2011 Draft Prospects Rundown: 3/29
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 returned to third base on Friday, then went back to the designated hitter role for the final two games of the series against UCF. Rendon went a combined 4-for-9 at the plate this weekend, with five walks. On Friday he walked in all four plate appearances, with one stolen base. On Saturday he went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk. He had a good day at the plate on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a double, a run, and a stolen base.
On the season, Rendon is walking in 25.4% of his plate appearances. That’s up from his 21.9% mark last year. His power is way down, with a .564 SLG, and a 31.33 AB/HR ratio. That could be in part due to the lack of pitches he is getting to hit. He’s being pitched around, getting 16 walks in his last nine games. In 11 of his 27 games this year he has drawn multiple walks, and he has walked at least once in 18 of his 27 games.
Cole had his worst start of the year on Friday, going 6.2 innings, and allowing four runs on seven hits, with three walks, seven strikeouts and two homers. On Saturday I wrote about the big problem with Cole, and that was his pitch count. He threw 116 pitches in his 6.2 innings.
There were a few comments about how Cole isn’t being abused. One outing isn’t really that bad, but the point is that we still have two full months before the draft, giving Cole 8-10 starts. So far it’s been easy to forget the issue of high pitch counts for college pitchers, since Cole hasn’t had any high pitch count issues until this start. As I pointed out in the article, with the UCLA offense struggling, there’s more of a chance of this happening more often going forward.
As for the pitch counts, the biggest issue is the number of pitches in relation to the innings pitched. Throwing 116 pitches in nine innings isn’t a problem. Throwing 116 pitches in 6.2 innings is more of an issue, as it crams that workload in to fewer innings. As of right now, it’s an issue to watch, but one start doesn’t put Cole at a huge injury risk.
-Matt Purke pitched four innings against Houston, allowing two runs on four hits, with two walks and five 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 .284/.343/.442 line in 95 at-bats, which is down from his .307/.368/.467 line in 75 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 rebounded from last week, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts.
-Catching up on an un-signed prep pitchers from the 2010 draft:
Austin Kubitza, 7th Round, Rice: Kubitza had a decent outing this weekend, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits in 6.1 innings. He did struggle with his control, allowing five walks and striking out four.