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Danny Hultzen Rumors
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 Hudson, Mark 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.
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 Crow, Mike 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.
- As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees’ low-risk veteran signings are paying off now that Eric Chavez, Russell Martin and others are contributing to wins.
- In a conversation with Beerleaguer, Joe Crede praised White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf for re-signing A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko this offseason.
- D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told MLB.com's Steve Gilbert that he plans on seeing a handful of players in preparation for the June draft. Towers will take a look at some top players the organization could select with the No. 3 and 7 picks, though Arizona executives Jerry Dipoto and Ray Montgomery will run the draft room.
- One of the players on Arizona’s radar is Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, who told me today that he wouldn’t prevent the D’Backs from selecting him this year. They chose him in 2008, so he technically has to provide permission for Arizona to select him again.
- As Evan Drellich points out at MLB.com, a number of notable players retired this offseason, including Carlos Delgado, Trevor Hoffman, Gary Sheffield and Mike Hampton.
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: