Results tagged ‘ Myrtle Beach Pelicans ’
By Ashley Marshall
With the 2013 MLB Draft starting Thursday, we thought we’d take the next few days to run down how some of the more intriguing picks out of the top rounds from the last few Drafts have fared. On Monday, we looked at 2009.
Today, we turn our attention to 2010.
The 2010 Draft had a little bit of everything, both at the time of the event and — retrospectively — in the three years that have passed.
While Bryce Harper, a highly touted outfielder from a junior college in Southern Nevada, made the most news, the Draft stands out for several other reasons.
Two right-handers taken inside the first 15 picks chose to attend college rather than sign with a Major league team. One — Karston Whitson — missed the entire 2013 college season with a shoulder injury while the other — Dylan Convey — may never have a pro career after he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
The Draft also saw a toolsy young shortstop called Manny Machado draw comparisons with Alex Rodriguez and baseball’s current No. 5 prospect Taijuan Walker selected 43rd overall as the Mariners only pick as compensation for the loss of Adrian Beltre.
Eight first-rounders from this Draft class have already made it to the Majors, while four others are ranked inside MLB.com’s Top 100.
- Bryce Harper, Washington (2013: MLB Nationals)
- Jameson Taillon, Pirates (2013: Double-A Altoona)
- Manny Machado, Orioles (2013: Baltimore) — A two-time Futures Game selection, Machado has played almost one-third of his total professional games in the Majors. The shortstop — the first one drafted by the O’s in the first round since 1974 — appeared in 51 regular-season games with the Orioles in 2012 and he’s currently hitting .327 with 30 RBIs in 57 contests this year. He’s the only high schooler from the 2010 first round to make the Majors so far.
- Christian Colon, Royals (2013: Triple-A Omaha)
- Drew Pomeranz, Indians (2013: Triple-A Colorado Springs) – Acquired by the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal in 2011, Pomeranz is one of only two left-handers from the first round of this Draft class to reach the Majors. He is 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 26 big league starts over two seasons, numbers that are part of why he’s back at Triple-A Colorado Springs again this year. In 11 2013 PCL games, he is 6-1 with a 4.26 mark.
- Barret Loux, D-backs (2013: Triple-A Iowa) — The D-backs opted not to sign Loux due to injury concerns, but he signed as a free agent by the Texas Rangers on Nov. 18, 2010. Last November, he was dealt to the Cubs for former teammate Jake Brigham.
- Matt Harvey, Mets (2013: MLB Mets) — Few rookies have ever made the impact that Harvey has this year. In 12 starts with the Mets, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA. The North Carolina product — who went 20-10 in the Minors — showed glimpses of this potential in 10 starts in 2012, but nobody expected the level of production he’s given the big club in the first two months of the season.
- Delino DeShields, Astros (2013: Class A Advanced Lancaster)
- Karsten Whitson, Padres (2013: none; Draft eligible) — Whitson turned down a $2.1 million signing bonus to attend the University of Florida. He went a combined 12-1 in 33 games between 2011 and 2012, but he missed the entire 2013 collegiate season with a shoulder impingement. He may draw interest from teams in this year’s Draft, but he is not ranked in MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft prospects.
- Michael Choice, Athletics (2013: Triple-A Sacramento)
- Deck McGuire, Blue Jays (2013: Double-A New Hampshire)
- Yasmani Grandal, Reds (2013: MLB Padres)
- Chris Sale, White Sox (2013: MLB White Sox) – Of all 50 first-rounders from 2010, none have posted a greater WAR than Sale (12.2). He posted a 1.93 ERA in 21 games in 2010, and he saved eight games the following year. Converted to a full-time starter last season, Sale went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA in 30 games, striking out 192 batters in as many innings en route to finishing sixth in AL Cy Young voting. This season, he’s 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in nine starts.
- Dylan Covey, Brewers (2013: none; Draft eligible) — Convey chose to attend the University of San Diego rather than going pro after being diagnosed with diabetes days before the signing deadline. In his sophomore year at college in 2012, he went 6-3 with a 3.32 ERA while holding opponents to a .247 batting average over 81 1/3 innings. He had just a 5.05 ERA in 16 appearances this spring for the Toreros.
- Jake Skole, Rangers (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach)
- Hayden Simpson, Cubs (2013: released) – Released at end of spring training, Simpson hasn’t pitched this year. For his career, he sports a 6.42 ERA over 30 starts and 26 relief appearances with Chicago’s Minor League system. He did not pitch professionally the year he was selected after suffering from mononucleosis, and he never lived to the promise of the Cubs only first-round pick that year.
- Josh Sale, Rays (2013: suspended) – Sale has not endeared himself to Tampa Bay. In August he was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine. He came off the restricted list and was added to the roster of the Charlotte Stone Crabs, but before he had a chance to make his season debut he was suspended indefinitely for throwing two quarters at a dancer in a strip club and then posting about it on Facebook.
- Kaleb Cowart, Angels (2013: Double-A Arkansas)
- Michael Foltynewicz, Astros (2013: Double-A Corpus Christi)
- Kolbrin Vitek, Red Sox (2013: Double-A Portland)
- Alex Wimmers, Twins (2013: Double-A New Britain; injured) — Wimmers missed most of 2012 with a right elbow injury, and he has not pitched in 2013. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year at Ohio State, he has pitched in just 19 games in his professional career.
- Kellin Deglan, Rangers (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach)
- Christian Yelich, Marlins (2013: Double-A Jacksonville)
- Gary Brown, Giants (2013: Triple-A Fresno)
- Zack Cox, Cardinals (2013: Double-A Jacksonville) — Acquired by the Marlins from the Cardinals in July, Cox originally improved his Draft stock by 20 rounds after going to the University of Arkansas instead of signing with the Dodgers in 2008. He saw time at Triple-A Memphis last summer before being dealt to the Marlins for Edward Mujica last July. He’s been with Double-A Jacksonville since the trade.
- Kyle Parker, Rockies (2013: Double-A Tulsa)
- Jesse Biddle, Phillies (2013: Double-A Reading)
- Zach Lee, Dodgers (2013: Double-A Chattanooga)
- Cam Bedrosian, Angels (2013: Class A Burlington)
- Chevy Clarke, Angels (2013: Class A Burlington) – Los Angeles took outfielder Clarke one pick after they selected pitcher Bedrosian, who grew up just 50 miles from Clarke in Georgia. Both 21 years old, they have been teammates in the Arizona and Midwest Leagues together and they both started 2013 a bit behind schedule in Burlington.
- Justin O’Conner, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Bowling Green)
- Cito Culver, Yankees (2013: Class A Charleston)
- Mike Kvasnicka, Houston (2013: Disabled list in Twins Org) – Drafted by the Astros as a catcher, Kvasnicka struggled in his first two years of pro ball when the organization tried him at third base and as a corner outfielder. The 24-year-old was traded to the Twins — the team that tried to sign him in the 31st round of the 2007 Draft out of high school — in March, but surgery to repair a broken hamate bone has seen him sidelined this season.
- Aaron Sanchez, Toronto (2013: Class A Advanced Dunedin)
- Matt Lipka, Atlanta (2013: Class A Advanced Lynchburg) – A shortstop at McKinney High School in Texas, Lipka has transitioned to the outfield. He tore his hamstring last summer, and that limited him to 199 at-bats in 2012. Back with the Hillcats for a second year, he’s looking to get back on track. He’s already hit for the cycle this season.
- Byrce Brentz, Boston (2013: Triple-A Pawtucket) – Overlooking the fact that Brentz hit .198 in his rookie year in Lowell, he batted .298 with 47 homers and 170 RBIs across four levels over the past two years. A hitter through and through, Brentz — who moved from left field to right without any issues — is already on pace to better his 2012 power numbers from Double-A Portland this year in Pawtucket.
- Taylor Lindsey, LA Angels (2013: Double-A Arkansas)
- Noah Syndergaard, Toronto (2013: Class A Advanced St. Lucie) – Acquired by the Mets in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays in December, the 6-foot-6 prep right-hander is looking to build on his 2012 successes with Lansing. Syndergaard has the stuff to record a strikeout per inning in the Florida State League (59 in 57 2/3 IP), and there’s every chance he can post a sub-3.00 ERA (currently at 2.81).
- Anthony Ranaudo, Boston (2013: Double-A Portland) – LSU has seen one of its players drafted in the first round each year since 2009. Ranaudo went 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA in the Eastern League last year, but he’s 6-1 with a 1.48 mark this year at the same level.
- Ryan Bolden, LA Angels (2013: Unassigned in Angels Org) – Drafted as an 18-year-old out of Madison Central High School, Bolden has spent each of the past three years in the Arizona League. The right fielder hit .187 in his rookie year but saw his average drop in each of the following two seasons. He has not played yet in 2013.
- Asher Wojciechowski, Toronto (2013: Triple-A Oklahoma City) – Acquired by the Astros in part of a 10-player deal with the Blue Jays last July, Wojciechowski is looking to build on a 2012 season that saw him go 9-5 with a 3.09 ERA between two organizations. After six superb Texas League appearances to start 2013, he was promoted to the RedHawks of the PCL.
- Drew Vettleson, Tampa Bay (2013: Class A Advanced Charlotte) – He spun three no-hitters as an ambidextrous pitcher in high school, and he turned down a commitment to play for Oregon State University to play with the Rays. Now a right fielder, Vettleson set a Bowling Green franchise record with 139 hits in 2012.
- Taijuan Walker, Seattle (2013: Double-A Jackson) – MLB.com’s No. 5 prospect was a Southern League midseason All-Star and a Futures Game selection last year. Still just 20 years old, he’s repeating the league after going 7-10 with a 4.69 ERA there in 2012, and early signs are that he’ll make his way up to Triple-A by the end of the year.
- Nick Castellanos, Detroit (2013: Triple-A Toledo) – A third baseman in high school, the Tigers felt Castellanos was more suited to the outfield in order to help the big club in the near future. MLB.com’s No. 20 prospect finished third among all Minor League players in 2012 with 172 hits and he’s on pace to set new career highs in homers and RBIs in the International League this year.
- Luke Jackson, Texas (2013: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach) – Jackson did not start pitching until ninth grade, but that did not stop the Rangers from drafting him 45th overall out of Florida’s Calvary Christian High School. The right-hander is repeating the Carolina League where he’s 4-4 with a 2.74 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 23 walks in 46 innings.
- Seth Blair, St. Louis (2013: Double-A Springfield)
- Peter Tago, Colorado (2013: Unassigned in Rockies Org) — Ranked 17th in the Rockies Top 20 prospects, Tago has not pitched in 2013. He walked more batters than he struck out in each of his first two years in pro ball, and his poor debut in Asheville in 2011 saw him reassigned to the Northwest League in 2012
- Chance Ruffin, Detroit (2013: Double-A Jackson)
- Mike Olt, Texas (2013: Triple-A Round Rock) – Of the eight first-rounders from the 2010 class to reach the Majors so far, none were drafted later than Olt, a supplemental pick for the loss of free agent Marlon Byrd. His big 2012 season — including 28 Double-A homers — saw him promoted to Texas, but he’s struggled in his time in the PCL, batting .139 with five extra-base hits in 20 games. He recently missed a month with vision problems, which may now be resolved.
- Tyrell Jenkins, Cardinals (2013: Class A Peoria)
MLB.com has a nice feature on Braves slugger Jason Heyward (see below). Before Heyward reached the bigs for good in 2010, he was a career .318 hitter in 238 ballgames in the Minors.
Here is a gallery of Heyward when he was merely a prospect. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Flashback, head here.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — It was easy to understand why Jason Heyward escaped a frustrating 2011 season with motivation to alter his swing and dedicate himself to an intense conditioning program. His decision to remain dedicated to this rigorous program after an impressive 2012 season simply enhanced visions of him living up to his tremendous potential.
“I think Jason knows what he wants and what he wants to do,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He wants to play this game a long time and be successful. You can really see over the past years the maturity that he has gained. It wouldn’t surprise me if he emerged as one of the leaders of the clubhouse, if he’s not already there.”
Two weeks after the Braves suffered their season-ending loss to the Cardinals in the National League’s one-game Wild Card playoff, Heyward resumed the running and lifting programs that helped him shed 20 pounds between the 2011 and ’12 seasons. His efforts this past winter simply added some muscle to an athletic frame that would certainly draw the attention of football’s talent evaluators.
When Hank Aaron arrived at Braves Spring Training and saw the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Heyward, he said, “My God. Whew!”
It seems sacrilegious and ridiculous to compare any 23-year-old player to Aaron. But as Heyward rises toward greatness while occupying the same right-field position Aaron manned for two decades with the Braves, it is impossible not to draw a link.
Through their first three full seasons, Heyward and Aaron totaled an identical 428 games.
To continue reading MLB.com’s story, head here.
Interview Outtakes: Rangers SS Luis Sardinas on Hitting off the Orioles’ Eduardo Rodriguez, Other Stuff
This morning, MiLB.com published my Prospect Q&A with Rangers prospect Luis Sardinas (@thesardisardi), who ranked 84th on our Top 100 Prospects list. The piece (linked here) focuses on Sardinas’ abilities, comparisons to Texas shortstops Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar as well as his Venezuelan heritage. Below are outtakes from the interview, quotes that did not fit into said story. Enjoy.
Thanks to Sardinas’ agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council for translating the interview from Spanish to English.
Me: Did you enter this offseason with personal goals – things you wanted to accomplish, and have you been able to make progress on them?
Sardinas: My goal for the offseason was to take care of my body, get stronger and improve my speed.
Me: Were you the fastest player on Class A Hickory’s club in 2012? Ever lose a race?
Sardinas: I probably was, I think so. Not really [many races]. With my injury history, I try to be careful and not be goofing around.
Me: Looking at the numbers, it’s clear you had a great 2012 in the Sally League. What was the key to your success in the batter’s box?
Sardinas: Always being positive, not paying attention to my numbers and taking it day by day.
Me: You have hit consistently in your three Minor League seasons — have you had to make any adjustments as a hitter in the Minors? If so, what adjustments?
Sardinas: We make adjustments every day, but I just try to put the ball in play and be more consistent.
Me: What is the secret to being a good base-stealer?
Sardinas: Looking for a good pitch count and reading the pitcher’s mechanics.
Me: What was the Arizona Fall League experience like? Does your success — you posed an .830 OPS there — give you even more confidence entering Spring Training?
Sardinas: It was a great experience. It was a blessing. It gives me a lot of confidence going into Spring Training because I learned to play the game the right away and I got to watch the way older players approach their business.
Me: What coach or teammate has been helpful to you in your development, and what did they help you with most?
Sardinas: I’m very close with Yohander Mendez. He’s a younger player in the organization who I love like a little brother and he motivates me a lot. Humberto Miranda and Josue Perez on the coaching staff have helped me a lot too with my on the field development.
Me: Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced in the Minor Leagues, and how did you fare against him?
Sardinas: Eduardo Rodriguez from the Orioles. He’s hard to square up, but I was 2-for-6 against him. [He throws] 94 mph with movement from the left side and [has] some good secondary pitches. He’s a very underrated player. He’s hard to square up.
Me: Who is the best player you have played against in the Minor Leagues, and why?
Sardinas: Gregory Polanco – just looking at him you can tell the guy is a beast.
Me: What is something that you would like your fans to know about you?
Sardinas: I have a little brother who’s six years old ,and he’s better than me. His name is Alejandro Sardinas.
Me: Aside from baseball, what is your passion? Is there something else you love to do? If so, could you tell us about how you got into it, and why you enjoy it?
Sardinas: I play a lot of golf. My dad plays a lot too,and I got into it in Arizona. It helps me clear my head and relax. [I haven't played] with my teammates yet, but I did play a tournament in Venezuela and came [in] second. My other passion is my family. I love being with them.
Prospect Q&A: Rangers Right-hander, First-rounder Luke Jackson on Getting to 200 Pounds and 200 Innings, Other Stuff
Is there a harder, longer process than developing a strong-armed teenager into a Major League starting pitcher? I don’t know, but Luke Jackson (@YaBoy77) has a better idea than most of us. The 21-year-old right-hander was the 45th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, going straight from his Florida high school to Texas. He is now the Rangers’ No. 13 prospect. (That is MLB.com’s ranking, while Baseball America says Jackson is the Rangers’ sixth-best farmhand.) His high strikeout totals and ability to miss bats merits such standing.
I spoke with Jackson over the phone this afternoon, and we hit on a variety of topics. Read the interview below. (Last time MiLB.com checked in with Jackson it was to interview him on camera about his unusual mitt for batting practice fielding. Not long before that, MiLB.com colleague @AshMarshallMLB asked Jackson about his near no-no on May 21.)
Me: Are you throwing yet? What is your workout routine?
Jackson: We have a pretty sick throwing program Texas gives us, so we’re already in those bullpen flat-grounds and been long-tossing a lot, really getting ready for the offseason. I work out a place down here called Bommarito Performance facility, and we get everything done there. It’s pretty tight.
Me: How have you adjusted to the Rangers’ throw-early-and-often program?
Jackson: I actually love it. My first full offseason was last year after my first season, so I threw pretty heavily and made it out 100 percent healthy. I’m pretty happy about it. I’ve been sticking to it ever since.
Me: What’s part of your workouts?
Jackson: I set a goal to gain a lot more weight. I’m skinny, trying to put some pounds on. It’s been going alright. I’m trying to strengthen my legs and my core. Target weight is around 205, but I’m like 193, 194, so I got a ways to go.
Me: Why would you like to add so much weight?
Jackson: I feel like it gives me more stamina, more durability. Especially as a guy who throws a little bit harder, it’s good to have a little more weight behind it as opposed to torque-ing my body every time.
Lost: When I was a pup reporter covering the D-backs in 2010, details were hard to come by regarding why Arizona drafted Texas A&M’s Barret Loux sixth overall in June then cast him aside in July. We learned this: After agreeing in principle to sign for $2 million, Loux failed his physical with tearing in his labrum and question marks about his elbow.
Found: Long story made shorter, Loux was made a free agent and latched on with his home-state Rangers. He rested that much-maligned right arm over the winter, then performed solidly in his first pro season. Then, at age 23, he was even better in his second.
2011: 8-5 W-L, 3.80 ERA and 127-to-34 K-to-BB ratio in 109 IP spanning 21 G at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach
2012: 14-1 W-L, 3.47 ERA and 100-to-41 K-to-BB ratio in 127 IP spanning 25 G at Double-A Frisco
So Loux was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Rangers’ returns: A very superficial look at the numbers — his complete player page is here — shows that Loux’s repertoire didn’t make the jump with him to the Texas League. Yes, he won his first 10 starts (and his first 11 decisions) on his way to being named the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year… but while his inning total was +18, his strikeout total was -27. Of his fastball, changeup, curve, and slider, scouts see four pitches that, at their peak, are merely average. Still, average pitchers with average stuff have carved out important roles in the Majors. Will Loux follow suit? His ability to keep the ball both in the strike zone and the yard bodes well. He’ll turn 24 the week of next year’s Opening Day and will be facing the arduous Pacific Coast League for the first time. This blog estimates that he comes out fine on the other side — but as nothing more than a rotation’s fourth starter and, perhaps more likely, as a middle reliever. So there’s no way to fault the D-backs — or the Rangers — in the case of the seemingly recovered Loux.
2013: ??? at Triple-A Round Rock