2011 Draft Prospects Rundown: 5/24

Cole allowed one run in seven innings this past weekend.

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.

ANTHONY RENDON

Rendon went 5-for-15 this past week, walking four times.  His overall stats didn’t change much, as he is currently hitting for a .323/.526/.516 line in 186 at-bats.  On the season he has walked 76 times, which is 11 more than last season, all in 29 fewer plate appearances.

The regular season for Rendon and Rice is now over, although the Conference-USA tournament begins tomorrow.

GERRIT COLE

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start last week, pitching seven innings this time around, allowing a run on six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts.  Cole needed 132 pitches to get through seven innings.  That’s the most pitches he’s thrown all year, and the second highest pitch per inning ratio.  As for the start, it was only the second strong outing for him in his last six starts.  The other strong outing (one run in 7.1 innings) took 125 pitches.  On the surface, it doesn’t seem like he’s as dominant as he was early in the year.  He’s either getting hit hard, or he’s needing 125+ pitches to get through 7 innings.

His fastball is still in the upper 90s, although there have been some reports that he’s elevating it.  His change-up has been the biggest change this year, giving him a lot of success early in the season.  One has to wonder if the improvement his change saw early in the year is still there.

DANNY HULTZEN

Hultzen allowed two runs on four hits in 7.2 innings this past weekend, with two walks and ten strikeouts.  Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette had a great feature on Hultzen.

OTHER PROSPECTS

-There were reports last week that Dylan Bundy told the Pirates not to draft him, citing their resistance to long toss.  As I pointed out, the Pirates don’t restrict pitchers from throwing from a distance greater than 120 feet.  They have also denied that Bundy told them not to draft him.

-Matt Purke returned to the mound on Thursday, throwing three shutout innings, allowing a walk and a hit, and striking out four.  Purke missed just over a month with a shoulder injury.  His return makes it very unlikely that he will fall to the Pirates in the second round.  He’s also no longer a candidate for the top overall pick, due to injury concerns, and a lot of candidates with more talent.

-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 was the 37th best prospect in the draft coming in to the year.  Wilson is hitting for a .274/.333/.423 line in 201 at-bats, which is up from his .259/.324/.402 line in 189 at-bats from the start of last week.

Drew Gagnon, LHP, Long Beach State: Drafted in the 10th round in 2008, and was the 49th best prospect in the draft coming in to the year.  Gagnon allowed two runs on four hits in 7.1 innings, with four walks and four strikeouts.

-Catching up on an un-signed prep pitchers from the 2010 draft:

Austin Kubitza, 7th Round, Rice: Kubitza pitched 8.1 shutout innings, allowing five hits, one walk, and striking out eight.

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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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