Yasmani Grandal Rumors

Draft Notes: O’s, Harper, Pomeranz, Grandal

The countdown is on for MLB scouting directors. The draft is just days away, so it's time for them to rank hundreds of players. Here are the latest links on the 2010 draft:

  • The Rangers' ownership problems means the team will be focusing on easily-signable players, reports Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com thinks the Diamondbacks will look to add pitching after spending most of their early picks in the 2009 draft on position players.  He also doesn't think Arizona will pay above slot to sign a player.  
  • Lou Montanez, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis tell MLB.com's Spencer Fordin what they remember about being drafted.
  • Bryce Harper may have played his last amateur game and it's not just because the draft is approaching. He received a two-game suspension after being ejected, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has video of the ejection.
  • ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill hears that the Mets are high on Drew Pomeranz and Josh Sale. The Mets' decision could come down to players' asking prices, however.
  • ESPN.com's Keith Law says the Mets could have a shot at Manny Machado, since the clubs picking between Pittsburgh and New York haven't shown clear interest in the high school shortstop.
  • Rival scouts and executives expect the Red Sox and Blue Jays to be big spenders in the draft this year, according to Law.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Jays will not shy away from tough signs.
  • An MLB executive told Law that catcher Yasmani Grandal is looking for "Buster Posey money." Posey received a $6.2MM bonus from the Giants.
  • If you're wondering who your team might select, check out this mock draft by three Baseball America writers.

Draft Notes: Pirates, Blue Jays, Reds, Harper

Some links from around the majors with less than a week to go before the MLB draft:

  • Pirates' president Frank Coonelly chatted with fans at the team's official site, with most of the questions involving prospects and the team's plans for Monday's draft.
  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian spoke to Blue Jays' director of amateur scouting Andrew Tinnish about the upcoming draft. Among other things, they discussed what the team's strategy will be with all of their extra picks. The Jays own ten of the first 126 picks.
  • Reds scouting director Chris Buckley told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds are considering Christian Colon, Alex Wimmers, Deck McGuire, Gary Brown and Kolbin Vitek.
  • In 2009, the Reds drafted Mike Leake in the first round. One year later, Bob Nightengale of USA Today shows that the 22-year-old is fitting in with older, more experienced teammates and impressing the opposition.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that Bryce Harper and Scott Boras will seek a record bonus this year. However, Heyman says most people expect the Nationals to sign Harper for more than Mark Teixeira's $9.5MM bonus and less than Stephen Strasburg's $15.1MM bonus (if they draft him, as expected).
  • The Mets won't pick Yasmani Grandal seventh overall, according to Heyman (via Twitter).
  • Heyman has the Mets taking right-hander Matt Harvey in his mock draft.

Odds & Ends: Padres, Chipper, Pagan, Phillies

Links for Thursday, as the Phillies attempt to get their offense going…

2010 Draft Prospect: Yasmani Grandal

Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available during the next few weeks. 

Quality catchers are a scarce commodity, even more so when they're young and cheap. There's always a premium placed on the position during the draft, and just last year we saw the Pirates reach for Tony Sanchez with the fourth overall pick even though he was generally considered a back of the first round talent.

The best all-around catcher in the 2010 draft class is Yasmani Grandal, a junior at Miami. ESPN's Keith Law rated him as the 10th best player available this year, while Baseball America had him 13th (subs. req'd for both). MLB.com's Draft Report says the switch hitter offers a "good amount of raw power," though "his individual defensive tools, other than his arm, don't grade out that well." Law maintains that Grandal "can absolutely stay behind the plate," which is obviously important. The MLB.com link also offers video.

Prior to last night's game against Georgia Tech, Grandal was hitting .425/.547/.754 with 20 doubles, 11 homers, 43 walks, and just 27 strikeouts in 47 games. The Red Sox selected him in the 26th round (804th overall) out of a Florida high school in 2007, but they obviously couldn't get him to sign on the dotted line. 

Catchers are almost always over-drafted to a certain degree because of position scarcity, but Grandal is a legitimate top 10-15 talent. Jim Callis of Baseball America had him going to the Mets with the seventh overall pick in his latest mock draft, though the Royals were rumored to be looking at Grandal for their fourth overall pick last month.

Odds & Ends: Smoak, Grandal, Harper, Zambrano

Links for Thursday, as the Pirates try to recover from their worst loss in franchise history

  • Highly regarded Rangers first base prospect Justin Smoak has gotten the call to replace Chris Davis at first base, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  The timing of his promotion ensures the Rangers will control Smoak through 2016.  Super two status is likely if Smoak is up for good, meaning he'll go to arbitration four times beginning after the 2012 season.  As for Davis, you have to wonder if a trade is in his future.
  • In a mailbag, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian speculates on when Blue Jays fans can expect to see Adeiny Hechavarria and Brett Wallace arrive in Toronto.
  • In an excellent piece for Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan looks at the state of baseball in the Dominican Republic, a topic MLBTR's Nick Collias addressed earlier in the week.
  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Royals minor-league lefty Adam Bostick has been suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test.
  • ESPN's draft coverage team tweets that the Royals are looking at University of Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal for the fourth overall pick in June.  Five days ago ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about Grandal: "He's the top college catcher in the country, can absolutely stay behind the plate, and hits well enough to be an above-average player in the majors."  Click here for a reminder of the full 2010 draft order. 
  • Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein looks at four question marks about potential #1 pick Bryce Harper.  Harper is not getting good reviews for his makeup.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune points out that Carlos Zambrano and Lou Piniella don't seem in complete agreement on whether the righty's bullpen move is temporary.