What the 2010 first-rounders are doing

Christian Colon is adjusting well to pro ball at high Class A Wilmington. | Courtesy Photo: Cal State Fullerton/Matt Brown

Here’s a simple rundown of where the 2010 signed first-round picks are and what they’re doing.

Presented in order of selection:

Christian Colon, ss, Royals (Pick 1.4): Colon signed quickly, then started slowly for high Class A Wilmington before discovering his stroke this month.  Batting .359 over his last 10 games, his July slashline now rests at .296/.363/.408.

Chris Sale, lhp, White Sox (Pick 1.13): Sale is on the fast track to the big club’s bullpen and should provide immediate help for the playoff-hopeful South Siders.  He’s already with Triple-A Charlotte and has struck out four of the eight lefthanded batters he has faced there without allowing a hit.

Jake Skole, of, Rangers (Pick 1.15): Skole posted a .286/.394/.357 line across 33 plate appearances in the Rookie-level Arizona League before earning a promotion to Short-season ball.  He has shown vulnerability against lefthanders, going 0-for-12 with five strikeouts against them since arriving in Spokane.

Hayden Simpson, rhp, Cubs (Pick 1.16): Expected to make his pro debut in the Short-season Northwest League, Simpson came down with mono and will instead use the summer to recuperate.

Mike Foltynewicz, rhp, Astros (Pick 1.19): In 14 Appalachian League innings, Foltynewicz is holding a 5.79 ERA with three home runs allowed, seven walks and 13 strikeouts.  He is overmatching righthanded batters (.154 BAA), but he has yet to figure out lefthanders (.385 BAA), who are responsible for all three longballs.

Kolbrin Vitek, 2b, Red Sox (Pick 1.20): Vitek is hitting .267/.368/.383 with an 18-to-37 walk-to-strikeout ratio for Short-season Lowell, and he’s likely in for a promotion to low Class A before the year ends.

Kellin Deglan, c, Rangers (Pick 1.22): Deglan was batting .286 in 31 plate appearances with the AZL Rangers before leaving to join the 18U Canadian national team, which is competing in the IBAF ‘AAA’ 18U Junior World Championship scheduled for July 23 – Aug. 1 in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  He will team with Evan Grills, a lefthanded pitcher selected in the 10th round by the Astros.

Jesse Biddle, lhp, Phillies (Pick 1.27): Despite an impressive 21-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Biddle is carrying a 5.19 ERA through 17 1/3 innings for the GCL Phillies.  It’s clear that Biddle is still learning the nuances of pitching out of the stretch, as opposing batters are hitting .405 against him with runners on compared to .175 with the bases empty.

Cam Bedrosian, rhp, Angels (Pick 1.29): After a rough pro debut that saw Bedrock Jr. allow four earned runs in one inning of relief, he made his first start on July 20 and hurled two scoreless innings to go along with two strikeouts.

Chevez Clarke, of, Angels (Pick 1.30): Clarke and Bedrosian are taking their rookie lumps together with the AZL Angels.  The 5-foot-11, 180-pound switch-hitter is batting .216/.298/.333 with 17 strikeouts in 51 at-bats.

Justin O’Conner, c, Rays (Pick 1.31): O’Conner began slowly in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, then hit .256/.302/.462 over his last 10 games.  The offensive progress is encouraging, but it’s secondary to his defensive development at this stage.

Cito Culver, ss, Yankees (Pick 1.32): Culver earned a “Not-So Hot” designation on Baseball America’s weekly “Hot Sheet” feature for his recent performance with the GCL Yankees, but it’s too easy to pick on the raw 17-year-old from a cold-weather state who divided his time between baseball and basketball.  His line stands at .244/.320/.311 through his first 25 games, and he has the base tools to become a plus defender at shortstop.

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