The college update is up to 59.36% complete. Still shooting to get it all wrapped up by Monday. As pumped as I am for this year’s draft to get here, I’m already thinking about projects to work on throughout the rest of the summer. One such project will be my attempt to figure out if there are any statistical benchmarks that correlate to professional success for college prospects. I’m particularly intrigued with doing this with finding the minimum requirements for college pitchers, but some work for hitters might also be fun. That led me to coming up with the mostly arbitrary stat deadlines of a .600 or better slugging percentage AND more walks than strikeouts. I hope to do this a bit more scientifically in the future, but figured these guidelines would make for an interesting look at some of college ball’s top performers in time for this year’s draft. Who are our .600+ SLG and more BB than K hitters?
Again, I’m only about 60% of the way done. If a player is missing it is very possible that I simply haven’t gotten to his team yet. Out of thousands of names, only eight so far hit those high standards…
Illinois SR 1B David Kerian
South Carolina SR 1B Kyle Martin
Arkansas SO OF Andrew Benintendi
Florida International 3B/2B Edwin Rios
Memphis SR 1B Tucker Tubbs
Cincinnati JR 2B/OF Ian Happ
Miami JR 3B/OF David Thompson
Evansville rSR OF Kevin Kaczmarski
Kerian, Martin, and Tubbs are all rock solid senior signs. Benintendi and Happ are top half of the first round talents. Thompson is a gigantic favorite that I’d consider as early as the second round. Kaczmarski, like Benintendi, were originally missed when I went through my notes because of their slugging percentages that begin with 7’s and not 6’s. That’s production right there. Rios is easy to like as a steady fielding, strong armed, above-average power hitting third baseman. I haven’t gotten any worthwhile recent reports on his defense at third, but one of the last notes I have on him is a scout comparing his overall defensive ability (arm, range, hands, instincts, etc.) to Maikel Franco, an underrated defender in many of those areas.
Nevada SR 1B Austin Byler
Florida State JR OF DJ Stewart
Vanderbilt JR SS Dansby Swanson
These guys all just barely missed the cut. Byler is another first base senior sign to add to the mix. Swanson is Swanson. Stewart remains a guy that I’ll likely have higher than in most other places because I believe in the bat so much. It’s a stretch and not an advisable strategy, but a team picking around ten or so in the first round could conceivably walk away from the first three rounds of the draft with Happ, Stewart, and Thompson. Heck, the Astros could potentially go Swanson (2), Happ (5), and Stewart (37) if they wanted to go all-in on crazy productive college bats. Again, I wouldn’t necessarily advise any team do such a thing — diversification is key when building a draft portfolio — but it could be possible. Brendon Sanger of Florida Atlantic, another player I really really really like, also just missed.