Draft Prospect Watch: Crawford Throws Shutout

The seventh weekend of college baseball started a day earlier this week, with many teams taking off on Sunday due to Easter. Today saw strong pitching performances from a pitcher who was quickly falling out of the first round, while another pitcher continues to slip in the ratings. The schedule for the top college players this weekend can be found here. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the sixth 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. This year’s draft will be held June 6-8. 2013 draft

San Diego’s Kris Bryant went 0-for-3 tonight against Oregon State, but San Diego still won easily by a 13-3 score. Bryant didn’t get a hit, but he did score three runs. He was walked twice and once he reached via error.

Colin Moran and North Carolina start their weekend schedule today against Clemson with a 10-3 win. Moran went 3-for-5, with three singles and a run scored. Pirates 2010 draft pick, Kent Emanuel, went eight innings in the win, allowing one run on nine hits, one walk and he struck out five hitters. Emanuel has been solid in all but one start this year and should go fairly high in the draft, possibly second round.

Jonathon Crawford was having a rough season coming into today’s game. He was working himself from a possible top 10-15 pick, to a player that could fall out of the first round entirely. He may have turned the corner today though, with an extremely impressive outing. Against Ole Miss, Crawford threw a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits and two walks, while picking up eight strikeouts. It was the first win of the season for the Florida right-hander, who came into the game with an 0-4, 5.67 record. Three weeks ago, he was moved from the Friday starter, to the Saturday pitcher.

While Crawford perhaps turned a corner, the same could not be said for another highly ranked pitcher. Last week, Ryne Stanek from Arkansas, threw a three hit complete game. It was the first time all season that he went deep into a game. Today against Mississippi State, he could get through just four innings before being pulled. He allowed just one earned run on three hits and two walks, but he needed a ton of pitches to get through the fourth inning. He came back out for the fifth and gave up a leadoff double before being removed. Stanek threw 38 pitches in the fourth inning alone and he went to a full count on seven of the 19 batters he faced in the game.

Phillip Ervin from Samford had his weekend cut short. On Friday, during the first game of a doubleheader, he was hit by a pitch during his third plate appearance. He ended up stealing second and scoring a run, but during the next half inning, with the scored tied at four apiece, he was replaced on defense. In the second game, Ervin was used only as a pinch-hitter. He sat out the third game of the series today.

DJ Peterson from New Mexico missed his second straight game today with hamstring issues. The injury was called minor and the power hitting 1B/3B shouldn’t miss much time.

Also still out is Austin Wilson from Stanford. There were conflicting reports on his timetable at first. One said 6-8 weeks, while another report came out and said he would be back up to a month sooner. He has now been out five full weeks and time is starting to run out for him to prove his is healthy and worthy of a high pick. This muscle strain he has now, is the second injury in less than a year that caused him to miss extended time. Last Summer he also missed time due to an oblique strain.

Ryan Eades from LSU wasn’t sharp today, but he still managed to throw eight shutout innings in a win over Missouri. He gave up nine hits, three walks and also hit a batter, while recording five strikeouts. The 6’3″ right-hander moved his record to 5-0, 1.35 this year and he has allowed just seven earned runs in seven starts.

High School News

In a bit of Prep news, Austin Meadows went 3-for-3 today in the National High School Invitational. His team won 1-0 and Meadows drove in the only run of the game. Along with Clint Frazier, another HS player, Meadows is one of the two best bats in this year’s draft class. He could possibly go #1 overall. A recap of the game can be read here.

JP Crawford went 0-for-3 yesterday in his team’s 1-0 loss. The highly ranked shortstop is hitting .325 this year through 14 games.

First baseman Dominic Smith has a .515 average, with 14 runs scored and 17 RBI’s through 14 games this year. He also has a 1.62 ERA in 13 innings pitched, but his future is as a hitter.

  • I watched Crawford’s start and it was easily the best he’s looked all year. He hit a rough spot in the 6th when Tanner Mathis of Ole Miss faked a HPB and tried to run to first. When the ump made him come back, Crawford threw the next one to the backstop and things got heated. Mathis walked, the next batter got a single and after another walk the bases were loaded. Ole Miss’s catcher Stuart Turner was up and he’s one of the hottest hitters in the country. Crawford struck him out on a nasty slider to retire the side. He cruised the rest of the way. Still, Ole Miss isn’t the best hitting team in the SEC. I think Crawford is going to have to do this over and over for anyone to draft him really high. Maybe another year with the Gators would do him good.

    • Thanks for the post. I saw the highlights from the game, his delivery still scares me a little. Without consistent strong results, he will likely stay late first round. There is also a chance whoever takes him, will try to smooth out his delivery, especially if the results remain inconsistent. He’s got a good arm and good stuff, just needs to harness it

      • John,

        When you say “smooth out his delivery” what do you mean exactly? I only ask because I have a less than rudimentary knowledge of pitching mechanics. Would he have to be completely overhauled or would it be more of a few kinks are ironed out that might help consistency? Thanks.