Some mid-week draft prospect news to catch up on. The Pittsburgh Pirates pick 24th overall in the first round, which will take place on June 5th. For more information on some of the best draft eligible players this year, check out our four-part preview.
San Francisco and Stanford matched up on Tuesday night, pitting outfielder Bradley Zimmer against Stanford’s third baseman Alex Blandino, two of the top hitters in this year’s college draft class. Zimmer didn’t look like a top hitter, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his team’s 6-4 loss. Blandino had a good game though, going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.
Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost went 1-for-5 with a run scored on Tuesday against Georgia Tech. In ten games, he is hitting .381 with five doubles, one homer, seven RBIs and a .997 OPS.
Third baseman Taylor Sparks from UC Irvine went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. He has got off to a real slow start this year, hitting .219 through eight games with 12 strikeouts. His rankings are all over the place, usually lower by people who question his plate patience and contact skills, while others ranking him higher due to his size and power potential.
Oregon State won 3-2 over Washington on Monday. Left fielder Michael Conforto went 1-for-3 with a walk, while right fielder Dylan Davis had an 0-for-4 day. Through eight games, Conforto has 11 walks, 13 RBIs and a 1.091 OPS. Davis was ranked by most as a second round pick, which would make him a type of player that could move into the Pirates range with a strong season or be a possibility with their next picks at 65th and 74th. So far, he is hitting .188 with a .583 OPS. He has driven in nine runs, so he is making his hits count.
Top-ranked Virginia, with three top bats in this draft class, lost 3-2 to VMI on Tuesday. Outfielder Derek Fisher went 2-for-4 with two singles. First baseman Mike Papi hit his second homer of the season, finishing the game 2-for-3 with a walk and he scored both of his team’s runs. Nick Howard went 1-for-3 and was the DH. Howard has pitched four times in relief this year and has just 15 at-bats. Fisher leads his team with a .433 batting average and Papi leads with a .645 slugging percentage.
Matt Garrioch from Minor League Ball believes that Michael Cederoth will be a future reliever. The big right-hander for San Diego State, throws hard, but his control has held him back. Cederoth has one of the best arms in this draft and would obviously have more draft value if he is able to start, but he has been moved to the closer role. He started the first game for San Diego State and did not fare well. On Sunday, Cederoth pitched in relief, retiring all four batters he faced, two by strikeout. He pitched again Tuesday night, picking up the save with one hit and two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth against UC Riverside.
Jim Callis has draft notes on Jeff Hoffman’s start against a loaded Virginia lineup, Tyler Kolek’s first start, Aaron Nola’s seven no-hit innings and Kyle Schwarber’s bat. It’s a must read article for those following the draft. Of particular note, is Kolek, who scouts have some questions on, both his command and secondary stuff. It is doubtful that he would drop to the Pirates, but it’s worth following his progress.
Just a note on high school baseball news. Alex Jackson from Rancho Bernardo, CA High School is ranked as the top prep hitter in this draft class. His season starts March 11th. The season for many high school teams begins within the next week, so the amount of prep news will pick up soon.
Catching up on a former Pirates draft pick from 2012, Walker Buehler made the start for Vanderbilt on Tuesday and lost to Western Kentucky. He went six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, one walk and he struck out five batters. It was the first loss for Vanderbilt. Buehler is 1-1, 2.57 in 14 innings, with 12 strikeouts and a .309 BAA.