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2016 MLB Draft Reviews – Pittsburgh Pirates

Top 500 Prospects Drafted by Pittsburgh in 2016

13 – Will Craig
32 – Braeden Ogle
106 – Max Kranick
155 – Stephen Alemais
220 – Cam Vieaux
260 – Austin Shields
331 – Dylan Prohoroff
473 – Travis MacGregor

Complete List of 2016 Pittsburgh Draftees

1.22 – 3B Will Craig

I like everything about Will Craig (13) minus the position that comes before his name above. My #notascout observations of him over the years has me believing Craig, despite being blessed with a huge right arm, is not a third baseman. He’s a first baseman through and through. That bit of “bad” news out of the way allows to instead focus on what Craig does well. In short, the man can hit. From January 2016…

I think I’m going to keep touting JR 1B/RHP Will Craig as the righthanded AJ Reed until he starts getting some serious national recognition. I cited that name in the college draft preview from October, so might as well keep mentioning it over and over and over…

Do you like power? How about patience? What about a guy with power, patience, and the athleticism to pull off collegiate two-way duty? For everybody who missed on AJ Reed the first time around, Will Craig is here to give you a second chance. I won’t say he’ll be the first base prospect that finally tests how high a first base prospect can go in a post-PED draft landscape, but if he has a big enough junior season…

I love Craig. In past years I might back down some from the love from reasons both fair (positional value, certain scouty quibbles about bat speed and timing) and not (seeing him ignored by all the major media outlets so much that I start to question my own judgment), but I see little way that will be the case with Craig. Sure, he could force my hand by cratering out with a disappointing junior season (a la Ryan Howard back in the day), but that would only shift him from sleeper first round talent to sleeper fifth round value. His is a bat I believe in and I’m willing to ride or die with it.

I still like the righthanded AJ Reed comparison as a baseline for what Craig could be in pro ball. His power, smarts, and underrated athleticism make him the rare bat-first prospect to warrant a first round draft grade. His fit with the organization that drafted him, however, is a bit trickier to figure. Assuming the Pirates don’t keep trying to jam Craig’s round peg defense into the third base square hole, the long-term plan for the Wake Forest star in Pittsburgh seems muddled at best. Josh Bell seems like he has first base on lock for the foreseeable future, so where does that leave Craig? I know, I know…worrying about too much prospect depth at certain positions is a waste of time as these things tend to work themselves out on the diamond sooner rather than later. Still, Bell is really good and, even with the curious decision to have their first round pick avoid full-season ball in his debut, Craig doesn’t figure to be in the minors for long. I don’t think you draft a player with the twenty-second overall pick with the intention of developing him primarily as trade bait, but something has to give. Wherever he lands, I think his upside as a top ten player at first base makes this pick a worthwhile endeavor. I understand the value of accumulating young players on the happy side of the defensive spectrum, but there’s nothing wrong with betting on bats sometimes. Craig is a good one to bet on.

2.68 – RHP Travis MacGregor

I’ve got nothing on Travis MacGregor (473) that you can’t easily find elsewhere on the internet. Young, athletic, projectable righthander with the chance to remain a starter due to flashes of a solid yet unspectacular three-pitch mix. I’m not in love with it this early, but the Pirates are notorious for being of a handful of teams that draft “off the board” with no fear of public backlash. It’s commendable, really. I’m not sure it’ll necessarily work out here, but I still respect the process.

3.105 – SS Stephen Alemais

Stephen Alemais (155) has the look of a consistently above-average defensive shortstop with just enough offensive skill that you don’t feel terrible batting him eighth (NL) or ninth (AL) in the lineup because you know you’re not getting a total zero there. At worst, it’s a glove-first utility profile. It’s not a pick that gets you pumping your fist on draft day as a fan, but it’s fine enough for the third round — I had him as more of a fifth rounder, so it’s not crazy off — that you can’t kill it for being a gross draft day miscalculation. Neither great nor awful, this pick just is, man.

4.135 – LHP Braeden Ogle

It’s admittedly a bit difficult to qualify the pre-draft ranking gulf between Travis MacGregor and Braeden Ogle (32), so I’ll do my best and you can let me know if it makes any sense at all. First, the two prospects are very similar. We should get that out of the way early. The fact that Pittsburgh valued them so similarly on draft day — no matter the rankings of an internet draft guy like me — speaks to that. Both are high school pitching prospects with impressive college commitments, plenty of projection left, quality “now” velocity, and enough feel for their offspeed that staying in the rotation seems like a good bet going forward. Where Ogle wins for me is pretty simple: more heat (90-94 FB, 96 peak), more upside with his breaking ball (75-78 CB, could be above-average to plus in time), better present changeup (80-82), and an edge in handedness (lefty > righty, right or wrong). Are those advantages enough to explain the stark difference in pre-draft evaluation of each young pitcher relative to the rest of the class? Not really, no. Some of the mid-spring helium that floated Ogle as high as it did wound up doing the trick on me and I probably ranked him higher than his skill set warranted.

Long story short: both Ogle and MacGregor are solid prep pitching prospects worth gambling on within the draft’s top ten rounds. I overrated Ogle and underrated MacGregor before the draft, but the two are fairly similar prospects once you cut away all the excess fat. I still prefer Ogle for the reasons stated above — lefties with mid-90s velocity who have the depth of stuff to remain in the rotation aren’t typically around this late — but am open to reasonable arguments opting for MacGregor. Both have mid-rotation upside if it all works out with Ogle having both the higher probability of getting there and the better chance for more.

5.165 – RHP Blake Cederlind

The Pirates really like to make us internet draft guys work. Like many, I didn’t have much on Blake Cederlind prior to the draft. His stuff, namely mid-90s heat that moves, should have been enough to get him a mention on the site, but two years of scary control (9.58 BB/9 and 5.31 BB/9) kept me away. Obviously Pittsburgh was confident that they could fix Cederlind’s control once they got their hands on him, so taking a chance on a good relief prospect with a big arm and decent breaking ball works for me in the fifth round.

6.195 – LHP Cam Vieaux

On Cam Vieaux (220) from April 2016…

Vieaux throws hard, can spin two effective breaking balls, and knows when to drop in his improving low-80s change. I think he can remain in the rotation professionally.

I really like Vieaux as a potential back of the rotation big league starter. He checks all the familiar boxes: solid fastball (86-92, 94 peak), quality assortment of offspeed stuff (he’ll flash an above-average 75-78 CB, above-average 77-81 SL, and average 81-83 CU, though each pitch has seen some ups and downs over the years) that gives him options when one secondary offering is working better than the rest, sturdy frame (6-5, 200 pounds), solid athleticism, good control. Probably the biggest thing working against him — minus the absence of a singular consistent above-average to plus pitch he can rely on every trip to the mound — is his age. Vieaux will be 24-years-old at the onset of his first full pro season. If he is to achieve that fourth starter ceiling I think he’s capable of, then he needs to get moving fast.

7.225 – C Brent Gibbs

I’m not an expert on Brent Gibbs, but everything I know about him I like an awful lot. The Indiana transfer wound up hitting a ton (.396/.497/.590 with 15 BB/22 K) at Central Arizona for his redshirt-sophomore season. He’s got good size, a plus to plus-plus arm, and nothing but favorable reports about his defense behind the plate. Even if you’re not completely sold on the inflated junior college offensive onslaught, Gibbs is the kind of defensive asset at catcher that teams love to push up their system. If he hits, he can be a regular catcher in the big leagues. If not, he’s got enough going for him elsewhere to be a backup for years to come. Nice pick here.

8.255 – RHP Dylan Prohoroff

I had Dylan Prohoroff (311) listed as a high school pitcher to know back in 2013 when he was topping out at 87 MPH. Now he’s hitting 97 regularly. Pretty cool progress by him. Wrote some nice things about him almost three years later in March 2016…

Prohoroff’s game is a little more reliant on his fastball, a pitch that sits in the low-90s with the occasional forays to 95-96-97. His breaking ball isn’t as far along as you’d like, but the arm strength, size, and production all point toward a potential middle reliever future with continued growth.

I got some pretty good reports on his 78-83 hybrid breaking ball past that point, so the ingredients are certainly there for a long career in middle relief for Prohoroff if he can stay healthy and keep throwing strikes. The ceiling may not be all that exciting, but I think the certainty of his floor is a nice way to diversify the draft portfolio.

9.285 – OF Clark Eagan

Clark Eagan could be a lefthanded hitting four-corner (1B-3B-LF-RF) platoon player if he can keep hitting. He reminds me some of Matt Diorio, the Pirates sixteenth round pick profiled below. Eagan’s slight chance of playing some third base ups his value some in the same way that Diorio’s slight shot at catching helps his cause. Both have flashed contact skills, power, and some semblance of an approach in the past, but a lot of pressure will be on their bats going forward if they are to make it or not.

10.315 – RHP Matt Anderson

On Matt Anderson from May 2016…

Matt Anderson is a favorite that proved this year he’s ready for pro ball. With a solid fastball (88-92, 94 peak), plus change, and an average or better breaking ball, I think he can keep starting in the pros. He’s one of the best senior-sign out there from both a stuff and performance perspective.

He is what we thought he was. Matt Anderson by the numbers…

12.41 K/9 and 4.03 BB/9 in 29.0 IP
12.77 K/9 and 4.13 BB/9 in 91.2 IP

Top was Anderson in his debut for West Virginia, bottom was Anderson in his senior season at Morehead State. In a perfect world Anderson wouldn’t walk so many guys, but I can live with his wild ways so long as he keeps missing bats. My pre-draft evaluation pushed for him to remain a starter in the pros, something I still think he can do for the foreseeable future. If he has to make the move to relief, however, then I think his already potent changeup will look even better when paired up with a (hopefully) amped up fastball (88-92, 94 peak as a starter). The Pirates played the senior-sign game perfectly here by getting Anderson to sign for $10,000 here in the tenth round.

11.345 – RHP Max Kranick

I see a lot of local guys over the course of the winter/spring, but the schedule never worked out for me to make the two hour trek north to Valley View HS. If it had, I could have seen Max Kranick (106) up close and personal. I did, however, see him last summer and have plenty of notes on him otherwise, so I don’t feel too bad about the senior season whiff. On the plus side, I saved some money on gas and tolls. Anyway, Kranick is good. His fastball (87-93, 94-95 peak) has a shot to be a plus pitch even without overwhelming velocity (though he could still had a few tickets as he fills out) thanks to his ability to sink it, cut it, run it, and command it. His mid- to upper-70s breaking ball moves between a curve and a slider needs some polish, but flashes above-average enough to give you confidence it’ll be at least a consistent average pitch in time. I like what little I’ve seen out of his low-80s changeup, too. All in all, it’s the kind of three-pitch mix, command, and frame that strongly suggests a future pitching every fifth day. Between Kranick, Braeden Ogle, and Travis MacGregor, the Pirates may have landed two-fifths (pitcher attrition and all) of a future rotation.

12.375 – C Arden Pabst

Arden Pabst making it to the big leagues will be a success of scouting over stats. The scouts see a sure-handed catcher who has shown the ability to handle pro pitching defensively since his days as a teenage prospect at Harvard-Westlake HS. They also see a better hitter, both in terms of contact skills and power upside, than he’s shown thus far in his post-prep career. I get all that, and it wouldn’t surprise me (much…) if he had a long, successful career as a big league backup catcher for those reasons. The stats, however, are a concern. Pabst was a .234/.326/.333 hitter (44 BB/91 K) in 372 AB while at Georgia Tech. The gap between what the scouts see and what he’s done is fairly significant. Even if the former group is on to something, they’d have to REALLY be on to something if Pabst is going to go from .234/.326/.333 in college to the big leagues. I’ve liked him in the past for the scout-y reasons, but can’t vouch for the pick at this point. When a guy’s absolute best case scouting profile paints him as an average offensive player (admittedly at a premium defensive spot where he’s really good, but I’m trying to make a point here so let’s ignore that for now) then I’d really like to see an established, specific offensive skill already on the board before considering using a top 500 pick on him. Pabst didn’t show that in three years as a Yellow Jacket. No contact, no patience, no power. The light bulb could still go on, but I don’t think the eventual upside if it does makes it worth it to find out. If all that makes me a “box score scout,” the worst pejorative a wannabe scout on the internet can be called, then so be it.

13.405 – RHP John Pomeroy

Coincidentally or not, everything written about Arden Pabst above can be applied to John Pomeroy here. The scouts surely see Pomeroy and are intrigued because why wouldn’t a heavy mid-90s fastball (up to 98) and emerging low-80s slider get their attention? That potential late-game stuff has been seriously undermined by Pomeroy’s complete lack of control. In limited innings as a Beaver, Pomeroy has put up BB/9’s of 7.64 (10.2 IP) and 8.57 (6.1 IP). Those parenthetical innings totals are relevant, too: for better (fresh arm, small sample forgiveness) or worse (too wild to trust, needs more in-game experience to fairly assess), Pomeroy simply hasn’t gotten out onto a mound in a competitive environment enough since his senior year of high school. A 12.51 BB/9 in 13.2 IP during his pro debut doesn’t exactly help assuage concerns over his long-term future.

Still, I like this pick more than the one round earlier for a few small reasons. First, and maybe stupidly on my end, Pomeroy’s path to a big league role seems much shorter and simpler than Pabst’s. We’re comparing apples and oranges here (or pitchers and catchers, more accurately), but the market for relief pitching (590 pitchers came out of the bullpen at least once for MLB teams in 2016) is larger than the need for catchers (104 MLB players caught at least one inning in 2016). That’s a fairly obvious point, but sometimes obvious is all right. Second, I think the distance between what Pomeroy is and what he could be is shorter than Pabst’s. Pomeroy pretty clearly has the stuff to miss bats (11.85 K/9 in his small sample debut), but lacks the control. Pabst may or may not have the goods to play in the bigs depending on who you talk to and when. Pro coaching could be the key to unlocking Pomeroy’s upside; the same could be true for Pabst, but it seems less likely from where I’m sitting. Finally, Pomeroy’s track record, while bad, is short. That actually works in his favor here. I’d rather roll the dice on the guy with the bad but shorter track record than on a guy like Pabst, who has a bad but long track record. Pomeroy has the advantage of the unknown on his side. It’s not necessarily fair, but that’s the way life goes sometimes.

Pomeroy pitching to Pabst is a thing that will likely happen so if it hasn’t happened already. That’s cool.

15.465 – RHP Danny Beddes

Letting Danny Beddes loose in a professional bullpen seems like a very good idea to me. The hulking righthander (6-6, 240) has shown power stuff (90-95 FB, 85-87 cutter, 80-82 CB) as a college starter that could play up even more in shorter outings. I’m in on Beddes, pro relief prospect.

16.495 – OF Matt Diorio

On Matt Diorio from January 2016…

Diorio is a pretty straight forward prospect for me right now: he can really hit, but his defensive future is highly uncertain. As a catcher he could rise up as one of the handful of top names in this class, but the “as a catcher” qualifier is something easier said than done. The good news is that many who know Diorio better than I do have insisted to me that he’s athletic enough to play some corner outfield in the event the idea of catching goes belly up. Framed as a potential corner outfielder/first baseman who occasionally can catch, Diorio’s path to the big leagues suddenly gets a little clearer. In a perfect world he’s a backstop all the way, but a super-utility player who can hit is hardly without value.

Diorio didn’t catch in his debut with the Pittsburgh organization, but that won’t stop me from holding out hope that they’ll consider trying him behind the plate again someday. If not, his road to the big leagues could be a tough one to navigate. Diorio is a really interesting offensive player for me because I think he can hit, I think his approach his solid, and I think his power is intriguing. Checking all three of those offensive boxes should make him a slam dunk offensive prospect, but he’s not all that close to being at that level. I guess the easiest way to explain that is to say that he’s kind of a “master of none” type of hitter. He does everything fairly well, but nothing so well that he gives off any certain big league hitter vibes. He’s talented enough to get there in a backup role — especially if a big league team believes in him as a catcher who can do the job once or twice a week — but it’s going to take a whole lot of hitting at every level to get there.

17.525 – RHP Matt Frawley

Young for his class (turned 21 in August) and coming off a season more good than great (7.03 K/9 in 74.1 IP), Matt Frawley seemed more likely to be a potential premium 2017 MLB Draft senior-sign candidate to me than a signable 2016 pick. The Pirates did their homework and scooped up an interesting relief prospect capable of hitting the low-90s (up to 94) with a solid breaking ball for a $60,000 bonus in the seventeenth round. That’s probably more than Frawley would have gotten as a senior-sign, so win-win-win here. The third win goes to fans of the West Virginia Black Bears, who got to see Frawley mow down the competition (10.61 K/9 and 2.89 BB/9 in 28.0 IP) in his summer debut.

18.555 – SS Kevin Mahala

Concerns about how his defense and approach (10 BB/34 K) would translate to pro ball caused me to leave Kevin Mahala off my 2016 draft list even after his strong (.286/.326/.461) junior season at George Washington. That looks to be a mistake after his solid debut with the Pirates. I’m still not entirely sold, but I could be talked into Mahala, who played lots of second, some third, and a little bit of short in his debut, having some utility player appeal if he keeps hitting.

20.615 – RHP Adam Oller

On Adam Oller from February 2016…

Oller has really impressive stuff with three pitches profiling as average or better professionally, but the lackluster track record of missed bats (4.75 K/9 in 2015) is worrisome. If the breakout happens in 2016 we’ll know why. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Did the breakout happen? Oller upped his K/9 (5.99) and dropped his ERA (2.58 to 1.23), but still didn’t quite miss enough bats on the whole to qualify for true breakout status. Still, college ERAs of 2.44, 2.58, and 1.23 in three years carrying a heavy load for Northwestern State (92.1 IP, 108.1 IP, 109.2 IP) have to count for something. His pro debut saw his strikeout numbers go up (7.57 K/9) while his ERA did the same (4.45). That’s…confusing. Confused or not, I still like him as a potential relief option down the line for the Pirates. Oller has enough fastball (87-92), two quality offspeed pitches, and above-average command and control.

21.645 – RHP Matt Eckelman

Matt Eckelman is a quality senior-sign relief prospect with a solid fastball (87-92), a decent assortment of offspeed stuff, and good size. He’s actually a lot like the man picked one round ahead of him, Adam Oller. Go figure.

22.675 – RHP Brandon Bingel

I liked Brandon Bingel a little better as a position player (second base) than I did on the mound, so what do I know. The logic in turning out Bingel as a full-time pitcher makes sense, though. He’s an athletic, aggressive strike-thrower with velocity on the rise (88-92, 93 peak) and a hard mid-80s slider that flashes plus. I’m pro-athlete when it comes to pitchers and Bingel is as athletic as they come, so you could say I like this pro athlete. That was terrible and I am sorry.

23.705 – OF Garrett Brown

On Garrett Brown from March 2015…

SR OF Garrett Brown (Western Carolina) gets a spot on these rankings as long as he has college eligibility left. He’s a sensational athlete with plus-plus speed who brings a football mentality to the diamond. I could see the fans of the team that drafts him in June confused at what they are getting if they check the numbers, but if he ever devotes himself to baseball full-time then it’ll all make sense. I’m not prognosticating anything specific when it comes to Brown’s future, but rather pointing out how appealing a late round gamble he’ll be.

Fans would surely have been confused if Brown would have been drafted (he wasn’t) after his 2015 season (.206/.270/.206 with 1 BB/11 K in 34 AB), but I can’t imagine too many Pirates fans are all that puzzled by the team taking a shot on the crazy athletic former wide receiver coming off a .325/.374/.442 (11 BB/28 K) full season at Western Carolina. In terms of recent baseball experience, Brown might as well be considered a high school prospect rather than a redshirt-senior college graduate. He’ll be 23-years-old as he enters his first full pro season, but I don’t see his age being as much of an impediment to his long-term development than others might. Brown has clear big league traits (speed, defense, athleticism) with enough offensive upside to keep him employed for years to come. One contact of mine likened his upside and potential pro impact to that of Andrew Toles, an old draft favorite around here.

25.765 – OF Hunter Owen

Righthanded power will always be valued on draft day more than I anticipate. Hunter Owen delivers in that area. Without much to say beyond that, I’ll note that I found it interesting that Owen played a few innings each at both third base and second base in his debut. Left field was still his primary home, but it bears watching going forward. Could be that the Pirates needed a body in the infield on a few given days. We shall see.

26.795 – RHP Robbie Coursel

Despite two solid years of peripherals at Florida Atlantic, I don’t have much on Robbie Coursel. If I had to guess based on what the Pirates have done so far, I’d go with average velocity, decent offspeed, and above-average command. Add it up and it’s a potential middle relief option if everything breaks just so.

27.825 – SS Tyler Leffler

On Tyler Leffler from March 2016…

I have no idea what to make of Tyler Leffler, a shortstop who looked poised for a breakout draft season last year only to see his batting average drop almost in half from his sophomore season. A year ago I would have considered him a promising bat-first prospect with serious questions about his long-term defensive future. Now his glove seems to have passed his bat – and not just because of his 2015 struggles – and his offensive game is what will determine if he can be a mid- to late-round sleeper future regular or more of a utility prospect at best. I give him a lot of credit for the defensive improvements and I’m anxious to see if a big senior season can get him back on the draft radar for most teams.

Turns out I’ve spent a lot of time over the years pondering the future of a college baseball player from Bradley with a utility infielder perfect world ceiling in pro ball. In fairness, check out Leffler by the numbers during his college run…

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
2016: .313/.402/.474 – 17 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 192 AB

You can see why one might look at those lines and see an ascending hitter ready to break out in a major way heading in his first college draft year (2015), right? He then fell on his face as a junior before going right back to his sophomore year production as a senior. On top of that, the tone of the buzz of Leffler has been comically up-and-down going back to his freshman year. He went from “bat-first prospect destined for the outfield” to “who the heck knows what’s up with him as a hitter, but pretty solid in the infield” in a flash. A friend who has seen a lot of Leffler over the years called him a “college version of Ryan Rua.” Did that mean that he felt Leffler had the upside of Rua or what? Asked to clarify, he said that, no, he meant Leffler was the literal college version of a player like Rua in the pros. I’m not sure if I explained it well, but in any event that’s a vote against Leffler having much of a professional career. I tend to agree. Leffler was still one of the most fascinating college players I can remember following, so at least there’s that.

29.885 – RHP Geoff Hartlieb

Geoff Hartlieb has the hard sinker (up to 95) and impressive slider combination to keep on getting ground ball outs and soft contact as a pro. Between Adam Oller, Brandon Bingel, and Hartlieb, I think the Pirates scooped up at least one future big league reliever past the twentieth round. That’s not super exciting, but there’s value there.

31.945 – LHP Jordan Jess

You can add Jordan Jess to that maybe/maybe not future big league reliever pile. The big (6-3, 240) lefthander has the fastball (88-92) and recent track record of missing bats (8.65 K/9 in 2015, 11.71 K/9 in 2016) to keep getting innings in the pros. He’s taken full advantage of his early opportunities (9.85 K/9, 2.55 BB/9, 2.55 ERA in 24.2 IP), though it should be noted that he’ll have to move quickly as a prospect set to begin his first full season in 2017 at the age of 24.

33.1005 – RHP Austin Shields

LOVE this one for the Pirates. Austin Shields (260) may or may not work out over the long run, but the idea behind this pick makes it a winner in my book no matter the outcome. Shields is a big (6-6, 240) Canadian righthander with a fastball already up to 95 MPH (88-93 usually) and a low-80s slider that flashes. He could be a nice starting pitching prospect if he develops a third pitch and improves his command. He could be a big-bodied reliever with power stuff that nobody likes to face late in games. He could never make it out of Low-A if his progress stalls as a pro. Nothing would really surprise me with a prospect like Shields — and that’s more about the archetype we’ve seen before (big, cold weather, good fastball, inconsistent breaking ball, nothing soft, iffy command) than the specific player — but why not take a chance on a guy already showing you the kind of stuff Shields has flashed way down in the thirty-third round? For only about $100,000 over slot, too. Great gamble by Pittsburgh at this point.

35.1065 – RHP Pasquale Mazzoccoli

The last two seasons for Pasquale Mazzoccoli fascinate me. Maybe they’ll interest you as well. Maybe not. Maybe I needed a hook for the last Pirates prospect to find and decided to go with this. Take a look…

2015: 5.55 K/9 – 4.40 BB/9 – 47.0 IP – 4.02 ERA
2016: 10.64 K/9 – 4.43 BB/9 – 40.2 IP – 4.43 ERA

Same walks, similar innings, similar earned runs allowed…but he almost doubled his strikeout rate. That’s weird, right? Doubling one’s strikeout rate is odd enough (IMO), but doing so while just about everything else in your game remains the same is downright wacky. You’d think the ERA would have dropped some if nothing else. My mother’s maiden name is Paladino, so seeing Pasquale Mazzoccoli, up to 94 MPH with his fastball this past season at Texas State, succeed in the pros would be pretty cool. As one of the draft’s oldest prospects, he’ll have to get busy in a hurry. Mazzoccoli will be 25-years-old (!) when his first full season kicks off. Bryce Harper, big league veteran of 657 games played through five MLB seasons, is seven months younger than Mazzoccoli. Age isn’t everything, but…I don’t know how to finish that in a way that’s all that complimentary to Mazzoccoli’s chances at ever seeing the big leagues.

Unsigned Prospects and Where You Can Find Them in 2017

Nick Lodolo (TCU), Hagen Owenby (East Tennessee State), Pearson McMahan (St. John’s River State JC), Austin Bodrato (Florida), Michael Danielak (Dartmouth), Chris Cook (East Tennessee State), Ben Miller (Nebraska), Craig Dedelow (Nebraska), Dustin Williams (Oklahoma State), Colin Brockhouse (Ball State), Aaron Maher (East Tennessee State), Harrison Wenson (Michigan), Bret Boswell (Texas)

2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Big West

It’s lame to mention the same comp in back-to-back days, but…I don’t know how to finish this sentence. I’m lame, I guess. Yesterday we evoked the name Kevin Newman as part of a hybrid Newman/Scott Kingery comp for Bryson Brigman. Today Newman’s name gets thrown around again when discussing Garrett Hampson. The shortstop from Long Beach has a fascinating set of tools that engenders wildly variable opinions from those who have seen him. We’ll get into that a bit more later, but first let’s get back to that Newman comp.

Comparing almost any amateur prospect to Newman is tough (and possibly useless) because the crazy high hit tool bar set by the former Arizona star after a pair of otherworldly summers on the Cape should not be ignored. That should be reason enough not to use him as a comp two days in a row, but…we’ve now hit sentence number two where I don’t know how to finish. I’m stubborn, I guess. I liked but didn’t love Newman last year – ranked him 31st, drafted 19th – but his track record with wood makes him a bit of a prospect unicorn and, no matter your opinion about his long-term future, a comparison that really ought not to be thrown around lightly. I wouldn’t put Hampson’s straight hit tool up against Newman’s, but even at a notch below there are enough other general similarities that make the comparison work. Contextual comps for life. The closest match between the respective games of Hampson and Newman comes down to instincts in all phases. “Special” is the word most often used to describe the way Hampson’s instincts allow him to do things that his raw physical abilities might otherwise not. Like Newman, his arm might be a little light for the left side of the infield; also like Newman, his arm plays up thanks to his skill in turning a quick transfer from glove to throwing motion (hot baseball fan take: a quick release can make up for a lesser arm easier than the other way around) and general aptitude for being in the right place at the right time to get off any number of throws from funky angles that don’t always look pretty but find a way to first base.

Attempts at getting a consensus view on Hampson’s foot speed has me completely turned around. I’ve gotten plus-plus, plus, and average, and the split between plus and average is just about even. My hunch here is that we’re seeing the difference between when and where he’s being timed. On his own batted balls, I could see his times playing closer to average because that’s more representative of his raw ability. However on first to thirds, the combination of his reads, jumps, and hustle helps bump his times up just enough to hit closer to the plus range. This is all just a theory, mind you, and it still likely doesn’t explain the disparity between an average time and plus-plus (easiest explanation for that: scouts are human) spread of times, but the fact we see another example of one his tools playing up thanks to his feel for the game is noteworthy. Stuff like this is representative of the kind of player you’ll get with Hampson. He’s got a good looking swing geared for a lot of contact (my not a scout observation is that he’s one of those guys who can manipulate the bat so that the fat part stays in the zone a long time), playable speed and arm strength that you can round up due to his instincts, and impressive overall athleticism. I’d call him a high-floor/low-ceiling prospect, but I think that mischaracterizes the value of a starting big league shortstop; perhaps it goes without saying, but a utility player floor (best case) and average or so regular (again, best case) ceiling means something different at different positions on the diamond. Hampson won’t be a star, but the simple fact his ceiling could be a regular at short (or even second) gives him more value than his tools suggest.

As for the downside, we’ll refer back to old friend Kevin Newman. This is where I finished with him last year offensively…

Newman’s feel for hitting is special, but, as a guy who will always believe the hit tool is king, it pains me to admit a hit tool alone is not enough to equate to future impact regular. Pro pitchers attack hitters with minimal power differently than amateurs. In no way should all hitters be expected to come into pro ball with 20+ HR/season ability, but the threat of extra base power is needed to get the pitches and favorable hitting counts that lead to good things. It’s considerably more difficult to hit .300 with minimal power at the highest level than it is in college and in the lower-minors. I’m not bold enough to unequivocally say that Newman can’t do it, but the odds are stacked against him.

and this was the final amateur defensive verdict…

Though his superior instincts, first step quickness, and quick release all give him a shot to stick at the six-spot, his lackluster arm strength and limited range make him a better long-term fit at second base. Part of my thought process changing had to do with seeing more of him on the field (with two caveats: I’m a fan, not a scout, and it was video, not live), part of it had to do with hearing from trusted contacts who did see him up close a lot more than I could have hoped to, and part of it was my own evolving view of how important arm strength is for a shortstop. We’ve become so accustomed to thinking that third base is the infield position where the biggest arm is needed, but after focusing more closely on some of the throws that big league shortstops are asked to make deep into the hole as their momentum carries them away from their target, I’d argue that shortstop is where ideally your strongest arm would go. That’s not Newman, and I think that the rest of the industry will realize that sooner rather than later.

The question then becomes whether or not I think Hampson can succeed in the same way I think Newman will (solid regular at second) even with a lesser hit tool. I think I do, but no so strongly that I’d use a top hundred pick to see it through. Of course, there are also the additional questions about how closely remaining abilities – namely range, arm, and speed – compare to Newman’s. It’s my belief that he’s at least as strong in each of those areas as Newman, but reasonable minds can differ. Those tools added up give him a slightly better chance to succeed at shortstop in the pros, but the safest outcome is still average or so regular at second. Kind of like Kevin Newman.

Dempsey Grover is – stop me if you’ve heard this before – another college catcher in this class with top ten round ability. I’d personally go even higher than that, but I’m hedging some because of the lack of national buzz currently surrounding his name. He’s good enough defensively to stay behind the plate, his arm is plenty strong, and both his power and approach have taken big steps ahead so far in 2016. I still need to know more about his overall game, but the temptation to rank him atop the entire Big West prospect list was very real. If he’s as good as I think he is, then he stands to become the first Dempsey to reach the big leagues, assuming we don’t count guys like Rick Dempsey and Gerald Dempsey Posey. You might know that last guy by the name Buster.

Also in the running for top prospect here is Grover’s teammate Andrew Calica. Of all the non-obvious (say, those unlikely to be first day selections) prospects in this class, Calica might be the guy closest to the Platonic ideal of what it means to be a FAVORITE on this site. Calica’s impressive hit tool, easy center field range, above-average to plus speed, and solid arm strength all give him the look of at least a potential quality backup at the pro level. I’d go a step further: Calica has consistently shown every tool save power throughout his career, and even his weakest area isn’t all that weak. He’s able to put himself into enough advantageous hitting counts to allow his sneaky pop (“burgeoning” is how it was recently described to me) to make him some degree of a threat to opposing pitchers who think they can sneak good fastballs by him. Center field tools, an advanced approach, and just enough pop all add up to a pretty intriguing talent.

Yusuke Akitoshi and Timmy Richards have taken different paths to arrive at the similar position as potential utility players of note at the next level. Both are athletic, reliable defenders with enough speed and pop to contribute a little something out of the eight-hole in the lineup as pros. On the other end of the defensive spectrum is Branden Berry, the transfer from Washington. Berry’s early season offensive explosion may just be the case of an older guy picking on younger competition – his first three seasons were remarkably consistent in a good college player kind of way – but in a class thin on big bats, he could have scouts doing a double-take.

While Berry has exceeded any and all expectations so far this season, the same can’t be said for other hitters in the Big West. I’ve touched on the general early season ineffectiveness of the highly hyped Hawaii hitters in other places so far. Because none of us know anything – how I’ve been allowed to do this for eight years now defies all logic – it makes perfect sense that one of the least discussed Hawaii position player prospects coming into the year has gotten off the best start in 2016. Jacob Sheldon-Collins has clearly outperformed his universally acclaimed teammate Marcus Doi as well as his less-heralded but still overhyped by me (whoops) double-play partner Josh Rojas. Amateur production isn’t everything, but it is something. Sheldon-Collins has managed to parlay his high-contact approach with steady defense at short to put himself on the prospect map. Doi and Rojas can still be found on said map, but the days of thinking they were top ten round certainties have passed. Doi, the old scouting favorite of many thanks to a hit tool I’ve heard some go as high as plus on, has the better shot to rise back into that range than Rojas, a junior college transfer who has taken longer than ideal adjusting to life as a D1 ballplayer.

From one slow starting FAVORITE (Rojas) to another we go. Rojas came into the year with a mature approach at the plate as his supposed calling card. So far, it hasn’t quite worked out. On the other hand, Vince Fernandez has long been a FAVORITE despite a questionable at best approach. That’s begun to catch up with him some on these rankings – no shame in being ranked tenth, but if we were talking sheer physical ability he’d be top three – and it’s officially fair to wonder if he’s ever going to be the kind of hitter I once thought he could be. That alone obviously wouldn’t disqualify him from a long, prosperous professional career, though his stalled development has to be a cause for concern even for those who are more willing than myself to believe he’ll figure things out as a hitter. For what it’s worth, Fernandez has gotten a steady stream of compliments about his approach over the years; it’s exactly that type of positive feedback (combined with average to above-average raw power, above-average speed, and considerable bat speed, all of which are no small things) that made him a FAVORITE in the first place. We’ve seen the scouts – we’ll pretend that my presentation here of THE SCOUTS somehow equates to a monolithic being with one set opinion on each player across the country with no room for dissenting opinions – hit big on many of the position players in this class with notes that read “good approach” and BB/K ratios coming into the year that would have you believe scouting is a big old waste of time. The most famous example of this is Kyle Lewis. Fernandez hasn’t been able to join the “hey these scouts might know what they are talking about after all and sometimes a player can improve in incremental ways that aren’t really reflected in the numbers until BOOM one day it clicks and they are” group just yet, but the overarching success of players like him gives me some hope it could still happen. Kyle Lewis being able to do this really ought to have no impact on whether or not Vince Fernandez can do something similar, but the fact that it can and does happen is enough to keep hope alive for him. There’s still a lot of season left…and potentially a senior season if it comes to it.

There’s a large group of prospects bunched up at the tail end of this ranking that probably no longer merit draft consideration. I’ll be curious to cross-reference this collection of “not quite there” prospects with those in other major conferences to see if it’s simply something that happens to the big boys (more overall talent at the start begets more “disappointing” prospects at the end) or if there just happens to be an unusually high number of developmental misses in the Big West this year. Of course, neither option could be the answer as it could just mean I misjudged the lot of these players in my initial evaluation. It’s not them, it’s me. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of talented players here that haven’t produced enough to warrant much draft attention this spring.

The two names that best exemplify what I’m trying to discuss are Cameron Olson and Spencer O’Neil. Just look at what I wrote about Olson last year…

UC Davis JR C Cameron Olson hasn’t been able to put it all together quite yet, but if he does then it’ll be worth the wait. His plus raw power and plus arm strength combination is what evaluators dream about.

I still can’t quite quit Olson, but it might be time to finally admit it’s not going to happen for him as a hitter. Approach matters. Last year’s take on O’Neil, a player once comped to Paul O’Neill for what I have to assume were reasons that went beyond their similar last names, began to hint at the cracks in his game…

I still have the quote saved from when rJR OF Spencer O’Neil left Oregon after the 2013 season: he “decided to pursue other opportunities” and that was that. Well he’s back playing D1 ball this year and I’m damn pleased to see it. There’s the big question as to whether his approach will remain a hindrance to his overall game, especially after a year at junior college that showed little to no gains from his freshman season at Oregon (from 6 BB and 32 K at Oregon to 8 BB and 30 K at Central Arizona). I liken him to a power pitcher capable of hitting the mid-90s with a darting fastball that he has no idea how to harness effectively. The raw talent is obvious, but bridging the gap from prospect to player is going to take a lot more work than your typical draftable college bat.

The former Duck still looks good in a uniform with exactly the kind of tantalizing power upside one would expect from a guy his size with his brand of sweet stroke. Unfortunately, approach matters. Unfortunately again, I’m a weak, stubborn man who would still take a shot on either guy with my literal last pick in the draft.

Taylor Bryant and Eric Hutting don’t quite fit that same former big offensive prospect archetype, but both guys were seen at one point as being good enough defensively to get a shot at pro ball. Bryant, a standout at second who can also play short and third, simply hasn’t hit enough yet to give any indication he’s ready for the next level. Hutting’s offensive production at the plate has been very underwhelming since his solid freshman year debut in 2013. Of course, after running this list by a west coast friend, the ranking of Bryant was deemed “criminally low,” so take my bat-first bias with the requisite block of salt. I’ll admit that the admonishment briefly gave me reason to reconsider the ranking before ultimately deciding to hold on Bryant until he shows something – anything at all – offensively. I see a senior-sign in 2017 when I look at his all-around profile.

Chad Hockin has gotten a lot of deserved electronic ink as one of the finest 2016 MLB Draft bullpen arms, but he’s far from the only potential impact reliever set to come out of the Big West this June. There’s more to life than just fastball velocity, but Justin Caolomeni and Dylan Prohoroff have both matched or exceeded Hockin’s peak in the past. Calomeni complements his heater with an impressive sinking changeup and a low- to mid-80s slider with plus upside. His track record through two and a half college seasons is unimpeachable. I like him a lot as one of those mid-round relievers who winds up “coming out of nowhere” developmentally to pitch in the big leagues for ten years. Prohoroff’s game is a little more reliant on his fastball, a pitch that sits in the low-90s with the occasional forays to 95-96-97. His breaking ball isn’t as far along as you’d like, but the arm strength, size, and production all point toward a potential middle reliever future with continued growth.

Then there’s Hockin, the Fullerton arm who really is deserving of all the attention he’s gotten so far this spring. The sturdy righthander was seen by some I talked to back in day as having an impressive enough overall repertoire to get consideration as a starting pitching conversion project in the pros. While that talk has died down – maybe he could pull it off, but Hockin’s stuff plays way up in short bursts – the fact that it was mentioned to me in the first place speaks to his well-rounded offspeed arsenal and craftiness on the mound. Hockin leans on his mid-90s fastball (87-93 in longer outings turned into 94-96 with every pitch as a reliever) and a power 83-87 cut-slider that frequently comes in above-average. Those two pitchers alone make him a legitimate late-inning prospect, but the promise he once displayed with both a low-80s change and an upper-70s curve could give him that softer little something extra. I’ve heard he’s ditched both during games, but still toys with them in practice. It bears repeating that he’s a fine prospect pumping fastballs and sliders all day, but knowing he could mix in a third pitch in time is a nice perk.

These “pre-season” lists have taken me so long to complete that I can’t help but peak at what each guy has been up to in 2016. Since I don’t want to get bogged down in performance-based analysis and smaller sample size madness, I typically just jot down a quick word or phrase to give me an idea how the player is doing. Examples include the very creative “good,” “so-so,” and “not great.” Sometimes I’ll get wild and up a “good” to “very good.” For Kenny Rosenberg, however, the simple phrase “VIDEO GAME” felt appropriate. He’s whiffed 57 guys with only 10 walks in 41.1 innings of 1.96 ERA ball. It’s the best strikeout rate of any pitcher on the team and his ERA is third among qualifiers (first among starters). He’s not doing it with junk, either: Rosenberg lives 87-92 and has shown above-average command of three offspeed pitches. I don’t know how high his upside is, but I’m willing to keep watching him sit hitters down until we figure it out. His teammate Conner O’Neil has similar stuff highlighted by an above-average breaking ball. His track record of success is even lengthier than Rosenberg’s. Whatever the staff at Cal State Northridge is doing with these arms, they need to keep it up.

(Incidentally, the Matadors have a player named Fred Smith who I don’t know anything about yet, but is hitting .363/.385/.407 (4 BB/5 K) in 113 AB. A name like that playing middle infield with his type of crazy contact rates is oddly appealing to me. I’m mostly putting this here for me as a note to find out more about him. Carry on.)

Austin McGeorge, Austin Sodders, Brendan Hornung, Miles Chambers, Scott Serigstad, Keaton Leach, and Trevor Bettencourt are all draft-worthy arms with fastballs that creep past 90 MPH. McGeorge’s low-80s slider makes him stand out among the pack, though Sodders doing it from the left side intrigues me as well. Additionally, Bettencourt, the Tennessee transfer, has gotten a lot of positive buzz this spring.

Matthew Ellis, a converted catcher, has a big arm (up to 94) and athleticism. James Carter brings pinpoint fastball command of a pitch that also hits 94 (88-92 otherwise); he’s still on the mend from 2015 Tommy John surgery, but I could see a team that’s done a deep dive on him prior to the elbow explosion keeping interest in him through the ups and downs of recovery. Henry Omaña is a mystery man with limited information and even less of a D1 track record. What I know (90-94 FB, solid spike-curve), I like.

This post would have been lengthier, but a way too long love letter to Justin Bieber’s latest album has been deleted. After a few drinks I might share my working theory on how Bieber is the evolutionary Justin Timberlake, but we’ll table that for now. We’ll actually go a step further and declare this site a NO BIEBER joke zone henceforth. That’s the first last time I’ll connect Justin to Shane Bieber all spring. Shane is a fascinating enough prospect to talk about even without the musical interludes.

He was a pre-season FAVORITE who hasn’t yet missed a ton of bats at the college level, but I’ll continue to tout his 85-90 (92 peak) sinking fastball, above-average yet still frustratingly inconsistent 79-85 changeup, and true hybrid 78-81 breaking ball as the right type of mix of a big league starting pitcher. We’ve seen college righthanders with below-average fastball velocity, intriguing offspeed stuff, plus command, and above-average athleticism and deception go high on draft day before, and Bieber could follow suit. I’d feel a lot more comfortable if he was missing more bats, but the overall package is still enticing. It’s the Thomas Eshelman starter kit.

Hitters

  1. Long Beach State JR SS/2B Garrett Hampson
  2. UC Santa Barbara rSO C Dempsey Grover
  3. UC Santa Barbara rJR OF Andrew Calica
  4. Cal State Northridge rSR SS Yusuke Akitoshi
  5. Cal State Fullerton JR SS Timmy Richards
  6. Cal State Northridge rSR 1B/OF Branden Berry
  7. Hawaii JR 2B Josh Rojas
  8. Hawaii JR OF/2B Marcus Doi
  9. Hawaii SR SS Jacob Sheldon-Collins
  10. UC Riverside JR OF Vince Fernandez
  11. UC Santa Barbara rSO OF/LHP Josh Adams
  12. Cal State Fullerton SR OF Josh Vargas
  13. UC Irvine JR 2B John Brontsema
  14. Cal State Northridge JR C Dylan Alexander
  15. Cal Poly JR C/1B Brett Barbier
  16. Cal State Fullerton rSR OF Tyler Stieb
  17. Cal State Fullerton SR 1B Tanner Pinkston
  18. Long Beach State rSR 3B/2B Zach Domingues
  19. UC Irvine SR SS Mikey Duarte
  20. UC Riverside JR OF Mark Contreras
  21. UC Davis SR C Cameron Olson
  22. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B/SS Taylor Bryant
  23. Cal State Northridge rSR OF Spencer O’Neil
  24. Cal State Fullerton SR C/3B Jerrod Bravo
  25. Long Beach State SR C Eric Hutting
  26. UC Riverside rSR C/2B Drake Zarate
  27. Hawaii SR 1B Alex Sawelson

Pitchers

  1. Cal Poly JR RHP Justin Calomeni
  2. Cal State Northridge rSO LHP Kenny Rosenberg
  3. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Chad Hockin
  4. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Dylan Prohoroff
  5. Cal State Northridge JR RHP Conner O’Neil
  6. UC Santa Barbara JR RHP Shane Bieber
  7. Cal State Fullerton rJR RHP Blake Quinn
  8. Long Beach State JR RHP Austin McGeorge
  9. UC Riverside JR LHP Austin Sodders
  10. Hawaii JR RHP Brendan Hornung
  11. Cal State Fullerton rJR RHP Miles Chambers
  12. Cal State Fullerton JR RHP Scott Serigstad
  13. UC Riverside SR RHP Keaton Leach
  14. Cal Poly JR RHP Slater Lee
  15. UC Santa Barbara rJR RHP Trevor Bettencourt
  16. Cal State Northridge SR RHP Angel Rodriguez
  17. Cal State Northridge SR RHP Rayne Raven
  18. UC Riverside SR RHP/C Matthew Ellis
  19. UC Santa Barbara rJR RHP James Carter
  20. Cal State Fullerton rJR RHP Henry Omaña
  21. Cal State Fullerton JR LHP Maxwell Gibbs
  22. Cal State Northridge rSR RHP Matthew Troupe
  23. Long Beach State rSR RHP Ty Provencher
  24. Hawaii SR RHP Josh Pigg
  25. Long Beach State rJR RHP Josh Advocate
  26. UC Santa Barbara rJR RHP Kenny Chapman
  27. UC Davis JR RHP Zach Stone
  28. Long Beach State JR LHP Kyle Brown
  29. UC Irvine SR LHP Elliot Surrey
  30. UC Riverside JR RHP Angel Landazuri
  31. Cal State Fullerton rJR RHP Shane Stillwagon
  32. Long Beach State SR RHP Tanner Brown
  33. UC Davis rSO LHP Orlando Razo

Cal Poly

JR RHP Justin Calomeni (2016)
JR RHP Slater Lee (2016)
SR 2B/OF John Schuknecht (2016)
JR C/1B Brett Barbier (2016)
SO RHP Erich Uelmen (2017)
SO LHP Kyle Smith (2017)
SO RHP Michael Gomez (2017)
SO RHP Jarred Zill (2017)
SO RHP Andrew Bernstein (2017)
FR RHP Bobby Ay (2018)
FR RHP Cameron Schneider (2018)
FR OF Alex McKenna (2018)
FR 1B Cooper Moore (2018)
FR 2B Kyle Marinconz (2018)
FR SS Dylan Doherty (2018)
FR C Nick Meyer (2018)

High Priority Follows: Justin Calomeni, Slater Lee, Brett Barbier

Cal State Fullerton

JR RHP Chad Hockin (2016)
rJR RHP Miles Chambers (2016)
rJR RHP Blake Quinn (2016)
rJR RHP Shane Stillwagon (2016)
rJR RHP Henry Omaña (2016)
JR RHP Dylan Prohoroff (2016)
JR LHP Maxwell Gibbs (2016)
JR RHP Scott Serigstad (2016)
SR OF Josh Vargas (2016)
rSR OF Tyler Stieb (2016)
JR SS Timmy Richards (2016)
SR C/3B Jerrod Bravo (2016)
JR 2B/SS Taylor Bryant (2016)
SR 1B Tanner Pinkston (2016)
SR OF Dalton Blaser (2016)
rSO C/1B Niko Pacheco (2016)
JR OF Hunter Cullen (2016)
SO LHP John Gavin (2017)
SO RHP Connor Seabold (2017)
SO OF/2B Scott Hurst (2017)
SO C Chris Hudgins (2017)
SO SS Tristan Hildebrandt (2017)
FR RHP Colton Eastman (2018)
FR RHP Brett Conine (2018)
FR OF Ruben Cardenas (2018)
FR INF Hank LoForte (2018)
FR SS Coby Kauhaahaa (2018)

High Priority Follows: Chad Hockin, Miles Chambers, Blake Quinn, Shane Stillwagon, Henry Omaña, Dylan Prohoroff, Maxwell Gibbs, Scott Serigstad, Josh Vargas, Tyler Stieb, Timmy Richards, Jerrod Bravo, Taylor Bryant, Tanner Pinkston

Cal State Northridge

SR RHP Angel Rodriguez (2016)
SR RHP Rayne Raven (2016)
JR RHP Conner O’Neil (2016)
rSR RHP Matthew Troupe (2016)
rSO LHP Kenny Rosenberg (2016)
SR RHP Nick Viola (2016)
rSR OF Spencer O’Neil (2016)
rSR SS Yusuke Akitoshi (2016)
rJR OF Bobby Schuman (2016)
SR 1B/3B William Colantono (2016)
rSR 1B/OF Branden Berry (2016)
JR C Dylan Alexander (2016)
SO RHP Joe Ryan (2017)
SO RHP Andrew Weston (2017)
SO LHP Joey Deceglie (2017)
SO OF/LHP Justin Toerner (2017)
SO C/1B Albee Weiss (2017)
rFR OF Michael Russo (2017)

High Priority Follows: Angel Rodriguez, Rayne Raven, Conner O’Neil, Matthew Troupe, Kenny Rosenberg, Spencer O’Neil, Yusuke Akitoshi, Branden Berry, Dylan Alexander

Hawaii

SR RHP Josh Pigg (2016)
JR RHP Brendan Hornung (2016)
SR RHP Kyle Von Ruden (2016)
SR RHP Cody Culp (2016)
SR LHP Matt Valencia (2016)
JR 2B Josh Rojas (2016)
JR OF/2B Marcus Doi (2016)
JR OF Alex Fitchett (2016)
SR 1B Alex Sawelson (2016)
SR SS Jacob Sheldon-Collins (2016)
rSO C Chayce Ka’aua (2016)
rSR OF Alan Baldwin (2016)
SO 1B Eric Ramirez (2017)
FR C Kekai Rios (2018)

High Priority Follows: Josh Pigg, Brendon Hornung, Matt Valencia, Josh Rojas, Marcus Doi, Alex Fitchett, Alex Sawelson, Jacob Sheldon-Collins, Chayce Ka’aua

Long Beach State

rSR RHP Ty Provencher (2016)
SR RHP Tanner Brown (2016)
JR RHP Dave Smith (2016)
SR RHP Ryan Cruz (2016)
JR LHP Kyle Brown (2016)
JR RHP Austin McGeorge (2016)
rJR RHP Josh Advocate (2016)
JR SS/2B Garrett Hampson (2016)
SR C Eric Hutting (2016)
rSR 3B/2B Zach Domingues (2016)
SR 3B/OF Zack Rivera (2016)
rSO OF Tristan Mercadel (2016)
JR C Daniel Jackson (2016)
SO RHP Chris Mathewson (2017)
SO RHP Darren McCaughan (2017)
SO RHP Tyler Radcliffe (2017)
SO 1B/OF Brock Lundquist (2017)
SO OF Joey Sanchez (2017)
SO 1B/OF Luke Rasmussen (2017)
FR 2B/SS Jarren Duran (2018)
FR OF Brooks Stotler (2018)
FR 3B/OF Domenic Colacchio (2018)
FR INF Chris Fife (2018)

High Priority Follows: Ty Provencher, Tanner Brown, Ryan Cruz, Kyle Brown, Austin McGeorge, Josh Advocate, Garrett Hampson, Eric Hutting, Zach Domingues, Daniel Jackson

UC Davis

SR RHP Nat Hamby (2016)
JR RHP Zach Stone (2016)
rSO LHP Orlando Razo (2016)
JR RHP Justin Mullins (2016)
rSO RHP Blake Peters (2016)
SR 1B/LHP Spencer Henderson (2016)
SR OF Tanner Bily (2016)
SR C Cameron Olson (2016)
rJR 1B Mason Novak (2016)
rFR LHP Robert Garcia (2017)
rFR 3B/OF Ryan Anderson (2017)

High Priority Follows: Nat Hemby, Zach Stone, Orlando Razo, Spencer Henderson, Tanner Bily, Cameron Olson

UC Irvine

SR LHP Elliot Surrey (2016)
JR RHP Sean Sparling (2016)
rSR 2B/OF Grant Palmer (2016)
SR 3B Mitchell Holland (2016)
rSR 1B Jonathan Munoz (2016)
rJR OF Evan Cassolato (2016)
SR SS Mikey Duarte (2016)
rJR 1B Andrew Martinez (2016)
JR OF Adam Alcantra (2016)
JR 2B John Brontsema (2016)
SO LHP/1B Cameron Bishop (2017)
SO RHP Shaun Vetrovec (2017)
SO RHP Alonzo Garcia (2017)
SO OF/2B Keston Hiura (2017)
FR LHP Miles Glazier (2018)
FR C Matt Reitano (2018)

High Priority Follows: Elliot Surrey, Mitchell Holland, Mikey Duarte, Andrew Martinez, John Brontsema

UC Riverside

JR LHP Austin Sodders (2016)
SR RHP Keaton Leach (2016)
JR RHP Angel Landazuri (2016)
rSO RHP Max Compton (2016)
SR RHP/C Matthew Ellis (2016)
rSR C/2B Drake Zarate (2016)
JR 1B Aaron Cisneros (2016)
rJR 3B Michael Farris (2016)
JR OF Vince Fernandez (2016)
JR OF Mark Contreras (2016)
SO RHP/C Ryan Lillie (2017)
SO OF Austin Colvin (2017)

High Priority Follows: Austin Sodders, Keaton Leach, Angel Landazuri, Max Compton, Matthew Ellis, Drake Zarate, Vince Fernandez, Mark Contreras

UC Santa Barbara

JR RHP Shane Bieber (2016)
rJR RHP James Carter (2016)
rJR RHP Trevor Bettencourt (2016)
rJR RHP Kenny Chapman (2016)
rJR OF Andrew Calica (2016)
rJR OF/SS Devon Gradford (2016)
rSO C Dempsey Grover (2016)
JR 2B/3B Billy Fredrick (2016)
rSO 2B JJ Muno (2016)
rSO OF/LHP Josh Adams (2016)
SO RHP Alex Garcia (2017)
SO LHP Kyle Nelson (2017)
SO RHP Chris Clements (2017)
rFR RHP Joe Record (2017)
SO SS Clay Fisher (2017)
SO 1B Kyle Plantier (2017)
SO 1B Austin Bush (2017)
FR RHP Noah Davis (2018)
FR RHP Willie Traynor (2018)
FR OF Michael McAdoo (2018)
FR 2B/SS Tevin Mitchell (2018)

High Priority Follows: Shane Bieber, James Carter, Trevor Bettencourt, Kenny Chapman, Andrew Calica, Dempsey Grover, Billy Fredrick, Josh Adams