The second weekend of the college baseball season has come to a close and we saw some big games from the top draft-eligible third baseman on Saturday and Sunday. For the most part, it was a good weekend for the players currently rated at the top of the college draft class. Mark Appel and Sean Manaea showed why they will likely go well before the Pirates make their first selection with the 9th overall pick, and then select again with the 14th pick. The two third baseman we are following closely, Kris Bryant from San Diego and Colin Moran from North Carolina, both had decent weekends. There were ups and downs from the other two players on our watch list. Jonathon Crawford had no-hit stuff but took the loss and Stanford’s Austin Wilson hasn’t played since leaving the first game and he likely won’t anytime soon.
Starting at the top of the college draft class and working our way down, we will highlight ten players to watch as the season progresses.
1. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford – Appel threw a complete game against Fresno State, allowing just one run on three hits, with 11 strikeouts. In his first start against Rice, Appel struggled a bit, taking the loss against another former Pirates draft pick, Austin Kubitza. The first round pick of the Pirates in 2012, likely won’t see the same drop in the rankings as he did last year. Partially due to the fact he is a college senior and doesn’t have the college-eligibility to fall back on like last year so his contract demands won’t scare as many teams off.
2. Sean Manaea, LHP, Indiana State- Just like Appel, Manaea likely will be gone well before the Pirates pick. His Friday outing did nothing to hurt his draft stock, as he threw six shutout innings, with ten strikeouts. Both top ranked pitchers were clocked at 98 MPH this weekend.
3. Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas- While the other two top pitchers did well this weekend, Stanek lasted just three innings against Evansville, needing 76 pitches to get through his outing. In his first outing, he pitched well, but lasted just four innings, giving up one run on two hits. He was a third round pick of the Mariners in 2010.
4. Colin Moran, 3B, North Carolina- Moran went 4-for-13, with two walks over the weekend. He is hitting .292 over his first six games, with four walks and has been perfect in the field. On the downside, all seven of his hits have been singles. His team next plays on Wednesday.
5. Jonathon Crawford, RHP, Florida- After going just 3.2 innings in his debut, Crawford took the tough-luck loss this weekend, throwing 5.1 no-hit innings. He allowed two runs on two walks and two hit batters. He has eight strikeouts in nine innings this year.
6. Kris Bryant, 3B, San Diego- Bryant had two big games this weekend, scoring five runs on Saturday night and hitting his first home run on Sunday. He also walked three times in Sunday’s game. There was a tough outing mixed into his weekend, the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, when he went 0-for-4, with three strikeouts. Through seven games, he is hitting .261 with nine walks and eight runs scored. Bryant next plays on Thursday.
7. Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss- He had an impressive debut last week, going 6.1 scoreless innings, while hitting 95 MPH on the radar gun. Wahl followed it up with one run over five innings, but he had control issues, allowing six walks and he hit a batter.
8. Phillip Ervin, OF, Samford- Ervin had a big first week, going 7-for-15, with three homers and three walks. He slowed down a little this weekend, going 5-for-20, with a homer over his team’s five games(includes a mid-week game). His team plays tomorrow.
9. Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford- During his first game, Wilson strained a muscle just below his elbow. It was described as a nagging injury, but minor and he was day-to-day. Wilson didn’t practice with his team this weekend and has missed five straight games. Kiley McDaniel broke the news today that Wilson could miss as much as 6-8 weeks, which could drop him off the Pirates radar like it did to Victor Roache last year.
10. D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B/OF New Mexico- He went 2-for-8, with a walk during the first two games of the weekend, then had a big day on Sunday. Peterson went 3-for-5, with a double, triple and a home run. He is hitting .417, with nine runs scored, eight RBI’s and a .958 slugging percentage, through six games
Daily Draft Recaps
Friday Jonathon Crawford has no-hit stuff. Mark Appel bounces back.
Saturday Big day for Kris Bryant at the plate and a few former draft picks of the Pirates on the mound.
Sunday Bryant with a home run, plus updates on four former Pirates draft picks that went unsigned.