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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)

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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.

Pac-12 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team – HITTERS

First Team

Washington JR C Austin Rei
Oregon JR 1B/OF Phillipe Craig-St. Louis
Arizona JR 2B Scott Kingery
Arizona JR SS Kevin Newman
Oregon JR 3B Mitchell Tolman
Oregon State JR OF Jeff Hendrix
UCLA JR OF Ty Moore
Washington JR OF Braden Bishop

Second Team

Arizona State JR C RJ Ybarra
Oregon State JR 1B Gabe Clark
UCLA rJR 2B Kevin Kramer
Stanford JR SS Drew Jackson
Arizona State JR 3B Dalton DiNatale
Oregon rJR OF Scott Heineman
USC JR OF Timmy Robinson
Arizona JR OF Justin Behnke

I’ve touched on both Washington JR C Austin Rei and Oregon SR C Shaun Chase recently, so I won’t go into great depth on either again. I was hoping to see one or both make a serious run for college ball’s top catching prospect in 2015, but a torn thumb ligament for Rei and the continued inability to make adjustments as a hitter for Chase have knocked both out of the running. That said, I still think Rei gets picked way higher than anybody thinks because he’s coming into pro ball at the perfect time with plus pitch framing skills that match what teams want to see most in catching prospects. I’m a really big fan of Rei and think he’s one of the draft’s “safest” prospects with both a high ceiling (above-average regular) and high floor (elite defensive backup). Barring additional injuries, I don’t see how he doesn’t have some sort of big league career.

Arizona State JR C RJ Ybarra has had the kind of year I was expecting to see out of Chase. It doesn’t hurt that their player profiles are so similar: big arms, big power, big bodies, and raw defenders. Ybarra’s better approach gives him the edge as a hitter and prospect for now. Long time readers of the site (all six of you) will remember I’ve long been on the Riley Moore bandwagon. No reason to hop off now that the Arizona senior catcher is having his best season at the plate. For teams looking for athleticism and leadership in their catching prospects, he’s a great fit. Relative to where he’ll likely be picked, I think he winds up being a pretty nifty player. His numbers this year very closely mimic what Stanford JR C Austin Barr has done as of this writing. Barr is another member of the Chase/Ybarra/Graham (see below) group of upside bats with TBD defensive possibilities.

Oregon JR C/RHP Josh Graham is one of the most intriguing two-way talents in the country. I have him listed with the catchers for now, but I’ve heard the split on his pro future is pretty much 50/50 for folks in the game. He’s been up to 96 off the mound in the past (haven’t heard any updates in 2015, but his numbers have been really good) while also showing above-average raw power at the plate. His rawness definitely shows up both as a hitter and in the field, but the upside is significant.

There really aren’t any words to accurately describe USC SR C Garrett Stubbs. He’s a player you really need to see play to understand. Catchers with plus athleticism, above-average speed, and the defensive talent to actually stick behind the plate over the long haul don’t come around every day. I’m not sure that his power spike so far this year is real (track record suggests it is just a typical senior year bump), but if a team buys in to him potentially having even average raw power then you’re talking about a unique skill set with legitimate big league value.

It comes down to a Civil War battle for which first base prospect will wind up the conference’s best bet to be drafted first in 2015. I go back and forth almost daily – don’t be jealous of the exciting life that I live – between Oregon JR 1B/OF Phillipe Craig-St. Louis and Oregon State JR 1B Gabe Clark. It’s slightly more complicated than this, but today it comes down to the hit tool of Craig-St.Louis winning out by a hair over the power upside of Clark. Tomorrow I might go with the power.

I swear I’ve written about Arizona JR 2B/OF Scott Kingery on the internet somewhere before this season, but I can’t find proof of it anywhere. No matter, as I’m happy to write about one of my favorite 2015 draft prospects all over again for the first time. Of course, you can’t really write about Kingery without also writing about his double-play partner JR SS/2B Kevin Newman. Both players have the chance for plus hit tools in the big leagues with enough pop (average for Kingery, a touch less than that for Newman) and speed (above-average to plus for Kingery, average to above-average for Newman) to be really valuable offensive players. Defensively, Newman’s instincts are so damn good that I think he’s a sure-fire shortstop for a long time even without the kind of physical tools some teams demand in the middle infield talent. I hesitate to add that last part because it sells Newman’s actual tools short. Though he’s not plus in any area (except arguably the hit tool), every other non-power tool is at least average and that’s before getting bumped up because of his preternatural feel for the game.

Somebody smart told me that Newman reminded him of Dansby Swanson “without the super-charged athleticism.” He meant it as a compliment for both guys: Swanson is both a talented ballplayer and a freak athlete worthy of top ten consideration while Newman, a back-end first round pick in his eyes, can do almost everything Swanson can do without being gifted freaky tools (i.e., Newman does more with less). The description I got on Kingery was equally impressive. I was told that “he plays second base like a center fielder.” Again, though I can see how this might be perceived as a slight, this was meant in a very good way. Kingery is such a good athlete that his range at second base, especially on balls into the air behind him, is second to none. I was actually on the fence about his glove being able to stick in the infield this year, but only because I thought he could be good at second and potentially great in center. Now I’m confident that he could be an excellent defender at either spot.

If the preceding paragraphs weren’t clear, I’m all-in on both Kingery and Newman as potential first round picks. Tools, athleticism, instincts, approach, track record…not sure what else you could ask for. If these guys were doing what they are doing while playing for a certain ACC school disproportionately, for reasons both fair (proximity) and not so fair (not so thinly veiled fandom) covered by a certain publication, then we’d be getting weekly updates on their progress and the only draft question left would how high they’d go in the first. I’m extremely tempted to put Kingery over Newman, but the magic of being able to play shortstop wins out for now. That may change between now and June.

There are more misses than hits on my 2011 HS second base rankings — boy, I liked Phillip Evans a lot — but USC SR 2B Dante Flores and UCLA rJR 2B/3B Kevin Kramer coming in at 6th and 8th respectively have held up all right. It took Flores three seasons to hit (he was actually really good as a freshman, but let me have my narrative) and it’s fair to wonder if something has really clicked or if it’s the senior season bounce I referenced above. I buy it as real, but take that for what it is since I’m the guy with “hasn’t turned into player many hoped, but still like him” in my notes from Flores after seeing him during last year’s disappointing junior season. Here are some of the old notes from four years ago on Flores…

Flores can definitely swing the bat, but his power upside is limited and he is an average at best runner. He’s a steady defender at second, capable of making plays on balls hit at or near him but lacking the athleticism and instincts to ever wow you at the spot. Prospects who lack positional safety nets — i.e. a spot on the diamond they can play if they can’t hack it at their original spot — make me really nervous. Flores is probably a second baseman or bust, so there is a lot riding on that hit tool.

Kramer’s return to health has gone even better than hoped in 2015. His bum shoulder that kept him out last season is but a distant memory now that he’s back swinging a hot bat. I haven’t heard how much arm strength he’s regained (it was average pre-injury), but if it’s enough for the left side then he’s a prime candidate for above-average big league utility infielder. That might be selling him short as he’s got the swing, hands, and feel to hit enough to play every day at second base at the next level. Here are Kramer’s HS notes from 2011…

Strength, both at the plate and jammed into his throwing arm, describes Kramer’s biggest current asset. I also like his bat a lot — feel like I’ve said that about a half dozen players already, but it’s true — and have a strong intuitive feel on him.

I still have Arizona State JR 2B/RHP Jordan Aboites listed as a primary infielder, but his pro future will likely come on the mound if it comes at all. If that’s the case, I can vouch for his showing up on a Fangraphs list before too long as one of Carson Cistulli’s favorite prospects. Relievers who stand 5-5, 150 pounds with ridiculous athleticism, solid velocity (88-92), and plus breaking balls tend to be fairly popular players. I mean, even I love the guy and I’m an old curmudgeonly jerk.

California SR 2B/3B Chris Paul is another Pac-12 middle infielder who took longer than expected to hit, but appears to have figured something out in 2015. Stanford JR SS/RHP Drew Jackson might be the guy we talk about in a similar vein next season. I’ve come full circle on him, originally thinking he was overhyped back when some mentioned him as a first round sleeper to now believing he’s being undervalued as a toolsy athlete with as yet untapped upside. He’s got the goods to stick at shortstop (his plus-plus arm being his best tool) with enough offensive talent (plus speed, average raw power) to intrigue. I think the combination of his preseason draft expectations and the lure of a Stanford diploma will make him a very tough sign this summer, but that’s just one outsider’s take.

Oregon JR 3B/1B Mitchell Tolman has been under the radar for too long. He’s a steady, versatile (can also play 2B) defender with average speed, ample arm strength, and a patient approach. This is a “in no way is this a comparison” comparison, but Tolman’s profile is a little bit like the college game’s version of Matt Carpenter. Arizona State JR 3B/OF Dalton DiNatale is another guy who can play multiple spots. He’s also got a solid approach and good size. Utah rSO 3B Dallas Carroll is a good athlete with, you guessed it, a good approach, but I mostly wanted to include him since I felt bad for stiffing the Utah offense otherwise. JR 2B Kody Davis and JR SS Cody Scaggari are nice players, too!

Oregon State JR OF Jeff Hendrix is a fine looking prospect who hasn’t gotten much (any?) national attention just yet. If you’re starting to pick up on a trend with the Pac-12 this year, then you’re smarter than you look. On paper, Hendrix sounds damn good: above-average to plus raw power, average to above-average speed, and great athleticism. He’s made steady improvements on the field with little sign of slowing down. It’s rare that an honest to goodness potential top five round gets overshadowed like this – perhaps it has something to do with being teammates with the extremely impressive freshman KJ Harrison – but he’ll get his due before too long.

UCLA JR OF/LHP Ty Moore is living proof that you can have average tools across the board so long as the best of said tools is the bat, whether it’s straight hit or power. Moore has as good a hit tool as you’ll find in this year’s class. The rest of his tools may be more or less average, but that hit tool will keep him getting paid for years to come. It’s a bit of a tricky profile in an outfield corner, but those with confidence in him as a hitter will give him a long look. I’m buying it.

Meanwhile, Washington JR OF/RHP Braden Bishop is the anti-Moore. His tools have always been loud (plus arm strength, plus to plus-plus speed, plus CF range), but his bat has long been a question. By all accounts he has turned a corner as a hitter so far this spring, which is both great to see from a personal perspective and because it adds yet another talented up-the-middle talent to this year’s draft class. USC JR OF Timmy Robinson isn’t quite the same athlete, but works as another potential anti-Moore (or, more aptly, Moore’s inverse prospect) with four average or better tools (all but the hit).

I was very excited to see Oregon rJR OF/3B Scott Heineman back and healthy after getting past a lost 2014 season. There have been signs of rust both at the plate and in the field, but no real drop in his impressive set of tools. I’m starting to think of him more as a potential super utility player (OF, 3B, 2B, maybe some C) at the highest level, though I admit that usage like that might not exactly be all that realistic an outcome knowing what we know about how most big league managers favor more defined roles. I’m also starting to get the feeling that Heineman could be one of those players who, for whatever reason, wind up as better pros than collegiate players.

The positive buzz on Arizona JR OF Justin Behnke coming into the season was unrelenting, so it’s good to see him delivering on his promise in his first year as a Wildcat. He’s an easy to appreciate prospect who wisely plays within himself and accentuates his strengths (speed, defense, plate discipline) with smarts and good baseball instincts. I’m a fan. Arizona State JR OF John Sewald is his brother from another mother at a rival school. Neither player ever gives off the future regular in the big leagues vibe, but both have clear, usable skill sets that help you envision a path to the highest level as a valuable role player.

Though he’s done next to nothing so far this year, Stanford JR OF Zach Hoffpauir remains one of the draft’s most intriguing wild cards. He’s incredibly raw and a little stiff in his baseball movements, but still flashes the athleticism, strength, and power that keep him on follow lists. I’ve cooled a bit on football to baseball conversions, especially those that have trained their bodies to play on the gridiron during their college years, after getting the chance to talk to some really smart people in the game on the subject (both old school types and younger front office members privy to some interesting proprietary research). Washington State rJR OF Ben Roberts never played football for the Cougars, but much of what was written above applies to him all the same: tools aplenty, but hasn’t done it on the field enough to warrant serious draft consideration in 2015. Speaking of tools…I don’t recall if I’ve shared this before and I’m too lazy to check, but seeing in my notes that USC rSR OF Omar Cotto Lozada was once described to me as “if Usain Bolt played baseball” always brightens my day. I’d drop a pick in round forty on the guy just to watch him run.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting

  1. Arizona JR SS/2B Kevin Newman
  2. Arizona JR 2B/OF Scott Kingery
  3. Washington JR C Austin Rei
  4. Oregon State JR OF Jeff Hendrix
  5. UCLA JR OF/LHP Ty Moore
  6. Washington JR OF/RHP Braden Bishop
  7. Oregon rJR OF/3B Scott Heineman
  8. UCLA rJR 2B/3B Kevin Kramer
  9. Oregon JR 3B/1B Mitchell Tolman
  10. Stanford JR SS/RHP Drew Jackson
  11. Arizona State JR C RJ Ybarra
  12. Oregon SR C Shaun Chase
  13. Arizona SR C Riley Moore
  14. USC SR 2B Dante Flores
  15. USC JR OF Timmy Robinson
  16. Arizona JR OF Justin Behnke
  17. Arizona State JR 3B/OF Dalton DiNatale
  18. Arizona State rSR OF Trever Allen
  19. Arizona JR OF Zach Gibbons
  20. Oregon JR C/RHP Josh Graham
  21. Stanford JR C Austin Barr
  22. USC SR C Garrett Stubbs
  23. California SR 2B/3B Chris Paul
  24. Arizona State JR OF John Sewald
  25. Oregon JR 1B/OF Phillipe Craig-St. Louis
  26. Stanford JR OF Zach Hoffpauir
  27. USC JR SS Blake Lacey
  28. Oregon State JR 1B Gabe Clark
  29. Washington State rJR OF Ben Roberts
  30. UCLA JR 2B Trent Chatterdon
  31. UCLA JR C Darrell Miller
  32. Arizona JR 2B/SS Jackson Willeford
  33. USC rSO SS Reggie Southall
  34. Oregon rSR OF Steven Packard
  35. USC rSR OF Omar Cotto Lozada
  36. Utah JR SS Cody Scaggari
  37. Utah rSO 3B Dallas Carroll
  38. UCLA rJR C Justin Hazard

Cleveland Indians 2011 MLB Draft in Review

Cleveland 2011 Draft Selections

Without repeating myself pre-draft too much (check all the bold below for that take), here’s where I stand on Monteverde Academy (FL) SS Francisco Lindor. Of all the positives he brings to the field, the two biggest positives I can currently give him credit for are his defense and time/age. Lindor’s defensive skills really are exemplary and there is no doubt that he’ll stick at shortstop through his first big league contract (at least). As for time/age, well, consider this a preemptive plea in the event Lindor struggles at the plate next season: the guy will be playing his entire first full pro season at just eighteen years old. For reference’s sake, Jimmy Rollins, the player I compared Lindor’s upside to leading up to the draft, played his entire Age-18 season at Low-A in the South Atlantic League and hit .270/.330/.370 in 624 plate appearances. A year like that wouldn’t be a shocker unless he goes all Jurickson Profar, a name Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks recently evoked after watching Lindor, on the low minors. Either way, I’m much happier with this pick now than I would have been a few months ago. Cleveland saw the opportunity to land a superstar talent at a premium defensive position and went for it, high risk and all.

So much has already been written about Lindor that I think I’ll cut right to the chase and explain what excites me about him and what worries me about him. First, and most obvious, is the glove. There are many factors that lead to attrition when it comes to amateur shortstops hoping to stick at the position professionally, but Lindor is as safe a bet as any prep player to stay at short that I can remember. He has the range, the hands, the instincts, the athleticism, and the arm to not only stick up to middle, but to excel there. With that out of the way, we can focus on his bat. At the plate, Lindor has one big thing going for him: his age. At only 17 years of age, Lindor is one of the 2011 draft’s youngest prospects. For a guy with as many questions with the bat as Lindor has, it is a very good thing that he has time on his side. His swing really works from the right side, generating surprisingly easy pull power. From the left side, there is much work to be done. There is something about his lefty stroke that seems to limit his power (can’t put my finger on what exactly), but you have to imagine good coaching and hard work give that a solid chance to improve. The iffy swing is mitigated some by his impressive bat speed, but it is still a worry. On balance, however, I have to say I do like his raw power upside as much as any of his offensive tools (hit tool is average for me and I don’t think he’ll be a big basestealing threat as a pro) and can envision a future where he hits upwards of fifteen homers annually. This may be an example of me forcing a comp when there really isn’t one there, but I’ve come around to the idea that Lindor shares many similarities to current Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (Lindor’s power advantage and Andrus’ plus speed make this one a stretch, but I could see vaguely similar batting lines despite the differences). Rather than a ceiling comp, however, I’d say that Andrus qualifies as Lindor’s big league floor. If we’re talking upside, Lindor compares favorably with Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Getting a first round talent like Searcy HS (AR) RHP Dillon Howard with the 67th overall pick is a big win for the Cleveland scouting staff. Howard’s two-seamer is a true bat breaker and his sinking low-80s changeup is a swing and miss pitch when on. Like any young pitching prospect some refinement is needed – work on commanding the four-seamer and a renewed emphasis on his promising slider – but there are enough positives to imagine a future where Howard is an above-average middle of the rotation arm with three pitches he can throw for strikes.

RHP Dillon Howard (Searcy HS, Arkansas): 90-92 FB, 93-95 peak; rumors of a 98 peak; also throws sinker that will break bats; outstanding sinking 81-83 CU; 76-78 CB; good 81-82 SL that he too often gets away from; good athlete; 6-3, 200

Merced JC (CA) RHP Jake Sisco was very much under the national radar for much of the spring, but area scouts knew him quite well. I knew him only as a hard thrower with underdeveloped secondary stuff, but Baseball America touted him as having the “makings of four plus pitches.” All I can really say is that I’ve heard differently. His fastball and pro body alone make him an interesting prospect, and the possibility of above-average secondaries make him a worthy early round gamble. As for Sisco having the potential for four plus pitches, here’s my honest take: Baseball America doesn’t know everything, of course, but they know a whole heck of a lot and you should probably trust them over me.

Merced JC FR RHP Jake Sisco: 92-93 FB, 95 peak; 6-3, 200

I don’t hold it against James Madison C Jake Lowery, but, man, does this guy have some fervent supporters. I rarely get any emails concerning the site, but Lowery had half a dozen friends/family members/fans who all very much enjoyed telling me how awful I was to rank Lowery anywhere but atop the top spot of the college catcher rankings. To them I humbly say: he’s a good player! Honestly, he’s a good player coming off an outrageous college season with the chance to someday play in the big leagues. However, he simply isn’t as good as his video game college numbers had some believing pre-draft. For my money, he’s in that big group of college catchers that could find work as big league backups due to his patient approach, average power upside, and good enough defense.

Lowery has a solid arm and is an above-average defender, but let’s be real here, it is the amazing power uptick that has scouts buzzing this spring.

Cleveland took Virginia RHP Will Roberts about ten rounds before I would have guessed he’d go off the board. His fastball isn’t overly impressive, but he does have a pair of secondary pitches (good change, average slider). His college claim to fame was throwing the first perfect game in Virginia history, so, you know, that’s pretty awesome. As a pro prospect, I’ll just say I really, really wish he was a lefty and leave it at that. I’m almost certainly falling into the trap of lowering Roberts’ stock in my head based off a few less than thrilling firsthand looks the past two springs, so consider my somewhat irrational bias in mind when forming your own opinion of Roberts.

Virginia JR RHP Will Roberts: 85-89 FB, 92 peak; good CU

Stephen F. Austin State OF Bryson Myles profiles as an interesting offense-first backup outfielder who, with proper pro coaching, should also contribute on the base paths. If you buy the bat a little more than I do, then you could be talking a player with similar upside to Marlon Byrd. I’ll be the under on the comp, but Myles, coming off a crazy college season of .440/.509/.627 (park/schedule adjusted) and a strong showing (.302/.394/.401) in the New York-Penn League, should still be a fun player to watch develop.

[plus athlete; good speed; interesting upside with bat]

I’m an unabashed supported of Divine Child HS (MI) C Eric Haase because I like athletic catchers with above-average hit tools and strong defensive tools. His journey to the big leagues will take some time, but Haase’s upside is worth the wait.

The biggest question mark on Haase is how the Westland, Michigan native wound up committing to Ohio State in the first place. Lack of allegiance to his home state university aside (I kid!), Haase profiles similarly to Blake Swihart, except without Swihart’s switch-hitting ability. Despite the typical risk involved that comes from selecting a cold weather prospect early, he’ll still find his way ranked near the top of some clubs’ draft boards. Strong defensive chops, plus athleticism, a strong pro-ready build, and a balanced swing will do that for a guy.

Gilbert HS (AZ) LHP Stephen Tarpley is an interesting case. He isn’t super physical, but his arm strength is big league quality. He shows flashes of above-average secondary pitches, but wasn’t consistent enough with his offspeed offerings to do anything but pitch predominantly off the fastball this past spring. If it came down solely to Haase or Tarpley as an either/or signing, I think Cleveland made the right choice, but Tarpley still has the athleticism and overall promise to get him to the early rounds in 2014.

LHP Stephen Tarpley (Gilbert HS, Arizona): 88-91 FB, 93 peak; good 74-76 CB needs polish; 81 CU; good athlete; 6-0, 170

St. Cloud State 3B Jordan Smith reminds me a little bit of former Indians first round pick Beau Mills. Mills obviously wasn’t a good pick in hindsight, but was a well-regarded prospect at the time. That said, bat-first prospects like Mills either have to be special (though let the record show that, at the time, Cleveland and many others thought Mills’ bat was in fact special) or, you know, not top half of the first round selections. Smith may not have a special bat, but he did enough with the stick at St. Cloud to make a ninth round selection seem worth a shot.

What you see is what you get with Cal Poly RHP Jeff Johnson. That’s a good thing when what you see is a big fastball and plus hard splitter. His ceiling is limited by the fact he’s a reliever all the way, but still rates as good a bet as any player drafted by Cleveland to contribute to the big club. A high floor power reliever is a good get in the tenth round.

Cal Poly JR RHP Jeff Johnson: 92-95 peak FB; nasty 86-88 splitter; two pitch pitcher makes it work; 6-0, 200

I wish Arizona State 2B Zack MacPhee (Round 13) had the arm strength to play on the left side. As it is, his future might be second base or bust. When he hits like he has in the past then being limited to second is fine, but the major tumble he had this past season is cause for concern going forward.

This isn’t quite Jett Bandy bad — notice the still strong BB/K numbers — but the degradation of MacPhee’s once promising prospect stock is still disappointing to see. On the bright side, he still has near plus speed, impressive bat speed, and excellent defensive tools up the middle. I’d love to know whether or not his batting average collapse had something to do with a BABIP-fueled string of bad luck or if he just isn’t making the kind of hard contact he did in 2010. Reports on him struggling to square up on balls this spring have me afraid it is the latter, but that great 2010 season should be enough to have a handful of teams buying into him as a potential utility player.

Feather River JC (CA) RHP Cody Anderson (Round 14) is another good example of a team doing its due diligence by closing monitoring both a player’s skill level and signability over the course of multiple years. Not much was though of Anderson last year at this time, but a year well spent at junior college now catapults his upside to the land of potential hard throwing starting pitcher. He’s still plenty rough around the edges – he fits the mold of thrower more than pitcher, for me – but the possibility he puts it all together is pretty tantalizing.

If I had any real baseball talent, I’m 99% certain I’d sign for big early round money out of high school rather than go to college. Three discounted years of hanging out in an educational environment like the ones found on campuses at North Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Stanford would be awful tempting, but I’m still quite sure I’d take the money and follow my ultimate dream instead. That could be the reason why I root so hard for players who do the exact opposite. Clemson RHP Kevin Brady (Round 17) turned down big early round Red Sox money out of high school to instead go to school. Two inconsistent, injury-plagued seasons later find Brady, a draft-eligible sophomore this past summer, still at Clemson trying to recapture the promise he showed as a high school standout. A strong junior season should easily get him picked ten rounds higher next June. Not for nothing, but Brady ranked 148th on my pre-draft prospect list. Whether or not he shows he can handle starting pitching – from both repertoire (he’s got the hard stuff to start, but still waiting on a usable change) and workload (can he handle the innings?) points of view – will determine his 2012 draft status.

Clemson SO RHP Kevin Brady: straight 90-92 FB, touches 94-95; good FB command; good, but inconsistent SL; occasional CB; improved CU; offered third round deal from Red Sox out of high school; 6-3, 205

Armstrong is a really underrated name for a pitcher. It is probably just me, but I take for granted how well it fits. East Carolina RHP Shawn Armstrong (Round 18) has, you guessed it, a strong arm. He also has an above-average slider to compliment his low-90s heat. I include him here mostly because I saw him a few times up close this past spring (oh, and also the name), but can’t say I’m particularly bullish about his prospect stock. If he irons out his control wrinkles and sharpens up his stuff, he’s a potential middle reliever. This Shawn Armstrong should not be confused with 2012 Draft prospect Shawn Armstrong of Morehead City, by the way. Don’t make the same initial mistake I did…

Cleveland delivered a nasty one-two punch to East Carolina with the signing of back-to-back picks Armstrong and ECU commit Ocean Lakes HS (VA) LHP Shawn Morimando (Round 19). Morimando is the second of Cleveland’s trio of short high school lefties, sandwiched between unsigned Stephen Tarpley and unsigned Dillon Peters. Unfortunately for Cleveland, Morimando is the least impressive of the three. Fortunately for Cleveland, there was enough of an uptick in his stuff this spring – offspeed stuff has always looked solid to me, and now his fastball is finally fast enough – to give hope that there’s a potential starting pitcher tucked away in his 5’11”, 170 pound frame.

Ranked one spot behind fellow unsigned high school lefty Stephen Tarpley on my pre-draft list, Cathedral HS (IN) LHP Dillon Peters (Round 20) is an uncannily similar prospect. He’s a little bit more advanced than Tarpley, but offers less projection and uglier mechanics. He has the three pitches needed to start at Texas, but concerns about his size and herky jerky delivery could keep him in the bullpen, at least at the onset of his college career. Without putting undue pressure on the Longhorns coaching staff, I’d say Peters is putting some serious money on the line by gambling a) he’ll be used responsibly in college and b) he’ll find a coach who can clean up his delivery enough to make him a viable starting pitching candidate. If in three years Tarpley is a Friday night starter mowing down college competition in line for a potential top three round selection, as his raw talent suggests, then there ought to be some Longhorn Network cash headed the way of Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson.

LHP Dillon Peters (Cathedral HS, Indiana): 90-92 FB, 94 peak; good 80 CU; very good 73-76 CB; 5-10, 195 pounds

Rice RHP Matthew Reckling (Round 22) is well positioned to become one of the 2012 Draft’s top pitching senior signs. A relative newcomer to pitching, Reckling struggles with some of the finer aspects of the craft like holding his velocity late into starts and showing the consistent command needed to get good hitters out, but flashes of a promising fastball and a good curve make up a solid base to build on.

Rice JR RHP Matthew Reckling: 90-93 FB at start, velocity dips to 86-89 quickly; good 79-81 CB, loses effectiveness when it dips to mid-70s

High Point RHP Cody Allen (Round 23) throws a fastball that hitters have a really hard time squaring up. That alone makes him interesting to me, though his above-average upper-70s curve gives him a second pitch to lean on in what will likely be a bullpen or bust career path. He impressed the Indians brass from day one due to his performance (75 K and 14 BB in 54.2 combined IP of 1.65 ERA ball) and maturity (filled in at High A and AA when organizational roster crunch necessitated a young arm to fill in).

High Point JR RHP Cody Allen (2011): 90-93 FB with great movement; 76-78 CB; 84-86 sinker; 80-82 CU

In a perfect world, every team would sign every player for a lot of money and we’d all be happy and content to go about our day. In reality, decisions sometimes have to be made about how wise sinking six figures into a pro contract for an 18-year old really is. St. John Bosco HS (CA) 3B Taylor Sparks (Round 24) would have been a good signing by Cleveland, but it is perfectly understandable why a deal wasn’t reached between the two parties. Sparks’ athleticism is borderline unfair (I know I’m jealous…), but it hasn’t translated to meaningful baseball skills, let alone exciting baseball tools, at this point.

Taylor Sparks, the former American Idol finalist (probably), is one of the most fascinating draft prospects in this year’s class. There are polished prospects who may be short on tools, but have high floors and a relatively clear path up the minor league ladder. There are raw prospects who have tremendous physical gifts, but need a lot of professional work to reach their admittedly difficult to hit ceilings. Then we have a guy like Sparks, a rare prospect with upside who is undeniably raw yet somehow not super toolsy. There are a lot of 50s in his scouting report (average arm, average power, average speed, average defense), but also something about his game that leaves you wanting more, in a good way. Part of that could be the rapid improvement he showed in certain areas — namely power and speed — this spring. If he can improve in those two areas, who is to say he can’t keep getting better after he signs on the dotted line?

The most interesting thing to watch concerning the development of Turlock HS (CA) SS Kevin Kramer (Round 25) over the next three years at UCLA will be his defense. If the fast-rising middle infielder’s hit tool continues to impress, he’ll be a legitimate early round prospect at shortstop in 2014. If he winds up at second, as I expect, he’s downgraded slightly but still a potential big leaguer. I’ve heard from “somebody who knows” that UCLA is pretty happy that Kramer made it to campus; to say he’s looked better than the player they saw in high school would be an understatement.

Strength, both at the plate and jammed into his throwing arm, describes Kramer’s biggest current asset. I also like his bat a lot — feel like I’ve said that about a half dozen players already, but it’s true — and have a strong intuitive feel on him.

All college baseball fans should be excited about the return of South Carolina LHP Michael Roth (Round 31) to college. Well, all fans of teams outside of the SEC. Roth is a tremendous college pitcher, an outstanding competitor, and by all accounts a fascinating guy with a vast assortment of varied interests outside the game. Rumors abound that he isn’t a lock to sign with a pro team even after his upcoming senior year, but, assuming he gives pro ball a shot, he’d make a fine mid- to late-round senior sign who would contribute to an organization beyond whatever he accomplishes between the lines.

Roth could presently be the lefty version of what Randall hopes to evolve into next year. He may not have a knockout pitch, but the way he works each batter’s eye level is a sight to behold. 

My only notes on Cal Poly RHP Mason Radeke (Round 35): “had elbow trouble in 2009.” He’s a little bit like Will Roberts in that, because of slightly underwhelming stuff, I wish he was lefthanded.

I have nobody to blame but myself for making a bad American Idol joke about Taylor Sparks when I could have just as easily saved it for unsigned Oregon State RHP Taylor Starr (Round 37). Sparks has gotten a Scott Mathieson comp from a friend who has seen both, though I can’t help but wonder how much their similar injury histories (Tommy John surgery twice each? Seriously, guys?) has to do with that. At his best he’s a hard thrower (pre-injury 94-95 peak), but you wouldn’t really know that from his college career. After throwing 22.1 IP in 2008, Starr has only faced three batters, and they all came in 2009. If you’ll allow me a rare bad word on this otherwise family friendly site…injuries are the fucking worst. There really is no telling what to expect out of Starr in 2012, but a return to good health would be an excellent start. We’re rooting for him.

I wrote about Virginia OF John Barr (Round 39) almost two years ago. This is what I came up with: “JR OF John Barr (2010) is as nondescript a prospect as you’ll find. It’s nothing personal – in fact, I saw Barr play in high school, and I tend to form weird (non-creepy!) attachments to players I’ve seen early on – but nothing about his game stands out as being an average or better big league tool. His numbers dipped from his freshman year to his sophomore season, but he deserves the benefit of the doubt as he was recovering from shoulder surgery for much of 2009.” Yeah, I’m sticking with that. He can run, defend, and take a walk, but there isn’t enough beyond that (i.e. he won’t hit) to make him a legit pro prospect. He’s still a good guy to have on the back end of your minor league roster, however.

Oregon SS KC Serna (Round 42) had a disappointing draft year, but rebounded somewhat in the eyes of scouts with his steady play in the field after being assigned to Mahoning, Cleveland’s New York-Penn League affiliate. Small sample size alert: the righthanded Serna destroyed lefties to the tune of .436/.489/.513 in 39 at bats as a pro. I can’t emphasize the small sample warning enough, but it could be something to keep an eye on. Late round college guys need to find a niche in pro ball if they want to keep the dream alive. A utility infielder who hits lefties well isn’t a role in crazy demand in the pros, but stranger things have happened.

Rahmatulla, Semien, and now Serna – three Pac-10 shortstop prospects who underperformed greatly in 2011. Serna’s struggles are more damning, for no other reason than his spotty track record of staying out of trouble away from the diamond. Scouts will overlook character concerns as best they can if you can really, really play; if you can’t, you’ll be labeled as a player that will cause more headaches than you’re worth.

I really like what Arkansas LHP Geoff Davenport (Round 43) and Cleveland did by coming together and agreeing on an overslot bonus of $100,000. Davenport wins because he gets to rehab from his March Tommy John surgery with a professional training staff at no personal cost. Well, that, and he gets 100,000 bucks. Good deal, I’d say. Cleveland wins because they get a quality starting pitching prospect for a relatively low financial figure all at the low, low price of a 43rd round pick. Davenport is obviously way more talented than your usual 43rd rounder who is well worth keeping an eye on as he rehabs into next season. When healthy, he shows that classic lefthanded pitchability repertoire (upper-80s fastball, good mid-70s curve, and solid change) that occasionally pays off with a prospect.

Arkansas JR LHP Geoffrey Davenport: 87-90 FB, 91 peak; above-average 76 CB; decent CU; good command; 6-1, 180 ; Tommy John surgery in March 2011

 

Final 2011 MLB Draft High School Second Base Rankings

1. 2B Phillip Evans (La Costa Canyon HS, California)

It isn’t easy finding high school middle infielders who project to second baseman in the pros who are also worthy of first round consideration, but this year’s class has a couple players that fit the bill. With three plus future tools (defense, arm, raw power), Phillip Evans is one of those guys. In addition to those three projected plus tools, Evans can also run and hit a bit. His speed is average at best, but great instincts and exceptional first step quickness help him both in the field and on the bases. I love his approach at the plate, especially with two strikes. I also love his ability to hit for power to all fields. If you’re counting at home, that’s now five tools that Evans possesses with the potential to be around average (speed), above-average (bat), and plus (defense, arm, power).

The advantage that Evans holds over Johnny Eierman, a similarly talented prospect in many ways and the prospect ranked just below him on this very list, is in present defensive value. Evans is already an outstanding middle infielder while Eierman merely looks the part. Eierman’s edge over Evans is probably in present power. It is expected that both players should close the respective gaps — i.e. Eierman turning his intriguing defensive tools into more useful skills, and Evans learning to more consistently give his line drive approach loft to generate more in-game power — but I think Evans is the safer play to do so. Eierman may have more long range upside, but Evans has a significantly higher floor.

2. 2B Johnny Eierman (Warsaw HS, Missouri)

Like Phillip Evans, Johnny Eierman’s a future professional second baseman with a chance of going in the first round. Also like Evans, Eierman has plus raw power, a plus arm, and plus defensive tools. His bat speed rivals that of any player in the class, college or pro, and his athleticism makes him an option at almost any position on the field. He’s an undeniably raw prospect with a complicated swing setup in need of some good old fashioned pro coaching, but if it all clicks for him he has easy big league All-Star upside.

3. 2B Trent Gilbert (Torrance HS, California)

Gilbert swings the bat the exact way I would if a magic genie would finally grant my wish to have a picture perfect lefthanded stroke. I’m darn sure the hit tool will play at the next level, but there are some that think too much of his value is tied up in his bat. That makes some sense to me — there is some power here and a pretty strong arm, but his speed is below-average and his defense is a question mark going forward — but, boy, do I like that hit tool. Many of those defensive questions, by the way, may or may not be Gilbert’s fault. He’s currently in the tricky position of almost being too versatile defensively – I’ve heard some teams like him at 2B, some at 3B, and others still prefer him either at C or CF. Of course, I don’t mean to imply he’ll ever be a world beater at any of those spots, but the opportunity to hear a pro coach tell him, “here’s your new defensive home, practice and play here every day” ought to do him some good.

4. 2B Shon Carson (Lake City HS, South Carolina)

Carson is an easy player to write about because his strengths and weaknesses are so clearly delineated at this point. Obvious strengths include his plus-plus speed, absurd athleticism, and football star strong. His biggest weakness is most often cited as his inability to play baseball all that well, also known as a cute way of saying he is a very raw prospect with a long way to go. If those are his easily recognized pros and cons, I’d like to throw in one additional strength to his game that I feel often goes unnoticed: Shon Carson understands what kind of player he is. Sounds almost silly to say that, but Carson plays within himself in a way that is mature beyond his years. He doesn’t try to do too much at the plate, will happily take a walk when the situation calls for it (probably doesn’t hurt to know that a walk is as good as a triple with the way he steals bags), and makes every attempt to utilize his potentially game changing speed.

5. SS Christian Lopes (Edison HS, California)

Lopes is a darn fine ballplayer who has suffered from classic “been on the scouting radar too long” syndrome this season. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, as I now prefer Lopes as a prospect much more than I did a year ago at this time. He’ll give you natural middle infielder hands, a strong enough arm, and surprising punch from the right side while also clocking in as an above-average runner. He’s a little less polished than I expected, but the overall tools are exciting and it looks to me that his bat will play.

6. 2B Dante Flores (St. John Bosco HS, California)

On the offensive side of things, evaluators are typically looking for three main things: hit tool/approach, power, and speed. That’s probably a touch simplistic, but there isn’t much more to look for than that, at least from an output perspective. Will he get on base? Will he hit for power? Will he be able to cause a positive impact on the bases? Get a clear yes on one of those three, and we’re cooking. Get two of three, and watch out. When you’re lucky enough to land a hitter who can do all three, hold him close and never let him go. All that is to say that Dante Flores definitely does one of those three things well. Like many on the list ahead of him, his hit tool is far more advanced than your typical high school prospect. Let’s look at that one more time: “Like many ahead of him, he is more advanced than a typical prospect.” If we needed another data point in favor of this being a stronger than usual draft class, there it is. I’d bet three of the top five listed 2B on this list someday start in the big leagues.

Flores can definitely swing the bat, but his power upside is limited and he is an average at best runner. He’s a steady defender at second, capable of making plays on balls hit at or near him but lacking the athleticism and instincts to ever wow you at the spot. Prospects who lack positional safety nets — i.e. a spot on the diamond they can play if they can’t hack it at their original spot — make me really nervous. Flores is probably a second baseman or bust, so there is a lot riding on that hit tool.

7. 2B TJ Costen (First Colonial HS, Virginia)

This list so far has been all about the hit tool, so it is time to change things up. Costen has very good defensive tools, a strong arm, and plus speed. Potential plus defenders who can run have great value, and Costen is no exception, but the development of his bat will determine whether he’ll be viewed as a good prospect (as I view him now) or as a great one down the line.

8. 2B Kevin Kramer (Turlock HS, California)

Strength, both at the plate and jammed into his throwing arm, describes Kramer’s biggest current asset. I also like his bat a lot — feel like I’ve said that about a half dozen players already, but it’s true — and have a strong intuitive feel on him.

9. 2B Vicente Conde (Orangewood Christian Academy, Florida)

Conde’s scouting reports make it sound like he is a power hitting catcher or third baseman (strong arm, physical build, and, yes, big raw power), but here he is on our second baseman list. There is some risk with him eventually outgrowing the position, but the Vanderbilt commit (warning: tough sign!) currently has enough athleticism to play up the middle.

10. 2B Mason Snyder (Marquette HS, Illinois)

Snyder is a potential plus bat who may or may stick up the middle defensively. Recent labrum surgery will probably send him off to Louisville, where he could be the successor to the Cardinals’ slugging 2B Ryan Wright.

11. 2B Ty Washington (Plano East HS, Texas)

Washington is a very signable prospect best known for his excellent defensive tools and good speed. He had a reputation coming into the year as a guy who too often attempted to do too much at the plate, but patience has been a virtue for him so far this season.

12. 2B Connor Castellano (Evangel Christian Academy, Louisiana)

Castellano’s gap power and average speed could be of interest to a team that thinks he can handle 2B as a pro.

13. 2B Erik Forgione (WF West HS, Washington)

One of my favorite sleepers from the Pacific Northwest, Forgione is a plus runner with great range and athleticism.