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2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Horizon

I think I was pretty optimistic about Sean Murphy in the pre-season…

Watching Murphy do his thing behind the plate is worth the price of admission alone. We’re talking “Queen Bee” level arm strength, ample lateral quicks on balls in the dirt, and dependable hands with an ever-improving ability to frame borderline pitches. He’s second in the class behind Jake Rogers defensively — not just as a catcher, but arguably at any position — but with enough bat (unlike Rogers) to project as a potential above-average all-around regular in time. I expect the battle for top college catching prospect to be closely contested all year with Thaiss, Okey, and Murphy all taking turns atop team-specific draft boards all spring long.

…but there’s a chance that even the praise and his lofty ranking (22nd among college prospects, top three college catcher) undersold how good a player he is. Murphy has a chance to be a game-changing talent defensively as well as a significant contributor offensively. If you ever sat down and counted up all of the players that various experts considered first rounders you’d wind up with a first round approaching triple-digit selections; for that reason, I hesitate to call Murphy a future first round pick. I think it’s much easier to identify him instead as a first round talent, a minor distinction that speaks more about his ability as a player than an attempt to explain the vagaries of how teams draft. I have no idea if Murphy will be a first round pick in June. I don’t even know if he’ll wind up as one of the top thirty or so (“first round”) players on my final big board before the draft. What I do know is that he’s talented enough to warrant a first round pick, so fans of any team picking him then should be pleased. I also know that college players I like in that late-first to mid-second round range have had a tendency of slipping some on draft day, what with there being so many talented players that sorting through the top 100 can produce lists with all kinds of different orders. Brandon Lowe (ranked him 24/drafted in the third), Scott Kingery (25/second), David Thompson (35/fourth), and Harrison Bader (42/third) are all examples of this kind of player from last year. Those were all serious value picks in my mind, and I can see Murphy’s (late-first to third round) selection being written about in much the same way in a few months.

Throwing to Murphy will be a pitching staff that stands out as one of the best in the conference. Jesse Scholtens, a transfer from Arizona, can crank it up to the low-90s with his fastball, a pitch complemented nicely with an average or better breaking ball. There’s clear senior-sign reliever potential with him and perhaps a little bit more if his changeup continues to develop. EJ Trapino and Derek Hendrixson are players who could be targeted by teams more interested in performance than physical projection. Trapino, the lefty, and Hendrixson, a righty, both stand at only around 5-9, 150 pounds. The lack of size has not slowed them down in any way, however, as both young pitchers have consistentedly mowed down whatever competition that has been put in front of them. Trapino uses a funky sidearm delivery with loads of deception to keep hitters off balance to the tune of a 11.21 K/9 in 53 junior year innings. Hendrixson has more impressive stuff (low-90s heat, interesting cutter), but he’ll have to prove it works at the D1 level first. Judging by his junior college numbers – 9.88 K/9 and 0.80 BB/9 in 78.1 IP last year – it shouldn’t be too painful a transition if he’s healthy and given the opportunity. We need not take those things for granted, but there’s no harm in hoping for the best.

Hitters

  1. Wright State JR C Sean Murphy
  2. Wisconsin-Milwaukee rJR SS/3B Eric Solberg
  3. Oakland SR SS Mike Brosseau
  4. Oakland JR 1B/OF Zach Sterry
  5. Wright State JR SS Mitch Roman
  6. Wisconsin-Milwaukee rSR OF Luke Meeteer
  7. Valparaiso JR 1B Nate Palace
  8. Illinois-Chicago JR 3B/SS Mickey McDonald
  9. Youngstown State rSO 1B Andrew Kendrick
  10. Wright State rSO 1B/OF Gabe Snyder
  11. Youngstown State JR OF Alex Larivee
  12. Valparaiso SR C/OF Daniel Delaney
  13. Oakland rSR C/2B Ian Yetsko
  14. Illinois-Chicago JR SS/3B Cody Bohanek
  15. Valparaiso SR OF Nolan Lodden
  16. Illinois-Chicago rSR OF Conor Philbin
  17. Wright State SR OF Ryan Fucci

Pitchers

  1. Wright State SR RHP Jesse Scholtens
  2. Youngstown State JR RHP Kevin Yarabinec
  3. Illinois-Chicago JR RHP Connor Ryan
  4. Illinois-Chicago JR LHP Jake Dahlberg
  5. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR RHP Brian Keller
  6. Valparaiso SR LHP Dalton Lundeen
  7. Wisconsin-Milwaukee JR RHP Jay Peters
  8. Valparaiso SR LHP Luke Syens
  9. Wright State SR LHP EJ Trapino
  10. Wright State JR RHP Derek Hendrixson
  11. Wright State rJR LHP Robby Sexton
  12. Youngstown State SR LHP Jared Wight
  13. Oakland JR RHP Connor Fannon
  14. Wisconsin-Milwaukee JR RHP Adam Reuss
  15. Illinois-Chicago SR LHP/OF Trevor Lane
  16. Valparaiso SR RHP Ryan Fritze
  17. Oakland rSR RHP Chris Van Dyke
  18. Oakland rSR RHP Lucas Scocchia
  19. Youngstown State JR RHP Jeremy Quinlan

Illinois-Chicago

JR RHP Mitchell Schulewitz (2016)
JR LHP Jake Dahlberg (2016)
SR RHP Jack Andersen (2016)
JR RHP Connor Ryan (2016)
SR LHP/OF Trevor Lane (2016)
rSR OF Conor Philbin (2016)
JR 3B/SS Mickey McDonald (2016)
rSO C Gabe Dwyer (2016)
rSO 2B David Cronin (2016)
JR SS/3B Cody Bohanek (2016)
SO RHP Noah Masa (2017)
SO C Robert Calabrese (2017)
FR RHP Fred Gosbeth (2018)
FR RHP Reid Birlingmair (2018)
FR OF Riley Hebert (2018)
FR OF/1B Scott Ota (2018)

High Priority Follows: Mitchell Schulewitz, Jake Dahlberg, Jack Anderson, Connor Ryan, Trevor Lane, Conor Philbin, Mickey McDonald, David Cronin, Cody Bohanek

Northern Kentucky

rSR RHP Alex Bolia (2016)
SR RHP Aric Harris (2016)
SR RHP Justin Watts (2016)
rJR LHP Kevin Herren (2016)
rSR RHP Wendell Wright (2016)
SR C Logan Spurlin (2016)
JR SS Kyle Colletta (2016)
rSR OF Quint Heady (2016)
JR OF Tito Montgomery (2016)
SO OF/LHP Trey Ganns (2017)

High Priority Follows: Justin Watts, Kyle Colletta

Oakland

rSR RHP Lucas Scocchia (2016)
rSR RHP Chris Van Dyke (2016)
SR LHP Collin Gee (2016)
SR RHP Alex Mason (2016)
JR RHP Connor Fannon (2016)
JR RHP Kendall Colvin (2016)
JR RHP Tyler Palm (2016)
JR RHP Aaron Dehl (2016)
JR 1B/OF Zach Sterry (2016)
SR SS Mike Brosseau (2016)
JR OF Tyler Pagano (2016)
rSR C/2B Ian Yetsko (2016)
SO RHP Nate Green (2017)
SO LHP Nate Schweers (2017)
FR OF Jordan Jackson (2018)

High Priority Follows: Lucas Scocchia, Chris Van Dyke, Connor Fannon, Zach Sterry, Mike Brosseau, Ian Yetsko

Valparaiso

SR RHP Trevor Haas (2016)
SR LHP Luke Syens (2016)
SR LHP Dalton Lundeen (2016)
SR RHP Ryan Fritze (2016):
rJR RHP Ellis Foreman (2016)
SR C/OF Daniel Delaney (2016)
SR OF Nolan Lodden (2016)
SR OF Josh Clark (2016)
JR 1B Nate Palace (2016)
SO RHP Luke VanLanen (2017)
SO INF Chad Jacob (2017)
FR RHP Montana Quigley (2018)
FR C Scott Kapers (2018)

High Priority Follows: Trevor Haas, Luke Syens, Dalton Lundeen, Ryan Fritze, Daniel Delaney, Nolan Lodden, Nate Palace

Wisconsin-Milwaukee

JR RHP Jay Peters (2016)
SR RHP Brian Keller (2016)
JR RHP Adam Reuss (2016)
rSR RHP Cal Haley (2016)
JR RHP Zach Brenner (2016)
rJR SS/3B Eric Solberg (2016)
JR 2B/SS Billy Quirke (2016)
rJR 1B/3B John Boidanis (2016)
SR 3B/1B Nick Unes (2016)
rSR OF Luke Meeteer (2016)
SO LHP Alex McIntosh (2017)
SO RHP Austin Schulfer (2017)
SO C Daulton Varsho (2017)
FR RHP Jake Sommers (2018)
FR INF Mike Ferri (2018)

High Priority Follows: Jay Peters, Brian Keller, Adam Reuss, Cal Haley, Eric Solberg, Billy Quirke, John Boidanis, Luke Meeteer

Wright State

SR LHP EJ Trapino (2016)
rSR RHP Jack Van Horn (2016)
JR RHP Derek Hendrixson (2016)
SR RHP Jesse Scholtens (2016)
rJR LHP Robby Sexton (2016)
SR OF Ryan Fucci (2016)
SR 3B John Brodner (2016)
SR C Jason DeFevers (2016)
rJR 1B/OF Brad Macciocchi (2016)
JR SS Mitch Roman (2016)
rSO 1B/OF Gabe Snyder (2016)
JR C Sean Murphy (2016)
SO RHP Jeremy Randolph (2017)
SO OF Matt Morrow (2017)
FR RHP Ryan Weiss (2018)
FR RHP/SS Caleb Sampen (2018)
FR LHP Zane Collins (2018)
FR OF/C Peyton Burdick (2018)
FR OF JD Orr (2018)

High Priority Follows: EJ Trapino, Jack Van Horn, Derek Hendrixson, Jesse Scholtens, Robby Sexton, Ryan Fucci, Mitch Roman, Gabe Snyder, Sean Murphy

Youngstown State

SR LHP Jared Wight (2016)
JR RHP Kevin Yarabinec (2016)
JR LHP Michael Semonsen (2016)
JR RHP Jeremy Quinlan (2016)
SR 2B Billy Salem (2016)
JR OF Lorenzo Arcuri (2016)
JR SS Shane Willoughby (2016)
JR OF Alex Larivee (2016)
rSO 1B Andrew Kendrick (2016)
SO 1B Ryan Cordova (2017)
FR LHP Collin Floyd (2018)
FR OF Kyle Benyo (2018)

High Priority Follows: Jared Wight, Kevin Yarabinec, Jeremy Quinlan, Billy Salem, Lorenzo Arcuri, Alex Larivee, Andrew Kendrick

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1 Comment

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