Draft Prospect Watch: New Mock Draft Has Pirates Taking Alex Blandino

Some quick college and high school notes from the last three days, which includes a possible first round pick that will miss at least six weeks and another that looked great in a complete game win. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just under ten weeks away. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 24th pick in the first round this year. They also picked 65th overall in the second round and 74th, which is their competitive balance pick. For more information on the top players in this draft class, check out our four-part draft preview.  2014-Draft

Indiana’s catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Sam Travis, each drove in two runs in an 8-2 win over Ohio State on Sunday. Schwarber hit his fourth homer. That was the first game of a doubleheader.  Travis had four hits in game two, all singles. Schwarber had two hits and scored a run.

On Tuesday night, Dylan Davis and Michael Conforto each had three hits in a 9-6 win over Portland. The Oregon State outfielders each hit a double and they combined for four runs and four RBIs.

NC State took on Campbell on Tuesday and won 9-2 in 12 innings. Shortstop Trea Turner went 1-for-5 with a walk. His one hit was a big one, a bases clearing triple in the 12th inning. Early in the year, Turner was ranked as the top college bat, but some questions about his power and his defense have dropped his draft stock for some people. He has recently started hitting for power, with eight of his last 12 hits going for extra-bases. In 27 games, he has a .309/.381/.473 slash line. Turner was originally drafted out of high school in 2011 by the Pirates.

On Tuesday, UC Irvine took on Pepperdine. UC Irvine third baseman Taylor Sparks went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk. Sparks played the game at shortstop and turned two double plays. The homer was his fourth of the season. Pepperdine center fielder Aaron Brown went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored. The 2011 draft pick of the Pirates allowed one run over 8.1 innings on Sunday against Portland. He had eight strikeouts. On Saturday, Pepperdine’s Jackson McClelland threw seven shutout innings against Portland. He gave up four hits and struck out six batters. McClelland was drafted by the Pirates in 2012.

News and Notes

On Sunday, we wrapped up the National High School Invitational, which involved some of the best prep players in the country. Also included in the link is a new mock draft and scouting report/video on Jack Flaherty, who went to the Pirates in the mock draft.

Baseball America posted stats for the top college players in the draft, as well as a recap of some of the better players.

Clint Longenecker provided a live game report and video for prep righty Grant Holmes, who pitched a complete game and racked up 16 strikeouts.

Dylan Cease, who looked like a possibility for a mid-first round pick, will miss at least the next six weeks and he could need Tommy John surgery. For now, he is going with rehab in hopes of being able to pitch again before the draft.

On Monday, MLB Draft Insider posted their second mock draft. Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino went to the Pirates. He is hitting .324/.414/.473 in 21 games this year. Blandino went 0-for-2 on Sunday against Oregon, leaving the game early with Stanford down 8-1 through five innings. Stanford’s Tuesday game against California was rained out. You can read more about Blandino in our college hitters draft preview.

Dan Kirby posted his weekly list of ten college players on the rise. Inside, Kirby mentions Dylan Davis, Sam Travis and Pirates unsigned pick from 2013, Jake Stinnett.

For ESPN Insiders, Chris Crawford posted updates on college bats heating up. Among the names included are Michael Conforto and Kyle Schwarber.

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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I want the Pirates to draft CornFritos…just because.

Leefoo Rug Bug

I think we should make some sort of package deal and move up in the draft!

Oh wait….

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