Baseball America has posted their final update on their top 500 draft prospects list and some shuffling at the top has UNLV pitcher Erick Fedde ranked 24th overall. There will be more mock drafts between now and the start of the draft on Thursday night, but this is how they believe the players rank right now.
Fedde has huge potential, but he got injured in early May and needed Tommy John surgery. Before that, he was mentioned as a possible top ten pick, usually falling in the 10-15 range. With the extra pick at the top of the draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates might gamble on Fedde returning to form. If he truly is the best player available when their pick comes up, you could see the Pirates going for the upside of a projectable 6’4″ right-handed pitcher that hit 97 MPH, with strong command and good secondary offerings.
Fedde announced today on Twitter that the surgery was “a complete success”, so there is a bit of good news for his future.
In the 39th spot, which is the draft pick the Pirates picked up in the Bryan Morris deal, BA has Jack Flaherty, a two-way prep player out of California. You can read a scouting report and view a video of Flaherty here.
Monday College Recap
Yesterday, we posted a new mock draft from Jim Callis, which also had Sunday’s results from the NCAA Regional Tournament. There were a couple late games of note on Monday. The road to the College World Series doesn’t start up again until Friday, so Monday was the last chance to see these players in action before the draft starts.
Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber finished his season on a strong note, going 3-for-4 with his 16th double and 14 homer. He has been connected to the Pirates, though it seems like he is ranked a little higher now. His teammate, first baseman Sam Travis, went 1-for-5 with a single in the loss to Stanford. He will probably go in the second round. Third baseman Alex Blandino has been mentioned just as often as Schwarber to the Pirates. The Stanford star will continue on in the tournament. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI on Monday.
UC Irvine eliminated Oregon State on Monday, ending the season for outfielders Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis. Conforto is going somewhere in the top half of the first round most likely, while Davis should get consideration sometime in the second round. Conforto went 0-for-2 with two walks in his final game. Davis went 0-for-4
UC Irvine third baseman Taylor Sparks is usually rated around the same place as Davis. He will have a chance to continue to play after going 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored in the win.
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.
“you could see the Pirates going for the upside of a projectable 6’4″ right-handed pitcher that hit 97 MPH, with strong command and good secondary offerings.” … and who has already gotten TJ surgery out of the way.
I’m surprised at Gatewood at #21 and Gillaspie at #29 .
In regards to Nick Howard and Nick Burdi – aren’t they both primarily considered closer prospects? If so, how does their stuff/velocity compare and why do you think they have Howard ranked a lot higher than Burdi?
There is not a big difference between 25 and 36.
Howard reminds me a bit of John Smoltz. If Smoltz went to college at Michigan State he probably would have been an everyday player because he’s a good athlete. That’s Howard. Once he gets to the pros he should improve and develop into a quality starter.
Based on previous years we can expect about 10-20 players from this draft to develop into solid ML regulars. For example the 2004 draft yielded Pence, Pedroia, Zobrist, Suzuki, Ianetta, Lind, Desmond, Seth Smith, S. Drew, Billy Butler, Neil Walker, Dexter Fowler, Will Venable, Mark Reynolds, and Lorenzo Cain. Not all stars but roughly a dozen quality major leaguers.
If I had to guess the 12 hitters most likely to succeed I’d go with
If the Pirates don’t pick a hitter in round 1 I’d like to see them go with RHP Luis Ortiz or Howard.
Also, it would be nice to add a quality lefty such as Matthew Imhof or Alex Verdugo.