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2011 MLB Draft Top 150 Pitching Prospects

  1. UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole
  2. RHP Dylan Bundy (Owasso HS, Oklahoma)
  3. UCLA JR RHP Trevor Bauer
  4. RHP Archie Bradley (Broken Arrow HS, Oklahoma)
  5. Vanderbilt JR RHP Sonny Gray
  6. RHP Taylor Guerrieri (North Augusta HS, South Carolina)
  7. Texas JR RHP Taylor Jungmann
  8. LHP Daniel Norris (Science Hill HS, Tennessee)
  9. Georgia Tech JR LHP Jed Bradley
  10. Virginia JR LHP Danny Hultzen
  11. Connecticut JR RHP Matt Barnes
  12. LHP Henry Owens (Edison HS, California)
  13. RHP Robert Stephenson (Alhambra HS, California)
  14. Kent State SO LHP Andrew Chafin
  15. Kentucky JR RHP Alex Meyer
  16. RHP Jorge Lopez (Academia la Milagrosa, Puerto Rico)
  17. RHP Joe Ross (Bishop O’Dowd HS, California)
  18. RHP Michael Kelly (West Boca Raton Community HS, Florida)
  19. Oregon JR LHP Tyler Anderson
  20. Oregon State JR LHP Josh Osich
  21. RHP Dillon Howard (Searcy HS, Arkansas)
  22. RHP John Curtiss (Carroll HS, Texas)
  23. Texas State JR RHP Carson Smith
  24. RHP Pat Connaughton (St. John’s Prep, Massachusetts)
  25. LHP Jake Cave (Kecoughtan HS, Virginia)
  26. Oklahoma JR RHP Burch Smith
  27. Vanderbilt JR RHP Jack Armstrong
  28. Southern California JR RHP Austin Wood
  29. RHP Benton Moss (Rocky Mount HS, North Carolina)
  30. RHP Tyler Beede (Lawrence Academy, Massachusetts)
  31. RHP Kyle Smith (Santaluces HS, Florida):
  32. RHP Joe Musgrove (Grossmont HS, California)
  33. RHP Kyle Crick (Sherman HS, Texas)
  34. RHP Bryan Brickhouse (The Woodlands HS, Texas)
  35. RHP Dillon Maples (Pinecrest HS, North Carolina)
  36. RHP Jose Fernandez (Alonso HS, Florida)
  37. TCU SO LHP Matt Purke
  38. Texas A&M JR RHP John Stilson
  39.  TCU JR RHP Kyle Winkler
  40. Vanderbilt JR LHP Grayson Garvin
  41. Florida JR LHP Nick Maronde
  42. RHP Nick Burdi (Downers Grove HS, Illinois)
  43. LHP Amir Garrett (Leuzinger HS, California)
  44. RHP Brandon Woodruff (Wheeler HS, Mississippi)
  45. RHP Kevin Comer (Seneca HS, New Jersey)
  46. Texas JR LHP Sam Stafford
  47. RHP Carson Baranik (Parkway HS, Louisiana)
  48. RHP Deshorn Lake (Menchville HS, Virginia)
  49. RHP Hudson Boyd (South Ft. Myers HS, Florida)
  50. RHP Aaron Nola (Catholic HS, Louisiana)
  51. Stony Brook JR RHP Nick Tropeano
  52. LHP Andy Suarez (Columbus HS, Florida)
  53. Florida State JR LHP Sean Gilmartin
  54. LHP Cody Kukuk (Free State HS, Kansas)
  55. RHP Jake Reed (Helix HS, California)
  56. RHP Matt Troupe (Northridge HS, California)
  57. Johnson County CC SO RHP Vince Spilker
  58. Georgia Tech JR RHP Mark Pope
  59. Baylor JR RHP Logan Verrett
  60. Coastal Carolina JR RHP Anthony Meo
  61. Vanderbilt JR RHP Navery Moore
  62. Oregon JR RHP Scott McGough
  63. UC Irvine JR RHP Matt Summers
  64. RHP Dylan Davis (Redmond HS, Washington)
  65. RHP Christian Montgomery (Lawrence Central HS, Indiana)
  66. RHP Michael Cederoth (Steele Canyon HS, California)
  67. Clemson SO RHP Kevin Brady
  68. Gonzaga JR LHP Ryan Carpenter
  69. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Noe Ramirez
  70. Wichita State JR LHP Charlie Lowell
  71.  RHP Jordan Cote (Winnisquam HS, New Hampshire)
  72. RHP Mason Hope (Broken Arrow HS, Oklahoma)
  73. RHP Michael Fulmer (Deer Creek HS, Oklahoma)
  74. Long Beach State JR RHP Andrew Gagnon
  75. Loyola Marymount JR LHP Jason Wheeler
  76. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Tyler Pill
  77. Southern Cal JR RHP Andrew Triggs
  78. Louisville JR RHP Tony Zych
  79. Washington State JR LHP Adam Conley
  80. Hawaii JR RHP Lenny Linsky
  81. RHP Adrian Houser (Locust Grove HS, Oklahoma)
  82. RHP Kody Watts (Skyview HS, Washington)
  83. LHP Adam McCreery (Bonita HS, California)
  84. RHP Hawtin Buchanan (Biloxi HS, Mississippi)
  85. RHP Jerrick Suiter (Valparaiso HS, Indiana)
  86. RHP Ricky Jacquez (Franklin HS, Texas)
  87. RHP Jake Junis (Rock Falls HS, Illinois)
  88. Green River CC SO RHP Cody Hebner
  89. Oklahoma State JR LHP Chris Marlowe
  90. Miami-Dade CC SO RHP Jharel Cotton
  91. Rice SR LHP Tony Cingrani
  92. Texas A&M JR RHP Ross Stripling
  93. Stanford JR LHP Chris Reed
  94. Kentucky JR RHP Braden Kapteyn
  95. Villanova RHP Kyle McMyne
  96. Oregon JR RHP Madison Boer
  97. Alabama JR LHP Adam Morgan
  98. California JR RHP Erik Johnson
  99. RHP Tayler Scott (Notre Dame Prep, Arizona)
  100. LHP Kevin Matthews (Richmond Hill HS, Georgia)
  101. RHP Ryan Keller (West Ranch HS, California)
  102. RHP Danny Keller (Newbury Park HS, California)
  103. North Carolina State JR RHP Cory Mazzoni
  104. Virginia SR RHP Tyler Wilson
  105. Kansas JR RHP Colton Murray
  106. Santa Clara JR RHP JR Graham
  107. Stanford JR LHP Brett Mooneyham
  108. Texas JR RHP Austin Dicharry
  109. Vanderbilt SR RHP Taylor Hill
  110. LHP Philip Pfeifer (Farragut HS, Tennessee)
  111. LHP Stephen Tarpley (Gilbert HS, Arizona)
  112. LHP Dillon Peters (Cathedral HS, Indiana)
  113. RHP Taylor Nunez (Salmen HS, Louisiana)
  114. RHP Cole Wiper (Newport HS, Washington)
  115. Dayton JR LHP Cameron Hobson
  116. Oregon State JR RHP Sam Gaviglio
  117. Merced JC FR RHP Jake Sisco
  118. Johnson County CC SO RHP Jeff Soptic
  119. Kansas State JR RHP Evan Marshall
  120. Indiana State JR RHP Colin Rea
  121. Lower Columbia JC SO RHP Jeff Ames
  122. RHP Thomas Robson (Delta SS, British Columbia)
  123. RHP Austin Robichaux (Notre Dame HS, Louisiana)
  124. RHP Vaughn Covington (Killarney SS, British Columbia)
  125. RHP Gandy Stubblefield (Lufkin HS, Texas)
  126. Mississippi JR RHP David Goforth
  127. RHP Matt Wisler (Bryan HS, Ohio)
  128. RHP Koby Gauna (St. John Bosco HS, California)
  129. Georgia Southern JR RHP Matt Murray
  130. South Carolina SO RHP Matt Price
  131. Georgia JR RHP Michael Palazzone
  132. Florida JR RHP Tommy Toledo
  133. Notre Dame SR RHP Brian Dupra
  134. LHP Zakery Qualls (Rancho HS, Nevada)
  135. RHP Tyler Arthur (Lexington Catholic HS, Kentucky)
  136. RHP Matt Spalding (St. Xavier HS, Kentucky)
  137. RHP Dakota Freese (Washington HS, Iowa)
  138. Gonzaga SR RHP Cody Martin
  139. Santa Barbara CC SO LHP Kylin Turnbull
  140. RHP Clay Holmes (Slocomb HS, Alabama)
  141. LHP Daniel Camarena
  142. LHP Blake Snell (Shorewood HS, Washington)
  143. Oxnard CC FR RHP Jesus Valdez
  144. Mississippi JR LHP Matt Crouse
  145. LHP Carlos Rodon (Holly Springs HS, North Carolina)
  146. Cal Poly JR RHP Jeff Johnson
  147. Longwood JR RHP Mark Montgomery
  148. Minnesota SR RHP Scott Matyas
  149. TCU JR RHP Erik Miller
  150. Catawba JR RHP JJ (Jordan) Jankowski

Final 2011 MLB Draft College Pitcher Rankings

1. UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole: 92-96 FB, peak 97-99; FB is true plus-plus pitch but gets in trouble when command slips; holds velocity exceptionally well; hits upper-90s at will; 92-94 two-seam FB; plus 81-85 added velocity to become outstanding 86-90 SL this summer; excellent sinking 83-87 hard CU with plus upside; 89-91 cutter; love the Max Scherzer comp; 6-4, 215

2. UCLA JR RHP Trevor Bauer: 88-92 FB, peak 93-94; began to hit 95-96 this past fall, has said he’ll hit 98 at some point; currently sitting 91-93, 95 consistent peak; plus 72-78 CB that he leans on heavily; good 80-84 CU; any one (and often more than one) of his 78-82 SL, cutter, 84-89 screwball/reverse slider, or 84-86 splitter is a plus pitch on a given day

3. Vanderbilt JR RHP Sonny Gray: plus FB in mid-90s (92-97) with excellent movement; currently rarely dips below 93-96 with nice sink; 81-85 plus to plus-plus CB; average command that comes and goes; 84-87 SL can be a weapon in time; 82-85 CU slow to emerge, but now a weapon more often than not; plus athlete; 5-11, 180

4. Texas JR RHP Taylor Jungmann: has touched 96-99, but regularly sits low-90s (91-93); new reports have him 92-95; can still reach back and crank upper-90s (like on opening day 2011), but sits most comfortably 92-93, occasionally dipping to 89-91; plus FB command; good sink on FB; plus 75-78 CB; plus CB command; good 85-87 CU; good SL; love the Jered Weaver comp

5. Georgia Tech JR LHP Jed Bradley: 88-92 FB with plus life and good sink, pretty steady peak up at 94-96; loves to cut the FB; has sat 91-93 at times; holds velocity late; good sink on FB; average 80-84 SL that flashes plus when velocity gets up to 86-87; good 77-79 CB; plus 79-83 CU that he has worked very hard on, but sometimes goes away from for too long; both the SL and CB are very inconsistent offerings; 6-4, 200 pounds

6. Virginia JR LHP Danny Hultzen: plus command of all pitches; 88-91, will definitely touch 94; velocity jump due to 20 pounds of added muscle since high school, currently sitting 91-93, peaking 94-95; will throw upper-80s two-seam FB with good sink; 77-78 CB; plus 78-82 CU; quality 82-85 SL that he leans on at times

7. Connecticut JR RHP Matt Barnes: 90-93 FB, 95-96 peak; has hit 97-98 in past; great movement on FB; great FB command; holds velocity well, still hitting 90-92 late; good 82-84 CU that gets better every time out; 72-76 CB that is now firmed up enough that  it is a potential plus 75-80 CB; 78-83 SL with plus upside, but doesn’t use it often; work needs to be on delivery and command of offspeed stuff; some debate on whether CB or SL is better breaking pitch, a good sign; uses CB more to get outs on balls in play, SL for swings and misses; 6-4, 200

8. Kent State SO LHP Andrew Chafin: missed 2010 after Tommy John surgery; 89-93 FB, 94-95 peak; potential plus 81-83 SL that is a big league ready pitch; very good CU; command slowly coming on after surgery

9. Kentucky JR RHP Alex Meyer: sitting 93-97 FB, dips closer to 92-94 later in games; inconsistent but plus 84-86 spike CB that works like a SL; 79-86 CU that flashes above-average when he throws it with more velocity; 92-93 two-seamer; all about command and control – if it is on, he’s incredibly tough to hit; FB is plus-plus down in zone, very hittable when left up; mechanical tweaks are likely needed; 6-9, 220

10. Oregon JR LHP Tyler Anderson: 88-92 FB, 93-95 peak; well above-average FB command; good 76-84 SL that is better when thrown in low-80s; average 80-83 CU that flashes plus but isn’t used enough; good 75-78 CB; good pitchability; repeats delivery well; good control; holds velocity well; 6-4, 215

11. Oregon State JR LHP Josh Osich: Tommy John survivor still capable of throwing 94-98 FB; has been consistently sitting 93-95, peaking 97-98; really good 79-82 CU that he relies on heavily; below-average 79-83 SL, but was solid pitch before surgery and is beginning to show signs of life once mroe; can’t wait to see return of CB; much better at holding velocity as season progressed, 90-94 late in games

12. Texas State JR RHP Carson Smith: very good athlete; 91-93 FB with great sink, 94-95 peak; sits 95-98 out of bullpen, 91-94 as starter; above-average potential with SL; CU with plus potential; commands CB well; 6-5, 215

13. Oklahoma JR RHP Burch Smith: starts hot with 95-96 sitting FB, but loses velocity and finishes 88-90; typically sits low-90s; 83-87 SL that flashes plus; good 79-80 CU; 6-3, 200

14. Vanderbilt JR RHP Jack Armstrong: 91-93 FB sitting, 94-97 peak; 80-82 flashes plus CU; 81-82 CB with promise but slow to develop due to injuries; clean mechanics; finally healthy, CB better than ever; 6-7, 230 pounds

15. Southern California JR RHP Austin Wood: 92-94 FB, 95-96 peak; interesting SL; emerging 80-82 CU that still needs work; average CB; 6-4, 215

16. TCU SO LHP Matt Purke: originally ranked 8th overall, but injury scare drops him; at his best throws 91-95 FB, 96-97 peak; command of FB needs work; potential plus 77-79 CU; solid CB; has shown plus 76-83 SL, but doesn’t use it anymore; SL was inconsistent, but best in upper-80s; plus makeup; sat 88-92 to start 2011, now down to upper-80s; loses feel for offspeed stuff quickly; 6-4, 180

17. Texas A&M JR RHP John Stilson: originally ranked 9th overall, but injury scare drops him; 92-95 FB, 97-98 peak out of bullpen; as starter sitting 92-94, 95 peak; plus 80-83 CU, but using it less in 2011; emerging 81 SL with plus upside; good athlete; holds velocity really well; using more of 78-82 CB; good all-around four-pitch mix; starts 92-94, have seen 91-93 FB late in games; up to 88 SL

18. TCU JR RHP Kyle Winkler: 89-92 FB; peak 93-94; FB is plus pitch because of movement; loses velocity early, falling to upper-80s; good deception in delivery; plus 86-88 sinker; decent 88 cutter; decent 75-76 CB that has largely been phases out in favor of cutter and SL; 81-83 SL that needs tons of work; SL gained velocity and now flashes plus-plus at 85-89; quality low-80s CU with plus upside, now more consistently plus; 5-11, 195 pounds

19. Vanderbilt JR LHP Grayson Garvin: started 87-89 FB, 90-91 peak; sitting 89-92 now, 93-95 peak; good FB command; 70-73 CB with upside if thrown harder; now up to 73-75 and above-average pitch; average 77-80 CU with room for improvement, could be plus in time; cutter; SL; good athlete; outstanding control; 6-6, 220

20. Florida JR LHP Nick Maronde: 90-91 FB, peak 93 as starter; now sitting 93-95, 96 peak out of bullpen; plus low-80s SL that he doesn’t use enough; CB; good 81 CU; relieved in college, but I like him as a starter; 6-3, 200

21. Texas JR LHP Sam Stafford: 88-92 FB, peak 94-95; FB command issues hold him back; holds velocity well; good 80-85 SL; 73-78 CB is ahead of SL; average 83-85 CU; 6-4, 190

22. Stony Brook JR RHP Nick Tropeano: 87-88, tops out at 90-91 with FB; velocity up a tick this year; better sink on FB; very good CU; very good SL with plus upside; advanced feel for pitching; relies very heavily on CU; 6-4, 205 pounds

23. Florida State JR LHP Sean Gilmartin: 87-89 FB, peak 91-92; sweeping 73-77 above-average CB that he has deemphasized in favor of CU and SL; very good 74-76 CU that keeps improving; 80-81 SL could be average pitch with time; good athlete; good hitter; 6-2, 190

24. Johnson County CC SO RHP Vince Spilker: 96 peak FB; good CB; solid or better CU

25. Georgia Tech JR RHP Mark Pope: upper-80s two-seamer with great sink; 90-91 four-seamer that hits 92; scrapped CB for emerging low-80s SL with plus upside that is gaining consistency; still uses slower mid-70s CB occasionally; straight 80-84 CU; great athlete; much improved command in 2011; 6-2, 205

26. Baylor JR RHP Logan Verrett: very good command when on; sitting 89-91, 92-94 peak FB with sink; good 77-79 CU with fade; big-time CB; uses 82-85 SL with plus potential more in 2011; good athlete; relies most heavily on FB/SL, with occasional CU and very rare CB; 6-3, 185

27. Coastal Carolina JR RHP Anthony Meo: last summer showed 89-94 FB with good life; now sitting 92-93, 96-97 peak that comes often; flashed plus 78-85 SL that is now plus-plus SL up to 87-90; 82-86 CB; occasional average straight 84-85 CU; 6-2, 185

28. Vanderbilt JR RHP Navery Moore: 92-96 plus FB, 99 peak; plus 81-84 SL that comes and goes; flashes plus CB; iffy control; Tommy John survivor; very occasional CU; “Intergalactic” is his closer music; has the stuff to start, but teams might not risk it from a health and delivery standpoint; 6-2, 205

29. Oregon JR RHP Scott McGough: 90-92 FB, peak 94-95; 78-79 CB; raw 83 CU; above-average 78-83 SL that flashes plus; potential plus 82-85 CU that is still very raw; working on splitter; great athlete; 6-1, 185

30. UC Irvine JR RHP Matt Summers: straight 90-93 FB, 96 peak; good 78-81 CU; flashes plus low-80s SL; plus athlete; average high-70s to low-80s CB

31. Clemson SO RHP Kevin Brady: straight 90-92 FB, touches 94-95; good FB command; good, but inconsistent SL; occasional CB; improved CU; offered third round deal from Red Sox out of high school; 6-3, 205

32. Gonzaga JR LHP Ryan Carpenter: at one time threw a heavy 92-94 FB, touching 95 with movement; now sits upper-80s, with rare peak of 92; above-average 81-82 SL, dominant at times; inconsistent but quickly improving 77-78 CU; low-70s CB that he uses very sparingly; 6-5, 225 pounds

33. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Noe Ramirez: once straight 85-90 FB with occasional hard sink is now more consistently 88-92 (93 peak) with more consistent, more drastic sink; delivery is deceptive and adds miles to the FB; plus FB command; plus-plus 82-84 CU learned from Ricky Romero; paid it forward by helping Gerrit Cole with his CU grip; emerging 75-80 SL that has put on velocity and is now 82-85; SL is good but inconsistent; shaky command of offspeed pitches; 6-3, 180

34. Wichita State JR LHP Charlie Lowell: 89-92 FB, 93-94 peak; above-average SL; solid CU; 6-4, 235

35. Long Beach State JR RHP Andrew Gagnon: 89-91 FB, has hit 93-94; once promising slurvy breaking ball has turned into above-average 82-85 SL; rapidly improving 85-86 CU that is now at least an average pitch; plus command; 78-82 CB; breaking ball command an issue; 6-2, 188 pounds

36. Loyola Marymount JR LHP Jason Wheeler: 87-90, 92-93 peak FB with above-average movement; cutter; developing 76-81 CU that is now pretty good; inconsistent 74-81 SL; good athlete; 6-6, 260

37. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Tyler Pill: 89-92 FB; very good 77-78 CB; plus command; quality 82 CU; great athlete; holds velocity well, 88-89 late; 6-1, 185 pounds

38. Southern Cal JR RHP Andrew Triggs: 94-95 peak FB; velocity way down in 2011, starting 89-91 with really good sink and falling to 84-86 late in some games; good 73-75 CB; also shows promise with SL; occasional 78-81 CU; Tommy John surgery in high school; 6-3, 210

39. Louisville JR RHP Tony Zych: heavy 90-93 FB with sink, 95-98 peak; velocity up and sitting 93-96 now; plus 84-87 SL; violent delivery; good athlete; 6-3, 190

40. Washington State JR LHP Adam Conley: 86-88 FB; peaks at 90-92; up to 94 out of bullpen this spring; hits 95-96 when amped up; above-average 79-83 CU; very rare CB that has now been phased out; SL being added and now used a lot; great command; 6-3, 175 pounds; big peak FB could have been opening day juice; sitting more often 88-92; 6-3, 190 pounds

41. Hawaii JR RHP Lenny Linsky: 94-97 peak FB with plus sink; plus upper-80s cut SL

42. Green River CC SO RHP Cody Hebner: 90-94 FB, 97 peak; shows above-average SL and CU; good athlete; 6-0, 160

43. Oklahoma State JR LHP Chris Marlowe: 89-92 FB, more commonly 91-93, legit 94-95 peak; plus-plus 83-87 SL that he leans on; plus 80-82 CU; great athlete; 6-0, 175

44. Miami-Dade CC SO RHP Jharel Cotton: low-90s FB; very good to plus 80-81 CU; good CB; turned down low six-figures from Dodgers last year; native of Virgin Islands; 5-11, 190

45. Rice SR LHP Tony Cingrani: was 88-90 FB, now sitting low-90s with revamped delivery with 94-96 peak; plus CU; above-average at times CB; 6-4, 190 pounds

46. Texas A&M JR RHP Ross Stripling: 90-94 FB; plus CB that he uses a ton; good athlete

47. Stanford JR LHP Chris Reed: 89-92 FB, sits 92-94 as reliever; good low-80s SL; emerging CU; 6-4, 205

48. Kentucky JR RHP Braden Kapteyn: 89-94 FB; hard 88 SL; potential above-average CU; lots of moving parts in delivery; great hitter; 6-4, 215 pounds

49. Villanova RHP Kyle McMyne: 92-94 FB, peak 96; above-average 82-84 SL that he relies on; sitting 94-96 in early going of 2011; flashes above-average 75-78 CB that works best as show-me pitch; occasional CU; 6-0, 210 pounds

50. Oregon JR RHP Madison Boer: 90-93 FB, 94-96 peak; two-seamer with good sink; good low- to mid-80s SL that flashes plus; wildly inconsistent CU, good when on and unusable when bad; good control, iffy command; occasional CB; 6-4, 215

51. Alabama JR LHP Adam Morgan: 86-90 FB, can hit 91-92 but not often; plus CB; good CU that keeps getting better; plus command; 6-1, 180 pounds

52. California JR RHP Erik Johnson: heavy 90-92 FB, 93-94 peak; emerging 76-78 CB that is now a weapon; 81-84 CU needs work, but is now plus pitch with added velo; command needs work; decent 85-88 SL that could also be a cutter; no sure fire plus offering; 6-3, 240 pounds

53. North Carolina State JR RHP Cory Mazzoni: 88-91 FB, touching 92; SL; good 70-76 CB; emerging splitter used as CU; good command; 6-1, 200 pounds

54. Virginia SR RHP Tyler Wilson: Wilson’s solid three-pitch mix (88-90 fastball, good sinking 80-82 change, average low-80s slider) gives credence to the idea he has value either in the bullpen or as a starter. Fastball plays up in short bursts (94 peak). 6-2, 190

55. Kansas JR RHP Colton Murray: heavy 91-94 FB, 95 peak FB; good cutter; plus 82-84 SL; decent CU; violent delivery; love the development of breaking pitch from CB to SL over three college seasons; 6-3, 220 pounds

56. Santa Clara JR RHP JR Graham: 94-98 peak; average 83-85 SL with plus potential but still very inconsistent like the Billy Wagner get me over slider; developing sinker; has hit 100-101; really shown improvement with CU; 6-0, 180

57. Stanford JR LHP Brett Mooneyham: 88-90 FB, 91-92 peak; sits 90-92 now; also seen 87-91; weak FB this summer at 86-88, 90 peak; average 78-80 SL; good 75-78 CB; good CU; 6-5; improved cutter; missed 2011 season due to finger injury

58. Texas JR RHP Austin Dicharry: 89-92 FB, 94 peak; very good CB; plus CU; missed lots of time throughout college career due to injury; 6-4, 200 pounds

59. Vanderbilt SR RHP Taylor Hill: 88-91 FB with plus sink, 93-94 peak that I’ve seen with my own two eyes, have heard rumors of him hitting 95; 79-85 plus SL; very good 78-83 sinking CU also called a splitter; mechanics need smoothing out; 6-4, 225 pounds

60. Dayton JR LHP Cameron Hobson: 87-91 FB with movement, sitting closer to 90-92 this year; good SL; solid CB; developing CU with potential; plus makeup; 6-1, 205 pounds

61. Oregon State JR RHP Sam Gaviglio: 89-91 FB with plus sink, mostly 87-88; really heavy ball; above-average hard 78-81 SL; developing 78-79 CU that flashes plus; plus command; 6-1, 180 pounds

62. Merced JC FR RHP Jake Sisco: 92-93 FB, 95 peak; 6-3, 200

63. Johnson County CC SO RHP Jeff Soptic: 93-96 FB, 98-100 peak; flashes plus 83-84 SL; average CU on his best day; control issues; 6-6, 200

64. Kansas State JR RHP Evan Marshall: 93-94 FB, 96 peak; plus SL; 6-1, 210

65. Indiana State JR RHP Colin Rea: 91-92 FB, 94 peak; solid CU

66. Lower Columbia JC SO RHP Jeff Ames: 92-95 FB, 97 peak; plus movement on FB; inconsistent offspeed stuff

67. Mississippi JR RHP David Goforth: 93-96 straight FB; has hit 97-99 in relief; average 79-83 SL that flashes plus; occasional CU; max effort delivery; good athlete; poor command; new 88-91 cutter has been effective; has been up to 98-100 in 2011; 5-11, 185

68. Georgia Southern JR RHP Matt Murray: 88-92 FB with heavy sink; ground ball machine; solid upper-70s SL; better than solid CU that has come on a lot since getting to school; CB; 6-4, 240 pounds

69. South Carolina SO RHP Matt Price: no plus pitch; really like his low-80s SL; CB; 89-92 FB; also like his CU quite a bit

70. Georgia JR RHP Michael Palazzone: 92 peak FB; plus CU; solid CB

71. Florida JR RHP Tommy Toledo: coming back from arm injury; 88-91 FB; took line drive off of face in 2010; 91-93 back and healthy; command comes and goes; really nice breaking stuff

72. Notre Dame SR RHP Brian Dupra: 91-95 FB; 88-91 cutter; good 79-81 SL; CU; 6-3, 205 pounds

73. Gonzaga SR RHP Cody Martin: 88-90 FB, sitting 92-93 out of bullpen; good 70-75 slurve-like CB that is much better as a firmer mid-70s CB in 2011; good 86 CU

74. Santa Barbara CC SO LHP Kylin Turnbull: 88-92 FB, 94 peak; loses velocity early; above-average low-80s splitter; SL need work; 6-4, 200

75. Oxnard CC FR RHP Jesus Valdez: 90-92 FB, 94 peak; good SL; emerging CU; 6-3, 180

76. Mississippi JR LHP Matt Crouse: 86-88 FB, rare 91-92 peak; above-average CB that he leans on heavily; good CU; very projectable, but mechanics need cleaning up; 6-4, 185 pounds; stuff down this spring

77. Cal Poly JR RHP Jeff Johnson: 92-95 peak FB; nasty 86-88 splitter; two pitch pitcher makes it work; 6-0, 200

78. Longwood JR RHP Mark Montgomery: 88-92 FB; peak 94; hard 82-84 SL with plus upside; really consistent numbers over three years; 6-0, 205 pounds

79. Minnesota SR RHP Scott Matyas: sits 88-91, 94 peak FB; above-average low-70s CB; good cutter; good command; mixes in upper-70s CU; really good athlete; 6-4, 220; Tommy John survivor

80. TCU JR RHP Erik Miller: 87-91 at new arm angle, 93-94 peak; good sink; good SL; good 81 CB; average CU; strong three year track record; has relieved, but could be seen as starter; 6-3, 210; Tommy John survivor

81. Catawba JR RHP JJ (Jordan) Jankowski: 88-92 FB with sink; above-average 80-81 SL; solid mid-70s CB that I really like; sinking mid-70s CU; low-70s splitter; 6-1, 200; transferred from Miami (Ohio); really good junior year numbers as starting pitcher; also has experience as catcher where I liked him better when I saw him in high school

82. Mississippi State JR RHP Devin Jones: low-90s FB, peaking at 93; 87-88 two-seamer with great sink; 82-84 SL could be plus pitch; CU is work in progress; breaking stuff hasn’t quite developed as hoped, but still peaks 94-95 with FB; 6-4, 180 pounds

83. Louisiana State JR RHP Matty Ott: 87-89 FB; does a lot with the FB, cutting it and sinking it very effectively; very inconsistent 78-81 SL; great command and deception; plus control; big problem is lack of an out pitch; 6-2, 200 pounds

84. Pittsburgh FR RHP Ray Black: 92-95 FB, 97-98 peak; potential plus mid-80s SL; command needs work and control is a major issue at present; 6-4, 220

85. Florida JR RHP Anthony DeSclafani: good 92-94 FB with plus life and great sink, 95-96 peak with four-seamer but two-seamer is better pitch; above-average 79-81 SL; mid-70s CB; occasional upper-70s CU; 6-2, 200 pounds

86. Texas SR RHP Cole Green: 87-91 FB; plus command; great sinker; plus control; plus SL; really good 79-81 CU that comes and goes; 75-77 CB

87. Mississippi JR LHP Austin Wright: 89-92 FB, 93-94 peak; once had both a distinct SL and CB with real potential; now seen as one big 78-81 slurve, more of a SL with average-ish upside; CU; poor FB command; Chipola transfer

88. Arizona JR RHP Bryce Bandilla: 90-92 FB, 93-95 peak in 2011; good breaking ball; good high velocity CU

89. Rice JR RHP Matthew Reckling: 90-93 FB at start, velocity dips to 86-89 quickly; good 79-81 CB, loses effectiveness when it dips to mid-70s

90. Liberty SO RHP Blake Forslund: 92-95 FB, 97-98 peak

91. San Diego SO RHP Calvin Drummond: 91-93 FB, 94 peak; 84-87 cutter/SL; 78-79 CB; 83-84 CU

92. Heartland CC (Illinois) SO LHP Jerad Grundy: 87-92 with movement; hard SL; promising CU; 6-0, 190; Miami transfer

93. BYU SO RHP Taylor Cole: mid-90s peak FB, sits 90-92 FB; 80-84 SL; CU

94. Florida International SO LHP Mason McVay: 89-91 FB; now up 92-94 after recovering from Tommy John surgery; solid potential with CB; mechanics need work; control is an issue; 6-8, 210 pounds

95. Wichita State SO LHP Brian Flynn: 86-90 FB, peak 92; new peak of 94; command needs work; 6-8, 245 pounds

96. UC Riverside JR RHP Matt Andriese: sinking 88-91 FB, 93 peak; quality SL; SF; great command; average CB; below-average CU; 6-2, 185 pounds

97. Old Dominion SR LHP Kyle Hald: 85-87 FB, peak 88; plus split-fingered CU; sharp SL; CB; great fielder, great pickoff move; nice mechanics; 5-11, 175 pounds

98. Georgia JR RHP Cecil Tanner: 91-94 FB with sink; 96-98 peak FB; good 77 SL; below-average command; Jonathan Broxton and Bobby Jenks body comps; hasn’t ironed out mechanics in three years at Georgia; 6-6, 260

99. South Florida SR RHP Kevin Quackenbush: straight 92-93 FB; trouble commanding low-70s CB; 80 CU; solid 75 SL; 6-3, 200; really good the past three years

100. Maryland JR RHP Sander Beck: straight 88-92 FB with good command; improving spike CB that I really like; solid straight CU; SL; 6-3, 200 pounds; control an issue

101. Oklahoma SR RHP Ryan Duke: 87-91 FB but can bump it up in tight spots; plus SL; plus command; strong four years of bullpen success; 6-0, 175

102. Tennessee JR RHP Matt Ramsey: low-90s peak in HS, now up to 96 peak FB; low-80s CB that flashes plus; converted catcher who PG compared to Russell Martin in high school; 5-10, 200

103. Winthrop JR RHP Tyler Mizenko: 92-95 FB with heavy sink; sharp 76-79 SL; solid CU; 6-2, 200 pounds; velocity down to 86-91 early on in 2011

104. Mississippi State JR LHP Nick Routt: good FB movement; relies heavily on FB; 91 peak; plus circle CU before injury, now just a good straight CU; SL with cut fastball action; plus command; ulnar nerve replacement surgery in 2010; really smart pitcher; 6-4, 210

105. Arkansas JR LHP Geoffrey Davenport: 87-90 FB, 91 peak; above-average 76 CB; decent CU; good command; 6-1, 180 ; Tommy John surgery in March 2011

106. Arizona State JR LHP Mitchell Lambson: outstanding 72-74 CU with outstanding arm action that sometimes dips into upper-60s; uses the CU a ton; 85-87 FB, 88-90 peak; plus command; plus control; maybe a little Josh Spence in him; 6-1, 200 pounds

107. Southern Mississippi SR RHP Todd McInnis: 88-92 FB; very good 12-6 CB; hard SL; decent CU; slight frame; outstanding fielder

108. Howard FR JC RHP Connor Sadzeck: 95 peak FB; 6-6, 200

109. Oklahoma State SO RHP Randy McCurry: 94-95 FB pre-injury, now back to 93 peak; finally healthy and hitting 96; SL, CB, CU

110. Austin Peay SR RHP Ryne Harper: 94 peak FB; very good SL; had offer from Vanderbilt out of high school

111. Connecticut JR RHP Kevin Vance: 88-92 FB; plus CB; plus command; good hitter; 6-0, 200 pounds

112. South Dakota State SR RHP Blake Treinen: 92-94 FB, 97 peak; improved SL; working on CU; improved command; 6-4, 220 pounds; didn’t pitch in first three years at Baker (Kansas) or Arkansas; had possible transfer to Florida voided last season;

113. Army SR RHP Kevin McKague: 92-96 FB; mid-80s SL; great splitter; missed most of 2011 due to back injury; 6-5, 230 pounds

114. Rice JR LHP Taylor Wall: upper-80s FB, peak 88; plus CU that he relies on heavily; average at best CB and SL; CB shows more potential; repeatable mechanics; 6-2, 200 pounds

115. Florida State JR RHP Hunter Scantling: Scantling is huge (6-8, 270 pounds) and athletic, but his stuff still doesn’t quite match his imposing frame. That could change in a hurry, but for now he’s still sitting in the same upper-80s with iffy breaking stuff that he was at back in high school. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll get more consistent innings as a starter or if Florida State opts to keep him coming out of the bullpen in 2011. Update: 91 peak FB; emerging SL; CU; still huge at 6-8, 270

116. Missouri JR RHP Matt Stites: 88-92 FB, 93-95 peak; good SL; CB; CU; 5-11, 180

117. Davidson JR LHP Chris Lamb: 88-92 FB; good splitter; average CB; 6-1, 185

118. Elon SR RHP Thomas Girdwood: 92-95 FB; plus 82-84 SL

119. South Florida SR RHP Randy Fontanez: 88-91 sinking FB; quality CB and SL; splitter; great control; 6-1, 200 pounds

120. Washington JR RHP Andrew Kittredge: low-90s FB; strong breaking ball; CU; plus command; 6-1, 210 pounds; academically ineligible to start 2011, never returned

121. Louisiana Tech JR LHP Mike Jefferson: 88-93 FB with plus movement; slurve that should be plus SL in time; great move to first; 6-4, 185 pounds

122. UCLA JR LHP Mitch Beacom: 85-90 FB; 76-78 SL; could be a LOOGY as a pro; 6-8, 260 pounds

123. Charlotte SR RHP Bryan Hamilton: 89-92 FB, 94 peak; good 75-78 CB; 6-2, 210

124. South Carolina JR LHP Steven Neff: 92 peak; Tommy John survivor; good athlete; good hitter; missed lots of time late in 2011 with shoulder fatigue and bicep tendinitis; 6-2, 190

125. Northeastern JR LHP Andrew Leenhouts: 87-88 FB; good CB; average CU; command needs work; clean mechanics; 6-3, 200 pounds

Ground Ball Kings

Busy work week has me behind schedule on a couple ideas I wanted to have ready for the early part of this week. That can only mean one thing: data time. In no particular order because my Excel spreadsheet is refusing to sort properly today, here are a few of the very best college pitchers when it comes to getting ground ball outs:

Kyle Simon
Kurt Heyer
Slade Smith
Jake Floethe
Anthony Meo
Sam Gaviglio
Austin Kubitza
Taylor Jungmann
John Stilson
Carson Smith
Sonny Gray
Kyle McMyne

  • Simon and Heyer have been ground ball machines all year, but take their presence on this list as a leap of faith on my end. See, there is something about the Pac-10 that makes finding box scores for their games far more arduous a task than it needs to be. When Arizona and Arizona State play, the play-by-play data just seems to disappear into the ether.
  • The state of Texas is very well represented thanks to the grounder inducing quartet of Kubitza (Rice), Jungmann (Texas), Stilson (Texas A&M), and Smith (Texas State). The last three are the big names to know for the 2011 draft, but Kubitza’s inclusion in particular makes me happiest to see. He has the look of a 2013 first rounder to me and it is nice to get confirmation that his scouting reports (plus-plus fastball life) match up with the numbers.
  • Slade Smith almost literally does not strike anybody out (park/league adjusted 3.16 K/9), but opposing batters simply don’t hit the ball in the air against him. His groundball percentage of 85.3% is the highest I have in the database. I have no scouting notes on him at all, but I’m guessing he throws a heavy sinker and lacks an out pitch…

2011 MLB Draft: Three Potentially Undervalued College Pitchers

I really enjoyed researching and writing the college outfield categories piece from Wednesday and appreciate all of the positive feedback. Can’t quite put my finger on why, but I’ve always been drawn to non-starting players, like utility infielders and fourth outfielders and I find it really interesting to see where they come from. Maybe it is a stretch to say, but I like the idea that one of those players could be the next Dave Sappelt, a personal favorite mid-round outfield target back in 2008 who is now on the cusp of the big leagues. I wish the same luck to a few highly regarded 2010 favorites Trent Mummey (4th round), Rico Noel (5th), Gauntlett Eldemire (6th), as well as some deeper sleepers that probably fit more into Wednesday’s no top 25 college outfield prospect parameters like Robert Maddox (18th), Dan Grovatt (11th), and the inexplicably underrated Tyler Holt (10th).

In a similar vein, I thought we’d take a closer look at three potentially undervalued 2011 draft righthanded pitching prospects today. I hate calling anybody a sleeper because, quite honestly, I have no idea what the term even means anymore. I’ve always felt that 9 out of 10 “sleepers” are downright insulting to even a casual draft fan’s intelligence. Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive, who knows? Anyway, here are some potentially undervalued prospects who are definitely not “sleepers” in any way, shape, or form…

Kansas JR RHP Colton Murray

Tennessee JR RHP Matt Ramsey

It is entirely possible that both Murray and Ramsey were built in some kind of top secret lab designed with the intent of creating prototype amateur relief prospects. Mid-90s fastball? Murray’s peaks at an impressive 95 (sits 91-93), but plays up because of excellent movement. both of the sinking and cutting variety. Ramsey’s fastball doesn’t have quite the same movement, but clocks in with a peak of 96 (low-90s sitting). Plus breaking ball? Ramsey has a raw low-80s curveball that flashes plus while Murray already throws a consistently excellent low- to mid-80s slider. Busy mechanics with lots of moving parts and a listed height at or below 6’0″? Double check for both players, though I have heard Ramsey, who does double duty as a catcher for the Volunteers, has cleaned up his throwing motion a great deal since last summer.

Murray is the better prospect at this point because of his better fastball, breaking ball, and the existence of a usable (but no better at this point) third pitch, a changeup. He looks like a potential early round (maybe somewhere between 5 and 10?) prospect that could eventually pitch at the back end of ballgames at the next level. If a pro team thinks they can unlock a few extra ticks on the fastball by cleaning up his windup, the possibility of closing someday can’t be ruled out.

Two random points that I couldn’t figure out how to wedge in the above paragraphs, so I will just blurt them out here. First, I’ve heard tons of good things about Murray’s work ethic. That may or may not mean anything over the long haul, but all of the high makeup praise I’ve heard comes back to the way Murray has worked his tail off to improve his breaking pitch over the years. I try my best to stay away from nebulous terms like “makeup” that can mean just about anything on any given day, but even I can admit it pretty cool to see a positive tangible result come out of this supposed “great makeup leading to sweeping slurve-like curve turning into tight slider” cause and effect. Second, on Ramsey, I just wanted wanted to point out that Perfect Game compared his upside as a prep catcher to the good version of Russell Martin. No real commentary on that particular comp, other than to say I love reading old reports on prospects (and PG is right up there with the very best at churning them out) and seeing the different developmental paths prospects have taken over the years. I guess if you want to apply it to Ramsey’s current prospect stock, then you could spin it as a positive check in the “athleticism” ledger on his scouting report.

Mississippi State JR RHP Devin Jones

Jones is the only current college starter of the three. He strikes me as a borderline starting candidate in pro ball at this point. Like many young pitchers, it’ll be the development of an effective changeup that makes or breaks him as a high round prospect or not. I really like his present mix (low-90s four-seam, upper-80s two-seam with great sink, and a mid- to upper-80s slider with plus upside) and he has the frame pro teams like to see in a starter (6’3″, 180). I’m a bit biased in my appreciation for Jones, as I’ve always liked the classically built sinker/slider specialists. I like it even more when these classic sinker/slider guys go all out and embrace who they are, so, if I may, a quick suggestion for Jones: ditch whatever version of the change you are currently working on and go with a splitter instead. Pretty sure I can trace back my love of the sinker/slider/splitter righthander to Ryan Dempster, a long-time personal favorite. Mississippi JR RHP David Goforth is more similar in stuff to Murray and Ramsey (big fastball, SL that flashes plus), but I’ve always connected him with Jones because both players seem like they have the stuff to dominate college hitters, yet consistently put up mediocre numbers. Both are currently winning the “scouting over stats” debate that infuses itself into all of my traditionally statistically charged player rankings, but big junior years would go a long way towards making me confident in endorsing them as potential big league assets.

2011 MLB Draft: The Other Cole’s

Gerrit Cole isn’t the only Cole expected to get drafted this June. Probably goes without saying that Gerrit is the most promising Cole, but there are three other collegiate Cole’s with mid-round, middle relief upside worth mentioning.

Texas SR RHP Cole Green is the best current pitcher of our Cole trio. His fastball sits consistently between 88-91 FB and he can muscle it up to 92-93 on the rarest of occasions. His biggest strengths are his pinpoint fastball command, plus control, and much improved above-average upper-70s slider that flashes plus. Throw in the fact he is a short righthanded pitcher and it sure sounds like Green will be typecast as a potential relief candidate, right? Short righties who pound the strike zone with that sinker/slider combo always have a chance to fill a bullpen niche in the pros. Then again, Green’s success as a college starter and the improvement of his changeup could help him work as a pro starter. Whether a pro team considers him a potential fifth starter or, more likely, a middle reliever, it is still highly unlikely he’ll approach his 2010 draft status (4th round to Detroit). Lastly, and take this for what it’s worth, every scouting report on Green mentions his reputation as a groundball pitcher, but the data I’ve compiled doesn’t fit that description at all. Wonder what the guys at College Splits would say to that?

BYU SO RHP Taylor Cole has the biggest fastball of the group (94-95 peak) and was the most heavily recruited out of high school. Lost development time has left him with not little besides that big fastball, but there is some promise with both his slider and changeup. A team will have to be really patient with Cole, but his upside, relatively fresh arm, and the unique path he’s taken since graduating from high school all help him stand out amongst his mid-round contemporaries. I know Taylor is a personal favorite of many followers of the draft, so don’t be shocked if his name starts getting bandied about as a high rising helium guy heading into June.

Notre Dame SR RHP Cole Johnson has a fastball that sits 88-92 FB and a good SL. Average fastball (maybe a tick above) and a good secondary pitch combined with a history of strong performance at a well known college program is often a pretty nice recipe for looks as a reliever on draft day. Johnson has the first two things down, but is still working on that pesky bit about having a history of strong performance. Underwhelming college stats to date  (2010: 5.46 K/9 – 3.16 BB/9 – 4.69 FIP – 31.1 IP) have kept his stock down, but his solid start in 2011 could get teams back on the bandwagon.

Gerrit Cole: 2011 MLB Draft First Overall Pick?

I apologize for starting the week with a math problem, but…

Really busy baseball watching weekend +
Blue Screen of Death seconds before I hit post +
stupidly trying to type a post directly on site and not in Word doc +
Wordpress autosave feature not quite living up to my misguided hopes =

A really quick uncut summation of what I’ve seen out of Anthony Rendon’s biggest competitor for the draft’s number one spot, UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole. This is a rare case where I can combine all sorts of fun factors (video, three separate years of live personal “scouting,” and, as always, all of the written and spoken information from people way smarter than I am about this stuff that I could possibly digest) into formulating an opinion on a prospect. Here’s what I’ve got…

UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole (2011): 4-seam: really easy 92-96 four-seam FB, 97-99 FB peak; 98 on last pitch of opening day complete game; told by scout that he is unique in that he appears to hit 98 “whenever he wants” with FB; between velocity, movement, and improved command, the FB is a legit plus-plus pitch; speaking of command…relatively poor FB command through middle of sophomore season, but the improvement in this area has been nothing short of remarkable; holds velocity exceptionally well; 2-seam: 92-94 two-seam FB with above-average sink; Cutter: not personally 100% sold on the difference between the two-seam and the cutter (remember: I’m no professional, just a guy with a hobby), but enough smart people are labeling the pitch as a cut fastball at 87-91; Slider: plus 81-87 SL (more commonly and more effectively thrown harder at 86-88); was clocked harder still (consistently 87-89) on SL this past summer; Change: personal favorite offering is his excellent sinking extra firm 83-87 (!) CU with plus upside; pitch seems to get better with every outing;

By now regular readers know that I love forcing comps where they don’t necessarily belong. In the unlikely scenario I am ever forced to give a comp for Gerrit Cole or be forced to watch Miguel Cairo swing at the first pitch in what seemed like every single at bat during his Phillies tenure on loop, I’d throw this one out there as a potential ceiling: potential future teammate Felix Hernandez. Both have/had explosive fastballs, plus upside with unusually hard slider and changeup, similar enough builds (this one might be a stretch…), early questions about command and delivery…obviously this isn’t a perfect comp, but it is a rough outline of what kind of package Cole will bring to whatever pro team is lucky enough to draft him.

Batted Ball Data 2011

Requirements for this are super simple: 1) pitchers must be eligible for the 2011 MLB Draft, 2) pitchers must have allowed 15 batted balls in play, 3) pitchers must either be above or below my arbitrarily decided upon standards (over 75% ground ball percentage, under 40% ground ball percentage). It should also be noted that it has only been two weeks, so, really, we’re going on about as little meaningful data as possible here. First, the ground ball machines…

Arizona JR RHP Kyle Simon: 92.0%
Texas A&M JR RHP John Stilson: 91.3%
Oregon State JR RHP Sam Gaviglio: 80.8%
Villanova JR RHP Kyle McMyne: 77.8%
Connecticut SR LHP Elliot Glynn: 77.3%
Oregon JR RHP Madison Boer: 75.0%
UAB SR RHP Ryan Woolley: 75.0%

Simon and Stilson have combined for 44 ground balls out of 48 batted ball outs. That’s crazy. Stilson’s power stuff has gotten plenty of pub, but Simon’s underrated grounder-inducing repertoire (plus fastball movement, good splitter, much improved slider) should have him moving up draft boards this spring. Extra credit for the lefthanded Glynn cracking the list.

UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole: 38.1%
Alabama JR LHP Adam Morgan: 31.3%
North Carolina SR RHP Patrick Johnson: 30.0%
North Carolina State JR RHP Cory Mazzoni: 29.6%

I have no explanation why Cole doesn’t get more ground ball outs. Going off memory, I’m pretty sure he had a very low ground ball percentage last year as well.

Quick Statistical Look at 2011 MLB Draft Pitching Prospects

In absolutely no particular order, 2011 draft prospects that finished last season with over 10 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched, minimum 50 total innings pitched. For reference’s sake, prospects expected to go in the top three rounds are in bold…

Kentucky JR RHP Alex Meyer

Missouri State JR RHP Dan Kickham

Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Noe Ramirez

Virginia SR RHP Tyler Wilson

Maryland SR RHP Brett Harman

Vanderbilt JR RHP Sonny Gray

Texas A&M JR RHP John Stilson

Texas JR RHP Taylor Jungmann

Baylor JR RHP Logan Verrett

UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole

UCLA JR RHP Trevor Bauer

Washington JR RHP Andrew Kittredge

Georgia Tech JR LHP Jed Bradley

Virginia JR LHP/1B Danny Hultzen

Mississippi JR LHP Matt Crouse

Stanford JR LHP Brett Mooneyham

Arizona State JR LHP Mitchell Lambson

TCU SO LHP Matt Purke

Northeastern JR LHP Andrew Leenhouts

College Baseball’s Best Pitching Prospect Performances (2/19/11 and 2/20/11)

Southern Cal JR RHP Austin Wood (2011): 5 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K

LSU FR RHP Kevin Gausman (2012): 5.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K

Georgia Tech FR RHP DeAndre Smelter (2013): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K

San Diego FR RHP Dylan Covey (2013): 7 IP 7 H 4 ER 2 BB 7 K

UCLA FR RHP Adam Plutko (2013): 6 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K

Florida FR RHP Karsten Whitson (2013): 5 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K

  • Six really successful major college debuts for six outstanding prospects. It is a little funny to me that the most college ready freshman, Dylan Covey, had the least successful of the freshman quintet. Gausman, Smelter, and Whitson are similar in the way each can dial up mid-90s fastballs to pair with their potential plus power breaking balls (curve for Gausman, sliders for Smelter and Whitson). In any other year Austin Wood would be getting all kinds of high first round buzz; as is, he’s lost in the shuffle of the many more established 2011 college pitching stars.

South Carolina JR LHP Bryan Harper (2011): 1.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 2 K

Troy JR LHP Garrett McHenry (2011): 3.2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K (6/1 GO/AO)

  • Wood’s debut may have been the biggest of any junior transfer prospect, but it only seems right to turn the spotlight on the first major college game pitched by Bryan Harper, Bryce’s older brother and former teammate. After all the Bryce Hype of 2010, let the Year of Bryan begin! McHenry also made his debut and, while I can’t pretend to know much about him as a prospect, his debut really impressed me. What can I say, I’m a sucker for multi-inning saves…

TCU JR RHP Kyle Winkler (2011): 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 8 K

UCLA JR RHP Trevor Bauer (2011): 7.2 IP 2 H 0 ER 4 BB 10 K

  • It is unbelievable to me that these two are number two starters on their college teams. Easy prediction that has already begun to come to fruition: Trevor Bauer will be one of 2011’s most divisive draft prospects.

Liberty SO RHP Blake Forslund (2011): 4 IP 6 H 5 ER 4 BB 5 K

Arizona JR RHP Kyle Simon (2011): 7.2 IP 1 H 1 ER 0 BB 13 K

Arizona SO RHP Kurt Heyer (2012): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 8 K

  • Simon’s sinker, slider, splitter repertoire must have been really working for him…

Wichita State JR LHP Charlie Lowell (2011): 5 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K

Oklahoma State SO LHP Andrew Heaney (2012): 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K

  • Lowell, like Austin Wood, is another prospect that would get a lot more love in a less stacked draft class. Another lefty with plus velocity? Yawn…

Clemson SO RHP Kevin Brady (2011): 5.1 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K

Mississippi JR RHP David Goforth (2011): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K

Oregon JR RHP Madison Boer (2011): 8 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K

  • For all the great 2011 college pitching available this June, there doesn’t appear to be a high number of high round reliever follows out there. I’ve never been good at predicting which college starting pitchers pro teams will prefer as relievers, but these three seem like prime candidates to make the move to the pen at some point. We’ll see…

South Florida SR LHP Andrew Barbosa (2011): 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K (against Florida)

Vanderbilt SR RHP Taylor Hill (2011): 7.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K

UNC-Wilmington SR RHP Daniel Cropper: 7 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 12 K

  • On a good day, Hill has three above-average pitches. He’s Vanderbilt’s fifth best pitching prospect. Vanderbilt is really good. Great to see Cropper healthy and throwing so well…

Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Noe Ramirez (2011): 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K

Vanderbilt JR LHP Grayson Garvin (2011): 8.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 10 K

Kentucky JR RHP Alex Meyer (2011): 7 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 13 K

  • Broken record alert! Any other year, these three are first round locks and Meyer would be considered as close to a top ten guarantee as possible. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that a team like Washington, picking 6th overall and 1st in the supplemental first (34th overall) could walk away from the draft with two potential quick moving top of the rotation starting pitching prospects (Sonny Gray and Alex Meyer, for example)…

Texas A&M SO RHP Michael Wacha (2012): 6 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K

Texas SO LHP Hoby Milner (2012): 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K

  • Which 2012 pitching prospect from the great state of Texas do you prefer? The high velocity righthander? Or the lefty with the deeper all-around arsenal?

Cal State Fullerton SO RHP Dylan Floro (2012): 4.1 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K (out of the bullpen…)

Arizona State JR LHP Kyle Ottoson (2011): 6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K (out of the bullpen…)

  • 10.1 IP and no earned runs out of the bullpen? Have to love college baseball…

Friday Night Lights – College Baseball’s Best Pitching Prospect Performances (2/18/11)

1. I am a long way away from actually finalizing my college pitching rankings, but I’m pretty much locked in on who will sit atop the list. As impressive as Texas Christian SO LHP Matt Purke (4 shutout innings) and Texas JR RHP Taylor Jungmann (9 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K, only 95 pitches) performed, UCLA JR RHP Gerrit Cole (9 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K) is the man. Better believe they’ll be more on him to come over the next few weeks.

2. Texas A&M JR RHP John Stilson was only omitted from the previous entry because he slipped my mind, but, really, the guy belongs in the top college arm discussion with the likes of Cole, Purke, Jungmann, et al.  Perhaps it is for the best that the least well known major college pitcher gets his own space, so we can fully appreciate his sustained run of dominance. Stilson’s 2010 season (14 K/9) was the stuff of legend, and his transition to starting on Friday nights (6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K) has started with a bang. My favorite part of his Friday line: 18 outs recorded, 9 via strikeout, 9 via groundball, 0 fly balls. He’s a starter all the way for me, despite the sentiment that he is too much of a two-pitch thrower to get through the lineup multiple times. I’ve heard too many positive things about both his changeup and his slider to believe differently.

3. Washington State JR LHP Adam Conley opened some eyes by peaking at 95-96 MPH on Friday. My earliest notes on him have him sitting 86-88 with a peak between 90-92. Amazing what some time working with a great college staff can do for a kid. Credit should also be given to Conley (by all accounts a really hard worker), as well as the natural maturation that comes with growing into a sturdy 6-3, 185 pound frame (up 15 pounds from his freshman year).

4. The Cole Hamels’ clones just keep coming. It isn’t just Conley with the mid-90s heat and a plus changeup. Virginia JR LHP Danny Hultzen (check out his Friday night two-way line: 2-4, BB, 3 RBI and, more importantly, 6.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 10 K) and Georgia Tech JR LHP Jed Bradley (he pitched Saturday, but I’m cheating to make a point…5.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 10 K) both offer outstanding four-pitch arsenals that include that magic mid-90s fastball and plus change combo that I love. Heck, all three of these guys were big favorites before they bumped up their velocity because of the way they reminded me of Vanderbilt’s Mike Minor, one of my favorite draft prospects of the past few years. Here’s what I said about Minor on his draft day, by the way:

LOVE Mike Minor – good enough velocity, plus change, either the curve or the slider will be a plus pitch down the line (I think), great command, very good athlete, smooth delivery, repeatable mechanics, pitched at an outstanding program. This pick will get panned by everybody, but they are wrong – Minor is an absolute keeper. I had him at 18 on my big board, so maybe I’m full of it by saying he was a great pick at 7…but, factoring in signability, it’s a very good, very safe pick.

5. Hultzen may be the best junior two-way player in the land, but Florida SO LHP/1B Brian Johnson has to be tops of the sophomore class. His Friday looked very similar to Hultzen’s: (2-4, 2 2B, RBI, R and 6 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K. Bonus fact: Johnson faced the minimum number of batters in his 2011 debut. Hultzen is a pitcher all the way, but Johnson is seen as talented enough to go either way at this point.

6. Really happy to see Notre Dame SR RHP Brian Dupra healthy and pitching well (7 IP 7 H 2 ER 0 BB 5 K) once again. Dupra looked like a top five round lock heading into his junior year, but injury and ineffectiveness forced him into returning for his senior year in an attempt to reestablish his draft stock. I haven’t heard anything about his stuff on Friday, but if it reached pre-injury levels (mid-90s FB, hard cutter, good low-80s SL), then he could position himself as one of the top college power pitching prospects, as well as easily the most desirable college pitching senior sign.

7. Another interesting draft prospect and college senior, Oklahoma SR RHP Michael Rocha, put on a show this Friday: 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K. Rocha doesn’t have near the velocity of Dupra at his best, but thrives on his funky breaking stuff, good command, and high pitching IQ. Rocha’s one-hit performance was matched by Alabama JR LHP Adam Morgan, who put up the following line: 5.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K. Unlike the power fastball lefties mentioned above, Morgan instead follows in the footsteps of the more typical, pitchability style of crafty college lefties. The lack of a big fastball stings a little less when you have a plus curve, a pitch that I think ranks in the top ten of its type amongst 2011 college draft prospects.

8. The college pitching in Texas this year is Gottfried Leibniz level deep. Jungmann and Stilson may be the headliners, but fellow Lone Star ballers Texas State JR RHP Carson Smith and Baylor JR RHP Logan Verrett could wind up at the tail end of the first round with big springs. Their respective debuts (Smith: 2 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 4 K; Verrett: 3 IP 6 H 4 ER 1 BB 3 K) weren’t as pretty as I’m sure they would have liked, but both continued to show the first round quality stuff they’ve grown famous for. Smith has the frame (6-5, 220) and a fastball to dream on, while Verrett potential for four above-average pitches is tantalizing.

9. Two of my favorite Conference USA prospects put up unique lines that deserve a little love. Check out the Friday line for Southern Miss SR RHP Todd McInnis: 8 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K. Very good line, right? What makes that performance truly exception, assuming there wasn’t a typo on the box score, is the following: he threw 45 pitches! Is that even possible? At least 21 pitches were thrown to get those 7 strikeouts. That leaves 24 pitches to get the 17 remaining outs. Incredible, if true. The line for Central Florida SR LHP Nick Cicio was impressive, if significantly less rare: 3 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 5 K. That’s an example of how a college lefty straight out of central casting (mid-80s fastball, good change, slurvy breaking pitch) can dominate out of the pen.

10. Think we could all agree that a line of [9 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 8 K] would make for a darn fine outing by any starting pitcher. It also works as a pretty great combined line shared by two legit mid- to late-round 2011 draft prospects. In a performance reminiscent of peak years Legion of Doom, or, my sentimental personal favorite, The Natural Disasters, Wichita State SR RHP Tim Kelley (5 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K) and SO LHP Brian Flynn (4 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K) tag teamed to shut down the opposition on Friday night. Both pitchers profile best as middle relievers professionally, with Flynn getting more current buzz due to his readymade WWF size and strength (6-8, 240…so big I had to double check on the website to make sure I didn’t copy it wrong in my notes).


Bonus! Stanford SO RHP and potential 2012 top ten pick Mark Appel (5.2 IP 8 H 2 ER 1 BB 4 K) didn’t quite light the world on fire with his opening night line, but the velocity pickup in his stuff (FB now peaking in the upper-90s, SL now peaking mid-80s) had everybody taking notice. If he can integrate his changeup (plus potential there) more as the season goes on, he’ll head into 2012 on the short list of candidates to go in the top three. Back in February 2009 I had him as the 9th best prep righthander, sandwiched between Daniel Tuttle and Matt Graham. This was his quick writeup:

Appel’s strong verbal commitment to Stanford will drop him down draft boards, but he is a great athlete, with a wiry frame with room to fill out, an impressive hard slider, solid change, and the ability to play around with his fastball (mostly by cutting and sinking it). The Cardinal normally get their man, so Appel’s signability will be something to keep on eye on.