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2013 MLB Draft: Top 100 College First Base Prospects

1. Stats are park/schedule adjusted from College Splits. I dug around for stats for all junior college and non-Division I players; those numbers are obviously as is, i.e. not park/schedule adjusted.

2. If your favorite player is missing, then chances are a lot higher it was a copy/paste fail and not my complete and utter lack of baseball knowledge. I mean, sure, it could still be the latter, but if there’s somebody obvious that I’ve ignored, please give a gentle reminder in the comments or via email (robozga at gmail dot com). It’s also possible I mentally shifted a guy’s position in my head, so don’t rule out your player suddenly popping up on another position list.

3. Players designated as FAVORITEs were given that tag prior to the season, or, in some cases, upon enrolling in college. In other words, just because a guy is a FAVORITE doesn’t mean he’s automatically guaranteed a high placement on the list. I’m stubborn about which players I like, true, but I’m also quite cognizant of the fact prospect status is fluid.

4. Final opinions are all mine, but information has been culled from a variety of sources. Like anybody likely reading this site, I’m an avid follower of all things Baseball America and Perfect Game. Seriously, if you are into the draft/prospects at all, I highly recommend getting subscriptions to both sites. I also have a small but trustworthy network of friends in the game I occasionally call upon for information on prospects, especially those off the beaten path. Consider the little scouting notes section on each player a synthesis on what I’ve read, heard, and seen about each player. I’m in no way an expert and literally nothing I write, positively or negatively, influences what pro teams actually do on draft day. I’m just a baseball loving guy who has taken a hobby way, way, way too far.

5. I’m happy to answer any and all questions I can over email or in the comments. Also, for the sake of my already waning sanity, I didn’t include everything I had on every player — you’ll see some blank spots sprinkled throughout — so please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something about a specific guy you want answered.

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The one thing that may stand out off the top in my first base rankings is the conservative placement of many players otherwise known as 1B/3B/OF. There are some that believe in Peterson at either 3B or LF, Jagielo at the same two spots, and Palka in RF. Those people aren’t wrong per se, but I tend to always err on the side of caution when it comes to a defensively questionable amateur player’s professional position, especially if said amateur has enough bat to serve as a carrying tool. Peterson, Jagielo, and Palka aren’t exactly Alonso, Smoak, and Wallace as draft prospects — funny how that turned out, by the way — but they all should be able to hit enough to become league average or better big league first basemen in time.

After those first three I think you’re looking at value picks the rest of the way. I wouldn’t love Healy in the second or even third round, but if he falls down to five or later? Sign me up. Same goes for Mancini, Ragira, and Yezzo anywhere in that round five to ten range. Taking shots on bat-first guys in those rounds has always been a favorite draft practice of mine. All things being equal you’d rather have a toolsy, athletic prospect perched atop the defensive chain (C/SS/CF), but those guys aren’t always hanging around in the middle rounds waiting to be signed easily. Bringing in a handful of guys you know can hit in every draft seems like a smart idea as well. Drafting is such an inexact science/art that you can’t point to any one player as the model prospect for a given strategy, but I’m going to do it anyway. The Diamondbacks drafted the tenth college first baseman off the board in 2008 with pick 246 in the eighth round. Paul Goldschmidt could never hit another ball hard for the rest of his career — spoiler: that won’t happen — and they would still have gotten tremendous value for the pick. Heck, move up a few rounds and you’ll find Brandon Belt to the Giants in the fifth. There are equal and opposite examples that knock down the argument a bit — still waiting on AJ Kirby-Jones to hit — but too often college first basemen are knocked unfairly as throwaway picks outside of the first few rounds. There will always be a need for guys who can hit. These guys can hit.

1B

1. New Mexico JR 1B/OF DJ Peterson: legitimately exciting power upside, plus to plus-plus raw; average at best defender at third, fits much better at 1B; special hand speed as hitter; below-average speed has improved, I’d call it average now; mature approach; above-average arm; sticking with my Billy Butler comp; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .285/.350/.488 – 16 BB/49 K – 246 AB
2012: .367/.446/.645 – 34 BB/29 K – 1/2 SB – 248 AB
2013: .364/.486/.744 – 43 BB/28 K – 5/6 SB – 195 AB

2. Notre Dame JR 1B/OF Eric Jagielo: quick bat; good approach; below-average arm; plus power upside, plus-plus for some; average or better hit tool; some think he can hang at 3B, could be average there in time but I prefer him at first; PG Jim Thome comp; 6-3, 215 pounds

2011: .269/.358/.418 – 26 BB/29 K – 201 AB
2012: .301/.392/.533 – 28 BB/33 K – 4/8 SB – 229 AB
2013: .412/.519/.670 – 32 BB/29 K – 2/5 SB – 182 AB

3. Georgia Tech JR 1B/OF Daniel Palka: plus-plus raw power; gifted natural hitter; plus arm; will always strike out too much, but power makes it worth it; might have the athleticism for a corner outfield spot, but best at first; 90 peak FB; FAVORITE; 6-2, 225 pounds

2011: .310/.389/.586 – 22 BB/67 K – 232 AB
2012: .303/.382/.550 – 18 BB/47 K – 6/7 SB – 238 AB
2013: .374/.473/.705 – 30 BB/54 K – 4/4 SB – 212 AB

4. Oregon JR 1B/3B Ryon Healy: advanced hit tool; smart hitter; plus raw power; below-average speed; was once a questionable defender at first, but now quite good; doesn’t get cheated; one time 95 peak FB; Longoria and Rolen comps out of HS; 6-5, 215 pounds

2011: .344/.396/.541 – 9 BB/20 K – 122 AB
2012: .352/.415/.466 – 24 BB/43 K – 3/5 SB – 253 AB
2013: .395/.466/.673 – 27 BB/21 K – 5/7 SB – 205 AB

5. Notre Dame JR 1B Trey Mancini: plus raw power, uses it well thanks to present strength and swing geared towards deep flies; patient approach, willing to take until he gets a pitch to drive; good athlete for his size; good enough defender; main issues are too many swings and misses and 1B or bust defensive future; 6-5, 225 pounds

2011: .328/.390/.582 – 19 BB/36 K – 189 AB
2012: .312/.391/.540 – 22 BB/36 K – 202 AB
2013: .415/.457/.632 – 21 BB/20 K – 2/2 SB – 212 AB

6. Stanford JR 1B Brian Ragira: really strong hit tool; well above-average raw power, but hasn’t manifested much at all just yet; almost all power to gaps presently; average arm; average speed, maybe a touch less; really underrated athlete; really good defender at 1B; makes the most sense at RF or 3B if he can handle either spot; 6-3, 200 pounds

2011: .333/.377/.469 – 15 BB/44 K – 213 AB
2012: .337/.394/.460 – 19 BB/45 K – 3/5 SB – 251 AB
2013: .354/.410/.541 – 13 BB/21 K – 4/5 SB – 209 AB

7. Delaware JR 1B/3B Jimmy Yezzo: above-average raw power; improved defensively at 3B, but still a 1B in the pros where he should be at least average; like his compact swing a lot; uses the whole field, goes with pitch; big opposite field power; slow; average at best arm; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .326/.372/.513 – 16 BB/22 K – 0/0 SB – 187 AB
2013: .397/.443/.705 – 20 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 224 AB

8. Vanderbilt JR 1B/OF Conrad Gregor: above-average power upside; plus defender at first, pretty good in outfield; average speed once he gets a full head of steam; good arm, but slow release; very strong hit tool; great approach; physically strong; smart hitter, but still chases too many bad balls; plus bat speed; can get pull happy; pretty swing; that raw power is still there, but has been slow to manifest; FAVORITE; 6-3, 220 pounds

2011: .365/.471/.488 – 34 BB/28 K – 170 AB
2012: .336/.452/.472 – 44 BB/38 K – 11/11 SB – 229 AB
2013: .308/.449/.418 – 50 BB/21 K – 19/21 SB – 182 AB

9. South Alabama JR 1B/LHP Jordan Patterson: good athlete; surprising speed; above-average power upside; plus glove at first; can get him to chase; might work in OF; strong arm; mid- to high-80s FB, now up to 89-92, 93 peak; good SL; 6-4, 200 pounds

2011: .270/.382/.384 – 23 BB/41 K – 211 AB
2012: .313/.421/.498 – 24 BB/44 K – 2/3 SB – 217 AB
2013: .380/.511/.563 – 40 BB/30 K – 4/6 SB – 208 AB

10. North Carolina SR 1B Cody Stubbs: good approach; love the easy power; can fake it in the OF, but really good at first; 6-4, 215 pounds

2012: .240/.335/.369 – 28 BB/46 K – 6/7 SB – 233 AB
2013: .388/.472/.627 – 31 BB/31 K – 4/6 SB – 209 AB

11. Oklahoma JR 1B/OF Matt Oberste: strong hit tool; average or better power upside; touch below-average speed; strong; good athlete; 6-2, 210 pounds

2012: .288/.397/.480 – 14 BB/25 K – 6/7 SB – 125 AB
2013: .359/.440/.607 – 19 BB/27 K – 9/13 SB – 206 AB

12. Longview CC FR 1B/OF Brandon Dulin: physically strong; strong arm; good defender; average speed; well above-average power upside; might be able to hang in LF; 6-3, 230 pounds

2013: .378/.449/.756 – 19 BB/25 K – 4/5 SB – 156 AB

13. Wake Forest rJR 1B/LHP Matt Conway: plus power upside; solid approach; underrated hit tool; 6-7, 240 pounds

2011: .272/.361/.451 – 27 BB/31 K – 195 AB
2013: .383/.435/.543 – 18 BB/19 K – 4/4 SB – 188 AB

2013: 7.88 K/9 | 2.17 BB/9 | 4.79 FIP | 45.2 IP

14. Duke rSO 1B Chris Marconcini: missed 2012 season recovering from torn ACL; good raw power; solid defender; 6-5, 230 pounds

2011: .301/.404/.490 – 24 BB/38 K – 206 AB
2013: .326/.420/.611 – 29 BB/39 K – 8/10 SB – 190 AB

15. East Carolina JR 1B Chase McDonald: like his approach; well above-average raw power; average at best defender; super slow; bat will carry him; little righthanded Preston Tucker vibe; 6-4, 260 pounds

2011: .314/.398/.436 – 24 BB/29 K – 188 AB
2012: .283/.339/.395 – 13 BB/18 K – 0/0 SB – 152 AB
2013: .318/.410/.574 – 28 BB/30 K – 0/0 SB – 176 AB

16. Auburn SR 1B Garrett Cooper: plus defender; 6-6, 225 pounds

2012: .324/.422/.462 – 18 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 173 AB
2013: .387/.511/.586 – 38 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 186 AB

17. Oregon State SR 1B Danny Hayes: natural hitter; doubles power with chance for more; has also seen time at 3B, but 1B in the pros; give him a lot of credit for playing through torn labrum in shoulder; 6-4, 210 pounds

2011: .286/.423/.443 – 32 BB/34 K – 140 AB
2012: .316/.467/.553 – 33 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 114 AB
2013: .293/.393/.437 – 28 BB/20 K – 2/2 SB – 167 AB

18. Elon JR 1B/C Ryan Kinsella: above-average power; decent athlete; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .254/.373/.437 – 24 BB/32 K – 142 AB
2012: .311/.410/.495 – 34 BB/48 K – 0/0 SB – 212 AB
2013: .343/.431/.727 – 31 BB/47 K – 7/8 SB – 216 AB

19. East Tennessee State JR 1B/LHP Clint Freeman: strong arm; interesting power; good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .338/.380/.505 – 14 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 222 AB
2013: .335/.398/.595 – 25 BB/31 K – 2/4 SB – 215 AB

2012: 5.23 K/9 | 1.96 BB/9 | 4.20 FIP | 41.1 IP
2013: 7.89 K/9 | 2.45 BB/9 | 4.20 FIP | 51.1 IP

20. Louisiana-Lafayette JR 1B/3B Chase Compton: really strong hit tool; great approach; power is coming; much debate about his defense – some think good enough for 3B, others think even 1B is a stretch; think he’s playable at first, at worst; strong; FAVORITE; 6-2, 210 pounds

2012: .354/.427/.487 – 23 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 195 AB
2013: .317/460/.513 – 27 BB/21 K – 1/4 SB – 122 AB

21. Montgomery CC-Germantown SO 1B Jake Taylor: interesting power; average glove; 6-4, 230 pounds

2013: .392/.446/.777 – 15 BB/17 K – 2 SB – 166 AB

22. Shoreline (WA) CC SO 1B Kainol Ahsing-Kaahanui: quick bat; big raw power; good approach; average speed; 6-4, 240 pounds

2013: .363/432/.493 – 18 BB/15 K – 3/8 SB – 146 AB

23. UC Santa Barbara rSO 1B Tyler Kuresa: plus raw power; slow; very good defender, plus upside; loud tools, but production has been more good than great; Oregon transfer; 6-4, 225 pounds

2013: .313/.366/.466 – 12 BB/30 K – 1/5 SB – 208 AB

24. Maryland JR 1B Tim Kiene: big power upside, plus for some; poor defender; too aggressive at plate; needs to play; 6-4, 245 pounds

2011: .279/.306/.404 – 5 BB/22 K – 136 AB
2012: .255/.361/.428 – 17 BB/37 K – 1/2 SB – 145 AB
2013: .280/.429/.440 – 4 BB/4 K – 0/0 SB – 25 AB

25. Oklahoma State JR 1B/RHP Tanner Krietemeier: was once a really good defensive CF, has transitioned well to first; good speed; plus arm; intrigued by bat; Nebraska transfer; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .362/.440/.507 – 26 BB/35 K – 6/7 SB – 207 AB

26. Virginia rSR 1B Jared King: good organizational depth for a team in need of a professional-quality hitter with a patient approach and solid punch at the lower levels; good speed; 6-0, 205 pounds

2011: .339/.430/.479 – 25 BB/46 K – 165 AB
2012: .306/.457/.503 – 49 BB/37 K – 13/19 SB – 183 AB
2013: .332/.425/.438 – 36 BB/48 K – 8/10 SB – 208 AB

27. Tennessee JR 1B/OF Scott Price: 6-3, 215 pounds

2013: .366/.432/.464 – 21 BB/20 K – 4/10 SB – 183 AB

28. Florida SR 1B Vickash Ramjit: good defender; can also hold his own in OF; 6-3, 200 pounds

2011: .408/.451/.513 – 5 BB/13 K – 76 AB
2012: .305/.361/.469 – 11 BB/19 K – 3/5 SB – 128 AB
2013: .332/.389/.431 – 16 BB/19 K – 1/4 SB – 202 AB

29. North Carolina State SR 1B/OF Tarran Senay: plus raw power; iffy arm; slow; underrated athlete; really good glove at 1B; 6-1, 220 pounds

2011: .271/.401/.388 – 26 BB/38 K – 129 AB
2012: .222/.327/.415 – 21 BB/48 K – 2/3 SB – 171 AB
2013: .318/.384/.493 – 24 BB/41 K – 3/5 SB – 211 AB

30. St. Anselm SR 1B Rob Kelly: good approach; big raw power; strong; strong arm; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .310/.447/.519 – 49 BB/29 K – 1/2 SB – 210 AB

31. Troy SR 1B/3B Logan Pierce :6-1, 215 pounds

2012: .327/.433/.478 – 43 BB/28 K – 0/0 SB – 226 AB
2013: .375/.475/.602 – 41 BB/18 K – 2/2 SB – 216 AB

32. Cal State Los Angeles rSR 1B James Wharton: improved defender; strong

2013: .311/.415/.584 – 30 BB/35 K – 6 SB – 209 AB

33. Stanford SR 1B/OF Justin Ringo:6-1, 200 pounds

2013: .346/.423/.514 – 22 BB/22 K – 8/8 SB – 185 AB

34. Washington State rJR 1B/3B Adam Nelubowich: pretty swing; average raw power; quick bat; average speed; average defender; might be able to stick at 3B, potentially some OF; 6-2, 185 pounds

2011: .221/.265/.312 – 3 BB/18 K – 77 AB
2012: .243/.300/.365 – 13 BB/33 K – 3/4 SB – 181 AB
2013: .291/.341/.429 – 12 BB/33 K – 2/3 SB – 196 AB

35. Canada JC SO 1B Steven Knudson: big power; quick bat; lots of swing and miss; big man

2013: .303/.395/.531 – 19 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 145 AB

36. West Virginia JR 1B Ryan McBroom: interesting bat speed and power; average speed; 6-3, 220 pounds

2011: .223/.286/.331 – 9 BB/26 K – 130 AB
2012: .273/.349/.410 – 18 BB/25 K – 3/4 SB – 205 AB
2013: .262/.317/.500 – 12 BB/34 K – 5/7 SB – 206 AB

37. Cal State Fullerton rSR 1B/OF Carlos Lopez: interesting power potential, but more of a line drive guy; professional hitter who could hit a single first thing in the morning; average speed that plays up, though knee injuries have sapped him of some speed and athleticism; 6-2, 220 pounds

2011: .329/.389/.468 – 16 BB/11 K – 158 AB
2012: .321/.409/.422 – 33 BB/21 K – 7/8 SB – 218 AB
2013: .348/.415/.478 – 20 BB/19 K – 14/17 SB – 207 AB

38. Kansas SR 1B/C Alex DeLeon: big power; decent at best defender; inaccurate arm; 6-2, 230 pounds

2011: .309/.400/.546 – 12 BB/26 K – 97 AB
2012: .261/.349/.386 – 19 BB/28 K – 0/1 SB – 153 AB
2013: .344/.424/.589 – 19 BB/32 K – 4/4 SB – 180 AB

39. Long Beach State JR 1B/OF Ino Patron: 5-11, 190 pounds

2011: .324/.407/.426 – 19 BB/24 K – 188 AB
2012: .321/.417/.389 – 29 BB/14 K – 0/4 SB – 190 AB
2013: .365/.423/.528 – 18 BB/17 K – 1/3 SB – 197 AB

40. Hawaii JR 1B Marc Flores: 6-4, 225 pounds

2013: .362/.439/.520 – 19 BB/24 K – 2/3 SB – 152 AB

41. Presbyterian JR 1B/C Brad Zebedis: strong hit tool; good defender at first; average at best arm; reminds me a little bit of Eric Arce; slow; strong; 6-1, 215 pounds

2011: .425/.492/.717 – 16 BB/22 K – 212 AB
2012: .270/.335/.434 – 12 BB/30 K – 1/1 SB – 159 AB
2013: .321/.379/.448 – 20 BB/24 K – 3/5 SB – 212 AB

42. Wichita State rSR 1B Johnny Coy: quick wrists; really good athlete; above-average speed underway; strong arm; big raw power potential even after all the years and struggles; too aggressive; way too many swings and misses; 6-7, 225 pounds

2011: .274/.344/.421 – 25 BB/52 K – 259 AB
2012: .330/.404/.537 – 31 BB/51 K – 0/0 SB – 227 AB
2013: .250/.299/.333 – 13 BB/45 K – 0/0 SB – 192 AB

43. North Carolina A&T SR 1B Kelvin Freeman: 6-4, 235 pounds

2011: .304/.351/.505 – 13 BB/30 K – 194 AB
2012: .319/.369/.417 – 15 BB/39 K – 4/6 SB – 216 AB
2013: .352/.432/.694 – 26 BB/39 K – 14/15 SB – 193 AB

44. Tampa JR 1B/OF Mike Danner: strong hit tool; can get too aggressive; good speed; chance to play LF in pros; 5-10, 185 pounds

2013: .356/.459/.545 – 35 BB/24 K – 13/17 SB – 191 AB

45. Kent State SR 1B/3B George Roberts: big power; free swinger; above-average arm strength; short swing; hasn’t played much 3B, but could be good there; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .360/.388/.545 – 16 BB/50 K – 2/3 SB – 264 AB
2013: .353/.466/.507 – 26 BB/21 K – 9/11 SB – 150 AB

46. Marist SR 1B Mike Orefice: 5-10, 190 pounds

2011: .289/.420/.402 – 40 BB/31 K – 194 AB
2012: .351/.456/.515 – 26 BB/20 K – 0/1 SB – 171 AB
2013: .392/.496/.527 – 38 BB/18 K – 1/1 SB – 186 AB

47. Canisius JR 1B Jimmy Luppens: 5-11, 245 pounds

2012: .320/.380/.477 – 13 BB/28 K – 5/5 SB – 153 AB
2013: .383/.474/.533 – 16 BB/16 K – 3/6 SB – 180 AB

48. Southeast Missouri State JR 1B Matt Tellor: above-average power; average at best defensive upside; short to ball, nice swing; cleaned up approach last summer, but still expands the zone too often; 6-5, 210 pounds

2013: .329/.373/.532 – 15 BB/47 K – 3/3 SB – 216 AB

49. New Mexico State rJR 1B/OF Tanner Rust: great athlete; plus arm; good speed; power upside is there, but not yet tapped into; could play RF in pros, but might also stick at either 3B or C with coaching; unique college 1B with chance to make it as utility guy; 6-3, 215 pounds

2012: .236/.360/.333 – 24 BB/28 K – 0/0 SB – 144 AB
2013: .275/.389/.410 – 33 BB/38 K – 8/10 SB – 200 AB

50. Grand Valley State JR 1B Giancarlo Brugnoni: really big power; patient approach; below-average defender across the board (hands, feet, reactions), but has improved a bit; 6-3, 225 pounds

2013: .317/.414/.647 – 24 BB/48 K – 6/6 SB – 167 AB

51. Western Carolina SR 1B Tyler White: 5-11, 235 pounds

2011: .269/.374/.345 – 20 BB/27 K – 197 AB
2012: .321/.417/.401 – 29 BB/21 K – 3/9 SB – 212 AB
2013: .361/.420/.630 – 17 BB/25 K – 3/5 SB – 238 AB

52. Mercer JR 1B Nick Backlund: 6-1, 225 pounds

2012: .341/.437/.592 – 33 BB/37 K – 3/4 SB – 223 AB
2013: .314/.419/.578 – 33 BB/46 K – 0/0 SB – 223 AB

53. Charlotte JR 1B Justin Seager: 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .221/.359/.359 – 15 BB/25 K – 0/1 SB – 131 AB
2013: .368/.461/.515 – 30 BB/26 K – 5/6 SB – 204 AB

54. High Point SR 1B/OF Ryan Retz: 6-0, 215 pounds

2011: .279/.339/.445 – 10 BB/40 K – 229 AB
2012: .294/.349/.396 – 14 BB/27 K – 7/9 SB – 235 AB
2013: .369/.455/.528 – 26 BB/22 K – 0/3 SB – 214 AB

2011: 7.04 K/9 | 23 IP
2012: 5.40 K/9 | 2.14 BB/9 | 4.95 FIP | 80 IP

55. Niagara rSR 1B Ryan McCauley: 6-5, 225 pounds

2012: .378/.429/.714 – 18 BB/33 K – 0/0 SB – 185 AB
2013: .361/.464/.544 – 27 BB/37 K – 3/4 SB – 180 AB

56. Tennessee Tech JR 1B Zach Stephens: 6-0, 225 pounds

2012: .328/.444/.623 – 29 BB/52 K – 0/0 SB – 204 AB
2013: .336/.441/.626 – 37 BB/68 K – 0/0 SB – 214 AB

57. Butler SR 1B Jimmy Risi: 5-11, 215 pounds

2012: .244/.375/.481 – 24 BB/42 K – 1/3 SB – 156 AB
2013: .357/.447/.620 – 21 BB/42 K – 3/4 SB – 171 AB

58. Georgia Southern SR 1B TD Davis: 6-4, 235 pounds

2012: .299/.370/.431 – 21 BB/43 K – 7/8 SB – 211 AB
2013: .306/.387/.550 – 28 BB/56 K – 3/3 SB – 209 AB

59. Lee SR 1B/OF Corey Davis: well above-average raw power; strong arm; above-average speed; way too aggressive; more talent than most potential late round picks, but still very raw; 6-3, 235 pounds

2013: .357/.416/.590 – 19 BB/54 K – 24/27 SB – 210 AB

60. Lewis-Clark State SR 1B Eric Peterson: good athlete; Washington transfer; 6-5, 215 pounds

2013: .402/.508/.660 – 16 BB/18 K – 0/0 SB – 97 AB

61. Eastern Michigan JR 1B Adam Sonabend

2013: .380/.466/.480 – 27 BB/31 K – 3/6 SB – 200 AB

62. UAB SR 1B John Frost: 6-1, 185 pounds

2012: .276/.357/.346 – 21 BB/40 K – 1/2 SB – 214 AB
2013: .341/.410/.477 – 24 BB/26 K – 10/13 SB – 214 AB

63. Dallas Baptist JR 1B Chane Lynch: 6-4, 200 pounds

2013: .279/.364/.538 – 12 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 104 AB

64. Eastern Michigan JR 1B Lee Longo: 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .341/.377/.507 – 6 BB/25 K – 138 AB
2012: .318/.379/.427 – 18 BB/39 K – 0/1 SB – 192 AB
2013: .332/.405/.541 – 17 BB/36 K – 1/2 SB – 205 AB

65. Texas State JR 1B Austin O’Neal: 6-4, 220 pounds

2013: .321/.390/.500 – 12 BB/20 K – 0/0 SB – 106 AB

66. Alabama JR 1B Austen Smith

2011: .324/.411/.479 – 24 BB/36 K – 219 AB
2012: .247/.321/.360 – 16 BB/41 K – 3/6 SB – 150 AB
2013: .303/.373/.467 – 21 BB/45 K – 3/4 SB – 195 AB

67. South Carolina rJR 1B Brison Celek: power upside but hasn’t come to fruition; 6-0, 225 pounds

2013: .304/.409/.392 – 13 BB/15 K – 0/0 SB – 79 AB

68. UC Davis rSO 1B Nick Lynch: 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .329/.415/.483 – 13 BB/23 K – 0/2 SB – 149 AB
2013: .416/.490/.506 – 8 BB/25 K – 2/4 SB – 166 AB

69. Pacific rSO 1B/LHP Erik Lockwood: gap power presently, but more there; mid-80s FB; good CB; CU; 6-3, 190 pounds

2012: .339/.400/.424 – 12 BB/26 K – 2/3 SB – 165 AB
2013: .320/.386/.409 – 14 BB/33 K – 0/2 SB – 181 AB

70. South Florida SR 1B/OF Jimmy Falla: 6-2, 215 pounds

2012: .293/.356/.398 – 14 BB/42 K – 3/4 SB – 181 AB
2013: .317/.393/.439 – 27 BB/40 K – 8/9 SB – 221 AB

71. Pepperdine SR 1B Sam Meyer: 6-4, 235 pounds

2012: .305/.373/.429 – 22 BB/41 K – 1/2 SB – 203 AB
2013: .289/.376/.458 – 19 BB/29 K – 0/0 SB – 190 AB

72. California rJR 1B Devon Rodriguez: 6-1, 215 pounds

2011: .300/.363/.433 – 13 BB/26 K – 233 AB
2013: .309/.343/.452 – 11 BB/28 K – 0/0 SB – 217 AB

73. Minnesota rJR 1B/OF Dan Olinger: pretty swing; gap power; good approach; no standout tool, but no clear weakness; 6-2, 190 pounds

2011: .284/.354/.353 – 9 BB/11 K – 102 AB
2012: .348/.401/.418 – 13 BB/18 K – 7/10 SB – 201 AB
2013: .296/.370/.370 – 12 BB/14 K – 7/9 SB – 162 AB

74. Louisville SR 1B/LHP Zak Wasserman: raw power remains, but too long swing keeps him inconsistent; 6-6, 240 pounds

2011: .204/.292/.269 – 9 BB/14 K – 93 AB
2012: .291/.372/.456 – 15 BB/26 K – 1/1 SB – 158 AB
2013: .230/.322/.291 – 14 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 148 AB

75. Marshall SR 1B Nathan Gomez: some power upside, but more hitter than slugger; really good defender; 6-3, 200 pounds

2011: .252/.384/.387 – 24 BB/32 K – 119 AB
2012: .320/.414/.447 – 29 BB/34 K – 0/0 SB – 206 AB
2013: .275/.354/.358 – 23 BB/35 K – 0/4 SB – 193 AB

76. Bethune-Cookman JR 1B/LHP Anthony Stokes: above-average power; 6-3, 225 pounds

2012: .242/.320/.478 – 17 BB/33 K – 2/2 SB – 157 AB
2013: .298/.348/.482 – 11 BB/25 K – 0/0 SB – 168 AB

77. South Carolina Upstate SR 1B/C Trey Richardson: 6-2, 210 pounds

2011: .273/.361/.378 – 21 BB/46 K – 209 AB
2012: .247/.317/.386 – 16 BB/41 K – 0/0 SB – 166 AB
2013: .309/.381/.515 – 21 BB/34 K – 0/0 SB – 194 AB

78. Dartmouth JR 1B Dustin Selzer: 6-3, 220 pounds

2012: .324/.414/.535 – 19 BB/17 K – 0/1 SB – 142 AB
2013: .290/.392/.428 – 20 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 138 AB

79. Northern Illinois JR 1B Jeff Zimmerman: good approach, smart hitter; plus defender; 6-3, 220 pounds

2011: .307/.382/.516 – 23 BB/64 K – 215 AB
2012: .262/.342/.410 – 15 BB/45 K – 3/3 SB – 195 AB
2013: .338/.395/.452 – 18 BB/25 K – 5/7 SB – 210 AB

80. Florida Atlantic SR 1B/OF Mark Nelson: 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .271/.369/.410 – 33 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 210 AB
2013: .288/.406/.452 – 33 BB/32 K – 0/1 SB – 177 AB

81. Florida Gulf Coast rSR 1B Brooks Beisner: Auburn transfer

2013: .380/.456/.537 – 21 BB/37 K – 1/2 SB – 216 AB

82. South Alabama SR 1B Dustin Dalken: 6-6, 233 pounds

2012: .259/.357/.367 – 17 BB/40 K – 1/1 SB – 147 AB
2013: .358/.433/.586 – 17 BB/45 K – 2/3 SB – 162 AB

83. Miami (Ohio) SR 1B Kevin Bower: above-average power; strong; average at best defender; 6-4, 215 pounds

2011: .255/.305/.356 – 12 BB/41 K – 149 AB
2012: .348/.416/.467 – 27 BB/37 K – 0/1 SB – 210 AB
2013: .323/.400/.448 – 20 BB/39 K – 2/3 SB – 192 AB

84. Bradley JR 1B Greg Partyka: 6-3, 235 pounds

2012: .282/.346/.485 – 19 BB/46 K – 0/0 SB – 206 AB
2013: .331/.421/.494 – 23 BB/44 K – 0/1 SB – 172 AB

85. Western Carolina JR 1B/C Adam Martin: some contact issues; average at best arm; good power; 6-2, 235 pounds

2011: .269/.368/.448 – 16 BB/35 K – 134 AB
2012: .257/.357/.414 – 25 BB/39 K – 2/4 SB – 191 AB
2013: .281/.394/.516 – 16 BB/31 K – 0/0 SB – 128 AB

86. Dartmouth SR 1B Ennis Coble: 5-11, 170 pounds

2011: .340/.417/.490 – 14 BB/18 K – 147 AB
2012: .311/.419/.356 – 15 BB/17 K – 3/10 SB – 135 AB
2013: .325/.401/.457 – 13 BB/11 K – 10/10 SB – 151 AB

87. Stony Brook JR 1B/LHP Kevin Courtney: 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .273/.343/.397 – 9 BB/33 K – 121 AB
2012: .264/.376/.408 – 24 BB/39 K – 1/5 SB – 174 AB
2013: .237/.386/.432 – 33 BB/39 K – 2/2 SB – 169 AB

88. San Jose State JR 1B Matt Carroll: quick bat; solid defender; untapped power upside; 6-6, 235 pounds

2012: .222/.364/.267 – 6 BB/9 K – 0/2 SB – 45 AB
2013: .373/.405/.483 – 10 BB/35 K – 5/8 SB – 201 AB

89. Illinois State SR 1B Kyle Stanton: 6-2, 220 pounds

2013: .357/.443/.500 – 30 BB/46 K – 4/5 SB – 196 AB

90. Penn SR 1B Spencer Branigan: average raw power; good defender; 6-5, 235 pounds

2011: .280/.362/.512 – 10 BB/28 K – 125 AB
2012: .234/.331/.379 – 16 BB/33 K – 2/2 SB – 145 AB
2013: .315/.393/.413 – 18 BB/27 K – 0/1 SB – 143 AB

91. Prairie View A&M JR 1B Dominiq Harris: 6-0, 210 pounds

2012: .285/.331/.412 – 9 BB/26 K – 2/2 SB – 165 AB
2013: .302/.362/.497 – 19 BB/36 K – 3/3 SB – 189 AB

92. Samford JR 1B/OF Caleb Bryson: quick bat; above-average power; average at best speed; 6-1, 200 pounds

2013: .271/.367/.452 – 25 BB/51 K – 3/4 SB – 188 AB

93. North Carolina Greensboro SR 1B Lloyd Enzor: 6-3, 215 pounds

2012: .274/.308/.413 – 9 BB/33 K – 0/0 SB – 208 AB
2013: .293/.375/.476 – 26 BB/49 K – 0/2 SB – 208 AB

94. Fairfield SR 1B Anthony Hajjar

2011: .223/.289/.266 – 8 BB/18 K – 139 AB
2012: .317/.376/.401 – 15 BB/27 K – 2/2 SB – 202 AB
2013: .304/.371/.418 – 13 BB/11 K – 5/6 SB – 184 AB

95. Belmont SR 1B/OF Judah Akers: 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .312/.384/.466 – 20 BB/39 K – 189 AB
2012: .340/.380/.465 – 13 BB/40 K – 6/9 SB – 241 AB
2013: .312/.408/.537 – 23 BB/39 K – 2/5 SB – 205 AB

96. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR 1B Joel Greatting: 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .312/.386/.445 – 12 BB/24 K – 173 AB
2012: .328/.429/.529 – 22 BB/31 K – 0/2 SB – 204 AB
2013: .356/.471/.539 – 23 BB/35 K – 1/4 SB – 180 AB

97. Central Connecticut State SR 1B Tyler McIntyre: 6-4, 220 pounds

2012: .267/.323/.488 – 14 BB/37 K – 0/0 SB – 172 AB
2013: .330/.417/.508 – 28 BB/49 K – 0/2 SB – 185 AB

98. Navy JR 1B Kash Manzelli: 6-3, 210 pounds

2012: .277/.361/.377 – 15 BB/34 K – 0/0 SB – 159 AB
2013: .361/.431/.450 – 17 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 191 AB

99. Northern Colorado JR 1B/LHP Nick Miller: 6-4, 200 pounds

2013: .309/.375/.469 – 18 BB/24 K – 2/5 SB – 175 AB

100. Lamar SR 1B Brad Picha: good approach; plus defender; 6-2, 220 pounds

2013: .319/.376/.423 – 18 BB/38 K – 4/4 SB – 213 AB

***

And because I can’t help myself, here are 22 extra players to keep tabs on for draft day and beyond…

101. Air Force JR 1B Seth Kline: 6-1, 225 pounds

2012: .271/.400/.415 – 25 BB/29 K – 1/2 SB – 118 AB
2013: .314/.399/.422 – 25 BB/39 K – 6/7 SB – 185 AB

102. Longwood SR 1B Justin Lacy: too many swings and misses; good power; good defender; 6-2, 220 pounds

2011: .309/.354/.470 – 10 BB/29 K – 181 AB
2012: .370/.458/.532 – 24 BB/34 K – 0/0 SB – 173 AB
2013: .307/.331/.429 – 7 BB/27 K – 0/0 SB – 163 AB

103. Buffalo SR 1B/3B Alex Baldock: 6-3, 215 pounds

2011: .320/.410/.490 – 20 BB/29 K – 194 AB
2012: .294/.405/.486 – 15 BB/20 K – 1/2 SB – 109 AB
2013: .259/.327/.420 – 15 BB/32 K – 0/0 SB – 174 AB

104. Central Michigan rSO 1B Cody Leichman: above-average raw power; good natural hitter; good defender; 6-3, 220 pounds

2013: .347/.428/.437 – 16 BB/41 K – 6/6 SB – 167 AB

105. Stephen F. Austin State rJR 1B Max Lamantia: 6-4, 230 pounds

2012: .367/.448/.567 – 17 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 120 AB
2013: .290/.353/.459 – 17 BB/44 K – 4/5 SB – 183 AB

106. Old Dominion JR 1B Joey Burney: 6-3, 210 pounds

2011: .243/.283/.453 – 6 BB/29 K – 148 AB
2012: .255/.325/.431 – 8 BB/18 K – 0/2 SB – 137 AB
2013: .287/.385/.426 – 15 BB/23 K – 1/2 SB – 129 AB

107. Old Dominion SR 1B Austin McGowan: 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .254/.346/.351 – 15 BB/18 K – 0/2 SB – 114 AB
2013: .264/.355/.406 – 16 BB/12 K – 0/0 SB – 106 AB

108. Jacksonville JR 1B Brady North: 6-3, 225 pounds

2013: .265/.365/.413 – 31 BB/41 K – 0/1 SB – 196 AB

109. St. Bonaventure SR 1B Austin Ingraham: 6-2, 215 pounds

2012: .243/.340/.370 – 28 BB/28 K – 3/3 SB – 173 AB
2013: .298/.365/.404 – 20 BB/23 K – 7/9 SB – 178 AB

110. Murray State SR 1B Mike Kozlowski: 5-11, 215 pounds

2012: .297/.371/.410 – 23 BB/38 K – 0/1 SB – 222 AB
2013: .285/.369/.425 – 23 BB/36 K – 0/1 SB – 221 AB

111. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi SR 1B/RHP Jonathan Gonzales: 6-0, 250 pounds

2012: .293/.364/.477 – 15 BB/34 K – 2/4 SB – 174 AB
2013: .311/.349/.453 – 10 BB/26 K – 1/2 SB – 212 AB

112. Wofford rJR 1B Seth Neely: Clemson transfer; 5-10, 200 pounds

2013: .338/.387/.380 – 16 BB/38 K – 17/23 SB – 216 AB

113. Tennessee-Martin SR 1B Wade Collins: 6-4, 215 pounds

2012: .241/.365/.379 – 14 BB/31 K – 0/0 SB – 87 AB
2013: .322/.391/.496 – 12 BB/40 K – 2/3 SB – 121 AB

114. Southern Mississippi SR 1B Blake Brown: average power; strong; 6-5, 225 pounds

2012: .260/.374/.438 – 30 BB/63 K – 1/2 SB – 192 AB
2013: .250/.327/.448 – 15 BB/49 K – 2/2 SB – 192 AB

115. Hofstra SR 1B Jared Hammer: 6-1, 235 pounds

2011: .328/.399/.403 – 10 BB/12 K – 134 AB
2012: .324/.436/.441 – 39 BB/20 K – 12/14 SB – 213 AB
2013: .265/.380/.354 – 29 BB/29 K – 5/7 SB – 189 AB

116. Toledo SR 1B Matt Delewski: 6-0, 180 pounds

2011: .266/.324/.362 – 16 BB/17 K – 188 AB
2012: .301/.344/.364 – 10 BB/22 K – 2/4 SB – 173 AB
2013: .345/.380/.399 – 10 BB/20 K – 4/7 SB – 223 AB

117. San Jose State JR 1B/OF Matt Lopez: 5-11, 200 pounds

2012: .296/.444/.383 – 23 BB/13 K – 2/4 SB – 115 AB
2013: .283/.403/.313 – 19 BB/15 K – 1/3 SB – 99 AB

118. Kent State SR 1B/C Jason Bagoly: average power; strong arm; not a good catcher, but can fake it; built like a bull; 6-3, 235 pounds

2011: .237/.308/.342 – 10 BB/31 K – 114 AB
2012: .277/.333/.468 – 6 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 94 AB
2013: .264/.349/.349 – 14 BB/38 K – 0/0 SB – 129 AB

119. Sacramento State SR 1B Clay Cederquist: interesting upside with bat; above-average raw power; good defender; has been tried in OF, but not successfully; missed 2013 season; 6-3, 190 pounds

2012: .337/.355/.391 – 5 BB/20 K – 0/0 SB – 184 AB

120. Valparaiso SR 1B John Loeffler: 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .274/.393/.393 – 32 BB/28 K – 0/1 SB – 201 AB
2013: .286/.404/.360 – 28 BB/32 K – 2/2 SB – 175 AB

121. Pacific SR 1B Tyger Pederson: can also play 2B; 6-0, 185 pounds

2012: .270/.379/.315 – 18 BB/16 K – 2/5 SB – 111 AB
2013: .287/.343/.363 – 15 BB/28 K – 3/7 SB – 157 AB

122. Coastal Carolina SR 1B/OF Alex Buccilli: patient approach; not much power; not a great defender; famous for bizarre swing mechanics and setup; 5-8, 180 pounds

2012: .318/.432/.422 – 36 BB/15 K – 10/10 SB – 192 AB
2013: .276/.428/.337 – 35 BB/22 K – 6/8 SB – 163 AB

2013 MLB Draft: Top 100 College Catching Prospects

A few quick notes before we get this thing kicked off. If you commented or emailed in the past few days, I’ll have a response by this evening. Here we go…

1. Stats are park/schedule adjusted from College Splits. I had to use a different cutoff for each list, but the catchers numbers should all be correct as of last Monday (5/20/13). I dug around for stats for all junior college and non-Division I players; those numbers are obviously as is, i.e. not park/schedule adjusted.

2. If your favorite player is missing, then chances are a lot higher it was a copy/paste fail and not my complete and utter lack of baseball knowledge. I mean, sure, it could still be the latter, but if there’s somebody obvious that I’ve ignored, please give a gentle reminder in the comments or via email (robozga at gmail dot com). It’s also possible I mentally shifted a guy’s position in my head, so don’t rule out your player suddenly popping up on another position list.

3. Players designated as FAVORITEs were given that tag prior to the season, or, in some cases, upon enrolling in college. In other words, just because a guy is a FAVORITE doesn’t mean he’s automatically guaranteed a high placement on the list. I’m stubborn about which players I like, true, but I’m also quite cognizant of the fact prospect status is fluid.

4. Final opinions are all mine, but information has been culled from a variety of sources. Like anybody likely reading this site, I’m an avid follower of all things Baseball America and Perfect Game. Seriously, if you are into the draft/prospects at all, I highly recommend getting subscriptions to both sites. I also have a small but trustworthy network of friends in the game I occasionally call upon for information on prospects, especially those off the beaten path. Consider the little scouting notes section on each player a synthesis on what I’ve read, heard, and seen about each player. I’m in no way an expert and literally nothing I write, positively or negatively, influences what pro teams actually do on draft day. I’m just a baseball loving guy who has taken a hobby way, way, way too far.

5. I’m happy to answer any and all questions I can over email or in the comments. Also, for the sake of my already waning sanity, I didn’t include everything I had on every player — you’ll see some blank spots sprinkled throughout — so please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something about a specific guy you want answered.

Finally, this is just the college catching group. High school catchers will get their time in the sun soon.

***

I don’t think it is all that controversial to say that there’s a chance we won’t have a single average or better long-term big league starting catcher from this year’s college class. This is actually a very freeing possibility. Instead of picking apart the top guys like we so often do, we can instead focus our collective energy on finding good fits. You have projects with upside, high-floor players on the precipice of long careers as big league backups or third catcher insurance at AAA, and multi-position utility guys capable of helping a creative team use a bench spot. There is also the typical blend of prospects who fall into specific prospect archetypes: all glove/little bat, big bat/iffy glove, well-rounded but no plus tool, plus athleticism but still relatively new to catching, and, an old favorite, huge arm strength/tantalizing raw power but little else to offer.

You’ll notice in going through the list that I value athleticism a great deal when evaluating catching prospects. Defense is also prioritized, though I take the minority view that catchers can be made as easily as they are born. Good pro coaching can iron out a lot of the supposed “innate skills” that a college catcher may struggle with, provided the catcher has the requisite athleticism and makeup to make the adjustments. With a good athlete and willing student, things like receiving the ball, the glove to hand transfer, release, and all things footwork can be significantly cleaned up in the low-minors. Athleticism, approach, and all-around defensive acumen are probably my top three qualifications for the catching spot. With that in mind, here’s a great big ranking…

C

1. Georgia Tech JR C Zane Evans: uses whole field; solid defensive tools; strong arm; gap power at present, but more there; above-average raw power; late inning potential as reliever as fallback; 2012: 88-93 FB; flashes plus SL; good 76-80 CB; 81-83 CU with promise; 2013: 93-95 FB, 97 peak; plus mid-80s SL; 6-2, 215 pounds

2011: .279/.337/.412 – 21 BB/50 K – 226 AB
2012: .299/.369/.438 – 25 BB/42 K – 1/1 SB – 224 AB
2013: .396/.460/.668 – 29 BB/31 K – 0/0 SB – 217 AB

2012: 8.84 K/9 | 1.96 BB/9 | 4.02 FIP | 36.2 IP
2013: 6.87 K/9 | 5.40 BB/9 | 3.55 FIP | 18.1 IP

2. Mississippi JR C Stuart Turner: very good defender, plus upside; excellent athlete; strong arm; average at best speed, but smart on bases; love his power upside, at least average for me but others aren’t sold; crazy quick transfer and release, impressive agility behind plate; LSU-Eunice transfer; FAVORITE; 6-2, 220 pounds

2013: .412/.479/.583 – 26 BB/31 K – 2/5 SB – 199 AB

3. North Carolina JR C Brian Holberton: picture perfect swing mechanics; great athlete; has also seen time at 2B and OF; wears out the gaps; love his approach to hitting; may not be a catcher forever, may not be a catcher long-term, but has shown enough ability behind plate to warrant a shot in pro ball; FAVORITE; 5-11, 190 pounds

2011: .261/.356/.386 – 14 BB/14 K – 88 AB
2012: .280/.394/.373 – 21 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 118 AB
2013: .330/.455/.551 – 39 BB/22 K – 7/13 SB – 185 AB

4. California JR C Andrew Knapp: big upside with bat; above-average defender; above-average arm; love his approach; smart hitter, makes adjustments well; good power; some don’t like his defense like I do; uses whole field well; average speed; defense will come just needs experience; good athlete; 2013: defense has been disappointing, but I stubbornly believe he can at least hold his own; would rank in similar range (5-8) on college first base prospect list; FAVORITE; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .227/.307/.318 – 7 BB/22 K – 66 AB
2012: .270/.354/.422 – 24 BB/33 K – 4/7 SB – 211 AB
2013: .406/.481/.634 – 26 BB/33 K – 4/6 SB – 202 AB

5. Pittsburgh SO C Elvin Soto: good defender; quick hands; above-average arm strength; average at best hit tool; fits the well-rounded across the board mold nicely; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .236/.302/.384 – 14 BB/51 K – 1/2 SB – 216 AB
2013: .320/.415/.524 – 33 BB/34 K – 2/2 SB – 206 AB

6. Louisiana State JR C Ty Ross: big raw power, but has never hit much at all; impressive arm; much improved defender; well above-average glove now; defense could carry him to big leagues while development of bat remains difference between starter and backup; FAVORITE; 6-3, 210 pounds

2011: .223/.295/.277 – 13 BB/37 K – 148 AB
2012: .303/.369/.395 – 23 BB/22 K – 2/2 SB – 185 AB
2013: .230/.309/.303 – 19 BB/22 K – 1/2 SB – 165 AB

7. Dartmouth JR C/3B Jeff Keller: plus athlete; great approach, shows controlled aggression as a hitter; above-average present power; not a long-term catcher for many, but I think he’s skilled enough and more than athletic enough to give it a go; failing that, his positional versatility should keep him getting work; FAVORITE; 5-11, 180 pounds

2011: .310/.385/.524 – 9 BB/16 K – 84 AB
2012: .352/.436/.541 – 13 BB/18 K – 3/4 SB – 122 AB
2013: .376/.456/.730 – 19 BB/24 K – 7/7 SB – 141 AB

8. New Mexico SR C Mitchell Garver: some of the best bat speed of any college catcher; above-average pop; good approach; average or better hit tool; average arm, currently plays down to slow throwing motion and choppy footwork; average at best overall defender; good athlete; might be able to handle OF; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .274/.362/.370 – 30 BB/26 K – 230 AB
2012: .332/.397/.541 – 25 BB/28 K – 6/9 SB – 268 AB
2013: .357/.434/.534 – 27 BB/39 K – 10/13 SB – 221 AB

9. Vanderbilt JR C Spencer Navin: excellent defender; plus arm; quick release; great footwork; good athlete; should hit enough to be quality backup; 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .309/.441/.420 – 32 BB/41 K – 10/16 SB – 188 AB
2013: .324/.457/.441 – 21 BB/33 K – 7/8 SB – 145 AB

10. Oregon State JR C/2B Jake Rodriguez: strong hit tool; good approach; solid defensive tools; definite utility future; good speed; plus arm; converted infielder; can also play some OF; gap power; has improved behind plate a great deal; strange comp, but he reminds me of Chace Numata; 5-9, 200 pounds

2011: .333/.400/.467 – 5 BB/8 K – 75 AB
2012: .295/.379/.375 – 13 BB/33 K – 4/5 SB – 176 AB
2013: .306/.420/.401 – 30 BB/27 K – 2/3 SB – 147 AB

11. Kirkwood CC SO C/3B Dairo Gonzalez: strong arm; interesting bat; average speed; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .413/.522/.699 – 30 BB/18 K – 4/6 SB – 143 AB

12. Cal State Fullerton JR C/1B Chad Wallach: good power upside; plus arm strength, but still figuring out how to use it behind plate; bat has a ways to go, but I’m a believer; relatively new to catching, but upside defensively is evident; slow; 6-3, 225 pounds

2012: .221/.295/.279 – 6 BB/11 K – 1/1 SB – 68 AB
2013: .328/.414/.482 – 13 BB/15 K – 1/3 SB – 137 AB

13. The Citadel JR C Joe Jackson: underrated offensive player; wish he hit better on Cape; competition a question, but has produced for three years; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .337/.403/.414 – 20 BB/19 K – 169 AB
2012: .297/.364/.415 – 22 BB/36 K – 4/4 SB – 229 AB
2013: .423/.517/.712 – 37 BB/27 K – 3/8 SB – 215 AB

14. Texas-Arlington JR C Greg McCall: above-average arm; solid defender; strong hit tool; like his measured approach to hitting; 6-1, 215 pounds

2011: .198/.317/.279 – 14 BB/28 K – 86 AB
2012: .200/.298/.263 – 22 BB/45 K – 0/0 SB – 175 AB
2013: .293/.431/.504 – 27 BB/23 K – 3/3 SB – 123 AB

15. Florida State rJR C Stephen McGee: good glove; average arm; consistently underrated bat; pros may not agree come draft day, but he’s my kind of hitter; 6-3, 220 pounds

2012: .230/.435/.275 – 65 BB/30 K – 2/6 SB – 204 AB
2013: .310/.475/.552 – 49 BB/29 K – 4/4 SB – 174 AB

16. Auburn JR C Blake Austin: good power upside; plus arm; good defender; good looking swing; 5-11, 215 pounds

2012: .296/.369/.448 – 9 BB/16 K – 125 AB – 3/3 SB
2013: .318/.358/.457 – 9 BB/24 K – 0/0 SB – 173 AB

17. New Mexico JC FR C Marcus Greene: physically strong; strong arm; improved defender; really good athlete; above-average speed; intriguing bat; FAVORITE; 5-11, 200 pounds

2013: .384/.465/.727 – 21 BB/32 K – 16/21 SB – 172 AB

18. Weatherford JC SO C/1B Hunter Lockwood: strong hit tool; might not stick at catcher; I like his defense enough; good arm; good speed; defense improving; plus power upside; might be able to stick in OF; still rough behind the plate; Oklahoma transfer; like the Andrew Knapp of the junior college ranks

2012: .227/.283/.459 – 14 BB/63 K – 6/10 SB – 185 AB
2013: .333/.423/.559 – 21 BB/32 K – 6/8 SB – 177 AB

19. Louisville JR C/1B Jeff Gardner: good power; can also play OF; 6-2, 220 pounds

2012: .293/.393/.407 – 15 BB/32 K – 2/5 SB – 167 AB
2013: .356/.430/.674 – 14 BB/16 K – 1/3 SB – 132 AB

20. Rutgers SR C Jeff Melillo: good approach; good defender; not much projection left, but value found in his steadying influence on a staff and mature approach to hitting; 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .322/.435/.443 – 30 BB/31 K – 0/1 SB – 183 AB
2013: .325/.415/.500 – 29 BB/32 K – 3/3 SB – 194 AB

21. Cal State Bakersfield JR C/1B Cael Brockmeyer: good arm strength; average or better power upside; good approach to hitting; better than expected defensive tools for a big man; 6-5, 220 pounds

2011: .244/.299/.382 – 8 BB/34 K – 123 AB
2012: .285/.380/.460 – 22 BB/36 K – 0/0 SB – 200 AB
2013: .338/.414/.484 – 20 BB/37 K – 6/6 SB – 213 AB

22. UC Riverside SR C Clay Prestridge: versatile defender; good behind plate; excellent approach; good speed; 5-9, 180 pounds

2012: .269/.419/.327 – 37 BB/33 K – 9/10 SB – 171 AB
2013: .357/.458/.432 – 24 BB/32 K – 15/18 SB – 185 AB

23. Air Force SR C Garrett Custons: great athlete; good speed; plus-plus arm; 5-11, 200 pounds

2011: .282/.371/.469 – 19 BB/42 K – 209 AB
2012: .269/.359/.421 – 17 BB/34 K – 7/12 SB – 171 AB
2013: .332/.424/.473 – 19 BB/32 K – 14/19 SB – 205 AB

24. Duke SR C Jeff Kremer: great approach; steady glove; 5-11, 210 pounds

2011: .357/.472/.452 – 41 BB/27 K – 199 AB
2012: .310/.427/.386 – 25 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 171 AB
2013: .359/.466/.427 – 33 BB/16 K – 4/9 SB – 206 AB

25. Texas JR C Jacob Felts: average arm; average power upside; solid defensively, I like him here even more than most; been told he has a clear “backup catcher hit tool”; high marks for defensive skills that go unnoticed by many; like that he knows his strengths and weaknesses as a hitter; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .242/.321/.274 – 15 BB/33 K – 186 AB
2012: .324/.381/.372 – 11 BB/20 K – 2/4 SB – 188 AB
2013: .306/.378/.361 – 10 BB/20 K – 3/4 SB – 147 AB

26. North Carolina JR C Matt Roberts: well above-average defender with plus upside; intriguing raw power; tools remain, but hasn’t put it together at college level at all; 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .111/.219/.148 – 3 BB/6 K – 0/0 SB – 27 AB
2013: .190/.265/.340 – 9 BB/23 K – 2/2 SB – 100 AB

27. Harford CC SO C Norm Donkin: good athlete; good speed; good arm; good power; could also play OF or 3B; 6-3, 220 pounds

2013: .379/.446/.538 – 20 BB/10 K – 30/31 SB – 182 AB

28. Alabama JR C/1B Wade Wass: strong arm; good defender, but others not sold; quick bat; power upside; too many swings and misses; injuries ruined his 2013 season; 6-0, 210 pounds

29. Fresno State SR C Austin Wynns: excellent defender; really good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .337/.426/.423 – 24 BB/22 K – 175 AB
2012: .289/.361/.407 – 20 BB/24 K – 1/1 SB – 194 AB
2013: .286/.370/.429 – 20 BB/22 K – 1/1 SB – 161 AB

30. Shippensburg SR C Tyler Shover: plus defender; plus arm; good approach; interesting raw power; 6-2, 185 pounds

2013: .357/.436/.491 – 24 BB/13 K – 5/8 SB – 171 AB

31. Fairfield JR C Ryan Plourde: average glove; intriguing bat; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .323/.425/.495 – 30 BB/35 K – 2/3 SB – 186 AB
2013: .360/.460/.503 – 30 BB/23 K – 14/15 SB – 175 AB

32. UC Irvine rSR C Ronnie Shaeffer: average arm; above-average defender; intriguing bat that needs polish; 6-2, 215 pounds

2011: .274/.326/.317 – 15 BB/33 K – 208 AB
2013: .322/.355/.420 – 10 BB/14 K – 1/4 SB – 205 AB

33. Baylor SR C Nathan Orf: 5-9, 170 pounds

2012: .303/.456/.389 – 35 BB/31 K – 18/21 SB – 234 AB
2013: .400/.490/.493 – 24 BB/23 K – 4/14 SB – 205 AB

34. Tennessee JR C Ethan Bennett: 6-0, 215 pounds

2011: .254/.354/.476 – 17 BB/24 K – 126 AB
2012: .179/.290/.330 – 10 BB/30 K – 112 AB – 2/2 SB
2013: .321/.455/.605 – 13 BB/17 K – 5/6 SB – 81 AB

35. San Diego SR C Dillon Haupt: plus arm strength; 6-5, 225 pounds

2012: .274/.384/.441 – 23 BB/32 K – 3/4 SB – 179 AB
2013: .313/.399/.594 – 19 BB/52 K – 2/2 SB – 192 AB

36. North Florida JR C/1B Ryan Roberson: 5-9, 215 pounds

2012: .301/.359/.451 – 11 BB/14 K – 1/1 SB – 153 AB
2013: .376/.447/.547 – 21 BB/11 K – 0/1 SB – 170 AB

37. Manhattan rSR C Ramon Ortega: plus defensive tools; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .356/.422/.469 – 18 BB/30 K – 160 AB
2012: .275/.377/.436 – 31 BB/27 K – 2/2 SB – 204 AB
2013: .356/.443/.550 – 26 BB/29 K – 2/2 SB – 180 AB

38. Louisville JR C Kyle Gibson: plus athlete; above-average speed; strong arm; raw defender, but getting there – considered at least average now; 5-9, 200 pounds

2011: .227/.297/.273 – 5 BB/8 K – 66 AB
2012: .285/.371/.343 – 10 BB/16 K – 3/4 SB – 137 AB
2013: .349/.388/.407 – 6 BB/8 K – 2/2 SB – 86 AB

39. Missouri JR C Dylan Kelly: plus defender; 5-11, 200 pounds

2013: .333/.400/.409 – 15 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 171 AB

40. Seattle rJR C/OF Ryan Somers: 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .305/.396/.381 – 15 BB/21 K – 2/5 SB – 118 AB
2013: .321/.436/.442 – 38 BB/35 K – 6/8 SB – 190 AB

41. Arizona State SR C Max Rossiter: good defender; strong arm; 5-11, 185 pounds

2012: .319/.364/.442 – 9 BB/13 K – 0/0 SB – 138 AB
2013: .307/.404/.399 – 22 BB/21 K – 2/2 SB – 163 AB

42. Southern California JR C Jake Hernandez: plus defensive tools; good power upside; definite untapped upside here, but another guy like Felts and Roberts who hasn’t had the success many expected at the college level; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .233/.242/.267 – 1 BB/9 K – 60 AB
2012: .308/.360/.352 – 5 BB/10 K – 2/3 SB – 91 AB
2013: .255/.289/.340 – 5 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 106 AB

43. Huntington JR C/1B Joseph Odom: big power; strong arm; not a natural catcher, but much improved behind plate; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .369/.468/.706 – 31 BB/28 K – 6/8 SB – 160 AB

44. Dallas Baptist SR C/1B Duncan McAlpine: good approach; good defender; average but accurate arm; some power upside; 5-10, 215 pounds

2011: .224/.322/.362 – 25 BB/43 K – 174 AB
2012: .224/.339/.376 – 36 BB/51 K – 1/4 SB – 210 AB
2013: .305/.416/.615 – 33 BB/43 K – 3/3 SB – 200 AB

45. Washington State JR C/OF Collin Slaybaugh: good raw power; good speed; average defender; good athlete; plus arm; 6-1, 185 pounds

2011: .288/.382/.375 – 15 BB/19 K – 104 AB
2012: .280/.353/.352 – 13 BB/23 K – 6/7 SB – 125 AB
2013: .299/.365/.339 – 11 BB/34 K – 10/12 SB – 174 AB

46. Lee SR C Danny Canela: NC State transfer; not sure he’s strong enough behind plate to be a consistent viable option professionally – if I’m wrong, that’s great news for Canela’s prospect stock; at third, he’s a good enough defender who plays the position as you’d expect a part-time catcher would (i.e. often steady, never spectacular); interesting power potential; quick bat; great arm is biggest defensive asset; 5-10, 235 pounds

2011: .267/.349/.443 – 17 BB/26 K – 131 AB
2012: .339/.448/.522 – 38 BB/30 K – 0/0 SB – 180 AB
2013: .332/.443/.495 – 38 BB/17 K – 0/0 SB – 202 AB

47. Louisiana-Lafayette rSO C Mike Strentz: great athlete; quick bat; above-average arm; big raw power; strong; TJ survivor; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .237/.331/.374 – 17 BB/42 K – 139 AB
2012: .167/.235/.200 – 2 BB/14 K – 30 AB – 0/0 SB
2013: .358/.462/.648 – 16 BB/40 K – 5/7 SB – 176 AB

48. Saint Louis SR C/3B Grant Nelson: good athlete; strong arm; good defensive tools; average or better power upside; 6-2, 220 pounds

2012: .329/.419/.443 – 28 BB/48 K – 2/2 SB – 210 AB
2013: .384/.474/.535 – 33 BB/51 K – 3/5 SB – 198 AB

49. Virginia Tech rJR C Chad Morgan: big power potential; plus arm; great defender; bat is a question mark; kept waiting for him to make a leap, but never happened; 5-11, 185 pounds

2011: .237/.333/.360 – 16 BB/34 K – 139 AB
2012: .184/.263/.255 – 9 BB/18 K – 0/1 SB – 98 AB
2013: .276/.333/.379 – 11 BB/23 K – 3/5 SB – 145 AB

50. Chipola JC FR C Ian Rice: great approach; plus raw power; solid defender

2013: .323/.437/.458 – 18 BB/21 K – 4/5 SB – 96 AB

51. San Francisco JR C Zachary Turner: 6-4, 200 pounds

2013: .391/.432/.604 – 17 BB/41 K – 1/2 SB – 202 AB

52. Duke JR C Mike Rosenfeld: 5-10, 185 pounds

2012: .329/.403/.476 – 16 BB/48 K – 170 AB – 7/8 SB
2013: .393/.465/.557 – 8 BB/9 K – 2/3 SB – 61 AB

53. San Bernardino Valley JC SO C/RHP Ryan Miller: above-average to plus speed; above-average to plus arm; quick release; strong; 95 peak; would love to see him tried both ways next year at D-1 level; FAVORITE; 6-3, 215 pounds

2013: .345/.446/.475 – 20 BB/28 K – 11/12 SB – 139 AB

54. Southern Mississippi SR C Chase Fowler: very reliable defender; strong arm; 6-1, 180 pounds

2012: .224/.305/.276 – 10 BB/23 K – 2/2 SB – 134 AB
2013: .339/.407/.443 – 16 BB/16 K – 4/6 SB – 174 AB

55. Sam Houston State JR C Anthony Azar: 5-11, 185 pounds

2012: .354/.402/.497 – 14 BB/33 K – 1/1 SB – 175 AB
2013: .335/.401/.526 – 17 BB/24 K – 4/4 SB – 194 AB

56. San Diego State SR C Jake Romanski: really good defender; average arm; 5-10, 180 pounds

2012: .282/.329/.345 – 8 BB/23 K – 2/2 SB – 142 AB
2013: .342/.435/.403 – 28 BB/17 K – 6/9 SB – 196 AB

57. Texas State SR C Andrew Stumph: big raw power; very raw defensively; 6-0, 215 pounds

2011: .294/.336/.403 – 15 BB/33 K – 238 AB
2012: .236/.313/.339 – 19 BB/30 K – 0/0 SB – 174 AB
2013: .313/.396/.417 – 23 BB/15 K – 2/2 SB – 163 AB

58. Rice SR C Geoff Perrott: plus arm; good defender; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .316/.412/.392 – 14 BB/20 K – 2/3 SB – 158 AB

59. Georgia SR C/OF Brett DeLoach: good speed; has tools to catch, but arm might not be up for it health-wise; some power upside; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .276/.339/.447 – 12 BB/34 K – 152 AB
2012: .291/.388/.389 – 22 BB/20 K – 6/6 SB – 175 AB
2013: .290/.409/.426 – 32 BB/17 K – 6/9 SB – 176 AB

60. Mt. Olive SR C Geno Escalante: once a highly sought after high school prospect who has since bounced around; I don’t have much in the way of updated information on him outside of the numbers (below), but here’s what I wrote back when he was a prep catcher: “defense-first catcher, with a bat that needs plenty of polish to even be considered average; name makes it sound like he should be an East Coast prospect, but he’s a California kid who is committed to attend Cal State Fullerton if he doesn’t get paid; lesser version of Steve Baron in my mind”; 5-11, 215 pounds

2012: .436/.500/.662 – 21 BB/26 K – 4/8 SB – 225 AB
2013: .353/.453/.625 – 19 BB/32 K – 10/12 SB – 184 AB

61. Loyola Marymount SR C Colton Plaia: above-average defender; average arm, plays up thanks to footwork and accuracy; average power; 6-3, 225 pounds

2012: .332/.420/.466 – 23 BB/36 K – 1/5 SB – 193 AB
2013: .332/.394/.466 – 16 BB/34 K – 4/5 SB – 193 AB

62. Missouri State SR C Luke Voit: above-average power upside; good athlete; strong arm; defense remains the big question; 6-3, 230 pounds

2011: .296/.378/.448 – 23 BB/26 K – 203 AB
2012: .310/.387/.456 – 27 BB/43 K – 9/11 SB – 248 AB
2013: .317/.408/.422 – 25 BB/21 K – 8/10 SB – 199 AB

63. Purdue JR C/1B Sean McHugh: 5-11, 200 pounds

2013: .343/.396/.500 – 15 BB/21 K – 5/5 SB – 198 AB

64. Towson SR C Andrew Parker: 6-0, 220 pounds

2011: .269/.395/.433 – 20 BB/35 K – 171 AB
2012: .181/.305/.316 – 27 BB/50 K – 2/4 SB – 177 AB
2013: .261/.442/.510 – 35 BB/39 K – 1/6 SB – 153 AB

65. Siena SR C Larry Balkwill: 6-4, 210 pounds

2012: .299/.397/.473 – 22 BB/26 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB
2013: .296/.404/.522 – 26 BB/41 K – 0/1 SB – 186 AB

66. North Carolina Greensboro rSR C/1B Trevor Edwards: 6-2, 210 pounds

2011: .296/.419/.531 – 25 BB/45 K – 179 AB
2012: .278/.376/.567 – 23 BB/35 K – 0/0 SB – 187 AB
2013: .296/.370/.546 – 23 BB/30 K – 1/1 SB – 216 AB

67. Elon SR C/RHP Alex Swim: good defender; plus arm; needs to put on weight; above-average speed; can play some OF; good bat control; 93-96 FB; wild; 6-0, 180 pounds

2011: .275/.312/.352 – 12 BB/11 K – 236 AB
2012: .353/.396/.444 – 20 BB/13 K – 7/10 SB – 241 AB
2013: .268/.323/.364 – 18 BB/14 K – 14/17 SB – 228 AB

68. Angelina JC C Matt Sinclair: big raw power; good enough defensive tools, but raw; needs some good coaching, swing revamped; 6-3, 225 pounds

2013: .343/.422/.400 – 9 BB/12 K – 2 SB – 70 AB

69. Riverside CC rFR C David Schuknecht: good power upside; good speed; strong arm; raw defender, but tools are there; missed 2012 season (labrum); Arizona transfer

2013: .248/.378/.444 – 16 BB/39 K – 3/7 SB – 117 AB

70. Kansas State rJR C Blair DeBord: 6-0, 195 pounds

2012: .251/.328/.335 – 16 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB
2013: .333/.421/.405 – 23 BB/19 K – 5/5 SB – 168 AB

71. San Jacinto JC SO C Braden Mattson: plus defensive tools; plus arm; strong; good athlete; legit plus speed; may not hit a ton; above-average power upside; questionable approach; I like his defense better than others; incredibly enticing tools package, but waiting on tools turning into skills offensively; TCU transfer; FAVORITE; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .268/.314/.390 – 9 BB/32 K – 7/7 SB – 164 AB

72. St. John’s JR C/1B Frank Schwindel: average defender at best; iffy arm; power upside; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .234/.268/.312 – 3 BB/10 K – 77 AB
2012: .322/.350/.416 – 6 BB/13 K – 0/0 SB – 202 AB
2013: .348/.368/.502 – 5 BB/17 K – 1/1 SB – 227 AB

73. Kansas JR C/SS/2B Kai’ana Eldredge: average speed; above-average arm; great athlete; gap power; raw behind plate, but agile enough to figure it out; plus arm; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .255/.331/.376 – 15 BB/45 K – 157 AB
2012: .178/.245/.199 – 11 BB/37 K – 3/7 SB – 146 AB
2013: .226/.333/.267 – 22 BB/29 K – 4/6 SB – 146 AB

74. Mississippi State SR C Mitch Slauter: really good defender, fun to watch; 6-1, 210 pounds

2012: .232/.359/.327 – 35 BB/44 K – 0/2 SB – 220 AB
2013: .247/.383/.355 – 15 BB/26 K – 2/2 SB – 93 AB

75. Mississippi JR C Will Allen: strong defensive tools; skilled hitting it all over the field, but not a ton of pull-side power; 6-3, 220 pounds

2011: .227/.265/.402 – 5 BB/29 K – 97 AB
2012: .307/.338/.396 – 7 BB/30 K – 2/3 SB – 202 AB
2013: .262/.299/.351 – 10 BB/32 K – 2/2 SB – 191 AB

76. South Carolina SR C Dante Rosenberg: plus defender; 5-11, 180 pounds

2013: .352/.400/.481 – 3 BB/8 K – 0/0 SB – 54 AB

77. Pepperdine rSR C Nate Johnson: very pretty swing; below-average runner; solid defender; average arm; 6-1, 210 pounds

2011: .263/.356/.339 – 17 BB/25 K – 118 AB
2013: .350/.409/.550 – 3 BB/8 K – 0/0 SB – 40 AB

78. San Diego rSR C/OF Austin Green: plus arm; very raw defensively behind plate, but has improved a ton; promising bat; good athlete; arm works really well, very quick release; 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .200/.256/.275 – 2 BB/10 K – 0/0 SB – 40 AB
2013: .301/.352/.490 – 8 BB/26 K – 1/2 SB – 143 AB

79. Western Oklahoma State JC rFR C Sicnarf Loopstok: strong arm; good agility; can also play 2B and 3B in a pinch; interesting power; 5-10, 200 pounds

2013: .370/.436/.655 – 11 BB/26 K – 6/8 SB – 119 AB

80. Wake Forest JR C Charlie Morgan: 6-3, 210 pounds

2011: .232/.318/.366 – 15 BB/31 K – 112 AB
2012: .246/.329/.391 – 24 BB/37 K – 2/3 SB – 179 AB
2013: .293/.399/.420 – 25 BB/22 K – 1/1 SB – 150 AB

81. Wake Forest SR C Brett Armour: good athlete; average speed; strong arm; really like his actions behind plate; 6-2, 190 pounds

2011: .197/.300/.274 – 19 BB/41 K – 157 AB
2012: .236/.285/.364 – 10 BB/35 K – 4/5 SB – 165 AB
2013: .297/.354/.417 – 14 BB/30 K – 1/3 SB – 175 AB

82. Stanford JR C Brant Whiting: 5-11, 180 pounds

2013: .398/.453/.487 – 11 BB/24 K – 0/0 SB – 113 AB

83. North Florida SR C/1B Paul Karmeris: 5-11, 190 pounds

2012: .261/.333/.373 – 11 BB/26 K – 5/7 SB – 134 AB
2013: .340/.405/.443 – 23 BB/19 K – 7/11 SB – 212 AB

84. Bowling Green JR C/1B Jeremy Shay: 6-0, 220 pounds

2012: .229/.333/.367 – 21 BB/44 K – 6/8 SB – 166 AB
2013: .309/.409/.500 – 22 BB/33 K – 1/4 SB – 162 AB

85. Santa Clara SR C Quinton Perry: 6-3, 210 pounds

2012: .198/.271/.375 – 8 BB/34 K – 1/3 SB – 96 AB
2013: .279/.354/.523 – 11 BB/27 K – 4/4 SB – 86 AB

86. Florida Gulf Coast SR C Mike Reeves: untapped power; improved defender; FAVORITE; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .331/.423/.440 – 28 BB/24 K – 175 AB
2012: .272/.392/.289 – 32 BB/24 K – 0/1 SB – 180 AB
2013: .391/.464/.456 – 27 BB/24 K – 0/0 SB – 215 AB

87. Bowling Green JR C TJ Losby: 6-1, 210 pounds

2012: .275/.356/.390 – 17 BB/33 K – 1/4 SB – 182 AB
2012: .330/.386/.457 – 13 BB/19 K – 3/5 SB – 188 AB

88. Mississippi State SR C Nick Ammirati: really strong defender; Seton Hall transfer; 5-9, 190 pounds

2013: .301/.371/.350 – 12 BB/19 K – 2/3 SB – 123 AB

89. Coastal Carolina rSO C Will Remillard: solid defender; strong arm; Temple transfer; 6-1, 190 pounds

2013: .290/.343/.403 – 12 BB/17 K – 2/3 SB – 186 AB

90. Chattahoochee Valley CC SO C Cody Walker: good defensive tools; strong arm; quick transfer; receives ball well; bat lags behind, but good 2013 season gives hope; 5-11, 190 pounds

2013: .348/.493/.438 – 16 BB/19 K – 2 SB – 112 AB

91. Montevallo  JR C Jackson Slaid: raw defender, but good tools; solid arm; slow release; average speed; strong hit tool; LSU transfer; 5-9, 190 pounds

2013: .329/.385/.514 – 15 BB/34 K – 13/16 SB – 216 AB

92. St. John’s SR C Danny Bethea: 6-1, 215 pounds

2012: .251/.371/.335 – 25 BB/22 K – 1/2 SB
2013: .285/.367/.392 – 22 BB/18 K – 6/9 SB – 186 AB

93. Boston College SR C Matt Paré: 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .267/.425/.418 – 25 BB/37 K – 0/1 SB – 146 AB
2013: .295/.405/.425 – 16 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 146 AB

94. Texas A&M JR C Troy Stein: 6-1, 210 pounds

2012: .304/.390/.411 – 22 BB/43 K – 1/2 SB – 158 AB
2013: .335/.388/.492 – 13 BB/35 K – 3/3 SB – 179 AB

95. Arkansas JR C Jake Wise: really good defender; plus arm; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .238/.335/.335 – 20 BB/38 K – 2/3 SB – 164 AB
2013: .206/.308/.288 – 24 BB/20 K – 3/5 SB – 170 AB

96. Bradley JR C Austin Jarvis: plus-plus arm; quick release; great footwork; questionable hit tool; 5-9, 190 pounds

2012: .242/.294/.336 – 5 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 149 AB
2013: .232/.314/.280 – 7 BB/21 K – 1/1 SB – 125 AB

97. Oklahoma State rJR C Rick Stover: plus defender; plus arm; 5-10, 225 pounds

2013: .300/.333/.475 – 1 BB/9 K – 0/0 SB – 40 AB

98. Liberty JR C/RHP Danny Grauer: flashes interesting power, but still may be best long-term on mound; 88-92 FB, 93 peak; 6-2, 225 pounds

2012: .239/.379/.326 – 10 BB/9 K – 0/0 SB – 46 AB
2013: .327/.409/.551 – 17 BB/36 K – 0/0 SB – 156 AB

99. UNC Asheville SR C Ian Graham: 5-11, 210 pounds

2012: .273/.386/.344 – 23 BB/26 K – 0/0 SB – 154 AB
2013: .331/.438/.477 – 31 BB/25 K – 0/1 SB – 172 AB

100. South Carolina Upstate JR C Luke Weber: 6-3, 220 pounds

2012: .283/.361/.361 – 26 BB/30 K – 0/0 SB – 205 AB
2013: .327/.399/.477 – 17 BB/35 K – 0/0 SB – 199 AB

***

And because I can’t help myself, here are 49 extra players to keep tabs on for draft day and beyond…

101. Marist JR C Zach Passerelle: 6-4, 220 pounds

2013: .305/.404/.422 – 24 BB/30 K – 3/4 SB – 154 AB

102. Austin Peay State JR C PJ Torres: 5-11, 200 pounds

2012: .217/.333/.362 – 20 BB/37 K – 0/1 SB – 138 AB
2013: .266/.378/.468 – 24 BB/35 K – 1/4 SB – 158 AB

103. Seminole State CC SO C Darryl Knight: aggressive; above-average arm; both raw defensively and at plate; 6-2, 200 pounds

2013: .263/.376/.453 – 17 BB/39 K – 3/4 SB – 137 AB

104. TCU JR C Kyle Bacak: really good defender; strong arm; 5-9, 180 pounds

2013: .288/.363/.317 – 14 BB/17 K – 0/0 SB – 139 AB

105. South Alabama SR C Whitt Dorsey: 5-10, 180 pounds

2012: .327/.398/.410 – 13 BB/18 K – 3/4 SB – 205 AB
2013: .346/.446/.406 – 19 BB/8 K – 0/2 SB – 133 AB

106. George Mason JR C Tucker Tobin

2013: .332/.388/.560 – 14 BB/35 K – 6/8 SB – 184 AB

107. Michigan State JR C/1B Joel Fisher: 6-2, 215 pounds

2011: .245/.326/.323 – 15 BB/34 K – 155 AB
2012: .295/.336/.394 – 4 BB/20 K – 0/0 SB – 132 AB
2013: .253/.330/.416 – 17 BB/38 K – 0/0 SB – 178 AB

108. Minnesota rSR C Kurt Schlangen: 6-0, 185 pounds

2012: .259/.302/.309 – 10 BB/18 K – 5/9 SB – 162 AB
2013: .376/.421/.409 – 7 BB/13 K – 6/12 SB – 149 AB

109. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR C Will Fadness: 5-11, 200 pounds

2012: .305/.346/.474 – 8 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 190 AB
2013: .333/.413/.469 – 13 BB/12 K – 3/4 SB – 147 AB

110. Lynn JR C/3B Sal Giardina: raw defender; plus arm strength; interesting raw power; 6-4, 200 pounds

2013: .283/.384/.480 – 8 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 127 AB

111. Miami-Dade JC rFR C Mario Amaral: power upside; 6-1, 210 pounds

2013: .352/.392/.445 – 10 BB/23 K – 9/11 SB – 128 AB

112. Nebraska SO C Tanner Lubach: strong hit tool; improving behind plate; 6-0, 180 pounds

2013: .294/.369/.364 – 15 BB/28 K – 2/3 SB – 143 AB

113. Wright State SR C Garrett Gray: 6-1, 225 pounds

2012: .311/.339/.457 – 8 BB/19 K – 0/0 SB – 164 AB
2013: .328/.365/.489 – 12 BB/21 K – 8/8 SB – 186 AB

114. North Dakota JR C Zack Trygstad: 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .248/.349/.355 – 18 BB/28 K – 141 AB
2012: .260/.332/.333 – 17 BB/24 K – 3/3 SB – 177 AB
2013: .311/.397/.424 – 18 BB/15 K – 2/4 SB – 132 AB

115. North Florida SR C Corey Bass: good defender; strong arm; bat isn’t much; 5-9, 200 pounds

2011: .306/.404/.371 – 16 BB/24 K – 124 AB
2012: .214/.309/.275 – 14 BB/33 K – 1/2 SB – 131 AB
2013: .320/.396/.472 – 20 BB/45 K – 4/8 SB – 178 AB

116. Miami (Ohio) JR C John Crummy: 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .299/.343/.341 – 8 BB/29 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB
2013: .365/.397/.485 – 5 BB/19 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB

117. Mercer JR C Austin Barrett: good defender; good arm, plays up due to release; no real standout tool, but solid across board; 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .271/.399/.400 – 31 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 140 AB
2013: .284/.353/.431 – 20 BB/36 K – 2/4 SB – 197 AB

118. Fresno State rSR C Trent Garrison: plus-plus arm; could be tried on mound; missed 2011 due to ACL injury; 6-0, 190 pounds

2012: .344/.396/.436 – 15 BB/28 K – 0/1 SB – 195 AB
2013: .290/.344/.369 – 13 BB/28 K – 3/6 SB – 176 AB

119. Southern Illinois JR C Matt Jones: 6-0, 185 pounds

2013: .302/.368/.428 – 21 BB/32 K – 1/1 SB – 222 AB

120. Western Kentucky SR C Devin Kelly: 6-3, 225 pounds

2012: .236/.304/.366 – 12 BB/24 K – 1/1 SB – 123 AB
2013: .281/.425/.416 – 40 BB/47 K – 4/5 SB – 185 AB

121. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi SR C/OF Eric Weiss: 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .261/.352/.372 – 29 BB/44 K – 8/15 SB – 199 AB
2013: .327/.401/.480 – 24 BB/39 K – 9/14 SB – 202 AB

122. Hofstra JR C Matt Reistetter: 5-10, 180 pounds

2012: .246/.327/.304 – 14 BB/16 K – 5/12 SB – 138 AB
2013: .315/.374/.416 – 15 BB/23 K – 6/13 SB – 178 AB

123. Polk State JC C Erik Hindmon: plus defender; not a ton of power

2013: .289/.358/.321 – 15 BB/25 K – 5/5 SB – 187 AB

124. Longwood JR C Scott Burkett: 5-11, 210 pounds

2012: .344/.431/.599 – 16 BB/26 K – 4/6 SB – 157 AB
2013: .339/.384/.452 – 11 BB/33 K – 0/0 SB – 186 AB

125. North Carolina Greensboro SR C/OF Zach Leach: 6-2, 200 pounds

2012: .303/.373/.436 – 18 BB/25 K – 6/8 SB – 165 AB
2013: .322/.379/.448 – 13 BB/33 K – 9/12 SB – 143 AB

126. Furman SR C/1B Paul Nitto: 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .271/.342/.418 – 16 BB/38 K – 170 AB
2012: .287/.380/.416 – 24 BB/31 K – 2/3 SB – 178 AB
2013: .292/.358/.436 – 13 BB/35 K – 0/0 SB – 202 AB

127. Maine JR C/RHP Fran Whitten: 6-4, 210 pounds

2011: .241/.318/.421 – 13 BB/31 K – 133 AB
2012: .301/.365/.425 – 11 BB/27 K – 3/5 SB – 186 AB
2013: .300/.366/.450 – 5 BB/15 K – 2/2 SB – 100 AB

2012: 8.24 K/9 | 4.26 BB/9 | 3.93 FIP | 31.2 IP

128. Portland rSR C Beau Fraser: 6-1, 220 pounds

2012: .245/.333/.330 – 12 BB/17 K – 0/0 SB – 94 AB
2013: .268/.351/.315 – 17 BB/26 K – 0/2 SB – 127 AB

129. Maryland SR C Jack Cleary: 6-2, 205 pounds

2012: .336/.410/.405 – 8 BB/13 K – 2/3 SB – 116 AB
2013: .230/.354/.328 – 12 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 122 AB

130. Minnesota JR C Matt Halloran: good defender; 5-10, 175 pounds

2011: .125/.152/.219 – 1 BB/12 K – 32 AB
2012: .340/.415/.440 – 12 BB/23 K – 0/1 SB – 150 AB
2013: .260/.319/.386 – 7 BB/21 K – 1/1 SB – 127 AB

131. Presbyterian rSR C Robby Swab: good approach; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .302/.406/.326 – 21 BB/18 K – 1/4 SB – 129 AB
2013: .315/.419/.382 – 14 BB/10 K – 0/0 SB – 89 AB

132. Lehigh JR C Joe Abeln

2012: .270/.349/.388 – 17 BB/19 K – 7/9 SB – 152 AB
2013: .317/.432/.384 – 18 BB/21 K – 7/9 SB – 164 AB

133. Grambling State SR C Jose Longoria: 6-0, 170 pounds

2012: .307/.375/.392 – 12 BB/15 K – 2/4 SB – 153 AB
2013: .270/.350/.326 – 19 BB/17 K – 6/7 SB – 178 AB

134. Butler SR C Radley Haddad: plus defender, does everything well behind dish; plus arm; ML-ready glove; quick feet; ball gets out in a hurry; Western Carolina transfer; questionable bat; 6-1, 190 pounds

2012: .253/.352/.331 – 19 BB/29 K – 0/1 SB – 166 AB
2013: .249/.369/.355 – 27 BB/38 K – 0/2 SB – 169 AB

135. Iowa SR C Dan Sheppard: really good defender; some pop; TJ survivor; 6-0, 190 pounds

2012: .234/.318/.287 – 8 BB/22 K – 3/3 SB – 94 AB
2013: .253/.307/.297 – 4 BB/19 K – 2/3 SB – 91 AB

136. North Dakota State JR C/OF Kyle Kleinendorst: 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .200/.301/.366 – 17 BB/34 K – 0/0 SB – 145 AB
2013: .326/.405/.449 – 10 BB/41 K – 7/8 SB – 138 AB

137. Holy Cross SR C/1B Stephen Wadsworth: 6-2, 230 pounds

2011: .283/.348/.428 – 14 BB/28 K – 145 AB
2012: .228/.287/.329 – 9 BB/32 K – 1/1 SB – 149 AB
2013: .277/.359/.385 – 13 BB/29 K – 6/8 SB – 148 AB

138. Toledo JR C James Miglin: 6-4, 230 pounds

2012: .269/.351/.381 – 17 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 197 AB
2013: .281/.328/.400 – 6 BB/25 K – 0/0 SB – 185 AB

139. Penn State JR C Alex Farkes: 6-3, 215 pounds

2011: .233/.421/.256 – 10 BB/10 K – 43 AB
2012: .205/.280/.277 – 7 BB/21 K – 1/2 SB – 83 AB
2013: .284/.346/.328 – 6 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 116 AB

140. Albany rJR C/1B/OF Josh Nethaway: 6-2, 220 pounds

2012: .282/.353/.399 – 14 BB/28 K – 1/3 SB – 163 AB
2013: .284/.347/.415 – 8 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 176 AB

141. Arkansas-Little Rock SR C Blake Johnson: 6-0, 190 pounds

2012: .285/.372/.497 – 19 BB/43 K – 3/4 SB – 165 AB
2013: .321/.413/.510 – 29 BB/50 K – 8/12 SB – 196 AB

142. Towson SR C Zach Fisher: 5-9, 190 pounds

2012: .284/.376/.414 – 22 BB/29 K – 5/6 SB – 162 AB
2013: .307/.403/.366 – 29 BB/46 K – 14/20 SB – 205 AB

143. Cal Poly JR C Chris Hoo: really, really good defender; strong arm; 5-9, 185 pounds

2012: .253/.337/.359 – 15 BB/35 K – 0/1 SB – 170 AB
2013: .211/.278/.296 – 5 BB/13 K – 0/0 SB – 71 AB

144. UAB SR C/1B Harry Clark: 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .240/.342/.271 – 19 BB/19 K – 129 AB
2012: .292/.380/.333 – 15 BB/10 K – 1/1 SB – 120 AB
2013: .273/.376/.295 – 17 BB/18 K – 1/2 SB – 139 AB

145. Illinois State JR C Mike Hollenbeck: good power; strong arm; defense a question; 6-2, 210 pounds

2011: .259/.371/.389 – 28 BB/24 K – 162 AB
2012: .316/.427/.435 – 35 BB/28 K – 1/1 SB – 177 AB
2013: .297/.377/.331 – 22 BB/34 K – 1/2 SB – 172 AB

146. McNeese State SR C/1B Michael Sullivan:

2012: .212/.272/.321 – 11 BB/40 K – 0/0 SB – 156 AB
2013: .292/.345/.366 – 11 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 161 AB

147. San Diego State rSO C Brad Haynal: good defensive tools; broken leg kept him out in 2012; 6-3, 200 pounds

2011: .248/.358/.384 – 15 BB/29 K – 125 AB
2013: .255/.318/.389 – 11 BB/45 K – 1/3 SB – 157 AB

148. Texas State rJR C Tyler Pearson: solid defender; well above-average arm; Rice transfer; 6-1, 190 pounds

2013: .250/.373/.292 – 21 BB/38 K – 1/2 SB – 168 AB

149. Central Arkansas JR C Kraig Kelley: strong arm; great footwork; really strong defensive tools; bat is a question; Oklahoma Wesleyan transfer; 6-0, 180 pounds

2012: .180/.307/.213 – 10 BB/27 K – 1/1 SB – 61 AB
2013: .234/.400/.266 – 16 BB/18 K – 0/0 SB – 64 AB

Draft Prep Update

Things are about to get crazy around here, I promise. The lists and scouting notes that will appear on these pages will be bigger and better than ever before. Well, certainly bigger…better is up for debate, but bigger is undeniably true. The completed lists (C and 1B) are currently so massive, I’m actually contemplating editing myself, something I rarely do. Here’s what I mean when I say I think my lists this year are literally too long:

College catchers (all levels, junior college included) drafted in the past five years: 76, 85, 90, 71, 75 (79.4 average)

College first basemen (all levels, junior college included) drafted in the past five years: 34, 52, 53, 57, 53 (49.8 average)

So, a good list for each position would be, say, 100 for college catchers (90 being the max over the past five years, plus a little wiggle room) and right around 50 for college first basemen. My college catcher list is currently at 149 draftable names. I have 122 draftable college first basemen. Do I cut a few of the guys off the back end for the sake of a “better” list? I say better because many of the names at the end are either a) players I’ve taken a liking to based solely on intriguing production (always a dangerous game), or b) players I’ve received a “tip” on from assorted area pals who haven’t given me much more than “I just like him and think he’s worth a late pick.” I tend to believe the more the merrier, but I don’t want to delude the list and potentially discredit the whole endeavor. Unfortunately, there are some who look at a mega-long list and think it’s just an aggregation of multiple, professionally published lists. That’s obviously not the case here, but it’s something to think about. I think ultimately I’ll keep the lists long. If I’ve got a scouting note, however brief, on some 50th round pick, then that’s a net positive for my fellow draft obsessed brothers and sisters. This was a good talk. Thanks for listening.

An out-of-town wedding figures to burn up the entirety of my Memorial Day weekend, but that’s in terms of non-work intensive days for me. Prepare yourselves for a word avalanche beginning next Tuesday. Here’s the tentative schedule going forward (dates in parentheses are my “work days” included only for my own sake, so feel free to ignore them):

May 28: Catchers (ready)

May 29: First Basemen (ready)

May 30: Second Basemen (almost ready)

May 31: Third Basemen (5/23 + 5/27)

June 1: [fighting the urge to be social and enjoy nice late spring weather]

June 2: [see above]

June 3: Shortstops  (5/28 + 5/29)

June 4: Outfielders (5/30, 5/31, 6/1)

June 5: Pitchers (6/2, 6/3, 6/4)

June 6: Great Big Giant Super Duper Big Board

If you made it this far, here’s a treat. Of course, when I say treat I mean something that is almost certainly of no interest to anybody but myself, especially when shown with little context like this. But, since today is 5/22/13, here are my 5th, 22nd, and 13th top college catching prospects (note: rankings are subject to change…I need to do one last run through before next Tuesday’s publication):

5. California JR C Andrew Knapp: big upside with bat; above-average defender; above-average arm; love his approach; smart hitter, makes adjustments well; above-average power; some don’t like his defense like I do; uses whole field well; average speed; defense will come just needs experience; good athlete; FAVORITE; 2013: defense has been disappointing, but I remain a believer in him being able to stick behind plate; 6-1, 200 pounds (2011: .227/.307/.318 – 7 BB/22 K – 66 AB) (2012: .270/.354/.422 – 24 BB/33 K – 211 AB – 4/7 SB) (2013: .406/.481/.634 – 26 BB/33 K – 4/6 SB – 202 AB)

22. Air Force SR C Garrett Custons: great athlete; good speed; plus-plus arm; 5-11, 200 pounds (2011: .282/.371/.469 – 19 BB/42 K – 209 AB) (2012: .269/.359/.421 – 17 BB/34 K – 7/12 SB – 171 AB) (2013: .332/.424/.473 – 19 BB/32 K – 14/19 SB – 205 AB)

13. The Citadel JR C Joe Jackson: underrated upside with bat; competition a question, but little to dislike about production; wish he showed better on Cape; 6-1, 200 pounds (2011: .337/.403/.414 – 20 BB/19 K – 169 AB) (2012: .297/.364/.415 – 22 BB/36 K – 4/4 SB – 229 AB) (2013: .423/.517/.712 – 37 BB/27 K – 3/8 SB – 215 AB)

College Shortstops to Know

This, this right here, is not a particularly inspiring list. I’m hard-pressed to find a single potential regular middle infielder in this group. That leaves us with a collection of players with the chance to make it as utility infielders in the pros. That’s where things get interesting. It’s a fine line between starting shortstop/second baseman and quality utility man, I think. I’m not sure anybody outside of a few voices in the Twins organization who viewed Nick Punto as anything more than a potential above-average backup infielder. Guys like Pat Blair and Adam Frazier may not be quite good enough to warrant 500+ PA in any given big league year, but if they take to pro coaching and land in the right organization and hang around long enough to maybe see an injury or two ahead of them on the depth chart…well, you just never know.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The list only includes players from the conferences I’ve profiled so far. That would be the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East, Ivy, Mountain West, WCC, Sun Belt, Pac 12, WAC, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, and Big 12. As referenced above, players from the rest of college ball will be added in the very near future.

  1. Clemson JR SS Steve Wilkerson
  2. Wake Forest SR SS Pat Blair
  3. Mississippi State JR SS Adam Frazier
  4. Oregon SR SS JJ Altobelli
  5. Oregon State SR SS Tyler Smith
  6. Florida State SR SS Justin Gonzalez
  7. East Carolina JR SS Jack Reinheimer
  8. Texas A&M SR SS Mikey Reynolds
  9. Oregon State JR SS Kavin Keyes
  10. Texas Christian SO SS Derek Odell
  11. Vanderbilt rSO SS Joel McKeithan
  12. UCLA JR SS Pat Valaika
  13. Texas Christian JR SS Paul Hendrix
  14. Tulane SR SS Garrett Cannizaro
  15. Mississippi JR SS Austin Anderson
  16. Auburn JR SS Dan Glevenyak
  17. Maryland JR SS Kyle Convissar
  18. Miami JR SS Alex Hernandez
  19. Southern California JR SS Jimmy Roberts
  20. California JR SS Derek Campbell
  21. Southern Mississippi SR SS Isaac Rodriguez
  22. Texas State SR SS Nick Smelser
  23. Texas-Arlington JR SS Ryan Walker
  24. Rutgers JR SS Nick Favatella
  25. Louisville JR SS Alex Chittenden
  26. Louisiana Tech JR SS Ryan Gebhardt
  27. Duke JR SS Angelo LaBruna
  28. Washington State rSO SS Trace Tam Sing
  29. Stanford JR SS Danny Diekroeger
  30. Oregon State JR SS Andy Peterson
  31. Louisiana-Lafayette JR SS Ryan Leonards
  32. San Diego JR SS Logan Davis

Myles Smith, California Catchers, and the 2005 BA Prospect Handbook

1. My love of Braden Shipley is pretty well established at this point (see below for the quick burst of excitement I wrote about him from February, way before he was a potential top ten pick let alone first round lock), so please allow me to champion the NAIA version of Shipley in this year’s draft class, Myles Smith from Lee University. The well-traveled Smith is a well known commodity at this point in the draft process, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve an extra shot of attention heading into June. Just about everything I wrote about Shipley below applies to Smith: easy plus velocity (90-95, 96-97 peak all spring), plus low-80s change (my favorite pitch), a much improved 78-82 slider, and, just as importantly, outstanding athleticism and a plus fielder. I don’t yet know how brave I’ll be when it comes down to final rankings, but I do know this: if my favorite team decides to shock the world and take Smith with the 16th overall pick, I won’t complain one bit. That’s bold, right?

Braden Shipley is going to rank very, very high up on my overall ranking of college pitchers (coming soon!). If I was better at searching this site, I’d look up every pitcher that I’ve described as my “ideal” pitching prospect or a pitcher “invented in a lab” to suit my needs or whatever other dumb phrase I’ve used to describe my idea of a “perfect” pitching prospect. Shipley rings every bell: easy velocity (92-95 as starter, has hit upwards of 97 in short bursts), low-80s change with above-average upside, solid upper-70s curve, good athleticism, improved command, good glove, effective pickoff move, sturdy frame with room to build on (6-3, 180 pounds), and experience as a hitter (.265/.351/.346 in 136 AB in 2011). I think he’s likely one of those guys I like a lot more than professional talent evaluators, but that’s alright: he may not be a first round, household name come June, but I still think he’s a future big leaguer.

2. I’m honing in on and finalizing high school positional lists now. I like doing the prep prospects first because it gives me a chance to wait until the end of the college regular season before evaluating those guys. I’ll probably be popping in and out over the next few days with seemingly random observations about this year’s high school class. One such example: damn, California is loaded with high school catching this year. Everybody knows about the quality and depth of prep catching across the country this year, but California alone has enough prospects of interest behind the plate to make it a good year for young catching almost by itself. It is looking highly unlikely I’ll have a California catcher in my top five (leaning WA, OK, SC, FL, and BC as of now), but there could be 5 in the top 11, 7 in the top 16, and 11 in the top 28. Sorting them out is a whole other issue, of course. You’ve got the strong, athletic, powerful yet raw defender in Jacob Nottingham. Francis Christy is similar, though arguably a little less powerful and a little more agile. Jake Sweaney is in a similar situation. There’s yet another raw defender in Tyler Alamo, but he’s a favorite thanks to one of the most mature approaches at the plate of any high schooler this year. And this all says nothing of a pair of rock solid, realistic big league floor guys (obvious caveat: the floor for any prospect is flaming out in A-ball, so we use a “realistic” floor to represent a best-case worst-case scenario, if that makes sense) in the dissected to death but still a damn good ballplayer Jeremy Martinez and Arden Pabst.

3. This likely qualifies as “too much information,” but my go-to bathroom reading over the past year or two has been my copy of the 2005 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Many of my best (and worst!) comps have come from the pages of that particular book. My most recent comparison is a bit of a stretch, but not crazy if you keep an open mind. Here we go…

  • 6-2, 225 pounds (when drafted)
  • R/R
  • 14th overall draft pick (underslot predraft deal)
  • “patient approach and line-drive mentality”
  • “quick hands and excellent hand-eye coordination”
  • “uses the whole field and generates natural loft”
  • “must improve flexibility to enhance his range at third base”
  • “eventually may have to move to first base”
  • “below-average runner but not a base-clogger”

The 2013 prospect in question fits much, if not all, of these statements. Plus, he’s listed 6-1, 205 pounds, he’s R/R, and he could go off the board around the 14th pick (probably lower, which would fit the underslot thing). Slow start to the 2013 season aside, Billy Butler, the player described in the bullets above, has turned himself into an excellent big league hitter. If you’re taking DJ Peterson in a similar range in 2013, then you’re doing so with the hope that he hits as a pro like Butler has to this point. The one major difference between the two players is their respective paths to the pro game: Butler signed out of high school while Peterson obviously went the college route. That’s pretty important here, especially when you consider Butler was a big league regular at the same point in Peterson’s current development. So, don’t the comp too seriously. Just a ceiling thing, and a potential rationale for a team selecting Peterson higher than you or I might currently expect.

2013 MLB Draft Top 20

Draft is close enough that I think it is high time to revisit some first round prospects to keep in mind. It’s not a real big board, but it might as well be. It’s a work in progress.

1. San Diego OF Kris Bryant
2. Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray
3. Stanford RHP Mark Appel

After that, I’m still very much undecided. Heck, even that third spot is still a bit of a mystery to me. The temptation to move up one of the prep guys — the guy in fourth below, most notably — is one I may just give in to between now and draft day. Turns out that current indecision leads to me getting all excited about upside, so let’s go with the top three high school prospects next…

4. St. Pius X HS (TX) RHP Kohl Stewart
5. Grayson HS (GA) OF Austin Meadows
6. Loganville HS (GA) OF Clint Frazier

I feel pretty good about the top six, but that’s about as far as I can go without getting the shakes when thinking about putting this thing together. Long-term readers of the site know I’m much, much more comfortable going 50 deep on a college catching prospect list than ranking the top ten overall prospects in the draft.

7. Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea
8. Nevada RHP Braden Shipley
9. Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek

I’m still of the belief that Manaea’s recent hiccup in stuff is a temporary concern and not a long-term worry. I admittedly don’t have a whole lot of evidence to currently back up my claim, but I may have some more to share on that in the coming days. Call it a semi-educated hunch for now.

10. North Carolina 3B Colin Moran
11. Serra HS (CA) 1B Dominic Smith

You know, I get why people are down on this year’s class, but, damn, I think the quartet of Bryant, Frazier, Moran, and Smith stacks up quite nicely with any four bats at the top of any draft in recent memory. I’m cheating by swapping out Meadows for Smith, but I’m using my own specific rule of “best bat” as a guideline. Meadows is an exciting prospect, no doubt, but Smith’s bat is easily 1 or 1A (to Frazier’s 1B) in this year’s high school class. So if that’s our top four, let’s see if there is any legitimacy to the aforementioned historical claim:

2012 (mine): Correa/Buxton/Zunino/Almora
2012 (draft): Correa/Buxton/Zunino/Almora

Very comparable group, I think. Bryant is a better prospect than Zunino, and the high school hitters all are closely bunched. Buxton, of course, appears to have separated himself quite a bit from the pack, but that’s a development that can’t really be taken into account when talking draft stock. After pondering it a bit more, I think the 2012 group is better, though I’m not sure if I can explain why. I guess Correa + Buxton > Frazier + Smith explains it some.

2011 (mine): Rendon/Starling/Swihart/Lindor
2011 (draft): Starling/Rendon/Lindor/Baez

Rendon vs Moran is an interesting draft case study, but I think I’d call it for Rendon. The remaining 2011 group has the edge in positional value, but if we’re talking bat only, I like the 2013’s.

2010 (mine): Harper/Wilson/Castellanos/O’Conner
2010 (draft): Harper/Machado/Choice/Sale

Harper alone makes me want to go 2010, so that’s what I’ll do. A better question would be which of the 2010 groups is better: Machado is a huge win for the real draft order, but Wilson and Castellanos give my list a little bit of intriguing depth. Then again, Choice has done almost exactly what was expected of him and Sale did have a better than you’d believe 2012 season, ugly 2013 suspension notwithstanding.

2009 (mine): Ackley/Borchering/Green/Tate
2009 (draft): Ackley/Tate/Sanchez/Green

This is a no contest win for 2013, right? Right. Moving on…

12. Mississippi State OF Hunter Renfroe
13. Lakewood HS (CA) SS JP Crawford
14. Kentwood HS (WA) C Reese McGuire
15. New Castle HS (IN) LHP Trey Ball
16. Stanford OF Austin Wilson
17. Fresno State OF Aaron Judge
18. Yukon HS (OK) C Jonathan Denney

Sorting out the three big bat college right field prospects is a fun chore. A breakdown of the three of them may be a good post for the future. I really, really, really like Reese McGuire (I’m stunned the comp hasn’t been made yet as far as I can see, but he reminds me so much of the good version of Jason Kendall), but prep catchers are the one position group where I buy into conventional draft wisdom. I’d stay away from them if at all possible, though I think McGuire, Denney, and Nick Ciuffo are all talented enough all-around ballplayers to take the gamble at the right spot in the round.

19. St. Joseph Regional HS (NJ) LHP Rob Kaminsky
20. Bandys HS (NC) RHP Hunter Harvey

I reserve the right to move some prep arms up after more study, but I will say for now that I think this class has a really intriguing collection of depth in this area. Again, that’s something that is probably true of all draft classes — it really is incredible to think about many teenage human beings keep popping up throwing at least 88-92 every single year — but it feels like a relative strength in this year’s draft. Maybe it is because there isn’t a ton of separation between the top tier guys and the pitchers who may still be around past round five or so.

College Second Basemen to Know

Using older scouting reports and numbers that don’t include 2013 performances isn’t exactly a recipe for great prospect lists. However, with a few notable exceptions (Elvin Soto!), the lists have held up pretty well so far, something that should come as no surprise to anybody who buys my “once you show a tool, you own it” philosophy of prospect evaluation.

After the catcher and first base lists, I was feeling pretty good. Then…second base happened. I don’t move guys around too much for this exercise — big shifts are coming soon, what with the draft in less than a month — but this second base group was so hard to look at, I had to make some little tweaks. The top name on my pre-season list is/was…Lonnie Kauppila. I still like Kauppila just fine — he’s such a good glove that he may wind up with the shortstop group after more thought — but, man, he hasn’t hit a lick this year. Same goes for original number two (Riddle) and five (Williams). For the sake of both time and my sanity, I bumped up a few names and kept the struggling guys in the same order but down a few pegs from their preseason perches. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’ll have to do for now.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The list only includes players from the conferences I’ve profiled so far. That would be the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East, Ivy, Mountain West, WCC, Sun Belt, Pac 12, WAC, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, and Big 12. As referenced above, players from the rest of college ball will be added in the very near future.

  1. Connecticut SR 2B LJ Mazzilli
  2. Clemson JR 2B Shane Kennedy
  3. Kansas State JR 2B Ross Kivett
  4. Houston JR 2B Frankie Ratcliff
  5. Virginia SR 2B Reed Gragnani
  6. Princeton JR 2B Alec Keller
  7. Louisville JR 2B Ty Young
  8. Stanford JR 2B/SS Lonnie Kauppila
  9. Kentucky JR 2B JT Riddle
  10. UCLA JR 2B Kevin Williams
  11. Wichita State JR 2B Dayne Parker
  12. Rice SR 2B Christian Stringer
  13. Tulane SR 2B Brennan Middleton
  14. Georgia Tech SR 2B Sam Dove
  15. Georgia SR 2B Kyle Farmer
  16. Georgia Tech JR 2B Mott Hyde
  17. Arizona State JR 2B Mike Benjamin
  18. Texas Christian SR 2B Josh Gonzales
  19. Baylor rJR 2B Lawton Langford
  20. Stanford JR 2B Brett Michael Doran
  21. Indiana State rSR 2B Koby Kraemer
  22. New Mexico State SR 2B Parker Hipp
  23. Oregon JR 2B Aaron Payne
  24. Sacramento State SR 2B Andrew Ayers
  25. Southern California SR 2B Adam Landecker
  26. Gonzaga SR 2B Clayton Eslick
  27. Loyola Marymount SR 2B Cullen Mahoney
  28. Miami SR 2B Michael Broad
  29. North Carolina State SR 2B Matt Bergquist
  30. Middle Tennessee State SR 2B Johnny Thomas
  31. Kentucky JR 2B Paul McConkey
  32. San Diego State JR 2B Tim Zier
  33. Louisville SR 2B Nick Ratajczak
  34. Cornell SR 2B Brenton Peters
  35. Wake Forest SR 2B Mark Rhine
  36. South Alabama rSO 2B Logan Kirkland
  37. Texas A&M JR 2B Charlie Curl

Phillip Ervin

I’m good at compiling notes and making lists and churning out content in the days immediately preceding the draft. I think I can retrieve and process information from a variety of sources with the best of them. When it comes time to actually sitting down to write, I can string together a few sentences (occasionally typo-free!). I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Or at least these are the things that I tell myself in the mirror each day to affirm my value to the world as a draft site writer guy. There are days when the responsibilities of real life back me into a corner where I desperately need a reason to keep doing what I do here, and those reasons typically suffice.

One thing I’m terrible with, as if you haven’t yet noticed, is the inspiration/creativity/good writer-ing (definitely a real word, look it up) part. I have lots of fun information (109,000+ words on college prospects, 11,000+ on prep players) that I want to share with fellow draft obsessives, but rarely can I think of a clever way of presenting said info. I like lists and team profiles and conference profiles and all that good stuff, but the site would get boring if that’s all I ever did. Or at least that’s how I think people reading would feel. Long story short, on those rare and beautiful occasions that inspiration strikes, I’m really going to make and effort to just turn off the doubting part of my brain and just go with it. I woke up this morning thinking a little bit about Phillip Ervin — is that normal? — so, doggone it, that’s who I’m going to write about today.

I like Phillip Ervin a lot. Is it crazy to suggest that he’s a little teeny tiny bit like the college version of everybody’s favorite high school hitter, Clint Frazier? Both are praised for, in order, their 1) electric bat speed, 2) well-rounded overall skill sets, 3) above-average arm strength (pre-injury for Frazier), 4) picture perfect pro-ready swings, 5) above-average speed on the base paths, and 6) advanced pitch recognition skills. The main concern for both is that they are maxed-out physically. Additionally, both can hack it in center (Ervin more than Frazier), but profile best defensively in right field (again, assuming Frazier’s bum arm bounces back in time). This is all far too simplistic a comparison and I’m clearly not taking into account the crucially important differences in their hair, but you can kind of see how the two share some things if you keep an open mind, right?

More reputable organizations have come up with very interesting comps in their own right. Baseball America quoted a scout who relayed a Ron Gant comp for Ervin. Interesting. Perfect Game’s Frankie Piliere (always a favorite of the site, but he’s been better than ever this year) went with a pretty and thought-provoking Ian Kinsler comp. Interesting x2. I like both comps for a variety of reasons (swing/body/athleticism), but my own close viewing of Ervin (keep in mind, I’m not a scout) brought to mind a former favorite of mine, Reggie Sanders. A friend who has seen Ervin more than me — and a guy who, unlike me and my reliance on a shaky images from when I was a kid (not all my fault: I was 5 when Sanders debuted in the bigs), has clear memories these players from watching them up close and in person — offered up his own righthanded Mark Kotsay comp. Let’s go to the career numbers (using B-R 162 game average) for some context:

Gant: .256/.336/.468 with 28 HR and 21 SB
Kinsler: .273/.351/.462 with 25 HR and 27 SB
Sanders: .267/.343/.487 with 28 HR and 28 SB
Kotsay: .278/.334/.409 with 11 HR and 9 SB

A few thoughts…

1) The Kotsay comp jumps out as being particularly light in terms of both power and speed projections. This jibed with what my guy said about Ervin, a player he believes is a great college hitter but likely an average at best big league bat. He did concede that totals more like Kotsay’s best year (17 HR and 11 SB) were more in line with the kind of upside Ervin possesses. Worth noting that our conversation discounted Kotsay’s strong on-base skills and defense: we were strictly talking power, speed, and overall batting lines during our talk. Also worth noting that average at best big league bat is nothing to get down about, especially in this year’s draft, and especially if you believe Ervin can stick in center as a pro.

2. Damn, Reggie Sanders was a good player. I normally don’t have a great feel for “underrated” or “overrated,” but his is a name you don’t hear enough these days. Then again, I guess it would be weird if people were just walking around talking about Reggie Sanders, but still. Very good player.

3. Outside of the Kotsay outlier, you can see some basic trends with these comps. We’re talking 20/20 potential (see above) with almost perfectly above-average BB% (see below).

Gant: 10.5 BB% and 19.3 K% with .212 ISO and .351 wOBA
Kinsler: 9.8 BB% and 12.1 K% with .189 ISO and .355 wOBA
Sanders: 9.6 BB% and 22.9 K% with .220 ISO and .357 wOBA

Gant and Sanders are close enough — not super close, mind you, but close enough — but Kinsler stands out as being a little more prone to contact while having less raw power. That sounds more like Ervin from a scouting standpoint, at least to me. Each player’s ultimate production matched up quite nicely, but those are interesting differences to keep in mind. Getting too deep into amateur stats is often a mistake — I feel like I do it as much as just about anybody, and I’d like to think I tow the line between stats/scouting reports carefully — so take Ervin’s 2013 walk and strikeout numbers (so far) with a grain of salt: 16.6 BB% and 12.2 K%. Far from a perfect match, but the strikeout numbers match better with Kinsler than the others. Not for nothing, but Kinsler’s draft season’s numbers (9.9 BB% and 11.6 K%) align pretty damn well with what he’s done as a big leaguer. Weird and probably meaningless and in no way predictive for Ervin’s career, but there it is.

Anyway, I like the Kinsler comp by Perfect Game so much that I did a little digging on similar players/prospect from recent history. In what was far from an exhaustive search of all comparable talents, one player’s scouting and statistical profile jumped off the page to me. This comp is pretty far out there, so don’t say I didn’t warn you when you find yourself shaking your head while reading. Before we get to that, a quick tangent…

I’m sure smart guys have already done studies on stuff like this, but the correlation between minor league stats and big league stats is fascinating to me. There are so many external factors (age, league, park factors, etc.) to take into account that it isn’t reasonable to expect any breakthrough finding (e.g. statistic X is the best indicator of success or X% remains constant throughout a player’s minor league progression), but it still amazes me when players have numbers in the minors that wind up matching up perfectly with their major league production. Long story short: Alex Ochoa hit .289/.354/.414 (.768 OPS) in the minors. In the bigs, he hit .279/.344/.422 (.766 OPS). That’s a little freaky, right? Any age, any environment, any level of competition = same rate of production.

The tangent may be over, but the Alex Ochoa talk is just beginning. That would be a great tag line for the site if I ever hit it big. I oh so subtly dropped Ochoa into that tangent only to now reveal that it is none other than former Oriole and Met top prospect Alex Ochoa who reminds me of what I think Phillip Ervin may become. First, the scouting report via a June 14, 1995 article in the Baltimore Sun written by Kent Baker. Why they used a rating scale from 1 to 5, I’ll never know. Here’s how they graded his five tools:

Hitting: 5. An excellent gap-to-gap hitter. Has a solid line-drive stroke but also can turn on inside pitches and pull them. Is strong at taking pitches away from him to right-center.

Power: 4 1/2 . Not a pure slugger but has the strength to clear the fences. Projects to 15- to 20-home run production in the majors.

Speed: 4 1/2 . Has stolen 34 and 31 bases in two of his minor-league seasons. Knows when to advance from station to station.

Defense: 5. Has worked hard in this area and even took ground balls at third base when asked. A high school shortstop, he always has been good with grounders to the outfield and has improved in retreating on balls over his head.

Arm: 5 plus. The last generation raved about the great arms of Roberto Clemente and Rocky Colavito. Ochoa is in that class. Now that he has discovered when to use it and when not to and his accuracy has become pinpoint, there are no flaws.

Excellent gap-to-gap hitter. Solid line-drive stroke. Hmm, that sounds familiar. I actually have “hitter more than slugger” in my notes on Ervin. On Ochoa, it says “not a pure slugger but has the strength to clear the fences.” Projects to 15- to 20-home run production. Plus to plus-plus right field arm. Not a natural outfielder, but has improved. My notes on Ervin: “will take some questionable routes and fight some routine fly balls, but enough speed/instincts/coachability to stick in CF. Will be good RF otherwise with plenty of arm to handle the spot.” Hmm, indeed.

Now a look at the career numbers:

Ochoa: 8.5 BB% and 12.1 K% with .143 ISO and .336 wOBA

Fewer walks than Kinsler, but in the same neighborhood overall. The power also doesn’t really compare, but that’s likely true when stacking up Ervin with Kinsler as well. If you’re buying the Kinsler comp from PG, then there ought to be some validity to the Ochoa one as well, right? More numbers:

Ochoa (162 game average): .279/.344/.422 with 9 HR and 11 SB

Off the top, it’s a little bit of a mystery to me why Ochoa didn’t get more of a chance to hang around in the bigs. I vaguely remember him getting some decent money to go to Japan, but it shouldn’t have come to that. After settling in with the Brewers in 1999 (once some of his prospect sheen had worn off, a blessing in disguise for some players), the man did nothing but produce: 2.2 WAR in 1999, 2.4 WAR in 2000, 0.6 WAR in 2001 (this was probably his big chance, as he got by far the most PA of his career), and then 1.1 WAR in 2002. WAR isn’t the be-all, end-all, but the consistent positive scores do paint a pretty good picture of an average or better big league player in Ochoa, especially when you consider the tools that made him a top prospect were still a part of his game.

More relevant to our conversation is the realization that these numbers are a lot closer to Kotsay than Kinsler, Sanders, and Gant. Consider the above line a potential “worst case scenario” for Ervin’s big league career. Note the scare quotes: Ervin, and, any amateur prospect for that matter, have a real worst case scenario much closer to AA flameout than productive big league player with 807 games played in the big leagues under his belt. I hope that the high likelihood of any prospect crashing and burning can continue to be one of those known but not often said aspects of our draft discussion. Risk (i.e. how likely a prospect is to achieve meaningful professional success) is always a consideration when discussing a young player, so know that we’re operating under the assumption that these guys will do enough to keep advancing in pro ball.

If Kinsler is Ervin’s best case scenario ceiling, then Ochoa is his most realistic big league floor. Either way, I think we’re looking at a starting caliber outfielder who will give you value in a variety (speed and arm are both above-average; hit, power, and glove all at least average depending on the day) of ways. Selfishly, I can’t help but to translate his stock into the context of what I’m hoping to see the Phillies do at pick 16. I think there will be more enticing upside plays still on the board — Austin Wilson the first name to come to mind — and with a rare early-ish pick, upside is the way to go. That said, depending on how the board falls, I wouldn’t complain one bit if Ervin was the choice at 16. Middle of the first is likely his draft ceiling, and deservedly so.

College First Basemen to Know

I hate having to preface posts with little updates about my life away from the site, but I ultimately prefer going this route than having to live with the guilt of not updating for multiple days on end. Last week’s excuse was a grad school paper hanging over my head; no sooner did that fifteen-page pile of words get turned in did I come down with a rare and not so beautiful case of double pink eye (love my job, but the threat of maladies like that are a clear downside). I’m not really the type to “get sick” and “stop working,” but, damn, it turns out your eyes are really important when it comes to keeping up with most day-to-day activities. Time spent working on a few projects for the site turned into time sitting around doing nothing but holding a warm compress to my face.

To make life a little simpler for me while I catch up, here’s a quick and dirty list of college first basemen that have caught my eye thus far. Same rules for the catching list last week apply: the list only includes players from the conferences I’ve profiled so far. That would be the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East, Ivy, Mountain West, WCC, Sun Belt, Pac 12, WAC, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, and Big 12.

I do promise to have any recent comment or email responded to by the end of the day on Wednesday.

  1. New Mexico JR 1B DJ Peterson
  2. Notre Dame JR 1B Eric Jagielo
  3. Oregon JR 1B Ryon Healy
  4. Notre Dame JR 1B Trey Mancini
  5. Georgia Tech JR 1B Daniel Palka
  6. South Alabama JR 1B Jordan Patterson
  7. Vanderbilt JR 1B Conrad Gregor
  8. Oregon State SR 1B Danny Hayes
  9. Louisiana-Lafayette JR 1B Chase Compton
  10. Washington State rJR 1B Adam Nelubowich
  11. Cincinnati JR 1B Justin Glass
  12. Wichita State rSR 1B Johnny Coy
  13. Portland JR 1B Turner Gill
  14. East Carolina JR 1B Chase McDonald
  15. Florida SR 1B Vickash Ramjit
  16. Marshall SR 1B Nathan Gomez
  17. Rice JR 1B Michael Aquino
  18. Louisville SR 1B Zak Wasserman
  19. North Carolina SR 1B Cody Stubbs
  20. Duke rSO 1B Chris Marconcini
  21. Wake Forest rJR 1B Matt Conway
  22. Maryland JR 1B Tim Kiene
  23. Virginia rSR 1B Jared King
  24. Auburn SR 1B Garrett Cooper
  25. Sacramento State SR 1B Clay Cederquist
  26. Dartmouth JR 1B Dustin Selzer

Let’s Talk College Catching

1. Apologies for not being around much of late, but a handful of side projects and the seemingly constant stream of grad school research/paper writing has left me with little time to write for the site. As always, be assured that there’s been lots of updating of materials going on behind the scenes, so get excited for what I like to think is my annual strong content push in the weeks leading up to draft day.

2. Huge thank you to the two individuals who emailed me asking me, in so many words, if I was still in one piece after the recent attacks in Boston. I’ve obviously sent personal emails back — seriously, thanks again — but, egomaniacal fellow that I am, figured that if two strangers were concerned enough to ask then there might be one or two less vocal worriers out there as well. I’m good. My undergrad days in Boston are long gone and I’m a few hundred miles south now. Scary, unimaginably horrible stuff all the same, but I’m good.

3. Personal bookkeeping finally out of the way, how about a list? Here are some ground rules before this thing gets picked apart:

I’ve updated the list as much as possible based on any and all updated scouting information (note: this is still not perfect, as evidenced by the too high ranking of Matt Roberts and the too low ranking of Elvin Soto), but haven’t had a chance to run each prospect’s 2013 numbers through any kind of meaningful statistical testing. Because of this, I strongly considered scrapping the whole ranking aspects of the list and going with a generic alphabetized “follow list” like I’ve done in the past. I’m going with the tentatively ranked list for now because I do think it shows a decent snapshot of where certain players were ranked by me heading into the season.

I’m happy to answer any specific questions and provide any answers about forthcoming changes (e.g. Roberts down, Soto up) in the comments or via email. I’m also planning on slotting in players from elsewhere around college ball, including the juco ranks, in the coming days.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The list only includes players from the conferences I’ve profiled so far. That would be the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big East, Ivy, Mountain West, WCC, Sun Belt, Pac 12, WAC, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, and Big 12. As referenced above, players from the rest of college ball will be added in the very near future.

  1. California JR C Andrew Knapp
  2. Mississippi JR C Stuart Turner
  3. LSU JR C Tyler Ross
  4. North Carolina JR C Matt Roberts
  5. New Mexico SR C Mitchell Garver
  6. Texas JR C Jacob Felts
  7. Dartmouth JR C Jeff Keller
  8. Vanderbilt JR C Spencer Navin
  9. Auburn JR C Blake Austin
  10. Loyola Marymount SR C Colton Plaia
  11. North Carolina JR C Brian Holberton
  12. Air Force SR C Garrett Custons
  13. Oregon State JR C Jake Rodriguez
  14. Washington State JR C Collin Slaybaugh
  15. San Diego SR C Dillon Haupt
  16. Arizona State SR C Max Rossiter
  17. Southern California JR C Jake Hernandez
  18. Louisville JR C Kyle Gibson
  19. Pittsburgh SO C Elvin Soto
  20. Fresno State SR C Austin Wynns
  21. Virginia Tech rJR C Chad Morgan
  22. Cal State Bakersfield JR C Cael Brockmeyer
  23. Duke SR C Jeff Kremer
  24. Rutgers SR C Jeff Melillo
  25. Fresno State rSR C Trent Garrison
  26. Missouri State SR C Luke Voit
  27. Missouri JR C Dylan Kelly
  28. Illinois State JR C Mike Hollenbeck
  29. Bradley JR C Austin Jarvis
  30. Georgia SR C Brett DeLoach
  31. Mississippi State SR C Mitch Slauter
  32. Arkansas JR C Jake Wise
  33. Mississippi JR C Will Allen
  34. Alabama JR C Wade Wass
  35. Wake Forest SR C Brett Armour
  36. St. John’s JR C Frank Schwindel
  37. Florida Atlantic SR C Mike Spano
  38. Central Florida SR C Ryan Breen
  39. Texas State rJR C Tyler Pearson
  40. Louisiana Tech rJR C Kyle Arnsberg
  41. Texas State SR C Andrew Stumph
  42. Dallas Baptist SR C Duncan McAlpine
  43. Baylor SR C Nathan Orf
  44. Kansas JR C Kai’ana Eldredge
  45. South Carolina SR C Dante Rosenberg

If you’ve made it this far, thanks. Here’s a quick idea of what the immediate future holds. First, I’ve got a paper that needs to be written between now and Thursday. Once that’s out of the way, things will pick up for a bit. In the meantime, I’m hoping to a) continue updating the college catcher rankings and perhaps move on to other positions, b) finish my thoughts on the SEC, and c) do a little MLB Draft/NFL Draft mock draft remix before Thursday’s first round.

2013 MLB Draft March Madness Prospect Tournament

Next year I’m going to give this idea the proper amount of effort it deserves. Until then, behold the half-baked 2013 MLB Draft March Madness Prospect Tournament unveiled just in time for March Madness to wrap up with tonight’s championship game. Seeds were determined by combing the lists compiled by the four current leaders in the industry: Baseball America, Perfect Game, ESPN (Keith Law), and Scout (Kiley McDaniel). The lists are obviously quite dated by now — Perfect Game is the oldest, and I started this before Baseball America’s most recent update — but what’s done is done. Besides (positive spin alert!), using older lists helped create some fun matchups, as well as demonstrate how much some prospects have risen or fallen in the past few months. Here we go…

West (Stanford) Region

1 Mark Appel
16 Karsten Whitson

8 Jordan Sheffield
9 Kevin Ziomek

5 Ryan Boldt
12 Billy McKinney

4 Oscar Mercado
13 Hunter Harvey

6 Phillip Ervin
11 Stephen Gonsalves

3 Colin Moran
14 Travis Demeritte

7 Chris Anderson
10 JaCoby Jones

2 Austin Wilson
15 Matt McPhearson

How interesting is that very first matchup? Prior to his injury, Whitson could have given Appel a run for his money. Well, I guess we could change that to “prior to his injury AND Mark Appel consistently showing off top of the rotation big league stuff every Friday all spring long,” but that would be a little wordy. Sheffield (future Vandy ace?) and Ziomek (current Vandy ace) give us a 8/9 “upset” made easy by Sheffield’s questionable health status. Boldt vs McKinney is a fascinating contrast of loud athletic tools (Boldt) and a bat-first prep corner outfield prospect (have heard “poor man’s Frazier” mentioned his way, though I’m not saying I endorse such talk). Mercado and Harvey give us what seems like a yearly tradition in the real deal NCAA tournament: a 4/13 upset. Talk about two players with respective arrows going the opposite directions there. I like Ervin over Gonsalvez, Moran over Demeritte (fun plus bat over plus glove battle there), Anderson over Jones, and Wilson, injured or not, over the stupid fast McPhearson.

***

South (SEC) Region

1 Ryne Stanek
16 Rowdy Tellez

8 Andrew Mitchell
9 Justin Williams

5 Bobby Wahl
12 Garret Williams

4 Reese McGuire
13 Aaron Blair

6 Ryan Eades
11 Matt Krook

3 Jonathon Crawford
14 AJ Puk

7 Eric Jagielo
10 Dustin Driver

2 Austin Meadows
15 Carlos Salazar

I swear I didn’t stack the deck to get so many big time SEC arms into one regional. Can’t say I’m too bummed out things worked out this way, though. Life is good for the SEC when it comes to most of these first round draws: Stanek whoops Tellez, Wahl topples Williams (lots of inconsistent stuff featured in that matchup), and Crawford (current Florida star) edges the underrated Puk (future Florida star?). The one matchup that gives me major pause is Eades vs Krook. A pairing that close calls for a breakdown:

Fastball: Crawford (90-94, 98) ties Krook (87-93, 95) with the latter evening things up thanks to his lefthandedness
Breaking Stuff: nasty mid-80s sliders for both, call it another tie
Changeup: big win for Crawford, who has an underrated mid-80s offering that takes care of Krook’s underdeveloped (i.e. I’ve got nothing on it) change
Size/Physical Projection/Future Role: Krook (6-4, 200) by virtue over Crawford (6-2, 200) getting dinged in the past for perhaps not having the body, arm action, and command to start in pro ball (not saying I agree)

I could keep going with categories, but it’s late so let’s call it for Krook by the skin of his teeth. Beyond the SEC, we’ll go with Mitchell over Williams (very, very close), McGuire over Blair (I just like McGuire too much, so don’t take this as a reflection on not liking Blair, who has been truly great this year), Driver over Jagielo (upside play), and Meadows over Salazar.

Midwest (Manaea) Region

1 Sean Manaea
16 Chris Okey

8 Andrew Thurman
9 Dillon Overton

5 Aaron Judge
12 Connor Jones

4 Kohl Stewart
13 Hunter Renfroe

6 Jonathan Gray
11 Andy McGuire

3 Dominic Smith
14 Chris Kohler

7 Ian Clarkin
10 Jason Hursh

2 JP Crawford
15 Conrad Gregor

This region should be proof enough that I didn’t game the results of the rankings to create interesting matchups. We’re going chalk all the way. I could maybe see arguments in favor of Jones over Judge (this goes against everything I’ll say in the next parenthetical distraction, but Jones may actually be a “safer” pick than Judge at this point) or Renfroe over Stewart (only if you a) are scared off by Stewart’s medicals/signability, or b) really don’t like risking high picks on risky high school pitchers). One nice thing about all the favorites moving on is that you get better quality matchups (in theory) in ensuing rounds. I, for one, love that Gray is lurking as a sixth seed…

***

East (because the last region gets stuck with an illogical geographical title) Region

1 Clint Frazier
16 Cavan Biggio

8 Rob Kaminsky
9 Michael Lorenzen

5 Marco Gonzales
12 Tom Windle

4 Trey Ball
13 AJ Vanegas

6 DJ Peterson
11 Colby Suggs

3 Jonathan Denney
14 Tucker Neuhaus

7 Trevor Williams
10 Braden Shipley

2 Kris Bryant
15 Hunter Green

Rob Kaminsky plays in the east, right? So the name isn’t that bad. I like the Jersey lefty over the endlessly frustrating Lorenzen. It probably doesn’t much matter as either is like a lamb to slaughter with Frazier looming large in round two. A part of me was hoping Vanegas would be a 16 seed, so we could pair him up against teammate Appel. As a 13 he’s plenty dangerous, but Ball is a touch too talented to make gambling on Vanegas a smart play. Peterson takes care of Suggs (wildly overrated, but that could just be my anti-reliever bias showing), Denney smacks down helium guy Neuhaus, and Bryant makes quick work of the interesting Green.

Speaking of Green, I would imagine anybody reading over 1,000 words on a weird draft related piece like this knows all of the names featured above. The one exception may be the little hyped prep lefty from Kentucky. Green already can hit the low-90s with his fastball and just oozes projection (gross, sorry) in his 6-4, 170 pound frame. He’s also one of the smarter young pitching minds in this class. I don’t remember which list liked him enough to get him into the tournament, but I think it was Law. Good name to know going forward.

The two unsettled matchups are our 5/12 and 7/10 contests. Shipley is on an entirely different level than Williams for me, but it stinks that an “upset” like that doesn’t carry any weight now that Shipley has emerged as a legitimate top ten threat. Gonzales vs Windle is worth a breakdown, right? Let’s close out the first round by stacking these two quality college lefthanders against one another in a blind test:

87-92 FB (94), above-average 78-84 SL (plus upside), average 80-85 CU (above-average upside), good athlete, 6-4, 210 pounds

2011: 7.62 K/9 | 41.1 IP
2012: 8.27 K/9 | 3.70 BB/9 | 4.20 FIP | 41.1 IP
2013: 8.10 K/9 | 1.62 BB/9 | 3.47 FIP | 50 IP

OR

87-91 FB (92), average 75-81 CB, plus 77-82 circle CU, plus athlete, 6-1, 185 pounds

2011: 7.80 K/9 | 105 IP
2012: 9.13 K/9 | 2.14 BB/9 | 3.34 FIP | 92.2 IP
2013: 8.12 K/9 | 1.76 BB/9 | 3.26 FIP | 51 IP

Wow, that’s close. I need to sleep on that one…

Big Board: Quick 2013 MLB Draft Top Twenty

Today is the home opener for my hometown team. Said team picks 16th in the 2013 MLB Draft. Putting those two thoughts together equals the following thought experiment. Don’t consider this a real deal big board, but rather a quick and dirty look at which players I like best as a fan and not as a nobody internet draft guy. Not a huge distinction between the two, but just enough that I’m not comfortable calling this anything but unofficial. So, here’s my official unofficial top twenty for the 2013 MLB Draft, in no particular order.
This first tier is full of no-brainers. I’d be weak in the knees if any of these pitchers were still on the board at 16:

Stanford RHP Mark Appel
Oklahoma RHP Jonathan Gray
Indiana State LHP Sean Manaea
Nevada RHP Braden Shipley
Arkansas RHP Ryne Stanek
RHP Kohl Stewart (St. Pius X HS, Texas)

Same goes for any scenario that gets one of these five bats to the mid-teens:

OF Austin Meadows (Grayson HS, Georgia)
San Diego OF/3B Kris Bryant
OF Clint Frazier (Loganville HS, Georgia)
C Reese McGuire (Kentwood HS, Washington)
C Jon Denney (Yukon HS, Oklahoma)

Give me one of those eleven prospects on the draft’s first night and I’d consider it a major, major win for my favorite team. Realistically, I think there’s a shot that one or more of the three S pitchers (Stanek, Stewart, Shipley) falls. Stanek’s inconsistent spring, Stewart’s health questions, and the chance the excitement over Shipley’s newness as a top ten prospect wears off are all reasons each could slide. Admittedly, that last one is a stretch, though I think it is fair to wonder if the hype that Shipley is getting by the industry leaders is a reflection of what big league clubs are saying (good news for Shipley if so) or something else altogether. I think it’s the former, and not just because I was hyping him up back in February. He’s really good, and I’d love to get him at 16.

Of the position players, it seems clear that Meadows, Bryant, and Frazier are all locks to be long gone. That leaves the two prep catchers. It actually wouldn’t surprise me if both were still on the board at 16. This wouldn’t occur because of teams doubting their talent, but rather because of the spotty at best history of first round prep catchers. Fair or not, I think teams are wary of young catching in a way they aren’t like at any other position. For the record, I remain in the shrinking group that still prefers McGuire to Denney.

We now have 11 players I’d be ecstatic to land at pick 16. The next group is a lot more fluid, so I expanded it a bit to find the best possible fits in terms of physical talent, performance, and projection.

Stanford OF Austin Wilson
North Carolina 3B Colin Moran
SS JP Crawford (Lakewood HS, California)
OF Ryan Boldt (Red Wing HS, Minnesota)
1B Dominic Smith (Serra HS, California)
Jacksonville RHP Chris Anderson
LSU RHP Ryan Eades
LHP Ian Clarkin (Madison HS, California)
RHP Hunter Harvey (Bandys HS, North Carolina)

I only need five more names to get to 16, but I’m cheating here and bringing the total up to an even 20. If healthy all year, Austin Wilson wouldn’t be in the conversation as a realistic pick at 16. Heck, a productive return to the field – he’s rumored to be back this weekend, so stay tuned for that – could make this mid-first round talk for Wilson seem silly in a month. If he does fall on draft day, I doubt he falls all that far. The mid- to late-first round is the perfect spot to take chances on prospects that are fading due to reasons having nothing to do with ability. The Phillies have had great success going this route (Hamels, Drabek, Savery…well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad), so it wouldn’t be totally out of character to see Wilson as a possibility if he slides.

Colin Moran is my pick for this year’s trendy prospect to bash (no power, stinks on defense, Ackley’s failings somehow apply to him) in the weeks leading up to the draft, but I’m willing to ride with him as a future above-average big league regular. The bats of Crawford and Boldt alone may not be thrilling, but they each bring enough to the table to profile as everyday players at positions that aren’t easy to fill. Smith is the opposite: pretty darn thrilling bat, but more or less locked into first base. I’m not alone in judging bat-first prospects very harshly, so it should say something about Smith’s upside with the stick that I’m good with him being the Phillies first pick, Either Chris Anderson or Ryan Eades would work for me as both have deep, effective repertoires. Clarkin (seriously love his CB) and Harvey (three above-average pitches and crazy athleticism) also each have front of the rotation stuff.  There are other names I could get behind at 16 – Trey Ball, Matt Krook, Oscar Mercado, to name three – but these 20 are currently my most coveted draft prospects.

2013 MLB Draft Conference Preview: Big Ten

I have some stray SEC thoughts, plus a tiered first round big board coming up over the next few days. Good times ahead. As for the mountain of text below, well, I’ll just say the position players in the Big Ten are a group only a mother could love. Some interesting arms led by a potential first day lefty, but all in all not a thrilling collection of talent. How’s that for a hard sell? Now read it!

  • Bold = locks to be drafted
  • Italics = definite maybes
  • Underlined = possible risers
  • Plain text = long shots

C

  • Nebraska SO C Tanner Lubach
  • Minnesota JR C Matt Halloran
  • Iowa SR C Dan Sheppard
  • Michigan State JR C John Martinez
  • Michigan rJR C John DiLaura
  • Illinois rSO C Kelly Norris-Jones
  • Michigan State JR C Joel Fisher
  • Purdue JR C Sean McHugh
  • Michigan rJR C Zach Johnson
  • Penn State JR C Alex Farkes
  • Nebraska JR C Corey Stringer
  • Minnesota rSR C Kurt Schlangen

I can talk/write a lot – some would say too much – but I’ve got very little to say about this group of catching prospects. Lubach was a guy that I was told had the highest ceiling of any draft-eligible Big Ten catcher, and Halloran and Sheppard have gotten some buzz for their work behind the plate. That’s the nice, scout-approved news. The numbers tell a different story. Of the dozen names listed above, I think you can charitably call nine of the twelve as having below-average starts to the 2013 season. Schlangen has been decent. Fisher and McHugh, both players designated as C/1B in my notes, are the only two “catchers” that have gotten off to strong statistical starts, and McHugh’s “hot start” is only passable when viewed through the prism of park/schedule adjustments. For anybody who cries “small sample size,” well, true enough. However, a quick look back at last year reveals a larger pattern of underwhelming performance across the board. Halloran was good (.340/.415/.440) and Martinez solid (.317/.385/.430), but only McHugh has been a consistent collegiate performer. Long story short, the Big Ten likely doesn’t have a 2013 MLB Draft prospect who currently dons the tools of ignorance.

1B

  • Minnesota JR 1B Alex LaShomb
  • Michigan JR 1B Brett Winger
  • Northwestern SR 1B Jack Havey

Three big guys, three non-prospects. Havey, the leanest of the three (6-3, 200 pounds), is off to the best start this spring of the group.

2B

  • Northwestern JR 2B Kyle Ruchim
  • Indiana SR 2B Michael Basil
  • Ohio State rSR 2B Ryan Cypret
  • Iowa rSO 2B Jake Mangler
  • Penn State SR 2B Luis Montesinos

I rarely cut players from my lists after I’ve committed to them either because of a nice scouting note or the achievement of certain statistical benchmarks (see the catching list if you don’t believe me), but I dropped a few Big Ten second basemen from the original draft because including them would be a stretch that I’m not yet able to make. After a few more months of yoga, maybe…

It was all doom and gloom when it came time to editing my lists. I also made a last minute decision to switch Kyle Ruchim from the pitching list to this one. He’s excelled in both areas as a Wildcat (pitching: 12.05 K/9 in 2011, 11.57 K/9 in 2012, 9.53 K/9 so far in 2013), but, fair or not, he’d face an uphill battle as a 5-10, 180 pound righthanded reliever if limited to the mound as a pro. As a second baseman, he gives you a really steady glove, average speed, enough power to the gaps to keep pitchers honest (and subsequently help him maintain strong BB/K numbers), and, as you’d expect from a guy once clocked at 93 MPH, a strong arm. Finding underrated two-way college talent like Ruchim is what makes doing this conference draft previews worth it for me. Remember his name on draft day.

3B

  • Indiana JR 3B Dustin DeMuth
  • Illinois rJR 3B Jordan Parr
  • Ohio State rSR 3B Brad Hallberg
  • Minnesota SR 3B Ryan Abrahamson

Finally, a decent prospect group to talk about. Dustin DeMuth is a player that I had multiple Midwest contacts tell me was a big-time sleeper to watch coming into the season. I’d say so far, so good. DeMuth has gone out and done a lot of the things he was expected to do: hit with power, field his position well, and show a far more aggressive than ideal approach at the plate. The first two are reasons to be excited about him in an intriguing ball of clay to mold kind of way, especially if a team thinks they can curtail, or, at worst, more positively channel his hacktastic ways. Parr is another good athlete with above-average raw power who, like DeMuth, brings the added dimension of defensive versatility. Hallberg is a steady college performer who may get a late look as an organizational guy. Abrahamson has an intriguing frame (6-4, 190 pounds) and some talent yet to be fully tapped.

SS

  • Ohio State SR SS Kirby Pellant
  • Illinois JR SS Thomas Lindauer
  • Minnesota rSO SS Michael Handel
  • Minnesota rSR SS Troy Larson

Pellant does enough well across the board (speed, throw, footwork) that he should get a look as a mid- to late-round potential utility infielder option. It’s an imperfect comp, but consider Pellant somewhat similar to Adam Frazier but with a lesser stick. Lindauer and Handel are probably looking at a future similar to Larson’s present, i.e. hoping for a late-round senior sign selection.

OF

  • Michigan JR OF Michael O’Neill
  • Michigan SR OF Patrick Biondi
  • Minnesota rJR OF Dan Olinger 
  • Nebraska SR OF Chad Christensen 
  • Nebraska SR OF Josh Scheffert
  • Minnesota JR OF Bobby Juan
  • Michigan State SR OF Jordan Keur
  • Illinois SR OF Justin Parr
  • Purdue SR OF Stephen Talbott 
  • Nebraska JR OF Mike Pritchard 
  • Michigan State SO OF Jimmy Pickens 
  • Nebraska rJR OF Kash Kalkowski
  • Nebraska SR OF Rich Sanguinetti
  • Minnesota SR OF Andy Henkemeyer
  • Indiana SR OF Justin Cureton
  • Illinois SR OF Davis Hendrickson
  • Ohio State JR OF Tim Wetzel
  • Ohio State rJR OF Mike Carroll
  • Penn State rJR OF Steve Snyder
  • Iowa JR OF Taylor Zeutenhorst

Michael O’Neill hasn’t gotten the degree of draft buzz yet that I expect we’ll see build over the next few weeks, but he’s a really intriguing talent with big league tools. I’m hoping to have more on him in the not too distant future; until then, let me just say that if I was the one doing the picking, O’Neill would terrify me as a potential top three round pick. Here are some choice snippets from what Baseball America has to say about the 6-2, 200ish pound righthanded hitting outfielder for Michigan:

  • “excellent athlete”
  • “best tool is his speed”
  • “well above-average runner”
  • “should hit for average because of a smooth stroke”
  • “average power”
  • “average center fielder”
  • “arm is a tick above average”
  • “isn’t particularly polished for a college draftee”

The big worry about this player is his lack of plate discipline. Striking out 1.65 times for every BB as an amateur isn’t a good thing. Waaaaaait, a second here. Were we talking about Michael O’Neill here? Whoops. All of the above is about 2010 second round pick Ryan LaMarre. I’m so tricky! Sure, all of the above also applies to O’Neill with the one notable exception being his ever more concerning lack of plate discipline (3.04 K/BB). It should also be noted that O’Neill’s swing, a little on the long and clunky side, hasn’t garnered as many favorable reviews as LaMarre’s once did. Consider me much closer to “like” than “love” when it comes to O”Neill (I prefer him to LaMarre, if that means anything to you), and even that may be generous at this point. The tools are loud and he could succeed in the right environment (patience will be key with him from a developmental standpoint), but he’ll wind up far lower on my rankings than he’ll fall on the industry leaders big boards.

After O’Neill the race for second Big Ten outfield prospect drafted looks as tight as tight can be. His Michigan teammate Pat Biondi is as good a name as any to slot into spot number two. He’s not a star nor does he give off a “future starter” vibe, but his speed, range, and pesky on-base skills and bat control should give him a chance to make it as a handy backup in time. Olinger has a nice looking swing, decent power, and a good approach, but no carrying tool that would make him a potential regular. Chad Christensen looks great on paper – speed, pop, all kinds of defensive flexibility – but issues with an all-or-nothing approach to hitting persist. Same could be said for his Nebraska teammate Kash Kalkowski. One name to watch is Bobby Juan, especially if a team makes the decision to stick his plus arm on the mound full-time.

P

  • Minnesota JR LHP Tom Windle
  • Ohio State JR RHP Josh Dezse
  • Minnesota JR LHP DJ Snelten
  • Purdue rJR RHP Brad Schreiber
  • Michigan State JR RHP David Garner 
  • Northwestern SR RHP Luke Farrell
  • Indiana JR LHP Joey DeNato
  • Ohio State rSR RHP Brad Goldberg
  • Ohio State JR RHP Jaron Long 
  • Illinois rSO RHP Reid Roper
  • Indiana rSO RHP Aaron Slegers 
  • Nebraska SR RHP Kyle Hander
  • Ohio State SR RHP Brett McKinney
  • Northwestern rSR RHP Zach Morton
  • Ohio State JR RHP Greg Greve
  • Penn State rSR RHP David Walkling
  • Illinois SR RHP Kevin Johnson
  • Iowa SR LHP Matt Dermody
  • Penn State JR LHP Greg Welsh
  • Indiana JR LHP Brian Korte 
  • Michigan JR RHP Alex Lakatos
  • Minnesota rJR RHP Alex Tukey 
  • Nebraska JR RHP Brandon Pierce
  • Illinois JR RHP Ronnie Muck
  • Michigan State JR LHP Jeff Kinley
  • Michigan SR RHP Ben Ballantine 
  • Michigan State rJR RHP Michael Theodore
  • Michigan SR RHP Kyle Clark
  • Minnesota SR RHP Billy Soule
  • Michigan State SR RHP Andrew Waszak
  • Minnesota SR RHP Drew Ghelfi
  • Michigan rJR LHP Logan McAnallen
  • Michigan State SR LHP Trey Popp
  • Penn State SR RHP Neal Herring
  • Indiana JR RHP Matt Dearden
  • Northwestern JR RHP Ethan Bramschreiber
  • Minnesota JR RHP Alec Crawford
  • Nebraska JR LHP Tyler King
  • Northwestern JR LHP Dan Tyson
  • Illinois rSR RHP Bryan Roberts
  • Nebraska SR RHP Dylan Vogt
  • Indiana JR RHP Ryan Halstead
  • Northwestern JR RHP Jack Quigley
  • Penn State SR RHP Steven Hill
  • Purdue rSR RHP Robert Ramer
  • Ohio State SR LHP Brian King
  • Illinois rSO RHP Drasen Johnson
  • Nebraska JR RHP Christian Deleon
  • Nebraska JR LHP Zach Hirsch
  • Nebraska SR RHP Tyler Niederklein
  • Penn State rSO RHP TJ Jann
  • Illinois rSO LHP Rob McDonnell

Tom Windle isn’t this year’s sexiest draft prospect, but he still stands a fine chance of making it as a sturdy back of the rotation option in short order. His 87-92 (93-94) fastball has a ton of natural movement, he can spin two average or better breaking balls (way more 78-84 sliders than curves, and that’s a good thing – the slider is one of my favorite singular pitches of this class), and an improved yet still underdeveloped mid-80s changeup. This is a forced comp and I apologize in advance, but I see a little bit of Mike Minor minus the nasty changeup when I watch Windle. Other, perhaps better comparisons: Clayton Richard (but lighter) and Wade Miley (but taller). Those last two comps work pretty darn well from cumulative stuff standpoints, I think. In fact, put the three guys in a blender (note: not literally, they’d die) and you wind up with a delicious Tom Windle cocktail.

Josh Dezse hasn’t pitched this year due to injury, but fits in as a high-level follow the minute he steps back on the mound. One sentence doesn’t really do Dezse’s upside credit. Nor does that second sentence, come to think of it. A scout before the year told me he thought Desze looked like the second coming of Tom Wilhelmsen on the mound at times last season.  Windle’s teammate DJ Snelten has just recently returned from injury; his first two years weren’t as productive as you’d expect from a guy with stuff good enough to start one day at the big league level. Brad Schreiber has been thrown back into the mix after missing all of last year thanks to Tommy John surgery. He still flashes back of the bullpen type stuff, but inconsistent control remains his bugaboo.

Now that the season has started I feel guilty if I don’t at least peruse the current numbers before publishing these conference follow lists. I don’t put a ton of stock on about a half of a season’s worth of data, but recent performances, whether positive or negative, can sometimes be a reflection of meaningful changes from a scouting perspective. Anyway, I happened to notice that I ranked Kevin Johnson and Matt Dermody back to back. Then I checked their 2013 numbers:

Johnson: 6.23 K/9 – 2.08 BB/9 – 3.79 FIP – 47.2 IP
Dermody: 6.27 K/9 – 2.09 BB/9 – 3.91 FIP – 47.1 IP

Neat!

You’d think I had some Northwestern connection (I don’t!) with the way I love Luke Farrell and Zach Morton. Farrell has always pitched well, has good size, and a fastball/curve/change trio that is good enough to get out big league hitters. I really like his fastball. Morton is the athlete I wish I could have been. Joey DeNato doesn’t have the same kind of physicality of the Northwestern guys, but darn if he doesn’t keep getting hitters out with his outstanding secondary stuff (change mostly). Jaron Long doesn’t quite have the same offspeed stuff, but he can still cutter teams to death when called upon. Brad Goldberg is a little like Brad Schreiber: big arm, intriguing upside, control remains a mess. I expected big things out of both Alex Lakatos (athleticism, size, heat, slider) and Brandon Pierce, but can’t say either has set the world on fire so far in 2013. Reid Roper is like Kyle Ruchim in that both are Big Ten 2B/RHP who do both jobs darn well. I like Roper a touch more on the mound than as a hitter, but can see why Illinois likes having his bat in the lineup. Fun player.

Little March Madness Fun: “First Round” Edition 2.0

The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds don’t have a great deal of 2013 draft prospects of note. I still hold out hope that rJR RHP Justin Topa will regain his pre-injury form and continue on the path towards becoming a legitimate draft prospect worth talking about. His fastball, once regularly in the low-90s and peaking as high as 95, has been a below-average pitch to start this season. Same could be said for his excellent changeup and promising breaking ball. Even with the risk he never returns as the Topa of old, he’s still the best Brooklyn has to offer in 2013. The closest player to Topa as a prospect is the underrated JR RHP Kevin Needham. Needham currently sees more time in the outfield, but his future is on the mound, where he has the chance to make some headway as a reliever. Other pitchers to keep on eye on: SR RHP Chris Franzese and SR LHP Matt McCormick. Neither look like prospects in a real sense, and McCormick is already slated to miss the 2013 season with a labrum injury, but both get included in the interest of an obsession towards completion. Bats to watch include JR SS John Ziznewski, JR OF Pete Leonello, and SR OF Mike Garcia. The juniors are the more likely — still long shots — to get drafted, but will both surely have to wait a year to get the chance to sign.

I don’t like writing about James Madison because it reminds me of my once upon a time crazy aggressive ranking of Johnny Bladel. I won’t even look up how high I once had him ranked, but trust me when I say it was too damn high. Worst part about all this is that I still like Bladel as a prospect far more than anybody ought to. Through all the ups and downs his plate discipline has remained a strength. He also remains a good runner with gap power, a strong arm, and enough range to stick up the middle. If he can continue to show his freshman year pop, he’s a viable draft prospect once again. Validation!

After Bladel there are plenty of other intriguing bats scattered across the JMU roster. rJR OF/1B Matt Tenaglia has been extremely productive. SR OF Cole McInturff has a nice mix of pop, CF range, speed, and cool name. SR 2B/SS Casey Goss is another player with nice pop and a steady glove who has put up big early season numbers. SR 2B/C Brad Shaban, JR 3B Ty McFarland, and JR INF Conner Brown have all hit well so far while SR OF Colby Roberts and JR C Nick Merullo have gotten off to slower starts.

I like La Salle SR RHP Pat Christensen as a potential sinker/slider reliever at the next level. rJR LHP Shawn O’Neill’s rocky early season start is not a great reflection on his impressive potential three pitch mix. SR LHP Ryan Donohue, JR LHP Dominic Sgroi, and rSO RHP Mike McLeod have all put up solid performances in the past.

My two favorite bats coming into the year for La Salle were SR 3B Dan Klem and JR OF George Smith. The two have gone different directions in the early going — Klem up, Smith down — but I reserve the right to judge them until I get a chance to see them in person a few times over the next few weeks.

There’s no baseball at Boise State, but there is an excellent high school prospect with a Boise connection. 3B Joseph Martarano (Fruitland HS, Idaho) is a high school football star committed to Boise State in the fall. I don’t think he’ll wind up there if/when he gets drafted where his talent warrants in June. I like the athletic, two sport third base prospect archetype as much as just about any. There’s obviously a raw edge to his game, especially in terms of pitch recognition, but in my quick looks I’ve come away impressed with his overall baseball skill level. Besides his obvious athleticism, Martarano stands out for his exciting raw power. His physical strength is a large part of what makes his power work, but it is also his quick bat and his “violent in a good way” swing. Martarano is a risky prospect with easy to see bust potential, but the upside is tantalizing enough to get him drafted early enough that I think a team buys him out of his football commitment.

Little March Madness Fun: “First Round” Edition

I’ve been working on the darn SEC draft preview piece off and on for over a week now, and I’m happy to say that it’s finally close to completion. In the meantime, I thought we’d have a little fun with the NCAA college basketball tournament getting started tonight. Quick 2013 MLB Draft prospect previews of the four teams featured in tonight’s play-in — excuse me, “first round” — games.

North Carolina A&T‘s 2013 prospect strength comes in the way of a trio of seniors: 1B Kelvin Freeman, Andre McKoy, and Dairio Little. Of the three, only Freeman is holding up his end of the prospect bargain so far this season. He’s got a chance to go late as an athletic power-hitting first baseman with pro size (6-4, 235 pounds) and a rapidly improving feel for hitting. The best 2013 prospect on the team is JR 2B/SS Luke Tendler. Tendler has hit from his first day on campus (.347/.370/.563 in 2011, .285/.323/.466 in 2012) and seems to have really hit his stride in 2013 (.406/.449/.719 in 64 AB so far). He’s a good athlete with sneaky pop, decent speed, and enough defensive skill to stick up the middle in the pros. It’s a long shot for a few reasons, but I could see him getting into the single-digit rounds if he keeps mashing at his current rate. I won’t pretend to know much about SR LHP Brent Moore, but his strong start to the year deserves a quick shoutout.

Liberty has some pretty darn good ballplayers on their roster. The best of the bunch for me is a player who I’m sure is no doubt excited to be one of my all-caps FAVORITE’s for the upcoming draft class, none other than Mr. Ryan Cordell. Cordell is an above-average runner (great baseball instincts may bump that up to plus on the base paths) with an above-average arm, impressive athleticism (he can play any outfield spot, 1B, and has dabbled on the mound with an upper-80s FB in the past), bat speed to spare, and, last but not least, a sturdy pro build (6-3, 200 pounds). What I like most about Cordell is that he’s an even better player than the sum of his parts suggests. Cordell is joined by fellow interesting position players such as JR C Danny Grauer (good size, plus arm strength, and a patient approach, though I still think I like him best on the mound), SR 2B Bryan Aanderud (another personal favorite — though not quite a FAVORITE — on the strength of a quality hit tool and steady defense, not to mention that he’d be the first player in the all-time MLB alphabet if he ever makes the big leagues), and SR 3B Dalton Sype (down year so far, but a nice college bat otherwise).

Aanderud’s hot start (.392/.495/.459 with 15 BB/3 K in 74 AB) bears mentioning, though it should be acknowledged that a big senior season fits in nicely with the type of productive hitter he’s shown himself to be (.364/.467/.450 with 32 BB/18 K in 220 AB last year). Those are numbers you have to take notice of, no matter the context. Aanderud is a really strong college player who deserves a shot in the pros. A bat that I know next to nothing about that caught my eye through numbers only is SR C Trey Wimmer. Hitting .392/.446/.649 gets you on my map, even if it is only through 74 AB.

Liberty’s pitching staff has as many as four arms that could be selected in this year’s draft. SR RHPs Brooks Roy and Matt Marsh, along with rJR RHP Josh Richardson, all have enough in the way of stuff and track record to warrant consideration in June. Roy has arguably the best offspeed pitch of the trio (change), Marsh has the best size (6-3, 190 pounds…both Roy and Richardson are sub 6-0), and Richardson has the best arm strength (93 peak) and athleticism (former middle infielder). Roy may be a little too “smoke and mirrors” for pro scouts, but I think Marsh (14 K/1 BB in 9.2 IP) and Richardson  (13 K/4 BB in 10.1 IP) could be legitimate late round selections. The fourth pitcher of interest is SR RHP Kody Young, a big fella (6-5, 230 pounds) with decent stuff — anybody who throws a passable or better forkball is alright by me — who hasn’t pitched in 2013 as of yet.

Saint Mary‘s has a pair of southpaw pitchers that have the stuff to get drafted if all keeps going to plan. JR LHP Jordan Mills has the requisite three pitch mix to get a chance starting in the rotation in professional ball. His fastball is a little short at times (85-88 mostly, can have days where it is closer to 88-92), but the movement he generates on the pitch makes it a consistent above-average offering. Mills also mixes in a pair of average or better offspeed pitches in his upper-70s change and a drastically improved slider. Some funk in his delivery and the advantage of extension (he’s 6-6, 210 pounds) helps his stuff play up across the board. Mills is a good pitching prospect who has seemingly taken the leap — from K/9 ratios in the 6.00’s his first two years to 9.00+ in the early going this year — in his draft year. A notch below Mills is fellow JR LHP Ben Griset. From fastball velocity to the solid breaking ball/changeup combo, Griset has similar stuff to Mills across the board. What he lacks is a) Mills’ size (Griset is 6-0, 185 pounds), b) Mills’ ability to cut, sink, and run the fastball, and c) Mills’ offspeed refinement, though you could argue that his breaking ball is closer to Mills’ than his changeup currently is. It is encouraging that Griset has made a similar performance leap in 2013: freshman year (5.70 K/9), sophomore year (7.75 K/9), early in junior year (9.72 K/9). SR RHP Patrick Keane, JR RHP Thomas Cortese, and JR LHP Ryan Brockett make up the rest of the interesting pitching names to know for 2013 on the Saint Mary’s staff. Brockett (a starter) and Keane (a reliever) have thrown particularly well so far in the early going.

The two 2013 position players that I’ve gotten some positive feedback on are SR OFs Brenden Kalfus and Cole Norton. Kalfus has been the better of the two in the early going, hitting .292/.444/.313 (13 BB/7 K), but it is hard to see either as legitimate pro prospects when it is all said and done.

Middle Tennessee State‘s best shot to see somebody drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft can be found on their pitching staff. SR RHP Hunter Adkins has decent stuff and good size (6-4, 200 pounds), but has never put up the big numbers many expected for him at the start. Same could be said about SR RHP Daniel Palo, another big boy (6-4, 250 pounds) who has underwhelmed despite the athleticism and stuff (mid-90s peak FB, average or better CB) to dominate his level. SR LHP Jordan Cooper has a similar strong FB/CB combo, and, surprise surprise, a similar track record of less than stunning performances. Others on the mound to watch are SR LHP Joey McClung (decent arm despite 5-9, 180 pound frame), SR RHP Jonathan Sisco (out for 2013 season due to labrum surgery), JR LHP Zac Curtis (another short pitcher, but with better all-around stuff), and JR RHP Paul Mittura (interesting sinker/slider guy). It is doubtful any of this group get drafted, but you never know.

SR 2B Johnny Thomas, a transfer from New Orleans, has been his usual steady self. JR 3B Hank LaRue has been a little bit less than that. The entire Middle Tennessee outfield can be considered prospects, if we define the term loosely. JR OF Jake Ellison has some power but not much else, fellow power bat JR OF Trent Miller’s in the midst of an early season slump (slugged close to .600 last year, sitting below .300 so far this year), and JR OF Ryan Stephens, coming off a disappointing sophomore season, has hit fairly well so far in 2013. Again, I wouldn’t put money on any of the three getting any draft consideration this year, but all three can at least be productive college bats when things are going right.