The Upper Deck
Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare. If you have videos, GIFs, photos or stories you want us to know about and feature in this space, hit me up on Twitter at @vincelara or email me here.
Idaho Keeps Cropping Up
The state of Idaho saw a banner year for its prospects. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) alone topped its recent records by having seven players get drafted, the highest of which was Connor Brogdon in the 10th round by the Phillies. This is the second-highest total to ever come from the Warriors, who incredibly enough, were the 17th-largest source of all MLB draftees in 2017. Also of note, two players from the College of Idaho and one player from Blackfoot (Idaho) High were picked to bring the state’s sum total to 10 draftees.
Congratulations to Lewis Clark State OF JJ Robinson. Drafted in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Hit 3 HR in the World Series (22) pic.twitter.com/0dmY9Sfk8x— NAIA Baseball (@NAIABall) June 14, 2017
In a feat of pure unabated force, Kyle Schwarber sent a baseball 467 feet from home plate. The bomb was the second-longest home run at Citi Field since the implementation of Statcast and the second-farthest hit by a Cub this season (also belonging to Schwarber). Keep crushing it Kyle.
Not to Be OutdoneThe Rangers got kicked around by the Astros, 13-2, but Joey Gallo enlivened things by hitting one 466 feet.
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
Marlins outfielder Dalton Wheat has a good grip on what’s at stake. The top-ranked independent league player in 2016 was signed in the offseason by Miami and sent to low Class A Greensboro to earn his way up the ladder. But there’s something different about him now . . . He’s using leather Tillman work gloves at the plate, which he claims have helped his swing.
The Twilight Cal-Zone
Omaha’s bringing something new to the table this year. That something is an 18-inch “Giant ‘Strike Zone’ Calzone”. Good luck eating this one because it’s about half the length of the baseball bats slashing at pitches on the field below.
An Unknown Quantity
Let’s appreciate a day that usually pales in admiration to days one and two of the draft. There are 900 picks on day three and many develop into the regulars we know and love. Take Tanner Roark for example. An afterthought in the 25th round of the 2008 MLB draft, Roark has gone on to become a solid starting pitcher for the Nationals over the past five seasons. Accordingly, let’s honor Kory Behenna, a randomly chosen late-round pick who deserves more attention.
Happenings at Baseball America
The Shape Of Baseball Is Changing In 2021
The game is getting younger—and in some cases shorter and lighter.
Read the inspirational tale of Marshall Kasowski and his incredible journey to the draft. Find out who USA Baseball announced as Golden Spikes award finalists. Be sure to also check out all of the draft coverage to learn more about who your favorite team just drafted.