Friday, June 12, 2009

On to Omaha

I'm making my eighth trip in nine years to Omaha for the College World Series.

This year's field includes several of the usual suspects — six-time champion Texas, five-time champions Arizona State and LSU, four-time champion Cal State Fullerton — and two newcomers — Southern Mississippi and Virginia. North Carolina, which is making its fourth straight appearance and Arkansas round out the eight-team field.

I'll be helping with Baseball America's coverage, behind the camera shooting some video podcasts with BA's Aaron Fitt and John Manuel as well as blogging about some of the sights and sounds in and around Rosenblatt Stadium.

Check out Baseball America's coverage right here.

You can also go directly to the Rosenblog.

The 63rd College World Series runs from June 13-23/24.

By the way, I'm going out on a limb and picking top-seeded Texas to win it all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who's No. 1? Strasburg; Leake goes No. 8 to Reds

It had been expected for months, and now it's official:

The Washington Nationals selected San Diego State junior right-hander Stephen Strasburg this afternoon with the first pick in the MLB draft. It completes Strasburg's remarkable rise — from undrafted three years ago out of West Hills High to an exclusive group of 45 players selected No. 1 overall.

More local flavor came to the draft a few minutes later when the Cincinnati Reds chose Arizona State right-hander Mike Leake (Fallbrook High) with the eighth overall pick. Not a bad week in the making for Leake (16-1, 1.23 ERA), who leads the nation in victories and ERA is expected to be on the mound when the Sun Devils open the College World Series on Sunday against North Carolina.

Here is the list of San Diego-area players selected in the first round of the draft through the years:


High school and college players from San Diego County selected in thefirst round of the major league first-year player draft since it began in 1965:

2009 ... Stephen Strasburg, SDSU/West Hills, RHP, Nationals, 1st overall

2009 ... Mike Leake, Arizona State/Fallbrook, RHP, Reds, 8th

2008 … Brian Matusz, USD, LHP, Orioles, 4th

2008 … Allan Dykstra, Wake Forest/Rancho Bernardo, 1B, Padres, 23rd

2004 … Matt Bush, Mission Bay, SS/RHP, Padres, 1st

2003 … Carlos Quentin, OF, Stanford/USDHS, D-Backs, 29th

2002 … Cole Hamels, Rancho Bernardo, LHP, Phillies, 17th

2002 … Royce Ring, SDSU/Monte Vista, RHP, White Sox, 18th

2001 … Mark Prior, USC/USDHS, RHP, Cubs, 2nd

2000 … Adrian Gonzalez, Eastlake, 1B, Marlins, 1st

2000 … Adam Johnson, CS Fullerton/Torrey Pines, RHP, Twins, 2nd

2000 … Matt Wheatland, Rancho Bernardo, RHP, Tigers, 8th

2000 … Shaun Boyd, Vista, 2B/OF, Cardinals, 13th

2000 … Scott Heard, Rancho Bernardo, C, Rangers, 25th

1999 … Eric Munson, USC/Mt. Carmel, C, Tigers, 3rd

1999 … Barry Zito, USC/USDHS, LHP, A's, 9th

1999 … David Walling, Arkansas/El Capitan, RHP, Yankees, 27th

1997 … Troy Glaus, UCLA/Carlsbad, 3B, Angels, 3rd

1996 … Travis Lee,* San Diego State, 1B, Twins, 2nd

1996 … Eric Chavez, Mt. Carmel, 3B, A's, 10th

1995 … Jaime Jones, Rancho Bernardo, OF, Marlins, 6th

1995 … Mark Redman, Oklahoma/Escondido, LHP, Twins, 13th

1995 … Ryan Jaroncyk, Orange Glen, SS, Mets, 18th

1995 … Chad Hutchinson, Torrey Pines, RHP, Braves, 26th

1992 … Benji Grigsby, San Diego State, RHP, A's, 20th

1991 … Benji Gil, Castle Park, SS, Rangers, 19th

1990 … Tony Clark, Christian, 1B, Tigers, 2nd

1990 … Eric Christopherson, San Diego State, C, Giants, 19th

1990 … Lance Dickson, Grossmont, LHP, Cubs, 23rd

1985 … Chris Gwynn, San Diego State, OF, Dodgers, 10th

1983 … Eddie Williams, Hoover, 3B, Mets, 4th

1982 … Steve Swain, Grossmont, OF, Astros, 15th

1982 … Sam Horn, Morse, 1B, Red Sox, 16th

1981 … Bobby Meacham, San Diego State, SS, Cardinals, 8th

1981 … Kevin Burrell, Poway, C, Red Sox, 25th

1980 … Garry Harris, Hoover, SS, Blue Jays, 2nd

1980 … Cecil Espy, Point Loma, OF, White Sox, 8th

1980 … Billy Beane, Mt. Carmel, OF, Mets, 23rd

1979 … Bob Geren, Clairemont, C, Padres, 24th

1975 … Bruce Robinson, Stanford/La Jolla, C, A's, 21st

1970 … Steve Dunning, Stanford/USDHS, RHP, Indians, 2nd

1970 … John D'Acquisto, St. Augustine, RHP, Giants, 17th

1967 … Brian Bickerton, Santana, LHP, A's, 7th

1965 … Mike Adamson,# Point Loma, RHP, Phillies, 18th

*Declared a draft free agent and signed with Arizona

#Drafted by Baltimore in first round of June secondary phase in 1967

Draft Day is Upon Us

Here's some information going into the 2009 draft, which begins this afternoon:

The three-day “first-year player” draft begins today at 3 p.m. The first three rounds are to be conducted today, rounds 4-30 tomorrow and rounds 31-50 (teams may stop earlier if the y wish) on Thursday.
Players from the United States, U.S. territories and Canada are subject to the draft. Eligible for selection are high school seniors, junior college players, juniors and seniors at four-year colleges and players who have turned 21. Teams have until Aug. 15 to sign players before losing their draft rights.

— The MLB Network will televise the first round, which also will be simulcast live at After the first 32 picks, coverage will switch to
— Pick-by-pick coverage is available at as well as XM Satellite Radio.
— Another good source of draft info and analysis is at

1. Washington
2. Seattle
3. San Diego
4. Pittsburgh
5. Baltimore
6. San Francisco
7. Atlanta
8. Cincinnati
9. Detroit
10. Washington
11. Colorado
12. Kansas City
13. Oakland
14. Texas
15. Cleveland
16. Arizona
17. Arizona
18. Florida
19. St. Louis
20. Toronto
21. Houston
22. Minnesota
23. Chi. White Sox
24. L.A. Angels
25. L.A. Angels
26. Milwaukee
27. Seattle
28. Boston
29. N.Y. Yankees
30. Tampa Bay
31. Chi. Cubs
32. Colorado

Note: Five first-round picks were re-assigned to teams that lost Class A free agents (No .17 to ARI from LAD for Orlando Hudson; No. 24 to LAA from NYM for Francisco Rodriguez; No. 25 to LAA from NYY for Mark Teixeira; No. 27 to SEA from PHI for Raul Ibanez; No. 32 COL from LAA for Brian Fuentes).
Washington and the Yankees received extra first-round picks for failing to sign last year’s No. 1 draft choices.

Buck Afenir, Sr., C, Kansas (Escondido)
Andrew Bovich, LHP, PLNU
Gavin Brooks, Jr., LHP, UCLA, RB Vista
Erik Castro, Jr, C/3B, SDSU (Fallbrook)
Casey Edelbrock, Soph., RHP, Palomar CC (Poway)
A.J. Griffin, Jr., RHP, USD (Grossmont)
Tyler Lavigne, Jr., RHP, SDSU
Mike Leake, Jr., RHP, Arizona St. (Fallbrook)
James Meador, Jr, OF, USD (Ramona)
Sean Nicol, Sr., SS, USD
Shawn Sanford, Soph., LHP, Palomar CC (Fallbrook)
Sequoiah Stonecipher, Soph., OF, Grossmont CC (Mission Bay)
Stephen Strasburg, Jr., RHP, SDSU (West Hills)
Matt Thomson, Jr., RHP, USD
Ryan Wiegand, Sr., 1B, Gonzaga (USDHS)

Andrew Bellatti, RHP, Steele Canyon
Justin Bellez, RHP, Mira Mesa
Bryan Crabb, RHP, Coronado
James Dykstra, RHP, Rancho Bernardo
Tyler Gaffney, OF, Cathedral Catholic
Garret Hughes, LHP, La Costa Canyon
Matt Moynihan, OF, Cathedral Catholic
Alex Muren, RHP, Ramona
James Needy, RHP, Santana
Ryan Wilkins, RHP, Cathedral Catholic

— The draft was instituted in 1965. The Kansas City Athletics chose Arizona State outfielder Rick Monday with the first pick. One of the motivating factors for the draft was to get a handle on signing bonuses. The Angels signed Wisconsin outfielder Rick Reichardt for a record $205,000 in 1964. Monday signed with the A’s a year later for $104,000. It was 1979 before a drafted player surpassed the bonus given to Reichardt.

— Each team will have at least one representative at the draft. Among them will be Hall of Famers Al Kaline for Detroit, Bill Mazeroski for Pittsburgh and Billy Williams for the Cubs. The representatives this year for the Padres are Woody Williams and Jimmy Jones, who was the franchise’s first-round pick in 1982.

— There have been 21 Hall of Famers come through the draft. Cincinnati catcher Johnny Bench, the Reds’ second-round pick in 1965, was the first to make it in 1989. Seven of the 21 were first-round picks — Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount, Carlton Fisk, Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor and Jim Rice. Ryne Sandberg, taken in the 20th round by Philadelphia in 1978, was the lowest drafted player to make it.

— There are currently 12 players in the majors who were selected with the first overall pick — Tampa Bay’s David Price (Rays, 2007); Arizona’s Justin Upton (Diamondbacks, 2005); Minnesota’s Delmon Young (Rays, 2003); Minnesota’s Joe Mauer (Twins, 2001); Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez (Marlins, 2000); Texas’ Josh Hamilton (Rays, 1999); Tampa Bay’s Pat Burrell (Phillies, 1998); Texas’ Kris Benson (Pirates, 1996); Houston’s Darin Erstad (Angels, 1995); the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, 1993); Atlanta’s Chipper Jones (Braves, 1990); Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners, 1987).

— According to MLB data, there were 616 players (out of 750) on Open Day rosters who came through the draft. Of those, 218 (35.6 percent) were still members of the club that selected them. That does not include six players who are back with their original clubs after playing elsewhere.
Of those 616 players, 142 were first-round picks. Only 25 of them were players selected after the 30th round. The lowest pick was Tampa Bay’s Gabe Kapler, a 57th round selection by Detroit in 1995.


55,846 — Total players drafted since 1965.

18,712 —Right-handed pitchers drafted, or 33.5 percent of all payers drafted. Second-most is outfielders (10,160).

1,504 — Players drafted last season. Of those, 968 (64.36 percent) signed. Eight-two percent of college players signed, but only 17 percent of high school players signed. A draft-record 70 percent signed in 1985.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Q&A with Stephen Strasburg

San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg took a week to relax and recharge in between the end of SDSU's season and Tuesday's MLB Draft.

I caught up with Strasburg for a few minutes on Friday shortly after he came off the golf course at Mission Trails, where he carded a 76 (two birdies on the front and three more on the back), for a Q&A session that ran today right here in the San Diego Union-Tribune.