In the midst of a season in which he hasn’t been as dominant as many draft-watchers projected, NC State pitcher Carlos Rodon is no longer a clear favorite to be the Astros’ selection with the No. 1 pick in the June draft, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo writes. East Carolina pitcher Jeff Hoffman hasn’t cemented his place at the top of the draft, either, clearing the way for California high school pitcher Brady Aiken and Texas high school pitcher Tyler Kolek to enter the picture for the top overall pick. “I think it’s Kolek, being a hometown guy,” says one scout, referring to who the Astros ought to pick. “Rodon has Scott Boras [as an advisor]; you’re not going to get a discount there. If it comes down to Kolek and Aiken, it has to come to the guy in your backyard, especially if he’s throwing 100 MPH.” Here are more notes on the draft and the minors.
- Pitchers will dominate the first round of this year’s draft, writes MLB.com’s Jim Callis. “There could be eight or nine pitchers taken in the top 10,” says an AL scouting director. “How many can go in the top 15? Twelve? Thirteen? There are so many arms. This is a deeper pool of players than last year, especially with pitchers.” Aiken, Kolek, Rodon and Hoffman are likely among the Astros’ top candidates for the first overall pick, perhaps along with California high school C/OF Alex Jackson, LSU pitcher Aaron Nola, NC State shortstop Trea Turner and San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer.
- The Blue Jays are likely to soon promote top pitching prospect Marcus Stroman to join their rotation, and Baseball America’s Vince Lara-Cinisomo has a scouting report. Stroman has good stuff despite his small size (5-foot-9), with a fastball that reaches into the mid-90s and a good slider. Stroman’s workload could be a factor this season, since he only threw 111 2/3 innings in 2013.