Danny Hultzen Rumors
Rival executives have wondered whether the Nationals will eventually shift top pick Anthony Rendon to second base, so ESPN.com’s Buster Olney constructs an impressive-looking 2013 Nationals lineup with Rendon at second and prospective free agent Prince Fielder at first base. Here are the rest of Olney’s rumors:
- The Mariners wondered whether Safeco Field would limit Rendon’s offense, but they’re confident that their second overall selection, left-hander Danny Hultzen, will be a good fit in their home ballpark.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed to Olney that it’s possible (though not likely) that top pick Taylor Jungmann could help them this year.
- Some executives tell Olney that top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy is the greatest pure talent in the draft. He's certainly looking to get paid like an elite talent.
- Olney wonders if Grant Balfour could be dealt to the Rangers, who could use relief help.
- Teams like the Braves and Phillies are looking for offense, so Josh Willingham could become a target if the 27-34 Athletics do become sellers.
We've already learned that right-hander Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates' choice with the first overall pick in today's amateur draft, and it seems that the next two picks are also starting to crystalize. "Barring huge late surprises," tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the top three look to be Cole, Anthony Rendon (to the Mariners) and Trevor Bauer (to the Diamondbacks). Here's the latest as we're just hours away from the 2011 draft...
- Cole, Rendon and Bauer are the first three picks for Baseball America's Jim Callis in his final mock draft. This represents a reversal for Callis, who said on Friday that "[Danny] Hultzen to Arizona was the biggest lock in the first six picks." Instead, Callis has Hultzen falling to the Nationals at No. 6.
- Francisco Lindor had a great workout with the Mariners and there were rumors Seattle could take the high school shortstop with the No. 2 pick, reports Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. Still, Goldstein predicts Seattle to draft Rendon in his latest mock since Jack Zduriencik didn't see much of Lindor in game action and, if the M's did branch out to take a high school player, they might prefer Bubba Starling.
- Marc Hulet of Fangraphs and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo also have Cole, Rendon and Bauer as the first three picks in their last mock drafts.
- Also from Mayo, he names the ten best draft picks in history according to their placement in the draft order. For instance, Alex Rodriguez is the best first overall pick ever, Reggie Jackson is the best second overall pick ever, etc.
- Now that it appears Cole will be Pittsburgh's pick at No. 1, the second-guessing has already begun. "I think history suggests that the Pirates may be making a mistake here," writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, who cites the surprisingly weak crop of pitchers taken with the first overall pick. (The jury is still out, of course, on David Price and Stephen Strasburg.)
- Meanwhile, Tom Krasovic of West Coast Bias asks five scouts and an executive who they would rather draft between Cole and Bauer. Cole won the informal poll, but only by a 4-2 margin.
- Nationals owner Mark Lerner says his team won't hesitate to spend to get the draft picks they want, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post (via the Post's Adam Kilgore). "Last year we had great luck in going after kids with signability issues like A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray, and hopefully we’ll have the same opportunity again this year if the opportunity presents itself," Lerner said.
- The Rockies are looking at Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong or UNC shortstop Levi Michael with the 20th overall pick in the first round, tweets ESPN's Keith Law. Colorado apparently won't be selecting Utah first baseman C.J. Cron.
- The Tigers have had success finding Major League players in the late rounds of recent drafts, reports MLive.com's Matt Sussman. Detroit won't have a pick until the 76th overall selection after losing its first round pick to Boston as compensation for signing Victor Martinez.
- MLBTR's Dan Mennella already posted a set of draft links earlier today, so click here for even more draft news on this busy day in baseball.
Keith Law of ESPN.com has written up his final projections for tonight's draft. Here are some of the latest highlights (Insider subscription needed):
- The D'Backs select UCLA righty Trevor Bauer with the No. 3 pick, meaning two of the first three picks will be Bruins after the Pirates take Gerrit Cole at No. 1 overall.
- The Orioles, turned off by Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen's hefty contract demands, take prep righty Archie Bradley out of Oklahoma at No. 4. Dylan Bundy then falls to the Royals at No. 5, which Law says would be a steal, and Hultzen slides back to the D'Backs at No. 7, a "dream scenario" for Arizona. That could lead to tricky negotiations considering Hultzen's demands and the fact that the pick is unprotected after Barret Loux didn't sign last year, but Bauer and Hultzen would represent quite a boon to the D'Backs' rotation in the near future.
- The Mets meet their organizational mandate to take a pitcher at No. 13, selecting UConn righty Matt Barnes.
- The Brewers, with an unprotected pick at No. 15, need to take a signable player, and may be looking at Vanderbilt righty Sonny Gray or Oregon lefty Tyler Anderson.
- The Red Sox probably won't spend too wildly at No. 19 and could focus on a high-probability player like Alex Meyer of Kentucky as they did a year ago with Kolbrin Vitek.
Here's the latest as we close in on Monday's First-Year Player Draft ...
- The Royals will be tempted to take prep outfielder Bubba Starling from Kansas with the No. 5 overall pick, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. The Royals are thought to covet a polished pitcher so that he can help the big league team sooner than later, according to Dodd, but they've smarted over missing out on local products Albert Pujols and Logan Morrison in the recent past, and GM Dayton Moore has discussed the importance of snatching up local talent.
- The Pirates' indecision about which pricey college player to take select at No. 1 overall -- Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon are represented by Scott Boras, while Danny Hultzen is reportedly seeking $13MM -- has some baseball people wondering whether they'll take a prep player like Starling or Dylan Bundy in order to preserve their draft budget and overpay for tough-to-sign players at later picks, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Also within that piece, Rogers examines some of the crucial selections of the past 10 drafts.
- The Phillies are charged with restocking their farm despite making their first pick at No. 39, writes Bob Brookover of Philly.com. The fact that many of the Phils' core players are homegrown and others were acquired with prospects is a testament to the scouting and development departments, according to Brookover.
- The Royals could also select UConn right-hander Matt Barnes with the fifth overall pick, writes Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner. Within that piece, Goff explains Barners' unforeseen ascent to likely top-10 selection.
- The Astros were once interested in Texas A&M righty John Stilson at No. 11, according to Goff, but the hurler has generally slipped out of first-round consideration due to a shoulder injury. As a result, Stilson is now a deep sleeper, writes Goff.
- Jonathan May of MLB.com published his latest mock draft today, with Cole, Rendon and Hultzen going at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 to the Pirates, Mariners and D'Backs, respectively.
- Four of six industry experts polled said they prefer Cole to Trevor Bauer of the two UCLA Bruins, but it's closer than you think, writes Tom Krasovic.
Peter Gammons of MLB Network runs through some of the most intriguing 'what-ifs' in the history of the draft at MLB.com. Here are more draft links, as we wonder what would have happened if the White Sox had drafted Barry Bonds in 1985...
- Florida prep shortstop Francisco Lindor's workout with the Diamondbacks was scheduled for today, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Monteverde (Fla.) Academy product is a candidate for their pick at No. 7.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (via Twitter) has received more pre-draft bonus demand letters. Wyoming's Brandon Nimmo is seeking $3MM, first baseman Dan Vogelbach wants $1.65MM, and Pennsylvania outfielder Derek Fisher is eyeing a bonus of $2.25MM.
- Chris Cox of MLB.com profiled University of South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who is unsure of where he'll land after suffering a wrist injury. Bradley, who has garnered comparisons to Jim Edmonds, will likely wind up being selected in the supplemental round.
- Right now there's not a whole lot of clarity in the top 15 of the draft, writes Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required). Law has Anthony Rendon pegged to go No. 2 to the Mariners though he believes that outfielder Bubba Starling could wind up going in that spot also.
- More from Law (via Twitter) as he hears that the White Sox are potentially looking at Stanford left-hander Chris Reed as a sandwich round pick.
- Phillies scouting director Marti Wolever suggested to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that the Phils will be looking for offense this year. "I always love to get bats, but that's kind of what we're looking at," Wolever said.
- Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports shows that UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer is talented, feisty and unorthodox. Could he be the next Tim Lincecum? One American League scout says he "could be as good as [Lincecum] or better."
- As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic explains, high school right-hander Archie Bradley faces a difficult decision: start at quarterback for the football-crazed University of Oklahoma or let his 100 mph fastball carry him to a seven-figure bonus and a baseball career. It sounds as though the affable Bradley will sign with an MLB team if he's offered enough money, since baseball is his first love.
- Check out Tim Dierkes’ writeup about Bradley from last month.
- Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen has pitched his way up teams' draft boards and remains a candidate to go first overall to the Pirates, Jonathan Mayo writes at MLB.com.
This year’s draft is deep, particularly in terms of power pitchers. Here are the details on some draft-eligible players and the teams that are eyeing them...
- Texas A&M righty Josh Stilson received a second opinion on his injured shoulder from Dr. James Andrews, who believes surgery can be avoided with a six-week rehab program according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. Stilson, a projected first round pick, suffered a SLAP tear in his throwing shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote about Rocco Baldelli's front office job with the Rays, which involves evaluating amateur position players for the draft.
- Astros assistant GM and scouting director Bobby Heck told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart that he has been impressed with the crop of power arms in this year's draft.
- Odds are the Astros will take a pitcher with the 11th overall pick, according to Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner (Twitter links). High school pitcher Archie Bradley told Goff that "the Astros have been in pretty good contact" with him.
- High school right-hander Dylan Bundy is a fitness freak who is mature beyond his years, as Nick Piecoro shows at the Arizona Republic. Bundy's pre-season goals? "To hit 100 mph, have a zero ERA and not walk anybody." His fastball touched 100 and he posted a 0.25 ERA with a 158K/5BB ratio.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that the Nationals, who select sixth overall, are looking at Bundy, Danny Hultzen, Bubba Starling, Jed Bradley, Trevor Bauer and Alex Meyer.
- The Royals entered the season with the best farm system in the game, yet GM Dayton Moore told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that there are many areas in which the organization's prospect depth can improve.
- The Rays have 12 of the first 89 selections this year and executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says those selections boost the team's odds of finding elite talent. "The more arrows you have, the more likely you are to hit the bulls-eye," Friedman told Bill Chastain of MLB.com.
- The Padres, who have five of the first 58 picks in the draft, are looking forward to their selections with equal enthusiasm, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock. GM Jed Hoyer says the Padres need to get their picks right.
- The Red Sox, Hoyer's former team, also have extra picks, something that GM Theo Epstein is looking forward to. “I think it energizes the scouting staff the whole year because they know going in and seeing players, there’s a much better chance you can actually get a guy," he told Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com.
- The Twins will look to add pitching early on, according to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger.
- Mets executives Paul DePodesta and Sandy Alderson agree with the consensus that the draft is deep in pitching, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
Alex Rodriguez, the first overall pick 18 years ago, has an .845 OPS after a two-hit game in Oakland today. Here's the latest on this year's draft, as we await another first overall pick...
- Teams are hearing that the asking price for Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen is $13MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter).
- High school shortstop Francisco Lindor will hold a private workout for the Diamondbacks tomorrow, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (on Twitter). Arizona selects third and seventh overall in this year's draft.
- Lindor, a high school shortstop, is being strongly considered by teams with top five picks, including the Mariners (who pick second overall) according to Jason A. Churchill of ESPN.com. Lindor could end up as a speedy switch-hitter with some power and an elite glove.
- What do Matt Bush, Wade Townsend and Colt Griffin have in common? They're among the worst ten single-digit draft picks of the decade, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.
- In this week's edition of Ask BA, Jim Callis of Baseball America says the Pirates will likely select Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, UCLA righty Gerrit Cole or Hultzen. At this point, it's a matter of "reading the tea leaves," since Pittsburgh's intention remains unclear.
The Dodgers have had unofficial conversations with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier about long-term deals, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. GM Ned Colletti would like to lock both outfielders up instead of letting them hit free agency after the 2012 season. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors:
- Though it’s hard to imagine Dodgers owner Frank McCourt signing either player long-term given his current financial issues, MLB seems hopeful that they can find a new owner for the team if and when it's necessary.
- Proposed Mets limited partner David Einhorn will have the chance to increase his share of the team from 33% to 60% after five years, according to Heyman. Majority owner Fred Wilpon could then block Einhorn and repay him his $200MM while allowing him to keep 16.5% of the team. Heyman hears that the Wilpons won’t allow Einhorn to become majority owner. Various reports about the value of the deal circulated over the weekend.
- Anthony Rendon’s draft stock is again rising, according to Heyman. The Mariners, who select second, could choose the Rice third baseman if the Pirates pick UCLA righty Gerrit Cole first overall. If the Pirates take Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the top pick, Rendon and Cole figure to be Seattle’s top choices.
- The Red Sox could look to acquire an outfielder if J.D. Drew’s nagging injuries persist.
- The Nationals are suggesting that they will have a high asking price for Ivan Rodriguez.
Here's the latest on the MLB draft, which is less than a week away...
- No prospect has seen his draft stock rise more than high school right-hander Taylor Guerrieri, according to Nathan Rode of Baseball America. Guerrieri is the best high school arm an American League scout has ever seen and the odds that he goes to college seem slimmer than ever.
- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus points out that this year's draft is hard to predict from the first overall selection on. Goldstein has the sense that the Pirates will select Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, but he can see them taking UCLA righty Gerrit Cole or Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon.
- Check out our Draft Prospect Q&A series for conversations with all three players and others.
- You may have heard about Trevor Bauer's unorthodox workout program, but the UCLA right-hander would prefer to be known for his fastball, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Mayo offers a must-read take on Bauer, who led the country with 189 strikeouts this season.
- Hultzen, Rendon and Bauer are all finalists for 2011 USA Golden Spikes Award, Cash Kruth writes at MLB.com.
The draft takes place one week from today; here’s the latest as teams prepare their draft boards for next Monday...
- ESPN.com’s Keith Law projects the Pirates to select UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick, though he says they’re still seriously in on Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen and high school outfielder Bubba Starling. It’s too early to rule out Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon either.
- The D’Backs could take Hultzen, UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer or high schooler Dylan Bundy third overall, according to Law.
- It looks like the Orioles will take an arm fourth overall; they have Bundy, high schooler Archie Bradley and Cole in their sights.
- If Bauer falls to the Indians, they’ll take him, according to Law.
- The Cubs “sent a small army” to watch outfielder George Springer at the Big East tournament.
- The Padres are interested in UConn right-hander Matt Barnes and Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray.
- The top three players on one team’s draft board are advised by agent Scott Boras, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.
- Rendon's stock is down a bit because of a dip in production and injury concerns, writes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, but Rendon's coach at Rice, Wayne Graham, expects the third baseman to go within the top two picks.
- The Giants shouldn't (and won't) alter their draft strategy in response to Buster Posey's season-ending injury, writes Jim Callis of Baseball America in a mailbag.