Home » 2012 MLB Draft » 2012 MLB Draft: Big 12 Position Players of Note

2012 MLB Draft: Big 12 Position Players of Note

The title pretty much says it all, does it not? Let’s see what’s what in the Big 12 this year…

Catchers

  1. Kansas SR C James Stanfield
  2. Kansas SR C Alex DeLeon
  3. Oklahoma State JR C Rick Stover
  4. Baylor SR C Josh Ludy
  5. Texas Tech JR C Bo Altobelli
  6. Oklahoma State SR C Jared Womack
  7. Baylor SR C Joey Hainsfurther

I’m a sucker on converted infielders trying their hand behind the plate. Athleticism in young catching prospects goes a long way, and those converted infielders typically have it in spades. Stanfield is no exception, though his athleticism should come with the always popular disclaimer “for a catcher.” Athletic…for a catcher. Above-average speed…for a catcher. Good tipper…for a catcher. Stanfield is already an above-average defender who still has some of that untapped upside that comes with players new to the position. He isn’t a world beater at the plate, but his mature approach to hitting and adequate pop make him a worthwhile follow, especially as a cheap mid-round senior sign option. Beyond Stanfield, you’ve got a mixed bag of good power/poor defense (DeLeon and Ludy) and good defense/light bats (Stover, at least going back to his juco days, and Altobelli). I think Stanfield is the only one who is a lock to be drafted, but some of the other names above also have a shot. A few other catchers to keep in mind just in case you are in the world’s deepest most insane keeper league (Big 12 only, naturally):

  • Missouri SR C Ben Turner
  • Texas Tech SR C Kevin Whitehead
  • Missouri JR C Scott Sommerfeld
  • Baylor JR C Nathan Orf
  • Oklahoma State JR C Victor Romero

First Basemen

  1. Baylor JR 1B Max Muncy
  2. Oklahoma JR 1B Drew Harrison
  3. Texas A&M SR 1B Jacob House

Muncy is a natural born hitter with a slew of average or better tools. He’s got enough power, speed, and defensive ability to be intriguing even at first, but his stock will shoot way up if a team believes he can handle an outfield spot or, better yet, second base. Harrison’s raw power and size (6-4, 255) help make him a classic old school slugging first base prospect. House is the conference’s best defender at first and one of the best overall defenders in the country. That’s both an honest to goodness positive (defense is important, after all) and a little bit of a backhanded compliment (when you play first base and the first thing they praise is your defense…)…

Ellipses parentheses ellipses. Now that’s quality writing right there. Three more first basemen from the Big 12 that could get lucky late on draft day…(or not…)…

  • Texas Tech rJR 1B Scott LeJeune
  • Baylor SR 1B Dan Evatt
  • Kansas SR 1B Chris Manship

Second Basemen

  1. Texas Tech JR 2B Jamodrick McGruder
  2. Texas SR 2B Jordan Etier
  3. Missouri JR 2B Eric Garcia

Awesome first name? Check. Equally awesome last name? Check. Jamodrick McGruder is more than just a great name, though. He’s a fantastic athlete who can really run the bases. Between his speed, defense, and relentlessness as a hitter (if I was the type to describe a player as scrappy, I’d use it here), McGruder looks like a potentially useful big league utility guy if everything shakes out. He reminds me a little bit of last year’s underrated for 99% of the spring (until the week of the draft, naturally) middle infielder, Jace Peterson. Two more second basemen because, well, that’s all I think are worth mentioning in the Big 12. Also, it’s second base, so why not go two deep here?

  • Oklahoma SR 2B Evan Mistich
  • Baylor JR 2B Steve DalPorto

Shortstops

  1. Texas A&M JR SS Mikey Reynolds
  2. Oklahoma SR SS Caleb Bushyhead

Unless I’m totally whiffing on somebody obvious, there is very little in the way of viable shortstop prospects to be found in the Big 12 2012 draft class. Reynolds (Texas A&M has some kind of magic when it comes to junior college middle infielders) and Bushyhead, both solid defenders, are the only two with a better than 50/50 shot to be drafted.

Third Basemen

  1. Oklahoma State SR 3B Mark Ginther
  2. Texas A&M SR 3B Matt Juengel
  3. Missouri SR 3B Connor Mach
  4. Kansas SR 3B Zac Elgie

The quartet above more or less sum up why I love following the draft. The odds of any of the four ever reaching the majors isn’t particularly high, but each guy has a solid collegiate track record and enough tools to make them stand out just enough to make you go “hmm…” Ginther’s swing can get too long at times, but his athleticism, arm strength, and defensive tools are all well above-average. Juengel is a smart hitter with good bat speed, but his power upside and defense ability lag behind Ginther’s at this point. Mach’s draft standing would improve if he can demonstrate a little more defensive versatility in 2012. Elgie has big raw power and good defensive tools, but there’s a bigger gap between what he could be and what he is then you typically see in a college senior. You could rearrange these four names in just about any order and still come out alright. These four aren’t the only interesting Big 12 third basemen to watch. Let’s double down and check out four more names worth paying some attention to this spring:

  • Baylor JR 3B Cal Towey
  • Baylor JR 3B Jake Miller
  • Texas SR 3B Kevin Lusson
  • Oklahoma JR 3B Garrett Carey

Outfielders

  1. Texas Tech JR OF Barrett Barnes
  2. Texas A&M JR OF Tyler Naquin
  3. Missouri JR OF Blake Brown
  4. Texas JR OF Jonathan Walsh
  5. Baylor JR OF Logan Vick
  6. Texas A&M SO OF Krey Bratsen
  7. Texas JR OF Matt Moynihan
  8. Oklahoma JR OF Max White
  9. Texas A&M SR OF Scott Arthur
  • Texas JR OF Cohl Walla
  • Kansas SR OF Jason Brunansky
  • Oklahoma SR OF Cody Reine
  • Missouri JR OF Dane Opel
  • Missouri JR OF Brannon Champagne
  • Texas A&M JR OF Brandon Wood
  • Oklahoma SR OF Erik Ross
  • Texas SR OF Tim Maitland
  • Texas Tech rJR OF Nick Hanslik
  • Kansas State SR OF Mike Kindel

The strength of the conference position players is easily this outfield group. Barrett Barnes is a huge personal favorite – my comically outdated big board from last summer had Barnes ranked as the 9th overall draft prospect and 1st among college outfielders – who literally does everything well. He’s got big raw power, plus speed, the tools to excel in center, and plenty of brute strength. The only aspect of his game that gives me pause is his inconsistent hit tool, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. I’m not sure where Barnes will ultimately rank once every college outfielder is evaluated, but he’s good enough to hold down the top spot out of any AQ conference outfielder in the country. All comps are the work of the devil caveats aside, I think Barnes’ tools line up pretty closely to Mikie Mahtook’s (31st overall pick last year), right down to their shared weaknesses (consistent contact and arm strength, though Mahtook’s arm is a grade better).

Naquin is both second to Barnes in both the Big 12 and all of the AQ conferences combined. Loyal readers of the site probably remember my serious affinity for Alabama’s Taylor Dugas. Think of Naquin as a super-charged version of Dugas. He has all the tools to play center and hit leadoff for a big league club down the line, but must improve his pitch recognition and put on some weight if he wants to give pitchers a reason not to throw him breaking balls out over the plate all day. Two words in my notes on Blake Brown keep popping out at me: natural hitter. I loved Walsh in 2009 and nothing that has transpired since he has enrolled at Texas has me changing my mind. Well, there was the whole position switch thing (catcher to outfielder), but that was more or less inevitable. Vick’s versatility makes him very appealing (same for Arthur), Bratsen has legit sprinter speed, and White could be in line for a big spring now that the 2011 second base experiment is but a distant memory.  Moynihan’s high ranking is a credit to his wonderful physical gifts (speed and athleticism) and leadoff hitter approach because he is raw as can be. He’d be a lot less raw if he played (he’s bounced from San Diego to Orange Coast College to Texas, and has yet to take the field for the Longhorns in 2012), but you can’t have everything I guess.

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1 Comment

  1. […] 12 position players to keep an eye on for the draft are listed at Baseball Draft Report.  -LINK Tags: Addison Russell, Brady Rodgers, Clint Coulter, Clinton Hollon, Drew Ward, Marcus Stroman, […]

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