Trea Turner is the trendy prospect to pick apart this spring based mostly on the fact he’s been a big name for years and we all tend to overanalyze prospects the longer they’ve been the scene. Actually, that’s not entirely fair: there are valid criticisms about his game, most notably how his swing could limit his future power output against better pitching, so my only real beef with those lower on Turner than most is the insinuation that anybody who likes him as a top ten talent are merely scouting his impressive box scores. I’ll be sticking with my Jacoby Ellsbury (wacky peak year excluded) or Brett Gardner offensive comps for now as I think .300/.350/.400 with 50+ SB in any given year is a reasonable albeit optimistic projection if we’re talking ceiling only. I don’t have any questions about his defensive future, but that’s another area where some worry about his transition in pro ball. I’ve seen him make far too many big league caliber plays – to say nothing of many of the boring, routine plays that count the same – to have any doubts. He’s a shortstop, and potentially a really good one. The fact he could be damn good in center field is a nice though likely unnecessary fallback option. In a down year for college bats, I still think he’s the best option.
There seems to be little consensus about Joey Pankake’s future position; in fact, after asking around, people in the know gave me an even 50/50 split whether or not they thought he could stick up the middle or if he’ll be better served at third base. His placement on this particular list should give you a hint where I’m currently leaning, though I reserve the right to change my mind before June. His relative lack of foot speed – he’s an average at best runner – is why I think some evaluators are turned off at him staying at shortstop, but his first step instincts, arm strength, and athleticism give him a good shot of sticking.
After Turner and Pankake the best college shortstop prospect is…well, I have no idea. I mean, sure, I have some idea, but it’s wide open after those two and probably fair to say that the most honest outcomes for names 3-66 is utility infielder as a professional. Vince Conde and Michael Russell have tons of experience (both starters from day one on campus, more or less) and the requisite positional versatility to profile as potentially strong bench guys at the next level. Julius Gaines, Cole Peragine, and Chris Mariscal were all highly touted prep players who have held their own without lighting the world on fire in college. I have a soft spot for Garrett Mattlage, an underrated prospect with a mature approach to hitting, steady glove, and intriguing power/speed combination. I also like Sutton Whiting, a really good defender and runner who is smart enough to play within himself as a 5-9, 165 pound grinder.
Like the catcher spot, shortstop seems to be a position where a few senior signs get overdrafted in the top ten rounds to help teams stretch their bonus caps to grab higher priced prep talent later. Two-true outcome college star Justin Gonzalez could be that guy, as could the productive Aaron Attaway, the strong-armed Kyle Convissar, or the steady Austin Anderson.
- North Carolina State JR SS/OF Trea Turner
- South Carolina JR SS/RHP Joey Pankake
- Vanderbilt JR SS/2B Vince Conde
- North Carolina JR SS/OF Michael Russell
- Florida International JR SS Julius Gaines
- Texas State JR SS/2B Garrett Mattlage
- Rhode Island JR SS Tim Caputo
- Stony Brook JR SS Cole Peragine
- Florida State rSR SS/3B Justin Gonzalez
- Virginia Commonwealth JR SS Vimael Machin
- Louisville JR SS/2B Sutton Whiting
- Western Carolina SR SS/2B Aaron Attaway
- Kansas State JR SS Austin Fisher
- San Diego JR SS/2B Austin Bailey
- Maryland SR SS Kyle Convissar
- Illinois State rJR SS Brock Stewart
- Fresno State JR SS Chris Mariscal
- Florida Atlantic JR SS Mitch Morales
- Florida Atlantic JR SS Ricky Santiago
- Arkansas JR SS Brett McAfee
- Kentucky JR SS/2B Max Kuhn
- Mississippi SR SS Austin Anderson
- Washington State rJR SS Trace Tam Sing
- Louisville JR SS/2B Zach Lucas
- California JR SS Chris Paul
- Rutgers SR SS/2B Nick Favatella
- Rhode Island SR SS Joe Landi
- Missouri State JR SS/C Eric Cheray
- San Diego State JR SS/RHP Steven Pallares
- Washington JR SS Erik Forgione
- Oregon State SR SS/3B Kavin Keyes
- Auburn SR SS Dan Glevenyak
- Troy SR SS Tyler Vaughn
- Texas-San Antonio SR SS/2B RJ Perucki
- Western Michigan JR SS/RHP Andrew Sohn
- Lamar SR SS Sam Bumpers
- Arkansas-Little Rock JR SS/RHP Austin Pfeiffer
- Georgia State SR SS Chad Prain
- Alabama State JR SS Emmanuel Marrero
- Northwestern State JR SS Joel Atkinson
- Texas Tech JR SS Tim Proudfoot
- Minnesota rJR SS Michael Handel
- South Florida rSO SS/2B Nik Alfonso
- Southern Mississippi rJR SS Michael Sterling
- Gardner-Webb JR SS Ryan Hodge
- Central Florida JR SS/3B Tommy Williams
- High Point JR SS/2B Mike Miedzianowski
- Memphis JR SS Jake Overbey
- Eastern Michigan JR SS John Rubino
- UNLV JR SS TJ White
- Indiana State SR SS Tyler Wampler
- Mississippi State JR SS Matthew Britton
- The Citadel JR SS Johnathan Stokes
- Kent State JR SS Sawyer Polen
- Cal State Fullerton SR SS/OF Keegan Dale
- Oregon SR SS Kevin Minjares
- Columbia SR SS Aaron Silbar
- Oklahoma SR SS/2B Hector Lorenzana
- Southern Illinois SR SS/2B Jake Welch
- Canisius SR SS Ronnie Bernick
- Louisville SR SS/3B Alex Chittenden
- Northern Colorado JR SS/2B Ryan Yamane
- California rJR SS Derek Campbell
- California JR SS Brenden Farney
- Central Connecticut State SR SS Anthony Turgeon
- Southern Mississippi rSO SS Breck Kline
Although he was a shortstop in high school, I’m not sure Brock Stewart has played much shortstop these past few years. He was playing third when I saw him a few weeks ago–Dennis Colon is Illinois State’s shortstop–and although he’s played some second, I think he’s really a corner player for the most part. He’s a big guy and not terribly graceful, so I’m not sure you can even fake him in the middle infield going forward.
Otherwise, great stuff.
Hey Alex, thanks a lot. Third makes a lot of sense for Stewart considering two of the big things I have on him in my notes are his size (6-4, 200) and the fact he has above-average arm strength. Should have put two and two together there. Very much appreciate the firsthand account, and I’ll make the correction in my notes and in all subsequent posts.
Why is it that many of the best playing college shortstops are not on your list. I’ve seen every starting( 90% of games ) shortstop playing college ball in So Cal. The kid from CSUSB (6-1 195) is going to be drafted. I watched him throw the ball easily over 385 ft. in long toss. I had him on radar throwing from short to first at 93. Good hands and range and can hit. I watched him throw balls to first at a Dodgers pre-draft workout as a HS senior and he handcuffed every first baseman, when they caught it. Scouts at every game just watching him. Best infield arm in So Cal. Heard he chose not to go D1 because every coach wanted him to pitch only. How could your list miss this kid. Some of the players on your list only play part time and yet there they are. I’m hopping its not like that at every position on your lists. Do your own research and call some coaches. BTW #29 on your list has 4 RBI for the year. Just an example of the names… not in any way a personal shot at the kid.
Always appreciate hearing a different perspective than mine.
I like Pallares. Good athlete, strong arm, little bit of pop. His ranking was more of a projection about what I was hoping he’d do this year, and, though he’s been slightly better than a silly RBI reference (it’s 2014, come on) makes him out to be, his disappointing senior year (both offensively and defensively) would drop him down a good bit (or potentially remove him altogether) on an updated ranking. It happens.
All due respect to Ouellette, but I don’t think the bat plays at the next level. Have also heard from an area guy that he’s had more than a few defensive lapses this year that brings to question his long-term defensive home. I can see the argument for including him and I’ll admit I knew very little outside of what I just wrote about him, so perhaps you are right. He’s definitely a quality player and quite possibly a better prospect than some of the names ranked on the original, admittedly shallow, list. Looking forward to doing a revision before the draft in June. As for Ouellette, I wish the best for him during the draft and beyond.
Your # 29 player is a Jr. not a senior and has played shortstop one time in 3 years, 6 times at third base. He has 24 RBIs in 3 seasons playing first base / outfield with 0 home runs and 4 XBH in 225 ABs. You think he has a little bit of pop ? Wow. Where is it ? Maybe your area guy should tell you.
The CSUSB kids current stats are below for 2014 season: He bats 3rd on the team and has been on base 30 straight games with a hit or a walk. Only time will tell if he can really hit in Pro ball. He has a nice swing with power potential. There are never any guarantees. Remember Skipworth and Hobgood ? What did anyone see in their skills at the time. I saw Matt hit in HS. The Orioles should have let him hit. I saw Kyle catch in HS. He needed to play some college first. Get shorter swing, polished more. I still would have drafted them but not quite so high. Ok back to the CSUSB kid.
Player avg gp gs ab r h 2b 3b hr rbi tb slg% bb hbp so gdp ob% sf sh sb sba po a e fld%
Ouellette, William .335 42 42 158 20 53 6 0 2 23 65 .411 16 4 27 2 .408 1 4 4 5 70 120 14 .931
As for defense played. This kid has 1 throwing error only. He is #3 in league assists. The #1 guy plays second base & the #2 guy have pitching staff team ERAs of 3.2 and 3.67 while CSUSB staff ERA is 5.32. Maybe I’m just spit balling here, but if your team has given up 431 hits in 358 innings, I think your team is getting hit hard. Harder hit balls, more often, equals more fielding errors ! Just Facts. You need to see all the stats and understand how the impact is distributed to players. Great scouts get it and understand it. George Genovese likes this kid shortstop. Good enough for me.
FYI…I’ve have seen the kid boot a ball or two, he’s only 20 and not the Dominican / Venezuelan or Cuban 20 which could be 25 to 75 LOL
BTW If your “area guy” is the scouting bureau, He has not been to “any” of CSUSB games this year. Fact. The MLB team scouts are there. There are about 20 to 25 players in the CCAA who should be drafted this season. Some very talented pitchers, infielders, outfielders and a few good power bats. 5 or 6 catchers that I have seen so far should also get a chance. The CCAA has solid player talent and should be included in future discussions.
No idea why I typed senior, thanks for catching that. Interesting take on both Skipworth and Hobgood as well.
Wish you were less abrasive and more willing to converse rather than talk down to me (seriously, if you think I’m making stuff up, as evidenced by your use of scare quotes, why bother reading/commenting at all?), but your input is still appreciated.
It truly was never my intention or interest to speak down to you or anyone or to come off as abrasive. If I sounded that way, I’m apologizing. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the gobblely goop of hype from video highlights of “great players” and “awesome scouting reports”, who after I’ve traveled for hours/days to watch them play, have shortcomings. That does not mean the player is not a prospect or bad athlete, he might just be over rated or the competition they play against could be lacking or he had a few bad days. It happens, that’s why I love the pre-game. You can see the most defensive skills and arm strength. You must see pitchers in games.
I also study players practice workout habits personally before my paperwork is turned in. Each year many kids are overlooked for factors that make no possible sense to me. Find me a scout, that played baseball professionally for more than 5 years and he could build a great team of un drafted talent. Sadly it doesn’t work that way any more. It should.
FYI, Giancarlo’s (Mike) Stanton was one such player. I know he was drafted high, but that was only after a former pro player and scout, told his team to draft him. They still didn’t want him (Stanton) in any round even after he belted more balls over the stadium fences than everybody combined in a Dodgers pre-draft workout. He was totally under everyone’s baseball radar. This friend called a buddy who worked with a (different team) during the 2007 draft, and recommended the kid. Four minutes later he was drafted sight unseen.
Larry Parrish, Dan Quisenberry, Kevin Mitchell, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Leyritz, Mike Bordick ,Kevin Millar, Evan Gattis and many other very good players got missed each season because they don’t fit the entire mold of what teams wish for. You cant judge a players desire or work ethic to be successful when drafting. That desire of the player to overcome the pre conceived scouting bias is more important than skills. Kids get mad, then get even better.
Show me kids (undrafted) that have skills and the greatest desire to make it and I and other professionals could build a competitive team. And Win
Lastly. there is a kid who plays only tennis in Texas, 6ft. 5in. 220 Best live arm I’ve seen in 30 years. I watched him pitch 2 innings during summer ball.