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2010 MLB Draft: Top 101 College Outfielders

A few quick thoughts before we get to the ranking of the 2010 MLB Draft’s Top 100 College Outfield Prospects™. I may add to this throughout the week as random thoughts pop into my head, but we’ll start off with some quick justifications for players at the top of the list, an explanation about the relatively low rankings of two much ballyhooed prospects, and a general overview of how I pieced together the list. I may also tweak this list here and there in the next week, both near the top (3-11 are all really, really close for me) and closer to the bottom (a few pop-up guys I heretofore haven’t paid enough attention to deserve one last look), but those changes will probably be reflected when the college position player big board is revealed tomorrow.

Michael Choice has five solid or better tools (solid: speed, defense, bat; better: arm and power) and the potential to hit 30+ homers or more playing every day in the big leagues. Tyler Holt’s fantastic approach, stellar base running, and plus defense should help keep him employed as an everyday leadoff hitting centerfielder (at best) or a reserve outfielder (at worst) for a long, long time. Wates has no glaring weakness to his game and profiles as an above-average regular who should move quickly through the minors after signing. Mummey came into the year as a prospect who relied on plus speed, plus defense, and enough pop to keep pitchers honest. Well, one 2010 slugging percentage north of .800 and the highest of praise for his defense later, it seems like he’s taken what he’s done well and amplified it.

Gary Brown and Ryan LaMarre were both initially lower than even their current modest standing (tying up so much value in batting average terrifies me), but, after running the rough copy of this by a few people way smarter than I am, I moved each guy up five spots or so. Then, realizing that just because I always lump the two players together in my head, I took a step back and only left one player up in the rankings. Brown stayed up high because, if nothing else, he has the floor as one the league’s best fly catchers in center and a true base stealing threat off the bench.  LaMarre’s skill set is nothing to sneeze at, don’t get me wrong, but the lack of a premium tool to fall back on lumps him back in with other well-rounded potential outfield tweener types like Todd Cunningham, Parker, and Santos.

At the top, big bats with below-average corner outfield defense were penalized. In the middle, my old love of hitting won out because, and this is more of a personal draft philosophy quirk than anything, at a certain point in the draft you have to start taking players you acknowledge do not have starting upside and instead focus on players with one or two definite big league tools. Whether it’s the power to contribute off the bench in a pinch (e.g. Patterson, Wes Cunningham, Bailey) or the defense/speed to hang on for a long time as a fifth outfielder (Den Dekker is the most obvious example of this), the player needs to show a clearly defined big league tool to make his mark. I think the former has more traditional value in the game (perhaps deservedly so), but the latter is a) easier to project, b) very much en vogue these days, and c) pretty darn important in its own right. I tried to weigh all of these factors into the list accordingly.

One last important note before we go on – the scouting reports, so much as they can be called scouting reports, are wholly incomplete for a handful of reasons I’ll hopefully be able to announce at a later date. If you’ve got something to add, something to ask, something that needs clarification…leave a comment or drop me an email. I’m more than happy to go into more detail about any player. Alright, time for the list…

1. Texas Arlington JR OF Michael Choice (good speed; good arm; solid in center, but best in right; strong hit tool; serious power potential)

2. Florida State JR OF Tyler Holt (fantastic approach; above-average runner; great baserunner; legitimately great defender; big hit tool)

3. Virginia Tech JR OF Austin Wates (gap power; good athlete; good to plus speed (70); capable defender in CF; may be tried at 2B; good turn on Cape; 6-1, 174 pounds

4. Auburn JR OF Trent Mummey (plus speed; legendary defender; solid pop; 5-10, 176 pounds)

5. Wabash Valley JC FR OF Mel Rojas (tons of projection; plus speed; plus power potential from both sides of plate; good defender in CF; weak arm may relegate him to LF; 6-3, 195 pounds)

6. Louisville SO OF Stewart Ijames (great bat speed; big power potential; good approach; decent speed; should be average or better defender in corner spot, likely right; good arm; 6-1, 205 pounds)

7. Middle Tennessee State JR OF Bryce Brentz (plus bat speed; easy 65 power; above-average runner; plus arm; legit five-tool talent; great athlete; 89-92 FB off of mound)

8. Ohio JR OF Gauntlett Eldemire (above-average to almost plus speed (70); plus power potential; very good defender)

9. Clemson JR OF Kyle Parker (plus raw power; plus arm strength, but lacks accuracy; knocked for stiff movements and only being able to hit mistake pitches)

10. West Oklahoma State JC SO OF Randolph Oduber (good raw power; above-average to plus speed; good athlete; little to no plate discipline, but improving in this area; very raw; below-average arm; 6-2, 200 pounds)

11. Cal State Fullerton JR OF Gary Brown (plus speed (70); good bat control; plus defender in CF; average arm; puts ball in play at very high rate, but inability to take a walk makes his overall offensive value very much dependent on batting average; 6-0, 180 pounds)

12. Jacksonville State JR OF Todd Cunningham (quick bat; good approach at plate; little present power, but flashes raw plus power during batting practice; could just be gap power as professional; good defender; average arm; good speed; performed well with wood on Cape; danger of being labeled a tweener; 6-1, 205 pounds)

13. Virginia JR OF Jarrett Parker (plus power potential; very good defender; above-average arm; plus speed; all five tools are there; struggled with wood on Cape; Lastings Milledge comp; 6-3, 190 pounds)

14. Louisiana State JR OF Leon Landry (plus speed; plus athlete; raw in all phases; big power potential; legit defensive tools, but extremely inconsistent tracking balls in the air; 5-11, 195 pounds)

15. Wake Forest JR OF Steven Brooks (evidence of all five tools present; plus raw speed, solid defensively in center; raw power potential is there, but inconsistent with in-game power)

16. Coastal Carolina JR OF Rico Noel (above-average speed, but plus runner because of great base stealing instincts; plus defender in center)

17. Oregon State JR OF Adalberto Santos (above-average to plus speed; good plate discipline; versatile defender; gap power)

18. Michigan JR OF Ryan LaMarre (good knowledge of strike zone despite hacktastic 2010; plus power potential; good to plus (60) speed)

19. Catawba SR OF Wade Moore (very good defender in CF; plus speed; some gap power; leadoff man profile; 6-0, 200 pounds)

20. Catawba SR OF Craige Lyerle (leadoff man profile; very good arm; excellent speed; some pop; utility player future; can also play 3B; 6-0, 180 pounds)

21. Yavapai JC SO DeMarcus Tidwell (plus speed; plus athlete; above-average with all tools except power; 6-1, 190 pounds)

22. San Jacinto SO OF Randall Thorpe (plus speed; plus range in CF; average power potential; average arm strength; 6-1, 175 pounds)

23. Miami-Dade SO OF Jabari Blash (plus runner; solid-average arm; huge raw power potential, but has never been able to consistently show it in game situations; not a good defender; 6-5, 220 pounds)

24. Oxnard FR OF Harper White (present gap power with homerun potential with tweaks to swing; above-average runner; 6-6, 200 pounds)

25. Virginia JR OF Dan Grovatt (patient approach; gap power; average fielder; above-average to plus arm strength, good enough for RF; average speed; 6-1, 175 pounds)

26. Meridian SO OF Corey Dickerson (above-average bat; above-average raw power; average speed; above-average arm; good size; nice swing)

27. Weatherford SO OF Bryson Myles (plus speed; good bat; power a definite question)

28. Clemson JR OF Jeff Schaus (pretty swing; good natural hitter; average power; average speed; stuck in LF)

29. Rutgers JR OF Pat Biserta (iffy defender in left field who may profile best at first or DH, but his numbers have been so strong in 2010 — park and schedule adjusted line of .440/.502/.812; 28 BB/28 K; 43 extra base hits; 5/6 SB — that you’re at least getting a guy with big league bench bat potential)

30. California JR OF Mark Canha (poor defender in the outfield who may have to play first base professionally; above-average to plus arm; interesting hit tool; 6-2, 195 pounds)

31. Missouri SR OF Aaron Senne (advanced idea of strike zone; good power)

32. East Carolina JR OF Devin Harris (60 power, 65 arm, 60 speed; great athlete, but really inconsistent college career)

33. Texas JR OF Kevin Keyes (plus power potential; slow; average arm)

34. Auburn JR OF Kevin Patterson (big raw power, but too many swings and misses)

35. Pacific JR OF Nick Longmire (above-average athlete; good range in outfield; added strength in 2010; 6-2, 210 pounds)

36. Rutgers JR OF Jaren Matthews (unrefined approach prior to 2010, but concerted effort to take better at bats impressed; plus defensive possibilities at first base (natural position), but a good enough athlete to be average or better in the outfield; to that end, good enough speed and instincts for outfield make the conversion likely to happen; 6-2, 215 pounds)

37. Auburn JR OF Brian Fletcher (aggressive at plate, in both a good and bad way; good athlete; good defender; strong arm; plus power; 6-4, 195 pounds)

38. Tampa JR OF Jared Simon (very pretty swing; too aggressive at plate; 1B or LF professionally, so defense is certainly an issue; will have to hope bat carries him; 6-1, 210 pounds)

39. Sonoma State JR OF Kyle Jones (above-average speed; good arm; likely limited to LF as a pro because of iffy instincts; 6-0, 195 pounds)

40. Florida Southern SR OF Trae Gore (decent arm; average at best speed; good base runner; some power potential; LF professionally; 6-0, 215 pounds)

41. Central Florida SR OF Chris Duffy (plus hit tool; average raw power; above-average arm strength; good athlete and underrated speed)

42. Bucknell SR OF Andrew Brouse (good athlete; above-average speed; good arm; above-average defender; 6-2, 205 pounds)

43. Nebraska-Omaha JR OF Ryan Hook (peak 95 FB off of mound; nice approach; good pop; above-average speed; good range in CF and RF; plus arm; 6-2, 190 pounds)

44. Ohio JR OF Robert Maddox (good strength; good runner; quick enough bat; can hold down any of the three outfield spots)

45. Rutgers JR OF Michael Lang (intriguing power/speed combo; above-average speed; should stick as average CF as pro; strong arm; good athlete; no plus tool, but well-rounded; 5-11, 180 pounds)

46. Dallas Baptist SR OF Ryan Enos (plus speed; good range; good athlete)

47. Truett-McConnell SO OF Terrell Jones (gap power; good approach)

48. Gonzaga SR OF Drew Heid (great track record with wood; slightly above-average speed; decent range in CF; playable arm; only plus tool is bat; 5-9, 175 pounds)

49. Murray State SR OF Wes Cunningham (plus speed; poor defender stuck in corner; good arm)

50. Vanderbilt JR OF Aaron Westlake (smooth swing; capable of playing average at best defense behind plate if called upon; four-corners potential; 6-4, 230 pounds)

51. South Carolina JR OF Whit Merrifield (near-plus runner; great instincts on bases; solid tools; mature approach)

52. CC of Southern Nevada SO OF Trevor Kirk (good approach; leadoff hitter profile; good speed)

53. Fort Hays State JR OF Jordan Payne (plus speed; plus CF range; no current power, little projected)

54. Chipola JC SO OF Joey Rapp (powerful swing; bat will make or break him going forward)

55. Iowa JR OF Kurtis Muller (plus speed; little power; good base runner; 5-10, 165 pounds)

56. Georgia Tech SR OF Jay Dantzler (very good athlete)

57. Central Florida SR OF Shane Brown (good bat speed; versatile defender capable of playing 3B)

58. Michigan State SR OF Eli Boike (patient approach; good defender, can play CF; decent power; 6-1, 180 pounds)

59. Pittsburgh JR OF John Schultz (five average tools at best; limited power; good approach; 5-11, 190 pounds)

60. Manhattan JR OF Mike McCann (good strike zone judgment; average speed; average arm; 5-10, 175 pounds)

61. James Madison SR OF Matt Browning (gap power; has played some 3B in past)

62. Florida State JR OF Mike McGee (great approach; average speed; could be tried on mound)

63. Nebraska SR OF Adam Bailey (undisciplined bat; plus arm; big power; 6-0, 190 pounds)

64. Texas SR OF Russell Moldenhauer (poor runner; good power; professional bat)

65. North Carolina State SR OF Kyle Wilson (plus athlete; versatile defender; can play center; above-average speed; questions about bat translating to wood)

66. Florida SR OF Matt Den Dekker (plus speed; great base stealer; outstanding defender)

67. Louisville JR OF Josh Richmond (good power; average speed; good range; good arm)

68. Washington SO OF Caleb Brown (extremely raw; too many empty swings; legit speed, arm, and defense in CF; many believe in his bat, but needs results; 6-2, 220 pounds)

69. Indiana State SR OF Ryan Strausborger (plus speed; good range in CF; decent arm; leadoff hitter profile, patient with pop; smart base runner; has experience up the middle in the infield; 6-0, 180 pounds)

70. San Diego State JR OF Cory Vaughn (plus raw power; arm and speed limit him to LF; terrible plate discipline; poor swing mechanics; fastball hitter only)

71. Georgia State SO OF Joey Wood (plus hit tool)

72. Stanford JR OF Kellen Kiilsgaard (plus athlete; plus power potential; plus speed; should be above-average defender; questionable arm; weird 2010 season; 6-2, 225 pounds)

73. Sonoma State JR OF Tillman Pugh (plus speed; plus defender in CF; huge tools, but very raw; 6-0, 190 pounds)

74. Samford SR OF David Schulze (average speed; weak arm; LF professionally; 6-2, 210 pounds)

75. Dallas Baptist JR OF Jason Krizan (gap power)

76. Cal Poly SR OF Luke Yoder (good speed; leadoff hitter profile; some power developing; solid tools across board)

77. Georgia Tech JR OF Chase Burnette (good power)

78. Texas JR OF Tant Shepherd (average runner)

79. Wright State SR OF Casey McGrew (played well for Team USA)

80. Virginia Tech SR OF Steve Domecus (good arm, decent defender, good athlete, power potential; strong hit tool; can play behind plate when needed)

81. Texas A&M SR OF Brodie Greene (great athlete; versatile defender with experience all over the diamond; good speed; some power)

82. Ohio State SR OF Zach Hurley (solid speed; good defense; good arm; good baserunner)

83. Sam Houston State JR OF Mark Hudson (pretty swing; plus bat speed; legit power potential; solid-average speed; strong CF arm; 6-2, 200 pounds)

84. Western Michigan SR OF Chris Lewis (good plate discipline; big hit tool; poor body and no other above-average tools; 6-1, 205 pounds)

85. Georgia Tech JR OF Jeff Rowland (some pop; plus speed; good defender)

86. Rice JR OF Michael Fuda (good gap power; plus speed; good defender; versatile defender; strong arm; great athlete; 6-0, 190 pounds)

87. Virginia JR OF John Barr (plus speed; plus range in corner, but not suited for CF)

88. Florida Gulf Coast JR OF Josh Chester (solid arm; interesting power)

89. East Carolina JR OF Trent Whitehead (good pop; above-average speed; plus range)

90. UCLA JR OF Brett Krill (power potential, but underwhelmed in three college seasons)

91. Clemson JR OF Addison Johnson (good speed)

92. Clemson SR OF Wilson Boyd (average power; average speed)

93. Siena SR OF Anthony Giansanti (nice swing; intriguing hit tool; average speed; strong arm; good athlete; 5-10, 195 pounds)

94. Auburn JR OF Justin Fradejas (plus speed; plus arm; above-average bat speed; 6-0, 190 pounds)

95. Kentucky SO OF Navarro Hall (leadoff profile; patient approach; plus speed; plus range; weak arm; infrequent at bats in 2010; 6-1, 180 pounds)

96. Xavier JR OF John McCambridge (above-average speed; little power; great athlete; leadoff man profile; good defense in CF; 6-2, 205 pounds)

97. Mississippi JR OF Tim Ferguson (good hit tool; some pop; above-average speed; good range)

98. Louisiana Lafayette SR OF Kyle Olasin (plus runner; plus range in CF; above-average tools except power; 5-10, 175 pounds)

99. Rice JR OF Chad Mozingo (good power; good range; doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but unusually accurate)

100. San Diego JR OF Kevin Muno (plus runner; good range)

101.  Boston College JR OF Robbie Anston (plus speed; very good defender; leadoff hitter profile)