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2013 MLB Draft: Round 4-5 notes – Astros try another tiny second baseman

Jun 7, 2013, 4:08 PM EDT

Tony Kemp AP

- Now the Astros are showing some sabermetric roots, going with Vanderbilt teammates in the fourth and fifth rounds. First baseman Conrad Gregor hit .314/.443/.418 with 53 walks in 220 at-bats this year, while second baseman Tony Kemp came in at .398/.480/.496 with 35 walks in 256 at-bats. The two had three homers between them, all Gregor’s. Kemp stands just 5-foot-7, though he’s still a giant next to Jose Altuve.

One wonders if the Astros might draft another Vandy product later on; outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, Carl’s grandson, is another player on the team with modest tools and subpar power but a nice track record nonetheless.

- Virginia closer Kyle Crockett seemed like great value for the Indians in round four. He’s no future major league closer, but he could be a setup man or at least a lefty specialist in short order.

- Second baseman L.J. Mazzilli went back into the draft after going to the Twins in the ninth round last year and moved up to the fourth round with the Mets this time around. That’s the team his father, Lee, was most identified with during his 14 years in the majors.

- Cody Bellinger, son of Clay, went to the Dodgers at pick No. 124. The former Little League World Series participant gets rave reviews for his defense at first base, and while his bat is in question, he has plenty of time to develop; he won’t even turn 18 until next month. The Dodgers also drafted right-hander J.D. Underwood, son of Tom, in the fifth round. His father, Tom, lasted 11 years as a journeyman left-hander.

- Rice University aces tend to go on to be first-round draft picks (and then often major league busts). However, the school’s top starter this year, Austin Kubitza, lasted until No. 126, when he landed with the Tigers. A sinker-slider guy, he may not miss enough bats to make it as a starter in the pros.

- Kean Wong, little brother of Cardinals prospect and former first-round pick Kolten Wong, was taken by the Rays at No. 128. Like his brother, he’s a second baseman. However, some suspect he’ll need to move to third, and he may lack the power for the position.

- Right-hander Dylan Covey, a first-round pick of the Brewers in 2010, was grabbed by the A’s late in round four. He was expected to sign out of high school, but after he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, he decided on school instead. His stock slipped this year while he was posting a 5.05 ERA and walking 43 in 76 2/3 innings for the University of San Diego.

- The Marlins took Chad Wallach, son of Tim, in round five. A catcher out of Cal State Fullerton, he projects as a major league backup if all goes right.

- Milwaukee seems to be targeting relievers as a draft strategy; third-rounder Barrett Astin, fourth-rounder Taylor Williams and fifth-rounder Joshua Uhen all project as bullpen guys. Astin, who split time between the rotation and the closer’s role at Arkansas, is the closest of the group to being ready to help.

- Rangers fifth-rounder Joe Jackson, out of The Citadel, is the great grandson of Shoeless Joe Jackson. A catcher, he hit .386/.495/.658 with 13 homers and 67 RBI in 60 games against largely modest competition this year.

  1. sdelmonte - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I love seeing all these sons/grandsons/descendants of earlier players. I know it happens in other sports – Steph Curry being the latest NBA example – but it feels like a baseball tradition.

    Not that most of these guys will make it, of course. But how amazing would it be for someone like Shoeless Joe’s great grandson to get to the Show?

  2. number42is1 - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Size does not matter

  3. mazblast - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Of course it’s an extreme longshot, but wouldn’t it be great to see a HOF bust of Joe Jackson someday?

  4. unclemosesgreen - Jun 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    When your sabermetric roots start showing it is time for another dye job.

    • mazblast - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Heh. In the show I was just in, the older lead had to have obviously dyed hair (it was in the script), so he got his hair dyed an unnatural shade of black. By the end of the run, of course, his hair had grown a little and he had what someone dubbed “halo hair”–black on the outside part, gray for the inside 1/4″.

  5. mazblast - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    What’s with this “tiny” stuff? Do you refer to players 6’6″ and over as “oversized”?

  6. scottgilroy - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Now i can wear my old Mazilli jersey ironically

    • mazblast - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      But can you get into it?

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