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2014 MLB Draft: College Pitching

I’ve been sitting on this list for over a month, forgetting to hit the Publish button and change things up from rough draft to public piece each day. With this past weekend being so crazy for so many Friday night starters around the nation, I figured it’s better to get this first iteration out ASAP before changes are made in June. A few quick notes on what you see below…

I didn’t include pitchers from outside D-1 ball. Not yet. There would certainly be a few additions to this list if I were to add them in. In due time. A few injuries (Troupe, Stephens) and a few risers (like everybody’s new favorite senior Jake Stinnett, ranked 199th on my college pitching list last year for what it’s worth) were not really taken into account, as this list was originally drafted right before the start of the current college season. This has annoyed some people in the past, but it’s how I like it. Barring extreme circumstances, I don’t actually move college guys (HS is a different story) around my personal rankings all that much in the months leading up to the draft. The sites that update big boards every week don’t reflect what actually goes on this time of year in front offices, but, hey, different strokes and all that. Gotta move those draft books somehow, I guess.

As for the list itself…damn, that top ten is a thing of beauty. Not my rankings (though if you want to say that, I won’t stop you), but the quality of the talent available. Even if you quibble with my list — feel free to do so in the comments or via email, by the way — I think there’s enough depth at the top of this year’s pitching class to come up with an outstanding top ten any way you want to break it down. There’s definitely some separation after the top three, but a team drafting late in first round can realistically get their fourth-rated college arm if things line up their way on draft day. Team preference will go a long way in sorting out these pitchers from four on. I’m not sure which pitcher will take that fourth spot come June, but, if pressed today to give a name, I’d say I’m currently leaning Finnegan. I also have to say that I won’t sleep as well tonight knowing I didn’t mention how unhappy I am with Freeland’s low placement. Not sure what I was thinking last month other than the fact I just liked the names above him more (i.e. his ranking is not a knock on him, but a testament to this year’s crazy pitching depth), but I’m 99.99% sure he’ll be significantly higher than this on the next version of a similar list. 

The June list will go way deeper than 72 names (did 500 last year, might do it again this year), but I capped it for now in an attempt to maintain what’s left of my sanity. So many fascinating names didn’t make the cut here, but I’m more than happy to talk about anybody here or not in the comments/via email. Putting this together was a fun little exercise…hope it’s a worthwhile list.

  1. East Carolina JR RHP Jeff Hoffman
  2. North Carolina State JR LHP Carlos Rodon
  3. Vanderbilt JR RHP Tyler Beede
  4. Mississippi JR RHP Chris Ellis
  5. Florida State JR RHP Luke Weaver
  6. UNLV JR RHP Erick Fedde
  7. TCU JR LHP Brandon Finnegan
  8. LSU JR RHP Aaron Nola
  9. Hartford JR LHP Sean Newcomb
  10. San Diego State JR RHP Michael Cederoth
  11. Louisville JR RHP Nick Burdi
  12. Arizona JR RHP Matthew Troupe
  13. Rice JR RHP Zech Lemond
  14. Notre Dame JR RHP Patrick Connaughton
  15. Cal Poly JR LHP Matt Imhof
  16. Oregon State JR LHP Jace Fry
  17. Louisiana-Lafayette JR RHP Austin Robichaux
  18. Fresno State JR RHP Derick Velazquez
  19. Florida rJR RHP Karsten Whitson
  20. Stanford SR RHP AJ Vanegas
  21. Oregon rSO LHP Porter Clayton
  22. Southern Mississippi JR RHP Brad Roney
  23. Evansville JR LHP Kyle Freeland
  24. Hawaii JR LHP Scott Squier
  25. USC JR RHP Wyatt Strahan
  26. Arizona JR RHP Tyler Parmenter
  27. Portland JR LHP Travis Radke
  28. Texas A&M JR RHP Daniel Mengden
  29. North Carolina JR RHP Benton Moss
  30. Miami JR LHP Andrew Suarez
  31. Fresno State JR RHP/OF Jordan Brink
  32. Virginia JR RHP Nick Howard
  33. Mississippi JR RHP Hawtin Buchanan
  34. Southern Illinois JR RHP Sam Coonrod
  35. Texas JR RHP Parker French
  36. Wichita State JR RHP AJ Ladwig
  37. Central Florida JR LHP Eric Skoglund
  38. Rice JR RHP Jordan Stephens
  39. Texas A&M JR RHP Corey Ray
  40. Auburn JR RHP Rocky McCord
  41. Mississippi State JR RHP Jonathan Holder
  42. Kentucky JR RHP Chandler Shepherd
  43. Florida JR RHP Ryan Harris
  44. Arkansas JR RHP Chris Oliver
  45. Texas JR LHP Dillon Peters
  46. North Carolina State JR RHP Logan Jernigan
  47. Clemson SO LHP Matthew Crownover
  48. Mississippi State JR LHP Jacob Lindgren
  49. South Carolina Upstate JR RHP Chad Sobotka
  50. Central Michigan JR RHP Jordan Foley
  51. UNC Wilmington JR RHP Jordan Ramsey
  52. Tulane rJR RHP Randy LeBlanc
  53. Portland JR RHP Kody Watts
  54. North Carolina Greensboro JR RHP Max Povse
  55. Western Illinois JR RHP Tyler Willman
  56. USC JR RHP Nigel Nootbaar
  57. Clemson JR RHP Daniel Gossett
  58. Pepperdine JR LHP Aaron Brown
  59. Illinois State JR RHP Jeremy Rhoades
  60. Mississippi State JR RHP Brandon Woodruff
  61. Charlotte rJR RHP Ryan Butler
  62. Texas rSO RHP John Curtiss
  63. Ohio State rJR RHP/1B Josh Dezse
  64. Oregon JR RHP Jake Reed
  65. Texas JR RHP Lukas Schiraldi
  66. Washington State rJR RHP Scott Simon
  67. Loyola Marymount JR RHP Trevor Megill
  68. Lipscomb rJR RHP Hunter Brothers
  69. Arizona State JR RHP Darin Gillies
  70. Alabama JR RHP Spencer Turnbull
  71. Texas A&M JR RHP Gandy Stubblefield
  72. Louisville JR LHP Joey Filomeno


  1. reccab says:

    Some other arms to consider going forward:
    Chris Sadberry, LHP, Texas Tech, JR (impressive start against TCU this weekend. Big time sleeper)
    Austin Gomber, LHP, Florida Atlantic, JR
    James Norwood, RHP, Saint Louis, JR (numbers aren’t great but he is young for this draft class, could see him returning for senior year)
    Garrett Mundell, RHP, Fresno State, JR
    Cy Sneed, RHP, Dallas Baptist, JR
    Koby Gauna, RHP, Cal State Fullerton, JR
    James Lomangino, RHP, St. John’s, SR (probably a top 10 rounds, senior sign)
    Aaron Garza, RHP, Houston, JR
    Zach Thompson, RHP, Louisiana-Lafayette, JR
    Jeremy Null, RHP, Western Carolina, JR (building steam)
    David Hess, RHP, Tennessee Tech, JR

    • Rob Ozga says:

      Love it. All really good names to keep in mind. Since you’re bringing them up I’m sure you have a pretty good feel for each, but just in case anybody else is curious I’ve included a few notes (and relevant stats from College Splits) on each pitcher below. Gomber, Norwood, Mundell, and Null all stand out to me as truly excellent college pitching prospects. As much as I stand by my original list, it’s hard to believe I didn’t include those four names somewhere. Really good year for pitching across the board. I want to put Sneed and Garza in that same class, but their results prior to 2014 have me a little apprehensive. I admittedly haven’t being able to keep up with what every guy is doing so far this year, so maybe they are putting things together finally. Alright, now I have to check…yeah, both Sneed and Garza (more so Sneed) look a lot better but are still not hitting all my preferred statistical benchmarks. Still, both are better. Funny that guys pitching as objectively well as those two can get dinged for performance (ERAs around 2.00 in each case), but here we are.

      Anyway, again, really impressive collection of names. Notes for the curious…

      rJR LHP Chris Sadberry (2014): 90-92 FB with sink, 93 peak; good 79-81 CU; 6-1, 200 pounds
      JR LHP Austin Gomber (2014): 86-92 FB, 93-94 peak; above-average 77-82 CB; good 79-81 CU; SL; 6-5, 220 pounds (2012: 9.39 K/9 | 4.84 BB/9 | 3.47 FIP | 61.1 IP) (2013: 8.94 K/9 | 2.32 BB/9 | 4.01 FIP | 104.2 IP)
      JR RHP James Norwood (2014): 87-93 FB, 95-97 peak; commands FB well; 78-81 CB with average upside; 83-86 CU with average upside; mid-80s cut-SL; good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds (2012: 7.59 K/9 | 2.90 BB/9 | 3.20 FIP | 40.1 IP) (2013: 9.43 K/9 | 5.57 BB/9 | 3.26 FIP | 21 IP)
      JR RHP Garrett Mundell (2014): 86-92 FB, 93 peak; average 81-84 split-CU; 73-76 breaking ball; good control; almost as if he hands ball to catcher, great extension; popular Doug Fister comp; FAVORITE; 6-6, 230 pounds (2012: 7.12 K/9 | 3.93 BB/9 | 3.01 FIP | 36.2 IP) (2013: 9.89 K/9 | 4.33 BB/9 | 3.47 FIP | 43.2 IP)
      JR RHP Cy Sneed (2014): 88-93 FB with good sink, 94-95 peak; good CB; good CU; plus splitter; 6-4, 200 pounds (2012: 7.73 K/9 | 2.75 BB/9 | 4.31 FIP | 85 IP) (2013: 5.81 K/9 | 3.44 BB/9 | 4.63 FIP | 83.2 IP)
      JR RHP Koby Gauna (2014): 90-94 FB; good 77-78 SL; CU; 6-2, 220 pounds (2012: 4.48 K/9 | 1.09 BB/9 | 4.92 FIP | 66.1 IP) (2013: 5.53 K/9 | 1.14 BB/9 | 3.81 FIP | 55.1 IP)
      rSR RHP James Lomangino (2014): 88-92 FB, 94 peak; good 80-81 SL; average upside with 80-83 CU; low-70s CB; 6-0, 200 pounds (2012: 12.10 K/9 | 3.41 BB/9 | 3.76 FIP | 29 IP) (2013: 8.67 K/9 | 3.49 BB/9 | 3.39 FIP | 90.1 IP)
      JR RHP Aaron Garza (2014): 84-91 FB, 88-90 in 2014; plus CB; good SL; good CU; good command; 6-4, 180 pounds (2012: 6.69 K/9 | 3.00 BB/9 | 3.26 FIP | 39 IP) (2013: 5.88 K/9 | 2.41 BB/9 | 3.51 FIP | 67.1 IP)
      JR RHP Zach Thompson (2014): 90-94 FB, 95 peak; good 78 CB; good CU; 6-6, 210 pounds (2012: 3.47 K/9 | 2.55 BB/9 | 4.65 FIP | 49.1 IP) (2013: 3.67 K/9 | 2.89 BB/9 | 4.74 FIP | 81 IP)
      JR RHP Jeremy Null (2014): 88-92 FB, 93 peak; good 81-83 SL with plus upside; 6-8, 230 pounds (2012: 7.77 K/9 | 3.45 BB/9 | 4.64 FIP | 73 IP) (2013: 10.78 K/9 | 2.67 BB/9 | 3.64 FIP | 91 IP)
      JR RHP David Hess (2014): 90-93 FB, 95 peak; above-average SL, flashes plus; raw CU; 6-2, 200 pounds (2012: 7.44 K/9 | 3.65 BB/9 | 5.74 FIP | 61.2 IP) (2013: 10.14 K/9 | 3.02 BB/9 | 3.25 FIP | 65.2 IP)

  2. kaldream says:

    Jake Stinnett is left off your list. I would appreciate your thoughts on his overall future potential.

    • Rob Ozga says:

      Like everybody else, I’ve been pretty damn impressed with Stinnett’s growth as a pitcher. I tend to be slow to appreciate breakout senior year performers, believing that the extra year they have on their draft-eligible peers is huge in the grand scheme of development, but the fact that Stinnett is a converted position player (3B, I believe) helps me get over that somewhat. I’m still not quite as excited about him as others — have seen some late first round buzz, which I think is nuts — but he’s now a lock for the first ten rounds as athletic, relatively fresh-armed potential impact relief prospect (FB/SL) at the next level.

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