2010 Draft Prospects Rundown 5/31

The 2010 MLB Draft is just one week away, and the first round is starting to shape up.  There is nothing concrete with the Pirates, although the consensus is that they will take prep shortstop Manny Machado, a Scott Boras client.  Here is a rundown of each player I’ve been tracking, including a close look at some of the top talents for the second overall pick:

Harper played in the first two games of the Junior College World Series Tournament, combining to go 3-for-6 with six runs, two steals, and one RBI.  Southern Nevada plays their next game tomorrow.  It’s all but a lock that Harper will be selected by the Nationals, especially with news that the Nationals have already decided on their pick.  Harper seems like the only logical choice if the Nats have locked down their selection this soon.


Several mock drafts have the Pirates taking Machado in next week’s draft.  Jonathan Mayo has the following analysis in his mock draft:

“Switching things up a bit for this week, though the Pirates have certainly not made up their minds and they could still take Jameson Taillon. It could be a game-time decision between Machado and Taillon.”

Keith Law agrees on Machado, but thinks the decision will be between Machado and another pitcher:

“Still possible they take Drew Pomeranz, but the odds of them taking Jameson Taillon remain slim.”

Jim Callis of Baseball America also has Machado, saying the Pirates will take the best available player:

“Pomeranz seemed to be sliding out of Pittsburgh’s plans before reversing course at the SEC tournament. Though the Pirates wanted a college pitcher and stuck to slot with the No. 4 pick a year ago, the belief is that they’ll take the best player available at No. 2 and pay to sign him. That debate would be between Taillon and Machado.”

Frankie Piliere of AOL FanHouse has Machado as the pick, and thinks talks of a pre-draft deal might exist:

“Harper is a lock at No. 1, and while Machado isn’t nearly to that point yet, he’s becoming the heavy favorite here. They may have even begun discussing a deal, according to sources. A Scott Boras client, Machado has also pulled out of a key pre-draft event, the Florida High School Classic, something he’d clearly benefit from attending if his status wasn’t already solidified. Pomeranz could push his way back into the picture here with a knockout SEC Tournament performance.”

I think a pre-draft deal is impossible with Boras representing Machado.  Boras never signs early, unless the drafting team meets his lofty price demands, and there’s no reason the Pirates should do that.  With Machado being a high school talent, there’s no incentive for either side to sign early.  Machado won’t be in the majors until 2015 at the earliest, and a few months won’t help speed that process along.

It seems very unlikely that the Pirates will take Taillon.  I think a lot of that stems from their avoidance of prep arms in the 2009 draft, opting to go with several talented arms in the later rounds, rather than spending a lot on one player in the first round.  I like Taillon over Machado, but with all of the risks involved with pitchers, and especially high school pitchers, I could respect a similar approach as the 2009 draft, and that’s mostly because neither Taillon or Machado stand out as a “Dustin Ackley” type pick at number two.
There’s still some rumblings that Pomeranz could be the pick for the Pirates.  Pomeranz pitched seven shutout innings this past week, allowing six hits, one walk, and striking out seven.  His velocity is back up to 93, which adds some value.  Pomeranz will be in the majors before Taillon or Machado, but the Pirates need to go for a better talent, which would be Machado or Taillon.
Anthony Ranaudo – Ranaudo had a busy weekend.  After moving to the bullpen last week, with 2.1 shutout innings in two appearances, Ranaudo returned to the starting rotation.  Ranaudo started on Wednesday, allowing five runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.  However, Ranaudo returned a few days later, pitching three no-hit innings, with two walks and five strikeouts.  The outing was impressive, but the combination of Ranaudo’s arm injury earlier this season, and his usage in the last week (bullpen, rotation, then three innings in relief a few days later) raises some concerns.  I don’t even think I’d want the Pirates to take him if he fell to them in the second round.  He seems like a major surgery waiting to happen, and with Scott Boras as his agent, he would be likely to re-enter the 2011 draft if he doesn’t receive top 10 money.
Bryce Brentz – Brentz had a rough week, going 1-for-10 with two walks and three strikeouts.

Christian Colon – Colon went 6-for-16 this weekend, with just one extra base hit, a double.

Deck McGuire – <

/b>McGuire struggled again, pitching six innings, and allowing four runs on three hits, with four walks and seven strikeouts.  McGuire allowed two homers, which has been his biggest issue this year.  McGuire has allowed ten homers in 58.2 innings in the last two months.

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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.

Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 5/31/10

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