Draft Prospect Watch: Gray And Appel Struggling Recently

The 14th weekend of college kicked of last night for some teams, while others began their weekend on Friday. For most teams, this is the last weekend of their regular season and they start conference tournament play next week. Check out the schedule for this weekend here. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the 13th 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. 2013 draft

San Diego’s Kris Bryant has off this weekend. The power hitting third baseman hit his 30th homer during a mid-week game this week. He is the top ranked bat in this draft and will almost certainly go somewhere in the top five picks.

Colin Moran and North Carolina lost 10-4 on Thursday night. Moran went 1-for-5 in the loss, driving in one run. Pirates 2010 draft pick Kent Emanuel, started the game and got hit hard in five innings, allowing six runs on ten hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. He was recently rated as the 60th best player in this draft class by Baseball America.

In Friday’s game, Moran had possibly his worst night of the season. He did drive in a run, but he went 0-for-5, with two strikeouts. That gives him five strikeouts in his last three games, after striking out 13 times in his first 51 games.

Austin Wilson went 1-for-2 tonight, with three walks and three runs scored in Stanford’s 9-8 win. His only hit was a single.

Mark Appel got the start and for the second week in a row, he was off his game. In seven innings, he gave up five earned runs on nine hits, a walk and a hit batter. Appel tied the Stanford career record in strikeouts with the 11 he picked up today, giving him 363 career.

DJ Peterson has recently been linked to the Pirates twice, here and here. On Thursday night, he took on San Diego State, behind the pitching of Michael Cederoth, who is one of the top players in next year’s draft. Peterson went 1-for-5 in the game, striking out twice, but the one hit was a big one. In the third inning, Peterson hit a three-run double, his 23rd double of the season. He popped up and flew out in his other two AB’s against Cederoth. Both strikeouts came against relievers. On Friday night, Peterson went 1-for-3, with a walk and a single.

Jonathan Gray is having a poor finish to his season after being named the top prospect in the draft, although the last two weeks, Mark Appel hasn’t been any better. Gray got hit hard tonight and the strikeouts nearly disappeared. Against Kansas St, he went 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, a walk and two hit batters. He recorded just three strikeouts, his season low. Last week he gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in five innings to Oklahoma State.

Jonathon Crawford had a strong outing on Thursday night against Georgia. He went 6.2 innings, needing 93 pitches(62 strikes). He allowed two runs(one earned) on five hits and no walks, striking out five batters. Crawford has been in the 20-25 range in most recent mock drafts.

Braden Shipley from Nevada, took out Fresno State, and outfielder Aaron Judge, in a battle of two first round draft picks on Thursday night. Shipley was the big winner on the night, going seven shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk and he struck out ten. Judge had a bad night in front of a house full of scouts, striking out three times. He was able to draw the lone walk from Shipley, but there have been questions about Judge and how often he strikes out and Thursday night was not a good sign for him against a premier pitcher.

Ryne Stanek threw 7.2 scoreless innings on Friday night against Auburn. He really battled all night, allowing ten baserunners(six hits, four walks) and throwing 123 pitches, 76 for strikes. Stanek now has a 1.54 ERA on the season, with 72 strikeouts and a .217 BAA in 82 innings.

Sean Manaea pitched five innings Thursday, allowing just one unearned run on five hits and two walks, while striking out five batters. He threw 81 pitches against Bradley, 53 for strikes. He was sitting in the 89-93 MPH range with his fastball, so his slight velocity dip that he first experienced two starts ago, continued for at least another week, although he said he felt good after the start and hopes to build on it next week.

High School Notes

Two of the better High School players had games yesterday in California, shortstop JP Crawford and first baseman Dominic Smith. Crawford had a big day at the plate in his team’s 5-0 win, going 3-for-3, with a double, triple, two runs and two RBI’s. He also went 3-for-3 in his previous game and now has his average up to .467 in 109 plate appearances.

Smith went 2-for-3 in his team’s 12-11 win. He had two singles, two RBI’s, three runs scored and a walk. He is now hitting .482 in 80 plate appearances, with a 1.625 OPS.

If you missed it from earlier, Baseball America released their top 250 list for the draft, complete with scouting reports for subscribers. Rated 9th and 14th, were lefty pitcher Trey Ball and Dominic Smith. Ball has been mentioned here numerous times recently, because he has been linked to the Pirates more times than anyone else in the draft. He’s a 6’6″ Prep LHP, who throws low-to-mid 90′s and possesses an excellent change-up, plus he is a very athletic players, with a strong bat.

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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.pingree Lee Pingree

    I know Bryant and Pedro bat from different sides of the plate but is there similar hype between the two players? Is one considered to have more power?

    • John Dreker

      I think Alvarez had more early hype about his power, but Bryant has definitely equaled him in that department as a Junior. They really aren’t too similar, Alvarez always had questions about contact, while Bryant hasn’t had those questions. It also very unlikely Bryant sticks at 3B. Would be nice to get that bat for the Pirates, but he will likely go top 3, at worst top 5

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.pingree Lee Pingree

    It seems like a lot of fans of the pirates want them to take Moran (if available) but the top two left handed pitchers in Manea and Ball is really intriguing to me. It would be my ideal draft if the pirates were able to somehow get both of them.

    Who does everyone prefer…Ball or Manea?

    • meatygettingsaucy

      Ball. Manaea has shown incredible wildness this season and his only real claim to fame was his dominance in the Cape Cod League last year. I know people want guys who could help the Pirates sooner rather than later but I think Manaea has reliever written all over him.

      • John Dreker

        I think Manaea’s problem has been due to just having a very trying season. He was pitching in cold weather early on, then lost an entire week to the weather, so he went 15 days without a start. He then sprained his ankle and pitched with it hurt the next week, then hurt his hip, which first pushed him back two days, then caused him to miss a week. I think all of that snowballed into a change in his mechanics/delivery and he’s had slightly lower velocity recently. It’s been tough for him all year

        • meatygettingsaucy

          Who are you in favor of drafting, John?

          • John Dreker

            My top 14 in order would be: Gray, Appel, Bryant, Frazier, Stewart, Meadows, Shipley, Moran, Ball, Stanek, Manaea(pending arm health) Mcguire, Crawford, Smith….so I would be fine with whoever is the top one left when they pick each time. I’ll throw Austin Wilson in at #15 just in case Manaea isn’t healthy, although Renfroe might be a slightly better choice. Seems a bit more athletic, healthier, though not as much power

  • https://profiles.google.com/106508220943703406151 Kevin Anstrom

    I would order
    Kaminsky>Ball>Manaea
    Kaminsky lacks the height but is the best bet to remain a starter. However I wouldn’t complain about any of them in the first round.

  • John Dreker

    I added the results for Manaea just now. I couldn’t find velocity reports last night, so wanted to wait another day to see if anything popped up about it

  • https://profiles.google.com/106508220943703406151 Kevin Anstrom

    It would be pretty cool if the Pirates drafted Frazier. They could have an outfield with 3 guys born on the same day (September 6, 1994).

    Frazier
    Raminez
    Escobar