Gregg Hoffmann

Midwest Diamond Report - 6/8

Let me say right up front, I’ve never really been a draftnik. Until a player gets to the big leagues, and shows he can produce, I don’t get that excited.

But, a brief review of the four MDR teams’ drafts last week certainly is worth doing. Most “experts” gave the Brewers, Cubs and White Sox grades of B+ and the Twins B or B-.

The Brewers’ picks of preps LHP Kyle Medeiros at No. 12 and SS Jacob Gatewood and OF Monte Harrison were termed “high risk” with potential for “high reward.” Many picks out of high school receive high risk ratings because of the longer development time, and also the possibility they will go to college, etc.

For example, Medeiros, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, went 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA in eight games as a senior at Waiakea (HI) High School. He has a commitment to Pepperdine University.

Gatewood had a commitment at USC and Harrison had one with Nebraska, but both players signed with the Brewers Saturday.

The Cubs shocked some people by picking Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber with the overall fourth pick. The experts liked the pick of Maryland RHP Jake Stinnett in the second round.

Chicago went hunting for pitching in the lower rounds. One interesting pick was Fresno State’s Jordan Brink, who recently moved from the outfield to the mound.

The Sox received at least one rave review from Bleacher Report for their first round picks: The Chicago White Sox made a haul on Day 1 of the draft, despite having only two picks, as they popped LHP Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 pick and walked away with an absolute steal in the second round (No. 44 overall) with high-upside prep RHP Spencer Adams.

After that first round, the Sox’s picks didn’t excite the experts as much. In their own draft recap, the Sox noted they made 40 picks overall, with 33 of the 40 draftees from the collegiate ranks.

The Twins' selected SS Nick Gordon, the top shortstop in this year's class, with the fifth overall pick, followed by Louisville closer RHP Nick Burdi in the second round. Some felt the pick of Gordon was the best on the first day of the draft

Their grade slipped among some experts because of what was considered weaker picks in the later rounds.

In their own draft recap, the Twins noted they drafted 19 pitchers, including 16 collegiate arms, and 21 position players. Of the 21 position players, six are catchers, 10 are infielders and five are outfielders.

Some of the selections had already signed contracts. For more on the draft, and signings of the selections, go to the teams’ web sites.

Player of the Week

The Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy followed a hot May with a good start in June. He was hitting .375 in the first six days of the month to earn the MDR Player of the Week honor.

Other MDR Players of the Week included:

** the Cubs’ Junior Lake, who hit two home runs in a win over the Marlins Saturday.

** the Twins’ Danny Santana, who drove in five runs on Saturday.

** the White Sox’s Adam Dunn, who his the 450th home run of his career.

Update Notes

Brewers

** RHP Tyler Thornburg went on the DL with elbow problems. RHP Mike Fiers was called up to take his place.

** LHP Tom Gorzelanny has started a rehab assignment and could be activated if his shoulder responds well.

** RHP Jeremy Jeffress is pitching well at Triple-A Nashville. The Brewers re-signed the former first round Draft pick to a Minor League deal in April

Cubs

** The Cubs carried a five-game winning streak into Sunday’s game.

**  RHP Jeff Samardzija recorded his 10th quality start in 13 appearances Saturday.

** LHP Zac Rosscup, on the disabled list since May 10 with left shoulder soreness, was expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, on the DL since May 3 with a hamstring strain, was expected to start a rehab assignment this week with Class A Kane County.

Twins

** The Twins signed free agent Kendrys Morales, who will see most of his time at DH.

** Joe Mauer is batting .206 with 15 strikeouts and one RBI over the past couple of weeks

** OF Oswaldo Arcia returned to action after rolling his ankle on Thursday.

White Sox

** RHP Andre Rienzo will remain on schedule to make his next start despite a rough outing on Friday.

** LHP Chris Sale carried a shutout into the 8th inning Saturday before the Angels’ Mike Trout hit a grand slam.

** Entering Saturday, Sale had allowed one earned run on three hits in 18 innings since his return from the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain.

What’s Ahead

The Brewers travel to New York to take on the Mets before returning home for a brief three-game homestand against the Reds. The Cubs hit the road for a four-game series in Pittsburgh.

Look for Kendrys Morales to make his Twins’ debut, perhaps after a brief warmup in the minors.

Finally, look for announcements on signings of draft picks throughout the week.

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