How Mike Trout was drafted; Dallas Keuchel to the Braves; Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s rare transition
ESPN | Keith Law: This right here is the Read of the Week. Mike Trout could be the best player in baseball history, but the most shocking thing about him was that he was drafted at the end of the first round… how is that even possible? This is the definitive story about how limited looks, then some buzz, and tropes surrounding cold weather players plopped Trout into the Angels’ hands, in their final pick no less, largely considered now to be the biggest draft steal in history.
FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: Dallas Keuchel signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, a slightly higher mark than the pro-rated rest of his qualified offer. This was a rare opportunity for Atlanta and they seized on it like they did with Josh Donaldson, getting a bona fide big leaguer for a small amount of cash that doesn’t last more than a year. He’s also projected by ZiPS to boost the Braves’ divisional odds by six percentage points, which I can bet is worth more than $13 million.
Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): Isiah Kiner-Falefa is accomplishing the rare feat of transitioning to catching at the big league level, which is almost never done. While his -0.7 WARP is bad, sure, almost every player that did the same would fall even more flatly on their face.