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Ryne Stanek Rumors
The Rays have signed first-round pick Ryne Stanek for the full assigned pick value of $1,758,300, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). The Rays, who have confirmed the signing via press release, received the No. 29 overall selection as compensation for the loss of B.J. Upton to the Braves in free agency. Stanek is advised by Jason Wood of Arland Sports.
Stanek entered the season as a potential Top 5 pick, but his stock fell due to inconsistency througout the year. Still, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranked Stanek as the No. 12 prospect in this year's draft, while Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law each had him ranked 13th. Stanek slipped well past his expectations, and many considered the Rays' selection of Stanek to be one of the best values in the first round.
Mayo writes that Stanek "has as much arm strength as anyone, throwing a plus fastball in the mid-90s while maintaining velocity throughout his starts." Law feels that Stanek's curveball is ahead of his slider, though BA notes that his slider "has real power in the 84-87 mph range when it's right."
Stanek was one of two first-round picks for the Rays, who selected high school catcher Nick Ciuffo with the No. 21 overall pick. The Rays haven't taken a college pitcher this highly since selecting David Price out of Vanderbilt with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. WIth Stanek's deal, 28 of the 33 first-round picks from this year's draft have signed.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN has a tremendous amount of information on the upcoming MLB draft in the most recent edition of his weekly "Scoops" column. Here are some highlights from his highly informative piece (though there is much more to see in the full column)…
- Twins VP of player personnel Mike Radcliff spoke with Wolfson at length Wednesday afternoon and said that the team's draft board for the No. 4 overall pick is down to four players: "We have enough guys we have no problem taking," Radcliff said. "Dollars, risk, creativity, we can go many ways."
- Wolfson adds that at least one of the potential players would be someone the Twins could sign well below slot value, in order to spend more heavily on their second- and third-round picks. He adds that that player is likely high school catcher Reese McGuire, as has been rumored occasionally over the past few weeks. Asked about McGuire, Radcliff side-stepped the question a bit: "Well, we want a catcher every draft," he said. "Looking for a star catcher is the hardest thing to find."
- The Twins have had a scout in attendance to see "every pitch" from Kohl Stewart over the past couple of years. Radcliff and scouting director Deron Johnson have seen him multiple times.
- The Twins have a great relationship with Matt Sosnick and Adam Karon, who are advising McGuire and Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley. They're believed to be more interested in McGuire than Shipley. Sosnick, the agent for current Twins Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit, also advises high school arms Matt Krook and Andrew Church, plus San Francisco right-hander Alex Balog and Cal infielder Andrew Knapp. Each of those prospects ranks in the Top 100, per Baseball America.
- Johnson has seen Arkansas righty Ryne Stanek numerous times, and the Twins have done more work on him than any team in this year's top 10.
- High school lefty Hunter Green, who ranks as the draft's No. 31 prospect (per BA), is among the prospects who will attend a workout for the Twins on Monday. High school outfielder Austin Meadows did not attend a recent workout the team held for Georgia-area prospects.
- The Twins aren't likely to pursue Minnesota high school outfielder Ryan Boldt with their second pick (No. 43). They will look at another hometown product in Gophers lefty Tom Windle at that spot, however. Boldt was considered a first-round talent before a meniscus tear ended his season. He hopes to be ready to play by August.
- The Twins have the fourth-largest pool to sign international prospects this year, and Radcliff says they will be "major players" in this year's market. Wolfson adds that the Twins very much like Dominican outfielder Lewin Diaz.
- The team didn't have scouts in attendance to watch Japanese hurlers Shohei Otani and Masahiro Tanaka in Japan this past week.
The Astros, Cubs, and Rockies have the first three picks in the 2013 amateur draft, which takes place Thursday, June 6th. Draft gurus expect college righties Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray and college third baseman Kris Bryant to go within those first three picks, though the order seems tough to pin down at this point. The latest on the draft:
- Conor Glassey of Baseball America takes a look at the age spectrum among this year's BA Top 250 by splitting the list into high school and college players and examining the youngest and oldest in each group.
- Baseball America's Jim Callis asked four "top-level scouting executives" whether they preferred Appel or Gray. Three of them chose Appel, though it was interesting to hear that two of them questioned his makeup.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo talked to Nevada righty Braden Shipley, a converted shortstop. ESPN's Keith Law ranks Shipley the No. 6 talent in the draft, and predicted the Marlins will indeed take him in that sixth spot. Baseball America ranks him eighth, and predicted he'd go fifth to the Indians. Mayo went with eighth to the Royals.
- Mayo also writes that Shipley has elevated his stock thanks to consistent performance this season, while Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea and Arkansas right-hander Ryne Stanek have seen their stocks fall. Manaea has been bothered by a hip issue that has led to diminished results, while Stanek has had an up-and-down season as well. A scouting director told Mayo that he thinks Stanek will be the third pitcher selected in the draft. The upcoming conference tournaments will serve as a showcase for these college arms to gain some last-minute draft helium.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.