Yasmani Grandal Rumors
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.
Links for Thursday, as the Phillies attempt to get their offense going...
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells FanGraphs contributor Mike Lee that trading within a division makes sense at times. The entire interview is worth a read.
- In a clip for FanHouse TV, former Mets GM Steve Phillips explains what he meant when he said he would deal Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo breaks down this year's class of draft-eligible catchers and describes Yasmani Grandal's development into a top prospect.
- David Patton, who was designated for assignment when the Cubs had to make room for Bob Howry, has cleared waivers and re-signed with the Cubs, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat (via Twitter).
- Chipper Jones told 790 the Ticket in Miami that he might not play next year, even though he's under contract (transcript on Sports Radio Interviews, hat tip to USA Today). Chipper has gone back and forth on the issue this year.
- Angel Pagan is a better player than Jeff Francoeur for 2010 and beyond, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The Phillies are more likely to trade for a third or fourth starter than an ace this summer, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports. Knobler hears that the Phillies may match up best with a team looking to shed the salary of an expensive starter.
- Drew Pomeranz pitched well in front of a dozen or more scouting directors, writes ESPN.com's Keith Law. Meanwhile, teams have questions about righty Anthony Ranaudo's medical history.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown and Jon Heyman of SI.com believe Stephen Strasburg will make his MLB debut on June 8th, though both writers remind us that the date could change (Twitter links).
- David Golebiewski of FanGraphs says Carlos Pena should show more plate discipline and pull the ball if he wants to sign a big free agent contract this offseason.
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.
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.