Most Intriguing Pre-Season 2013 MLB Draft Prospect(s)
1. SR OF/2B Brady Wilson
2. rJR OF Matt Frazer
West Virginia has some work to do if they want to field a competitive program in the Big 12. That’s hardly a bold statement, but I feel, after looking over the prospects on this current WVU squad’s roster, it needed to be said. The cupboard isn’t necessarily bare, but we’ve eaten all the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Cocoa Pebbles and are left with trying to figure out what recipe consists of breadcrumbs, vanilla pudding mix, and the free sample of 5-hour energy that has been in there for a year and a half.
From a prospect standpoint, those checking out West Virginia this year would be wise to focus their attention on the Mountaineers outfield. Depending on your taste in prospects, an argument could be made for either SR OF Brady Wilson or rJR OF Matt Frazer as worthy mid- to late-round draft picks. Wilson’s speed makes him an intriguing player to track, especially if his drafting team believes he has the hands and feet to handle second base on a regular basis. His dip in production from his sophomore reason to his junior year cost him last June, so you have to think he’ll need a big bounce back year in 2013 to hear his name called on draft day.
Frazer’s calling card is his tremendous size (6-5, 260 pounds). For a man build like a tank, he’s surprisingly athletic in his actions, both in the field and at the plate. Unsuprisingly, he offers more in the way of power projection than the 5-11, 175 pound Wilson; by the same token, he’s no where near as speedy as the Mountaineers fleet of foot outfield prospect. So, again, pick your favorite based on personal preference: do you like the foot speed and defense (potentially a big boon if he can play 2B) of Wilson or is the power projection and physical presence of Frazer more your cup of tea? No wrong answer at this point, I’d say. JR 1B Ryan McBroom and rSR OF Chris Rasky round out the list of upperclassman expected to contribute that caught my eye, but neither player currently makes sense as a potential June draft pick.
There’s really not much to discuss on the mound, despite the presence of a fairly experienced group of college arms. I’d be happy to go into a season with SR RHP Dan Dierdorff, rJR LHP Marshall Thompson, and rSO LHP Harrison Musgrave (returning from 2012 Tommy John surgery) headlining my pitching staff, but can’t really go the next step and declare any single Mountaineers pitcher a legitimate pro prospect. Based largely on numbers alone, JR RHP Ryan Tezak stands out as perhaps the most appealing professional candidate: in limited innings, he’s been able to knockout batters at a strong rate (9.53 K/9 in 28.1 IP in 2011, 8.10 K/9 in 26.2 IP last year).
2014 MLB Draft Name(s) to Know
1. SO OF Bobby Boyd
I like SO OF Bobby Boyd as a more refined version of Wilson. He’s a player to watch due to his plus speed, leadoff approach, and impressive range in center field. It’ll be interesting to see if he can grow into some power over the next two or three seasons at WVU. Fellow sophomore 2B Billy Fleming is more of a sleeper, but I like him as a grinder-type who might be able to make some inroads with scouts who dig his gritty style of play.
You really know your teams…not! New coach, new conference, new talent- you just never know.
Ha, yeah…not exactly my finest call, though I do stand behind the main premise – WVU still doesn’t have much going on in the way of prospects, which, after all, is kind of the point of this site. As for the success of the current team, well, it’ll teach me to never go against any decision made by Oliver Luck again. He seems to have a way with his coaching hires.
As far as prospects go, Wilson and Boyd (2014) have done as expected – run fast, hit with little power – though I think it is fair to say that Ryan Tuntland (the only draftable 2013 bat for me, apologies to the OF trio of Wilson, Frazer, and Ric) has overtaken them as the top position player. Musgrave (really impressed with his return from TJ surgery) and Walter both look like draft-worthy pitchers at this point. John Means, who was off the official roster for whatever reason back when I put the original post together, also looks like a good guy to watch for 2014. There’s more here than I initially thought, and surely more on the way.