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SWAC 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Southern rJR C Jose DeLaTorre
Alabama A&M JR 1B Austin Hulsey
Alabama State SR 2B Einar Muniz
Alabama A&M SR SS Julio Nunez
Jackson State SR 3B Melvin Rodriguez
Alabama State SR OF Waldyvan Estrada
Alabama A&M SR OF Andrew Utterback
Southern SR OF Lance Jones

Texas Southern SR RHP Robert Pearson
Alabama State SR RHP TJ Renda
Alabama State JR RHP Jorge Pantoja
Southern SR RHP Rafael Diaz
Alabama State SR RHP Michael Estevez

No disrespect to any of the returning players, but the biggest story from a prospect standpoint in the SWAC this year is the absence of Alabama State RHP/SS Branden Castro. If anybody knows what happened to Castro, an athletic two-way player with a fastball clocked as high as 96 in the past no longer on the Alabama State roster, please let me know. My lame attempt at researching the topic came up empty. I typically do a post on players that I’ve lost track of and get a bunch of really helpful responses out of it (I should probably do one for this year’s missing players…), so I’m hopeful somebody knows something that I don’t.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the players actually on the field this season. I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback about Jackson State SR 3B Melvin Rodriguez and Alabama A&M SR SS/2B Julio Nunez when asking around about who to watch in the SWAC this year. A player from the SWAC has been drafted every year since the Rule 4 draft began in 1965. Powerful Alabama State SR OF Waldyvan Estrada is more than qualified to keep the streak alive through 2015. Pro teams value players a lot differently than one guy writing on the internet, but I like all three players to be drafted in June as senior signs with actual upside at the plate.

Texas Southern SR RHP Robert Pearson has the fastball (90-94, 96 peak) and average or better slider to be considered a viable relief prospect. His control is a red flag, but I’ve heard teams think his arm is worthwhile and that a mechanical tweak or two could vastly improve his control. I might like him more than I should because his name reminds me of noted former Phillies ace Robert Person. For the record, I originally meant the ace thing as a bit of a crack on how bad the Phillies were during Person’s time here, but damn if he wasn’t even better – pretty darn good, even! — than my already overly rosy memories of players past originally would have guessed. Pearson would be lucky to have a career like Person.

Luck would happen that I recently wrote up the Summit League, so forgive me for comparing the relatively stacked Alabama State pitching staff to that of the Summit’s Oral Roberts. SR RHP TJ Renda (average fastball, good command, very good control), JR RHP Jorge Pantoja (better fastball, above-average breaking ball, good size), SR RHP Michael Estevez (long track record of missing bats, 2015 included), and SR RHP Armando Ruiz (short, but can hit 93) are all within draftable range for me.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Alabama State SR OF Waldyvan Estrada
  2. Alabama A&M SR OF Andrew Utterback
  3. Southern SR OF Lance Jones
  4. Alabama A&M JR 1B/RHP Austin Hulsey
  5. Jackson State SR 3B Melvin Rodriguez
  6. Alabama A&M SR SS/2B Julio Nunez
  7. Alabama State SR 2B Einar Muniz
  8. Jackson State SR SS Gary Thomas
  9. Southern rJR C Jose DeLa Torre
  10. Alabama A&M SR OF Brandyn Crutcher
  11. Grambling State SR 2B Yariel Medina
  12. Jackson State SR 1B Tilur Smith
  13. Prairie View A&M SR SS Walter Wells
  14. Alabama State rSR OF Cesar Rivera
  15. Texas Southern SR OF Jerry Ford

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Texas Southern SR RHP Robert Pearson
  2. Alabama State SR RHP TJ Renda
  3. Alabama State JR RHP Jorge Pantoja
  4. Southern SR RHP Rafael Diaz
  5. Alabama State SR RHP Michael Estevez
  6. Alabama State SR RHP Armando Ruiz
  7. Alabama A&M SR RHP Joshua Freeman
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2 Comments

  1. rob says:

    I can tell you what happened to Brandon Castro

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