Draft Prospect Watch: Gray Bringing Heat

The fifth weekend of college baseball started yesterday, and of the top college hitters seems to be breaking away from the pack with an impressive display of power. We also have some new names to follow, as seen below. The schedule for the top college players this weekend can be found here. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the fourth 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.  2013 draft

Jonathon Crawford had his start moved to Saturday for Florida this week. The move did not pay off, as he took the loss against Kentucky. Crawford went six innings and showed some wildness, leading to five earned runs on four walks and three hits. He struck out two, as Florida was dropped by an 11-5 score. Crawford shutout Kentucky for the first five innings, then allowed two runs in the sixth and then loaded the bases in the seventh without recording an out. All three runners would score.

Kris Bryant from San Diego had 11 home runs already coming into Saturday’s game, including three on Thursday, the last one being a walk-off homer. Once again he was the hero for his team, this time in an extra inning battle. San Diego trailed 9-8 to BYU going into the bottom of the 14th inning. Bryant came up with a man on base and launched a walk-off two-run homer. He finished the game going 2-for-6, with two walks and two strikeouts. He played first base in Friday night’s game and spent time in center field and at first base during tonight’s game.

Colin Moran and North Carolina lost their first game of the season yesterday. Today, they took it to Miami, winning 14-2. Moran went 3-for-4, with two runs scored, two RBI’s and a walk. He had two singles and a double. Pirates 2010 draft pick, Dale Carey, went 0-for-1, dropping his season average below the .180 mark.

Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma threw a complete game shutout yesterday against Northwestern State. Gray allowed five hits, no walks and he struck out 12 batters. He was clocked throwing 100 MPH last week during his start, but this week he did that one better, hitting 100 MPH on the last pitch of the game, his 111th pitch. At this point, he is a legit top ten pick.

Aaron Judge, the outfielder from Fresno State, went 1-for-4, with a single on Friday against San Diego State. On Saturday, he went 0-for-3, with two walks, a strikeout, a pop up to 2B and he hit into a double play.

Phillip Ervin, outfielder from Sanford, went 2-for-4 yesterday against Georgia Southern, hitting a double and stealing his second base. On Saturday, his team put up 14 runs and still lost. Ervin didn’t have much to do with the scoring, going 0-for-4, with a walk, HBP and one run scored.

Last Saturday during a doubleheader, DJ Peterson from New Mexico, reached base in all 11 plate appearances. Last night, he played third base and went 0-for-3 against UNLV, drawing two walks. He spends most of his playing time at first base and is more suited for that position. On Saturday, Peterson went 1-for-5, with a strikeout and again, he played third base. He is hitting .437 with eight homers and 22 RBI’s in 17 games this year.

Jason Hursh, a 2010 draft pick of the Pirates, pitched an efficient complete game shutout against Iona last night. He needed just 89 pitches to get through the game, giving up only four hits(all singles), no walks and he struck out ten. He is 2-0, 1.50 in five starts, holding batters to a .183 BAA over his 36 innings. Hursh could get drafted near the end of the first round.

On Thursday, Keith Law announced his top 50 draft prospects. He had some names in there we haven’t mentioned yet among college starting pitchers. Below is a brief recap of some of those players(along with Law’s rank) on his list and how they did yesterday.

#10 Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada – He moved to 3-0 on the season with a 3-2 win over Air Force. Shipley went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits, one walk and he struck out eight. He has a 2.52 ERA, with 41 strikeouts in 35.2 innings. He throws 96 MPH, with an above average slider

#12 Chris Anderson, RHP, Jacksonville – He went 7.2 innings against East Carolina, allowing two runs on seven hits, two walks and he struck out five batters. Anderson is now 3-1, 1.16 in five starts, with 50 strikeouts and just seven walks in 38.2 innings.

#20 Trevor Williams, RHP, Arizona State – Just days after being named PAC-12 Player of the Week, Williams took a beating against Washington State. In seven innings, he allowed nine runs on 13 hits. It was his first loss of the season.

#24 Andrew Thurman, RHP, UC Irvine – Going up against Nebraska, Thurman threw a complete game 2-1 win. The only run scored off him was unearned. He allowed five hits, one walk and struck out 11 batters. Thurman hits 96 MPH, but his secondary stuff is just average.

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.

Share This Post On
  • http://twitter.com/Spazaru Spazaru

    Crawford has looked awful compared to last year. I’ve watched all his starts as I’m a big Gators fan. I think after players see him once or twice, the third time through the lineup he’s getting beat around and is scared to throw strikes. Good kid and I hope he figures it out. Bryant seems legit but with what he’s doing considering the BBCOR bats, I’m not sure he’ll make it to number 9. Everyone is calling this a weak draft, but I think it looks as good as last year least. Hopefully the Bucs get good value for their two top 20s.

  • https://profiles.google.com/105668650510920614054 Brian Bernard

    I don’t suppose there’s anyway Gray drops to #9… but that would be sick if he did.
    Surely this kid from San Diego is off the board well before #9.

    • John Dreker

      Gray wasn’t even top ten material until recently, at least being mentioned as such. I think the top three in some order is Appel and the two HS hitters, Frazier and Meadows. Then Manaea would be #4. So I see a chance Bryant and or Gray are available. If the draft is top heavy with HS picks, both could be around. If Stanek bounces back, he was top four until a couple weeks ago. Dominic Smith should go high too, I’ve seen him ranked top ten.
      I won’t rule either out just yet, but Bryant seems to be establishing himself as the best bat in this class. Austin Wilson, when healthy, could be in those talks too

      • NastyNate82

        Would still love it if Frazier dropped to them, but there are some good options if he doesn’t. Which of those top 5 you have listed are likely to fall? Stanek? Which of those 5 would you like the most? Well top 4…likely they wouldn’t take Appel again if he allowed it.

        • John Dreker

          Stanek definitely could fall to Pirates. He has the stuff to go higher, but as posted in Sunday’s recap, he is having trouble going late into games this year. Meadows and Frazier are both worthy of the top choice. Scouts are saying Frazier has better power, but might strike out a lot, while Meadows will hit and do it with some power. I think I’d go safer with Meadows