2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken leaves start with IMG Academy after just 12 pitches


UPDATE: According to Josh Norris of Baseball America, IMG has no official statement on Aiken at this time. However, Norris spoke to the home plate umpire from today’s game who said that Aiken told his manager that he was dealing with “tightness” in his arm.

8:14 p.m. ET: Interesting news here from John Manuel of Baseball America, as 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken left his first start with IMG Academy’s postgraduate team today after just 12 pitches due to an apparent injury. The 18-year-old was originally scheduled to be on a 40-pitch limit. No word yet on the reason for the early exit.

The Astros selected Aiken in last year’s draft, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement. There was reportedly an issue with Aiken’s elbow in a pre-signing physical, which caused the Astros to take their original $8.5 million offer off the table. They later offered $5 million, which tells you that whatever injury concerns the Astros had didn’t rule out a deal altogether, but two sides were unable to come to an agreement. The Astros will have the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft as compensation for failing to sign Aiken. Meanwhile, Aiken is eligible to be drafted again this year.

Many were expecting Aiken to be among the top picks again if healthy, so it would be a real shame to see him miss out on a big bonus only to suffer an injury. Stay tuned.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).