Draft Prospect Watch: Updates on Some Top Names in the College Ranks

Today we catch up on some action from around college baseball from this week. Yesterday, we took a look at some new rankings, plus some key injuries. 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.

Josh Staumont from Azusa Pacific has been an interesting arm to watch this year ever since he hit triple digits with his fastball on Opening Day. His name gets some mentions in the back-end of the first round, which makes his a possibility for the Pirates second pick, but he didn’t do himself any favors on Thursday night against Dixie State. Staumont threw 105 pitches in four innings, giving up five runs(one earned) on four hits and four walks, with four strikeouts. He has a .150 BAA and 93 strikeouts in 57.1 innings, but he has been hurt by 45 walks. The arm is very intriguing, it’s just a matter of when a team might gamble on his upside, while also considering he could easily never make it out of the minors.

Joe McCarthy from Virginia returned to action last week after back surgery in January. Since he was still rated #50 by MLB in their preseason rankings, a healthy return could have him moving up into first round consideration. He was in center field and batting lead-off on Wednesday against Liberty. McCarthy went 0-for-3, but he did walk twice and steal a base. On Tuesday against Longwood, he went 0-for-2 with two walks and a HBP. Through his first six games, he was 5-for-19, drawing eight walks.

From Tuesday, Florida shortstop Richie Martin had a strong game against Bethune-Cookman, going 2-for-3 with walk, two stolen bases and he scored both runs in his team’s 2-1 win. Martin’s bat has come on lately after a slow start at the plate. His defense at shortstop has been strong, he has plus speed and excellent base running, but the bat hasn’t looked like first round material until recently. He has a .329/.424/.462 slash line in 42 games, with 16 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Most believe(at this moment) that he will be available when the Pirates make their second selection.

Florida State at Miami will present an interesting match-up on Saturday, as FSU outfielder D.J. Stewart will get to face Miami’s Andrew Suarez, a third round pick from last year, who decided to return to school. We will have a recap of that game on Sunday. Stewart played on Tuesday against Stetson and went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Going into the weekend, he had a .309/.510/.596 slash line in 43 games, with ten homers and 48 walks. In the rankings linked above,  Stewart was ranked 33rd.

We have two key starts to mention from Friday night. One is bad news for the Pirates, but obviously not bad news overall. UC Santa Barbara’s Dillon Tate has been mentioned as a top five pick after showing phenomenal stuff this year. He converted from a reliever to a starter and there were some stamina questions even before he suffered a lat injury last week that caused him to miss his start. He pitched a night game in Hawaii on Friday night, which we will recap tomorrow due to the late start time. With a good showing, Tate won’t see his draft stock drop at all.

UCLA’s James Kaprielian went to the Pirates in a recent mock draft. He faced-off against Stanford on Friday night and didn’t fare well. In 5.1 innings, he allowed six runs(five earned) on 12 hits and one walk, while striking out four batters. For someone that came into the game with a 2.12 ERA and a .229 BAA, Kaprielian really had a poor outing. He is a big arm that should go in the first round, though we will see how this start affects his draft stock.

Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer went seven innings against Missouri without allowing a run. He gave up three hits, walked four and struck out 11 batters. Most believe Fulmer will be off the board before the Pirates make their first pick. According to multiple sources, he was sitting mid-90’s and looked great on Friday.

**Dan Kirby from Through the Fence Baseball has his weekly “10 College Players on the Rise“. He mentions Stewart, McCarthy and a few others that have been mentioned here throughout the year, plus adds a couple new names to the mix.

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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