Best rumor of the day
I had to hop on and share this one with you. Every year, there are always hot rumors that start popping up in the days prior to the draft. They usually involve a player who had not been mentioned previously as a possibility up high, but now is being attached to teams in the top half of the first round. Sometimes there is truth to these rumors as teams scramble to find backup options or first options if they feel things like signability will get in the way of their original first choices.
In this year’s draft, so much is still up in the air. Things could go haywire starting with the No. 2 pick and several players with perceived high bonus demands could slide. Scott Boras is advising several potential top picks — Rick Porcello, Matt Wieters, Matt Harvey, Julio Borbon, even Andrew Brackman — and the impact of that could be huge. As a result, some teams are scrambling to make sure they have a good plan B, C, D, E…you get the idea.
So what usually happens is that teams look for one of those options to be a cheaper one, a guy who’d be an easy sign, perhaps even below slot for the pick. And if a higher up on a team goes to see one of those players, that’s how these rumors often get started. Sometimes, it seems like they get started out of thin air.
Today’s rumor of the day regarding such a "reach" player is about Virginia’s Sean Doolittle. He’s a nice player, a two-way standout who most look at as a hitter and not a left-handed pitcher. He’s got a good approach at the plate, should hit for average, but hasn’t shown much power in college — most people think of him as a Mark Grace type. Maybe he develops some more pop when he’s not worrying about pitching at the same time, but we’re not talking major home run hitter here. He’s a safe pick who should get to the big leagues and one would think that maybe he’d sneak into the end of the first round (I’ve got him at No. 26 in the most recent projections).
But suddenly his name is being mentioned much hither than that. I first heard him as a possibility at No. 11, to the Mariners. Then I heard Arizona mentioned at No. 9. I thought both of those were a bit of a reach until I heard the *******…that the Cubs were supposedly contemplating him at No. 3 overall. Here’s how it could play out, I suppose. If Josh Vitters goes No. 2 to the Royals, then the Cubs need a Plan B. If they don’t want that Plan B to be Jarrod Parker and they don’t want to/can’t pay for Rick Porcello, they need to have that backup. Could Doolittle seriously be that guy? I have a hard time believing that, but word on the street was that the Cubs had two high-ranking execs at Virginia’s regional watching the first baseman closely…
Chances are, this is what it seems — a rumor. But it sure is fun stirring the pot with it, isn’t it? More later…