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Thursday Pebble Report: Draft Day

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We'll be following the draft closely in a little bit. Right now, it seems like there's a decent shot that the Rockies will be able to get their guy in Jake Odorizzi, as only a couple of other squads ahead of them have him as a possibility with their #1 pick. Notably, watch the Cubs and Brewers, who both have had scouts at his last few starts and would be fine on taking a high school player from their backyard. My current projection has the Brewers liking Andrew Cashner more and the Cubs preferring Casey Kelly, though, so Jake should slip through to the Rockies pick.

If Odorizzi is already gone at #25, it probably means a scenario where two of the three of toolsy high school position players Brett Lawrie, Zach Collier or Anthony Hewitt (most likely the latter two) are available at the Phillies pick at #24. They'll take one and we'll take the other. I see the other name linked to the Rockies, Jason Castro, going earlier than expected due to a shortage of quality catchers in this draft; right now I have him being taken with one of the two Mets picks. One interesting mock draft I saw had Aaron Hicks dropping to the Phils and Tim Melville to the Rox. I don't think either of those two will really be available that late, but I do believe that there will be some surprising drops by a couple of talented high schoolers this year.

The note in that link to a Tanner Scheppers update by Keith Law throws another wild-card into the mix that will benefit the Rockies if true, as it looks like Scheppers has a good chance of going before Colorado's pick after all. Again a Scheppers pick comes at the expense of a high school player with upside. I'd still give the strongest odds to Odorizzi, but if we see a Hicks or Melville also available, the Rockies might change course.

Tulsa: L 4-1

It was another decent start by Brandon Hynick, and it's looking more and more like the Drillers rotation is ready to turn a corner. It's too late for a first half playoff bid, but look for the team to be a lot more competitive in the second half. Eric Young singled and walked twice. It was his first hit since returning from his wrist/hand injury, and while he's one for nine in that time, he does have five walks. I'd be very pleasantly surprised if his numbers return to the level they were pre-injury this season, but don't give up on him until we see what he can do when his swing timing fully recovers.

Modesto: W 6-5

Both of our single A affiliates rallied to 6-5 victories last night. Modesto and High Desert raced out to a 5-5 tie at the end of the fifth before suddenly deciding to switch gears and turn the game into a pitcher's duel when the bullpens came in. Five and a half more innings went by before the Nuts Victor Ferrante hit the winning single with the bases loaded in the eleventh. Read Brian VanderBeek's blog for more, including confirmation of Chaz Roe's call-up.

Asheville: W 6-5

Brian Rike hit a two run homer in the bottom of the seventh to put the Tourists in the lead, and strong relief work from Edgmer Escalona, Craig Baker and Randall Taylor held on for the win, which reduces the Tourists magic number for clinching a playoff spot to single digits, if I'm not mistaken. Any combination of nine T's wins and Charleston losses does the job with ten Tourist games remaining (Charleston has eleven left). Jeff Cunningham had two hits, including a homerun for his 52nd RBI on the season, and David Christensen hit a solo HR as well.

I'm curious if anybody who saw last night's contest know if starter Bruce Billings was changing his approach in some way to cause the 14-1 GB rate, which is fantastic, but highly uncharacteristic for him.