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2015 MLB Draft Reviews – New York Yankees

New York Yankees 2015 MLB Draft Picks

22 – James Kaprielian
48 – Kyle Holder
83 – Drew Finley
89 – Jeff Degano
112 – Jeff Hendrix
220 – Kolton Mahoney
228 – Ryan Krill
307 – Isiah Gilliam
397 – Garrett Mundell
403 – Chance Adams
408 – Brandon Wagner
419 – Kane Sweeney

I really liked what the Yankees did in the first few rounds to restock their minor league pitching. RHP James Kaprielian (22) looked for all the world to be a “quick-moving mid-rotation arm who still might have a bit of upside left in him beyond that” before the draft and nothing in his pro debut suggests otherwise. Slick pick. New York could have done a few different things and come out just as well (Walker Buehler and Jon Harris as comparable college arms, Brady Aiken or Ashe Russell or Beau Burrows or Mike Nikorak as higher boom/bust guys, Nick Plummer or DJ Stewart as patient yet unexciting corner outfielders) and it’s always fun for me to speculate about what package a team with two early picks (16 and 30 in this case) might have preferred in hindsight (Kaprielian and Holder or Kevin Newman and Kyle Funkhouser?), but getting a talent like Kaprielian in the middle of the first is something to be pleased about no matter the what-ifs. Stuck a Michael Wacha comp on him a few months ago that I stand by today…

This all brings me to the guy I think Wacha compares to on some level, UCLA JR RHP James Kaprielian. Draft people like me who sometimes try to get too cute for own good have fought it in the past, but there’s no denying that Kaprielian warrants a first round grade this June. Well-built righthanders with four pitches (ding!) and consistently excellent results in a tough conference profile as big league starting pitchers more often than not. I’m going to just go with an excerpt of some of my notes on Kaprielian because they are among the longest running that I have on any player in this college class…

JR RHP James Kaprielian (2015): 87-92 FB, 94-95 peak; potential plus 79-84 CB, commands it well; potential plus 80-85 CU with serious sink; above-average 79-85 SL; good athlete; excellent overall command; 2014 Summer: 88-92 FB, 93 peak; above-average to plus or better 75-79 CB with plus command, still gets it up to 85 depending on situation; average or better upside with 79-82 SL; FAVORITE; average or better upside with mid-80s CU with splitter action; UPDATE: 83-85 SL, flashes above-average; average 78-80 CB with above-average to plus upside; good athlete; commands both breaking balls well; 2015: 89-94 FB; above-average 78-81 CB flashes plus; above-average 83-85 SL; above-average mid-80s CU, flashes better; 6-4, 200 pounds (2013: 12.39 K/9 | 5.09 BB/9 | 2.20 FIP | 40.2 IP) (2014: 9.17 K/9 – 2.97 BB/9 – 106 IP – 2.29 ERA)

The UPDATE and 2015 sections give the most pertinent information (88-94 FB, 95 peak; above-average 78-81 CB, flashes plus; average 83-85 SL, flashes above-average; above-average mid-80s CU with drop, flashes plus; good athleticism; commands both breaking balls ably; plus overall command), but I like including the whole thing (or as much as can be published) to highlight the growth he’s made. Kaprielian is damn good and smart team picking in the latter half of the first round will get a quick-moving mid-rotation arm who still might have a bit of upside left in him beyond that.

Fun with small samples featuring RHP Drew Finley (83). Finley’s pre-draft blurb on this very site mentioned a fastball ranging from 85-90 (early in the scouting season) to 88-92 later (94 peak) with “plus sink” that he commands quite well. It also mentioned that he throws “nothing straight” with a delivery that provides both “good deception” and “good extension.” Knowing that and only that, would you have had Finley pegged as being one of this draft class’s pitchers most prone to fly ball outs? I, for one, would done no such thing. In 32 innings (just 32 innings, mind you), Finley only got 33.7% of his batted ball outs on the ground. Finley is a good prospect, by the way. Really like that fastball (velocity + movement + command = winning pitch), really like his curve, and really like the delivery. He’s a little older than his peers and he likely won’t ever top the output of Rancho Bernardo High’s most famous baseball alum (Cole Hamels!), but I like him as a potential mid-rotation workhorse.

You an see where I ranked LHP Jeff Degano (89) right there in the parentheses. The Yankees took him with the 57th pick. After thinking it over the summer, my own pre-draft rankings be damned, I think they got a steal. He’s older (23 in a few weeks) and raw (Canadian and injured), but the flashes of brilliance are enough to sell you on his upside. I known for a fact that New York is thrilled about landing him where they did. I’ve even heard it floated that some within their developmental staff would like to see him move to relief because they think he could be their homegrown version of Andrew Miller. That’s pretty damn intriguing, but, as always, I’d give the big young lefty a chance to keep starting as long as he can do it. With a mechanical tweak or two, some honest innings under his belt, and more work on the changeup (a pitch I believe in for him), I think there’s sneaky top of the rotation (more two than one) or shutdown closer upside here. That’s not upside that is thrown around lightly here.

RHP Kolton Mahoney (220) could currently be what Drew Finley will be in a few years. There’s less upside (as one would expect) and a higher probability of pitching in relief, but the talent is significant. Brilliant pick and sign at this point in the draft. I also really, really like RHP Garrett Mundell (397). Guys like Mundell, a senior-sign, should not be available outside of the top ten money-saving rounds let alone free to take all the way down in round twenty-three. It’s far too easy an obvious a comp to make, but there’s some shades of former Bulldog Doug Fister in Mundell’s game…

7.40 K/9 – 2.59 BB/9 – 93.2 IP
8.36 K/9 – 3.64 BB/9 – 116.1 IP

7.43 K/9 – 4.70 BB/9 – 45 IP
7.82 K/9 – 3.10 BB/9 – 61 IP

Top set is Fister’s final two seasons at Fresno State, bottom set is Mundell’s final two seasons at Fresno State. Both are big, long-limbed pitchers (as if he “hands ball to catcher” is in my Mundell notes) who rely on keeping the ball down and getting outs on the ground. Even if you put the odds low (25%) that Mundell does anything approaching Fister’s big league work (overrated by advanced metrics in my view, but that’s besides the point), isn’t that somebody worth taking a shot on as a money-saver in rounds nine or ten? Getting Mundell this late is a coup for the Yankee front office.

I’m always stunned when a fairly straight-forward looking prospect (to me) becomes a very divisive one to others, so seeing SS Kyle Holder (48) get roasted as a major reach who can’t play after his disappointing pro debut fascinated me. This is a more complex issue than I have time to cover in my self-restricted state (time to worry more about the 2016 draft and leave 2015 behind), so I’ll do my best to be brief (note: this is not a personal writing strength). Off the bat, I’ll acknowledge that my pre-draft take on him could have been off the mark and those who have seen him more recently are on top of things in a way I am not. I could be wrong about Holder. I’ve been wrong before, I’ll be wrong a lot in the future. That said, I do have some conviction in my pro-Holder opinion that I’m far from ready to back away from.

Holder had a bad debut from a performance perspective. There’s no hiding from that. Typically in these instances, I’d assume that those critical of him would be the type that saw how badly he struggled and opted to pile on from there. In this specific case, however, I noticed very early on that people — smart people! — were underwhelmed at Holder’s game. So how does a guy go from a first round pick of the New York Yankees to (as some have claimed) overmatched org guy who only gets talked about because of his status as a first rounder? Are there legitimate concerns or is something else going on?

We’ll hit the latter point first. I maintain that the Yankees (and myself and many other teams and many other publications) didn’t completely whiff on Holder. Again, it’s certainly possible that he doesn’t have the kind of career many envisioned but that’s true of literally every player drafted each June.

I also think that part of the change in perception about Holder is who is now doing the evaluating. There’s plenty of crossover between amateur scouting and pro scouting — not enough, but still lots — yet I think the higher standard that comes with being a professional colors the evaluation of recent draftees in what is often too unfavorable a light. There’s some “THIS is pro ball and not some piddly little amateur conference now, kid” attitude among some evaluators who take odd pleasure in tearing down the draft’s best players as they enter pro ball. More kindly, I think there’s an attempt at over-correcting the occasionally too optimistic forecasts pushed by amateur scouts — a big part of the job is salesmanship, after all — to provide a necessary counterpoint and give the bosses a fuller picture of the player as they head into the offseason.

As for the former point, yes, there are legitimate concerns about how Holder’s game will translate to pro ball. The biggest concern pre-draft that persists today is his power. We talk a lot about how not every player needs to be a double-digit home run guy to be a successful big league player, but it’s undeniably important that the mere possibility of putting one over the seats every so often changes how a batter is pitched. Power is king, but the threat of power can be almost as important for certain players. Holder will need to show he has at least a little in-game pop before pitchers will realize they need to change how they attack him. Holder’s chance at being a non-zero offensively hinges on his ability to keep getting on base at a solid clip and stealing some bags along the way. There’s often an inverse relationship between a player like Holder’s on-base ability and the amount the opposing pitcher has to worry about the threat of power. I can’t say with absolute certainty that he’ll hit enough to start at shortstop, but, even in the face of his early struggles, I lean toward thinking he’ll make it work. This was the pre-draft take…

San Diego JR SS Kyle Holder is a special talent with the glove. He’s a fantastic athlete with everything you’d want to see out of big league defender: his range, hands, feet, instincts, arm, and touch are all exemplary. There might not be a lot of power to come, but he’s a smart, balanced hitter who works deep counts and battles in every at bat. With a very real clear strength and no obvious weaknesses, the well-rounded Holder could be a dark horse first day candidate. If you shoot for the moon with an all-upside first pick, then going for what could be a quick-moving rock solid big league shortstop with your second pick makes a lot of sense. The comps I have on Holder are among my favorite for any player in this year’s class: Mike Bordick, Walt Weiss, and Orlando Cabrera. I don’t know why, but that strikes me as a fun group of possible outcomes. Bordick and Weiss both feel fair in a plus glove, good command of the strike zone, enough power to keep pitchers’ honest kind of way.

The defense is going to play. I’m personally certain of that, though I’ve read many who have claimed his glove as being overhyped. That, far more so than those concerned about his bat, feels like the kind of amateur/pro scout pettiness that I described above. To paraphrase what I’ve heard: Yeah, he’s a good defender…for a college guy. In the pros he’s just one of many decent gloves. I stand by his defense at shortstop 100%. That tool alone is enough to make him a potential big league player. If the threat of power is enough for him, then the Mike Bordick/Walt Weiss comps will begin to look pretty good. We’ll see.

OF Jeff Hendrix (112). like Holder, had the kind of pro debut you spend all winter trying to forget. On the plus side, he swiped 17 of 18 bases. On the less plus side, well, there’s pretty much everything else. There’s no reason to overreact to a bad few months, though it should go without saying that an impressive debut beats a debut like this any day. Still, I remain a Hendrix fan and think he has as bright future in pro ball as I did many months ago…

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.

2B Brandon Wagner held his own in his debut, splitting time between 2B and 3B while getting acclimated to the rigors of the pro game. The Jersey native has presumably been followed by the Yankees for years even after winding up in Texas at Howard College. Nice get in the sixth. 1B Isiah Gilliam (307) had an even better debut season while splitting his time in between the outfield corners. I think he should settle in as a good enough glove in left field to allow his potentially above-average all-around offensive game to get him in the lineup. Getting him signed as a twentieth round pick should get raises for all the individuals who helped convince the higher-ups that he was signable. I’ll do my part to keep expectations in check by referring to him as 29th Round Pick 1B Kane Sweeney (419), but it’s hard not to be a little excited about a .320/.437/.562 debut run. There are strikes against him (age, too many whiffs, 1B only), but I like him enough that an aggressive double-jump in 2016 feels like a fair sink-or-swim assignment.

OF Jhalen Jackson has some swing-and-miss (not good) and some interesting tools to work with (good!). There are miles between where OF Terrance Robertson could wind up and where he is now, but as an overslot high school pick he’s worth knowing. OF Trey Amburgey had an outstanding debut that puts him on the map for me now when I didn’t know a ton about him a few months ago. OF Zach Zehner, the most recognizable name out of this particular subsection of new Yankee outfielders, has a weird amount of fans (at least among people I know) despite never quite solving the riddle that is the strike zone. He has power, speed, arm strength, and size, but he lacks time (24 next August) and the aforementioned plate discipline (18 BB/52 K as a senior). If nothing else, I like how New York diversified their assets here: they went Division II, high school, junior college, and Division I with these respective four outfield picks.

3B Donny Sands was not a name I was familiar with before the draft and for that I’m pretty downtrodden about. I know I’m a one-man show here, but I can’t help but kick myself over whiffing on him. It’s very early yet obviously, but his pro debut is quite encouraging. Perhaps I should temper some of that enthusiasm by pointing out that he’s one of the older players I’ve noticed in his class (19 this past May). Bryan Hoch had a cool story about Sands on MLB.com that included this bit…

The way the game worked, as the 19-year-old recalled Tuesday, was that his mother would set a clock for five minutes and begin tossing the beans. Sands would have to hit each one without missing any for the session to end; if he whiffed, the clock restarted at zero. The idea was his mother’s, cribbed from her experiences living in Mexico.

The beans in question were pinto beans. That’s phenomenal. New favorite prospect.

RHP Chance Adams (403) was the highest drafted reliever by the Yankees, so it’s no shock he’s the best of the bunch. Armed with a low-90s fastball and above-average command, he’s got the chance to pitch late in games as he keeps improving. It stands to reason he feels right at home in the pro game considering he’s basically coming from what amounts to college ball’s closest 2015 facimile: including Adams, the Dallas Baptist staff included five pitchers (Brandon Koch, Cory Taylor, Joseph Shaw, Drew Smith) that went in the first dozen rounds. Not bad.

With a solid one-two fastball (88-92) and slider punch, LHP James Reeves is a fine looking middle relief prospect. His last year of college (10.89 K/9 and 2.65 BB/9 in 95 IP) and his first year in the pros (9.23 K/9 and 4.10 BB/9) both look good from here. The signing of LHP Josh Rogers is an impressive bit of investigative work by the New York scouting staff.

rSO LHP Josh Rogers gets swallowed up by the FUNKHOUSER hype, a perfectly understandable yet unfortunate matter of fact that happens when you share a the top of a rotation with a potential top ten pick and one of the nation’s top freshmen (LHP/1B Brendan McKay). Rogers, a Tommy John surgery survivor, has decent velocity for a lefty (85-90, has been up to 92-93 in the past) and a workable breaking ball. He’s always gotten results when called upon (8.13 K/9 and 2.08 BB/9 last year, 7.65 K/9 and 2.18 BB/9 this year), so, if signable (non-stars with two remaining years of eligibility don’t always jump at the first pro offer they get) there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t be drafted and tried as a pro starter this summer.

Interesting to note that the Yankees chose him to pitch a few late-season innings in Low-A. Little moves like that don’t necessarily mean much more than that’s how the ebbs and flows of the minor league season work (31st round pick RHP Hobie Harris also got some Charleston innings, for example), but they can sometimes clue us outsiders into the what insiders think of the players we spend so much time thinking about ourselves.

RHP Will Carter is more of a ground ball guy than a strikeout specialist. His sinker has some serious juice (87-94, up to 95), but it’s tough to get ahead as a minor league reliever without that put-away pitch in your back pocket. RHP Bret Marks has a fastball (88-92) with similar sink (plus an average or better slider and interesting split-change) with a better history of missing bats. RHP Brody Koerner takes the ground ball thing to the next level (78.8 GB%) with a very slider heavy approach. The fact that the Yankees had an area scout stick with Koerner and a progressive enough front office willing to overlook some ugly run prevention (7.55 ERA in 62 IP at Clemson this year) to see the raw talent the young right possesses. The peripherals remained good (9.15 K/9 and 3.19 BB/9), so, at the risk of speculating irresponsibly, it would seem to me, based on the pro data we have, that much of Koerner’s 2015 problems at Clemson were related to him pissing off the BABIP deities. For that reason and much more, I like Koerner a whole lot. The Yankees drafted Carter, Marks, and Koerner in that order; I happen to like them in the opposite direction.

RHP Josh Roeder has an absolutely electric slider that seriously ranks as one of the best in the class. Paired with good heat (88-92, 94 peak), good command, and a good track record at Nebraska, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good relief prospect. I swear I’m not intentionally trying to be this positive (it’s the YANKEES, after all), but grabbing guys like Roeder and Koerner when the Yankees did is really good work.

RHP Mark Seyler has a good arm (88-92) and a solid track record. RHP Cody Carroll can crank it up to 95 at times (sits low-90s). It’s an odd universe where RHP Paddy O’Brien gets selected by New York and not Boston. RHP Icezack Flemming should become friends with Christian Turnipseed if he’s not already. RHP David Sosebee spots his upper-80s fastball seemingly wherever he likes. I saw RHP Chad Martin at Delaware where he looked like a decent mid-round minor league reliever. RHP Christian Morris has the stuff to start (FB/CB/CU) but not the command.

2015 MLB Draft – Top 100 D1 College Shortstop Prospects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 MLB Draft – Abbreviated College Shortstop Ranking Sneak Peek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Coast Conference 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

San Diego SR C Jesse Jenner
St. Mary’s SR 1B Collin Ferguson
Loyola Marymount SR 2B David Edwards
San Diego JR SS Kyle Holder
Santa Clara JR 3B Jose Vizcaino
Pacific JR OF Giovanni Brusa
Pacific SR OF Tyler Sullivan
San Francisco SR OF Derek Atkinson

Brigham Young JR RHP Kolton Mahoney
San Diego JR RHP/1B David Hill
Loyola Marymount rJR RHP Trevor Megill
Santa Clara JR RHP Reece Karalus
Pepperdine JR RHP Jackson McClelland

The talent in the West Coast Conference exemplifies the 2015 MLB Draft college class as well as any conference in the country; in many ways, it resembles is a microcosm for the rest of the class. There’s pitching because, no matter the year, there always seems to be pitching. Power is scarce, shortstops are plentiful, and talented yet unrefined talents face hugely important draft seasons.

The pitching in the WCC is predictably deep. The best arms in the conference don’t have quite the name recognition as the top pitchers in other conferences, but they will by June. If not, then they should. BYU JR RHP Kolton Mahoney leads the way with an honest four-pitch mix that includes a pair of above-average breaking balls (77-84 SL, 75-77 CB) that come close to running into each other but never quite get there. San Diego JR RHP/1B David Hill has bounced around some, but appears to be settled in with the Toreros. He has a similar fastball to Mahoney (88-94, though Mahoney commands it better) and very comparable offspeed stuff (above-average 75-79 CB, 80-85 cut-SL that flashes plus, intriguing new-ish split-CU that I’ve heard good things about). Santa Clara JR RHP Reece Karalus is a classic sinker/slider arm that adds a fun wrinkle to the archetype with his plus command and plus control. He’s too good to call a sleeper, but between the way he misses bats, gets ground balls (presumably…would love to dig up the numbers on him), and limits walks he could be a shockingly quick mover once he hits the pro game.

Two wild cards in the conference are Loyola Marymount rJR RHP Trevor Megill and Pepperdine JR RHP Jackson McClelland. Both pitchers have been far more wild than usual so far this season. Megill’s wild ways can be explained at least in part to his ongoing adjustment to being back on the mound after missing last season (TJ surgery). When he’s on, he brings a devastating array of power stuff (86-92 FB with good sink that can reach the mid-90s; plus cut-SL; imposing 6-8, 250 pound frame) to the table. McClelland’s wildness is more difficult to explain; in fact, since I haven’t seen him this year, I won’t even attempt to do so. For now I just chalk it up to another oddity in what has been a perplexing collegiate career to date. His stuff is more than enough to get college hitters out (90-95 FB, breaking ball with upside, usable change) and he’s a really good athlete throwing from a 6-5, 220 pound body, but he’s never consistently missed bats. Teams with a more forging view of underachieving college talent who might consider him a talented ball of clay to mold rather than a near-finished product seem more likely to give him a call this June than otherwise.

Safer bets include St. Mary’s SO RHP Cameron Neff and Loyola Marymount SR RHP Colin Welmon. Welmon has stepped his game up considerably this year as he’s changing the narrative on his scouting reports (slider with upside; changeup with promise) from potential to realized skills. You could do worse if in the market for a rare senior sign pitcher with a chance to one day crack a big league rotation than Welmon. Neff is built similarly, but is already able to harness a plus offspeed pitch (changeup) that keeps hitters off his just good enough fastball (88-92). I can’t remember the origin, but I have an AJ Griffin comp on him in my notes that I think is reasonable.

Remember the bit about power being scarce? This piece got delayed a few days because I kept stopping and starting the section on first basemen, the position most commonly associated with power. It’s not that I think that these breakdowns constitute the most entertaining daily reads on the internet, but I try to say at least one interesting thing for as many players as possible within each piece. There are four first basemen in the conference worth writing about, but for the life of me I can’t figure out anything fun to say about any of them. St. Mary’s SR 1B/LHP Collin Ferguson is a senior sign that figures to appeal to teams of all player development philosophies. He has shown consistent power (more or less), a relatively sound approach, and the athleticism, arm, and glove one needs to play a mean first base. Pepperdine JR 1B Brad Anderson’s calling card is his big raw power. San Francisco SR 1B/3B Brendan Hendriks’ strengths are his hit tool and defensive versatility (in addition to 1B and 3B he has also seen time at 2B). Portland rSR 1B/OF Turner Gill’s career hasn’t gone quite according to plan – he hit .348/.408/.500 and .341/.418/.508 in his first two seasons before being injured and ineffective the past two years – but he’s still a dangerous guess hitter who can put a charge into the ball when he guesses right.

Power may belong to first basemen above all other positions, but outfielders can also get in on the fun; unfortunately, outside of Pacific JR OF Giovanni Brusa (one of those talented yet unrefined talents from earlier) there’s not much in the way of thump to be found among WCC outfielders. The lack of pop is forgivable, but the weird lack of noteworthy draft-eligible outfielders in the conference is just plain bizarre. I’m sure I’m missing a few names, but even after checking and double-checking the only three serious outfield prospects heading into the season were Brusa, Pacific SR OF Tyler Sullivan, and San Francisco SR OF Derek Atkinson. An argument could be made that even including Sullivan and Atkinson is me being generous, as Brusa is currently the only WCC outfielder mentioned as a viable top ten round pick. I think that sells Sullivan, a pesky hitter who fits the backup outfielder with a leadoff mentality mold well, a bit short.

The appreciation for Brusa, however, is right on point. His above-average to plus raw power will keep him employed for a long time, especially combined with his elite athleticism and playable defensive tools (slightly below-average arm and foot speed, but overall should be fine in left field). Brusa going from good prospect to great prospect will take selling a team on his improved approach as a hitter; early returns are promising but a team that buys into his bat will do so knowing he’ll always be a player who swings and misses a lot. Whether or not he a) makes enough contact, and/or b) demonstrates enough plate discipline (strikeouts are easier to take when paired with an increased walk rate, like he’s shown so far this year) will ultimately decide his fate as a hitter and prospect. Before the season I would have been in the “think he’ll be drafted too high for my tastes, so let me just kick back and watch somebody else try to fix his approach” camp in terms of his draft value, but I’m slowly creeping towards “if he falls just a bit, I’d think about taking a shot on his upside over a few players with more certainty and less ceiling” territory. That’s a big step up for me, even if it doesn’t quite seem like it.

All the shortstops are great. That was the short note I wrote to myself designed to be a placeholder for the actual text to come, but now I’m thinking that’s what I should publish. (My notes on the outfielders: BRUSA. I’m not a great writer, clearly.) San Diego JR SS Kyle Holder is a special talent with the glove. He’s a fantastic athlete with everything you’d want to see out of big league defender: his range, hands, feet, instincts, arm, and touch are all exemplary. There might not be a lot of power to come, but he’s a smart, balanced hitter who works deep counts and battles in every at bat. With a very real clear strength and no obvious weaknesses, the well-rounded Holder could be a dark horse first day candidate. If you shoot for the moon with an all-upside first pick, then going for what could be a quick-moving rock solid big league shortstop with your second pick makes a lot of sense. The comps I have on Holder are among my favorite for any player in this year’s class: Mike Bordick, Walt Weiss, and Orlando Cabrera. I don’t know why, but that strikes me as a fun group of possible outcomes. Bordick and Weiss both feel fair in a plus glove, good command of the strike zone, enough power to keep pitchers’ honest kind of way. The Cabrera comparison is especially intriguing to me because I’ve used it already this year on a big glove, little bat prospect. Kennesaw State JR SS Kal Simmons, the recipient of said comp, is an interesting head-to-head prospect comparison for Holder. So far in 2015…

KS: .302/.391/.563 – 11 BB/12 K – 8/9 SB – 96 AB
KH: .353/.409/.412 – 7 BB/6 K – 4/6 SB – 85 AB

And in their college careers…

KS: .284/.345/.365 – 46 BB/74 K – 14/17 SB – 543 AB
KH: .315/.374/.406 – 22 BB/22 K – 11/15 SB – 276 AB

I think both players have big league regular upside – something I wouldn’t have said about Simmons prior to this season – but Holder gets the edge for me as the better all-around offensive threat. The real conclusion is this, however: all the shortstops are great.

Pacific JR SS/OF Brett Sullivan is an all-caps FAVORITE of mine who compares favorably to Holder in many areas of the game. The one great big obvious difference between the two is defensive projection. I’m obviously confident in Holder being a damn fine defensive shortstop in the big leagues, but I can’t say the same with much certainty about Sullivan. I mean this literally: I can’t say it with certainty because I straight up don’t know right now.

This is one of those cases where a position conference ranking doesn’t do the quality of depth at the position justice: three of the top four hitters in the conference are shortstops (four out of five if you think Santa Clara JR 3B/OF Jose Vizcaino sticks at SS). Loyola Marymount SO SS David Fletcher would be the top shortstop in many conferences across the country. He does a lot of the same things that Holder does well, especially on the defensive side. I’m a tiny less sure about his bat going forward, so consider that my admittedly thin rationale for having him behind both Holder and Sullivan. Being the third best shortstop behind those two guys is still a really, really good thing. He’s stung the ball so far this season, and I’ve heard from those who have seen him often that the improvements are real. Slowly but surely his ceiling has risen with some now willing to make the move from glove-first utility player to potential big league regular. I’m not quite there yet, but I get it. All the shortstops are great.

If you’re buying Vizcaino’s glove at shortstop then he might be the co-headliner up the middle with Holder. He’s easily one of the 2015 draft class’s best tools to skills transformation prospects. Like Brett Sullivan, I don’t quite have enough updated information on his defensive future to say one way or another where he’ll wind up as a pro. I have as more likely than not to switch over to third in the pros, but it’s a fluid situation. An admittedly far too generous Matt Carpenter comp (qualified with less advanced as a hitter and less athletic) for Gonzaga SR 3B Mitchell Gunsolus has stuck in my mind over the years. It’s obviously too much, but I still like Gunsolus power and patience blend. Even if he has to move to left field, as some have speculated, his bat looks strong enough to be a worthy senior sign all the same.

So we’ve covered the lack of power bats, the great shortstops, and some of the better tools to skills transformers. What’s left? Loyola Marymount SR 2B/SS David Edwards is a versatile enough defender to play just about any spot on the diamond. That versatility should serve him well professionally assuming he hits enough at the next level to fulfill his destiny as a big league super-sub. That versatility is also what gives him the slight edge over Pepperdine JR 2B Hutton Moyer, a good glove likely limited to second who can run and flash some power. Portland SR 2B/OF Caleb Whalen has long intrigued me as a plus runner who can play multiple spots with an underrated hit tool, but time is running out on him turning some of his raw ability into concrete skills.

I’ve liked what I’ve heard about San Diego SR C Jesse Jenner so far. The consensus on him seems to be there is enough power, arm strength, and athleticism to profile as a potential big league backup backstop. He stands out as the best of a thin group of WCC catchers.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. San Diego JR SS Kyle Holder
  2. Pacific JR OF Giovanni Brusa
  3. Pacific JR SS/OF Brett Sullivan
  4. Loyola Marymount SO SS David Fletcher
  5. Santa Clara JR 3B/OF Jose Vizcaino
  6. Gonzaga SR 3B Mitchell Gunsolus
  7. Brigham Young SO SS Tanner Chauncey
  8. San Diego SR SS/2B Austin Bailey
  9. Loyola Marymount SR 2B/SS David Edwards
  10. Pepperdine JR 2B Hutton Moyer
  11. San Diego rJR C Jesse Jenner
  12. Portland SR 2B/OF Caleb Whalen
  13. Pacific SR OF Tyler Sullivan
  14. San Francisco SR OF Derek Atkinson
  15. San Diego SR 3B Brandon DeFazio
  16. St. Mary’s SR 1B/LHP Collin Ferguson
  17. Pepperdine JR 1B Brad Anderson
  18. San Francisco SR 1B/3B Brendan Hendriks
  19. Portland rSR 1B/OF Turner Gill
  20. Gonzaga JR 2B/OF Caleb Wood
  21. San Francisco rJR 2B Michael Eaton
  22. Brigham Young SR C Jarrett Jarvis
  23. Santa Clara JR 3B Kyle Cortopassi

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Brigham Young JR RHP Kolton Mahoney
  2. San Diego JR RHP/1B David Hill
  3. Loyola Marymount rJR RHP Trevor Megill
  4. Santa Clara JR RHP Reece Karalus
  5. Pepperdine JR RHP Jackson McClelland
  6. St. Mary’s SO RHP Cameron Neff
  7. Loyola Marymount SR RHP Colin Welmon
  8. Portland SR RHP Kody Watts
  9. San Diego JR LHP Jacob Hill
  10. San Diego JR LHP Troy Conyers
  11. San Diego rJR RHP Wes Judish
  12. Gonzaga JR RHP Andrew Sopko
  13. Brigham Young SO RHP Michael Rucker
  14. Loyola Marymount SR LHP/OF Sean Buckle
  15. San Diego JR LHP PJ Conlon
  16. Loyola Marymount JR RHP Michael Silva
  17. Gonzaga SR RHP/C Zach Abbruzza
  18. Gonzaga JR RHP Taylor Jones
  19. Santa Clara JR RHP Jake Steffens
  20. Santa Clara rSO RHP Steven Wilson
  21. Pacific SR RHP Michael Benson
  22. Brigham Young SR RHP Jeff Barker
  23. Pacific JR RHP Jake Jenkins
  24. Pacific SR RHP Michael Hager
  25. San Francisco SR LHP Christian Cecilio
  26. San Diego JR RHP Gary Cornish
  27. Brigham Young SO RHP Mason Marshall
  28. Pepperdine JR RHP Evan Dunn
  29. Brigham Young SR RHP Brandon Kinser
  30. San Francisco SR RHP Logan West
  31. St. Mary’s SR RHP Tanner Kichler
  32. San Diego rJR RHP Drew Jacobs