Rounds 36-40: Pirates Take Five Position Players
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.