Milwaukee selects pitcher at No. 14
Covey was chosen 14th overall. The 18-year-old went 7-1 with a 0.40 ERA and three saves for Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Calif., this season. Covey had 138 strikeouts to just 20 walks in 70 2/3 innings.
Covey recently was named Gatorade’s California Baseball Player of the Year. In 2009, he took part in the AFLAC All-American Game at Petco Park.
According to MLB.com, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Covey throws a fastball in the 92-94-mph range, a quality curveball and an improving changeup.
It’s the first time the Brewers owned the 14th overall selection and the fourth time in the past 10 drafts that they taken a right-handed pitcher in the first round.
The development of draft picks Mike Jones (2001) and Mark Rogers (‘04) have been slowed by injuries, while 2006 selection Jeremy Jeffress has three failed drug tests in the minors.
MLB.com says Covey has drawn comparisons to San Francisco’s Matt Cain and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley.
“This guy has All-Star-type stuff,” MLB Network’s John Hart said during the Monday’s broadcast of the draft.
Nationals take Harper No. 1
The Washington Nationals got their ace a year ago. Now, they think they’ve found a big-time slugger.
The Nationals selected the much-hyped Bryce Harper, a 17-year-old with prodigious power from the College of Southern Nevada, with the No. 1 overall pick in Monday night’s draft.
A year after taking similarly hyped right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals took Harper, who can play catcher but was announced as an outfielder at the draft site at MLB Network studios by commissioner Bud Selig.
Harper hit .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBIs in his first college season in a wood bat league, after skipping his final two years of high school and getting his GED.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Harper surpassed former big league pitcher Alex Fernandez, who went fourth overall to the White Sox in 1990, as the highest-drafted JUCO player.
With the second overall pick, Pittsburgh selected hard-throwing Texas high school right-hander Jameson Taillon.
Baltimore then took Florida high school shortstop Manny Machado. Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon went to Kansas City at No. 4. Cleveland then took Ole Miss left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
The draft’s first- and supplemental rounds were completed Monday, with rounds 2-50 scheduled for the next two days.
During a conference call after Ferry’s split, Gilbert didn’t say if the Cavs had interviewed any coaching candidates. The team has inquired about former New Orleans coach Byron Scott and Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson.
Shaquille O’Neal, who played for the Cavs last season, posted on Twitter: “I think brian shaw should get interviewed for that cleveland cavaliers job, he’s really good.”
Assistant GM Chris Grant has taken over for Ferry, who guided the Cavs through their most successful run. The Cavs made it past the first round in each of Ferry’s five seasons, but didn’t advance to the finals the past two years despite successful regular seasons. Gilbert and Grant have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday at the team’s training facility.
On Friday, Gilbert said he was “moving very quickly” in his search to replace Brown, who won 143 games the past two seasons. Gilbert said it would be ideal to have a coach in place by July 1, but wasn’t sure that would happen.
Gilbert has long been impressed with Izzo. At a late-season game in Cleveland, months before his team’s playoff flop, Gilbert said Izzo was “one of the nicest guys I’ve met” and praised his defensive philosophy.
Hollis said he talked to Izzo on Monday and several times over the weekend, insisting that wasn’t unusual because they have been friends for more than two decades. Izzo was the best man at Hollis’ wedding and the two were roommates when starting careers at Michigan State.
“I know Dan and Tom talk and that Dan has reached out to talk to Tom in the past,” Hollis said. “The only other thing I can tell you at this point is there is a strong interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers in Tom Izzo.”