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Tampa Bay Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman pleased with draft haul

ST. PETERSBURG — Executive VP Andrew Friedman acknowledged that probably every club walks out of the draft sharing high fives.

But when Friedman considers what the Rays hauled in on the draft's first two days, "we couldn't have drawn it up any better." The final 20 rounds are today.

"We felt like what we were able to accomplish in the last two days in terms of the depth and different types of players that we were able to add to our system is something that I think — in three, four, five years — we're going to look back on this draft very fondly," Friedman said.

There was the second-rounder, Long Beach State junior RHP Jacob Thompson, a big (6-3, 225 pounds) and hard-throwing (90-96 mph) starter. "We feel like he's got a chance to move through the system pretty quickly," Friedman said.

Thompson boasts a mind-set much like the Rays' starters. "I feel I'm a bulldog," he said. "I don't back down from a fight."

Two other interesting picks: Georgia Tech SS Derek Dietrich (No. 79) and Highline High (Wash.) SS Ryan Brett (No. 98). While scouting director R.J. Harrison said Dietrich — a left-handed hitter with some pop — will stay at short, the smaller (5-9, 180) and scrappy Brett projects at second base.

"He's a little short in stature," Harrison said. "But he's a guy with big tools. Plus runner, solid arm and we like his bat. And he's a very, very competitive guy. He has got a little edge to him."

Friedman said several picks are eager to sign, with Dietrich's agent calling soon after the selection to ask when his player can report.

Thompson feels the same: "I don't see any point in messing around and playing hardball."

Scout's honor: This has been a career draft for longtime Rays scout Paul Kirsch, 53. Kirsch, an area scout in the Pacific Northwest since 1996, had four picks from his area in the first eight Rays selections, including two of their three first-day picks: Washington natives Josh Sale (No. 17) and Drew Vettleson (No. 42).

"I've never seen anything like this," Kirsch said. "It's awesome. I'm beside myself — I can't even believe it."

Kirsch, who covers Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, said his highest pick before was a fourth-rounder.

Lining up: OF Carl Crawford got the day off Tuesday, making for back-to-back days with the team off Monday. … Manager Joe Maddon said CF B.J. Upton, who hit leadoff Tuesday, will do so again against Blue Jays RHP Shaun Marcum tonight.

Medical matters: SS Jason Bartlett, who fielded ground balls and took batting practice, said his strained right hamstring is feeling "a lot better" and believes he'll be ready to return from the disabled list next week. … C Kelly Shoppach caught a nine-inning game for the first time since coming off the DL.

Money matters: Sunburst Entertainment Group LLC, the business subsidiary of the Rays, filed a lawsuit in Pinellas County court to receive the remaining $300,000 owed by the Florida Tuskers, according to baylawsuits.com. Sunburst owned a minority stake in the United Football League team but exercised its out-clause in January, requiring the Tuskers to refund a $600,000 investment, plus the $64,000 spent to host one Tuskers game at Tropicana Field. The Tuskers had paid back $364,000. Sunburst spokesman Rick Vaughn declined comment Tuesday.

Minor matters: RHP Jeremy Hall matched a Double-A Montgomery record Monday night by extending his scoreless streak to 30 innings. The record was set last season by RHP Brian Baker, now a reliever at Triple-A Durham. … Three members of the Bowling Green Hot Rods earned spots in the Midwest League All-Star Game (June 22): OF Chris Murrill and RHPs Alexander Colome and Wilking Rodriguez.

Miscellany: 1B Carlos Peña's 127 homers are one shy of Aubrey Huff's club record. … 3B Evan Longoria has reached base in 26 straight games.

Fast facts

Rays picks, Day 2

Round Pick Player, school

2 66 RHP Jacob Thompson,

Long Beach State

79 SS Derek Dietrich,

Georgia Tech

3 98 SS Ryan Brett,

Highline HS (Wash.)

4 131 RHP Austin Wood,

St. Petersburg JC

5 161 RHP Ian Kendall,

Ashland HS (Ore.)

6 191 RHP Jesse Hahn,

Virginia Tech

7 221 CF Michael Lorenzen,

Fullerton HS (Calif.)

8 251 RHP Kenneth Kelly,

Arizona State

9 281 C Jake DePew,

Granite City HS (Ill.)

10 311 CF Deshun Dixon,

Terry HS (Miss.)

11 341 1B Travis Flores,

Desert Ridge HS (Ariz.)

12 371 1B Phillip Wunderlich,

Louisville

13 401 2B Robby Price,

Kansas

14 431 RHP Austin Hubbard,

Auburn

15 461 LHP Brandon Henderson,

Chesnee HS (S.C.)

16 491 RHP Nate Garcia,

Santa Clara

17 521 RHP Cody Anderson,

Feather River College

18 551 LHP James Patterson,

Arizona State

19 581 2B Craige Lyerly,

Catawba College

20 611 LHP Charles Riefenhauser,

Chipola JC

21 641 LHP Adam Liberatore,

Tennessee Tech

22 671 C Matthew Koch,

Loyola Marymount

23 701 1B Kevin Patterson,

Auburn

24 731 RHP Daniel Poncedeleon,

La Mirada HS (Calif.)

25 761 LHP Matthew Spann,

Columbia Central HS (Tenn.)

26 791 LHP Justin Woodall,

Alabama Tuscaloosa

27 821 CF Chris Winder,

Odessa College

28 851 SS Julio Espinoza,

Rialto HS (Calif.)

29 881 2B Scott Lawson,

Miami

30 911 3B Nicholas Schwaner,

New Orleans

Tampa Bay Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman pleased with draft haul 06/09/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 1:25am]

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