Draft Prospect Watch: Louisville’s Nick Burdi Is Worth Watching

On Friday night, we took a look at a day filled with two big pitching match-ups and staff aces pitching well. Then on Saturday, we covered the best college hitters and how they fared during the first two days of the weekend schedule. Today we wrap up the week with a combo of hitters and pitchers, plus former Pirates draft pick. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just under 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.  2014-Draft

Hartford’s Sean Newcomb gave up his first earned runs of the season Sunday against Maine. In 6.1 innings, he allowed four runs on six hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts. Newcomb pitched 39.2 innings over his first six starts and had 46 strikeouts, to go along with his .111 BAA and 0.00 ERA.

San Francisco outfielder Bradley Zimmer, went 2-for-5 with a walk, run scored and stolen base on Saturday against Loyola Marymount. On Sunday, he drove in two runs, going 2-for-5 with a triple. Zimmer has moved up the draft charts and could go in the top ten picks.

Indiana’s two big bats both had strong games against Iowa on Saturday. Catcher Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while first baseman Sam Travis was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. On Sunday, Indiana put up 14 runs with very little help from their top two hitters. Schwarber was in left field, where he went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Travis was 1-for-4 with an RBI double.

Updating the top two college relievers, Louisville’s Nick Burdi and San Diego State’s Michael Cederoth are the two relievers most likely to go early in the draft. Burdi is strictly a flame-throwing reliever, while Cederoth has started in the past and could in the pros if his control gets better. On Friday against Memphis, Burdi threw 1.2 scoreless innings, striking out four batters. On Sunday, he threw three no-hit innings and struck out five hitters. He picked up the win in the 12 inning contest. On the season, Burdi has thrown 15 shutout innings, allowing seven hits, five walks and he has 28 strikeouts. Burdi has been known to reach 100 MPH consistently and has even hit 103 MPH. Matt Garrioch from Minor League Ball, posted a write-up about Burdi on Saturday.

Michael Cederoth got the win on Sunday against Air Force, but his outing wasn’t strong. He gave up two runs(one earned) on one hit and two walks in two innings. He needed 42 pitches to get through his outing. On Friday, he was called on to get the last two outs and retired both batters he faced.

As for a check-up on some former Pirates picks, we start at Pepperdine, where two Pirates picks are in the rotation. On Saturday, Jackson McClelland picked up his fifth win by going five innings against St Mary’s. He allowed three runs on four hits, one walk and he had two strikeouts. Center fielder/pitcher Aaron Brown got the Sunday start and allowed one unearned run over five innings. He had seven strikeouts, gave up five hits and two walks. Brown was 1-for-5 with an RBI at the plate. He was 1-for-4 on Friday with a run scored and 1-for-4 on Saturday with a walk and an RBI.

Jake Stinnett from Maryland has had an impressive season after not signing with the Pirates last year when they took him in the 29th round. He threw a no-hitter early in the year, then outpitched Carlos Rodon, who many feel will be the first overall pick this year. Stinnett has a 2.84 ERA in eight starts this year, with 66 strikeouts, 12 walks and a .156 BAA in 57 innings. On Friday against Wake Forest, he actually had a very poor outing, allowing six earned runs in the loss. His stock will definitely shoot up the draft chart this year.

Connor Goedert, the 34th round pick from last year, has become the new favorite former pick to follow. He has won three Player of the Week awards and is putting up insane numbers. This week, he played four games and had a quiet week for his standards. He was 4-for-10 with two RBIs and three walks. On the year, he is hitting .500 in 40 games, with 15 doubles, 17 homers, 75 RBIs and a 1.620 OPS. I will guess that some team will use a pick before the 34th round this year on him.

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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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