The second weekend of the college season is about to get under way. The Pirates have the #9 and #14 picks in the upcoming June amateur draft. Throughout the college/HS season, leading up to the draft, we will cover the interesting players that are being discussed in the Pirates draft range. There will also be daily notes on past picks by the Pirates who went unsigned. For a recap of the first week, check out our article posted here. Our preview of the draft can be read here.
Stanford VS Fresno State
Mark Appel, the Pirates first round pick from last year, will go Friday night for the 2-2 Cardinal. He struggled in his opening start against another unsigned pick of the Pirates, Austin Kubitza(7th RD, 2010). While Appel isn’t expected to fall to the Pirates again, the Cardinal do have an interesting prospect to watch. Outfielder Austin Wilson has the potential to be a big bat in right field. He has also had some injury problems as of late. He missed time last year with an oblique strain and this season he left his first game with a muscle strain just below his elbow and hasn’t played since.. He was listed as day-to-day, but did not play in yesterday’s game, his third game missed. Stanford also has a Tuesday afternoon game against St Mary’s. Fresno State has a player to keep an eye on as well. Outfielder Aaron Judge was ranked #13 overall by Baseball America among draft-eligible college players. The 6’7″ Judge, hit .385 the first weekend, with a homer and double.
North Carolina VS Stony Brook
Third baseman Colin Moran leads the 1st ranked Tar Heels into action this weekend against Stony Brook, the surprise team from last year’s final eight at the College World Series. Moran was ranked fourth overall by Baseball America among all draft-eligible college players. He’s a strong left-handed bat, that could be available when the Pirates pick in the #9 spot. North Carolina also has Kent Emanuel, the 19th round pick of the Pirates in the 2010 draft. Emanuel threw a complete game shutout last Friday night. North Carolina also has a Tuesday game against St John’s.
San Diego VS Kent State
Another third baseman to watch is Kris Bryant from San Diego. At 6’5″, 215 he is a little bigger than Moran, and Bryant is a right-handed hitter. Besides the hot corner, he has also played some outfield and first base. San Diego also has starting pitcher Dylan Covey, a first round pick of the Brewers in 2010. His stock has dropped a little, though he is still in the 2nd round range right now. The two teams play Friday night, a doubleheader on Saturday, then Sunday afternoon.
Florida VS Florida Gulf Coast
Pitcher Jonathon Crawford will lead the Gators as they play three games this weekend against FGCU and a Tuesday game against North Florida. Crawford pitched 3.2 innings on Friday night against Duke, allowing two runs.
Other Teams To Watch
Sean Manaea, a LHP from Indiana State, and Ryne Stanek, a RHP from Arkansas, are rated just below Mark Appel among college players and neither is expected to be around when the Pirates pick. Things could change before the draft though, so early on they remain to be players to watch. Indiana State plays College of Charleston tomorrow afternoon, then Middle Tennessee on Saturday night. Arkansas plays Evansville this weekend, with Stanek scheduled to go during Friday afternoon’s game.
On the other side of the coin, are players that are rated just below the Pirates range, but could move up into consideration. They include Bobby Wahl, a RHP from Ole Miss, who will take on Rhode Island this weekend. Wahl impressed scouts during his first game, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings and reaching 95 MPH on the radar gun. Phillip Ervin, an outfielder from Samford, will play four games this weekend and then again on Tuesday. Ervin collected seven base hits last weekend, with three of them being homers. D.J. Peterson from New Mexico plays three games this weekend in the Kleberg Bank College Classic. The 3B/1B had five hits, including a double, triple and homer in the first weekend.
High School Players
In our preview, we highlighted some High School players to watch, but for the most part, their stats are impossible to find. The one exception has been Oscar Mercado, the shortstop from Gaither HS in Tampa, FL. Mercado went hitless in his first two games, before collecting two hits in game three. His team plays Friday night and Saturday day.
Baseball America had a nice write-up for subscribers about HS catcher Reese McGuire. The power hitting backstop has been ranked 13-14 among all draft-eligible players, by three different major publications.