June 2009

Draft signing update

Well, it seems like we’ve got a total of nine first-rounders signed to date. In case you’ve lost track, they are:

No. 4 Tony Sanchez, Pirates
No. 5 Matt Hobgood (just happened over the weekend), Orioles
No. 10 Drew Storen, Nationals
No. 17 A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks
No. 21 Jiovanni Mier, Astros (I just talked to him today, look for a story about his pro debut tomorrow)
No. 24 Randal Grichuk, Angels
No. 26 Eric Arnett, Brewers
No. 31 Brett Jackson, Cubs
No. 32 Tim Wheeler, Rockies

The Hobgood signing is the first top 10 pick to sign since I posted about my Top 10 Signing Game. We ended up with 4 contestents, and here’s the update, giving the differential of guessed signing date and bonus as indicators:

Matt S. — 6 days; $80,000 (he had July 3, $2.5 mil for Hobgood)
Brian O. — 7 days; $80,000
Todd F. — 26 days; $1.08 mil
Jon W. — 48 days; $80,000

Coolbaugh Memorial Tournament

This will be the first in many posts on this topic. Ever since I wrote a story about S.L. Price’s book about Mike Coolbaugh, I’ve felt a connection to the story and have wanted to help the family out in any way possible (I’m assuming by now most of you know Mike’s story — career Minor Leaguer who was tragically killed by a foul ball while coaching first base about two years ago). It might not be much, but writing about the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Tournament repeatedly in this space is a good start. Here’s the basics:

When: Saturday, Nov. 7., 2009
Where: Tapatio Springs Golf Resort, Boerne, TX
What: A golf event, followed by a dinner and silent auction

What can you do, you ask? I’m glad you did. You have several options:

  • You can attend. The more the merrier: You can click the link to register. Teams of four who register by June 30 will save $200.
  • You can donate/sponsor. Click this link to find out about personal donations or even coroprate-type sponsorship opportunities.
  • You can participate in the auction. Check out items from last year’s auction here. If you attend the event, you can bid on great items. If you’re a collector, a player, an agent, a team, that’s reading this, you can send donations to:
Coolbaugh Memorial
11844 Bandera Rd # 447
Helotes, TX 78023

Or you can email them with any questions. Click here to email

Speaking of the auction, I wanted to give a shout out to some companies who have already shown incredible generosity in donating to the Coolbaugh Memorial:

Akadema Pro
Old Hickory Bats
Fatheadz, Inc. Eyewear

They’ve stepped up in a big way. If you or your company can be that generous, I’ll give you some love here on the blog.

Debuts and signings

The Cubs’ first-round pick, Brett Jackson (No. 30 overall), has signed with the club. It looks like Boise is his destination once he passes a physical, though since he hasn’t played in a game since the end of May, don’t be shocked if he goes to Mesa for a few games in the rookie-level Arizona League just to get his timing back a little.

ESPN’s Keith Law said he heard Jiovanni Mier has agreed to terms with the Astros. I’m trying to find out details. If true, perhaps you’ll see the No. 21 overall pick head to the Gulf Coast League or perhaps the Appalachian League.

Angels’ top pick, Randal Grichuk, No. 24 overall, has played in two Arizona League games to date. He’s gone 1-for-8 in the two games.

Marc Krauss, D-Backs’ 2nd-round pick, is in South Bend and has begun his pro career with a five-game hitting streak. He’s 5-for-17 in those five games.

Best debut thus far, though, has to go to Cameron Garfield, the Brewers’ second-round pick. The No. 74 overall pick played in his first game on Tuesday, with Helena in the Pioneer League. All the young catcher did was go 5-for-5 with 3 RBIs.

Other debuts:

Matt Davidson, the HS 3B taken by the Diamondbacks with the No. 35 pick (supplemental first round), has gone 4-for-15 in his first four games with the Yakima Bears in the short-season Northwest League (Interesting that the D-Backs didn’t send him to Missoula in the Pioneer League. I love it when guys get challenged). He hit his first professional homer yesterday.

Reds’ second-rounder Billy Hamilton made his pro debut yesterday in the Gulf Coast League. The athletic shortstop went 2-for-4 against the GCL Orioles hitting in the two-hole.

Cards’ second-rounder Robert Stock, the catcher-RHP out of USC, went 0-for-3 in his first game yesterday, with Johnson City in the Appalachian League. He caught and threw out a would-be basestealer. He’s still just 19 because he finished high school early to get to college early.

The Brewers’ other second-round pick, Max Walla (actually taken one pick before Garfield), is off to a 3-for-8 start in the AZL.

The No. 75 pick, Phillies’ second-rounder Kelly Dugan, went 0-for-3 in his GCL debut yesterday. He did walk and score a run.

3B Wade Gaynor, third-round pick of the Tigers, has started off his pro career 4-for-14 with a double and an RBI in three games with Oneonta in the short-season NY-Penn League.

OF Keon Broxton went in the third round to the D-Backs and he made his debut yesterday for Missoula in the game that saw Garfield go 5-for-5 for Helena. Broxton went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Astros’ third-round pick Telvin Nash got one AB in the GCL yesterday and struck out.

Josh Prince went in the third round to Milwaukee and the Tulane shortstop is on that Helena club as well. He went 0-for-5 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored.

I think that takes you through the debuts of the top three rounds (not including Drew Storen, who we’ve written about quite a bit). Today, look for Eric Arnett, the No. 26 pick overall, to pitch for Helena. I don’t think he’s starting, however. No. 32 pick Tim Wheeler could be in the lineup for the Rockies’ affiliate in the short-season Northwest League, the Tri-City Dust Devils.

Answering your questions

Hey all. I got this email from a prospect fan recently and I figured it’d be a good opportunity to try and resurrect the ol’ B3 Mailbag. So you can ask questions in comments or email them to me directly and I’ll try to answer some on a semi-regular basis. So this query came from Larry in Ontario:

Curious what the Giants’ strategy is with Madison Bumgarner. They seem to monitor his innings like a hawk. Are there injury concerns there or are they just being careful? Also, you had him ranked at 6 coming into this year, do you see him rising or falling going into 2010? Finally, ETA to the majors?

Without checking officially with the Giants, I’m sure they are just following their usual philosophy regarding young pitchers. For instance, he and Tim Alderson are more or less in the same place in terms of innings pitched (it’s actually a pitch count thing more than an innings thing, but I digress). There’s no injury concerns. Keep in mind that Bumgarner is still just 19 and they’ve challenged him by pushing him to Double-A already. Sure, we could have a debate over Minor League pitchers being coddled too much pitch-count wise in the Minors, so they’re not able to go deep into games as big-leaguers, but that’s not the point right now. He’s so far ahead of the curve, the Giants just want to make sure he doesn’t over-do it. The advanced level is enough. The more efficent he can be, the deeper into games he’ll go and the innings will climb. That being said, he threw over 140 innings in the regular season last year and is on pace to get to at least there this year, so he’s right where he should be.

As for the rankings, obviously it depends on the response of scouts I’ll poll, but I have to think that his performance at higher levels — a year after being MiLB’s Most Spectacular Pitcher for leading the Minors in ERA,  he’s 10th overall with a 1.88 ERA — and his age, combined with guys ahead of him graduating to the big leagues will mean Bumgarner will move up a few spots in next year’s rankings. Assuming he finishes the year in Double-A and does well, I think it’s definitely possible for him to be in San Francisco at some point in 2010.

Debuts aplenty

I love the time right after the Draft. Not only do we have the College World Series and the Cape Cod League going on for those wanting to continue to follow amateur ball. And all those draftees start signing and start embarking on professional careers.

We’ve already talked a bunch about No. 10 pick Drew Storen. He’s now pitched twice for the Hagerstown Suns.

Joining him among the first-rounders to play is No. 4 pick Tony Sanchez. He made his debut over the weekend for short-season State College and I got to talk to him this morning about it. I have to say I was very impressed with how he carried himself, at least in our conversation. Here’s the story that came out of that interview: First-round pick Sanchez makes debut.

And there’s more to come:

No. 24 pick Randal Grichuk is slated to be in the lineup for the rookie-level Arizona League Angels tonight.
No. 26 pick Eric Arnett will pitch for Helena, the Brewers’ affiliate in the rookie-level Pioneer League on Wednesday.
No. 32 pick Tim Wheeler is in Tri-City, the Rockies’ club in the short-season Northwest League.

And how about this for fate. No. 17 pick A.J. Pollock has agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks. He’ll have a physical in Arizona tomorrow (Tuesday), sign his contract and then be assigned to… that’s right, South Bend. In case you’ve forgotten, Pollock played his college ball at Notre Dame, which, if you didn’t know, is in South Bend. I wonder if he got to keep his college digs for the rest of the summer.

More tomorrow, including answering an email question about the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner.

Scheppers, pro debuts, etc.

Hey all.

Quick post today. First, wanted to let those who haven’t seen it yet about the story I wrote regarding the health of Tanner Scheppersright shoulder. There are some teams who feel he has a 50-percent labrum tear and will need surgery. The Rangers, while acknowledging an issue, don’t think it’s as severe.

I’m not 100-percent positive, but I’m pretty sure that Marc Krauss became the first 2009 draftee to make his professional debut on Wednesday. He was the DH for South Bend in the second game of a Midwest League doubleheader. He went 1-for-3 with a double in the Silver Hawks’ 2-1 loss. The Diamondbacks took the University of Ohio product in the second round, No. 64 overall.

Great CWS matchup tonight, ASU vs. UNC in an elimination game. Potential 2010 first rounder Matt Harvey goes for the Tar Heels.

More later

College World Series update

If you had told me that Mike Leake would have a 6-0 lead in a College World Series game, I would’ve been willing to say the game was over. But I guess that’s why Texas is the top-ranked team in the CWS. The right-hander, taken 8th overall by the Reds in the Draft, had his worst start of the year and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning. Up next for ASU is an elimination game against Dustin Ackley and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Some top hitting peformers in Omaha thus far, focusing on drafted talent:

Dustin Ackley, UNC (Mariners, 1st round, No. 2 overall): 7-for-11, 3 RBIs
Jermaine Mitchell, LSU (White Sox, 1st round, No. 23): 3-5, two doubles in 2nd game; 3-8 overall
DJ LeMahieu, LSU (Cubs, 2nd round, No. 79): 6-10, four runs scored
Kyle Seager,  UNC (Mariners, 3rd round, No. 82): 5-8, HR, 2 RBIs

On another note, looks like second-round pick Marc Krauss (Diamondbacks) will make his debut tonight for the South Bend Silver Hawks in the Midwest League. You can listen to the game here at 5:30 p.m. ET (it’s actually a doubleheader with yesterday’s rainouts).

No. 10 pick Drew Storen still seems on pace to make his pro debut tomorrow for Hagerstown and I’m efforting to find out when No. 4 pick Tony Sanchez will play for West Virginia.

B3 Draft Top 10 Signing Game!

That’s right, folks. I know everyone’s been clamoring for such a contest. No? Too bad, you’re getting it anyway.

Here’s how it works. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess the date and signing bonus of the aforementioned top 10. And guess what? Thanks to Tony Sanchez and Drew Storen, everyone starts out with two correct! Just download this file:
Top 10 signings.xls

Fill it in and email it back to B3 headquarters at jonathan.mayo@mlb.com. Let’s see who can do the best job predicting how the signing period will go down! Good luck and have fun!

Follow me on Twitter for Draft updates

Hey B3 fans, sorry I haven’t been on here much lately, but as you know, it’s been quite busy. Just wanted to throw up a quick note  to tell people to check out Draft updates, mostly tomorrow, on my Twitter account @JonathanMayoB3

I probably won’t be able to blog until post-draft, so go over there for up-to-the-minute updates about what I’m hearing in Draft rooms around Major League Baseball.

Kyle Gibson update

I’m still trying to figure out the balance. Do I post draft notes on Twitter, then here? Or here, then Twitter? In this case, the update came first on Twitter @JonathanMayoB3.

It seems that Missouri right-hander Kyle Gibson has paid a visit to the Cincinnati Reds for a meeting/workout/medical exam. Two weeks ago this wouldn’t seem like much as Gibson was a sure-fire top 10 pick and might not have gotten to the Reds at 10. But his velocity dropped over his last 2 starts and the word was he had some forearm tightness. And that sets off alarms because it’s often a precursor to elbow trouble.

No word yet what the results of said meeting/exam were, but suffice to say that Gibson is under consideration for Cincy at No. 8.

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