The eighth weekend of college baseball started up today, marking the halfway point of the college baseball season. Three of the top batters in this draft class returned from injuries tonight. These players, 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, who some consider the best college bat in the draft, went 1-for-4, with a single and two strikeouts tonight. San Diego was shutout 4-0 by Loyola Marymount and sophomore Colin Welmon, who went eight innings and is now 5-1, 0.97 in eight starts this year.
Colin Moran went 0-for-2 tonight in North Carolina’s 12-4 win over Maryland. He walked twice, scored two runs and drove in a run on a groundout. Kent Emanuel, the 2010 draft pick of the Pirates, and highly rated pitcher, got the win for NC tonight. He went eight innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks, while picking up six strikeouts.
Mark Appel got the start today for Stanford against USC and was dominant early, then ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Appel was sitting 95-97 MPH early, with an excellent slider. In the fifth, he gave up two runs on three hits and a costly wild pitch. Appel looked like he was going to settle down and close the game out, but in the ninth, he allowed a single and then put the tying run on via walk, before being pulled. He went 8.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk, picking up seven strikeouts. He threw 114 pitches on the night, 75 of them went for strikes.
Austin Wilson finally returned to action, though he was used as a DH tonight. He was playing in just his second game of the season, after leaving the season opener with a strained muscle below his elbow. His return was brief, he walked in his first AB, then struck out looking the next time up, before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
Ryne Stanek got the start today for Arkansas in Alabama and pitched great, throwing eight shutout innings in the 6-0 win. It is his second strong performance in the last three weeks, after starting the season very slow. Even last week, Stanek needed 92 pitches just to get through four innings. In his previous start against 6th ranked South Carolina, he threw a three hit complete game. Today he allowed just four hits, no walks and he struck out five batters.
Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma didn’t have his best outing today against Texas, the numbers were still good, but not up to his recent standards. He went 6.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits, two walks, a hit batter and he struck out eight hitters. The reports on him had his fastball topping out at 98 MPH tonight, showing a plus slider.
Bobby Wahl got the start today for Ole Miss, going up against Vanderbilt and Kevin Ziomek, who has pitched great this year. It was a pitcher’s duel between the two, but Wahl did it while working through command issues. In 6.2 innings, he gave up one unearned run on five hits and six walks, while recording eight strikeouts. Ziomek, who has been gaining some attention with the scouts this year, went 7.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks, striking out three batters on the night. There is a chance he may be a good fit for the Pirates in the second round if he lasts that long.
Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga had a rough outing today shortened by rain. He got in three innings of work before the game was suspended, tied at three runs apiece. Gonzales gave up those three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out three. He needed 60 pitches to get through three innings. It was his second straight poor outing after starting the season strong. Last week he went six innings against Loyola Marymount, giving up seven runs(five earned) on nine hits and two walks, while striking out four batters.
Braden Shipley just recently started getting plenty of attention as a possible 10-15 pick in the first round, which would put him in the Pirates range for both picks. The right-handed starter from Nevada ran into a little trouble early tonight against San Diego State, allowing two runs through three innings, but he settled down and ended strong with five straight shutout innings. He still took the loss as SD State won 2-0. Kendall Rogers had an interesting article about him and the pitcher for SD State tonight, Michael Cederoth, who could go first overall in the draft next year. The article can be viewed here. Cederoth threw eight shutout innings, giving up four hits, one walk and he struck out 14 batters.
DJ Peterson from New Mexico had a big game today against Air Force. He had missed four straight games with a hamstring injury, but that didn’t slow down his bat. Peterson went 3-for-4, with a walk, double, home run and five RBI’s. He is now hitting .423 on the year, with 12 homers and 40 RBI’s in 25 games.
Phillip Erwin, the outfielder for Samford, went 1-for-4, with an RBI today against Wofford College. He had missed two straight games, after leaving the first game of a doubleheader last week. He was hit by a pitch in game one and left after scoring a run, then pinch hit in game two before sitting out the next two games.
High School News
Maxpreps has a long article on Austin Meadows, who could go anywhere in the top five picks this year out of High School. You can read the article on the five-tool outfielder here, along with video highlights.
Most scouts have a hard time deciding which HS hitter is better, Meadows or Clint Frazier. The latter hit his tenth homer tonight in his 18th game of the season. He is hitting .563 and has 13 steals to go along with that power. Keith Law has an article for subscribers about Frazier, and while he likes him as a top player, he thinks he doesn’t have much projection left in his body and he has trouble recognizing breaking balls.