Draft Prospect Watch: Draft Notes And Former Pirates Picks

Conference tournaments wrap up today in college, as teams try to secure a spot to the NCAA World Series. For some players on our draft watchlist, their season has come to a close already. For others, they are just beginning the most important games of their year. Not a ton of games on the schedule today, with just 11 more days before the draft takes place. We take a look at the college hitters still playing today and some former Pittsburgh Pirates draft picks, plus some draft notes below. NCAA Regionals begin on Friday, just six days before the first day of the draft.  2013 draft

Colin Moran personally hasn’t had a great start to his weekend, reaching base three times, getting one single, one walk and one hit-by-pitch. Usually that wouldn’t be bad over two games, but his North Carolina team played 32 innings the last two days and he had 16 plate appearances. North Carolina won both games though, and took on Virginia Tech for the ACC title today. Moran went 2-for-3, with two singles and a walk. While he didn’t score or drive in any runs, NC was able to overcome their exhaustion, returning to the field ten hours later and they won 4-1 over VT.

Third baseman Eric Jagielo and his Notre Dame team lost the Big East Tournament today to Connecticut, by an 8-1 score. He went 0-for-3, with a walk and two strikeouts in the finale.

DJ Peterson and New Mexico, took on San Diego State in their tournament championship game today. New Mexico had a chance to win it all last night against SD State, but they lost, so the two teams met up again today. Peterson went 2-for-4, with two singles, a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch. Despite Peterson getting on base three times, New Mexico still lost 9-4 today.

Austin Wilson and Stanford finished up their regular season schedule today against UCLA. Wilson went 0-for-3, reaching by a HBP in the first inning. Zack Weiss for UCLA was a 2010 draft pick from the Pirates. He retired the only batter he faced yesterday. Weiss pitched again today, throwing a scoreless inning, facing the minimum. He struck out Wilson in their only encounter. UCLA won 6-4.

With a loss on Friday, Indiana State’s season ended. Left-handed starter Sean Manaea wasn’t able to pitch this weekend due to tightness in his left shoulder. He finished 5-4, 1.47 in 13 starts, with a .190 BAA, 27 walks and 93 strikeouts in 73.1 innings.

Former Pirates Draft Picks

Jason Hursh from Oklahoma State missed all of last year with Tommy John Surgery. This year, the 2010 draft pick of the Pirates is a draft-eligible sophomore, so he has some signing leverage with two more years of school left if he wants. He had good results this weekend against TCU, but needed a lot of pitches to get through five innings. He gave up one unearned run on four hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. His team got handed an 8-4 loss, though he got a no-decision. Hursh threw 103 pitches, 59 for strikes. On the year, he is 6-4, 2.65 in 15 starts, with 84 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched.

Austin Kubitza from Rice was also drafted in 2010 by the Pirates. He has put up good results this year, but his draft placement may not match those results. Teams are concerned about control issues and his lack of strong velocity, so he will likely go in the 4-5th round range. Kubitza threw two-hit ball over 7.2 innings against UAB on Wednesday, picking up his 8th win. He allowed one run, walked one batter and struck out nine, while also hitting three batters. Zech Lemond closed out the game with a scoreless ninth for his 14th save. Lemond was drafted by the Pirates in 2011.

Dace Kime from Louisville was another pick from 2010 that didn’t sign. He threw 3.2 scoreless innings on Wednesday, during his team’s 3-2 loss to Connecticut. Kime is 5-1, 3.08 this year in seven starts and 17 relief appearances. In 61.1 innings, he has a .243 BAA, 16 walks and 75 strikeouts.

One player that has had an outstanding season this year so far, is NC State sophomore Trea Turner, a 2011 Pirates draft pick. He hit .376 in 48 games, with a 1.027 OPS and 24 stolen bases. He should be near the top of next year’s draft class.

Brandon Thomas from Georgia Tech was taken in the fourth round by the Pirates last year. He chose to return back to school for his senior year and the move likely didn’t pay off. He is probably going to be drafted around the same area after losing time to mono this year and showing no power. He hit .339 in 48 games, with one homer and an .896 OPS, fourth highest on his team.

Draft Notes

Dan Kirby from Through the Fences has an interview with Clint Frazier worth checking out. The High School outfielder from Georgia could go anywhere in the top half of the first round, though most think he will be gone before the Pirates pick at #9.

A few days late, but MLB.com has an interesting article on HS pitcher Hunter Harvey, the son of former major league pitcher Bryan Harvey.

If you missed it from earlier, Minor League Ball posted their second mock draft, with the Pirates taking Ryne Stanek at #9 and catcher Nick Ciuffo five spots later. The first time Ciuffo has been mentioned with the Pirates.

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.

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