News and Notes on the road

So, here they go to Anaheim…
The Halos swept them back at home, here’s hoping the M’s can put up a bit better showing on the road.

So far on this trip they are 3-3 but have outscored their opponents 49-34.  When you consider that 5 of their last 6 losses have been by 2 runs (and, over the course of the season so far, 17 of their 32 losses have been by 2 or fewer runs) it’s very encouraging for the future.

* Brendan Ryan named the Best Defensive Player for the Month of May see some great highlights here

* Franklin Gutierrez began his rehab assignment with Tacoma last night (going 0/3 w/2 walks as the DH)

* Big day tomorrow… Draft Day!!!

Seattle’s pick this year will likely depend on what Minnesota does at No. 2 and whether the Twins take high school star Byron Buxton. The consensus from draft pundits is that Houston will take Stanford pitcher Mark Appel at No. 1, but then comes the debate. Most mock drafts have Buxton going to the Twins. 

McNamara said taking a high school player usually means a longer wait for a pro debut. But hitting on a high school star can be a massive infusion for the franchise.

“When it clicks in it does something to the whole organization,” McNamara said. “You get a special one, you have control of the player, but the fans identify with that a lot. You take a high school guy, the fans can grow with that kid, and when he gets to the big leagues and he becomes a star it’s a great thing.” 

If Buxton is off the board, then Seattle could be choosing from a group that includes Florida catcher Mike Zunino, Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa and high school outfielder Albert Almora. Most mock projections have Seattle taking Zunino, who was the 2011 SEC player of the year and is a two-time semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to the top college player. 

McNamara said he’s not alone in seeing some of the top options – general manager Jack Zduriencik has gotten out on the road and seen most of the top prospects as well.

“The top five guys we’ve seen a lot. … I think it’s a good group of top guys this year,” McNamara said. “You have some high school athletes, pitchers, college guys. It’s been fun.”

Larry Stone’s pre-draft report

MLB Mock Draft = Mike Zunino