Found March 21, 2013 on Pirates Prospects:
The sixth weekend of the college season is about to get under way. The Pirates have the #9 and #14 picks in the upcoming June amateur draft. Throughout the college/HS season, leading up to the draft, we will cover the interesting players that are being discussed in the Pirates draft range. There will also be daily notes on past picks by the Pirates who went unsigned. For a recap of the fifth week, check out our article posted here. Our preview of the draft can be read here. The draft takes place June 6-8. Stanford VS Utah Stanford had off last week. They have three games scheduled this weekend against Utah at home, the start of their conference schedule. Mark Appel, the Pirates first round pick from last year looks to be the best among all draft-eligible college players this year. After struggling in his opening start, Appel bounced back with a strong performance his second time out, allowing one run in a complete game victory, with 11 strikeouts. His third start was even better, a complete game shutout with 14 strikeouts against a ranked team. During his last start, he took a tough luck loss, but still struck out 15 batters. While Appel isn’t expected to fall to the Pirates again, the Cardinal do have another interesting prospect. Outfielder Austin Wilson has the potential to be a big bat in right field. He has also had some injury problems as of late. He missed time last year with an oblique strain and this season he left his first game with a muscle strain just below his elbow and hasn’t played since. There was word two weeks ago that he could be back for this series, so any updates will be posted in tomorrow’s roundup. North Carolina VS Boston College Third baseman Colin Moran leads the 1st ranked Tar Heels(19-1) into action this weekend as they play at home against Boston College. The teams will play two games on Saturday and one on Sunday. Moran played Tuesday against Princeton and went 4-for-6, with three singles, a double and two RBI’s. He was ranked fourth overall by Baseball America among all draft-eligible college players. He’s a strong left-handed bat, that could be available when the Pirates pick in the #9 spot. Through 20 games, Moran is hitting .397, with four homers and 27 RBI’s. He has drawn 20 walks and has only struck out six times all year. North Carolina also has Kent Emanuel, the 19th round pick of the Pirates in the 2010 draft. He has a 3-1, 1.41 record in five starts, with two shutouts. Emanuel has struck out 28 batters in 38.1 innings and has held hitters to a .220 batting average. North Carolina also has home games on Tuesday against VCU and Wednesday against Winthrop. San Diego VS Gonzaga Another third baseman to watch is Kris Bryant from San Diego. At 6’5″, 215 he is a little bigger than Moran, and Bryant is a right-handed hitter. Besides the hot corner, he has also played some corner outfield and first base. Bryant has gone on a home run streak as of late, running his season total up to 12, which includes a streak of homering in five straight games from March 3-9. He is hitting .386 through 20 games, with a 1.547 OPS and 33 runs scored. San Diego has three games this weekend on the road against Gonzaga, followed by a Monday game at home against UNLV, then back on the road for one day against Cal St Northridge. Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga got a no-decision in his last start, allowing two runs over eight innings, with six strikeouts. Three weeks ago, he threw a complete game shutout against 2nd ranked(at the time) Arkansas, allowing eight hits, no walks and he struck out nine. He followed that up with four hits and one run over eight innings against Hawaii. He is 3-1, 2.13, with 33 strikeouts in 38 innings this season. Gonzales was recently ranked 11th overall among draft-eligible college players by Baseball America. He has an advanced feel for pitching with a nice four-pitch mix, topping out at 92 MPH with his fastball. His changeup is rated by some as the best in this entire draft class.  Bryant and Gonzales will square off on Friday night. Florida VS Vanderbilt Pitcher Jonathon Crawford will lead the Gators as they play three games this weekend against Vanderbilt. He had his start last week pushed back to Saturday. Crawford looked good through five innings, then imploded in the sixth and seventh innings, allowing a total of five runs on three hits, four walks, two hit batters and he struck out just two hitters. He is 0-3, 4.94 in 27.1 innings, with 19 strikeouts. He threw 5.1 no-hit innings during his second start, but since then, he has allowed 20 hits and eight walks in 18.1 innings. Crawford had some velocity questions prior to his last start, when it was said that he sat mid-90′s, where he normally throws. While he regained velocity, his stock has dropped due to poor mechanics and recent struggles, plus the early reports of lower velocity didn’t help. He is still expected to go in the first round, though he has been passed by plenty of strong college pitchers recently. Other Players To Watch Sean Manaea, a LHP from Indiana State, and Ryne Stanek, a RHP from Arkansas, were rated just below Mark Appel among college players in pre-season polls and neither was expected to be around when the Pirates pick. Things have changed recently for one of the two pitchers. Manaea has held up his stock with strong performances, even during his March 9th start that was delayed eight days due to cold weather and snow. He threw a complete game last Friday, allowing one unearned run, while striking out nine, in the 2-1 win. On the year, he is 2-1, 1.08 in four starts, striking out 33 in 25 innings. Manaea has a .167 BAA and has allowed eight starts. Arkansas(ranked 17th) plays three games against sixth ranked South Carolina on the road this weekend. Stanek has had trouble going deep in games this year and the results have just been average, dropping his stock. Baseball Prospect Report posted a video of Stanek as a freshman and broke down his delivery. The report, which can be read here, wasn’t good. For comparison sake, here is a video from Stanek’s start two weeks ago. He hit 95 MPH in his last start, and has been 96-97 MPH in prior outings. Through five starts, he is 1-1, 3.32, with 20 strikeouts in 21.2 innings. Stanek has allowed 20 hits and issued 13 walks. He will start Saturday night. Bobby Wahl, a RHP from Ole Miss, is scheduled to pitch Friday night at home against Texas A&M. Wahl impressed scouts during his first game, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings and reaching 95 MPH on the radar gun.  He had some struggles in his next two starts, due in part to a finger injury on his pitching hand. Two weeks ago, with the injury cleared up, Wahl threw six shutout innings, allowing no walks and three hits. His velocity was consistently 93-94 MPH. He went seven strong innings last Friday, allowing just one run to Arkansas. Wahl was throwing 92 MPH, flashing an above average slurve. Phillip Ervin, an outfielder from Samford, will play three games on the road against Furman this weekend, two on Friday night and one on Saturday. This Tuesday against Alabama, he went 0-for-1, with two walks.  Through 22 games, he is hitting .378, with seven homers, 18 RBI’s and a 1.252 OPS. He is a mid-first round pick that the Pirates could possibly consider with their #14 pick. D.J. Peterson from New Mexico plays three games this weekend at home against Nevada. He finished last week with a huge game, hitting two homers and driving in eight runs on Sunday. Peterson played a doubleheader on Tuesday against Missouri State, going 1-for-5, with a home run and a walk in the opener. The 3B/1B  went 0-for-4, with an RBI in game two. On the year, Peterson is hitting .412, with 11 homers, 30 runs scored, 22 RBI’s and a 1.463 OPS , through 20 games. Aaron Judge, a 6’7″ outfielder from Fresno State has got some good press recently. Conor Glassey did a feature on him, highlighting his pure hitting ability that could translate to a ton of power in the pros. Judge is hitting a team-leading .297 in 19 games, with three homers and an .888 OPS. His strikeout total, 22 in 74 AB’s is a little alarming and some scouts question whether he has the bat speed to cover his large strike zone, especially against pitchers that can work inside on him. Fresno State plays three games on the road against Air Force this weekend, followed by a Tuesday game against Sacramento St. Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma turned some heads two weeks ago when he hit 100 MPH during his start against UCLA. He threw seven shutout innings and sat high 90′s all night. Conor Glassey has a writeup on Gray and a few other prospects, where he mentions that Gray’s slider has a chance to be just as good as his fastball. In his start last week, he pitched a complete game shutout, throwing 111 pitches, the last of which was clocked at 100 MPH. Gray has had plenty of mention as a top ten pick recently. He has a game against TCU at home this weekend. Ryan Eades, a 6’3″ RHP from LSU will face-off against Auburn at home this weekend. He has recently moved up into the mid-first round range for a few people, thanks to his strong performance this season. He has a 4-0, 1.69 record in five starts, with seven walks and 36 strikeouts in 32 innings. DRAFT NOTES Jim Callis had a chat yesterday filled with draft info. Many of the players we follow were mention. A recap of the important notes are below, while the full link can be read here. Kris Bryant was called a below average third baseman, but his defense in right field will be average. The fact he can play both spots, as well as first base still gives him a ton of value, even if he is weak defensively at a premium position. Callis called Colin Moran the best pure hitter in the draft and predicted that he could stay at third base in the majors. He still considers Oscar Mercado a first round pick, even though his bat hasn’t come around like most hoped. He has the ability to stay at shortstop and that should keep him high on most draft charts. A prep LHP named Matt Krook has shot into the Pirates range with that #14 pick. Callis says he throws low 90′s and spins a tight curveball. He thinks Ryne Stanek has dropped into the second half of the first round. To quote Callis on Stanek’s early season struggles, ” His stuff has been down a little and his command has been off” Callis thinks the top two prep bats, Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, will both be selected ahead of any college bats. Judging by everything he said and what I’ve seen recently from others, I am led to believe that right now the top four looks Appel, Manaea, Frazier and Meadows, while the fifth spot is wide open.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Prospect Notebook: Stolmy Pimentel Dominates, While A.J. Burnett . . . Not So Much

Pimentel fanned six in five shutout innings Well, okay, A.J. Burnett isn’t a prospect, but he was pitching against them today as the Yankees’ AAA and AA squads visited Pirate City. Burnett struggled throughout his outing, a lot of it due to control issues, and didn’t manage to complete all his innings due to per-inning pitch limitations. Odd things like that happen in spring...

First Pitch: Bryan Morris in Triple-A Might Not Be a Bad Idea

Bryan Morris was optioned to Triple-A today. One day after we learned that Bryan Morris had a fourth option year, the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned Morris to Triple-A. It’s coincidental in the way that it played out. Baseball America reported the players with additional option years yesterday. The Pirates and Morris had known for a few months. I’ve been saying for the better part...

Bryan Morris Gets a Fourth Option Year

  Bryan Morris has an extra option year. Baseball America has a list of players who received the rare fourth option year (h/t Bucs Dugout). We already knew two of the Pirates on the list who had received fourth options: Pedro Alvarez and Andy Oliver. One player who was unexpected was Bryan Morris. From what I can gather from Baseball America’s description of the rules, Morris...

Pirates Option Bryan Morris, Re-Assign Two More

Bryan Morris was optioned to Triple-A. The Pittsburgh Pirates made a few cuts from major league camp this morning. They optioned right-hander Bryan Morris to Triple-A, and reassigned infielders Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Jared Goedert to minor league camp. It was previously believed that Morris was out of options, although earlier this week we learned that he was granted a fourth option...

Important breaking news: Pedro Alvarez's ears are free!

For three years now, Pirate fans have broken down every tiny aspect of Pedro Alvarez's game. What's his strikeout rate? What does that mean? Is he struggling with fastballs? Breaking balls? Is the "Daydro" thing actually a thing or a weird sampling problem? Why would he hit better during day games? Does he need contacts or something? Did you see how far he hit that...

Is Gaby Sanchez Available?

Is Gaby Sanchez really available? Ever since the New York Yankees lost Mark Teixeira, there have been plenty of rumors connecting the Pirates to the Yankees. Most of those rumors seem to be of the message board type. One team has a need, the other team has a strength in that area, so they match up. In this case, the Pirates have a strength, the Yankees have a need, and baseball doesn’t...

The WHYGAVS Spring Training Extravaganza: Jonathan Sanchez Edition

As I made my way to spring training on Sunday night, I tried to figure out the Pirates' rotation for this week. My main hope was to see Gerrit Cole in person, though I figured that might be a long shot given the late date in the spring and the fact that Cole had just pitched the day before. I was right about that; before I even made it to McKechnie field on Monday, Cole was demoted...

The WHYGAVS Spring Training Extravaganza: Jeanmar Gomez and Stefan Welch teach us the true ...

Spring training is like this: on Thursday night you see the entire Pirate starting line up in Sarasota and you get excited about it, until you realize that you also have tickets for Friday's game and Friday's game is starting in 15 hours and there's no way that any of those players you just watched are going to be playing on Friday. This is the story of Friday's game...

Pirates Cut Bryan Morris, Two Others

The Pirates made a surprising move today, sending Bryan Morris to Triple A.  The writing was written on the wall for Bryan Morris when he was given a rare fourth option.  When I wrote my Roster Watch it was before he was given the option. I still think this move hurts the team.  It hurt…

Roster Watch: Jose Tabata

Jose Tabata is still supposedly young. He is only 24. I don’t think people realize how young he is. He is only two months older than Starling Marte for reference. It’s really easy to think of him as a veteran player because he’s had some MLB success.  He doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt…

Garrett Jones set for platoon at first

Garrett Jones had an very good season last year. He put together a nice looking .274/.317/.516 triple slash line, hitting 27 HR, and driving in 86 RBI. He figures to platoon with Gaby Sanchez at first base and see time in right field. Jones told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he is excited about the upcoming season.

Pirates 6, Rays 4

Ben Zobrist homered leading off a three-run sixth inning Friday for Tampa Bay, but Stefan Welch hit a three-run homer in his first spring training at-bat to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat a split squad 6-4. Welch, a third baseman who played last season at Double-A, hit a towering shot to right field off Dane De La Rosa. The Rays scored three runs to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.