Sunday, April 21, 2019

Boxing Challenge: Crawford cans Khan

Terence Crawford had little problems retaining his WBO welterweight title via corner stoppage in the sixth round over former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan, but the problem that Crawford may not be able to climb so easily are still to come with the inter-promotional problems that threaten to choke boxing and its fans like the plague.

I thought Khan's speed could trouble Crawford and on the occasional time, it did, but those occasions appeared far too seldom for the Englishman and the real surprise came in the first round when Crawford, not known for getting out of the blocks quickly, dropped Khan with a left that was preceded by a right that appeared to do most of the damage.
Crawford nearly finished the fight there, but Khan avoided another knockdown with a well-placed grab and made it to the bell before being hurt and surviving again in the second.
Khan had a few good moments in the third and especially the fourth, but the fifth round saw Crawford landing hard punches that had Khan wincing and shaking his head and usually that means the end is near.
And it was, but in a less meaningful way than most had hoped as Crawford cracked Khan with what was either a low blow or a shot to the inner thigh (and depending on your angle, it could have been either) that saw Khan taking some of the allowed recovery period before trainer Virgil Hunter decided to intercede and surrender for his fighter from the corner.
Hunter's decision saved Khan from additional punishment but cost Crawford and fans a conclusive ending, not that is his job to worry about those things, but still an unsatisfying ending, if not an inevitable one.
Khan simply doesn't have the chin to compete with world-class welterweights and maybe not even those a notch below as his knockdown against trialhorse Samuel Vargas showed in his previous fight.
Yet, Khan would be unlikely to make 140 pounds again in a return to junior welterweight and may be caught in limbo, where his best option might be to make the fight that U.K. fans have always wanted against Kell Brook.
A Khan-Brook fight would put dollars into both men's coffers, even if the fight is too late to determine which was truly the better fighter in their prime and I'm hoping that Terence Crawford and Errol Spence don't look back in a few years and wonder about themselves as well.
Crawford-Spence is the best fight that boxing can make and Spence's claims that in-house options to unify his IBF title with are preferable (WBA champ Keith Thurman and WBC kingpin Shawn Porter) to a Crawford unification and I understand those are easy fights to make.
I would even be OK with Spence and Crawford hooking up in a year- IF you would make me this deal- Spence's next two fights are against those two PBC comrades while Crawford fights whoever he can match up with and those guys aren't going to be as interesting as Spence's competition certainly would be.
I'd be willing to wait under those conditions, no others.

On the Crawford-Khan undercard, Teofimo Lopez dominated Edis Tatli for four rounds and then stopped the former world title challenger with a right to the body that sent Tatli to one knee for the ten count.
Lopez claims he wants a fight with Vasyl Lomachenko in the next year before he leaves the lightweight division, but Lomachenko's claim is only if he holds a title will that fight take place.
A Mikey Garcia bout for the WBC title is unlikely, but should Garcia vacate the title, which is possible, Lopez could be in line for a fight that fills that vacancy, but an IBF title fight vs Richard Commey would be easier to make.
Commey would likely make more money for Lomachenko and a unification event so Top Rank will have to pay up for Commey to fight Lopez instead.

Shakur Stevenson cruised to a unanimous decision over Christopher Diaz.
I haven't watched this fight yet, but Stevenson is reported to have dominated Diaz in winning by eight, nine, and ten points on the scorecards.
I'm not sure Stevenson doesn't need more seasoning before fighting a champion at featherweight, a division that possesses four strong champions, but he seems to be on a fast track for a title fight within the next year or so.

Felix Verdejo's star may have dimmed since his days as a top prospect, but he at least added a little shine with a unanimous decision over Bryan Vasquez.
Verdejo never hurt Vasquez, but his jab was impressive and his combinations at least brought back memories of what Verdejo was thought to be before various problems caused inactivity and his first loss.
It will be interesting to see if Verdejo is challenged with another step up in competition or if he fights another boxer on the level of Vasquez, who is solid, but not quite top ten class.
I scored Verdejo a 97-93 winner on my card.

Meanwhile, Mr. Al Haymon, whose name was mentioned as much on social media during the Top Rank card due to the Crawford-Spence talk, and his PBC were outside on Fox and FS1 from Carson California.
The PBC main event saw former WBC welterweight champion, Danny Garcia return to the ring for the first time since a September loss to Shawn Porter for the vacant title and looked very strong in taking out durable Adrian Granados in the seventh round.
Granados won round one with his trademark aggression, but Garcia knocked down Granados twice in the second round with overhand rights that it seemed that everyone could see coming but Granados.
It was all Garcia from there as he never was threatened despite Granados' efforts otherwise.
Garcia sent Granados to the mat in the fifth and finished him off in the seventh as Garcia battered Granados along the ropes forcing referee Thomas Taylor to end the bout.
For Garcia, it was an impressive return, albeit against a fighter made to order for Garcia, who generally scores knockouts against fighters a step below the elite, but rarely stops an elite one.
Garcia would be well suited to fight again soon, but similar to many in the PBC, he simply doesn't fight often enough to stay in the minds of fans.
Garcia has been on both sides of close decisions in his career and has never been outmatched in any of his fights, but putting Garcia against any of the four champions have that been there done that feeling, which is logical considering that he has already fought two of them (Thurman and Porter) already.
Granados is simply physically overmatched at welterweight and if he can make the weight, would be competitive against anyone at 140 pounds.

Former heavyweight title challenger Andy Ruiz made his PBC debut a successful one in winning every round against Alexander Dimitrenko before Dimitrenko's corner stopped the bout at the end of the fifth round.
Don't give Ruiz too much credit though, as Dimitrenko seemed so dispassionate in his performance as any heavyweight in the top 100 could have dominated him on this night.
Dimitrenko's effort was a surprising one, considering his brave battle against Bryant Jennings in his previous bout, but if this is all that he will offer in the future, he should consider retirement.
As for Ruiz, who has just one loss to Joseph Parker, he has always shown ability, but a lack of activity along with a tendency to stay in shape has been a constant companion to him.
Should those things change for Ruiz, he could still be a viable contender and on the PBC side, I'd be very interested in a Ruiz-Adam Kownacki pairing.

Brandon Figueroa won a minor junior featherweight jewelry piece when Yonfrez Parejo was unable to continue after the eighth round.
The bout was filled with good exchanges in the first three rounds, but the bigger punching Figueroa began to grind Parejo down thereafter and avoided the counters that Parejo landed earlier in the fight.
I had Figueroa ahead after eight rounds 78-74 and I had the feeling that this fight might have ended before the final bell anyway, so the point may have been moot.
The undefeated Figueroa won his third fight in a row against veteran competition (Parejo, Moises Flores, and Oscar Escandon) and would be a very interesting challenger to the victor of next Friday's
WBA-IBF unification between Daniel Roman and T.J. Doheny.

Another minor belt was handed out on this card with an untelevised fight (Why that was is beyond me since it seemed like they were showing every fight down to ten years in the L.A. area) in the bantamweight division as former IBF flyweight champion John Riel Casimero knocked out Ricardo Espinoza in the twelfth round to win this title, which basically puts him into bantamweight contention.
As noted, I haven't seen this-Casimero knocked Espinoza down in the fifth and again in the final round before the fight was stopped.
Entering the final round the fight was on the line as each fighter was ahead by two points on one judge's card and the third judge had the fight even.

In the boxing challenge, I outscored Ramon Malpica 15-14 to increase my lead to 94-85.
My points: three points from Brandon Figueroa (bonus point for calling the round)
                   two points from Terence Crawford, Shakur Stevenson, Teofimo Lopez, Felix Verdejo, and Andy Ruiz.
                   one point from John Riel Casimero and Danny Garcia

Ramon's points; three points from Teofimo Lopez
                           two points from Crawford, Figueroa, Verdejo, and Ruiz
                           one point from Stevenson, Casimero, and Garcia

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Cleaning out the inbox-Non-Sports Version

The inbox still needed a little more sifting through in order to consider it cleaned for a while and after the last cleaning, I was able to set things up to make this one a non-sports version.

We start with two passings from outside the sports world with the word of the death of Charles Van Doren at the age of 93.
Van Doren, the Columbia professor, who famously received the answers to the questions that would be asked on the 1950's quiz show "Twenty One" beforehand and was subsequently disgraced passed from natural causes in Connecticut.
The scandal would be developed into the film "Quiz Show" that focused mainly on Van Doren, the opponent that he defeated, Herb Stempel and congressional investigator Richard Goodwin and the status of television during the fifties.
Before the Robert Redford produced film, PBS did an "American Experience" documentary, which I thought was even better than the film, which as most films are, was embellished for the purposes of the film.
Van Doren lost his job as a TODAY show correspondent and would spend the remainder of his career working at the Encyclopedia Brittanica writing and editing books often using a pseudonym as well as a return to teaching later in life.
Van Doren rarely discussed the scandal but finally commented in a large reminiscence in the New Yorker in 2008.

Goodbye to Scott Walker at the age of 76.
Walker, who first gained prominence with the Walker Brothers (none of the brothers were actually related) in the late '60s with various hits such as "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' being the highest on the U.S. charts, would move away from not only pop music, but even contemporary music. preferring to make more experimental and progressive cuts instead.
Walker's takes on some classic tunes range from interesting in a good way to wondering why someone would even think of releasing this, but Ryan has always been a huge fan and I've recently been listening to some of his non-pop work, some of which I've enjoyed a great deal and others... well not so much!
Walker would have his own television series in Great Britain and is unusual for the small amount of footage that is available.
Even then, music programs would often be archived for future use, which is why we have so many terrific performances from the various ages of television and I'm surprised that the Walker series is bereft of material.
The title of the link above from Billboard may have said it best- Scott Walker changed the face of pop music by turning his back on it.

The Guardian brings word of Ken Lawson of Australia, who as an amateur photographer and astronomer nails the perfect shot of the International Space Station crossing the face of the Moon.
It appears that Lawson just got lucky with the photo on March 14 with his telescope and camera, but alas it took plenty of planning, patience and practice as Lawson says that he had attempted to get it right for over eight years before he finally snapped the picture on a rare pass near his home that he says occurs about as often as a solar eclipse.

Joe Plum sent me this link to the website offered up this fastball on Pestalotiopsis Microspora.
Just what is that?
Well, it's a mushroom that can eat plastic!
I would imagine this won't be on a large scale in my time, but imagine the possibilities of removing plastic from the environment and generating an edible product?
In controlled conditions of testing, the mycelium breaks down the plastic and in a few weeks, the plastic is gone and in its place?
A mushroom brought to you by your friends in nature.

And we wrap up with 13th Dimension and their ratings of the top 13 Batman action figures ever made.
One would think we could not pass that up and we didn't!
How many do we own? Two.
How many would we like to? Far More
How many are on the list to buy? Three.

With that, the inbox is now scrubbed clean for a while.
Coming soon, last weekend's road trip to Lexington, tonight's Crawford-Khan bout and early next week, some thoughts on the draft for the Browns and a rare draft day without a first rounder.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Boxing Challenge

It's a big weekend in the boxing challenge as the first of three big fight weekends in a row begins with eight fights in the challenge.

The biggest fight of the weekend is with ESPN on Pay Per View as Top Rank presents arguably the top fighter in the world today defending his championship.
It depends on who you ask on the topic of the best fighter for their answer, but there would be some that would give the answer of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, who defends that title against former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan.
I'm not as down on this fight as many are. Khan has skills, he hits with some pop, he's an underrated boxer and he'll take chances and fight anyone put in front of him (except countryman Kell Brook for some reason).
Khan has one problem- an unreliable chin that has seen him on the floor more often than you can count off-hand and has been knocked out three times.
I doubt Khan's chin holds up in this one either as I think he'll win a few rounds and be in the fight for the first half before Crawford turns up the heat and finishes Khan in the second half.

The top three undercard bouts all are part of the challenge with two of Top Rank's top prospects in action and a fighter that was once thought to be a future star but fizzled out in orbit.
Featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson faces a strong test in former world title challenger Christopher Diaz, while the electrifying lightweight Teofimo Lopez battles another former title challenger Edis Tatli.
Stevenson seems to have the tougher test of the two, but I expect both to emerge victorious in their matchups.
Felix Verdejo was once a rising star on the same level as Lopez and Diaz before out of the ring problems and injuries forced him out of the ring for far too long, followed by being knocked out in his return by Antonio Lozada in the final round, when he only had to survive to win a close decision.
Verdejo has won one squash since, but he's matched well against veteran Bryan Vasquez, who has fought many top opponents but beaten few of them.
It'll be interesting to see how Verdejo looks in this one.

While to see the above fights will cost you eighty dollars on PPV, the PBC counter-programs with a free slate on Fox.
The main event is an interesting pairing between former welterweight champion Danny Garcia and rugged Adrian Granados.
Garcia lost a decision for the vacant WBC title to Shawn Porter last year for the same title that Garcia lost to Keith Thurman, who had vacated that title during one of Thurman's eight-year layoffs.
Granados lost to the same Porter in his last major fight and has fallen short against his best opponents, although his loss to Adrien Broner could have gone to either fighter.

Heavyweight Andy Ruiz returns against Alexander Dimitrenko in a crossroads bout.
Ruiz has had problems with weight and staying in shape, but has fast hands when at his best, while Dimitrenko fought well before being stopped in the ninth by Bryant Jennings in his last fight.

Two minor titles are on the line with talented banger Brandon Figueroa facing Yonfrez Parejo in a junior featherweight bout in one while former flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero will fight Ricardo Espinoza in the other for a bantamweight trinket.
Figueroa should be favored over the veteran Parejo and a stoppage would be impressive as Parejo took former bantamweight champions Ryan Burnett and Zhanat Zhakiyanov the full distance in losses.
Casimero holds knockout wins over current WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards and knocked out Amnat Ruenroeng to win the IBF flyweight strap, but is untested at 118 pounds. while Espinoza has 20 KO's in his 23 wins, but in facing Casimero is taking a jump in class.

In the boxing challenge, I lead Ramon Malpica 79-71.

WBO Welterweight Title. 12 Rds
Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan
R.L: Crawford KO 10
TRS: Crawford KO 8

Featherweights. 10 Rds
Shakur Stevenson vs Christopher Diaz
R.L: Stevenson KO 7
TRS: Stevenson Unanimous Decision

Lightweights. 10 Rds
Teofimo Lopez vs Edis Tatli
R.L: Lopez KO 5
TRS: Lopez KO 3

Lightweights. 10 Rds
Felix Verdejo vs Bryan Vasquez
Both: Verdejo Unanimous Decision

Welterweights 12 Rds
Danny Garcia vs Adrian Granados
Both: Garcia Unanimous Decision

Heavyweights. 10 Rds
Andy Ruiz vs Alexander Dimitrenko
R.L: Ruiz KO 6
TRS: Ruiz KO 9

Junior Featherweights, 12 Rds
Brandon Figueroa vs Yonfrez Parejo
R.L: Figueroa KO 4
TRS: Figueroa KO 8

Bantamweights 12 Rds
John Riel Casimero vs Ricardo Espinoza
Both: Casimero Unanimous Decision

Cleaning out the inbox

The inbox purge continues with more notes of interest as the sports world brings the links for this cleaning.

We start with the Athletic and their Buffalo branch with an article on Jim Kelly and his time with the USFL's Houston Gamblers.
Matthew Fairborn talks to all the players in the gambit that brought Kelly, who was seconds away from signing with the Bills in their offices, to Houston with the Run and Shoot offense that set all sorts of passing records.
I also learned something that I didn't know about Kelly and backup Todd Dillon.
I knew the Gamblers signed Dillon as a fellow rookie, but what I didn't know is that the team was having problems with Kelly buying into the offense, signed Dillon specifically to challenge Kelly's competitive spirit and if Dillon beat Kelly out- so be it, which led to a Kelly outburst in the office of team owner Jerry Argovitz.
This might be the most comprehensive article that I've ever read about this period of Kelly's career and if you are a USFL or a Mouse Davis. June Jones or Run and Shoot offense fan, this is a must read!

The New York Times writes of the massive, encompassing and increasingly obsolete boxing on VHS collection of the late Bela Szilagyi, who compiled over 55,000 fights on over 8,000 tapes.
The collection is still being updated by his widow and she's looking to sell, but the aging format is working against it in the digital age.
The collection was once used by fighters and trainers to prepare for bouts, networks that needed footage for broadcast or even boxing junkies such as yours truly to just step back in time before the days of YouTube.
Szilagyi was a concert pianist and you don't usually think of concert piano and boxing having crossover fans, but this article is more than boxing.
It's just as much as about a man's love for the sport and a wife's love for her husband that she doesn't want to let go.
It's a piece that hits home for those of us that know the feeling of unconditional love from one's spouse.

Photo Credit; Brian Boesch
Battlin' Bob sends this article from Deadspin on the final season of baseball at fading Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, where the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League are wrapping up their tenure there before a move to Fredericksburg next season.
Bob said of the "Pfitz" that he never knew how much it looked like Hagerstown's Muni and there are similarities despite Hagerstown Municipal being already 54 years old when Pfitzner was built.
Getting from Hagerstown to Woodbridge can be quite a grind, but reading this makes me want to make one trip to Potomac to say goodbye.
I've been there a few times, but not enough to develop a real connection with the place.
Perhaps there is room for just one rundown, badly kept stadium in my life! Ha Ha!
It's another good story of a long time fan saying goodbye, even if it is goodbye to a place that is long past its prime.
I suppose one day, I could be writing a similar article about the Muni- Let's hope that in that case,
their new home is in the area, not far away.

Yahoo writes of the rising career of Top Rank's Crystina Poncher, who has developed her skills in boxing broadcasting to move up to commentating in both the play by play and color roles on ESPN+ undercards and as a reporter on the featured events.
Poncher is the first woman to perform in the play by play role in boxing and is quite good, although she's still learning that role.
I've always liked her work and it'll be interesting to see how she continues to improve in calling boxing along with her hosting and interviewing work.

We finish with the Athletic again with an article on NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse, who was recently hired as the head coach at Vanderbilt, despite never coaching at all in college.
Stackhouse apparently still laces the sneakers up and practices with his teams as he did this season as an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Stackhouse apparently emphasizes defense and slows the game down, which surprised me considering Stackhouse's skills in the open floor as a player.
Stackhouse seems to be highly thought of by the players and coaches that have worked with him, but players that try college jobs with only NBA coaching experience have failed more than succeeded, Clyde Drexler at Houston, Sidney Lowe at N.C, State and most recently Chris Mullin at St.John's come to mind off the top of my head.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Cleaning out the inbox- Passings-Football

The inbox is bulging at the seams and there have been enough recent passings from the football world to give the gridiron losses their own post.

Goodbye to Forrest Gregg at the age of 85 from Parkinson's Disease.
Gregg, who was once described by Vince Lombardi as "the finest football player I ever coached" entered the Hall of Fame in 1977 after a sixteen-year career at tackle for Green Bay and Dallas and winning six championships over his career, five of those with the Packers.
Gregg dominated at tackle but was versatile enough to play guard as well and even center in a severe pinch.
In so many of those wonderful pictures from the 60s that show the power sweep with Paul Hornung or Jim Taylor running around the end, it is usually Gregg or Jerry Kramer (or both) clearing the way for the famous play of the time.
Gregg's playing days were over by my day, but I saw Gregg coach the Browns and Packers (unsuccessfully), and the Bengals (took them to their first super bowl) along with two CFL stints in Toronto and Shreveport (Shreveport in the CFL still makes one wonder about that idea) before leaving the Packers ( I doubt that they were trying too hard to keep him after seasons of 4-12 and 5-9-1) to rebuild his alma mater SMU after the Mustangs were hit with the only "Death Penalty" in division one football.
Gregg had suffered in recent years from Parkinson's and his family has donated his brain to see how much football's blows had contributed to his Parkinson's.issues.

Goodbye to Clem Daniels at the age of 81.
Daniels, a hard running fullback that played for three teams, but spent the bulk of his career with the Oakland Raiders, before finishing his career with one season with San Francisco after the merger was agreed to.
Daniels was a four-time AFL all-star, the 1963 AFL MVP and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in the American Football League with over 5,000 yards on the ground.
Daniels was also a key member in the AFL player boycott in 1965 of their All-Star game and forced the move from New Orleans to Houston after racial mistreatment of players in Louisiana.

Goodbye to Johnny "Lam" Jones at the age of 60 from cancer.
Jones was the second overall pick of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Jets, but only lasted five less than distinguished seasons in the league.
Jones was a standout at Texas though as a standout at running back and wide receiver with world-class speed.
The term "world-class speed" is often overused as a generic term for a fast player in football, but Lam Jones truly possessed world-class speed as he was part of the four-man gold medal-winning team in the 100-meter relay in the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Jones also was in the finals in the individual 100 meters in Montreal but finished sixth to the winner, Hasley Crawford of Trinidad and Tobago.

Goodbye to Cedrick Hardman at the age of 70.
Hardman played ten years for the San Francisco 49ers after the defensive end was their first-round selection in 1970.
Hardman holds the 49ers record for sacks with 107, although the NFL didn't officially recognize the sack as an official statistic until 1982 and also is the team record holder for sacks in a season with 18 in 1971.
Hardman was part of the 49ers "Gold Rush" in 1976, which harassed quarterbacks relentlessly including this game against the Rams that saw the 49ers sack Rams quarterback James Harris ten times against a Rams offensive line that included hall of famer Tom Mack and future Pro Bowlers Rich Saul, Doug France, and Dennis Harrah.
Hardman would play two seasons for the Raiders and was part of their 1980 Super Bowl champions before retiring for one year before a one year return with the USFL Oakland Invaders as a player/coach.

Goodbye to Joe Bellino at the age of 81.
Bellino won the 1960 Heisman Trophy as a running back that also punted and scored touchdowns as a runner, receiver, and passer for Navy.
Due to Bellino's five year military commitment, Bellino would not debut as a professional until 1965 when he would join the then-Boston Patriots for three seasons that he spent mostly as a kick returner.
Bellino would score only one professional touchdown and would total only 213 yards combined in those three seasons as a rusher and receiver.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Minor League Fantasy Draft- Round Six Elehuris Montero

With my final pick, I was thinking about taking another lower level player to develop and hope for an impact player.
However, one player stood out as in "Why is this guy still on the board"?

I mean really, it seemed like he had been taken, but I scanned the results and nope, still available.
I was surprised, but I also was hoping for a younger, albeit riskier, player, but in the end class and performance won out as I finished the draft with the selection of Elehuris Montero, a third baseman from the St.Louis Cardinal system.

The 20-year-old Montero hit .322 with 15 homers and 69 RBI in 103 for Low A Peoria in 103 games before a promotion to High A Palm Beach for the final 24 games where he hit .298 with a homer.
Montero is one of three excellent young third base prospects with the Cardinals along with 2018 first rounder Nolan Gorman and international signee Malcolm Nunez, so it's not out of the question that Montero could be a trade piece near the deadline, should the Cardinals be in playoff contention.

Montero is from the Dominican Republic and was noted by Baseball America to have "Plus raw power" "bat speed to overcome swing holes" and could be an eventual "25 to 30 homer with a steady average player".
Montero's defensive position is less certain as some scouts think he could stay at third as an average defender with work, while others think he will wind up at first base or even possibly left field.
Montero won the Midwest League MVP last season and was expected to be assigned back at High A Palm Beach where he finished last season, but was challenged with advancement to AA Springfield to start 2019.

It'll be interesting to see if Montero zooms up the prospect charts if he plays well at 20 (turns 21 in August) in the Texas League, but should he do there what he did in Peoria, Elehuris Montero will be a name that you hear often not only around the trade deadline but in the 2021 Hot Stove League as well.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Minor League Fantasy Draft- Round Five Miguel Vargas

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Johnson/Ogden Raptors
The fantasy draft was nearing its end and fewer teams still had selections remaining, so there were only a handful of players taken between my fourth-round pick, Luis Patino and my looming pick in the fifth round.

With two rounds to go, I usually like to take players that are lower in team systems with very high upside.
When you are taking a chance on a prospect of that type, it's preferable to do so later in the draft, so if the player struggles, you are more likely to cut bait faster and not keep him around.

I had a handful of players on my post-it with this type of background and level to choose from and almost all of them were still on the board- only one had been taken.
I looked over them closely and decided to take the one that had the highest upside, but having the least experience, was carrying the highest risk.
In the fifth round, I didn't look at it as extremely risky with a lower rounder when I selected 19 year third baseman Miguel Vargas of the Dodgers.
Vargas played 22 games with Rookie-level Ogden of the Pioneer League, where Vargas raked to a .394 2 homers 22 RBI tune and an OPS over a thousand before moving to Low A Great Lakes.
With the Loons, Vargas didn't hit as well in hitting only. 216 without a homer and struck out in 20 of his 75 at-bats.

Vargas is the son of one of Cuba's greatest baseball legends, Lazaro Vargas, who played 22 seasons for the Cuban national team and won two Olympic gold's with that national team.
The 6'3 Vargas signed for $300,000 and is expected to may have to eventually shift to first, but is thought to have plus power and line drive potential once he fills into his still growing body.
Vargas needs work on pulling the ball for power and if he is going to stay at third base reports say he'll have to keep from gaining weight as he is said to have "Slow Twitch" reflexes, although good hands defensively.

Miguel Vargas has the pedigree and background for success but comes with some questions as most younger Cuban prospects have about the competition level that they have faced along with the adjustment of moving to the USA.
Still, his bat looks like it has the chance to be special and was worth taking a chance on at this time of the draft.
I'll finish the draft series sometime on a slow day and I'll try to keep updates through the season on how the system is doing.