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2010 MLB Draft: Big 12 Shortstops

I’m digging these quick looks at different 2010 MLB Draft position groups, so let’s keep it going with a look at the handful of Big 12 draft-eligible shortstops of note. I think this group is actually a touch better on the whole than the ACC quartet, but I’m probably splitting hairs with that assessment considering the most probable career path of the eight players listed so far would be considered under the umbrella category of “utility player of varying value.” Speaking of the ACC list from yesterday, a comp for one of the players on the list came to mind last night: Tim Smalling as the college version of Tampa’s Reid Brignac. Bit of a stretch, perhaps, but there are some similar tool-based similarities between the two. Just a thought.

Texas A&M JR SS Kenny Jackson
Height, Weight: 6-4, 195
Birth Date: 7/2/89 (Age-20 season)

JR – .421/.511/.447 (7 BB/4 K; 1-1 SB)

The former Alvin College shortstop reminds me of current Cardinals starter Brendan Ryan. Both players are smooth defenders, possess strong arms, bigger than usual shortstop frames, and enough offensive skills and defensive consistency to provide value as a starter. Jackson hasn’t put up big power numbers in 2010, but showed off enough pop prior to joining the Aggies to have some observers (myself included) buy in to his double digit home run potential as a professional. Like the vast majority of the college shortstops on this list, Jackson’s clearest path to the big leagues will be as a utility player with a strong glove. Unlike so many of the others, however, Jackson has clear starter upside at the position if he continue to tap into his above-average tools.

Kansas State JR SS Carter Jurica
Height, Weight: 5-11, 185
Birth Date: 9/23/88 (Age-21 season)

FR – .240/.329/.360 (15 BB/23 K; 9-14 SB)
SO – .353/.437/.492 (26 BB/45 K; 23-32 SB)
JR – .432/.495/.662 (11 BB/9 K; 10-13 SB)

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. The raw tools are there for Jurica to succeed professionally, but it’ll take a team buying in to his long-range projection if he wants to sneak up into the top ten rounds this June.

Kansas JR SS Brandon Macias
Height, Weight: 5-10, 183
Birth Date: 10/10/88 (Age-21 season)

JR – .213/.261/.262 (3 BB/10 K; 0-0 SB)

There is certainly an argument that could be made for Macias to sit atop this particular shortstop list, what with his excellent defensive tools and true plus arm strength and accuracy, but the early season struggles of the former Arizona State enrollee and South Mountain CC shortstop give me pause. Macias has received universal praise for his outstanding work ethic and love of the game, and his big first year playing for South Mountain (in a wood bat league, no less) had scouts thinking they were watching a future everyday shortstop in the making. A disappointing sophomore season chock full of struggles due in large part to a nagging hamstring injury took him off the radar to some degree, but, despite the down year, Macias showed off enough evidence that he’s a player with all five tools (in addition to the aforementioned defensive gifts, Macias has above-average speed and good gap power) present in his game. Kansas has a surprisingly rich recent history of shortstops drafted into the professional ranks, a factor that can only help Macias this June. Many talent evaluators look for programs that have coaching staffs with reputations coaching up certain positions or player types; in this way, Kansas’ strong track record developing up the middle types could be Macias’ gain this June.

Texas Tech SR SS Joey Kenworthy
Height, Weight: 5-5, 160
Birth Date: 6/6/88 (Age-22 season)

FR – .182/.262/.255 (4 BB/6 K; 1-1 SB)
SO – .313/.431/.411 (39 BB/20 K; 5-6 SB)
JR – .335/.363/.417 (12 BB/24 K; 5-7 SB)
SR – .303/.444/.461 (14 BB/8 K; 3-6 SB)

No, Kenworthy isn’t the water boy, scorekeeper, or equipment manager, thanks so much for asking. Opposing fans do a double take when the 5-5, 160 pound Kenworthy steps up to the plate for the first time, but his solid defense and not completely worthless bat (how’s that for a ringing endorsement?) typically give him the last laugh. I wonder if Kenworthy’s draft stock would have been higher if he was a senior coming out of school at the height of post-World Series Angels victory induced David Eckstein craze of a few years ago. As it stands, his draft prospects are touch and go, but a continuation of his improved senior year numbers might be enough to sneak him into the last few rounds this year.

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2010 College Baseball Week Four – Big 12 Edition

Here we go again. This time, the Big 12 gets a shot. I’ll save you some time and just tell you this now – Taylor Jungmann is good. Hope that doesn’t ruin the surprise…

Texas

Friday: SO RHP Taylor Jungmann (Texas): 7.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 17 K
Saturday: SO SS Brandon Loy (Texas): 3-4, 2 2B, 3 SB, 2 BB, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Cole Green (Texas): 7 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 9 K
Saturday: JR RHP Brandon Workman (Texas): 6.2 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 8 K
Sunday: FR OF Cohl Walla (Texas): 3-4, HR, SB, 5 RBI, R
Sunday: JR 1B Tant Shepherd (Texas): 3-6, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR LHP Hoby Milner (Texas): 4.1 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K

Clearly annoyed by all the early 2011 hype heaped upon Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, Taylor Jungmann had his say on Friday night. Cole’s 15 strikeout night looks downright puny in comparison and all that Rendon fella ever does is walk. What a bunch of amateurs. I, for one, welcome our new Longhorn overlord.

Kansas

Friday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 BB, SB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Friday: JR RHP TJ Walz (Kansas): 6 IP 9 H 7 ER 1 BB 7 K
Friday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 2.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K
Saturday: JR OF Casey Lytle (Kansas): 2-4, BB, R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brett Bochy (Kansas): 1.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 0 K

I’ve mentioned Bochy before, but check out Bruce’s son’s season line so far: 9 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 19 K. Those numbers are even better than a typical Jungmann/Cole start! It’s getting easier and easier to envision Bochy cracking the top ten rounds as a potential quick moving power reliever. Walz is an underrated arm who is talented enough to start professionally.

Oklahoma

Friday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 3-3, 2B, HBP, 5 RBI, 2 R
Friday: SO CF Chris Ellison (Oklahoma): 3-6, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Garrett Buechele (Oklahoma): 3-5, 3 RBI, R
Saturday: SO 1B Cameron Seitzer (Oklahoma): 1-3, HR, BB, RBI, R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Shore (Oklahoma): 7 IP 6 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K
Sunday: SR RHP Jeremy Erben (Oklahoma): 4.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K

Cameron Seitzer is quickly becoming one of my favorite 2011 college bats; he’s the rare amateur prospect with a bat that could play at first base professionally. Buechele’s upside with the bat isn’t quite as high, but his ability to capably handle a more demanding defensive position earns him much needed brownie points.

Oklahoma State

Friday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 3-4, 2B, RBI, R
Friday: SR LHP Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 10 H 3 ER 0 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR 2B Davis Duren (Oklahoma State): 4-7, 2 2B, 2 BB, 3 SB, 4 RBI, 5 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR SS Tom Belza (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, 3 BB, HBP, 1 RBI, 5 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF Dusty Harvard (Oklahoma State): 6-9, HR, SB, RBI, 3 R, K in doubleheader
Saturday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-7, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO 3B Mark Ginther (Oklahoma State): 4-11, HR, 3B, 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R, 2 K
Saturday: JR LHP Thomas Keeling (Oklahoma State): 6 IP 4 H 0 ER 6 BB 10 K
Saturday: FR LHP Andrew Heaney (Oklahoma State): 7 IP 9 H 1 ER 3 BB 5 K
Sunday: FR C Dane Phillips (Oklahoma State): 4-4, 2 2B, SB, 2 RBI, 4 R
Sunday: JR 1B Dean Green (Oklahoma State): 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, K
Sunday: JR RHP Brad Propst (Oklahoma State): 9 IP 7 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K

Big weekend for Cowboy prospects, right? Lyons, the biggest name of the bunch, certainly helped his cause with his stellar Friday night outing, but the best long-term names to follow did pretty well for themselves as well. 2011 prospect Mark Ginther keeps on hitting and 2012 prospect Andrew Heaney already possesses a fastball peaking at 92 MPH, plus changeup, good breaking ball, and advanced pitchability.

Missouri

Friday: JR C/3B Brett Nicholas (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, RBI
Friday: FR RHP/OF Eric Anderson (Missouri): 5 IP 10 H 6 ER 1 BB 6 K
Saturday: SR OF Aaron Senne (Missouri): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, K
Saturday: JR RHP Nick Tepesch (Missouri): 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 0 K

Tepesch left his Saturday start early after getting nailed in the hip by a line drive in the first inning. As someone with a creaky hip myself, I can commiserate. Anderson is a really talented arm that could follow in the high round footsteps of the Tiger righthanders before him. Three good years would put him in a great position to take his low-90s fastball, plus changeup, and hard slider to the pros with Scherzer, Crow, Gibson, and, after the draft in June, Tepesch.

Baylor

Friday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 3-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Friday: JR RHP Shawn Tolleson (Baylor): 5 IP 8 H 5 ER 2 BB 9 K
Saturday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 4-5, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Saturday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Saturday: SO RHP Logan Verrett (Baylor): 6 IP 6 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K
Saturday: JR RHP Craig Fritsch (Baylor): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K
Sunday: SO 2B Joey Hainsfurther (Baylor): 3-3, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR OF Logan Vick (Baylor): 1-2, HR, 2 BB, SB, RBI, 2 R
Sunday: FR 1B Max Muncy (Baylor): 2-3, 2B, HBP, 2 RBI, R
Sunday: SR RHP Willie Kempf (Baylor): 5 IP 2 H 0 ER 5 BB 2 K

Muncy, Hainsfurther, and Vick are a big part of the core of Baylor’s next great offense. I’ve been especially impressed with Vick’s outstanding plate discipline at the top of the Bears lineup.

Kansas State

Friday: JR LHP Thomas Rooke (Kansas State): 2 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Saturday: JR SS Carter Jurica (Kansas State): 5-9, HR, 2B, 2 BB, SB, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SO CF Nick Martini (Kansas State): 4-8, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 K in doubleheader
Saturday: SO LHP Kyle Hunter (Kansas State): 8 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR 3B Adam Muenster (Kansas State): 3-3, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, R
Sunday: SO RHP Justin Lindsey (Kansas State): 7 IP 5 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K

In a weak college shortstop class, Carter Jurica should see his stock soar this spring. He has always had the right tools to succeed (plus speed, enough pop, good athlete), but has put everything together in a big way so far this season. Martini is another well-rounded player who squares up and hits balls as consistently hard as any other player in the conference. Lindsey is 2010 draft-eligible that gets by with a strong sinker/slider combination.

Texas Tech

Saturday: JR RHP Bobby Doran (Texas Tech): 5 IP 7 H 5 ER 1 BB 6 K
Sunday: JR RHP Chad Bettis (Texas Tech): 7 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K

Bettis’ groundout percentage dipped all the way to 76% after this week’s outing. Weak. I admire the Red Raiders for getting their best arms the most innings, but it may be time to get Doran back in the bullpen in some kind of stretched out swingman role for the rest of the season.

Texas A&M

Saturday: SO RHP Ross Stripling (Texas A&M): 5 IP 7 H 6 ER 2 BB 3 K
Saturday: FR RHP Michael Wacha (Texas A&M): 3 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K
Saturday: JR 2B Andrew Collazo (Texas A&M): 4-5, SB, RBI
Sunday: SR OF Brodie Greene (Texas A&M): 2-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI, 2 R
Sunday: SO RHP John Stilson (Texas A&M): 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP/OF Nick Fleece (Texas A&M): 2.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 0 BB 3 K

Collazo gets a mention here because he was a key member of last year’s ridiculous Howard College team that went 63-1. He’s also a plus defender at second with just enough offensive value to get himself drafted late, contingent on his 2010 performance. Stilson and Fleece both have late-inning reliever stuff. Their fastballs peak at 97 and 96, respectively. Wacha is another high profile arm with a big fastball and crazy 2010 production so far. He’s definitely a 2012 name to remember.

Nebraska

Saturday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 5-8, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R in doubleheader
Saturday: SR OF DJ Belfonte (Nebraska): 4-5, HR 2 BB, SB, 3 RBI, 3 R
Saturday: JR RHP Michael Mariot (Nebraska): 9 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K
Sunday: SR OF Adam Bailey (Nebraska): 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 3 R
Sunday: FR LHP Thomas Lemke (Nebraska): 6 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K
Sunday: JR RHP Mike Nesseth (Nebraska): 1 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 1 K

Adam Bailey has the arm and raw tools with the bat to play right field professionally, but he’ll have to maintain the gains he has made in plate discipline if he wants to reach his ceiling. Mariot is a short righty with a good enough three pitch-mix to go within rounds 10-20 if he keeps it up.