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Archive for June 27th, 2020

Cincinnati Reds 2020 MLB Draft First Year Player Recap

Draft Signing Deadline Is August 1

The Reds selected OF Austin Hendrick (6-0, 195, BL-TL), out of West Allegheny High School (Imperial, PA) with the team’s first pick (12th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

The Reds selected RHP Christian Roa (6-4, 220, BR-TR), out of Texas A&M, with the team’s second pick (2nd round, 48th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

The Reds selected C Jackson Miller (6-0, 195, BL-TR), out of J.W. Mitchell High School (New Port Richey, FL), with the team’s third pick (Competitive Balance Round B, 65th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

The Reds selected RHP Bryce Bonnin (6-2, 205, BR-TR), out of Texas Tech, with the team’s fourth pick pick (3rd Round, 84th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

The Reds selected OF Mac Wainwright (6-11, 211, BR-TR), out of Lakewood (OH) St. Edward High School, with the team’s fifth pick (4th Round, 113th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

The Reds selected RHP Joe Boyle (6-7, 240, BR-TR), out of the University of Notre Dame, with the team’s sixth pick (5th round, 143th overall) of the 2020 first-year player draft.

View the Cincinnati Reds 2020 First-Year Player Draft selections »

Read more: Cincinnati Reds
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY REDS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Cleveland Indians 2020 MLB Draft First-Year Player Recap

Information on Cleveland Indians 2020 First-Year Player Draft selections.

Round 1 (#23 overall)

INF CARSON TUCKER

AGE/DOB: 18, Jan. 24, 2002 SCHOOL: Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix, AZ)

BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2/180

Tucker lettered all four years at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Arizona, slashing .390/.455/.574 with 68 RBI, 20, doubles, 9 triples and 5 homes runs in 92 games (MaxPreps). The 6-2, 180-lb shortstop was named a 2020 Rawlings Perfect Game Preseason All American West – All Region 1st Team and managed to hit .364 (4-for-11) with a double, 2 home runs and 5 RBI in three games before his 2020 senior season was canceled….Younger brother of Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker, who was taken in the first round of the 2014 Draft (pick #24).

MLB.com on Tucker
Comments: Back in 2014, Cole Tucker was a bit of a surprise first-round pick out of Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona and he became one of four Mountain Pointe products to make it to the big leagues when he debuted with the Pirates in 2019. His younger brother, Carson, hopes to join them, and though he’s a different player and personality than his older brother, he was enjoying a similar rise up Draft boards thanks to a very strong early spring. While more reserved than Cole, Carson has the chance to join his brother as a big league caliber shortstop. At the plate, the right-handed hitter displays excellent bat control and bat speed over power, though he showed added strength this season. He’s often content to push the ball the other way and to the right-center field gap, though the ball does jump off his bat. He began showing he can turn on balls and drive them to his pull side more consistently, helping his profile. Tucker has the feet and hands to play shortstop long-term, even though he’s an average runner. He has average arm strength, though his throws have good carry and he shows the ability to change arm action and slots as is needed for the premium position. Showing more consistency on the defensive side, along with the aforementioned gains at the bat, are why Tucker’s stock took a leap forward this spring, making a stronger case for a team to sign him away from his commitment to the University of Texas.

Competitive Balance Round A (#36 overall)

RHP TANNER BURNS

AGE/DOB: 21, Dec. 28, 1998 SCHOOL: Auburn (AL)

BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/215

Made four starts in an abbreviated junior season for the Auburn Tigers, going 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA (22.1IP, 15H, 8R/6ER) and 32 strikeouts against just seven walks. Entering the 2020 campaign, the six-foot, 205-pound right-hander was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list and selected as a preseason All-SEC Team member, while also being named to Preseason All-American lists by Baseball America and Perfect Game. Across his three-year Tigers career, Burns has gone 14-9 with a 2.86 ERA (188.2IP, 153H, 84R-60ER) with 210 strikeouts against 67 walks. During his sophomore campaign, he joined RHP Casey Mize (2017-18) as just the second Auburn pitcher over the last 20 seasons to reach the century mark in strikeouts (101)….Named Alabama’s Mr. Baseball and 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year as the top player in the state.

MLB.com on Burns

Comments: Burns displayed first-round stuff when he was Gatorade’s Alabama state player of the year in 2017, but questions about his size and signability caused him to slide all the way to the Yankees in the 37th round. He immediately cracked Auburn’s weekend rotation as a freshman and struck out 15 in a game as a sophomore to tie the program record shared by Tim Hudson, Casey Mize and three others. Shoulder tightness caused him to miss a start last May and limited him during the Tigers’ run to their first College World Series appearance in 22 years. When he’s 100 percent, Burns can work at 92-97 mph with his fastball and locate it to both sides of the plate. His breaking ball can be a plus pitch at times, combining slider velocity in the low 80s with curveball depth, but it gets slurvy at others. He hasn’t had much need for his changeup, though it has some sink and shows some signs of becoming an average third pitch. Burns lacks size and while he’s strong and athletic, he comes with durability concerns because of his shoulder issues as a sophomore and a history of seeing his stuff dip later in the season. Though there’s no projection remaining in his 6-foot frame, his proponents see some similarities to another former Southeastern Conference star, Sonny Gray. Scouts wanted to see if he could stay healthy and maintain his stuff throughout his junior year, but the 2020 season lasted just four weeks.

Round 2 (#56 overall)

LHP LOGAN ALLEN

AGE/DOB: 21, Sept. 5, 1998 SCHOOL: Florida International (FL)

BATS/THROWS: R/L HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/180

Allen, 21, recorded a a three-year collegiate ERA of 3.33 in 183.2 innings at Florida International (47 BB, 246 SO). Was 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 IP this spring before the season was canceled (17H, 7ER, 6BB, 41SO, .183 avg)…Was named Conference-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year and was named Preseason All-American by multiple outlets….Member of the 2019 collegiate national Team USA…Did not allow a run in 15.0IP in the 2019 summer Cape Cod League for Harwich…The Deltona, FL native was named 2019 first team all C-USA and was selected by Baltimore in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

MLB.com on Allen

Comments: Allen was a solid pitching prospect coming out of the Florida high school ranks, one who was taken in the 16th round by the Orioles in 2017 because of his chance to have a three-pitch mix and his feel to use his entire repertoire. He headed to Florida International as a two-way player and continued to hit and pitch for two-plus years, but his future as a pro is certainly on the mound. In many respects, Allen is the same pitchabilty lefty that he was in high school, just with more track record after two years at FIU and a strong performance on the Cape last summer. He goes right after hitters with three pitches. He sits right around 90 mph with his fastball, but can reach back for up to 93 mph when he needs to, and he commands it well, with good arm-side finish. His changeup is his bread and butter, a potentially future plus circle change he sells really well with good fade and sink that misses bats and elicits weak contact on the ground. His curveball is his third pitch, a breaking ball that can get a little big at times. He commands the ball very well and knows how to set up hitters. Because of his lack of physicality and lack of wow stuff, Allen’s ceiling is somewhat limited. But he’s shown the ability to keep hitters off-balance and could be the kind of advanced college lefty who moves through a system quickly, always a commodity when the Draft rolls around.

Round 3 (#95 overall)

OF PETEY HALPIN

AGE/DOB: 18, May 26, 2002 SCHOOL: Mira Costa HS (Manhattan Beach, CA)

BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-0/180

st of his first season at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California. But after five games, the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Halpin, who spent his first three years at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California, Halpin also competed in the inaugural High School MLB All-star game last year in Cleveland

MLB.com on Halpin

Comments: Halpin wasn’t considered an elite-level player as the summer showcase circuit started last summer, as evidenced by him not getting an invite to either the Perfect Game All-American Classic or the Under Armour All-American Game. But a strong performance in the PDP League led to a spot at the MLB High School All-Star Game in Cleveland and he performed well later in the summer at the Area Code Games to put him more firmly on the map.

The outfielder often displays impressive tools across the board. He’s a plus runner, one who led the PDP League by going a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts, and that speed allows him to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. He also has a very strong arm, one that’s been up to 92 mph off the mound. He makes loud contact consistently from the left side of the plate and while he’s hit over power now, he’s shown the ability to drive the ball and was launching balls out at Angels Stadium this past fall during the Angels Elite showcase, the same event where 2019 first-rounder Keoni Cavaco showed up for the first time.

Halpin, who initially committed to UCLA but then decided to head out of state and play at Texas should the Draft not work out, might be underestimated by some scouts. Pete Crow-Armstrong is the more famous name among California prep outfielders, but don’t be surprised if Halpin isn’t all that far behind him.

Round 4 (#124 overall)

SS MILAN TOLENTINO

AGE/DOB: 18, Nov. 17, 2001 COLLEGE: Santa Margarita HS (CA)

BATS/THROWS: L/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-1/180

Participated in the 2019 Perfect Game All-America Game…Committed to UCLA…Hit a grand slam in season-opening game vs. John Wayne North on Feb. 21.

MLB.com on Tolentino

Comments: In 1983, Jose Tolentino helped the University of Texas win the College World Series alongside stars like Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi before embarking on a 15-year professional career that included one year in the big leagues. Now a broadcaster for the Angels, his son is making a name for himself as one of the better high school middle infielders in the Class of 2020. Tolentino has the chance to hit and be a big league regular shortstop. There’s no question about his defensive ability, with a plus arm and the feet and actions to stick at the premium position long term. How much he’ll hit will determine what kind of overall prospect he is. He’s a tough out with an opposite-field approach who sees a lot of pitches and makes a lot of contact with a Johnny Damon-like swing. He does roll over balls to the pull side at times and doesn’t barrel up the ball consistently enough with wood. He has added some strength to his lower half, giving some scouts hope that he’ll add some extra-base authority as he matures. The UCLA recruit does make the most of his abilities with a high baseball IQ, and the team that thinks he’ll impact the ball consistently will be the one to take him in the early rounds.

Round 5 (#154 overall)

RHP MASON HICKMAN

AGE/DOB: 21, Dec. 23, 1998 SCHOOL: Vanderbilt (TN)

BATS/THROWS: R/R HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-6/230

The big right-hander hails from Hendersonville, TN…As a Sophomore (2019), struck out nine-or-more batters in 5 of his final 6 starts and fanned 10 Michigan Wolverines in Vandy’s CWS-clinching win last June…Career collegiate record of 19-2 with a 3.13 ERA at Vanderbilt over 29 starts and 189.2 innings (221 SO, 10.5 SO/9.0IP, 2.9 BB/9.0IP)…In pandemic-shortened season of 2020 he was 2-0 with a 0.48 ERA in 3 starts (1

ER/18.2IP), posting a 26-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio…First Team Preseason All-America by Collegiate Baseball.

MLB.com on Hickman

Comments: Hickman’s stuff hasn’t stood out on Vanderbilt’s loaded pitching staffs, but he has been a consistent winner who has gone 19-2 with a 3.13 ERA in three college seasons and earned the victory in the College World Series clincher last June. His best pitch is his solid curveball, and he also has an 88-91 mph fastball that misses bats because of his command and deception. He throws strikes and keeps hitters off balance by mixing in a slider and changeup, making him a high-floor guy who might become a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Read more: Cleveland Indians
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY INDIANS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Indians draft Auburn pitcher Tanner Burns in 2020 MLB Draft

The Cleveland Indians announced recently the selection of RHP TANNER BURNS with the 36th overall pick (Competitive Balance round A) of the 2020 MLB Draft.

Burns, 21, was selected out of Auburn University, where he made four starts in an abbreviated junior season, going 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA (22.1IP, 15H, 8R/6ER) and 32 strikeouts against just seven walks. Entering the 2020 campaign, the six-foot, 205-pound right-hander was named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list and selected as a preseason All-SEC Team member, while also being named to Preseason All-American lists by Baseball America and Perfect Game. Across his three-year Tigers career, Burns has gone 14-9 with a 2.86 ERA (188.2IP, 153H, 84R-60ER) with 210 strikeouts against 67 walks. During his sophomore campaign, he joined RHP Casey Mize (2017-18) as just the second Auburn pitcher over the last 20 seasons to reach the century mark in strikeouts (101).

Tanner Burns (courtesy Auburn Athletics)

Burns was a five-year letterwinner at Decatur (AL) High School, where he was named Alabama’s Mr. Baseball and 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year as the top player in the state. He was a member of the 2016 USA Baseball (17U) National Team and took home All-American honors from national outlets such as Max Preps, Perfect Game and Under Armour following each of his final two high school seasons. Burns was originally selected by the New York Yankees in the 2017 June Draft (37th round), but did not sign. Tanner’s father, Mike, played professionally in the Houston Astros organization.

Read more: Cleveland Indians
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY INDIANS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

FOX SPORTS OHIO announces Blue Jackets replays to continue

Fri, Jun 26, 2020 12:32 pm

The Columbus Blue Jackets and FOX Sports Ohio continue to bring fans special programming with the re-airing of games as well as the next episode of Blue Jackets Live: Home Edition.

 

Tuesday, June 30

7:30 p.m. Blue Jackets Live: Home Edition, presented by Romeo’s Pizza

 

8:00 p.m. CBJ vs. Devils from 12/21/2019 – Blue Jackets 5, Devils 1

  • Forward Oliver Bjorkstrand scores two first period goals and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stops 21-of-22 shots for the club’s fourth consecutive victory.

Wednesday, July 1 at 8:00 p.m.

CBJ @ Islanders from 12/23/2019 – Blue Jackets 3, Islanders 2

  • Rookie blueliner Vladislav Gavrikov lifts the Blue Jackets to their fifth-straight win with a late third period tally.

Thursday, July 2 at 8:00 p.m.

CBJ vs. Panthers from 12/31/2019 – Blue Jackets 4, Panthers 1

  • Defenseman Zach Werenski collects his first career hat trick and netminder Elvis Merzlikins picks up his first career NHL victory after making 36 saves on New Year’s Eve.

 

Games will also stream on FOX Sports GO. Check local listings for replays.

 

Click and follow the network’s Columbus social accounts for updates:

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Kate Zelasko; COURTESY FOX SPORTS OHIO COMMUNICATIONS

 

MLS is Back Tournament starts in July!

54 MATCHES
26 TEAMS
6 GROUPS
1 CHAMPION
Major League Soccer returns to play with an all-new tournament with regular season points and a spot in 2021 Concacaf Champions League on the line.

The return of MLS is only a few weeks away.

For the first time since play was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, MLS teams will take to the field in official competition beginning on July 8 for a unique tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney World Resort in Florida.

So how will it work and what does it mean for the 2020 season? Here’s everything you need to know about the MLS is Back Tournament:

Quick Facts

Key Dates

  • June 24: Teams begin arriving in Florida
  • July 8: Group Stage presented by Heineken begins
  • July 25-28: Knockout Stage presented by Audi (Round of 16) begins
  • July 30- Aug. 1: Quarterfinals
  • August 5-6: Semifinals
  • August 11: Final

How will the tournament work?

Similar to a FIFA World Cup, the tournament will feature a continuous schedule of matches nearly every day, with games beginning at 9 am, 8 pm and 10:30 pm EST, with the majority of the matches to be played in the evening.

Group Stage presented by Heineken:

  • The 26 teams will be split into six groups.
  • The Eastern Conference will have three groups, one of six teams and two with four teams each.
  • The Western Conference will have three groups, each consisting of four teams.
  • Each team will play three group stage matches over the course of 16 consecutive days.
  • Top three teams from Group A and the top two teams from Groups B,C,D,E,F advance. Also the next three highest-ranked teams in the group stage based on points total advance to Round of 16. More details
  • If two or more clubs are tied on points in the group stage, MLS regular season tiebreaking procedures are used.
  • The tiebreakers for determining the three highest-ranked teams are: (1) points, (2) goal differential, (3) goals scored, (4) fewest disciplinary points.

Group Stage Tournament Draw:

  • draw for the tournament will take place on Thursday, June 11 at 3:30 p.m. ET to determine the placing of the 26 teams into six groups.
  • Nashville SC will be placed in the Eastern Conference and will remain in the Eastern Conference for the remainder of the 2020 season.
  • As the “host” team, Orlando City SC will be the top seed in the six-team group.
  • The four semifinalists from the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs – Atlanta United, Los Angeles Football Club, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC – will join Orlando as group seeds, along with Real Salt Lake (the next highest points total in the Western Conference from the 2019 season).
  • Full Group Stage Draw details

Knockout Stage presented by Audi:

  • Knockout round matches that finish tied at the end of regulation will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout.

What’s at stake?

  • Regular Season points: Each of the 39 group-stage games will count for points toward the 2020 regular-season standings.
  • Concacaf Champions League spot: In a one-time change to MLS berths to the annual Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, the MLS is Back Tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, regardless of whether it is a U.S. or Canadian club. This berth replaces the one traditionally awarded to the regular-season conference leader that did not win the Supporters’ Shield.
  • Prize Money: In addition to matches that count in the regular-season standings and competing for bragging rights, the MLS is Back Tournament will give players the opportunity to earn additional bonuses as part of a $1.1 million prize pool.

General competition rules

  • Substitutions: Clubs can make up to 5 substitutions per match per the new protocol set by the IFAB, but each club will have a maximum of three opportunities to make those 5 subs in every match. Subs made at halftime will not count toward one of the three opportunities.
  • Matchday rosters: Teams will also be able to name a matchday roster featuring up to 23 players.
  • Video Review: As is the case during regular MLS play, the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) will have access to Video Review for all games.
  • Delays & postponements: Match delays and postponements will be handled as per the 2020 MLS regular season rules. Any group stage match may be considered final should it reach the 60th minute and it is determined that the match cannot continue.

Disciplinary procedures

  • All discipline received from the first two matches of the 2020 regular season will carry over to the MLS is Back tournament.
  • All group stage discipline will be reset before the start of the knockout stage except for red cards (and second yellows) and other Disciplinary Committee action which will carry over to the knockout stage.
  • There will be no yellow card accumulation policy for the knockout stage.
  • Any group stage discipline that has not been served prior to the end of the group stage will be applied to the next 2020 regular season match following the completion of the tournament (Note: Group stage matches count toward regular season standings).
  • If a player receives a second yellow card in the final group stage match but the first yellow card was also his 5th yellow card of the regular season, the player will be suspended for the first knockout stage competition match (due to red card suspension) AND for his first regular season match following the Tournament (for yellow card accumulation).
  • Red cards (and second yellows) and Disciplinary Committee action in any player’s final knockout stage match will carry over to the regular season. All other knockout stage discipline that has not been fully served prior to the conclusion of the knockout stage will not carry over to the regular season following the tournament.

What happens after the tournament?

  • Upon completion of the MLS is Back Tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets, followed by the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and the 25th MLS Cup.
  • The schedule will be developed at a later date.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

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