Draft Prospect Watch: Big Days For Bryant And Appel

The third weekend of college baseball got an early start last night, with a top-ranked pitcher going against a top 25 ranked team. For a look at the list of games to watch through early next week, check out our Draft Prospect Watch Schedule. Also, check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the second 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 closely that are ranked in that range.

From action last night, Ryne Stanek of Arkansas, took on 25th ranked Arizona State. The 6’4″ right-hander, threw 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batter in his team’s 3-2 loss. Stanek struck out three batters and threw a total of 85 pitches, 57 for strikes. The early reports were that he was sitting 91-93 MPH early on, but by the fourth he was up to 93-96 MPH and showing a good slider. The game was originally billed as a strong pitching match-up between Stanek and Trevor Williams, who is expected to go within the first two rounds of the draft, but Arizona State’s manager wanted to keep Williams on a routine of pitching on Fridays.

Kris Bryant, the highly-ranked third baseman from San Diego, went 1-for-4 yesterday, with a double and a walk against Coastal Carolina.  His team took on Gardner-Webb today as part of the UNCW Wilmington Tournament. Bryant had his best game of the season, going 3-for-4, with two doubles, a home run and a walk. He scored twice and drove in two runs in his team’s 5-0 win. The home run was his second of the season.

North Carolina’s Colin Moran had an interesting test today against Rice. The match-up on the mound featured two former Pittsburgh Pirates draft picks from 2010, Kent Emanuel(19th round) for top-ranked North Carolina, and Austin Kubitza(7th round) for 12th ranked Rice. Moran went 1-for-3, with a single and two walks. Emanuel threw seven innings, allowing one run on eight hits and a walk, striking out five batters. Kubitza lasted 6.2 innings, also allowing one run. He gave up four hits, two walks and he struck out nine. North Carolina ended up winning 2-1 with a run in the ninth.

For Florida, Jonathon Crawford took on Miami tonight and went six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits, three walks and he struck out three batters. He threw a career-high 103 pitches. Pirates draft pick Zack Powers(28th round, 2010) went 1-for-3, with a walk in Florida’s 3-2 win. Miami’s outfielder Dale Carey was a 21st round draft pick of the Pirates in 2010. He went 0-for-2 with a walk off Crawford.

Mark Appel made his third start of the season. The top-ranked pitcher in this year’s draft took on 22nd ranked Texas at home and had a no-hitter going through five innings. He ended up throwing a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out 14 batters. Appel has now pitched 23 innings this year, giving up three runs and 13 hits, while striking out 28 batters. Outfielder Austin Wilson remained out with a muscle strain near his elbow, but he should return around the middle of the month.

Sean Manaea, the big left-hander from Indiana State, was supposed to take on Eastern Kentucky today. The game was canceled due to snow. Manaea will likely go tomorrow afternoon. The two teams also have a Sunday doubleheader scheduled.

Bobby Wahl and Ole Miss, took on Florida International tonight. The 6’3″ right-hander struggled early on in his start but still picked up the win, finishing up with four runs allowed over 5.1 innings. He allowed nine hits, three walks and he struck out four batters.  Wahl started off strong this year, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings. In his next start he gave up just one run over five innings, but had control issues all game, so this start is another step back for the seventh ranked college prospect in this year’s draft class.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • bjointbucs

    Another great article Tim, do you think they should grab a hitter and a pitcher in the first or just go with the traditional best available?

    • bjointbucs

      Sorry, John* didn’t even realize lol.

      • John Dreker

        No problem on the mix-up.
        I usually say just take the best player available, no matter what the position or HS/College and I think they will go that route. I personally would like to see them take two college players(assuming good ones are there) just to get them on the same timetable as the top prospects. There seems to be a hole at Altoona this year(besides Taillon), so there will be an approx two year gap between Taillon/Cole and Polanco/Heredia/Bell/Hanson. If you take two HS players with those picks, they are going to be behind that second group, two good college players would be coming along around the same time as them, creating a nice wave of talent all at once.
        My gut feeling though is they will take one college player, one HS, one a bat, one an arm.

        • bjointbucs

          I would love to see a college arm fall to them at the nine spot. Hopefully one of the big three (Appel, Stanek, Manaea) slide. Nobody thought it would happen last year. Thanks again.