A mid-week recap that includes a big day from a top college bat, and two highly-rated college pitchers return to action. The draft begins on June 8th and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the 19th and 32nd overall picks. It was announced last Thursday that the Pirates will have the 11th highest draft bonus pool.
Vanderbilt righty Walker Buehler returned to action on Tuesday. He threw two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. He struck out two and walked two, while throwing a total of 31 pitches. It was the first appearance for Buehler, who missed the first three weekends of the season with elbow soreness. Three years after the Pirates took him in the 14th round out of high school, he is now considered a mid-first round pick.
Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson should go within 5-10 picks of Buehler in the draft. He hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday, a three-run shot. Despite the homer, he ended the game with a 1-for-6 performance, as his team won 9-8 in 12 innings.
TCU had their weekend schedule wiped out due to weather, which allowed two of their top pitchers to go on Tuesday against 10th ranked Rice. Alex Young missed his weekend start, so he got in two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks, while striking out three batters. Closer Riley Ferrell retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save. He needed just seven pitches(all strikes) to get two strikeouts and a ground out back to the mound.
On Tuesday, Florida State outfielder D.J. Stewart went 2-for-3, connecting on two homers in a 24-1 win over South Florida. Those two home runs gave him five on the season. On Wednesday, he went 1-for-4 with a single, HBP and two strikeouts. Stewart is hitting .350/.567/.800 in 13 games.
Florida shortstop Richie Martin went 0-for-3 with a walk in his team’s 4-3 loss to UCF on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Florida won 10-2 over UCF and Martin went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI single. He is hitting .286/.439/.381 in 13 games.
Links and Notes
**Baseball America has stats from week three of the college season, along with some notes on Michael Matuella making his return to the mound for Duke on Sunday. Matuella threw just 23 pitches, but it was significant to see him return after forearm tightness cost him two starts. Hudson Belinsky was there covering the game for BA and has a recap and footage of every pitch.
**Christopher Crawford has a weekend recap for ESPN Insider(subscription required). He takes a look at Matuella, Dillon Tate from UC Santa Barbara, and two shortstops and their chance to stick at the position. Scouts believe that Dansby Swanson has the ability to stay there in the pros, while LSU’s Alex Bregman may not. Despite the questions, a scout Crawford talked to said that his bat will play well wherever he ends up on the field.
Crawford also mentions the debut of prep pitcher Kolby Allard, as high school teams slowly begin to start their baseball season. Allard pitched three shutout innings, struck out seven batters and was throwing 91-93 MPH, touching 94. Crawford called his breaking ball a quality pitch with hard, downward spin. You can read more about Allard in our prep pitcher season preview.
**Dan Kirby from Through The Fence Baseball has his weekly recap of ten college players on the move in the draft. Worth checking out because he has five names that haven’t been mentioned here yet. Kirby talked often about Connor Joe last year, while most sources had him rated lower.
**Wilson Karaman from Minor League Ball has a great recap of Dillon Tate’s start, along with multiple videos. While it is still very early, Tate is pitching himself into a top five spot in the draft. There is also a video of Kolby Allard and two other draft picks of note. Terrific stuff here.