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2010 MLB Draft – First Round Names To (Probably) Know

Guessing the 32 names expected to go in the first round two and a half months in advance probably isn’t an activity that makes a whole lot of sense, but, hey, why start making sense now?

Last year I threw out 30 names that I thought would be first rounders in 2009. Remember that? Good times. I hit on a whopping 17 of them. I’m not sure what the success rate should be, but I get the feeling that 17 of 30 isn’t particularly good. The players I had in the first round who weren’t first rounders in the end included Tyler Skaggs, Tanner Scheppers, Luke Bailey, Austin Maddox, Rich Poythress, James Paxton, DJ LeMahieu, Kentrail Davis, Trent Stevenson, Alex Wilson, Ryan Berry, Andy Oliver, and Jason Stoffel. The majority of those misses make me feel like a real dope in hindsight.

Poythress, LeMahieu, and Davis were all non-elite college bats that I pushed up the draft board in large part to being near the best of a weak college crop of hitters. Lesson #1: Teams will let the draft board come to them early on rather than reach for the better players at the draft’s weakest positions. Stevenson (hopped on his bandwagon after reading a lot of positive early season buzz), Wilson (another early season helium guy and the reason I was too scared to put Barret Loux on the list), Berry (really liked his glasses), Oliver (didn’t really like him, but succumbed to peer pressure), and Stoffel (figured big league teams would reach on a reliever in the late first) were all part of my pitching misses.

Skaggs, Scheppers, Bailey, Maddox, and Paxton aren’t misses I’m too stressed out about for a variety of reasons, mostly because I think they are all darn good prospects that are better than some of the players taken in the first round. Yes, I think quite highly of myself, why do you ask? Skaggs’s prospect stock was hurt by a better than usual lefthanded pitching crop, Scheppers and Bailey both had major injury concerns, Maddox fell at least partly because of signability concerns, and Paxton’s stock shot up late in the draft season, but never made it quite high enough to get into the first.

Enough about 2009, let’s see if we can do better here in 2010. First up, the best of the best. I’d call them locks if I had more of a backbone, but will instead hide behind the quotes. “Locks” it is.

2010 MLB Draft First Round “Locks”

C – Bryce Harper

1B –

2B –

SS – Christian Colon, Manny Machado, Yordy Cabrera

3B – Zack Cox, Nick Castellanos

CF –

OF – Bryce Brentz, Austin Wilson

RHP – Deck McGuire, Jesse Hahn, Anthony Ranaudo, Jameson Taillon, AJ Cole, Karsten Whitson, Dylan Covey

LHP – Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale

I originally wanted to leave it at the locks and call it a day, but what’s the harm in stretching this out to attach 32 names to the 32 first round spots? My next set of guesses includes the following names:

SS Justin O’Conner, CF Chevy Clarke, OF Josh Sale, RHP Stetson Allie, RHP DeAndre Smelter, RHP Kaleb Cowart, RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Brandon Workman, RHP Alex Wimmers, and LHP James Paxton

17 “locks” plus the 11 new names brings us to 28 potential first rounders so far. Four more to go. Hmm. Let’s see what four names we can pull out of the old magic hat here…

College Catcher, C Stefan Sabol, CF Angelo Gumbs, RHP Cam Bedrosian

Wouldn’t it be weird if there was a draft-eligible player by the name College Catcher? It would be like my favorite player in the non-Jordan licensed NBA Live 97, Roster Player. To add to the realism, I’d always look at the R.Player in the lineup and just pretend his first name was Reggie. Anyway, College Catcher isn’t actually a real person, but if he was real than I’d mentally change his name to Charlie Catcher whenever I’d see C.Catcher in the lineup. So who will be the 2010 draft’s Charlie Catcher? Odds are good that at least one of the two big college catchers from the junior class will go in this year’s first, I think. That’s why I wimped out and hedged my bets by reserving a first round spot for “college catcher of your choosing.” Feel free to pencil in Miami’s Yasmani Grandal and/or LSU’s Micah Gibbs if that’s the direction you see things going this June. Contrarian that I am, my pick isn’t one of the two junior catchers but rather UC Riverside’s sophomore draft-eligible backstop Rob Brantly. What a twist!

Sabol is a favorite due to his strong bat and great athleticism, but I’m reminded of my fondness of Austin Maddox last year and I get a little gun-shy. Sabol is a much better athlete and runner, but the two share enough similarities with the bat to give me pause. Gumbs gets a mention for two reasons. First, and I’ll be as succinct here as possible, all five tools are first round quality. Easy enough. The second reason I’m sticking here is my belief he fits the mold of the type of player the Phillies could target at pick 27. Then again, Philadelphia’s front office recently came out and specifically mentioned third base and catcher as positions of organizational need that will be addressed this June. Bedrosian’s long been a favorite, so might as well stick with him.

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2010 Draft-Eligible Pitching: Groundout Percentage

The week ahead is wide open, so let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see. I’m currently working on a couple of high school position rankings, more college stuff (mostly position lists by conference), an updated big board, and a brand spanking new mock draft. With so much half-finished content staring me in the face, I’m happy to put something on hold to do something new and exciting as a change of pace, so if there is anything new and exciting you want to see, please let me know and I’ll make it happen.

Because I hate posts that don’t have much to do with baseball, how about a little content? The title says it all, except for the brief and wondrous snippets of 2011 draft-eligible players included (both 2011s would be second on their lists, by the way). The data I have doesn’t include every pitcher in college baseball, but rather a sampling of some of the biggest names…I’m only one man, after all. Like last time, if you have a player you are curious about, let me know.

Highest Percentage of Groundball Outs

1) North Carolina JR RHP Matt Harvey

2) Texas Tech JR RHP Chad Bettis

3) Florida Gulf Coast JR LHP Chris Sale

HM) 2011 draft-eligible Texas SO RHP Taylor Jungmann

Lowest Percentage of Groundball Outs

1) San Diego SR RHP AJ Griffin

2) San Diego JR RHP Kyle Blair

3) LSU JR RHP Austin Ross

HM) Cal State Fullerton SO RHP Tyler Pill

2010 MLB Draft: Pac-10 Shortstops

It’s purely coincidental that the first three conferences I’ve looked at have exactly four potential draft picks who play shortstop apiece. Weird. The order of these four really could be picked out of a hat and look about as good as what I’ve got here; we’re talking about a group of tightly bunched, similarly talented future utility guys, so I guess it makes sense that they are so close. Let’s see who is worth knowing in the Pac-10…

Stanford JR SS Jake Schlander
Height, Weight: 6-2, 195

FR – .232/.307/.256 (24 BB/41 K; 3-3 SB)
SO – .232/.288/.324 (16 BB/41 K; 3-4 SB)
JR – .283/.420/.472 (12 BB/7 K; 1-1 SB)

Jake Schlander can really pick it at shortstop, but his inability to make consistent contact, hit for power, and get on base regularly through his first two college seasons has put a damper on his pro prospects. He’s started since day one at Stanford, putting up lines of .232/.307/.256 and .232/.285/.324 in his freshman and sophomore year. Those are stunningly bad numbers. However, as mentioned, Schlander can really pick it at shortstop. I mean, he can really, really pick it. Plus range, flawless hands, strong arm; defensively, Schlander has it all. His defense is so good that I felt comfortable predicting that he’d be on draft boards back when his offensive numbers were, and I say this with all due respect, straight up horrible. One month into the college season Schlander’s bat has show such unexpected signs of life that it may be time to start recalibrating his final draft position’s ceiling. Before the season I wrote this: “Expect a forward thinking front office, maybe Seattle or Boston, to pop Schlander late (round 35+) against all offensive odds.” If the offensive gains can be maintained, Schlander could see his draft stock jump up 20 rounds. Too drastic a reaction to a small sample of early season plate appearances? Perhaps, but I’m alright with jumping the gun a bit when the tools are there to justify it.

Washington State JR SS Shea Vucinich
Height, Weight: 6-0, 183

FR – .316/.357/.440 (8 BB/34 K; 2-5 SB)
SO – .230/.341/.377 (27 BB/41 K; 8-10 SB)
JR – .358/.460/.604 (6 BB/13 K; 3-4 SB)

Reports on Vucinich’s defense vary depending on the day, but most seem to agree his upside with the glove is significant. I’ve even heard some evaluators touting him as a potential plus defender up the middle. He also has shown good power potential throughout his career with the Cougars. That’s the good news. The less good news is centered around Vucinich’s aggressive approach at the plate. His free swinging ways help explain some of power output (swing hard at anything around the plate and sometimes the ball goes very far), but it’s also gotten him in trouble in the past. Something about his skill set had me really curious about locking down some worthwhile comps. Best two I came up with are former Padres starting SS/2B Damian Jackson (44th rounder) and current Red Sox minor leaguer Tug Hulett (14th rounder). It wouldn’t surprise me to see Vucinich split the difference between the two, both in eventual draft landing spot and pro career accomplishments.

Arizona JR SS Bryce Ortega
Height, Weight: 5-11, 175
Birth Date: 9/22/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .326/.409/.429 (25 BB/24 K; 13-15 SB)
SO – .324/.420/.438 (31 BB/32 K; 16-18 SB)
JR – .258/.390/.274 (11 BB/4 K; 9-9 SB)

Ortega put up very consistent numbers in his first two full seasons at Arizona, but has taken a step backwards in the power department in the early going of 2010. As a matter of fact, he’s the only one of the four players listed who has experienced a decline in his performance so far in 2010. The most commonly cited reason for Ortega’s early season struggles relate back to his transition from shortstop (a position he is more than capable of playing, for the record) to second base; not sure I buy it, but it’s a thought. Strong base running and good patience have long been the bedrocks of his offensive game, so it’s good to see those areas remain consistent despite his 2010 contact and power deficiencies. Patience at the plate, a two-year track record of pop (2010 be damned), excellent base running instincts, and a versatile glove fit the potential utility infielder mold pretty well, don’t you think?

UCLA JR SS Niko Gallego
Height, Weight: 5-11, 180
Birth Date: 12/29/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .317/.378/.415 (2 BB/7 K; 1-2 SB)
SO – .273/.361/.326 (16 BB/34 K; 6-10 SB)
JR – .305/.411/.542 (8 BB/8 K; 5-5 SB)

Gallego didn’t do much to impress in his first two years with the Bruins, but experience in two quality wood bat summer leagues (Northwoods League and Cape Cod League) and pro baseball bloodlines (father Mike had almost 3,000 big league at bats) make him a good bet to hear his name called on draft day. The quality start in 2010 certainly doesn’t hurt his prospect stock, but, again, his pro future maxes out at utility player. He doesn’t quite have dear old dad’s glove, but may have more upside in his bat than the .239/.320/.328 career line put up by his father. Speaking of comparisons to Mike Gallego, enjoy this quote from former Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy on comparing Gallego the senior to Dustin Pedroia:

I’ve been trying to figure it out and I can’t. Mike Gallego is a good friend of mine and I used to tell him that he reminded me of Gags. That used to piss Pedroia off. He would say ‘Mike [expletive] Gallego, are you [expletive] me?’ and he would say that all the way back when he was a freshman. Can you imagine a freshman in college baseball reacting like that when you’re comparing him to a Major Leaguer…but that’s exactly the way Pedro is.

2010 MLB Draft: Big 12 Shortstops

I’m digging these quick looks at different 2010 MLB Draft position groups, so let’s keep it going with a look at the handful of Big 12 draft-eligible shortstops of note. I think this group is actually a touch better on the whole than the ACC quartet, but I’m probably splitting hairs with that assessment considering the most probable career path of the eight players listed so far would be considered under the umbrella category of “utility player of varying value.” Speaking of the ACC list from yesterday, a comp for one of the players on the list came to mind last night: Tim Smalling as the college version of Tampa’s Reid Brignac. Bit of a stretch, perhaps, but there are some similar tool-based similarities between the two. Just a thought.

Texas A&M JR SS Kenny Jackson
Height, Weight: 6-4, 195
Birth Date: 7/2/89 (Age-20 season)

JR – .421/.511/.447 (7 BB/4 K; 1-1 SB)

The former Alvin College shortstop reminds me of current Cardinals starter Brendan Ryan. Both players are smooth defenders, possess strong arms, bigger than usual shortstop frames, and enough offensive skills and defensive consistency to provide value as a starter. Jackson hasn’t put up big power numbers in 2010, but showed off enough pop prior to joining the Aggies to have some observers (myself included) buy in to his double digit home run potential as a professional. Like the vast majority of the college shortstops on this list, Jackson’s clearest path to the big leagues will be as a utility player with a strong glove. Unlike so many of the others, however, Jackson has clear starter upside at the position if he continue to tap into his above-average tools.

Kansas State JR SS Carter Jurica
Height, Weight: 5-11, 185
Birth Date: 9/23/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .240/.329/.360 (15 BB/23 K; 9-14 SB)
SO – .353/.437/.492 (26 BB/45 K; 23-32 SB)
JR – .432/.495/.662 (11 BB/9 K; 10-13 SB)

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. The raw tools are there for Jurica to succeed professionally, but it’ll take a team buying in to his long-range projection if he wants to sneak up into the top ten rounds this June.

Kansas JR SS Brandon Macias
Height, Weight: 5-10, 183
Birth Date: 10/10/88 (Age-21 season)

JR – .213/.261/.262 (3 BB/10 K; 0-0 SB)

There is certainly an argument that could be made for Macias to sit atop this particular shortstop list, what with his excellent defensive tools and true plus arm strength and accuracy, but the early season struggles of the former Arizona State enrollee and South Mountain CC shortstop give me pause. Macias has received universal praise for his outstanding work ethic and love of the game, and his big first year playing for South Mountain (in a wood bat league, no less) had scouts thinking they were watching a future everyday shortstop in the making. A disappointing sophomore season chock full of struggles due in large part to a nagging hamstring injury took him off the radar to some degree, but, despite the down year, Macias showed off enough evidence that he’s a player with all five tools (in addition to the aforementioned defensive gifts, Macias has above-average speed and good gap power) present in his game. Kansas has a surprisingly rich recent history of shortstops drafted into the professional ranks, a factor that can only help Macias this June. Many talent evaluators look for programs that have coaching staffs with reputations coaching up certain positions or player types; in this way, Kansas’ strong track record developing up the middle types could be Macias’ gain this June.

Texas Tech SR SS Joey Kenworthy
Height, Weight: 5-5, 160
Birth Date: 6/6/88 (Age-22 season)

FR – .182/.262/.255 (4 BB/6 K; 1-1 SB)
SO – .313/.431/.411 (39 BB/20 K; 5-6 SB)
JR – .335/.363/.417 (12 BB/24 K; 5-7 SB)
SR – .303/.444/.461 (14 BB/8 K; 3-6 SB)

No, Kenworthy isn’t the water boy, scorekeeper, or equipment manager, thanks so much for asking. Opposing fans do a double take when the 5-5, 160 pound Kenworthy steps up to the plate for the first time, but his solid defense and not completely worthless bat (how’s that for a ringing endorsement?) typically give him the last laugh. I wonder if Kenworthy’s draft stock would have been higher if he was a senior coming out of school at the height of post-World Series Angels victory induced David Eckstein craze of a few years ago. As it stands, his draft prospects are touch and go, but a continuation of his improved senior year numbers might be enough to sneak him into the last few rounds this year.

2010 MLB Draft: ACC Shortstops

I’ve started to make some prospect rankings lists, but am realizing that there are some really tight competitions in certain conferences and position groups. Last night I was rolling along as I put together a list of the best 2010 draft eligible position players in the ACC until I hit a roadblock at around the tenth spot. There were four shortstops on my shortlist that hadn’t been included, so I figured, hey, why not tease that ranking out a bit to see how the four players ranked head to head to head to head?

Virginia Tech JR SS Tim Smalling
Height, Weight: 6-3, 207
Birth Date: 10/14/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .288/.389/.397 (21 BB/27 K; 1-4 SB)
SO – .250/.309/.442 (17 BB/61 K; 6-8 SB)
JR – (transferred in from Arkansas; sat out 2009 season)
rJR – .436/.482/.667 (5 BB/7 K; 2-3 SB)

Smalling is, perhaps somewhat ironically, the biggest of the four shortstops on our list. It’s ironic because his name has “small” in it. Clever observation, right? Anyway, that size (6-3, 207) and a strong arm make him look like a player capable of playing third professionally, but his skill set is still far better suited for shortstop. Good footwork and soft hands should keep him up the middle going forward, but that aforementioned potential for defensive versatility should help him in his cause for playing time at the next level. It may be a little strange to see a player like Smalling, a guy with a reputation as being more than a little hacktastic, atop this list, but his combined hit/power tools top that of any other draft-eligible middle infielder in the conference. Admittedly, Smalling’s plate discipline doesn’t look all that promising when judging solely by the numbers above, but scouts have given him high grades in his pitch recognition so far in 2010. He’s done a much better job at laying off balls he knows he can’t do much with (note the drop of strikeouts so far) and hammering pitches in his happy fun-time hitting zone (hard to argue with his power indicators thus far). Smalling’s total package of above-average offensive and defensive skills could get him into the top 5 rounds this June.

Duke JR SS Jake Lemmerman
Height, Weight: 6-2, 185
Birth Date: 5/4/89 (Age-21 season)

FR – .283/.353/.373 (15 BB/24 K; 5-7 SB)
SO – .287/.355/.448 (20 BB/32 K; 13-16 SB)
JR – .293/.391/.520 (11 BB/14 K; 4-5 SB)

Lemmerman, the youngest and best defensive player of our quartet, is a good runner (22-28 career SB) with enough untapped potential with the bat to legitimately claim an everyday role professionally someday. Lemmerman is already a plus defender with quick hands, above-average range, and an uncanny knack for turning the double play. If his strong offensive start to 2010 is for real, as many believe, he could hear his name called anywhere between rounds 5 through 8 on draft day. The renewed interest in defense should help Lemmerman as much as just about any player in this year’s college class.

Virginia SR SS Tyler Cannon
Height, Weight: 6-0, 205
Birth Date: 8/30/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .279/.350/.354 (20 BB/46 K; 8-12 SB)
SO – .252/.324/.345 (23 BB/45 K; 14-17 SB)
JR – .351/.451/.489 (35 BB/41 K; 17-19 SB)
SR – .368/.442/.566 (10 BB/12 K; 0-2 SB)

Cannon is solid in all phases of the game, but lacks fluidity on defense at any one given position. Between his lack of a true defensive home and his steady, but unspectacular bat, he has many believing his professional role will be that of a super-sub capable of playing literally every position on the diamond, including catcher. I’ve compared him to current big league utility infielder Eric Bruntlett (who hit .342/.463/.485 with more walks than strikeouts for Stanford in his third and final year as a college player) in the past, a resemblance many first think of as an insult, but one I consider to be a compliment. Cannon is a proven versatile defender at the college level who, as previously mentioned, doesn’t really have any glaring deficiencies in his tool set, minus a lack of long ball power.

It seems that the majority of area scouts like Cannon better than I do, so it really wouldn’t be a shock to see Cannon go first out of the players listed. I’ll stick to my guns and insist on liking the guys listed above due largely to their greater probability of sticking at shortstop professionally, but I can see how Cannon would be a player who would grow on you with repeated viewings. After all, my “insulting” comp Bruntlett went in the 9th round back in 2000. That seems like the area of the draft that Cannon’s final projection will likely be in June.

Florida State SR SS Stephen Cardullo
Height, Weight: 6-0, 200
Birth Date: 8/31/87 (Age-22 season)

FR – .273/.308/.545 (1 BB/2 K; 0-0 SB; limited at bats)
SO – .387/.473/.613 (11 BB/14 K; 2-3 SB; limited at bats)
JR – .376/.476/.612 (45 BB/46 K; 20-24 SB)
SR – .324/.449/.437 (13 BB/13 K; 5-5 SB)

Cardullo’s defense is arguably the weakest of this bunch, but his junior year numbers are simply too wonderful to be ignored. Those numbers are made all the more impressive when you consider Cardullo started with Florida state as a walk-on who only earned 73 at bats through the end of sophomore year. The junior year breakout came completely out of nowhere, but Cardullo has managed to maintain some of the gains (largely those made in his mature, discipline approach at the plate) while still showing just enough of the gap power to keep scouts believing he has enough pop to spend a 15th to 20th round pick on him. I liken him to a less acclaimed version of former teammate Tony Delmonico, 2008 6th round pick of the Dodgers. Delmonico has seen time behind the plate and on the right side of the infield in the minors so far, a path that could be the best hope for Cardullo (who already has some college experience at both first and second) to follow if he wants to someday crack a big league roster. Without sounding too much like a broken record, defensive value through versatility will be a large part of what gets any of the above players to the big leagues. Steady defense at all five defensive spots + professional approach taken to every at bat + gap power + average speed = potential big league utility player.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – SEC Edition

Running out of steam/time on these, but figured the SEC is too big of a deal to skip out on. We’re already at Week 5 of the college baseball season, but let’s take one last look at Week 4 before this information gets any more out of date and useless.

Florida

Friday: SS Nolan Fontana (Florida): 2-4
Friday: FR 1B Austin Maddox (Florida): 2-4, 2B, 2 R
Friday: FR C Mike Zunino (Florida): 3-3, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Friday: SO LHP Alex Panteliodis (Florida): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K
Saturday: SR CF Matt den Dekker (Florida): 2-5, 3B, BB, RBI, 3 R, 2 K
Saturday: SO 1B Preston Tucker (Florida): 3-6, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: FR DH Austin Maddox (Florida): 4-6, 2 R, K
Saturday: FR SS Nolan Fontana (Florida): 0-1, 3 BB, SB, 2 R
Saturday: SR OF Jonathan Pigott (Florida): 1-2, BB, SB, 2 RBI, R, K
Sunday: JR 2B Josh Adams (Florida): 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, SB
Sunday: SO LHRP Nick Maronde (Florida): 1.1 IP 1 H 2 ER 4 BB 1 K
Sunday: SO RHP Tommy Toledo (Florida): 3 IP 5 H 4 ER 2 BB 3 K
Sunday: FR LHP Steven Rodriguez (Florida): 4 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 2 K

Fontana, den Dekker, Tucker, Maddox, Adams, Zunino, Tyler Thompson, Bryson Smith, and Kamm Washington. How’s that for a college starting nine? I may be wildly overrating the latest crop of amateur draft talent (something I’m wont to do), but that’s a core of position players that I wouldn’t mind having as favorite team’s minor league system’s hitting talent base. Could be six starting caliber players in that group.

Louisiana State

Friday: SR 1B Blake Dean (LSU): 3-5, HR, RBI, R
Friday: SO RHP Joey Bourgeois (LSU): 1.2 IP 5 H 6 ER 3 BB 0 K
Saturday: SR 1B Blake Dean (LSU): 3-3, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBI, R
Saturday: SO OF Mikie Mahtook (LSU): 3-4, SB, R
Saturday: JR RHP Austin Ross (LSU): 6.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 6 K
Saturday: SO RHP Matty Ott (LSU): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K

Will Blake Dean hit enough to be an everyday first baseman professionally? Does Matty Ott have the stuff to get an honest crack at a big league closer job someday? Can Mikie Mahtook put it all together to head into his draft year as a potential top-ten guy, as perhaps his talent suggests? Can somebody else answer these questions for me because I honestly have no idea how to end this thought?

Auburn

Friday: SO SS Casey McElroy (Auburn): 3-3, BB, 2 RBI, R
Saturday: JR 1B Hunter Morris (Auburn): 2-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR LHP Cole Nelson (Auburn): 2.1 IP 4 H 6 ER 4 BB 3 K

Hunter Morris has put up good numbers so far, but he’s done it while hacking away at anything and everything remotely in the strike zone. That’s cool when you are hitting over .400 and slugging over .600, but becomes a problem when the inevitable decline in batting average comes.

Mississippi

Friday: JR LHP Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi): 6.1 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 12 K
Friday: FR RHP Brett Huber (Mississippi): 4.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K
Saturday: SR 3B Zach Miller (Mississippi): 1-2, 2B, 2 BB, 2 R, K
Saturday: SO C Taylor Hightower (Mississippi): 3-4, R
Saturday: SR RHP Aaron Barrett (Mississippi): 6.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 4 BB 9 K
Sunday: JR OF Matt Smith (Mississippi): 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO C Taylor Hightower (Mississippi): 3-4, RBI, 2 R, K
Sunday: SO RHRP David Goforth (Mississippi): 2.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K

Pomeranz had what is quickly becoming known as a Pomeranzian start for him. Quickly known to me, at least. Huber, Barrett, and Goforth all have mid-90s fastballs and breaking balls that, at worst, flash plus. Huber probably has the most advanced breaking ball of the group, a true plus slider. Hightower is a solid 2011 backstop to watch for his defense alone; if he keeps hitting like this, watch out.

Arkansas

Friday: SO 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas): 3-6, 3 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO C James McCann (Arkansas): 2-4, HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SR RHP Mike Bolsinger (Arkansas): 5.1 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 4 K
Saturday: SO 3B Zack Cox (Arkansas): 2-4, BB, R
Saturday: JR 1B Andy Wilkins (Arkansas): 1-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, R, K
Saturday: SO LHP Drew Smyly (Arkansas): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 11 K
Saturday: FR RHP DJ Baxendale (Arkansas): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Sunday: JR RHP Brett Eibner (Arkansas): 3.2 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K

Seems to be a larger than normal number of sinker-slider pitchers in this year’s college class, although I may be misremembering the talent breakdown in previous years. Anyway, Bolsinger throws a high-80s fastball (muscled up to 93 when necessary) and an above-average, occasionally plus slider. He could slip into the back end of the top ten rounds as a solid senior sign.

Alabama

Friday: SO OF Tyler Dugas (Alabama): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, R
Friday: SR 1B Clay Jones (Alabama): 2-3, 3B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR 2B Ross Wilson (Alabama) and JR SS Josh Rutledge (Alabama) combined to go 3-10, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO LHP Adam Morgan (Alabama): 6 IP 6 H 3 ER 6 BB 2 K
Friday: SO RHP Tyler White (Alabama): 2.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K (5 GO/0 AO)
Saturday: JR RHP Jimmy Nelson (Alabama): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 4 BB 7 K
Saturday: JR 2B Ross Wilson (Alabama): 3-6, 2 HR, 2 BB, 7 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: FR LHP Taylor Wolfe (Alabama): 6 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K
Sunday: SO OF Tyler Dugas (Alabama): 2-3, BB, R
Sunday: JR SS Josh Rutledge (Alabama): 2-3, SB BB, R

Juniors Wilson and Rutledge get all the love, but Tyler Dugas and Clay Jones are two other Alabama hitters worth remembering. Dugas has an excellent idea of the strike zone and good speed, and Jones aptly combines above-average present power, good plate discipline, and solid defense. White is a draft-eligible sophomore with a good sinking low-90s fastball and an above-average big league curveball. Nelson’s stuff grades out as similar to Mike Bolsinger (listed above), but a notch better in almost all areas.

Vanderbilt

Friday: SO RHP Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt): 8 IP 6 H 3 ER 3 BB 5 K
Friday: SR SS Brian Harris (Vanderbilt): 3-4, 3B, 4 RBI, R
Friday: SO OF Aaron Westlake (Vanderbilt): 3-3, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR RHP Taylor Hill (Vanderbilt): 6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 2 BB 7 K
Saturday: SR RHP Drew Hayes (Vanderbilt): 1.2 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Saturday: FR OF Connor Harrell (Vanderbilt): 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 3B Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt): 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
Sunday: SO RHP Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt): 6.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 4 K

Drew Hayes may have the best fastball velocity out of any college senior. That’s just off the top of my head, so it’s somewhere between probable and extremely likely that I’m forgetting someone. Connor Harrell is a five-tool talent already tapping into his immense potential.

Kentucky

Friday: SR 2B Gunner Glad (Kentucky): 2-2, HR, 2 BB, RBI, 3 R
Friday: SR CF Keenan Wiley (Kentucky): 1-1, HR, 2 BB, 3 SB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR LHP Logan Darnell (Kentucky): 8 IP 5 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K
Saturday: FR LHP Taylor Rogers (Kentucky): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K
Saturday: SO OF Chad Wright (Kentucky): 3-5, SB, 3 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO OF Cory Farris (Kentucky): 2-4, HR, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO OF Chad Wright (Kentucky): 4-4, SB, RBI, R
Sunday: SO OF Cory Farris (Kentucky): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO RHP Alex Meyer (Kentucky): 5 IP 4 H 1 ER 4 BB 4 K

Glad and Wiley are a solid set of redshirt seniors, a subsection of prospect that doesn’t normally produce any kind of worthwhile talent. I’m not saying either Glad or Wiley will be taken in the top half of the draft, but they are better than the average fifth year college player. Beyond those two, I really do love this Kentucky team from a prospect standpoint, especially the pitching staff. They are almost as loaded as the basketball team. Alex Meyer = John Wall (young star with impact pro potential); Logan Darnell = Patrick Patterson (glue guy capable of filling many key roles on a winning team); Taylor Rogers = Eric Bledsoe (above-average performance as freshman with above-average skills); James Paxton = DeMarcus Cousins (not a great fit, but I love watching both guys play and would love to see either on my favorite pro team at this time next year).

Mississippi State

Friday: SR 1B Connor Powers (Mississippi State): 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, K plus raw power; too many K’s; bat isn’t all that fast; limited to first, but very good there; 6-2, 228 pounds
Friday: SO LHP Nick Routt (Mississippi State): 1.1 IP 7 H 8 ER 2 BB 2 K plus CU
Saturday: SR 1B Connor Powers (Mississippi State): 2-4, 2B, K
Saturday: FR RHP/SS Chris Stratton (Mississippi State): 5.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 6 K 92 peak FB; quality breaking ball; emerging CU
Sunday: SO RHP Devin Jones (Mississippi State): 4.1 IP 7 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K low-90s FB, peaking at 93; 87-88 two-seamer with great sink; hard mid-80s SL could be plus pitch (82-84); CU is work in progress; 6-4, 180 pounds

Devin Jones is yet another quality sinker/slider guy with considerable upside. Powers is a college slugger that is better suited for his current role than he’ll ever be once he hits the pros.

Tennessee

Saturday: JR LHP Bryan Morgado (Tennessee): 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 3 BB 9 K
Sunday: SR RHP Stephen McCray (Tennessee): 4.1 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K 88-91, touched 93-94 with FB; SL, CB, CU; good command; good athlete; 6-3, 230 pounds

Did Tennessee really have that boring a weekend or was I just in a bad mood whenever I happened to look at their box scores?

Georgia

Friday: SO OF Peter Verdin (Georgia): 4-5, 2 HR, 2B, SB, 3 RBI, 4 R
Friday: SO RHP Michael Palazzone (Georgia): 5 IP 8 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: SO OF Johnathan Taylor (Georgia): 1-3, 3 BB, RBI, 3 R
Saturday: FR 1B/OF Robert Shipman (Georgia): 2-2, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: JR RHP Justin Grimm (Georgia): 2 IP 1 H 1 ER 2 BB 1 K
Saturday: SR LHP Alex McRee (Georgia): 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO OF Johnathan Taylor (Georgia): 1-1, 3 BB, RBI, R

Taylor may spell his name weirdly, but he’s a really interesting 2011 prospect all the same. He’s a leadoff hitter all the way (good patience, no power), but has enough in the way of speed (plus) and defense (crazy range in center) that he should have a career as a backup outfielder even if the bat doesn’t allow him to start. Grimm left his start early due to illness, by the way.

South Carolina

Saturday: SO OF Jackie Bradley (South Carolina): 3-6, BB, SB, RBI, R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR RHP Blake Cooper (South Carolina): 6 IP 2 H 2 ER 4 BB 6 K
Saturday: FR RHP Ethan Carter (South Carolina): 2 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K
Saturday: JR RHP Sam Dyson (South Carolina): 4 IP 7 H 6 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: SR RHP Jay Brown (South Carolina): 4.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR C Kyle Enders (South Carolina): 3-5, BB, 4 RBI strong defender
Sunday: FR LHP Tyler Webb (South Carolina): 5.2 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 7 K

Bradley continues to impress, but Dyson’s dud is a tad worrisome. Late first round arm mixed with the consistency of a fifth rounder. Still not sure what to make of him.

2010 College Baseball Week Four – Big 12 Edition

Here we go again. This time, the Big 12 gets a shot. I’ll save you some time and just tell you this now – Taylor Jungmann is good. Hope that doesn’t ruin the surprise…

Texas

Friday: SO RHP Taylor Jungmann (Texas): 7.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 17 K
Saturday: SO SS Brandon Loy (Texas): 3-4, 2 2B, 3 SB, 2 BB, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Cole Green (Texas): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K
Saturday: JR RHP Brandon Workman (Texas): 6.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K
Sunday: FR OF Cohl Walla (Texas): 3-4, HR, SB, 5 RBI, R
Sunday: JR 1B Tant Shepherd (Texas): 3-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR LHP Hoby Milner (Texas): 4.1 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K

Clearly annoyed by all the early 2011 hype heaped upon Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, Taylor Jungmann had his say on Friday night. Cole’s 15 strikeout night looks downright puny in comparison and all that Rendon fella ever does is walk. What a bunch of amateurs. I, for one, welcome our new Longhorn overlord.

Kansas

Friday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Friday: JR RHP TJ Walz (Kansas): 6 IP 9 H 7 ER 1 BB 7 K
Friday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 2.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K
Saturday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 2-4, BB, R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K

I’ve mentioned Bochy before, but check out Bruce’s son’s season line so far: 9 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 19 K. Those numbers are even better than a typical Jungmann/Cole start! It’s getting easier and easier to envision Bochy cracking the top ten rounds as a potential quick moving power reliever. Walz is an underrated arm who is talented enough to start professionally.

Oklahoma

Friday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 3-3, 2B, HBP, 5 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO CF Chris Ellison (Oklahoma): 3-6, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Garrett Buechele (Oklahoma): 3-5, 3 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 1-3, HR, BB, RBI, R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Shore (Oklahoma): 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K
Sunday: SR RHP Jeremy Erben (Oklahoma): 4.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K

Cameron Seitzer is quickly becoming one of my favorite 2011 college bats; he’s the rare amateur prospect with a bat that could play at first base professionally. Buechele’s upside with the bat isn’t quite as high, but his ability to capably handle a more demanding defensive position earns him much needed brownie points.

Oklahoma State

Friday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 3-4, 2B, RBI, R
Friday: SR LHP Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 10 H 3 ER 0 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR 2B Davis Duren (Oklahoma State): 4-7, 2 2B, 2 BB, 3 SB, 4 RBI, 5 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR SS Tom Belza (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 1 RBI, 5 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF Dusty Harvard (Oklahoma State): 6-9, HR, SB, RBI, 3 R, K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 4-11, HR, 3B, 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R, 2 K
Saturday: JR LHP Thomas Keeling (Oklahoma State): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 6 BB 10 K
Saturday: FR LHP Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State): 7 IP 9 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K
Sunday: FR C Dane Phillips (Oklahoma State): 4-4, 2 2B, SB, 2 RBI, 4 R
Sunday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brad Propst (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 7 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

Big weekend for Cowboy prospects, right? Lyons, the biggest name of the bunch, certainly helped his cause with his stellar Friday night outing, but the best long-term names to follow did pretty well for themselves as well. 2011 prospect Mark Ginther keeps on hitting and 2012 prospect Andrew Heaney already possesses a fastball peaking at 92 MPH, plus changeup, good breaking ball, and advanced pitchability.

Missouri

Friday: JR C/3B Brett Nicholas (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, RBI
Friday: FR RHP/OF Eric Anderson (Missouri): 5 IP 10 H 6 ER 1 BB 6 K
Saturday: SR OF Aaron Senne (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Nick Tepesch (Missouri): 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K

Tepesch left his Saturday start early after getting nailed in the hip by a line drive in the first inning. As someone with a creaky hip myself, I can commiserate. Anderson is a really talented arm that could follow in the high round footsteps of the Tiger righthanders before him. Three good years would put him in a great position to take his low-90s fastball, plus changeup, and hard slider to the pros with Scherzer, Crow, Gibson, and, after the draft in June, Tepesch.

Baylor

Friday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 3-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR RHP Shawn Tolleson (Baylor): 5 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 9 K
Saturday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 4-5, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO RHP Logan Verrett (Baylor): 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR RHP Craig Fritsch (Baylor): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 3-3, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 2-3, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, R
Sunday: SR RHP Willie Kempf (Baylor): 5 IP 2 H 0 ER 5 BB 2 K

Muncy, Hainsfurther, and Vick are a big part of the core of Baylor’s next great offense. I’ve been especially impressed with Vick’s outstanding plate discipline at the top of the Bears lineup.

Kansas State

Friday: JR LHP Thomas Rooke (Kansas State): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: JR SS Carter Jurica (Kansas State): 5-9, HR, 2B, 2 BB, SB, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SO CF Nick Martini (Kansas State): 4-8, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SO LHP Kyle Hunter (Kansas State): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR 3B Adam Muenster (Kansas State): 3-3, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO RHP Justin Lindsey (Kansas State): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. Martini is another well-rounded player who squares up and hits balls as consistently hard as any other player in the conference. Lindsey is 2010 draft-eligible that gets by with a strong sinker/slider combination.

Texas Tech

Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Doran (Texas Tech): 5 IP 7 H 5 ER 1 BB 6 K
Sunday: JR RHP Chad Bettis (Texas Tech): 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K

Bettis’ groundout percentage dipped all the way to 76% after this week’s outing. Weak. I admire the Red Raiders for getting their best arms the most innings, but it may be time to get Doran back in the bullpen in some kind of stretched out swingman role for the rest of the season.

Texas A&M

Saturday: SO RHP Ross Stripling (Texas A&M): 5 IP 7 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 K
Saturday: FR RHP Michael Wacha (Texas A&M): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Saturday: JR 2B Andrew Collazo (Texas A&M): 4-5, SB, RBI
Sunday: SR OF Brodie Greene (Texas A&M): 2-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: SO RHP John Stilson (Texas A&M): 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP/OF Nick Fleece (Texas A&M): 2.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 0 BB 3 K

Collazo gets a mention here because he was a key member of last year’s ridiculous Howard College team that went 63-1. He’s also a plus defender at second with just enough offensive value to get himself drafted late, contingent on his 2010 performance. Stilson and Fleece both have late-inning reliever stuff. Their fastballs peak at 97 and 96, respectively. Wacha is another high profile arm with a big fastball and crazy 2010 production so far. He’s definitely a 2012 name to remember.

Nebraska

Saturday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 5-8, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF DJ Belfonte (Nebraska): 4-5, HR 2 BB, SB, 3 RBI, 3 R
Saturday: JR RHP Michael Mariot (Nebraska): 9 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Sunday: FR LHP Thomas Lemke (Nebraska): 6 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP Mike Nesseth (Nebraska): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K

Adam Bailey has the arm and raw tools with the bat to play right field professionally, but he’ll have to maintain the gains he has made in plate discipline if he wants to reach his ceiling. Mariot is a short righty with a good enough three pitch-mix to go within rounds 10-20 if he keeps it up.