Quick Hits: Gray, Haren, Angels, Nationals

One scout is hoping to bring baseball to Africa, reports Danny Knobler of CBS SportsWhite Sox scout John Tumminia has worked to provide baseball supplies to impoverished children around the world, and Kenya is this year's target.  Commissioner Bud Selig has raised baseball's profile internationally in recent years with events like the World Baseball Classic and increasing amounts of players from South America and Europe. Also, this year the MLB will host camps in African nations of Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa, tweets Diamondbacks European scout Rene Saggiadi. Here tonight's look around the rest of the baaseball world… 

  • Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray has climbed all the way to the top of Baseball America's (subscription required) draft prospect rankings.  Some see parallels between Gray's steady rise in the scouting world, to that of Stephen Strasburg in the 2009 draft.  Boras Corporation advisees take the next two spots, with Stanford right-hander Mark Appel and San Diego third baseman/outfielder  Kris Bryant ranking No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
  • Dan Haren empathizes with the Angels and their 12-22 start, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Haren signed with the Nationals after the Angels declined a club option for the right-hander last winter following an up-and-down year in 2012. Haren understands what if feels like to endure a rough stretch to the season, but added "If they would have kept the team together and rolled it over into this year, I guarantee that team would have played really good baseball."
  • Former Major Leaguer Akinori Otsuka is attempting a comeback, tweets Patrick Newman of     NPB Tracker. The 41-year-old right-hander intends to pitch for the Grand Serows team of the Japanese independent BC League.  Otsuka's last pitched appeared in the majors in 2007 with the Rangers.  The former set-up man pitched to a 2.44 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over his four big league seasons. 

Max Fogle contributed to this post.


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