Draft Prospect Watch: Two More Top Players Injured, Big Day For Newman

Today we take a look at some recent injuries to top players and some mid-week action from the prep and college ranks. You can find the draft slot values for each pick here, covering all 11 picks the Pirates have in the first ten rounds. After the tenth round, teams have $100,000 to spend on each player and anything over that counts against their bonus pool. The draft begins on June 8th and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the 19th and 32nd overall picks. The Pirates will have the 11th highest draft bonus pool.

There have been a couple injuries in the last few days that could affect some draft stocks. Georgia outfielder Alonso Jones had surgery yesterday for a broken hamate bone, which will effectively end his chance to move up draft boards. Jones was recently ranked 41st overall in this draft class, but he may not see a slip in his rankings due to the fact that he is a Vanderbilt commit. That’s a notoriously difficult school to sign players away from, so if a team really likes him, they won’t be able to wait to see if he falls.

Also injured was New York prep pitcher Wesley Rodriguez, who really climbed the rankings recently due to an increase in velocity(mid-90’s, hitting 97 MPH). The good thing for Rodriguez is that the injury is a lower half injury and nothing arm related. It may not give teams another chance to see him before the draft, depending on the severity.

We have some high school action from the last couple days, with two of the bigger names in the prep pitching class. Ashe Russell pitched six scoreless innings, with three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts. His fastball sat low-90’s, touching 95 MPH. His curve had power and depth according to Prep Baseball Report. Also from PRB, Florida pitcher Juan Hillman had six strikeouts in 5.1 IP. His fastball was 86-91 MPH and he showed a good curve. You can read more on both of them in the link below from our Tuesday article.

We also have some college action of note from Tuesday. Virginia outfielder Joe McCarthy went 1-for-4 with a single against Old Dominion. He only recently returned to action after off-season back surgery and the early results show some of the rust. McCarthy is hitting .212/.435/.212 in ten games. He was ranked 50th overall early in the season and has dropped a little since then, though he still projects as a second round pick.

Arizona’s double play combo of Kevin Newman and Scott Kingery took on Arizona State and both had big games. Newman went 5-for-5, with a double and a walk. Kingery homered, finishing the game 2-for-5 with three runs scored. His .440 average is third best in Division I baseball. Newman is the higher ranked player, but the difference between them depends on who you ask. He has been ranked as high as #2 in this draft class recently and also as low as #24 in the last rankings(link just below). Kingery was just 12 spots below him on that list, so it’s possible both could go in the first round.

**On Tuesday, we posted updated rankings from MLB Pipeline and took a look at the players in the Pirates’ range, plus a few other players of note.

**Dan Kirby from Through The Fence Baseball has his “Ten College Players on the Rise” for the 11th week of the college season. There are eight names that we have covered here in the past, but he adds a couple names you should know on draft day.

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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