<
>
Insider

Cape, CWS, and signing updates

Former LSU right-hander Anthony Ranaudo, a draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, made his first start of the summer schedule Sunday, lasting four innings and allowing an unearned run on one hit and a walk for the Brewster Whitecaps. Ranaudo struck out three and threw 43 of his 66 pitches for strikes, primarily using his fastball-curveball combination.

Ranaudo, the No. 39 overall pick in his month's draft, is among a handful of 2010 draftees playing summer ball to improve their value in negotiations. Others include New York Yankees' 5th round pick Tommy Kahnle, a right-hander out of Lynn University, who closed for Brewster Sunday with a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two. Kahnle now has five punchouts in two innings.

Update on signings

The latest first-round pick to sign is No. 13 overall selection Chris Sale, a left-hander out of Florida Gulf Coast who received a slot bonus at just under $1.7 million from the Chicago White Sox. Sale is the highest pick to have signed to date and is one of nine first round picks to have agreed to deals.

Ten of the 18 compensation round picks have signed, including recent signees Ryan Bolden (OF, No. 40 overall) and Taylor Lindsey (SS, No. 37), both of the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle's Tiajuan Walker (RHP, No. 43) and 3B Mike Olt, who signed for $717,000 with the Texas Rangers. The Angels have three first-round picks to work on now -- No. 18 pick Kaleb Cowart (SS/RHP Cook County HS, Ga.), No. 29 pick Cam Bedrosian (RHP East Coweta HS, Ga.) and No. 30 overall pick Chevez Clarke, an outfielder from Marietta High School in Georgia.

There is no progress to report between the Detroit Tigers and Nick Castellanos, which is one of the most intriguing situations among the top 50 picks. Castellanos, an infielder from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida, was considered a Top 20 talent by most and has a strong enough commitment to the University of Miami to hold firm with his bonus demands.

Toronto signed RHP Aaron Sanchez to a below-slot deal and reportedly feel pretty confident that they will get first-rounder Deck McGuire signed before the August 16 deadline. Sanchez, however, may prove to be the gem of the Blue Jays' draft class, as he was generally considered a Top 25 prospect.

Class of 2011 on the Cape, in the CWS

Among the standout bats on the Cape through the first full week include USC infielder Ricky Oropesa, who is hitting .333/.438/.630 with two homers and two doubles in seven games. Oropesa is likely a corner infielder in pro ball and is playing primarily first base for the Chatham Anglers, despite being listed as a shortstop at Southern California.

Baylor right-hander Logan Verrett went seven shutout innings Sunday, allowing just three hits while striking out nine for Chattam, his first start of the summer. Verrett is a potential first-round draft pick and is coming off a strong sophomore season in which he posted a 97-23 K-BB ratio in 90.2 innings.

Long Beach State righty Andrew Gagnon had a solid, yet unspectacular, sophomore season, but is off to a positive start on the Cape, fanning 10 batters in 7.2 innings over two appearances. He has walked five and allowed 11 hits, but the bat-missing stuff is clearly there.

Stanford southpaw Brett Mooneyham fanned seven over five innings in his first start on the Cape last week, allowing three hits and a run. Mooneyham will enter the 2011 season among the second group of arms in an elite class for college pitching.

One under-the-radar prospect we're keeping an eye on is Nebraska-Omaha right-hander Joe Holtmeyer, the Division II Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Holtmeyer went six solid innings in his first outing for the Harwich Mariners allowing four hits an earned run.

In the College World Series, three prominent '11 arms have highlighted the first two days of action as TCU left-hander Matt Purke tossed another postseason gem versus Florida State over the weekend. Purke walked four, but allowed just four hits and an unearned runs while striking out seven in seven frames en route to the Saturday victory.
UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole each did their part with Bauer fanning 11 Florida Gators in seven innings Saturday and Cole punching out 13 TCU batters in eight innings Monday. Each allowed three earned runs but also earned wins for the Bruins.

Florida 1B Preston Tucker, among the top bats in next year's class, went 0-for-4 versus Bauer and 1-for-5 Monday versus Florida State.

South Carolina center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. homered and singled in a 4-3 loss to Oklahoma, who got a long ball from 3B Garrett Buechele, his 17th on the season. Bradley is expected to be a first-round talent heading into the draft next spring, and his long homer Monday impressed yours truly. The bat speed, hip rotation and swing path were perfect at least for the one swing, and with his athleticism and ability to hit for average, it wouldn't be a surprise if he went in the top 10 next June.