The Yankees and Jerry Hairston were left to wonder what could have been after Monday night's 5-1 victory in Baltimore. With two outs in the seventh inning, Andy Pettitte's perfect game ended once Hairston allowed a ground ball to roll through his legs at third base. The Naperville North graduate seemed to handle the error like a pro. New York Daily News columnist John Harper has the story here.
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Ian Krol, a seventh-round pick out of Neuqua Valley, has agreed to terms with the Oakland Athletics. The lefty pitcher declined his scholarship offer from the University of Arizona and instead signed a professional contract before Tuesday's 12:01 a.m. deadline.
Credit Sun sports editor Brad Engel for the information and look for more in Tuesday's print edition.
Connor Powers apparently couldn't reach an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers and decided to return to Mississippi State. The corner infielder out of Benet - who showcased his swing this summer by winning the Cape Cod League's home run derby at Fenway Park - was picked in the 11th round. According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers signed each of their first 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the June draft.
"It was long and drawn out," Powers told The Clarion-Ledger (Miss.) on Monday. "I had expectations coming into the draft. I told the teams that and they understood. I just, unfortunately, couldn't get anything done."
Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen told the crowd at a recent alumni/booster club event that there's a very good chance Connor Powers will return to school for his senior season, according to The Clarion-Ledger. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Powers, a Benet graduate, in the 11th round of last month's first-year player draft.
In the meantime, Powers was picked to hit in the Cape Cod League's home run derby before its All-Star game on Thursday night at Fenway Park in Boston.
MLB.com's Mychael Urban recently chatted with new Oakland outfielder Scott Hairston. Read the full Q&A session here.
In a move that he described as coming out of the blue, Scott Hairston was traded from San Diego to Oakland on Sunday for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named later.
The outfielder had finally developed into an everyday player with the Padres, and that's when they decided to deal him and replenish their farm system with right-handers Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano. Hairston entered Monday hitting .299 with 10 home runs in 56 games, and the move leaves slugger Adrian Gonzalez without his wingman, as Bill Center explains in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Three former Kane County Cougars were selected to next week's All-Star Game in St. Louis: Boston pitcher Josh Beckett; Oakland reliever Andrew Bailey; and San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Michael Bowden is working on a slider that he hopes will make him a permanent big-league pitcher. The No. 2 prospect in the Red Sox organization has an ERA of 6.42 since May 23, according to this Providence Journal feature by Daniel Barbarisi, but that's part of a learning curve.
The 6-foot-3-inch right-hander out of Waubonsie Valley is trying to develop an extra pitch that will make hitters swing and miss. Bowden's numbers are still good - opponents are hitting only .226 against him at Triple-A, and he has a 3.39 ERA overall - but he could use a slider to throw in a two-strike count.
"I think it's going to define him. I really do," Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur told the newspaper. "I honestly think that pitch is going to define him, to help him get back to where he wants to be."
We're late posting this, but here's an interesting look at the Hairston family from MLB.com reporter Mark Sheldon. Jerry Hairston Jr. reflects on hanging out at the old Comiskey Park while his father played for the White Sox:
"Back then, it was great, but now as I'm older, I realize I got a chance to be around Carlton Fisk, Harold Baines, Greg Luzinski and all those great players," Hairston Jr. said. "There was camaraderie they had on that team -- the older players with kids, too. Casey Fisk, Ryan Luzinski, my brothers and Doug Rader's kids, we always went out and played.
"My father didn't want us running around wild in the clubhouse. He stressed that the clubhouse was a sacred area. Just make sure you respect everybody. He said, 'I'm your father but you have 24 other guys here that have to get ready to play.' I understood at a young age that those guys were there to do a job."
UPDATE: Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Erardi has more on the Civil Rights Game and its connection to generations of Hairstons.
The instructions given to Pete Flores, a first-year Utah assistant, were clear and simple: Don't laugh when you see him during warmups.
That's because it's so easy for Stephen Strasburg, who made 94-95 mph fastballs look effortless in between innings (Sunday column here).
"You hope that you just (can) put a ball in play and the defense is on their heels because they haven't seen a groundball or a flyball," said Flores, a DuPage Dragons assistant. "That's one of the things you hope for."
If that sounds desperate, then consider that the year before Strasburg struck out 23 Utes in one game.
"There's a big YouTube video on that," Flores said.
"(Krol's) fastball is consistently 88-90 mph; most have good tailing life but he can run it in on a right-hander's hands. His changeup is 76-78 with a lot of fading action, while his curveball has good depth and some two-plane break, but he prefers to pitch off his fastball and change. His command and control are both good for a high school pitcher, and he was dominant in three outings in the scout league this spring, although rainouts made him tough for scouts to see. He stays over the rubber well and separates his hands high to keep his arm action short. His stride is long and he finishes in good position to field a ball back at him. He's not big and doesn't have great physical projection, but if he does add a couple of mph to his fastball despite that, he could have a No. 3 starter upside."
North Carolina reliever Colin Bates (Naperville Central), who's busy preparing for the College World Series, was selected by Oakland on Thursday in the 37th round of the first-year player draft.