Weekend watch: Shipley, Peterson face off
As clubs narrow their draft boards over the next seven weeks most, perhaps aside from the Houston Astros -- the owners of the top overall selection -- don't know which name they will announce on draft day. Some, however, know who they won't be taking.
"At this point, at least for us, we have a group we'd like to consider strongly," said an American League scouting director. "We like a lot of players, but since we don't pick 1-1, we have to wait and see. It is safe to say there are some we like that we are pretty sure are off our board at this stage."
It's not too late for players to change the minds of clubs in May, but most of the movement will likely take place within a smaller collection of names than teams began the season considering. The timing of such decisions comes down to minutes, even seconds, before each clubs selects, since they are at the mercy of those picking ahead of them, but there are times when the level of doubt is either high or nearly nonexistent.
"We've known well before our first pick before," a high-ranking scout noted. "We've also needed every second to make a choice. If it were like the NFL, we'd have taken all the time they give you."
It's typical for clubs to have a good idea, if not have the facts, about which players the clubs directly above them in the draft order are planning to select. "It helps you plan when you get that buzz," the scouting director said. "It's all about the plan. Right now, in April, we're still formulating our plan."
He also added, with a wink, of course, "I'll let you know when we finalize."
• Oklahoma State right-hander Jason Hursh (3-3, 2.63 ERA, 61 2/3 IP, 55 H, 49 SO, 15 BB) looks to rebound from what one scout described as an "OK," outing last weekend at TCU, toeing the rubber at home versus Kansas State. Hursh is generally considered a potential Day 1 selection, and Keith Law has him at No. 44 on his latest ranking, which was released Thursday.
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