Wrapping up the weekend with some notes on a few high school players that are getting mentioned in the second half of the first round. Most college teams started their schedule on Thursday this week due to Easter, so there are only a few college notes to recap below. On Friday we took a look at the top college pitchers in this draft class, then checked out the best college bats on Saturday. On Thursday, we posted an article on what the Pirates could expect with their first round pick this year. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just under seven weeks away. 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 preview.
Baseball America posted a brand new Draft Tracker on Thursday with some interesting names to watch after the first round. One name that they mentioned could actually sneak into the first round. That is Jack Flaherty, a prep pitcher out of California. He is a solid two-way player, who is now picking up more attention as a pitcher. Scouts are down on his bat, but his pitching has helped him move up the draft charts. You can find a video and scouting report for Flaherty here.
Dan Kirby reports that Michael Chavis hit a walk-off grand slam on Saturday night. He is hitting .546/.643/1.090 through 22 games, with ten homers and 15 stolen bases. Chavis is a prep shortstop, who many feel won’t be able to handle the position in the pros. Scouts have suggested that he could be moved to catcher due to his strong arm, but if the Pirates were interested in Chavis, he would probably be kept at shortstop for at least the short-term, or moved to third base. He has been mentioned often in the 20-25 range, so there is a chance they are considering him.
Another prep shortstop that could move to third base is Jacob Gatewood. There seems to be a real split on him among scouts, with many seeing him as a top 10-15 pick, while others don’t think he will hit enough to warrant a first round pick. So you will see some real splits in his rankings. If the Pirates believe he is a legit top 15 player, then they will consider it a steal if he drops to them with the 24th pick. Gatewood helped his team to a tournament win earlier this week with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly in an 8-2 victory.
Prep outfielder Michael Gettys made some noise with his arm yesterday. He threw a complete game in his team’s 11-1 win that was called after five innings. Gettys carried a no-hitter into the fifth and ended up with nine strikeouts and the one run was unearned. His bat will carry him in the draft and he is a legit option for the Pirates, but his performance on the mound obviously shows that he has a good arm. His hitting has been off the charts recently, with a recent stretch that saw him hit .500 with nine extra-base hits in eight games.
Sunday College Roundup
Just some Sunday stats for a few of the top college bats and one pitcher. Check out yesterday’s link for updates on where these hitters are being mentioned in draft rankings recently.
Shortstop Trea Turner from NC State went 1-for-5 with a walk, stolen base and run scored against Boston College on Sunday.
Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie went 3-for-4 with a run, stolen base and two RBIs on Sunday against Southern Illinois.
Sam Travis from Indiana went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs against Michigan State. Catcher Kyle Schwarber went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored.
Virginia’s Mike Papi was 0-for-3 with a walk on Sunday. He also went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday and Saturday. His recent climb towards the first round might have stalled out with this weekend’s performance. If he doesn’t sneak into the first round, he shouldn’t last too much longer.
Louisville’s Nick Burdi is the only reliever that looks like he will go in the first round. He made things interesting in Friday’s game by allowing two hits and another batter reached via throwing error. All three base runners came with two outs in a 3-2 game, but Burdi struck out the last batter for his eighth save. On Thursday, he picked up the loss in 11 innings, though the only run he allowed was unearned. On the season, Burdi hasn’t allowed an earned run in 19.2 innings. He has 34 strikeouts and a .125 BAA. He hits triple digits on the radar gun consistently.
Your Weekly Connor Goedert Update
When the Pirates took Connor Goedert in the 34th round of the draft last year, it seemed like a good late-round pick, but he didn’t sign. His brother was playing third base for Indianapolis at the time, which obviously didn’t convince him he was ready to go pro. Well, following Goedert this year, he apparently can hit. This past week he went 1-for-4 on Tuesday, 2-for-5 with two walks on Thursday and 3-for-5 with four RBIs on Sunday. Goedert plays for Neosho County Community College, where he has a .478/.571/.950 line through 51 games. He has driven in 85 runs and scored 70 times.
Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler, the Pirates 14th round selection in 2012, allowed one run over 5.1 innings this week against Middle Tennessee State. On the year, he has a 1.66 ERA over 54.1 innings, with a .207 BAA and 64 strikeouts.
Bryan Baker, the Pirates 40th round selection from last year, is having a tough Freshman season at North Florida. He has started five games and pitched three times in relief. In 25.1 innings, he has a 7.71 ERA, .310 BAA and 17 walks. He looked like a strong draft choice late. He’s a big righty, highly projectable and he was hitting mid-90s over the Summer, so some considered him the one that got away from the Pirates.