2010 Draft Prospects Rundown 4/19

Here is a recap of how each player did this weekend.  You can click on their name to go to their draft tracker.

There has been some talk this past week that the Washington Nationals have settled on taking Harper with the first overall pick.  The report came from MASN’s Ben Goessling, although Nationals Director of Amateur Scouting Kris Kline denied that anything was etched in stone.  It would be hard to imagine the Nationals passing up on Harper, unless they decided to go with Jameson Taillon instead, due to money concerns with Harper.

As for Harper, he struggled this weekend, going 3-for-14.  However, two of his hits were home runs.  He is now hitting for a .401/.500/.859 line, with a homer every 8.35 at-bats.  That’s pretty amazing.  He’s reached base exactly once out of every two plate appearances this season.

JAMESON TAILLON

I added a Taillon tracker this past week with some stats I was able to piece together (I’m pretty sure it’s the only place online where you can find such information).  Taillon has been amazing lately, allowing just one run and seven hits in his last four starts, spanning 26 innings.  Taillon has 56 strikeouts in that time span.  This past week he pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out ten.  He’s my number one choice right now for the best available player at number two if Harper is gone.

Ranaudo had some success this weekend, going six innings and allowing three runs on five hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts.  Ranaudo hasn’t been dominant in his return from his elbow injury this season.  In 16 innings he has a 16:8 K/BB ratio, and a 3.94 ERA, with a 1.31 WHIP.  The strikeouts aren’t bad, but the walks are too high, and the ERA is far from what you’d expect from Ranaudo at the start of the year.  Ranaudo seems to finally be getting stretched out, so maybe we’ll start to see him revert back to 2008 form in the next few weeks.
Colon had another big weekend, going 6-for-13 with three homers.  Colon is on fire in the month of April, hitting for a .400/.451/.800 line, with a 9.0 AB/HR ratio in 45 at-bats.  Colon has hit 10 of his 11 homers this season in the last month in 74 at-bats.  Even better, he has a 11:15 K/BB ratio this season, showing great plate patience.  Colon is re-emerging as an option for the Pirates’ pick at number two, especially if Harper is gone and they don’t want to take a prep pitcher with a high pick.
Pomeranz continues to dominate, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing two hits, four walks, and striking out ten.  In 58.2 innings this season, Pomeranz has a 90:24 K/BB ratio, with a .165 BAA and a 0.6 HR/9 ratio.  Right now he stands as the top college pitching option in the draft.
McGuire continues to struggle, allowing six runs on seven hits in seven innings, with a walk, eight strikeouts, and two homers allowed against Clemson.  His recent struggles might have taken him out of contention for the number two overall pick.  Pomeranz is the better option for the college pitcher route, and several other players like Christian Colon, Jameson Taillon, and Manny Machado have emerged as better options than McGuire.
Brentz returned to action this past weekend, going 4-for-14 with two homers.  I don’t think he has much of a chance of being taken by the Pirates, or even in the top ten picks.
BONUS PROSPECTS
LeVon Washington - Washington went 7-for-16 this past weekend, with a homer and five walks.  Washington currently has a nine game hitting streak, and has been amazing in the month of April.  In 36 at-bats this month, he is hitting for a .472/.568/.889 line, with a homer every 9 at-bats.  He also has a favorable K/BB ratio, with a 18:23 ratio in 116 at-bats this season.
Manny Machado - I haven’t mentioned Machado much in this feature in the previous weeks, and there’s a good reason for that.  There isn’t much information available.  Sure, there’s plenty of analysis, but it’s been hard to find numbers for him.  As for the analysis, this report from Keith Law is pretty consistent with everything else I’ve read on Machado:
Manny Machado is going to get the Alex Rodriguez comparison — tall, athletic, right-handed-hitting Latino shortstop from a Miami-area high school — but A-Rod Lite is more apt, since he’s not preternaturally gifted as a hitter as A-Rod was.

Machado can hit, though, with strong, quick wrists, good rotation, and excellent extension through his swing; he does wrap his bat briefly but clears it as he loads, making it something of a red herring. It’s line-drive power now, but he’s going to have more power down the road as he gets stronger.

Machado has a 70 arm and good hands at shortstop; there’s some sentiment that he’ll outgrow the position, as he’s going to fill out significantly over the next 10 years, but he has the tools to be a plus defender there and I imagine it’ll take a lot to convince the team that drafts him to move him to third base. He will need help with his footwork and needs to quiet down his game, as he has the habit of many talented teenagers of trying to make the flashy play. He’d be a top-five talent in just about any draft year as a potential star on both sides of the ball. After Bryce Harper he’s the best player in this year’s draft pool in my eyes. He’s committed to Florida International but should never put on that uniform.

Neal Huntington scouted Machado this past week.  While that doesn’t mean Machado will be the pick, it certainly says a lot since it was Huntington getting the look at Machado, rather than just a regular scout.  I really like Taillon, but I could understand avoiding a high school arm, especially with the risks involved with pitchers, much less high school pitchers.  I like Christian Colon, but I’d probably go with Machado over Colon, just because of the upside.  I’d probably rate Machado third, right behind Harper and Taillon.

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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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