Several top picks from the 2013 MLB draft are failing to close out their collegiate careers in style, as they aren't performing at a high level at the NCAA tournament.
Organizations send out their scouts to watch top prospects throughout the college baseball season, when teams are sometimes playing inferior competition. The problem is that teams make their draft choices before the college season is truly over.
While front offices are narrowing down their draft boards, college programs are competing for a spot in the College World Series. Teams select players who performed well during the regular season, but they have no idea how things will work out in the postseason.
Several players who were top picks in the draft are struggling to prove their worth in the postseason.
Major league clubs could be wondering if they overvalued certain players. Here’s a look at three college stars who fit that mold.
Colin Moran, 3B, UNC
Draft Information: No. 6, Miami Marlins
There’s no question that Colin Moran was one of the best players in the nation this season, but he hasn’t really played like a top-10 pick lately. The Marlins took Moran with the sixth overall pick, and he could’ve even gone as high as No. 1 to the Astros.
Through 68 games, Moran is hitting .340/.469/.549 with 13 home runs and 88 RBI. Those are great numbers and all, but he’s done nothing since the regional round of the NCAA Tournament. In the Super Regionals against South Carolina, Moran was virtually non-existent.
It took the Tar Heels three games to advance to Omaha, but Moran didn’t play that big of a role in the pair of victories. In the trio of matchups, Moran went 3-for-12 with three runs and an RBI. Hitting .250 isn’t going to cut it, even though he did score quite often.
Moran didn’t get off on the right foot once getting to the College World Series, either. In UNC’s opening-round game against NC State, he went 0-for-3. While Moran hit well in the regular season, it’s becoming more and more clear that as he faces better talent, he tends to struggle more at the plate.
Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
Draft Information: No. 43, Minnesota Twins
Ryan Eades has been one of the more reliable pitchers in the country over the course of his career at LSU, but he hasn’t made the most of his opportunities to impress when it counts most. While Eades wasn’t drafted in the first round, he does have first-round talent and potential. He hasn’t shown it lately, though.
LSU was one of the No. 1 seeds during regional play and is the No. 4 seed in the tournament. A poor performance from Eades, however, nearly had the Tigers drop a game to Jackson St., a No. 4 seed at the Baton Rouge Regional. In 2.1 innings of work, Eades allowed a pair of earned runs on four hits while walking three batters.
Eades would get a second chance at pitching LSU to victory in the Super Regionals against Oklahoma, but once again, the right-hander didn’t bring his best. Eades lasted four innings against the Sooners, but allowed three runs and had more control issues as he walked a pair of batters.
On the season, Eades is 8-1 in 17 starts with a 2.79 ERA. In 100 innings, opponents are hitting .269 off him, while he has 78 strikeouts and 32 walks. LSU could turn to Eades for a must-win matchup against UNC. A loss would end LSU’s season and Eades’ collegiate career.
Kent Emanuel, LHP, UNC
Draft Information: No. 74, Houston Astros
The Astros took three pitchers with their first three picks in the draft. Kent Emanuel was the only lefty. While Emanuel wasn’t a first- or second-round pick, he still is a great pitcher with a lot of upside. He has the potential to be a starter in the big leagues one day, but that won’t happen if he continues to pitch like he has lately.
Emanuel has pitched in three games for the Tar Heels since the Chapel Hill Regional and hasn’t been very impressive. In his first appearance of the Super Regionals against South Carolina, Emanuel couldn’t get out of the third inning. In 2.1 innings of work, the lefty allowed four runs on seven hits while walking one.
Emanuel got another chance later in the best-of-three series, coming in the game in relief. He picked up the save, tossing 0.2 clean innings to secure the victory for the Tar Heels. It was another adventure the next time he got the start, pitching against NC State in the opening round of the College World Series.
Emanuel once again failed to retire nine batters. He allowed five runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work against the Wolfpack in what would turn out to be a loss for the Tar Heels. He hasn’t looked like the guy who won 11 games this season one bit. He’s struggled to keep runners from scoring, and that’s a major problem for the Tar Heels.
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