Luke Weaver could now be an option for the Pirates with their new pick - Image Credit: Florida State University

Draft Prospect Watch: Hoffman vs Lemond Highlights Friday Night

It’s the eighth weekend of the college baseball season and like every Friday night, we will focus on the best Friday night starters that are draft eligible this year. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just nine 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.

Luke Weaver started out strong against Notre Dame - Image Credit: Florida State University

Luke Weaver started out strong against Notre Dame – Image Credit: Florida State University

Some of the best starters in the nation won’t get their start until later in the week. North Carolina State’s Carlos Rodon will make his weekly start on Saturday against Clemson. Hartford’s Sean Newcomb will pitch Sunday on the road against Maine. Miami’s Andrew Suarez will start Saturday against Virginia Tech.

The best match-up this weekend was the Friday night start between Jeff Hoffman from East Carolina and Zech Lemond from Rice. Hoffman will likely go in the first half of the first round and he was rated as high as second overall early in the year, but he hasn’t lived up to the early hype. Lemond was a 50th round selection of the Pirates in 2011 and he could sneak into the first round this year.

Lemond had a strong outing, but Hoffman stepped up and had the better game. Lemond went 6.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits, two walks and a hit batter. He struck out four and was hitting 95 MPH with his fastball. Hoffman allowed one run over eight innings of work. He gave up seven hits and one walk, with seven strikeouts. He had a 3.80 ERA coming into the game.

Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede took on Tennessee on Friday in a road start and he overcame a rough start to go eight innings. Beede allowed three runs in the first and then just one over the next seven innings. He gave up four earned runs on five hits, two walks and a hit batter. Beede had six strikeouts and threw a total of 120 pitches on the night, 76 for strikes.

Luke Weaver and Florida State, took on Notre Dame at home and Weaver looked good early, but his night did not end well. Notre Dame ended up scoring five runs in the eighth inning, after he allowed just two runs over the first seven innings. Weaver ended up with 7.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter. He had eight strikeouts.

Kyle Freeland from Evansville, went on the road to face Charlotte on Friday afternoon. He pitched a complete game and had 15 strikeouts in a 3-2 win. Freeland walked one and gave up four hits. Both runs he allowed came in the eighth inning. In 49 innings this year, he has given up four walks and he’s struck out 60 struck batters.

LSU’s Aaron Nola had a good test on Friday night against #9 ranked Mississippi State and he performed like an ace. He went eight shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks, while picking up ten strikeouts. Nola threw 116 pitches, 81 for strikes. In 57 innings this year, he has 71 strikeouts and has given up just three runs all year.

UNLV’s Erick Fedde went up against Fresno State and Jordan Brink, who returned to the rotation after spending two weeks in the bullpen. Both pitchers could be first round picks this year. Brink ended up going six innings, allowing three runs(two earned) on five hits, three walks and a hit batter. He had five strikeouts and needed 108 pitches to get through his night. Fedde had a big night, throwing seven shutout innings. He gave up five hits, one walk and had 11 strikeouts.

Brandon Finnegan and TCU, took on West Virginia on Friday night. He went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts. Finnegan threw 100 pitches, 62 for strikes. He had a 1.42 ERA coming into the game, with 12 walks and 73 strikeouts in 50.2 innings.

Matt Imhof from Cal Poly, went up against UC Santa Barbara this week and got hit hard. He allowed seven runs(six earned) on five hits, two homers and three walks. Imhof had four strikeouts in his 3.1 innings of work. He matched his runs allowed totals over his first 51.2 innings, coming into the day with seven runs allowed, six being earned runs.

Links of Interest

A few links of interest from the last couple days. Clint Longenecker from Baseball America posted an article worth reading, reporting on the best position players in the National HS Invitational, which was covered here Sunday.

Dan Kirby from Through The Fences, listed his top 20 players in this draft class. The focus is on the Cubs pick at #4 in the first round, but Kirby goes into detail about many of the top names and there is obviously the potential for one or more to fall to the end of the first round.

If you missed it from Wednesday, we recapped the early week games around college baseball for some of the best bats and also mentioned a new mock draft that had the Pirates taking Stanford third baseman Alex Blandino.

My MLB Draft posted their third mock draft update yesterday. They have Michael Gettys going to the Pirates. We have covered him here before and you can read more in the National HS Invitational links above. In his Wednesday game, Gettys hit a three-run homer and drove in another run in his team’s 5-1 win.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

Draft Prospect Watch: New Mock Draft Has Pirates Taking Alex Blandino

Next Story »

Draft Prospect Watch: Carlos Rodon Has Trouble With Clemson

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    23 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    4 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    6 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    2 weeks ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles