Draft Prospect Watch: Big Game For Bryant, Manaea Struggles
The tenth weekend of college baseball kicked off yesterday, with a big-time match-up between one of the top college pitchers and hitters. Plenty of the top teams had Friday off and doubleheaders scheduled for Saturday, so some of the best pitchers in the country didn’t get their usual Friday start. These players, and many others, have less than two months to impress scouts in advance of the draft. Check out the schedule for this weekend here. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the ninth 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. This year’s draft will be held June 6-8.
San Diego’s Kris Bryant, helped his team to a 7-4 win over Santa Clara today. He had an infield single in the first inning, then doubled to lead off the third inning. Bryant drew an intentional walk in the fourth and then again in the sixth. He capped off his night with his 19th homer of the season in the 8th inning. Bryant had struggled in the previous two weeks, but he seems to be back on track this weekend. He batted second today after recently being place in the lead-off spot.
Colin Moran and North Carolina started their weekend today with a doubleheader against Duke. In game one, Moran went 0-for-4, but he still picked up a run scored and an RBI. He reached base via HBP. In game two he was 0-for-2, reaching base twice, with a walk and another hit by pitch. In game one, former Pirates draft pick Kent Emanuel, threw a complete game two-hitter. He gave up one run, walked one batter and struck out eight. With the doubleheader sweep, #1 ranked NC moved to 38-2 on the year.
Austin Wilson went 2-for-4 today in a 10-9 loss to Arizona. He drove in two runs and hit his 5th double. He now has a .382 average and nine RBI’s in ten games.
Sean Manaea and Indiana State, took on Illinois State today. Manaea went 5.1 innings, allowing four runs(three earned) on six hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts. He picked up his third loss of the season. Manaea threw 101 pitches, 65 were for strikes. Coming into the game, he had allowed seven earned runs in eight starts.
Ryan Stanek from Arkansas came into today’s start with 14.2 scoreless innings over his last two starts. Against Texas A&M today, he went another 3.1 innings before allowing a run to break the shutout streak at 18 innings. His final line was six innings pitched, one run allowed on five hits and two walks, while striking out a season-high nine batters. His pitch total was rather high for the amount of innings he pitched and relative lack of trouble. He threw 114 pitches, 74 for strikes.
Aaron Judge from Fresno State had doubleheaders yesterday and today against Air Force. In game two last night, he went 2-for-5, with a triple, homer and three RBI’s. The only downside was two strikeouts, a problem he has had this year that may keep his draft stock low. In the Friday opener, he went 1-for-4, with two runs scored. On Saturday, he went 2-for-4 in the first game, with a double, stolen base and two runs scored. In the nightcap, he had his best game. In order, he walked, doubled, singled and hit a tie-breaking homer in the seventh inning. Judge flew out to center field in the eighth to end his night.
DJ Peterson of New Mexico, took on Braden Shipley of Nevada, in a big time match-up of two top college players last night. Peterson ended up going 1-for-4 off Shipley, hitting a double. He also got an RBI single off a reliever after Shipley left. In Saturday’s game, Peterson went 1-for-4, with a walk. His lone hit was his 17th double of the season. Peterson also recorded 16 putouts at first base.
Phillip Ervin from Samford, went 1-for-3 on Friday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He had a single, walk and scored a run in his team’s 7-1 win. On Saturday, Ervin went 0-for-4, scoring a run and stealing a base. He was back in center field for both games, after playing left field for the last couple weeks. There have been conflicting reports on whether he can player center field in the majors. For teams that feel he can’t, his draft stock may drop.
Kevin Ziomek from Vanderbilt went eight innings in a complete game 3-1 loss to Georgia. He threw 106 pitches on the day, allowing four hits, four walks and he hit a batter. Ziomek was charged with two earned runs and he picked up four strikeouts.
Ryan Eades from LSU, took on Alabama on the road today. He got hit hard in a match-up against Ryne Stanek and Arkansas last week. This week his rough streak continued, giving up five runs on eight hits in just four innings. He gave up three extra-base hits. Eades didn’t walk any batters and struck out three.
Chris Anderson from Jacksonville has seen his draft stock drop recently due to poor performances against lesser competition. This week the opponent was still a lower ranked school, but he put up good numbers in a complete game. Against Northern Kentucky, he allowed one unearned run, on six hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. The walks and strikeout totals are both off his usual game. Coming into the contest, he had a 12/78 BB/K ratio in 64 innings.
Trevor Williams from Arizona State picked up his fifth win of the year on Friday night against Valparaiso, but he was not sharp. He allowed three runs in six innings, giving up nine hits and three walks, while also hitting two batters. Williams has been mentioned as a middle to late first round pick, but he lacks consistency and his strikeout total has been subpar for a top notch pitcher. Friday night was no different in that last regard, as he recorded just one strikeout.
Yesterday I posted that Keith Law has an updated top 50 for subscribers that can be read here. If the Pirates went with his picks at #9 and #14, they would get Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek, and Prep pitcher Trey Ball. Today I found an updated list from Bleacher Report, with their projected first round picks and it has an interesting twist. They also picked Stanek at #9 and Ball at #14. That list can be read here. Interesting to point out that both lists have Colin Moran lasting past the Pirates first pick(Law #12, BR #17).
Aaron Fitt from Baseball America has a recap of the game between Gonzaga and Pepperdine from last night. Highly rated lefty Marco Gonzales was on the mound against Scott Frazier, who throws in the mid-90’s but scouts aren’t as high on him as you would expect. The article can be viewed here.
River Ave Blues has an article on Aaron Blair, who has been getting some positive press recently, pitching for Marshall this year. He could slip into the first round, but may be around when the Pirates pick in the second round.