2011 Draft Prospects Rundown: 2/21

Here is a recap of how each of the top 2011 draft prospects did this weekend.  Click on their names to go to their tracker pages.

ANTHONY RENDON

If you were hoping for a big start to the 2011 season for Rendon, you didn’t get your wish this weekend.  Rendon combined to go 3-for-12 over the weekend, with all three hits going for singles.  One of the hits on Sunday was arguably an error on the center fielder, and none of them were overly impressive.  On Friday we ran a poll asking you to guess how many home runs Rendon would hit in the opening weekend.  Only 17.8% of voters predicted he would go without a home run.

Dejan Kovacevic was on hand for Rendon’s first two games.  You can check out his recaps below, plus a feature on Rendon:

-Game One Recap

-Game Two Recap

-Feature Article

The recaps include videos, and are on DK’s blog on the PG+ site.  The feature article is on the main PPG site.

While the opening weekend wasn’t inspiring, it’s certainly not enough to say that Rendon isn’t the top overall prospect.  Rendon is coming off a .394/.539/.801 season in 226 at-bats.  His performance this weekend is an incredibly small sample size when looking at his previous numbers.

Dejan raises concerns over Rendon’s ankle.  That’s definitely a concern, and the only thing that could hold Rendon back from being the top overall pick.  That’s something that will have to be judged over the long haul.  Dejan mentioned that the ankle looked fine, although like his numbers, it’s hard to make a final conclusion after one weekend.

It’s still early in the season, which means Rendon is the number one draft prospect.

GERRIT COLE

Cole had a strong start to the 2011 season, with an 11 strikeout, complete game shutout.

Rendon started off slow, but Cole had a nice debut.  Cole pitched a complete game shutout against San Francisco, allowing four hits, walking one, and striking out 11.  Six of his 11 strikeouts came in the last three innings.  The most impressive thing about that was that Cole hit 98 MPH on his next to last pitch of the game.  Cole threw 104 pitches, which means he was throwing 98 on pitch 103.  That’s very rare, and demonstrates how deep the top of this draft class is.

MATT PURKE

Purke had a decent outing against Kansas.  He pitched four shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out three.  Purke only faced 13 batters and threw 56 pitches.  TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle had the following quotes, via the TCU site:

On Purke leaving the game after the 4th inning:
“He didn’t throw all summer, he didn’t throw all fall. We knew he wasn’t going to go much over 70 pitches and I didn’t want to have to take him out in the middle of the inning. With the lead we had we knew we would be bringing in some freshmen later in the game and we felt it would be best to give Mitchell (Andrew) a clean inning to start. In the end, we didn’t want Matt (Purke) to labor any.”

On Purke’s repertoire:
“We want him to be a legit three pitch guy so they can put the ball in play more and reduce his pitch count. Strikeout pitcher’s have a tendency to have higher pitch counts because a lot of hitters can’t put the ball in play against them. With his change-up working and his fastball working more over the middle of the plate to get some early swings that will hopefully help us over the course of the season.”

Note that TCU was leading 8-0 when Purke was removed.

OTHER PROSPECTS

-George Springer, the UCONN outfielder who is rated the second best hitter in the draft, also got off to a slow start, going 2-for-12 with two walks and three strikeouts.  You have to wonder how much impact the new bats played on the offense this weekend.

-Catching up on a few 2008 Pirates’ draft picks who went un-signed and are draft eligible this year:

Zach Wilson, 3B: Drafted in the 26th round in 2008, and is the 37th best prospect in the draft this year.  In his opening weekend, he went 3-for-11 with a double and four runs.

Scott McGough, RHP: Drafted in the 46th round in 2008, and is the 47th best prospect in the draft this year.  McGough made two relief appearances, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings, with no walks and three strikeouts.

Drew Gagnon, LHP: Drafted in the 10th round in 2008, and is the 49th best prospect in the draft this year.  Gagnon pitched seven innings in his first start, allowing two runs on four hits, with three walks and six strikeouts.

-Catching up on the un-signed prep pitchers from the top 10 rounds in the 2010 draft:

Jason Hursh, 6th Round: Did not play.

Austin Kubitza, 7th Round: L, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Dace Kime, 8th Round: Did not play.

Zach Weiss, 10th Round: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Tim Williams

Author: 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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