Morning Report: The Top Ranked Draft Prospects Still Available

The first day of the 2018 MLB draft is in the books and now we move on to the important second day, where teams make eight selections, covering the third round through the tenth round. Some of these players will be taken with the idea of saving money for earlier or later picks, but that usually doesn’t start until after the fifth round. If you’re not already a subscriber, it’s not too late to use our 18% off draft discount to subscribe. To get the discount, use the code MLBDRAFT for an Annual subscription, or MLBDRAFT3 for a Top Prospect Plan. We also brought back monthly subscription plans and have deep discounts on our 2018 Prospect Guide.

So right now we are going to look at the highest ranked players who are still on the draft board and available when teams start picking today. The Pirates have the eighth overall pick today (two teams ahead of them lost third round picks), which is the 86th overall pick in the draft, meaning there will be plenty of top 100 prospects still available when they make that selection.

I used the rankings from MLB Pipeline, mostly for ease, since the draft tracker shows the top remaining players. I included eight names to guarantee that at least one will still be available.

Cole Wilcox – A right-handed prep pitcher with a big fastball and terrific changeup and a big 6’5″ frame. He was ranked 19th overall, so I’m guessing that he commitment to Georgia and asking price scared teams off. Sometimes players like this reconsider on day two and sometimes they just never get picked. He’s too good to be left on the board, but I bet he’s getting some phone calls with offers from teams that have money to spend.

Kumar RockerWe profiled him here this year because he was rated up near the tenth spot early in the season, before dropping late. Rocker, is a right-handed prep pitcher, who has a huge frame and a fastball that hits 98 MPH. Everything I said about why Wilcox didn’t get picked also applies here. Rocker has a Vanderbilt commitment and they often get their player.

Tristan BeckAnother player we profiled because he was pitching well this year and has a track history of success. He also had a back injury that caused him to miss all of last year, so that likely scared teams away. He’s a talented pitcher and should be off the board already.

Mike Siani – Another prep player with a commitment to a strong college (Virginia), he’s probably in the same boat as Rocker and Wilcox. He’s a two-way player who would pitch and hit in college, so that might be more intriguing to him than going to pro ball right now, where he would give up pitching. I could be wrong though and teams just didn’t see him as a second round pick, so he could still go off the board.

Adam Kloffenstein – I wrote about him in our tiered rankings and really liked his potential as a second round pick, which was considered him upside. He has a commitment to TCU, which is sometimes a tough sign (Nick Lodolo anyone?). He’s big, he throws hard and he has four pitches. There is a lot to like here.

Blaine Knight – Wrote about him too in the tier rankings because there is some intrigue here. He turns 22 later this month, but has the projectability of a prep pitcher. He throws hard, but needs to add weight/muscle, plus he hasn’t pitched a lot, so the arm is fresh.

Tristan Pompey – His brother is an MLB player. He has a 6’4″, 200 pound, athletic frame, with a strong bat and above average speed. He’s an outfielder, though speed isn’t his strong point. If the Pirates go here with the 86th pick, it’s for the offensive potential.

Nander De Sedas – A prep shortstop with above average defense and some nice raw power from both sides of the plate, he would be a great pick at this spot. He has a strong commitment to Florida State, though I don’t think that is the only reason why he is still available. His stock slipped in his senior year and he turns 19 next month, so he’s old for the draft class. We profiled him early this season when he was ranked much higher.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Bradenton is in third place in their division, three games behind the leader with 13 games remaining in the first half.

West Virginia is in fourth place in their division, seven games behind the leader with 16 games remaining in the first half.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates return home for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates will send Joe Musgrove to the mound for his third start. He allowed one run over seven innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last start. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Ross Stripling, who has a 1.68 ERA in 48.1 innings, with 59 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He allowed one run over seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies in his last start.

The minor league schedule includes the second starts at their new level for Brandon Waddell and Eduardo Vera. Waddell was knocked out early in his start for Indianapolis, giving up five runs in 1.2 innings. Vera cruised through his start despite some very poor defense behind him, allowing one run in seven innings with Altoona. West Virginia has a doubleheader today. Max Kranick makes his third start since being promoted to West Virginia. He has allowed two runs over 10.1 innings. Ike Schlabach gets the spot start in the second game. Bradenton will send Mike Wallace to the mound for his second start.

MLB: Pittsburgh (30-29) vs Dodgers (29-30) 2:15 PM
Probable starter: Joe Musgrove (0.64 ERA, 12:4 SO/BB, 14.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (27-27) @ Rochester (28-24) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Brandon Waddell (27.00 ERA, 0:4 SO/BB, 1.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (26-26) vs Reading (23-31) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Eduardo Vera (1.29 ERA, 3:0 SO/BB, 7.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (29-23) vs Florida (22-30) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Mike Wallace (5.63 ERA, 21:3 SO/BB, 24.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (26-25) vs Lexington (30-23) 5:05 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Max Kranick (1.74 ERA, 6:3 SO/BB, 10.1 IP) and Ike Schlabach (3.12 ERA, 28:10 SO/BB, 34.2 IP)

DSL: Pirates1 (0-1) vs Indians 10:30 AM

DSL: Pirates2 (0-1) vs Tigers2 10:30 AM

HIGHLIGHTS

From Saturday night in Indianapolis, Kevin Kramer hits a three-run homer, his sixth of the season.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

6/4: Pirates released Andrew Walker and Linse Carvajal.

6/3: Cam Vieaux promoted to Altoona. Garrett Brown added to Bradenton roster.

6/3: Austin Coley placed on disabled list.

6/2: Tyler Gaffney promoted to Altoona. Mitchell Tolman assigned to Bradenton.

6/2: Reymundo Pena released.

6/1: Jung Ho Kang assigned to Bradenton

6/1: Montana DuRapau assigned to Altoona. Elvis Escobar placed on disabled list.

5/30: Brandon Waddell promoted to Indianapolis. Jerrick Suiter assigned to Morgantown.

5/30: Eduardo Vera promoted to Altoona.

5/29: Dario Agrazal placed on DL. Bryan Reynolds added to Altoona roster.

5/29: Joel Cesar activated from West Virginia DL. Blake Weiman promoted to Bradenton.

5/29: Brett McKinney released.

5/28: Ivan Nova placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Nick Kingham.

5/28: Pirates released George Kontos.

5/27: Raul Hernandez placed on disabled list. Yoel Gonzalez added to West Virginia roster.

5/26: Starling Marte activated from disabled list. Jose Osuna optioned to Indianapolis.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus some draft news. Outfielder Ray Rohwer from the 1921-22 Pirates, was born on this date in 1895. He is overshadowed by the other player born on this date, Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Chesbro. He is best known for winning 41 games in 1904 for the New York Highlanders, but Chesbro pitched for the Pirates from 1899 until 1902, helping the team to two NL titles. During the 1902 season, the Pirates had their best winning percentage ever and Chesbro won 28 games, which is the highest total for a Pirates pitcher since 1900. You can read more on Chesbro here.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have used first round picks on June 5th to select Pedro Alvarez (2008),  John Van Benschoten (2001), Sean Burnett (2000), Willie Greene (1989), Mike Bielecki (1979), Rod Scurry (1974) and Steve Nicoscia in 1973.

On this date in 1915, the Pirates defeated the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) by an 11-0 score, with Hall of Fame center field Max Carey going 5-for-5, with two doubles, two runs, two RBIs, and two stolen bases. Honus Wagner added two hits and drove in a run, while pitcher Al Mamaux moved to 7-1 on the season with the complete game shutout. The rest of the pitchers for the Pirates had a combined 12-20 record at the time. You can view the boxscore here.

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