The Baseball Draft Report

Home » 2015 MLB Draft » Atlantic Sun 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Atlantic Sun 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Stetson JR C Pat Mazeika
Jacksonville JR 1B Connor Marabell
Florida Gulf Coast rSO 2B Jake Noll
Kennesaw State JR SS Kal Simmons
North Florida SR 3B Trent Higginbothem
North Florida rSO OF Donnie Dewees
Kennesaw State JR OF Alex Liquori
Florida Gulf Coast JR OF Colton Bottomley

Kennesaw State JR RHP Jordan Hillyer
Kennesaw State JR LHP Travis Bergen
Florida Gulf Coast SR RHP Jack English
Florida Gulf Coast JR RHP Michael Murray
North Florida JR RHP Corbin Olmstead

Stetson has a pair of really good catching prospects that should make some serious noise in June. I’ve flip-flopped on each player’s future position multiple times, but people smarter than I seem mostly convinced both JR Pat Mazeika and SR Garrett Russini will stick behind the plate. Mazeika (also a 1B) is one of the college game’s underappreciated bats with an above-average hit tool, above-average raw power, and outstanding plate discipline. Russini (also an OF) is a notch below in every area as a hitter, but no slouch when compared to the rest of this year’s class of college catchers. JR 1B Connor Marabell (Jacksonville) is another strong hitter with a shot to move up boards. If he can convince teams he can play average or better defense in an outfield corner, watch out. Either way, he’s a bat to keep a close eye on. I originally had SR 1B Griffin Moore (Lipscomb) over him, and I think a strong argument could be made for Moore when you factor in his upside on the mound. JR 1B Nick Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast) is a comparable hitter to Marabell even though he doesn’t get quite the acclaim. I guess I’m a bit hypocritical for mentioning that considering I have the latter ranked first and the former ranked third. Whoops. Both guys are good, though!

Sorting through the conference’s unusually deep group of middle infield prospects makes for a fun little rainy day activity. JR SS Kal Simmons (Kennesaw State) appears to be the obvious headliner, but I’m not so sure. In fairness, I haven’t personally seen a lot of Simmons, so I have a harder time taking the word of those who rave about his progress over the summer – of which there are many – at the level I probably ought to. There’s no debate about his fantastic defense – hands, arm, range, everything – and the fact that Baseball America compared his glove (and overall game, but we’ll get back to that) to the recently retired John McDonald definitely says something. He’s going to catch the ball enough to keep getting chances to figure it out at the plate, and it’s pretty clear to anybody who has seen him in the field that as long as he does enough in the box to hit eighth he has a chance to have value as an overall player. That’s pretty big. For as much as I value defense, however, (and I swear I do!) I’d have a hard time taking such a one-dimensional player as high as I think you’d have to take a shot on Simmons. John McDonald had a long, lucrative ($13+ million!) career, so that aforementioned comparison should in no way be taken as a slight on Simmons’ pro prospects in any way. In fact, I think if the gains made over the summer that so many are convinced are real are, you know, really real, then we can start upping the McDonald comps to names like Jack Wilson, Zack Cozart, and Orlando Cabrera. If Simmons can get himself in that offensive range (around 80% of what a league average hitter looks like), then some of the lofty draft talk could be in play.

I’ve used up all my words on Simmons, so we’ll go lighting round with some of the other infield prospects in the conference. Like most players with two full remaining years of eligibility remaining, rSO 2B/3B Jake Noll could be a tough sign unless he hits his way up draft boards this spring. I’m very bullish on that happening, for what it’s worth. Just behind him for me is JR 2B/SS JJ Gould (Jacksonville), a Florida State transfer on the verge of a breakout 2015 season. SR SS Grant Massey (Lipscomb) is the last of the middle infielders I’d consider a draft lock at this point. He’s in position to be a really nice senior sign for a club in need of a steady glove, patient bat (40 BB and 44 K in 2014) and smart base running.

As mentioned, I’m cautiously optimistic that Kal Simmons’ summer breakout will continue into the spring. A better bat combined with his consistently awesome glove would make him the top prospect in the conference in almost any smart person’s eyes. That said, it would take a big spring for him to knock off rSO OF Donnie Dewees from his perch as top A-Sun prospect. I’d like to think that’s because Dewees is just that good because the alternative – I’m just not a smart person – isn’t as fun. Dewees is that good. In a neat twist of fate, the only question I have about Dewees’ game right now is his defense, specifically his future defensive home. He’ll hit enough to be an asset in a corner, but if he can play center then his stock will, in the immortal words of James Brown, get on up. I can buy his speed and arm playing to at least average in center, so it’ll come down to how comfortable he looks in space. Dewees is obviously quite well known in scouting circles, both at the ballparks and right here in internet land, but I still think he’s not getting quite the level of attention a player of his caliber warrants at this stage of the draft process. Too many people know and like him for me to stake any claim on him, but he’s an all-caps FAVORITE on my board whom I’m very excited to see at some point between now and the close of the season.

Kennesaw State’s pair of aces gives them a gigantic head start on the rest of the conference. JR RHP Jordan Hillyer and JR LHP Travis Bergen are very similar pitchers physically, stylistically, and statistically. Both guys are around the same size (6-0, 200 pounds, give or take), work in the same velocity range (86ish to 93ish), throw the same quality softer offspeed stuff (average or better changeups) and harder offspeed stuff (above-average to plus mid-80s cutters/cut-sliders/whatever you want to call its). The only major differences are Hillyer’s ability to spin a curve and more deceptive delivery. You could also tack on Bergen’s lefthandedness and his more advanced command and control, the latter of which is among the best in all of college baseball. It’s hard to say where they’ll eventually wind up, but both seem to fit the back-end starter or surprisingly quick-moving and effective reliever prospect profile pretty well.

The Florida Gulf Coast pair of arms right below are no slouches by comparison. SR RHP Jack English can throw any of his four average or better pitches for strikes in any count and JR RHP Michael Murray has been able to combine good stuff with great pitchability to keep very effectively keep runs off the board (1.85 ERA in 107 IP last year). There’s enough depth in pitching in the conference that an all-caps FAVORITE like JR RHP Corbin Olmstead (North Florida) barely cracks the top five, a 6-6 lefthander who lives in the low-90s falls even lower than that (Lipscomb SR LHP Nick Andros), and striking out a batter an inning with nice stuff barely gets you on the board at all (Stetson rJR RHP Tyler Warmoth). I could also go on about the entirety of the Lipscomb staff (Andros, rSR RHP Will Blalock and his mid-90s heat, rSO RHP Dalton Curtis bringing serious untapped upside to the party) or how it’s a particularly intriguing year for two-way talent in the league (Moore, Olmstead, Florida Gulf Coast rJR RHP/OF Brady Anderson and rSR RHP/SS Alex Diaz, Stetson SR RHP/1B Josh Powers), but the season starts soon and I have what feels like one hundred more conferences to get to.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. North Florida rSO OF Donnie Dewees
  2. Kennesaw State JR SS Kal Simmons
  3. Stetson JR C/1B Pat Mazeika
  4. Jacksonville JR 1B/OF Connor Marabell
  5. Florida Gulf Coast rSO 2B/3B Jake Noll
  6. Kennesaw State JR OF Alex Liquori
  7. Lipscomb SR SS Grant Massey
  8. Stetson SR C/OF Garrett Russini
  9. Lipscomb SR 1B/RHP Griffin Moore
  10. Florida Gulf Coast JR 1B Nick Rivera
  11. North Florida SR 3B Trent Higginbothem
  12. Jacksonville JR 2B/SS JJ Gould
  13. Northern Kentucky JR C Logan Spurlin
  14. Florida Gulf Coast JR OF Colton Bottomley
  15. Lipscomb SR OF Jonathan Allison
  16. Stetson JR OF/RHP Kevin Fagan
  17. Jacksonville JR OF Dylan Dillard
  18. Stetson JR SS/2B Tyler Bocock
  19. South Carolina Upstate JR OF James Fowlkes
  20. North Florida rSO SS Patrick Ervin
  21. Northern Kentucky SR OF Cole Bauml
  22. Florida Gulf Coast SR C Blake Berger
  23. Kennesaw State SR 1B Colin Bennett
  24. Jacksonville SR SS Angelo Amendolare
  25. North Florida JR 2B/SS Kyle Brooks
  26. South Carolina Upstate JR 3B Jake Beaver
  27. Lipscomb rSO C Tyler Bethune
  28. Jacksonville SR OF Cameron Gibson
  29. Lipscomb SR 2B/SS Mike Korte
  30. Florida Gulf Coast JR OF Tyler Selesky

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching 

  1. Kennesaw State JR RHP Jordan Hillyer
  2. Kennesaw State JR LHP Travis Bergen
  3. Florida Gulf Coast SR RHP Jack English
  4. Florida Gulf Coast JR RHP Michael Murray
  5. North Florida JR RHP/1B Corbin Olmstead
  6. Florida Gulf Coast rJR RHP/OF Brady Anderson
  7. Lipscomb SR LHP Nick Andros
  8. Lipscomb rSR RHP Will Blalock
  9. Kennesaw State SR LHP Will Solomon
  10. Florida Gulf Coast SR LHP Nick Deckert
  11. Florida Gulf Coast JR RHP Jordan Desguin
  12. Lipscomb rSO RHP Dalton Curtis
  13. Kennesaw State SR RHP Nathan Harsh
  14. Kennesaw State JR RHP Kendall Hawkins
  15. Lipscomb rJR RHP Jaesung Hwang
  16. Florida Gulf Coast rSR RHP/SS Alex Diaz
  17. Stetson JR RHP Josh Thorne
  18. Stetson rJR RHP Ben Rakus
  19. Stetson rJR RHP Tyler Warmoth
  20. Stetson SR RHP/1B Josh Powers
  21. Lipscomb SR RHP Ian Martinez-McGraw
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: