We’re 86 days away from Vanderbilt football’s season opener against Georgia. #86 for Vanderbilt is tight end Ben Bresnahan. The 6’4”, 235-pound redshirt freshman from Cumming, Georgia, was expected to play a role in 2018, but a preseason injury forced a redshirt year. With Jared Pinkney somewhat surprisingly back in the fold for his senior year, snaps will be hard to find at the position, but Bresnahan should be in play for a big role in 2020.
The 2018 MLB Draft concluded with 13 Vanderbilt baseball players being selected, including eight on the final day. Zach King and Jackson Gillis both went in the 13th round to the Marlins and Brewers, respectively. Joe Gobillot went to the Rays in the 16th round; A.J. Franklin to the Royals, Patrick Raby to the Reds, and Pat DeMarco to the Yankees, all in the 17th round; Ty Duvall was the 25th-round pick of the A’s; and Julian Infante went to the Marlins in the 36th round.
Out of that group, the three seniors — Franklin, Raby, and Infante — are obviously gone, and we’d expect the two juniors in the 13th round (King and Gillis) to go as well. Ty Duvall is an interesting case: he can probably do better than the 25th round, but as a senior sign next year he wouldn’t command much of a signing bonus. The two interesting cases are draft-eligible sophomores Gobillot and DeMarco. Gobillot pitched a grand total of two innings this season and still went in the 16th round; presumably he can do better were he to return for his junior year. DeMarco’s draft position may be more a reflection of his signability than anything else, but if any team were going to entice him to forgo his final two years at Vanderbilt, the Yankees would probably be the one. Then again, they also do need to sign Anthony Volpe away from Vanderbilt.
As far as commits go, a few more were drafted on the third day — but the only one to really keep an eye on is outfielder Blaine McIntosh, drafted in the 13th round by the Mets. The Mets drafted college seniors in rounds 4 through 12, so they could end up with a bit of bonus pool money to play around with if they want to make a run at McIntosh (though that money may just have to go to one of their picks in the first three rounds.)
And on that subject, here’s a local news source from Maine on whether Trejyn Fletcher will go pro.
In case you missed it, Vanderbilt’s Kristen Denk will compete in the NCAA Championships in the pole vault at 7:30 PM CT. That will be televised on ESPN3.
Vanderbilt football landed a commitment from St. Thomas Aquinas LB Griffin Lampton on Wednesday. That’s the Commodores’ fourth commitment in the 2020 class.
And, incoming freshman basketball player Kenyon Martin Jr. is no longer incoming, instead opting to go professional. Okay then. Pinman is the only person who can truly capture that news.
Off the West End
The SEC is apparently going to create a Twitter account for in-game commentary on officiating, per SI’s Ross Dellenger. The real question is whether they will use the same medium for apology letters.
In college hoops news, the NCAA has elected to move the three-point line back to the international line of 22 feet, 1 3⁄4 inches (very exact) from the current distance of 20 feet, nine inches. The stated reasoning is to open up the lane for dribble-drive plays, though they also want to make the three more difficult because teams are shooting it more frequently (and more successfully) than ever before. Like most rules changes, this is really expressing a preference for a certain style of basketball, much like the “freedom of movement” initiatives. Basically, the NCAA prefers that basketball be a game of drives to the basket rather than three-point shots. But if the streak ends because of this change, well, we’re blaming them.
ESPN has an article about recently-retired Kansas State coach Bill Snyder.
In news about how ridiculous MLB free agency has become, the Cubs just signed Craig Kimbrel to a three-year deal. It’s June.
NBA Playoffs: The Toronto Raptors are now up 2-1 after last night’s 123-109 win over the Kevin Durant- and Klay Thompson-less Warriors.
MLB: Nationals 6, White Sox 4 ... Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2 ... Phillies 7, Padres 5 ... Blue Jays 11, Yankees 7 ... Mets 7, Giants 0 ... Rays 4, Tigers 0 ... Marlins 8, Brewers 3 ... Pirates 7, Braves 4 ... Indians 9, Twins 7 ... Rangers 2, Orioles 1 ... Cubs 9, Rockies 8 ... Red Sox 8, Royals 0 ... Angels 10, A’s 9 ... Mariners 14, Astros 1.
Today: Did you know that qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup start today? Actually, Mongolia-Brunei has probably already finished by the time you’re reading this, and four more (Cambodia-Pakistan, Laos-Bangladesh, Macau-Sri Lanka, Bhutan-Guam) are in progress. This is the first round of AFC qualifying, and as you might have guessed, these are the worst soccer teams in Asia (and, ahem, Guam, which is a freaking U.S. territory.)
There’s also the first round of the PGA Tour stop at the RBC Canadian Open.
Tonight: Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which are currently tied at 2 (7:00 PM CT, NBC.) And of course, your usual MLB action.