MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Path to the Draft: Rodgers guided by Major mentors

Potential No. 1 pick assisted by former, current big leaguers

Path to the Draft: Rodgers guided by Major mentors

The spring before the Draft can be full of excitement and pressure for amateur players hoping to be selected by a Major League organization. Those in the discussion for top of the first round face even more scrutiny as June approaches. MLB.com will be following Brendan Rodgers, ranked No. 1 on MLB.com's Top 100 Draft prospects list, throughout the process. From the start of his senior year at Lake Mary High School outside of Orlando, Fla., all the way through Draft Day, Rodgers has given MLB.com full access to his life as the top Draft prospect in the country.

Most people are familiar with the old adage: "It's not what you know, it's who you know."

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duda drives homer into sea of Navy white

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Duda drives homer into sea of Navy white

It's important to take time on Memorial Day to honor all members of our Armed Services. Perhaps you did it by making a small donation to a charity supporting our veterans. Perhaps you know a military member, and you personally thanked them for their service. There is no wrong way to recognize the troops -- any gesture is appreciated.

And so, when Mets first baseman Lucas Duda came to the plate in the bottom of the third inning of Monday's matchup with the Phillies, he decided to perform a small gesture of thanks by giving a member of the military a home run ball.

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MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

10 lessons fantasy owners learned so far

10 lessons fantasy owners learned so far

The 2015 season is at the quarter pole, but fantasy owners have learned a great deal so far. Here are 10 takeaways from the year to date.

1. The Bryce Harper show has arrived
Harper has started to transfer his near-limitless potential into production, and he could compete for the National League Triple Crown this season. Just 22 years old, the outfielder is likely at the outset of more than a decade as a top-five fantasy hitter. Aside from Mike Trout, Harper may have more keeper-league value than any other player.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Davis nearly loses homer for missing plate

After Brewers challenge, replay restores first of outfielder's two dingers

Davis nearly loses homer for missing plate

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers left fielder Khris Davis had to wait out a replay review in Monday's 8-4 loss to the Giants after his first-inning home run was nullified because the plate umpire ruled he didn't touch home. Three minutes and 15 seconds later, Davis got his home run back.

Davis had connected against Giants starter Tim Lincecum for a homer to right field that by all appearances gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead at Miller Park. But the Giants appealed at home plate, where umpire Will Little called Davis out, ruling he'd missed home plate after circling the bases. The Brewers challenged that ruling, and the call was overturned after a review.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

ASG debate: Ethier or Kemp?

Former teammates having different types of seasons so far as All-Star voting continues

ASG debate: Ethier or Kemp?

*** We will be doing daily ASG debates until balloting ends on July 2. We will frequently be pitting one player against another and have a writer make a case for one of them, but that doesn't mean there aren't other great candidates for that position. In fact, your comments could spark a new debate for us to tackle. So let us know what you think! ***

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier beat Matt Kemp to the big time by 26 days in May 2006, and they played side by side in the Dodgers outfield for nine seasons. Finally parting company over the winter, when Kemp was traded to the Padres, they came into this season with dramatically different expectations, both personally and in the public perception.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado pads already ridiculous highlight reel

Arenado pads already ridiculous highlight reel

CINCINNATI -- After slamming into a roll of tarp to catch a foul ball on April 14 in San Francisco, and feeling the requisite pain, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado swore he'd think twice before charging into the field barriers. ... Then came Monday, and there was no such hesitation.

In the bottom of the eighth with the Rockies and Reds tied at 4 at Great American Ball Park, Arenado raced to foul ground and flipped over the wall to grab Skip Schumaker's popup. As Arenado tumbled to the feet of the fans in the front row, his Adam's apple scraped on the concrete wall behind the padding.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scout Hahn an inspiration through courage

Paralyzed during headfirst slide, member of D-backs' front office maintains positive outlook

Scout Hahn an inspiration through courage

PHOENIX -- The story of a former college baseball player getting a job in scouting with goals of working his way up the organizational ladder is a common one. But the story of 23-year-old Cory Hahn certainly isn't common.

"I definitely think about it all the time, whenever I'm watching a game," Hahn said. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't actually think about 'What if?' or 'What would I be doing now if I'd never gotten hurt?'"

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Giants-Dodgers: The race we deserve

Giants-Dodgers: The race we deserve

If we're going to have a Giants-Dodgers summer, we must be doing something right. Isn't this the living, breathing definition of a great rivalry? Isn't baseball better when they're both competitive?

Who ya got?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Truffle shuffle: This week in MiLB promotions

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Truffle shuffle: This week in MiLB promotions

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, and many Minor League teams are celebrating accordingly. But -- "Hey, You Guys" -- don't forget about Goonies, which also turns 30 this year. On Saturday, the Akron RubberDucks pay homage to this Steven Spielberg-produced swashbuckling classic with a giveaway that will immediately emblazon itself into your retinas.

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Stanton guards wall in right, hits one over it

Slugger slams into fence on run-saving grab in second, then hits opposite-field shot in third

Stanton guards wall in right, hits one over it

PITTSBURGH -- In the bottom of the second inning Monday night, Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton found himself crashing into the Clemente Wall.

A frame later, he crushed a ball over it.

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John McGonigal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baseball pays tribute on Memorial Day

Clubs wear special uniforms, participate in National Moment of Remembrance

Baseball pays tribute on Memorial Day

Major League Baseball observed Memorial Day Monday, with clubs finding unique ways to honor those lost while serving in the armed services and recognizing the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time. MLB has participated in the tribute since 1997.

Rays pitcher Matt Moore tweeted: "Today we pause to honor and remember the men and women who gave their lives in pursuit of freedom. #MemorialDay"

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Albert answers Padres' rally with walk-off winner

Albert answers Padres' rally with walk-off winner

 ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols lined a broken-bat single through the left side against Padres closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the Angels to a thrilling 4-3 walk-off win in Southern California on Memorial Day.

With the score tied at 3 and Kevin Quackenbush on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, Marc Krauss drew a one-out walk and Johnny Giavotella followed with a single up the middle, putting runners on the corners. Kimbrel entered the game, struck out Erick Aybar and intentionally walked Mike Trout to load the bases. Shortly after that, Pujols came through with his eighth career walk-off hit or RBI.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Hamilton's return marks new chapter

Outfielder focused on both baseball and life beyond the game

Hamilton's return marks new chapter

CLEVELAND -- Memorial Day marked his proper return to the Rangers and to the game it has so often seemed he was born to play. This is a game that has sustained Josh Hamilton, and this is a team that has, in the past, given him the proper support system, the proper distractions from his demons.

But Hamilton, who turned 34 last week, knows the day is coming when he will no longer be a baseball player, no longer be a Ranger.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta's walk-off HR lifts Cards past D-backs

Peralta's walk-off HR lifts Cards past D-backs

ST. LOUIS -- A half-inning after the D-backs squandered a bases-loaded opportunity, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta put a quick end to the Memorial Day matinee at Busch Stadium, launching a walk-off homer to lift the Cardinals to a 3-2 win in 10 innings.

The walk-off victory was the Cardinals' fourth this season and the second to end on a home run. The blast, Peralta's seventh of the year, came off Arizona reliever J.C. Ramirez, who had wiggled out of a mess an inning earlier by striking out the side with two on.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What to watch for in today's games

Looking to return to top form, Kershaw headlines packed slate

What to watch for in today's games

After an exciting schedule of Memorial Day baseball, all 30 teams are back in action again on Tuesday. Here are five things to watch for:

Aces dueling: ATL @ LAD, 10:10 p.m. ET

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Donaldson, Price, deGrom

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Tuesday.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bartolo Colon Hit Tracker: The quest for three hits

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Bartolo Colon Hit Tracker: The quest for three hits

Every Aaron Sorkin character ever would insist that if you haven't had the pleasure of watching Bartolo Colon in the batter's box, then you've never seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done.

The thrashing, the contorting, the facial expressions. It isn't just baseball; it's fine performance art.

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On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

Base to bass: Hall of Famers are friends, and Big Unit rocks as a photographer

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

AUSTIN, Texas -- Amid the lights, video boards, shooting sparklers and other elaborate props that are commonplace on stage at a rock concert stands a quiet and very tall figure, dressed in blue jeans and an unassuming T-shirt, holding a camera.

He needs to be close to action, but he also has to stay out of the way of the main attraction, all the while capturing the poignant moments that will eventually document this particular moment in the band's history.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braun blasts Miller Park's longest righty homer

Brewers slugger's shot tracked at 474 feet, clears left-field bleachers

Braun blasts Miller Park's longest righty homer

MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun's fifth-inning home run vs. the Giants sailed clear out of Miller Park on Monday, conjuring memories of Russell Branyan against Greg Maddux and Sammy Sosa in the All-Star Home Run Derby more than a decade ago.

Braun's two-run homer left the bat at 113 mph, according to Statcast™, and sailed 474 feet, over the bleachers and onto the concrete concourse that lines Miller Park. It was the most prodigious home run by a right-handed hitter in the 15-year history of Miller Park and the fourth-longest home run by any batter. Branyan holds the record with his 480-foot shot off future Hall of Famer Maddux on July 27, 2004, and Prince Fielder hit a pair of 475-footers during his Brewers tenure.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remember when? Harper, Bryant meet again

Nats, Cubs rising stars played ball together growing up; 'Silk' immediately sets bar with homer

Remember when? Harper, Bryant meet again

CHICAGO -- Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant grew up in Las Vegas and traveled in many of the same baseball circles as young players. But personality-wise, the two Major League rising stars almost appear as if they're from different planets. Bryant is mostly quiet and reserved, while Harper is not.

On Monday, before the Nationals beat the Cubs, 2-1, to open a three-game series at Wrigley Field, someone asked Harper if he had checked the flags on the center-field scoreboard to see if the wind was blowing in or out.

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John Jackson and Sarah Trotto are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees don't look back after early barrage

Eight-run first inning vs. Guthrie sets table for easy victory over Royals

Yankees don't look back after early barrage

NEW YORK -- The Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak in grand fashion on Monday, cruising to a 14-1 victory over the Royals in the series opener at Yankee Stadium.

Losers of six straight and 10 of their past 11, the Yankees wasted no time in jumping all over Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, knocking the veteran right-hander out of the game before he could record an out in the second inning. In the second-shortest start of his career, Guthrie allowed a career-worst 11 earned runs. He gave up four homers and allowed 13 of the 16 batters he faced to reach base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrew McCutchen's walk-up song is 'Bad Blood'

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Andrew McCutchen's walk-up song is 'Bad Blood'

Andrew McCutchen is one of baseball's most exciting, entertaining and all-around talented players. And, in this writer's humble opinion, he might have the best taste in music of anyone in MLB.

That's because during Monday's game against the Marlins, it was reported that McCutchen has begun using Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" as his walk-up song.

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Dodgers' three homers in eighth down Braves

Dodgers' three homers in eighth down Braves

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers launched three home runs off reliever Nick Masset in the eighth inning to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Trailing, 2-1, at the seventh-inning stretch, Los Angeles tied the game on an Adrian Gonzalez groundout in the seventh and Andre Ethier gave the Dodgers the lead the following inning with a solo shot to right-center field. Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins followed suit with homers.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prince, Elvis rock Tribe, keep Rangers rolling

Prince, Elvis rock Tribe, keep Rangers rolling

CLEVELAND -- Something had to give when the Indians and Rangers -- two of baseball's hottest teams -- opened a three-game set on Monday at Progressive Field. Behind an outpouring of offense, Texas claimed a 10-8 victory over Cleveland to extend its winning streak to six games.

The Indians saw their season-high winning streak snapped at six.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

In Nats, Cubs catch glimpse of own future

Following path blazed by childhood friend Harper, Bryant has hopes high in Chicago

In Nats, Cubs catch glimpse of own future

CHICAGO -- Monday was a special day for baseball fans, especially those in Chicago. Despite a 2-1 loss to the Nationals, it marked the first Memorial Day game at Wrigley Field since 2009 that the ballpark was a gathering place for fans looking toward the summer with genuine excitement about their team for both this season and those ahead.

Washington fans had to know the feeling. It happened at Nationals Park in 2012, with Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg on the roster for the first time. And as the schedule makers had it, the Nationals were at Wrigley on Monday to start a stretch in which the Cubs will play 12 of 15 games against the Royals, Tigers and Nats (including four games in Washington).

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vin Scully tells story about Gomes' run-in with wolf

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Vin Scully tells story about Gomes' run-in with wolf

In the fourth inning of Monday's Braves-Dodgers game, with Jonny Gomes at the plate, Vin Scully decided to tell a story. A story about the time 12-year-old Jonny Gomes was almost eaten by a wolf.

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Aggressive approach fueling Howard

Resurgent Phillies slugger attacking more on the first pitch

Aggressive approach fueling Howard

To say that it's been a tough few seasons for Ryan Howard is something of an obvious understatement. Once one of the most feared sluggers in the game, a combination of injuries (he played fewer than half the games in 2012-13) and underperformance (he was worth nearly a win under replacement level from 2012-14) made his bloated contract an anchor weighing down the Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted as much over the winter, telling local media that "it would probably be better for the organization not with him, but without him."

Unsurprisingly, the Phillies never were able to move Howard and the $60 million he's owed from 2015-17. But while most expected him to ride the bench and produce little when he played, Howard has been shockingly productive. By Weighted Runs Created Plus, an all-inclusive offensive metric that adjusts for park and league, Howard has been a better offensive player than stars like Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Jose Abreu, and Giancarlo Stanton.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prince Fielder thwarts pickoff attempt, laughs

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Prince Fielder thwarts pickoff attempt, laughs

Right now there's nothing Prince Fielder can't do. After torturing the Yankees in a weeekend series to the tune of 8-for-14 with three home runs, a double, a walk and nine RBIs, Fielder and the Rangers traveled to Cleveland to set their sights on an Indians team that had won eight of their last 10 games.

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Nationals outhomer Cubs in opener at Wrigley

Nationals outhomer Cubs in opener at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs will see a lot of each other in the near future, as they play seven games over two weeks. In their first meeting, the Nationals struck first, edging the Cubs, 2-1, on Memorial Day at Wrigley Field.

Denard Span and Wilson Ramos homered for the National League East-leading Nationals, while Tanner Roark started in place of the injured Doug Fister and allowed a run and three hits in five innings. Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada struck out six and allowed a run, four hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings in his second start after beginning the season on the disabled list. After Wada departed, Ramos hit a go-ahead solo homer off right-hander Justin Grimm in the sixth.

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John Jackson and Sarah Trotto are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's power up to hand Keuchel first loss of '15

O's power up to hand Keuchel first loss of '15

BALTIMORE -- Caleb Joseph and Steve Pearce each hit two-run home runs to send Astros ace Dallas Keuchel to his first loss since last August in the Orioles' 4-3 win in the series opener on Monday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Joseph lined a 1-1 pitch in the second inning into the first row of left-field seats to put the Orioles ahead, 2-0, and Pearce sent the first pitch he saw in the seventh inning over the wall in right-center to put Baltimore on top, 4-3.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.