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Snake Bytes 7/13: Has Anyone Seen Dinger?

Shohei Ohtani could not make it past the first round of the Home Run Derby despite overtime and a swing-off. Trey Mancini showed us what it means to live life to the fullest. Pete Alonso dominated the field en route to his second consecutive Home Run Derby title.

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2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[D’] D-backs go for balance on Day 2 - The D-backs opened Day 2 by picking another shortstop, Auburn’s Ryan Bliss. The Draft’s second day included picks from Rounds 2-10, with the remainder of the event taking place on Tuesday (Rounds 11-20) starting at 10 a.m. MT. “I’ve always said Day 2 is always more stressful for me because there’s so many moving parts, and it’s happening at a much more rapid pace,” D-backs scouting director Deric Ladnier said. “But it was good. I mean, we obviously got a blend of different types of players and felt comfortable with the selections. The players we were able to get provided some depth in various areas and upside in some areas. We just thought it was very well balanced today for us.”

[Arizona Sports] Arizona Diamondbacks select 10 players in Day 2 of 2021 MLB Draft - In the Round Competitive Balance B, Arizona drafted Adrian Del Castillo with the 67th pick. Castillo played his college ball at the University of Miami and was named to the 2021 All-ACC Second Team. “[Castillo] always been a guy that can control the zone. We like his defensive ability. He’s obviously played at one of the highest levels and to be a career .300 hitter and be a catcher, that skill set was very intriguing to us,” Ladnier said. Castillo played at Miami for three years and finished his Hurricane career batting .311, hitting 17 home runs, 124 RBIs and 152 total hits in 131 career games. “He is one of those type guys that is going to grind it out everyday,” Ladnier said of Castillo. “Grind out at-bats and we feel like there is the potential to tap into some power, eventually. But the overall contact rate and the ability to control the zone was the most intriguing thing about him.”

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks scouting director: Negotiations underway with top pick Jordan Lawlar - After a report surfaced on Monday evening about the New York Mets already agreeing to terms with their top pick, Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, Diamondbacks scouting director Deric Ladnier was asked if his club had begun negotiations with shortstop Jordan Lawlar, whom it made the sixth overall pick on Sunday night. “Yes, we’ve talked,” Ladnier said “There’s certainly dialogue. I’ll leave it at that until we get down the road a little bit farther.” Lawlar’s signability remains something of a question, particularly for a team that was unable to sign its top pick, infielder Matt McLain, three years ago. However, multiple sources with other clubs said they would be surprised if Lawlar did not sign despite his commitment to Vanderbilt. Sources with four other organizations said their club’s scouting departments did not view Lawlar as a signability concern so long as he was taken high in the draft. Teams perform due diligence before the draft on prospects to gauge their likelihood to sign.

[The Athletic] Shamu, Fogo Power and Lobster: Why Eduardo Escobar is every Diamondback’s favorite teammate - He is buoyant and jolly. He takes a deep interest in the people around him, whether it’s assigning them alter egos from children’s movies or guiding them through a rough patch at the plate. He is joyously loud and speaks at a machine-gun pace with an endearingly thick Venezuelan accent that turns just about anything he says into a team catchphrase. Arizona’s other players may have had teammates they loved, but no one they loved quite like they love Escobar. “You look at Eddie and he makes you smile,” says catcher Carson Kelly. Rojas — ahem, Marty the Zebra — says Escobar is always there to “lift you up from the depths.” “You need to be around positive people,” adds catcher Stephen Vogt. And they don’t make them more positive than Escobar.

MLB All Star Game

[Fox Business] Pete Alonso wins MLB Home Run Derby: How much cash did he take home? - New York Mets star Pete Alonso picked up his second consecutive MLB Home Run Derby title and took home a nice payday as well. Alonso defeated Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, 23-22, and needed every bit of the time that was allotted to him to do it. He was wearing the chain and holding the trophy at the end. The Mets’ first baseman took home $1 million along with the Home Run Derby trophy. It’s more money than he will earn playing for New York during the 2021 season. Alonso is still playing on his first contract with the Mets. He was earning $555,000 in 2019 when his contract was selected by the Mets before the start of that season. In 2020, he was set to earn more than $652,000, and in 2021 he is earning just over $676,000.

[Yahoo Sports] All-Star Game: Shohei Ohtani named AL starting pitcher after MLB bends rules for Kevin Cash - As if it wasn’t crystal clear before, AL manager Kevin Cash hammered it home Monday. This week’s All-Star festivities are all about Shohei. Lineup cards were revealed for both MLB All-Star teams on Monday. Shohei Ohtani will lead off as the designated hitter for the AL. He’ll also be the team’s starting pitcher. The Los Angeles Angels star’s status as a starter on offense was already established. Fans voted him as the team’s starter at designated hitter. The starting pitcher decision lands with each team’s manager. Cash was happy to give the fans what they want. “This is what the fans want to see,” Cash told reporters. “It’s personally what I want to see.”

[The New York Times] M.L.B. Pledges Millions to Build Black Participation - Major League Baseball announced on Monday that it will donate up to $150 million to the Players Alliance, a nonprofit formed last summer by more than 100 Black current and former players in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The donation is aimed at helping build Black participation in the sport. “This represents the largest financial commitment in M.L.B. history toward the specific goal of improving Black diversity in the sport on the field, in managerial & coaching positions, and front office leadership,” the league said in a statement on Monday night following an announcement by Commissioner Rob Manfred at Coors Field in Denver, the site of the All-Star Game.

[Colorado Public Radio] What Was LoDo Like The Last Time Denver Hosted The MLB All-Star Game More Than 20 Years Ago? - A lot has changed in Denver since the last time Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game was in town more than 20 years ago. Not the least of which is the area surrounding Coors Field. In 1998, the city’s Lower Downtown neighborhood — or LoDo — was a decade into its rebirth. Abandoned warehouses were rapidly giving way to bars, restaurants and galleries by the time Major League Baseball first tapped Denver for its annual extravaganza. But the city’s oldest neighborhood was still evolving, and that transformation continues today. Among the area’s original pioneers is John Hickenlooper — the current U.S. senator, former Denver mayor and Colorado governor, and erstwhile proprietor of the state’s first brewpub. He and his partners opened Wynkoop Brewing in 1988 — seven years before Coors Field was built just two blocks away — when it was still a desolate neighborhood. “Our rent was one dollar per square foot per year, and that’s a reflection of how abandoned all of lower downtown was,” Hickenlooper said in a recent interview. “There was a giant parking lot out in front of Union Station and there was never anybody in that parking lot.”