I realize I say something similar to the following every time a new list is published, but this time it is true: compiling the 2011 list of top college shortstop prospects took me longer than any other position so far. Here are a few players that didn’t make the cut, but are still interesting enough to follow during the 2011 season. I’d bet that only the seniors on this particular list will get serious draft consideration this June (and even then, we’re talking late round interest at best) while the juniors get their time in the sun in June of 2012. Despite the lack of potential pro talent, there are some excellent college players here that deserve notice.
Illinois JR SS Josh Parr
Missouri State JR SS Travis McComack
Florida Atlantic SR SS Nick DelGuidice
Bethune-Cookman JR SS Alejandro Sanchez
Liberty JR SS Matt Williams
Dartmouth JR SS Joe Sclafani
Wagner SR SS Brian Martutartus
Tennessee JR SS Zach Osborne
Maryland JR SS Alfredo Rodriguez
Cal State Fullerton SO SS Matt Orloff
UC Irvine JR SS DJ Crumlich
Ball State SR SS TJ Baumet
Kansas SR SS Brandon Macias
Radford JR SS Jeff Kemp
Utah SR SS Michael Beltran
Oregon State JR SS Carter Bell
UNLV SR SS Richie Jimenez
Kent State JR SS Jimmy Rider
BYU JR SS Austin Hall
Jacksonville State SR SS Blake Seguin
Western Kentucky JR SS Logan Robbins
Arkansas JR SS Tim Carver
UC Riverside SR SS Trevor Hairgrove
Sonoma State SR SS Alex Todd
Three names that pained me more than others to leave off the top thirty list: Parr, McComack, and Sclafani. Parr is a really good athlete with plus defensive tools, but his inability to control the strike zone presents a concern going forward. There is enough rawness in his hitting approach to think he is due for that big sophomore to junior year breakout at the plate. He definitely has the potential to make me look stupid for not finding a spot for him earlier. McComack is another good defender with a plus arm. He has a lot of the required skills (arm for third, range for short, instincts at second) needed to thrive as a defensive-first utility infielder if everything breaks right. Sclafani has the potential to emerge as a premium 2012 senior sign after he graduates from Dartmouth.
Underclassmen Osborne, Rodriguez, Orloff, and Crumlich all are well above-average with the leather, but find themselves in similar positions as 2010 juniors DelGuidice and Macias; if they follow the same pattern, we’ll be talking about that quartet once again in 2012.
Baumet and Bell are both talented players without long-term professional defensive homes. Baumet’s outstanding arm may eventually get him tried on the mound, but Bell seems like he could be out of luck professionally.