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MLB draft day 1: Oregon State's Conforto, Stanford's Blandino taken

Jun 5, 2014
Scobel Wiggins/Oregon State Athletics

The Pac-12 saw two of its players taken on the first day of the 2014 MLB draft. The two players come from the conference champion – Oregon State – and from the only league team still alive in the NCAA tournament – Stanford. Both were selected for their bats. Here's a look at Pac-12 activity during day 1, which featured round 1, Competitive Balance Round A, round 2, and Competitive Balance Round B for a total of 74 picks. New York Mets pick No. 10 (first round): LF Michael Conforto (Oregon State). Many consider Oregon State junior Michael Conforto to be the best all-around hitter in this 2014 draft class. He certainly met expectations this past season in a Beaver uniform, posting a .504 on-base percentage and an OPS over 1.000 while driving in 56 runs in 59 games. Pat Casey's players have always been known for their patience at the plate, and Conforto fits that mold: His selective approach appeals to major league scouts. Of course, the power is also there for the 6-foot-2, 217-pound prospect: He cranked seven home runs this year and has shown a propensity to split the gaps. Left field is the almost certain a defensive destination for Conforto, as he is not renowned for his speed or arm. This pick is about the bat.

Cincinnati Reds Pick No. 29 (Competitive Balance Round A)
Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino has vastly improved his draft stock through three years of college baseball in Palo Alto. The Oakland Athletics selected him in the 38th round of the 2011 draft. On Thursday, he went among the first 30 overall picks, and he has his quick bat to thank. Blandino broke into Stanford's lineup midway through the 2012 season, and this was impressive in its own right, as a he was a freshman fitting in an order loaded with veteran stars. His quick swing ability resulted in a rash of home runs and doubles to left field and soon discouraged opposing pitchers from throwing inside to him. Blandino adjusted by developing power to all fields. This year, he's hit .312 with a team-leading 12 home runs. Fans can check him out in Stanford's super regional at Vanderbilt Friday on ESPN2 at 10 a.m. PT.