The eighth weekend of college baseball started up yesterday, marking the halfway point of the college baseball season. These players listed below, and many others, have exactly two months more to impress scouts in advance of the draft. 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 seventh 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-5 tonight, hitting a two-run triple in his last AB. The hit put his team up 4-2 in the ninth and they held on for the win. Bryant struck out twice in this game, a rare occurrence for him this season, but not recently. He also struck out twice yesterday. Bryant was the DH tonight.
Colin Moran went 1-for-3 in North Carolina’s 5-3 win over Maryland tonight. He walked in the first inning and singled in the third. He flew out to left field with two men on to end the fourth inning and he grounded out in the sixth. Moran has been strong in the field recently, committing just one error in his last twenty games. His defense has been questioned, with some saying he is average, while others think he may have to move from third base in the pros.
Mark Appel got the win last night for Stanford despite the fact he admitted he didn’t have his best stuff after the game. Appel came within one out of a complete game, but a hit, wild pitch and walk put the tying run on base and led to his exit. He talked to Aaron Fitt from Baseball America after the game about his performance, which can be read here.
Austin Wilson from Stanford played yesterday for the first time since the team’s opener in February. He batted twice, walked once and struck out. He didn’t play today. He was listed as available to pinch-hit, but Stanford ran away with a 10-3 win, so he wasn’t needed.
Aaron Judge from Fresno State, had a rough Friday night, going 0-for-4, with three strikeouts against UNLV. Part of the downside with Judge has been his high strikeout totals. At 6’7″, he has a huge strike zone to cover, and while his power potential seems to be off the charts, he still has just ten homers(four this year) in his three seasons at Fresno State.
Sean Manaea, the top-ranked left-hander from Indiana State, has a strained hip and was unable to make his start on Friday night. The injury is minor and he could still start Sunday.
Jonathon Crawford threw a shutout last weekend and there was hope that he could turn his season around, after a very poor showing through six games. Unfortunately for Crawford, he reverted right back to his early season struggles. He was moved back to the Friday night starting spot this week, after making three straight Saturday starts. Last night against Mississippi State, Crawford went five innings, allowing five runs(two earned) on six hits and five walks, with four strikeouts. He needed 108 pitches to get through five, 62 went for strikes. His record now stands at 1-5, 4.37 in eight starts, with 38 strikeouts in 47.1 innings.
Chris Anderson, the big RHP from Jacksonville, went 6.2 innings in a win over Stetson on Friday night. He gave up four runs, but just one was earned. Anderson allowed six hits, one walk and struck out five batters. On the year, he is 5-2, 2.11 in eight starts, with nine walks and 75 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.
Trevor Williams from Arizona State was roughed up last night against Oregon. In 7.1 innings, he allowed five runs on ten hits and a walk. He did have an impressive 15 outs via ground balls. Williams has walked just nine batters in 57 innings this year, while posting a 2.84 ERA.
High School Notes
Jonathan Denney, the catcher from Yukon Oklahoma has been getting a lot of mention as a pick in the Pirates range. He hit his seventh homer of the season on Wednesday. Here is a link to his profile from Minor League Ball.
Reese McGuire, another possible catcher the Pirates could grab, is hitting .556 through ten games this year for Kentwood HS in Washington. McGuire has nine extra base hits in 27 AB’s and has scored 12 runs.
Oscar Mercado, a shortstop from Florida, went 1-for-1 in his last game, with two walks and two runs scored. He has struggled with the bat this season, likely dropping him out of the Pirates range. The intrigue with him is the fact scouts believe he can stick at shortstop in the pros. Through 17 games, he is hitting .283 with an .872 OPS.