Many saw Mark Appel as the odds-on No. 1 overall pick in last month’s First Year Player Draft.  Signability concerns, however, caused his stock to slip, and the tall, athletic RHP out of Stanford fell to Pittsburgh at No. 8 overall. 

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George Springer | OF, Astros | Born:  9/19/1989

Drafted 11th overall a year ago out of UConn, George Springer wasn’t the typical, well-polished collegiate product we’re used to seeing go in the first couple rounds.  No, Springer’s skill set more closely resembled that of a high-ceiling high school prospect — strong, athletic, toolsy, but still raw. 

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Transparency isn’t a strong suit of Major League front offices, nor should it be.  Nowhere is this fact more glaring than in the case of the Kansas City Royals and the immediate future of top hitting prospect Wil Myers.  The Royals have insisted that they’ll practice patience with Myers and let him marinate in Omaha for the duration of the season. 

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By the numbers, Manny Machado struggled through his first two months of Double-A baseball.  It seemed like most nights I looked at Bowie’s box, Machado’s line was 0-fer.  But then I’d read something from the O’s about how his current production was of no concern, that he was tweaking his approach, that scouts are still encouraged. 

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Carlos Martinez | RHP, Cardinals | Born:  9/21/1991

The Cardinals entered 2012 with a couple of aces-in-the-making within their minor league ranks.  Both Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez were viewed as five-star-type pitching prospects, very near to the can’t-miss variety.  Well, we know now that Triple-A has been quite the learning experience for Miller — his struggles have been so severe of recent that the Cards are skipping his turn in the Memphis rotation so he can work on mechanical issues. 

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The Rangers have promoted two pitchers from their minor league ranks to fill openings in the big league rotation.  Familiar fantasy face, Roy Oswalt, is one of the two.  The other is 23-year-old Justin Grimm, who debuted last week and was rather effective. 

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The fantasy baseball world waits impatiently for the arrivals of Anthony Rizzo and Wil Myers.  Some owners have been stashing one or the other on their rosters for months now, as folks like me keep spewing lines like “arrival is imminent” — whatever that means. 

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Jorge Soler | OF, Cubs | Born:  2/25/1992

On Monday, the Cubs finalized terms with Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler.  The $30 million contract will span nine years, and on the front-end, it appears to be a fantastic deal for the Cubs. 

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In last week’s Minor Accomplishments, I highlighted Mike Olt, his .304/.404/.576 slash line, and his 12 homers.  Well, in only a week’s time Olt’s already-impressive numbers have became drastically more impressive.  After blasting six more homers, he’s raised his SLG to .624 and his RBI total now sits at 48. 

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This post concludes my little venture into draft prospecting.  It was fun while it lasted, and if you’d like to take a look at either Part 1 or Part 2, go ahead and click those links.  Today, I have three more first-rounders to discuss, but first, a quick recap of where everyone ended up from Parts 1 & 2:

Marcus Stroman (22nd pick – Blue Jays); Richie Schaffer (25th pick – Rays); Kyle Zimmer (5th pick – Royals); Mark Appel (8th pick – Pirates); Mike Zunino (3rd pick – Mariners); Andrew Heaney (9th pick – Marlins)

Now, these three:

Chris Stratton | RHP, Giants

Over the past decade, the Giants have been pretty successful in turning first-round arms into fantasy baseball gold. 

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