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Draft Prospect Watch: Aaron Brown Looks Good On Mound And At Plate


Sunday wraps up the weekend for college baseball and we saw some strong pitching on Friday night, followed by a lot of the big bats making noise on Saturday. Today we take a look at some final weekend results, including two top college relief pitchers and check up on some former Pittsburgh Pirates draft picks. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th. The Pirates have the 24th pick in the first round this year.  For more information on the top players in this draft class, check out our four-part draft preview2014-Draft

Starting with the top two prospects among college relievers, we begin with Michael Cederoth, who was moved to the bullpen after his first start. He pitched Saturday night, closing out the win for San Diego State over St Mary’s. Cederoth retired all five batters he faced, three by strikeout. In 10.1 innings this year, he has allowed four hits and struck out 14 batters. While he has a huge arm that should have him near the top of this draft class, he has had control issues this year and in the past, which will likely keep him near the end of the first round.

The other top reliever is Louisville’s closer, Nick Burdi, who tops out at 101 MPH and hits triple-digits often. In four appearances this season, he has allowed one hit, two walks and has struck out six batters in four innings. He pitched on Saturday against Toledo and retired all three batters he faced.

The two big bats from Cal State Fullerton finished up their weekend quietly, except for one big swing. Third baseman Matt Chapman went 0-for-4 with a walk and first baseman J.D. Davis went 1-for-4 with his third home run.

Virginia with their three top draft prospects, took on Monmouth in a doubleheader on Sunday. In game one, outfielder Derek Fisher went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and RBI. First baseman Mike Papi was 1-for-2 with three walks and an RBI. Nick Howard worked out of the bullpen in game one and picked up his second save, retiring all six batters he faced, one by strikeout. In game two he was the DH and went 0-for-2 with a walk. Papi was 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Fisher went 0-for-1 with two runs scored, a walk and an RBI.

After taking on top-ranked pitcher Tyler Beede on Friday, Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino went 2-for-9 with two singles between Saturday and Sunday against Vanderbilt. Through 11 games, he has a .385/.468/.564 slash line.

One player who might be of interest to the Pirates in the first round is prep outfielder Michael Gettys. Experts seem to be split on him, with some rating him as a possible top ten pick, while others say mid-late first round. He is a potential five-tool player with his speed and arm being plus tools already. Big League Futures has an excellent write-up on Gettys worth checking out. His team started their schedule Friday night and he went 2-for-3 at the plate and struck on 11 batters, while throwing a one-hitter. Last year, Gettys hit .470 with a 1.294 OPS. He also went 6-0, 0.00 with 63 strikeouts in 38 innings, but his future is as an outfielder. If he has more games like Friday night, he will be gone well before the Pirates pick. I have included a video below of Gettys. Check out his quick swing and  strong arm.

Catching Up With Former Pirates Picks

Starting with Pepperdine because they have two former Pirates draft picks in their starting rotation. On Saturday, Jackson McClelland had a rough outing after starting the year with two very good starts. Against Hawaii, he went 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out two batters. On Sunday, Aaron Brown picked up the win for Pepperdine with three runs allowed on six hits and two walks over 7.2 innings. Brown picked up nine strikeouts and also went 3-for-5 at the plate, with a home run and two runs scored. Brown is hitting .386/.417/.614 in 11 games. He also has 23 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.

Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler pitched a mid-week games against Western Kentucky this week and took the loss. He went six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, one walk and he struck out five batters. He is a sophomore this season.

Bryan Baker, the 40th round pick of the Pirates last year, made his first start on Sunday on the road against North Carolina and pitched well. His North Florida team lost, but Baker took a no-decision. The 6’5″ freshman went five innings, allowing two runs on three hits, three walks and he struck out one batter.

Another draft pick from last year that didn’t sign was Carson Cross from Connecticut. Unlike Baker, Cross was a college player that decided to return for his senior season after being taken in the 24th round. The 6’5″ righty will get another chance to get drafted next year because this year his season ended before it started. Cross had season-ending shoulder surgery and will be able to return for the 2015 season.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
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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