Draft Prospect Watch: Bryant Hits First Homer
On the last day of the second weekend of College baseball, the top two third baseman in the draft take center stage. We also catch up with some recent former Pirates draft picks that decided to go to college. For a primer of the Draft Prospect Watch, check out the draft preview posted here and also the recap of the first week’s action here. Just a reminder, the Pirates pick #9 and #14 in this year’s June amateur draft, so for the duration of the college season, leading up to draft day, we are following the players daily that are ranked in that range.
San Diego’s third baseman Kris Bryant hit his first home run of the season today. He started off with a first inning walk, then hit a three-run homer during an eight run second inning for San Diego. Bryant walked again in the third, then walked and scored a run in the sixth. He grounded out in the seventh inning before being replaced on defense in the top of the eighth. He was playing right field in today’s game. Bryant homered nine times as a freshman and 14 times last year.
Third baseman Colin Moran from North Carolina played in a doubleheader today. In game one, he singled in his first AB, had an RBI single next time, then walked in his third plate appearance. He reached on an error and flew out to left field in his last two times up. In game two, he grounded out his first time up, then lined out to center field. In his third AB, he drew his second walk of the day, then grounded out to second base in his fourth plate appearance. In his tenth and final plate appearance , he grounded out to shortstop, giving him a 2-for-8, with two walks on the day.
Brandon Thomas, the fourth round pick of the Pirates last year, went 2-for-4 during the first game of a doubleheader against St John’s on Saturday night. In game two, he went 2-for-4 again, scoring two runs and drawing a walk. On Sunday, Thomas went 1-for-3, with two runs and an RBI. After seven games, he is hitting .435, with two doubles, four RBI’s and seven walks.
Jackson McClelland threw six innings today against Texas A&M. He allowed one run on six hits, with one walk and one strikeout. He threw 77 pitches, working on an 85 pitch limit. The 35th round draft pick of the Pirates in 2012 gave up just one run over five innings in his college debut last weekend.
From Saturday night, UCLA reliever Zack Weiss made his second appearance. Weiss was a 10th round draft pick of the Pirates in 2010. He had started 22 games combined over his first two seasons in college, but this season he has made just two relief appearances. On Saturday, he recorded two outs, one on strikeout, while allowing two hits. In his first outing, he gave up two hits prior to getting his only out of the night. Weiss had an outstanding Freshman season, posting a 2.86 ERA in 66 innings, with 53 strikeouts. His numbers fell off in his second year, going 3-3, 4.28 in 69.1 innings, with 44 strikeouts.
In the 2011 draft, the Pirates signed every pick in their first ten rounds. The highest unsigned pick was Jo-el Bennett, the 11th round pick and now he is an outfielder at Troy University. He has started three of his team’s six games, going 2-for-8 at the plate, with two walks, a double and a HBP. Last year he hit .226 in 42 games, with three homers and 17 RBI’s.