Some mid-week draft news and notes. Baseball America has two draft features from this week that are worth checking out, plus a couple other links of note. Below that, you will find some college recaps from the first two days this week.
First up is their draft podcast with John Manuel and Clint Longenecker. If you have the time to listen to it, you should. They have great info on the prep pitchers that are establishing themselves as first round pick, including Scott Blewett, who has been mentioned here often. Blewett is a tall, projectable righty from upstate New York and he has been mentioned in the Pirates range often. They also talk about Spencer Adams, a right-handed prep pitcher out of Ohio that has made great strides this year. BA ranked him 26th in their updated rankings earlier this month.
To go along with the podcast, BA also did a draft chat that was hosted by John Manuel on Wednesday afternoon. Tons of info here on top prep players.
BA also has an update from college baseball that includes some information on Central Florida pitcher Eric Skoglund and Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie. Skoglund was drafted by the Pirates in the 16th round in 2011 and has established himself as a player that will go much earlier this year. Gillaspie could sneak into the first round and be an option for the Pirates. More on him below.
One final BA update. On Monday, they posted the weekly stats for the top college players in this draft. There is also a video of Florida State pitcher Luke Weaver and a recap of some of the better pitchers in the country.
Early Week College Results
Oregon State played two games against Sacramento State this week. On Monday, outfielder Michael Conforto had a big game. He went 4-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs, a home run and a stolen base. He is going to be a first round draft pick, with many rating him mid-round. His outfield partner Dylan Davis, who will also be a high draft pick, had a game on Monday that was as bad as Conforto’s was good. Davis was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. On Tuesday, the two players switched roles. Davis was 2-for-5 with a homer and he drove in four runs, while Conforto was 0-for-2 with three walks and a run scored.
Casey Gillaspie had a nice game against Missouri on Tuesday. He went 4-for-5 with a stolen base and run scored. All four hits were singles.
Catcher Max Pentecost helped Kennesaw State defeat Georgia on Tuesday. He was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a double and a walk in the 3-1 win.
Sunday marked the return of outfielder Derek Fisher from Virginia. He was a player mentioned often early on in the Pirates range. Then he broke his hamate and missed over a month of action. In his game back, he went 0-for-3 against North Carolina. On Tuesday, Fisher was 2-for-4 with a homer and was hit by a pitch. The homer is especially impressive because hamate injuries are known to sap power from players for up to a year. Fisher’s teammate Mike Papi was getting some first round mentions recently, but he went 0-for-2 on Tuesday and he is now 0-for-11 in his last four games.
Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino went 2-for-5 with a double and three runs scored against Santa Clara on Tuesday. He has got some first round mention throughout the year, but will likely end up in the 30-40 range. He is hitting .303/.392/.467 through 33 games.
San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer went 0-for-3 on Tuesday against Nevada, but still had an impact in the game. He walked twice, stole three bases and scored two runs. He has been mentioned often recently as the top college bat and he could sneak into the top ten picks.
On Tuesday, North Carolina State lost to Campbell by a 9-0 score. Shortstop Trea Turner went 1-for-3 with a single and walk. The 2011 pick of the Pirates has dropped from a high of top five early, down to mid-first range. Right now it’s doubtful he could fall to the Pirates, but just a couple months ago, he was consistently 10-15 spots higher for everyone, so I wouldn’t rule it out.