Today we have some links of note from the last few days, dealing with the first week of the college season. We also have some action from the first three days of this week. The draft begins on June 8th and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the 19th and 32nd overall picks.
Pacific right fielder Gio Brusa went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored on Monday against Washington. You can check out our college hitters preview for more on Brusa and the other players listed below.
On Wednesday, D.J. Stewart from Florida State went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored in his team’s 5-3 loss to Jacksonville. He is 6-for-12 with seven walks in his first four games. The starting pitcher for FSU was Bryant Holtmann, who was the 37th round draft pick of the Pirates last year. He lasted just three innings and had trouble throwing strikes. Holtmann gave up three runs(two earned) on four hits and two walks.
Florida shortstop Richie Martin went 1-for-4 with a single and a sacrifice fly on Wednesday against South Florida. He scored twice and drove in two runs. Martin committed his first error of the season.
Shortstop Alex Bregman from LSU went 2-for-5, with a single, a double and a hit-by-pitch. He drove in one run and scored once in a 6-3 loss to Nicholls State. He went 2-for-12 during his opening weekend.
If you missed it from Monday, we posted video of Josh Staumont hitting 100 MPH and prep lefty Justin Hooper facing some top HS talent.
Baseball America has video and a scouting report on Kyle Cody, a righty out of Kentucky. Cody is often ranked in the Pirates range for their first pick, so he is one to follow closely. If he drops off a little, he could then become a possibility for their second pick.
Also from Baseball America, the stats recap from the first week, along with some notes on a few of the top pitchers. The stats are for the top-rated draft-eligible players and run through Sunday.
For ESPN Insiders, Chris Crawford has notes from the first week, including Vanderbilt’s terrific pitching staff, Nate Kirby’s first start, and two highly rated shortstops from the SEC. There are also some interesting notes on Josh Staumont and his draft stock.
Perfect Game has a video for Louisville’s Kyle Funkhouser, as well as stats for their top-rated college players in the draft. Similar to what Baseball America has, but you can see the differences in the rankings between the two sources.
Dan Kirby from Through The Fence Baseball has ten college players to watch after they each had a strong first week. As a side note, Kirby was very high on Connor Joe last year and mentioned him often when everyone else had him rated lower.
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.
I would love for us to draft Dansby Swanson on merit of just an amazing name.
Also, Riley Moore, Arizona’s catcher, might be around in rounds 3-5 at least, based on what I’ve read about projected draft prospect rankings, and if he is, I would love for the Bucs to draft him. One reason is that I moved to Tucson at the start of his collegiate career and immediately latched onto the UA baseball team, and so I’m a bit of a fan of his. The other is that I just see a lot of great things in his game: a strong, accurate arm, reasonable defensive ability beyond that, a good eye and good contact rate with the ability to hit to all fields, and now some signs of power. He’s lanky, so he could fill out and add power in a couple years in the minors, but he hit two homers against Rice at a very large Hi Corbett Field (one of them was a monster shot, too), and has been driving the ball more this year than I remember at any other time in his career.
I’m obviously no professional scout, but I think he’s a really interesting guy, and I could see him turning into a passable Major League starting catcher, but I’m confident he’ll at least be a useful backup.
Holtmann is an interesting pitcher to watch, though not so much as a prospect. He is already 22 and has had two major arm injuries, so I was surprised he didn’t sign with the Pirates. He has good size, a lefty and throws low-90’s, hitting 94 MPH, so there is potential, but he is the mid-week starter(at least for now) which is not a good sign, plus he didn’t pitch well at all and these mid-week games are usually much easier opponents than the weekend games. He will probably get drafted again due to size/lefty/velocity, but as a senior sign that struggled, he will be extremely lucky to get a five-figure bonus and he’s risking a lot with two major arm injuries and a college coach deciding his workload.