The 11th weekend of college baseball finished up today, as we focus on the college bats, a couple HS players and some former Pirates draft picks who will go high this year. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the tenth week’s action here. Just a reminder, the Pirates pick #9 and #14 in this year’s June amateur draft, so for the duration of the college season, leading up to draft day, we are following the players closely that are ranked in that range. This year’s draft will be held June 6-8.
San Diego’s Kris Bryant, went 0-for-3, with a walk and a strikeout on Friday night in a 9-5 loss to San Francisco. On Saturday, he went 3-for-5, with a single, double and a home run, his 22nd homer of the season. Despite the good day, Bryant didn’t come through in the clutch for his team. In the ninth inning, with a man on and his team down one, Bryant struck out. His team eventually tied it, but lost 9-8 in ten innings. He finished his weekend quietly, going 0-for-3, with two walks(one intentional) and a strikeout on Sunday.
Colin Moran had just one hit in five AB’s Friday night, but that one hit was huge, a three run homer in the first inning. On Saturday, he went 1-for-4, with a walk and an infield single. North Carolina lost to rival NC State yesterday, just their fourth loss all season. The rubber match on Sunday was rained out.
Austin Wilson went 1-for-4 Friday, with a first inning infield single in Stanford’s 2-1 loss to Oregon. On Saturday, he went 1-for-5, with a single, as Stanford lost again. Oregon completed the sweep on Sunday and Wilson ended his rough weekend with an 0-for-4, during his team’s 4-3 loss.
DJ Peterson went 3-for-4 on Friday, with a double and home run. On Saturday, he managed just a walk in his team’s 5-3 win over UNLV, going 0-for-3, with two strikeouts. He had a good day on Sunday, reaching base five times by picking up two singles, an intentional walk and two HBP. New Mexico had a 4-1 lead through the first six innings, but the fun didn’t start until the seventh inning. The Lobos ended up winning the game over UNLV in the 10th inning by a 14-13 score.
Aaron Judge went 0-for-2, with a walk and sac fly on Friday, facing off against San Diego State’s Michael Cederoth, who could go first overall next year. On Saturday, he went 0-for-4 in his team’s 10-8 loss. His team lost again on Sunday, but Judge had three singles, an RBI and a stolen base.
Phillip Ervin finished up his weekend early due to a Sunday rainout. Ervin went 4-for-10 the first two days this weekend, hitting three doubles on Saturday. His team plays Tuesday at home against the U of Alabama at Birmingham.
For most of this year, there was pretty much a consensus among experts that the six bats mentioned above were the top six college bats in this draft, but Hunter Renfroe from Mississippi State has changed some minds. He could be as high as the third best bat depending on who you talk to, trailing only Moran and Bryant. Renfroe went 1-for-3, with two strikeouts off Kevin Ziomek from Vanderbilt on Friday, another likely first round pick. He went 1-for-4 on Saturday, driving in two runs, but he also struck out twice again. Renfroe went 1-for-3 on Sunday, walking twice, driving in a run and picking up his fifth K of the weekend. Vanderbilt used Walker Buehler today for an inning. The 2012 draft pick of the Pirates retired all three batters he faced. Vanderbilt swept the weekend series.
Update on Former Picks
Jason Hursh, the Pirates 2010 draft pick, has been mentioned as a possible late first round pick. On Saturday, he threw 7.1 innings against Nebraska, allowing three runs(two earned) on nine hits and one walk, while striking out six batters. Hursh threw 116 pitches and he has had some high pitch counts, which is important to remember because he missed all of last season with Tommy John Surgery. He has thrown 76 innings this year.
Austin Kubitza from Rice didn’t have a game this weekend, as Rice took the entire week off. He is also getting late first/early second round mention thanks to his 6-2, 1.22 record in 11 starts, with three shutouts and 90 strikeouts in 66.2 innings. Kubitza was drafted in the sixth round in 2010, one round after Hursh.
A couple other HS pitchers from that 2010 draft that didn’t sign were Dace Kime of Louisville(8th round) and Kyle Weiss of UCLA(10th round). Weiss has pitched strictly in relief this year, pitching 24 innings over 24 appearances. He has a 3.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts, along with a .284 BAA, which is the highest on the UCLA staff. Kime has made three starts and 16 relief appearances. He was rated in the pre-season as a 4/5th round pick. The overall results haven’t been good, a 4.19 ERA in 34.1 innings, but he does have 42 strikeouts.
High School Notes
Outfielder Ryan Boldt from Minnesota, is a name that hasn’t been mentioned here before. He is projected to go in the first round, but he comes with some heavy baggage, four operations on his non-throwing arm. There is an article from his local with quotes and some info, though I should point out he has no intentions of signing ONLY if he goes directly to the majors, that is an error. Still the article has some good info and can be read here. This page has three videos on him and his Minor League Ball profile can be read here. Baseball America had him ranked 24th in the pre-season rankings for all players in this year’s draft class. He rose two spots in the mid-season poll.
LHP Ian Clarkin out of California has been ranked in the mid-to-late first round this year. He pitched 15 times last season as a Junior, ten of those games as the starter. Clarkin was 8-2, 0.62 in 68 innings, with 27 hits, 27 walks and 106 strikeouts. This year he has a 1.41 ERA in six starts and three relief outings, picking up 87 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. Clarkin had 14 strikeouts in his last start. A profile(with video) of him can be read here and another source here with great info. It is interesting to note that San Diego University has commitments from Clarkin, Reese McGuire and Stephen Gonsalves, all likely first round picks.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Does anyone know if we don’t sign the first or second round choice this year if we get a similar pick next year to replace the pick we lost?
The picks are protected for two years now, so even the Pirates compensation pick for not signing Appel is protected, unlike in the past. Not 100% sure, but I think if the Pirates don’t sign their 9th pick this year, it drops to #10 . The 14th pick is protected for two years. The same for the second round pick(and third round as well)
Thanks John, I guess the Pirates could gamble on a HS pick or a college junior player. These days any pick they make is a gamble to sign with this ridiculous new draft system.
I believe the big gamble would be Kohl Stewart. It will likely take a lot to sign him, so if he is picked #9 , the #14 pick would likely be someone who is a slight reach that they think they can sign cheaper. It will take more than 3,029,600(slot) to sign Stewart, just not sure how much more
I would take Clarkin with the 14th pick if he is there and he agrees to a price that is acceptable before the draft. No way I am giving away a draft pick on a guy that we can’t sign at 14.
Thanks for the updates on guys who didn’t sign.
Kime was supposed to have signed, but backed off. Glad now he backed off.
Kime has yet to be used a lot, he had 65.2 innings coming into this year. He has been hard to hit and puts up good strikeout numbers, but he has been wild at times and the results haven’t been good. I think everyone expected him to break out this year and he hasn’t. He had a 4.52 ERA coming into this year
John: Remember your article from March 24? I thought at that time that Clarkin would be a solid pick at No. 14 with either Reese McGuire or Trey Ball as the #9 pick.
I could see Ball and Clarkin. Not really sure they pick a catcher that high unless they really like his athleticism. They have Mathisen in low-A, Jhang is in extended ST and one of their top Int’l signings will be in the DSL, but they think he is an advanced defender, so he could move quick. They also really like the defense of Elias Diaz, Jacob Stallings and Carlos Paulino. So the spot is fairly well stacked if you ask them. That could convince them, when choosing between similar players, to go pitching