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2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Atlantic 10

I tend to have a positive outlook when it comes to evaluating amateur players. I’ve gotten some feedback — some friendly, some not — about being too positive at times, but focusing on what players do well is more fun than the alternative. I try not to get too carried away with the positivity, but it can be difficult balancing my enthusiasm of promoting players from mid-major programs and non-traditional baseball powers with realistic pro forecasts that speak to the absurd rate of “failure” of even the best of prospects. I guess I can see their point: listing 58 players of interest on the Southland Conference list when only 19 got drafted last year might be a bit of overkill. Anyway, this is just my nice way of easing into an admission that I’m not in love with the Atlantic 10 this year from a draft perspective. In fact, there isn’t really one draft-eligible player in the Atlantic 10 that jumps out to me as a sure-fire top-ten round prospect. I could be wrong — it’s happened once before, probably — and the possibility that somebody could emerge between now and June is very real, but I don’t see any way around this being a down draft year for the conference. But — and here’s that damn positivity again — there are still some fun players with pro futures to discuss!

Logan Farrar is a well-rounded offensive player who does everything well but nothing spectacularly at the plate. If teams buy his long-term outlook as an infielder (based on what I know so far, I’m not sold), then his stock will rise. Chris Hess is a no-doubter infielder, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the similarly talented offensive player ahead of Farrar on some boards by June. I’ve long been enamored by Braxton Martinez, a strong hitter with some defensive questions to answer this spring. I know some who think he can play third, others who want to try him behind the plate, and others still who believe he’s a first baseman (where I believe he’ll be playing this season) in the long run. The first two options are obviously preferable, but I like him as a senior-sign at any spot.

The pitching side of things doesn’t inspire much confidence either. Greg Weissert can throw three pitches for strikes – 88-93 FB, 78-79 CU, mid-70s CB – and has missed bats at the kind of clip (10.45 K/9) to warrant his spot at the top. Zach Girrens does it with a little more heat (up to 94) and an average or better slider. Joey Ravert is one of college ball’s best two-way players, but his future is likely on the mound thanks to his 90-94 FB and power slider. He’s the kind of athlete who could take off in pro ball once he’s able to focus entirely on one side of ball. After the first few names, there’s lots of projection based more on talent than history: Nick Vichio (about 20 IP total to his name), Joseph Serrapica (7.71 ERA last year), and Jorge Jimenez (10.1 IP last year) all have a lot to prove in 2016, but with the talent to move quick.

Maybe meaningful storyline to follow: the Royals drafted five of the A-10’s twelve drafted players last year. At first I assumed it was just a coincidence or maybe just a case of having a trusted (and convincing) area scout frequenting conference games, but then it hit me: it’s the George Mason connection. Dayton Moore, JJ Picollo, Lonnie Goldberg, and area scout Ken Munoz all played ball at George Mason. If any team is going to have the best connections to the program and conference, it’s the team with three major decision-makers and a respected scout all with ties to the university. When Brandon Gum gets drafted Kansas City this year, remember you heard it here first.

Hitters 

  1. Virginia Commonwealth JR OF/2B Logan Farrar
  2. Rhode Island rSO 2B/3B Chris Hess
  3. Fordham JR 2B/SS Matthew Kozuch
  4. Rhode Island JR C/3B Martin Taveras
  5. Saint Louis SR 3B/C Braxton Martinez
  6. Saint Louis SR OF Michael Bozarth
  7. Virginia Commonwealth JR 2B/SS Matt Davis
  8. Davidson SR OF Lee Miller
  9. Richmond rSR OF Michael Morman
  10. George Mason SR 3B Kent Blackstone
  11. Rhode Island SR OF Ryan Olmo
  12. George Washington JR OF Joey Bartosic
  13. Davidson SR 2B/SS Sam Foy
  14. George Mason SR 2B/SS Brandon Gum
  15. St. Bonaventure SR 3B/RHP Thad Johnson
  16. Dayton rJR OF Glenn Jones
  17. Richmond SR OF/SS Tyler Beckwith
  18. George Washington JR OF Andrew Selby
  19. Virginia Commonwealth JR 1B/3B Darian Carpenter
  20. George Washington JR 3B/1B Bobby Campbell
  21. St. Joseph’s SR OF John Brue
  22. Fordham SR 2B Joseph Runco
  23. Richmond SR OF Jansen Fraser
  24. St. Bonaventure JR OF Taishi Terashima
  25. St. Joseph’s JR SS Taylor Boyd
  26. Virginia Commonwealth SR OF Jimmy Kerrigan
  27. Saint Louis SR 3B/SS Josh Bunselmeyer
  28. Virginia Commonwealth SR OF Cody Acker
  29. Virginia Commonwealth SR OF James Bunn

Pitchers 

  1. Fordham JR RHP Greg Weissert
  2. Saint Louis JR RHP Zach Girrens
  3. La Salle SR RHP/1B Joey Ravert
  4. Saint Louis SR LHP Josh Moore
  5. Saint Louis JR RHP Nick Vichio
  6. Fordham SR RHP Joseph Serrapica
  7. La Salle JR LHP Jorge Jimenez
  8. La Salle rJR LHP Luke Reilly
  9. George Mason rJR RHP Tyler Tobin
  10. Davidson JR RHP Westin Whitmire
  11. Saint Louis SR RHP Matt Eckelman
  12. Fordham SR RHP Jimmy Murphy
  13. Rhode Island SR RHP Brad Applin
  14. Rhode Island SR LHP Steve Moyers
  15. St. Joseph’s rSR RHP Tim Ponto

Davidson

SR RHP Durin O’Linger (2016)
JR RHP Cody White (2016)
rSR RHP Clark Beeker (2016)
JR RHP Westin Whitmire (2016)
SR OF/RHP Andrew Pope (2016)
SR 2B/SS Sam Foy (2016)
SR OF Lee Miller (2016)
JR OF Will Robertson (2016)
JR C Tyler Agard (2016)
SO RHP Josh Smutzer (2017)
SO RHP Connor Gordon (2017)
SO SS/3B Alec Acosta (2017)
SO OF Cam Johnson (2017)
FR RHP Casey Sutherland (2018)
FR 3B/OF Adrian Mayans (2018)

High Priority Follows: Durin O’Linger, Clark Beeker, Westin Whitmire, Sam Foy, Lee Miller

Dayton

SR RHP Zach Beaver (2016)
SR RHP Charlie Dant (2016)
SR RHP Sam Brunner (2016)
rJR RHP Nick Weybright (2016)
SR OF/1B Aaron Huesman (2016)
rJR OF Mitch Coughlin (2016)
rJR OF Glenn Jones (2016)
JR SS/2B Maverick Prine (2016)
JR C Matt Poland (2016)

High Priority Follows: Sam Brunner, Glenn Jones, Maverick Prine

Fordham

JR RHP Greg Weissert (2016)
SR RHP Jimmy Murphy (2016)
SR RHP Joseph Serrapica (2016)
SR RHP Cody Johnson (2016)
JR RHP Kirk Haynes (2016):
JR RHP Donald May (2016)
JR LHP Shane McDonald (2016)
JR RHP/SS Luke Stampfl (2016)
SR 2B Joseph Runco (2016)
SR OF Ryan McNally (2016)
SR 3B Ian Edmiston (2016)
JR OF/C Mark Donadio (2016)
JR 2B/SS Matthew Kozuch (2016)
JR OF Ryan Mahoney (2016)
SR SS Joseph DeVito (2016)
SO RHP Ben Greenberg (2017)
SO RHP David Manasek (2017)

High Priority Follows: Greg Weissert, Jimmy Murphy, Joseph Serrapica, Joseph Runco, Matthew Kozuch

George Washington

SR RHP Bobby LeWarne (2016)
SR RHP Randy Dalrymple (2016)
JR RHP Eddie Muhl (2016)
JR OF Joey Bartosic (2016)
JR 3B/1B Bobby Campbell (2016)
JR OF Andrew Selby (2016)
JR 3B/2B Eli Kashi (2016)
JR SS Kevin Mahala (2016)
SR C Matthieu Robért (2016)
JR OF Colin Gibbons-Fly (2016)
SO RHP Brady Renner (2017)
SO RHP Tyler Swiggart (2017)
SO LHP Kevin Hodgson (2017)
SO 2B/RHP Robbie Metz (2017)
SO C Brandon Chapman (2017)

High Priority Follows: Bobby LeWarne, Randy Dalrymple, Eddie Muhl, Joey Bartosic, Bobby Campbell, Andrew Selby

George Mason

rJR RHP Tyler Tobin (2016)
SR LHP Evan Porcella (2016)
SR RHP Mark Maksimow (2016)
JR RHP Tyler Zombro (2016)
SR 2B/SS Brandon Gum (2016)
SR 3B Kent Blackstone (2016)
SO LHP Joe Williams (2017)
rFR RHP Bryce Nightengale (2017)
SO 2B Michael Smith (2017)
SO OF Brady Acker (2017)
SO OF/C Tyler Nelin (2017)
SO 1B/3B Trevor Kelly (2017)
FR LHP Bran Marconi (2018)
FR 1B/3B Greg Popatak (2018)

High Priority Follows: Tyler Tobin, Tyler Zombro, Brandon Gum, Kent Blackstone

La Salle

rJR RHP Greg Krug (2016)
SR RHP Jordan Meyer (2016)
JR LHP Jorge Jimenez (2016)
rJR LHP Luke Reilly (2016)
SR RHP Billy Woswick (2016)
SR RHP Jared Mattera (2016)
SR RHP Tom Fazzini (2016)
JR RHP Andrew Craig (2016)
SR RHP/1B Joey Ravert (2016)
rJR 1B/RHP Michael Flax (2016)
rJR OF Ethan Springston (2016)
SR SS Collin McGowan (2016)
SO RHP Greg Paprocki (2017)
SO 2B/OF Yan Carlo Rivera (2017)
FR RHP CJ Pruitt (2018)
FR C Brett Simon (2018)
FR 2B Kevin McGowan (2018)
FR OF Drew Jarmuz (2018)
FR OF Brian Tagoe (2018)

High Priority Follows: Greg Krug, Jorge Jimenez, Luke Reilly, Joey Ravert

Massachusetts

SR RHP/C Brandon Walsh (2016)
SR LHP Evan Mackintosh (2016)
JR RHP Ryan Moloney (2016)
rSO RHP Ryan Venditti (2016)
SR RHP Ben Panunzio (2016)
SR 1B/C John Jennings (2016)
JR 1B/RHP Mike Geannelis (2016)
SO RHP Kevin Hassett (2017)
FR 3B/SS Cooper Mrowka (2018)

High Priority Follows: Brandon Walsh, Evan Mackintosh, Mike Geannelis

Rhode Island

SR LHP Steve Moyers (2016)
rJR RHP Ben Wessel (2016)
SR RHP Brad Applin (2016)
rJR RHP Blaise Whitman (2016)
rJR RHP Matt O’Neil (2016)
rSO RHP Tyler Barss (2016)
JR RHP Taso Stathopoulos (2016)
rSR C Derek Gardella (2016)
rJR OF Mike Corin (2016)
SR 1B Connor Foreman (2016)
SR OF Ryan Olmo (2016)
rSO 2B/3B Chris Hess (2016)
JR C/3B Martin Taveras (2016)
SO LHP Tyler Wilson (2017)
SO LHP Dom Grillo (2017)
SO OF Jordan Powell (2017)

High Priority Follows: Steve Moyers, Brad Applin, Taso Stathopoulos, Derek Gardella, Mike Corin, Connor Foreman, Ryan Olmo, Chris Hess, Martin Taveras

Richmond

SR RHP Dan Martinson (2016)
rSR RHP Jonathan de Marte (2016)
JR RHP Robbie Baker (2016)
SR 1B Doug Kraeger (2016)
SR OF/SS Tyler Beckwith (2016)
SR OF Jansen Fraser (2016)
SR C Aaron Newman (2016)
rSR OF Michael Morman (2016)
JR INF Kurtis Brown (2016)
SO RHP Brendan McGuigan (2017)
SO 2B/RHP Keenan Bartlett (2017)
SO C Kyle Adams (2017)
SO C Brandon Johnson (2017)
SO INF/OF Daniel Brumbaugh (2017)
FR LHP Jacob Lamb (2018)
FR RHP Layne Looney (2018)

High Priority Follows: Doug Kraeger, Tyler Beckwith, Jansen Fraser, Michael Morman

St. Bonaventure

SR RHP Connor Grey (2016)
SR RHP Drew Teller (2016)
SR 3B/RHP Thad Johnson (2016)
JR OF Taishi Terashima (2016)
SR 1B Tyler Walter (2016)
SR 1B Ted Dilts (2016)
JR 2B Jared Baldinelli (2016)
JR C Bradley Gresock (2016)
SR 1B Tyler Kirwan (2016)
SO RHP Brandon Schlimm (2017)
SO RHP Aaron Phillips (2017)
SO RHP Ben Contento (2017)
SO LHP Nate Grant (2017)
SO SS Cole Peterson (2017)
FR OF Sam Fuller (2018)

High Priority Follows: Thad Johnson, Taishi Terashima

St. Joseph’s

SR LHP Jack Stover (2016)
SR RHP Tim McCarthy (2016)
JR RHP Pat Vanderslice (2016)
SR LHP Joe Manion (2016)
JR RHP Steve Powles (2016)
JR RHP Ryan Kelly (2016)
rSR RHP Tim Ponto (2016)
rSR RHP Ryan Otero (2016)
SR 1B Charlie Coghlin (2016)
SR OF John Brue (2016)
JR SS Taylor Boyd (2016)
JR OF Cal Jadacki (2016)
SO RHP Dominic Cuoci (2017)
SO RHP Justin Aungst (2017)
SO C Deon Stafford (2017)
SO SS/2B Matt Maul (2017)
FR 1B Charlie Concannon (2018)

High Priority Follows: Pat Vanderslice, Tim Ponto, Charlie Coghlin, John Brue, Taylor Boyd

Saint Louis

SR LHP Josh Moore (2016)
SR RHP Matt Eckelman (2016)
JR RHP Nick Vichio (2016)
JR LHP Brett Shimanovsky (2016)
JR RHP Zach Girrens (2016)
SR 3B/C Braxton Martinez (2016)
rJR OF Trent Leimkuehler (2016)
SR OF Michael Bozarth (2016)
SR 3B/SS Josh Bunselmeyer (2016)
JR INF Danny Mannion (2016)
rSO INF Michael Cusenza (2016)
SO RHP Connor Lehmann (2017)
SO RHP Luke Sommerfeld (2017)
SO SS Alex King (2017)
SO C James Morisano (2017)
SO OF Parker Sniatynski (2017)
FR RHP Jackson Wark (2018)
FR RHP Miller Hogan (2018)
FR OF Curtis Whitten (2018)
FR 2B/SS Cole Dubet (2018)

High Priority Follows: Josh Moore, Matt Eckelman, Nick Vichio, Zach Girrens, Braxton Martinez, Michael Bozarth, Josh Bunselmeyer

Virginia Commonwealth

JR LHP Matt Jamer (2016)
JR RHP Luke Crabb (2016)
JR LHP Brooks Vial (2016)
JR RHP Matt Oxner (2016)
JR RHP Sam Donko (2016)
SR OF Cody Acker (2016)
JR OF/2B Logan Farrar (2016)
SR OF James Bunn (2016)
SR 2B Cooper Mickelson (2016)
SR OF Jimmy Kerrigan (2016)
SR C Walker Haymaker (2016)
JR 2B/SS Matt Davis (2016)
JR 1B/3B Darian Carpenter (2016)
SO RHP Garrett Pearson (2017)
SO RHP Sean Thompson (2017)
rFR C Brett Hileman (2017)
SO INF Daane Berezo (2017)
FR RHP Jack Alkire (2018)
FR RHP Ben Dum (2018)
FR SS Zac Ching (2018)

High Priority Follows: Cody Acker, Logan Farrar, James Bunn, Jimmy Kerrigan, Matt Davis, Darian Carpenter

Atlantic 10 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Fordham JR C Charles Galiano
Richmond rSO 1B Matt Dacey
George Mason JR 2B Brandon Gum
Virginia Commonwealth SR SS Vimael Machin
Saint Louis JR 3B Braxton Martinez
Richmond JR OF Tanner Stanley
Davidson JR OF Lee Miller
Richmond JR OF Jansen Fraser
Richmond rSR LHP Chris Bates
Richmond SR RHP Ryan Cook
George Mason rSR LHP Jake Kalish
La Salle rSR RHP Adam Cherry
Rhode Island Jr RHP Brad Applin

There’s always some talent to be found in the Atlantic 10 and the draft class of 2015 has a few names — Braxton Martinez! — that could surprise casual observers with how high they go this June. JR C Charles Galiano (Fordham) shows just enough with the bat to combine with his athleticism, arm strength, and defensive aptitude to give him a potential backup catcher future. There are also an unusual number of potential power bats in the conference; arguably none are better than rSO 1B Matt Dacey (Richmond). His relative inexperience gives hope that he’ll make strides in terms of approach, which would in turn help him further unlock his prodigious raw power. He mashed last year even as he showed signs of that aforementioned raw approach, so the sky is the limit for him as a hitter as he gains experience. A quartet of powerful senior sign first basemen gives the conference a boost of offense and a chance to make some noise in the mid- to late-rounds of the draft. SR 1B Mark Williams (La Salle) is a big man (6-6, 240) with power to match. SR 1B Ryan Lowe (Davidson) brings a little less power and a little more athleticism. SR 1B Mike Vigliarolo (Saint Louis) splits the difference between the two while SR 1B AJ Ryan (Dayton) could be a late bloomer.

The three middle infielders to make the list below all deserve a look in pro ball. What’s most interesting about the trio to me is how SR SS Vimael Machin (VCU) and SR SS Tim Caputo (Rhode Island) serve as instructional comps for JR 2B Brandon Gum (George Mason). I liked Machin and Caputo a fair amount last year as juniors, but fully understood why both wound up back at school this year and find themselves hoping to play their way into the draft as senior signs. What you see is what you get with both players; there’s no carrying tool (or even a clearly above-average one), but, outside of marginal at best power, no obvious weaknesses to their games either. You could do worse in your search for organizational depth, but the fact remains guys like that do not often get selected and signed as juniors. Likewise, Gum has the skill set to be draft-worthy, but I’d actually put him behind both Machin and Caputo at similar stages of development. All of this is a too long way of saying I think Gum has a good shot to be drafted, but not until 2016. For Machin and Caputo, the time is now…or never.

A smarter writer would have led this off with JR 3B Braxton Martinez (Saint Louis) and JR OF Tanner Stanley (Richmond), the unquestioned (in my mind) two best prospects in the league. Instead they find themselves buried here at the bottom of the hitters. Sometimes that’s just how life goes, I suppose. I can’t say enough nice things about Martinez. He’s an outstanding defender at the hot corner with plus hands and a strong arm. He’s also a really mature, powerful young hitter who knows how to use the whole field. Martinez is the kind of player that makes maintaining this site so much fun. He’s relatively unheralded and perhaps a little overlooked nationally, but when it comes time to rank the best third base prospects in the country he’ll get all the attention his talent deserves. Stanley feels even less well known at the national level, but that should change shortly. He’s one of college ball’s better “leadoff profile” position players, checking almost every box you want out of his type of player. Up-the-middle defensive profile? Above-average or better speed? Patient approach? Enough pop to keep opposing pitchers honest? Check, check, check, and check. Really nice prospect.

I think by now my excitement for the A-10’s position players is pretty well established. Martinez and maybe Stanley could grow into big league regulars. There are some interesting power bats at first and in the outfield. There are also some potentially useful utility infielders. All in all, it’s a lot to like. I’m not sure I can be quite as sunny about the pitching. The one-two punch out of Richmond (rSR LHP Chris Bates and SR RHP Ryan Cook) stand out as perhaps the only two pitchers set to be drafted in 2015. Bates is a lefty with size (6-5, 210), a fastball that touches the low-90s, a quality curve, and a strong (when healthy) collegiate track record. Cook is a righthander with a touch more fastball, a quality slider, and a strong collegiate track record. Turns out my subconscious plagiarized me from last year…

In a conference with a ton of relief prospects with big league upside, there’s certainly an argument to be made that JR RHP Ryan Cook is the best. He has the fastball (88-93), above-average SL (82-84), and flashes of dominance to rise up boards with a big spring. Minority, and possibly foolish, opinion: rJR LHP Chris Bates is as good a pro prospect as his more highly acclaimed teammate Cook. Bates sits at a lower velocity (upper-80s, mostly), but can crank it to a similar peak (92-93). His size (6-5, 200 pounds), breaking ball (quality), and performance (9.58 K/9 in 41.1 IP last season) add up to a draftable talent.

Whoever wrote that sure knew his stuff…

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Saint Louis JR 3B Braxton Martinez
  2. Richmond JR OF Tanner Stanley
  3. Davidson JR OF Lee Miller
  4. Richmond rSO 1B Matt Dacey
  5. Virginia Commonwealth SR SS Vimael Machin
  6. St. Joseph’s SR 3B Stefan Kancylarz
  7. Fordham JR C Charles Galiano
  8. Richmond JR OF Jansen Fraser
  9. La Salle SR 1B Mark Williams
  10. Davidson SR 1B Ryan Lowe
  11. Rhode Island SR SS Tim Caputo
  12. George Mason JR 2B/SS Brandon Gum
  13. George Mason SR OF Luke Willis
  14. La Salle SR OF Justin Korenblatt
  15. Saint Louis SR OF Danny Murphy
  16. George Washington SR OF Ryan Xepoleas
  17. Saint Louis SR 1B Mike Vigliarolo
  18. Dayton SR 1B AJ Ryan
  19. Saint Louis JR OF Michael Bozarth
  20. Rhode Island rJR C Derek Gardella

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching 

  1. Richmond rSR LHP Chris Bates
  2. Richmond SR RHP Ryan Cook
  3. George Mason rSR LHP Jake Kalish
  4. La Salle rSR RHP Adam Cherry
  5. Rhode Island JR RHP Brad Applin
  6. Saint Louis rSR LHP Damian Rivera
  7. Fordham JR RHP Brett Kennedy
  8. St. Bonaventure JR RHP Steven Klimek