Yesterday, we took a look at some of the college hitters mentioned below, along with new rankings and a new mock draft. Today we have a big pitching match-up, plus a wrap of the weekend action in college. 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.

Sunday had a big pitching match-up between Walker Buehler of Vanderbilt(pictured above courtesy of Vanderbilt University) and Kyle Cody of Kentucky. Buehler will likely go within the top 15 picks, while Cody is looking like a second round pick now, after getting rated a little higher earlier in the season. The two pitchers didn’t disappoint the scouts in attendance, with both looking good despite average results. Buehler went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. He was sitting 93-94 MPH early. Cody went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts. He ran his pitch count up early, finishing with 107 pitches. Cody was sitting 90-92, touching 94 MPH.

Illinois lefty Tyler Jay pitched on Sunday, retiring all three batters he faced in order in the ninth inning against Ohio State. That outing followed the 2.1 scoreless innings he threw on Saturday. He was hitting 97 MPH during Saturday’s outing, with a slider that was referred to as both “filthy” and “nasty” by two different people covering the game. Jay has an 0.73 ERA in 49.1 innings, with 54 strikeouts(just four walks) and a .159 BAA. He is rated right now in the 15-25 range, with some down on him due to the fact he is likely to relieve in the pros.

UCLA’s James Kaprielian pitched earlier in the weekend and looked great. He recently went to the Pirates in a mock draft, so this is the type of outing that could keep him ranked that high. He threw 7.2 scoreless innings against Gonzaga, allowing four hits and two walks. He had six strikeouts and 11 ground ball outs.

Some quick updates for some college hitters from Saturday/Sunday:

Florida State’s D.J. Stewart went 0-for-1 with three walks and two stolen bases on Sunday. As mentioned yesterday, he now has ten steals, but he is a below average runner. His stolen base success likely shows he is a smart runner, rather than new found foot speed.

Florida shortstop Richie Martin went 1-for-3, with a walk and HBP on Sunday. He is hitting .315/.416/.459 in 48 games, with 16 stolen bases.

Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi hit his 15th homer on Saturday. He is hitting .386/.488/.729 and also has 20 steals. He is getting first round mention now.

Cincinnati outfielder Ian Happ went 2-for-4 on Sunday, hitting his 13th homer. He has a .373 average and a 1.191 OPS. He was getting top ten mentions about two weeks ago, but has slipped back a little.

Arizona’s double play combo had a rough Sunday, though their team won 2-0 over Washington State. Scott Kingery went 1-for-5, while shortstop Kevin Newman went 0-for-4 with a HBP.  Kingery is hitting .416 with a 1.067 OPS. Newman is batting .362 and has an .888 OPS, with 17 steals. Both could go in the first round, with Newman ranked about 10-20 spots higher depending on the source.

On Saturday we mentioned the incredibly quick return of Boston College outfielder Chris Shaw, who had hamate surgery just 18 days earlier. He singled as a pinch-hitter on Friday. He pinch-hit again on Saturday, then stayed in the game in left field. He had a single and a walk in his two plate appearances. Shaw did not play in Sunday’s loss to Virginia Tech.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. It would be better if you use rankings for this segment. It would get the reader more involved and pumped up about the upcoming draft. You could develop your ranking system. We trust your judgment. Thanks for your consideration. It would make this feature a more fun piece and in line with your Prospects Watch piece.

    • I don’t see enough of these players to rank them myself. I include any rankings from sources I trust throughout the year and they will show up more often very soon. With less than five weeks until the draft, we will see a new mock draft every couple days starting very soon

  2. Compared to the ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 – how does Big 10 baseball compare in terms of quality and talent level? I know Indiana has produced a few really good players recently, but I am not seeing too many high draft picks from the rest of the conference….

    • I found a ranking that said it’s the seventh best conference, eighth best strength of schedule, so it is near the top.

  3. Illinois idiot coach is costing Tyler Jay at least several hundred thousand dollars by not starting him. Makings of three above average pitches with decent mechanics and he isn’t good enough to start in the Big 10? Please.

    Pirates better have a pretty damn good alternative in order to pass on him at #19.

    • I could see them passing on him if they think his upside is a reliever. Someone big covering the draft, said he is probably the closest to the Majors right now, but that would obviously mean as a reliever. The flip side to his low inning totals is that it’s less abuse on his arm, although 2.1 innings followed by another inning the next day isn’t exactly great for him. Luckily Sunday took eight pitches.

      • True, and build would be the only aspect of his profile that I could possibly see a smart team like the Pirates questioning, relative to his ability to start. Certainly not their prototypical 6′-5″ pitcher.

        Otherwise, I have no idea why a team wouldn’t develop a kid that’s already up to 97 with two above average to plus secondaries and decent command already as a starter until he shows he absolutely can’t do it. That’s a hell of a start towards being a pretty darn good pitcher.

        • I would like him with the #32 pick, although I’d like to hear how his velocity was on Sunday after 2.1 innings the previous day and also when he threw 5-6 innings a couple weeks ago. If he was holding it late, then you might have something. A lot of these college kids pander to the radar gun, someone gets in their head and lets them know that touching 97, even if it goes to the backstop, is better than 91-92 with command and movement. The reason is that the scout sees potential in 97, even though it could be a number he never sees in the pros, especially not as a starter.

          I’m not saying Jay is like that because he obviously has command in the 93-94 range, but touching 97 doesn’t mean a lot if a kid does it in relief and it straightens out, or he has no command. The Pirates actually have a GCL pitcher named Alex Martinez who could hit 95-96 consistently, but they backed him off of that because he was useless at that speed and he doesn’t have stamina.

          • Seems like that kind of a draft, all around. Plenty of guys more comfortably in the supplemental round area than the upside you’d like mi-to-late first round.

            Are you personally leaning towards preferring any one guy at #19?

            • I would honestly go pitching with the top two picks, because there seems to be more injuries among pitchers now, so I’d like to stock up on quality arms early, then some prep arms with upside later. Nathan Kirby seems like he will be available at #19 and his floor seems to be a Jeff Locke type, though his ceiling is low. Phil Bickford is another in that range and Cody Ponce has huge upside and the frame to match. I think it’s possible to get two of them where the Pirates pick

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