Here's a list of some intriguing names for the MLB draft and how they did this weekend.
- Sean Manaea had a solid outing overall, especially considering he hadn't pitched in awhile. He seemed to get better as the game went on. Manaea went 6 innings and allowed 3 hits and 2 runs. He walked 2 and struck out 8. In 16 innings this year he has walked 7 and struck out 24. His ERA is at 1.69.
- Kris Bryant did play some 3B today and hit another HR, his 8th HR, of the season. He went 3 for 5 and is hitting .396/.549/.811 on the season.
- Colin Moran hit 2 HRs today and went 3 for 5 overall with 3 RBI. It was a big day on offense overall for North Carolina, who hit 8 HRs and won 20-6.
- Jonathan Gray is a RHP out of Oklahoma who is a borderline first round pick -- for now. He was dealing heat today. According to an early update by Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, "Jonathan Gray still 97-100 in perfect 3rd, has 5 Ks through 3 scoreless. Putaway pitches: 98, 99, 100, and two 87 sliders, 1 on each corner." He also said he had a good slider and change. He went 7 scoreless innings, walked one and struck out 8. Gray is 3-1 on the year with 8 walks and 27 Ks in 26.2 innings. His ERA was lowered to 1.95.
- Trevor Williams of ASU had another solid game. He pitched a complete game, 3-hit shutout, walked one and struck out 5. He improved to 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Williams has walked 4 and struck out 25 in 30 innings. In my book he's a first round pick.
Games for Friday: 3/8
The big 3...
- Mark Appel of Stanford continues to dominate. He pitched 7 innings and allowed just 4 hits and one earned run, yet lost the game. The domination part? Appel walked one batter and struck out a career high 15. Right now I have to think he has clearly set himself as the #1 player in the draft. He is 2-2 with a 1.20 ERA and has walked 6 while striking out 43 in 30 innings.
- Ryan Stanek of Arkansas had another uneven performance. He went 4 innings, gave up 5 hits and 3 runs. He also walked 5 batters to go with his 5 strikeouts. Stanek is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA. He has walked 10 batters in 16 innings to go with 17 strikeouts. Stanek has shown top shelf stuff at times but he's been inconsistent in the early going, particularly with his command.
- Sean Manaea of Indiana State did not pitch and has only had 2 starts, both of which went 5 innings. The bad news is that you can't get a good read on him and he's missing out on gaining experience. The good news is that the pitch count is down.
- Top hitter Kris Bryant went 1 for 3 with 2 walks with the one hit being his 6th HR of the season in just 45 ABs. He's also shown an incredible eye, walking 16 times in 61 plate appearances (26% rate). Bryant played RF as the team looks for a spot for him. He played 3B last year but some scouts didn't feel he'd end up there. By what I've heard he's looked good in the OF and the 6'5", 205 pounder has even played CF, though he won't wind up there -- but it is a testament that he has some athleticism and could stick in the OF. He definitely has the arm for RF. His stock is on the rise and he looks like a top 5 pick right now.
- Colin Moran's stock has been going in the opposite direction as he hasn't hit for the kind of power scouts expected to see from the 6'2", 200 lbs. third baseman. Moran has hit just one extra base hit, a double, while hitting just .311 -- much lower than expected as well. He maintains his good eye but his lack of power is glaring for a corner player -- especially one who may even have to move to 1B.
- Philip Ervin of Samford has been on the rise since his big showing in the Cape Cod League. It appears pitchers are starting to fear the 5'10", 200 lbs. slugger as he drew 3 walks in 4 plate appearances. His one official AB resulted in a single. Ervin is hitting .340/.460/.780 with 6 HRs in the early going.
Other college arms to watch...
- Bobby Wahl of Mississippi is a guy who had his fastball rise into the mid 90s over the past year or so, but he lost his command early this season. Last night he had his best performance, going 6 shutout innings without allowing a walk. He struck out 6. He's 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA on the season but has walked 12 in 22.2 innings. He came into the season as a top 10 candidate but his early outings probably pushed him back. This start should get him going in the right direction again.
- Trevor Williams of ASU has raised his stock with some good early performances but, as we know, it rained -- and hailed -- pretty hard in Arizona yesterday.
- We've talked about Bradey Shipley as this year's Kyle Zimmer, a fast rising converted infielder with a fresh arm, great athleticism, a big fastball (up to 97 mph), a plus curveball, and a developing change. He had an up and down performance yesterday, going 6.2 innings and giving up 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) while walking 3 and striking out 10. He's not quite in Cubs territory yet as he doesn't have the track record of guys like Stanek and Appel, nor has he had the consistently dominant performances that Zimmer had last year, but stuff-wise he can match the top 3. For the year he has a 2.93 ERA with 9 walks and 33 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.
- Chris Anderson is a pitcher on the rise and will get first round consideration at this point. His good fastball, which can reach the mid 90s, a plus slider, and a fresh arm (he closed his freshman year) put him on the radar but he's been translating that into good performance this year. He went 8 shutout innings, striking out 10 and walking one. He's just 2-1 but has a 0.87 ERA with just 5 walks and 45 strikeouts on the year in 31 innings.
- Tony Rizzoti is a new name to keep your eye on. He's battled knee injuries but his arm is fine. Like Anderson, the big 6'4" RHP has put himself into the first round conversation -- and can bring it with 93-95 mph fastball and a good slider. He went 8 innings and allowed 2 earned runs while walking just one hitter, but struck out just 4. On the year Rizzoti is 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA with 5 walks and 25 strikeouts in 30 innings.
- Kevin Ziomek of Vanderbilt pitched another complete game gem, needing just 117 pitches to strikeout 13 batters. He allowed just one walk, 2 hits and one run. Ziomek is now 4-0 with an 0.87 ERA. He has walked 7 and struck out 46 in 31 innings. When Keith Law was asked whether Ziomek had vaulted himself into the first round, he responded that to him, Ziomek was a second rounder. That's good news for Cubs fans.
- Thomas Windle got off to a so-s0 start this year but turned that around with a no-hitter for Minnesota yesterday. He walked one and struck out 8. We have him as a 2nd/3rd round guy but I feel like the LHP has some upside left. Windle has a 1.96 ERA with 7 walks and 19 Ks in 23 innings.
Right now there are only two high school considerations for the Cubs for that 2nd pick right now-- Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier. There are some guys looking to break in that rarified air, such as Brian Denney, but high school catchers rarely go in the top 10. In fact, only 2 have done it since 2001: Kyle Skipworth and Joe Mauer. Dominic Smith is another fast riser as perhaps the best overall hitter in the draft, but questions about his ultimate defensive position likely keep him out well out of Cubs range.
Scouts still seem to favor the bigger, more athletic Meadows over Frazier, in part because of his ability to stick in CF. Both have great bat speed but also mechanical flaws in their swings. All seem to agree, however, that those flaws are minor and fixable.
No high school pitcher figures into the top 5 right now, but as we talked about earlier, there are plenty who would be nice fits in the 2nd and 3rd round.
Another good hitter, Drew Ward (3B), was just made eligible for the 2013 draft pending his graduation from high school. He's a good hitter with plus power potential but Keith Law doesn't see him as a first rounder. That makes things tricky as he's verbally committed to Oklahoma and may be a tough sign if he isn't picked early.
Filed under: MLB Draft