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Category Archives: 2011 College 2B

2011 MLB Draft Middle Infield Rankings Resource Page

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Second Base Rankings

Final 2011 MLB Draft High School Second Base Rankings

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Shortstop Rankings

Final 2011 MLB Draft High School Shortstop Rankings

…and for a combined top fifty list of all 2011 draft-eligible middle infield prospects, observe and discuss below…

1. SS Francisco Lindor (Montverde Academy, Florida)

2. SS Trevor Story (Irving HS, Texas)

3. Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong

4. North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael

5. 2B Phillip Evans (La Costa Canyon HS, California)

6. 2B Johnny Eierman (Warsaw HS, Missouri)

7. SS Tyler Greene (West Boca Raton HS, Florida)

8. Clemson JR SS Brad Miller

9. SS Brandon Martin (Santiago HS, California)

10. Connecticut JR SS Nick Ahmed

11. 2B Trent Gilbert (Torrance HS, California)

12. SS Julius Gaines (Luella HS, Georgia)

13. Coastal Carolina JR SS Taylor Motter

14. Texas JR SS Brandon Loy

15. Indian River State College SO 2B Corey Spangenberg

16. St. John’s JR 2B Joe Panik

17. Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright

18. 2B Shon Carson (Lake City HS, South Carolina)

19. 2B Christian Lopes (Edison HS, California)

20. SS Connor Barron (Sumrall HS, Mississippi)

21. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy La Stella

22. McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson

23. 2B Dante Flores (St. John Bosco HS, California)

24. 2B TJ Costen (First Colonial HS, Virginia)

25. TCU JR SS Taylor Featherston

26. Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee

27. SS Drake Roberts (Brenham HS, Texas)

28. SS Mikal Hill (Mallard Creek HS, North Carolina)

29. Minnesota JR SS AJ Pettersen

30. SS Chris Mariscal (Clovis North HS, California)

31. SS Nico Slater (Jupiter HS, Florida)

32. SS Mitchell Walding (St. Mary’s HS, California)

33. Wichita State JR SS Tyler Grimes

34. LSU JR SS Austin Nola

35. 2B Kevin Kramer (Turlock HS, California)

36. Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton

37. Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini

38. 2B Vicente Conde (Orangewood Christian Academy, Florida)

39. SS Brett Harrison (Green Valley HS, Nevada)

40. Southeast Missouri State JR SS Kenton Parmley

41. Michigan SO SS Derek Dennis

42. North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley

43. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry

44. SS Tommy Williams (Palm Beach Gardens HS, Florida)

45. Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano

46. SS Jack Lopez (Deltona HS, Florida)

47. Tennessee JR 2B Khayyan Norfork

48. 2B Mason Snyder (Marquette HS, Illinois)

49. SS Zac LaNeve (Pine Richland HS, Pennsylvania)

50. Texas Tech JR SS Kelby Tomlinson

2011 MLB Draft Second Base Rankings Resource Page

For more on the top twenty-six college and top thirteen high school 2011 second base prospects…

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Second Base Rankings

Final 2011 MLB Draft High School Second Base Rankings

…and for a combined top twenty-five list of all 2011 draft-eligible second base prospects, peep the list below…

1. Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong

2. North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael

3. 2B Phillip Evans (La Costa Canyon HS, California)

4. 2B Johnny Eierman (Warsaw HS, Missouri)

5. 2B Trent Gilbert (Torrance HS, California)

6. Indian River State College SO 2B Corey Spangenberg

7. St. John’s JR 2B Joe Panik

8. Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright

9. 2B Shon Carson (Lake City HS, South Carolina)

10. 2B Christian Lopes (Edison HS, California)

11. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy La Stella

12. McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson

13. 2B Dante Flores (St. John Bosco HS, California)

14. 2B TJ Costen (First Colonial HS, Virginia)

15. Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee

16. 2B Kevin Kramer (Turlock HS, California)

17. Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton

18. Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini

19. 2B Vicente Conde (Orangewood Christian Academy, Florida)

20. North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley

21. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry

22. Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano

23. Tennessee JR 2B Khayyan Norfork

24. 2B Mason Snyder (Marquette HS, Illinois)

25. Western Carolina JR 2B Ross Heffley

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Second Base Rankings

1. Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong

*** 2010: .438/.507/.647 – 37 BB/19 K – 249 AB – 20/27 SB
*** 2011: .432/.548/.630 – 40 BB/19 K – 192 AB – 22/28 SB

Have to love the consistency shown by Wong from his sophomore year to his junior year, don’t you? Those are some freakishly similar numbers. Wong has above-average or better future grades with three tools (bat, arm, glove) and enough power to the gaps and speed on the bases to keep both pitchers and catchers honest. I’ve gone back and forth deciding whether or not I like him or Levi Michael better, but ultimately think Wong’s higher floor gives him a teeny tiny advantage. I try not to force comps, but something about Kolten Wong’s overall body of work, statistical profile, and scouting outlook remind me of Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. I’ve heard the Brandon Phillips and Brian Roberts comps, but I keep coming back to Ruiz. I realize that Wong hits lefthanded and has significantly more speed, but I could see him putting up a few 2010 Carlos Ruiz seasons (.302/.400/.447) at his peak.

2. North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael

*** 2010: .374/.509/.621 – 48 BB/24 K – 214 AB
*** 2011: .321/.475/.480 – 48 BB/30 K – 196 AB – 15/16 SB

I’ve mentioned it before, but it is so incredible to me that it bears repeating: Levi Michael graduated high school early to enroll at UNC mid-year, and then went on to tear it up as a freshman playing as a starter in the ACC. Occasionally we’ll see pitchers do this, and last year we had the whole Bryce Harper skipping his senior year to go destroy wood ball junior college ball thing, but it is still pretty rare to see a hitter do what Michael did in the manner he did (repeat: he smashed the ball all over the place back in 2009 as an 18-year-old) that it is worth pointing out over and over again. Michael has plenty of bat speed, double-digit homer upside, and the footwork and instincts to potentially stick at his junior season college position of shortstop.

3. Indian River State College SO 2B Corey Spangenberg

*** 2010: .345/.391/.553 – 14 BB/46 K – 235 AB – 24/29 SB (at VMI)
*** 2011: .477/.553/.659 – 29 BB – 176 AB – 33/37 SB

If you’re one of the die-hards who have been tracking the 2011 draft for the past few years and not the past few days (not that there is anything wrong with that…), it should come as no shock that I find the rise of Corey Spangenberg from Indian River (Florida) to be one of the most interesting potential draft day subplots. In his most recent mock draft, Jim Callis mentioned Spangenberg as a possibility for San Diego at pick number ten, Florida at fourteen, Oakland at eighteen, and Cincinnati at twenty-seven. Not bad for a player I compared to former Miami 2B Scott Lawson, now a member of the Tampa Bay organization after getting selected in the 29th round last year. Spangenberg was ranked 30th on my preseason listing of college second basemen. So, a comparison to a guy taken in the 29th round last year and a preseason ranking behind a pair of potentially undrafted infielders like Matt Puhl and Ryan Holland for a guy now expected my the leading draft expert to go 14th overall to the Marlins. Whoops.

To be fair, even with the benefit of hindsight, I feel pretty good about at least tacking Spangenberg on to the end of my preseason list of draft-eligible 2B prospects, and am now quite pleased to see the way his draft stock has skyrocketed this spring. I would have guessed his good, but not great overall tool set — his only plus tool is his bat, though I acknowledge that’s the plus tool you want if you’re only blessed with one — would have him off to Miami in time for the 2012 season. So, in a way I was right all along…I just thought Spangenberg would wind up with the Hurricanes, not the Marlins. Others like his speed more than I do, but I’m higher on his defensive upside at second base than most. The total package is made up of average to slightly above-average speed, good base running instincts, gap power, an aggressive approach that he has worked hard to improve, and, as mentioned, a true plus hit tool with the added bonus of having a strong track record with wood bats. Haven’t heard this comp yet, but it just makes too much sense to me right now and I can’t get it out of my head: Corey Spangenberg is the next generation Lonnie Chisenhall.

4. St. John’s JR 2B Joe Panik

*** 2010: .339/.448/.564 – 38 BB/17 K – 227 AB – 6/9 SB
*** 2011: .380/.492/.610 – 38 BB/19 K – 200 AB – 17/21 SB

I do my best not to let a quick look influence my opinion on a player too much, partly because I know I’m just an amateur when it comes to “scouting” players and partly because I trust the second-hand notes and observations that paint a much richer picture of what a player can and can’t do (i.e. data spanning multiple years) over what I may or may not see in one game, three games, or ten games. Without getting anybody I trust to definitively tell me, “yes, Panik is a shortstop in pro ball” and based on a couple firsthand views over the years, I made the decision to slide Panik over to the 2B rankings. With that out of the way, we can see he’s a pretty interesting 2B prospect. Many of my defensive misgivings — iffy first step quickness, good but not great arm, questionable range to his left — go by the wayside if he is moved to second. Looking at his defensive tools through this different light, we see now that his defensive actions are mostly good (hands work, quick transfer, decent “catch up” burst), his arm is plenty strong, and he won’t be asked to cover quite as much ground. The bat is obviously a strength – average or slightly above-average hit tool, arguably the most raw power in the college second base class, and above-average speed (helped by good base running instincts). The total package leaves you with a legit five-tool player, and a player with a chance to contribute, though maybe not excel, in all phases of the game.

5. Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright

*** 2010: .370/.418/.642 – 21 BB/25 K – 254 AB – 10/11 SB
*** 2011: .338/.426/.583 – 32 BB/30 K – 216 AB – 16/18 SB

Wright’s case is a unique one because, even though his numbers dipped slightly from 2010 to 2011, his stock improved. The smarter people I talked to all came away more impressed with his 2011 approach to the new bats than they were with his “sell out for power” approach with the old aluminum. That sounds like a good sign as he makes the transition to wood. I mentioned Joe Panik, Wright’s Big East buddy, as having arguably the most raw power for a college second baseman, but you could probably flip a coin and be happy with either him or Wright at the top of that list. The difference there is that Panik has tapped into his power and shown pretty much all he can do in that area of his game; Wright, on the other hand, still has just enough untapped raw power that I sometimes wonder if the right organization could help him unlock the key (I use that phrase a lot — “unlock the key” — even though it makes no sense and isn’t listed as a real idiom anywhere. Sounds cool to me, though…) to a 20 homer season down the road. Even if his present gap power is all that we see at the next level, Wright’s solid glove, average foot speed, and promising hit tool will keep getting him chances.

6. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy La Stella

*** 2010: .388/.471/.659 – 34 BB/14 K – 246 AB – 6/6 SB
*** 2011: .417/.496/.686 – 28 BB/16 K – 204 AB – 7/11 SB

The number one knock I heard on La Stella heading into the season was his tendency to get too anxious at the plate and swing at pitcher’s pitches too often. This clearly wasn’t reflected in the numbers — notice the awesome batting averages and BB/K ratios — but it was a concern from smart people who had seen him often. When I receive scouting tips that contradict what the numbers reflect, I get dizzy. Trust the reports from people who are paid to this, banking on the idea that sometimes a scouting observation shows up before a dip in on-field production? Or acknowledge that sometimes even the best see things that sometimes aren’t really there? In La Stella’s case, I’m inclined to go with the latter. La Stella’s pure hit tool is on par with darn near any college prospect in this year’s draft.

7. McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson

*** 2010: 345/448/478 – 41 BB/35 K – 232 AB – 35/38 SB
*** 2011: .335/.451/.473 – 44 BB/27 K – 224 AB – 31/41 SB

Funny anecdote on Peterson, courtesy of two of my better sources in the game. The first guy texted me during warmups of a McNeese State game to say something along the lines of, “No clue if he can play, but, wow, what an athlete!” I heard from the second guy later in the season when he said something like, “Here’s a grinder with a great feel for hitting.” The former football star’s athletic ability can’t be questioned and his speed is potentially a game changing tool. The current baseball star has shown a better than expected approach, greatly improved hands at the plate, and enough pop to garner early round consideration.

8. Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee

*** 2010: .380/.483/.647 – 42 BB/36 K – 221 AB – 20/24 SB
*** 2011: .263/.410/.340 – 44 BB/18 K – 194 AB – 22/29 SB

This isn’t quite Jett Bandy bad — notice the still strong BB/K numbers — but the degradation of MacPhee’s once promising prospect stock is still disappointing to see. On the bright side, he still has near plus speed, impressive bat speed, and excellent defensive tools up the middle. I’d love to know whether or not his batting average collapse had something to do with a BABIP-fueled string of bad luck or if he just isn’t making the kind of hard contact he did in 2010. Reports on him struggling to square up on balls this spring have me afraid it is the latter, but that great 2010 season should be enough to have a handful of teams buying into him as a potential utility player.

9. Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton

*** 2010: 364/455/567 – 36 BB/23 K – 231 AB – 8/10 SB
*** 2011: .357/.462/.502 – 39 BB/22 K – 213 AB – 6/7 SB

Patton can really, really hit. I don’t know if his other tools will play at the next level, but when judged solely as a hitter it is easy to see him going far. An argument can be made for a couple different offense-first second base prospects ranked below him here, but I like his hit tool as much as I like any one player’s hit tool that comes next.

10. Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini

*** 2010: .373/.441/.821 – 21 BB/28 K – 212 AB – 12/15 SB
*** 2011: .362/.451/.694 – 29 BB/35 K – 196 AB – 13/15 SB

Paolini has more present power than any college middle infielder. The question that remains to be answered is whether or not his long swing will lead to enough hits to make that power useful at the next level. If he doesn’t hit, he’s in trouble – only his power rates as above-average at this point, with the potential for an average hit tool down the road his only other tool of note. There’s a little sleeper Dan Uggla upside here, if everything breaks right. Of course, think about the original Uggla before getting too excited – how many things had to break exactly right for him to become the Dan Uggla we know and love (even as a long-time fan of a rival division team I have to admit his uppercut corkscrew swing is fun to watch) today? Paolini will probably start out around the same place as Uggla, a former 11th round pick.

11. North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley

*** 2010: .335/.412/.495 – 22 BB/5 K – 212 AB – 10/12 SB
*** 2011: .324/.405/.493 – 29 BB/4 K – 207 AB – 13/15 SB

For a plate discipline junkie like me, that 29 BB/4 K ratio is a thing of beauty. Reports on his defense are all over the place — “above-average,” “passable,” “erratic” — and there is a ton of upside at the plate, but the combination of that plate discipline and just enough pop to keep the bat from being knocked out of his hands gives me hope.

12. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry

*** 2011: .260/.309/.384 – 4 BB/13 K – 73 AB – 5/8 SB

The much-hyped (by me) hitting machine who last year made hard contact in just about every at bat failed to live up to his Bill Hall (my comp for him last year) billing in 2011. I still like the rest of his skills — good enough speed, loads of arm strength, unconventional fielding motions but underrated at second — and I’m willing to bet that bat wakes up next year. Whether the bat rises and shines in pro ball or back at Fullerton for a senior season remains to be seen.

13. Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano

*** 2010: .443/.512/.614 – 31 BB/24 K – 210 AB – 17/19 SB
*** 2011: .332/.383/.379 – 19 BB/14 K – 190 AB – 13/14 SB

Medrano’s beastly 2010 season was a year to be celebrated, but it seems his 2011 performance is much more in line with the kind of player he is and will be going forward. You might not know it from the numbers above, but his best singular tool is his plus speed. He’s also a steady defender at second with good range, though a below-average throwing arm (50/50 shot on whether it will hang on the left side of the infield) limits his upside as a utility infielder. There isn’t a whole lot of power here — note his 2011 slugging percentage — but that isn’t his game anyway. Medrano is a gifted natural hitter with plus bat speed who does a great job of getting the barrel of the bat on the ball with consistency. His lack of arm strength may be his professional undoing, but his bat and speed will at least give him a chance initially.

14. Tennessee JR 2B Khayyan Norfork: plus speed; 5-10, 170;

*** 2010: .267/.392/.367 – 32 BB/35 K – 180 AB – 15/18 SB
*** 2011: .317/.420/.463 – 29 BB/34 K – 205 AB – 30/34 SB

I wanted so badly to include Norfork on my preseason list, but chickened out at the last minute for reasons still unknown to me. He’s got the prerequisite leadoff man skill set — plus speed, great jumps from first, good bunting skills, some patience, some hit tool — and the defensive versatility to play around the infield. I don’t think he has the bat to ever log consistent starter’s at bats, but unlike a few of the guys chained to 2B now and forever, Norfork should be able to move around the infield in a backup’s role with success.

15. Western Carolina JR 2B Ross Heffley

*** 2010: .345/.405/.429 – 22 BB/30 K – 238 AB – 2/3 SB
*** 2011: .398/.468/.621 – 29 BB/19 K – 211 AB – 3/5 SB

My notes on Heffley always come back to two simple words: good hitter. Ask anybody about Heffley and those will be the first two words out of their mouths. His other tools may not compare to the bat, and there are some unanswered questions about his ability to play anywhere but second base, but many think he’ll continue to be a good hitter, at least through the low minors.

16. Bowling Green JR 2B Jon Berti

*** 2010: .391/.453/.541 – 15 BB/33 K – 220 AB – 29/35 SB
*** 2011: .320/.419/.459 – 22 BB/24 K – 172 AB – 18/23 SB

Berti may not have the bat to prosper as a pro, but his speed, range, arm, and pop all rate as average or better (especially his speed) tools.

17. JR 2B Jon Schwind (Marist): good arm; good defender; above-average speed; some pop; versatile defender

*** 2010: .369/.442/.535 – 16 BB/23 K – 217 AB – 10/11 SB
*** 2011: .322/.422/.505 – 27 BB/24 K – 202 AB – 4/6 SB

Schwind profiles very similarly to Jon Berti, in that both players have underrated tools (above-average speed, some pop, good arm and defense) that are only mitigated by a bat that lacks projection. Schwind’s defensive versatility will help.

18. Auburn SR 2B Dan Gamache

*** 2010: .381/.461/.619 – 26 BB/31 K – 189 AB – 7/9 SB
*** 2011:.314/.432/.485 – 32 BB/31 K – 194 AB – 2/2 SB

The Auburn third baseman works best as a 2B in pro ball where his athleticism could shine. I’m a big fan of his swing and power upside.

19. Florida SR 2B Josh Adams

*** 2010: .239/.333/.416 – 31 BB/47 K – 226 AB – 5/8 SB
*** 2011: .365/.407/.505 – 16 BB/25 K – 200 AB – 1/4 SB

Adams is a long time personal who struggled as one of the veteran anchors of a young Gators lineup last year, but has rebounded a bit in 2011. His scouting reports remain largely favorable, despite his inconsistent performances. Adams will be helped by his positional versatility as he tries to make it in the pros as a utility guy.

20. Cal Poly JR 2B Matt Jensen

*** 2010: .277/.382/.460 – 23 BB/23 K – 137 AB – 3/3 SB
*** 2011: .189/.297/.211 – 13 BB/16 K – 95 AB – 1/2 SB

I really wish I could explain what happened to Jensen this year, but I’ve got nothing. Still really like his bat speed and power upside, and he has apparently made strides as a defender. A big senior season, either back at second or on the mound, could get him drafted in the top ten rounds like his talent probably warrants.

That’s the top twenty, but we’ll add six more for good measure. No commentary on these prospects for now, but I’m happy to add some on request.

21. Michigan State SO 2B Ryan Jones

*** 2010: 283/367/504 – 26 BB/41 K – 226 AB – 19/20 SB
*** 2011: .350/.451/.458 – 32 BB/12 K – 203 AB – 11/19 SB

22. Florida State JR 2B Sherman Johnson

*** 2010: .349/.463/.550 – 47 BB/35 K – 238 AB – 7/10 SB
*** 2011: .271/.429/.369 – 54 BB/42 K – 203 AB – 10/12 SB

23. Florida International JR 2B Garrett Wittels

*** 2010: .413/.465/.541 – 23 BB/18 K – 242 AB – 4/5 SB
*** 2011: .347/.400/.440 – 15 BB/24 K – 225 AB – 11/15 SB

24. Fresno State SR 2B Danny Muno

*** 2010: .329/.444/.500 – 48 BB/33 K – 246 AB – 10/13 SB
*** 2011: .339/.472/.462 – 43 BB/25 K – 186 AB – 12/18 SB

24. UT-San Antonio SR 2B Ryan Hutson

*** 2010: .337/.428/.609 – 24 BB/45 K – 3/5 SB – 184 AB
*** 2011: .316/.404/.572 – 22 BB/25 K – 152 AB – 4/7 SB

26. Virginia JR 2B Keith Werman

*** 2010: .436/.509/.523 – 19 BB/8 K – 149 AB – 11/16 SB
*** 2011: .233/.365/.258 – 25 BB/20 K – 163 AB – 5/8 SB

Best Bats of College Baseball’s Opening Weekend (2/18/11 to 2/20/11)

1. Arguably the biggest story to come out of college baseball’s opening weekend (from a prospect standpoint…and before news of Stanford JR LHP Brett Mooneyham’s season-ending finger injury came to the surface) centered on the decision to have Vanderbilt JR 3B Jason Esposito play shortstop. Bigger still, he went out and played it well. Fun question of the day: if Esposito can show to scouts that he can at least play a league average big league shortstop, then he’ll go [fill-in-the-blank] in the 2011 MLB Draft. Top half of the first round, no doubt…right? Top ten? Higher? I know Ryan Zimmerman is the name often thrown around when talking Rice JR 3B Anthony Rendon, but I think it is a really natural comparison for Esposito.

2. Other notable position “switches”: LSU 3B FR JaCoby Jones played 2B, Tulane JR C Jeremy Schaffer played 3B (a spot where he has some prior experience), and Washington SR 1B Troy Scott played 3B (ditto). Schaffer and Scott are mid-round guys here in 2011, but Jones has first round upside in 2013. I want to sit down and do preliminary rankings for 2012 and 2013 sometime before this June.  In a vacuum, Jones has top ten potential, but I’ll need to see where he stacks up in what looks to be a strong 2013 draft class.

3. The LSU staff has three years to move JaCoby Jones around the infield, and, as mentioned, Schaffer and Scott are mid-round guys at best. That leaves the position switch with the most immediate and significant draft prospect consequence as the move of Utah JR C CJ Cron playing first base all weekend long. The switch was not entirely unexpected – Cron’s defense behind the plate has never been his strong suit, plus he has played 1B for the Utes in the past – but the buzz surrounding it makes it seem less and less likely that Cron will don the tools of ignorance much at all in 2011.

A few completely random interesting hitting lines of the weekend, complete with equally random commentary…

College of Charleston JR “C” Rob Kral (2011): 667/714/778 (6-9, 2B, RBI, 5 R, 4 BB/0 K)

  • Kral may not be a catcher professionally, but, man, can he hit. Great patience and great power typically leads to great things…

North Carolina State JR C Pratt Maynard (2011): 538/571/692 (7-13, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R)

Mississippi SR C Miles Hamblin (2011): 444/643/778  (4-9, HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB/3 K, 3/3 SB)

Oklahoma SO 2B Max White (2012): 467/556/667 (7-15, 3 2B, 6 R, 4 RBI, 3 HBP, 1/1 SB)

  • As great as that line looks, White’s defense at second drew the most praise over the weekend. Pretty amazing considering White is a converted outfield learning the position as he goes.

Tennessee JR 2B Khayyan Norfork (2011): 556/667/1.222 (5-9, HR, 3B, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R, 1/2 SB)

  • I ignored all of the positive buzz coming out of Tennessee’s fall/winter practices and, even though it has only been one weekend, I regret it. I did say this: “Khayyan Norfork might just be the player primed to make the biggest rise up draft boards of the players listed.” Really nice blend of speed, pop, and defense…

Florida SO SS Nolan Fontana (2012): 750/786/833 (9-12, 2B, 5 R, 2 HBP, K, 1/1 SB)

Clemson JR SS Brad Miller (2011): 375/643/375 (3-8, 5 R, 2 RBI, 6 BB/0 K, 4/4 SB)

  • Didn’t have the power numbers of many players on the list, but easy to love that BB/K ratio.

Texas Tech JR SS Kelby Tomlinson (2011): 583/667/583 (7-12, 6 RBI, 3 R, 5 BB/1 K, 5/6 SB)

Arizona State JR 3B Riccio Torrez (2011): 462/462/1.231 (6-13, 3 HR, 2B, 7 RBI, 4 R, 2-2 SB)

Oklahoma JR 3B Garrett Buechele (2011): 625/700/1.188 (10-16, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R)

Texas A&M JR 3B Matt Juengel (2011): 455/500/1.364 (5-11, 2 HR, 2 3B, 7 RBI, 5 R)

Texas FR 3B Erich Weiss (2013): 818/824/1.273 (9-11, 2 3B, 2B, 7 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB/0 K, 1/1 SB)

Southern Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley (2011): 583/615/1.083 (7-12, HR, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R)

UAB JR OF Jamal Austin (2011): 462/462/538 (6-13, 2B, RBI, 2 R, 3/4 SB)

Kent State SR OF Ben Klafczynski (2011): 538/571/538 (7-13, RBI, 2 R)

Stanford FR OF Austin Wilson (2013): 500/500/750 (6-12, HR, 4 RBI, R, 1/1 SB)

  • With the first pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees select…

LSU JR OF Mikie Mahtook (2011): 444/545/1.778 (4-9, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

  • I tried to limit the list to one player per college, but leaving fellow Tigers JaCoby Jones and Tyler Hanover off pained me greatly. Mahtook’s decision to only hit home runs could really pay off this year…

Honorable Mention! Virginia SR C Kenny Swab (2011): 000/571/000 (0-6, 5 R, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 2/2 SB)

Honorable Mention 2.0! Any JMU player. Five different players slugged over 1.100 over the weekend: Tenaglia, Herbek, Foltz, Knight, and Lowery. I was most impressed with SO OF Johnny Bladel’s 533/720/733 (6/3 BB/K and 5/5 SB) line. He’s my very early super sneaky 2012 first round possibility.

2011 MLB Draft – Top 50 Middle Infield Prospects

Just like last Monday’s combined list of corner infielders, expect this time we do it up the middle. If I had to ballpark it, I’d say there could be about one dozen or so future big league starters and then a whole lot of potential utility guys. Here’s the plan for the week ahead:

Monday: Top 50 College MIF Ranking
Tuesday: Top 30 College C Follow List (Honorable Mentions)
Wednesday: Top 30 College C Follow List
Thursday: Top 30 College C Follow List Commentary
Friday: Wide open, but I was leaning towards cobbling together some kind of quick college baseball preview…

After all that is done, I’ll finally tackle college OFs, RHPs, and LHPs. I know things have gotten very list heavy around here of late, but we’re almost through. Until then, another list!

  1. North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael
  2. Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong
  3. Clemson JR SS Brad Miller
  4. Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee
  5. Coastal Carolina JR SS Taylor Motter
  6. St. John’s JR SS Joe Panik
  7. Connecticut JR SS Nick Ahmed
  8. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry
  9. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy LaStella
  10. Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright
  11. Michigan SO SS Derek Dennis
  12. Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano
  13. UCLA JR SS Tyler Rahmatulla
  14. TCU JR SS Taylor Featherston
  15. Oregon JR SS KC Serna
  16. McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson
  17. Virginia Military Institute SR SS Sam Roberts
  18. Texas Tech JR SS Kelby Tomlinson
  19. Long Beach State JR SS Kirk Singer
  20. Southeast Missouri State JR SS Kenton Parmley
  21. Cal Poly JR 2B Matt Jensen
  22. Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton
  23. Florida State JR 2B Sherman Johnson
  24. Virginia JR 2B Keith Werman
  25. Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini
  26. Lake Erie College SS Ryan Rua
  27. Florida International JR 2B Garrett Wittels
  28. California JR SS Marcus Semien
  29. Vanderbilt SO SS Sam Lind
  30. Fresno State SR 2B Danny Muno
  31. Troy SR SS Adam Bryant
  32. Army SR SS Clint Moore
  33. South Carolina JR SS Peter Mooney
  34. Georgia Tech JR 2B Connor Winn
  35. Bowling Green JR 2B Jon Berti
  36. Tampa JR SS Taylor Wrenn
  37. James Madison SR SS David Herbek
  38. Marist JR 2B Jon Schwind
  39. Southeastern Louisiana JR SS Justin Boudreaux
  40. North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley
  41. Auburn SR 3B Dan Gamache
  42. Virginia Tech JR SS Ronnie Shaban
  43. LSU JR SS Austin Nola
  44. Texas JR SS Brandon Loy
  45. LSU JR SS Tyler Hanover
  46. Southern SR 2B Curtis Wilson
  47. Towson SR 2B Chris Wychock
  48. Virginia Tech SR SS Tim Smalling
  49. TCU SR 2B Jerome Pena
  50. Oklahoma JR SS Caleb Bushyhead

2011 MLB Draft – College 2B Commentary

From last year:

College second basemen selected in the first 20 rounds of the MLB Draft need to show exceptional ability in one of three offensive categories –  power, plate discipline, or speed. I know, I was shocked to find out that big league clubs value those things as well. A quick study of early round college second basemen shows that 78% of college 2B taken in the top 20 rounds over the past three years showed standout skills in one of the three aforementioned areas.

I haven’t looked at the numbers from 2010, but that 78% figure runs from 2007-2009. The unscientific standards that I used for power, plate discipline, and speed were: power = minimum .550 SLG, plate discipline = more walks than strikeouts, and speed = 20+ stolen bases. Here’s how this year’s class ranked:

All 3 benchmarks reached: Wong – Michael – MacPhee

2 of 3 reached: LaStella – Medrano – Peterson – Patton – Johnson – Spangenberg

1 of 3 reached: Wright – Werman – Paolini – Wittels – Muno – Berti – Riley – Gamache – Wilson – Wychock – Pena

0 reached: Jensen – Schwind – Luciano – Jones – Black – Puhl – Heffley

Not enough at bats to qualify: Terry – Winn – Holland

I didn’t realize any of that before making my list, so it’s pretty interesting to see the top three on my personal list just so happened to be the only three players to hit on all three statistical benchmarks. Looking back on that 2007-2009 pool of players, the best player during the “study” was Miami JR 2B Jemile Weeks. Weeks put up a junior year line of 363/.452/.641 with a BB/K ratio of 35/38 and stole 22 bases in 23 tries. Compare the following lines [Draft Year - Player: BA/OBP/SLG (BB/K) (SB/SBA)]:

2008 Weeks: 363/452/641 (35/38) (22/23)

2010 Wong: 438/507/657 (37/19) (20/27)

2010 Michael: 374/509/621 (48/24) (22/24)

2010 MacPhee: 380/483/647 (42/36) (20/24)

2010 LaStella: 388/471/659 (34/14) (6/6)

2010 Wright: 370/418/642 (21/25) (10/11)

2010 Medrano: 443/512/614 (31/24) (17/19)

There is more to amateur player evaluation than just numbers, of course. Wong and Michael absolutely have scouting reports on par with the junior year version of Weeks. I’d argue for MacPhee at or near the same point, but that might be just me. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: 2011 is a great draft for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the outstanding quality of collegiate second base prospects. A few quick words on a few other prospects I love…

Joe Terry is one of my favorites. Here’s what I wrote about him last year:

Terry is the quintessential hitting machine who finds a way to make hard contact darn near every time he steps to the plate. He does more than just hit, however; Terry is also an above-average runner with a strong arm who, despite appearing to fight his body sometimes in the field, should settle in as at least an average second baseman with the help of professional coaching. He reinvented himself somewhat in 2010 sacrificing some power for a more patient approach.

Terry has good speed, a strong arm, and a really quick bat. As mentioned, his defense has been questioned in the past, but reports from Fullerton this fall were very favorable. This comparison isn’t perfect, but in terms of potential upside and positional versatility, Terry could have a career that looks a little like Bill Hall’s.

Peterson is a really underrated prospect that has the crazy athleticism of a former football star with the refined plate approach of a professional. With proper coaching, he has definite big league starter upside. Jensen, Johnson, and Werman all have played around the diamond and have shown enough aptitude at various positions to profile as potential utility guys. If Joe Terry is the Taylor Ard of second basemen (junior college transfers on the pro radar for years who are finally playing major college ball), Corey Spangenberg is the Jamie Bruno (prospects in limbo awaiting transfers to big programs). Spangenberg is going to Miami next fall unless a pro team takes a chance on him this June. Maybe it is just the Miami connection clouding my judgment, but I could see a possible Scott Lawson comp here.

2011 MLB Draft – Top 30 College 2B Follow List

I’ll have to sit down and really think about the overall college rankings after I finish, but a quick glance at the 1B list has me thinking there will be at least three college second basemen ahead of the top ranked first baseman Florida JR Preston Tucker. That speaks more to the strength of this year’s college second base class than the weakness of the first basemen. Michael, Wong, MacPhee, and Terry make a really strong quartet of prospects. After that first tier, you have another group that could produce a quality big league regular or two out of the trio of LaStella, Wright, and Medrano. From that point on the list is geared towards prospects with the ceiling of utility infielders. College second base prospects don’t exactly have the greatest of track records in professional ball, but I’m such a fan of this group that I’d be happy with my favorite team taking any of the top 15 prospects listed in the top 10 rounds. 42 college second basemen were taken in the 2010 draft; between this list and the honorable mention list, I’m at 44 (and with a severe lack of junior college guys on my rankings so far, for what it’s worth). Big year for college 2B, is what I’m saying…Not that the inexact science of such a ranking needs to be explicitly stated, but Wong was ahead of Michael on my personal list for the past three months…until last night when I decided to flip the two based on little more than good old fashioned intuition. The two prospects are amazingly close, at least in my eyes. I love Wong’s speed, hit tool, track record with wood, and damn fine present defense. Then there is Michael’s power, amazing freshman season at UNC after enrolling in January, and more impressive long-term defensive upside (something I know I may be in the minority in being a big fan of). This may be a super lame way of settling things, but, with scouting reports that have the two in more or less a dead heat, it may come down to which player performs better on the field in 2011. Novel approach, I know.
  1. North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael
  2. Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong
  3. Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee
  4. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry
  5. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy LaStella
  6. Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright
  7. Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano
  8. McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson
  9. Cal Poly JR 2B Matt Jensen
  10. Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton
  11. Florida State JR 2B Sherman Johnson
  12. Virginia JR 2B Keith Werman
  13. Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini
  14. Florida International JR 2B Garrett Wittels
  15. Fresno State SR 2B Danny Muno
  16. Bowling Green JR 2B Jon Berti
  17. Marist JR 2B Joe Schwind
  18. North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley
  19. Auburn SR 2B Dan Gamache
  20. Southern SR 2B Curtis Wilson
  21. Georgia Tech JR 2B Connor Winn
  22. Towson SR 2B Chris Wychock
  23. TCU SR 2B Jerome Pena
  24. Central Florida SR 2B Derek Luciano
  25. UT-San Antonio SR 2B Ryan Hutson (EDIT: previously listed with SS group)
  26. Michigan State SO 2B Ryan Jones
  27. Maryland JR 2B Ryan Holland
  28. Oklahoma SR 2B Danny Black (EDIT: signed in 2010, my mistake)
  29. Minnesota SO 2B Matt Puhl
  30. Western Carolina JR 2B Ross Heffley
  31. Indian River State College SO 2B Corey Spangenberg
  32. Georgia JR 2B Levi Hyams
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