Washington Wizards

A shocking pick at the top of the baseball draft

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A shocking pick at the top of the baseball draft

From Comcast SportsNet
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) -- Carlos Correa reached into his pocket as he strolled to the podium, pulled out a small Puerto Rican flag and waved it at the cheering crowd. The 17-year-old slugging shortstop had just made hometown history at the baseball draft, and the Houston Astros hope it's only the start of many big moments for the first No. 1 overall pick from Puerto Rico. "I was very surprised," Correa said Monday night at the draft site at MLB Network studios. "I was like, Is it a dream or is it true?'" Yep, it all actually happened. The handshake and hug from Commissioner Bud Selig. The big smiles in the Astros cap and jersey. The pride of an island that has produced its share of baseball royalty. "This means a lot," Correa said. "We've got a lot of good players there." And plenty have come from there, too: from Roberto Clemente and Ivan Rodriguez to Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado. While some of those signed as free agents, none has ever been the top pick in the draft. Catcher Ramon Castro had been the highest-drafted player out of Puerto Rico, going No. 17 to Houston in 1994. "I feel so excited to be the No. 1 pick," said Correa, who was congratulated by Delgado on Twitter. "I've worked so hard to be here." Correa was one of five players in attendance at the draft, but his introduction was far from the most entertaining. Texas high school outfielder Courtney Hawkins did a backflip -- after being prodded by a television reporter when a video was shown of him landing one -- a few moments after going No. 13 to the Chicago White Sox. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Hawkins, wearing a White Sox cap and jersey, spoke to general manager Kenny Williams right after he stuck his landing. "They said, Go do it,' so I went and did it," a smiling Hawkins said. "But Mr. Williams said: No more.'" Added Selig: "I hadn't seen one before, so it only goes to prove if you live long enough you'll see everything." While the NFL has a few dozen players show up for its draft, baseball has slowly made its event a place to be with the televised first round and major league representatives on hand -- just a few years after it once was held entirely by conference call. The five players in attendance this year were the most since the draft moved to MLB Network studios in 2009. "I hope we can work on that," Selig said. "The more people we can have here, the better I like it, you bet. Five is a good start, but we need to do better than that." Joining Correa and Hawkins were Oklahoma State lefty Andrew Heaney (No. 9, Marlins), Louisiana high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini (No. 12, Mets) and Washington high school catcher Clint Coulter, who went 27th to the Brewers. Heaney, a draft-eligible sophomore, had tears in his eyes after Miami selected him. Sitting with the other prospects in a makeshift dugout, Heaney headed over to shake Selig's hand and soon was wearing a Marlins cap and jersey. "That's about all that went through my mind is, Don't trip,'" a beaming Heaney said. While recent drafts lacked first-pick intrigue, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said the Astros didn't settle on Correa until about an hour before they went on the clock. Several mock draft lists predicted the Astros would select Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, but instead Houston made a somewhat surprising selection -- although Correa was considered one of the top five players available. Appel slid a few spots lower than projected, going to Pittsburgh at No. 8. The Pirates took UCLA righty Gerrit Cole with the No. 1 selection last year. It was the first time Houston had the top pick in the draft since 1992, when the Astros selected Phil Nevin -- passing on a young shortstop named Derek Jeter, who went five spots later to the Yankees. "I have read about that," Correa said, calling Jeter his idol as much for the New York captain's character off the field as on. "I want to be like him. He's awesome." Luhnow said the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Correa "has a chance to be a star" who could hit 20-30 home runs in the pros, whether it's as a shortstop or "ultimately maybe third base." Correa said he'd like to stay at shortstop, and he plans to use his signing bonus to help his family financially. The Santa Isabel native starred at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and is committed to the University of Miami, but is likely headed to Houston's farm system instead. With the second pick, Minnesota took speedy Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton, considered a five-tool player with a bat considered the best among all draft prospects. "Everybody talks about his athleticism," Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. "He's got a really good swing. We think he's going to hit. We think he'll hit anywhere from No. 1 in the order to No. 3. Tremendous, tremendous upside." University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino, who has drawn comparisons to Jason Varitek for his leadership and ability to handle a pitching staff, was taken No. 3 overall by Seattle. "For me, my most important thing is I take pride in my defense," Zunino said. "Whether it's calling games, or receiving or blocking, that is what really defines me as a player." Baltimore went with LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman with the fourth pick, adding a potential ace to its system. Kansas City took University of San Francisco right-hander Kyle Zimmer, a converted third baseman, with the No. 5 overall pick. "He was the No. 1 pitcher on our board," said Lonnie Goldberg, the Royals' director of scouting. "I think everyone should know that. He's the guy we wanted." The draft opened with uncertainty about the talent -- many teams considered this crop of players weaker than recent groups -- and several significant rule changes in place. Under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, teams will have a pool of bonus money from which to sign players. They'll also face a punitive tax and the possibility of losing draft picks if they go over the prescribed bonus total. If a player doesn't sign, the team loses the amount for that slot. Clubs now have until mid-July to sign draft picks, instead of the previous mid-August deadline. "Let's see how it works out," Selig said. "I am very optimistic. I think this will work out very well. And I think these are changes clearly helping the game." The first round and the initial compensation round were completed Monday night, with rounds 2 through 40 conducted through Wednesday via conference call.

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Wizards announce 2017-18 training camp roster

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USA Today Sports

Wizards announce 2017-18 training camp roster

The Wizards released their 19-man training camp roster on Thursday, including their two players signed under two-way contracts and two veterans joining the team on training camp invites.

Devin Robinson of the University of Florida and Michael Young of Pittsburgh are the two two-way players. They were signed as undrafted free agents following the 2017 NBA Draft. Under the NBA's new system of two-way deals, they will spend the majority of their time in the G-League with an alotment of 45 days at the NBA level.

The two veterans on training camp invitations are combo guard Donald Sloan, a five-year NBA veteran who played last year in China, and Carrick Felix, who last played in the NBA in 2013-14 with the Cavs and spent last year with the Long Island Nets of the G-League.

Here is the full roster:

PG John Wall

SG Bradley Beal

SF Otto Porter

PF Markieff Morris

C Marcin Gortat

C Ian Mahinmi

PF Jason Smith

PG Tim Frazier

SF Kelly Oubre

PF Mike Scott

SG Jodie Meeks

PG Tomas Satoransky

SG Sheldon Mac

C Daniel Ochefu

PF Chris McCullough

SF Devin Robinson

PF Michael Young

PG Donald Sloan

SG Carrick Felix

Wizards training camp begins Sept. 26 in Richmond, Va. For a full training camp preview, check out our Wizards Tipoff podcast:

[RELATED: PODCAST: CHENIER ON GETTING HIS JERSEY RETIRED]

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Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Sheldon Mac be given a bigger opportunity?

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USA Today Sports

Wizards 2017-18 roster outlook: Will Sheldon Mac be given a bigger opportunity?

As part of CSN's preview for the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we preview Sheldon Mac​'s season...

Player: Sheldon Mac

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 24

2016-17 stats: 30 G, 9.6 mpg, 3.0 ppg, 0.5 apg, 1.1 rpg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 40.0 FG%, 44.7 3P%, 85.2 FT%, 44.7 eFG%, 112 ORtg, 112 DRtg

2017-18 storyline: Mac returns to the Wizards for the 2017-18 season following a rookie year where he didn't play much at all. Bradley Beal stayed healthy and Mac, who the Wizards signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami last summer, largely rode the bench.

Mac did get 30 games under his belt and some brief playoff experience. That should breed confidence not only that he belongs at this level, but that he can make a true impact. Mac will once again need to prove himself, as he enters 2017-18 training camp as one of two players - along with Daniel Ochefu - without a full guaranteed contract for the season. Mac is due $1.3 million, but much of his deal is earned only if he is on the roster past Jan. 10.

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Mac's minutes will again be dependent on those ahead of him on the depth chart, namely Beal who will play the vast majority of minutes at shooting guard, depending on health. Behind Beal is Jodie Meeks, whom the Wizards signed to be their primary scorer off the bench. Meeks does have a detailed injury history, so his availability could ultimately be an issue, but for now Mac is on the outside of the rotation looking in.

In order to earn minutes, Mac will likely need an opportunity from an injury but he can earn more trust from Scott Brooks by playing sound defense and hitting outside shots more consistently.

Potential to improve: Outside shooting, on-ball defense, efficiency.

MORE WIZARDS' ROSTER PREVIEWS:

Can John Wall take another step after earning All-NBA?

Is this the year Bradley Beal becomes an All-Star?

What is the next step in Otto Porter's development?

Markieff Morris can be an X-factor this season

Will Marcin Gortat's role change or be the same this year?

Will Kelly Oubre, Jr. make a big leap this season?

Can Ian Mahinmi make a bigger impact in his second season?

Will Tim Frazier be the solution at backup point guard?

Jodie Meeks could make big impact off bench

Mike Scott can add toughness to Wizards' bench

Jason Smith's improvement as a shooter should help Wizards bench

Will Tomas Satoransky's role expand in his second year?

[RELATED: WHO WILL BE MOST-IMPROVED ON THE WIZARDS THIS YEAR?]

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