Most Intriguing Pre-Season 2013 MLB Draft Prospect(s)
1. rSO RHP Kyle Ferramola
2. JR OF Miles Williams
In my perfect world I’d have the time and patience to do a draft preview for every college team in the country. Life in this perfect world would be better because I could justify the time spent reviewing teams that have no future big league players. Even worse are the teams that seem 50/50 at best when it comes to whether or not there is even a draftable talent on hand. As it is, forty minutes of my daily allowance of baseball draft website time, time that could have been spent in a million other more relevant, marketable (mock draft!) ways, has now been lost researching and writing about Cal State Northridge. I’m quite happy with the decision, but that’s because I’m a crazy person who a) is a self-proclaimed completest (ignore my shoddy track record finishing what I start, please), and b) cares just as much about the prospects at the Cal State Northridges of the world as I do at any traditional SEC or Big 12 powerhouse. Knowing going in that the only people who will care enough about what I’ve written are the fellow draft-obsessed and the friends/family members of players on the team gives me comfort.
JR RHP Harley Holt is a really sound college pitcher known for his excellent pitchability and above-average command. He likely lacks the strikeout stuff – upper-80s FB, no true go-to secondary offering – to warrant much draft consideration. rSO RHP Kyle Ferramola, a Washington transfer, has a really quick arm (95-96 peak) and has flashed a plus breaking ball in the past. If his command comes around and/or he refines a third pitch, preferably something even more offspeed, then he could get looks as a potential starting pitcher. If not, he has enough arm talent to become a useful bullpen piece down the line. The Cal State Northridge offense will be carried by a veteran outfield headlined by their best 2013 position player prospect JR OF Miles Williams. I think Williams will likely be the Matadors’ best 2014 position player prospect after going undrafted this June, but his combination of pop and arm strength may be enough to tempt a team if he puts together a big junior campaign. I see a corner outfielder with decent tools and an approach that needs a lot of work. He’s still the pick as the most likely Matador bat to get drafted this June, but senior sign fits his profile a lot better in my view.
2014 MLB Draft Name(s) to Know
1. SO RHP Jordan Johnson
There’s no 2014 prospect that currently jumps off the page, but that doesn’t mean Cal State Northridge doesn’t have a few intriguing names to watch, at least on the college stage. Relatively unproven hard throwers Jordan Johnson and Kyle Ferramola, both sophomore righthanders, make up for their lack of command and overall polish with mid-90s heat, promising breaking stuff, and ample athleticism. Both guys very clearly have professional upside, but it will take time for them to get acclimated – or re-acclimated in the case of Ferramola, a Washington transfer — to college ball. [EDIT: After a little bit more digging, it appears that Ferramola is draft-eligible in 2013. I added him to the list above.] rFR RHP Louis Cohen and SO RHP Brandon Warner bring more experience than most second-year college pitchers (close to 100 IP last year combined), but neither currently has the stuff to help them separate from the herd. SO LHP Jerry Keel deserves mention both for his work eating innings as a freshman (91.1 IP in 2012) and for his [insert obvious joke here] as he tips in the scales at 6-6, 280 pounds. He’s worth watching.
(Ed. Note: I received an email asking about RHP Shay Maltese. I’m very much an outsider, so most of my roster information comes from surfing official team websites and whatever random newspaper clippings I can Google my way towards. As far as I can tell, Maltese is currently on Cal State Stanislaus’ 2013 roster. I know Perfect Game has Maltese listed on Northridge’s squad, so it could very well be that the more plugged-in staffers there know something I don’t. It’s worth noting that Cal State Northridge’s team page lists only returning players on the Fall roster, i.e. there are no freshman or transfers listed. If Maltese is a Matador this spring, you can put him at the top of the 2013 draft list, narrowly beating out a very similarly talented prospect in Ferramola.)