Three Wild Pitches (Brewers, Celtics, Nigel)
1) BREWERS IN FIRST PLACE
I can't believe it is already time to start thinking about when it is time to truly make a run for consecutive postseason appearances, something that hasn't been accomplished in Milwaukee since the 80's. The Brewers are 23-18 and in first place in the NL Central, and are only a terrible opening series with the Rockies away from possibly being in the lead in the entire conference. At this point, however, the Cardinals are only a half game back, and the Cubs are only two games back. The Pirates might have to reload again due to the injury bug and struggles of Andrew McCutchen, and the Reds won't be hanging around too much longer.
So I suppose it's time to start thinking, do we really have a chance to not only hang around with the Cubs, but with the Cardinals as well and make the postseason? The draft placement isn't that important in baseball, as numerous players from later rounds end up making the big leagues time and time again, so that's not a factor. It's all about trading for prospects.
Speaking of trading for prospects, none of them have made it to the big leagues this season yet, unless you count Jett Bandy. Lewis Brinson, Josh Hader, Brandon Woodruff and Brett Phillips are all sitting on their thumbs in Colorado Springs waiting to come up via injury or trade, and they will get their time. But I'm saying that the Brewers haven't even needed them yet, and that's the phenomenon here. The bullpen, outside of Neftali Feliz in non-save situations, has been electric. Matt Garza and Chase Anderson have been the two best pitchers so far, and that's likely the way to the big leagues for Hader and Woodruff. Everybody who is not a starting middle infielder is hitting at least .260, and the defense plays well enough. I'm not arguing for or against anything yet, we need to wait and see where the Cubs and Cardinals are a month from now, but I say keep it going for now, because you can always retool in two months at the trade deadline.
2) WHAT SHOULD BOSTON DO?
Today I've seen a couple of unique stories surrounding the Celtics, first and foremost that Gordan Hayward is their number one target. That makes sense, and I'm assuming Jimmy Butler and Paul George are going to jump him should he opt-in with the Jazz. The Celtics still have a bevy of draft picks and young players, and with the number one overall pick, taking Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball creates a problem at the guard position. It's a good problem no doubt, but it gives them five guards 6'4" or shorter who all require playing time. I think an easy solution to this problem is to give up Amir Johnson, Terry Rozier and the number one selection for a Hayward, Butler or George type, and then the Celtics basically have what they have been waiting for.
3) I THINK NIGEL HAYES IS THE NEXT DRAYMOND
No, I don't think Nigel Hayes is a flagrant fouling maniac to be, but I see a lot of similarities between the two. First and foremost is their work ethic, and that they played in a tough minded Big Ten Conference for four seasons. They've had great players go before them as well that they played with, such as Frank Kaminsky and Kalin Lucas. They are both going to be second round picks. They are both similar in body types. They both have similar skill sets coming out of school, as Draymond wasn't that great at threes in college like Hayes, but had the ability to shoot them. They both have good passing skills and are great defenders. Sure, Hayes may never see an NBA minute, and even more possibly never see an All-Star game. But there are similarities between the two, which is why from a basketball perspective I'm comparing Nigel Hayes to Draymond Green.