2010 Draft Prospects Rundown 3/15

Deck McGuire will be coming to UVA at the beginning of April.  I’m seriously considering going, since that’s not far from where I live, and since I can get a better idea of McGuire’s talent by seeing him in person.  Just an FYI.  I’ll probably have a decision by next week.  I might try to do a video recap, which would give everyone a view of McGuire live in action.
Here is a recap of how each player did this weekend.  You can click on their name to go to their draft tracker.
Harper followed up his strong weekend from last week with another good weekend, although it wasn’t without controversy.  In a double header on Friday night, Harper hit a long home run towards the end of game two.  Rather than run around the bases, Harper admired the homer, drawing the ire from the opposing team, and leading to the next CSN batter getting hit with a pitch.
Then, on Saturday, again in game two, Harper homered in his first at-bat, and not only rounded the bases at a slow pace, but also taunted the opposing dugout on his way to first.  He was warned by the umpire, but after the half inning he continued bowing towards the opposing dugout from right field, and was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. (Thanks to 81omar at OBN for the report from Sunday).
Harper is putting up excellent numbers, with a .413/.510/.850 line, and a homer every 10 at-bats.  However, he is only 17, and while his behavior isn’t excused for that, it is one of the downsides of giving a 17-year old kid this much hype.  Maybe this was an isolated incident with one team.  We’ve seen how a series in the majors can get out of hand (Dave Kerwin, anyone?), so it’s not out of the question that this was a mini-rivalry in a weekend series.  Then again, if this continues from Harper, it will look less like an isolated incident, and more like a concern with Harper’s makeup.
Ranaudo missed his third straight start with his elbow injury.  No word on whether he will return this weekend.  He threw today and had no problems, but the team is waiting to see how he feels tomorrow, according to Kendall Rogers of Yahoo Sports.
Colon continued his struggles last week, going 0-for-7 in the Tuesday and Thursday games, and extending his slump to a 1-for-26 streak.  Colon turned things around this weekend, going 6-for-12 with a walk, and getting hit by two pitches.  Despite the average, Colon still isn’t hitting well.  Almost every ball he’s been hitting the past few weeks has been either a groundout, a fielder’s choice, or a single.  In fact, Colon has just 14 hits on the year, and of those 14 hits, only four went for extra bases.
Pomeranz had another strong outing, going 6.1 innings and allowing one run on three hits, with 12 strikeouts and 3 walks.  Pomeranz has allowed only one earned run in each of his four starts, and has a 40:3 K/BB ratio in 23.1 innings pitched this season.  One area of concern is his home run total.  Pomeranz has allowed a homer in each of the last three games, giving him a 1.2 HR/9 ratio on the season.  That’s similar to his 1.3 HR/9 ratio in 2008.  Pomeranz improved to 0.7 HR/9 in 2009, but seems to have slipped back to his 2008 form in the early games this season.  Pomeranz does have a .198 BAA, a 15.4 K/9, and a 5.7 K/BB, so the homers aren’t too much of a concern.  Just one of the few weaknesses he has right now.
McGuire put up another very strong outing, pitching a complete game against Wake Forest, with one run on three hits, eight strikeouts, and two walks.  McGuire needed just 106 pitches to go the complete nine innings.  Here’s a testament to McGuire’s season so far: this performance actually raised his ERA.  Coming in to the game, McGuire had a 0.82 ERA.  Following the game, his ERA sits at 0.87.  McGuire’s WHIP is at 0.84, and was actually higher than his ERA before the game.  McGuire has a 33:5 K/BB ratio in 31 innings this year, with a .196 BAA.  Not as impressive as Pomeranz, but he has yet to allow a homer, and his ratios are extremely low.  Right now I’m not sure who I’d take between the two, and if Harper goes first, I think one of these two is the best current choice for the second overall pick.
Brentz had a big week, going 7-for-20 with four homers, raising his season line to .369/.453/.708.  Brentz is hitting for a .370/.420/.783 line in 46 at-bats in

the month of March, with six homers in his last eight games.  He also has a 14 game hitting streak going, with Opening Day being the only game he didn’t get a hit this year.  One downside is that Brentz is striking out more than usual.  Last year he struck out just 14% of the time.  This year he’s up to 26%, which is worse than his freshman year.  He went 7-for-20 last week, but struck out in 8 of his remaining 13 at-bats, including four strikeouts on Friday.

LeVon Washington - Washington has really been heating up in the month of March.  He went 4-for-6 this weekend, with two doubles and a home run, his second of the season.  Washington is hitting for a .391/.517/.739 line in the month of March, and may be getting back on the radar as a sleeper pick for the top of the first round.  Right now I’d rank him higher than Christian Colon, and maybe even higher than Bryce Brentz.  I may be adding a tracker for Washington this week.
James Taillon - Taillon struggled in his start last Thursday, getting knocked around for six runs on eight hits, including a three run homer.  He made it to the sixth inning, and struck out 11, while walking only 2 batters.  Taillon remains dominant, and I’d chalk this outing up to an off-day.  By my unofficial count, Taillon has a 15.8 K/9, a 7.0 K/BB, and a 1.06 WHIP this season.  That’s enough to say that one poor outing is out of character.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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