2011 Draft Prospects Rundown: 3/22
Here is a recap of how each of the top 2011 draft prospects did this past week. Click on their names to go to their tracker pages.
Rendon went 3-for-13 this past week, with seven walks. He was dealt a big blow early in the week when Rice lost Jeremy Rathjen for the rest of the season. Rathjen was the only hitter in the Rice lineup, other than Rendon, who has been productive this year. Losing Rathjen will allow pitchers to pitch around Rendon, which we’ve already seen this season.
As for his injuries, he didn’t return to third base this past weekend, although MK Bower reports that he is on schedule to return to the field for the series opener against UCF this weekend. Joseph Duarte reports that Rice coach Wayne Graham is considering batting Rendon in the leadoff spot.
Jason Churchill wrote that it’s no lock that Rendon ends up in the top five picks. I find that hard to believe.
Cole’s start was postponed all weekend, pushed to Saturday, then to Sunday, and finally to Monday, all due to rain. Because of this, he only pitched two innings. In those two innings he allowed one hit, no runs, and struck out three. Ryan Rosenblatt mentions that Cole has now pitched 19.1 straight innings without getting any run support from the UCLA offense. Cole currently has a 1.67 ERA in 32.1 innings this year.
Cole has been moving up the ranks, and is gaining more steam as the top overall prospect in the draft. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus mentions had this summary of Cole
Cole is the best pitcher in the collegiate ranks, and capable of pitching in a major-league rotation as of yesterday. He wears his well-above-average arsenal well, with the delivery and mechanics to log heavy innings while maintaining his stuff; Cole can miss bats with all four of his pitches. The day Cole enters the professional ranks is the day he becomes the best pitching prospect in baseball, and given the overall maturity of his arsenal, his stay in the minors should be very brief. OFP: 68; future ace at the major league level.
It’s getting to the point where the main reason to not take Cole is the risk that comes with college pitchers. However, Cole hasn’t been over-used this year, throwing around 100 or fewer pitches in each of his starts, including complete games of 104 and 101 pitches.
I mentioned in my weekend preview on Friday that Purke is out of the race for the number one pick. The reason for this is simple: Cole and Rendon have pulled away from everyone else, and Purke’s injuries this year put him behind in that race. Purke is a good pitcher, but if you’re taking a college arm, Cole is clearly the top guy. It would be hard to make the argument for Purke over Cole at this point, especially with reviews of Cole like the one above.
Purke did have a good start on Saturday, with 5.1 innings, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits, with no walks and eleven strikeouts.
-Catching up on a few 2008 Pirates’ draft picks who went un-signed and are draft eligible this year:
Zach Wilson, 3B, Arizona State: Drafted in the 26th round in 2008, and is the 37th best prospect in the draft this year. Wilson is hitting for a /307/.368/.467 line in 75 at-bats, which is down from his .327/.394/.545 line in 55 at-bats at the start of last week.
Drew Gagnon, LHP, Long Beach State: Drafted in the 10th round in 2008, and is the 49th best prospect in the draft this year. Gagnon had his worst outing of the year, pitching five innings, and allowing four runs on six hits, with four walks and six strikeouts.
-Catching up on an un-signed prep pitchers from the 2010 draft:
Austin Kubitza, 7th Round, Rice: Kubitza had another strong outing, pitching eight innings, allowing one unearned run on eight hits, with two walks and ten strikeouts.