Rounds 36-40: Pirates Take Five Position Players

The 39th round pick Ravnaas was the top hitter for Georgetown in 2011.

The Pittsburgh Pirates loaded up on position players, taking five in a row in rounds 36-40.  Nine of the ten picks on day three so far have been position players, with 32nd round pick David Jagoditsh being the only pitcher.  Some of these guys are organizational depth, although a few are college sophomores which means there’s no guarantee they sign this late in the draft.

Isaac Ballou, CF, 36th Round

Ballou was rated as the 14th best prospect in the Mid-Atlantic by Baseball America, although the class is very weak.  He has good speed, although he hasn’t hit for much power.  He was considered a raw, toolsy player out of high school. He’s draft eligible as a sophomore, so there’s no guarantee he signs.

Rodarrick Jones, LF, 37th Round

Baseball America chose Jones as the #3 prospect in the New York Collegiate League in the summer of 2009, following his strong season at the University of New Orleans.  He’s also a football standout and is athletic with good speed.  His hitting fell off in 2010, though, and he transferred to Southern University.  He was on the team’s roster but didn’t play, possibly due to ineligibility.  He’s obviously very toolsy, but also obviously has some significant holes in his swing.  Given the circumstances, there’s probably a good chance of him signing.  If he does, he’ll be a project.

Douglas Crumlich, SS, 38th Round

Crumlich, who goes by D.J., was the 63rd best prospect out of Southern California.  He has good hands and a strong arm on defense, although he lacks range, which means he probably profiles best as a second baseman or utility infielder.  He’s not a good runner, but does have good hitting skills.  He lacks power, but displays good plate patience, with a high walk rare and low strikeout numbers.

Rand Ravnaas, LF, 39th Round

Ravnaas is the #9 prospect in a weak Mid-Atlantic class this year.  He was named to the All-Big East First Team, and led Georgetown with a .352 average, as well as hits (75), doubles (18), slugging (.545), on-base percentage (.399), and stolen bases (26). He was second in Big East in steals.  He’s shown good hitting abilities the last two years, with great plate patience and a little bit of pop in his bat.  He could always return to Georgetown for his senior year, so there’s no guarantee he signs.  He will be playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League this summer, so the Pirates will be able to track his progress.

Raphael Rhymes, 2B, 40th Round

Rhymes transferred to LSU in 2011 from LSU-Eunice.  While with LSU-E, he put up some impressive numbers, with 12 homers, 15 stolen bases, and an impressive 9:20 K/BB ratio in 238 at-bats.  With LSU he didn’t see the same power, although he did manage a .360 batting average, which was second best among LSU starters, falling only behind top prospect Mikie Mahtook.  Rhymes is a sophomore, so he would be a tough sign, since he can re-enter the draft two more times.

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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.

Rounds 31-35: Two Interesting Position Players

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Rounds 41-45: Hibbing Leads the Group

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