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Tonight's MLB draft updates

Posted by Ben Collins, Today's Soundtrack  June 9, 2009 03:02 PM

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Looking for live coverage of tonight's MLB draft, but don't want to hear the name "Strasburg" dozens of times in a 20-minute span?

The Extra Bases blog is your place.

We'll provide information on the Red Sox' picks -- they hold the 28th selection in the first round -- as well as updates on local prospects such as Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez, who went fourth overall to the Pirates.

After the first round, the first sandwich round, second round, third round, and second sandwich round will take place tonight. The remainder of the draft will take place Wednesday and Thursday.

We'll promise to keep the Stephen Strasburg sensationalism to a minimum. (But seriously, did you know he throws 101 miles per hour!?)

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Welcome, folks. Remember the groundrules: each team has four minutes to make a pick. The Sox pick at 28th, 77th and 107th tonight. You can watch the draft along with us right here or on the MLB Network.

6:10 p.m. - Bud Selig announces that the Washington Nationals are on the clock.

6:15 - The Nationals pick Stephen Strasburg, who will now have to see if his Scott Boras' fastball is as good as his own. Strasburg has a 90 mile per hour slider, he threw a 17-strikeout no-hitter just two months ago, and he might pitch in this MLB season. If none of that is enough, check out the second pitch on this Youtube video.

6:20 - The Mariners take 1B Dustin Ackley, the consensus #2 in most mock drafts. He's a speedy former middle-infielder, he's played in three College World Series and he's a year or two away from major league ready. A lot of teams are trying to find the next Matt Wieters-type insta-help bats, and Ackley may just be it.

Plus, he broke an aluminum bat in college. Aluminum.

6:30 - The rumors turned out to be true. Boston College's Tony Sanchez goes fourth to the Pittsburgh Pirates, an organization that might help him forego a few lower ranks of the minor league in order to get him up to the big club quickly.

Bud Selig, however, botched the reading of the pick. Sanchez was announced as "Jorge Sanchez" from "Chester Hill" instead of "Chestnut Hill."

6:35 - Matt Hobgood, a prospect some teams thought was a borderline first rounder, goes fifth overall. The 18-year-old high schooler is thought to be a considerably cheaper signing for the Orioles than the higher-rated Tyler Matzek and Zach Wheeler. Baseball America, for example, called Matzek's price range exorbitant.

6:40 - The Giants pick Zack Wheeler to try to become Tim Lincecum 2.0.

Also, MLB.Com, 15 minutes later, still has Tony Sanchez listed as Jorge Sanchez. Enjoy your new identity, sir.

6:58 - The Nationals snag another pitcher, this one a Stanford Cardinal, Drew Storen. This proves two things:
1) The Nationals wanted to save some money. He's going to be relatively easy to sign, as some project him to be a closer and to have a low ceiling. And,
2) The Nationals look like they have a plan to win in two years or so. Storen will be 22 in September. Strasburg might be making major league starts by then.

7:04 - The Rockies have decided to spend some money on pitching for Coors Field. But instead of overpaying over-the-hill former aces (think Mike Hampton), they've decided to take Tyler Matzek, who is said to be attached to a large rookie contract and bonus.

And, still, it looks like Tony Sanchez is going to need a new license. He is still Jorge Sanchez to MLB.Com. Maybe Tony doubles as an existentialist poet, and we don't know it.

7:13 - Billy Beane's first pick today? Grant Green, your ideal Moneyball candidate: average power, average runner, average defender, but has a great OPS and will be quick to make the transition from USC to the pros. Thank you, Michael Lewis, for making this draft actually interesting. This draft probably wouldn't be on TV if it wasn't for the way the Oakland A's have drafted over the past few years.

7:29 - #mlbdraft is trending on Twitter, folks. And it's surprisingly sort of informative. Nationals second pick (#10 overall) Drew Storen even has a Twitter page. He mostly talks about how awesome the wifi is on Virgin America Airlines, or variations on that theme. Really.

7:31 - Former RHAM High School (Hebron, Conn.) star A.J. Pollock goes to the Diamondbacks at #17. He was considered one of the best contact hitters in college baseball in his three years at Notre Dame.

7:45 - The Blue Jays, the first AL East team to pick in 15 selections, choose 6'4", 235 lb. pitcher Stephen Jenkins from Kennesaw State University, which must have an ample and well-stocked school cafeteria.

8:05 - Mike Trout, an 18-year-old high school centerfielder and the last (read: only -- how did he get in? We'll never know.) person left in the green room/dugout concoction MLB Network has set up, was just selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis, anybody?

The Sox' first pick is less than ten minutes away.

8:21 - The Red Sox select the remarkably speedy center fielder Reymond Fuentes, who shot up draft boards into the first round just this past week. He's skinny -- 6', 160 lbs. -- but supposedly a consummate contact hitter and possible future leadoff hitter. Fuentes is an 18-year-old who went to high school in Puerto Rico after growing up in Orlando, Fla.

Yanks are up next. More about Fuentes in a minute.

8:26 - The Yankees pick Slade Heathcott, the greatest baseball name in their organization since Tino Martinez. He's a 6'1", 200 lb. lefty two-way prospect with tons of pop when he plays outfield. MLBTV folks think that the pick might be derivative of the atomic home run porch in right field in the new Yankees Stadium.

8:32 - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays pick Levon Washington, or BJ Upton's half-decade-delayed clone. He's an 18-year-old switch hitting middle infielder from Buchholz, TX.

8:42 - Best #mlbdraft Tweet of the evening: "pffriberg If Frank Marcos says another player's makeup is 'off the charts' can we officially re-write the chart?"

9:15 - Here's some video of Fuentes. If the Sox can sign him, he should head to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox.

9:17 - Boston College's Mike Belfiore, a two-way player that will probably be a reliever in the pros, goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks at #45, the 13th pick of the first sandwich round. This is about a full-round before where most thought he would be selected, but Belfiore was a lights-out closer as an Eagle.

Former teammate Tony Sanchez will be catching Victor Black, a righty from Dallas Baptist University, the Pirate's pick at #49.

9:37 - The Diamondbacks are stashing New Englanders. Eric Smith, a pitcher from the University of Rhode Island by way of Milford, Conn., was selected by Arizona with the 60th pick.

10:00 - The Yankees select J.R. Murphy, a catcher from the Pendleton School in Florida.

10:01 - The Sox select righty Alex Wilson from Texas A&M. He's 6'1", 205 lbs. and is two years removed from Tommy John surgery during his redshirted freshman year. Wilson was born in Saudi Arabia and, if he makes the big club, would be the second Saudi Arabian major leaguer ever. San Diego Padre Craig Stansberry is the other.

Wilson transferred from Winthrop to the Aggies after being named All-Big South in his freshman and sophomore years.

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