Here at Jays Journal we like to keep you up to date with breaking news, statistical analysis and opinion pieces on the players, staff and front office of the Toronto Blue Jays. But in the sports world the steps your opponents take on their team have an effect on your team, for better or for worse. That’s why we bring you a weekly feature where we look back on what took place among the other 4 AL East teams. It’s the AL East News & Notes: Week 12!
This week, we focus on the MLB Draft that wrapped up yesterday, and how it will affect the AL East. For Blue Jays coverage of the draft, make sure to read our articles on Blue Jays draft picks Phil Bickford here, Clinton Hollon here and Patrick Murphy here.
Boston Red Sox
-At #7 overall the ball was in the Red Sox’s court, as they were the first team in the AL East to select a player from the draft. And as Rasheed Wallace would tell you, ball don’t lie, as the team drafted LHP/OF Trey Ball. The best pitcher/batter prospect in the draft, it will be up to the Red Sox to decide the 18 year old’s fate. He already sits 87-92 with the fastball, low 80’s with the changeup and mid-high 70’s with the curveball according to his Coast2Coast prospect page. Offensively, he plays as a left handed gap hitter who stays well on the ball.
-Sticking with pitching, the Red Sox drafted RHP Teddy Stankiewicz at 45th overall with their second round selection. A 2012 Mets pick that went unsigned, Stankiewicz worked on his stuff, including a better-developed changeup to compliment his eventual-plus fastball. You can read more over at SoxProspects.
-Earl Nash of BoSox Injection doesn’t like GM Ben Cherington’s choice to draft Trey Ball. As a pitcher, Nash argues that Ball’s leg snaps and jerks in an awkward fashion that might create future health problems, something that no GM wants to hear or admit to.
Tampa Bay Rays
-From 7th overall all the way to 21st, with the Blue Jays at 10th. That alone should tell you just how strong the AL East division was last year, especially with pitching. However, Jose Molina is not getting any younger, so the Rays went and drafted a strong-throwing-and-hitting catcher in Nick Ciuffo. The State covers his story, including committing to South Carolina at the age of 14. He is expected to sign, however.
-Many people believe in the notion that there is no such thing as a pitching prospect. However, I believe that with the Rays there are only future stars and org players. With the Rays drafting Ryne Stanek 29th overall after an impressive stint in Arkansas, we’ll just have to see what the future brings. The Kansas City Star details the mustachioed right handed pitcher’s career.
-David Hill looks back at the minor league career of former #1 overall draft pick Tim Beckham and ponders his future over at Rays Colored Glasses. It’s a bit of a bummer to see a player who was drafted better than anyone else in his year (including Buster Posey) to be considered a utility player at best 6 years later.
-The Orioles went the legacy route when it came to their first round draft pick. Son of reliever Bryan Harvey, the team selected RHP Harvey Hunter from Bandys High School. The Baltimore Sun details Hunter, who is not committed to a college program and has been ranked the 5th best prospect in the organization.
-The team went with a top of the lineup guy with their next selection of Josh Hart. The lefty CF has close to elite speed, alright defense and a good approach to the plate. Bleacher Report has you covered with his prospect grades in all facets of his play.
-Domenic A. Vadala of Birds Watcher previews the upcoming series that the Orioles face as summer baseball starts to heat up. They have an excellent chance on making ground in the division with a bunch of AL East series on the docket.
New York Yankees
-While most of the other teams in the AL East drafted high school players, the Yankees’ first two picks went to college players. I’d like to think it’s because the median age of Yankees players eats early bird dinners at 4PM and they need close-to-ready college players, but it’s possible that the team wanted to draft 3B Eric Jagielo as a safeguard in case Alex Rodriguez is suspended in the ongoing Biogenesis case and they can escape the albatross that is his contract. Either way, the left handed bat is profiled over at the Yankees website.
-Just 7 picks later, the Yankees were on the board yet again. This time, they drafted CF prospect Aaron Judge, who at 6’7″ and 255lbs. Such an imposing figure looks to jump over Judge Reinhold in Yankees fans’ lists of favorite judges, as he may have unlock his power potential swinging with wooden bats. Reading this article at Bulldog Blitz suggests that the aluminum bats used at college were like “swinging toothpicks,” which may very well be an apt description in the hands of a giant player.
-Alex Pugliese of Yanks Go Yard catches up on the performance of former Yankees players throughout the major leagues. To get into specifics, the players covered are Nick Swisher, Jesus Montero and Ian Kennedy.
Weekly AL East Standings (Overall Standings)
New York 5-2 (36-26)
Toronto 4-1 (27-34)
Tampa Bay 4-2 (34-27)
Boston 4-2 (38-25)
Baltimore 3-3 (34-28)