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All Sophomore Prospect Team (Class of ’10)

A handy tip for those who have a hard time meeting self-imposed deadlines – making your schedule public makes it a heck of a lot easier to stick to. Remember this?

Monday: (2/16): All Freshman Prospect Team
Tuesday (2/17): All Sophomore Prospect Team
Wednesday (2/18): All Senior Prospect Team
Thursday (2/19): All Draft-Eligible Sophomore Prospect Team AND All Junior Prospect Team
Friday (2/20): College Opening Day Hip-Hop Pizza Party featuring the debut of The Baseball Draft Report 2009 College Prospect Big Board

No matter what happens this week, I’m sticking to this darned schedule. If today is Tuesday, that means it is All Sophomore Prospect Team Day! The players listed below are all, as far as I know, draft-eligible as of the 2010 season. There are no redshirt sophomores on the list — the 2009-eligible sophomores will get their own list — only players eligible for the 2010 draft. Something about this class really appeals to me, so I went a little overboard with some of the writeups. Enjoy the All Sophomore Prospect Team after the jump…

C – Yasmani Grandal (Miami)
1B – Hunter Morris (Auburn)
2B – Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton)
3B – Victor Sanchez (San Diego)
SS – Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech)
OF – Kevin Keyes (Texas)
OF – Brett Eibner (Arkansas)
OF – Matt Presley (Arizona)

Grandal is a nice prospect who is phenomenal defensively and a work in progress offensively. In fact, his skills behind the plate are so good, it’s no stretch to say his defense alone guarantees some semblance of a major league career even if the bat never wakes up. Curt Casali (Vanderbilt) was very impressive in limited duty with the Commodores last season. Casali also has the upside potential of a prep player from the northeast (Connecticut) who hasn’t had as much time as a player from a sunnier locale to hone his craft. Given regular at bats, Casali could really break out this season.

Morris arrived at Auburn as a player with serious raw power, but significant issues with other aspects of his game (defense, swing mechanics, and overall athleticism) hurt his prospect stock. His big freshman year (.351/.433/.597) put some of those concerns on the backburner for the time being – more proof that a big bat can take you a long, long way.

Colon is a shortstop by trade, but a dearth of quality second basemen made him flip across the diamond for the sake of this activity. Colon is a very steady ballplayer who profiles as at least a league average starting MLB middle infielder – we’re big fans of his combination of slightly above-average everything (speed, middle infielder pop, hands, range, plate discipline…the list goes on). Ross Wilson of Alabama and Josh Adams of Florida (currently playing 3B) are other second base prospects to watch. Colon has the best reputation of the three (highest draft pick out of high school), Adams has the best plate discipline and overall bat, and Wilson is the leader when it comes to power.

Sanchez’s freshmen year numbers are reminiscent of Evan Longoria’s…I’m not saying, I’m just saying. His solid defensive play has answered questions about his long-term position and his high school power potential quickly turned into collegiate power production, a great sign for a young player. I know we’ve talked a little too much about “approach” lately, but Sanchez’s really stands out. The third baseman from San Diego takes a professional mindset into every at bat and, as of this writing, is our number one college position player in the 2010 class.

Close readers of the comments section will recognize the name Derek Dietrich. The unsigned Houston Astros draftee  I’ve seen Dietrich play in person more than once (and I looooove to name drop!) and his potential is readily apparent. He’s already a superior hitter to former second round pick and Georgia Tech third baseman Wes Hodges and even though he doesn’t look like a shortstop he exhibits many of the skills (mainly soft hands) that should allow him to start his pro career there. Dietrich also has a really cool helicopter finish to his swing that really needs to be seen. The other big shortstop to watch also has a Houston-area connection. Rice shortstop Rick Hague is a close second to Dietrich among 2010 middle infielders and, taking a look strictly at the numbers, it’s easy to see why they are a clear one-two atop the rankings (all stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube):

Career Statistics

Player Name Stat Type Bavg Obp Slg OPS G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HR 2B R RBI SB
Derek Dietrich College .332 .410 .592 1002 62 238 53 79 16 2 14 66 3 1 26 50 0.23 0.26 0.85 1.06 0.05
Rick Hague College .348 .408 .549 957 60 233 40 81 19 2 8 54 4 3 22 46 0.13 0.32 0.67 0.90 0.07
Josh Rutledge College .369 .429 .418 847 61 268 62 99 9 2 0 31 16 3 17 39 0.00 0.15 1.02 0.51 0.26

Josh Rutledge (Alabama) is third on our 2010 shortstop rankings, and, as you can see, is a different style of hitter than Dietrich and Hague.

Keyes and Eibner both had very promising freshmen campaigns. Another quick statistical comparison, if you’ll indulge me once more:

Career Statistics

Player Name Stat Type Bavg Obp Slg OPS G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HR 2B R RBI SB
Brett Eibner College .298 .405 .497 902 53 191 36 57 10 2 8 48 3 3 28 46 0.15 0.19 0.68 0.91 0.06
Kevin Keyes College .339 .409 .610 1019 34 59 13 20 2 1 4 10 2 1 4 24 0.12 0.06 0.38 0.29 0.06

What jumps out to me are the power numbers. Keyes had extra-base hits in 7 out of his 20 hits (35%). Eibner went for extra bases 20 times out of his 57 hits (also 35%). A quick look at top prospects shows that these ratios aren’t all that high for elite bats…though they are both better than Matt Wieters’ freshman year extra-base hit to total hit ratio, whatever that’s worth (not much). Keyes is a monster physically (6-4, 225), with huge raw power, and a fantastic throwing arm. Eibner is similarly talented – big raw power with a throwing arm befitting a part-time pitcher. However, Keyes’ raw tools blow away those of any other position player on the list, Eibner included. Will he be able to use those tools to build something pretty?

Presley is my big out of leftfield upside play out of all of the position players. Presley only got 10 at bats last season, but he was a prime recruit out of high school who, 10 at bats or not, hasn’t lost that lightning quick bat speed that made him such a wanted recruit in the first place. He’s one to watch closely in 2009.

One last note on these outfielders worth mentioning. Eibner is another unsigned Astros draft pick, by the way. He was taken one round after the failed Dietrich pick…

RHP – Matt Harvey (North Carolina)
RHP – Barrett Loux (Texas A&M)
RHP – Brandon Workman (Texas)

The pitching on this list is pretty sick, is it not? I count twelve (twelve!) potential first round arms coming out of the college ranks at this point. The usual caveats about both the nature of forecasting a draft over a year away and pitching prospects in general apply, but the 2010 class looks to have a very intriguing sampling of high upside pitching with a little bit of something for any scouting director’s taste.

Matt Harvey is the early frontrunner to be the top overall pick in 2010, so, yeah, he’s a good one. Harvey has great size (6-4, 200), a plus fastball (93-98 MPH), a well above-average curve (plus potential), and a plus change. Loux also has great size (6-5, 200) with a heavy heater that should generate both swings and misses and groundballs. Workman was an unsigned draft pick of the World Champion Phillies who has both a plus fastball and a plus curve, but still needs to work on fine tuning his mechanics.

Other first round caliber arms include Anthony Ranaudo (Louisiana State), Justin Grimm (Georgia), Kyle Blair (San Diego), Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech), Nick Tepesch (Missouri), and Evan Danieli (Notre Dame). It’s hard to pick favorites out of that group, but we’re especially big fans of Blair, Grimm, and McGuire at this point.

LHP – Chris Hernandez (Miami)
LHP – Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi)
LHP – Sammy Solis (San Diego)
LHP – Scott Alexander (Pepperdine)

Last statistical comparison of the day, I promise. Four potential first round college lefties:

Career Statistics

Player Name Stat Type W L ERA G GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 WHIP
Drew Pomeranz College 4 3 4.16 17 11 0 0 0 71 76 41 33 10 30 81 7 9.59 1.26 3.79 10.22 1.49
Chris Hernandez College 11 0 2.72 18 17 0 0 0 113 92 37 34 4 18 117 10 7.35 0.32 1.44 9.35 0.98
Sammy Solis College 3 1 3.83 17 7 0 0 0 49 52 28 21 2 12 42 3 9.49 0.36 2.19 7.66 1.30
Scott Alexander College 7 4 4.95 16 11 0 0 0 73 62 45 40 4 56 46 9 7.68 0.50 6.94 5.70 1.62

Hernandez’s numbers were far and away the best of the four, but he’ll have to overcome the stigma of being a pitchability guy without the ceiling of an ace dominating overmatched amateurs. Pomeranz has strikeout stuff (two plus pitches – fastball/breaking ball), but his control was a major issue his freshman season. Pomeranz was also prone to the longball, but it remains to be seen whether or not that is something tied to his scouting profile or just statistical noise. Solis will be replace Brian Matusz as San Diego’s stud lefthanded pitcher; it’s hard not to appreciate his very solid four-pitch mix. Scott Alexander is the wildcard of the bunch, a guy with electric stuff but no idea where it’s headed once it leaves his hand.



  1. Joshua B. says:

    Both Dietrich and Brett Eibner! Why Astros? Why!

  2. rfozga says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m just now getting over the sting of losing Workman to UT…there’s just something about the ones who get away, you know?

  3. Joshua B. says:

    Well the worst part of that 2007 draft was that Houston had already lost their first two picks for signing type A’s Carlos Lee, and Woody Williams. Then they fail to sign their next two in Dietrich, and Eibner. Which makes the draft a wash, especially since Colin DeLome hasn’t become anything special either.

    Does this list include draft-eligible sophmores?

  4. rfozga says:

    The list is non-eligible sophs only – they are all 2010 guys. Draft-eligible sophomores should be up later tonight.

    Chad Jones (LSU) and Chad Bettis (Texas Tech) are other players that got away from Houston that year. That 2007 Astros draft was really something – it seems like it has the chance to go down as one of the worst, if not the worst, ever. I haven’t done enough homework to really say one way or another, but I tend to doubt it’s all that common to have a draft that produces literally no big league players. Looking at this list…

    …it’s difficult to envision any of Houston’s signed picks ever having meaningful big league careers. Ouch.

  5. […] the most mysterious and overlooked group of them all? The best college players available in 2010 and 2011 were also given the corny “All _____ Team treatment. We couldn’t ignore the […]

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