Saturday morning means draft update time. We'll start it off with an updated top 50 by Baseball America. To nobody's surprise, the top 2 are Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray. Clint Frazier is 3rd. We have an update on all 3 players today. Biggest surprise is hard-throwing Texas prep RHP Kohl Stewart at #5. It's also interesting that BA has Reese McGuire moving up past Jonathan Denney in the battle to become the first catcher taken. That's not a big surprise to us, however. Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo has maintained that McGuire is the better prospect for a while now.
Another week, another couple of good performances from Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, though neither was at his best last night. Sometimes, though, you learn the most about a pitcher when his stuff isn't quite there and both pitchers seemed to adjust very nicely.
- Mark Appel didn't have his best stuff according to Stanford coach Mark Marquess. Appel agreed. Heck, even an objective source like the radar gun would attest to that. So did Appel get bombed? Well, no. He pitched 8 2/3 innings, nearly finishing the game until walking his last hitter on a 3-2 count -- his first walk of the game -- and being taken out once he approached his pitch count (114). He gave up 7 hits and 2 runs while striking out 7. As for those radar gun readings, Appel was his normal self early, sitting at 95-97 but fell to 93-95 in the sixth, then 91-93 in the 7th. Appel adjusted, pitched to contact and worked efficiently -- then bounced back in the 8th and started throwing 96 again. The guy seems as tough as nails. Aaron Fitt of Baseball America also seems impressed, "Had a great conversation with Mark Appel after the game - just a real class act, great mental outlook, easy guy to root for. Oh, by the way, not that this should be a shock to anyone, but Theo Epstein was in the stands tonight.
Here is some video on last night's game from Bullpen Banter
- Jonathan Gray went 6 2/3 innings tonight and gave up 7 hits and walked 2 batters but did not allow a run. He struck out 8 batters. Speaking of Gray, Kevin Gallo wrote up this scouting report...
Pitcher name: Jonathan Gray
Draft status: Oklahoma Junior
Physical: He is a Big Pitcher with a strong lower and upper body. He has rounded shoulders and a frame that can handle a heavy workload.
Mechanics: Gray positions himself in the middle of the rubber. In the windup he stands at a 45 angle off the rubber. He takes a small side step before he rocks into his delivery and drops his hands to his belt and up to his chest before positioning himself to make the pitch. He has a high leg kick with a good drive from his back leg. He gets good extension on his landing and lands with a slightly bent knee. He keeps his is lead shoulder closed allowing him to hide the ball longer. Gray shows a nice clean arm action from the ¾ arm slot. He also shows good arm extension on his release of all of his pitches.
Fastball: Gray’s fastball is easily a plus pitch. His fastball sits comfortable at around 95 to 97 and hits triple digits at times with good tailing action.
Secondary Pitches: Gray’s slider is an above average pitch now but could be a plus pitch later on. It sits 85 to 87 with a tight hard 11 to 4 break. He can sometimes leave it up but it shows a ton of potential.
Change up: Gray’s Change up is at best an average pitch right now. It sits around 84 to 82 with tailing action and it shows some promise.
Command: Gray shows great command of his fastball moving the ball all over the zone. His command of his other pitches isn’t as good but they aren’t that far behind.
Summary: Gray has all the tools to become a pure #1. He has the type of arm that doesn’t come around very often. I believe that he could be ready to come out of the pen in Sept 2013 but I also believe his future is as a starter.
- Clint Frazier is having himself quite a year. Last night he went 2-for-3 with another HR, his 10th and also stole his 13th base. Overall Frazier is hitting .561/.638/1.246 over 18 games and 57 ABs.
- Keith Law profiled Austin Meadows and likes him a bit more than Clint Frazier, but says that he could see the argument for picking Frazier ahead of him. He said neither is that advanced as a hitter but that Frazier shows more present power. Meadow may be more likely to stick in CF, but he's also no sure bet to stick either as he fills out and gains weight.
- Ryan Stanek is starting to rebound a bit after a slow start. He had his second straight strong outing, going 8 scoreless innings and giving up just 4 hits. Most importantly for him, he did not walk a batter, though he only struck out 5.
- Kris Bryant was rather ordinary for a change in last night's game against Loyola Marymount. He was the DH and had a single in 4 ABs. He's hitting .365/.529/.875 on the season with 14 HRs.
- Jacksonville RHP Chris Anderson has put himself into top 10 consideration with his hot start but he has since cooled off a bit. Not that he's been terrible or anything. Anderson gave up 4 runs in 6 2/3 innings though only one of those runs were earned. He walked one and struck out 5.
- We've talked a little about athletic, hard-throwing RHP Braden Shipley. He's a potential top 10 pick this year and he was on the mound tonight against San Diego State. Shipley was solid with a line of 8 IP, 3H, 2R, 3W, and 5K -- but for those of you already looking toward the 2014 draft, he was outdueled by SDSU's Michael Cederoth, who reportedly was clocked between 96 and 100 mph last night. He pitched 8 scoreless innings, walked one and struck out 14.
That's it for now. We'll continue to keep you updated through the weekend. It's off to Kane County again for me this afternoon and I'm excited to see Jose Arias after some strong performances down in instructs this past fall.
Filed under: MLB Draft