Draft Prospect Watch: Homers By Bryant And Moran

The seventh weekend of college baseball started a day earlier this week, with many teams taking off on Sunday due to Easter. The National High School Invitational is also under way, a tournament that hosts 16 of the best HS teams in the country. 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, who some consider the best college bat in the draft, went 3-for-5, with two singles and a home run tonight. It was his 13th home run of the year. Bryant drove in three runs, as San Diego beat Oregon State 7-4.

Colin Moran had a Wednesday night game against Winthrop and the North Carolina third baseman hit his fifth home run of the season. He went 1-for-4, with three RBI’s, leading his team to their 22nd win on the season against just one loss.

Mark Appel got the start today for Stanford and had early command issues, but was able to keep Washington State off the board the entire game. He threw a complete game shutout, allowing four hits, one walk and he hit three batters. Appel struck out ten and now has 64 strikeouts in 57 innings this year.

Jonathan Gray from Oklahoma continued to put up great performances with his outing against Kansas tonight. He pitched a complete game, allowing one run on two hits, with no walks and 12 strikeouts. He now has nine walks and 63 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. Minor League Ball posted a scouting report on him today, along with videos.

The start on short rest wasn’t good for everyone. Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga had a rough outing today. He went six innings against Loyola Marymount, giving up seven runs(five earned) on nine hits and two walks, while striking out four batters. In was the second loss of the season for the lefty, who came into the game with a 2.00 ERA.

Chris Anderson, the big right-hander from Jacksonville, also had a rough outing today. He went six innings against Mercer, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits. If there was a silver lining to the game, it was his zero walks and ten strikeouts. He now has 70 strikeouts in 53 innings.

DJ Peterson from New Mexico had a big game today against San Diego State at home. He went 3-for-3, with three doubles and four runs scored in the 14-3 win. One caveat with his stats, he plays in a launching pad called Lobo Field, where an average of 17 runs per game are scored, so the numbers are a little skewed. Peterson played first base again today. Earlier in the year he was playing more third base.

Aaron Judge from Fresno State, went 3-for-4 tonight in his team’s loss to Nevada. The hits were all singles, but it was still a strong performance from Judge, who was facing Braden Shipley each time up. Shipley is a likely late first round pick with impressive stats this season, including 52 strikeouts in 50.2 innings and a 4-0 record in seven starts.

National High School Invitational

Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com and the staff at Baseball America are both covering the NHSI tournament this week. It began yesterday and featured a match-up between Austin Meadows, one of the top two hitters in this draft, going up against one of the best HS pitchers in this draft class, Stephen Gonsalves. Meadows reaches base in three of his four plate appearances, hitting a double, drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch. In today’s game, Meadows started the scoring in his team’s win, with a two-run, bases loaded single. Recaps of the big games and some others prospects can be found in the links below:

Meadows VS Gonsalves From BA

Meadows VS Gonsalves From MLB(along with other notes from the tourney)

Meadows Game From Today

Also from the tournament, Jordan Sheffield was scratched from his start with a nagging elbow strain. He originally hurt it during the team’s season opener, which was played in 33 degree weather. Sheffield was ranked #7 overall by BA among all HS seniors this year. A news article about the injury can be read here.

JP Crawford Starting To Heat Up

From a couple days ago, JP Crawford, a prep shortstop who looks to be mid-first round material, went 2-for-4 in his team’s 2-1 win. Crawford had a double and scored a run. He is now hitting .351 in 13 games, with five doubles and 13 runs scored. A recent mock draft had the Pirates taking Crawford with the #14 pick.

Hunter Harvey Looks Impressive

Kiley McDaniel was at Hunter Harvey’s start today and had some impressive tweets about the right-handers start. Through three innings, he had eight strikeouts and was hitting 94 MPH with his fastball, plus showing a very good curveball. Over the last three innings, he struck out nine. In the game, he went six innings, striking out 17, with a lone single and one walk allowed. Conor Glassey from Baseball America was at his last game and had this report. He recently ranked #36 on Jonathan Mayo’s latest list of top 50 players in this draft class.

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