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2013 MLB Draft: Round 6-10 notes – Braves GM picks his son

Jun 7, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT

Kyle Wren, Brandon Hohl AP

- One big thing to remember here: the new draft rules that kicked in last year really sucked the air out of these rounds. Instead of going for upside guys, a lot of teams are drafting college seniors in rounds 5-10 and then trying to sign them well under slot, freeing up money for more talented players. So, the better prospects that slipped through the third and fourth rounds aren’t being taken here. Instead, teams will begin taking them in round 11 on Saturday, since there is more financial flexibility with picks made then.

- Dom Nunez made the switch to catcher in high school this year and was expected to be drafted there, but the Rockies called his name in the sixth round as a third baseman. The 18-year-old was previously a shortstop when he played for Team USA in 2011 and ’12. The Rockies’ first position player taken was also a third baseman, Ryan McMahon. Obviously, they’re targeting best player available, rather than trying to fill needs, but it’s still interesting to see them looking at third basemen when they have Nolan Arenado as an emerging regular and cornerstone Troy Tulowitzki potentially needing to move off shortstop three or four years from now.

- The Royals’ sixth rounder was RHP Luke Farrell, son of Red Sox manager John Farrell. The senior right-hander had a 2.13 ERA in 84 1/3 innings for Northwestern this year and tied for the Big 10 lead with 80 strikeouts.

- Right-hander Steve Janas, the Braves’ sixth-round pick, was back pitching in games for Kennesaw State this spring just 10 months after Tommy John surgery, and he ended up with a 1.14 ERA in 78 2/3 innings against a soft schedule. That his fastball only occasionally touches 90 mph held him back here.

- It probably didn’t help first baseman Jake Bauers’ stock much that his MLB.com scouting report compares him to Daric Barton. Still, he’s got it pretty good right now. He can either join San Diego Padres farm system after being drafted 208th overall or he can head to the University of Hawaii for school.

- The Tigers finally drafted their first position player in the seventh round, 216th overall. That was Connor Harrell, Vanderbilt’s center fielder the last four years. Despite waiting so long, the Tigers still beat the Angels and Blue Jays to the punch. The Angels’ first position player came at No. 277 (Florida State catcher Stephen McGee) and the Blue Jays waited until No. 295 (Air Force catcher Garrett Custons).

- Georgia Tech outfielder Kyle Wren was previously drafted by the Reds and Tigers, but he declined to sign. Now, he got picked by his father, Braves GM Frank Wren, in the eighth round today. We’ll go out on a limb and say that he’s ready to sign this time. Wren hit .360/.423/.467 with 28 steals for the Ramblin Wreck this year.

Wren’s younger brother, Jordan, is also eligible for the draft this year coming out of high school. However, he’s yet to be picked.

- Patrick Valaika, brother of Marlins infielder Chris and former minor leaguer Matt, was the Rockies’ ninth-round pick. He’s UCLA’s shortstop, but he probably won’t remain at the position as a pro.

- The Twins drafted their third catcher of the day in the ninth round, picking New Mexico’s Mitchell Garver. They also grabbed catchers in the third (Old Miss’s Stuart Turner) and sixth (high schooler Brian Navareto) rounds. Which is all kind of interesting, given that they do have some guy named Joe Mauer. The only other position player they took among their 10 picks was Indiana third baseman Dustin DeMuth in the eighth round.

- Third baseman Dylan Manwaring was selected by the Braves in the ninth round. He’s the son of Kirt Manwaring, who caught for 13 seasons in the majors before calling it a career in 1999.

- At 24, left-hander Chad Jones was one of the oldest players in the draft, and the Reds took a chance on him in the ninth round. In 2010, he was a third-round pick of the Giants. The New York Giants. Soon afterwards, he suffered a severe leg injury in a car accident, essentially ending his career as a cornerback. However, his leg is sound enough now to allow him to pitch, and he’s back throwing in the high-80s four years after he last pitched for LSU.

  1. Kevin S. - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Sooo… chances Kyle Wren signs for about $200 and Frank Wren gets a totally unrelated $100,000 bonus?

  2. bitlrc - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    not that it’s necessarily the case, but being drafted twice and not signing, then being drafted by your dad and (possibly) signing with him smacks of collusion

    • Panda Claus - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      No collusion. Clubs draft sons of coaches, scouts and other organizational members all the time. If you’d look into it, this a fairly common occurrence. More like insider trading and/or nepotism than collusion.

      Not that it matters all that much given the likelihood most of these picks never see the majors.

      • bitlrc - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        i have absolutely no belief whatsoever that anything underhanded took place. i’m just saying with the circumstances, it’s not too far fetched to think that the elder wren could say something along the lines of “don’t sign with these losers. i’ll draft you in a couple years and we’ll take care of you here.”

        if you conspire with another person to undermine the legal right of the drafting team to negotiate in good faith, it’s collusion, whether it happens all the time or not.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Toronto picked 9 pitchers before selecting a senior catcher from the Air Force Academy. Last season, they drafted a senior CF from the Naval Academy in the 10th round. If the pattern holds, next season they select someone from West Point in the 10th round.

  4. zzalapski - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    If at least one of these catchers develop, the Twins may move Mauer off catcher sooner rather than later in the back half of his contract. Either that, or trade for the Nationals’ closer again.

  5. albertmn - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    A lot of experts commenting on the draft (not just here on HBT) keep noting how a certain team is taking guys at a certain position and can’t figure out why they would want multiple guys at one position or another. Do these guys recall that the vast majority of these guys will flame out and never amount to much in the majors, much less lead to big issues of who plays where. You hope to have that dilemma in a couple of seasons.

    • mazblast - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Look how many guys wind up changing positions. Shortstops become third or second basemen or center fielders, CFs move to the corners, third basemen move to first, catchers move all over, etc.

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