MLB Week in Review (June 5-11)

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You may be forgiven for not realizing that this week was a big one for all franchises in the league.

The MLB Draft doesn’t provide that massive build-up that the NHL or NFL draft does and often doesn’t provide the same sort of coverage.

A large part of that is that it is in the heart of the MLB season and doesn’t have its own day like the other drafts.

Another large part is the fact that many of the players won’t make it to the MLB while a select few will make it to the majors within the next decade but not much sooner.

It is an interesting part of the league as their draft is extremely important for the league but does not get a lot of attention.

This year was no different and despite the MLB Network’s attempt at bringing coverage the most talk centred around someone’s favourite team taking a playing and the announcers telling fans in the middle of a game.

That is how most people hear about the draft and then the names fade into obscurity for the next few years.

Despite the lack of coverage and the lack of anyone that means a massive change in the near future the MLB draft still fulfills an important part of the league.

It is a chance for teams to reload their minor leagues and attempt to find the next Mike Trout or Jose Fernandez.

Somebody that was not on the cover of Sports Illustrated, like Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, that can come in within a few years and make a difference in the MLB.

Every team hopes to find that guy but in the MLB, finding that guy involves a much different strategy than in most drafts.

The MLB has a huge number of spots available for potential prospects to develop.

The NFL has almost nothing in that regard with only a small practice squad for any players that don’t make the team out of camp.

The NHL has a full team behind every major club with the AHL that allows some players to develop.

The MLB has numerous levels of minor league baseball that allows a lot of players to develop through different teams against better opponents in every level.

Teams need to fill all of those teams out and often they look to the draft to find those players that will fill out the teams and potentially develop into the next crop of great young players.

Teams go through 40 rounds trying to find a good group of players but not all will join their team’s system.

With many players coming from high school some decide that going to College and entering the draft after a few years of extra development will help them get a better spot in the draft and more money when signing with a team.

So the teams take as many potential great players as they can and with some falling off they find a group that they believe can make it to the next

Often that does not come true as only a few will make it all the way through due to injuries or simply not enough development.

It is almost a science that thee teams must conduct as they try to get the best percentage of stars out of a class every year.

Every year teams look to do exactly that and take a number of players that could help them and this year was no different.

There was a run on position players at the start of the draft which is unusual for the MLB draft as most teams go for as many pitchers as they can get.

Instead the first five picks of the draft featured four position players including three shortstops taken in the first three picks.

That included the first overall pick Dansby Swanson taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks, a pick that many believe to be the right one despite the ability to take a big arm.

The Houston Astros had another great day to only add to their already great system while the Rockies also made some big improvements including taking the very athletic Brendan Rodgers at #3 overall.

It was a successful draft for many and just another day for some other teams as they all tried to improve their system or keep their system great.

Whether or not these players will enter the MLB with the team that drafted them or enter the MLB at all remains to be seen and might not be seen for a long time.

That is the nature of the MLB draft and despite the lack of popularity in the mainstream it remained an important few days for the MLB and for every franchise as they look not only to this year but far beyond.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Rookie No-No
Pitchers have continued to be the dominant position in the MLB this year but the league has been waiting for that first no-hitter and this week it came at the hands of a rookie pitcher as Chris Heston threw a no-hitter for the Giants

Soriano to Cubs?
Rafael Soriano had a rough second half in 2014 and for that he was left without a team this year that was until this week when the Chicago cubs, who are in need of bullpen help, signed the 35-year-old closer to a minor league deal in hopes that he can help their team

Papelbon on the Move
Closers are hard to come by and so when one goes on the market a lot of teams take a look and see what might need to be done to get a proven closer which is what happened this week then the Phillies held trade talks for Jonathan Papelbon with Toronto left as a possible landing spot


Key Series:
Texas Rangers 2 – 1 Kansas City Royals
– The Rangers are making a run after spending the start of the season in the basement and they proved that they were for real in beating the Royals who have been leading the league for most of the season so far

Detroit Tigers 2 – 1 Chicago White Sox
– The Tigers and White Sox are used to a series with much higher stakes as they have fought for the Central division constantly but this year it was different as they are fighting to stay in the hunt with the Tigers coming out on top

Kansas City Royals 3 – 0 Minnesota Twins
– The Royals had fallen out of the top spot in the Central but worked their way back against the team that unseated them last week as they swept the Twins who are looking to recover and continue their strong season

Washington Nationals 1 – 1 New York Yankees
– The Yankees and the Nationals faced off in a short two game series as two east powers as the Yankees tried to keep their lead in the AL East and the Nats trying to gain their lead back in the NL East but neither gained much as they split the series

Upcoming Series:
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates [June 12/13/14]
– The battle of Pennsylvania has taken on a different attitude in recent years as the Phillies and Pirates have changed places but that doesn’t mean they have no motivation as they play for in-state bragging rights

Kansas City Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals [June 12/13/14]
– The Royals fending off a challenge from the Twins recently and look to pull away as they take on the Cardinals in a matchup of the two Central leading teams and two of the best teams in the league so far this year

Seattle Mariners vs. San Francisco Giants [June 16/17/18/19]
– The Mariners and Giants will travel along the west coast in a four game home-and-home series where the Giants look to gain some ground on the West leading Dodgers and the Mariners try to gain some momentum in their division

Chicago White Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates [June 16/17/18/19]
– The White Sox and Pirates were expected to be better this year but both have run into some surprising teams in their division battles as they try to gain ground in their respective divisions with a four-game home-and-home series

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