Draft Prospect Watch: Three Home Run Game From Bryant

The fifth weekend of college baseball started today. There were two big match-ups scheduled tonight between two top pitchers in this year’s draft class, but one of them were canceled when one pitcher was switched to a Sunday start instead. Without the marquee match-up, the big news came from the bat of one of the top hitters in this draft. 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 fourth¬†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.

On Thursday night, Kris Bryant and San Diego opened a series against BYU with a bang. In the 9th inning, Bryant came to the plate with two men on and his team was trailing 5-4. He would connect for a walk-off homer, which was his third round-tripper of the game. He reached base all five plate appearances, adding two walks and he drove in six runs. In game two of the series tonight, Bryant had a quiet night, going 0-for-3, with a walk and run scored, as San Diego won 5-3.

Bobby Wahl from Ole Miss was originally scheduled to face Ryne Stanek from Arkansas, in a duel between two top-ranked pitchers on two top-ranked teams. Stanek had his start pushed back to Sunday and Wahl ended up stealing the show. He allowed one run over seven innings, during his team’s 7-1 win. Wahl allowed three hits, walked five and he struck out five batters. His control was spotty during the night, but according to Kendall Rogers on Twitter, his slurve was very impressive and he was hitting 92 MPH in the third inning.

While the best pitching match-up didn’t come to fruition, their was a close second in Minnesota. Sean Manaea, the lefty from Indiana State, who has been ranked second overall among draft-eligible college players, took on right-hander Tom Windle, of Minnesota. Windle has been moving up the charts recently, thanks in part to a no-hitter against Western Illinois last week. Their match-up didn’t disappoint, as both threw complete games in Indiana State’s 2-1 win. Manaea allowed no earned runs, giving up six hits, one walk and he struck out nine batters. Multiple reports had him in the 92-94 MPH range most of the night. Windle was almost just as good, allowing one earned on four hits and one walk. He only struck out one batter. Manaea rolled his ankle on the last play of the game and required ice afterwards. It will be something to watch leading up to his start next week.

Colin Moran and Kent Emanuel from North Carolina, lost 4-1 to Miami tonight, the team’s first loss of the season. Emanuel came into the game with four strong starts to his credit, but he struggled a bit tonight. In 6.1 innings, he gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks. He threw a total of 116 pitches and struck out three batters. The 2010 draft pick of the Pirates had been moving up the draft charts prior to today, possibly working his way into the late first round. There was a bit of worry going into this game after he needed 131 pitches to get through his last start. Moran went 2-for-4, with two singles, a ground out and a strike out. Another 2010 draft pick of the Pirates, Dale Carey on Miami, went 0-for-3 tonight. He is now hitting just .182 in 55 AB’s this season.

Marco Gonzales, the left-hander from Gonzaga, got a no-decision tonight against San Francisco. He gave up two runs over eight innings, allowing four hits, one walk and he struck out six batters. Gonzales has thrown 38 innings in his five starts, striking out 33 batters, while posting a 3-1 record. Next weekend, he will take on San Diego and Kris Bryant.

Jonathon Crawford of Florida didn’t make his usual Friday night start. He has been pushed back to Saturday. Top ranked Mark Appel and Stanford are off this entire weekend.

In Prep news, Baseball America has a comparison for subscribers, between the two top HS players in the country. Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier are the consensus top HS players, but Frazier was the one that stole the show when their two teams met up this week, hitting two homers. BA gives the hitting advantage to Meadows, but Frazier has the better power and they call the comparison too close to call. At this point, it looks like both will go in the top five picks this year.

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.

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