Home » 2010 MLB Draft Position Rankings » 2010 College C » 2010 MLB Draft: Top 30 College Catching Prospects (8-5)

2010 MLB Draft: Top 30 College Catching Prospects (8-5)

[Again, my apologies for continuing to stretch this out as long as I have. The real life job that pays me real life dollar bills is crazy right now, but things should slow down at the "office" by Wednesday night. If it helps any, 2010 MLB Mock Draft 2.0 is almost ready to see the light of day. In the meantime, hey, how about that Villanova guy ranked fifth?]

8. Texas JR C Cameron Rupp

Now we’re finally getting to some college catching prospects with legit plus tools. In Rupp’s case, it’s plus raw power and a plus throwing arm. The raw power is hard to argue with, though there is some concern it’s more of a pure physical strength power rather than quick wrists and a classic swing kind of power. Rupp’s arm strength has been called above-average in some places, but, for me, his arm becomes a plus tool when you combine that above-average throwing power with his incredibly precise throwing accuracy. Arm and power, check. As for the other three tools, well, that’s more of a mixed bag. His running speed is well below-average and his long swing has enough holes against breaking pitches to keep him from ever having anything more than a league average bat. His defense, however, gives him a third above-average tool, especially his surprisingly nimble lateral movement behind the plate.

7. UNC Wilmington JR C Cody Stanley

Stanley gets the edge over Rupp due to better athleticism, but, really, the two are similar prospects in many respects. Both have plus power potential, both have plus throwing arms (Stanley’s isn’t as strong, but better footwork and a quicker release helps narrow the gap), and both profile as solid big league defenders behind the plate. Pretty similar, right? So what exactly gives Stanley the advantage as a prospect? Well, we’ve already covered Stanley’s superior athleticism, but the UNC Wilmington catcher also bests his Texas counterpart in baserunning (Stanley has great instincts and is an average runner for a catcher) and track record with a wood bat (Stanley killed it on the Cape this past summer). Stanley over Rupp by a hair; the proof is in the parentheses.

6. UC Riverside SO C Rob Brantly

Originally my favorite four-year college in the 2010 class, Brantly’s sophomore season hasn’t really done too much to hurt his stock, but has nonetheless seen his spot in the rankings slip as other college guys have simply done more. The one and only time (maye) I’ll lift something directly from the always wonderful Baseball America comes now:

[Redacted] has a strong, compact swing and the ability to make consistent, hard contact to all fields. He has a mature, patient offensive approach, excellent pitch recognition and advanced strike-zone awareness. He has above-average power to the pull side and also good power the other way.

That could very easily be written about Rob Brantly, but it was actually the most recent scouting report on Washington’s Derek Norris. The comparison isn’t perfect, but I think it works as a general outline – big bat, professional strike-zone awareness, solid defensive tools, but not yet a reliable backstop. Norris was a fourth round steal out of high school in 2007; Brantly could be the college equivalent, in round and value, here in 2010.

5. Villanova SO C Matt Szczur

I can’t really defend the last two biases on the list, but the first three are things that I know I’m not alone in looking out for. Szczur’s scouting credentials include the following: really impressive hit tool, good speed (not just good for a catcher, either), plus arm, plus athleticism, rapidly emerging power, championship pedigree, worthwhile positional versatility (3B and corner OF collegiate experience, above-average at all three spots), and, as a long-time two-sport star conditioned to split his training two ways since junior high, vast untapped potential on the diamond. I won’t profess to know Szczur’s ultimate upside as a ballplayer, but I have a hard time watching him play and seeing anything but a young man on the cusp of a long big league career. These rankings have been more or less surprise free to this point, but Szczur’s high placement is something I’m willing to roll the dice on.

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2 Comments

  1. Sam Wieczorek says:

    I have coached many kids in my day and we played National Travel Baseball. Matt Szczur was always a member of my Teams. I can say without hesitation that there is not a kid that I coached who has the makeup of Matt. Matt is a true 5 tool player and his potential is vastly untapped due to splitting his time between Football and Baseball. Matt is an incredible kid to coach, he always listens to what he is being taught and his personality is very fun and easy going until he steps on to the field where his demeanor goes from joking and having fun to outright focused intensity to the likes of Pete Rose.
    Matt is as fast as they come and can turn singles into doubles and triples. He also has the instincts to know when to run and always gets a great jump. He hits not only for average but has incredible power and is one of the best pure hitters I have ever seen. He rarely strikes out and has a great eye for the strike zone. His pure strength along with his incredible speed will put him in the exclusive 30/30 category when he gets the opportunity to play baseball on a year around basis. His fielding is top notch and as an outfielder with such incredible speed and instincts will get to balls most players won’t. He also has an arm to put fear in base runners and make them think before they attempt an extra base.
    Like I said, I have seen Matt play quite a bit and if I were picking in the draft I would not miss the opportunity to have Matt on my team. His presence alone makes the whole team better as he is also a great leader.
    Coach Sam

  2. [...] a major league perspective, Szczur is most likely a centerfielder. He did some catching in college and it isn’t impossible that he could move back behind the plate at some point, but it would [...]

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