My goal is to have the complete list of college outfield prospect rankings out by next week, but for now here is a quick look at how the top ten will probably shake out. There might be some movement within each tier, but I’m pretty happy with the players that make up each grouping.
- Tier 1: Connecticut JR OF George Springer – South Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley – Miami-Dade CC SO OF Brian Goodwin
- Tier 2: Louisiana State JR OF Mikie Mahtook – Kansas State JR OF Nick Martini – Alabama JR OF Taylor Dugas
- Tier 3: Valparaiso JR OF Kyle Gaedele – Texas SO OF Cohl Walla – Clemson JR OF Will Lamb – Indiana JR OF Alex Dickerson
I’m also trying to get back into the habit of doing more organic writing here on the site. I love putting together rankings because it gives me the opportunity to research and compile notes on hundreds of prospects from around the country, but, let’s be honest, rankings alone don’t make for interesting reading. Because I’ve spent weeks immersed in the world of college outfielders, what better way to start my stream of consciousness ramblings than with a quick mystery player comparison between two highly regarded college outfield prospects? I like this particular comparison because the two prospects are so different stylistically, yet similarly rated by many. I also like the comparison because both players seem to really understand their own strengths and weaknesses really well and, subsequently, do what they do well really, really well.
- Player A: potential plus hit tool; line drive machine; gap power upside; leadoff man profile with above-average speed and good plate discipline; solid defender in CF; average at best throwing arm that grades out higher in terms of accuracy than strength; good track record with wood; great athlete with a pro body; 6-2, 175 pounds
Half Glass Full: Capable center fielder and irritating (to the opposition, naturally) leadoff man with double digit home run pop
Half Glass Empty: Modest power upside fails to manifest professionally; as a result, overall hit tool and plate discipline suffer against professional pitching
- Player B: great physical strength; plus raw power; plus bat speed; average speed; average arm; good range in a corner; pitch recognition, or lack thereof, could make or break him; 6-2, 195 pounds
Half Glass Full: Pitch recognition and overall approach at plate improves to the point his plus power allows him blossom as an above-average everyday corner outfielder
Half Glass Empty: Awesome power goes to waste as 4A slugger due to Jeff Francoeur-level plate discipline
1. Can you guess the prospects? Neither are listed in the top ten above, by the way…
2. Which prospect do you prefer? Speed, defense, and patience? Or brute strength and plus raw power?
3. Forced to choose, would you rather have tiger’s blood or Adonis DNA? There is only one correct answer to this one…