians): 1-0, 1.27 ERA, 42/10 K/BB in 28.1 IP (high-A Kinston)
6. Barret Loux (Rangers): 2-2, 3.19 ERA, 38/6 K/BB in 31 IP (high-A Myrtle Beach)
7. Matt Harvey (Mets): 4-1, 1.10 ERA, 39/11 K/BB in 32.2 IP (high-A St. Lucie)
9. Karsten Whitson (Padres): Did not sign
11. Deck McGuire (Blue Jays): 1-2, 2.93 ERA, 26/10 K/BB in 30.2 IP (high-A Dunedin)
13. Chris Sale (White Sox): 2-0, 7.15 ERA, 13/5 K/BB in 11.1 IP (ML White Sox)
14. Dylan Covey (Brewers): Did not sign
16. Hayden Simpson (Cubs): 0-1, 4.15 ERA, 21/8 K/BB in 26 IP (low-A Peoria)
19. Mike Foltynewicz (Astros): 0-5, 5.51 ERA, 16/9 K/BB in 32.1 IP (low-A Lexington)
21. Alex Wimmers (Twins): 0-1, infinite ERA, 0/6 K/BB in 0 IP (high-A Fort Myers)
27. Jesse Biddle (Phillies): 1-4, 5.47 ERA, 24/16 K/BB in 26.1 IP (low-A Lakewood)
28. Zach Lee (Dodgers): 3-0, 1.17 ERA, 28/11 K/BB in 30.2 IP (low-A Great Lakes)
29. Cam Bedrosian (Angels): Yet to play

Loux was the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick last year, but the team decided not to sign him after a physical turned up some serious red flags.  He was declared a free agent and signed with the Rangers in November.

The Pirates and Indians probably don’t have any regrets about their picks, but Harvey is looking terrrific and is closer to the majors than anyone else here (Sale excepted).

Simpson, who was widely viewed as a third-round talent before the draft, has yet to make the Cubs look any better for picking him 16th.   He’s the only one of the seven college products here currently pitching in low-A.

Wimmers was placed on the DL with an illness after walking all six batters he faced in his first start of the year.  He’s currently trying to work through his control problems in extended spring training.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: