Draft Notes: Moran, Gray, Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles

Baseball is a generational game, and it should come as no surprise to hear that many of this year's prospects have relatives involved in the sport.  Conor Glassey of Baseball America ran down some of the more prominent players who have fathers, uncles, brothers and cousins involved in baseball.  Top prospect Colin Moran has major big league ties as his brother is Mariners pitching prospect Brian Moran and his uncles are former outfielder B.J. Surhoff and pitcher Rich Surhoff.  Here's more draft linkage…

  • The Twins would take Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray if he was available when the club was on the board with the fourth overall pick, two sources tell Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com (Twitter link).  It's no surprise the pitching-hungry Twins would take the highly-touted righty, though it would be a mild surprise to see Gray drop to the No. 4 pick, his recent positive test for Adderall notwithstanding.
  • Stanford right-hander Mark Appel tops Keith Law's ranking of the top 100 draft prospects.  While Law thinks Appel is the best talent in this year's draft, he predicted the Astros would take Moran with the first overall pick in his most recent mock draft (an ESPN Insider subscription required for both pieces).
  • Blue Jays amateur scouting director Brian Parker talks to Sportnet's Shi Davidi about the upcoming draft and how the Jays won't have extra compensatory picks for the first time since 2008.
  • The most recent collective bargaining agreement hurt the amateur draft, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes, and Griffin believes the system would be improved by a worldwide talent pool draft and allowing picks to be traded.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America spoke with Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith about the Blue Jays' possibilities in the draft.  While there's no Bryce Harper-type player to be found in this year's class, Toronto can still snag a "really good player" at No. 10 overall, in Callis' estimation.  Kohl Stewart is a guy that could intrigue the Blue Jays, but Callis expects the Twins to snag him at No. 4.
  • The Mariners see plenty of promise at the No. 12 pick, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns.  "I keep reading and hearing this is a weak Draft and I always stay away from that," M's scouting director Tom McNamara said. "I think it's fine. Where we're picking, we're fine."  Catcher Reese McGuire is regarded as a top 12 pick by most experts and is right in the Mariners' backyard, but McNamara is predictably tight-lipped about the club's potential interest in him.
  • Callis also checked in with Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com about what we might see the Orioles do.  In two of his three mock drafts so far, Callis has the O's taking South Carolina high school catcher Nick Ciuffo and the BA scribe says that he has gotten some A.J. Pierzynski comps.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


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