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2011 MLB Draft Outfielder Rankings Resource Page

For more on the top fifty college and top thirty high school 2011 outfield prospects…

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Outfielder Rankings

Final 2011 MLB Draft High School Outfielder Rankings

…and for a combined top fifty list of all 2011 draft-eligible outfield prospects, go get ‘em while they’re hot…

1. OF Bubba Starling (Gardner-Edgerton HS, Kansas)

2. OF Josh Bell (Jesuit College Prep School, Texas)

3. OF Brandon Nimmo (Cheyenne East HS, Wyoming)

4. Connecticut JR OF George Springer

5. OF Granden Goetzman (Palmetto HS, Florida)

6. Miami-Dade CC SO OF Brian Goodwin

7. OF Senquez Golson (Pascaagoula HS, Mississippi)

8. Louisiana State JR OF Mikie Mahtook

9. OF Carl Thomore (East Brunswick HS, New Jersey)

10. OF Roman Quinn (Port St. Joe HS, Florida)

11. OF Derek Fisher (Cedar Crest HS, Pennsylvania)

12. Alabama JR OF Taylor Dugas

13. South Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley

14. Valparaiso JR OF Kyle Gaedele

15. OF Williams Jerez (Grand Street HS, New York)

16. OF Ben Roberts (Missoula Sentinel HS, Montana)

17. Texas Christian JR OF Jason Coats

18. Indiana JR OF Alex Dickerson

19. OF Dwight Smith (McIntosh HS, Georgia)

20. OF Larry Greene (Berrien HS, Georgia)

21. OF Mason Robbins (George County HS, Mississippi)

22. OF Billy Flamion (Central Catholic HS, California)

23. Miami SO OF Zeke DeVoss

24. Santa Fe CC FR OF Trey Griffin

25. Central Arizona CC SO OF Keenyn Walker

26. OF James Harris (Oakland Technical HS, California)

27. Rice JR OF Jeremy Rathjen

28. Western Kentucky SO OF Kes Carter

29. Central Florida SO OF Ronnie Richardson

30. Kansas State JR OF Nick Martini

31. Arizona State JR OF Johnny Ruettiger

32. OF Josh Tobias (Southeast Guilford HS, North Carolina)

33. OF Sean Trent (Bishop Moore Catholic HS, Florida)

34. Clemson JR OF Will Lamb

35. Texas SO OF Cohl Walla

36. Georgia JR OF Zach Cone

37. OF Shawon Dunston (Valley Christian HS, California)

38. OF Charles Tilson (New Trier HS, Illinois)

39. Clemson SR OF Jeff Schaus

40. OF Tyler Gibson (Stratford Academy, Georgia)

41. OF John Norwood (Seton Hall Prep HS, New Jersey)

42. OF Gabriel Rosa (International Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico)

43. Florida International JR OF Pablo Bermudez

44. OF Michael Reed (Leander HS, Texas)

45. OF Jo-El Bennett (Houston Academy, Alabama)

46. OF Dakota Smith (Lansing HS, Kansas)

47. Oral Roberts JR OF Brandon King

48. Wright State JR OF Tristan Moore

49. Florida State SR OF Mike McGee

50. Kent State SR OF Ben Klafczynski

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Outfielder Rankings

Time is at a premium, so we’re moving from real life written paragraphs to quick reformatted edits of my notes…

1. Connecticut JR OF George Springer

[lethal power/speed combo; electric bat speed; above-average to plus arm; above-average to plus speed; great athlete; should be plus defender in RF, chance to be above-average in CF; above-average raw power; biggest issue is aggressiveness at the plate, but worked deeper counts and produced better at bats as year went on; for a supposed "tools gamble with holes in swing" his 2010 production was outstanding; plus-plus speed?; 6-3, 200; DOB 9/19/89]

Good pro coaching will do wonders for him, though it will be really interesting to see how much tinkering his future employer will really want to do after investing a hefty bonus in the college version of Springer’s swing. He looks a little bow-legged in the photo above, but it isn’t a great representation of his swing setup because it captures him just as he started his stride. I had great video of him swinging the bat, but it disappeared into the ether during a file conversion. As for Springer’s swing, again, I’m not a scout, but I was really impressed with his balance at the plate, both in his approach and follow through. I didn’t like his collapsed back elbow, but found many of his flaws to be those decidedly under the “Coach Him Up and He’ll Be Alright” umbrella. This may be a cop-out, but the rise of so many other prospects could really be a boon for Springer’s career. Taking him in the top ten scares the heck out of me, but if he slips closer to the middle or end of the round, watch out. Lowered expectations + more stable pro organization, especially at the big league level (less need to rush him) = transformation from overrated to underrated almost overnight.

Another quick note I’ll pass along without much comment: George Springer cares. I realize this is a dangerous game to play because, really, how can we ever know such a thing, but George Springer (his name just sounds better when you use the first and the last) cares, or, at worst, is one heck of an actor. I’d never get on a player for not reacting to a strikeout with anger (and, by extension, showing that they care) because, as a quiet guy myself, I know demonstrative displays of emotion shouldn’t be the standard by which we judge effort and dedication. But the way Springer reacted to an early strikeout — pacing back and forth in front of the bench seemingly in search of a tunnel to pop into and blow off some steam (soon enough, George) until finally settling to the far end of the dugout, just off to the side, where he took a knee, closed his eyes, and started pantomiming his swing — really stood out to me. Probably nothing, but there you go.

None of that changes my view of George Springer the prospect, by the way. Just thought it was a relatively interesting tidbit worth passing along. I have to admit that I do kind of love the idea of a player with a wOBA approaching .500 getting that worked up over a bad at bat. Or maybe I love the way a player who is is clearly pressing at the plate has still somehow managed to put up a league/park adjusted triple slash of .386/.482/.667 (as of mid-April).

Two pro comparisons for Springer came immediately to mind. The first is 100% physical and in no way any kind of projection of future pro value. Something about Springer’s body, swing, and overall on-field demeanor reminded me a great deal of Florida’s Mike Stanton. Again, the two are very different players, but the physical similarities were interesting. A comp like that is probably why most people don’t like comps, but they’ll live.

The second comparison is much, much better, I think. Springer’s upside and overall tools package remind me so much of Minnesota minor leaguer Joe Benson that it’s scary. File that one away…

2. Miami-Dade CC SO OF Brian Goodwin

[well-rounded with average at worst tools across board; average present power with plus-plus upside; above-average to plus-plus (70) speed; strong arm; fantastic athlete; update: plus athlete; very explosive; some question his swing; 10-20 homer upside as pro; above-average (55) runner; average arm for CF; raw fielder, but all the tools are there; 6-1, 190; DOB 11/2/90]

3. Louisiana State JR OF Mikie Mahtook

[above-average to plus speed; good defender; above-average to plus arm; big power potential, but swing holds him back; excellent athlete; good approach; great athlete; 6-1, 195 pounds]

4. Alabama JR OF Taylor Dugas

[advanced idea of strike zone; above-average speed; good athlete; gap power; good friends with Mikie Mahtook; by no means a tools guy, but ultimate grinder; plus hit tool for me; 5-7]

5. South Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley

[special defensive tools in CF, plus to plus-plus ability; interesting hit tool; above-average to plus speed, closer to plus; good athlete; above-average to plus arm; legit pro power potential with average upside; gap power for now; very quick bat; gifted across the board; mature approach; fully recovered from broken hamate bone; 20/20 upside; 5-10, 175; DOB 4/19/90]

6. Valparaiso JR OF Kyle Gaedele

[above-average to plus runner…now called just average; hacker; above-average to plus (70) power potential, but currently average; above-average to plus arm; plus defensive tools in RF; above-average speed; very quick bat; Jeff Francoeur-like athleticism; has had success with wood; 6-4, 225 pounds; swing needs tweaking]

7. Texas Christian JR OF Jason Coats

[plus athlete; very strong; special bat speed; decent to average speed; average arm; plus raw power; corner outfielder with good range; pitch recognition could make or break him; 6-2, 195 pounds]

8. Indiana JR OF Alex Dickerson

[advanced hit tool; good raw power; below-average speed; below-average arm; between below-average and solid defensively in LF, tends to be overlooked due to lack of athleticism; really struggles against lefties; 6-3, 210]

9. Miami SO OF Zeke DeVoss

[plus to plus-plus speed; plus range; average at best arm; very raw with bat; 5-9, 170]

10. Santa Fe CC FR OF Trey Griffin

11. Central Arizona CC SO OF Keenyn Walker

12. Rice JR OF Jeremy Rathjen

[above-average speed, raw power, and arm; too aggressive at plate; good defensive feel; average range in corner; gap power at present that could turn into HRs in time; 6-6, 200 pounds]

13. Western Kentucky SO OF Kes Carter

[91 peak FB; plus arm; capable CF; little power at present, but raw power is there; above-average speed; 6-1, 190 pounds]

14. Central Florida SO OF Ronnie Richardson

[plus athlete; plus arm; plus-plus runner; potential for some pop; plus defensive tools; 5-7, 175]

15. Kansas State JR OF Nick Martini

[very strong pure hit tool; solid speed; average defender; above-average arm; RF professionally; gap power; good approach; 5-10, 180 pounds]

16. Arizona State JR OF Johnny Ruettiger

[plus athlete; big hit tool; line drive machine; gap power at best; leadoff man profile; good patience; average to plus speed; good defender; iffy arm, more accurate than powerful; strong experience with wood; love the way he plays within himself; great athlete, great body; 6-2, 175 pounds]

17. Clemson JR OF Will Lamb

[plus arm strength; above-average speed; power projection; He’s big and strong enough to drive balls out without necessarily having to try (always a good thing to look for in a young hitter), he has elite range and first step quickness in the outfield, and his arm is a legitimate weapon in center. The word is that the majority of scouts have told him they prefer his upside on the mound (6-5 projectable lefties with low-90s velocity and two present average secondary pitches), but I still like his upside as a position player. 89-92 FB; good CB; decent CU; 6-5, 190]

18. Texas SO OF Cohl Walla

[plus power potential; plus speed; strong arm that has hit 92-93 on mound; should stick in CF; Drew Stubbs comps defensively, Jarrett Parker comps offensively; plus athlete; absolutely must add strength; 6-3, 165]

19. Georgia JR OF Zach Cone

[good line drive swing; good athlete; good speed; plus arm; approach needs work; above-average raw power; plus speed; excellent defender; 6-2, 204 pounds]

20. Clemson SR OF Jeff Schaus

[pretty swing; good natural hitter; average power; average speed, more quick than fast; inconsistent arm strength, but flashes plus; top ten round possibility last year who fell due to bonus demands]

21. Florida International JR OF Pablo Bermudez

[could play CF as pro; very raw; power/speed combo; too aggressive; above-average speed; strong arm; plus bat speed; 5-11, 185 pounds]

22. Oral Roberts JR OF Brandon King

[16th round pick last year; great with wood; plus plate discipline; questionable defender]

23. Wright State JR OF Tristan Moore

[leadoff man profile; strong hit tool; above-average speed; very strong arm; RF professionally; questionable power potential; very raw but very; talented; really like the hit tool; really good athlete; 6-2, 195 pounds]

24. Florida State SR OF Mike McGee

[great approach; average speed; 88-90 FB, 92-93 peak; very good upper-70s SL; CU; drafted as a pitcher last year; good CB]

25. Kent State SR OF Ben Klafczynski

[big power; really good athlete; really refined approach junior season; more raw talent than most; average speed; good arm]

26. Louisville JR OF Stewart Ijames

[great bat speed; big power potential; good approach; decent speed; average or better range in corner; good arm; 6-1, 205 pounds]

27. Arizona State JR OF Zach Wilson

[very talented natural hitter; average power; average runner; no real defensive home]

28. Florida International SR OF Yoandy Barroso

[plus bat speed; above-average speed; above-average to plus arm, I buy the plus; potential above-average defender in RF; raw and inconsistent talent; big power to gaps that is turning into HR power; good present strength; very heavily recruited out of junior college; 6-2, 215]

29. Texas Christian JR OF Brance Rivera

[good range in corner; best tool is speed; good arm; solid power upside; great athlete; great body; could be tried up the middle once again; loads of upside]

30. Miami JR OF Nate Melendres

[serious tools, but very raw; potential plus defender in CF; hacker; plus speed; above-average to plus arm; 5-11, 185 pounds]

31, Minnesota JR CF Justin Gominsky

[good arm; very good defender; plus athlete; good speed; interesting hit tool; 6-4, 185]

32. Marshall SO OF Isaac Ballou

[leadoff hitter profile; good approach; above-average speed; above-average range; iffy arm that has also been called plus; little power; quick bat; great athlete; needs to add strength; lots of untapped talent; 6-2, 180]

33. North Carolina JR OF A&T Xavier Macklin

[great athlete; big jump in plate discipline freshman to sophomore season; CF speed; raw, but plus makeup]

34. Wake Forest SR OF Steven Brooks

[plus speed, solid defender in CF; good raw power potential but average in-game ability]

35. College of Charleston SR OF Cole Rakar

[plus speed; very good defender in center; gap power]

36. Michigan State SR OF Jeff Holm

[great approach; above-average to plus speed; gap power; average arm; average range in corner; has played 1B, but enough foot speed for corner]

37. Coastal Carolina JR OF Daniel Bowman

[impressive plus raw power, but it may be his only real tool; strong enough arm for RF; decent speed; hacker; too many K’s; underrated athlete; 6-1, 210 pounds]

38. Georgia State SR OF Mark Micowski

[Vermont transfer; above-average speed; above-average arm; like Duffy, I like these Vermont guys; average in center, above-average in corner; good athlete]

39. Mississippi SR OF Matt Smith

[big raw power]

40. Fresno State JR OF Dusty Robinson

[plus-plus raw power]

41. Stephen F. Austin State JR OF Bryson Myles

[plus athlete; good speed; interesting upside with bat]

42. Oregon State SO OF Garrett Nash

[plus-plus speed; little power; good arm; CF range; all about development with bat]

43. Northern Colorado JR OF Jarod Berggren

[plus speed; above-average arm; good to plus raw power; 6-3, 205]

44. Manhattan SR OF Mike McCann

[good strike zone judgment; average speed; average arm; 5-10, 175 pounds; could be good RF]

45. Illinois JR OF Willie Argo

[great athlete; very strong; impressive power/speed combo; plus bat speed; good range in CF; weak arm, but accurate; recovering from broken hamate; untapped talent]

46. UNC Wilmington JR 1B/OF Andrew Cain

[plus speed; real raw power; 6-6, 220]

47. Florida State JR OF James Ramsey

[His arm is currently average at best and his range in the outfield is below-average. In addition, he’s a decent runner who picks his spots on the bases well. College players limited to leftfield need to be able to hit a ton to make it in pro ball, and I'm not sure Ramsey has the power to profile as a regular in a corner.]

48. Rutgers SR OF Michael Lang

[plus speed; should stick in CF; plus arm; good athlete; walk-on who was very close to attending Rowan; reports on makeup are sky high, great family]

49. Cal Poly JR OF Bobby Crocker

[good whole field approach at plate; poor arm limits him to LF; plus raw speed but closer to average in-game; too many K's; arm has also been called solid; great body; great athlete; plus defender in corner, average or better in CF; plus bat speed; swing has come a long way, but still needs refining; real curious about arm…could be difference between RF and LF; 6-3, 210 pounds]

50. West Virginia SR OF Grant Buckner

[above-average arm; above-average raw power]

2011 MLB Draft – Top 100 College OF Follow List

Three important things to keep in mind when perusing this list:

1 – This list took a longer than usual time to put together, so consider it a “preseason” ranking in that it is more focused on an overall scouting and production body of work rather than a quick “Who’s Hot?/Who’s Not?” take. There is value in the latter, but I tend to take the long view when it comes to prospecting. That said, there will absolutely be some player movement between now and June as I weigh the most recent scouting notes and 2011 statistics more heavily. I’m stubborn (Rendon is going first overall, I’d bet my non-existent house on it) and willing to ride with players that I like for years before jumping ship, but not so stubborn that I’ll ignore the most recent takes.

2 – I want to delve more into the why’s and how’s of the list as next week unfolds. I also want to explain my general methodology for ranking prospects again for anybody interested. Be on the lookout for both things. In the meantime, some general points on actual player placement on the list:

  • After researching this further, I’d now argue the 2011 college outfield class is not nearly as top heavy as I once believed. Despite his perceived early season struggles, Springer’s raw tools still give him the best chance to be a well above-average regular here, hence the number one ranking. After him, however, there are a lot of players with tools that grade out closer to good than great. I don’t think I’d slap a top 15 overall grade on any other outfielder here in a regular draft year, let alone one as talented as 2011. Staying within the top ten, Zach Cone’s ranking stands out as one that could look too aggressive by June. Blame that on my optimism preseason, back when I bought into him as a player with three non-hitting tools (speed, arm, defense) as above-average with an underrated swing and interesting (.684 park/league adjusted 2010 slugging) power upside. The lack of plate discipline and overarching rawness to his game probably should have been red flags, but I’m willing to wait him out just a little bit longer, despite the fact he doesn’t fit the mold for “my” kind of prospect. For “my” kind of prospect, see the guys sandwiched between Cone on the list…
  • There are a lot of similar players lumped in between 20 and 50 overall. To name two completely random (yeah, right…) examples of this, check out Jeff Schaus (22) and Justin Gominsky (49). Schaus is arguably the more well-rounded prospect and a guy who gets extra credit for putting up stellar numbers throughout his college career. I really like his odds of playing big league baseball down the line, but think he will make it as a backup instead of a starting caliber player. Gominsky, on the other hand, has a lesser track record of collegiate success, but offers substantial edges in upside and athleticism. He may have the greater chance of emerging as a big league starting outfielder, but also carries more risk as a prospect and is thus just a tick less likely to actually reach the majors, in my opinion. Guess it boils down to the floor/ceiling debate, at least partially.
  • As mentioned, there is very little separation from 20 to 50 on the list. I hate to take the conservative approach — something I believe I’ve only done once before, and that blew up in my face with my ill-fated “wait and see” preseason ranking of Andrew Susac — but that’s the best way I can analyze those 30 or so prospects at this point. In six weeks, after we have a little bit more meaningful data to chew on and a few updated scouting reports, things will be much clearer. Hopefully. To reemphasize this point one last time, most of the legwork in compiling this list was done preseason. The fact that Gominsky’s 2011 numbers match what Schaus has done so far is not lost on me, and, should things continue this way, will be reflected in an updated ranking.
  • The top four seem largely agreed upon by many in the business. Five and below is anybody’s guess. Really fun year for college outfielders because of the depth of the class and the wide-ranging skill sets found within. Do you prefer a potential righty mashing platoon player who may struggle in the field? Or would you rather a top 2010 high school prospect trying to make the quick turnaround and improve on his disappointing draft standing of last year? Reserve outfielder upside with a relatively strong chance of reaching it? Or swing for the fences, so to speak, with a power bat or speed demon more likely to contribute a substantial number of big league at bats as a starter but with the cost of flaming out by AA? Like any prospect list, no matter how much logic and reason goes into its creation, sometimes it just comes down to personal preference and good old fashioned intuition. I’m at peace with that.

3 – I’m no authority, just a guy hopelessly devoted to his baseball hobby. Not saying I’m a dummy and the ranking itself is worthless — if that was the case then I wouldn’t waste a month plus trying to get the “perfect order” — but merely saying, as plain as I can, this whole thing below is best used as a starting point. If nothing else, it is an opportunity to learn about a few players you may not have known about yesterday. Hate the rankings? Feel free to use them as a follow list instead, or, as always, feel free to ask questions and/or call me a no-nothing idiot in the comment section or via email. And if I’ve omitted anybody’s personal favorite, please let me know as gently as possible. Chances are it was a copy/paste oversight on my end and not a malicious attempt to tear down everything that you love in life.

EDIT #1: Forgot about Jamal Austin, but addressed his pros and cons in the comment section. He’s been added to the list.

  1. Connecticut JR OF George Springer
  2. South Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley
  3. Miami-Dade CC SO OF Brian Goodwin
  4. Louisiana State JR OF Mikie Mahtook
  5. Valparaiso JR OF Kyle Gaedele
  6. Indiana JR OF Alex Dickerson
  7. Alabama JR OF Taylor Dugas
  8. Georgia JR OF Zach Cone
  9. Kansas State JR OF Nick Martini
  10. Clemson JR OF Will Lamb
  11. Texas SO OF Cohl Walla
  12. Arizona State JR OF Johnny Ruettiger
  13. Texas Christian JR OF Jason Coats
  14. Rice JR OF Jeremy Rathjen
  15. Central Florida SO OF Ronnie Richardson
  16. Santa Fe CC FR OF Trey Griffin
  17. Central Arizona CC SO OF Keenyn Walker
  18. Louisville JR OF Stewart Ijames
  19. Wright State JR OF Tristan Moore
  20. Miami SO OF Zeke DeVoss
  21. Florida International SR OF Yoandy Barroso
  22. Clemson SR OF Jeff Schaus
  23. Kent State SR OF Ben Klafczynski
  24. Texas Christian JR OF Brance Rivera
  25. College of Charleston SR OF Cole Rakar
  26. Oregon State SO OF Garrett Nash
  27. Western Kentucky JR OF Kes Carter
  28. Georgia JR OF Peter Verdin
  29. Florida State SR OF Mike McGee
  30. Arkansas JR OF Collin Kuhn
  31. Oral Roberts JR OF Brandon King
  32. Arizona State JR OF Zach Wilson
  33. Wake Forest SR OF Steven Brooks
  34. Florida International JR OF Pablo Bermudez
  35. Rice JR OF Michael Fuda
  36. McNeese State JR OF Lee Orr
  37. Northern Colorado JR OF Jarod Berggren
  38. Pepperdine JR OF Brian Humphries
  39. Illinois JR OF Willie Argo
  40. Washington JR OF Caleb Brown
  41. Florida State JR OF James Ramsey
  42. Cornell JR OF Brian Billigen
  43. Baylor JR OF Brooks Pinckard
  44. Vanderbilt JR OF Joe Loftus
  45. Arkansas JR OF Jarrod McKinney
  46. Fresno State JR OF Dusty Robinson
  47. Tallahassee CC FR OF D’Monte Grissom
  48. Southern Poly JR OF DeMarcus Tidwell
  49. Minnesota JR OF Justin Gominsky
  50. Miami JR OF Nate Melendres
  51. Louisiana State JR OF Trey Watkins
  52. Angelo State SO OF Joe Leftridge
  53. Georgetown JR OF Rand Ravnaas
  54. North Carolina JR OF A&T Xavier Macklin
  55. Tennessee Tech SR OF Chad Oberacker
  56. Mississippi SR OF Matt Smith
  57. Manhattan SR OF Mike McCann
  58. Rutgers SR OF Michael Lang
  59. Michigan State SR OF Jeff Holm
  60. Missouri JR OF Ryan Gebhart
  61. Cal Poly JR OF Bobby Crocker
  62. Georgia State SR OF Mark Micowski
  63. Duke JR OF Will Piwnica-Worms
  64. UNC Wilmington JR OF Andrew Cain
  65. Coastal Carolina JR OF Daniel Bowman
  66. Texas Christian JR OF Aaron Schultz
  67. UAB JR OF Jamal Austin
  68. Mississippi JR OF Zach Kirksey
  69. Southern JR OF Rodarrick Jones
  70. Florida State JR OF Taiwan Easterling
  71. Connecticut SO OF Billy Ferriter
  72. Gonzaga JR OF Royce Bollinger
  73. Arizona State JR OF Andy Workman
  74. Oklahoma JR OF Chris Ellison
  75. Sam Houston State SR OF Mark Hudson
  76. Hawaii JR OF Collin Bennett
  77. Marshall SO OF Isaac Ballou
  78. Oral Roberts SR OF Nick Baligod
  79. Kansas JR OF Jason Brunansky
  80. Washington State JR OF Derek Jones
  81. Arizona JR OF Steve Selsky
  82. Walters State SO OF Cody Stubbs
  83. Azusa Pacific JR OF Brent Warren
  84. Southern Mississippi JR OF Kameron Brunty
  85. Lower Columbia Basin JC SO Ben McQuown
  86. San Diego JR OF Austin Green
  87. UC Irvine SR OF Drew Hillman
  88. Connecticut JR OF John Andreoli
  89. South Carolina JR OF Adam Matthews
  90. Stephen F. Austin JR OF Bryson Myles
  91. Maine JR OF Taylor Lewis
  92. Shippensburg SO OF Cody Kulp
  93. Auburn SR OF Justin Fradejas
  94. Maryland JR OF Matt Marquis
  95. San Diego State JR OF Brandon Meredith
  96. Memphis JR OF Drew Martinez
  97. Stetson JR OF Spencer Theisen
  98. Pittsburgh SR OF John Schultz
  99. Florida JR OF Tyler Thompson
  100. Arizona State SR OF Matt Newman
  101. The Citadel JR OF Nick Orvin

Last Batch of College Outfielders with Plus Tools

Trying to empty my notebook out of any quick and easy bits of interesting information. These players all ranked outside of my personal top 100 college outfielder list, yet each still does something, or in a few cases somethings plural, that make them stand out in some way. I don’t think there is anybody too controversial on the list — maybe you can make the argument that a player listed here could make the back end of a top 100, but I don’t think there are any top ten round guys in the bunch — but if you think a player has been slighted, feel free to speak up in the comments or via email.
  • Tulane SR OF Nick Boullosa – plus speed, plus range
  • Charlotte JR OF Shane Brown – plate discipline, plus speed
  • Cal State Northridge SR OF Ridge Carpenter – plus speed
  • Arizona SR OF Bobby Rinard – plus arm, plus speed
  • North Carolina SR OF Ben Bunting – plus range, plus speed
  • Middle Tennessee State JR OF Justin Guidry – plus speed
  • Dallas Baptist JR OF Landon Anderson – plus speed
  • UC Santa Barbara JR OF Lance Roenicke – plus speed
  • Tennessee SR OF Josh Liles – good track record of plate discipline
  • New Mexico State SR OF Wesley Starkes – plus speed, plus range
  • Washington State JR OF Kyle Johnson – plus speed, plus range
  • Dayton SR OF Zach Blanchette – plus speed
  • Clemson SR OF Chris Epps – good track record of plate discipline
  • Louisville SR OF Drew Haynes – plus speed
  • McNeese State JR OF Seth Granger – plus range
  • Kennesaw State JR OF Jordan Craft – plus speed, plus arm
  • Texas A&M JR OF Scott Arthur – plus speed, plus range
  • Oklahoma JR OF Erik Ross – plus speed
  • Rice SO OF Ryan Lewis – plus range
  • College of Charleston JR OF Marty Gantt – plus speed
  • Georgia Tech JR OF Jarrett Didrick – plus arm, plus range
  • Georgia Tech JR OF Roddy Jones – plus speed
  • Maryland JR OF Korey Wacker – plus speed
  • Central Missouri SR OF Jon Wegener – plus arm
  • Santa Ana JC FR OF Dylan Jones – plus speed
  • Lower Columbia Basin JC SO OF Ben McQuown – plus speed
  • Nebraska JR OF Khiry Cooper – plus speed
  • Georgia Southern SR OF Shawn Payne – plus speed
  • Marist SR OF Mike Gallic – plus speed
  • Georgia JR OF Johnathan Taylor – plus speed, good track record of plate discipline (more importantly: get well soon!)

Categorizing Potential Mid-Round College Outfield Draft Targets

Ugly personal confession time! I write something for the site with the intent of posting every weekday. A quick look back through my archives reveals that there have been many weekdays without posts. What gives? You may not know it by some of the so-so stuff that does get posted here, but I am a major league perfectionist.

Regular readers of the site know that I’ve been working on putting together a 2011 college outfielder prospect list. It was one of those projects that seemed like a good idea at the time, but has ultimately left me unsatisfied. Rankings tend to get people really worked up. I can’t deny that my perfectionist streak goes into overdrive as a little bit of paranoia sets in when I think about checking and rechecking whether or not leaving Player X off the list makes sense or if ranking Player Y twenty spots lower than the norm can be justified. Maintaining a website you’d like to update regularly with (hopefully) well reasoned opinions while battling a nasty streak of perfectionism bordering on OCD can be a pain the butt sometimes.

Consider this post a bit of catharsis on my end. Thank you for humoring me, I feel much better now. My “preseason” college outfield rankings are 99% complete, but, and this should come as no shock, I want to give them one last edit before I can publish them. If I don’t publish something soon, however, I know I’ll never get around to it; the rankings will always have one player in the wrong spot that needs to be fixed until eventually I get over it and just hit “publish.” So, this is me just hitting “publish,”  for not other reason than me wanting to share some of the information I’ve compiled on the 2011 college outfield class.

Some qualifiers for this list before we begin. First, I only included “lesser known” prospects. Every player listed falls somewhere outside of my personal top 25 college outfielder ranking. Second, the players are not aligned within a group in any particular way, though there could be some patterns — I think I may have inputted most of the names in descending order, for example — that reveal my preferences if you look hard enough. Third, and I can’t stress this one enough, these categories are imperfect. This is all just a quick and easy way of generalizing what kind of scouting profiles the mid-round college outfield class offers. Different teams like different skill sets when they look for reserve outfielders/organizational filler late round picks, and this list is meant to illustrate the strengths of some unappreciated (relatively speaking) draft prospects.

Looking for potential leadoff hitter who can also play, at worst, a capable CF?

Xavier John McCambridge

Marshall Isaac Ballou

Virginia John Barr

Kansas Jason Brunansky

UAB Jamal Austin

Memphis Drew Martinez

Hawaii Collin Bennett

Pacific Brian Humphries

Oregon State Garrett Nash

Western Kentucky Kes Carter

LSU Trey Watkins

Wake Forest Steven Brooks

How about a potential leadoff hitter better suited for an outfield corner?

Stetson Spencer Theisen

If versatility is your thing, one of these prospects could be of interest…

West Virginia Grant Buckner (3B/SS)

Rutgers Brandon Boykin (2B)

UC Irvine Drew Hillman (3B)

San Diego Austin Green (C)

Michigan State Jeff Holm (1B)

Florida State Mike McGee (RHP)

Rice Michael Fuda (2B)

Bats. Plain and simple. Bats. The value of these prospects is tied up almost entirely with the hit tool…

Arizona Steve Selsky

Washington State Derek Jones

Arizona State Andy Workman

Florida State James Ramsey

Connecticut Billy Ferriter

Arizona State Zach Wilson

Arizona State Matt Newman

Stats. For those who are statistically inclined — myself included — these OBP kings will intrigue…

Oral Roberts Nick Baligod

North Carolina State John Gianis

Spencer Theisen

Southern Mississippi Kameron Brunty

Drew Martinez

James Ramsey

Pittsburgh John Schultz

Jeff Holm

Manhattan Mike McCann

Georgia State Mark Micowski

Oral Roberts Brandon King

Mike McGee

Steven Brooks

Fourth outfielder alert! Some teams prefer well-rounded players (around average in all five tools, no real standout abilities) for potential bench roles…

Grant Buckner

John McCambridge

Auburn Justin Fradejas

North Carolina State Brett Williams

South Carolina Adam Matthews

Connecticut John Andreoli

Duke Will Piwnica-Worms

Cornell Brian Billigen

Rutgers Michael Lang

Jeff Holm

Georgetown Rand Ravnaas

For entertainment value, you really can’t beat high upside/high bust potential prospects…

Isaac Ballou

Austin Green

Jason Brunansky

Miami Chris Pelaez

Maryland Matt Marquis

Angelo State Joe Leftridge

Florida State Taiwan Easterling

Southern Rodarrick Jones

Miami Nate Melendres

Minnesota Justin Gominsky

Maine Taylor Lewis

Stephen F. Austin State Bryson Myles

Arkansas Jarrod McKinney

Brian Humphries

Northern Colorado Jarod Berggren

Garrett Nash

Kes Carter

Vanderbilt Joe Loftus

Illinois Willie Argo

Washington Caleb Brown

Missouri Ryan Gebhart

Florida International Pablo Bermudez

Just give these guys a few reps with good minor league coaching and they’ll be plus CF gloves in no time…

John Barr

Texas Christian Aaron Schultz

Jamal Austin

Drew Martinez

Nate Melendres

Garrett Nash

Trey Watkins

Arguably the easiest tool to judge: speed. These players have it…

John Barr

Brandon Boykin

Justin Fradejas

Jason Brunansky

Aaron Schultz

Jamal Austin

Florida Tyler Thompson

Drew Martinez

Rodarrick Jones

Oklahoma Chris Ellison

Nate Melendres

Billy Ferriter

Garrett Nash

Trey Watkins

Willie Argo

Caleb Brown

Cal Poly Bobby Crocker

UNC Wilmington Andrew Cain

Steven Brooks

Michael Fuda

Adam Matthews

Above-average raw power upside is one of the rarer commodities in college ball, but these players are all big time college thumpers…

Mississippi Matt Smith

Mississippi Zach Kirksey

Shippensburg Cody Kulp

Sam Houston State Mark Hudson

Gonzaga Royce Bollinger

Coastal Carolina Daniel Bowman

Fresno State Dusty Robinson

Andrew Cain

McNeese State Lee Orr

Top Ten College Outfielders and Mystery Prospect Comparison

My goal is to have the complete list of college outfield prospect rankings out by next week, but for now here is a quick look at how the top ten will probably shake out. There might be some movement within each tier, but I’m pretty happy with the players that make up each grouping.

  • Tier 1: Connecticut JR OF George Springer – South Carolina JR OF Jackie Bradley – Miami-Dade CC SO OF Brian Goodwin
  • Tier 2: Louisiana State JR OF Mikie Mahtook – Kansas State JR OF Nick Martini – Alabama JR OF Taylor Dugas
  • Tier 3: Valparaiso JR OF Kyle Gaedele – Texas SO OF Cohl Walla – Clemson JR OF Will Lamb – Indiana JR OF Alex Dickerson

***

I’m also trying to get back into the habit of doing more organic writing here on the site. I love putting together rankings because it gives me the opportunity to research and compile notes on hundreds of prospects from around the country, but, let’s be honest, rankings alone don’t make for interesting reading. Because I’ve spent weeks immersed in the world of college outfielders, what better way to start my stream of consciousness ramblings than with a quick mystery player comparison between two highly regarded college outfield prospects? I like this particular comparison because the two prospects are so different stylistically, yet similarly rated by many. I also like the comparison because both players seem to really understand their own strengths and weaknesses really well and, subsequently, do what they do well really, really well.

  • Player A: potential plus hit tool; line drive machine; gap power upside; leadoff man profile with above-average speed and good plate discipline; solid defender in CF; average at best throwing arm that grades out higher in terms of accuracy than strength; good track record with wood; great athlete with a pro body; 6-2, 175 pounds

Half Glass Full: Capable center fielder and irritating (to the opposition, naturally) leadoff man with double digit home run pop
Half Glass Empty: Modest power upside fails to manifest professionally; as a result, overall hit tool and plate discipline suffer against professional pitching

  • Player B: great physical strength; plus raw power; plus bat speed; average speed; average arm; good range in a corner; pitch recognition, or lack thereof, could make or break him; 6-2, 195 pounds

Half Glass Full: Pitch recognition and overall approach at plate improves to the point his plus power allows him blossom as an above-average everyday corner outfielder
Half Glass Empty: Awesome power goes to waste as 4A slugger due to Jeff Francoeur-level plate discipline

***

1. Can you guess the prospects? Neither are listed in the top ten above, by the way…
2. Which prospect do you prefer? Speed, defense, and patience? Or brute strength and plus raw power?
3. Forced to choose, would you rather have tiger’s blood or Adonis DNA? There is only one correct answer to this one…

College Outfielders

Things have been relatively quiet around here of late because, genius that I am, I decided to leave the largest player groupings — outfield and pitching — as the last set of 2011 college prospect rankings. I’m going on two solid weeks right now of configuring just the outfield list and I’m happy to finally announce the rankings will be published shortly. In the meantime, some quick figures that show just how crazy it is paring down the crowded college outfield player pool…

  • Current Word Document size: 5,740 words, or 18 pages in size 14 font (nice and big so I can view three pages at once at 50% zoom)
  • Current number of players listed: 225, not counting the handful of junior college/small school guys I need more info on

Meta-posts like this where I talk about how much work I’ve been putting in on a ranking without actually delivering any worthwhile content are extremely obnoxious. I’m sorry. To begin to make amends, here’s an extremely (extremely) unfinished look at the prospects that rank at certain random benchmark spots on the list. I’ll use the numbers retired by the Detroit Lions (7, 20, 22, 37, 56, 85) to serve this purpose. In order, a special thanks to Dutch Clark, Barry Sanders, Bobby Layne, Doak Walker, Joe Schmidt, and Chuck Hughes for apparently being so damn good at football.

7. Clemson JR OF Will Lamb
20. TCU JR OF Brance Rivera
22. Miami SO OF Zeke DeVoss
37. Western Kentucky JR OF Kes Carter
56. Southern JR OF Rodarrick Jones
85. Stetson JR OF Spencer Theisen

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