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May 27, 2011 comments

•Anthony Rendon played his first games in the field since suffering a shoulder injury in March, and interestingly, Rendon played second base, reports John Manuel of Baseball America. Rendon made an error in his second game but according to one scout, "handled his routine chances just fine." While Rendon has displayed a strong third base glove in his college career, some executives have wondered if he is better suited to play second in the majors.

•Jim Callis of Baseball America has Rendon going first overall to Pittsburgh in his latest mock draft.

•The Pirates are open to taking any of the top three or four players with the first overall pick, and they don't even have a "front-runner" for the pick, tweets Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

•ESPN.com's Buster Olney hears that the Pirates continue to consider Gerrit Cole as a candidate for the first overall pick in the draft. Cole’s struggles have scared some teams off to an extent, but not Pittsburgh. Cole hit the 101-mph mark on the radar gun during a start tonight, according to ESPN's Keith Law (Twitter link).

•MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo lists the draft's top college arms, including Cole, Trevor Bauer and Danny Hultzen. The 2011 draft class stands apart from others thanks in large part to the deep, talented crop of college hurlers.

•As Mayo explains, 6'9" right-hander Alex Meyer has developed from a hard thrower into a more polished college arm.

•Reed MacPhail of FanGraphs offers more on the Kentucky starter and his “tantalizing combination of size and stuff.”

•Hultzen is "probably" the Diamondbacks' most wanted player, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic and he thinks the D'Backs would pass on Cole if he's still available when Arizona makes the third overall pick.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post.

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More comments that appeared today;

MorBy Ben Nicholson-Smith [May 30, 2011 at 4:25pm CST]

The draft takes place one week from today; here’s the latest as teams prepare their draft boards for next Monday...

•ESPN.com’s Keith Law projects the Pirates to select UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick, though he says they’re still seriously in on Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen and high school outfielder Bubba Starling. It’s too early to rule out Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon either.

•The D’Backs could take Hultzen, UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer or high schooler Dylan Bundy third overall, according to Law.

•It looks like the Orioles will take an arm fourth overall; they have Bundy, high schooler Archie Bradley and Cole in their sights.

•If Bauer falls to the Indians, they’ll take him, according to Law.

•The Cubs “sent a small army” to watch outfielder George Springer at the Big East tournament.

•The Padres are interested in UConn right-hander Matt Barnes and Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray.

•The top three players on one team’s draft board are advised by agent Scott Boras, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan.

e comments today;

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Not sure about the last comment.

Boras is apparently being called an advisor to Starling and I believe Rendon in case they go to school. I believe he encouraged Cole to go to college and represents him as well. Pittsburgh does not want to deal with Boras after having problems with him in the past according to some reports. Does Pittsburgh eliminate Rendon, Cole and Starling?

They say one team has 3 Boras clients as their top three. They obviously don't have a Boras problem. Is it Seattle or Arizona? I think it's Seattle and the three are Cole, Rendon and Starling.

The Seattle GM had some quotes today about Rendon;

Mariners GM Asks Why Anthony Rendon Doesn't Release Medical History

May 30


by Charlie Wilmoth

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes that, whereas Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole were once the clear-cut top two picks in the upcoming MLB Draft, they aren't anymore. The Pirates haven't given much indication of who they're taking (whether it will be one of those two guys, or Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen, or Oklahoma high school hurler Dylan Bundy, or Kansas high school outfielder Bubba Starling), and neither have the Mariners, who pick second.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik does, however, ask why Rendon doesn't simply release his medical records:

"You have to basically work through the agent," Zduriencik said of the medical records. "A player has to grant permission, and the agent is in the middle of that. A lot is at stake for them, too.

"If a player has a chance to go very high, it makes sense, if they feel very good about their medical history, why not release it? Disclose it. It could benefit the player. If you don't get (the medical history), for whatever reason, you might have to ask why."

In case it weren't clear, he is talking about Rendon. Rendon's injury issues are the main factor keeping him from being the consensus top pick in the draft. If he had information that showed that his ankle and shoulder were fine, or were likely to soon be fine, releasing it might well make him more money. In that case, however, I'm sure the Pirates would probably select him before the Mariners had a chance to. He may not release his records because he might not want to go to Pittsburgh or Seattle. Does Seattle pass because of the records not being released?

Not sure about Arizona but reports are they are going to take pitchers with both of their first round picks. If Hultzen goes to Pittsburgh will Seattle pass on Rendon and take Cole or Starling? I think they will pass on Rendon and take Cole. Arizona with two picks will take Bauer with the 3rd pick. Hultzen, Cole and Bauer go 1-2-3 leaving us Rendon and Bundy to choose from. What do you do if you are the Orioles? I take Rendon and either he ends up as our future 3B or maybe a replacement for BROB at 2B.

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I hope the FO and Jordan are not living on the edge these days and we get a huge break with our fourth pick like we did with Wieters a few years ago. Rendon would be an absolutely fantastic pick for us if he's there.

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Recent national news; Arizona - If Hultzen is gone, it's Trevor Bauer or Dylan Bundy here, with Cole and Starling as backup plans. The D-backs had a small army at ASU to see both UCLA arms this weekend, including GM Kevin Towers, and Bauer hit 95 in the first and ninth innings while spinning a shutout. But Hultzen's been their guy all spring.

Baltimore Orioles Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso (Okla.) HS. If Bundy goes at No. 3 to Arizona, the Orioles have the other top Oklahoma prep arm, Archie Bradley, in their sights, and I wouldn't rule out Cole here, either.

The Pirates are still seriously on Danny Hultzen and Bubba Starling, and I wouldn't rule Anthony Rendon out entirely, but my gut tells me right now they'll find Cole's raw stuff -- he hit 101 for me on Friday night and touched 100 many times, including in the eighth inning --too good to pass up.

Seattle is looking at Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde Academy:

Orioles: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS: One of the highest ceilings in the draft, Starling profiles as a five-tool center fielder

Kansas City RoyalsMatt Barnes, RHP, UConn. Cole is still the dream scenario for the Royals, who could end up with Bundy, as well. They're determined to get a pitcher who'll move quickly through their system to the big leagues so that he arrives with all their other premium minor league talent.


One national site has my three picks in order; Hultzen, Cole and Bauer going 1-2-3 with the Orioles taking Bundy and passing on Rendon. I don't see that happening. Rendon or Starling? No we need help sooner than later and will take a college player....Rendon.

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Everything was from around different websites but the last paragraph which is mine. I have seen Lindor's name come up twice now on two different sites linked to Seattle in the last few days. Best SS in the draft? If Pittsburgh and Seattle throw the experts a curve and take Hultzen rumored #1 by a number of people and Lindor #2 the draft will get really interesting for teams 3,4,5, 6 and 7. Bauer or Hultzen are appearing on a lot of sites at #3 to Arizona. If Hultzen goes #1 and Bauer #3 this will leave Rendon, Starling, Cole and Bundy for Baltimore, K.C., Washington and Arizona. Jordon cannot possibly be envisioning this scenario. He cannot screw this up or he will be out of a job in a year or two. Yes! I would take Rendon and don't think the failing to release his medical records is a problem. It's being done to discourage Pittsburgh and i believe Seattle from drafting him.

I would be shocked if this happens but like I said before Boras plays a role in this draft and from what I can tell Bundy is the only one of this group not represented by Boras. Interesting! It's hard to tell if this speculation nationally is due to the writers hearing from inside the front offices of the top three teams and hearing they don't want to deal with Boras. From what I can tell Hultzen and Lindor are not represented by Boras and I can't find anything on who is representing Bauer.

Bauer info; As UCLA's Saturday starter, Bauer has led the nation in strikeouts, fanning 189 and walking just 34 over 127 2/3 innings. He's held hitters to a .152 batting average against and carried a 1.27 ERA into NCAA Regional play this weekend. And while Bauer does have an unusual delivery, those numbers don't all come from smoke and mirrors.

His fastball can touch 97 mph and sits comfortably in the 93-94 mph range. His curve is a plus breaking ball, and he augments those two with a variety of other breaking and offspeed pitches. That's a big reason why even though he's not the biggest guy in the world -- at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds -- and he's thrown a ton of pitches, his name is being mentioned as high as No. 3 overall.

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Thanks for all the info. It's hard to tell what to believe at this point. I'm sure there's a lot of misdirection being floated out there by teams. I just hope that the O's end up with one of the guys you discussed, not name Bauer. I'm not too excited about Starling, but I'll be satisfied if we take him. I'm still hoping for one of Rendon, Cole and Bundy.

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With so many high-upside guys, this could come down to the top teams working out pre-draft deals. I guess it all depends on how similar people think these players really are.

Could the Chapman and Strasburg injuries make people shy away from Cole?

Could Rendon's two injuries provide just enough of an excuse to pass him over?

Does the Boras effect for each of those players come into play?

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With all the names mentioned by the national folks, I think there are arguments for them regardless of who's left on the board. If BAL ends-up with one of the players that are being most commonly mentioned, the fanbase should be pleased. The particular player may not be what some fans would want, but there are certainly good arguments for Cole/Rendon/Bundy/Hultzen/Bauer/Bradleys (plural)/Starling/Jungmann/Gray. And there are names outside of that list that I think you could defend, as well.

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I always find these national comments and draft talk amusing. Most of the teams are not going to throw out info about who they are going to take. If they do throw info out there, some of it may be to throw other people off.

Therefore, most of the comments by national media and on this board are just educated guesses. I just wait until draft day and hope that the O's don't do something stupid.

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