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2015 MLB Draft – Top 100 D1 College Shortstop Prospects

1. LSU JR SS/2B Alex Bregman: can really hit, easy above-average to plus hit tool; average to above-average speed, plays up; average arm, maybe a bit more; average raw power, wears out the gaps; shows all the bat speed you’d want; good approach; interesting defensive tools, still like him more at 2B, where he’s easily above-average to plus but has gotten pretty damn solid at shortstop through hard work, great instincts, and far more natural ability than originally given credit; stronger than he looks; BA comps: Mark Ellis and Dustin Pedroia; old Tony Renda comp; have also thrown out an Aaron Hill comparison; for a long time a Todd Walker comparison seemed so obvious, but if he hits like him and defends like he has this spring, that’s a star; 6-0, 190 pounds

2013: .369/.419/.546 – 25 BB/24 K – 17/18 SB – 282 AB
2014: .316/.397/.455 – 27 BB/21 K – 12/18 SB – 244 AB
2015: .330/.418/.573 – 33 BB/20 K – 32/41 SB – 227 AB

2. Vanderbilt JR SS/2B Dansby Swanson: plus athlete; above-average to plus speed, plays up; good defensive tools, should be average or better at either spot (above-average to plus at second, a tick below that at short); above-average or better hit tool, could be plus; good but not great arm; average at best raw power, but I’m starting to think that undersells it; BA comp: slower Trea Turner; had a lot to prove this spring and did everything asked of him and more; keep coming back to his athleticism as a real difference-maker, he’ll instantly become one of the game’s best athletes upon signing; 6-0, 190 pounds

2014: .333/.411/.475 – 37 BB/49 K – 22/27 SB – 282 AB
2015: .350/.438/.654 – 38 BB/41 K – 14/16 SB – 237 AB

3. Florida JR SS/OF Richie Martin: love his approach; great athlete; above-average to plus speed; plus arm, very accurate; average power upside; steady defender, range flashes plus; quick bat; also good in CF; like his defensive tools; blazing first step; young for class; first round talent who will likely slip past that, but has the physical ability to be an above-average regular shortstop for a long time; 6-0, 180 pounds

2013: .312/.380/.353 – 16 BB/23 K – 7/10 SB – 170 AB
2014: .265/.354/.337 – 27 BB/30 K – 18/20 SB – 249 AB
2015: .290/.397/.420 – 32 BB/31 K – 20/26 SB – 224 AB

4. Louisiana JR SS/2B Blake Trahan: steady glove, plus for some (me); interesting bat, hit tool is there and pop sneaks up on you; good athlete; average or better arm; good approach; easy plus speed, can time out as plus-plus; not the best college hitter in this class, but might be my favorite; speaking of, he gets the all-caps treatment and I’ll even bold it for good measure: FAVORITE; 5-10, 185 pounds

2013: .343/.430/.451 – 30 BB/27 K – 13/13 SB – 213 AB
2014: .355/.455/.465 – 44 BB/37 K – 15/27 SB – 256 AB
2015: .332/.442/.429 – 37 BB/29 K – 17/25 SB – 238 AB

5. San Diego JR SS Kyle Holder: plus athlete; good speed; plus to plus-plus (!) glove; plus arm; BA comps: Walt Weiss (I had this one as well), Deven Marrero, Brendan Ryan; in addition to Weiss, also heard Mike Bordick and Orlando Cabrera as comparisons; will be a big league player for a long as he wants based on his glove alone, though I think there’s enough stick to make him a regular in relatively short order; FAVORITE; 6-1, 185 pounds

2014: .298/.346/.403 – 15 BB/16 K – 7/9 SB – 191 AB
2015: .348/.418/.482 – 19 BB/19 K – 5/11 SB – 224 AB

6. UCLA rJR SS/2B Kevin Kramer: missed 2014 season (shoulder); great athlete; average arm; average speed; steady defender, could be excellent at 2B but gets the job done presently at shortstop; really like his approach; above-average hit tool; short to ball; can also play 3B, so utility future gives him a high floor for a second day pick; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .273/.343/.314 – 7 BB/18 K – 1/2 SB – 121 AB
2013: .273/.381/.371 – 31 BB/45 K – 9/18 SB – 245 AB
2015: .328/.431/.478 – 34 BB/34 K – 7/15 SB – 232 AB

7. Virginia SO SS/3B Daniel Pinero: plus defensive tools; really impressive range; average or better arm strength; size is more of a concern (could grow past the point of playing up the middle, long levers will make consistent contact tricky at the plate) than a positive attribute to many, which seems silly since he’s a gifted athlete with above-average body control despite being “too tall” for some; more boom/bust than any name ahead of him at the position, but upside makes it worth it; 6-5, 210 pounds

2014: .261/.372/.286 – 36 BB/31 K – 10/13 SB – 241 AB
2015: .311/.415/.440 – 34 BB/33 K – 6/8 SB – 209 AB

8. Texas JR SS/3B CJ Hinojosa: plus bat speed; average or better speed; average to above-average arm; plus instincts in field and on bases; good glove; above-average power upside; could be catcher convert; reminds me of Kevin Newman in a lot of ways, but with none of the hype (and admittedly a ton less production to date); Aaron Fitt comp: Alex Mejia; has lost a lot of fans over the years, but I loved him out of HS so I’m sticking with him as a solid future pro today; 5-9, 180 pounds

2013: .330/.390/.435 – 19 BB/25 K – 3/4 SB – 191 AB
2014: .298/.373/.376 – 29 BB/32 K – 5/7 SB – 242 AB
2015: .244/.322/.410 – 22 BB/24 K – 4/7 SB – 205 AB

9. Kennesaw State JR SS Kal Simmons: strong arm; plus defender in all phases; plus range; average at best speed; average or better power; BA comp: John McDonald; made encouraging strides with the bat this spring; could be nice fallback for teams that like Kyle Holder but miss out on him early; 6-0, 200 pounds

2013: .278/.332/.332 – 14 BB/30 K – 4/7 SB – 187 AB
2014: .272/.332/.313 – 23 BB/33 K – 3/4 SB – 268 AB
2015: .269/.380/.443 – 31 BB/34 K – 15/19 SB – 212 AB

10. Stanford JR SS/RHP Drew Jackson: plus to plus-plus arm; good defensive tools; great athlete; above-average to plus speed; average raw power; has also played OF; 88-92 FB; plus 82 SL; another boom/bust prospect, but with the added fallback plan of giving pitching a shot if the bat doesn’t come around; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .207/.337/.232 – 14 BB/21 K – 6/8 SB – 82 AB
2014: .167/.254/.213 – 10 BB/27 K – 1/4 SB – 108 AB
2015: .320/.396/.388 – 15 BB/22 K – 6/8 SB – 147 AB

11. Tennessee Tech SR SS/2B Dylan Bosheers: good glove, plus upside; power upside; smart base runner; above-average speed; have to like a guy who has literally always hit; 6-0, 180 pounds

2012: .246/.376/.356 – 25 BB/32 K – 1/5 SB – 191 AB
2013: .306/.371/.491 – 19 BB/40 K – 6/7 SB – 216 AB
2014: .368/.444/.577 – 27 BB/32 K – 8/12 SB – 234 AB
2015: .337/.424/.576 – 29 BB/20 K – 4/4 SB – 205 AB

12. Loyola Marymount SO SS David Fletcher: really good defensive tools, plus upside; has it all as a defender; smart; average arm; average speed, more quick than fast defensively; little to no power at this point, but could find enough pop to make him a viable regular down the line; fascinating BA comp: Justin Turner; 5-10, 175 pounds

2014: .329/.357/.374 – 13 BB/22 K – 17/21 SB – 222 AB
2015: .308/.385/.416 – 23 BB/18 K – 14/17 SB – 221 AB

13. Oklahoma State JR SS/2B Donnie Walton: steady glove, flashes better; good speed; good approach; not a guy who wows you with tools, but good enough across the board to profile as a big league contributor; 5-10, 175 pounds

2013: .298/.381/.367 – 25 BB/30 K – 7/10 SB – 188 AB
2014: .310/.407/.405 – 38 BB/36 K – 7/10 SB – 252 AB
2015: .346/.422/.512 – 19 BB/22 K – 3/3 SB – 127 AB

14. Pacific JR SS/OF Brett Sullivan: above-average speed; good approach; great athlete; held his own on Cape; FAVORITE; 6-1, 180 pounds

2013: .239/.279/.353 – 12 BB/22 K – 6/10 SB – 201 AB
2014: .357/.391/.536 – 16 BB/10 K – 9/12 SB – 207 AB
2015: .275/.314/.492 – 11 BB/21 K – 6/10 SB – 193 AB

15. Clemson SO SS/2B Eli White: good athlete; above-average to plus speed; really good defensive tools; above-average arm; quick bat; shares some similarities to Daniel Pinero, but doesn’t have quite the same offensive upside or polish; 6-3, 180 pounds

2014: .143/.244/.200 – 4 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 35 AB
2015: .291/.375/.399 – 24 BB/56 K – 10/16 SB – 223 AB

16. Louisiana-Monroe JR SS Kodie Tidwell: strong arm; good defensive tools; interesting bat; 6-0, 200 pounds (2013: .217/.274/.291 – 16 BB/42 K – 4/8 SB – 189 AB) (2014: .284/.402/.358 – 37 BB/48 K – 7/11 SB – 204 AB) (2015: .311/.412/.492 – 33 BB/35 K – 3/9 SB – 193 AB)

17. Virginia Commonwealth SR SS Vimael Machin: good speed; good range; playable hitter; 5-10, 175 pounds (2012: .309/.364/.408 – 21 BB/29 K – 1/3 SB – 223 AB) (2013: .287/.389/.419 – 22 BB/31 K – 2/3 SB – 167 AB) (2014: .307/.421/.417 – 30 BB/21 K – 2/2 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .336/.393/.444 – 24 BB/24 K – 6/13 SB – 232 AB)

18. Tennessee JR SS AJ Simcox: good range; steady defender; strong arm; strong hit tool; average raw power, currently to gaps; average or better speed; BA comps: Jordy Mercer and Hunter Dozier; breakout still hasn’t happened, but still has the chance to be better pro than track record would suggest; 6-3, 185 pounds (2013: .267/.327/.300 – 13 BB/32 K – 8/11 SB – 180 AB) (2014: .270/.342/.275 – 21 BB/33 K – 13/18 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .293/.362/.378 – 19 BB/30 K – 15/18 SB – 188 AB)

19. Rice JR SS/OF Leon Byrd: plus-plus speed; gap power; good arm; really good range in CF; can also play 2B; disappointing draft season makes him a potential steal this year since his talent level remains top five round quality; 5-7, 170 pounds (2013: .288/.430/.348 – 44 BB/37 K – 9/15 SB – 233 AB) (2014: .258/.363/.319 – 28 BB/28 K – 5/9 SB – 163 AB) (2015: .244/.318/.337 – 19 BB/45 K – 5/5 SB – 193 AB)

20. Louisiana Tech rJR SS/2B Taylor Love: great approach; good defensive tools; good speed; 6-1, 190 pounds (2014: .320/.365/.423 – 14 BB/17 K – 11/17 SB – 175 AB) (2015: .288/.385/.429 – 22 BB/25 K – 8/13 SB – 191 AB)

21. Florida International SR SS Julius Gaines: good defender; above-average arm; good speed; hasn’t hit enough and may never will, but could work as defensive backup; 5-11, 165 pounds (2012: .228/.282/.259 – 14 BB/31 K – 8/11 SB – 189 AB) (2013: .307/.374/.335 – 22 BB/39 K – 7/15 SB – 212 AB) (2014: .288/.337/.336 – 18 BB/26 K – 8/9 SB – 226 AB) (2015: .287/.331/.342 – 16 BB/36 K – 9/14 SB – 237 AB)

22. Appalachian State JR SS/OF Dillon Dobson: above-average raw power; average hit tool; average speed; really good athlete; strong; steady glove; has also seen time at 1B, 3B, and 2B; bat is appealing enough that future as a super-sub isn’t out of question; 6-1, 220 pounds (2013: .238/.290/.388 – 11 BB/49 K – 10/15 SB – 206 AB) (2014: .299/.364/.545 – 20 BB/46 K – 4/5 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .317/.357/.577 – 11 BB/32 K – 4/5 SB – 208 AB)

23. East Tennessee State JR SS Jordan Sanford: good athlete; 6-1, 200 pounds (2013: .231/.333/.385 – 5 BB/6 K – 0/0 SB – 39 AB) (2014: .367/.462/.489 – 10 BB/11 K – 2/5 SB – 90 AB) (2015: .307/.389/.416 – 17 BB/24 K – 2/5 SB – 166 AB)

24. Cal Poly JR SS Peter Van Gansen: strong arm; really steady glove; 5-8, 170 pounds (2013: .258/.357/.298 – 24 BB/29 K – 0/3 SB – 178 AB) (2014: .286/.427/.320 – 40 BB/25 K – 2/3 SB – 175 AB) (2015: .314/.388/.414 – 26 BB/14 K – 2/4 SB – 220 AB)

25. Illinois rSO SS Adam Walton: above-average to plus speed; above-average range; good approach; could be plus defender; good athlete; 6-1, 185 pounds (2014: .329/.380/.423 – 11 BB/25 K – 13/20 SB – 149 AB) (2015: .293/.354/.409 – 21 BB/30 K – 11/17 SB – 242 AB)

26. Texas Tech rSO SS/2B Cory Raley: average at best arm; average at best range; still should be good enough to stick at SS; could be really good at 2B; plus to plus-plus speed; raw bat; great athlete; Texas A&M transfer; 6-3, 200 pounds (2015: .350/.408/.486 – 17 BB/34 K – 3/6 SB – 183 AB)

27. Cal State Northridge rJR SS Yusuke Akitoshi: good athlete; 6-1, 180 pounds (2015: .286/.367/.410 – 25 BB/51 K – 11/15 SB – 210 AB)

28. Bradley JR SS Tyler Leffler: interesting bat; below-average speed; above-average arm; much improved defender, now really good; good athlete; no idea what to make of a player who had such a nice sophomore year followed up by a down junior year; 6-3, 185 pounds (2013: .298/.372/.377 – 13 BB/28 K – 4/5 SB – 151 AB) (2014: .354/.464/.470 – 16 BB/25 K – 2/6 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .193/.308/.255 – 23 BB/35 K – 4/6 SB – 192 AB)

29. Central Michigan SR SS Sawyer Polen: good defender; good athlete; 6-0, 180 pounds (2012: .278/.374/.419 – 25 BB/58 K – 3/5 SB – 198 AB) (2013: .291/.390/.350 – 32 BB/50 K – 6/8 SB – 234 AB) (2014: .244/.356/.343 – 17 BB/33 K – 12/16 SB – 172 AB) (2015: .298/.410/.403 – 26 BB/30 K – 15/16 SB – 191 AB)

30. TCU rJR SS Keaton Jones: plus defender; average speed; no power; 6-2, 200 pounds (2012: .189/.307/.213 – 24 BB/43 K – 7/11 SB – 169 AB) (2013: .258/.382/.286 – 31 BB/44 K – 2/3 SB – 182 AB) (2014: .266/.341/.290 – 24 BB/35 K – 9/12 SB – 241 AB) (2015: .254/.333/.333 – 20 BB/35 K – 8/11 SB – 189 AB)

31. Miami JR SS/RHP Brandon Lopez: 91 FB; plus arm; good defender; really quick bat; 6-1, 165 pounds (2013: .249/.330/.271 – 20 BB/35 K – 5/7 SB – 181 AB) (2014: .233/.320/.275 – 24 BB/27 K – 6/11 SB – 189 AB) (2015: .308/.438/.392 – 28 BB/21 K – 1/2 SB – 130 AB)

32. Texas A&M SR SS/2B Blake Allemand: plus speed; steady glove; good athlete; interesting pop; 5-10, 175 pounds (2013: .263/.379/.323 – 31 BB/38 K – 17/25 SB – 217 AB) (2014: .290/.397/.319 – 34 BB/30 K – 5/10 SB – 207 AB) (2015: .356/.438/.507 – 28 BB/16 K – 6/7 SB – 205 AB)

33. Toledo JR SS Deion Tansel: steady glove; 5-8, 150 pounds (2013: .302/.393/.343 – 18 BB/14 K – 10/12 SB – 169 AB) (2014: .306/.374/.347 – 18 BB/11 K – 10/16 SB – 219 AB) (2015: .324/.413/.388 – 12 BB/8 K – 12/18 SB – 170 AB)

34. Lamar JR SS Stijn van derMeer: strong glove; 6-3, 170 pounds (2015: .351/.401/.441 – 19 BB/13 K – 6/9 SB – 222 AB)

35. Notre Dame JR SS Lane Richards: good defender; strong arm; good speed; good athlete; 6-0, 185 pounds (2013: .242/.296/.304 – 15 BB/32 K – 2/4 SB – 207 AB) (2014: .254/.294/.339 – 5 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 118 AB) (2015: .264/.314/.409 – 16 BB/30 K – 5/7 SB – 208 AB)

36. Central Florida SR SS/3B Tommy Williams: good enough arm and range for SS (average); good athlete; can also play 2B and 3B; questionable bat; above-average speed; some pop; 6-2, 200 pounds (2013: .230/.302/.309 – 14 BB/49 K – 2/4 SB – 152 AB) (2014: .263/.350/.469 – 25 BB/52 K – 16/24 SB – 224 AB) (2015: .318/.407/.544 – 33 BB/57 K – 5/8 SB – 217 AB)

37. Gardner-Webb SR SS Ryan Hodge: strong hit tool; limited power upside; strong arm; smart defender, but may not be quick enough for SS; good speed; can also play 2B and 3B; 6-1, 165 pounds (2012: .300/.368/.385 – 18 BB/36 K – 16/20 SB – 213 AB) (2013: .217/.344/.280 – 26 BB/38 K – 19/24 SB – 175 AB) (2014: .298/.354/.331 – 6 BB/24 K – 13/15 SB – 151 AB) (2015: .305/.363/.424 – 12 BB/48 K – 17/20 SB – 203 AB)

38. Mississippi State SR SS Matthew Britton: plus-plus arm; plus range; above-average speed; 6-0, 200 pounds (2012: .177/.293/.185 – 18 BB/27 K – 3/3 SB – 124 AB) (2014: .233/.340/.278 – 17 BB/32 K – 5/7 SB – 133 AB) (2015: .286/.388/.476 – 6 BB/5 K – 2/4 SB – 42 AB)

39. North Carolina JR SS/OF Alex Raburn: great athlete; 5-10, 175 pounds (2013: .208/.309/.250 – 5 BB/8 K – 1/2 SB – 48 AB) (2014: .263/.363/.326 – 13 BB/19 K – 3/3 SB – 95 AB) (2015: .243/.344/.355 – 19 BB/26 K – 2/5 SB – 152 AB)

40. Auburn JR SS Cody Nulph: good athlete; steady glove; strong arm; intriguing upside with bat; average at best power; good approach; Pepperdine transfer; 6-0, 180 pounds (2015: .260/.319/.356 – 13 BB/44 K – 1/3 SB – 208 AB)

41. Arkansas rJR SS Brett McAfee: very good athlete; plus speed; really good defensive tools; above-average arm; gap power; 5-11, 190 pounds (2013: .244/.305/.321 – 12 BB/35 K – 6/8 SB – 156 AB) (2014: .277/.339/.362 – 4 BB/7 K – 0/0 SB – 47 AB) (2015: .273/.331/.367 – 10 BB/29 K – 3/4 SB – 128 AB)

42. USC JR SS Blake Lacey: plus defender; old Adam Everett comp; 6-0, 180 pounds (2013: .328/.368/.407 – 10 BB/31 K – 3/6 SB – 189 AB) (2014: .281/.331/.353 – 11 BB/22 K – 3/5 SB – 139 AB) (2015: .297/.323/.359 – 9 BB/36 K – 9/12 SB – 209 AB)

43. Dallas Baptist SR SS Nash Knight: 6-0, 195 pounds (2013: .222/.352/.292 – 32 BB/44 K – 5/7 SB – 185 AB) (2014: .217/.349/.307 – 36 BB/51 K – 5/6 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .310/.396/.401 – 25 BB/40 K – 2/2 SB – 197 AB)

44. UNC Asheville rSR SS/RHP Tommy Houmard: upper-80s FB; good breaking ball; CU; good glove; strong arm; 6-2, 190 pounds (2011: 6.20 K/9 | 49.1 IP) (2013: .321/.393/.440 – 18 BB/21 K – 1/4 SB – 184 AB) (2013: 6.51 K/9 | 5.20 BB/9 | 5.24 FIP | 27.2 IP) (2014: .273/.382/.352 – 25 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 176 AB) (2015: .361/.444/.463 – 28 BB/31 K – 2/5 SB – 216 AB)

45. Northern Illinois JR SS Brian Sisler: good athlete; 6-2, 190 pounds (2014: .304/.406/.369 – 29 BB/19 K – 5/8 SB – 168 AB) (2015: .309/.406/.431 – 30 BB/23 K – 6/8 SB – 188 AB)

46. Penn JR SS Ryan Mincher: 6-1, 185 pounds (2014: .271/.376/.436 – 21 BB/25 K – 2/5 SB – 133 AB) (2015: .328/.414/.484 – 15 BB/8 K – 1/1 SB – 122 AB)

47. Texas Southern SR SS Robert Garza: 5-10, 170 pounds (2015: .358/.457/.549 – 22 BB/27 K – 13/18 SB – 162 AB)

48. Nebraska-Omaha JR SS/2B Clayton Taylor: 6-4, 190 pounds (2013: .328/.440/.418 – 22 BB/18 K – 8/13 SB – 122 AB) (2015: .308/.403/.490 – 25 BB/32 K – 3/4 SB – 198 AB)

49. East Carolina SR SS/2B Hunter Allen: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .308/.362/.316 – 8 BB/9 K – 1/2 SB – 117 AB) (2015: .353/.411/.418 – 20 BB/13 K – 4/8 SB – 201 AB)

50. Utah JR SS Cody Scaggari: good defender; good athlete; 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .288/.370/.356 – 8 BB/14 K – 4/6 SB – 104 AB) (2015: .252/.316/.376 – 15 BB/18 K – 8/16 SB – 202 AB)

51. San Diego SR SS/2B Austin Bailey: good athlete; steady glove; 5-10, 170 pounds (2012: .261/.341/.329 – 18 BB/19 K – 2/4 SB – 161 AB) (2013: .301/.407/.408 – 18 BB/16 K – 2/4 SB – 103 AB) (2014: .328/.391/.402 – 21 BB/29 K – 3/3 SB – 204 AB) (2015: .314/.398/.396 – 29 BB/37 K – 2/6 SB – 207 AB)

52. Jacksonville SR SS Angelo Amendolare: 5-9, 170 pounds (2014: .278/.352/.368 – 20 BB/18 K – 16/22 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .366/.441/.480 – 27 BB/28 K – 20/20 SB – 227 AB)

53. Southeast Missouri State JR SS Branden Boggetto: 5-11, 180 pounds (2015: .318/.396/.583 – 27 BB/40 K – 4/10 SB – 242 AB)

54. Morehead State SR SS Robby Spencer: 5-10 (2014: .323/.408/.475 – 20 BB/27 K – 1/4 SB – 223 AB) (2015: .340/.404/.537 – 25 BB/38 K – 0/1 SB – 244 AB)

55. Texas-Arlington SR SS Travis Sibley: 5-8, 150 pounds (2013: .333/.408/.373 – 13 BB/26 K – 3/5 SB – 177 AB) (2014: .271/.339/.327 – 16 BB/26 K – 3/3 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .345/.398/.474 – 16 BB/21 K – 3/4 SB – 232 AB)

56. Oakland JR SS Mike Brosseau: good glove; 5-10, 190 pounds (2013: .252/.329/.291 – 17 BB/18 K – 1/4 SB – 151 AB) (2014: .321/.383/.432 – 14 BB/9 K – 0/0 SB – 162 AB) (2015: .287/.364/.470 – 17 BB/24 K – 6/9 SB – 202 AB)

57. St. John’s SR SS Jarred Mederos: good glove; 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .362/.403/.475 – 10 BB/20 K – 2/3 SB – 141 AB) (2015: .244/.322/.381 – 21 BB/34 K – 3/6 SB – 176 AB)

58. San Diego State JR SS/OF Danny Sheehan: 6-0, 180 pounds (2015: .310/.376/.453 – 17 BB/24 K – 9/10 SB – 245 AB)

59. Texas-San Antonio JR SS Tyler Straub: 6-4, 200 pounds (2015: .340/.391/.463 – 12 BB/26 K – 12/15 SB – 162 AB)

60. Mississippi State SR SS Seth Heck: steady glove; average at best speed; 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .299/.407/.338 – 26 BB/23 K – 5/6 SB – 204 AB) (2015: .287/.389/.309 – 21 BB/24 K – 6/7 SB – 178 AB)

61. Jackson State SR SS Gary Thomas: steady glove; good speed; 6-1, 185 pounds (2013: .271/.367/.329 – 19 BB/20 K – 11/15 SB – 170 AB) (2014: .276/.337/.362 – 9 BB/18 K – 12/16 SB – 152 AB) (2015: .365/.427/.414 – 18 BB/15 K – 20/27 SB – 203 AB)

62. Liberty JR SS Dalton Britt: good glove; strong hit tool; 6-0, 200 pounds (2014: .299/.348/.348 – 16 BB/30 K – 6/9 SB – 221 AB) (2015: .294/.355/.436 – 21 BB/43 K – 10/11 SB – 218 AB)

63. Alabama A&M SR SS/2B Julio Nunez: good glove; 6-0, 215 pounds (2013: .279/.378/.369 – 17 BB/24 K – 7/11 SB – 111 AB) (2014: .332/.411/.543 – 23 BB/25 K – 14/20 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .327/.411/.593 – 26 BB/46 K – 1/1 SB – 199 AB)

64. USC rSO SS Reggie Southall: good athlete; good glove; 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .250/.325/.309 – 8 BB/19 K – 1/3 SB – 68 AB) (2015: .230/.343/.301 – 18 BB/35 K – 10/11 SB – 113 AB)

65. Grand Canyon JR SS Paul Panaccione: 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .256/.314/.301 – 13 BB/23 K – 20/23 SB – 176 AB) (2015: .376/.440/.493 – 26 BB/32 K – 7/12 SB – 221 AB)

66. Central Arkansas JR SS Logan Preston: 6-1, 215 pounds (2015: .222/.343/.460 – 24 BB/31 K – 1/4 SB – 176 AB)

67. Lipscomb SR SS Grant Massey: steady glove; 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .322/.427/.463 – 40 BB/44 K – 14/18 SB – 242 AB) (2015: .345/.402/.441 – 18 BB/33 K – 18/21 SB – 229 AB)

68. Alabama State rSR SS PJ Biocic: 5-9, 185 pounds (2015: .343/.496/.423 – 31 BB/19 K – 7/10 SB – 175 AB)

69. West Virginia SR SS Taylor Munden: 5-11, 190 pounds (2014: .261/.329/.372 – 22 BB/32 K – 13/17 SB – 218 AB) (2015: .266/.321/.468 – 17 BB/36 K – 11/15 SB – 222 AB)

70. North Dakota SR SS Tyler Follis: 6-2, 200 pounds (2012: .338/.419/.410 – 24 BB/40 K – 2/3 SB – 210 AB) (2013: .277/.373/.310 – 18 BB/34 K – 2/2 SB – 155 AB) (2014: .331/.374/.362 – 8 BB/25 K – 4/8 SB – 130 AB) (2015: .404/.462/.505 – 18 BB/30 K – 6/10 SB – 188 AB)

71. Minnesota rSR SS Michael Handel: average speed; quick bat; steady glove; 6-1, 185 pounds (2012: .290/.371/.361 – 18 BB/26 K – 8/12 SB – 155 AB) (2013: .281/.361/.385 – 20 BB/31 K – 9/10 SB – 192 AB) (2014: .261/.345/.405 – 18 BB/20 K – 2/4 SB – 153 AB) (2015: .328/.380/.469 – 13 BB/35 K – 7/7 SB – 177 AB)

72. Samford rSO SS Danny Rodriguez: 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .236/.317/.255 – 7 BB/9 K – 1/1 SB – 55 AB) (2015: .289/.389/.426 – 29 BB/35 K – 3/5 SB – 190 AB)

73. Princeton JR SS Billy Arendt: 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .225/.301/.326 – 13 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 129 AB) (2015: .299/.356/.431 – 13 BB/16 K – 2/3 SB – 144 AB)

74. Central Arkansas SR SS/1B Nate Ferrell: steady glove; 6-1, 180 pounds (2014: .309/.402/.371 – 25 BB/33 K – 0/1 SB – 178 AB) (2015: .242/.311/.411 – 8 BB/12 K – 0/0 SB – 95 AB)

75. UC Irvine JR SS Mikey Duarte: 5-11, 165 pounds (2015: .345/.416/.429 – 18 BB/20 K – 1/4 SB – 226 AB)

76. Seton Hall SR SS DJ Ruhlman: 6-1, 185 pounds (2014: .351/.421/.481 – 19 BB/35 K – 15/20 SB – 185 AB) (2015: .275/.406/.437 – 22 BB/36 K – 14/16 SB – 142 AB)

77. Sacramento State SR SS Scotty Burcham: 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .300/.351/.367 – 18 BB/42 K – 8/12 SB – 237 AB) (2015: .329/.382/.465 – 22 BB/34 K – 16/22 SB – 243 AB)

78. New Jersey Tech SR SS/2B Mike Rampone: 5-10, 190 pounds (2012: .286/.373/.390 – 22 BB/23 K – 4/6 SB – 210 AB) (2013: .278/.351/.359 – 19 BB/29 K – 7/11 SB – 198 AB) (2014: .314/.418/.468 – 27 BB/25 K – 7/8 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .317/.375/.413 – 17 BB/23 K – 7/10 SB – 189 AB)

79. Northern Colorado SR SS/2B Ryan Yamane: 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .258/.408/.342 – 42 BB/28 K – 5/11 SB – 190 AB) (2013: .243/.339/.296 – 29 BB/21 K – 7/11 SB – 206 AB) (2014: .220/.333/.252 – 27 BB/29 K – 5/10 SB – 159 AB) (2015: .400/.476/.527 – 8 BB/8 K – 1/3 SB – 55 AB)

80. Indiana JR SS/2B Nick Ramos: good glove; 6-1, 170 pounds (2013: .228/.265/.446 – 3 BB/17 K – 0/1 SB – 92 AB) (2014: .260/.291/.367 – 7 BB/36 K – 4/6 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .252/.333/.374 – 13 BB/29 K – 2/3 SB – 115 AB)

81. South Carolina JR SS Marcus Mooney: steady glove; strong arm; average speed; 5-8, 160 pounds (2014: .274/.380/.330 – 28 BB/30 K – 2/6 SB – 215 AB) (2015: .213/.275/.296 – 7 BB/13 K – 2/4 SB – 108 AB)

82. Hawaii JR SS Jacob Sheldon-Collins: good defender; 5-10, 170 pounds (2015: .295/.341/.355 – 7 BB/13 K – 2/2 SB – 166 AB)

83. Massachusetts-Lowell SR SS Danny Mendick: can play anywhere; 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .314/.405/.478 – 18 BB/16 K – 11/11 SB – 159 AB) (2015: .321/.408/.455 – 19 BB/16 K – 14/17 SB – 156 AB)

84. UC Santa Barbara SR SS Peter Maris: can also play 2B and 3B; 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .271/.350/.340 – 20 BB/30 K – 16/22 SB – 203 AB) (2015: .300/.369/.377 – 23 BB/25 K – 5/9 SB – 207 AB)

85. Central Michigan rJR SS Joey Houlihan: steady defender; 6-1, 185 pounds (2012: .247/.300/.329 – 5 BB/19 K – 0/0 SB – 73 AB) (2013: .164/.325/.179 – 15 BB/19 K – 1/1 SB – 67 AB) (2015: .265/.382/.394 – 26 BB/40 K – 4/5 SB – 170 AB)

86. New Mexico JR SS Jared Holley: plus glove; good speed; 5-8, 175 pounds (2013: .248/.365/.280 – 16 BB/22 K – 3/5 SB – 157 AB) (2014: .314/.379/.358 – 7 BB/16 K – 3/4 SB – 137 AB) (2015: .254/.342/.357 – 12 BB/24 K – 1/1 SB – 126 AB)

87. Delaware State SR SS/RHP David Kimbrough: good athlete; strong arm; 5-11, 190 pounds (2014: .370/.439/.407 – 8 BB/17 K – 11/11 SB – 108 AB) (2015: .304/.392/.348 – 17 BB/17 K – 14/21 SB – 135 AB)

88. Xavier rSO SS/3B Andre Jernigan: strong; good athlete; good defensive tools; approach needs work; 6-0, 200 pounds (2015: .252/.304/.362 – 6 BB/44 K – 16/20 SB – 210 AB)

89. Hofstra rSR SS Dalton Rouleau: good glove; 5-10, 185 pounds (2014: .259/.328/.333 – 7 BB/5 K – 7/7 SB – 54 AB) (2015: .278/.402/.358 – 31 BB/39 K – 13/17 SB – 176 AB)

90. Rhode Island SR SS Tim Caputo: good speed; strong enough arm; steady defender; strong hit tool; 5-8, 150 pounds (2012: .328/.393/.364 – 16 BB/27 K – 13/15 SB – 195 AB) (2013: .317/.395/.396 – 24 BB/29 K – 13/15 SB – 227 AB) (2014: .268/.335/.306 – 9 BB/21 K – 8/9 SB – 183 AB) (2015: .269/.342/.309 – 18 BB/19 K – 10/11 SB – 175 AB)

91. UNC Wilmington rSO SS Kennard McDowell: really good glove; strong arm; 6-2, 200 pounds (2015: .293/.322/.445 – 6 BB/55 K – 4/5 SB – 191 AB)

92. BYU SO SS Tanner Chauncey: 6-1, 175 pounds (2012: .328/.373/.405 – 10 BB/8 K – 5/7 SB – 131 AB) (2015: .335/.408/.364 – 23 BB/14 K – 2/3 SB – 173 AB)

93. Texas Tech SR SS Tim Proudfoot: accurate arm; steady defender; 5-11, 190 pounds (2012: .217/.286/.343 – 16 BB/47 K – 4/5 SB – 207 AB) (2013: .216/.307/.313 – 23 BB/29 K – 1/1 SB – 176 AB) (2014: .309/.369/.356 – 16 BB/14 K – 1/1 SB – 149 AB) (2015: .232/.276/.304 – 7 BB/16 K – 1/2 SB – 112 AB)

94. Nebraska SR SS Steven Reveles: average arm; good base runner; good speed; good glove; 5-9, 175 pounds (2014: .262/.329/.321 – 14 BB/18 K – 4/6 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .255/.293/.327 – 2 BB/9 K – 4/4 SB – 55 AB)

95. Maine JR SS Brett Chappell: good athlete; 5-10, 185 pounds (2015: .316/.369/.421 – 19 BB/38 K – 1/1 SB – 190 AB)

96. Radford JR SS/OF Chris Coia: good defender; 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .253/.314/.287 – 10 BB/42 K – 9/12 SB – 174 AB) (2014: .275/.359/.328 – 17 BB/17 K – 21/29 SB – 189 AB) (2015: .308/.387/.359 – 16 BB/26 K – 11/17 SB – 195 AB)

97. Kansas State JR SS Tyler Wolfe: 5-11, 185 pounds (2015: .287/.397/.364 – 34 BB/25 K – 3/4 SB – 195 AB)

98. Holy Cross JR SS Nick Lovullo: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .203/.312/.286 – 12 BB/25 K – 1/3 SB – 133 AB) (2014: .266/.374/.308 – 21 BB/24 K – 9/12 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .278/.410/.392 – 31 BB/29 K – 7/11 SB – 176 AB)

99. Wofford JR SS Alec Paradowski: 5-9, 165 pounds (2013: .277/.369/.356 – 19 BB/36 K – 10/15 SB – 191 AB) (2014: .280/.402/.370 – 35 BB/20 K – 12/17 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .278/.407/.389 – 42 BB/40 K – 14/17 SB – 234 AB)

100. Nevada SR SS Kyle Hunt: 5-11, 180 pounds (2012: .228/.371/.311 – 21 BB/34 K – 9/14 SB – 167 AB) (2013: .208/.340/.240 – 16 BB/26 K – 5/5 SB – 125 AB) (2014: .244/.382/.383 – 26 BB/34 K – 6/9 SB – 193 AB) (2015: .261/.407/.381 – 33 BB/37 K – 4/6 SB – 176 AB)

*****

101. St. John’s SR SS/2B Bret Dennis: 6-1, 180 pounds (2012: .288/.403/.317 – 12 BB/30 K – 1/1 SB – 104 AB) (2013: .146/.343/.233 – 25 BB/27 K – 1/2 SB – 103 AB) (2014: .346/.420/.433 – 10 BB/18 K – 2/4 SB – 127 AB) (2015: .262/.342/.338 – 6 BB/13 K – 0/1 SB – 65 AB)

102. Michigan State rSR SS Ryan Richardson: 6-0, 190 pounds (2013: .280/.402/.302 – 24 BB/20 K – 5/8 SB – 189 AB) (2014: .278/.344/.324 – 9 BB/25 K – 13/17 SB – 216 AB) (2015: .293/.366/.383 – 13 BB/26 K – 7/12 SB – 222 AB)

103. Albany JR SS Trevor DeMerritt: good speed; power upside; good glove; 5-8, 175 pounds (2015: .256/.307/.310 – 9 BB/18 K – 8/10 SB – 129 AB)

104. Hartford SR SS Trey Stover: steady glove; 5-9, 170 pounds (2015: .301/.372/.405 – 16 BB/32 K – 5/7 SB – 163 AB)

105. Delaware SR SS Brock Niggebrugge: strong arm; 5-10, 180 pounds (2013: .256/.330/.333 – 14 BB/22 K – 1/6 SB – 180 AB) (2014: .191/.240/.191 – 3 BB/6 K – 2/2 SB – 47 AB) (2015: .301/.394/.363 – 15 BB/16 K – 2/4 SB – 113 AB)

106. Western Kentucky SR SS Cody Wofford: good glove; 6-1 (2014: .288/.329/.462 – 9 BB/27 K – 2/8 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .238/.310/.371 – 19 BB/46 K – 6/10 SB – 202 AB)

107. Southern Mississippi rSR SS Michael Sterling: plus speed; good range; strong arm; good glove; 5-11, 180 pounds (2012: .280/.480/.336 – 22 BB/28 K – 11/15 SB – 125 AB) (2013: .123/.210/.137 – 3 BB/21 K – 1/1 SB – 73 AB) (2014: .241/.345/.269 – 18 BB/54 K – 7/10 SB – 216 AB) (2015: .254/.382/.296 – 21 BB/31 K – 16/23 SB – 169 AB)

108. Charlotte SR SS Derek Gallelo: good speed; 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .270/.324/.270 – 13 BB/12 K – 2/4 SB – 159 AB) (2013: .284/.325/.326 – 5 BB/13 K – 2/3 SB – 141 AB) (2014: .283/.345/.333 – 17 BB/19 K – 4/5 SB – 180 AB) (2015: .254/.309/.302 – 4 BB/9 K – 2/3 SB – 63 AB)

109. Missouri State SR SS Joey Hawkins: good glove; 5-11, 175 pounds (2015: .272/.329/.344 – 18 BB/35 K – 4/6 SB – 224 AB)

110. Bowling Green SR SS Brian Bien: steady glove; 6-0, 170 pounds (2014: .351/.400/.401 – 16 BB/18 K – 17/24 SB – 202 AB) (2015: .283/.324/.341 – 9 BB/15 K – 6/8 SB – 173 AB)

111. Stetson JR SS/2B Tyler Bocock: steady glove; average arm; 6-2, 200 pounds (2013: .254/.346/.286 – 19 BB/27 K – 0/5 SB – 185 AB) (2014: .273/.347/.361 – 16 BB/28 K – 5/7 SB – 238 AB) (2015: .229/.299/.298 – 15 BB/26 K – 0/2 SB – 188 AB)

112. Marshall SR SS Sergio Leon: good glove; 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .221/.289/.238 – 17 BB/35 K – 6/9 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .261/.295/.351 – 8 BB/43 K – 9/12 SB – 188 AB)

113. Buffalo JR SS Bobby Sheppard: good speed; good glove; power upside; 6-0, 180 pounds (2015: .270/.341/.287 – 16 BB/23 K – 11/12 SB – 178 AB)

114. Southern Mississippi rJR SS/OF Breck Kline: good athlete; plus-plus arm; 5-11, 185 pounds (2013: .154/.196/.173 – 3 BB/16 K – 2/2 SB – 52 AB) (2014: .256/.344/.316 – 14 BB/24 K – 1/1 SB – 133 AB) (2015: .157/.250/.216 – 4 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 51 AB)

115. Northwestern State SR SS Joel Atkinson: good defender; strong arm; gap power; 5-8, 160 pounds (2014: .202/.363/.229 – 25 BB/25 K – 8/11 SB – 188 AB) (2015: .245/.336/.333 – 19 BB/28 K – 5/5 SB – 204 AB)

116. Akron SR SS Matt Rembielak: plus glove; 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .222/.310/.244 – 21 BB/33 K – 1/1 SB – 180 AB) (2013: .250/.308/.284 – 16 BB/41 K – 4/5 SB – 208 AB) (2014: .240/.314/.286 – 16 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 154 AB) (2015: .233/.287/.264 – 11 BB/33 K – 2/2 SB – 159 AB)

117. Houston Baptist JR SS Louie Payetta: 5-11, 175 pounds (2015: .307/.352/.395 – 11 BB/21 K – 5/8 SB – 215 AB)

118. Prairie View A&M SR SS Walter Wells: 5-9, 180 pounds (2014: .265/.349/.353 – 20 BB/24 K – 7/10 SB – 170 AB) (2015: .290/.419/.392 – 34 BB/24 K – 8/11 SB – 176 AB)

119. Quinnipiac SR SS Scott Donaghue: 5-10, 165 pounds (2013: .267/.314/.390 – 12 BB/20 K – 2/3 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .294/.374/.393 – 24 BB/22 K – 5/5 SB – 201 AB)

120. Villanova JR SS Eric Lowe: 5-9, 175 pounds (2014: .207/.331/.220 – 24 BB/27 K – 5/5 SB – 150 AB) (2015: .328/.411/.339 – 23 BB/23 K – 10/13 SB – 177 AB)

121. Samford JR SS Frankie Navarette: 5-10, 175 pounds (2013: .231/.325/.327 – 10 BB/27 K – 6/7 SB – 104 AB) (2014: .340/.412/.388 – 10 BB/13 K – 5/9 SB – 103 AB) (2015: .291/.381/.381 – 17 BB/27 K – 4/4 SB – 134 AB)

122. South Dakota State JR SS Jesse Munsterman: 6-2, 200 pounds (2015: .333/.433/.373 – 7 BB/6 K – 1/2 SB – 51 AB)

123. BYU JR SS Hayden Nielsen: 5-11, 175 pounds (2015: .342/.381/.404 – 13 BB/28 K – 6/9 SB – 225 AB)

124. Old Dominion rJR SS Jason McMurray: 6-1, 200 pounds (2014*: .390/.457/.594 – 11 BB/19 K – 18/20 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .251/.340/.351 – 14 BB/37 K – 4/7 SB – 171 AB)

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

126. College of Charleston SR SS Champ Rowland: plus arm strength; well above-average defensive tools; 5-11, 170 pounds (2015: .284/.341/.353 – 17 BB/27 K – 2/4 SB – 204 AB)

127. Evansville JR SS Shain Showers: 5-11, 190 pounds (2014: .294/.380/.450 – 17 BB/29 K – 7/11 SB – 160 AB) (2015: .239/.313/.350 – 19 BB/37 K – 3/5 SB – 180 AB)

128. Elon SR SS Andy Moore: 5-11, 175 pounds (2014: .260/.372/.308 – 22 BB/22 K – 1/4 SB – 146 AB) (2015: .285/.425/.329 – 36 BB/31 K – 4/5 SB – 158 AB)

129. Oral Roberts SR SS Dean Wilson: 6-0, 175 pounds (2015: .298/.375/.348 – 17 BB/23 K – 3/6 SB – 161 AB)

130. James Madison rJR SS Kyle Weston: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .300/.358/.420 – 15 BB/41 K – 5/10 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .263/.345/.356 – 22 BB/32 K – 3/3 SB – 194 AB)

131. Miami (Ohio) SR SS Ryan Eble: 6-0, 170 pounds (2014: .317/.395/.489 – 16 BB/28 K – 4/9 SB – 139 AB) (2015: .235/.329/.374 – 18 BB/43 K – 3/6 SB – 179 AB)

132. Texas-Pan American SR SS Jesus Garcia: 5-9, 180 pounds (2015: .307/.410/.360 – 25 BB/40 K – 5/10 SB – 189 AB)

133. Bucknell SR SS Greg Wasikowski: 5-11, 180 pounds (2015: .264/.358/.357 – 20 BB/39 K – 5/7 SB – 140 AB)

134. St. Peter’s JR SS Jon Kristoffersen: 6-1, 175 pounds (2014: .305/.349/.395 – 12 BB/52 K – 6/7 SB – 220 AB) (2015: .266/.333/.391 – 18 BB/49 K – 8/9 SB – 192 AB)

135. Middle Tennessee State SR SS Austin Bryant: 6-1, 175 pounds (2014: .293/.363/.371 – 16 BB/18 K – 2/5 SB – 140 AB) (2015: .249/.327/.382 – 14 BB/38 K – 2/4 SB – 217 AB)

136. Indiana State rSR SS/2B Derek Hannahs: 6-1, 185 pounds (2013: .298/.373/.309 – 11 BB/5 K – 4/6 SB – 94 AB) (2014: .301/.345/.333 – 13 BB/22 K – 3/3 SB – 183 AB) (2015: .273/.368/.337 – 24 BB/32 K – 2/3 SB – 172 AB)

137. Florida International JR SS/2B Rey Perez: 5-8, 175 pounds (2015: .267/.373/.302 – 15 BB/10 K – 2/5 SB – 86 AB)

138. South Alabama JR SS Ryan Raspino: 5-9, 180 pounds (2015: .266/.363/.310 – 22 BB/23 K – 6/7 SB – 184 AB)

139. North Dakota JR SS Daniel Lockhert: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .253/.301/.356 – 4 BB/19 K – 0/0 SB – 87 AB) (2014: .242/.324/.308 – 9 BB/26 K – 1/2 SB – 120 AB) (2015: .265/.306/.359 – 5 BB/35 K – 1/2 SB – 117 AB)

2015 MLB Draft – Abbreviated College Shortstop Ranking Sneak Peek

Here’s an unusually short post that would probably be best served via a tweet or three if I had the time management skills to maintain an active Twitter account and actually write worthwhile-ish longer stuff, an arguably not so difficult task that so many actual writers are able to do with seemingly relative ease. I’m not as good a multi-tasker as those guys apparently, which probably explains (in part) why they are where they are and why I’m quietly cranking out material in my teeny tiny little corner of the internet.

(I wrote that “introduction” before I started writing the body of the post found below. I should have known that this thing would go longer than a “tweet or three,” but I’m just that dense. This is why I’m not cut out for Twitter…)

College Shortstop Rankings for the 2015 MLB Draft (April 28, 2015) 

  1. LSU SS/2B Alex Bregman
  2. Vanderbilt SS Dansby Swanson
  3. Louisiana SS Blake Trahan
  4. Florida SS/CF Richie Martin
  5. San Diego SS Kyle Holder
  6. Arizona SS Kevin Newman
  7. Virginia SS Daniel Pinero
  8. Kennesaw State SS Kal Simmons

I don’t know what it would take to knock Bregman off the top spot, but something pretty drastic would have to go down to get me to consider anybody but him. I’ll take it a step further and throw out there that I’m not unconvinced he’s the top overall prospect in this year’s draft. In fact, the entire impetus of this piece was to get that Bregman take out there for public consumption. Also, finally, I’m now one of the Bregman converts who believes he can make it work, at least long enough to make it worth his drafting team’s while, at shortstop in pro ball. Feels good to escape the dark side for a change.

Of course, this being the year of the college shortstop, it should be no shock that I can both love Bregman and realize that Swanson isn’t too far off his trail. What might surprise is that I think Trahan isn’t too far behind after that. There’s a bit of a gap after those three, so I reserve the right to shuffle those names hourly between now and June. Martin’s athleticism, defensive tools, and offensive approach have been buried a bit due to playing in the SEC shadow of both Bregman and Swanson, but he’s really, really good. Either Martin or Holder could make an honest claim to the third best college shortstop in this class right now, so big finishes to the season could easily put them in the mid- to late-first round mix.

I’ve talked at length about Newman in the comments section, but he’s worth discussing briefly here once again. In short, as many members of the national media have begun talking him up as a potential top ten (or two) player in this class, I’ve actually cooled on him, due largely to concerns about his long-term defensive future. In much the same way that I feel as though pre-injury Nate Kirby got a bum rap due to a below-average start (iffy velo, too many sliders, below-average command) with a lot of national prospect writing heat in the house (what a silly thing to actually type out), Newman seems to have gotten a sizable bump because of a good couple of games in front of some influential media members. I could be entirely wrong here (maybe these ranking changes were made with more behind the scenes intel than publicly divulged to this point) and I acknowledge that moving players up and down the board based on new information is an essential part of the process at this stage of the game. We’ll see. For now, I’ll say that I’d be pretty stunned if Newman is actually a top ten (or two) pick in this draft, barring some underslot pre-draft agreement shenanigans. More to the point, since draft position is secondary to actual on-field future professional performance, I’d be even more surprised if Newman had a career that would place him in the top ten (or two) of the signed members of the 2015 MLB Draft. Again, we’ll see.

I love that this draft class is so loaded with college shortstops that a draft-eligible sophomore listed at 6-5, 210 pounds with startlingly good defensive tools putting up impressive numbers for one of the nation’s best programs has gotten little to no national draft love. I have no clue how those in the game view Pinero as a prospect just yet, but I love the guy. I also now like Simmons a lot (he’s done all you could ask for him so far this year) and not just because mentioning him gives me the opportunity to crow about being the only person on the planet (probably) to publicly rank him as the A-Sun’s second best draft prospect pre-season. Any time I can slip in a Donnie Dewees mention is cool by me.

My next tier down includes about a dozen names, but I’ll limit it to these four for now: Drew Jackson, CJ Hinojosa (big pre-season miss on my end, really though he was set for a monster draft year), Kevin Kramer, and Dylan Bosheers. I also have to give a mention to Scott Kingery, who very well could have wait it takes to transition about two dozen big steps over to his right and play some professional shortstop when it’s all said and done. I tried to stay away from potential shortstop conversion projects for now — mostly because I’m a chicken and not willing to quite stick my neck out there just yet — but Kingery has as strong a case as any 2015 college prospect not currently playing shortstop to successfully make the move in the pros.

Big 12 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Oklahoma JR C Chris Shaw
Texas Tech JR 1B Eric Gutierrez
Kansas JR 2B Colby Wright
Texas JR SS CJ Hinojosa
Oklahoma JR 3B Kolbey Carpenter
Texas JR OF Ben Johnson
Texas Tech JR OF Tyler Neslony
Kansas State SR OF Max Brown

Texas Christian JR LHP Alex Young
Texas Christian JR RHP Riley Ferrell
Texas Christian rSO RHP Mitchell Traver
Oklahoma rJR LHP Adam Choplick
Texas SR RHP Parker French

I normally start with the hitters here because I’m a creature of habit bound by my small-minded attempt at maintaining some semblance of consistent order in an otherwise chaotic world. Today we’re breaking that habit not because of personal growth, but simply because the pitching in the Big 12, most notably at TCU, is worth talking about. I’m way late to the party, I know, but the collection of arms they have in Fort Worth is something to be celebrated.

Oklahoma rJR LHP Adam Choplick is a 6-8, 260 pound lefthander who can reach the mid-90s and for whatever reason very little has been written about him nationally. My contribution to help remedy that: he’s really good. I’d love to know more about Texas SR RHP Parker French’s batted ball data. He has some serious worm-killing stuff (88-94 FB with sink, 97 peak; good 78-84 CU with sink; good mid-80s cut-SL) and has succeeded over the years without striking out a ton of hitters. That last bit is a tad worrisome because pro hitters are not college hitters, but if he can be a 60% groundball guy in the pros then who knows.

Oklahoma State is loaded in its own right with draft-eligible pitchers. rJR RHP/OF Conor Costello has the depth of stuff to start and the athleticism to repeat his delivery through long outings. He’s also a decent enough hitter that letting him start in the National League could lead to some fun at bats. JR RHP Koda Glover uses a 92-95 MPH fastball and intriguing offspeed stuff (no, that’s not just that code that I need more info on him…except I do, which must be an incredible coincidence) to miss bats at a high rate. SO RHP Trey Cobb comes from a star-studded Oklahoma high school class with a sinker/slider mix that should keep him employed for a long time. SR RHP Jon Perrin could be a good bang for your buck as a potential fifth starter/middle relief type available on the cheap come drat day.

I’ve written all that (and my brief note on Choplick, can’t forget that beauty) while totally forgetting I’ve covered Kansas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State already. So, read those if you want more on any of those schools. I think we’ve waited long enough to finally get to the main event that is Texas Christian University. They might not be able to match Vanderbilt in terms of pure ceiling (Buehler and Fulmer are tough to beat), but their balance of star power, hard throwers, polished veterans, and Preston Morrison (he gets his own category) is special.

I think you almost need to find a rare three-headed coin to determine the best pitcher from TCU (and thus the best in the conference) between JR LHP Alex Young, JR RHP Riley Ferrell, and rSO RHP Mitchell Traver. All three guys fit nice neat little archetypes, so they make for a fun and relatively easy group to discuss. Young is the sure-fire starter going forward with a legit classic four-pitch mix (FB, CU, CB, SL), average overall command (above-average FB command, which is nice) and solid athleticism/size. He’s also put up numbers since day one on campus (8.41 K/9 in 2013, 8.37 K/9 in 2014), so there’s not too much need to project some kind of crazy unrealistic future where he turns into something that he’s not. The delta between his ceiling and floor is a tiny one as at his best he’s probably a mid-rotation workhorse and at his worst he figures to be a fifth starter/bullpen weapon. He’d fit in as a really swell second or third pick for a team that would prefer to reach for the stars with their first rounder. He has to be on the short list as one of the “safest” draft prospects or “quickest movers” to the big leagues. Ferrell is the future back end of the bullpen stalwart with closer upside. Like Young (and most big-time college relief prospects) Ferrell has a small gap between his dream scenario (elite closer) and his most likely scenario (good reliever who gets to the big leagues in a hurry). Also like Young, Ferrell’s track record at TCU is impeccable; with a trail of missed bats lying in his wake (11.02 K/9 in 2013, 13.90 K/9 in 2014, 14.50 K/9 so far this year), what you see is what you get. At his best he’s in the upper-90s with the heat and a plus mid-80s slider as the putaway pitch; at his less than best (like, say, on the second half of a back-to-back), his fastball sits low-90s with a slider that flashes but doesn’t have quite the same shape. I think he likely will fall in somewhere between last year’s top two relievers, Nick Burdi (pick 46) and Michael Cederoth (pick 79), were drafted last year. That seems fair for now. Traver is the wild card. His health has held up so far this year and his stuff has been as advertised. If you can’t get excited for a 6-7, 250 pound capable of hitting the mid-90s (90-94, 96 peak) with a plus mid-80s slider and a usable changeup who is finally healthy after missing the better part of two seasons with arm injuries (Tommy John back in 2013 did a number on him), then you’re reading the wrong site. I’ve gotten an interesting range of comps for Traver including a solid starter (Gil Meche), a quality reliever (Nick Masset), and a personal favorite of mine that will go down as a starting member of the what could have been team (Dustin McGowan). I like to occasionally look a comparison cousins, my lame turn of phrase for two prospects connected by being once compared to the same player. The only other time I’ve used a Dustin McGowan comp was when it was mentioned to me last year as a possible outcome for Tyler Kolek. That’s…interesting.

Those are the top names at TCU, but far from the only ones. SO LHP Tyler Alexander is a potential back of the rotation starter who has good stuff with excellent command. rSO RHP Brian Trieglaff can get it up to 94, SR LHP Travis Evans throws three pitches for strikes (including a good breaking ball), and rSR RHP Trey Teakell is an outstanding senior sign with the size (6-5, 175), repertoire (87-92 FB, low-80s CU, upper-70s CB, hard splitter), and, big shocker, sterling track record to warrant top ten round consideration. Finally we get to SR RHP Preston Morrison, college baseball’s weirdest pitcher. Morrison gets results with a mid-80s fastball with serious sink and a variety of offspeed offerings (72-74 CB, 69-74 SL, 76-81 CU) that comes in from a funky sidearm but not quite sidearm angle. I rule nothing out when it comes to Morrison’s pro future, though I think a middle relief ceiling as a guy who gives hitters a totally different look from most big league relievers feels like a fair best case scenario right now.

I’m still holding out hope that we see Oklahoma JR C Chris Shaw get going on the big stage, especially after the tremendous power displays he put on after relatively slow starts the past two seasons in junior college. Truthfully, the question as to whether or not he’ll hit for power isn’t a debate; Shaw’s success or failure going forward will be determined by the adjustments in approach he is able to make. He’s always been a touch too aggressive for his own good, but his power could mask some of the deficiencies he’s shown at lower-levels. More experienced arms will keep exploiting the holes in his approach unless he makes some changes. The power alone still makes him a high follow, but much of the optimism I felt in January has eroded under the rocky shores of reality.

I won’t move Shaw off the top spot out of a combination of wanting to keep these lists consistent with my pre-season thoughts and the prospect of him still having high-level power at the next level, but one of the two Cowboys right behind him would give him a run for his money in a revised ranking. I wish SR C/OF Gage Green was more of a sure thing to stay behind the plate because his offensive game has shown a lot of growth over the years. I also really like SR C Bryan Case, the much better glove of the two, though he’s a tough player to fairly judge due to his lack of playing time. When given a chance to play he’s hit, so I think there’s something there. After a bit more thought, I’d say that Oklahoma JR C Anthony Hermelyn would also be right up there near the top of this list in a re-ranking. His hit tool is interesting, he has a strong defensive profile with no doubts about his arm strength (been clocked as high as 94 MPH off the mound), and his plate discipline is trending in the right direction. All in all, not a bad group of catchers

Texas Tech JR 1B/LHP Eric Gutierrez is one of my favorite power hitters in a class desperately in need of some good ones. Some teams might be turned off than his less than ideal frame (5-10, 205), but so long as he keeps mashing he has a better than average shot to hear his name called in a signable range this June. Kansas State rSR 1B/LHP Shane Conlon has always intrigued me due to his reasonable power upside, average speed, and plus glove. It’s a a fun profile and one I hope we get a chance to keep following in pro ball.

Kansas JR 2B/SS Colby Wright has been a baseball magnet this season (11 HBP in 65 official AB!). I liked his pop, patience, and glove combination coming into the year, and nothing has moved me off that as of yet. I think he’s the best of a lackluster group of Big 12 second basemen. At shortstop it’s still Texas JR SS/3B CJ Hinojosa’s top spot to lose. Much has been written on these very pages already about Hinojosa, so I’ll spare you any needless rehashing and just leave you with my Marco Scuatro comp and call it a day. Almost. We’re now far enough along with the season (20 games in already, time flies), so it’s silly for me to keep pretending that these are strictly previews and not, at least in part, ongoing assessments. The rankings are more or less unchanged from where I stood pre-season, but I do try to pepper the commentary with some updates where applicable. Hinojosa’s slow start (.197/.337/.310) is notable, though it’s a) only 71 AB, and b) not as bad when you look at some underlying numbers (most notably 14 BB/11 K). I’m a little bit concerned and would consider dropping him in future overall prospect rankings, but he still is a good prospect with top five round upside.

Texas Tech rSO SS/2B Cory Raley could be a fascinating utility player prospect with the chance for more. He has the ability to be really good at second and playable at short with enough speed, athleticism, and size to buy him time as he figures out how to hit. So far so good as hitter for Raley this winter, so consider me sufficiently intrigued at what now appears to be a lower than deserved ranking. I also have to mention TCU rJR SS Keaton Jones, a player so good with the glove that he’ll get drafted almost no matter what he does at the plate this spring. The fact that he’s more than holding his own as a hitter for the first time collegiately is icing on the mid-round cake. I’m glad I went with Oklahoma JR 3B Kolbey Carpenter as the conference’s top third baseman. He impressed all those I talked to last spring with his power upside and steady glove, so it’s nice to see him off to a hot start this season. Like second base, however, it’s worth noting that he’s the best of a very thin group of potential future pros. That in no way detracts from his underrated play, of course. I have a good intuitive feeling about Carpenter as a draft prospect.

The outfield is where things get really interesting in the Big 12. I know I say this about so many prospects that it probably renders the distinction meaningless, but Texas JR OF Ben Johnson has to be one of this year’s draft’s most fascinating prospects. Johnson’s name has come up over and over again so far this season as a tooled-up prospect finally turning into a deeply skilled player. Or so I thought. All of the chatter over Johnson excited me because I had assumed he was finally doing the things that he’ll need to do to be a better pro. Full disclosure: I haven’t gotten any updates about him this season (since the fall) from anybody I know who has seen him and (I’M NOT A SCOUT) I’ve only personally seen him twice this year on the tube. So I’m not working with all the needed info to make any overarching statements that should be taken as fact. I’m just theorizing that maybe college analysts (and perhaps certain pro scouting staffs that weigh projection significantly ahead of production [they aren’t wrong for this, by the way]) are getting a little ahead of themselves in proclaiming this to be the start of Johnson’s ascension to day one of the 2015 MLB Draft. Johnson has been absolutely phenomenal this season by most every measure: .432/.463/.659 is damn good work in 88 at bats. Maybe he’s made adjustments as a hitter that the public will hear about as some of the best prospect writers begin doing some digging. Maybe (hopefully) I’ll hear something from one of my contacts sooner rather than later that brings some good news on his outburst. Until then, however, I think Ben Johnson is just doing Ben Johnson things. I won’t say that I anticipated this kind of start, but his numbers aren’t out of line with what you’d expect from a player with his kind of tools at the college level. It’s not crazy to say that he, like about a dozen or so players in this and every class, is too physically gifted for the college game. Johnson is a pro-level glove in center with an average or better arm, average or better raw power, and, most interestingly, the kind of jaw-dropping athleticism and game-changing speed that puts the whole package over the top.

Again, Johnson is putting up a ridiculous .432/.463/.659 line so far this year. That’s really great. With only 2 walks to 12 strikeouts, however, I’m not sure how all his considerable offensive gifts will continue to play as he climbs the ladder. For all the positives he brings to the table he still looks like a very high potential pick since athletes like him often provide value well beyond what they do at the plate (running, defending, you get it). That relatively high floor makes Johnson extra appealing; using a supplemental first, second, or third round pick on him is not likely to completely blow up in your face simply because he’s almost too damn athletic to do nothing. On the off chance he puts it together, watch out. If that paragraph reads like I’m hedging my bets on him, then you’re on the right track.

Hot start or not, I still lump Johnson in with fellow toolsy outfield peers like Florida JR OF Harrison Bader and Clemson JR OF Steven Duggar for the moment. Just because those guys rank 5-6-7 (further down if you consider any of Ian Happ, Richie Martin, or BC’s Chris Shaw outfielders) on my “current” (as current as anything draft-related can be that’s three weeks old) college outfield list does not mean I view them as ordinary, mid-round prospects. I didn’t write nearly enough about last year’s draft than I would have liked, but I’ll say this without the benefit of hindsight (not that a few weeks of pro ball should change anybody’s mind about anybody): I’d take this year’s toolsy outfielders above any college outfielder from last year with the exception of Michael Conforto, Bradley Zimmer, Mike Papi, and maybe (if he’s really an OF, which I’m still unsure of) Connor Joe. That’s above last year’s 37th overall pick, Derek Fisher, for what it’s worth.

In other non-Ben Johnson Big 12 outfield news, Texas Tech JR OF Tyler Neslony’s positive approach and power upside make him a strong bat worth knowing. His plate discipline has backed up a bit since last year here in the early going, so almost all caveats with such players apply. Same with Kansas State SR OF Max Brown, a rare senior sign that doubles as one of the draft’s finer physical specimens. The 6-5, 200 pound plus runner showed well in limited at bats last year, but, stop me if you’ve heard this before, his approach at the plate needs significant work. A crazy argument could be made that he might be the most valuable draft property of the three already mentioned Big 12 outfielders based solely on his talent (below Johnson to be sure, but he’s no slouch), projected round (no idea, but I’d be surprised if it was all that high), and potential bonus demands (no leverage).

The only draft-eligible outfielder listed below having an above-average season by my measures – I mean, Johnson clearly is and I’m being way too hard on him so pay no mind to the only part – is Oklahoma JR OF Craig Aikin, an above-average runner and glove with an interesting leadoff approach to hitting. Since we scratched the “only” from the previous sentence allow me to also recognize TCU SR OF Cody Jones as having a fine start to his 2015 season. He’s an even more interesting senior sign with his blazing speed, plus CF range, strong arm, and very selective approach. I don’t see enough power out of him to profile as more than a backup, but you could do worse when looking for a future speed and defense fourth or fifth outfielder.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Texas JR SS/3B CJ Hinojosa
  2. Texas JR OF Ben Johnson
  3. Texas Tech JR OF Tyler Neslony
  4. Kansas State SR OF Max Brown
  5. Oklahoma JR C Chris Shaw
  6. Oklahoma JR OF Hunter Haley
  7. Kansas SR OF/RHP Dakota Smith
  8. Oklahoma State JR SS/2B Donnie Walton
  9. Texas Tech JR 1B/LHP Eric Gutierrez
  10. Kansas rJR OF Steve Goldstein
  11. Kansas SR OF Connor McKay
  12. Oklahoma State SR C/OF Gage Green
  13. Oklahoma State SR C Bryan Case
  14. Kansas JR 2B/SS Colby Wright
  15. Texas Tech SR SS Tim Proudfoot
  16. Texas Christian SR OF Cody Jones
  17. Oklahoma JR 3B Kolbey Carpenter
  18. Oklahoma JR OF Craig Aikin
  19. Texas Christian JR OF Nolan Brown
  20. Texas SR OF Collin Shaw
  21. Texas Christian SR 3B/2B Derek Odell
  22. Kansas State rSR 1B/LHP Shane Conlon
  23. Oklahoma JR C/RHP Anthony Hermelyn
  24. Kansas State SR 2B/OF Carter Yagi
  25. Oklahoma State SR 2B/OF Tim Arakawa
  26. Texas SR 2B Brooks Marlow
  27. Kansas SR 2B/SS Justin Protacio
  28. Texas Tech rSO SS/2B Cory Raley
  29. Texas Christian JR 2B Garrett Crain
  30. Kansas rJR OF Joe Moroney
  31. Texas Tech JR C Kholton Sanchez
  32. Texas Tech JR C Tyler Floyd
  33. Baylor JR 1B Mitch Price
  34. Texas Tech SR 2B Bryant Burleson

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Texas Christian JR LHP Alex Young
  2. Texas Christian JR RHP Riley Ferrell
  3. Texas Christian rSO RHP Mitchell Traver
  4. Oklahoma rJR LHP Adam Choplick
  5. Texas SR RHP Parker French
  6. Texas Tech JR RHP Matt Withrow
  7. Oklahoma State rJR RHP/OF Conor Costello
  8. Baylor SR RHP Austin Stone
  9. Oklahoma State JR RHP Koda Glover
  10. Oklahoma State SO RHP Trey Cobb
  11. Texas Christian SO LHP Tyler Alexander
  12. Texas Christian rSO RHP Brian Triegflaff
  13. Texas Christian SR LHP Travis Evans
  14. Texas Christian rSR RHP Trey Teakell
  15. Texas rSR RHP Ty Marlow
  16. Oklahoma JR LHP/1B Jacob Evans
  17. Kansas JR RHP Hayden Edwards
  18. Oklahoma JR RHP Blake Rogers
  19. Oklahoma State SR RHP Jon Perrin
  20. Baylor rSR LHP Brad Kuntz
  21. Texas Tech JR RHP/OF Quinn Carpenter
  22. Kansas State rJR RHP Nate Williams
  23. Oklahoma rSR RHP Robert Tasin
  24. Baylor rJR RHP Ryan Smith
  25. Texas JR RHP Chad Hollingsworth
  26. Texas Tech SR RHP Dominic Moreno
  27. Texas JR LHP Travis Duke
  28. Oklahoma JR RHP RHP Corey Copping
  29. Texas Christian SR RHP Preston Morrison
  30. Kansas State rSO RHP Nate Griep
  31. Oklahoma State rSR LHP Tyler Nurdin
  32. Kansas State JR RHP Levi MaVorhis
  33. Kansas State rSO RHP Colton Kalmus
  34. Oklahoma State JR LHP Alex Hackerott
  35. Texas JR LHP Ty Culbreth
  36. Texas Tech SR LHP Cameron Smith
  37. Texas Tech SR RHP Corey Taylor
  38. West Virginia JR RHP Jeff Hardy
  39. Texas Tech JR RHP Dalton Brown
  40. Baylor SR RHP Sean Spicer
  41. Kansas State rSO RHP Blake McFadden
  42. Oklahoma JR LHP Jeffrey Curran
  43. West Virginia rJR LHP Ross Vance

CJ Hinojosa and David Thompson

For better or worse, I have a tendency to stick with guys I’ve long liked. Though it may not be the perfect example of that line of thinking, the relatively high placements of SS CJ Hinojosa and 3B David Thompson on my current college hitting big board reflects as much on the promise each player once exhibited (fourteenth and fifty-sixth on the final 2012 board here, respectively) than anything either guy has done through two years of college ball. That’s not to say that Hinojosa and Thompson have disappointed at Texas and Miami. It’s true that both players were better as freshmen than sophomores, though Thompson’s second season struggles can be explained in part to battling injuries. Even if they haven’t quite lived up to the considerable expectations placed on them by internet know-it-alls like me, both have shown plenty of flashes of the ability that once made them potential stars. Both have the talent to get back into the first round conversation with springs that line up with their ability.

At face value Hinojosa’s raw tools and production to date don’t blow you away. His physical abilities defensively work as well as they do because of exceptional first-step instincts and a keen awareness of situational baseball. All of that belies his as yet untapped talent as both a hitter and a fielder. I’m not a scout nor do I have any serious aspirations to be one. I do, however, watch an unhealthy amount of baseball, so I’d like to think I’ve picked up on a few things over the years as a reasonably intelligent person. Even after years of closely watching the game, assessing bat speed remains one of the most nebulous concepts for me. Many of the professionals I’ve talked to over the years have made me feel a bit better about this, as many have agreed with my take that judging bat speed is the closest baseball gets to Justice Potter Stewart’s obscenity threshold test of “I know it when I see it.” Not everybody I’ve talked to has agreed with me on this, but Hinojosa’s bat speed falls in the top tier of all college prospects in this year’s class (if we expanded that search for all of college ball he’d be joined by exciting 2016 prospects like Pete Alonso, Sheldon Neuse, and Kyle Lewis). Plus bat speed with a whole bunch of 50’s and a high degree of certainty of sticking up the middle defensively makes for a pretty enticing pro prospect.

From this very site back in April 2012…

At his best, Hinojosa swings the bat with some of the most fluid yet chaotic yet silky smooth violence you’d ever like to see – his level swing and crazy bat speed epitomize the old John Wooten quote “Be quick but don’t hurry.” Defensively, I think he’ll stick up the middle fairly easily, but he’s one of those “tweener” types for some. Tweener is normally a pejorative turn, but in this case I’d say that the two things that Hinojosa is between are average or better shortstop and potential Gold Glove winning third baseman. His strong commitment to Texas and a season-ending shoulder injury should push him down the board, but I’d take him in the first if I thought he could be convinced to sign.

I’m surprised to have never seen this comparison before, but Hinojosa as a draft prospect reminds me in many ways of former Texas infielder and eventual late-first round pick Omar Quintanilla. That’s the kind of draft ceiling (Quintanilla went 33rd overall) that I think currently makes sense for Hinojosa. Things didn’t work out as hoped for Quintanilla professionally, but that’s hardly a red flag worth stressing out about when evaluating Hinojosa. I have one buddy in the game that likes Hinojosa as much as I do (perhaps even more), and he threw out an Edgar Renteria statistical comp (.280/.340/.400 with 10 HR, 30 2B, and 20 SB) as an absolute best-case scenario ceiling. I’d love to go there, but can’t quite see the bat reaching those heights (to say nothing of the overly generous stolen base totals). If you knock just 5% off of those totals, however, you get a rough line of .265/.320/.380, which feels more within reach. If 95% of Edgar Renteria doesn’t capture the imagination, then think of it as an outcome that should fall within the same ballpark of Erick Aybar’s offensive value. My favorite comparisons guard against my optimism (to a degree) that Hinojosa is a shortstop forever and always, and take a wider look at his long-term professional future. The two most logical career paths for him would resemble something like what Marco Scutaro (an all-time favorite of mine) and Julio Lugo managed to do in in the big leagues. A Scutaro/Lugo comp combo gets you to a .270ish/.335ish/.385ish type of hitter with a long career as a player capable of playing both second and third effectively (plus some outfield here and there) in addition to being able to hold it down at short. Maybe there will be flashes of putting it all together mixed in along the way like Scutaro’s run from 2008 to 2013 or Lugo’s from 2003 to 2006, but the real legacy of this hypothetical career path is in the steady yet unspectacular play and consistent professional approach to the game. I actually really like the Scutaro comp the more I think about it, so, if you’re the type that thinks throwing multiple comps out and seeing what sticks is a little too easy (I get it, it’s cool), then consider Scutaro my one official player comparison for Hinojosa.

(While on the subject of Hinojosa comps, here’s one from one of the best in the college business, Aaron Fitt: former Arizona Wildcat and current member of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system SS Alex Mejia. That’s a really good comparison, and certainly more grounded in reality than a lot of my more optimistic guesses. I can’t quibble with it, though you can check the archives and see that I was never all that thrilled about Mejia — certainly not like I am about Hinojosa — as a prospect back in the day. I’ll counter his Mejia with another contemporary comp out of Arizona: Kevin Newman. This year’s class has an unusually high number of head-to-head prospect battles with seemingly very similar players, so it’ll be a lot of fun to see how pro teams go about differentiating guys like Hinojosa and Newman, Ben Johnson and Steven Duggar, Giovanni Brusa and Kyri Washington, etc.)

Thompson is a harder player to assess right now because a) we’re still waiting to see him at 100% and b) as one of the draft’s better prospects who isn’t a 2B/SS/CF type, he carries the burden of the needing his righthanded bat to do major damage and fast. I know comps aren’t for everybody, but I’ve always liked them for a variety of reasons. In the case of Thompson, I think the thought exercise of coming up with players with similar athletic backgrounds, physiques, and developmental challenges can be used as a jumping off point to help determine what kind of prospect we’re dealing with. If comps aren’t your thing, that’s cool; I suggest reading the following paragraph from my Miami preview a few weeks ago and calling it a day.

Outside assessments of his raw talent, physical abilities, and professional baseball projection aside, JR 3B/1B David Thompson is a really easy person to root for. Hey, I said I don’t root for teams, but I certainly root for players. I’ve not once heard a negative word uttered about his makeup, both on-field and off, and the hard work and perseverance he’s demonstrated in repeatedly battling back from injuries, including remaking his swing after tearing his right labrum in high school, are a testament to his desire to make it no matter the cost. The fact that he went down from surgery to correct complications from thoracic outlet syndrome in late March of last year only to come back to finish the season by mid-May (he even had a huge hit in their Regional matchup against Texas Tech) tells you a lot about his will to compete. Through all the ups and downs physically, his upside on the diamond remains fully intact from his HS days — I had him ranked as the 56th best overall prospect back then — and a big draft season is very much in play if he can stay healthy throughout the year. The bat will play at the next level (above-average raw power, plenty of bat speed, physically strong, plus athleticism, knows how to use the whole field), so the biggest unknown going into this season is where he’ll eventually call home on the defensive side. I’ve liked his chances to stick at third since his prep days; failing that, I’d prioritize a home in the outfield (he’s not known for his speed, but the athleticism and arm strength should make him at least average in a corner) over going to first, where, overall loss of defensive value aside, at least he’s shown significant upside. His strong showing at the end of the summer on the Cape is an encouraging way to get back into the grind of college ball, though he did appear to sacrifice some patience at the plate for power down the stretch. If he can find a way to marry his two existences — college (approach: 35 BB/45 K in his career) and Cape (power) — in this upcoming season (like in his healthy freshman season), Thompson should find himself off the board early this June.

Now to work backwards a bit to see what recent(ish) prospects Thompson can be measured up against. There have been a fair number of R/R former quarterbacks that have made an impact on professional ball in recent years. Josh Booty and Drew Henson were flops, though extenuating circumstances undoubtedly played a factor in each player’s development. The final word on Josh Fields’ career winds up being a tougher call because there’s little reason to call his career a success (getting bounced from the league at 27 is less than ideal), but he did manage to hit a little bit (.421 career SLG) in just under 800 lifetime plate appearances. If you can go back in time to 2004 and remember how we viewed Josh Fields back then, I think you might agree with me he’s a reasonable comparison for Thompson as a draft prospect. This Scout’s View (it looks like a broken link, but it’s there on the right sidebar) from the March 17, 2004 edition of Baseball America was written about Fields, but could just as easily be written about Thompson today…

He’s going to be a guy with power. He’s got bat speed and strength. He’s not making the kind of contact you hope he will in the future, but he hasn’t played collegiately a lot, and he hasn’t played in the summers to my knowledge, or in the fall (because of football). He’s basically played spring to spring. I think he won’t be a tremendous average hitter, but he will make enough contact to get to his power.

(Defensively), he just needs to continue to make improvements. I don’t see him needing to move if he works hard. His hands and feet are a little rough and his arm is erratic and no better than average. He’s got to work to stay there, but just being around him and knowing his makeup and work ethic, I think he’ll work at it. He’ll be adequate, and when I say adequate, you’re going to give a little bit because of the bat and power you think he’ll have.

As much as I’ll defend Fields as a better player than teams realized, a comparison to him knowing what we now know about his future reads more like a cautionary tale rather than a compliment. But much like comparing Hinojosa to Quintanilla, the comparison itself isn’t designed to predict a pro future but rather to demonstrate a similarity in perceived draft stock. Fields went eighteenth overall in 2004. A mid-first round selection feels like a fairly generous ceiling for Thompson at this point, though it’s not inconceivable he’ll play himself into that range come June.

Another R/R former QB that shares some traits with Thompson is former Clemson football and baseball star Kyle Parker. Parker went 26th overall in 2010. I currently like Parker more than most, so getting a bat like that who has a good shot to play third base (failing that, an outfield corner) intrigues me. Perhaps the best comparison for Thompson in terms of potential professional production is yet another former QB, Eli Manning’s backup at Ole Miss Seth Smith. Smith is a L/L guy, but his career 162 game averages of .265/.350/.450 with 16 HR, 30 2B, 50 BB, and 100 K look like attainable benchmarks (maybe a touch more power, closer to the 18-22 range) for Thompson as a big leaguer. With all college statistical comparison caveats in mind, join me in gazing at Smith as a Rebel (top) and Thompson as a Hurricane (not top)…

.338/.410/.473 with 78 BB/76 K (751 PA)
.286/.372/.434 with 37 BB/50 K (375 PA)

It wouldn’t be a major upset if Thompson closed that performance gap on Smith here in his junior season and went on to have similar success as a big league hitter. With average-ish defense at third, that’s a really nice prospect. Even if he has to play in an outfield corner (like Smith), he’d still hold considerable value.