Draft Prospect Watch: Bradley Zimmer Hits Sixth Homer

Some draft news, notes and game recaps from the last two days. Also below, you will find a new mock draft from Big League Futures, a site that does excellent scouting work all season long. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 24th pick in the first round this year. They also picked 65th overall in the second round and 74th, which is their competitive balance pick. For more information on the top players in this draft class, check out our four-part draft preview2014-Draft

Max Pentecost from Kennesaw State went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk in his team’s 10-5 loss to Auburn. In 27 games, he leads his team with ten doubles and has hit two of his team’s eight homers this year. Last year in 57 games, he finished with 14 doubles and three homers. Pentecost is likely the best catcher in this draft that projects to stick at the catcher position.

Bradley Zimmer and San Francisco took on Oregon on Tuesday afternoon. Zimmer has moved up the draft charts and could be the first college bat off the board. He went 1-for-4 with a solo home run, walk and two runs scored. He has a .419/.471/.710 line through 22 games, with six homers and 11 stolen bases.

Rain canceled the games for Stanford and Oregon State on Tuesday, so top hitting prospects Alex Blandino, Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis all had an unscheduled night off.

On Monday night, Miami and Virginia wrapped up their three game series. Virginia won 5-3 and DH Nick Howard had a big hand in the win. He drove in three runs and picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning. First baseman Mike Papi had a rough game, going 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts. More on Papi below in the notes section. Center fielder Brandon Downes looked to be bouncing back from a slow start to the season in the first two games of the series, but he finished off with an 0-for-3, walk and two strikeouts. Second baseman Branden Cogswell was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Miami center fielder Dale Carey went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. He was drafted by the Pirates in 2010 and went undrafted as a junior last year.

Draft News and Notes

Baseball America has the weekly stats for the top 100 draft-eligible prospects, plus some news and notes from the weekend.

MLB Draft Insider posted notes on some of the better west coast prep players, including catcher Alex Jackson, who could be the first high school bat off the board.

Also from MLB Draft Insider, Chris Crawford has his updated list of the top 25 players in this draft. While it isn’t a mock draft, I’ll point out that Virginia’s first baseman Mike Papi was ranked 24th overall. He has definitely made progress this year and seems like one of the best college bats out there.

Teddy Cahill from has a recap of Sean Newcomb’s week and his progress this season. Also notes on Carlos Rodon, Tyler Beede and the top high school player from Canada.

Clint Longenecker from Baseball America has a report and video on prep pitcher Jacob Bukauskas, who has added impressive velocity since last season and he is starting to get some high round talk.

Dan Kirby has his weekly update of college players on the rise. A lot of familiar names for those that have been following our draft coverage.

 New Mock Draft

Big League Futures released their first mock draft and they went with Cal State Fullerton third baseman Matt Chapman to the Pirates. He is a player we have followed all season long and he has been mentioned as a mid-to-late first round pick often. Chapman isn’t putting up great numbers this year, they are actually down a bit from his sophomore year, especially the OBP. He provides a solid bat at a corner infield position, with some pop and the ability to take walks. He would definitely provide a strong college bat at a position of need in the system and be a solid late first round pick.

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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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