Major League Baseball (MLB) held it’s draft this week. Now unlike the drafts in the other major sports it will take three, four or maybe even five years before any of these players make it to the major leagues. There is also a chance that some of the players drafted very high in this draft will never make it to the major leagues. It’s what makes the MLB draft truly different from the other sports as you are really drafting for the future of your team.
Now the Chicago White Sox had the 10th pick in the first round of the draft and they used it to take Zack Collins a catcher from the University of Miami. Collins is a left handed hitter who batted .358 with 15 homers this past season. Collins even walked (71) more times than he struck out (59) in his current season; which is rare in baseball these days. Collins was actually good enough to be drafted right out of high school. The Cincinnati Reds took him in the 27th round of the 2013 draft, but chose to attend Miami instead. Collins has what appears to be good size for a catcher at 6’3 and 230 pounds. His scouting report describes him as a left-handed power hitter with a very patient approach at the plate. I’m sure your wondering by no why I selected the 10th player taken in the draft and decided to write about him. Well after hearing all the positives about Collins from the experts the next thing they would say is that the White Sox would need to find a new position for him because he’s too good of a hitter to catch. Now I’m not sure when this started, but when did baseball teams decide that they didn’t need good hitters at catcher. I would think the fastest way to the major league level would be by being a good hitting catcher. The experts have said that Collins has trouble with his defense especially his foot work behind the plate. Now he’s 21 years old and I would think that the White Sox would have a catching instructor who could work with Collins on this; don’t they. This of course is the way baseball is going now. The Minnesota Twins moved Joe Mauer to 1st base. There’s talk ever season of the San Francisco Giants find a different position for Buster Posey. Even the other Chicago the Cubs looked to have made the decision that Kyle Schwarber was an outfielder before he got hurt early this season. It’s odd that with all the Sabermetrics and Analytics teams use and it seeming that offense is the keys to these stats that teams would sacrifice offense at the catching position. Now I understand that Mauer was moved because of health concerns and that’s why the talk of moving Posey comes up, but when the Cubs where going to develop Schwarber as a catcher we attended one of his minor league games and where did he play in that game; you guessed Designated Hitter (DH); not sure how that helped his catching skills. Now this isn’t the first time this idea has come up. Some of the greatest catchers in baseball where tried at different positions with varying degrees of success. Johnny Bench played 3rd base, 1st base and spent some time in the outfield Carlton Fisk played a few games at 3rd base, a few games at 1st base and 41 games in leftfield before the White Sox realized that he was better off behind the plate. Yogi Berra played 260 career games in the outfield. I’m sure there are many more examples of this, but there are three Hall of Fame players who where moved from the catcher position only to end up back there. I ask again; is there a rule against having a catcher who can put up quality offensive numbers? Posey is easily considered the best offensive catcher in baseball, but who’s #2? Do you still like St. Louis’ Yader Molina, but how many more seasons is Molina going to play. He’s 33 right now and in his 13th season. Going to back to back World Series out Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals on a lot of peoples radar. Even if they’re your 1, 2 and 3 could you come up with a good Top 5. Besides Posey is there a catcher in the majors right now that you see as an offensive threat. At the start of the season I thought that Devin Mesoraco of the Cincinnati Reds had a chance to join this small group of offensive catchers, but he’s proven that he can’t stay healthy. Do you have a choice? If so I hope it’s better than mine.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying like I have that a playoff series hasn’t started until the home team losses a game. Well if that’s the case then the NBA Finals started last night. It was another double-digit victory as the Golden State Warriors took a 3 games to 1 lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 108-97 victory in Cleveland Friday night. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 38 points. Curry was 7 of 13 from behind the 3-point line. Klay Thompson scored 25 points while Harrison Barnes was the other Golden State starter with double digit points scoring 14 points. Barnes made 4 of the 5 3-point shots he took. Andre Iguodala came off the Warriors bench to score 10 points and lead the tam in assists with 7. Draymond Green grabbed a team high 12 rebounds for Golden State. Four of the five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures led by Kyrie Irving’s 34 points. LeBron James added 25 points while leading the team with 13 rebounds as well as assists with 9. Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith each scored 10 points while Kevin Love came off the bench to add 11 points for Cleveland. Love is recovering from a concussion; so Richard Jefferson got the start in his place.
Golden State will look to end the series at home on Monday night. Golden State is looking to become back to back champions with a series win. If they don;t close out the series Monday night the teams would return to Cleveland for Game 6 on Thursday night. So do you have the series coming back to “The Land”? Or do the Warriors close it out in 5?
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