Sunday, June 5, 2011

MLB Draft to Start Monday

Anthony Rendon
Three of the most important days for MLB franchises will begin on Monday night, as the first round of the MLB Draft takes place in Secaucus, New Jersey at 7 PM.  Rounds 2-30 will take place on Tuesday beginning at noon and the last twenty rounds will take place on Wednesday starting at noon.  You can follow the Draft here: MLB Draft Central

While there isn't a prospect with the hype that Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper carried in the past two years, this year's draft is the deepest one in awhile.  The Pittsburg Pirates hold the number one overall pick and have yet to tip their hand as to who they are going to pick.  The top two players available are UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole and Rice infielder Anthony Rendon.  Cole was drafted 28th overall out of high school in the 2008 draft but elected to attend UCLA.  He has a fastball that reaches the mid-to-high nineties and he has experience both in the College World Series and with Team USA.  This season Cole is 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 114.1 innings.

Coming into this season, Rendon was considered the best available player, but ankle and shoulder injuries have lowered his stock a little bit (it shows how good he is that he is still be considered for the number one overall pick).  He was the National Freshman of the Year in 2009 and in 2010 he was the National Player of the Year.  His batting average has dropped from .394 to .332 this season (thanks to injuries).  Part of that also has to do with the lack of hittable pitches he has seen.  Pitchers know he's good and would rather walk him in a lot of cases.  He has 79 walks on the season and a ridiculous .522 on-base percentage.

There are many different draft story lines to keep track of this year.  The Rays have 12 picks in the first 89 choices (they better not mess that up or they could really mess up the future of the franchise), and two-sport prep star Bubba Starling, who is possibly the best athlete in the draft, will be drafted high but needs to decide whether or not a bonus expected to be near $6 million will keep him from playing quarterback at Nebraska.  Overall, it should be a great three days.  Below is the draft video of Gerrit Cole.

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