Danny Hultzen Rumors

Keith Law’s First Mock Draft

There is still a lot that can and will change between now and the amateur draft in three weeks, but that didn't stop ESPN's Keith Law from posting his first mock draft today. It's an Insider-only piece, but here are the important points…

  • The Pirates are considering Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and have "done their due diligence" on Dylan Bundy. Law notes that "under Neal Huntington the Pirates have long considered value relative to cost in their drafts, sometimes preferring to spend less in the first round when they see opportunities to spend their savings on other appealing prospects in later rounds." He has them taking Danny Hultzen first overall.
  • Everyone Law has spoken to says the Mariners will take Rendon as long as the medicals check out, and he hears from the very good source that there is nothing structural wrong with the Rice third baseman's shoulder.
  • The Diamondbacks will take Hultzen third overall if he's available, and they're hoping for Bundy or Trevor Bauer with the seventh overall pick. That pick is compensation for failing to sign Barret Loux last year.
  • The Orioles have interest in Bundy, Bauer, and Jed Bradley with the fourth pick. Law emphasizes that everyone has told him the Royals want a college pitcher with the fifth pick. The Indians have their eyes on Bauer for eighth overall.
  • High school outfielder Brandon Nimmo is looking for $2MM, and Law has him going to the Rays with the 32nd pick.

Draft Links: Mock Draft, Hultzen, Slotting System

The amateur draft is now three weeks and two days away, and we're going to start hearing some more rumblings about teams targetting maybe not specific players, but a group of three or four players. Here's the latest…

  • Baseball America's Jim Callis posted his first mock draft, and has the Pirates taking UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole first overall. That link is free for all, but subscribers can see an in-depth analysis of each pick.
  • Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (on Twitter) that Pirates' GM Neil Huntingon was on hand to scout Virginia RHP Danny Hultzen last night. Click here for Ben Nicholson-Smith's interview with Hultzen, and here for a little more about the team's draft strategy.
  • ESPN's Keith Law says (on Twitter) that Diamondbacks senior vice president of scouting and player development Jerry Dipoto was scouting Hultzen as well. The D'Backs hold the third and seventh overall picks. Click here for the full draft order.
  • Sources tell Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that an international draft "remains extremely unlikely for the next collective-bargaining agreement," but a hard slotting system that assigns fixed bonuses to each pick is something "MLB will not concede without a fight."

Pirates Notes: Cole, Rendon, Hultzen, Boleska

Paul Maholm (2003), Neil Walker (2004), Andrew McCutchen (2005) and Pedro Alvarez (2008) were all first round selections by the Pirates. The last time they had the first overall pick, however, they selected Bryan Bullington (2002), who has yet to make a significant impact in the Major Leagues. The Pirates select first overall this June; here’s the latest on what they’ll do with the top pick:

  • The Pirates appear to be looking primarily at UCLA righty Gerrit Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen with the first overall selection, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Nine of 14 scouts predicted that the Pirates will take Cole, with three predicting Rendon and two predicting Hultzen.
  • For interviews with all three players, check out our Draft Prospect Q&A series.
  • All signs point to the Pirates taking a college player rather than, say, high school standout Bubba Starling, according to Mayo.
  • The Pirates released Double-A right-hander Tom Boleska, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Boleska, a 24-year-old right-hander, has a 2.73 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in five minor league seasons, but has struggled in 12 appearances at Double-A this year.
  • You can follow the Pirates on MLBTR with Facebook, Twitter and RSS.

Gammons On A’s, Pirates, Royals, Rays

Starting pitching is one of the most valuable assets in the game and, as Peter Gammons explains at MLB.com, small-market teams usually have to rely on the draft to obtain it. Here are Gammons’ latest notes from around the league…

  • A's GM Billy Beane says his current rotation, a group that’s more or less untouchable, could be as good as Tim HudsonMark Mulder and Barry Zito were. Trevor Cahill has “become one of the best pitchers in the game,” according to Beane.
  • "Let's face it, no small-market team can afford to go into the market to get starting pitching,"  Beane told Gammons. "To survive and compete, you have to draft and develop pitching, or go out and get it before it's on the Major League radar screen."
  • Gammons reports that some expect the Pirates to take Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen with the first overall pick this June. Click here for MLBTR's Q&A with Hultzen.
  • Georgia Tech Lefty Jed Bradley will likely disappear within the first ten picks of the draft, and Connecticut righty Matt Barnes will likely be a top-15 selection.
  • The Royals are looking for a college starter who can arrive in the Major Leagues and make an impact in the rotation soon.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore agrees that you need pitching to go along with premium position players. “They're not going to win if we don't find young, affordable pitching," Moore said.
  • The D’Backs, who hold two of the first seven picks this year (#3, #7), will take at least one arm early on and the Rays are also likely to take a number of pitchers with some of their many high picks.

Draft Notes: Royals, Hultzen, Red Sox

It takes a while for draft picks – even highly-touted ones – to make an impact in the Major Leagues. For example, only a handful of 2009 first round selections have made it to the majors so far (Stephen Strasburg, Mike Minor, Drew Storen, Aaron CrowMike Leake and Alex White). That won't stop us from anticipating the next generation of MLB stars and looking ahead to this June's draft…

  • Earlier today, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes pointed out a potential hidden gem for the draft: Montana high school outfielder Ben Roberts (Twitter link).
  • Most scouts assume that the Royals will take local high school standout Bubba Starling if he's available when they select fifth overall, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
  • Starling, Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen or UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer could be selected within the first two picks of this year's draft, according to Jason A. Churchill of ESPN.com
  • Meanwhile, Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann has seen his stock rise recently, while Connecticut right-hander Matt Barnes has seen his stock fall, according to Churchill. 
  • The Red Sox are showing interest in high school catcher Tyler Marlette, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Marlette is a defensive backstop who could be selected within the first two rounds of the draft.

Quick Hits: Yankees, Crede, D’Backs

Links for Monday night, as recently promoted Dodgers prospect Jerry Sands doubles in his first MLB at bat…

Draft Prospect Q&A: Danny Hultzen

As the 2011 Draft draws closer, MLBTR will be introducing you to a handful of the top eligible prospects with a series of Q&As. The series started with three of the top college pitchers in the nation and a top college position player. Here's another arm to watch.


Danny Hultzen was the ACC pitcher of the year and a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes Award last year, but even he is a little surprised by how well the 2011 season is going. The Virginia left-hander has helped lead the Cavaliers to a 36-3 record and the top ranking in the country thanks to his arm and his bat.

Baseball America's Midseason Player of the Year is climbing up draft boards and may be the third-best draft prospect in the country behind Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole. ESPN.com's Keith Law reported last week that the D'Backs, Orioles and Royals are among the teams eyeing Hultzen. Anyone picking much later on can likely forget about him, since he doesn't figure to be available for long.

Earlier today I spoke to the 21-year-old about his team's title hopes, his two-way play and the draft. Here's what he had to say: