Draft Prospect Watch: Gonzales Joins The Mix

The third weekend of college baseball is under way and  a top-ranked pitcher has been added to our watch list after he shut down a top ranked team on Friday night. 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.

Sean Manaea and Indiana State tried to take on Eastern Kentucky today, one day after the series opener was snowed out. The 6’5″ left-hander will have to wait another day to make his weekend start. Snow and cold temperatures have canceled today’s game and tomorrow’s doubleheader is now a single afternoon game.

North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran went 2-for-4, with two RBI’s in his team’s 11-5 win over California. He flew out to center fielder in his first AB, then worked a full-count walk in his second plate appearance. After a pop up to shortstop in the fourth, Moran helped break the game open for North Carolina in the fifth, hitting a two-run double. He added a seventh inning single to cap off his day.

San Diego’s Kris Bryant went 1-for-4, with a walk and single during San Diego’s 2-0 ten inning win. He struck out looking in his first AB, then grounded out to 3B in the third inning. In the sixth inning Bryant drew a one out walk. He had a first pitch single in his fourth plate appearance, then in the tenth inning, he flew out to center field.

With a couple pitchers in the top ten struggling, and an injury to Austin Wilson slowing him down, lefty Marco Gonzales of Gonzaga could be making his way up the charts into the Pirates range. On Friday night, he threw a complete game shutout against 2nd ranked Arkansas, allowing eight hits, no walks and he struck out nine. He is 2-1, 2.45, with 22 strikeouts in 22 innings. Gonzales also plays 1B/DH and he is hitting .300 this year through eight games. He was recently ranked 11th overall among draft-eligible college players by Baseball America.

On Friday night, Dominic Smith from Serra HS in California, hit a double and home run. He also started the game on the mound, striking out ten batters in five innings in his team’s 7-1 win. Smith is ranked in the top eight in this year’s draft class by both Baseball America and Perfect Game, though Jonathan Mayo has him ranked #35 overall

Jason Hursh, the sixth round pick in 2010 by the Pirates, pitched six innings on Friday night for Oklahoma State. He picked up the win over UC-Davis, allowing two runs on eight hits and no walks, striking out one batter. Hursh missed all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery. He is 1-0, 2.37 in three starts this year, picking up 11 strikeouts in 19 innings. Hursh was followed on the mound by Junior Vince Wheeland, who threw three perfect innings, getting five strikeouts and four ground outs.

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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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  • magicrat13

    marco gonzales….great…another multi-position player the pirates will draft and move them to the wrong positions (see Van Benschoten, Allie, etc…)

    • John Dreker

      He is definitely a pitcher but the hitting aspect shows he is a good athlete. According to Baseball America, he is an advanced pitcher with good control, a nice four pitch mix, plus the best changeup in the draft. Scouts say he could move through the minors quick. He is similar to Jeff Locke(size/lefty/control/velocity/pitch mix)

      • http://www.facebook.com/ian.rothermund Ian Rothermund

        I would say there’s little question as to what position he’ll play in the majors. If nothing else, he’s left handed, the other players mentioned by magicrat are righties. While I still hate the Allie position switch…..well, I still hate the Allie position switch. I realize you can’t really order a guy to do a certain thing on the field, but I am hoping that if he has another awful year in the rookie leagues, that he’ll start trying to look at his potential long term success. At that point, one more down year in rookie ball at 22 years old…I know I’d begin thinking about any and all things I could do to stay in, and pitching will always be Allie’s back up plan.

    • meatygettingsaucy

      Ah what an insightful post. Van Benschoten, turned into a pitcher by arguably the worst GM in Pirates history. Allie, 100 MPH fastball, plus slider. Every draft board has him as a top 15 pick as a pitcher. Don’t see anything wrong with drafting him as a pitcher and seeing what he could do at the position. Please tell me who else the Pirates put at the wrong position?

      • magicrat13

        van benchoten was one of the most feared hitters and college and pirates pushed him to be a pitcher…..allie was considered a top pitching prospect and the pirates gave up on him too soon…

        point being i can see the pirates taking another player and putting him in the wrong position then giving up…thus wasting another top draft pick….

        i am really bummed you didn’t find my post insightful….hope i can sleep tonight…

  • poolguyLV

    I’ve known Marco since Area Codes, got to spend a week with him and his family there and another week at Gonzaga on a college visit. Great ball player. Team USA and I believe his father pitched 10 years as a pro. Great fit for the Pirates. Kid can pitch!!

    • John Dreker

      Great info there, his dad actually played in the Pirates organization in 1997. Frank Gonzales, pitched for Calgary(AAA) that year

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