Draft Prospect Watch: Gray Dominant, Bryant Homers
The tenth weekend of college baseball kicked off today, with a big-time match-up between one of the top college pitchers and hitters. It’s also Friday night, which means some of the best pitchers in this draft class are on the mound. 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, went 1-for-3 tonight, with his 18th homer of the season, in a 7-3 defeat of Santa Clara. He also drew two walks, the second one was intentional. His home run total is three more than all of his teammates combined, and also three more than opponents have hit off San Diego pitching. Bryant has been batting in the lead-off spot the last couple weeks. He scored three runs on the night
Colin Moran and North Carolina will start their weekend schedule on Saturday with a doubleheader against Duke.
Austin Wilson had a two run single that tied Stanford’s game today at 3-3 in the fifth inning. He finished the night 1-for-4 and Stanford ended up winning 4-3.
Mark Appel was not sharp tonight against Arizona. He gave up seven hits, two walks and hit a batter, in 6.2 innings of work. He needed 123 pitches on the night. Appel allowed three runs(two were earned), but he needed help from a reliever to get out of a seventh inning jam.
DJ Peterson of New Mexico, took on Braden Shipley of Nevada, in a big time match-up of two top college players from this upcoming draft class. In their first meeting of the night, Peterson struck out looking, as Shipley struck out the side in the first. In the second AB, Shipley again got the best of Peterson, getting a groundout to shortstop to end the third inning. In the sixth inning, Peterson hit a one out double to left field, just the fourth hit of the game for New Mexico. In their fourth meeting during the seventh inning, Peterson popped up to Shipley to end the inning. Shipley went 7.1 innings, allowing four runs(two earned) on six hits and two walks, while picking up ten strikeouts. Peterson faced a reliever in his last AB and hit an RBI single, to finish his night 2-for-5.
Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma took on New Orleans tonight and was dominant. He went six innings, leaving with his team up big at the time. Gray allowed just two hits, both singles, didn’t walk a batter and picked up ten strikeouts. He is now 7-1, 1.09 in ten starts, with 91 strikeouts and a .159 BAA in 74.1 innings.
Florida’s Jonathon Crawford had another rough outing, likely eliminating him from the top half of the draft. He has had a few good starts mixed in with poor starts, but his inconsistency will hurt his draft stock. Tonight against Missouri, he allowed four first inning runs. He ended up pitching another 4.2 innings without giving up anymore runs, though he did allow six base runners in the process.
Bobby Wahl from Ole Miss, threw a complete game shutout over Tennessee tonight. He allowed just three hits and two walks, while recording eight strikeouts. He moved his record to 8-0 on the season in ten starts. Wahl has had control issues in a few of his starts this year, so the two walks over nine innings is a good sign for him.
Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga hasn’t been at his best the last three weeks, but he was better in today’s start against Pepperdine on the road. He went seven innings, allowing two runs(one earned) on eight hits, one walk and one hit batter. He struck out three, using 116 pitches on the night.
Pepperdine had two players of note play tonight, Aaron Brown in center field and Jackson McClelland out of the bullpen. Both are former Pirates draft picks. Brown went 3-for-4, with two runs scored, while McClelland went 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk.
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.