Home » 2012 » June

Monthly Archives: June 2012

2012 MLB Draft: Top 100 Hitters

WordPress is being uncooperative tonight, so the pitchers will have to wait. Thankfully, I managed to get the top 100 hitters in order before the site crashed. It stinks not having the full big board available, but it’s better than nothing, right?

1. SS Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): plus-plus arm strength; positive reports on glove, above-average tools across board defensively; very fluid defender; 6-3, 190 pounds; tons of projection; plus athlete; needs at bats; plus power upside; plus speed; crazy bat speed, no problem with velocity; good approach; R/R

2. OF Byron Buxton (Appling County HS, Georgia): 93-94 peak FB; plus-plus (80) speed; dead pull hitter; loves to swing; raw, but immensely talented; above-average to plus arm, closer to above-average now but accurate; crazy quick hands; bat speed, bat speed, bat speed; BJ Upton comp from an athletic standpoint makes sense; weirdest comp ever: Mike Schmidt, at least in terms of distance from plate and current swing; tremendous athlete; plus raw power; CF range if his instincts catch up, otherwise a potential Gold Glove winner in RF; 80 speed/60-70 arm/70 range

3. Florida JR C Mike Zunino: legitimate plus raw power, but expected to be above-average in-game professionally as length in swing could cause some issues on high velocity arms; plus arm strength; good athlete for his height and weight; plus defensive tools behind plate, surprisingly mobile; calling card is his power, but underrated as a natural hitter; value comes on field, obviously, but added bonus of being a take charge leader is nice for the position; more than just a flashy strong arm, also really accurate; swing can get too long at times which could expose him against good breaking balls going forward; also gets bonus points for calling own pitches; I like Zunino a ton, so don’t take this comment as an attempt to hedge my bets, but rather an attempt to keep coverage fair and balanced: due to his inconsistent approach and reports of below-average physical conditioning, I think it is fair to have some serious doubt about Zunino as a sure-thing, franchise player, top five pick; 6-2, 220 pounds

4. OF Albert Almora (Mater Academy, Florida): plus arm strength; plus speed; shows all five tools; big upside at plate; lots of power, but swing needs retooling; almost plus range in CF; quick bat; aggressive base runner; some debate at start of spring about how good his tools really are, but he can play; should be above-average (with plus upside) in CF for a long time; great athlete, good instincts; above-average power with plus upside; above-average arm; average speed; hit tool is better than most HS guys, 70 upside with a great looking swing; so smart on bases, great at reading pitchers; really strong approach; 6-2, 180 pounds; R/R

5. OF David Dahl (Oak Mountain HS, Alabama): good speed; plus arm strength, clocked at 95 from outfield; strong defender; aggressive on base paths; uses whole field; very mature hitter; biggest question for me is power upside long-term; Colby Rasmus comp; enough instincts for CF; update: above-average speed; above-average arm; 6-2, 190 pounds; L/R

6. C Stryker Trahan (Acadiana HS, Louisiana): plus hit tool; honest above-average speed; plus bat speed; good arm; swing is textbook; lets ball travel deep, but quick hands allow it; athletic behind dish; shows plus raw power; most impressed by his power to all fields; if Blake Swihart could run, he’d be Trahan – also think the Wil Myers comps are warranted; the big question is all about his defensive future, but I think he’s athletic enough to be given the chance to work with pro coaches and get everyday reps; 6-1, 220 pounds

7. SS CJ Hinojosa (Klein Collins HS, Texas): power upside is immense, due mostly to crazy bat speed (swing is level); steady defender at short with tools to be even better; really like his quick bat, but swing can get out of whack at times; impressive arm strength; think he’ll stick up the middle pretty easily; 5-11, 185 pounds

8. OF Courtney Hawkins (Mary Carroll HS, Texas): very muscular build; good speed; strong arm; more present power than majority of class; plus raw power; lots of swing and miss and some pitch recognition issues; average or better speed; RF professionally; has improved a great deal across the board in last calendar year, especially on defense; good instincts in CF, but might not be quick enough; plus arm; speed, power, and arm will take him far; reminds me so much of Adam Jones it’s scary; 6-2, 215 pounds; R/R

9. 3B Trey Williams (Valencia HS, California): big hit tool; potential plus to plus-plus raw power; advanced idea of how to hit, e.g. big opposite field power threat; strong arm often categorized as plus; potential star defensively at third base; great reactions and instincts; outstanding athlete; plus bat speed; plus hit tool; slightly above-average speed; very strong; has that special sound; pitch recognition to be monitored; super quick bat, solid approach: very patient, lightning in wrists; swing needs some work, but what is there is a fine building block; strong arm, steady defender; below-average speed, but quick feet and reactions at third; should be an average defender at worst with much more upside than that; big-time raw power, personally I’m a believer; 6-2, 210 pounds; R/R

10. 3B Tanner Rahier (Palm Desert HS, California): plus arm strength; accurate arm; quick bat; good power; good fielder with well above-average range; intriguing raw power, above-average for me; not toolsy, but gets it done; ball jumps off bat, special sound; likely a 3B as a pro; impressive pitch recognition; Evan Longoria comp; only question for me is power upside, hit tool is outstanding; some believe he’ll stick at SS, Gold Glove upside at 3B; 6-2, 205 pounds; R/R

11. Clemson JR 3B Richie Shaffer: really good defender at first, but more average on a good day at third; plus raw power to all fields; plus raw arm strength (has hit 94 off mound), above-average in total after accuracy is factored in; made outstanding recovery from broken hamate bone, minimal power loss; good athlete; average runner; not entirely convinced he’s a third baseman forever, but believe he can play either 3B or a corner OF spot through his first big league (six year) contract; 6-3, 200 pounds

12. 3B Joey Gallo (Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada): plus raw power from left side; good athlete; plus arm; no problem against quality arms, has hit both high velocity and big league quality breaking balls; similar to Richie Shaffer defensively – both have plus arms and enough athleticism to play third base for a bit before transitioning to right field; some prefer him on mound (88-93 FB; 94-98 peak with some of the easiest velocity of any prep in recent memory; good 74-76 CB; mid-80s CU; 77-81 SL needs work), but his kind of power is hard to pass up; not a perfect comp, but there’s some Kris Bryant to his game; really want to move him up over Richie Shaffer for the top spot, and for some organizations I think he’s worth the risk, but the relative safety of the college bat pushes Shaffer just ahead; 6-5, 220 pounds; L/R

13. Georgia Southern JR OF Victor Roache: raw, but talented; plus athlete; plus raw power; a hair over average speed; average arm; willing to wait for his pitch and drive it; has had his swing doubted at every level, but has hit everywhere he’s been; much will be known about Roache’s medicals based on his draft position as his broken wrist is a concern going forward – if he goes on the first day, as expected, we can assume everything checked out more or less fine, but if he falls then the question about his long-term prognosis will be out there; his final position on this board is subject to change pending any news on his health, but Roache’s impact bat is one of the draft’s most overscrutinized and thus, in my opinion, underrated bright spots; 6-1, 225 pounds

14. 3B Rio Ruiz (Bishop Amat HS, California): very strong hands; plus arm; very quick bat; no problem with velocity; big league hitter; popular Eric Chavez comp that makes sense; 6-2, 200 pounds; L/R; good athlete; really intrigued by bat; patient

15. 3B Addison Russell (Pace HS, Florida): good athlete; consistent hard contact; plus defensive tools; excellent range; great bat speed; too aggressive at times, but has worked hard to improve approach; plus arm; really good athlete; has worked hard to put on muscle, looked like a corner infielder all the way; now they say he is athletic enough to stick up middle again though he still looks like a future 3B to me; very quick bat; 6-1, was up to 215 pounds; down to 185 now; above-average speed; huge raw power; questionable hit tool; R/R

16. 3B Corey Seager (Northwest Cabarrus HS, North Carolina): good athlete; strong arm; great feel on defense, could be star at third; line drive machine; swing holds back power upside for now, but if he grows into some power, watch out; already more pop than his brother; patient approach; 55 speed; 6-3, 200 pounds; L/R; should settle into average speed

17. Stony Brook JR OF Travis Jankowski: plus speed; great CF range; average at best arm; below-average present power, but I think there’s more pop coming; potential plus hit tool; great athlete; really good approach, especially with two strikes; awesome instincts, great first step; has struggled some on Friday nights, much better against lefthanded pitchers; I hate piling on with the obvious comp, but I think there are lots of similarities between Jankowski and the college version of Jacoby Ellsbury – to take it a step further, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a power spike similar to Ellsbury’s, though perhaps not quite as drastic, once Jankowski hits pro ball; 6-1, 190 pounds

18. Purdue JR C Kevin Plawecki: tremendous approach, as good as any hitter in this year’s college class; still a raw defender, but above-average tools are there; average arm, but it plays up due to much improved footwork and a quick release; good athlete; above-average hit tool; hits consistent line drives tony and makes a ton of contact; like the power, but others aren’t solid his swing will allow for much more than gap power – I think there’s 20 homer upside here; there was some question heading into the year, but will definitely stick behind plate; uses the whole field well as a hitter; high marks for all things intangible; given the choice between Zunino in the first or Plawecki later, I’d wait it out and grab Purdue’s backstop who might have more long-term upside; 6-2, 210 pounds

19. Arkansas JR 3B Matt Reynolds: line drive machine who lacks present strength and swing plane for big power, but makes up for it with consistent hard contact all over the field; above-average speed that plays up on bases; outstanding defender with a strong arm and enough athletic ability to play up the middle at times; could even be tried at catcher, though I think a more likely conversion would be to 2B – could even be tried as an everyday SS if a team is feeling especially frisky; I think a player in-between Kyle Seager and Chase Headley is a realistic ceiling for Reynolds – some speed, some pop, but lots of value tied up in defense and on-base ability; 6-1, 200 pounds

20. Stanford JR 3B Stephen Piscotty: gap power, but could be more with added strength; often too aggressive for his own good, but compensates by showing great plate coverage; impressive ability to use the whole field; average speed; good arm; above-average hit tool that I wasn’t sold on to start the year, but can now admit is one of the college class’ best – he’s really fun to watch hit; good enough defender at third to at least get a chance to start there in pro ball, but less likely to stick there long-term than Richie Shaffer – RF makes for a fine backup plan in the event a switch is necessary; like the hit tool, his power is better than I first gave him credit for – the gap power should give way to more over the fence pop as he focuses 100% on hitting professionally; not to keep repeating myself, but Piscotty’s bat has really impressed me more than I expected this year – he has a very quiet swing, mature approach, and is capable of hitting any pitch in any count, including pitchers’ pitches; above-average athlete; have personally compared him to James Darnell in the past, but should have higher ceiling; 6-3, 215 pounds

21. 3B Carson Kelly (Westview HS, Oregon): 88-92 FB; plus 78-82 CU with fade; 73-80 CB; low-80s SL with plus upside; can really swing the bat; plus bat speed; no problem with high velocity arms; plus arm; strong; agile; good approach; above-average defensive tools; can’t decide on his pro position, lean towards 3B; slow, but not glacial; 6-2, 210 pounds; R/R

22. 3B Daniel Robertson (Upland HS, California): potential plus defender, but more in the steady style and not so spectacular; plus arm; big hit tool; has raw power, but doesn’t know how to use it just yet; does show as much opposite field power as any high school hitter in recent memory; 6-1, 185 pounds; R/R

23. Arizona State JR SS Deven Marrero: advanced defender with plus tools (great range, soft hands, plus arm); average power potential, gap power at present; average speed, plays up a bit in game; he’d also  work well at 2B or 3B, though a position switch is not necessary; despite the down year, Marrero has impressed in by hitting a variety of stuff – i.e. he’s not struggling for lack of being able to hit a good fastball or misidentifying breaking balls; above-average hit tool; even though I’ve never been top-five pick high on Marrero as a prospect, it bears mentioning that he’s a ballplayer with no obvious below-average tool and a worthy first round pick – closer to the back than the front, but still worth a first round grade; interesting information from watching him/parsing the stats: he absolutely kills lefties, but struggles against righties; still living off his impressive freshman season to some extent, but scouts remain high on him as somebody who will settle in as one of the top 5-8 defenders at shortstop in the game while hitting better with wood than what he showed in college – his ceiling may not be as an All-Star caliber player, but he could still be a first-division starter; 6-1, 195 pounds

24. Cal Poly JR OF Mitch Haniger: plus defensive upside in RF, can hang in center despite average at best speed; very strong arm; above-average raw power, 20+ HR upside; strong; average at best hit tool yet still better than expected (at least by me) coming into the year; good athlete; improved approach in 2012 as he has matured a great deal as a hitter throughout his college career; 6-2, 215 pounds

25. 3B Mitch Nay (Hamilton HS, Arizona): impressive bat; questionable defender, could wind up in RF; super strong arm; easy to love his bat speed; above-average power upside; slow; 6-3, 200 pounds

26. 3B David Thompson (Westminster Christian HS, Florida): huge power; good approach; really quick bat; quick enough for LF, but has chance to stick at third; strong arm befitting a QB; long swing

27. OF Lewis Brinson (Coral Springs HS, Florida): plus (70) to plus-plus speed; strong arm; great athlete; huge upside; big (60-65) raw power; very raw; great athlete; reminds me of Austin Wilson as a prep player but with the ability to play CF, though he could be plus RF; plus arm or better, depending on his release; Florida commitment; more of a baseball player than other toolsy prospects; quick bat; pull power; love his defense; Phillies kind of player; 6-4, 185 pounds

28. OF Jameis Winston (Hueytown HS, Alabama): plus arm strength; plus-plus athlete; plus speed; plus CF range; power upside remains to be seen; can really hit; super quick bat; others really like his power; think scouts got discouraged about his baseball future once it was clear he was going the football route at Florida State, but his baseball tools are outstanding; 6-4, 200 pounds; S/R

29. OF Nick Williams (Galveston Ball HS, Texas): plus athlete; advanced feel for hitting; patient approach; great athlete; impressive speed; long strider; average arm; see a lot of Dom Brown in his game, for better or worse; I’m stubbornly sticking with Williams as an elite prospect because the tools he showed before this spring’s struggles are still there; 6-3, 200 pounds; L/L

30. OF Anthony Alford (Petal HS, Mississippi): above-average power upside; plus-plus athlete; plus arm; can play any outfield spot, but could be great in corner (LF); above-average to plus (70) speed; strong; 6-2, 220 pounds

31. SS Gavin Cecchini (Barbe HS, Louisiana): good athlete; good speed; solid defender; more power than you’d expect, at least average as a pro; should be able to stick at shortstop, but more steady than spectacular there; above-average arm; plus hit tool; like his hit tool, not sure on the rest; I think he’ll have to move off SS, but we’ll see

32. Virginia JR 2B Stephen Bruno: good defender with plus range and plus arm – could be good enough to play shortstop professionally, though that’s currently the minority opinion; I’m in said minority, but put him with the 2B group (he could be a plus defender with more reps at 3B, by the way) to hedge my bets; above-average speed; plenty of pop; Bruno is one of my favorite players from this year’s college class – he’s a natural born hitter with emerging power and a good idea of the strike zone who rarely gets cheated during an at bat; if he doesn’t settle in as an everyday player anywhere, he has the high floor of a quality big league utility infielder; 5-9, 165 pounds

33. SS Adrian Marin (Gulliver Prep HS, Florida): plus arm strength; confirmed plus speed; needs to add some bulk; steady defender who should stick at SS, could be very good at 2B; no problems with velocity; gap power; has “it” whatever that is; 6-0, 170 pounds

34. Florida JR SS Nolan Fontana: average to above-average speed; good defender who manages to get by without elite defensive tools – positioning and instincts go a long way; average hit tool; little power, but enough pop to run into one from time to time – big improvement in this area in 2012; highlight of his game is without a doubt his great approach; Fontana never takes off an at bat, always working deep counts and being sure to swing at pitches he knows he can handle and/or waste; more physical strength than given credit for; should have a long professional career in some capacity, whether it is as a starting middle infielder or an above-average utility player; as much as I like Fontana (and I really, really like Fontana), I have to pass along the comp I heard a scout who saw him play a lot this year throw on him: former first round pick Russ Adams, a similarly polished college shortstop who didn’t have enough punch to make a meaningful pro impact; 5-11, 185 pounds

35. TCU JR C Josh Elander: plus power potential; above-average arm strength but it plays up even more due to quick release; footwork behind plate still needs work; above-average foot speed; physically mature and very strong; one of the best overall tool sets of any college prospect, but Elander is no different from many other prospects of this archetype – with great tools often comes a high degree of rawness; I believe he’ll have no problems sticking behind the plate, and think he has a chance to be a starting caliber catcher; could follow the Eli Marrero career path if his defense continues to lag behind his bat; 6-0, 205 pounds

36. C Wyatt Mathisen (Calallen HS, Texas): strong and accurate arm; good defensive tools, but needs reps; really nice patient approach; quick bat; slightly below-average speed, but good for catcher; 6-1, 210 pounds

37. C Clint Coulter (Union HS, Washington): good defensive tools, but a little stiff behind plate; may or may not stick at catcher long-term, but I’m a believer; little Jeff Bagwell in his crouch and swing setup; good athlete; plus arm, but needs to polish up footwork; pro body; loud contact; strong; big league caliber defensive tools for me, not all agree; above-average arm; really interesting power; fun player to watch who impacts the game in a multitude of ways; 6-3, 220 pounds

38. 1B Nathan Mikolas (Bradford HS, Wisconsin): strong hit tool; above-average power upside; good athlete; really smart young hitter; quick bat; can hit to all fields; questionable defender and athlete; best position is batter’s box; has also played some OF; 6-2, 200 pounds

39. OF Jesse Winker (Olympia HS, Florida): projects as LF, but a really good one; above-average raw power; really strong hit tool; plus arm strength, above-average in total due to accuracy and iffy mechanics; lightning quick bat; pretty lefthanded swing; patient approach; love the bat here; opposite field power is no joke; present power is legit; 6-3, 200 pounds; L/L

40. OF DJ Davis (Stone HS, Mississippi): plus-plus (80) speed; gap power, more there; improved approach; interesting power upside (double digit); CF range; weak arm; plus CF range; 5-11, 170 pounds

41. OF Max White (Williston HS, Florida): above-average to plus (closer to plus) speed; plus hit tool; plus arm strength; has put on strength and added power; pretty swing; present hit tool is iffy, but bat speed is there; high level CF tools; 6-2, 185 pounds

42. Florida State SR OF James Ramsey: you’ll read lots of averages in his reports, which might not excite many, but those are actually a testament to the hard work he has put in since arriving on campus – Ramsey has come as far as any college player that I can remember in recent memory; above-average hit tool; average at best defender; average range; average at best speed; average arm; average power; was always considered a LF only professionally, but his range has improved a great deal in 2012 – can now play a decent enough CF to play there in a pinch; gets good jumps despite not having blazing speed; there were some rumors that he could be tried at 2B professionally, but I’m not sure the team that drafts him will want to mess with his bat that way; he now uses the whole field so much better than when I last saw him (100% pull-heavy) that he looks like a new player; still unsure of his pro ceiling, but I think his bat is good enough to find him a role in some capacity; 6-0, 200 pounds

43. California JR 2B Tony Renda: gifted pure hitter who was once considered a butcher in the field, but has improved a tremendous amount to the point that he is now considered at least average; will make all the plays hit at him, but range is nothing to brag about; has worked really hard to improve all-around, so makeup is not a question; now steady enough defensively to stick up the middle, though he’ll have to continue working as he progresses through minors – it’s admittedly a stretch, but I’ve heard his defense/desire to improve his defense (not great/off the charts) combination compared to a young Chase Utley, a player who few believed would ever be average at 2B but worked and worked until one day becoming one of the top defenders in the game in his prime; average at worst speed, has been timed slightly better; if his power comes as some expect, he could have enough bat to play LF; reminds me a little bit of last year’s favorite Tommy La Stella, but higher national profile will get him off board earlier; 5-10, 180 pounds

44. Oklahoma City JR C Dane Phillips: has seen time in RF as well as behind the plate; average arm strength; above-average power upside, but better hit tool; slow, but, hey, he’s a catcher, right?; I’ve long been on record in believing in Phillips sticking behind the plate long-term, citing his progress year-to-year rather than his current ability; well known as a well-traveled man: transferred from OK State to Arkansas, where he was ruled ineligible, before landing at NAIA school Oklahoma City; tools are there to be a big league starting catcher; 6-1, 200 pounds

45. Miami SR C Peter O’Brien: nothing has changed when it comes to O’Brien’s basic scouting report: plus-plus power and a strong arm, but below-average everywhere else; what has changed is his level of competition – doing what he did in the ACC has opened some eyes, and rightfully so; his hit tool isn’t as strong and he’s a better bet to stick behind the plate, but I think a comparison between O’Brien and last year’s preeminent college power hitter CJ Cron has some merit – if O’Brien had been moved off of catcher coming into the year, I wonder if scouts would appreciate his bat more rather than focusing on the negatives of his defense; 6-5, 225 pounds

46. Buffalo JR C Tom Murphy: plus raw power; good athlete; good catcher speed, average overall; above-average arm strength; came into year with many calling his defense “passable,” but in need of improvement – well, he’s improved a lot in the past four months, and now the only question surrounding his defense is how good he’ll continue to get; Murphy is a well-rounded player with enough power to profile as a potential starting catcher; 6-1, 220 pounds

47. Washington JR 3B Jake Lamb: plus raw lefty power; average defender; plenty of arm strength; previous two points could be added together and lead to a potential switch to catcher professionally, though his progress with the bat has slowed this talk; has flashed big league tools for years and now production is finally catching up – should be a better pro than college player once adjustments are made to his swing; above-average big league starter upside; 6-3, 210 pounds

48. Purdue JR 3B Cameron Perkins: above-average power upside; interesting profile as a hitter: he’s a well-known hacker, but with low strikeout totals and a well above-average ability to hit for contact; average speed; average defender; could be very good in RF; lets ball get very deep on hands; strong arm; good athlete; 6-5, 200 pounds; bad-ball hitter; hard to strikeout; 6-5, 200 pounds

49. OF Andrew Pullin (Centralia HS, Washington): above-average arm; above-average speed; big raw power, but inconsistent in swing setup; more solid across the board than a standout in one area; little bit of Utley in swing; 6-0, 185 pounds; L/L

50. OF Kolby Copeland (Parkway HS, Louisiana): very good athlete; good power; strong arm; love his approach; 6-2, 185 pounds

51. OF Braden Bishop (St. Francis HS, California): good speed; great athlete; high level glove in center field; great smarts on bases; strong arm; gap power; strong hit tool; 6-1, 180 pounds; R/R

52. OF Josh Henderson (First Baptist Christian HS, Virginia): gorgeous swing; gifted natural hitter; patient approach; good power; average speed; stuck in OF corner; average arm; average range; plus bat speed; 6-0, 190 pounds; L/L

53. OF Austin Aune (Argyle HS, Texas): pretty lefthanded swing; great athlete; first round tools; football star who is a questionable sign; good runner; strong arm; can hit the ball anywhere it is pitched; 6-3, 190 pounds

54. Texas Tech JR 2B Jamodrick McGruder: as you’d expect, the college 2B class is more steady than spectacular so any plus ability you see is worth getting super excited about – McGruder is a plus athlete with plus speed and a plus arm; he’s also a solid defender with the chance to improve as he gets more comfortable in the infield; some teams may view him as a potential CF due to his speed and arm; above-average hit tool with enough pop to play everyday at the next level; 5-7, 170 pounds

55. OF Rhett Wiseman (Buckingham Browne & Nichols HS, Massachusetts): plus raw power; above-average to plus speed; good range in CF; iffy arm, but accurate; very raw at plate; also raw in field; swing needs work, inconsistent; have liked his showcase performances; 6-1, 200 pounds; L/R

56. OF Vahn Bozoian (Ayala HS, California): big righthanded power upside; questionable hit tool; plus-plus arm strength, but not always accurate; can handle big velocity; 6-5, 210 pounds

57. OF Fernelys Sanchez (George Washington HS, New York): plus-plus speed; can be too aggressive, but I like what I’ve seen out of his approach, especially as a spoiler; huge defensive tools; remain intrigued by hit tool; 6-3, 200 pounds

58. Chipola (FL) JC SO OF Andrew Toles: plus speed; plus arm; plus range in CF; kicked off team at Tennessee, but has rebounded nicely both on and off the field at junior college; easy player to like because his path to the big leagues is clear – he’s a defensive dynamo who can really run with enough pop to help keep his on-base abilities evolving over time; the popular comp (Michael Bourn) seems like a really fitting one; 5-10, 185 pounds

59. Rice rJR OF Jeremy Rathjen: above-average speed, power, and arm all give him the look and feel of a starting big league RF if he puts it all together; had reputation of being too aggressive at plate — mostly from being too jumpy early in counts, swinging at pitchers’ pitches — but has worked hard at Rice to hone his plate discipline; good defensive feel; coming off ACL injury, but you wouldn’t know it from breakout season; have heard comps to fellow native Texans Hunter Pence and Brad Hawpe; in a lean year for college bats, Rathjen stands out as one of the few potential starting-caliber players with All-Star upside; 6-5, 200 pounds

60. Texas A&M JR OF Tyler Naquin: plus-plus arm; pretty swing; above-average to plus speed; plus hit tool; reminds me a little of a super-charged version of Alabama OF Taylor Dugas – similar style of play, but every tool a grade (or more) better; better contemporary comparison may be Travis Jankowski; good enough to play CF, though he hasn’t gotten many chances to show it in college; can drill a fastball, but pitch recognition is an issue – like many non-big leaguers he struggles with good breaking stuff; started to show he can go the other way with the better breaking stuff as the year went on; emerging power, but will need to needs to continue to add muscle if he wants to drive the ball against professional pitching; currently his power plays mostly to the gaps; tons of plate coverage; as a CF, Naquin is a legitimate first day prospect; 6-2, 180 pounds

61. West Chester (PA) SR 2B Joe Wendle: pre-season FAVORITE who earned his all-caps designation; easily the best local (to me) player, so I got the chance to see him in person fairly regularly the past two springs; no clear above-average tool, but his present skills are excellent; average speed that plays up due to smart base running and instincts in field; really like the hit tool, swing likes a big leaguer; should be good defender at 2B in time – he’s not a natural, but he gets it done; solid arm; 6-1, 190 pounds

62. 2B Alex Bregman (Albuquerque Academy, New Mexico): very strong; big power upside; gifted natural hitter; talented at all defensive spots, including short; really good athlete; nimble behind plate; outstanding approach; good speed; most likely a 2B professionally, but can also catch; improved defense behind plate before injury; average at best arm; showing some ability behind plate, but its early; wowed by his hitting ability; 5-11, 185 pounds; R/R

63. OF Bralin Jackson (Raytown South HS, Missouri): quick bat; good speed; good raw power; great athlete; above-average arm; good CF range that could be better with practice; bat is a work in progress; raw all-around, but athleticism and tools make him must follow; like the swing a lot, almost like a lefthanded swing in a righthanded hitting body; 6-0, 180 pounds; R/L

64. OF Ty Moore (Mater Dei HS, California): plus hit tool despite unorthodox swing; above-average (55ish) speed; strong enough arm; just knows how to hit; doesn’t have range for CF or power upside for corner, so tweener status limits his ceiling; 6-0, 185 pounds

65. OF Skye Bolt (Holy Innocents HS, Georgia): plus arm strength; above-average speed; interesting lefthanded power; good range; very good athlete; should be good CF in time, has speed to make up for mistakes; very accurate arm; 6-2, 180 pounds; R/R

66. OF Brett Phillips (Seminole HS, Florida): plus-plus arm strength; 55 speed; 6-1, 185 pounds; above-average range in CF with time; smart hitter; swing needs retooling; average power upside, but will have to work to unlock it

67. Texas JR OF Jonathan Walsh: advanced approach; strong arm; above-average power; big league bat speed; profiles as type of player with the chance to be a better pro hitter than he showed in college – raw physical tools have outpaced his production thus far; outside chance he’ll be announced at catcher, his high school position, on draft day – if that’s the case, expect said announcement to have come way before than many national outlets are currently predicting; from 2009: tremendous athlete with questionable defense behind the plate who is a prime candidate for a position switch; best speed in the catching class; advanced bat with ML-approach should and raw power wins him a place in my heart; I’ve heard a Jayson Werth comp that is just crazy enough for me to buy Walsh as a worthwhile high round draft pick; Texas commit; 6-3, 220 pounds

68. Wake Forest rJR OF Mac Williamson: impressive raw tools, emphasis on raw; above-average to plus arm strength; too aggressive at plate, gets himself out too often; I’ve long wanted to see him move back behind plate, but realize that dream is dead – as it is, he’s a good defender with the prototypical arm for RF; physically mature and very strong; plus power upside; above-average speed, but slow starter – once he gets underway, you see his speed; much improved as hitter in 2012, chasing fewer bad balls; Williamson is interesting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being his consistently strong power performances and improved plate discipline; if it all comes together in pro ball, Williamson is a five-tool player (four of which are decidedly above-average, the most questionable tool being his bat) with big league starter upside – he profiles very similarly to Adam Brett Walker as a hitter and athlete, but with a higher floor based on his added defensive value; has also shown promise on the mound over the years: 88-92 FB, 94 peak; good sinker; good CB; shows CU; 6-4, 240 pounds

69. Jacksonville JR OF Adam Brett Walker: plus power upside; popular John Mayberry Jr. comps, especially in terms of frame makes a lot of sense; I’ll take the minority view and state that I think he has the chops to be an average RF as pro, but acknowledge that he could be very good defensively at 1B; average at best speed, but not for long as his body fills out; swing isn’t as long as you’d think and he’s a more refined ballplayer than often given credit; average hit tool; average at best arm; I think Walker gets an unfair reputation as a hulking all or nothing slugger who will have to hit 30+ homers to have any kind of long-term value; with a score of 45s/50s across the board, Walker’s game is relatively well-rounded – though, of course, it is still his power that will make him a potential big league regular or not; 6-5, 225 pounds

70. Texas Tech JR OF Barrett Barnes: plus raw power; good bat speed; above-average speed; by all accounts possesses above-average CF range, but I think his body will eventually send him to LF; good enough arm, though it is easily his weakest tool; good athlete; strong; 6-2, 220 pounds

71. Kentucky JR 2B Alex Yarbrough: one of the draft’s strongest hit tools; some pop to gaps, certainly enough to keep pitchers honest; above-average runner without big speed – it plays up due to smarts and instincts on the bases; defense is biggest question, but has been steady at second in 2012 – he’s reliably sure-handed with passable range; had somebody compare him to present-day (i.e. not the amateur version) of Neil Walker, citing Walker’s rookie season (2010) as Yarbrough’s upside; 6-1, 175 pounds

72. Virginia JR SS Chris Taylor: plus arm strength; very athletic; steady defender capable of making majority of plays on balls hit at or near him while also pulling off the occasional highlight reel stop and throw; profiles best as leadoff hitter (if he has enough pop to maintain on-base skills) or seventh/eighth hitter in a better lineup; I think his speed has been exaggerated by some outlets, but it is still comfortably above-average; has some power to gaps, but likely never a double-digit HR power guy in big leagues; relatively high floor (utility guy) prospect with the enticing ceiling of everyday shortstop – I tend to err on the side of caution with respect to his upside, but still think he has such a well-rounded skill set that the odds of him reaching the highest levels of pro ball are all but assured; 6-0, 175 pounds

73. Miami JR SS Stephen Perez: plus arm strength, accuracy comes and goes; plus defensive tools, but inconsistent present ability – even his range varies from outing to outing, but the flashes are enough to make you think he can defend in the big leagues; good runner; fringe-average power upside, but currently below-average; have heard Cincinnati, the team that drafted him out of high school, is in on him again this year; 5-11, 185 pounds

74. SS AJ Simcox (Faragut HS, Tennessee): excellent range, especially to his left; strong arm; gap power; needs to add bulk and has the frame to do it; advanced hit tool; reminds me of a last year’s top prep from Tennessee Nick Delmonico a bit; average speed, maybe a tad more; he can definitely stay at shortstop, so if you buy the bat, and I do, he’s a keeper; 6-3, 170 pounds

75. SS Dansby Swanson (Marietta HS, Georgia): good athlete; plus speed; strong hit tool; good defensive tools; 6-1, 170 pounds

76. Connecticut JR 2B LJ Mazzilli: above-average speed; good athlete; chance to be really good defender, but isn’t quite there yet – still think he’s better than many of the national outlets are reporting, but I get that there’s plenty of wiggle room in player evaluation; no discernible platoon split; 6-1, 190 pounds; I’ve long championed Mazzilli as a potential big league starting second baseman, so I might as well ride it out: Really impressed by 2B LJ Mazzilli‘s swing and approach at the plate. He has a little toe-tap timing mechanism that reminds me a little bit of Mark Reynolds’ swing, only without the swing-and-miss length. Good speed, good athleticism, and good hands should keep him up the middle, and a little physical maturation at the plate could help turn him into one of those super annoying scrappy middle infielders we all know and love (or hate, depending on the player).

77. 2B Chase Nyman (Pascagoula HS, Mississippi): lets ball get in very deep before swinging; very mature approach to hitting; born to hit; plus hit tool; no other tool stands out, but he can hit; room for added strength; 6-0, 185 pounds

78. C Brian De La Rosa (Olympic Heights HS, Florida): advanced defender; very accurate arm; plus arm; good athlete; mobile behind the plate; good raw power; 5-10, 190 pounds

79. 3B Jackson Campana (Providence HS, North Carolina): plus arm; huge raw power; 87-89 FB; above-average defensive tools at third; 6-6, 200 pounds

80. 3B Corey Oswalt (James Madison HS, California): power is his best tool; nice swing setup; quick bat; great athlete; plus arm; tools to be at least average defensively; 88-90 FB, 91-92 peak; good 77-80 CB; 6-4, 215 pounds; R/R

81. OF Tyrone Taylor (Torrance HS, California): great athlete; above-average speed, really quick accelerator; interesting hit tool; big defensive tools; not a ton of power upside, but has some sneaky pop; leadoff future; gap power at his best; 6-2, 180 pounds

82. OF Vincent Jackson (Luella HS, Georgia): big personal favorite as hitter; can hit velocity; average speed; strong arm; 6-4, 200 pounds

83. OF Justin Black (West HS, Montana): good defender in corner, can play CF due to great first step quickness and positioning; plus speed; slash and dash at this point, but power could come as he fills out; 6-1, 185 pounds

84. St. John’s JR OF Jeremy Baltz: above-average raw power that is already playing to all fields – willing to go where the pitch is thrown; strong hit tool; plus bat speed; slow; average at best  arm; not very good in LF, so he has a ton riding on his bat; 6-3, 205 pounds

85. 3B Dylan LaVelle (Lake Stevens HS, Washington): quick bat; good power; slow; tools to play a good third base; strong hit tool; power upside; 6-2, 200 pounds

86. 3B Xavier Turner (Sandusky HS, Ohio): great base stealer; good arm; above-average speed; gap power; good defensive tools; quick bat; like him a lot; swings like a hitter, not a slugger but can still hit it out; 6-1, 205 pounds

87. 3B JT Phillips (Columbus HS, Georgia): no problems with velocity; quick bat; plus arm that would play at either third or catcher; good athlete; like him as a defender at third, good reactions; interesting power; TJ survivor; 91-93 FB, 94 peak; 73-74 CB; 6-3, 200 pounds

88. C Blake Baxendale (Rogers Heritage HS, Arkansas): improved defender with improved conditioning, always had above-average defensive tools; big present power; uses whole field as hitter; 6-3, 210 pounds

89. C Korey Dunbar (Nitro HS, West Virginia): good defensive tools; big raw power to all fields; plus arm; good athleticism; 6-1, 215 pounds

90. OF Theo Alexander (Lake Washington HS, Washington): quick bat; no problem with high velocity; strong; LF in pros; average speed; 6-2, 200 pounds

91. OF Steven Golden (St. Francis HS, California): good arm; very good speed; good instincts in OF combined with his speed give him plus range; line drive swing with very few moving parts – I like his hit tool more than most, though power upside is questionable; 6-3, 180 pounds; R/R

92. OF Giovanni Brusa (St. Mary’s HS, California): above-average arm; above-average speed; great athlete; big power upside; raw hit tool; could be league average defender in RF; 6-3, 200 pounds

93. LSU rJR OF Raph Rhymes: I think Rhymes gets downplayed as a prospect by national draft experts because they are guarding against casual fans overrating one of college baseball’s relatively well-known players; there’s really no denying that he is a wonderful natural hitter, though it is probably fair to say that his hit tool is his only above-average tool; I think he’ll be passable in left field with enough pop and plate discipline to potentially make it as a big league starter; he does run the risk of being an “all or nothing” prospect – if he can’t make it as a big league starter, then his ceiling drops down to pinch hitter only as he doesn’t fit defensively as a backup outfielder; 6-0, 180 pounds

94. Georgia Tech JR OF Brandon Thomas: above-average to plus speed; power upside largely untapped; really great athlete – if there’s one thing about his game that stands out, it is his athleticism; average hit tool with average power upside; good CF range; good enough arm, but far from special – not strong, but accurate; perfect world ceiling that a scout threw out: Andre Ethier; I think of him as a slightly lesser version of Barrett Barnes; 6-3, 205 pounds

95. UCLA JR OF Jeff Gelalich: above-average runner; good range in corner; good athlete; solid all-around defender; above-average hit tool; has added strength; average to just above-average arm; can play CF, but best in corner – likely best in LF, but good enough to cover all over; seen by many as a potentially excellent reserve outfielder, but I think he’s got a strong enough all-around game to start down the line; 6-1, 200 pounds

96. Florida State JR 1B Jayce Boyd: long believed to have plus power upside in bat, but still developing; plus to plus-plus fielder; uncanny how gifted a natural hitter he is; well-earned reputation as more of a hitter than slugger, a distinction that could scare some teams off when projecting a first base bat; similar prospect in some ways to Christian Walker, but better physical projection, defense, athleticism, and power ceiling give him edge; 6-3, 200 pounds

97. C Austin Barr (Camas HS, Washington): plus raw power; quick bat; good athlete; Stanford commit; 6-3, 215 pounds

98. C Steve Bean (Rockwall HS, Texas): best known for his plus arm and outstanding defensive tools, though he is still growing into the position defensively; good athlete; decent runner for a catcher, but not exactly fleet of foot in the grand scheme of things; interesting power upside that some scouts insist on and others don’t buy into; not just strong, but baseball strong – he’s built well, and he knows how to use it to his advantage on the diamond; prep catchers always carry risk, but Bean’s defensive upside negates some of it – I’m not as sold on the bat as others; 6-2, 190 pounds

99. 1B Ron Miller (Serra HS, California): great bat speed; above-average arm; plus raw righthanded pull-side power; pitch recognition to be watched; strong; 5-11, 215 pounds

100. 1B Khristian Brito (Quinones Medina HS, Puerto Rico): plus-plus raw power, but little else beyond that; does have a strong arm and better than you’d expect athleticism for his size; comparable to Keon Barnum, but has the edge in one key factor: age; 6-4, 230 pounds

2012 MLB Draft Rankings Reference Page

All of the position player rankings have been finalized. If I missed somebody obvious, let me know. This draft stuff has my brain fried, so it is very possible I skipped over a name that should have been included. The remaining lists will be updated throughout the day, both before and after my draft day (bang up scheduling job on my part…) consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. If things go well and I’m in a good mood, everything should be done in time. If things don’t and I’m bummed about getting the news I’ll be sliced open yet again this summer, then I might just do a quick Day 1 Big Board and call it a night. Thanks to all who have checked in over the past few weeks. Enjoy the draft.

2012 MLB Draft Catcher Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft First Base Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft Second Base Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft Third Base Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft Shortstop Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft Outfielder Prospect Rankings

Still to come…

(Ongoing) 2012 MLB Draft Pitcher Prospect Rankings

Final 2012 MLB Draft Big Board: Hitters

Final 2012 MLB Draft Big Board: Pitchers

Final 2012 MLB Draft Big Board

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 75 other followers