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Big Ten 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Illinois JR C Jason Goldstein
Michigan State SR 1B Ryan Krill
Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe
Illinois rSO SS Adam Walton
Michigan JR 3B Travis Maezes
Michigan State JR OF Cameron Gibson
Iowa JR OF Joel Booker
Michigan SR OF Jackson Glines

Illinois JR LHP Tyler Jay
Indiana rSO RHP Jake Kelzer
Indiana JR LHP Scott Effross
Iowa JR RHP/C Blake Hickman
Maryland JR LHP Jake Drossner

I’ve noticed that I sometimes struggle when writing about players, hitters especially, that I really like. It’s almost like I don’t know what to say other than I just really, really like him. I just really, really like Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe. His tools don’t jump out at you, but they aren’t half-bad, either: lots of tools in the 45 to 55 range including his glove at second, arm strength, and foot speed. It’s the bat, of course, that makes him an all-caps FAVORITE. Lowe’s hit tool is no joke

Watching Lowe hit is a joy. There’s plenty of bat speed, consistent hard contact from barrel to ball, and undeniable plus pitch recognition. His ability to make adjustments from at bat to at bat and his impressive bat control make him a potentially well above-average big league hitter. And he just flat produces at every stop. He reminds me a good deal of an old favorite, Tommy La Stella. One scout who knew I liked Lowe to an almost unhealthy degree threw a Nick Punto (bat only) comp on him. Most fans would probably take that as an insult, but we both knew it was a compliment. Punto, love him or hate him, lasted 14 years in the big leagues and made over $20 million along the way. Punto’s best full seasons (2006 and 2008) serve as interesting goal posts for what Lowe could do if/when he reaches the top of the mountain. In those years Punto hit around .285/.350/.375. In today’s game that’s a top ten big league hitter at second base. Maybe I’m not crazy enough to project a top ten at his position future for Lowe, but he’ll make an outstanding consolation prize for any team who misses/passes on Alex Bregman, the consensus top college second base prospect, this draft. I’m also not quite crazy enough to think Lowe’s draft ceiling will match that of another similar prospect (Tony Renda of Cal, who went 80th overall in 2012), but the skill sets share a lot of commonalities. Lowe is a little bit like Houston C Ian Rice for me; both players are higher (and will continue to be higher) on my rankings than I’d imagine they’ll get selected in June. Getting one or both with a pick in the middle of the single-digit rounds would be a major victory.

Slow starts have plagued the rest of the top second base prospects in the conference. Minnesota JR 2B/SS Connor Schaefbauer is the consummate heady, athletic steady fielder that you like to see manning the keystone. Like Ohio State JR 2B/3B Troy Kuhn, his cleanest path to the big leagues would be as a utility player capable of manning all the important infield spots. Indiana SR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue was a sleeper of mine heading into last year after transferring in from LSU-Eunice, but he hasn’t made quite the impact I thought his tools would allow. But back to Lowe: I stayed up about fifteen minutes past my bedtime on a school night (!) to think about and then write about Lowe. That’s how much I like him. You might say things are getting serious between us.

Illinois JR C Jason Goldstein has scuffled to start the year, but that doesn’t dissuade me (much) of pumping him up as a quality big league contributor as he continues to develop. He’ll never be a plus offensively (though there is some bat speed to like here), but should be good enough to allow his strong defensive gifts to play. Michigan State SR C/1B Blaise Salter reminds me a little bit of Alex Bregman. I’ll pause for a second and let that ridiculous statement sink in. I’ve mentioned this before, but so many college-oriented analysts are quite vocal in their belief that Bregman will be able to stick at shortstop in the pros; pro guys, on the other hand, can’t wait to get him off the six-spot. As for Salter, most college guys you read and listen to will push the “hey, he’s improved a lot behind the plate and, sure, he’s not the most agile guy back there, but he’s a leader and pitchers like him, so maybe it’ll work” agenda. That’s cool and all, but then pro guys, literally to a man, respond with NOPE. I have him listed as a catcher for now because I think his drafting team will at least give it a shot. That’s because he might – and I can’t emphasis might enough – be playable back there, but also because it’s a bit of a stretch to imagine his bat playing anywhere else. It’s catcher or bust for Salter if he wants to climb the pro ladder. I actually like the hit tool more than most and think he’s a better athlete than given credit for, but it’ll come down to whether or not he’ll make enough contact to allow his plus power to go to use.

There are no first basemen of note in the Big 10 this year. I hate saying that and you know I’m rooting for somebody to emerge, but it doesn’t look great right now. I’ve been a fan of Michigan State SR 1B Ryan Krill in the past, but supporting that cause is getting harder and harder to justify as the years pass. Krill was a member of the 2011 MLB Draft class of high school first basemen that has flopped in a big way so far. It’s up to Travis Harrison (who I absolutely loved) to rediscover his power and Dan Vogelbach* (who I liked a lot then and still like today) to stay in reasonably good shape to carry this sad group of first basemen out of the doldrums. Krill can still bring the thunder, but contact is a problem and he too often gets himself in bad hitting counts. Here was his HS report from this very site back in the day…

Krill is another prospect I was slow to come around on, but I’m buying into his mix of strong defensive tools, super athleticism, and big upside with the bat. Like Jacob Anderson before him, he’s got the wheels and instincts to play some outfield as a pro. There is enough to like about Krill that you can dream on him being a league average hitter and above-average glove at first down the line if everything works out. That may not sound all that sexy, and there is plenty of risk involved with assuming “everything works out,” but you have to remember how much you have to hit if you want to play first base in the bigs. As much as I like Krill now, I’ll be the first to admit that each and every one of these mid-round high school first basemen will all have to make major strides in pro ball (i.e. have “everything work out”) to begin to reach their upper level projections. Life is tough when you don’t have a fallback plan, I guess.

Ohio State JR 1B/OF Zach Ratcliff is another former big-time HS prospect that hasn’t delivered in college. These are typically the guys I cling to long after they’ve shown they are overmatched. I’m trying to hang in there, honest.

The shortstop group in the conference is similar to the second baseman if you allow for the omission of a Brandon Lowe type prospect at the top. Illinois rSO SS Adam Walton comes closest to taking on that role as a fellow third-year sophomore with clear professional tools (speed, glove). I’ve neither seen nor heard much about Walton as a pro prospect just yet, but players who look like safe bets to stay up the middle with his kind of wheels and pop tend to get noticed over time.

I’ve written about Michigan JR 3B/SS Travis Maezes already, so I’ll just give the short version here: his skill set reminds me of the 25th pick of last year’s draft, Matt Chapman. The biggest noticeable difference in their games comes down to arm strength. Maezes has an outstanding arm, but it’s not in the same class as Chapman’s; that’s how crazy Chapman’s arm is. Besides that, the similarities are striking. I think Maezes has a chance to put an average hit tool with average power (maybe a half-grade above in each area) to good use as a professional ballplayer. Even if he doesn’t hit as much as I’ll think, his defensive value (good at third and playable at short, with intriguing unseen upside at 2B and C) should make him a positive player. It’s not the typical profile we think of as “high-floor,” but it works. I’ve talked to a few people who think I’m overstating Maezes’ upside as a pro. That’s fine and it’s relevant and I’m happy to hear from dissenting viewpoints. What I often hear next is what interests me the most. The majority of those who say I’m too high on Maezes have gone on to praise either Maryland JR 3B Jose Cuas or Ohio State 3B/1B Jake Bosiokovic as the better prospect. It’s not this simplistic, but I feel like if we had to boil those conversations down it would be an upside vs certainty debate. I think Maezes’ upside rivals those guys and he’s far more certain to produce positive value going forward; they think Maezes’ upside is limited when compared to Cuas and Bosiokovic, and that he’s far less likely (relative to what I’ve said) to reach that lesser ceiling anyway. Maybe. I get the appeal of Cuas (big raw power and a world of defensive tools) and Bosiokovic (athletic 6-6, 220 pound men who can reasonably stick at third are a rare breed), but, despite what I’ve heard, my loyalty to Maezes is unwavering. (For the record, I realize I’m not going out on a limb here and I’m not patting myself on the back for liking a player who is the consensus top third basemen in the conference. I’m just trying to share some opposing views I’ve personally heard. Also, I do think I like him more than most, but arguing degrees of “like” is a pretty silly exercise.)

In this class I look at Michigan State JR OF Cameron Gibson and see a slam dunk top five round draft prospect with the chance to play his way even higher (round two?). Judged solely as a hitter, however, smart people I’ve talked to liken him more to recent college players like Greg Allen, Tyler Holt, Mark Payton, and Taylor Dugas. Those guys, all favorites of mine once upon a time, were drafted in the sixth, fifth, seventh, and eighth rounds, respectively. I’m not sure what that necessarily says about Gibson’s draft stock (if anything!), so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. The “as a hitter” qualifier above is not to be missed. Gibson’s range in center isn’t nearly on the level of any of those players, with one scout simply telling me he was “fine in center, better in a corner.” That corners figures to be left field as his arm is his one clearly below-average tool. Everything else could play average or better making the strong, athletic Gibson a potential regular if he can stick in center. If not, then he could make it work as a regular left fielder in today’s new world order of reduced offense. A plus glove with upside at the plate in left is a property worth investing in these days. An unexpected but amusing comparison I’ve heard for Gibson’s ceiling is Brady Anderson (sans 50 HR season). I like it, though I’m not sure if projecting Anderson’s plate discipline (remember it being good, but shocked how good) on any young hitter is fair.

Iowa JR OF Joel Booker remains a bit of a mystery man to me, but crazy speed, premium athleticism, and considerable arm strength paint the picture of a strong overall prospect. Booker destroyed junior college ball the past two seasons (.403/.451/.699 last year) and has adjusted fairly well to big time college ball so far this year. The big question even as he was annihilating juco pitching was how his high-contact, minimal bases on ball approach would play as the competition tightened. It’s still a concern, but it might just be one of those tradeoffs we have to accept in a flawed prospect. Booker’s aggression nature defines him at the plate; pushing him into more of a leadoff approach could neuter his unusually adept bat-to-ball ability just as easily as it could take him to the next level as a prospect.

All of those names mentioned in the Cameron Gibson paragraph (Allen, Holt, Payton, Dugas) might better apply to Michigan SR OF Jackson Glines. Glines can chase balls down in center with the best of them where he is able to use his above-average foot speed and instincts to get balls others can’t. There aren’t too many senior signs in the country with his kind of future. Speed, CF range, patience, and pop = FAVORITE.

The next tier down of outfielders still has some players to watch. Maryland JR OF LaMonte Wade (arm, power, approach) has upside rivaled only by Cam Gibson among his outfield peers. Indiana rSR OF Scott Donley rolls out of bed ready to hit. Iowa SR OF/2B Eric Toole has speed, Maryland JR OF Anthony Papio has power, and Purdue JR OF Kyle Johnson has a little bit of everything, size included (6-5, 215).

I’m trying to find the right fact that shows how impressive the Big 10’s pitching this year is. Let’s see which sums it up the best…

The top ranked arm, Illinois JR LHP Tyler Jay, is an easy first round talent who could keep on striking guys out all the way into the top ten. That could be reason enough to be impressed with the Big 10’s pitching, but, wait, there’s more.

Jay is just one of literally a half-dozen lefthanded pitchers that I have at peaking with their fastballs at 94 or better. There’s Jay (97), Indiana JR LHP Scott Effross (94), Maryland JR LHP Jake Drossner (95), Maryland JR LHP Alex Robinson (96), Minnesota JR LHP Dalton Sawyer (94), and Illinois JR LHP Kevin Duchene (94).

One of my quick sorting tools when I’m looking at a class a year or more out (like I just finished up doing with the college class of 2016) is to start with any pitcher capable of throwing three average or better pitches. I had to do the same thing when figuring out how to prioritize this follow list. Jay, Indiana rSO RHP Jake Kelzer, Effross, Iowa JR RHP Blake Hickman, Drossner, Michigan JR RHP/3B Jacob Cronenworth, Duchene, Michigan State SR RHP Mick VanVossen, and Indiana JR RHP Christian Morris all fit the bill based on my notes.

The one-two-three punch of Jay, Hickman, and Cronenworth give the conference as much athleticism and theoretical two-way ability as any group of pitchers as you’d like to see. Jay is a plus athlete with legitimate plus speed, Hickman was once an honest to goodness catching prospect with big power and a plus arm (duh), and, despite a fascinating three-pitch mix (88-92, 94 peak; above-average breaking ball; above-average mid-80s split-CU) Cronenberg might currently be a better prospect as a position player (speed, arm strength, power). As somebody who values athleticism in pitchers very, very highly, this is some exciting stuff.

I’ve managed to namecheck eleven different pitchers so far without mentioning a certain SO RHP at Ohio State by the name of Travis Lakins. All Lakins is capable of is throwing darting mid-90s fastballs with above-average command, an average curve that flashes plus, and a raw but steadily improving changeup. No biggie.

To continue the “how can a guy this good be ranked so low?” theme, there’s are a pair of pitchers just outside of the top ten who have both hit as high as 97 with impressive breaking balls. That would be Maryland JR RHP Jared Price and Ohio State rSO RHP Shea Murray.

The aforementioned Duchene is next with his lively four-pitch mix and stellar track record of success. Then there’s Michigan State rSO LHP Cameron Vieaux, another southpaw who can get swings and misses both with the heat (88-92) and an above-average breaker (CB). It doesn’t hurt that he’s a 6-5, 200 pound athletic son of a gun, either.

I could go on and on and on. A few more quick notes…

I’m as shocked as anybody that I didn’t have Hickman, a massive personal favorite, behind Jay in the two spot. Those Indiana arms (Kelzer and Effross) just got too much love for the smart folks I talked to. Kelzer is the rare big pitcher (6-8, 235) with the fluidity and athleticism in his movements as a smaller man. I’ve yet to hear/see of a true offspeed pitch of note (he’s got the good hard slider and a promising slower curve), but something a touch softer (change, splitter) would be nice. Effross is a more traditionally easy to like prospect: lefthanded, damn good change, misses bats.

Maryland could stock a AA bullpen tomorrow. Jake Drossner has the stuff to start, but Alex Robinson, Kevin Mooney, Jared Price, and Zach Morris (and his comically oversized cell phone) all have at least the fastball/breaking ball combination that could get good pro hitters out right now.

(I wrote this about Jay earlier, but seeing as he’s the top guy I figure it didn’t hurt to run it again)

I guess I just find the case of Jay continuously flying just under the radar to be more bizarre than anything. I’m almost at the point where I’m starting to question what negatives I’m missing. A smart team in the mid- to late-first round is going to get a crazy value when Jay inevitably slips due to the unknown of how he’ll hold up as a starter. Between his extreme athleticism, a repertoire bursting at the seams with above-average to plus offerings (plus FB, above-average CB that flashes plus, above-average SL that flashes plus, average or better CU with plus upside), and dominant results to date at the college level (reliever or not), there’s little doubt in my mind that Jay can do big things in a big league rotation sooner rather than later. There two questions that will need to be answered as he gets stretched out as a starter will be how effective he’ll be going through lineups multiple times (with the depth of his arsenal I’m confident he’ll be fine here) and how hot his fastball will remain (and how crisp his breaking stuff stays) when pitch counts climb. That’s a tough one to answer at the present moment, but the athleticism, balance, and tempo in Jay’s delivery give me hope.

*I don’t know if this comp has ever been made – Google doesn’t seem to think so – but I see a lot of Brett Wallace, for better or worse, in Vogelbach. I say for better despite Wallace not working out professionally because I’m sure he was a well above-average first base bat in one of our world’s parallel universes. Or something like that. Anyway, Vogelbach’s minor league numbers to date: .285/.375/.481. Wallace is a career .304/.376/.480 minor league hitter. Hmm.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Michigan JR 3B/SS Travis Maezes
  2. Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe
  3. Michigan State JR OF Cameron Gibson
  4. Maryland JR 3B Jose Cuas
  5. Iowa JR OF Joel Booker
  6. Illinois JR C Jason Goldstein
  7. Michigan SR OF Jackson Glines
  8. Maryland JR OF/LHP LaMonte Wade
  9. Illinois rSO SS Adam Walton
  10. Michigan State SR C/1B Blaise Salter
  11. Indiana rSR OF Scott Donley
  12. Michigan State SR 1B Ryan Krill
  13. Minnesota JR 2B/SS Connor Schaefbauer
  14. Ohio State JR 2B/3B Troy Kuhn
  15. Iowa SR OF/2B Eric Toole
  16. Nebraska SR C Tanner Lubach
  17. Maryland JR OF Anthony Papio
  18. Indiana SR C/OF Brian Hartong
  19. Purdue JR OF/RHP Kyle Johnson
  20. Minnesota SR OF Jake Bergren
  21. Nebraska SR OF Austin Darby
  22. Illinois SR 1B/SS David Kerian
  23. Nebraska SR 3B/1B Blake Headley
  24. Maryland JR C Kevin Martir
  25. Ohio State JR 3B/1B Jake Bosiokovic
  26. Northwestern rSR C Scott Heelan
  27. Minnesota rSR SS Michael Handel
  28. Rutgers SR OF Vinny Zarrillo
  29. Iowa JR 1B/RHP Tyler Peyton
  30. Indiana SR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue
  31. Iowa SR OF Dan Potempa
  32. Illinois SR OF Casey Fletcher
  33. Ohio State SR C Aaron Gretz
  34. Nebraska JR 2B/SS Jake Placzek
  35. Nebraska SR SS Steven Reveles
  36. Iowa rSR 2B Jake Mangler
  37. Ohio State SR C Connor Sabanosh
  38. Penn State JR OF James Coates
  39. Ohio State JR 1B/OF Zach Ratcliff
  40. Michigan SR C/OF Kevin White
  41. Purdue JR 2B Michael Vilardo

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching 

  1. Illinois JR LHP Tyler Jay
  2. Indiana rSO RHP Jake Kelzer
  3. Indiana JR LHP Scott Effross
  4. Iowa JR RHP/C Blake Hickman
  5. Maryland JR LHP Jake Drossner
  6. Ohio State SO RHP Travis Lakins
  7. Maryland JR LHP Alex Robinson
  8. Maryland JR RHP Kevin Mooney
  9. Minnesota JR LHP Dalton Sawyer
  10. Michigan JR RHP/3B Jacob Cronenworth
  11. Maryland JR RHP Jared Price
  12. Ohio State rSO RHP Shea Murray
  13. Illinois JR LHP Kevin Duchene
  14. Michigan State rSO LHP Cameron Vieaux
  15. Nebraska SR RHP Josh Roeder
  16. Michigan State SR RHP Mick VanVossen
  17. Minnesota rJR RHP Lance Thonvold
  18. Nebraska JR RHP Colton Howell
  19. Illinois rSR RHP Drasen Johnson
  20. Indiana SR RHP Luke Harrison
  21. Iowa JR RHP Calvin Mathews
  22. Michigan State JR LHP Anthony Misiewicz
  23. Indiana JR RHP Christian Morris
  24. Iowa JR RHP Tyler Radtke
  25. Maryland rJR LHP Zach Morris
  26. Ohio State SR RHP Trace Dempsey
  27. Illinois rSR RHP/2B Reid Roper
  28. Northwestern SR RHP Brandon Magallones
  29. Nebraska SR LHP Kyle Kubat
  30. Michigan JR LHP Evan Hill
  31. Ohio State SR LHP Ryan Riga
  32. Ohio State JR RHP Jake Post
  33. Rutgers JR LHP Mark McCoy
  34. Michigan State rSR LHP/OF Jeff Kinley
  35. Nebraska SR RHP Chance Sinclair
  36. Indiana JR LHP Will Coursen-Carr
  37. Iowa SR RHP Nick Hibbing
  38. Maryland SR RHP Bobby Ruse
  39. Minnesota SR RHP Ben Meyer
  40. Indiana JR LHP Sullivan Stadler
  41. Illinois JR LHP JD Nielsen
  42. Illinois rSR LHP Rob McDonnell
  43. Indiana rSO RHP Thomas Belcher
  44. Indiana JR RHP Evan Bell
  45. Indiana rJR LHP Kyle Hart
  46. Indiana rSR RHP Ryan Halstead
  47. Michigan rJR RHP Matthew Ogden
  48. Minnesota rJR LHP Jordan Jess
  49. Rutgers rSO LHP Max Herrmann
  50. Indiana rSO RHP Kent Williams
  51. Iowa JR LHP Ryan Erickson

2015 MLB Draft Prospects – Big 10 Follow List


JR LHP Tyler Jay (2015)
JR LHP Kevin Duchene (2015)
SR RHP John Kravetz (2015)
rSR RHP Drasen Johnson (2015)
JR LHP JD Nielsen (2015)
JR RHP Nick Blackburn (2015)
rSR LHP Rob McDonnell (2015)
rJR RHP Charlie Naso (2015)
SR RHP/1B Josh Ferry (2015)
rSR RHP/2B Reid Roper (2015)
JR C Jason Goldstein (2015)
SR 1B/SS David Kerian (2015)
SR 2B Michael Hurwitz (2015)
rSR C Kelly Norris-Jones (2015)
rSO SS Adam Walton (2015)
JR OF/1B Ryan Nagle (2015)
SR OF Will Krug (2015)
SR OF Casey Fletcher (2015)
SO RHP Cody Sedlock (2016)


JR LHP Scott Effross (2015)
rSO RHP Jake Kelzer (2015)
rSO RHP Thomas Belcher (2015)
rSR RHP Ryan Halstead (2015)
rJR LHP Kyle Hart (2015)
SR RHP Luke Harrison (2015)
JR LHP Will Coursen-Carr (2015)
JR RHP Christian Morris (2015)
rSO RHP Kent Williams (2015)
JR LHP Sullivan Stadler (2015)
JR RHP Evan Bell (2015)
rSR OF Scott Donley (2015)
SR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue (2015)
SR C/OF Brian Hartong (2015)
rSR OF Will Nolden (2015)
SR OF Chris Sujka (2015)
JR SS/2B Nick Ramos (2015)
rFR LHP Austin Foote (2016)
rFR C Brent Gibbs (2016)
SO 1B/SS Austin Cangelosi (2016)
SO OF Craig Dedelow (2016)
FR OF Logan Sowers (2017)
FR OF Larry Crisler (2017)
FR OF Laren Eustace (2017)
FR RHP Brian Hobbie (2017)
FR 3B Isaiah Pasteur (2017)


JR RHP/C Blake Hickman (2015)
SR RHP Nick Hibbing (2015)
SR LHP Andrew Hedrick (2015)
JR RHP Calvin Mathews (2015)
JR LHP Ryan Erickson (2015)
JR RHP Tyler Radtke (2015)
rJR LHP/OF Taylor Kaufman (2015)
JR 1B/RHP Tyler Peyton (2015)
SR OF/2B Eric Toole (2015)
rSR 2B Jake Mangler (2015)
SR OF Kris Goodman (2015)
SR OF Dan Potempa (2015)
JR OF Joel Booker (2015)
JR C Jimmy Frankos (2015)
rSO SS/RHP Josh Martsching (2015)


JR LHP Jake Drossner (2015)
JR LHP Alex Robinson (2015)
JR RHP Kevin Mooney (2015)
JR RHP Jared Price (2015)
rJR LHP Zach Morris (2015)
SR RHP Bobby Ruse (2015)
JR OF/LHP LaMonte Wade (2015)
JR 3B Jose Cuas (2015)
JR C Kevin Martir (2015)
rSO 2B Brandon Lowe (2015)
JR OF Anthony Papio (2015)
SO C/1B Nick Cieri (2016)
SO RHP Mike Shawaryn (2016)
SO LHP Tayler Stiles (2016)
rFR 1B Matt Oniffey (2016)
FR C Justin Morris (2017)
FR LHP Willie Rios (2017)
FR 2B/SS Andrew Bechtold (2017)
FR OF Zach Jancarski (2017)
FR SS Kevin Smith (2017)
FR RHP Taylor Bloom (2017)
FR RHP Tyler Brandon (2017)
FR OF Kengo Kawahara (2017)
FR RHP Brian Shaffer (2017)
FR OF Jamal Wade (2017)
FR LHP Jack Piekos (2017)


rJR RHP Matthew Ogden (2015)
JR LHP Evan Hill (2015)
SR RHP Donnie Eaton (2015)
JR RHP/3B Jacob Cronenworth (2015)
JR 3B/SS Travis Maezes (2015)
SR C/OF Kevin White (2015)
SR OF Jackson Glines (2015)
SR 1B/OF Kyle Jusick (2015)
SO LHP Brett Adcock (2016)
SO RHP/OF Jackson Lamb (2016)
SO RHP Mac Lozer (2016)
SO OF Johnny Slater (2016)
SO RHP Keith Lehmann (2016)
SO INF/OF Carmen Benedetti (2016)
SO INF Ramsey Romano (2016)
SO RHP/SS Hector Gutierrez (2016)
SO C Harrison Wenson (2016)
FR C/3B Drew Lugbauer (2017)
FR RHP Jayce Vancena (2017)
FR LHP Grant Reuss (2017)
FR RHP Ryan Nutof (2017)
FR RHP Bryan Pall (2017)
FR 2B Jake Bivens (2017)

Michigan State

SR C Blaise Salter (2015)
SR 1B Ryan Krill (2015)
rSR 3B Mark Weist (2015)
rSR SS Ryan Richardson (2015)
SR OF Anthony Cheky (2015)
JR OF Cameron Gibson (2015)
JR 3B/SS Justin Hovis (2015)
SR RHP Mick VanVossen (2015)
rSR LHP/OF Jeff Kinley (2015)
rSO LHP Cameron Vieaux (2015)
JR LHP Anthony Misiewicz (2015)
rFR RHP Dakota Mekkes (2016)
SO LHP Joe Mockbee (2016)
SO RHP Jake Lowery (2016)
SO RHP Walter Borkovich (2016)
FR LHP Keegan Baar (2017)
FR LHP/OF Brandon Hughes (2017)
FR LHP Alex Troop (2017)
FR RHP Andrew Gonzalez (2017)


rJR RHP Lance Thonvold (2015)
JR LHP Dalton Sawyer (2015)
rJR LHP Jordan Jess (2015)
SR RHP Ben Meyer (2015)
rJR RHP Ty McDevitt (2015)
SR RHP Neal Kunik (2015)
rSR SS Michael Handel (2015)
SR OF Jake Bergren (2015)
JR 2B/SS Connor Schaefbauer (2015)
JR OF Dan Motl (2015)
SR 2B/OF Tony Skjefte (2015)
rSO OF Jordan Smith (2015)
rSO C/OF Troy Traxler (2015)
SO RHP/1B Tyler Hanson (2016)
SO RHP/OF Matt Fiedler (2016)
SO RHP Toby Anderson (2016)
SO RHP Cody Campbell (2016)
SO C Austin Athmann (2016)
SO RHP Brian Glowicki (2016)
FR OF Alex Boxwell (2017)
FR 1B/C Toby Hanson (2017)
FR 3B Micah Coffey (2017)
FR LHP Lucas Gilbreath (2017)
FR RHP Reggie Meyer (2017)


SR RHP Josh Roeder (2015)
SR LHP Kyle Kubat (2015)
SR RHP Chance Sinclair (2015)
JR RHP Jeff Chesnut (2015)
JR RHP Colton Howell (2015)
rJR LHP/1B Austin Christensen (2015)
SR C Tanner Lubach (2015)
SR OF Austin Darby (2015)
SR SS Steven Reveles (2015)
OF/LHP Christian Cox (2015)
SR 3B/1B Blake Headley (2015)
JR 2B/SS Jake Placzek (2015)
SO OF Ryan Boldt (2016)
SO LHP Max Knutson (2016)
SO RHP Derek Burkamper (2016)
SO LHP/1B Ben Miller (2016)
SO RHP Jake Hohensee (2016)
FR 1B/3B Scott Schreiber (2017)
FR OF Elijah Diday (2017)
FR OF Luis Alvarado (2017)
FR RHP Zack Engelken (2017)
FR RHP Garret King (2017)


SR 3B Reid Hunter (2015)
JR 3B/OF Jake Schieber (2015)
rSR C Scott Heelan (2015)
JR 1B/OF Zach Jones (2015)
SR OF Luke Dauch (2015)
JR OF Jack Mitchell (2015)
SR RHP Brandon Magallones (2015)
JR LHP Matt Portland (2015)
JR LHP Reed Mason (2015)
SO OF/C Joe Hoscheit (2016)
SO OF/LHP Matt Hopfner (2016)
SO RHP Joe Schindler (2016)

Ohio State

SO RHP Travis Lakins (2015)
SR RHP Trace Dempsey (2015)
rSO RHP Shea Murray (2015)
SR LHP Ryan Riga (2015)
JR RHP Jake Post (2015)
rJR LHP Michael Horejsei (2015)
JR 1B/OF Zach Ratcliff (2015)
SR C Aaron Gretz (2015)
SR C Connor Sabanosh (2015)
rJR 1B/3B Ryan Leffel (2015)
SR OF Patrick Porter (2015)
JR 3B/1B Jake Bosiokovic (2015)
JR 2B/3B Troy Kuhn (2015)
JR 3B Craig Nennig (2015)
rJR 3B Nick Sergakis (2015)
SO OF Ronnie Dawson (2016)
SO OF Troy Montgomery (2016)
SO LHP/OF Tanner Tully (2016)
SO RHP/1B Curtiss Irving (2016)

Penn State

rJR OF Greg Guers (2015)
JR OF James Coates (2015)
SR 1B JJ White (2015)
rJR OF Ryan Richter (2015)
rSO 3B Christian Helsel (2015)
JR RHP Jack Anderson (2015)
JR LHP Nick Hedge (2015)
rSR LHP Geoff Boylston (2015)
FR LHP Taylor Lehman (2017)
FR RHP Sal Biasi (2017)
FR RHP Nick Distasio (2017)


SR RHP Brett Haan (2015)
SR RHP Joe Eichmann (2015)
rJR RHP Gavin Downs (2015)
rSR RHP Matt Gibbs (2015)
rJR 1B/LHP Kyle Wood (2015)
JR OF/RHP Kyle Johnson (2015)
JR C/OF Jack Picchiotti (2015)
JR 2B/OF Cody Strong (2015)
SR 3B/SS Brandon Krieg (2015)
JR 2B Michael Vilardo (2015)
SO RHP Matt Frawley (2016)
FR SS/2B Harry Shipley (2017)


SR OF Vinny Zarrillo (2015)
JR 3B/C RJ Devish (2015)
SR RHP Jon Young (2015)
JR LHP Mark McCoy (2015)
JR LHP Howie Brey (2015)
rSO LHP Max Herrmann (2015)
SO SS/RHP Christian Campbell (2016)
SO C/1B Chris Folinusz (2016)
SO OF Mike Carter (2016)
SO OF Tom Marcinczyk (2016)
SO RHP Sean Kelly (2016)
SO RHP/2B Gaby Rosa (2016)
SO LHP Ryan Fleming (2016)

2014 MLB Draft (And Beyond) – Big 10 Follow List

One of the few questions I occasionally get asked is often the simple “I’m seeing ______ this weekend. Do they have anybody worth watching?” Here’s your answer for the Big 10…


JR RHP John Kravetz
SR RHP Ronnie Muck
rJR RHP Drasen Johnson
JR RHP/1B Josh Ferry
rJR RHP/2B Reid Roper
JR SS David Kerian
JR INF Michael Hurwitz
rJR C Kelly Norris-Jones
SO C Jason Goldstein (2015)
SO LHP JD Nielsen (2015)
SO RHP Ryan Castellanos (2015)
SO SS Adam Walton (2015)
SO OF/1B Ryan Nagle (2015)
SO LHP Kevin Duchene (2015)
SO LHP Tyler Jay (2015)
SO RHP Nick Blackburn (2015)
FR RHP Cody Sedlock (2016)


JR 1B/C Kyle Schwarber
SR 3B/SS Dustin DeMuth
JR 1B/3B Sam Travis
rJR OF Scott Donley
JR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue
JR C Brian Hartong
rJR OF Will Nolden
JR OF Chris Sujka
rSR OF Casey Smith
JR 2B/C Chad Clark
SR RHP Ryan Halstead
SR LHP Joey DeNato
SR LHP Brian Korte
JR LHP Kyle Hart
SO LHP Will Coursen-Carr (2015)
SO RHP Christian Morris (2015)
rFR RHP Kent Williams (2015)
SO 2B/SS Nick Ramos (2015)
SO LHP Scott Effross (2015)
SO LHP Sully Stadler (2015)
rFR RHP Jake Kelzer (2015)
FR SS Austin Cangelosi (2016)


JR LHP Sasha Kuebel
JR RHP Nick Hibbing
JR LHP Andrew Hedrick
JR LHP/OF Taylor Kaufman
JR OF/2B Eric Toole
SR 1B/C Trevor Kenyon
SO RHP/C Blake Hickman (2015)
SO RHP Calvin Mathews (2015)
SO SS/RHP Josh Martsching (2015)


SR C Cole Martin
JR C/OF Kevin White
JR OF Jackson Glines
JR OF Zach Zott
JR LHP Kyle Jusick
SR RHP/1B Alex Lakatos
rSR LHP Logan McAnallen
JR LHP Trent Szkutnik
JR RHP Matthew Ogden
JR RHP James Bourque
SO LHP Evan Hill (2015)
SO 3B/RHP Jacob Cronenworth (2015)
SO SS/3B Travis Maezes (2015)
FR RHP/INF Jackson Lamb (2016)
FR OF Johnny Slater (2016)
FR INF Ramsey Romano (2016)
FR RHP/SS Hector Gutierrez (2016)

Michigan State

JR OF/C Jimmy Pickens
JR 1B Ryan Krill
SR C/1B Joel Fisher
rSR C/OF John Martinez
rJR SS Ryan Richardson
JR C/1B Blaise Salter
JR OF Anthony Cheky
rJR LHP/OF Jeff Kinley
rSR RHP Michael Theodore
JR RHP Mick VanVossen
SO 3B/SS Justin Hovis (2015)
SO LHP Anthony Misiewicz (2015)
SO OF Cameron Gibson (2015)
rFR LHP Cameron Vieaux (2015)
SO RHP Justin Alleman (2015)
rFR INF Alex Rapanos (2015)
FR Jake Lowery (2016)
FR Walter Borkovich (2016)


SR 1B Alex LaShomb
rSR 1B/OF Dan Olinger
rJR 1B/2B Kyle Crocker
SR C Matt Halloran
SR OF Bobby Juan
rJR SS Michael Handel
JR OF Jake Bergren
rSO LHP Jordan Jess
rSO RHP Lance Thonvold
JR RHP Ben Meyer
SR RHP Alec Crawford
JR RHP Ty McDevitt
SO SS/2B Connor Schaefbauer (2015)
SO OF Dan Motl (2015)
SO LHP Dalton Sawyer (2015)
FR RHP/1B Tyler Hansen (2016)
FR RHP/INF Matt Fiedler (2016)
FR RHP Toby Anderson (2016)
FR RHP Cody Campbell (2016)


JR 2B/SS Pat Kelly
SR OF Mike Pritchard
JR OF Austin Darby
JR SS Steven Reveles
JR C Tanner Lubach
SR C Corey Stringer
JR INF Blake Headley
rSO LHP/1B Austin Christensen
rSR RHP Robert Greco
JR LHP Aaron Bummer
JR LHP Kyle Kubat
JR RHP Chance Sinclair
SR LHP Tyler King
SR LHP Zach Hirsch
SR RHP Christian Deleon
JR RHP Josh Roeder
SR RHP Luke Bublitz
SO SS Jake Placzek (2015)
FR OF Ryan Boldt (2016)
FR LHP Max Knutson (2016)
FR RHP Derek Burkamper (2016)
FR LHP Grant Gamble (2016)
FR LHP Ben Miller (2016)


JR 3B Reid Hunter
SR 2B/RHP Kyle Ruchim
SR RHP/OF Jack Quigley
SR LHP Dan Tyson
SR RHP Ethan Bramschreiber
JR RHP Brandon Magallones
SO 3B/OF Jake Schieber (2015)
SO LHP Matt Portland (2015)
SO LHP Reed Mason (2015)
FR OF Joe Hoscheit (2016)

Ohio State

SR RHP Greg Greve
JR LHP Ryan Riga
rJR RHP/1B Josh Dezse
JR RHP Trace Dempsey
SO 1B/OF Zach Ratcliff
SR OF Tim Wetzel
JR C Aaron Gretz
JR C Connor Sabanosh
rSO INF Ryan Leffel
JR OF Patrick Porter
SO 3B/1B Jake Bosiokovic (2015)
SO RHP Jake Post (2015)
SO SS/2B Troy Kuhn (2015)
SO 3B Craig Nennig (2015)
FR OF Troy Montgomery (2016)
FR Zach Farmer (2016)

Penn State

SR LHP Greg Welsh
rSR OF Steve Snyder
SR C Alex Farkes
rSO OF Greg Guers
SO OF James Coates (2015)
FR INF Jake Pribanic (2016)


rSO RHP Connor Podkul
SO LHP Jordan Minch
JR RHP Brett Haan
rSO LHP/OF Kyle Wood
SR C/OF Sean McHugh
SO OF/RHP Kyle Johnson (2015)
SO C/OF Jack Pichiotti (2015)

2012 MLB Draft: Big 10 Pitchers to Know

Three giant tiers of Big 10 pitching can be found mere centimeters below this paragraph. I know what you’re thinking: what a great time to be alive. The first group is made up of pitchers whom I’d cautiously list as “likely” to get drafted in June, but, really, there is little to no consensus about which pitchers will have the best pro future from this conference. Even the “likely” list is full of names that could wait a very, very long time on draft day, if they get picked at all. In an attempt to clarify the muddled Big 10 pitching picture, I talked to a few cold weather baseball moles who have seen multiple guys on the list up close. I had hoped that their head-to-head (arm-to-arm?) comparisons would shed a little light on the subject, but, no, the wildly different viewpoints I got back have just confused me even more. A few of their insights, all of which I personally disagree with: 1) Wittgren is a stone cold lock to be drafted, but is by no means a professional starting pitching prospect; 2) Oakes is severely underrated and has a chance to be the first Big 10 pitcher off the board, and 3) there will be more Big 10 senior pitchers taken early on than juniors, due to a combination of the new draft rules and the relative strength of the senior class.

Tier 1

  1. Purdue JR RHP Nick Wittgren
  2. Illinois JR RHP Matt Milroy
  3. Nebraska JR RHP Thomas Lemke
  4. Michigan JR RHP Ben Ballantine
  5. Purdue JR RHP Brad Schreiber
  6. Michigan rSR RHP Kolby Wood
  7. Nebraska JR RHP Travis Huber
  8. Michigan State rSO RHP Michael Theodore
  9. Michigan State SR RHP Tony Bucciferro
  10. Ohio State rJR RHP Brad Goldberg
  11. Michigan SR RHP Brandon Sinnery
  12. Michigan rSR RHP Travis Smith
  13. Minnesota JR RHP TJ Oakes
  14. Iowa JR LHP Matt Dermody
  15. Penn State rSO LHP Joe Kurrasch
  16. Ohio State JR RHP Brett McKinney
  17. Indiana SR RHP Chad Martin
  18. Michigan State JR RHP Tony Wieber
  19. Nebraska JR RHP Kyle Hander
  20. Illinois JR RHP Kevin Johnson
  21. Ohio State SR LHP Andrew Armstrong
  22. Illinois rJR RHP Bryan Roberts
  23. Penn State JR RHP John Walter

There’s definitely some talented arms scattered throughout the Big 10 this year, but the majority profile as relievers at the next level. The best bet to reach the bigs as a starting pitcher is current Boilermakers reliever Wittgren, who has had success based largely on a strong three-pitch mix (low-90s fastball, good mid-70s curve, and average upper-70s change) and command well suited for a starter. Milroy’s above-average stuff (big fastball, wipeout slider) has not been nearly consistent enough to help him actually produce on the field. Lemke and Ballentine are both blessed with great size (6’7” and 6’8” respectively) and solid stuff (upper-80s fastballs, good changeups), but, like Milroy, haven’t put up particularly impressive starts to their 2012 campaigns. Ballentine’s teammate Wood is impressive (plus FB movement, nasty SL, splitter that flashes plus), but not on the mound enough to show off his wares. Schreiber is a speculative pick based on his outstanding fastball, a legitimate plus-plus pitch explosive offering. His lack of a consistent second pitch would hold him back even if healthy, but scouts will no doubt be hesitant to recommend him based on limited pre-Tommy John surgery looks last season.

Tier 2 is full of “maybes,” while Tier 3 is chock full of longer shots picked mostly due to solid college production.

Tier 2

  • Northwestern rJR RHP Zach Morton
  • Purdue SR RHP Lance Breedlove
  • Minnesota SR RHP Austin Lubinsky
  • Michigan rSO LHP Logan McAnallen
  • Michigan JR RHP Kyle Clark
  • Indiana SO LHP Joey DeNato
  • Illinois SR RHP Will Strack
  • Northwestern JR RHP Luke Farrell
  • Minnesota JR RHP Drew Ghelfi

Tier 3

  • Michigan SR RHP Kevin Vangheluwe
  • Purdue rSR LHP Calvin Gunter
  • Northwestern SR RHP Michael Jahns
  • Indiana JR RHP Jonny Hoffman
  • Penn State JR RHP Neal Herring
  • Northwestern SR RHP Francis Brooke
  • Northwestern JR LHP Jack Havey
  • Penn State JR RHP Steven Hill
  • Penn State SR LHP Mike Franklin
  • Purdue SR LHP Blake Mascarello
  • Purdue SR RHP Joe Haase
  • Purdue rJR RHP Robert Ramer
  • Nebraska JR RHP Tyler Niederklein
  • Nebraska JR RHP Dylan Vogt
  • Iowa SR LHP Jarred Hippen
  • Iowa SR RHP Nick Brown
  • Michigan rJR LHP Bobby Brosnahan
  • Minnesota JR RHP Billy Soule
  • Michigan State SR RHP Tim Simpson
  • Michigan State JR RHP Andrew Waszak

2012 MLB Draft: Big 10 Position Players of Note

As a lifelong resident of the northeastern corner of the United States, I’ve got nothing but love for cold weather college baseball. The Big 10 is always good for a few quality prospects each year (19 players were drafted in 2011), but rarely do we see any impact (i.e. early round) prospects pass through the conference. That’s likely the case once again in 2012, though the first name you’ll read below (or not, if you stop reading right…now) has the best chance of slipping into the draft’s first day than any other Big 10 player. Below you’ll find what I’m sure is an incomplete list (in a somewhat odd twist I find that the fewer legitimate prospects are in a conference, the more I tend to overlook/overrate) of this year’s most interesting Big 10 position player follows. There are surely some players who slipped through the cracks, so feel free to yell at me in the comments or via email if something seems off.


  1. Purdue JR C Kevin Plawecki
  2. Nebraska JR C Richard Stock
  3. Michigan SR C Coley Crank
  • Iowa JR C Dan Sheppard
  • Michigan rSO C Zach Johnson

Plawecki has gotten attention from smart fans of cold weather college ball for starting the season white hot, but he’s due for some additional national exposure, especially as we get closer to draft day. There are definite faults to his game – he’s still raw behind the plate and his power upside has been questioned by scouts smarter than me – but I’m a believer in his improved footwork and quick release, as well as the way his selective approach helps him key on pitches he can drive to the gaps. In other words, what he lacks in certain raw tools (arm strength, power) he makes up for in other ways. There’s a lot to like here. I’ve heard mixed reports on Stock’s defense this spring, though it doesn’t appear that he has had much of an opportunity to show off behind the plate given Nebraska’s depth at the position. If pro teams think he can catch – he certainly has the arm strength for it – then he’s an interesting mid-round upside pick due to his intriguing raw power. If he’s limited to first base, then he’ll face a much tougher road. Crank’s defense has never been his forte and reports on his ability to hit anything but meatballs are not encouraging.

First Basemen

  1. Northwestern SR 1B Paul Snieder
  • Penn State SR 1B Joey DeBernardis

Snieder is a really good college player, but his tools are all a little light to profile as a big league player. He might have just enough pop to get drafted, and his defense and arm are both clear strengths.

Second Basemen

  1. Michigan State rJR 2B Ryan Jones
  2. Indiana JR 2B Micah Johnson
  3. Purdue rSR 2B Eric Charles
  • Ohio State JR 2B Kirby Pellant
  • Nebraska JR 2B Bryan Peters
  • Ohio State JR 2B Ryan Cypret

Jones, Johnson, and Charles all make up one of the most intriguing below the radar position groups that we’ve profiled so far. Jones may not have a singular standout tool, but, outside of a lack of big raw power, he is more or less average across the board, including being above-average defensively at both second and third. As much as it pains me to resort to such an empty cliché, Jones is a ballplayer, plain and simple. Johnson has more raw power, but isn’t quite the defender that Jones is. Charles may not profile as quite the offensive player as either Jones or Johnson, but his defense at second is outstanding.


  1. Michigan JR SS Derek Dennis
  2. Minnesota rJR SS Troy Larson
  • Michigan State SR SS Justin Scanlon

At some point we’re all going to collectively give up on Dennis as a pro prospect, but his well-rounded tools – I’ll believe in his ability to defend at a high level up the middle from now until forever – keep him on the radar even thought his college performances have been one disappointment after another.

Third Basemen

  1. Purdue JR 3B Cameron Perkins
  2. Illinois rSO 3B Jordan Parr
  3. Penn State SR 3B Jordan Steranka
  • Ohio State JR 3B Brad Hallberg
  • Purdue SR 3B Barrett Serrato
  • Minnesota SR 3B Kyle Geason
  • Nebraska JR 3B Kurt Farmer
  • Michigan SR 3B John Lorenz
  • Minnesota rJR 3B Matt Puhl

Perkins is the clear BMOC of the Big 10 third base group due to his above-average raw power, quick wrists, and sturdy big league frame. He might be best served working out as a four-corners (LF-RF-3B-1B) role player at the next level. Like Perkins, Parr is a free swinger with power, but his athleticism and versatility on defense are what endear him most to scouts.


  1. Michigan State JR OF Torsten Boss
  2. Nebraska rSO OF Kash Kalkowski
  3. Michigan JR OF Patrick Biondi
  4. Illinois SR OF Willie Argo
  5. Indiana JR OF Justin Cureton
  6. Nebraska JR OF Josh Scheffert
  7. Minnesota rSO OF Dan Olinger
  8. Illinois JR OF Davis Hendrickson
  9. Nebraska SR OF Khiry Cooper
  • Nebraska SR OF Kale Kiser
  • Ohio State rSO OF Mike Carroll
  • Minnesota JR OF Ryan Abrahamson
  • Michigan State JR OF Jordan Keur
  • Penn State SR OF Sean Deegan
  • Penn State JR OF Ryan Clark
  • Purdue SR OF Tyler Spillner
  • Purdue JR OF Stephen Talbott

The top two names on the list, Boss and Kalkowski, are both former and, depending on who winds up drafting them, future infielders. Boss, a converted third baseman, has acquitted himself quite well in center despite not being a classic burner with plus range. His bat might be strong enough even if pushed to a corner at the next level. Kalkowski is a great athlete with good raw power who could be tried at second base in the pros. Biondi is a three-true outcomes player, but only if you doctor the definition to include walks, strikeouts, and stolen bases. Without actually doing the research, I’d wager that Biondi’s 31 combined walks and strikeouts rank up at or near the top of all of college baseball. He’s reached based 46 times so far in 2012 and has stolen a base almost one out of every three times he’s done so. Without any type of context I can’t be sure that those numbers are special in any particular way, but they sure do seem impressive. Those last three sentences almost certainly qualify as only interesting to me, and I apologize. As a prospect, Biondi gives you lots of speed and all kinds of range in center. He won’t hit enough to be a regular, but those two carrying tools could carry him right into a fifth outfielder’s job someday. Argo offers a similar skill set (less arm strength, more physical strength), as does Cureton. Scheffert’s hot start has some believing he is finally beginning to turn his considerable tools into something while Olinger keeps hitting despite not being super toolsy himself. Khiry Cooper gets the last spot even though he has given up baseball for football. Hard to find his brand of athleticism on the diamond, so I could see a team taking a flier on him late.