The big-league draft is closing in fast, and as the college baseball conference tournaments begin this week, all the focus will be on the college ranks, and the majority of the first-round talent in action.
Here’s all the most recent draft buzz from around the web.
- Jonathan Mayo, from MLB.com, has published his first mock draft and the top five looks like this: Gerrit Cole to the Pirates, Dylan Bundy to the Mariners, Danny Hultzen to the Diamondbacks, Anthony Rendon to the Orioles and Francisco Lindor to the Royals.
Other notables include Trevor Bauergoing to the Indians, Bubba Starling to the Cubs and Sonny Grayto the Padres.
- After reportedly demanding a contract in the $20 million to 30 million range, top high-school pitcher Dylan Bundy has backed off that report, with Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman now claiming that Bundy will be lucky to get something in the “$6 million to $7 million range.”
- Speaking of Bundy, there were whispers out there last week, published by Yahoo Sports, thatclaim Bundy raised his asking price so that the Pirates wouldn’t bite on him with the No. 1 overall pick. Apparently he doesn’t have any interest in playing in Pittsburgh. Both the Pirates and Bundy’s agent have since refuted those claims.
- According to numerous sources, including ESPN, Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen is becoming quite the hot topic, even garnering some consideration for the top pick. This could be a move that might force Gerrit Cole out of the top five, with many feeling that the Mariners are sold on taking a position player with pick No. 2.
- Speaking of Hultzen, the Sporting News recently did a mini profile on the left-hander, positing that he could be the next Cliff Lee.
- It’s become more common for teams to send representatives to announce their organization’s selections during the first few rounds of the draft, and this year is no exception.
Already announced to announce are: Robby Alomar (Toronto), Rod Carew (Minnesota), Jim Rice (Boston), Tommy Lasorda (Dodgers), Mike Bordick (Baltimore), Carlos Baerga (Cleveland), Trevor Hoffman (San Diego) and announcing the No. 1 overall pick for Pittsburgh will be Dave Cash.
- In case you hadn’t heard, Nebraska baseball coach Mike Anderson was canned on Sunday, after nine seasons at the helm. In case you don’t know why this might be a big deal, projected first-round pickBubba Starling had committed to play for Anderson at Nebraska. And while he was once considered one of the draft’s toughest to sign prospects, this could increase the likelihood that Starling signs, and for less than everyone thinks.
- First-round talent Jose Fernandez sent his Alonso HS squad to the state championship game, with a game-winning, two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning. Fernandez, a Cuban defector who can throw in the upper 90s, struggled on the mound, giving up 10 hits and five runs, but came up clutch when it mattered most.
- If you’re looking for a sleeper who could sneak his way into the first-round, look no further than Vandy’s talented lefty Grayson Garvin. Pitching on the same staff as Sonny Gray can be intimidating, but Garvin has excelled this year, posting an 11-1 record (including a 9-0 mark in the SEC), a 2.32 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. It was Garvin, not Gray, who was recently named the SEC pitcher of the year.
- Some news on the injury front: South Carolina’s Jackie Bradley Jr. is getting closer to a return for the defending CWS champs. He’ll have his cast removed from his wrist on Friday, and could participate in the CWS. Oregon State’s Andrew Susac returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending injury in time for the Beavers final two weeks, and while he performed admirably, he couldn’t prevent the Beavers from losing their first series of the year.
- Because it’s never too soon to think ahead to next year’s draft, here’s the projected top-10 teams based on the current standings: 1) Twins, 2) Astros, 3) Padres, 4) Dodgers, 5) Cubs, 6) Nationals, 7) White Sox, 8) Athletics, 9) Orioles, 10) Mets.