Draft Prospect Watch: Jon Harris Continues to Rise, Chris Shaw Returns Early

Today we start off with a mock draft by two of the top draft experts, then cover some action from early in the week. 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.

We will soon see mock drafts more often, as the first day of the draft is just 37 days away. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo put together their top ten picks. This obviously doesn’t tell you about the Pirates pick, but it does give you a strong indication of who won’t be there. I’ve taken their two lists(linked above) and averaged out the picks. If someone is named on both lists, there is a great chance they won’t be around when the Pirates pick. Starting with players that made both lists, then going with the highest ranked players on just one list, these mock drafts look like this:

1. Dillon Tate/Brendan Rogers(both ranked 1/2, just different order)

3. Dansby Swanson

4. Daz Cameron

5. Kyle Funkhouser

6. Alex Bregman

7. Walker Buehler

Made one list

8. Kyle Tucker

9. Mike Nikorak

10. Brady Aiken

11. Jon Harris/Carson Fulmer(both ranked #9)

13. Kevin Newman

Weekend Action

One game from Thursday of note, with Arkansas taking on Alabama. Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi has really moved up the draft charts lately due to his combination of power/speed/hitting. He went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored on Thursday. On Friday, Benintendi went 1-for-4, with an RBI single and a walk.

Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer looked good to those in attendance on Friday against Kentucky, but the results were just average. In 6.2 innings, he allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks, with six strikeouts. Fulmer threw 114 pitches, 68 for strikes, and he allowed a home run. He needed help from a reliever in the seventh to keep the earned run total down, as he left with the bases loaded and all three runners were left stranded.

There was a surprising return to action on Friday night. Boston College’s Chris Shaw came back as a pinch-hitter and singled. Just 18 days ago, he underwent surgery for a broken hamate and it looked like he might be out of action until close to draft day. It will be interesting to see how much he can actually play before June 8th. Shaw looked like a possible late first round pick before the injury.

Kendall Rogers has strong reports on Illinois lefty Kevin Duchene from Friday. He is another tweener pick, possibly late first round or second round, because he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he is a very good pitcher. Rogers had him touching 91 MPH and using all four of his pitches well, including a nice feel for his change-up. Duchene went eight innings against Ohio State and allowed one run on three hits and a walk, striking out seven hitters.

**We haven’t talked much about Jon Harris(mentioned above in the mock draft), so check out this in depth article from Perfect Game, which is filled with infomation on the Missouri State right-hander and his rise through the draft ranks. Harris wasn’t ranked as high in the preseason as most players we have covered weekly, plus he got injured and missed a start early, so that took him out of the Pirates’ range(both picks) for awhile, but he seems to be doing well enough now that he could be off the board before they make their first selection.

On Friday night, he took on Wichita State and continued his strong run. Harris went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk, while picking up 11 strikeouts. He threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes.




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John: Another guy from the Tennessee program is a senior RHSP, Bret Marks, who is 4-5, 3.09 in 11 starts. He has pitched very well and has 3 or 4 solid pitches – second in strikeouts in the SEC (Fullmer of Vandy is first) with 84 in 70 IP. He is one of those kids like Kuchno or Kuhl, who can come in and move up quickly. He will probably pitch against Texas A&M today. HS in Roswell, GA, JUCO, and then UT. Very athletic family.

Another sleeper would be Phillip Pfeifer who is a very successful LHRP at Vandy. Has been a SP his whole career in HS and at Vandy, but way too much talent at SP at Vandy this year, so he has taken on the role of reliever/Closer and also has started a game.


Marks could be Top 50, but he will get very little attention due to the fact he will turn 23 in May, and Tennessee’s conference and overall records are bad. Those numbers are SEC-only, which, IMO, is the toughest conference in college baseball. He even comes outfitted with “Wild Thing” glasses.

Pfeifer was a LHSP for Vandy as a Freshman, but he pitched out of the BP his Soph year, and he and the Coach had a parting of the ways and he sat out all last season. The coach offered him the BP this year if he wanted to come back and he took the opportunity and has been a very solid reliever/closer. With 3 First Round SP’s like Beede, Fulmer, and Buehler it’s no shame to not start – he will help somebody in MLB.

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