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Twitter Reacts to Mega Trade Sending Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett to LA Dodgers

The trade of the summer ended up taking place after the trade deadline.


UPDATE: Saturday, August 25 at 5:15 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball have have both confirmed the trade via Twitter, and the deal that was all but done is now simply done.

All the necessary paperwork and technicalities are out of the way, and this massive transaction is now part of baseball history.

—-End of Update—-


In a blockbuster of epic proportions, the Boston Red Sox are sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan De Jesus, Jerry Sands and James Loney as first reported by X.

With roughly $270 million worth of payroll being exchanged, this is truly a deal for the ages.

Naturally, Twitter was set ablaze with the news, with a general feeling of shock and bewilderment. How in the world can this happen? How badly do the Dodgers want to win? How bad have the Red Sox fallen?

Here are some of some of the best tweets on one of the wildest trade in recent baseball history.

Before the trade was even announced, the photo of Adrian Gonzalez that hung over Fenway Park was being removed as pointed out by ESPN’s Keith Law:



Before the trade was official, Gonzo and Loney were scratched from their respective lineups to give us all a clue a major deal was on the horizon. Former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden was absolutely stunned:



Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reminds us that this officially marks the end of an era in Boston:



Abraham also makes a great point as to why Gonzalez, who leads the team in batting average (.300), RBI (86), on-base percentage (.343) and hits (145) on the 2012 season, was part of the trade:



Why didn’t the Red Sox get more in return? ESPN’s Buster Olney has the answer:



Craig Calcaterra of is already predicting the headline newspapers will be using tomorrow:



One team that loves watching the Red Sox throw in the towel? The New York Yankees. New Jersey Star-Ledger Yanks beat writer Marc Carig took the opportunity to poke fun at today’s news:



Bleacher Report’s Gabe Zaldivar is already dreaming of the new marketing opportunities the Dodgers will now have:



The Eye on Baseball Twitter feed is already looking towards the future after this move. Will Boston now be the leaders to land another super-star in the offseason?



Does that thought make you feel better Red Sox fans?

NBC’s Hardball Talk tweeted this about Tom Werner’s predictable love affair with James Loney as a player:



This self proclaimed NYYHater seems pleased that the Red Sox were able to swing this huge deal. He tweeted:



ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume also tweeted props to the Red Sox for dumping so much financial responsibility. He told Nick Cafardo of



Daniel Hudson of the Arizona Diamondbacks had nothing to do with this trade, but he did have a funny tweet after news spread that the deal was done. He tweeted:



Finally, Nick Punto did the proper thing by paying his respects to Red Sox nation, via Twitter:




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Pittsburgh Pirates Trade 3 Players to Astros for Wandy Rodriguez

Maybe the Mayans were right after all.

How else could you explain the Pittsburgh Pirates trading for players?

On Tuesday night, they acquired Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros in exchange for three minor leaguers, as MLB’s official Twitter feed confirmed:

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Astros will pay “some” of the $30 million left on Rodriguez’s deal, which runs through the 2014 season.

The 33-year-old has accumulated a 7-9 record with a 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and .260 BAA in 130.2 innings pitched this season.

The Pirates are looking to register their first winning season in 20 years and are clearly pulling out all the stops. While the staff already ranks sixth in team ERA (3.48) and ninth in WHIP (1.27), there are concerns about the rotation keeping up the pace throughout the second half of the season.

Erik Bedard has been extremely inconsistent and has a 5-11 record, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports predicts that it will be Kevin Correia:

Correia hasn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning in his last nine starts and seems to be fading a bit despite the team winning his last four starts.

They might not be done yet, either. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reports the search for another bat is next up on the to-do list:

1992 was the last time Pittsburgh made the playoffs. Will 2012 finally be the year the streak comes to an end?

At the very least, finishing this season over .500 is a very likely outcome now with Rodriguez on board. 

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MLB All Star Game 2012 Results: Score, Twitter Reaction, Recap and Analysis

The National League jumped out to a giant lead early, and never looked back in their convincing 8-0 win over the American League at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City for their third straight All-Star Game win.

Melky Cabrera (Giants) won named the game’s MVP after hitting a two-run home run en route to a 2-for-3 night with two runs.

The 83rd annual Midsummer Classic started off with a bang, as the NL was able to tag Justin Verlander (Tigers) for five runs in the first inning.

A Ryan Braun (Brewers) double scored Cabrera, but the big blow came four batters later when Pablo Sandoval (Giants) smacked a bases-loaded triple to the corner of right field to give the National League a 4-0 lead before the American League had a chance to bat.

From there, it was smooth sailing for the NL.

The pitching staff was brilliant, led by starter Matt Cain (Giants) who threw two innings of one-hit baseball. After Cain, it was Gio Gonzalez (Nationals), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), R.A. Dickey (Mets), Cole Hamels (Phillies), Craig Kimbrel (Braves), Aroldis Chapman (Reds), Wade Miley (Diamondbacks), Joel Hanrahan (Pirates) and Jonathan Papelbon (Phillies) who combined for the six-hit shutout against an incredibly talented AL lineup.

They are the true MVPs of the ballgame, the first All-Star shutout since the NL blanked the AL 6-0 back in 1996. The eight-run margin marks the biggest win the NL has ever had over the AL. 


Twitter Reaction

Verlander is one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball right now, but he got absolutely shelled by the NL lineup. How rare is it for Verlander to give up five runs in the first inning? CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler has the answer:


Not only did Sandoval hit a triple, but so did Braun and Rafael Furcal (Cardinals). That’s an All-Star Game record according to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi:


There is no question the most valuable team on Tuesday night was the San Francisco Giants. As ESPN’s Buster Olney points out, they are now owed an apology by critics who didn’t approve of three of them being in the starting lineup:


Billy Butler (Royals) stepped to the dish in the seventh inning for his first official All-Star plate appearance to resounding cheers from the home crowd.

He was facing Cole Hamels, who is still taking heat for plunking Bryce Harper (Nationals) for no reason in particular earlier in the season. Former MLB legend Dale Murphy made this priceless joke making light of the matchup:


Say what you want about whether the All-Star Game winner should be awarded home-field advantage in the World Series, but it’s clearly important, as CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us: 



This was a rather boring All-Star Game to say the least.

It was exciting to see all of the runs scored off Verlander, but it made for a rather mundane rest of the game.

The AL was only able to muster six hits, and only posed a real threat to score in the fifth inning.

The only memorable moment from the game came when Chipper Jones (Braves) was able to single in his lone plate appearance. Considering this will be his final appearance at the All-Star Game, it was cool to see him leave with a hit.

You could argue Tony La Russa using three pitchers in the ninth was a fitting end to his career, but most of America had already changed the channel by that point.

In the end, a ton of credit goes to the Giants. They had a pitcher go two scoreless innings, and three hitters who combined for five RBI, including the MVP of the game.

Whoever makes it to the Fall Classic needs to thank San Francisco for the Giants’ respective efforts tonight. 


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MLB Trade Rumors: Power Ranking Best Landing Spots For Padres’ Carlos Quentin

The San Diego Padres are going nowhere fast, and unloading Carlos Quentin needs to be a priority.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, most “in the industry” expect Quentin to be dealt before the July trade deadline, and it makes plenty of sense.  

He is making $7.025 million in the final year of his contract, and at the age of 29, he is unlikely to be a part of the youth movement currently moving forward in San Diego.

Since coming back from a knee injury, Quentin has hit .400 with six doubles and 11 runs in only 69 plate appearances. He still has substantial value, even if we will never see the 2008 version of Quentin ever again.

The Padres’ payroll is expected to stand around the $55 million mark next season according to Rosenthal, and signing Quentin to a long term deal doesn’t make a ton of sense.

While Rosenthal doesn’t completely discount the notion of Quentin returning next season, the Padres are better off moving him now, saving the payroll and acquiring more young talent in return.

Here are the three teams that could use Quentin to propel them for a deep playoff run this fall.


3. Baltimore Orioles

Are they for real?

If the O’s plan on sticking around atop the AL East all summer, they have to beef up their production in left field.

Converted third basemen Steve Tolleson started in left for the Orioles on Tuesday. He is currently hitting .214 with a .267 OBP. This comes one night after converted first basemen Steve Pearce was manning the position.

Adding a proven veteran with the ability to hit for power is exactly what the O’s offense could use right now. They also have a sizable amount of depth lurking in their minor league system and could certainly entice San Diego to make a deal.


2. Cincinnati Reds

While the budget may be tight, they have a recent history in dealing with the Padres with the Mat Latos megatrade.

The Reds have been platooning Ryan Ludwick and Chris Heisey in left field all season long and the results have been less than stellar.

It’s the biggest weakness in an otherwise potent lineup, and if the Reds are looking to cash-in on their early season success, surrendering another talent in their strong farm system makes plenty of sense.


1. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates quietly have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. They are pushing the Reds for NL Central supremacy, but they have to do something about their offense.

They currently rank dead last in all of baseball in runs (222) and on-base percentage (.283) and are 29th  in batting average (.228).

Sure this team never adds payroll midseason, but they have a loaded farm system and could make for an enticing trade partner with San Diego.

Besides, the Pirates have to show their fans they give a crap about winning at some point. Right?

Quentin’s seven years of big league experience, ability to hit for average and strong defense make him just the kind of player Pittsburgh needs right now. 


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Tim Lincecum: Giants Must Give Former Ace Week off to Figure out Issues

What is going on with Tim Lincecum?

The San Francisco Giants would sure like to know.

The two-time Cy Young award winner has gotten off to a horrific start this season, and after dropping to 2-7 on the year this past Sunday, something has to be done.

Manager Bruce Bochy knows as much and admitted to Sirius XM Radio host and former GM Jim Bowden that the team is analyzing their options on Tuesday:

So if those are the two options…skipping a start has to be the plan of action.

If he gets tossed into the bullpen, his ego will be shot, he’ll have to prepare differently and the relationship between Lincecum and the club would be severely damaged.

It would be a slap in the face to one of the catalysts for the Giants’ epic 2010 World Series run.

Sure, he has struggled this year, but heading into the season, he had a 69-41 career record with 1,127 strikeouts in 1,028 innings. Being demoted to the bullpen would be a grave overreaction after just 13 starts.

The solution is to have him skip a start.

With the off-day Monday, the Giants won’t have to call anybody up. With another off-day on Thursday, June 21, Lincecum wouldn’t have to pitch again until June 22. That gives him 11 days between starts without roster adjustments.

What he needs is time to reflect on why he only has 77 strikeouts in 72 innings. He can figure out why he has failed to reach the seventh inning in 10 of 13 starts and why he currently sports a 1.58 WHIP, 6.00 ERA and .265 BAA.

Sometimes, you just need a few extra days off to not only clear your mind and relax, but to also watch film and figure out if it’s a mechanical issue.

Missing one start isn’t a big deal; it happens to plenty of pitchers—a demotion to the bullpen is for somebody still trying to find his place in the majors.

The Giants are in a tough position with Lincecum, and they need to tread carefully to ensure they don’t lose their former ace for good. 

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Adam Jones Reportedly Agrees to Lucrative Extension with Baltimore Orioles

The upstart Baltimore Orioles have an incredibly bright future and now they’ll have their biggest star in town for the long haul.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, outfielder Adam Jones and the O’s have agreed to a lucrative six-year, $85 million extension that will keep him in Baltimore through the 2018 season. Jones won’t be on the free-agent market again until he’s 33.


It’s easy to see why the first-place Orioles decided to lock up Jones long term.

The 26-year-old had one year left of arbitration and was set for free agency after the 2013 season. Brittany Ghiroli, beat writer for the Orioles, believes Jones would have signed with a different team if he didn’t get the long-term extension:

Jones has hit .311/.357/.601 while crushing 14 home runs, 29 RBI and scoring 32 runs through 46 games played. If Josh Hamilton didn’t exist, Jones would likely be the favorite for the American League MVP award right now. He has shown stark improvement in each of the last three years while also playing a brilliant center field.

The time is right to reward Jones for his efforts and give him the peace of mind and stability in his major-league career. The move officially tells the rest of the Baltimore players and fans that their management is finally serious about contending, and that Jones is the leader and face of the franchise.

The O’s aren’t known for their big contracts, and Jones’ deal destroys the six-year, $72 million deal they gave to Miguel Tejada back in 2003, the previous biggest contract Baltimore had ever doled out.

This is a great day for the franchise. After a lost decade, the team is trending upward and the organization is willing to commit to long-term success. 


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Kyle Zimmer: Flamethrower on Track for All-Star MLB Career

When you throw a 97 MPH fastball, people pay attention.

Kyle Zimmer, a right-handed starting pitcher from San Francisco, throws gas and enters the MLB draft projected to go in the top-five picks.

Pretty incredibly considering he was a third baseman for the majority of his high school career and had logged just 21.1 innings on the mound heading into college.

As a junior at La Jolla High School he was a 5’11’’, 185-pound contact hitter with a .410 slugging percentage. Good numbers, but nobody with a frame like that is expected to make the majors.

Once he stepped onto the rubber, Zimmer wasn’t a huge fan and, according to Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle, was forced to stick with it by San Francisco coach Nino Giarratano. When you listen to Giarratano, it sounds like he was a quicker leaner:

So Kyle wasn’t going to get any time there. We wanted to explore all his options. His arm was his best tool. Without any type of pitching mechanics, he immediately threw 88-90 mph. 

Now, he’s 6’4’’ and 225 pounds with a 93 to 97 MPH fastball that has reached as high as 99 on the radar gun. He has a strong changeup and a decent slider and curve he can throw for strikes.

This year, the 20-year-old posted a 5-3 record, 2.59 ERA with 96 strikeouts and a mere 15 walks in 83.1 innings. He has great command and the velocity on his fastball to land the strikeout when he needs to.

With only two full seasons of pitching under his belt, Zimmer is still rough around the edges. But with the incredible learning curve he has jumped past already, there is no question he is one of the most talented and intriguing prospects to come around in years.

Give him two years of work in the minors to gain more experience, and Zimmer will be able to crack a starting rotation in 2014, where he will proceed to become a No. 1 or No. 2 starter for the next decade. 


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Mariano Rivera: Blood Clot Still Delaying Yankees Closer’s Surgery

The surgery of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera continues to be delayed and the date when he goes under the knife remains unknown.

After tearing the ACL in his right knee shagging fly balls back on May 3 against Kansas City, surgery was the obvious next step.

Instead, as first reported by the New York Post, a blood clot that was previously discovered in his calf that delayed surgery still hasn’t gone away.

According to ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews he was treated with blood thinners, but they have not extinguished the clot. There is still no timetable for the surgery.

How is Mo taking all of this? Considering it’s out of his hands, he sounded just fine about it (via New York Post): “It’s not frustrating because there’s nothing I can do.”

The only thing Rivera can do is continue to strengthen his leg through training, and make sure it’s as strong and sturdy as possibly heading into the surgery.

Luckily for Yankee fans, the delayed surgery will not have any sort of effect on his opportunity to return healthy and ready to roll at the beginning of the 2013 season according to manager Joe Girardi.

The team has played rather mediocre baseball in his absence, posting an 8-10 record. What’s incredible about their play since the injury is the lack of save opportunities. There have only been five since Rivera went on the DL.

It’s a good thing considering Rivera’s replacement David Robertson was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained muscle in his left ribcage back on May 15. Now it’s Rafael Soriano who is holding down the fort.

It has certainly been a rough year for the backend of the Yankees bullpen and the blood clot of Rivera is just the latest example. 


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2012 MLB Draft: Mike Zunino Is Best Prospect Behind the Plate in a Decade

The 2012 MLB Draft is loaded with top-tier talent when it comes to pitching, but few of the top prospects play in the field.

One of the lone exceptions is Mike Zunino, a junior catcher from the University of Florida who has the potential to become the next Joe Mauer.

The slugger is hitting .324, with 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 2012, while playing outstanding defense behind the plate. At 6’2″ and 215 pounds, he has the ideal size for the position and has improved every year in college.

Zunino’s Gators are currently 40-16 and on pace to compete for the College World Series in Omaha. He is a natural leader who has an outstanding command of the Gators pitching staff.

Zunino has outstanding bat speed with loft, a sign he’ll be a power hitter at some point down the line. While he needs to improve on his off-speed hitting, Zunino is the most polished player in the draft with the bat.

How did he get this advantage?

His dad, Greg Zunino, played two years in the New York Yankees system and has been a scout for the last 25 years; he’s currently with the Cincinnati Reds. His dad has taught him everything he knows, and when the younger Zunino talks about his upbringing, you get the sense Greg was rather tough on him (via

When you’re young, you always feel like you know a lot more than you do. He would just be trying to help me, and out of frustration, I just didn’t want to listen. But now, I’ve learned so much that he’s the first person I go to, just to talk to about the game in general and to learn as much as I can.

I’m grateful for that, and it’s helped out tremendously.

Zunino is going to be a fundamentally sound player who doesn’t need much time to develop in the minors before making the leap to the big leagues. He will have the mental toughness to get through slumps and the work ethic to keep getting better.

I’m a huge fan of players who grew up surrounded by baseball, and it’s going to bode very well for Zunino in his pro career. Typically, this is the type of player who excels—just ask Prince Fielder and Ken Griffey Jr.

There is never a sure thing in the MLB draft, but when you factor in all of Zunino’s physical tools and his background, he is the safest pick in the entire first round.

Not since Mauer has there been such a terrific catching prospect in the draft. Expect Mike Zunino to be off the board by pick No. 5.


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2012 MLB Mock Draft: Best Bets for Every GM

The job security for scores of general managers around Major League Baseball is in doubt right now, and one of the best ways to get off the hot seat is having a strong draft.

Every year there are players littered throughout the first round that are either the biggest bust this side of Justin Smoak or the next Hall of Famer.

Not every GM will be in a position to land the “best bet” for their organization, but as we go through the latest mock draft, the emphasis is placed on teams that have the perfect player fall into their lap.


1. Houston Astros (56-106): Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

The Astros need a No. 1 starter to build around and Appel has the potential to move up the ladder rather quickly within the organization.

Appel’s fastball reaches the mid-90s and his delivery is rather smooth, suggesting injuries won’t derail his career. Coming from Stanford, he is a very cerebral player that is intelligent beyond his years.

Houston won’t be ready to compete for 2-to-3 years, which will be right about the time Appel is ready to start every fifth day in the majors.

2. Minnesota Twins (63-99): Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU

Arguably the best pitcher right now in college has made huge improvements in the last year. If he can shore up his control issues, the Twins depleted pitching staff will get some much needed help ready to contribute soon.

3. Seattle Mariners (67-95): Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County High School (Ga.)

The Mariners have struggled to field a good offensive team for seemingly forever now, and drafting the best offensive prospect would be a no-brainer decision.

Buxton lacks polish, but projects to be a star in the future. His bat speed is off the charts right now and he has the body frame to become a premier power hitter.

In the field, he has the speed to cover plenty of ground in center and can potentially be a Gold Glove fielder down the line.

4. Baltimore Orioles: (69-93): Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy

He may be 18, but Correa is one of the most polished shortstops in the entire draft. His range, glove, and arm are all above average and when you have a mechanical, sound swing with some power, you have a future star.

Remember his name.

5. Kansas City Royals (71-91): Mike Zunino, C, Florida

The Royals need help virtually everywhere on the field and should decide on the best available player in Zunino.

His dad was a draft pick in 1981 and has been a scout for the last 25 years, meaning Zunino has a strong head on his shoulders.

6. Chicago Cubs (71-91): Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)

Biggest boom/bust pick of the first round.

His elbow is a huge concern with multiple injuries in his past, but at the moment he is 100 percent and has reached 100 MPH on the radar gun.

7. San Diego Padres (71-91): Albert Almora, OF, Marion Christian Academy (Fla.)

Can you say Gold Glove winner?

In the spacious Petco Park, Almora would be the perfect fit for center field with his blazing fast speed. This is the best defensive prospect in the entire draft.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90): Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State

The worst offense in the league has to get a guy who can get on base. Marrero’s swing is a bit long right now, but it’s an easy fix.

Marrero is very strong defensively and has the ability to become the Pirates everyday shortstop soon.

9. Miami Marlins (72-90): Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)

A lefty!

Any lefty that can throw three pitches for strikes, including an MLB-ready curve, is going to be a top-10 pick.

The Marlins farm system is rather loaded right now, so getting a potential star and giving him the proper time to develop would be the best move Miami could make.

These two would be a perfect fit.

10. Colorado Rockies (73-89): Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State

Heaney is one of the most polished arms in the entire draft and can work his way to the majors rather quickly.

He doesn’t have the stuff to overpower anyone, but with four pitches that he can throw for strikes, he can help the pitiful Rockies rotation in a hurry.

This would be an ideal situation for Colorado.

11. Oakland Athletics (74-88): Gavin Cecchini, SS, Barbe HS (La.)

He has a lighting-fast swing with terrific gap power and has the speed to swipe 40 bases. His instincts on the basepath are worth mentioning as well.

He may not be as great defensively as some of the other shortstops in the draft, but you can’t discount his work ethic and willingness to put in the time to get better.

12. New York Mets (77-85): Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco

A late-bloomer, Zimmer has stormed onto the scene of late and it’s easy to see why. He has a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and a curveball that will translate beautifully to the majors.

While stamina is still an issue, the sky is the limit for Zimmer.

13. Chicago White Sox (79-83): Courtney Hawkins, RF, Carroll HS (Texas)

The White Sox love to possess power hitters and Hawkins may be the best in the entire draft. He is still rather raw, and struggles with strikeouts, but when he makes contact, look out.

At 6’2’’, 200 pounds, Hawkins has the ability to lead the majors in home runs at some point in his career.

The White Sox are looking for that big-name player to build their franchise around, and I think Hawkins can eventually fill that role.

14. Cincinnati Reds (79-83): Richie Shaffer, 3B, Clemson

Scott Rolen is falling apart and the position has become a glaring need for the Reds. Drafting a strong replacement out of college is the right move for their first-round pick.

15. Cleveland Indians (80-82): Joey Gallo, 3B/RHP, Bishop Gorman HS (Nev.)

We still aren’t sure if he’ll end up as a third baseman or a pitcher, but if the Tribe nab him they’ll convert him to a position player.

He struggles to make contact, but his outstanding power to all sides of the field make him a tantalizing prospect.

16. Washington Nationals (80-81): DJ Davis, OF, Stone HS (Miss.)

The Nationals need help on offense and Davis is a strong fit here.

He has tremendous speed and superb upper-body strength for an 18-year-old. He can develop into a .300 hitter at some point down the road as well.

17. Toronto Blue Jays (81-81): Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke

A mid-90s fastball and a breaking ball that dips to the low 80s have him graded as a first-round talent.

Yet, it’s hard to look past his 5’9’’ frame. Will he ever be anything more than a reliever?

18. Los Angeles Dodgers (82-79): Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State

The suddenly loaded Dodgers don’t have many glaring holes, so adding more depth to the pitching staff is the logical move.

Stratton has the stuff to become a starter with the right coaching.

*19. St. Louis Cardinals (90-72): Matt Smoral, LHP, Solon HS (Ohio)

Anytime you have a left-handed pitcher that throws a wicked slider and stands at 6’7’’, 225 pounds, you have a tremendous prospect that has the physical tools to be an outstanding player in the majors.

20. San Francisco Giants (86-76): Lance McCullers, RHP, Jesuit HS (Fla.)

An awkward delivery has really scared scouts, and now there are plenty of people wondering if he can start.

But with a high-90s fastball and wicked slider, he still has first-round value.

21. Atlanta Braves (89-73): Carson Kelly, 3B, Westview HS (Ore.)

Chipper Jones is almost gone and drafting his long-term replacement is the right move for an Atlanta team that looks to be contending for a World Series this year.

The Braves can afford to be patient.

**22. Toronto Blue Jays (81-81): Addison Russell, SS, Pace HS (Fla.)

You will rarely, if ever, see Russell get cheated at the plate. He is very comfortable with two strikes and has decent power to all sides of the field.

Off-speed stuff gets him in trouble at times, but the raw tools Russell possesses are good enough for a top pick. The Blue Jays could use some consistency at the positio, and would be making a great long-term decision with Russell.

23. St. Louis Cardinals (90-72): Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M

This is a safe pick.

Wacha is a seasoned pitcher with a good feel for the game, but he will never be any better than a back-end starter.

24. Boston Red Sox (90-72): Hunter Virant, LHP, Camarillo HS (Calif.)

This guy is oozing with potential, and would be a great piece of trade bait for a Red Sox team that loves to package prospects for the established major league player.

25. Tampa Bay Rays (91-71): Zach Eflin, RHP, Hagerty HS (Fla.)

Eflin is a huge project, but with a 6’5’’, 200-pound frame, a team like Tampa is more than willing to wait.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68): Lucas Sims, RHP, Brookwood HS (Ga.)

Sims needs to develop his off-speed pitches better, but Sims has the upside of a first-round pick, and the Diamondbacks can afford to be patient with him.

***27. Milwaukee Brewer (96-66): Nick Travieso, RHP, McCarthy HS (Fla.)

At 6’2’’, 215 pounds, this guy is a physical freak that has a fastball that can blow by opponents.

He has an incredibly deceptive changeup with the way he delivers the ball and a strong slider as well.

28. Milwaukee Brewers (96-66): Corey Seager, 3B, Northwest Carrabus HS (N.C.)

Defense is going to be a problem, but he has a picture-perfect swing and the ability to be a terrific offensive player.

He’ll need plenty of time to develop, but the payoff could be huge. Seager has a very high ceiling.

29. Texas Rangers (96-66): Peter O’Brien, C, Miami

He is terrific behind the plate with a strong arm and huge frame (6’4’’, 225 pounds) to block balls. He showed strong improvements at the plate this season. He transferred to Miami this past season after deciding not to sign with the Rockies despite getting selected in the third round in 2011.  

30. New York Yankees (97-65): Ty Buttrey, RHP, Providence Sr HS (N.C.)

His fastball jumped up roughly five MPH this season to the mid-90s, and he isn’t afraid to pitch at hitters on the inside of the plate.

He needs to work on his delivery, but he has the raw tools to be a star one day.

****31. Boston Red Sox (90-72): Lewis Brinson, OF, Coral Springs HS (Fla.)

With gap-to-gap power and the athleticism to cover center field, Brinson has bright future. He has very quick hands that allow him to have an incredibly fast bat.

While he still has a lot to learn, Brinson has the potential to be an All-Star someday.


*Compensation from Los Angeles Angels for Albert Pujols

**Compensation for failing to sign 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede

***Compensation from Detroit for Prince Fielder

****Compensation from Philadelphia for Jonathan Papelbon


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