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C – Deon Stafford
1B – Bobby Campbell
2B – Daniel Brumbaugh
SS – Cole Peterson
3B – Carter Hanford
OF – Cam Johnson, Logan Farrar, Jordan Powell
If I were to rank the position player prospects in the Atlantic 10 this year, the list would probably look something like this: 1) Deon Stafford, 2) Deon Stafford, and 3) Deon Stafford. There’s really nobody close to Stafford’s level of talent and production in the conference. I’ve seen a good bit of Stafford over the years, something that can either be good if you trust my firsthand takes or bad if you think I’m either a) full of it (very possible, FWIW), or b) biased towards a local prospect I’ve watched grow into a potential top one hundred pick.
My #notascout observations on him are fairly straightforward: fantastic athlete, average or better speed (timed him above-average to first on a single last weekend), above-average to plus arm strength (though I haven’t gotten a clean in-game pop from him yet this season to update this), at least above-average raw power, average or better hit tool, patient yet aggressive approach, great build/physical strength, clear leadership skills and passion for the game (as noted by my wife, who’s far more into that type of thing, on multiple occasions), and an overall plus package of defensive tools (mobility, hands, release, fearlessness).
For as much as I made about the gap between Stafford and the rest of the conference, it’s only fair to point out there are a bunch of quality catching prospects in the Atlantic 10 beyond Stafford. Feedback (that I ignored) on James Morisano before the season was that he was a prospect on the same level as Stafford. He’s not, but that doesn’t make him chopped liver. Or maybe he is because chopped liver can be delicious if mushed up in a nice chicken liver pâté. Either way, Morisano is a good athlete who should have no problem sticking behind the dish in the long run while showing off above-average power at it. The bat might be a little light to play regularly, but there’s a chance he’s a high-level backup for a long time.
Martin Figueroa‘s down senior season doesn’t change the fact he brings a long track record of hitting for both average and power. He might be more of a utility type at the next level — he has experience at third and in the outfield corners — but anybody who can at least fake it behind the plate and hit like him deserves a shot in pro ball.
All I know about Bobby Campbell is that he has power, he can play third base in a pinch, and he controlz the strike zone (58 BB/63 K career to date) like nobody’s business. The typo in that sentence was entirely accidental, but I’m leaving it in to underscore how impressed I am by Campbell’s approach. Plus, it highlights how edgy and cool and up with the latest trends (trendz?) I am. Between Campbell, Darian Carpenter, and Brian Fortier, the A-10 has a chance to put three quality senior-sign power hitting first base prospects in pro ball this year. Not too shabby.
Cole Peterson is a fun mix of patience, pop, and speed at shortstop. An edge in speed is what gave him the starting spot on this team over Vinny Capra, a good looking young bat (“pesky [hitter] with real sock” is how he was described to me) in his own right. Carter Hanford is a solid defender at the hot corner with power to all fields. Isaiah Pasteur, sitting out the season after transferring in to George Washington from Indiana, could get drafted even with the year off. He’s yet to show much at the plate, but there aren’t many young third basemen out there that can match his blend of athleticism, speed, and arm strength.
We knew Cam Johnson could run and hit a bit coming into the season, but his power bump has been a pleasant development. Logan Farrar has a quality approach and some defensive versatility (all three outfield spots plus second base). Jordan Powell might have to wait another year like Farrar did, but he fits the speed/CF range mold that can sometimes get some late round love.
Also receiving consideration…
C – Martin Figueroa, Brandon Chapman, James Morisano, Mark Donadio
1B – Darian Carpenter, Brian Fortier
2B – Michael Smith, Jared Baldinelli, Chris Hess, Robbie Metz
SS – Alex King, Vinny Capra, Alec Acosta
3B – Matt O’Neil, Isaiah Pasteur
OF – Aaron Case, Cal Jadacki, Tyler Nelin, DJ Lee, Mike Corin, Joey Bartosic, Ryan MacCarrick, Parker Sniatynski, David Vaccaro, Will Robertson, Nick Reeser, Trent Leimkuehler