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Atlantic 10 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Fordham JR C Charles Galiano
Richmond rSO 1B Matt Dacey
George Mason JR 2B Brandon Gum
Virginia Commonwealth SR SS Vimael Machin
Saint Louis JR 3B Braxton Martinez
Richmond JR OF Tanner Stanley
Davidson JR OF Lee Miller
Richmond JR OF Jansen Fraser
Richmond rSR LHP Chris Bates
Richmond SR RHP Ryan Cook
George Mason rSR LHP Jake Kalish
La Salle rSR RHP Adam Cherry
Rhode Island Jr RHP Brad Applin

There’s always some talent to be found in the Atlantic 10 and the draft class of 2015 has a few names — Braxton Martinez! — that could surprise casual observers with how high they go this June. JR C Charles Galiano (Fordham) shows just enough with the bat to combine with his athleticism, arm strength, and defensive aptitude to give him a potential backup catcher future. There are also an unusual number of potential power bats in the conference; arguably none are better than rSO 1B Matt Dacey (Richmond). His relative inexperience gives hope that he’ll make strides in terms of approach, which would in turn help him further unlock his prodigious raw power. He mashed last year even as he showed signs of that aforementioned raw approach, so the sky is the limit for him as a hitter as he gains experience. A quartet of powerful senior sign first basemen gives the conference a boost of offense and a chance to make some noise in the mid- to late-rounds of the draft. SR 1B Mark Williams (La Salle) is a big man (6-6, 240) with power to match. SR 1B Ryan Lowe (Davidson) brings a little less power and a little more athleticism. SR 1B Mike Vigliarolo (Saint Louis) splits the difference between the two while SR 1B AJ Ryan (Dayton) could be a late bloomer.

The three middle infielders to make the list below all deserve a look in pro ball. What’s most interesting about the trio to me is how SR SS Vimael Machin (VCU) and SR SS Tim Caputo (Rhode Island) serve as instructional comps for JR 2B Brandon Gum (George Mason). I liked Machin and Caputo a fair amount last year as juniors, but fully understood why both wound up back at school this year and find themselves hoping to play their way into the draft as senior signs. What you see is what you get with both players; there’s no carrying tool (or even a clearly above-average one), but, outside of marginal at best power, no obvious weaknesses to their games either. You could do worse in your search for organizational depth, but the fact remains guys like that do not often get selected and signed as juniors. Likewise, Gum has the skill set to be draft-worthy, but I’d actually put him behind both Machin and Caputo at similar stages of development. All of this is a too long way of saying I think Gum has a good shot to be drafted, but not until 2016. For Machin and Caputo, the time is now…or never.

A smarter writer would have led this off with JR 3B Braxton Martinez (Saint Louis) and JR OF Tanner Stanley (Richmond), the unquestioned (in my mind) two best prospects in the league. Instead they find themselves buried here at the bottom of the hitters. Sometimes that’s just how life goes, I suppose. I can’t say enough nice things about Martinez. He’s an outstanding defender at the hot corner with plus hands and a strong arm. He’s also a really mature, powerful young hitter who knows how to use the whole field. Martinez is the kind of player that makes maintaining this site so much fun. He’s relatively unheralded and perhaps a little overlooked nationally, but when it comes time to rank the best third base prospects in the country he’ll get all the attention his talent deserves. Stanley feels even less well known at the national level, but that should change shortly. He’s one of college ball’s better “leadoff profile” position players, checking almost every box you want out of his type of player. Up-the-middle defensive profile? Above-average or better speed? Patient approach? Enough pop to keep opposing pitchers honest? Check, check, check, and check. Really nice prospect.

I think by now my excitement for the A-10’s position players is pretty well established. Martinez and maybe Stanley could grow into big league regulars. There are some interesting power bats at first and in the outfield. There are also some potentially useful utility infielders. All in all, it’s a lot to like. I’m not sure I can be quite as sunny about the pitching. The one-two punch out of Richmond (rSR LHP Chris Bates and SR RHP Ryan Cook) stand out as perhaps the only two pitchers set to be drafted in 2015. Bates is a lefty with size (6-5, 210), a fastball that touches the low-90s, a quality curve, and a strong (when healthy) collegiate track record. Cook is a righthander with a touch more fastball, a quality slider, and a strong collegiate track record. Turns out my subconscious plagiarized me from last year…

In a conference with a ton of relief prospects with big league upside, there’s certainly an argument to be made that JR RHP Ryan Cook is the best. He has the fastball (88-93), above-average SL (82-84), and flashes of dominance to rise up boards with a big spring. Minority, and possibly foolish, opinion: rJR LHP Chris Bates is as good a pro prospect as his more highly acclaimed teammate Cook. Bates sits at a lower velocity (upper-80s, mostly), but can crank it to a similar peak (92-93). His size (6-5, 200 pounds), breaking ball (quality), and performance (9.58 K/9 in 41.1 IP last season) add up to a draftable talent.

Whoever wrote that sure knew his stuff…

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Saint Louis JR 3B Braxton Martinez
  2. Richmond JR OF Tanner Stanley
  3. Davidson JR OF Lee Miller
  4. Richmond rSO 1B Matt Dacey
  5. Virginia Commonwealth SR SS Vimael Machin
  6. St. Joseph’s SR 3B Stefan Kancylarz
  7. Fordham JR C Charles Galiano
  8. Richmond JR OF Jansen Fraser
  9. La Salle SR 1B Mark Williams
  10. Davidson SR 1B Ryan Lowe
  11. Rhode Island SR SS Tim Caputo
  12. George Mason JR 2B/SS Brandon Gum
  13. George Mason SR OF Luke Willis
  14. La Salle SR OF Justin Korenblatt
  15. Saint Louis SR OF Danny Murphy
  16. George Washington SR OF Ryan Xepoleas
  17. Saint Louis SR 1B Mike Vigliarolo
  18. Dayton SR 1B AJ Ryan
  19. Saint Louis JR OF Michael Bozarth
  20. Rhode Island rJR C Derek Gardella

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching 

  1. Richmond rSR LHP Chris Bates
  2. Richmond SR RHP Ryan Cook
  3. George Mason rSR LHP Jake Kalish
  4. La Salle rSR RHP Adam Cherry
  5. Rhode Island JR RHP Brad Applin
  6. Saint Louis rSR LHP Damian Rivera
  7. Fordham JR RHP Brett Kennedy
  8. St. Bonaventure JR RHP Steven Klimek
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4 Comments

  1. Devin HIll says:

    Great list..I think you missed 2 Saint Joe’s guys..Tim Ponto SR. RHP (6’8 220) drafted out of high school. Battling injuries, but plus-plus upside potential. 90-94 fastball in high school. Also, Lansing Veeder SR. RHP/INF as a bullpen arm. Electric fastball (91-93) with plus slider. Don’t sleep on those SJU Hawks!

    • Rob Ozga says:

      Love that you mentioned these two guys, especially Ponto. He’ll be on a later list of personal favorites, but an argument could be made that, when healthy, he’s at or above the level of the rest of the guys who made this list. Of course the whole “when healthy” thing is easier said than done…much as I love him, it was hard for me to include him after basically missing two whole seasons. His size, stuff (especially his fastball, as you mentioned), and results when healthy (there we go again) all make him worth tracking for sure. I had Veeder (and Ponto, actually) on the larger follow list for the school found here, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on ranking him among the conference’s best prospects with the information I had at the time. If he’s really low-90s with a plus slider…well, then things get interesting. His size is an obvious drawback (for teams…I don’t care much personally), but he’s a really good athlete who could pitch himself into draft consideration if he shows the same kind of stuff you claim (not doubting you at all, by the way). Looking forward to seeing to both guys at least a few times each this spring.

  2. Devin HIll says:

    I hear ya. Love all your work and didn’t mean to question you at all. Just wanted to throw that out there. Rumor is Ponto turned down the draft last year after his surgery. Teams were still willing to use a late pick on him. I definitely think that is worth something. Have heard that he has been throwing simulated games and has been looking better than before the surgeries so IMO he is a guy that could shoot up draft boards.

    • Rob Ozga says:

      All good. I’m all about being questioned…great way to learn new things. Definitely did so here, so thanks a bunch for the updated info.

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