MLB Amateur Draft begins on Monday at 7 p.m. ET

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The 2017 amateur draft gets underway today and will last through Wednesday. If you’ve spent a lot of time around here, you know that we don’t really cover high school or college baseball. As such, we’re not going to put on some fake draft expert cap and pretend that we know what the heck we’re talking about. We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

But we can certainly point you to the folks who do make it their business to know what the heck they’re talking about when it comes to the top amateur baseball talent in the land, thereby helping you get ready for the draft.

  • The draft will be broadcast on MLB Network this evening. There will be a pre-draft show at 6PM Eastern and the actual draft will get going at 7PM. It will also stream at MLB.com.
  • Baseball America has the board with the top-500 prospects ranked. Yes, 500. That’s a lot. It also sort of explains why we don’t really spend a lot of time on amateur stuff here. You just ain’t gonna compete with Baseball America, so you shouldn’t even try. We can agree with them that, based on what we’ve read, Hunter Greene, the pitcher/shortstop from Sherman Oaks, California is the top prospect.
  • Other experts to follow as the draft unfolds: ESPN’s Keith Law, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Baseball America’s Jim Callis.

The Twins have the top pick. Below I have listed the draft order for the first round, alongside what MLB’s anti-free market slotting rules have decided each of those picks is worth. But we’ll leave rants about that aside for now.

1. Minnesota Twins ($7,770,700)

2. Cincinnati Reds ($7,193,200)

3. San Diego Padres ($6,668,100)

4. Tampa Bay Rays ($6,153,600)

5. Atlanta Braves ($5,707,300)

6. Oakland Athletics ($5,303,000)

7. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,016,300)

8. Philadelphia Phillies ($4,780,400)

9. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,570,000)

10. Los Angeles Angels ($4,376,800)

11. Chicago White Sox ($4,199,200)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,032,000)

13. Miami Marlins ($3,875,800)

14. Kansas City Royals ($3,727,600)

15. Houston Astros ($3,588,200)

16. New York Yankees ($3,458,600)

17. Seattle Mariners ($3,333,200)

18. Detroit Tigers ($3,214,600)

19. San Francisco Giants ($3,101,700)

20. New York Mets ($2,994,500)

21. Baltimore Orioles ($2,892,400)

22. Toronto Blue Jays ($2,795,200)

23. Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,702,700)

24. Boston Red Sox ($2,614,500)

25. Washington Nationals ($2,530,400)

26. Texas Rangers ($2,450,100)

27. Chicago Cubs ($2,373,300)

28. Toronto Blue Jays (Compensation for Edwin Encarnacion-CLE) ($2,302,900)

29. Texas Rangers (Compensation for Ian Desmond-COL) ($2,238,900)

30. Chicago Cubs (Compensation for Dexter Fowler-STL) ($2,184,300)

Astros star Altuve has surgery on broken thumb, a WBC injury

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Houston Astros star Jose Altuve had surgery Wednesday on his broken right thumb, an injury that occurred in the World Baseball Classic and will significantly delay the second baseman’s 2023 debut.

The Astros announced that the 32-year-old Altuve had the procedure done in Houston and will stay there to begin his rehabilitation, with only one week left in spring training. The Astros will fly there on Sunday following their final Grapefruit League game in Florida, before playing a pair of exhibitions against their Triple-A team, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, in Texas.

Altuve was hit by a pitch on Saturday while playing for Venezuela in the WBC. He might not be ready to return to the lineup until at least late May. The eight-time All-Star and 2017 American League MVP batted .300 with 103 runs, 28 homers and 18 steals for the World Series champion Astros last season. Mauricio Dubón and David Hensley are the leading candidates to fill in for Altuve at second base.

Altuve isn’t the only Major League Baseball star who was hurt in WBC play, of course. Mets closer Edwin Díaz will miss the 2023 season because of a torn patellar tendon in his right knee as the freak result of an on-field celebration following a WBC win by the Puerto Rico national team.

BROWN DOWN

The Astros also scratched right-hander Hunter Brown from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Manager Dusty Baker told reporters that Brown, who is ranked by MLB as the organization’s top prospect and competing for the last spot in the rotation, has discomfort in his lower back.

NOT QUITE READY

The New York Mets sent catcher Francisco Álvarez to Triple-A Syracuse, quashing for now the possibility of putting the prized 21-year-old on the opening day roster.

Álvarez, who made his major league debut with the Mets near the end of last season, had just three hits in 28 at-bats in Grapefruit League exhibition games. Ranked by MLB as the third-best prospect in baseball, Álvarez batted .260 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs in a combined 112 minor league games in 2022 at Double-A and Triple-A.

The Mets have newcomer Omar Narváez, a 2021 All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers, as their primary catcher with Tomás Nido likely to play mostly against left-handed pitchers.

Speaking of the Mets, Díaz turned 29 on Wednesday – a rather subdued milestone for the right-hander considering his situation. Diaz nonetheless posted in Spanish an upbeat message on his Twitter account, thanking God for another year of life and describing his health as good and his outlook as positive in this initial stage of the roughly eight-month rehabilitation process.