2014 MLB Draft: Weekend Rundown 4/11-4/12
There were many of the top draft prospects in action this past weekend, and here is how they performed.
Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw State – Pentecost played DH on Saturday for the Owls. He was 1-for-4 on the day. It has been an up and down year for Pentecost, after being amazing on Friday night he had a down day on Saturday. Pentecost is a first round lock. He has had a good year, but he has not been as good as one would hope when facing a lesser level of competition. He still should be the first college catcher off the board, but seems more and more in the second half of the first round discussion.
Trea Turner, SS, NC State – Turner was 0-for-4 on Saturday, but did manage two walks and a run scored. It would be beating the proverbial dead horse to talk about Turner’s issues this year. It has caused a lot of reevaluation of his tools and where he should be drafted. I am reminded of the similar fall of a preseason top 10 shortstop in Deven Marrero a few years ago, which is not a good thing.
Mike Papi, OF/1B, Virginia – Papi was 1-for-3 with two walks for Virginia on Saturday. Papi has been the best hitter on the number one team in college baseball this year. Papi had to pick up the slack when Derek Fisher went down with injury. He has excelled, and in spite of this is often still not viewed as a first rounder. I think there is a degree of comparison between Papi and Moran or Peterson last year. The safe college bat who has excelled at the college level. Yet for some reason Papi just doesn’t get his due.
Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford – Newcomb had his worst start of the year only going five and a third innings. He gave up eight hits, walked one, and surrendered four earned runs. This actually makes back-to-back rough games for Newcomb. He had not given up a run until last week, though thanks to weather Saturday marked just his eighth start of the year. Newcomb is a big projectable lefty, but the recent struggles are a concern.
Kyle Schwarber, 1B/LF, Indiana – Schwarber was 2-for-5 on Saturday with a double, run, and more surprisingly a stolen base. Schwarber is what he is, a big left handed power bat. He is going to end up at first or DH and has the potential to be a solid bat for some team. He will go in the first round to some team looking to add more power to their system.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco – Zimmer was 1-for-4 with a walk on Saturday as his San Francisco Dons got closer to .500 with an extra inning victory. I am not sure there is a prospect that has helped their stock more this season than Zimmer. Some people where high on him from the start based on projection, but thanks to the year he has had he has convinced the skeptics and seems like he will be the first college bat off the board.
Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State – Conforto went 3-for-4 with a walk and four runs on Saturday. Mike Papi has passed him for the walk lead among major college hitters, but Conforto still has the best on-base percentage among major division hitters. He is viewed as a safe college bat, and has done nothing to hurt his stock this year. Conforto seems like a solid mid-first round bet.
Andrew Saurez, LHP, Miami – Saurez went nine innings, walking one and giving up three hits. He stuck out nine and didn’t give up a single run. Sadly for Saurez his team didn’t score their first run till the tenth inning, so he didn’t pick up the win, which says something about the win stat. Saurez is an interesting name to watch as he is only a red shirt sophomore after a shoulder injury before his freshman year. He is a lefty to watch and should be among the first 100 names on draft day.
Matt Chapman, 3B, Cal Fullerton – Chapman played two on Saturday for Cal St. as they resumed Friday’s game. He was 1-for-3 with a run in the first game, and went 0-for-3 in game two. I know he is viewed as having the best right handed power of any college hitter this year, but I worry about his hit tool. He is going to be an average defender at third, with plus power and below average bat. His numbers are down a bit this year, but he seems like a likely first round pick.
JD Davis, 1B, Cal Fullerton – Davis also played two games on Saturday. In game one he went 2-for-4 with two runs, two walks, and a double. In game two he was 1-for-4. Davis is much like Papi, a guy who I think is underrated. Davis has shown good power and a good eye at the plate. He has the arm to play in the outfield. There was a chance he could have played third as well. Davis is a guy who doesn’t generate as much talk but should be a second round value pick.
AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky – Reed was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run on Saturday. He has cooled down a bit off the torrid pace to start the year, but still leads all major college programs in home runs. Reed has the advantage of being a legit two way player. He will start out as a hitter but if anything goes wrong he can fall back on his arm. Reed has established himself as a first rounder this year.
Nick Burdi, RHP, Louisville – Burdi came on to close the game against Houston and had some struggles but closed the game out. He had two wild pitches and walked a batter. He struck out one hitter. Burdi is the top relief pitcher in this draft, and it will be interesting to see which team drafts him as some might try him out as a starter while others might try to rush him to the majors as a reliever.
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Good find on Epperson I had not looked into USCB that much, had just started thanks to ranking. I like all the positions, and just how the kids fills out a stat sheet. Stat wise kid looks like an interesting guy in nearly every facet, will watch the video tomorrow. But nicely done there Rocky.
Knock I hear on Morales is height, which as you know I tend to ignore. Again statistical he is kind of amazing. Love the improvement this year as well. Saurez I like more for ceiling, but Morales could end up a better pitcher and is likely to go 2-3 rounds later
Forgot about Morales, was thinking of him and Sparks the other day...wouldn't mind seeing them redraft Sparks in rd 2/3.
Jeff, I put up some info & a vid on the draft thread on Joey Epperson of UCSB. He looks like a good cheap Senior sign who could move quickly through the minors. RH hitter with some pop. Have you seen him?
Personally, I'm hoping the Tribe goes after a lot of pitching at the top of the draft. I'd really like to see the Tribe land any of Weaver, Newcomb, Freeland, Imhof, Burdi, Ellis, Reid-Foley, Stinnett, Lemond, Fedde, Finnegan, Blewett, Cease with their first three pks and some of: Cobi Johnson, Cosart, Schiraldi, Ben Smith, and Saurez later.