Catching up with a decade's worth of No. 1 picks
The baseball draft doesn't draw the type of obsessive interest from fans that, say, its NFL counterpart does.
Perhaps that's because it takes place in the middle of the season, when there are actual games to focus on. Or maybe it's because even the very top picks will need a bit of seasoning in the minors before making an impact.
But expectations should definitely be high for whoever is taken with the No. 1 overall pick Monday. The Arizona Diamondbacks own that selection, and for an idea of what they can hope for, here's a look back at the top pick from each of the past 10 drafts.
2005: Justin Upton (Arizona)
MLB Debut: 2007
Career Accomplishments: Upton finished fourth in the National League MVP vote in 2011, leading the Diamondbacks to an NL West title. He's been traded twice since then, to Atlanta and then to San Diego.
2006: Luke Hochevar (Kansas City)
MLB Debut: 2007
Career Accomplishments: The right-hander was a regular starter for the Royals from 2008-2012, never posting an ERA under 4.68 in that span. He was very good as a reliever in 2013, but he missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery and did not pitch again for the Royals until a month ago.
2007: David Price (Tampa Bay)
MLB Debut: 2008
Career Accomplishments: Price made an immediate impact, earning the save in Game 7 of the AL championship series in 2008 and eventually becoming one of the game's top starters. The 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner was traded to Detroit last year and can expect a huge payday as a free agent after this season.
2008: Tim Beckham (Tampa Bay)
MLB Debut: 2013
Career Accomplishments: After playing only five games for Tampa Bay in 2013, Beckham had offseason knee surgery and didn't appear in the majors again until this year. He does have five home runs in 2015, but he's hitting .213 and recently went on the disabled list again, this time with a hamstring problem.
2009: Stephen Strasburg (Washington)
MLB Debut: 2010
Career Accomplishments: Now 26, Strasburg should be in his prime, but not everything has gone according to plan - from his Tommy John surgery in 2010 to his struggles this year. Still, Strasburg's career numbers - 46-35 with a 3.25 ERA and 10.25 strikeouts per nine innings - are indicative of the underlying talent.
2010: Bryce Harper (Washington)
MLB Debut: 2012
Career Accomplishments: He hit 22 homers in 139 games as a rookie, and although it took a little while for the next step to come, Harper is now indisputably one of the game's most compelling players. An early front-runner for this year's NL MVP, Harper won't turn 23 until October.
2011: Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh)
MLB Debut: 2013
Career Accomplishments: The Pirates made the playoffs in each of Cole's first two seasons in the majors, and this year he's been even better, posting a 9-2 record with a 1.73 ERA so far.
2012: Carlos Correa (Houston)
Career Accomplishments: The first of three straight No. 1 overall picks by the Astros, Correa has recovered from a broken leg last year and is now ready to make his major league debut. Correa is joining the Astros in time for Monday's game against the White Sox in Chicago.
2013: Mark Appel (Houston)
Career Accomplishments: The 23-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 5.20 ERA this season at Double-A Corpus Christi. His 2014 season had its ups and downs as well.
2014: Brady Aiken (Houston)
Career Accomplishments: Aiken's career is on hold at the moment. He and the Astros never came to an agreement on a contract, and he was preparing for this year's draft with the IMG Academy in Florida when he announced he had undergone Tommy John surgery.
So that's 10 years of No. 1 picks - plenty of risk, but the potential reward is impressive.
Here are a few other developments around the majors:
HURDLE KEEPS THE FAITH
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle has earned respect from his players for sticking by them through slumps and struggles. He says the players who have been with him understand he will stand by them and believe in them.
''They have tangible evidence,'' Hurdle said in San Francisco. ''It reaffirms your actions match your words. It also helps players know there is a safety net.''
On the morning of May 14, infielder Josh Harrison was batting.181. Since then, he's hitting .375. That's one example of Hurdle's patience paying off.
Pittsburgh has won 14 of its last 19.
Correa will be in the spotlight with the Astros, but there's also been plenty of chatter about another top infield prospect - Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The Indians did not call up Lindor on Sunday when they sent Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez to the minors. But that's clearly a situation worth monitoring going forward, especially if Cleveland's infield replacements don't pan out over the next couple weeks.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, allowed one hit in eight innings and struck out 11 to lead Los Angeles over St. Louis 2-0 on Saturday. Kershaw has been slightly less dominant than usual this year. Consider this start a warning that the reprieve may be over for the rest of the National League.