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2013 MLB Draft: Top 25 High School Shortstop Prospects

1. If your favorite player is missing, then chances are a lot higher it was a copy/paste fail and not my complete and utter lack of baseball knowledge. I mean, sure, it could still be the latter, but if there’s somebody obvious that I’ve ignored, please give a gentle reminder in the comments or via email (robozga at gmail dot com). It’s also possible I mentally shifted a guy’s position in my head, so don’t rule out your player suddenly popping up on another position list.

2. Players designated as FAVORITEs were given that tag prior to the season, or, in some cases, upon enrolling in college. In other words, just because a guy is a FAVORITE doesn’t mean he’s automatically guaranteed a high placement on the list. I’m stubborn about which players I like, true, but I’m also quite cognizant of the fact prospect status is fluid.

3. Final opinions are all mine, but information has been culled from a variety of sources. Like anybody likely reading this site, I’m an avid follower of all things Baseball America and Perfect Game. Seriously, if you are into the draft/prospects at all, I highly recommend getting subscriptions to both sites. I also have a small but trustworthy network of friends in the game I occasionally call upon for information on prospects, especially those off the beaten path. Consider the little scouting notes section on each player a synthesis on what I’ve read, heard, and seen about each player. I’m in no way an expert and literally nothing I write, positively or negatively, influences what pro teams actually do on draft day. I’m just a baseball loving guy who has taken a hobby way, way, way too far.

4. I’m happy to answer any and all questions I can over email or in the comments. Also, for the sake of my already waning sanity, I didn’t include everything I had on every player — you’ll see some blank spots sprinkled throughout — so please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something about a specific guy you want answered.

5. There’s a little more science in scouting college prospects than when it comes to evaluating high school guys. This is all art and totally up to interpretation. The rankings are rankings because they are…rankings (I say it every year, but next year I want to do tiers), but that doesn’t mean Prospect #3 is leaps and bounds better than Prospect #15. I’m not trying to preempt any criticism of the list or anything, just getting it out there that nothing I write should be taken as more than the semi-educated opinions of what some weird guy on the internet thinks about a bunch of ballplayers. Cool? Cool. Here we go…

***

1. SS JP Crawford (Lakewood HS, California): good instincts defensively, looks like a shortstop in his actions and first step movements; strong, accurate arm; average speed, times out better at times; no standout tool, but could be an average all-around five-tool guy; I’m totally sold on his defense up the middle; intriguing power beginning to come on, easy average upside; really good athlete; average hit tool; 6-2, 180 pounds

2. SS Riley Unroe (Desert Ridge HS, Arizona): strong arm; good bat speed; instinctual player; above-average to plus speed; steady defender; high school version of Deven Marrero (my comp); good athlete; very interesting pop, average power upside; good approach; could also play CF or 2B; FAVORITE; 6-0, 180 pounds

3. SS Oscar Mercado (Gaither HS, Florida): swing works for me; average at best raw power, but still very raw due to swing and little present strength; strong arm; really good defensive tools; little bit above-average speed; good range; impressive pitch recognition for high school prospect; instinctual player; stubbornly believe he’ll hit in time…once he adds strength, watch out; very optimistic Elvis Andrus comp, more realistic big league comp is probably Brendan Ryan; 6-2, 180 pounds

4. SS/RHP Connor Heady (North Oldham HS, Kentucky): really good defender; intriguing upside with bat; above-average speed; no pun intended, but very “heady” player: great instincts all over diamond; strong arm; easily a SS for me; very little present power, but enough pop for pros; FAVORITE; 87-90 FB; 79 CU; low-80s CB; 6-0, 160 pounds

5. SS Terrian Arbet (Great Oak HS, California): really good defender; plus range; above-average arm; good athlete; really quick release; above-average speed; raw bat, but quickly improving; average hit tool upside; gap power; FAVORITE

6. SS/RHP Chris Rivera (El Dorado HS, California): plus arm; good defender; quick bat; average raw power; really like his bat during BP and showcases, but game performances have been lacking; average at best speed; 88-92 FB, 94 peak; good 74-77 CB; 80 CU; like the popular Huston Street comp; might be best behind plate, but he’s a SS for me and potentially an excellent one…just unsure of the bat; 6-1, 185 pounds

7. SS Charcer Burks (Travis HS, Texas): plus speed; average arm; not a ton of present power, but some there; intriguing hit tool; 5-11, 180 pounds

8. SS Tanner Bigham (NW Cabarrus HS, North Carolina): good athlete; good defensive tools; strong arm; leadoff profile

9. SS/RHP Cory Thompson (Mauldin HS, South Carolina): strong arm; good athlete; little bit more than average speed; little less than average power upside; smart hitter, knows pitchers; 89-93 FB, 94 peak; good 75-78 CB, flashes plus; 87-89 cut-SL; PG Marcus Stroman comp; 6-0, 185 pounds

10. SS David Fletcher (Cypress HS, California): plus arm; fantastic range; fun to watch; FAVORITE

11. SS Stephen Alemais (Elev8 Institute, Florida): very, very good defensive tools; strong arm, quick release; will definitely stick at SS; could hang in the big leagues defensively; questionable bat; some pop to gaps; good speed; Christian Lopes comp from somewhere (PG?); 6-0, 180 pounds

12. SS Nelson Molina (Luchetti HS, Puerto Rico): chance for average hit tool; above-average speed; like what I’ve seen defensively, very steady; good arm; 6-2, 165 pounds

13. SS Luis Guillorme (Coral Springs HS, Florida): smooth defender; highlight level stuff; potential plus glove; average speed; questionable bat

14. SS/2B Garrett Hampson (Reno HS, Nevada): good athlete; plus speed; average arm; leadoff approach; good defensive tools; 6-0, 165 pounds

15. SS Brody Weiss (Regis Jesuit HS, Colorado): good defensive tools; interesting bat; some pop

16. SS Brantley Bell (Mountain Pointe HS, Arizona): good defender; good arm; like his swing; 6-2, 180 pounds

17. SS/2B Andrew Rosa (Owasso HS, Oklahoma): good arm; gap power; great instincts; good athlete; 6-2, 180 pounds

18. SS Taylor Snyder (Salem Hills HS, Utah): average upside with bat; some pop; average at best glove; average speed; 6-2, 160 pounds

19. SS Tyler Wade (Murrieta Valley HS, California): good defender; above-average arm; above-average speed; chance for average hit tool; not a ton of power; 6-1, 180 pounds

20. SS/OF Javon Shelby (Tates Creek HS, Kentucky): great athlete; plus arm strength; above-average speed; 6-1, 180 pounds

21. SS Eric Garza (Reagan HS, Texas): good speed; good defensive tools; good athlete; should have no problem staying at SS; above-average arm; gets the ball out fast; accurate arm; gets off the ground quickly; 5-11, 180 pounds

22. SS Tim Richards (Wilson HS, California): strong hit tool; good defensive tools

23. SS Bret Boswell (Rockwall-Heath HS, Texas): good athlete; below-average speed; some pop; 6-0, 170 pounds

24. SS Edwin Bonilla (Osceola HS, Florida): quick bat; good speed; good defensive tools

25. SS Luis Aviles (Southwest Miami HS, Florida): good athlete; impressive defender; above-average arm; average speed; 6-2, 170 pounds

And a whopping twelve more to consider just because draft madness has taken hold…

26. SS/RHP Michael Conti (Glastonbury HS, Connecticut): steady defender; good arm; strong hit tool; smart base runner

27. SS Skyler Bean (Rockwall HS, Texas): leadoff profile; sneaky pop; really good defender; 5-9, 165 pounds

28. SS Ryan Howard (Howell Central, Missouri): excellent defender; above-average range

29. SS/OF Clay Simmons (South Sumter HS, Florida): plus speed; average arm; great athlete; raw bat

30. SS Benji Ayala (Marcos de Niza HS, Arizona): good range; strong arm; quick release; questionable hit tool

31. SS Deric Boone (Druid Hills HS, Georgia): good athlete

32. SS/2B Nico Giarratano (St. Ignatius Prep, California): steady defender; smart player

33. SS Angel Garced (Jackson Liberty HS, New Jersey): good defender

34. SS Anthony Denkinger (Dowling Catholic HS, Iowa): strong arm; good speed; good athlete

35. SS Alexander Rivera Centeno (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): plus speed; 6-0, 170 pounds

36. SS Johnnie La Rossa (St. Dominic HS, New York): good defensive tools

37. SS Brett Binning (Monte Vista HS, California): strong arm; good athlete; quick bat

2013 MLB Draft: Top 75 College Shortstop Prospects

1. Stats are park/schedule adjusted from College Splits. I dug around for stats for all junior college and non-Division I players; those numbers are obviously as is, i.e. not park/schedule adjusted.

2. If your favorite player is missing, then chances are a lot higher it was a copy/paste fail and not my complete and utter lack of baseball knowledge. I mean, sure, it could still be the latter, but if there’s somebody obvious that I’ve ignored, please give a gentle reminder in the comments or via email (robozga at gmail dot com). It’s also possible I mentally shifted a guy’s position in my head, so don’t rule out your player suddenly popping up on another position list.

3. Players designated as FAVORITEs were given that tag prior to the season, or, in some cases, upon enrolling in college. In other words, just because a guy is a FAVORITE doesn’t mean he’s automatically guaranteed a high placement on the list. I’m stubborn about which players I like, true, but I’m also quite cognizant of the fact prospect status is fluid.

4. Final opinions are all mine, but information has been culled from a variety of sources. Like anybody likely reading this site, I’m an avid follower of all things Baseball America and Perfect Game. Seriously, if you are into the draft/prospects at all, I highly recommend getting subscriptions to both sites. I also have a small but trustworthy network of friends in the game I occasionally call upon for information on prospects, especially those off the beaten path. Consider the little scouting notes section on each player a synthesis on what I’ve read, heard, and seen about each player. I’m in no way an expert and literally nothing I write, positively or negatively, influences what pro teams actually do on draft day. I’m just a baseball loving guy who has taken a hobby way, way, way too far.

5. I’m happy to answer any and all questions I can over email or in the comments. Also, for the sake of my already waning sanity, I didn’t include everything I had on every player — you’ll see some blank spots sprinkled throughout — so please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something about a specific guy you want answered.

***

This year’s class of college shortstops is…not so good. As pro prospects go, the group is so thin that I personally feel the need to get the fact that all of these players are quite good at the game of baseball relative to the rest of the world (myself included, obviously)out there. It should also be noted that each player on the list has worked his tail off to get to this point in his career. Some work harder than others, of course, but you don’t make it this far without devoting a whole lot of time and energy to the game. So, kudos to all of the shortstops on the list below.

Tim Anderson has the look and feel of a future star at the position, though I remain unsold that he’s a slam dunk to stay at shortstop. The odds are in his favor enough that I’m comfortable projecting him there going forward. If he sticks, his blend of athleticism, speed, and freakishly quick wrists should make him an above-average offense asset. The only draft-related questions I have about him are 1) how high will he go? and 2) will he/should he go higher than top prep shortstop JP Crawford? I don’t know the answer to either question — what, you come here for actual draft analysis? — but I will say that I’d be more than fine if the Phillies, my hometown team, took a chance on Anderson at pick 16, even with Crawford still on the board. That’s my non-answer answer.

After Anderson, things are bleak. I’m bullish on both Pat Blair and Adam Frazier as guys just good enough to profile as decent starting shortstops. If you don’t like them like I do, that’s fine. I think we can at least agree that both have the advantage of relatively high floors (backup big league infielders). After Anderson, Blair, and Frazier, well, your guess is good as mine. I think we’re looking at a giant group of mid-round picks who profile best as org guys with the slight chance to one day break through as utility infielders. Like catchers, shortstops will always be picked earlier than probably deserved because of positional scarcity and the need to fill out low-level minor league rosters. Unless I had a pressing need to fill, I’m not sure I’d spend a top five or six round pick on any college shortstop this year outside of the top three.

1. East Central CC SO SS Tim Anderson: good athlete; plus bat speed; plus-plus speed, uses it very well; very capable defender, plenty of range and average or better arm; others prefer him in CF or 2B; average raw power; hits predominantly fastballs at this point; some pitch recognition issues to be ironed out; have heard Mariano Duncan comp; BA comps: Brandon Phillips and Orlando Hudson; personal comp: Roman Quinn; 6-1, 180 pounds

2013: .495/.568/.879 – 17 BB/12 K – 41/45 SB – 182 AB

2. Wake Forest SR SS/2B Pat Blair: great approach; steady glove has grown into more than that, very dependable up the middle; average arm; some pop, mostly to gaps; above-average speed that plays up due to smarts; like his upside as utility infielder; old BA comp: Steve Lombardozzi; 5-10, 180 pounds

2011: .275/.453/.410 – 55 BB/39 K – 178 AB
2012: .288/.416/.389 – 48 BB/30 K – 23/28 SB – 226 AB
2013: .293/.473/.440 – 60 BB/38 K – 20/22 SB – 191 AB

3. Mississippi State JR SS Adam Frazier: great approach; solid defender; above-average speed, maybe a touch less; bat is a little light, but I think there’s enough to work with; arm may push him to 2B, but release is quick enough to stick at SS for me; reminds me some of poor man’s Nolan Fontana; very accurate arm; FAVORITE; 5-11, 175 pounds

2011: .274/.293/.274 – 3 BB/13 K – 95 AB
2012: .367/.484/.441 – 53 BB/23 K – 9/15 SB – 245 AB
2013: .355/.404/.465 – 21 BB/24 K – 7/11 SB – 256 AB

4. Mississippi JR SS Austin Anderson: average speed; nice glove; 6-0, 190 pounds

2012: .248/.364/.321 – 20 BB/8 K – 1/2 SB – 109 AB
2013: .305/.386/.415 – 20 BB/12 K – 3/10 SB – 200 AB

5. Texas A&M SR SS Mikey Reynolds: some pop; plus speed; good range up the middle; average arm; steady defender; 5-10, 170 pounds

2012: .301/.415/.394 – 32 BB/30 K – 22/24 SB – 216 AB
2013: .352/.419/.438 – 20 BB/22 K – 19/24 SB – 210 AB

6. Oregon SR SS/3B JJ Altobelli: some pop; good glove; above-average arm; chance to be well above-average at SS; average speed; intriguing hit tool; 6-1, 190 pounds

2011: .251/.302/.320 – 14 BB/23 K – 203 AB
2012: .300/.387/.380 – 21 BB/11 K – 6/13 SB – 200 AB
2013: .322/.412/.366 – 25 BB/20 K – 8/11 SB – 183 AB

7. Oregon State SR SS/2B Tyler Smith: very good glove; strong enough arm for left side; above-average speed; gap power; 6-0, 195 pounds

2011: .230/.389/.265 – 28 BB/22 K – 113 AB
2012: .347/.440/.432 – 31 BB/30 K – 9/11 SB – 213 AB
2013: .311/.398/.406 – 20 BB/30 K – 9/11 SB – 180 AB

8. Texas Christian JR SS Paul Hendrix: promising power to gaps; good athlete; strong arm; average speed; 6-2, 180 pounds

2013: .308/.403/.471 – 27 BB/38 K – 4/7 SB – 172 AB

9. Feather River JC SO SS Justin Bohn: good speed; legit defender; strong arm; 6-0, 165 pounds

2013: .413/.482/.645 – 23 BB/17 K – 18/20 SB – 172 AB

10. Oregon State JR SS/3B Kavin Keyes: average hit tool; good defensive tools; average speed plays up; average arm; 5-11, 200 pounds

2011: .313/.372/.385 – 18 BB/35 K – 182 AB
2012: .232/.319/.299 – 19 BB/27 K – 3/4 SB – 177 AB
2013: .312/.392/.424 – 18 BB/28 K – 2/2 SB – 170 AB

11. Stanford JR SS/2B Lonnie Kauppila: plus defender at second, very good at short; like the bat a lot, but more inconsistent as expected as an amateur; average at best speed; 6-0, 175 pounds

2011: .307/.350/.385 – 12 BB/25 K – 205 AB
2012: .280/.339/.350 – 10 BB/15 K – 0/0 SB – 100 AB
2013: .280/.381/.331 – 17 BB/20 K – 3/4 SB – 118 AB

12. East Carolina JR SS Jack Reinheimer: really good glove; strong arm; average speed, maybe a touch more; 6-0, 180 pounds

2011: .311/.385/.330 – 25 BB/29 K – 212 AB
2012: .294/.345/.374 – 15 BB/28 K – 9/10 SB – 238 AB
2013: .267/.354/.335 – 30 BB/42 K – 10/13 SB – 221 AB

13. Washington State rSO SS Trace Tam Sing: big upside with glove, makes mental lapses but has the physical ability; average speed; average arm; 5-11, 190 pounds

2013: .264/.368/.378 – 20 BB/35 K – 4/8 SB – 148 AB

14. Miami JR SS/2B Alex Hernandez: strong arm; defends like a big leaguer; good instincts; good range; steady glove; 5-8, 175 pounds

2013: .277/.371/.366 – 26 BB/27 K – 4/11 SB – 213 AB

15. UCLA JR SS Pat Valaika: strong arm; average at best range; much improved bat; steady defender; gap power; 5-11, 205 pounds

2011: .231/.317/.313 – 12 BB/25 K – 160 AB
2012: .258/.313/.354 – 18 BB/30 K – 5/6 SB – 229 AB
2013: .257/.357/.411 – 30 BB/35 K – 8/10 SB – 214 AB

16. New Mexico JC SO SS Mike Bernal: good athlete; good defensive tools; Oklahoma State transfer; 5-11, 190 pounds

2013: .325/.458/.542 – 27 BB/19 K – 4/5 SB – 120 AB

17. Central Arizona JC SS David Masters: above-average range; strong arm; average speed; junior college’s version of Lonnie Kauppila; Arkansas transfer

2013: .284/.386/.408 – 20 BB/29 K – 7 SB – 169 AB

18. Florida JR SS/OF Taylor Ratliff: complete upside gamble; ineligible in 2013 after transferring; above-average speed; has also played 3B; plus arm strength; 6-1, 165 pounds

2011: .325/.420/.393 – 30 BB/33 K – 206 AB
2012: .289/.382/.368 – 14 BB/23 K – 17/19 SB – 114 AB

19. Angelo State (TX) JR SS Christian Summers: plus defensive tools; iffy hit tool with clear contact issues but enough speed and raw power to remain intriguing; Texas transfer

2013: .339/.447/.548 – 33 BB/58 K – 17/22 SB – 186 AB

20. Long Island-Brooklyn JR SS John Ziznewski: average speed; average hit tool; 6-2, 190 pounds

2013: .361/.428/.546 – 22 BB/28 K – 17/18 SB – 205 AB

21. Marist SR SS Zach Shank: plus arm; steady glove; love his approach; has SS tools defensively; sneaky pop; smart on bases; FAVORITE; 6-1, 180 pounds

2012: .358/.425/.437 – 11 BB/11 K – 7/12 SB – 190 AB
2013: .393/.452/.545 – 19 BB/13 K – 6/10 SB – 211 AB

22. Maryland JR SS Kyle Convissar: good athlete; plus arm; 6-2, 205 pounds

2011: .259/.400/.296 – 10 BB/11 K – 81 AB
2012: .301/.404/.409 – 17 BB/24 K – 6/10 SB – 186 AB
2013: .331/.432/.439 – 10 BB/22 K – 7/11 SB – 157 AB

23. Texas Wesleyan SR SS David Kiriakos: good speed; good approach; good arm; will stick at SS; well-traveled; FAVORITE; 6-0, 180 pounds

2013: .351/.477/.457 – 27 BB/26 K – 15/19 – SB – 208 AB

24. Illinois JR SS Thomas Lindauer: good defensive tools; 6-2, 170 pounds

2012: .264/.357/.333 – 27 BB/26 K – 15/24 SB – 201 AB
2013: .284/.335/.450 – 18 BB/26 K – 13/14 SB – 211 AB

25. Texas Christian SO SS/2B Derek Odell: strong arm; average power upside; below-average speed; old Taylor Featherston comp; good athlete; good enough to stick at SS, steady at 2B; 6-1, 185 pounds

2012: .322/.383/.471 – 17 BB/25 K – 6/8 SB – 174 AB
2013: .280/.333/.324 – 15 BB/24 K – 1/1 SB – 182 AB

26. Rutgers JR SS/2B Nick Favatella: 5-10, 175 pounds

2011: .317/.408/.407 – 20 BB/25 K – 145 AB
2012: .342/.424/.491 – 22 BB/39 K – 8/13 SB – 222 AB
2013: .333/.416/.466 – 31 BB/45 K – 12/14 SB – 234 AB

27. Sacred Heart SR SS John Murphy: 6-0, 185 pounds

2012: .337/.427/.461 – 25 BB/26 K – 24/29 SB – 178 AB
2013: .353/.427/.551 – 25 BB/23 K – 28/36 SB – 207 AB

28. Radford rSR SS Jeff Kemp: good defender; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .228/.314/.362 – 13 BB/37 K – 149 AB
2012: .318/.384/.521 – 14 BB/37 K – 9/9 SB – 192 AB
2013: .284/.444/.588 – 33 BB/35 K – 8/13 SB – 148 AB

29. Western Oregon State SR SS/2B Blake Miller: good approach; steady glove; interesting power; enough arm for 3B; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .372/.457/.528 – 26 BB/28 K – 22/26 SB – 199 AB

30. Louisiana-Lafayette JR SS Ryan Leonards: 6-0, 180 pounds

2012: .352/.424/.448 – 19 BB/29 K – 10/16 SB – 165 AB
2013: .332/.405/.418 – 17 BB/23 K – 7/12 SB – 184 AB

31. Clarendon SO SS/2B Galli Cribbs: really good defender

2013: .359/.425/.558 – 13 BB/24 K – 19/25 SB – 181 AB

32. Southern Mississippi SR SS/2B Isaac Rodriguez: has played mostly 2B, but I believe in him at SS; impressive defensive tools; quick release; fancy footwork; steady glove; 5-10, 190 pounds

2011: .278/.384/.371 – 28 BB/21 K – 205 AB
2012: .270/.337/.309 – 13 BB/16 K – 3/4 SB – 152 AB
2013: .338/.435/.438 – 27 BB/14 K – 3/3 SB – 201 AB

33. Ohio State SR SS/2B Kirby Pellant: average arm that plays up due to quick release and good footwork; above-average speed; not much pop; 5-10, 175 pounds

2012: .283/.385/.349 – 29 BB/24 K – 32/39 SB – 212 AB
2013: .312/.357/.403 – 11 BB/14 K – 12/21 SB – 186 AB

34. Illinois State rSO SS Brock Stewart: strong arm; 6-4, 200 pounds

2011: .250/.333/.426 – 14 BB/32 K – 108 AB
2013: .330/.402/.496 – 14 BB/29 K – 2/3 SB – 115 AB

35. San Diego JR SS Logan Davis: plus defender; 6-3, 180 pounds

2013: .333/.390/.380 – 9 BB/11 K – 3/3 SB – 108 AB

36. Cal State Fullerton SR SS/3B Richy Pedroza: very strong defender; good range; strong arm; great bunter; good speed; 5-6, 150 pounds

2011: .319/.383/.393 – 14 BB/20 K – 163 AB
2012: .329/.415/.385 – 27 BB/16 K – 1/2 SB – 213 AB
2013: .263/.393/.351 – 43 BB/20 K – 8/12 SB – 205 AB

37. Rhode Island JR SS Joe Landi: can play any infield spot capably; great approach; above-average to plus speed; strong arm; like his swing; not a ton of raw power; FAVORITE; 6-0, 175 pounds

2012: .273/.347/.295 – 9 BB/17 K – 2/4 SB – 88 AB
2013: .298/.383/.319 – 18 BB/19 K – 7/14 SB – 141 AB

38. Auburn JR SS Dan Glevenyak: steady defender; 6-1, 190 pounds

2012: .319/.410/.414 – 26 BB/27 K – 14/18 SB – 191 AB
2013: .236/.356/.329 – 25 BB/40 K – 5/9 SB – 161 AB

39. Duke JR SS Angelo LaBruna: solid defender; good approach; 5-10, 165 pounds

2012: .219/.305/.237 – 18 BB/17 K – 7/12 SB – 169 AB
2013: .236/.348/.327 – 5 BB/9 K – 0/1 SB – 55 AB

40. California JR SS Derek Campbell: good athlete; strong arm; good glove; not much with the bat; 6-0, 175 pounds

2011: .281/.305/.351 – 2 BB/15 K – 57 AB
2012: .272/.357/.312 – 11 BB/22 K – 0/1 SB – 125 AB
2013: .256/.383/.359 – 3 BB/9 K – 1/1 SB – 39 AB

41. Seton Hall SR SS Giuseppe Papaccio: 6-1, 185 pounds

2012: .297/.348/.410 – 16 BB/37 K – 5/5 SB – 229 AB
2013: .399/.441/.597 – 18 BB/36 K – 9/10 SB – 233 AB

42. Lee JR SS Josh Silver: really good defender; good speed; questionable hit tool; San Jose State transfer; 6-0, 190 pounds

2013: .384/.444/.512 – 17 BB/12 K – 5/5 SB – 211 AB

43. Illinois State SR SS Brett Kay: really good defender; good speed; 5-11, 165 pounds

2012: .284/.342/.358 – 10 BB/28 K – 14/16 SB – 134 AB
2013: .301/.409/.412 – 32 BB/45 K – 10/11 SB – 216 AB

44. Rhode Island rSR SS/RHP Mike LeBel: good power; good speed; strong arm; can stick up the middle; has hit 92-93 with FB; 5-11, 175 pounds

2011: .302/.360/.516 – 14 BB/30 K – 215 AB
2013: .286/.371/.442 – 25 BB/40 K – 19/24 SB – 224 AB

45. Charlotte SR SS/3B Shane Basen: plus arm; versatile defender; strong hit tool; lots of line drives; 6-2, 185 pounds

2011: .270/.389/.386 – 43 BB/33 K – 215 AB
2012: .327/.405/.462 – 26 BB/21 K – 6/10 SB – 199 AB
2013: .299/.356/.402 – 18 BB/25 K – 16/18 SB – 244 AB

46. Canisius JR SS Ronnie Bernick: 5-9, 175 pounds

2012: .264/.410/.320 – 14 BB/33 K – 2/2 SB – 125 AB
2013: .270/.437/.426 – 24 BB/36 K – 2/2 SB – 122 AB

47. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC SO SS Kevin Meyers: 6-2, 190 pounds

2013: .314/.410/.577 – 21 BB/25 K – 8/8 SB – 156 AB

48. Georgia State SR SS/2B Greg Bowder: 5-9, 170 pounds

2012: .295/.373/.371 – 8 BB/16 K – 2/3 SB – 105 AB
2013: .340/.440/.453 – 15 BB/26 K – 3/5 SB – 106 AB

49. Alcorn State JR SS Angel Rosa: good athlete; strong arm; good range; good overall defensive tools; 6-2, 180 pounds

2011: .242/.327/.360 – 20 BB/47 K – 178 AB
2012: .240/.294/.363 – 13 BB/44 K – 5/9 SB – 171 AB
2013: .231/.316/.331 – 17 BB/30 K – 16/20 SB – 160 AB

50. Belmont SR SS Jared Breen: 5-10, 180 pounds

2011: .294/.363/.399 – 23 BB/40 K – 218 AB
2012: .200/.303/.320 – 16 BB/30 K – 9/11 SB – 150 AB
2013: .297/.388/.469 – 29 BB/42 K – 9/10 SB – 209 AB

51. Wright State SR SS Justin Kopale: good defender; strong arm; quick bat; plays above tools; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .296/.367/.420 – 15 BB/21 K – 162 AB
2012: .246/.274/.374 – 8 BB/22 K – 1/1 SB – 203 AB
2013: .262/.308/.333 – 12 BB/24 K – 3/3 SB – 168 AB

52. Southern Illinois JR SS/2B Jake Welch: good athlete; 5-10, 170 pounds

2011: .246/.327/.277 – 22 BB/31 K – 195 AB
2012: .300/.363/.426 – 21 BB/39 K – 16/19 SB – 237 AB
2013: .273/.358/.329 – 28 BB/26 K – 20/24 SB – 249 AB

53. Louisiana Tech JR SS Ryan Gebhardt: 5-11, 200 pounds

2011: .329/.409/.350 – 18 BB/19 K – 140 AB
2012: .327/.399/.399 – 25 BB/25 K – 5/7 SB – 223 AB
2013: .282/.316/.359 – 7 BB/9 K – 1/3 SB – 142 AB

54. Texas-Arlington JR SS Ryan Walker: 6-1, 170 pounds

2011: .335/.401/.390 – 29 BB/34 K – 236 AB
2012: .380/.435/.428 – 24 BB/39 K – 14/18 SB – 250 AB
2013: .336/.387/.372 – 21 BB/40 K – 6/10 SB – 247 AB

55. Texas State SR SS Nick Smelser: above-average arm; good range; good overall defender; 6-0, 190 pounds

2012: .220/.318/.293 – 20 BB/32 K – 4/5 SB – 150 AB
2013: .253/.330/.367 – 17 BB/32 K – 0/0 SB – 158 AB

56. Wheaton JR SS Eric Jensen: good speed; average at best glove; strong hit tool; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .373/.437/.485 – 11 BB/12 K – 18/20 SB – 169 AB

57. Minnesota rSR SS Troy Larson

2011: .267/.303/.328 – 6 BB/22 K – 116 AB
2012: .333/.400/.391 – 13 BB/17 K – 8/10 SB – 138 AB
2013: .351/.385/.417 – 10 BB/18 K – 8/12 SB – 168 AB

58. Illinois-Chicago rJR SS Andres Ortegano: plus defender; 5-6, 150 pounds

2013: .237/.333/.361 – 10 BB/20 K – 4/4 SB – 97 AB

59. Minnesota rSO SS Michael Handel: average speed; quick bat; 6-1, 170 pounds

2012: .290/.371/.361 – 18 BB/26 K – 8/12 SB – 155 AB
2013: .281/.361/.385 – 20 BB/31 K – 9/10 SB – 192 AB

60. Oregon State JR SS Andy Peterson: 5-10, 170 pounds

2013: .351/.409/.376 – 17 BB/33 K – 11/16 SB – 205 AB

61. Youngstown State JR SS/2B Phil Lipari: 6-0, 185 pounds

2012: .238/.351/.302 – 29 BB/21 K – 2/7 SB – 172 AB
2013: .242/.355/.309 – 33 BB/25 K – 9/12 SB – 194 AB

62. Connecticut JR SS Tom Verdi: 6-2, 185 pounds

2012: .330/.397/.436 – 12 BB/36 K – 10/13 SB – 218 AB
2013: .278/.417/.354 – 25 BB/36 K – 19/28 SB – 223 AB

63. Vanderbilt rSO SS/3B Joel McKeithan: plus speed; potential plus glove with all the defensive tools needed to excel at short; intriguing raw power; has never put it all together and time is beginning to run out; 6-3, 210 pounds

2012: .171/.292/.195 – 6 BB/12 K – 1/2 SB – 41 AB
2013: .195/.244/.195 – 3 BB/8 K – 0/0 SB – 41 AB

64. Louisville JR SS/3B Alex Chittenden: good arm; good defender, may be better suited at 3B; limited power upside; 6-0, 190 pounds

2011: .233/.335/.264 – 21 BB/28 K – 163 AB
2012: .303/.395/.344 – 16 BB/24 K – 5/7 SB – 122 AB
2013: .212/.435/.303 – 6 BB/8 K – 0/0 SB – 33 AB

65. St.Mary’s (TX) JR SS/RHP Derek Hamilton: good speed; good defensive tools; Rice transfer

2011: .257/.312/.288 – 18 BB/32 K – 226 AB
2013: .260/.316/.320 – 4 BB/4 K – 5/6 SB – 50 AB

66. Wichita State rJR SS/3B Erik Harbutz: 6-0, 180 pounds

2012: .250/.326/.344 – 24 BB/35 K – 6/9 SB – 212 AB
2013: .276/.363/.347 – 32 BB/47 K – 13/19 SB – 239 AB

67. Arkansas State JR SS Dustin Jones: 5-10, 150 pounds

2012: .296/.337/.352 – 11 BB/30 K – 1/1 SB – 179 AB
2013: .279/.351/.368 – 18 BB/43 K – 6/6 SB – 204 AB

68. New Mexico SR SS Alex Allbritton: steady glove; 6-2, 185 pounds

2011: .234/.283/.303 – 13 BB/41 K – 218 AB
2012: .222/.247/.280 – 8 BB/54 K – 2/4 SB – 207 AB
2013: .270/.307/.362 – 11 BB/35 K – 3/6 SB – 196 AB

69. Louisiana Tech SR SS/2B Taylor Terrasas: 5-10, 170 pounds

2011: .137/.286/.176 – 9 BB/14 K – 51 AB
2012: .330/.435/.509 – 15 BB/15 K – 0/0 SB – 106 AB
2013: .282/.347/.361 – 15 BB/20 K – 2/3 SB – 202 AB

70. UC Davis JR SS Adam Young: good defender; 5-11, 165 pounds

2012: .227/.375/.250 – 6 BB/7 K – 0/0 SB – 44 AB
2013: .242/.308/.326 – 4 BB/8 K – 0/2 SB – 95 AB

71. Santa Clara JR SS Greg Harisis: 6-0, 170 pounds

2012: .366/.435/.447 – 13 BB/19 K – 6/9 SB – 123 AB
2013: .263/.374/.359 – 25 BB/45 K – 13/15 SB – 167 AB

72. UC San Diego SO SS Dillon Moyer: good speed; good defensive tools; transfer from UC Irvine; 6-0, 185 pounds

2011: .143/.351/.214 – 8 BB/5 K – 28 AB
2013: .298/.355/.408 – 15 BB/31 K – 15/17 SB – 191 AB

73. Oklahoma JR SS/2B Hector Lorenzana: good defender; 5-11, 190 pounds

2013: .242/.304/.318 – 18 BB/26 K – 1/5 SB – 223 AB

74. UC Riverside SR SS Eddie Young: 5-10, 185 pounds

2012: .275/.405/.332 – 42 BB/21 K – 2/6 SB – 193 AB
2013: .208/.465/.354 – 22 BB/10 K – 4/6 SB – 48 AB

75. High Point SR SS Willie Medina: good defender; good athlete; plus range; plus speed; leadoff approach; 5-10, 160 pounds

2012: .320/.385/.386 – 18 BB/27 K – 19/25 SB – 197 AB
2013: .272/.337/.335 – 20 BB/34 K – 10/15 SB – 257 AB

***

And because I can’t help myself, here are 12 extra players to keep tabs on for draft day and beyond…

76. Stetson JR SS/2B K’Shawn Smith: plus arm; good athlete; good defensive tools; 5-10, 175 pounds

2013: .259/.349/.295 – 10 BB/25 K – 3/5 SB – 112 AB

77. Temple SR SS Jordan Queja: 5-7, 165 pounds

2012: .269/.354/.306 – 19 BB/26 K – 11/15 SB – 186 AB
2013: .229/.393/.349 – 22 BB/10 K – 16/17 SB – 109 AB

78. Kennesaw State rSR SS Peyton Hart: plus defender; bat is very light; decent approach; average speed; 6-1, 190 pounds

2011: .307/.410/.387 – 23 BB/28 K – 212 AB
2012: .270/.353/.291 – 21 BB/37 K – 230 AB – 14/19 SB
2013: .247/.312/.264 – 15 BB/30 K – 8/13 SB – 227 AB

79. Kansas SR SS Kevin Kuntz: 6-1, 190 pounds

2012: .247/.341/.278 – 30 BB/28 K – 10/13 SB – 223 AB
2013: .304/.362/.339 – 15 BB/11 K – 12/13 SB – 168 AB

80. Morehead State SR SS Chase Greenwell: plus arm; 5-10, 185 pounds

2012: .267/.319/.336 – 15 BB/22 K – 5/10 SB – 217 AB
2013: .264/.320/.339 – 18 BB/29 K – 4/7 SB – 227 AB

81. Central Connecticut State JR SS Anthony Turgeon: steady defender; good arm; gap power; average speed; 6-0, 185 pounds

2011: .303/.368/.393 – 11 BB/24 K – 122 AB
2012: .237/.294/.349 – 15 BB/35 K – 4/6 SB – 186 AB
2013: .163/.253/.203 – 16 BB/42 K – 4/5 SB – 172 AB

82. Pittsburgh SR SS Evan Oswald: good defender; plus arm

2012: .280/.375/.325 – 19 BB/30 K – 5/10 SB – 157 AB
2013: .248/.337/.320 – 19 BB/24 K – 7/9 SB – 222 AB

83. Bucknell SR SS/3B Robb Scott: really good present defender; strong arm; lack of foot speed may move him to 3B; 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .282/.312/.359 – 6 BB/35 K – 3/5 SB – 131 AB
2013: .182/.239/.255 – 12 BB/38 K – 0/2 SB – 165 AB

84. Old Dominion JR SS Tyler Urps: good defender; 5-10, 185 pounds

2013: .218/.343/.251 – 23 BB/30 K – 3/6 SB – 179 AB

85. Missouri State rSR SS Travis McComack: very strong arm; good defender; 5-9, 160 pounds

2011: .298/.386/.346 – 26 BB/23 K – 191 AB
2013: .231/.326/.277 – 27 BB/41 K – 1/2 SB – 195 AB

86. Florida SR SS/2B Cody Dent: good speed; 6-0, 190 pounds

2011: .220/.359/.256 – 18 BB/19 K – 82 AB
2012: .146/.237/.146 – 8 BB/20 K – 1/2 SB – 82 AB
2013: .176/.288/.214 – 18 BB/22 K – 2/3 SB – 131 AB

87. Hofstra SR SS/2B Dalton Rouleau: good defender; strong arm; 5-9, 170 pounds

2012: .287/.394/.431 – 30 BB/34 K – 26/33 SB – 195 AB
2013: .105/.261/.105 – 4 BB/5 K – 0/0 SB – 19 AB

Projecting the First Round: MLB Draft 2013 Middle Infield Prospects

“Locks”

SS: Oscar Mercado, JP Crawford (2)

I’m on board with the Mercado as Elvis Andrus 2.0 comps and was out ahead of the “hey, he’s ahead of where Francisco Lindor was at the same stage just a few years ago” talk, so, yeah, you could say I’m a pretty big fan. That came out way smarmier than I would have liked – I’m sorry. The big thing to watch with Mercado this spring will be how he physically looks at the plate; with added strength he could be a serious contender for the top five or so picks, but many of the veteran evaluators who have seen him question whether or not he has the frame to support any additional bulk. Everything else about his game is above-average or better: swing, arm strength, speed, range, hands, release, pitch recognition, instincts. The way I feel about Mercado is how many of the professionals in the business feel about Crawford, a steady riser who now sits atop the majority of big league clubs’ middle infield boards. What’s funny about Crawford’s recent rise is that so much of it is predicated on his improved defense up the middle. In my first looks at Crawford last year, it was actually his defense at shortstop that stood out to me the most. Not for nothing, but I heard down in Florida that the Astros really, really, really like Crawford. Really.

Definite Maybes

SS: Andy McGuire, Chris Rivera, Riley Unroe, Connor Heady (4)

McGuire, Unroe, and Heady all look to have the defensive tools to stay at shortstop in pro ball. Rivera could also be included in that group, but I’m part of the growing contingent that would really like to see what he can do behind the plate between now and June. A big spring could propel any of the four into the first round.

*****

Second base prospects don’t typically crash the first round party and 2013 looks to be no exception. We’ll look a few interesting names in the interest of thoroughness and, more honestly, more baseball talk is better than less baseball talk.

Anfernee Grier, Christian Arroyo, and Dalton Dulin are currently the best bets of this year’s prep second basemen to rise into the first round. In a way, that’s damning with faint praise as being the best of any year’s top prep second basemen list doesn’t guarantee much more than the cost of the electronic paper such proclamations are printed on. Thankfully, each player listed above has a contingency plan that you don’t typically see with second base prospects. Grier could wind up as an above-average glove in CF, Arroyo has an outside shot at sticking at shortstop, and Dulin, well, Dulin is pretty much a second baseman or bust but his makeup has been so universally lauded that you wonder if he may go a few spots earlier than his talent warrants. That last one is a bit of a stretch, but that’s what you do over seven months ahead of the draft in November.

*****

Once again we get down to the college ranks where, once again, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. As covered with the other positions we’ve touched on, it wouldn’t be a shock to see half a dozen or more high school players off the board before the first college guy gets selected. I’ve previously written about my appreciation for Frazier, an underrated guy with just enough tools to profile as a big league player:”Frazier, yet another up the middle prospect, reminds me some of last year’s underrated all season (at least until draft day) Nolan Fontana. Frazier won’t wow you with the glove — some have him moving to 2B due mostly to an iffy arm, but I think he’s just steady enough to stick at SS for now — but he’s an on-base machine with a relatively high floor. Besides the potential switch off of shortstop, I do worry some about a lack of natural strength/in-game power.” I felt similarly about Mazzilli prior to the draft last year: “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).”

Kennedy has a little bit of breakout potential now that he’s finally on a big stage at Clemson, Riddle has a strong hit tool but may be better off at 3B down the line, and Henderson could be this year’s plus athlete who steps up with a big spring. Arguably the three biggest names on the list belong to Gonzalez, Asuaje, and Alvord. Gonzalez has been a consistent producer for a big time program with more raw power than your typical middle infield, Asuaje had a great showing on the Cape and has no real weaknesses to his game, and Alvord, an Auburn transfer, has been on the radar since his high school days.

  • 2B Shane Kennedy (Clemson)
  • 2B LJ Mazzilli (Connecticut)
  • 2B JT Riddle (Kentucky)
  • 2B Demarcus Henderson (Mississippi State)
  • 2B Ross Kivett (Kansas State)
  • 2B/SS Lonnie Kauppila (Stanford)
  • 2B Carlos Asuaje (Nova Southeastern)
  • SS Justin Gonzalez (Florida State)
  • SS/2B Adam Frazier (Mississippi State)
  • SS Brandon Trinkwon (UC Santa Barbara)
  • SS Zach Shank (Marist)
  • SS/2B Zach Alvord (Tampa)
  • SS Zac LaNeve (Louisburg JC)
  • SS Tim Anderson (East Central CC)
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