The second weekend of college baseball began tonight, with some impressive pitching performances from arms near the top of most draft-eligible rankings lists. For a look at the list of games to watch through early next week, check out our Draft Prospect Watch Schedule. Also, check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the first week’s action here. Just a reminder, the Pirates pick #9 and #14 in this year’s June amateur draft, so for the duration of the college season, leading up to draft day, we are following the players closely that are ranked in that range.
Last Friday, Florida’s Jonathon Crawford lasted just 3.2 innings before being pulled, allowing two runs on three hits. Tonight he gave up two runs again, but for 5.1 innings he was impossible to hit. Crawford was hurt by two walks and two hit batters, leading to two of the three runs scored in the sixth inning by visiting Florida Gulf Coast University. Crawford’s teammate Zack Powers, an unsigned draft pick of the Pirates in 2010, went 2-for-3, with a double and single in his team’s 8-2 loss.
In Stanford, Mark Appel faced off against Fresno State, a team that has an interesting draft-eligible player to watch of their own. Aaron Judge, the 6’7″ outfielder for the Bulldogs, went 0-for-4, with two strikeouts against the top ranked pitcher, in his team’s 3-1 loss. Judge hit .385 with a home run during the first week of play. Appel had a strong bounce back start after a tough first game last week against Austin Kubitza of Rice. He pitched a complete game, allowing one run on three hits and a walk, with 11 strikeouts.
Austin Wilson was again out of the lineup with his muscle strain below his elbow, his fourth missed game in a row. According to Kiley McDaniel on Twitter, he didn’t field or take BP and won’t play this weekend.
San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, went 1-for-4, with a single, in his team’s 2-1 win. San Diego came up with two runs in the bottom of the ninth for the win, but with a man on first and no outs, Bryant struck out. He is 3-for-13, with four walks, early on in the season.
For Indiana State today, left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea showed why he is ranked near the top in this year’s draft class against the College of Charleston. Manaea went six scoreless innings, allowing just one base hit, two walks and he struck out ten batters. He threw 97 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Ryne Stanek out of Arkansas, is another right-handed pitcher at the top of this June’s draft class. He had a rocky outing today, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in three innings. He threw 76 pitches and struck out four batters against Evansville.
Bobby Wahl, the RHP out of Ole Miss, had some control issues in his win against Rhode Island today. Wahl has been ranked by most people just below where the Pirates pick, but he could work his way into consideration if all the other strong college starters are off the board. He allowed one run over five innings today, giving up just two hits, but he walked six and hit a batter.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Manaea is lefty, you have him listed as a righty.
And I really wish he would pitch some mediocre outings so he would fall to #9 , he’s the guy I want most in this draft
Thanks for spotting that. I had it correct in the schedule post, and actually erased “LHP” when I copied it over, to spell it out instead. Right now, he looks like he is staying at the top of the draft class, but it’s still early. If the draft was today, he would probably be gone top three
Yeah for sure after his strong performance in the Cape. He wasn’t much his first two years which is why I think he could fall a bit if he has an average/bad stretch (not that we want to draft pitchers that don’t look the part but he has the stuff, he just finally started putting it all together)
Just got word that he was hitting 98 MPH last night. Would be nice to get a lefty like that, but eight other teams are thinking the same thing
It will be interesting to see if Appel signs off on the Pirates drafting him again. They have 2 1st round picks, so they’ll have more draft money to play with.
A few people asked about the velocity for Appel. Last week, there was word that he was hitting 90-91 MPH in the fifth inning. Last night, the early reports were that he was sitting 96-97, hitting 98 MPH