Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mendonca to be drafted today ... ya think!?

I had already planned to get a little MLB Draft blog goin' today, but when I opened a recent Google Alert email with this story from KMPH I decided to rush it:

Fresno's Mendonca Expected To Be Picked Up In Draft KMPH Fox 26 -
Fresno,CA,USASeveral valley stand-outs are expected to hear their names called
over the three-day draft, including Fresno State third baseman Tommy Mendonca.

If that's not the most "duh" headline of all-time, I don't know what is. But I was glad to see that wasn't actually printed atop the story when I clicked and followed the link.

Today's draft is an exciting one for Fresno State fans -- although bittersweet being that we'll close the chapter on The Great Wall of Mendonca at third base. All-time Fresno State home run king. 2008 College World Series MVP. He made defensive plays so good, so consistently, that ESPN put (count 'em) at least three Mendonca fielding highlights in its postseason package that has been playing during every postseason game this year.

Mendonca, a junior, is as good as gone with 7 figures likely awaiting him in a signing bonus. Pitcher Tanner Scheppers, who was lost to injury during the final homestand of 2008 and missed the CWS glee, has rehabilitated his shoulder while making a handful of appearances for the independent St. Paul Saints. Scheppers was drafted by the Pirates last year, but they refused to give him the first-round money he deserved and he didn't sign. This time, expect Scheppers to go as early as the top five picks. Just take this quote from Fresno State coach Mike Batesole in today's Fresno Bee:
"People call me nuts, but I saw Strasburg pitch again for the second time and
there's no doubt: Tanner is the best [pitcher] in the country," Batesole said.
"With all due respect to Strasburg, I'd pick Tanner."

Other 'Dogs to watch for on the draft board are junior first baseman Alan Ahmady, who was suspended at the end of the regular season, junior pitcher Matt Morse and senior pitcher Holden Sprague.

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