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I wish I could go back and compare this list with other seniors drafted in 2009, but there doesn’t appear to be a draft database that gets that specific and I don’t have the patience/time/energy to sort through the names myself. It is still pretty interesting to see what some of the top seniors from 2009 are up to now, so let’s dive right in and check on the players from my All Senior Prospect Team (Class of ’09):
C Preston Clark
Not exactly setting the world in fire with this first name, but I couldn’t dig up anything on Preston Clark after his senior season at Texas.
1B Luke Anders | Texas A&M | San Francisco Giants | 32nd Round (2009)
.251/.346/.423 – 35 BB/63 K – 267 AB
Every organization has a Luke Anders or two bouncing around the minors. He’s a very typical college slugger just a bit too old for his level but still doing just enough with the bat to “protect” some of the younger prospects around him. The line you see above is for a 24 year old in High A, by the way. Not super old for his league, but first base is a really tough position to make an impression and time might be running out on Anders. Also, his last name makes me think of Workaholics, a show I like way more than I probably should.
2B Seth Henry | Tulane | Tampa Bay Rays | Undrafted Free Agent
Henry struggled in both ’09 and ’10 and has since been released. Unfortunate ending, for sure, but I give any undrafted player who manages to catch on with a big league organization a ton of credit for chasing that dream.
3B Chris Dominguez | Louisville | San Francisco Giants | 3rd Round (2009)
.284/.326/.465 – 24 BB/110 K – 391 AB
Dominguez was the most exciting senior hitter on my list at the time, a position backed up by his lofty third round draft selection. His above numbers are his combined line between High A and AA as a 24 year old. I still love the tools — most notably his big raw power and plus-plus arm — and think his floor remains solid four-corners power hitting utility guy.
SS Ben Orloff | UC Irvine | Houston Astros | 9th Round (2009)
.317/.398/.411 – 17 BB/16 K – 8/14 SB – 202 AB
Orloff has played really well this year, as his numbers attest, but it is very curious to me that a 24 year old has gone through the system so slowly. I couldn’t be totally off here, mostly on account of me not knowing anything pertaining to the inner workings of the Houston farm system, but it makes no sense to have Orloff still in Low A.
OF Cory Harrilchak | Elon | Atlanta Braves | 14th Round (2009)
.243/.316/.374 – 31 BB/50 K – 9/16 SB – 305 AB
Harrilchak is an easy player to root for; as a fan of a division rival, consider that the highest of praise. He’ll never hit for much power, but all of his other four tools are at least average and he’s the type of player that will work to have those average tools play up. He’s 23 years old and in AA, but it won’t be too long until he’s a backup outfielder somewhere in the big leagues.
OF Ryan Lollis | Missouri | San Francisco Giants | 37th Round (2009)
.288/.371/.374 – 26 BB/33 K – 5/8 SB – 219 AB
Lollis has a similar line to Orloff, but, unfortunately also like Orloff, he’s spent most of 2011 in Low A as a 24 year old.
OF Matt Long | Santa Clara | Los Angeles Angels | 30th Round (2009)
.304/.386/.531 – 46 BB/64 K – 18/28 SB – 382 AB
Long has hit well as a 24 year old in High A, but it should be pointed out that he is doing this in the very hitter friendly Cal League. Call me crazy, but I think there is enough power, speed, and plate discipline here to make him an interesting sleeper. His defensive ability, of which I have no idea of, could make or break him as he moves up the chain.
RHP Scott Bittle | Mississippi | St. Louis Cardinals | 4th Round (2009)
8.44 ERA – 5.1 IP – 6 K/8 BB – 0.29 GO/AO
I’m almost too bummed out to write anything about Bittle, one of my all-time favorite college pitchers to watch. He was consistently banged up in college, wound up with a nasty shoulder injury in the pros, and is now 24 and just getting his feet wet in Short-Season ball. At least he was when I originally wrote that earlier this week. He’s since been released. Such a bummer.
RHP Preston Guilmet | Arizona | Cleveland Indians | 9th Round (2009)
1.74 ERA – 41.1 IP – 45 K/7 BB – 0.86 GO/AO
Guilmet’s funky delivery, abundance of offspeed slop, and consistently outstanding strikeout/walk numbers has me looking forward to the Preston Guilmet, MLB reliever era. He turns 24 today and is thus far killing it in High A. Part of me regrets picking him over Adam Warren (Yankees), but I still loyal to my guy.
RHP Louis Coleman | Louisiana State | Kansas City Royals | 5th Round (2009)
1.88 ERA – 43 K/17 BB – 38.1 IP
What can you say about Coleman? He’s currently lighting it up in the big leagues and is hopefully on the precipice of a ten year big league career.
LHP Miers Quigley | Alabama
Sometimes banking on a top prep arm rediscovering what once made them so great doesn’t work out. Swing and a miss…
LHP Chris Rusin | Kentucky | Chicago Cubs | 4th Round (2009)
3.96 ERA – 88.2 IP – 56 K/17 BB – 2.03 GO/AO
Rusin was good in both 2009 and 2010 and is one of the quicker movers on this list now that he’s made it to AAA. Most of his year has been spent in AA, so keep that in mind when looking at his combined numbers above. Between his high draft pedigree, good enough peripherals for a potential reliever, and interesting ground ball numbers, we could be looking at a future big league bullpen piece.
LHP Wes Musick | Houston | Colorado Rockies | 9th Round (2009)
5.34 ERA – 28.2 IP – 31 K/12 BB – 0.77 GO/AO
Musick was dealt back home to Houston in the Matt Lindstrom trade. His ERA may not be pretty, but the K/BB ratio looks good for a young lefty pitching mostly in High A.
So much pitching to recap, so little time…
- Relievers, relievers, and more relievers
Jake Morgan, redshirt sophomore from the University of Mississippi, gets a special mention for his complete wipeout of Alabama: (2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K)
Long, lanky Matt Miller (6-6, 215) of Michigan’s great outing (3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K) pushed his K/IP total to 16/12.2 on the season. It’ll interesting to see if he is in the mix for a starting spot for the Wolverines next spring.
Preston Claiborne has been a consistent strikeout per inning got out of the bullpen at Tulane since arriving on campus. His latest outing is a continuation of his success: 2.2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
Steve Kalush is a less well known name than Claiborne, but has had similar success as a collegiate pitcher. The Santa Clara is another strikeout per inning guy. His weekend outing: 2 IP 1 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K
I love the adjective “hulking” when it describes a pitcher. Luke Demko is 6-6 and pushing three bills, but as nondescript college relievers go, he’s a good one. Demko could be a nice late round senior sign flier of a pick. His weekend: 2 IP 0 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K (7th save)
Taylor Hill, a Vanderbilt sophomore talented enough to start for a lot of teams but forced to relieve for the pitching-rich Commodores, put up the following line: 4 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K. I’m thinking Vandy would be a good candidate for the next college profile piece…they are completely stacked with prospects, both hitting and pitching.
- Non-prospect performance of the week
Alex Rivers, teammate of Kalush’s at Santa Clara, put up this beauty of a line against Dartmouth: 7 IP 2 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K. Yeah, it was against Dartmouth, and, yeah, Rivers is a short righty without much of a pro future, but this strong outing is worthy of praise. Here’s to you, Alex Rivers!
- Starting pitching prospects, now and in the future
Chris Rusin (Kentucky, 2009) – 9 IP 7 H 2 ER 2 BB 11 K against Vanderbilt. What I like best about Rusin is the steady increase in performance each year he has been in school.
Matt Harvey (North Carolina, 2010): 2 IP 7 H 7 ER 2 BB 1 K
Kyle Winkler (Texas Christian, 2011): 0.1 IP 5 H 6 ER 3 BB 0 K
Two really rough outings for two really good young pitchers. Winkler is a huge personal favorite – consider my love for him as a prospect partially due to my reverse short righthanded pitching bias.
Justin Grimm (Georgia, 2010): 5.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 9 K
Gerrit Cole (UCLA, 2011): 5 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K, 101 pitches
Grimm is well known in scouting circles, but I consider him a 2010 sleeper anyway because even though he’s expected to go high in his draft year, I think he’ll go even higher – love his 30/7 K/BB ratio in just 25.1 innings. The odds-on favorite to go number two overall in 2011 keeps on doing his thing for the Bruins…
DJ Mauldin (Cal Poly, 2009): 8 IP 6 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K, 12/4/1 (GO/AO/LO)…another short righty with a big game.
- Strong outings, but heavy workloads…
Tyler Blandford (Oklahoma State, 2009): 8 IP 3 H 2 ER 3 BB 11 K, 117 pitches
Chad Bettis (Texas Tech, 2010): 8 IP 8 H 3 ER 3 BB 8 K (11/5 groundball to flyball ratio), 129 pitches
One of my favorite quirks about the Rule 4 Draft is the “senior sign.” College players who have stayed in school all four years often don’t get actually do so on purpose. College baseball seniors are “forced” to stay in school by big league scouting directors because of one (or more) inherent flaws in their games. However, many of these players are also extremely skilled at certain areas of the game – take Scott Bittle’s cutter, Chris Dominguez’s power and throwing arm, and Matt Long’s plate discipline, for example. Of course, like any class of player, not all seniors are created equal. Some seniors are still in school due to injuries in previous seasons, some are very dedicated students chasing their degrees, and some remain in college on a mission after not getting the bonus they felt they deserved. Now what’s more interesting than flawed players with interesting backstories?
All of the best of the senior class is after the jump. We’re talking the finest bunch of backup catchers, utility infielders, fourth outfielders, bench bats, and bullpen arms you’ll ever see. I may sound like I’m making fun, but, as any good baseball fan knows, there is real value in developing your own peripheral talent. Saving money on these spots frees up money to pay for the special talents of the baseball universe. So, with no further ado (besides the minor hassle of clicking through), the senior class… (more…)