Here is a recap of how each of the top 2011 draft prospects did this past week. Click on their names to go to their tracker pages.
Rendon had a big week this past week, combining to go 9-for-18 with six walks. He hit for a .500/.654/.944 line during this time span, with his third home run coming on Sunday. MK Bower of Fox Sports Houston described the homer on Twitter:
@pirateprospects And it was a smooth, easy swing, yet the ball traveled rows deep into the Crawford Boxes. And on another 2-strike count.
On Friday I asked whether Gerrit Cole’s recent success puts him above Rendon for the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. 76.57% of voters still would take Rendon over Cole, despite the shutout by Cole this weekend.
There have been two main issues with Rendon early in the season. The first is a shoulder injury, which has kept him off the field and limited to DH duties. The second is his lack of power. I talked about both issues yesterday. In short, the shoulder injury isn’t a long term thing to worry about, and it’s too soon to worry about the lack of power (especially when he’s coming off a week with a .444 ISO).
Cole went up against the University of Nebraska, on the road, and pitched nine shutout innings, allowing two walks, two hits, and striking out eight. Cole only needed 101 pitches to get through the outing, but came away with a no decision, as the score was 0-0 after nine innings. It should be noted that the game was a pitcher’s duel, which could be attributed to the 30 degree weather and 15-25 MPH winds throughout the game. The game ended 1-0 in the 11th inning. There were reports that Cole hit 100 MPH four times, which is impressive.
On the season, Cole now has a 1.16 ERA in 23.1 innings, with a 25:4 K/BB ratio and a .143 BAA.
Purke was held out of action again on Friday due to his blister, but did make a start on Sunday against Texas Tech. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out six. He was perfect through 4.2 innings, before allowing his only hit. Purke has missed some time early in the season, and has been limited with his pitch counts due to resting over the off-season. This combination, along with the strong start by Gerrit Cole, has him falling behind in the race for the top overall spot. That said, he has pitched well, with ten shutout innings, two hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts so far this season.
-George Springer, the UCONN outfielder who is rated the second best hitter in the draft, came in to the week with a .136/.259/.273 line in 22 at-bats. He raised that line a bit this week, and is now at .172/.306/.345 in 29 at-bats. It would be hard to make a case for him as the number one overall pick, and I don’t think his slump will drop him down to the Pirates’ second round pick.
-Catching up on a few 2008 Pirates’ draft picks who went un-signed and are draft eligible this year:
Zach Wilson, 3B, Arizona State: Drafted in the 26th round in 2008, and is the 37th best prospect in the draft this year. Wilson is hitting for a .295/.365/.455 line in 44 at-bats this season. That’s down from his .407/.485/.556 line in 27 at-bats at the start of the week.
Drew Gagnon, LHP, Long Beach State: Drafted in the 10th round in 2008, and is the 49th best prospect in the draft this year. Gagnon pitched five innings, allowing a run on five hits, with five walks and six strikeouts.
-Catching up on the un-signed prep pitchers from the top 10 rounds in the 2010 draft:
Jason Hursh, 6th Round, Oklahoma State: Hursh didn’t pitch this week.
Austin Kubitza, 7th Round, Rice: Kubitza pitched a complete game shutout on Saturday, allowing six hits, no walks, and striking out seven. The outing was enough to earn him the Conference USA Pitcher of the Week award. He was throwing 90-92, and topping out at 93, according to Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game.
Dace Kime, 8th Round, Louisville: Kime made his season debut this week, pitching five shutout innings, allowing one hit, no walks, and striking out seven.+ posts
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.