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2015 MLB Draft Reviews – Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays 2015 MLB Draft Picks

This might make me look rather foolish, but the best position player drafted by Tampa was not the guy they took in the first round with the thirteenth overall pick. Nothing against Garrett Whitley (we’ll get to him soon enough), but my favorite pick by the Rays is 2B Brandon Lowe (24). Let’s see what past-me has to say about him…

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.

The draft ceiling comp (80) worked out pretty well with Lowe going 87th overall, though you might argue that Renda’s subsequent pro career is a cautionary tale about the difficulty of making it as a true second base prospect. If I had to guess, I could see Tampa attempting to stretch Lowe defensively some to see if he can handle shortstop in a pinch. That obviously would up his floor to a utility future, which would be nice especially to those who don’t believe in him as a future regular at second. I sure as heck do, as you can read from my pre-season take…

It should come as no shock to any long-time reader that rSO 2B Brandon Lowe is my kind of ballplayer. His physical tools skew closer to average than not (glove, arm, speed, raw power), but the man has a knack for consistent hard contact that can’t be taught. He also has a tremendous batting eye that often puts him in good hitting counts. It’s a really tough profile to get too excited about — offensive second basemen who can’t really run are not typically seen as prospects by anybody — but I believe in the bat (.348/.464/.464 with 34 BB/20 K in 181 AB last year) enough to think he’s got a real chance to make it. He’s obviously not the best position player prospect in the ACC this year, but he’s definitely my favorite.

My enthusiasm got the best of me as I completely spaced out on Maryland moving to the Big 10, but the rest of the analysis is what I wanted to get across. Lowe is a FAVORITE for a lot of reasons (clearly), but one of the things I like best is his ability to look good even on a bad night. He can finish a disappointing 0-3 in the box score, but still impress with how he battles throughout at bats, works deep counts, and makes the opposing pitcher reveal all of his secrets. That’s my kind of hitter. I’m anxiously looking forward to his pro debut next season.

While Lowe healed up, other “second basemen” had a chance to make their mark on the Tampa brass this summer. 2B Brett Sullivan (182) and 2B Jacob Cronenworth (208) both ranked among my favorite mid-tier college infielders in this year’s class. I had Sullivan way higher than his draft position (300+ spots) and Cronenworth right on the nose (208 and 208!). Technically announced as a second basemen on draft day, Sullivan actually wound up playing third base over 98% of his innings for Princeton. This further muddles the defensive picture that was already plenty muddled to begin with…

Pacific JR SS/OF Brett Sullivan is an all-caps FAVORITE of mine who compares favorably to Holder in many areas of the game. The one great big obvious difference between the two is defensive projection. I’m obviously confident in Holder being a damn fine defensive shortstop in the big leagues, but I can’t say the same with much certainty about Sullivan. I mean this literally: I can’t say it with certainty because I straight up don’t know right now.

I still don’t know enough about Sullivan the defender to make a knowledgeable claim about his long-term home. Maybe it’s 2B, maybe it’s 3B, maybe it’s in the outfield somewhere: I have no clue. Most likely, it’ll be a combination of all those spots as he attempts to hit his way towards a utility spot down the line. Cronenworth — who, thanks to the best show on television Rick and Morty, I now think of as Cronenberg — hit very well in his debut run in the NYPL. The two-way star from Michigan (he’s a legit prospect on the mound with three average or better pitches and all the expected athleticism) is another player that has enough bat and glove to profile as a really intriguing utility player (he’s played lots of 2B and some SS already). I actually think there could be even more than that, as putting the energy and attention formerly paid to pitching 50ish innings a year can now be applied towards improving as a hitter and fielder. Like Lowe and Sullivan before him, Cronenworth is an all-caps FAVORITE.

Sullivan played third base at Princeton while 2B Blake Butera manned the keystone. A few words on the BC product from late May…

I remain weirdly into Blake Butera as a late-round senior that could hang around pro ball a few years based on his glove, approach, and makeup.

I stand by that, though his lack of discernible pop will obviously impede his progress as pitching continues to improve around him. Despite his limitations, he’s still not a bad org player to land in the 35th round.

All credit to Tampa for correctly gauging the signability of C Chris Betts (36) and getting a deal done this summer. He joins Brandon Lowe and Garrett Whitley as first round offensive talents landed by the Rays with their first three picks. Is that good? It seems good. Betts slipped for reasons of signability and health, but he’s a potential impact regular if it all comes together.

As a player who has been famous in prospect circles for two plus years now, the draft stock of Chris Betts (Wilson HS, California) is currently suffering from a clear case of prospect fatigue (also known as Daz Cameron Syndrome). Teams have seen him so often that they are now firmly in the nit-pick stage of evaluation. Internet folk (like me!) have known about him for so long that they (we!) now worry if placing him at the top of the pile will be considered too boring, too safe, and too predictable a projection.

The obvious head-to-head comparison of Betts and Tyler Stephenson generated some strong opinions throughout the spring. Eventually, Stephenson claimed the top spot on draft day, on this site’s board, and the vast majority of pro boards. I made note of the debate back when it was at its peak…

I think it’s fair (boring, perhaps) to like Betts more as a prospect because of his overall defensive edge. The belief that their bats will be close enough with Betts being the better bet to remain a catcher through his first contract of club control has merit. Close or not, Stephenson still has more upside as a hitter, but the lingering defensive questions mitigate some of the recent excitement about his offensive game. This is hard. The two are very, very close to me. I understand the desire to chase offensive upside with your first round pick, so Team Stephenson has a strong built-in argument that I wouldn’t debate against. If it all clicks, Stephenson should end up the better player — catcher or not — but the odds of it all clicking are a bit higher for Betts.

At minimum, I think it can be agreed upon that these are the top two high school catching prospects in the country without much current competition threatening to knock them off their perch. Both profile as average or better all-around big league catchers who stack up quite well with with any one-two catching prospect punch of the last few years. Asking around on each player didn’t give me the kind of comps I was hoping to hear — the old adage of “don’t force comps” applies to these two players, apparently — but I manage to get one name for Betts and two for Stephenson. Neither of the prospect to prospect comps that you’ll read were given with much confidence and I hesitate to even share them because they were very much “well, if I HAD to compare him to somebody I’ve seen…” kind of comps, so let’s all agree to view these for the entertainment value that they bring more than anything. The name I heard for Betts was Greg Bird (as a hitter only) and the name I heard for Stephenson was (a bigger) Clint Coulter. I mentioned earlier that I got two comps for Stephenson…yeah, the other was Wieters. I believe he was deemed the “Matt Wieters starter kit.” Don’t know why I expected to hear anything differently, but there you go. For the record, since I’m realizing while doing a quick edit of this that I’ve written mostly about Stephenson, Betts can really, really hit. The Bird comp feels a bit rich based on what we know Bird has done as a pro so far, but I think an average or slightly better hit tool and raw power combination could be the end game for Betts. Those abilities combined with a reasonably disciplined approach and a high probability of playing average or better defense behind the plate for years makes Betts a legitimate first round pick.

Betts and Stephenson or Stephenson and Betts. Either way, you’re looking at two quality catching prospects worthy of mid- to late-first round draft consideration. I’m more comfortable with Betts right now, but the upside of Stephenson is not lost on me. Ask me again in a month and you may or may not get the same answer, but I’ll almost certainly have changed my mind a dozen times or so in the interim. I’m glad there’s a few more weeks to think this over.

As previously mentioned, the upside of Stephenson did eventually win the day. That doesn’t mean Betts is without considerable upside in his own right. Greg Bird as a catcher is a seriously valuable player, though the growing pains young catchers go through will mean we’re all going to have to be patient on this one.

I realize that C Danny De la Calle was a senior sign brought in on the cheap ($7,500!) in the ninth round, but I still don’t really get it. I love and appreciate defense as much as the next guy, but…

The high hopes I had for SR C Daniel De La Calle heading into last year were quickly dashed by his struggles at the plate (.224/.315/.241). He’s still so good behind the dish that a professional future can’t be ruled out, but even a pro backup has to hit a little bit.

Somewhat predictably, De la Calle’s 10 BB/57 K ratio as a senior in the ACC translated to a 3 BB/45 K in the NYPL. There’s no need to rush to judgment on a 134 PA sample (.164/.201/.258, by the way), but it’s hardly an aberration based on his larger track record. I don’t enjoy knocking the pick because a) I don’t ever enjoy knocking a pick, and b) I almost always jump up and down with excitement when discussing the intangible value of adding good people who provide veteran leadership (as Baseball America notes, De la Calle is bilingual) to younger minor league teammates, but the ninth round was just too early for a guy who won’t hit enough to get out of AA. Future manager? Sure. Future big league catcher? Highly doubtful.

I don’t know what to say about OF Garrett Whitley (38) that surely hasn’t already been said elsewhere, on this site or on the internet at large. Here’s the old stuff on him…

I’ve waited to get into too much detail on Garrett Whitley (Niskayuna HS, New York) because he’s at or near the top of the list of prospects that most confound me in this class. Quite frankly, I don’t have much detail to get into outside of what you, Mr./Mrs. Informed Reader, already know. His natural ability is obvious and there’s a chance he does enough outside of the batter’s box to contribute to a big league team one day even if he doesn’t hit as much as his peers, but the nagging doubts I have about him developing into the kind of hitter that winds up being a true difference-maker keep me from pumping him up as a potential top ten pick. That said, I’ve heard and read – and much of this is public info that you (yes, you!) might have read as well – that he’s made a huge leap as a hitter this spring. I haven’t had independent sources corroborate this – the geography of the situation is killing me here – but even just seeing the national guys talk him up is obviously quite encouraging. It certainly makes me feel as though my lukewarm opinion on his bat based largely on what I saw last summer (I’m not a scout, but I am a human who will have biases that seep into my evaluations) isn’t a fair way to judge him anymore, if it ever was at all (see previous parenthetical). That’s a long way of saying that I genuinely don’t know what to make of Whitley. One of the failings of trying to cover a country’s worth of prospects by myself as a hobby means that certain players, even top guys like Whitley, can fall through the cracks.

Whitley is this class’s biggest mystery to me. He could wind up a star. He could wind up topping out in AA unable to hit anything but average-ish fastballs. Consider any attempt at my ranking him with his peers with a gigantic block of salt. The few responses I’ve gotten when asking about Whitley (all from guys working well outside Whitley’s area) haven’t helped me achieve increased clarity. One friend thought I was nuts for liking Plummer over Whitley, calling the latter a carbon copy of a young Adam Jones. That’s a comp I haven’t heard before or since, yet I don’t hate it. Another simply shared his own confusion about what to do with Whitley, calling him “the most likely prospect to make or break an executive’s career” in this year’s class. That actually made a lot of sense to me. Whitley has been such a tricky player to scout fairly this spring that hitting on him would be a tremendous victory for a scouting staff. Missing on him, however, would mean blowing an early first round pick. I think picking him at any point after the first few picks or so is justified, but still damn risky. Can’t wait to see which brave team takes the gamble.

Taking Whitley at thirteen seems just late enough to be reasonable considering his ceiling, but there’s a reason why I was told he was “the most likely prospect to make or break an executive’s career” this spring. A quick look back through the archives confirms that he’s one of the rawest top twenty picks in recent memory. Reasonable minds may disagree, but I’d put him on the same level as guys like Austin Meadows and Tim Anderson (2013), DJ Davis (2012), Bubba Starling (2011), and Donavan Tate (2009). The last name is the one that intrigues me most because Tate was seen as a player “too toolsy to fail” in some circles. I don’t mean to suggest that anybody believed he’d be a slam dunk impact big league player, but he was so fast (plus-plus speed) and so graceful in center and so athletic and so confident that it seemed almost hard to believe he’d not at least stay afloat professionally as he worked on what needed to be done in the batter’s box. Nobody drafts a player with a top twenty pick hoping for a fifth outfielder/defensive replacement/pinch-runner, but that was the reasonable floor for Tate…and for Whitley. With that as a floor and an Adam Jones type as a ceiling, the pick begins to make more sense. Still, even with the acknowledgement that I’m perhaps more risk-adverse in the first round than I ought to be, I don’t think I could have pulled the trigger on Whitley this early, especially considering the talent still on the board. If you wanted boom/bust, there was Kolby Allard (I disagree with him being boom/bust, just passing along the narrative that stuck with him this spring for some reason) and Brady Aiken. If you wanted a HS OF with upside, there was Trent Clark and Nick Plummer. If you wanted an up-the-middle defender, you could have gone with Richie Martin or Kevin Newman. Years of watching the Phillies emphasize tools over skills with first round picks has scarred me for life. Grab the toolsy guys in rounds 2-40, but pass on the Greg Golsons and Anthony Hewitts of the world in round one; get me a little bit of security with a real ballplayer (I can’t believe I wrote that…I’ve become my father) in the first.

The obvious counter to all of this is that Whitley is a far more developed prospect than given credit for (Tampa loved him so much they took him 13th, after all) and much of the speculation about his rawness is based on dated information that has been slow to change because so few in the media were able to see him up close this spring. Furthermore, guys with big tools are awesome and far more likely to turn into game-altering superstars than the supposedly safer, often older, and almost always less exciting prospects I claim to prefer. Completely valid points. All of this things must be considered when drafting until a proper balance of risk/reward/upside/certainty is achieved. That’s how the Whitley pick can be defended even by somebody who may not love the player. Tampa managed to steal Brandon Lowe, Chris Betts, Joe McCarthy, and Devin Davis, all top 100 prospects according to this silly site, in addition to adding Whitley. That’s diversification in the form of bats: college second baseman, college outfielder, high school catcher, high school first basemen, and high school outfielder. If one of Lowe or McCarthy strike you as the type of safe-ish prospect I’ve described above, then think of Whitley as that second or third round lottery ticket that is needed to swing the draft but could absolutely do so if he pans out.

Short version: I wouldn’t have done it, but I’m glad a smart organization with a well-regarded developmental program — recent iffy results with hitters notwithstanding — saw something in him to give him a first round opportunity.

OF Joe McCarthy (73), a borderline first round talent in his own right, showed more functional speed than expected in his first crack at pro ball. After stealing 25 bases over his entire college career, McCarthy went out and stole 18/21 bags in his debut 49 game season at Hudson Valley. The strong success rate lines up with his college numbers (25/27) and his physical ability (above-average to plus times to first), so it’s less major shocker than one of those quirks that make following up on recent draftees fun. In more relevant news — not to say that McCarthy being a threat on the bases isn’t relevant — Tampa’s selection of McCarthy begins to make it seem like there’s some Moneyball-ish underlying thinking in this draft. Chris Betts, Brandon Lowe, and Joe McCarthy all arguably fell further in the draft than their talent warranted because of injuries. With none of the injuries looking like they’d cause long-term problems, Tampa’s approach is a textbook example of scooping up depressed assets at their lowest point.

McCarthy is a great athlete who can hit, run, and work deep counts. He’s a natural left fielder, a fact that is both good (since he’s damn good out there) and not so good (more pressure on the bat since he can’t play center). He has a ways to go towards figuring out how to unlock his power (swing and mentality, mostly), though his frame (6-4, 225) suggests the kind of natural strength that can put balls in the gaps and beyond if it clicks.

OF Landon Cray (493) walked 58 times the past two college season with just 22 strikeouts. I’m in. He played mostly left field in his pro debut in deference to Zacrey Law, but he’s more than capable in center with plus speed and keen instincts. I’ve comped him to an old favorite, Tyler Holt, in the past, so a fourth outfielder upside doesn’t feel out of reach. I thought OF David Olmedo-Barrera might return to Cal State Fullerton for a senior season, but the junior with just enough power, speed, and strength to remain interesting opted to sign.

1B Devin Davis (85) is a dude. He’s not yet THE dude — that’s taken — but I liked him a lot before the draft and I love the idea of signing him after waiting all the way until round 25 to take a shot. Here was the pre-draft take…

If pure uncut bat speed is what you’re looking for, then Devin Davis (Valencia HS, California) is your guy. He’s also a really slick defender at first – without too much thought I’d say he’s the best glove out of the top guys listed – with more than enough power to profile as a regular if it all works out. He also has a little bit of growth left (potentially), so an uptick in his existing physical profile, especially in terms of power, remains possible. Projecting high school first base prospects is a dangerous game because out of any HS position group what you see is what you get with the heavy hitters at first, but Davis could have a little bit left in the tank that could help him eventually overtake Naylor or Baker as the best long-term player in this class.

Despite those nice words, I really don’t know what to make of Davis. I like him, sure, but my crystal ball is cloudy beyond that. Figuring out which way high school first basemen will turn out in the pro game remains the biggest mystery in scouting for me. If you’re good at it, contact your local big league franchise immediately and inquire about their willingness to have you volunteer and assist an area scout. Assuming you’re cool with being paid in swag, of course.

OF Kewby Meyer (390) was announced as an outfielder, but he’s a first basemen through and through. The gap between my view on Meyer (390!) and his draft position (1108) is as wide as any I can recall so far, but I stand by my belief that the Nevada product is a wildly underrated hitter with great feel for the strike zone and above-average raw power. He’s not the biggest, he’s not the strongest, and he’s certainly not the fastest, but if he can fake it some in the outfield corners he could make it as a lefty bench bat. That’s something.

3B Matt Dacey (338) split his time in his pro debut at first and third; needless to say, if he can hold his on at the hot corner then he goes from nice value pick as a 21st round pick to straight steal. Even as a first baseman, I like him. From before the season…

There are also an unusual number of potential power bats in the conference; arguably none are better than rSO 1B Matt Dacey (Richmond). His relative inexperience gives hope that he’ll make strides in terms of approach, which would in turn help him further unlock his prodigious raw power. He mashed last year even as he showed signs of that aforementioned raw approach, so the sky is the limit for him as a hitter as he gains experience.

The power is big and it plays. Like Meyer, a fair upside guess would be a platoon player or a bench bat capable of holding down both first and third. At pick 628, why not?

16.34, 10.10, 10.20, and 10.49. Those are the K/9’s of the four college relievers taken by Tampa in rounds four, eight, ten, and eleven. When last I looked at the best of that group, RHP Brandon Koch (129), he was striking out 18.98 batters per nine. And I said this…

There are a lot of good, quick-moving relievers in college baseball – there always are – but Koch might be the best of the bunch when it’s all said and done.

Pretty sure that holds up today. Koch could pitch in the big leagues next year if that’s the path Tampa wants to take with him. His stuff jumped up across the board last season (from 88-94 FB to 93-98; more consistently plus to plus-plus 82-90 cut-SL) and his control, the biggest concern many had in terms of his on-field skill set, showed some signs of improving as a pro.

RHP Reece Karalus (298) pitched in the same Hudson Valley bullpen as Koch after signing. His fastball velocity doesn’t quite match Koch’s, but the silly movement he gets on the pitch levels the playing field. Add that to a plus slider — not quite as good nor hard as Koch’s, but pretty damn good in its own right — and you’ve got a keeper.

Santa Clara JR RHP Reece Karalus is a classic sinker/slider arm that adds a fun wrinkle to the archetype with his plus command and plus control. He’s too good to call a sleeper, but between the way he misses bats, gets ground balls (presumably…would love to dig up the numbers on him), and limits walks he could be a shockingly quick mover once he hits the pro game.

Fastball, slider, command, control. What more can you ask for out of a reliever? RHP Sam Triece has the first two parts down (90-95 FB, above-average 82-84 SL) while he works on the last two. Then there’s RHP Ian Gibaut (421). I like Ian Gibaut.

Forgive me if I copy/paste that paragraph whenever Dillon Tate, Carson Fulmer, and Tyler Jay are brought up this spring. For now, the logic presented above applies to JR RHP Ian Gibaut, who has excelled as a college reliever since first stepping foot on campus at Tulane in 2013. There’s no reason to believe that Gibaut’s success as an amateur reliever would slow down in any way as he transitions to pro ball this summer. Still, I’d be tempted to stretch him out and see how his stuff holds up as a starter. My desire to see him work in a starter’s role isn’t so great that I’d kill a team for thinking he’ll be best in the bullpen as a professional; if anything, it’s more of a selfish curiosity to see what a college reliever with the build, arm action (in my amateur view), and diverse enough set of pitches (above-average 75-78 CB, upper-70s CU that flashes plus [others like it less and I’ll at least acknowledge it’s an inconsistent pitch at present], and hard mid-80s SL) could do in a more taxing role. I’ve heard but not seen firsthand that Gibaut’s velocity is the type that plays up in short bursts, so keeping him in the bullpen would seem to be a perfectly reasonable course of action. If that winds up being how it plays out, then don’t be surprised when Gibaut winds up as one of this year’s fastest moving college relief prospects.

I’m glad he stuck in the bullpen. Some guys are just better there. Let him pump his mid-90s heat in shorter outings and watch him climb the ladder quickly. Speaking of moving quickly, before the draft Koch (“quick-moving”), Karalus (“shockingly quick mover”), and Gibaut (“one of this year’s fastest moving”) were all identified as being particularly close to the big leagues. Much like the double-digit K/9’s quoted above, I think we might have a bit of a trend on our hands here. I love using non-premium picks — you could argue the fourth rounder spent on Koch was “premium,” but he’s really good so I can live with it — on players who have demonstrated a high probability of moving quickly through a system and helping out the big league club in a peripheral way sooner rather than later. Filling out the margins of one’s roster with young, cost-controlled talent at positions of lesser importance (bench bats and middle relief) allows for the big bucks to go elsewhere. And if one of those middle relievers turns into a shutdown closer, so much the better.

As much as I like the closer-upside of Koch, my favorite pitcher (by a hair) drafted by Tampa this year is RHP Benton Moss (136). Maybe he winds up in the bullpen in the long run, but he should be tried as a starter until there’s no doubt remaining that he should move to relief. It’s next to impossible to try to predict the next mostly unheralded arm to break out in a major way — I’m thinking of guys like Keuchel, deGrom, and Kluber here — but I’ll throw Benton Moss out there as a name that years from now people will look back and wonder how he got this good.

I’m shocked that I haven’t written much if at all about SR RHP Benton Moss on the site already because I really think the world of him as a prospect. Off the top of my head, I’d have him as the country’s best senior sign pitching prospect. Smart, athletic, competitive, dependable, and with an arm that can crank it to 95 when he needs to, Moss has all the components of a legitimate big league starting pitcher. He’s added to this repertoire over time (most notably two similar yet distinct pitches: a low- to mid-80s slider and a mid-80s cutter) and can now throw any one of four to five pitches (above-average mid-70s CB and upper-70s CU as well) for strikes in any given count. I have no feel at all for when he’ll be selected this June — his big senior season has to help boost his stock, though his recent arm woes (which he’s come back from, but still) could scare some teams off — but I have the feeling that he’ll wind up a really good value for a really happy team.

RHP Tyler Brashears seems like a guy who could see his stuff tick up a bit after moving to the bullpen as a pro. His success as a starter at Hawaii (1.85 ERA in 101 IP) might be enough to keep him in a rotation, but an extra tick or two to his 87-92 FB (93 peak) and a little added sharpness to an already above-average to plus 76-82 breaking ball could make him dangerous in short bursts. RHP Justin Marsden looks like a really smart overslot signing in round 22. He’s got two average or better pitches already (88-92 FB, 93 peak; mid-70s CB that flashes plus) and the frame to put on a bit more weight. RHP Bryan Bonnell is a big guy (6-5, 200) coming off such a disaster of a junior season (7.39 ERA in 28 IP) that you just know he’s got the kind of good stuff that can get that overlooked. He’s armed with a fastball that lives between 88-92 and a splitter that could grow into an out-pitch in time. His selection intrigues me because of how different his college track record (i.e., not good) is from the majority of the arms drafted by Tampa.

South Florida 2B/SS Kyle Teaf, personal favorite college infielder of mine, was also drafted by Tampa. He’s passing up his shot in pro ball to pursue a career in medical device sales. I’m not sure why I find that so cool, but I do. Whether he’s chasing his own unique dream or believing he’s making a pragmatic mature decision about his long-term future or something else altogether, best of luck to him going forward.

Here are the signed Tampa prospects that ranked on my pre-draft top 500…

24 – Brandon Lowe
36 – Chris Betts
38 – Garrett Whitley
73 – Joe McCarthy
85 – Devin Davis
129 – Brandon Koch
136 – Benton Moss
182 – Brett Sullivan
208 – Jacob Cronenworth
298 – Reece Karalus
338 – Matt Dacey
390 – Kewby Meyer
421 – Ian Gibaut
493 – Landon Cray

2015 MLB Draft – Top 100 D1 College Second Base Prospects

1. Cincinnati JR 2B/OF Ian Happ: above-average to plus speed; above-average to plus arm; strong; chance for plus hit tool; average to plus power upside; could also play 3B, SS, or OF; good range; good athlete; pretty swing; strong; not an infielder for everybody, but I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to try; “switch-hitting Michael Brantley with the chance to stick in the dirt” was how one contact put it; also reminds me some of Ben Zobrist; 6-0, 200 pounds

2013: .307/.439/.463 – 47 BB/32 K – 25/30 SB – 205 AB
2014: .322/.443/.497 – 32 BB/35 K – 19/24 SB – 171 AB
2015: .369/.492/.672 – 49 BB/49 K – 12/20 SB – 198 AB

2. Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe: plus approach; average glove; average arm; average speed; good athlete; can look good going 0-3 because every at bat is a battle; rich man’s Nick Punto bat comp; FAVORITE; 5-10, 180 pounds

2014: .348/.464/.464 – 34 BB/20 K – 8/12 SB – 181 AB
2015: .342/.442/.564 – 35 BB/28 K – 10/12 SB – 234 AB

3. Arizona JR 2B/OF Scott Kingery: plus speed; strong arm; can really hit; average power; great athlete; good glove at 2B, chance to be really good with more reps; easy CF range; could be a shortstop conversion for a forward-thinking team that believes in his arm strength; popular Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis comps; shift in approach that sacrifices patience for pop is a slight concern as his pro offensive game should be built on lots of contact, deep counts, and hitting mistakes, but the potential of him marrying his sophomore year approach with his increased strength makes him very valuable; have used “more physical Ray Durham” as a comp in the past; 5-9, 175 pounds

2013: .226/.345/.313 – 17 BB/20 K – 8/12 SB – 115 AB
2014: .354/.456/.467 – 33 BB/27 K – 19/23 SB – 195 AB
2015: .392/.423/.561 – 9 BB/18 K – 11/17 SB – 237 AB

4. Arizona JR 2B/SS Kevin Newman: like everybody, enamored by his hit tool, could be plus; great approach, very patient; average speed plays up; really steady glove; average at best arm plays up due to quick release; not much power; special instincts across the board; like John Manuel’s Adam Kennedy comp; like him less than most because of concerns over how pro pitchers will work him knowing his power limitations and whether or not he has enough arm to make every throw at short; like the Joe Panik comp I’ve heard recently; FAVORITE; 6-1, 180 pounds

2013: .286/.352/.336 – 20 BB/13 K – 11/13 SB – 217 AB
2014: .304/.362/.383 – 17 BB/20 K – 13/20 SB – 230 AB
2015: .370/.426/.489 – 20 BB/15 K – 22/25 SB – 227 AB

5. South Carolina JR 2B/OF Max Schrock: pretty swing; quick bat; strong; above-average speed; legit power upside, at least average raw for me; steady glove, but range a question; have heard a Kyle Seager comp on the bat; think he can work himself into a solid enough fielder to stick up the middle, but glove defense remains the biggest question; could be a Mark Ellis type of bat; 5-9, 180 pounds

2013: .278/.382/.414 – 38 BB/22 K – 15/19 SB – 227 AB
2014: .299/.366/.472 – 11 BB/21 K – 4/4 SB – 127 AB
2015: .328/.419/.500 – 32 BB/18 K – 8/10 SB – 192 AB

6. Clemson JR 2B/SS Tyler Krieger: well above-average speed, plus for some; direct swing; good athlete; really good glove; erratic thrower even when healthy, but return to health after shoulder surgery has resulted in slightly more accurate yet still underwhelming throws; has range for the OF, but likely not the arm; would have ranked very highly as a shortstop at 100% health, but still profiles as a potential first-division regular at second; another player who has gotten a Kyle Seager comp this spring, but doesn’t have quite the same pop; 6-1, 170 pounds

2013: .266/.360/.321 – 29 BB/29 K – 9/15 SB – 218 AB
2014: .338/.410/.447 – 25 BB/24 K – 19/24 SB – 219 AB
2015: .339/.451/.420 – 40 BB/41 K – 13/17 SB – 224 AB

7. Missouri State SR 2B/SS Eric Cheray: can also catch; power upside; steady glove; average arm; lots of pressure on bat to turn him into a contributing big league player, but I think he hits enough to make it worth gambling on; FAVORITE; 6-3, 210 pounds

2012: .290/.381/.398 – 24 BB/28 K – 3/5 SB – 176 AB
2013: .278/.431/.361 – 41 BB/22 K – 2/4 SB – 158 AB
2014: .290/.403/.400 – 40 BB/20 K – 6/10 SB – 210 AB
2015: .436/.550/.538 – 21 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 78 AB

8. Cal Poly JR 2B/OF Mark Mathias: plus hit tool; average at best raw power, doesn’t really show up in games; good approach; average at best arm, has gotten stronger; defense has improved at second; average speed; could also play 3B; BA comps: David Bell and Sam Travis; reminds me of Mark Loretta; another bat-first prospect who will have to keep hitting to keep playing; FAVORITE; 6-0, 200 pounds

2014: .386/.437/.490 – 23 BB/18 K – 12/16 SB – 210 AB
2015: .356/.424/.436 – 23 BB/19 K – 9/13 SB – 202 AB

9. Alabama JR 2B/SS Mikey White: strong hit tool; plus instincts; average at best speed; above-average arm; average at best power; good athlete; like the glove a lot, think he could be plus at second; could also play 3B; popular Josh Rutledge comp; old BA comp that I don’t see at all: Nolan Fontana; obvious elements about his game to like, but approach keeps me from going all-in on him as a sure-fire future regular; 6-1, 200 pounds

2013: .300/.379/.387 – 20 BB/43 K – 3/8 SB – 230 AB
2014: .300/.399/.443 – 27 BB/44 K – 3/5 SB – 237 AB
2015: .339/.444/.537 – 31 BB/47 K – 8/9 SB – 218 AB

10. Connecticut JR 2B/3B Vinny Siena: plus speed; good glove; plus arm; quick bat; can play OF if needed; 5-10, 200 pounds

2013: .325/.390/.373 – 29 BB/49 K – 8/12 SB – 255 AB
2014: .231/.273/.301 – 10 BB/21 K – 6/9 SB – 216 AB
2015: .362/.424/.519 – 29 BB/30 K – 11/16 SB – 260 AB

11. USC SR 2B Dante Flores: quick bat; good hit tool; good glove; average speed; popular Kolten Wong comp back in his HS days; hasn’t turned into player many hoped, but nice senior season validates those who stuck with him; 5-10, 180 pounds

2012: .331/.428/.437 – 19 BB/31 K – 2/5 SB – 142 AB
2013: .278/.333/.378 – 6 BB/21 K – 4/5 SB – 90 AB
2014: .236/.313/.348 – 15 BB/29 K – 4/5 SB – 161 AB
2015: .315/.410/.470 – 29 BB/28 K – 4/5 SB – 200 AB

12. NC State SR 2B/3B Logan Ratledge: average to above-average speed; steady glove; average power; might have enough range for SS; like the older Devon Travis comp on him; 5-10, 190 pounds

2012: .261/.348/.359 – 12 BB/17 K – 4/5 SB – 142 AB
2013: .250/.313/.307 – 14 BB/21 K – 12/17 SB – 176 AB
2014: .274/.367/.375 – 24 BB/33 K – 208 AB
2015: .330/.432/.552 – 31 BB/30 K – 11/14 SB – 212 AB

13. Central Florida SR 2B/SS Dylan Moore: good approach; average or better speed; above-average to plus arm; good athlete; above-average or better raw power; plus glove at 2B; might be able to stick at SS after all; FAVORITE; 6-0, 185 pounds

2014: .315/.391/.414 – 22 BB/25 K – 10/14 SB – 232 AB
2015: .333/.413/.532 – 27 BB/35 K – 14/16 SB – 237 AB

14. College of Charleston JR 2B/3B Blake Butler: average or better speed; good approach; average hit tool; interesting power upside; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .330/.434/.397 – 35 BB/44 K – 9/13 SB – 209 AB
2014: .282/.374/.376 – 34 BB/49 K – 7/11 SB – 255 AB
2015: .335/.402/.579 – 23 BB/31 K – 4/8 SB – 233 AB

15. Bradley rJR 2B Chris Godinez: plus speed; can also play 3B but arm is stretched there; steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds

2012: .320/.370/.426 – 14 BB/22 K – 11/17 SB – 169 AB
2013: .324/.439/.324 – 6 BB/8 K – 2/2 SB – 34 AB
2014: .250/.371/.359 – 21 BB/22 K – 17/23 SB – 184 AB
2015: .297/.500/.522 – 44 BB/25 K – 12/16 SB – 138 AB

16. California SR 2B/3B Chris Paul: good athlete; good defensive tools; average arm; average range; can also play OF; strong; has played 1B this season, but good enough athlete to move back to the middle infield; 6-3, 200 pounds (2012: .250/.313/.352 – 8 BB/17 K – 2/2 SB – 88 AB) (2013: .232/.284/.403 – 8 BB/36 K – 3/5 SB – 181 AB) (2014: .264/.302/.341 – 4 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 91 AB) (2015: .326/.408/.549 – 24 BB/38 K – 6/9 SB – 184 AB)

17. Western Michigan JR 2B/OF Kurt Hoekstra: good athlete; good approach; good hit tool; above-average arm; 6-2, 190 pounds (2014: .297/.375/.368 – 22 BB/44 K – 7/8 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .322/.401/.491 – 22 BB/25 K – 6/7 SB – 214 AB)

18. East Tennessee State JR 2B Trey York: plus to plus-plus speed; good glove; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .231/.305/.349 – 15 BB/34 K – 11/13 SB – 186 AB) (2015: .355/.437/.611 – 25 BB/44 K – 18/21 SB – 211 AB)

19. Belmont JR 2B/OF Tyler Fullerton: steady glove; power upside; 5-9, 175 pounds (2015: .355/.444/.630 – 25 BB/28 K – 6/8 SB – 211 AB)

20. Lehigh JR 2B/SS Mike Garzillo: legit pop; above-average to plus speed; above-average arm; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .260/.343/.364 – 19 BB/35 K – 14/14 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .308/.395/.407 – 20 BB/35 K – 10/13 SB – 182 AB) (2015: .359/.422/.651 – 18 BB/43 K – 15/18 SB – 209 AB)

21. Western Carolina SR 2B/3B Brad Strong: good athlete; good defensive tools; good speed; gap power; improved approach; smart player; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .277/.299/.367 – 4 BB/30 K – 8/11 SB – 177 AB) (2013: .280/.363/.411 – 25 BB/31 K – 17/23 SB – 207 AB) (2014: .339/.401/.548 – 19 BB/41 K – 20/25 SB – 239 AB) (2015: .344/.401/.608 – 16 BB/18 K – 20/25 SB – 212 AB)

22. Elon SR 2B/OF Casey Jones: can also play 3B; consistently takes good at bats; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .418/.502/.668 – 36 BB/40 K – 11/14 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .313/.422/.475 – 35 BB/36 K – 8/9 SB – 217 AB)

23. Northwestern rSR 2B Kyle Ruchim: 5-10, 200 pounds (2015: .358/.416/.585 – 16 BB/14 K – 1/5 SB – 159 AB)

24. Central Michigan SR 2B Pat MacKenzie: FAVORITE; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .310/.449/.372 – 32 BB/19 K – 4/7 SB – 129 AB) (2013: .247/.380/.323 – 35 BB/30 K – 8/11 SB – 186 AB) (2014: .271/.419/.303 – 46 BB/17 K – 5/9 SB – 188 AB) (2015: .348/.489/.435 – 51 BB/27 K – 24/28 SB – 207 AB)

25. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Connor Owings: good hit tool; 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .326/.400/.446 – 21 BB/30 K – 11/15 SB – 233 AB) (2015: .276/.406/.480 – 45 BB/42 K – 13/18 SB – 196 AB)

26. Radford SR 2B/OF Josh Gardiner: good approach; sneaky pop; good speed; steady glove; great athlete; fractured patella 4/15; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .273/.361/.318 – 25 BB/36 K – 10/15 SB – 198 AB) (2013: .281/.368/.357 – 26 BB/33 K – 20/27 SB – 224 AB) (2014: .294/.415/.418 – 33 BB/45 K – 15/17 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .368/.451/.526 – 23 BB/32 K – 18/22 SB – 171 AB)

27. Washington State SR 2B/SS Ian Sagdal: quick bat; power upside; 6-1, 175 pounds (2015: .298/.391/.498 – 30 BB/47 K – 13/16 SB – 205 AB)

28. Southeastern Louisiana JR 2B/3B Daniel Midyett: good speed; good approach; 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .296/.380/.343 – 14 BB/23 K – 6/8 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .306/.411/.477 – 30 BB/30 K – 7/11 SB – 216 AB)

29. Illinois rSR 2B/RHP Reid Roper: 90-93 FB; CB; CU; good athlete; good defensive tools; great approach; 6-0, 200 pounds (2012: .276/.385/.362 – 25 BB/39 K – 1/3 SB – 174 AB) (2012: 6.07 K/9 | 1.35 BB/9 | 5.87 FIP | 13.1 IP) (2013: .243/.323/.367 – 16 BB/33 K – 2/3 SB – 177 AB) (2014: .250/.346/.388 -15 BB/40 K – 2/8 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .304/.415/.500 – 38 BB/34 K – 5/6 SB – 214 AB)

30. Loyola Marymount SR 2B/SS David Edwards: versatile defender, can play any spot on diamond; good at 2B; good speed; sneaky pop; 6-1, 200 pounds (2012: .203/.282/.234 – 7 BB/21 K – 1/4 SB – 64 AB) (2013: .256/.346/.341 – 17 BB/36 K – 16/21 SB – 164 AB) (2014: .240/.335/.337 – 27 BB/35 K – 12/14 SB – 175 AB) (2015: .316/.390/.492 – 21 BB/41 K – 10/15 SB – 187 AB)

31. Virginia JR 2B/3B John LaPrise: average hit tool; not much current power; good approach; above-average speed; good athlete; iffy arm; good defensive tools; can also play OF; 6-3, 180 pounds (2013: .171/.244/.229 – 3 BB/7 K – 0/0 SB – 35 AB) (2014: .348/.397/.421 – 15 BB/29 K – 5/6 SB – 178 AB) (2015: .286/.286/.286 – 0 BB/2 K – 0/0 SB – 14 AB)

32. UC Davis rSR 2B/OF Tino Lipson: plus speed; plus defender; 5-10, 170 pounds (2012: .338/.376/.375 – 9 BB/14 K – 3/7 SB – 160 AB) (2013: .352/.413/.400 – 14 BB/10 K – 10/13 SB – 165 AB) (2015: .308/.375/.397 – 20 BB/16 K – 21/26 SB – 234 AB)

33. Florida State JR 2B/SS John Sansone: power upside; steady glove; average speed; 5-11, 200 pounds (2013: .228/.378/.311 – 34 BB/54 K – 2/5 SB – 193 AB) (2014: .221/.361/.317 – 29 BB/58 K – 6/8 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .252/.384/.410 – 31 BB/57 K – 2/4 SB – 222 AB)

34. Houston JR 2B Josh Vidales: love the approach; plus glove; FAVORITE; 5-8, 160 pounds (2013: .257/.400/.327 – 50 BB/34 K – 15/19 SB – 214 AB) (2014: .285/.388/.306 – 38 BB/17 K – 11/14 SB – 235 AB) (2015: .313/.410/.402 – 33 BB/21 K – 6/8 SB – 224 AB)

35. Oklahoma JR 2B/3B Kolbey Carpenter: power upside; great approach, wears pitchers out; can also play 1B and LF; 6-0, 180 pounds (2013: .228/.262/.325 – 9 BB/39 K – 1/3 SB – 197 AB) (2014: .300/.368/.450 – 12 BB/20 K – 5/6 SB – 79 AB) (2015: .360/.416/.533 – 23 BB/36 K – 5/11 SB – 242 AB)

36. NC State JR 2B/SS Ryne Willard (2015): good glove; average at best arm; good speed; intriguing hit tool; 6-1, 180 pounds (2015: .298/.377/.429 – 21 BB/49 K – 3/4 SB – 191 AB)

37. Dartmouth SR 2B/SS Thomas Roulis: out in 2015; good hit tool; pretty swing; uses whole field; above-average speed that plays up to plus because of quickness and smarts; not much power; below-average arm; enough range for SS; old Jed Lowrie comp; 5-10, 175 pounds (2012: .257/.335/.349 – 15 BB/20 K – 3/4 SB – 152 AB) (2014: .300/.335/.407 – 9 BB/14 K – 2/4 SB – 150 AB)

38. Virginia Tech SR 2B/SS Alex Perez: 5-10, 165 pounds (2012: .246/.364/.326 – 33 BB/32 K – 4/6 SB – 187 AB) (2013: .212/.338/.264 – 44 BB/27 K – 3/6 SB – 231 AB) (2014: .249/.347/.306 – 30 BB/34 K – 2/3 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .322/.434/.507 – 40 BB/27 K – 3/4 SB – 205 AB)

39. Northeastern rJR 2B/RHP Michael Foster: 92 FB; 6-0, 190 pounds (2013: .319/.378/.540 – 18 BB/49 K – 13/14 SB – 213 AB) (2014: .299/.369/.394 – 22 BB/27 K – 18/21 SB – 221 AB) (2014: 8.00 K/9 – 3.00 BB/9 – 18 IP – 2.50 ERA) (2015: .343/.426/.490 – 26 BB/26 K – 10/12 SB – 204 AB)

40. South Florida SR 2B/SS Kyle Teaf: not much power; decent bat; good defensive tools; 5-9, 170 pounds (2012: .251/.335/.324 – 17 BB/17 K – 5/9 SB – 179 AB) (2013: .269/.384/.346 – 40 BB/31 K – 8/10 SB – 234 AB) (2014: .354/.479/.416 – 42 BB/26 K – 7/12 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .294/.412/.369 – 42 BB/39 K – 14/17 SB – 214 AB)

41. Arkansas JR 2B/SS Rick Nomura: good speed; 5-9, 170 pounds (2015: .312/.390/.459 – 19 BB/22 K – 2/4 SB – 157 AB)

42. Indiana SR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue: plus glove; plus speed; LSU-Eunice transfer; 5-11, 180 pounds (2014: .264/.320/.362 – 17 BB/34 K – 12/17 SB – 246 AB) (2015: .289/.370/.457 – 23 BB/36 K – 13/19 SB – 232 AB)

43. Portland SR 2B/OF Caleb Whalen: really good defender; plus to plus-plus speed; like his approach; power is coming, average raw; good athlete; strong arm; strong hit tool, plus for some; can also hang at SS or 3B; 6-2, 190 pounds (2012: .271/.345/.446 – 17 BB/38 K – 0/1 SB – 177 AB) (2013: .266/.343/.386 – 18 BB/44 K – 6/8 SB – 184 AB) (2014: .265/.344/.423 – 16 BB/28 K – 3/5 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .279/.380/.395 – 4 BB/10 K – 0/1 SB – 43 AB)

44. Cal State Bakersfield JR 2B/SS Mylz Jones: average or better speed, now plus; good athlete; approach needs work; good defensive tools; average or better arm, could be plus in time; can also play 3B or CF; not much power; 6-1, 180 pounds (2013: .320/.382/.369 – 21 BB/35 K – 1/6 SB – 225 AB) (2014: .300/.348/.411 – 17 BB/27 K – 5/6 SB – 207 AB) (2015: .285/.366/.353 – 26 BB/32 K – 6/8 SB – 221 AB)

45. Grand Canyon SR 2B Chad De La Guerra: power upside; 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .373/.433/.555 – 21 BB/23 K – 16/16 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .344/.401/.544 – 17 BB/31 K – 7/9 SB – 215 AB)

46. New Mexico JR 2B/SS Sam Haggerty: above-average or better speed, plus for some; steady glove; 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .236/.376/.320 – 47 BB/48 K – 4/8 SB – 225 AB) (2014: .340/.420/.418 – 35 BB/35 K – 14/16 SB – 244 AB) (2015: .311/.421/.396 – 19 BB/19 K – 6/9 SB – 106 AB)

47. Pepperdine JR 2B Hutton Moyer: good speed; power upside; strong arm; good range; 6-1, 180 pounds (2013: .270/.320/.362 – 10 BB/35 K – 7/7 SB – 163 AB) (2014: .306/.348/.444 – 17 BB/38 K – 15/19 SB – 232 AB) (2015: .280/.393/.541 – 26 BB/57 K – 13/21 SB – 207 AB)

48. Rice SR 2B/SS Ford Stainback: patient; average speed; steady glove; 5-11, 185 pounds (2012: .296/.420/.352 – 31 BB/30 K – 2/2 SB – 142 AB) (2013: .305/.370/.338 – 27 BB/34 K – 6/9 SB – 275 AB) (2014: .258/.314/.297 – 21 BB/28 K – 2/5 SB – 236 AB) (2015: .336/.414/.411 – 29 BB/31 K – 2/2 SB – 214 AB)

49. Georgia State SR 2B/SS Caden Bailey: sneaky pop; above-average defensive tools; 5-10, 170 pounds (2012: .298/.361/.326 – 16 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 181 AB) (2013: .343/.415/.422 – 17 BB/21 K – 8/12 SB – 204 AB) (2014: .283/.351/.366 – 15 BB/31 K – 6/9 SB – 205 AB) (2015: .258/.333/.349 – 25 BB/21 K – 6/8 SB – 229 AB)

50. Florida Gulf Coast rSO 2B/3B Jake Noll: good hit tool; good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .367/.416/.440 – 21 BB/23 K – 25/30 SB – 275 AB) (2015: .348/.406/.423 – 20 BB/26 K – 15/18 SB – 227 AB)

51. Oklahoma State SR 2B/OF Tim Arakawa: plus speed; steady glove; 5-8, 175 pounds (2014: .265/.399/.352 – 47 BB/40 K – 15/17 SB – 230 AB) (2015: .291/.415/.387 – 40 BB/48 K – 10/14 SB – 199 AB)

52. Georgetown SR 2B Ryan Busch: strong hit tool; average arm; average speed; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .191/.303/.283 – 8 BB/30 K – 14/17 SB – 152 AB) (2014: .317/.400/.425 – 17 BB/36 K – 13/15 SB – 167 AB) (2015: .276/.355/.419 – 16 BB/31 K – 7/9 SB – 203 AB)

53. Boston College SR 2B/SS Blake Butera: plus glove; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .282/.389/.395 – 33 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 195 AB) (2013: .266/.388/.319 – 32 BB/25 K – 2/6 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .269/.399/.332 – 29 BB/24 K – 8/9 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .284/.370/.377 – 22 BB/20 K – 10/12 SB – 183 AB)

54. Alabama JR 2B/RHP Kyle Overstreet: average power; can also play 3B; could be tried as catcher; 6-1, 200 pounds (2013: .284/.352/.326 – 24 BB/22 K – 0/2 SB – 236 AB) (2014: .278/.335/.368 – 18 BB/32 K – 0/1 SB – 223 AB) (2015: .281/.335/.366 – 20 BB/34 K – 1/4 SB – 235 AB)

55. Louisville SR 2B/SS Sutton Whiting: plus speed; good approach; plus arm, thanks to accuracy though not overly strong; impressive range; plays within self; FAVORITE; 5-9, 165 pounds (2013: .299/.381/.383 – 21 BB/27 K – 25/31 SB – 201 AB) (2014: .216/.369/.289 – 43 BB/53 K – 37/43 SB – 218 AB) (2015: .311/.419/.382 – 36 BB/50 K – 14/20 SB – 225 AB)

56. Maryland-Eastern Shore JR 2B/SS Mike Escanilla: steady glove; 5-7, 150 pounds (2014: .289/.365/.337 – 21 BB/13 K – 11/16 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .349/.456/.480 – 21 BB/23 K – 17/21 SB – 152 AB)

57. Auburn JR 2B/SS Melvin Gray: steady glove; plus speed; 5-8, 170 pounds (2015: .309/.376/.362 – 16 BB/27 K – 18/21 SB – 149 AB)

58. Louisville SR 2B/SS Zach Lucas: above-average to plus speed; plus defensive tools – range, arm, hands; plus athlete; strong arm; think he sticks at SS, but others disagree; can also play 3B; 6-0, 185 pounds (2012: .253/.360/.380 – 24 BB/36 K – 6/7 SB – 158 AB) (2013: .264/.361/.302 – 5 BB/15 K – 1/3 SB – 53 AB) (2014: .270/.333/.405 – 20 BB/53 K – 7/8 SB – 237 AB) (2015: .245/.349/.364 – 31 BB/50 K – 17/20 SB – 220 AB)

59. San Jose State JR 2B Ozzy Braff: plus glove; 5-11, 200 pounds (2014*: .358/.408/.536 – 13 BB/34 K – 8/8 SB – 151 AB) (2015: .310/.410/.380 – 16 BB/22 K – 2/2 SB – 100 AB)

60. Texas Tech SR 2B Bryant Burleson: plus glove; 5-10, 175 pounds (2013: .250/.360/.304 – 26 BB/38 K – 2/6 SB – 204 AB) (2014: .272/.325/.402 – 12 BB/38 K – 2/2 SB – 254 AB) (2015: .248/.342/.390 – 13 BB/22 K – 105 AB)

61. UCLA JR 2B Trent Chatterdon: good defensive tools; 5-8, 175 pounds (2013: .248/.355/.286 – 13 BB/15 K – 2/2 SB – 105 AB) (2014: .291/.371/.339 – 21 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 189 AB) (2015: .292/.374/.386 – 17 BB/24 K – 0/1 SB – 171 AB)

62. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR 2B Michael Porcaro: steady glove; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .309/.401/.346 – 15 BB/18 K – 4/7 SB – 136 AB) (2013: .348/.404/.481 – 17 BB/27 K – 8/8 SB – 187 AB) (2014: .271/.376/.356 – 23 BB/18 K – 6/8 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .296/.430/.381 – 33 BB/24 K – 8/10 SB – 189 AB)

63. Texas SR 2B Brooks Marlow: steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds (2012: .243/.353/.324 – 27 BB/36 K – 2/4 SB – 173 AB) (2013: .269/.320/.375 – 11 BB/21 K – 1/1 SB – 160 AB) (2014: .268/.383/.375 – 47 BB/36 K – 4/6 SB – 261 AB) (2015: .250/.320/.370 – 20 BB/44 K – 0/0 SB – 208 AB)

64. McNeese State rSR 2B/SS Connor Lloyd: good speed; 5-7, 165 pounds (2013: .263/.358/.297 – 21 BB/12 K – 4/5 SB – 175 AB) (2014: .266/.349/.300 – 24 BB/17 K – 6/9 SB – 203 AB) (2015: .321/.367/.389 – 12 BB/15 K – 2/4 SB – 221 AB)

65. Ohio State JR 2B/3B Troy Kuhn: can also play SS; good hands; 5-10, 180 pounds (2013: .283/.330/.304 – 7 BB/16 K – 4/6 SB – 92 AB) (2014: .290/.379/.442 – 23 BB/34 K – 5/6 SB – 224 AB) (2015: .256/.360/.469 – 12 BB/39 K – 6/7 SB – 160 AB)

66. UC Riverside SR 2B/OF Joe Chavez: good speed; power upside; good athlete; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .293/.400/.449 – 24 BB/58 K – 17/23 SB – 198 AB) (2014: .281/.376/.382 – 25 BB/64 K – 22/27 SB – 217 AB) (2015: .308/.390/.453 – 21 BB/53 K – 9/12 SB – 201 AB)

67. Texas-Arlington JR 2B/SS Darien McLemore: steady glove; power upside; 5-9, 210 pounds (2013: .273/.340/.347 – 18 BB/30 K – 4/6 SB – 176 AB) (2014: .301/.406/.422 – 31 BB/28 K – 2/2 SB – 166 AB) (2015: .238/.279/.297 – 9 BB/27 K – 1/1 SB – 172 AB)

68. George Mason JR 2B/SS Brandon Gum: below-average speed; some pop; steady glove; average at best arm; 6-1, 170 pounds (2013: .221/.303/.262 – 19 BB/52 K – 4/7 SB – 172 AB) (2014: .307/.384/.342 – 23 BB/28 K – 5/7 SB – 202 AB) (2015: .338/.413/.426 – 24 BB/37 K – 5/5 SB – 195 AB)

69. Princeton JR 2B Dan Hoy: good glove; 5-8, 175 pounds (2013: .340/.413/.493 – 15 BB/34 K – 12/13 SB – 150 AB) (2014: .285/.361/.417 – 13 BB/29 K – 7/8 SB – 151 AB) (2015: .311/.361/.576 – 7 BB/24 K – 1/5 SB – 132 AB)

70. Kansas JR 2B/SS Colby Wright: good glove; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .314/.415/.417 – 23 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .264/.435/.326 – 21 BB/17 K – 4/4 SB – 129 AB)

71. Niagara JR 2B Michael Fuhrman: 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .292/.413/.435 – 23 BB/24 K – 4/5 SB – 161 AB) (2015: .340/.476/.490 – 27 BB/27 K – 15/17 SB – 147 AB)

72. Alabama State SR 2B Einar Muniz: 5-5, 165 pounds (2014: .335/.465/.416 – 29 BB/16 K – 5/7 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .434/.484/.509 – 6 BB/4 K – 5/6 SB – 53 AB)

73. Kansas State SR 2B/OF Carter Yagi: good speed; 5-9, 165 pounds (2014: .261/.323/.322 – 11 BB/4 K – 6/8 SB – 115 AB) (2015: .246/.348/.303 – 26 BB/22 K – 7/11 SB – 195 AB)

74. Oklahoma State JR 2B Kevin Bradley: can also play 3B and C; missed 2014 season; 6-1, 200 pounds (2015: .281/.354/.396 – 17 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 139 AB)

75. Grambling State JR 2B/SS Larry Barraza: 5-8, 180 pounds (2015: .333/.426/.572 – 21 BB/12 K – 9/13 SB – 138 AB)

76. Texas State SR 2B/SS Cedric Vallieres: 6-0, 200 pounds (2015: .267/.432/.497 – 35 BB/31 K – 6/6 SB – 191 AB)

77. Southern rSR 2B Marcus Tomlin: 5-10, 180 pounds

78. Appalachian State SR 2B/OF Michael Pierson: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .343/.415/.537 – 26 BB/41 K – 0/1 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .346/.469/.534 – 41 BB/28 K – 1/4 SB – 191 AB)

79. Bucknell JR 2B/OF Joe Ogren: 5-11, 200 pounds (2013: .270/.368/.401 – 15 BB/24 K – 1/4 SB – 137 AB) (2014: .309/.401/.392 – 16 BB/27 K – 6/8 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .357/.463/.536 – 27 BB/25 K – 7/8 SB – 168 AB)

80. Louisiana JR 2B Stefan Trosclair: 6-2, 200 pounds (2015: .351/.453/.668 – 24 BB/36 K – 14/17 SB – 205 AB)

81. Dallas Baptist SR 2B/SS Drew Turbin: 5-11, 200 pounds (2014: .258/.382/.417 – 28 BB/36 K – 3/4 SB – 163 AB) (2015: .349/.490/.521 – 38 BB/44 K – 7/11 SB – 192 AB)

82. Texas-San Antonio JR 2B/OF Jesse Baker: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .273/.338/.421 – 19 BB/61 K – 11/15 SB – 242 AB) (2015: .330/.381/.637 – 17 BB/41 K – 3/9 SB – 215 AB)

83. Furman JR 2B/SS Jordan Simpson: 6-1, 190 pounds (2013: .315/.352/.401 – 9 BB/33 K – 9/11 SB – 197 AB) (2014: .295/.332/.414 – 10 BB/39 K – 7/12 SB – 251 AB) (2015: .339/.377/.606 – 12 BB/35 K – 2/7 SB – 218 AB)

84. La Salle SR 2B Josh Savakinus: 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .295/.371/.462 – 15 BB/38 K – 4/6 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .300/.390/.525 – 26 BB/39 K – 0/2 SB – 200 AB)

85. VMI SR 2B/SS Thomas Stallings: 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .115/.270/.135 – 7 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 52 AB) (2013: .194/.259/.306 – 8 BB/30 K – 98 AB) (2014: .222/.291/.306 – 6 BB/22 K – 1/1 SB – 72 AB) (2015: .286/.409/.579 – 18 BB/43 K – 6/8 SB – 126 AB)

86. Mount St. Mary’s SR 2B/3B Kory Britton: 6-3, 190 pounds (2014: .329/.385/.455 – 11 BB/14 K – 2/4 SB – 143 AB) (2015: .356/.420/.477 – 16 BB/16 K – 2/2 SB – 149 AB)

87. Evansville SR 2B Boomer Synek: 5-9, 185 pounds (2014: .281/.412/.384 – 43 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .288/.418/.423 – 10 BB/3 K – 0/0 SB – 52 AB)

88. Duke SR 2B Andy Perez: 6-0, 185 pounds (2014: .272/.379/.346 – 22/28 SB – 191 AB) (2015: .290/.373/.429 – 27 BB/34 K – 35/45 SB – 210 AB)

89. South Carolina JR 2B/SS DC Arendas: good defender; can also play 3B; 6-1, 180 pounds (2014: .271/.373/.373 – 26 BB/27 K – 1/1 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .215/.388/.319 – 38 BB/49 K – 5/8 SB – 144 AB)

90. Tulane SR 2B Garret Deschamp: good defender; gap power; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .266/.360/.391 – 18 BB/40 K – 2/3 SB – 184 AB) (2015: .222/.347/.323 – 24 BB/52 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB)

91. Oklahoma SR 2B/SS Josh Ake: good range; UNC transfer; 5-11, 175 pounds (2014: .187/.288/.234 – 9 BB/17 K – 2/3 SB – 64 AB) (2015: .214/.328/.308 – 18 BB/22 K – 1/2 SB – 117 AB)

92. San Francisco rJR 2B Michael Eaton: steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds (2014: .233/.331/.320 – 17 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 103 AB) (2015: .286/.337/.357 – 12 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 168 AB)

93. Hartford JR 2B/SS Aaron Wilson: strong glove; good athlete; good speed; 6-0, 180 pounds (2013: .214/.369/.252 – 21 BB/41 K – 4/6 SB – 103 AB) (2014: .234/.339/.266 – 18 BB/32 K – 13/20 SB – 154 AB) (2015: .250/.383/.346 – 25 BB/27 K – 7/10 SB – 136 AB)

94. Canisius JR 2B/SS Anthony Massicci: good glove; strong arm; 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .364/.489/.474 – 42 BB/34 K – 11/14 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .290/.398/.379 – 40 BB/48 K – 5/7 SB – 214 AB)

95. North Carolina Greensboro SR 2B Hunter King: good speed; 5-11, 190 pounds (2014: .382/.445/.538 – 22 BB/30 K – 6/9 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .279/.355/.489 – 20 BB/45 K – 6/7 SB – 190 AB)

96. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B/SS Jake Jefferies: sneaky pop; average to above-average speed; good glove, can also play SS; iffy arm; good athlete; 6-0, 200 pounds (2013: .253/.321/.353 – 12 BB/20 K – 4/4 SB – 150 AB) (2014: .144/.184/.155 – 5 BB/14 K – 2/2 SB – 97 AB) (2015: .252/.311/.294 – 9 BB/18 K – 3/3 SB – 119 AB)

97. Minnesota JR 2B/SS Connor Schaefbauer: good speed; good athlete; good glove; smart player; quick bat; 6-1, 190 pounds (2013: .324/.399/.375 – 17 BB/20 K – 4/5 SB – 136 AB) (2014: .287/.374/.374 – 24 BB/28 K – 13/15 SB – 195 AB) (2015: .260/.318/.333 – 17 BB/41 K – 10/15 SB – 204 AB)

98. Hawaii SR 2B Stephen Ventimilia: plus-plus speed; great athlete; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .337/.438/.361 – 38 BB/30 K – 14/17 SB – 208 AB) (2013: .279/.329/.346 – 10 BB/12 K – 7/12 SB – 136 AB) (2014: .296/.378/.315 – 22 BB/24 K – 13/18 SB – 162 AB) (2015: .229/.313/.285 – 19 BB/25 K – 12/13 SB – 144 AB)

99. Murray State SR 2B/OF Anthony Bayus: good speed, uses it well; can also play 3B; 6-2, 180 pounds (2014: .327/.422/.477 – 29 BB/43 K – 8/11 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .266/.357/.402 – 23 BB/42 K – 12/13 SB – 199 AB)

100. Fort Wayne rJR 2B Greg Kaiser: power upside; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .289/.339/.536 – 8 BB/32 K – 4/4 SB – 166 AB) (2015: .361/.396/.639 – 6 BB/37 K – 5/5 SB – 194 AB)

*****

101. Tennessee-Martin SR 2B/3B Nico Zych: 6-0, 180 pounds (2015: .301/.393/.472 – 24 BB/37 K – 2/2 SB – 193 AB)

102. Delaware SR 2B/3B Zach Lopes: Coastal Carolina transfer; 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .320/.368/.395 – 15 BB/36 K – 5/6 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .341/.415/.476 – 23 BB/36 K – 13/23 SB – 208 AB)

103. Delaware State JR 2B/SS Cameron Onderko: 5-9, 175 pounds (2014: .396/.512/.485 – 17 BB/17 K – 3/3 SB – 101 AB) (2015: .299/.461/.431 – 38 BB/27 K – 3/4 SB – 144 AB)

104. Oral Roberts SR 2B Matt Brandy: 6-0, 185 pounds (2013: .271/.396/.328 – 36 BB/35 K – 2/2 SB – 177 AB) (2014: .277/.362/.357 – 23 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 213 AB) (2015: .313/.429/.456 – 44 BB/24 K – 2/6 SB – 217 AB)

105. Long Island-Brooklyn JR 2B Brian Lamboy: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .327/.469/.418 – 24 BB/9 K – 14/15 SB – 110 AB)

106. Eastern Kentucky JR 2B/3B Doug Teegarden: 6-0, 190 pounds (2013: .250/.384/.319 – 35 BB/20 K – 5/7 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .244/.363/.342 – 27 BB/22 K – 11/14 SB – 193 AB) (2015: .292/.445/.425 – 26 BB/19 K – 11/16 SB – 120 AB)

107. Illinois State rJR 2B Joe Kelch: 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .283/.359/.341 – 11 BB/25 K – 0/0 SB – 138 AB) (2015: .338/.401/.482 – 13 BB/26 K – 1/2 SB – 139 AB)

108. Seattle JR 2B/SS Sheldon Stober: 5-9, 175 pounds (2015: .304/.365/.435 – 22 BB/25 K – 22/28 SB – 230 AB)

109. Ball State JR 2B Ryan Spaulding: 5-10, 165 pounds (2013: .253/.323/.329 – 15 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 170 AB) (2014: .292/.394/.440 – 36 BB/26 K – 2/3 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .284/.354/.431 – 20 BB/23 K – 5/7 SB – 211 AB)

110. East Tennessee State rSO 2B/SS Danny Carrier: 5-9, 185 pounds (2015: .327/.431/.490 – 9 BB/17 K – 2/2 SB – 49 AB)

111. Marist JR 2B Joey Aiola: 6-2, 160 pounds (2015: .306/.384/.417 – 18 BB/19 K – 0/2 SB – 144 AB)

112. Southeastern Louisiana SR 2B/SS Jacob Williams: 5-10, 165 pounds (2014: .265/.349/.310 – 22 BB/33 K – 13/18 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .291/.367/.418 – 9 BB/11 K – 7/8 SB – 79 AB)

113. Florida International JR 2B Austin Rodriguez: 5-10, 190 pounds (2015: .258/.338/.417 – 14 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 132 AB)

114. Butler SR 2B/SS Austin Miller: 6-2, 190 pounds (2015: .285/.407/.417 – 17 BB/25 K – 7/8 SB – 151 AB)

115. Pepperdine JR 2B Chris Fornaci: 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .405/.444/.619 – 3 BB/11 K – 0/0 SB – 42 AB) (2015: .239/.395/.426 – 29 BB/47 K – 0/1 SB – 188 AB)

116. Mercer SR 2B Devin Bonin: 5-9, 165 pounds (2014: .284/.395/.326 – 23 BB/20 K – 5/7 SB – 141 AB) (2015: .286/.358/.459 – 23 BB/40 K – 5/7 SB – 231 AB)

117. Pacific JR 2B/3B Louis Mejia: 5-10, 185 pounds (2015: .308/.348/.420 – 11 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 169 AB)

118. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR 2B Chase Green: 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .292/.339/.398 – 14 BB/35 K – 7/13 SB – 226 AB) (2015: .286/.339/.417 – 12 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 206 AB)

119. Lamar SR 2B Mason Salazar: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .256/.333/.306 – 17 BB/20 K – 4/6 SB – 160 AB) (2015: .310/.350/.421 – 7 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 145 AB)

120. Dartmouth SR 2B Matt Parisi: 5-9, 170 pounds (2013: .311/.373/.407 – 11 BB/25 K – 3/3 SB – 167 AB) (2014: .273/.348/.353 – 13 BB/29 K – 2/5 SB – 139 AB) (2015: .321/.366/.459 – 11 BB/30 K – 1/2 SB – 159 AB)

121. Florida A&M JR 2B Alec Wong: 5-6, 160 pounds (2015: .271/.372/.400 – 24 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 170 AB)

122. South Dakota State SR 2B Al Robbins: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .270/.380/.37 – 22 BB/34 K – 7/9 SB – 141 AB) (2015: .317/.406/.407 – 21 BB/23 K – 4/5 SB – 167 AB)

123. Nebraska JR 2B/SS Jake Placzek: good speed; sneaky pop; good glove; 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .271/.377/.312 – 33 BB/36 K – 3/3 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .212/.331/.317 – 19 BB/26 K – 2/3 SB – 104 AB)

124. TCU JR 2B Garrett Crain: average speed; 6-0, 185 pounds (2014: .324/.403/.413 – 19 BB/25 K – 8/13 SB – 179 AB) (2015: .260/.330/.315 – 18 BB/32 K – 7/9 SB – 200 AB)

125. Charlotte SR 2B/OF Brad Elwood: 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .269/.333/.394 – 11 BB/10 K – 3/4 SB – 104 AB) (2013: .335/.395/.451 – 22 BB/10 K – 5/9 SB – 233 AB) (2014: .214/.266/.226 – 7 BB/5 K – 0/1 SB – 84 AB) (2015: .328/.400/.394 – 22 BB/10 K – 0/2 SB – 180 AB)

126. Georgia Tech SR 2B/SS Thomas Smith: 6-1, 180 pounds (2012: .302/.411/.349 – 16 BB/13 K – 126 AB – 5/9 SB) (2013: .295/.375/.455 – 14 BB/15 K – 3/6 SB – 112 AB) (2014: .301/.392/.380 – 26 BB/31 K – 5/9 SB – 229 AB) (2015: .262/.382/.308 – 34 BB/25 K – 10/12 SB – 195 AB)

127. Binghamton JR 2B Reed Gamache: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .283/.362/.347 – 9 BB/38 K – 5/7 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .288/.422/.388 – 24 BB/28 K – 1/1 SB – 139 AB)

128. Iowa rSR 2B Jake Mangler: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .315/.397/.389 – 21 BB/21 K – 5/7 SB – 216 AB) (2015: .303/.386/.359 – 30 BB/25 K – 8/9 SB – 231 AB)

129. St. John’s SR 2B/3B Robert Wayman: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .276/.380/.319 – 34 BB/22 K – 10/11 SB – 210 AB) (2015: .297/.405/.356 – 15 BB/14 K – 3/5 SB – 101 AB)

130. Eastern Michigan SR 2B/SS John Rubino: 5-8, 170 pounds (2013: .311/.384/.406 – 24 BB/22 K – 11/15 SB – 212 AB) (2014: .330/.383/.401 – 17 BB/19 K – 23/30 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .311/.375/.373 – 20 BB/18 K – 40/46 SB – 228 AB)

131. Lamar SR 2B/3B Reed Seeley: 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .283/.417/.349 – 42 BB/31 K – 5/9 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .284/.380/.371 – 29 BB/26 K – 0/1 SB – 197 AB)

132. Troy SR 2B/3B Nick Masonia: 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .243/.328/.388 – 19 BB/36 K – 7/7 SB – 206 AB) (2015: .262/.356/.387 – 26 BB/28 K – 1/2 SB – 191 AB)

133. Kansas SR 2B/SS Justin Protacio: great approach; steady glove; 5-6, 165 pounds (2013: .255/.384/.295 – 41 BB/31 K – 9/11 SB – 200 AB) (2014: .280/.393/.322 – 44 BB/37 K – 4/8 SB – 236 AB) (2015: .236/.331/.279 – 28 BB/21 K – 2/3 SB – 208 AB)

134. Charlotte rSO 2B/SS Luke Gibbs: good athlete; good defender; can play anywhere; Mississippi transfer; 5-9, 170 pounds (2015: .203/.316/.297 – 24 BB/26 K – 4/6 SB – 148 AB)

135. Rider SR 2B/SS Greg Fazio: good speed; 5-11, 175 pounds (2014: .245/.313/.367 – 13 BB/39 K – 7/10 SB – 188 AB) (2015: .258/.333/.368 – 21 BB/35 K – 16/19 SB – 190 AB)

136. Butler rSO 2B/SS Chris Maranto: good hit tool; 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .309/.410/.395 – 25 BB/32 K – 8/10 SB – 162 AB) (2015: .275/.370/.292 – 16 BB/21 K – 7/12 SB – 120 AB

137. Long Beach State rJR 2B Zach Domingues: plus approach; FAVORITE; 5-10, 175 pounds (2015: .183/.308/.232 – 24 BB/24 K – 4/11 SB – 164 AB)

138. Fordham JR 2B Joseph Runco: steady glove; smart player; average speed; 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .298/.357/.361 – 15 BB/33 K – 23/29 SB – 205 AB) (2015: .255/.336/.314 – 19 BB/25 K – 29/33 SB – 204 AB)

139. UC Riverside SR 2B/SS Alex Rubanowitz: average or better range, speed, and arm; 6-1, 180 pounds (2012: .222/.304/.278 – 9 BB/18 K – 1/2 SB – 90 AB) (2013: .230/.320/.297 – 17 BB/27 K – 4/7 SB – 148 AB) (2014: .158/.258/.158 – 8 BB/13 K – 2/2 SB – 57 AB) (2015: .235/.290/.318 – 8 BB/27 K – 0/0 SB – 132 AB)

140. Central Arkansas JR 2B Chris Townsend: good glove; 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .281/.389/.357 – 25 BB/43 K – 3/5 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .239/.382/.290 – 27 BB/21 K – 5/7 SB – 138 AB)

141. Gardner-Webb SR 2B/SS Henry Rundio: good speed; 6-0, 170 pounds (2013: .257/.319/.367 – 12 BB/45 K – 16/23 SB – 210 AB) (2014: .268/.317/.350 – 12 BB/37 K – 15/21 SB – 183 AB) (2015: .201/.276/.348 – 14 BB/47 K – 11/14 SB – 164 AB)

142. Albany JR 2B Karson Canaday: good speed; good glove; 5-9, 155 pounds (2015: .211/.312/.275 – 16 BB/21 K – 2/2 SB – 109 AB)

143. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR 2B/RHP Skyler Geissinger: 6-2, 185 pounds (2013: .267/.310/.422 – 6 BB/51 K – 0/2 SB – 187 AB) (2014: .263/.366/.392 – 23 BB/45 K – 4/7 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .297/.375/.401 – 21 BB/41 K – 3/6 SB – 182 AB)

144. Eastern Kentucky JR 2B/3B Luke Wurzelbacher: 6-3, 185 pounds (2014: .207/.317/.337 – 12 BB/46 K – 3/4 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .257/.364/.414 – 10 BB/37 K – 6/7 SB – 140 AB)

145. Fairleigh Dickinson JR 2B/SS Dylan Sprague: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .266/.328/.338 – 13 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .262/.324/.384 – 14 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 164 AB) (2015: .298/.344/.393 – 14 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 168 AB)

146. Missouri SR 2B/SS Brett Peel: 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .214/.353/.214 – 4 BB/12 K – 2/3 SB – 28 AB) (2015: .257/.362/.332 – 31 BB/47 K – 22/29 SB – 214 AB)

147. California JR 2B Max Dutto: 5-11, 210 pounds (2013: .172/.264/.234 – 7 BB/26 K – 0/0 SB – 64 AB) (2015: .222/.411/.346 – 22 BB/28 K – 2/2 SB – 81 AB)

148. Utah JR 2B Kody Davis: 5-8, 170 pounds (2013: .273/.364/.347 – 9 BB/15 K – 14/15 SB – 121 AB) (2014: .237/.372/.284 – 28 BB/29 K – 12/15 SB – 190 AB) (2015: .275/.423/.365 – 25 BB/32 K – 15/22 SB – 189 AB)

149. Minnesota SR 2B/OF Tony Skjefte: 5-10, 160 pounds (2014: .272/.349/.396 – 17 BB/22 K – 2/5 SB – 169 AB)

150. Cal State Northridge SR 2B Ryan Raslowsky: 5-9, 170 pounds (2014: .269/.309/.284 – 12 BB/14 K – 15/24 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .293/.362/.348 – 14 BB/28 K – 11/15 SB – 198 AB)

151. USC rSR 2B Angelo La Bruna: Duke transfer; 5-10, 170 pounds (2015: .250/.310/.368 – 7 BB/12 K – 4/6 SB – 76 AB)

152. UC Santa Barbara rSR 2B/OF Woody Woodward: 6-1, 200 pounds (2013: .319/.394/.404 – 10 BB/24 K – 8/11 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .260/.364/.326 – 11 BB/21 K – 6/7 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .295/.411/.374 – 16 BB/23 K – 4/4 SB – 139 AB)

153. San Diego rJR 2B/3B Jerod Smith: 5-9, 170 pounds (2014: .303/.343/.303 – 2 BB/3 K – 0/1 SB – 33 AB) (2015: .295/.380/.345 – 26 BB/30 K – 1/2 SB – 200 AB)

154. St. Mary’s JR 2B/OF Connor Hornsby: 5-9, 180 pounds (2014: .230/.321/.246 – 17 BB/16 K – 2/6 SB – 122 AB) (2015: .349/.417/.386 – 17 BB/18 K – 11/13 SB – 166 AB)

155. Northern Colorado SR 2B/SS Reyn Sugai: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .297/.403/.338 – 15 BB/23 K – 9/11 SB – 148 AB)

156. Utah Valley State JR 2B/SS Greyson Bogden: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .279/.350/.351 – 18 BB/28 K – 1/2 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .269/.330/.391 – 13 BB/41 K – 2/2 SB – 197 AB)

157. Houston Baptist JR 2B Greg Espinosa: 5-10, 165 pounds (2015: .307/.335/.353 – 5 BB/7 K – 1/2 SB – 153 AB)

158. Sam Houston State JR 2B Zach Smith: 6-0, 175 pounds (2015: .275/.333/.359 – 14 BB/18 K – 11/12 SB – 167 AB)

159. Maine JR 2B Shane Bussey: 6-0, 200 pounds (2015: .250/.346/.333 – 20 BB/34 K – 8/9 SB – 156 AB)

160. Stony Brook SR 2B Robert Chavarria: 5-6, 170 pounds (2014: .292/.395/.308 – 27 BB/20 K – 8/11 SB – 185 AB) (2015: .308/.450/.331 – 35 BB/21 K – 3/6 SB – 169 AB)

161. Towson rSO 2B/SS Colin Dyer: 6-2, 175 pounds (2015: .276/.389/.359 – 25 BB/34 K – 8/10 SB – 156 AB)

162. Arkansas State SR 2B/3B Lucas Feddersen: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .314/.372/.398 – 6 BB/31 K – 7/7 SB – 118 AB)

163. Georgia Southern SR 2B/SS Dalton Busby: 6-1, 170 pounds (2014: .274/.318/.406 – 14 BB/27 K – 7/9 SB – 197 AB) (2015: .281/.361/.378 – 23 BB/45 K – 24/28 SB – 196 AB)

164. South Carolina Upstate SR 2B/OF Erik Samples: 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .294/.362/.428 – 16 BB/34 K – 2/2 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .318/.400/.441 – 22 BB/46 K – 2/3 SB – 211 AB)

165. Dayton rSR 2B Sergio Plasencia: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .231/.332/.313 – 18 BB/15 K – 4/5 SB – 160 AB) (2015: .253/.362/.343 – 28 BB/24 K – 3/6 SB – 198 AB)

166. Massachusetts rSR 2B Rob McLam: 5-9, 180 pounds (2015: .294/.388/.378 – 10 BB/11 K – 3/6 SB – 119 AB)

167. North Florida JR 2B/SS Kyle Brooks: 5-8, 160 pounds (2013: .292/.385/.380 – 21 BB/20 K – 6/9 SB – 192 AB) (2014: .293/.370/.340 – 21 BB/20 K – 3/3 SB – 215 AB) (2015: .303/.375/.354 – 17 BB/12 K – 9/10 SB – 195 AB)

168. Gardner-Webb JR 2B Tyler Best: 5-11, 180 pounds (2014: .269/.331/.303 – 11 BB/22 K – 2/6 SB – 119 AB) (2015: .253/.333/.356 – 14 BB/20 K – 11/17 SB – 146 AB)

169. Longwood JR 2B CJ Roth: 5-7, 165 pounds (2014: .268/.323/.340 – 12 BB/33 K – 2/3 SB – 153 AB) (2015: .285/.406/.326 – 25 BB/42 K – 12/15 SB – 144 AB)

170. Wofford JR 2B/SS Derek Hirsch: 5-10, 160 pounds (2014: .248/.349/.279 – 16 BB/27 K – 11/12 SB – 129 AB) (2015: .306/.389/.347 – 23 BB/33 K – 17/21 SB – 193 AB)

171. Yale SR 2B David Toups: 5-9, 180 pounds (2012: .286/.318/.354 – 7 BB/23 K – 3/5 SB – 147 AB) (2013: .201/.267/.269 – 11 BB/20 K – 6/8 SB – 134 AB) (2014: .221/.327/.316 – 13 BB/15 K – 3/5 SB – 95 AB) (2015: .291/.393/.378 – 18 BB/23 K – 2/4 SB – 127 AB)

172. Harvard JR 2B/3B Mitch Klug: 6-2, 190 pounds (2015: .308/.424/.350 – 16 BB/27 K – 7/9 SB – 143 AB)

173. Fairleigh Dickinson JR 2B/SS Dylan Sprague: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .266/.328/.338 – 13 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .262/.324/.384 – 14 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 164 AB) (2015: .298/.344/.393 – 14 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 168 AB)

174. Eastern Illinois JR 2B Mitch Gasbarro: 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .307/.414/.417 – 24 BB/37 K – 6/10 SB – 192 AB) (2015: .221/.320/.337 – 11 BB/28 K – 4/4 SB – 86 AB)

175. Jacksonville State JR 2B/SS Gavin Golsan: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .256/.340/.295 – 16 BB/34 K – 32/36 SB – 176 AB) (2015: .290/.361/.347 – 38/42 SB – 245 AB)

176. Murray State JR 2B Nick Moore: Missouri transfer; 5-11, 180 pounds (2015: .258/.341/.358 – 20 BB/40 K – 1/4 SB – 190 AB)

177. Tennessee Tech JR 2B/SS Jake Farr: 6-1, 180 pounds (2015: .275/.376/.354 – 22 BB/20 K – 1/3 SB – 178 AB)

178. Tennessee-Martin JR SS Matt Hirsch: 6-0, 185 pounds (2015: .286/.417/.349 – 32 BB/39 K – 2/2 SB – 175 AB)

179. Norfolk State rSO 2B/SS Roger Hall: 6-0, 215 pounds (2015: .281/.339/.371 – 12 BB/21 K – 2/4 SB – 167 AB)

180. Illinois-Chicago rSR 2B Alex Lee: 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .309/.404/.371 – 26 BB/34 K – 1/4 SB – 178 AB) (2015: .314/.382/.387 – 21 BB/37 K – 2/2 SB – 191 AB)

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

Running 2015 MLB Draft Prospect Follow Lists (Week Two)

The original is here. The latest is below. The title says it all.

Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, and North Carolina State have been added to Boston College, Clemson, Duke, and Florida State. Still waiting on North Carolina to post a real roster online, so we’ll keep skipping them and move on to Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Virginia Tech for next week.

C

  1. Maryland JR C Kevin Martir
  2. Duke rSR C Mike Rosenfeld
  3. Miami SR C Garrett Kennedy

1B

  1. Boston College JR 1B/OF Chris Shaw
  2. Florida State rSR 1B Chris Marconcini
  3. Georgia Tech SR 1B/C AJ Murray
  4. Georgia Tech rSO 1B Cole Miller

2B

  1. Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe
  2. Georgia Tech SR 2B/SS Thomas Smith
  3. North Carolina State SR 2B/3B Logan Ratledge

SS

  1. Clemson JR SS/3B Tyler Krieger

3B

  1. Miami JR 3B/1B David Thompson
  2. Maryland JR 3B Jose Cuas
  3. Miami JR 3B/OF George Iskenderian
  4. Georgia Tech JR 3B/SS Matt Gonzalez

OF

  1. Florida State JR OF DJ Stewart
  2. Clemson JR OF Steven Duggar
  3. Georgia Tech rJR OF Dan Spingola
  4. Clemson SR OF Tyler Slaton
  5. North Carolina State SR OF Jake Fincher

P

  1. Duke JR RHP Michael Matuella
  2. Clemson JR LHP Matthew Crownover
  3. Miami rJR LHP Andrew Suarez
  4. Clemson JR RHP Clate Schmidt
  5. Florida State JR LHP Alex Diese
  6. Duke JR RHP Kenny Koplove
  7. Maryland JR LHP Alex Robinson
  8. Maryland JR LHP Jake Dorssner
  9. Clemson JR LHP Zack Erwin
  10. Clemson rSO RHP Wales Toney
  11. Florida State JR RHP/OF Jameis Winston
  12. Duke SR RHP Andrew Istler
  13. Duke rSO RHP James Marvel
  14. Maryland JR RHP Kevin Mooney
  15. Maryland JR RHP Jared Price
  16. Florida State SR LHP Bryant Holtmann
  17. Maryland rJR LHP Zach Morris
  18. Clemson rJR RHP Patrick Andrews
  19. Florida State rJR RHP Mike Compton
  20. North Carolina State JR LHP Brad Stone
  21. Miami JR LHP Thomas Woodrey

2015 MLB Draft Prospects – Maryland

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)
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)

So, Maryland is kind of stacked, huh? How about that? I’m excited by a future that includes SO C/1B Nick Cieri’s bat (less so his glove…), SO RHP Mike Shawaryn’s pro-ready changeup, FR C Justin Morris getting the chance to catch his older brother again, FR LHP Willie Rios making sub-6 foot pitchers proud, and FR OF Zach Jancarski running balls down in center. The present doesn’t look half-bad, either. Maryland’s pitching in particular stands out. Most, if not all, of their top current arms will wind up as relievers in professional ball, but the fact that they have upwards of five 2015 arms who look like safe bets to be selected in June speaks volumes about the quality of talent that has been pumped into the school in recent years. JRs LHP Jake Drossner and RHP Kevin Mooney have the best shot at starting in pro ball. Drossner throws two offspeed pitches for strikes (mid-70s CB, low-80s CU) and Mooney has the stuff to garner groundball outs (FB with sink, CB with plus upside) yet may not have quite the changeup he’ll need to escape the pen as a pro. JRs LHP Alex Robinson (96 peak) and RHP Jared Price (95 peak) have the most raw arm strength, but both have some serious control issues to work out before taking the next step. On sheer upside alone, a pretty easy case could be made that they are the top two 2015 arms on the roster; I’ll take Robinson if forced to pick. rJR LHP Zach Morris rounds out the group as another physical strong-armed future reliever with below-average present control.

I hope giving some love to the pitching staff doesn’t make it seem like the Terps are light on hitting. They are not. JR OF LaMonte Wade is a power spike away — which, based on his swing/frame/HS days is well within reach — from being a really intriguing 2015 draft prospect. As it is, he’s still a guy who can throw, run a little, and work deep counts. JR 3B Jose Cuas reminds me a little bit of Matt Gonzalez of Georgia Tech: both players have the tools to be regulars at the hot corner, especially defensively, but still have some growing to do on the offensive side. Cuas is the toolsier of the two, though both flash big league ability at times. I stuck a sophomore season comparison between the two ACC 3B after this paragraph, if you’re into that sort of thing. JR C Kevin Martir has almost the opposite problem as Cuas: his bat is way ahead of his glove at the present moment, which is not necessarily an ideal situation for a catcher to be in. I’ve heard some really good things about JR OF Anthony Papio, but his breakthrough — been far more solid than spectacular — has yet to occur.

MG: 314/.358/.416 – 20 BB/55 K – 9/17 SB – 255 AB
JC: .279/.333/.417 – 14 BB/49 K – 3/5 SB – 204 AB

I think Cuas and Wade are future pros with little doubt, but there’s one Maryland hitter that I’d take over both. It should come as no shock to any long-time reader that rSO 2B Brandon Lowe is my kind of ballplayer. His physical tools skew closer to average than not (glove, arm, speed, raw power), but the man has a knack for consistent hard contact that can’t be taught. He also has a tremendous batting eye that often puts him in good hitting counts. It’s a really tough profile to get too excited about — offensive second basemen who can’t really run are not typically seen as prospects by anybody — but I believe in the bat (.348/.464/.464 with 34 BB/20 K in 181 AB last year) enough to think he’s got a real chance to make it. He’s obviously not the best position player prospect in the ACC this year, but he’s definitely my favorite.