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MLB Amateur Draft begins Monday at 7pm ET

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If you’ve spent a lot of time around here, you know that we don’t really cover high school or college baseball, so we’re not going to put on some fake draft expert cap and pretend that we know what the heck we’re talking about when it comes to the MLB Amateur Draft. We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

We do know this much though: The 2018 draft gets underway today and will last through Wednesday. The Tigers pick first thanks to Pablo Sandoval hitting a walkoff dinger on the final game of the 2017 season to push the Giants “ahead” of the Tigers, record-wise. Thanks?

We can also 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. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rounds one and two will be broadcast on MLB Network starting at 7PM EDT tonight. There’s a preview show at 6PM; Rounds 3-10 will be live-streamed on MLB.com beginning at 1PM tomorrow. Rounds 11-40 — they go fast, folks — will also be on MLB.com, beginning at noon eastern on Wednesday;
  • Baseball America’s draft preview material remains unmatched. Some of it — including their top 500 (yes, 500) prospects list — is paywalled, but don’t let anyone say you didn’t have the option to learn literally everything worth knowing about the draft. If you’re looking for a broader, less-intense overview, here’s MLB.com’s rundown of what to watch for in the draft. Keith Law of ESPN has a mock draft at ESPN.com, also behind a paywall, but premium content sometimes, quite reasonably, costs a premium;
  • Depending on whose mock drafts and previews you look at, Casey Mize, a right-handed pitcher from Auburn, Joey Bart, a catcher from Georgia Tech or Cole Winn, a high school righty from California are top candidates to be picked first and, in any event, will likely go in the top five. Nick Madrigal is a middle infielder from Oregon State who is thought of highly, as is Brady Singer, the righty from Florida pictured above.

Unless you follow college baseball closely those aren’t likely to be household names to you, but such is life in the baseball draft. Unlike football and basketball, Major League Baseball doesn’t have national broadcasters teaming up with colleges to publicize and subsidize their talent development pool. Your introduction to most of these guys will be when the beat writers who cover your team do profiles on the guys who actually got picked. Which is fine. The grind of the minor leagues means that, eventually, you’ll know what your team’s GM got.

Enjoy the draft if it’s your cup of tea. If not: you have anywhere from, oh, 2-6 years to get to know these dudes.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.