Jim Callis over at Baseball America held a draft chat today and had an interesting quote about the Pittsburgh Pirates options with their #9 and #14 pick, bringing a new name into the equation. When asked about the possibility of taking one pick with signability in mind to save for later overslot picks, Callis mentioned that he didn’t see the need in doing that. His quote was “Based on how I think the draft will play out, I’d take Austin Meadows at 9.” He then goes on to say “at 14…I might be tempted by Phillip Ervin.”
Meadows has been discussed a lot lately, especially during our weekly podcasts. He is a High School outfielder from Georgia, with tremendous upside. If he was available at #9, he seems like a great pick there. At one point, he was being mentioned as a possible #1 this year. He hasn’t hit for power, which has changed some minds, but he has great size and a good enough bat that the power should eventually come.
As for Ervin, he has also been mentioned here numerous times during the college season, one of the six college bats that we have followed since the start. The thing with him though, is that he hasn’t been mentioned in the Pirates range anytime recently. He’s a short but powerful centerfielder, with good speed and a strong bat. He also has a good arm, and occasionally pitched in relief. There are some questions with him. One is that he may not stick in center and the other is strength of schedule in college. Samford definitely doesn’t face the competition that someone like Colin Moran or Austin Wilson would see, and Ervin’s numbers were good but not something you would expect from someone that will be taken that high in the draft.
Ervin went 2-for-4 today in Samford’s tournament loss to Western Carolina. He scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base. On the year, he is hitting .344 in 54 games, with a 1.075 OPS and 19 steals(in 21 attempts). Ervin has drawn 39 walks and struck out 25 times.
The full draft chat can be read here.
News and Notes
Sean Manaea missed his last start with left shoulder tightness. For the lefty from Indiana State, this is now the third different injury that has affected his season. He also missed time with a sprained ankle and a hip injury.
Austin Wilson played a game last night for Stanford, going 1-for-5, with a single and two RBI’s. He is hitting .308 in 28 games, with 26 RBI’s and a .922 OPS.
Colin Moran had a Monday game against Florida State and went 0-for-4, striking out once. He was making great contact all season up until his last few weeks, when he had a couple multi-strikeout games. He still has just 19 in 214 AB’s, with 52 walks, but ten of those strikeouts have come in his last 38 AB’s.
Jonathan Mayo has an excellent read on the top HS arms in this draft class. Mentioned specifically are Trey Ball, Kohl Stewart, Ian Clarkin, Hunter Harvey and Phil Bickford. Well worth the time to check out.
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.