We’ve covered a litle bit of high school so far. We have a lot more prep coverage in the works. We’ve covered a tiny, tiny bit of college ball so far. There will be a ton more of that to come. What we’ve ignored thus far, unintentionally of course, is the all too often ignored grey area of draft prospecting. I mean, and let’s be honest here, who among us can truly say that he or she knew the 2009 junior college baseball season has already started? We shall ignore the juco ranks no longer! After the jump, enjoy the best prospects — by position, naturally — currently on junior college rosters.
I’m thinking the photo was a combination of excessively obscure and borderline offensive. Anybody who gets the reference wins a prize – true story! Email our new address (thebaseballdraftreport AT gmail.com) or answer in the comment section to claim that reward. Oh right, baseball. Back to it…
Junior college baseball – where high school and college ball intersect! Players wind up in junior college for all sorts of reasons, but what ultimately matters is what they do and how they look once they get there. That in mind, here is n all-prospect look, position by position, at the best junior college has to offer in 2009.
C – Miles Hamblin (Howard CC – Texas)
1B – Art Charles (Bakersfield CC – California)
2B – Adrian Morales (Miami-Dade CC – Florida)
SS – Keon Broxton (Sane Fe CC – Florida)
3B – Jake Rogers (Chipola CC – Florida)
OF – Jaron Shepherd (Navarro CC – Texas)
OF – Runey Davis (Howard CC – Texas)
OF – David Stewart (Grayson County CC – Texas)
Hamblin is a promising bat who should be able to stick behind the plate long-term. Charles has a massive frame and power to spare, but first base is always a huge weak spot among the junior college ranks. Morales and Broxton show promise as up the middle talents who combine good enough fielding with bats that should play. Rogers is more or less the third base equivalent to Charles, a big frame, bigger raw power-type with plenty to work on both at the plate and in the field. Shepherd is a true centerfielder defensively, Davis may have the most all around upside of any position player on the list, and Stewart’s bat could be the best in junior college if it all comes all together for him.
As you can see, there are plenty of “if’s” and “maybe’s” in that group – very indicative of group of junior college prospects. This year has lots of high upside players who excel in one or two areas of the game (power, pure speed, athleticism, etc.), but have major flaws keeping them from being called legit first five round caliber talents (plate discipline, defense, swiss cheese swings). That’s not to say that many juco guys won’t go in the first few rounds of the draft, of course – every player has the spring to iron out the wrinkles in his game, though, ultimately, even juco guys with major warts will be attractive to big league clubs because of the presence of an exceptional tool or two.
RHP – Daniel Webb (Northwest Florida State CC – Florida)
RHP – Ryan Weber (St. Petersburg CC – Florida)
RHP – Jake Cowan (San Jacinto CC – Texas)
Webb is an easy, easy, easy choice as the consensus top junior college prospect in the country – great size and a mid-90s fastball will get you far. However, his secondary stuff still lags behind his heater (though his curve is coming along quickly), both his command and control remain shaky, and, most worrisome to me, his fastball, though undeniably fast, is just too darn straight at present. Wow, that’s a lot of commas!
Weber was very close to agreeing to terms with the World Champion Phillies before opting to go the junior college route. I love that he follows Webb in the rankings for no other reason than he’s the anti-Daniel Webb. Weber’s strengths are tons of big game national team experience, plus movement on everything he throws, plus command of quality secondary stuff (slider and change). What he lacks is a blazing fastball (tops out in the high-80s) and much physical projection. Weber as the anti-Webb is an idea I can get behind. I mean, even their names are similar! How great is that? I’m a sucker for name-based wordplay, and Webb/Weber as similar (both good at the whole pitching thing/both with last names starting with Web-), but different (stylistically opposite on the mound/one last name ending with -b and the other -er) pitchers makes my day.
Oh yeah, Jake Cowan is good, too. Too bad his name doesn’t fit the narrative. The former Virginia Cavalier has a great three pitch mix and is as good a shot as any player listed to usurp Webb as the first juco player off the board come draft day. For the record, I like Cowan, Weber, and Webb as the top three righties…in that order.
LHP – Shawn Sanford (Palomar CC – California)
LHP – Chad Bell (Walters State CC – Tennessee)
LHP – Jarret Martin (Bakersfield CC – California)
Sanford is the top juco lefty and a darn good outfield prospect to boot. Bell is coming off an excellent freshman season at Walters State – he’ll go a lot higher than the 37th round this year. He reminds me a little of a more projectable, lefty version of Weber. Martin is similar to Sanford in that he is a legit prospect with the bat. In fact, I debated on having Martin top the 1B list before settling on Charles. I’d rank all three righthanded prospects listed above over any of the juco lefties here, but that’s more about the righthanders being a very good group than the lefties being less than solid.
Hey man, I can’t find anywhere to e-mail you… could you please e-mail me at evanATmvn.com? Many thanks!
[…] about a look at teams comprised of the best players from each college class, including the most mysterious and overlooked group of them all? The best college players available in 2010 and 2011 were also given the corny […]
I think you need to look at the pitching staff at Central Arizona (no 1 in the nation) Yard RHP at 95, Gelinas LHP 93, Patterson RHP at 91 all with great stuff plus Carrillo at catcher. These guys are the best picks in a elite league.
All legit prospects. Gelinas gets the most love within scouting circles, but I’m really excited by the progress Carillo has shown with the wood bat while at Central Arizona, not to mention the great experience he has catching pro-caliber arms. I’d love to see Yard throw at some point this spring, I can’t even wrap my head around a pitcher so slight throwing so darn hard. I’ve heard through the grapevine that Patterson’s velocity is up, but I haven’t gotten it confirmed – if it’s true, he’ll rise up draft boards. His athleticism and broad skill base make him one to watch, if nothing else.
If you don’t mind me asking, what’s up with the interest in Central Arizona players? I like the passion you seem to have about these prospects, and I was just genuinely curious where it was coming from. I’m definitely going to get a little more in-depth (as much as I can anyway, my knowledge is limited) with the junior college game as the season continues – thanks for the inspiration for future posts.
As always, thanks for reading/commenting.
[…] look at the top ten draft-eligible junior college prospects as promised. Between this list and the Junior College All-Prospect Team from earlier in the month, we’ve got a working list of players to […]
are you joking me… Art Charles????… Yeah he has size but throw him anything but a fastball and he is your regular big 1b with no range and can only hit fastballs. Did you now know Chipper Smith 2 hit the Bakersfield CC which did include Charles and Martin but hey they are the best… Read your stats or actually scout a player