Saturday, May 31, 2014

Feeling a draft: End of May

Baseball America on Friday issued Mock Draft 4.0. It still has the Twins selecting high school shortstop Nick Gordon with the fifth overall pick.

What's more intriguing to me is the growing sense I'm picking up, from BA and elsewhere, that the Houston Astros — picking first for the third straight year — don't see a $6 million talent in the draft field. If so, that suggests that the Astros may do as they did in 2012 — strike a pre-draft deal with someone projected to go a good bit lower at a price well below slot and aim to spend the surplus on more difficult signs in later rounds.

One of the names bandied about as a potential target for such an approach is ... high school shortstop Nick Gordon.

Baseball America says the Twins are also considering college left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb of Hartford with the fifth pick. I would have thought Aaron Nola of LSU, a right-handed pitcher, would be more in the Twins wheelhouse.

For what it's worth, Keith Law of ESPN, in his weekly chat, dismissed the notion of the Astros going for Gordon.


This from the esteemed Jim Crikket in Cedar Rapids, Iowa:

I've been wondering about Ryan's status. It was reported a couple weeks or so ago that he had finished his radiation treatments for his cancer but had yet to regain his appetite and was not ready to return to full duty as general manager.

And Rob Antony, the assistant general manager, continues to be the front office guy doing the regular press briefings.

That Ryan is in Cedar Rapids this weekend is noteworthy on this point: This is the time when the scouting department gets serious about its draft list. It is my understanding that Ryan makes a point of staying out of the way in this process anyway — as general manager, he might make a trip to see somebody for the first round, but he's not seeing the kids who might go in Round 8 or 18. With the cancer thing going on this spring, he probably is even more out of the loop on the prospects than usual.

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