Monday, June 05, 2006

Notes on upcoming baseball draft

The A's won't pick at all in the first round; they lost their pick when they signed free-agent starter Esteban Loaiza in the offseason.

The Giants forfeited their opening-round picks the past two seasons, a decision, GM Brian Sabean has said, was based on reallocation of funds into the major-league payroll.

The team's past four first-round picks have been pitchers, and all of them -- David Aardsma (Chicago Cubs), Matt Cain and Brad Hennessey (Giants) and Boof Bonser (Minnesota Twins) are all in the majors.

The A's, who in recent seasons have had many first-round picks, don't get to select until the 66th pick. Outfielder Nick Swisher and starter Joe Blanton, both from the famed "Moneyball" Class of 2002, are the last two first-rounders to reach the majors for the A's.

AND TOP BILLING GOES TO ...: The opening round figures to be heavy with college pitching, good news for the Royals, who get first pick. The bad news is top picks can have signability issues, and those whispers already are dogging University of North Carolina lhp Andrew Miller and Washington rhp Tim Lincecum. Houston's Brad Lincoln and USC's Ian Kennedy, both right-handers, also are on the Royals radar screen.

ABOUT SIGNABILITY: Scott Boras-client Luke Hochevar is the most noteworthy name returning to the draft. Hochevar, an rhp who was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, reneged on an agreement with the team and has been pitching for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent American Assn. He's projected as the 8th-best prospect by Baseball America.

  • And, Rick Hurd notes a seeming lack of interest in Miguel Cabrera's recent success...
Cabrera has been hurt by a lack of home fans at Dolphin Stadium, but it's hard to blame the fans for staying away when the owner is doing the same thing. Instead of watching his team host the Giants and Barry Bonds on Monday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria went across town to see the Miami Heat play the Detroit Pistons in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. From Contra Costa Times

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