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2016 MLB Draft Reviews – Kansas City Royals

Top 500 Prospects Drafted by Kansas City in 2016

123 – Chris DeVito
170 – Logan Gray
183 – Khalil Lee
201 – AJ Puckett
253 – Nicky Lopez
404 – Jace Vines
455 – Dalton Griffin

Complete List of 2016 Kansas City Draftees

2.67 – RHP AJ Puckett

Not having a pick until after sixty-six prospects have already been chosen presents a unique challenge for any drafting team. The Royals opted to approach this conundrum by selecting a college performer with a long track record of success and a high probability of reaching his modest yet plenty useful ceiling. Fair enough. AJ Puckett (201) carved up hitters for three straight seasons at Pepperdine as one of the west coast’s most underappreciated collegiate arms. He’s been really good yet never dominant peripherally — 7.74 K/9, 7.52 K/9, and 8.61 K/9 — though his junior year dip in ERA to 1.27 after two seasons of 3.60 and 4.36 ball could obviously qualify as dominant run prevention in most quarters. Still, his good yet never dominant strikeout numbers dovetail nicely into a discussion about his good yet not dominant stuff. Puckett’s biggest strength is his ability to throw three average or better pitches for consistent strikes. His fastball ranges from 88 to 94 MPH (96 peak) with solid sink. His 73-78 MPH curve is an average pitch, but only in the sense that it sometimes flashes much better (above-average to plus) and sometimes has very little bend and gets hammered. Puckett’s changeup (79-85 MPH) isn’t all the way there yet, but shows signs of being an average to above-average pitch with continued use in the pros. With some projection left in his 6-4, 180 pound frame, a best case scenario could be a career not unlike what we’ve seen out of Alex Cobb to date.

3.103 – OF Khalil Lee

If you’re going to go safe with the first pick, then it only makes sense to swing for the fences with the next one. Highly athletic two-way prep star Khalil Lee (170) certainly qualifies as a big cut from the heels that could either result in a majestic home run or the cooling breeze of a major whiff and miss. Of course, that presupposes that boom/bust prospects result in all-or-nothing players; a swing for the fence can just as easily result in a double high off the wall or a sac fly. Prospect evaluation can mean many things to many people, but one thing it ain’t (or shouldn’t be) is an exercise in projecting binary outcomes. Anyway, Lee’s upside is considerable and the arrow on his likelihood of getting there is pointing up after a tremendous pro debut that saw him turn tools to skills quicker than just about anybody outside of the Kansas City front office could have anticipated.

Lee has the physical ability to be a star if he can remain in center feel as expected. He’d still have above-average regular upside in a corner — we know he has more than enough arm for right field — but the thought of him maintaining enough quickness and flexibility as he fills out to stick up the middle is particularly exciting. Offensively, Lee has the bat speed, swing plane, and muscle to hit for real power, average speed to do a little damage on the bases, and the keen understanding of the strike zone one might expect from a legitimate pitching prospect. There’s a lot to like when the overall package is taken into account.

4.133 – RHP Jace Vines

Draft-eligible sophomore Jace Vines (404) looks like a classic sinker/slider (88-92, 94 peak for the former; 83-86 and flashing plus for the latter) reliever to me with an outside shot at sticking in the rotation depending on how his changeup develops over time. I don’t hate it.

5.163 – SS Nicky Lopez

On Nicky Lopez (253) from March 2016…

Creighton’s best pro prospect for 2016 is Nicky Lopez, a slick fielding shortstop with plus speed and serious athleticism. Like the rest of the names at the top his bat might keep him as more utility player than starter. He’s a fine prospect in his own right, so hopefully this doesn’t come across the wrong way…but Lopez benefits greatly from being draft-eligible in 2016 and not 2015. Last year he might have gotten swept away with all the excellent college shortstop prospects getting popped early and often on draft day; this year, he stands out as one of the better options at the position for no other reason than the fact there’s little doubt he’ll stick there as a professional.

From that point on, Lopez grew on me a little bit with every passing day. Guys who hit .306/.417/.444 with twice as many walks (26) as strikeouts (13) in their draft year tend to do that. Beyond the obvious awesome plate discipline indicators, what I liked about Lopez is the steady increase in functional power (.038 ISO in 2014, .089 ISO in 2015, .138 ISO in 2016) and continued strong base running (83.3% career success rate). Those kind of secondary offensive skills and his longstanding quality defense at short — above-average range, plus arm, soft hands — elevate Lopez’s ceiling to a potential regular at short. If that’s too rich for you, then Lopez’s hot start should at least up the odds of him reaching his existing upside as a high-level utility guy.

6.193 – OF Cal Jones

Cal Jones is a classic, old school Royals draft pick. Take a special athlete with legit plus speed and more than enough range for center, and see if you can coach him up into a viable big league hitter. Great find by the Kansas City scouting staff. Now the really hard part comes for the development staff tasked with guiding Jones through the ups and downs of pro ball. I’m oddly optimistic on this one.

7.223 – RHP Travis Eckert

The Royals may have found themselves a late-bloomer in Travis Eckert, a steady yet unspectacular performer in two years at Oregon State who saw his stuff jump up across the board upon entering pro ball. What was once a fairly standard three-pitch command-oriented repertoire has been elevated to a slightly more interesting all-around profile thanks to a faster fastball (more flashes of mid-90s than his old 88-93 heat) and tighter 77-81 MPH breaking ball. Those two pitches combined with his solid 79-85 MPH changeup give him the requisite mix many teams require for a future in the rotation. I wouldn’t have put that that expectation on him six months ago — his immediate post-draft evaluation would have been something between unlikely middle relief help to minor league depth — but sometimes pro ball just agrees with a guy.

8.253 – 1B Chris DeVito

On Chris DeVito (123), the highest ranked player drafted by the Royals in this class, from March 2016…

I’m not yet sure what to make of Chris DeVito as an all-around prospect, but the confidence that he’ll hit as a pro grows by the week. The improvements he has made as a hitter, especially as he’s found a way to retain his big power while significantly decreasing the length of his swing, are real. One friend of mine affectionately refers to him as the “western Zack Collins.” My prospect love for Collins runs far too deep for me to go there, but I still like it. If DeVito can convince pro teams he can catch professionally, there’s no telling how high he can rise. I’m unsure if that’ll be the case – literally unsure: haven’t heard much in either direction about his glove, so I legitimately do not have an updated opinion on the matter – but I look forward to finding out more about his defense in the coming weeks. He’s a potentially great (top five round?) prospect – though I’d caution taking his offensive production with his offensive environments in mind — if he catch, and a good one (round six to ten?) if he’s forced to first base.

Of course, the Royals drafted DeVito, that same friend said after the fact, they already have his right-handed hitting counterpart in Chase Vallot. DeVito played exclusively first base in his pro debut, a sure sign that his number one job as a Royal will be to hit. Whether or not he’ll do so enough to be an everyday option going forward remains to be seen. I remain bullish on the Red Hercules as a plus power bat with patience and enough feel for contact to make a meaningful offensive impact at the highest level, so count me in on DeVito as a future regular.

9.283 – RHP Walker Sheller

Walker Sheller could be a quick-moving middle relief option for Kansas City as a funky strike-throwing fastball (87-93 MPH, 95 peak) and slider (low-80s, average but flashes better) righthander. It’s not the most explosive stuff or the highest ceiling, but it’s the kind of skill set that should play well in short bursts in the pros.

10.313 – LHP Richard Lovelady

It should be a pretty fun race to the big leagues between Walker Sheller and tenth rounder Richard Lovelady, a lefty reliever who can run it up to the mid-90s (sits 88-92ish) with a quality mid- to upper-70s breaking ball and usable upper-70s change. Good college numbers (10.26 K/9 and 4.93 BB/9) and a strong pro debut (10.80 K/9 and 3.24 BB/9) paint a pretty picture of a potential big league reliever.

11.343 – OF Vance Vizcaino

A big redshirt-sophomore season year at Stetson seemed to set Vance Vizcaino up for stardom at the college level, but his 2016 was a step back in just about every offensive area. That dip in production allowed the Royals to wait it out and and snag Vizcaino in the eleventh round. Getting someone closer to the 2015 version of Vizcaino would be a steal, but I can’t help but think that season will look more and more like an aberration the longer his career goes on. It isn’t that Vizcaino is a bad prospect — he isn’t — but he’s the epitome of an outfield tweener. He’s playable in center, sure, but much better in a corner. His speed is impressive, no doubt, but not quite on the level that I’d call it a clear carrying tool. His power is decent, yes, but not good enough to profile as a regular, especially in an outfield corner. Add it all up and the Tennessee transfer could be a useful backup outfielder in time if everything goes right. There’s no shame in profiling as a bench player, but I’d want a little more in a round that has turned into one where most teams target high upside, overslot gambles. That’s not Vizcaino.

12.373 – RHP Jeremy Gwinn

I was no Jeremy Gwinn expert in the spring and I’m no Jeremy Gwinn expert now. What I do know about him, however, I like. He’s got size at 6-5, 200 pounds. He’s got a good fastball at 90-94 MPH (95 peak). He can reach back and use one of three offspeed pitches (SL, CB, CU) in any count. His numbers at Colby CC this past year (11.85 K/9 and 2.39 BB/9 in 79.0 IP) were excellent. There is a lot to like here.

13.403 – 2B Logan Gray

Plate discipline is at or near the top of my list of required skills for any college hitter I’ll champion. It does seem, however, that every year there is a player or two who I can’t help but like in spite of consistently ugly BB/K ratios. One of those guys this year was Logan Gray (170). An optimistic take from April 2016…

All Logan Gray does is hit. There’s no point in me doubting him anymore. I’m sure there are scouts who don’t love every aspect of his swing or his bat speed or the way he circles the bases after hitting yet another home run, but at some point his extended run of hitting, hitting, and hitting some more has to matter. His athleticism and speed should translate to some steals (double-digits upside?) as he climbs the ladder and his power should play.

And a slightly more measured take from June 2016 right before the draft…

Logan Gray’s approach never took the step forward I was hoping to see (his sophomore to junior numbers are eerily similar), but he’s still so tooled up otherwise that he’s more than justified being a long-time FAVORITE. This class is dying for real third base prospects, so a raw yet highly athletic guy like Gray is very much welcomed.

There is so much about Gray’s game to like. He can run, he has power, he’s a great athlete, he’s capable of playing multiple spots…but the elephant in the room has been and figures to continue to be his approach. The downside to his game couldn’t have been made more clear in his 132 plate appearance debut in the Royals organization. Gray struggled to make contact (.187 BA), was unable to get into his plus raw power (.073 ISO), struck out a ton (34.8%), and barely walked at all (4.5 BB%). I’m not hopping off the bandwagon altogether after just 132 lousy plate appearances, but the fact that his struggles were so on the nose with what he’s had issues with in the past is more than a little concerning. Still, players with the kind of natural ability that Gray has shown don’t come around all that often, especially at the low low price of a thirteenth round pick. I had Gray valued at something closer to the fifth round — too early, probably, but defensible in this class when upside is taken into account — so it should go without saying that I love it in round thirteen. Whether or not Gray ever figures things out at the plate and gets past AA won’t make this pick any less clever to me. Process over results forever.

14.433 – RHP David McKay

David McKay joins a big group of relief prospects that could include every pitcher taken by Kansas City past their first overall selection. Competition for innings should be fierce in the early going, so McKay will need to impress as much as possible with his strong fastball (88-93) and breaking ball (once a plus slider, now far more of a curve as he’s adjusted to life post-Tommy John surgery) when called upon. So far, he’s done just that…

8.32 K/9 – 3.05 BB/9 – 44.1 IP – 2.64 ERA
7.96 K/9 – 3.14 BB/9 – 74.2 IP – 3.74 ERA

Top is what McKay did in his pro debut, bottom shows his redshirt-sophomore season at Florida Atlantic. Can’t knock the man for being consistent, that’s for sure. I like this pick a lot.

15.463 – LHP Mike Messier

I know it happened almost three weeks ago, but I still can’t get over Jaromir Jagr passing Mark Messier for second place on the all-time NHL points list. Jagr was old (but awesome) when I had the pleasure of watching him nightly with the Flyers and that was five years ago. This has nothing to do with Mike Messier and I apologize for that. Turning our attention back to baseball, kudos to the Royals for sticking with Messier despite a somewhat rocky junior season (4.75 ERA, highest among the three weekend starters) at Bellarmine. His peripherals remained solid (10.50 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9) and his stuff (88-92 FB) never wavered. Lefthanders with a certain baseline of velocity will always appeal to teams on draft day.

16.493 – OF Nick Heath

The pre-draft take on Nick Heath…

I like rJR OF Nick Heath as a potential high-contact, athletic, plus running center fielder, but the complete lack of power undermines what he does well otherwise. He’s more fun college player than serious pro prospect until he can start driving a few more balls to the gaps. They can’t all be power hitters, but the threat of power is a must in the pro game.

That feels pretty fair to me. Heath does enough well to potentially keep rising and make it as a reserve speed/defense outfielder, but the absence of power keeps his ceiling low. Solid depth piece at this point in the draft.

17.523 – RHP Dillon Drabble

A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space. Sounds a little bit like Twitter on a slightly larger scale. I’m much too dumb to write fiction, but let’s try to write a drabble about Dillon Drabble.

Dillon Drabble was drafted in the seventeenth round by Kansas City out of Seminole State JC in Oklahoma. He pitched well as a sophomore (10.45 K/9 and 3.19 BB/9) using a solid fastball (88-92) and cut-slider combination to get more than his fair share of swings and misses and a boatload of ground ball outs. He kept it up in his pro debut, notable mostly for a whopping 65.15 GB% on all batted balls in his 60.1 innings pitched. One contact who saw them both pitch in 2016 said he preferred Drabble to Kansas City’s similarly skilled fourth round pick, Jace Vines.

102 words! So close! I didn’t even get to talk about the comic strip as planned. Can’t win ’em all.

18.553 – LHP Vance Tatum

Two players named Vance in one draft class has to be a record, right? Vance Tatum is a fine find this late in the draft. The big lefty from Mississippi State has always done the job when called upon (7.73 K/9 and 3.45 BB/9 in 96.2 career college IP) thanks to enough velocity (85-91 FB), a true plus changeup, and a usable 76-81 MPH breaking ball. An imperfect comp for him that may have some merit, especially if he picks up a little velocity: Luis Avilan.

19.583 – RHP Tyler Fallwell

No matter what Fangraphs says, it’s Tyler Fallwell and not Falwell. The real Fallwell had a final draft year at Cochise (10.96 K/9 and 3.62 BB/9) and throws three pitches (88-92 MPH fastball, up-and-down slider, decent changeup) for strikes.

20.613 – RHP Anthony Bender

With a 9.94 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, and 1.65 ERA, Anthony Bender made his abbreviated sophomore year (16.1 IP) at Santa Rosa count. Armed with a fastball that could flirt with triple-digits in time (up to 97 already), Bender is exactly what you want in a mid-round quick-moving potential reliever.

21.643 – OF Dalton Griffin

I like a lot of elements in Dalton Griffin’s (455) game. He’s a solid runner with a strong arm, enough range to handle all three outfield spots (not at the same time though, that would be nuts), and a mature approach at the plate. Or, if that one sentence synopsis of Griffin doesn’t do it for you, how about just celebrating the fact that literally any high school prospect signed this late is worth getting at least a little excited about.

22.673 – RHP Cody Nesbit

Sometimes, just knowing a guy’s numbers can be enough. Cody Nesbit dominated this past spring at San Jacinto JC to the tune of a 15.60 K/9 and 2.00 BB/9. Knowing nothing beyond that, I’d still say that’s enough for me.

The Royals gave Nesbit $100,000 to sign. For those new at this, that’s the maximum amount allowed to a draft pick past the tenth round without dipping into the bonus pool allotment. The fact that Nesbit, a dominant junior college arm, got one hundred grand is wholly unremarkable. The fact that Nesbit is the is the twelfth Royal in a row to get a real signing bonus — ten of whom got six-figure bonuses — is pretty damn great. I love that Kansas City threw around that extra cash to get the players they wanted. I also love that the players got some real money upfront to help supplement their meager minor league salaries. I know Major League Baseball isn’t a charity, but if I was in charge of the draft room I’d push hard to give literally every player taken past round ten the full $100,000. There’s no penalty to doing so with the only real cost being a few extra bucks missing from the owner’s bottom line. I know it’s easy to say since it’s not my money, but the amount of good will around the game and potential for positive PR could pay for itself in time. A relatively small investment — the Royals signed 27 guys past round ten, so that would be $2.7 million if they followed my plan to the letter — that opens up the talent pool and could engender good feelings that resonate for years to come? Seems like something you could sell an open-minded owner on to me.

23.703 – OF Kort Peterson

UCLA has a deserved reputation of being a pitching factory in recent years. Everybody knows the big names like Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, but the Bruins have put big league pitchers like Charles Brewer, Erik Goeddel, Matt Grace, Rob Rasmussen, and Adam Plutko in the big leagues since 2009. James Kaprielian will join those guys shortly — he’s far more Cole/Bauer than any of those others — with Griffin Canning, Jake Bird, Justin Hooper, and Kyle Molnar all waiting in the wings. But the Bruins deserve equal credit for recruiting, developing, and sending off a slew of interesting high-contact, well-rounded offensive players to the pro ranks of late.

Maybe the group of Eric Filia, Kevin Kramer, and Tyler Heineman doesn’t have quite the same star power of that Cole/Bauer/Kaprielian trio, but all three are professional hitters who could carve out long pro careers if things fall the right way for them. I’d put Kort Peterson in that same class. Peterson doesn’t have any clear standout tools, but he’s a smart hitter with enough speed, range, and power to make a little noise in pro ball. His biggest selling point is his athleticism, so there’s more growth potential here than his good but not great college track record might suggest. I think my own track record (such as it is) of being bearish on college players who haven’t put up great numbers as amateurs (like Peterson) should indicate that I like the former UCLA outfielder’s overall skill set more than most.

24.733 – C Mike McCann

A torn thumb ligament cut short Mike McCann’s breakout junior season at Seattle, but the Royals made him a twenty-fourth round pick anyway. I heartily approve. McCann’s bat is ahead of his glove for me, but I still think he has the smarts if not the physical gifts to remain a catcher for the foreseeable future. A case could certainly be made that you’d rather have the smart catcher who can think along with your young pitching in the middle rounds than a bigger armed, better all-around defensive player lacking in the baseball IQ department. I’d take the latter guy early — big league tools are big league tools, after all — but, knowing what we know about the realistic success rate of players drafted at this point, getting a guy who will help with the overall development of his teammates makes perfect sense to me. Make no mistake, McCann is no slouch as a prospect in his own right. In a class loaded with college catching, his half-season (.319/.491/.445 with 37 BB/19 K) stands up to almost anybody’s. Great value here.

25.763 – 1B Robby Rinn

Robby Rinn is an older prospect (turned 24 this past October) confined to first base, so he’ll have to hurry up and start hitting if he wants to keep getting steady playing time in pro ball. His pro debut was fine (.280/.341/.386, 109 wRC+), but it was all in the AZL. That’s not Rinn’s fault — you can only play where you’re assigned — but he has to hope now that the Royals move him a lot quicker than that starting next spring. I believe in him as a hitter, but acknowledge that the odds are against him for a whole bunch of reasons.

26.793 – 3B John Brontsema

I don’t really understand this one. John Brontsema was already in my 2017 MLB Draft notes as a potential senior-sign — he has a solid glove and can play multiple spots — because I figured his unexciting junior season (.289/.364/.389 with 16 BB/44 K) would cause him to go undrafted. The Royals saw differently. Brontsema has rewarded that faith so far with a .337/.386/.396 (13 BB/33 K) debut.

27.823 – LHP Rex Hill

Rex Hill fell a little bit further than a three-pitch lefthander with good size (6-3, 200) probably should have. Perhaps it has something to do with Hill’s upper-80s fastball not being what pro teams want. I’d take it when combined with two average or better offspeed pitches (77-81 change, upper-70s breaking ball) and the chance he’ll gain a tick or two of velocity in a more consistent relief role. Worth a shot.

28.853 – C Yordany Salva

Yordany Salva hit .276/.339/.429 with 15 BB/33 K and 12/14 SB in his sophomore season at Broward CC. That’s all I’ve got. Typically those numbers wouldn’t be enough to be on my draft list, but the Royals obviously like him. We’ll see. Early reports on his defense have been positive, so at least there’s that to build on.

1/17 EDIT: As Shaun Newkirk of Royals Review points out, Salva has already been released by the Royals. It was fun while it lasted.

29.883 – RHP Grant Gavin

From 10.29 K/9 and 3.53 BB/9 (2.64 ERA) in 30.2 IP at Central Missouri to 8.57 K/9 and 0.91 BB/9 (2.01 ERA) in 49.1 IP in his pro debut: not a bad spring and summer for Grant Gavin. With a fastball up to 94 MPH, emerging offspeed stuff (CB and CU), and plenty of athleticism, Gavin could wind up one of this draft’s sneakier quick-moving relief prospects.

30.913 – RHP Geoff Bramblett

An established workhorse pitcher from the SEC with solid stuff across the board — 87-93 fastball, good low-70s breaking ball, improving sinking changeup — and plus athleticism still on the board tor the Royals in the thirtieth round? This is a pick you run to the phone to make. Nice work here.

31.943 – RHP Malcolm Van Buren

There’s literally nothing not to like about Kansas City taking a shot on Malcolm Van Buren in the thirty-first round. Athleticism, velocity (low-90s, up to 93), intriguing assortment of offspeed stuff (CB, CU, SL), and a 6-4, 185 pound frame with plenty of growth potential. The only issue here is his recent Tommy John surgery, but teams knew about the heading into the draft. If anything, strictly from a draft value perspective from the Royals point of view, Van Buren’s injury can be considered a positive. A healthy Van Buren goes twenty rounds sooner. As if I didn’t like this pick enough, the selection of Van Buren gives me an excuse to link to the classic clip you see below. When (fine, if) I sit down and try to determine my favorite picks across baseball from this draft, it’ll be hard to leave this one off.

34.1033 – RHP Nathan Webb

Very cool piece from a story on Nathan Webb, a pitcher I pretty much know nothing else about…

Safe to say he is the only member of the draft class who already has been presented with a World Series ring from the team.

That’s right, Webb, a right-handed pitcher, is one of four members of his high school team who works on the Royals’ grounds crew. The crew received rings.

“More than a replica,” said Lee’s Summit North baseball coach Mike Westacott. “They were really nice.”

How great is that? Good for the Royals.

35.1063 – C MJ Sanchez

When I start compiling notes for these draft reviews, I do so by collecting any and all relevant links that can add to the discussion about a given player. For reasons not particularly clear to me now, I found this link and decided it was worth saving. I can only guess that it had something to do with correctly guessing that the Jets would trade up to take Mark Sanchez. From there I linked Mark Sanchez to MJ Sanchez since MJ’s given name is also Mark. This is what passes for analysis in the thirty-fifth round. For what it’s worth, Sanchez hit well (.323/.384/.455 with 13 BB/15 K) in his redshirt-junior season at California Baptist. Have to figure that experience catching Tyson Miller, the highest drafted player in Lancers history, doesn’t hurt, either. It certainly helped Sanchez get multiple looks from scouts when he might have otherwise been given just a passing glance. I love it when a big-time prospect helps draw in scouts and gives exposure to talented teammates. I’m convinced there are way more good players out there than there are scouts on the road capable of seeing everybody. If you’re good they’ll find you, but getting a little serendipitous help along the way makes things a lot easier.

36.1093 – RHP Alex Massey

Alex Massey going all the way back to 2012 (!) at Tulane…

2012: 8.06 K/9 – 2.45 BB/9 – 51.1 IP
2014: 9.92 K/9 – 4.13 BB/9 – 32.2 IP
2015: 7.47 K/9 – 4.70 BB/9 – 88.1 IP
2016: 7.89 K/9 – 3.11 BB/9 – 75.0 IP

Four pretty solid seasons, all in all. Massey did it with a good sinking fastball (88-92 as a starter, but can run it up to 94-95 in shorter outings) and an above-average slider. That’s more than enough to warrant inclusion in the great big future middle relief pile the Royals have assembled through this draft.

37.1123 – RHP Justin Camp

Justin Camp had a weird college career at Auburn. He was basically the same guy in 2013, 2014, and 2016, but something much more in 2015. What do you do with that? I guess if you’re the Royals you take it in the thirty-seventh round and hope for the best. Camp has good stuff — 90-93 FB, low-70s CU, low-80s breaking ball — with decent command. Tough to see him being much more than an organizational arm, but he’s a bit more talented than your typical bottom of the draft selection.

39.1183 – C Chase Livingston

Chase Livingston was drafted by a MLB baseball team — the defending champs no less! — and I was not, so he’s clearly got plenty going for him and doesn’t need my approval in any way whatsoever. That’s why I don’t feel bad in pointing out that he might have the worst body of work of any 2016 MLB Draft pick. Livingston hit .202/.273/.267 with 25 BB/86 K in 337 AB at Rhode Island. His big senior year saw him put up a career-best .309 SLG as he hit .216 with a .275 OBP (11 BB/39 K). Naturally, he turned into a much better hitter (or had a nice run of fortune on balls in play in a small sample) in pro ball as he hit .273/.375/.273 (8 BB/11 K) in 66 PA split between two levels of rookie ball. With college numbers like his, the only way I can begin to rationalize this pick is to assume Livingston is the world’s greatest defensive catcher. It’s basically Nichols’ Law of Catcher Defense come to life.

40.1213 – RHP Taylor Kaczmarek

Some teams end with pointless nepotism picks, others pick players they have developed lasting long-term relationships with — the Royals originally drafted Taylor Kaczmarek out of South Mountain CC in 2012 — battling their way back from beating acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Kaczmarek is a feel-good story to be sure, but he’s not some total charity case selection: the reliever from San Diego has been up to 90 MPH with his fastball in the past.

Unsigned Prospects and Where You Can Find Them in 2017

Luke Bandy (Dallas Baptist), Kam Misner (Missouri), Joey Fregosi (?)

2016 MLB Draft – College Update

We’re now one month’s worth of games into the college season, so it feels like as good a time as any to take the temperature of the top college prospects in this class. All stats are updated as of games played on March 12 or March 13 depending on when the games ended yesterday. I used this post to frame the discussion.

Many, many, many players I like were not included in this update. I say this knowing full well how obnoxious it sounds, but trust that I know about your favorite player’s hot start. Neither malice nor ignorance is the cause of their exclusion. It’s simply a time and space thing. That said, feel free to bring up said favorite players’s hot starts in the comments. The more the merrier there, I say.

C Zack Collins – Miami – .400/.576/.733 – 19 BB/9 K – 0/1 SB – 45 AB
1B Will Craig – Wake Forest – .458/.581/1.021 – 10 BB/7 K – 48 AB
2B Nick Senzel – Tennessee – .393/.500/.589 – 14 BB/6 K – 7/8 SB – 56 AB
SS Michael Paez – Coastal Carolina – .328/.418/.483 – 6 BB/11 K – 0/2 SB – 58 AB
3B Bobby Dalbec – Arizona – .191/.350/.319 – 10 BB/17 K – 0/1 SB – 47 AB
OF Kyle Lewis – Mercer – .466/.581/.879 – 15 BB/8 K – 1/2 SB – 58 AB
OF Buddy Reed – Florida – .306/.411/.468 – 10 BB/12 K – 7/7 SB – 62 AB
OF Corey Ray – Louisville – .377/.452/.738 – 9 BB/6 K – 20/22 SB – 61 AB

We knew Collins could hit, so his great start is hardly a surprise. Still, those numbers are insane, very much under-the-radar nationally (source: my Twitter feed), and more than good enough to play at first base if you don’t think he’s worth trying behind the plate as a pro. It took Kyle Schwarber a long time to gain national acceptance as a potential top ten pick; I could see Collins following a similar path between now and June. He’s already very much in that mix for me.

Craig is a monster. The only note I’d pass along with his scorching start is that Wake Forest has played 12 of their first 17 games in the very friendly offensive confines of their home park. I still love the bat.

Senzel is yet another of the top prospect bats off to a wild start at the plate. Got an Anthony Rendon-lite comp on him recently that I think fits fairly well.

Much has been made about Ray’s start — rightfully so as he’s been awesome — that what Lewis has done so far has been overlooked some. I’m not blind to the fact that Ray’s functional speed and higher level of competition faced make him the preferred college outfielder for many, but no reason to sleep on Lewis.

RHP Alec Hansen – Oklahoma – 13.20 K/9 – 7.20 BB/9 – 6.00 ERA – 15.0 IP
LHP Matt Krook – Oregon – 14.32 K/9 – 7.67 BB/9 – 4.08 ERA – 17.2 IP
RHP Connor Jones – Virginia – 7.91 K/9 – 1.98 BB/9 – 1.98 ERA – 27.1 IP
LHP AJ Puk – Florida – 9.53 K/9 – 4.76 BB/9 – 2.65 ERA – 17.0 IP
RHP Dakota Hudson – Mississippi State – 12.20 K/9 – 5.72 BB/9 – 1.90 ERA – 23.2 IP

Funny how three of the top five have lines that line up similarly so far. I think Jones has shown the best mix of stuff and results out of this top tier this spring. I also think that right now there really isn’t a realistic college arm that can lay claim to being in the 1-1 mix. Early returns on the top of the 2016 college class: bats > arms.

C Sean Murphy – Wright State – .259/.429/.778 – 5 BB/5 K – 0/0 SB – 27 AB
1B Pete Alonso – Florida – .424/.493/.661 – 8 BB/4 K – 1/1 SB – 59 AB
2B JaVon Shelby – Kentucky – .341/.481/.756 – 8 BB/7 K – 2/2 SB – 41 AB
SS Logan Gray – Austin Peay State – .327/.450/.755 – 11 BB/16 K – 2/2 SB – 49 AB
3B Sheldon Neuse – Oklahoma – .340/.493/.698 – 16 BB/14 K – 6/6 SB – 53 AB
OF Bryan Reynolds – Vanderbilt – .345/.486/.618 – 14 BB/18 K – 2/5 SB – 55 AB
OF Jake Fraley – Louisiana State – .400/.500/.583 – 12 BB/7 K – 11/15 SB – 60 AB
OF Nick Banks – Texas A&M – .263/.317/.421 – 2 BB/6 K – 0/0 SB – 38 AB

While the First Team has had a few slow starters (Dalbec for sure, Paez if you’re picking nits about his BB/K), the Second Team is rolling from top to bottom. Murphy and Banks have been slowed some by injuries, but otherwise these guys are mashing.

It speaks to how great Lewis and Ray (and even Reed to an extent) have been this year that neither Reynolds nor Fraley have gained much traction as top outfield prospects in the national consciousness. Both are really good players who will make their drafting teams very happy in June.

It’s taken me a few years, but I finally realized who Banks reminds me of as a prospect: Hunter Renfroe. I’m not yet sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing.

RHP Cal Quantrill – Stanford
LHP Matt Crohan – Winthrop – 9.95 K/9 – 0.47 BB/9 – 2.37 ERA – 19.0 IP
RHP Zach Jackson – Arkansas – 11.71 K/9 – 5.12 BB/9 – 2.19 ERA – 12.1 IP
RHP Robert Tyler – Georgia – 13.94 K/9 – 1.69 BB/9 – 3.38 ERA – 21.1 IP
LHP Garrett Williams – Oklahoma State

I really liked Keith Law’s Ryan Madson comp for Tyler. I’m high enough on Tyler to modify that and use it as a potential MLB floor because I think Tyler has a better chance to continue developing a good enough breaking ball to go through a lineup multiple times.

The relative struggles of some of the top college pitchers in this class leave the door wide open for a guy like Quantrill coming back from injury to seriously enter the 1-1 conversation.

C Matt Thaiss – Virginia – .361/.473/.541 – 12 BB/1 K – 0/1 SB – 61 AB
1B Carmen Beneditti – Michigan – .298/.452/.426 – 10 BB/4 K – 3/4 SB – 47 AB
2B Cavan Biggio – Notre Dame – .229/.448/.313 – 17 BB/10 K – 4/4 SB – 48 AB
SS Colby Woodmansee – Arizona State – .370/.486/.630 – 14 BB/9 K – 1/1 SB – 54 AB
3B Lucas Erceg – Menlo (CA) – .342/.378/.685 – 5 BB/6 K – 0 SB – 111 AB
OF Ryan Boldt – Nebraska – .318/.382/.424 – 6 BB/8 K – 7/12 SB – 66 AB
OF Stephen Wrenn – Georgia – .353/.424/.471 – 5 BB/9 K – 4/7 SB – 51 AB
OF Ronnie Dawson – Ohio State – .263/.354/.509 – 8 BB/9 K – 3/4 SB – 57 AB

Love Thaiss. Loved Biggio, but starting to re-calibrate my expectations a little. Same for Boldt. Never loved Woodmansee, but I’m beginning to get it. Erceg’s start confuses me. It’s excellent, obviously, but the numbers reflect a high-contact approach that doesn’t show up in any of the scouting notes on him. Consider my curiosity piqued.

LHP Eric Lauer – Kent State – 8.05 K/9 – 4.02 BB/9 – 1.82 ERA – 24.2 IP
RHP Michael Shawaryn – Maryland – 7.04 K/9 – 3.33 BB/9 – 3.33 ERA – 24.1 IP
RHP Daulton Jefferies – California – 11.42 K/9 – 1.73 BB/9 – 1.04 ERA – 26.0 IP
RHP Kyle Serrano – Tennessee – 3.2 IP
RHP Kyle Funkhouser – Louisville – 8.77 K/9 – 5.34 BB/9 – 4.18 ERA – 23.2 IP

When I re-do the college rankings (coming soon!), I think this is where we’ll see some serious movers and shakers. Things are wide open after the top eight or so pitchers as the conversation shifts move towards high-floor fourth/fifth starters rather than top half of the rotation possibilities. I’ve read and heard some of the Jefferies top half of the first round buzz, and I’ve been slow to buy in so far. I like him a lot, but that feels rich. Then I remember that Mike Leake climbed as high as eighth overall back in my first draft doing this, so anything is possible.

Now for some prospects that weren’t on the preseason teams that has caught my eye so far…

Logan Shore – Florida – 9.33 K/9 – 0.67 BB/9 – 2.00 ERA – 27.0 IP
Jordan Sheffield – Vanderbilt – 13.17 K/9 – 2.56 BB/9 – 1.09 ERA – 24.2 IP
Corbin Burnes – St. Mary’s – 11.20 K/9 – 2.32 BB/9 – 3.09 ERA – 23.1 IP
Bailey Clark – Duke – 10.50 K/9 – 2.63 BB/9 – 3.38 ERA – 24.0 IP

I’ve been slow to appreciate Sheffield, but I’m on board now. My lazy but potentially prescient comp to Dillon Tate is something I can’t shake. Clark vs Zach Jackson is a fun head-to-head prospect battle that pits two of my favorite raw arms with questions about long-term role holding them back.

Nick Solak – Louisville – .434/.563/.585 – 15 BB/5 K – 6/6 SB – 53 AB
Bryson Brigman – San Diego – .424/.472/.515 – 3 BB/4 K – 5/7 SB – 33 AB
Stephen Alemais – Tulane – .462/.477/.641 – 3 BB/6 K – 4/5 SB – 39 AB
Jake Rogers – Tulane – .302/.471/.547 – 13 BB/11 K – 5/5 SB – 53 AB
Errol Robinson – Mississippi – .226/.317/.358 – 7 BB/8 K – 2/2 SB – 53 AB
Logan Ice – Oregon State – .463/.520/1.024 – 5 BB/1 K – 0/0 SB – 41 AB
Trever Morrison – Oregon State – .400/.456/.600 – 5 BB/12 K – 0/1 SB – 50 AB

Solak’s start is a thing of beauty. Rogers and Ice add to the impressive depth at the top of the catching class. It’ll be interesting to see which C/SS combo gets drafted higher between Oregon State and Tulane.

2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Ohio Valley

It may just be me, but I’m starting to detect a trend towards hitters over pitchers in these conference prospect lists so far. This comes as a surprise as I would have told anybody who would listen – like my dog, if I had one – that this year’s college pitching group, on the whole, represented one of the strengths of the draft class. I don’t think that was a “wrong” first impression per se — going back through the archives over the past two weeks sees positive things written about Matt Crohan, Parker Bean, Andre Scrubb, Eric Lauer, Nick Deeg, Zach Plesac, Keegan Akin, Aaron Civale, Bailey Ober, and Dustin Hunt, among others – but more of a testament to the kind of high-end potential hitters that could be found in the draft’s mid- to late-rounds for teams willing to look a bit deeper into what college ball has to offer. In an effort to reverse this trend, here’s a lot of words about the Ohio Valley’s best pitchers…followed by slightly less words about the conference’s top hitters. Seems only right.

If you like senior-sign pitchers, then you’ll love what the Ohio Valley has in store in 2016. The presence of eight consecutive seniors at the top of these pitching rankings is fascinating to me for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t realize I had done it until just this very moment; if anything, I make a conscious effort to settle most of my prospect ties by siding with the younger guy (admittedly less important with pitchers than hitters, at least in my estimation), so seeing the run of seniors really threw me off. If you’ll indulge me in a little self-scouting, I think what happened here was a lack of informational depth on my end about some of the younger arms in the conference. When faced with less data to work with, I went with the guys with longer track records who I knew better as prospects. I don’t think this is a great way to do business, but it’s one of the compromises I have to make when ranking players: giving preferential treatment to players with more data is far from ideal yet any realistic attempt to cover an entire country’s worth of amateur prospects (and Canada/Puerto Rico) with an unpaid staff of one necessitates some cutting of corners.

More information about Alex Robles’s fastball could have bumped him up the rankings considering how much I like his ability to change speeds and overall athleticism. If I had a better feel for whether Patrick McGuff’s control issues were correctable, he could be higher. Updated reports about the trio of Southeast Missouri State juniors (Justin Murphy, Clay Chandler, Robert Beltran) might have given me more confidence to shoot them up the board a couple spots. I did the best I could with the information that I could compile, but that nagging thought that I could have done more to fairly represent the true pro prospects of some of these hard-working players is what keeps me up some nights.

Anyway, the eight seniors at the top all have flashed pro ability at one time or another during their college careers. Matt Anderson has had some ugly ERAs to date, but he consistently misses bats with his impressive three-pitch mix (88-92 FB, CU that flashes plus, average or better breaking ball). Tyler Keele can run it up to 94 with a good yet inconsistent curve, Aaron Quillen is a steady (88-92 FB, solid command) righthanded arm out of central casting, and PJ Schuster leans on an above-average change to stay one step ahead of hitters. Then you’ve got Joey Lucchesi with a good fastball (88-92) coming in with deception from the left side, the wild Andrew Bramley who can throw two effective breaking balls, Jared Carkuff and his ready for the bullpen fastball/slider combo, and Matt Wivinis, the transfer from Kansas State who will sink and cut his fastball all while flashing an above-average slider of his own.

The hitters are led by Logan Gray, a tooled up infielder with a good chance at sticking at short professionally. I’m excited by his raw power (average or better), defensive upside, serious wheels, and a rapidly improving approach. Right behind Gray is Tyler Lawrence, the catcher out of Murray State. He’s improved enough defensively over the years to be a near-certainty to stick behind the plate and his approach as a hitter separates him from many (but not all) of his mid-major catching peers. I’m a big fan. If Lawrence does it do it for you (he should), then perhaps a different Tyler will get your attention. Tyler Walsh and Tyler Fullerton, both of Belmont, go about things differently, but both wind up as interesting pro prospects. Walsh, the 6-5, 200 pound plus runner, is a rangy shortstop with significant upside if he can put it all together his junior season. Fullerton, the steady glove with deceptive pop in his 5-9, 175 pound frame, is already coming off a monster junior year, so a layman like me can only wonder what more he needs to do to get noticed by pro teams this spring. Maybe I’m overrating his glove as I’ve heard at least average at second with a fallback as a quality outfielder, but maybe that’s too rich. Even still, I can’t in good conscience deny a hitter who has produced like he has so far.

I’m not sure Ridge Smith is a catcher over the long haul, but he’s got the athleticism to give it a go as a pro. Failing that, he could still put that athleticism (and above-average speed) to good use at either third or an outfield spot. In a draft lacking in big-time power, Keaton Wright stands out as one of the more intriguing sluggers. Feedback I’ve gotten say he’s more 2017 senior-sign to track than a real 2016 draft threat, but I’m throwing caution to the wind with the aggressive ranking. Power has that kind of effect on me, I guess. The placement of Demetre Taylor, Mandy Alvarez, and Kyle Nowlin in the top ten reflects that position as well. When a guy like Nowlin (coming off a .326/.438/.690 junior season) ranks ninth on a list of hitters, then you can assume good things about a conference’s overall depth.

Hitters

  1. Austin Peay State JR SS/3B Logan Gray
  2. Murray State JR C Tyler Lawrence
  3. Belmont JR SS Tyler Walsh
  4. Belmont SR 2B/OF Tyler Fullerton
  5. Austin Peay State JR C/3B Ridge Smith
  6. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR 1B Keaton Wright
  7. Eastern Illinois rSR OF/1B Demetre Taylor
  8. Eastern Kentucky SR 3B/1B Mandy Alvarez
  9. Eastern Kentucky SR OF Kyle Nowlin
  10. Austin Peay State JR 2B Garrett Copeland
  11. Jacksonville State SO C Hayden White
  12. Morehead State rJR 3B Alex Stephens
  13. Tennessee Tech rJR OF Jake Rowland
  14. Eastern Kentucky SR SS/2B Doug Teegarden
  15. Southeast Missouri State JR OF Dan Holst
  16. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR 1B/OF Jared McCunn
  17. Tennessee-Martin rSO OF Collin Edwards
  18. Southeast Missouri State SR 1B/OF Ryan Rippee
  19. Jacksonville State SR 1B Paschal Petrongolo
  20. Southeast Missouri State SR SS Branden Boggetto
  21. Belmont JR C Nick Egli
  22. Tennessee-Martin JR C/OF Tanner Wessling
  23. Eastern Kentucky SR OF TJ Alas
  24. Austin Peay State JR 1B Dre Gleason
  25. Morehead State JR OF Ryan Kent
  26. Austin Peay State JR OF Cayce Bredlau
  27. Austin Peay State JR OF Chase Hamilton
  28. Southeast Missouri State SR 3B/OF Hunter Leeper
  29. Southeast Missouri State SR C/1B Garrett Gandolfo
  30. Tennessee Tech JR OF Tyler Brazelton
  31. Eastern Kentucky JR 1B Ben Fisher
  32. Southeast Missouri State JR C Kylar Robertson
  33. Jacksonville State SR OF Elliot McCummings
  34. Jacksonville State SR 1B Tyler Gamble
  35. Southeast Missouri State SR C Scott Mitchell
  36. Eastern Illinois SR C Jason Scholl
  37. Austin Peay State SR OF Josh Wilson
  38. Jacksonville State SR OF Paul Angel
  39. Austin Peay State SR OF Patrick Massoni
  40. Southeast Missouri State SR OF Clayton Evans
  41. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR 2B/SS Skyler Geissinger
  42. Tennessee-Martin SR SS Matt Hirsch
  43. Jacksonville State SR OF/2B Gavin Golsan
  44. Eastern Kentucky JR OF Shea Sullivan
  45. Eastern Kentucky JR C Logan Starnes
  46. Tennessee Tech SR 2B/SS Jake Farr

Pitchers

  1. Morehead State SR RHP Matt Anderson
  2. Morehead State SR RHP Tyler Keele
  3. Belmont SR RHP Aaron Quillen
  4. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR RHP PJ Schuster
  5. Southeast Missouri State SR LHP Joey Lucchesi
  6. Murray State SR RHP Andrew Bramley
  7. Austin Peay State SR RHP Jared Carkuff
  8. Eastern Illinois rSR RHP Matt Wivinis
  9. Eastern Kentucky JR LHP Alex Hamilton
  10. Austin Peay State JR RHP/3B Alex Robles
  11. Morehead State JR RHP Patrick McGuff
  12. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR RHP Jarrett Bednar
  13. Morehead State rSR RHP Craig Pearcy
  14. Tennessee Tech SR RHP Trevor Maloney
  15. Tennessee Tech JR RHP Jake Usher
  16. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR RHP Connor Buenger
  17. Southeast Missouri State JR RHP Justin Murphy
  18. Southeast Missouri State JR RHP Clay Chandler
  19. Southeast Missouri State JR LHP Robert Beltran
  20. Murray State rSO RHP Tyler Anderson
  21. Jacksonville State JR RHP Graham Officer
  22. Jacksonville State rSO LHP Justin Hoyt
  23. Jacksonville State JR RHP/INF Joe McGuire
  24. Murray State SR RHP Cody Maerz
  25. Southeast Missouri State SR RHP Alex Siddle
  26. Jacksonville State SO RHP Jake Walsh
  27. Southeast Missouri State SR RHP Brady Wright
  28. Austin Peay State JR LHP Levi Primasing
  29. Murray State SR RHP Brad Boegel
  30. Tennessee-Martin SR RHP Patrick Bernard
  31. Belmont SR RHP Josh Tubbs
  32. Austin Peay State JR RHP Caleb Powell
  33. Belmont JR RHP Christopher Carroll
  34. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR LHP Zach Malach

Austin Peay State

SR RHP Jared Carkuff (2016)
JR RHP Caleb Powell (2016)
SR RHP Keirce Kimbel (2016)
JR LHP Levi Primasing (2016)
JR RHP/3B Alex Robles (2016)
JR SS/3B Logan Gray (2016)
SR OF Josh Wilson (2016)
SR OF Patrick Massoni (2016)
SR OF Kyle Blackburn (2016)
JR C/3B Ridge Smith (2016)
JR 1B Dre Gleason (2016)
JR 2B Garrett Copeland (2016)
JR OF Cayce Bredlau (2016)
JR OF Chase Hamilton (2016)
SR OF Wesley Purcell (2016)
SR SS Clayton Smithson (2016)
SO LHP Mike Costanzo (2017)
SO LHP John Sparks (2017)
SO LHP Zach Neff (2017)
SO SS Imani Willis (2017)
SO C TJ Marik (2017)
FR INF Parker Phillips (2018)

High Priority Follows: Jared Carkuff, Caleb Powell, Levi Primasing, Alex Robles, Logan Gray, Josh Wilson, Patrick Massoni, Ridge Smith, Dre Gleason, Garrett Copeland, Cayce Bredlau, Chase Hamilton

Belmont

SR RHP Aaron Quillen (2016)
SR RHP Josh Tubbs (2016)
JR RHP Christopher Carroll (2016)
rJR RHP/OF Dom Veltri (2016)
SR 2B/OF Tyler Fullerton (2016)
JR C/OF Clay Payne (2016)
JR C Nick Egli (2016)
JR SS Tyler Walsh (2016)
SR C Desi Ammonds (2016)
JR OF Brennan Washington (2016)
JR 1B Drake Byrd (2016)
SO RHP Tyler Vaughn (2017)
SO RHP Alex Ward (2017)
SO RHP Connor Etheridge (2017)
FR RHP Dylan King (2018)
FR RHP Casey Queener (2018)
FR LHP Brandon Liskey (2018)
FR RHP/OF Austin Kzreminski (2018)

High Priority Follows: Aaron Quillen, Josh Tubbs, Dom Veltri, Tyler Fullerton, Clay Payne, Nick Egli, Tyler Walsh, Desi Ammonds, Drake Byrd

Eastern Illinois

rSR RHP Matt Wivinis (2016)
SR RHP Jake Johansmeier (2016)
SR RHP Brendon Allen (2016)
JR RHP Chase Thurston (2016)
rSR OF/1B Demetre Taylor (2016)
SR 2B Mitch Gasbarro (2016)
SR C Jason Scholl (2016)
rSO OF Frankie Perrone (2016)
SO RHP Ben Hughes (2017)
SO RHP Luke Dietz (2017)
SO OF Joe Duncan (2017)
SO 1B/OF Bobby Wenthe (2017)
FR SS Nick Maton (2018)
FR 2B Dane Toppel (2018)
FR 3B Jimmy Govern (2018)

High Priority Follows: Matt Wivinis, Chase Thurston, Demetre Taylor, Mitch Gasbarro, Jason Scholl

Eastern Kentucky

JR LHP Alex Hamilton (2016)
SR LHP Luke McGee (2016)
JR OF/RHP Taylor Blair (2016)
SR OF Kyle Nowlin (2016)
SR 3B/1B Mandy Alvarez (2016)
SR SS/2B Doug Teegarden (2016)
SR OF TJ Alas (2016)
SR 2B/3B Luke Wurzelbacher (2016)
JR 1B Ben Fisher (2016)
JR OF Shea Sullivan (2016)
JR C Logan Starnes (2016)
JR 2B Cole Warrenfeltz (2016)
SO RHP Aaron Ochsenbein (2017)

High Priority Follows: Alex Hamilton, Taylor Blair, Kyle Nowlin, Mandy Alvarez, Doug Teegarden, TJ Alas, Luke Wurzelbacher, Ben Fisher, Shea Sullivan, Logan Starnes

Jacksonville State

JR RHP Graham Officer (2016)
rSO LHP Justin Hoyt (2016)
SO RHP Jake Walsh (2016)
JR RHP Michael McCreless (2016)
JR LHP Jesse Fry (2016)
JR RHP/INF Joe McGuire (2016)
SR 1B Paschal Petrongolo (2016)
SR OF Elliot McCummings (2016)
SR 1B Tyler Gamble (2016)
SR OF Paul Angel (2016)
SR OF/2B Gavin Golsan (2016)
JR OF Peyton Williams (2016)
JR INF Josh Bobo (2016)
SO C Hayden White (2016)
SO INF Clayton Daniel (2016)
SO INF Tyler Hawthorne (2016)
SO RHP Grant Chandler (2017)
SO LHP Jack Pierce (2017)
FR LHP Derrick Adams (2018)

High Priority Follows: Graham Officer, Justin Hoyt, Jake Walsh, Michael McCreless, Jesse Fry, Joe McGuire, Paschal Petrongolo, Elliot McCummings, Tyler Gamble, Paul Angel, Gavin Golsan, Peyton Williams, Hayden White, Clayton Daniel, Tyler Hawthorne

Morehead State

SR RHP Matt Anderson (2016)
SR RHP Tyler Keele (2016)
JR RHP Patrick McGuff (2016)
rSR RHP Craig Pearcy (2016)
JR RHP Luke Humphreys (2016)
JR LHP Cable Wright (2016)
rJR 3B Alex Stephens (2016)
JR C Jimmy Wright (2016)
rJR OF Michael Patrick (2016)
JR 1B Jesus Carrera (2016)
JR OF Ryan Kent (2016)
SO RHP David Calderon (2017)
SO RHP Brent Stoneking (2017)
SO LHP Aaron Leasher (2017)
SO C Tyler Niemann (2017)
SO 2B Braxton Morris (2017)
FR SS Reid Leonard (2018)
FR C Hunter Fain (2018)
FR INF Trevor Snyder (2018)

High Priority Follows: Matt Anderson, Tyler Keele, Patrick McGuff, Craig Pearcy, Luke Humphreys, Cable Wright, Alex Stephens, Ryan Kent

Murray State

SR RHP Andrew Bramley (2016)
SR RHP Brad Boegel (2016)
SR LHP Sheldon Baxter (2016)
SR RHP Cody Maerz (2016)
SR RHP John Lollar (2016)
rSO RHP Tyler Anderson (2016)
JR C Tyler Lawrence (2016)
JR OF Brandon Gutzler (2016)
JR SS Caleb Hicks (2016)
SR 2B Nick Moore (2016)
rJR INF Matthew Johnson (2016)
SO 3B/C Kipp Moore (2017)

High Priority Follows: Andrew Bramley, Brad Boegel, Cody Maerz, Tyler Anderson, Tyler Lawrence, Nick Moore

Southern Illinois Edwardsville

JR RHP Connor Buenger (2016)
SR RHP Jarrett Bednar (2016)
SR LHP Zach Malach (2016)
SR RHP Ryan Agnitsch (2016)
SR RHP PJ Schuster (2016)
JR 1B/OF Jared McCunn (2016)
JR C Kailer Smith (2016)
SR 2B/SS Skyler Geissinger (2016)
SR C Zach Little (2016)
JR 3B Jacob Stewart (2016)
JR 2B Alec Skender (2016)
JR 1B Keaton Wright (2016)
JR OF Austin Verschoore (2016)
SO OF Dustin Woodcock (2017)
SO INF Mario Tursi (2017)
FR RHP Danny Ehrsam (2018)
FR OF Eric Giltz (2018)

High Priority Follows: Connor Buenger, Jarrett Bednar, Zach Malach, PJ Schuster, Jared McCunn, Kailer Smith, Skyler Geissinger, Jacob Stewart, Keaton Wright

Southeast Missouri State

JR RHP Clay Chandler (2016)
JR LHP Robert Beltran (2016)
JR RHP Justin Murphy (2016)
SR RHP Alex Siddle (2016)
SR RHP Brady Wright (2016)
SR LHP Joey Lucchesi (2016)
SR RHP Jacob Lawrence (2016)
rSR RHP/OF Cody Spanberger (2016)
JR OF Dan Holst (2016)
SR 1B/OF Ryan Rippee (2016)
SR C/1B Garrett Gandolfo (2016)
SR SS Branden Boggetto (2016)
SR C Scott Mitchell (2016)
SR SS Andy Lack (2016)
SR OF Clayton Evans (2016)
SR 3B/OF Hunter Leeper (2016)
JR C Kylar Robertson (2016)
SO RHP Matthew Wade (2017)
SO RHP Zach Moore (2017)
SO 2B/SS Trevor Ezell (2017)
FR LHP Daniel Bergtholdt (2018)

High Priority Follows: Clay Chandler, Robert Beltran, Justin Murphy, Alex Siddle, Brady Wright, Joey Lucchesi, Jacob Lawrence, Dan Holst, Ryan Rippee, Garrett Gandolfo, Branden Boggetto, Scott Mitchell, Andy Lack, Clayton Evans, Hunter Leeper, Kylar Robertson

Tennessee Tech

SR RHP Trevor Maloney (2016)
SR RHP Kyle Godwin (2016)
rJR RHP Kit Fowler (2016)
JR RHP Jake Usher (2016)
JR RHP Evan Fraliex (2016)
rJR OF Jake Rowland (2016)
SR 2B/SS Jake Farr (2016)
JR OF Anthony El Chibani (2016)
JR OF Tyler Brazelton (2016)
rSO SS David Garza (2016)
SR 3B Josh Pankratz (2016)
SO RHP Travis Moths (2017)
SO RHP Will Gardner (2017)
SO 1B Chase Chambers (2017)
SO 1B Ryan Flick (2017)
SO INF Trevor Putzig (2017)
FR RHP Nick Osborne (2018)

High Priority Follows: Trevor Maloney, Kyle Godwin, Jake Usher, Jake Rowland, Jake Farr, Anthony El Chibani, Tyler Brazelton

Tennessee-Martin

SR RHP Patrick Bernard (2016)
JR RHP Alex Evans (2016)
SR OF Andrew Castillo (2016)
JR C/OF Tanner Wessling (2016)
SR 1B/OF Austin Taylor (2016)
SR SS Matt Hirsch (2016)
JR 1B Ryan Helgren (2016)
JR SS Josh Hauser (2016)
rSO OF Collin Edwards (2016)
SO RHP Dillon Symon (2017)
rFR LHP Dom Bazzani (2017)

High Priority Follows: Patrick Bernard, Andrew Castillo, Tanner Wessling, Austin Taylor, Matt Hirsch, Collin Edwards