First Pitch: Another Draft Prospect Out For the Year

Another draft prospect has gone down for the season. This time it’s prep pitcher Lucas Giolito. According to Nathan Rode of Baseball America, Giolito suffered a sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament and will be out for the remainder of the high school season. Giolito won’t require surgery.

Giolito is one of the top prospects in the draft, listed as the consensus number two coming in to the year, behind Stanford’s Mark Appel. He hit 100 MPH in a start two weeks ago, and could have been a candidate to go first overall. He definitely wouldn’t have fallen to the Pirates with the eighth overall pick.

It’s unknown whether this injury would change that projection. Elbow injuries aren’t career killers for pitchers, and if Giolito doesn’t need surgery then it wouldn’t seem his is serious. If this injury is enough to make him slip to the Pirates, he should definitely be the pick. He’s an extremely talented pitcher, and would be a huge steal at eight overall if he ended up being healthy. Of course the odds of that are slim, since he would look like an obvious pick at any of the other spots ahead of the Pirates, even with the injury.

Jonathan Mayo has a good look at what Giolito’s injury could mean. Mayo compares the injury to the old draft system, where a player like Giolito would fall to a big spender later in the draft and still get paid. If he went second overall, he would receive $6.2 M. The slot price for the Pirates at eighth overall is $2.8 M. So if he did fall to the Pirates, and they didn’t go over-slot, he would be missing out on $3.4 M. Would that be enough to send him to college, with another shot at the draft in three years?

Links and Notes

**The Pirates played a B Game today at Pirate City. Here is my live blog from the event, and here is Kristy’s write up on how Charlie Morton did in his two innings of work. Here is Kristy’s recap of today’s regularly scheduled game at McKechnie.

**Neil Walker was scratched from today’s game with back tightness. He’s expected to miss the next 2-3 days.

**Clint Hurdle held a team meeting to address focus.

**The Pirates signed three players from the Mexican Leagues.

**Baseball America ranked their top 40 left handed starting prospects. Jeff Locke was the only Pirates prospect to make the list, being ranked 32nd overall. He was a few spots behind Tom Milone, who was one of the players traded for Gio Gonzalez. He also ranked a few spots ahead of Tyler Matzek, who was one of the top prep pitching prospects from the 2009 draft.

**Florida and Mike Zunino played on Tuesday night. Zunino went 3-for-3 with two homers, leading Florida to a 16-1 victory. Zunino now has five homers in 44 at-bats, with a .455/.520/.795 line on the season.