I’ll have to sit down and really think about the overall college rankings after I finish, but a quick glance at the 1B list has me thinking there will be at least three college second basemen ahead of the top ranked first baseman Florida JR Preston Tucker. That speaks more to the strength of this year’s college second base class than the weakness of the first basemen. Michael, Wong, MacPhee, and Terry make a really strong quartet of prospects. After that first tier, you have another group that could produce a quality big league regular or two out of the trio of LaStella, Wright, and Medrano. From that point on the list is geared towards prospects with the ceiling of utility infielders. College second base prospects don’t exactly have the greatest of track records in professional ball, but I’m such a fan of this group that I’d be happy with my favorite team taking any of the top 15 prospects listed in the top 10 rounds. 42 college second basemen were taken in the 2010 draft; between this list and the honorable mention list, I’m at 44 (and with a severe lack of junior college guys on my rankings so far, for what it’s worth). Big year for college 2B, is what I’m saying…Not that the inexact science of such a ranking needs to be explicitly stated, but Wong was ahead of Michael on my personal list for the past three months…until last night when I decided to flip the two based on little more than good old fashioned intuition. The two prospects are amazingly close, at least in my eyes. I love Wong’s speed, hit tool, track record with wood, and damn fine present defense. Then there is Michael’s power, amazing freshman season at UNC after enrolling in January, and more impressive long-term defensive upside (something I know I may be in the minority in being a big fan of). This may be a super lame way of settling things, but, with scouting reports that have the two in more or less a dead heat, it may come down to which player performs better on the field in 2011. Novel approach, I know.
- North Carolina JR 2B Levi Michael
- Hawaii JR 2B Kolten Wong
- Arizona State JR 2B Zack MacPhee
- Cal State Fullerton JR 2B Joe Terry
- Coastal Carolina JR 2B Tommy LaStella
- Louisville JR 2B Ryan Wright
- Missouri State JR 2B Kevin Medrano
- McNeese State JR 2B Jace Peterson
- Cal Poly JR 2B Matt Jensen
- Florida International JR 2B Jeremy Patton
- Florida State JR 2B Sherman Johnson
- Virginia JR 2B Keith Werman
- Siena JR 2B Dan Paolini
- Florida International JR 2B Garrett Wittels
- Fresno State SR 2B Danny Muno
- Bowling Green JR 2B Jon Berti
- Marist JR 2B Joe Schwind
- North Carolina A&T JR 2B Marquis Riley
- Auburn SR 2B Dan Gamache
- Southern SR 2B Curtis Wilson
- Georgia Tech JR 2B Connor Winn
- Towson SR 2B Chris Wychock
- TCU SR 2B Jerome Pena
- Central Florida SR 2B Derek Luciano
- UT-San Antonio SR 2B Ryan Hutson (EDIT: previously listed with SS group)
- Michigan State SO 2B Ryan Jones
- Maryland JR 2B Ryan Holland
Oklahoma SR 2B Danny Black(EDIT: signed in 2010, my mistake)
- Minnesota SO 2B Matt Puhl
- Western Carolina JR 2B Ross Heffley
- Indian River State College SO 2B Corey Spangenberg
- Georgia JR 2B Levi Hyams
Michael is the real deal, regardless of where he plays. I think he could be a great SS, and word is that is where he will probably play for the Heels this year. We’ll see how he does.
I also like one of the kids on your Honorable Mention list, Levi Hyams. Can’t help but wonder what kind of numbers he might have put up at Georgia last year if he had any help.
I also think Michael has what it takes to stick at shortstop, but enough of the old industry standbys seems to believe otherwise. I’m really hoping to get a chance to see him live once or twice this year, but it’ll be interesting to see how the scouting reports from the actual experts evolve as the season progresses. It’s early, but he’s a first rounder in my book.
Hyams was one of the last few cuts from the list. He’s a really well balanced player with average or better speed, defense, arm strength, and athleticism. I also like the power he showed last year, but that plate discipline keeps me from endorsing him as anything more than a late round organizational guy. Could be a potential utility infielder, though that might be dependent on whether scouts think he can handle short in a pinch.
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In addition to the necessary physical skills required for a player to help a Major League Team (or any team for that matter)succeed, Jerome Pena has the confidence, determination and most of all enthusiasm to get the job done. During the College World Series last year he said after a particularly difficult game in which he hit a crutial home run, “I’m living my dream.” That’s the stuff solid players are made of.
Ryan Wright will be the best of the group. He works hard and has exceptional plate discipline. He can hit to all fields and could play a few other positions as well.