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2016 MLB Draft Reviews – New York Yankees

Top 500 Prospects Drafted by New York in 2016

11 – Blake Rutherford
37 – Nick Solak
65 – Dominic Thompson-Williams
117 – Nolan Martinez
214 – Mandy Alvarez
295 – Tim Lynch
371 – Joe Burton
375 – Connor Jones
384 – Taylor Widener
449 – Keith Skinner

Complete List of 2016 New York Yankees Draftees

1.18 – OF Blake Rutherford

Delvin Perez and Nolan Jones were the only players on my board that I would have considered over Blake Rutherford (11) where the Yankees selected him. That makes this a slam dunk pick for New York. Whatever trepidation there was before the draft about staying away from anointing Rutherford a real deal 1-1 candidate ceased to matter the moment he started falling past the first handful of picks. Rutherford at 1-1 (or the surrounding area) was justifiable, but admittedly tough to swallow. Rutherford at 1-18 is flat robbery. A quick look at the timeline that got us here beginning in December 2015…

Despite some internet comparisons that paint him as the Meadows, I think the better proxy for Rutherford is Frazier. Issues with handedness, height, and hair hue aside, Frazier as a starting point for Rutherford (offensively only as Frazier’s arm strength blows the average-ish arm of Rutherford away) can be used because the two both have really good looking well-balanced swings, tons of bat speed, and significant raw power. The parallel gets a little bit of extra juice when you consider Frazier and Rutherford were/are also both a little bit older than their draft counterparts.

Pretty cool that Rutherford is now teammates with Clint Frazier with the Yankees. Well, I guess they aren’t technically teammates yet but rather organization-mates. You get the idea. Here are their respective professional debuts with Frazier on top and Rutherford on the bottom…

.297/.362/.506 – 31.1 K% and 8.7 BB% – 196 PA
.351/.415/.570 – 23.1 K% and 10.0 BB% – 130 PA

Not a bad start for the Yankees latest potential star prospect. We’ll jump now to April 2016 to see what was said about Rutherford then…

At some point it’s prudent to move away from the safety of college hitters and roll the dice on one of the best high school athletes in the country. Blake Rutherford is just that. Him being older than ideal for a high school senior gives real MLB teams drafting in the top five something extra to consider, but it could work to his advantage developmentally in terms of fantasy. He’s a little bit older, a little bit more filled-out, and a little bit more equipped to deal with the daily rigors of professional ball than your typical high school prospect. That’s some extreme spin about one of Rutherford’s bigger red flags — admittedly one that is easily resolved within a scouting department: either his age matters or not since it’s not like it’s changing (except up by one day like us all) any time soon — but talking oneself into glossing over a weakness is exactly what fantasy drafting is all about. I like Rutherford more in this range (ed. note: For the sake of context, this was originally written in a mock that had Rutherford going 11th) in the real draft than in the mix at 1-1.

There’s a bit of a fantasy spin to that, but the larger point about Rutherford being better equipped to deal with the minor league grind straight away better than many of his high school class peers held up in his debut. When Rutherford starts next season in Charleston as a 19-year-old (20 in May, but still), nobody will be talking about his age relative to the competition anymore. That doesn’t change the pre-draft evaluation where his age most certainly should have been factored in as he was doing his thing against younger pitchers, but that’s all old news by now. Outside of the potential desire to track certain developmental progress indicators, those pre-draft evaluations can more or less be thrown out now that he’s 130 plate appearances into his pro career.

It took me until May 2016 before I managed to succinctly describe how I viewed Rutherford as a prospect…

His upside is that of a consistently above-average offensive regular outfielder while defensively being capable of either hanging in center for a bit (a few years of average glove work out there would be nice) or excelling in an outfield corner (making this switch early could take a tiny bit of pressure off him as he adjusts to pro pitching). His floor, like almost all high school hitters, is AA bat with holes in his swing that are exploited by savvier arms.

I’d update that now to raise Rutherford’s ceiling (above-average regular, sure, but some years of star quality output seem well within reach) and more or less nix the idea of him playing center much longer (pro guys were a lot harder on his defense than the amateur evaluators) while keeping the floor basically the same (maybe bump him up to AAA, but the difference there is minute). No player in this class save AJ Puk has been picked apart in quite the same way as Rutherford. I’m not absolving myself from guilt as I know I’ve done the same over the past year or so. So much time and energy have been spent trying to talk ourselves out of him being the type of prospect that could go first overall that his combination of polished skills and toolsy upside, a blend of talent unique to him in this entire class of hitters, has gone underappreciated. This pick really is as good as it gets in the draft’s first round.

2.62 – 2B Nick Solak

Nick Solak (37) in three quotes…

October 23, 2015

The day you find me unwilling to champion a natural born hitter with a preternatural sense of the strike zone is the day I hang up the keyboard. Solak is a tough guy to project because so much of his value is tied up in his bat, but if he build on an already impressive first two seasons at Louisville in 2016 then he might just hit his way into the draft’s top two rounds.

April 4, 2016

Nick Solak can flat hit. I’d take him on my team anytime. He’s likely locked in at second in the infield, so I don’t know how high that profile can rise but I have a hunch he’ll be higher on my rankings than he winds up getting drafted in June. I’m more than all right with that.

April 21, 2016

Nick Solak is an outstanding hitter. He can hit any pitch in any count and has shown himself plenty capable of crushing mistakes. His approach is impeccable, his speed above-average, and his defense dependable. I think he’s the best college second baseman in this class.

If you’re getting the impression that I think Nick Solak is a good hitter, then you’re on the right track. I straight up LOVE this pick for New York. I got a recent DJ LeMahieu (shorter version) comparison for Solak that I think is pretty smart. Yankees would surely be thrilled with getting that kind of hitter in the second round.

3.98 – RHP Nolan Martinez

I loved the Blake Rutherford pick. I loved the Nick Solak pick. I love the Nolan Martinez (117) pick. Three for three for the Yankees so far. Martinez is all about projection at this point. The 6-2, 165 pound righthander has a fastball (87-94, 96 peak) with crazy movement and a low- to mid-70s breaking ball with above-average upside. Those two pitches alone could be enough for him to get pro hitters out right now. It’s a lot of fun to imagine what they could do with a few years of growth behind them. Further development of a low- to mid-80s changeup could make Martinez a long-term fixture in a big league rotation. It’s not hard to imagine some good weight being added to his frame, a few extra ticks added to his fastball (could see him sitting mid-90s by the time he’s in his early-20s), a little more power added to his slider, and overarching improvements in command as the highly athletic two-way high school star begins to devote himself full-time to pitching. Martinez is a really tough player to put a ceiling on right now. I’m honestly not sure how good he can be. I’m not even sure he even realizes just yet how good he can be. Tremendous pick by New York.

4.128 – RHP Nick Nelson

I didn’t necessarily love the Nick Nelson pick, but that doesn’t stop me from loving this quote from his 2015 player page at Gulf Coast State JC. His answer to”Best Sports advice given to you” was “To be the best…you have to be the best!” Could be wrong, but I think something got lost in translation there. Typo or not, I think I actually like this version better. Sometimes direct and literal is the way to go. All advice should be so pointed. Maybe if somebody had given me this advice as a younger man, I’d be the best. Maybe…

As for Nelson the ballplayer, I wasn’t as up on him before the draft as I could have been. I can see what the Yankees liked about him: he’s an athletic, sturdily built guy coming from a two-way background with plenty of arm strength. If you’re buying him, you’re thinking that some of his issues — control and underdeveloped offspeed stuff — can be ironed out with full-time dedication to working out on the mound. I’m not quite there, but it’s easy to be incredulous without having seen him. On paper, it sure seems like he has a long ways to go before he’ll provide the value I’d want from a fourth round pick.

I can’t prove it, but players like Nelson strike me as the type that area scouts are willing to pound the table on. The pieces are there, but he hasn’t come all that close to putting it together yet. I think many scouts actually prefer guys like this. I sounds mean even though it’s not the intent, but I think players like this make some scouts feel more important in their role. It’s “easy” to point to a finished product and say “yeah, get him” because anybody who has seen a ballgame or two can likely do the same. Players like Nelson are the hidden gems of the industry that separate the “real” scouts from the wannabes. Hitting on an established name is never a bad thing, but getting a player like Nelson right is a true notch on the belt worth bragging about. I don’t know, maybe I’m projecting too much. Just a theory.

5.158 – OF Dominic Thompson-Williams

The college outfielders ranked third through ninth on my final board all came out of the SEC. That is some seriously useless trivia. It is somewhat topical here, however, in that Dominic Thompson-Williams (65), the man ranked eighth on said list, had this written about him at the time of said ranking: “lost some in the SEC shuffle, but raw tools stack up with anybody here.” Nothing has changed over the summer, so consider that statement a true testament to Thompson-Williams’s obvious physical gifts. His athleticism, speed, and center field range are enough to get him to the big leagues, and his burgeoning pop and approach at the plate give him a chance at a future much greater than that. As my pre-draft ranking can attest, I’m a believer in Thompson-Williams finding a way to continually get better as he figures out how good he can really be. Tremendous value pick here by the Yankees.

6.188 – RHP Brooks Kriske

Brooks Kriske has the goods to pitch out of a big league bullpen one day. His fastball (88-94, 96 peak) and slider (low-80s) both have the chance to be above-average offerings and his mid-80s changeup could be serviceable assuming he doesn’t scrap it completely in the pros. A good frame (6-3, 190) and strong senior season (10.71 K/9 in 35.1 IP) bolster his case. The sixth round feels a bit early to me for these kind of guys, but a quick look at league-wide drafting trends shows that rounds five to ten are the college reliever sweet spot. Fair enough.

7.218 – C Keith Skinner

Nobody cares, but Keith Skinner (449) going in the top ten rounds helped me win a bet. He’s now one of my favorite players in pro ball. Those two things may or may not be related. Skinner’s glove behind the plate leaves some to be desired, but his power and approach at it make a seventh round pick worth it. I’m not that complicated a guy sometimes; if you hit .382/.466/.486 with 36 BB/14 K in a college season, you get noticed.

8.248 – 1B Dalton Blaser

Dalton Blaser, a highly productive college performer known best for a measured approach at the plate, went one pick before a similarly productive college performer known best for a measured approach at the plate. I’m less enthused about the Yankees eighth round pick than the guy who comes next, but can respect the rationale behind the pick.

9.278 – 1B Tim Lynch

Here he is! Tim Lynch (295) was a damn fine pick in the ninth round. He’s got a disciplined approach with legitimate big league thunder in his bat. The first base only profile makes the road to the highest level predictably challenging, but his brand of lefty power could help get him there. I think he’s got a very realistic shot to be at least a productive platoon bat with a real chance for more than that. For the cost of a ninth round pick and ten grand, that’s a steal.

10.308 – LHP Trevor Lane

Effectively wild and athletic. Those were the three pertinent words most often used to describe Trevor Lane to me. His pro debut also pointed to something else interesting about his profile: ground balls everywhere. So an effectively wild, athletic, ground ball inducing lefthanded reliever. That’s Trevor Lane.

11.338 – LHP Connor Jones

Connor Jones (375) was the man behind this should have been bold prediction that didn’t quite get there because I wimped out with all kinds of qualifying language…

It may be a little out there, but a case could be made that the other Connor Jones actually has more long-term upside than the righthanded Virginia ace. This Jones has gotten good yet wild results on the strength of an above-average or better fastball from the left side and a particularly intriguing splitter.

There’s a lot to like when it comes to Jones’s raw stuff. His fastball flirts with plus from the left side (88-94, 95 peak), his breaking ball (78-81 CB) flashes average or better, and a newly refined splitter could act as a needed strikeout pitch at the pro level. He’s also a really good athlete coming off a nice season at Georgia and a very nice trial in the GCL.

12.368 – RHP Taylor Widener

If a fast-moving reliever drafted outside of the top ten rounds is your thing, look no further than Taylor Widener (384). Check what the former Gamecock did in his pro debut: 13.86 K/9, 1.64 BB/9, 0.47 ERA in 38.1 IP. Those numbers aren’t all that out of line with what he did in his final year at South Carolina: 10.94 K/9, 2.12 BB/9, 4.06 ERA in 51.0 IP. His fastball/cut-slider combination is obviously good enough to miss bats, and his athleticism and command are on point. I like getting Widener here a heck of a lot more than I do getting Nelson and Kriske where they did. Heck, draft position aside, I just plain like Widener better. Great pick.

13.398 – RHP Brian Trieglaff

Armed with a fastball that’s been up to 96 and an above-average low-80s slider, Brian Trieglaff has the stuff to move relatively quickly in relief. His control has been inconsistent over the years and his 6-1, 190 pound frame is far from the classic intimidating late-game mound presence, but the good outweighs the bad for this thirteenth rounder. I’ll take this Widener/Trieglaff back-to-back over Nelson (fourth round) and Kriske (sixth round).

14.428 – OF Jordan Scott

There are two Jordan Scott’s on the Minor League Players section of Fangraphs when you search the name. One was born in 1991, the other in 1997. Knowing that this Jordan Scott had the latter birthday instantly gave me a dozen more gray hairs. I also got a gray hair — the disappointment kind, not the old man variety — when I realized that the only Jordan Scott I’ve written about on the site was a different Jordan Scott altogether. Decent righthanded pitcher from Liberty aside, this Jordan Scott had a solid debut in the Gulf Coast League, a not unfamiliar theme shared by many of the younger 2016 Yankees draftees. His would-be college coach seemed to offer high praise for the one who got away…

“Jordan may be the best athlete in this class,” Mountaineers head coach Randy Mazey said after Scott signed a letter of intent with WVU in November. “He can play multiple positions, hit home runs, steal bases and is also a great defender.”

Jordan Scott is now officially on my radar.

15.458 – LHP Tony Hernandez

I’ve got next to nothing on Tony Hernandez, fifteenth round pick of the Yankees. “Big fastball from the left side” is all I’ve got. I can at least note that his two junior college teams both have ties to the organization. Hernandez was first at Lackawanna College in Scranton, home of the Yankees AAA affiliate. He was most recently at Monroe College in Rochester. I do realize New York is a big state and that Rochester is over five hours away from Yankee Stadium, but when you’ve got no pre-draft notes on a guy you have to find a way to make connections when you can. Turns out a few extra seconds of exhaustive investigating reporting (some might call it Googling), makes this connection get a little better. Hernandez apparently attended the New Rochelle campus at Monroe (about thirty minutes from the Stadium), so all’s well that ends well. Here’s a quick piece from the Monroe website that caught my eye…

Hernandez, who idolized former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and Red Sox ace Jon Lester, was a member of this season’s Mustangs baseball team that went 38-16 overall and won a Regional Championship before being eliminated in the Eastern District final.

Either they know something we don’t or they meant Alex Fernandez, who retired from baseball when Hernandez was four-years-old. I really like to think that somebody at Monroe has a time machine or something and just broke a major offseason scoop. Probably not, though. Stupid boring reality.

(Damn. I do these draft reviews in stops and starts, so this particular player capsule was written in early September. Puts the Fernandez mistake “joke” in a totally different light. Stupid boring reality? More like stupid awful reality. Wild how the death of somebody you’ve never met can still make you feel physically ill just thinking about it a month after the fact.)

17.518 – 3B Mandy Alvarez

The Yankees challenged seventeenth round pick Mandy Alvarez (214) with an aggressive assignment to Low-A Charleston shortly after signing and he responded with a solid run in the South Atlantic League. Such a run wasn’t totally unexpected for the mature . I think he’s just good enough in all other phases of the game to stick at third base; if that’s the case, I believe in Alvarez’s bat enough to think he could be right around a league average big league player in time. I’ll even go a step further and say that I think his realistic floor is that of a quality bat-first utility guy. Getting a player with that kind of range of outcomes with pick 518 is nothing short of tremendous value for the Yankees.

Tangential thought alert! Drafting can be as hard as you make it sometimes. The Yankees made it look pretty easy in 2016. Look at their college position player picks in the top ten rounds: Solak, Thompson-Williams, Keith Skinner, Blaser, and Lynch. The combined collegiate BB to K ratio for those players (at the time of the draft) was 167 to 114. Think they have a type? In the interest of full disclosure, all but the ultra-athletic rangy in center Thompson-Williams from this group can be called bat-first prospects, so, yeah, there could be some defensive growing pains along the way, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Yankees clearly went out of their way to target prospects with above-average feel for hitting, average or better pop for their respective positions, and highly advanced plate discipline. Kudos to them for that. If you’re curious like I was, that 167 to 114 combined walk to strikeout ratio turned into a still solid 109 to 142 mark in the pros. I’d put the over/under of future big league players out of that group at 2.5 and still be inclined to bet the over with little hesitation.

18.548 – RHP Greg Weissert

On Greg Weissert from February 2016…

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 [of the Atlantic 10].

Sounds about right. And he’s a local product (Fordham!) to boot. Weissert will attempt to be the best modern Fordham alum since Pete Harnisch. I didn’t know that Pete Harnisch was a Ram. How about that? Don’t ever let it be said that this site doesn’t teach you something new every now and then. If you knew that already then at least this site taught me something.

19.578 – OF Evan Alexander

Evan Alexander got $100,000 to sign as a nineteenth round pick. That alone makes him a name worth watching. Beyond that, all I know is that the Yankees have liked him for a long time going back to seeing him up close and personal in Jupiter of last season. That’s all I’ve got.

20.608 – RHP Miles Chambers

Miles Chambers is one of a handful of Yankees draftees with nice peripherals and ugly run prevention stats in their debuts. The righthander from Cal State Fullerton has fairly generic potential middle relief stuff (88-92 FB, SL that comes and goes). Could be better, could be worse.

21.638 – OF Timmy Robinson

I don’t always quote myself in these things, but I liked the Timmy Robinson passage from April 2016…

Timmy Robinson‘s tools are really impressive: above-average to plus raw power, average to above-average speed, above-average to plus arm, above-average to plus range, and all kinds of physical strength. That player sounds incredible, so it should be noted that getting all of his raw ability going at the same time and translating it to usable on-field skills has been a challenge. He’s gotten a little bit better every season and now looks to be one of the draft’s most intriguing senior-signs.

There’s no telling if Robinson will amount to anything more than a slightly too aggressive tooled-up just-missed ballplayer, but his physical gifts more than warrant a gamble in the twenty-first round. I like this pick.

23.698 – RHP Braden Bristo

For whatever reason I had Braden Bristo as a lefthander in my notes. Don’t let that stupid inaccuracy on my part obscure the real deal part of his quick scouting blurb. Bristo has a really fast arm that has been up to 96 in the past (90-94 generally). Both his command and control have seen ups and downs, but getting a fastball like that — lefthanded, righthanded, anyhanded — in the twenty-third round is a pretty good deal. I also had an honest to goodness dream the night after finishing this that I can’t really remember anything from except for stopping in the Braden Bristo Bistro for a glass of water. Guess the “joke” popped into my head when seeing his name (boo), I forgot about it (thankfully), and then recovered it (noooo) from deep down in the stupidest recesses of my brain while sleeping. That’s how dreams work, right?

24.728 – OF Joe Burton

Having already picked off my tenth ranked college first baseman, the Yankees go back and grab number twelve in big Joe Burton (371). Burton, the rare junior college player that I got a chance to see in person (albeit in a workout session and not a real game), is a mountain of a man with underrated athleticism, a quick bat, and a chance to hang in left field professionally. That’s exactly where he played exclusively in his debut run with the Yankees, so maybe they’ll find a way to make it work. There’s still considerable swing-and-miss to his game, but Burton’s encouraging start in pro ball reinforces his standing on the prospect map.

25.758 – OF Edel Luaces

I had nothing on Edel Luaces prior to the draft. I have nothing on Edel Luaces now. I can tell you he’s now one of four players with the given name Edel to have played professional baseball. There’s also been an Edelano (Long), Edelkis (Reyes), and Edelyn (Carrasco). No idea if any of those gentlemen went by Edel. Anyway, here’s a nice interview with Luaces via Robert M. Pimpsner.

27.818 – LHP Phillip Diehl

Thanks to above-average control and an average or better slider, Phillip Diehl is a better version of Tyler Honahan, another college lefty taken nine rounds later by New York. Both guys have enough fastball — 88-91 in the case of Diehl — to make it as a lefty specialist if the chips fall in their favor.

28.848 – RHP Will Jones

I’ve got nothing on Will Jones. Good peripherals in his debut. Not so much in the runs allowed department. Points for being an athletic two-way standout at Lander University with a low-90s heater and rapidly improving cutter. An athletic Yankee reliever known best for sawing off bats with nasty cutters? You don’t think? Nahhh…

30.908 – OF Ben Ruta

I’ve long been in favor of going with what you know in later rounds. I assume the Yankees know the prospects at Wagner College, a school that plays their home games in the very same park as the Staten Island Yankees. Ruta has pro size, a strong arm, and solid speed. He also has the exact kind of approach (college career 77 BB to 83 K) that seemingly all Yankees draftees must have to warrant draft consideration. You could do a lot worse in the thirtieth round.

36.1088 – LHP Tyler Honahan

Here’s another example of going what you know. Tyler Honahan played his collegiate home games just ninety minutes east of Yankee Stadium at Joe Nathan Field. In this case, going with what they know could result in a useful lefty reliever down the road. Honahan has always had solid stuff from the left side — 88-93 FB, 77-83 CU with upside — and his track record of missing bats is strong, so it was no shock to see him pitch effectively in his first shot at pro ball. The odds are against any thirty-sixth round pick, but Honahan can at least point to clearly defined big league skills to help his cause.

39.1178 – RHP Brian Keller

An excellent senior season (8.91 K/9, 1.80 BB/9 and 2.88 ERA in 100.0 IP), above-average command, and a fastball up to 93 were enough to get Brian Keller drafted. I would have guessed that combination would have been enough to get him drafted ahead of the thirty-ninth round (“mid-rounds” was my prediction during the season), but that’s neither here nor there at this point. It was enough to get him his chance at pro ball and he is more than making the most of it so far. Improving on all of your impressive senior season stats is good, right? Because Keller’s debut did just that: 11.20 K/9, 1.54 BB/9, and 0.88 ERA in 41.0 IP. Keller has a chance to be Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s first big league player. Very easy player to root for.

Unsigned Prospects and Where You Can Find Them in 2017

Miles Sandum (San Diego), Nate Brown (Florida), Zack Hess (LSU), Juan Cabrera (?), Bo Weiss (North Carolina), Blair Henley (Texas), Zach Linginfelter (Tennessee), Sam Ferri (Arizona State), David Clawson (BYU), Corey Dempster (USC), Bryson Bowman (Western Carolina), Gage Burland (Gonzaga)

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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

Ohio Valley 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Morehead State rSR C Chris Robinson
Jacksonville State JR 1B Paschal Petrongolo
Belmont JR 2B Tyler Fullerton
Tennessee Tech SR SS Dylan Bosheers
Belmont SR 3B Matt Beaty
Eastern Kentucky JR OF Kyle Nowlin
Tennessee Tech JR OF Jake Rowland
Morehead State SR OF Brandon Rawe

Austin Peay State JR RHP Jared Carkuff
Morehead State rJR RHP Aaron Goe
Morehead State JR RHP Tyler Keele
Morehead State rJR RHP Craig Pearcy
Southeast Missouri State JR LHP Alex Winkelman

If Belmont SR 3B/C Matt Beaty doesn’t end up as one of this draft class’ favorites for teams that rely heavily on analytics, then I give up. Beaty has walked more than he has struck out in all three full seasons so far with last year’s line of .352/.478/.536 with 28 BB and 14 K the cherry on top of a wholly impressive statistical run. That’s what I would have written if I didn’t happen to look at what he’s done so far this season. If last year was a cherry this year is another mound of whipped cream on top of that: .415/.495/.805 with 12 BB and 1 K in 82 AB. The sample size is obviously small and the level of competition isn’t exactly the kind to scare a good hitter straight – in fact, (small) he (sample) went (size) just 1-7 combined with a 2B and 2 BB against Notre Dame and Tennessee, though he fared better against solid teams like Bradley and Evansville so who knows – but production like Beaty’s really should get him a tiny bit of fanfare by now. The fact that he’s done this before – not to this extent, but still – makes me think there’s some validity behind his (small sample size) video game numbers. Even without seeing him and knowing next to nothing about his defensive outlook, his is a bat I would stick my neck out for if my team was searching for a senior sign hitter in the eighth, ninth, or tenth rounds that they could give a significant underslot deal.

One of the interesting things I’ve learned over the last decade of drifting in and out of baseball is how varied draft preparation is from team to team. Obviously you’d expect to see a wide variety of attention to detail among individual area and associate scouts – even with team-issued standardized report templates there’s always wiggle room to go off script if you have strong feelings about a player – but it surprised me to hear about how different rooms actually go about discussing players while the draft is going on. I know plenty of teams go in as prepared as you’d hope with everything lined up and ready to go; picking players for them is almost a formality, as they’ve already “picked” who they want and it just becomes a matter of checking for availability and moving on to the next name once one of their guys is taken. Almost all the debating and discussion in those instances have taken place well before the actual draft, so picking players is relatively stress-free outside of hoping certain favorites fall. I’ve also heard a few stories of teams, and obviously we’re talking quite late in the draft, picking players off of one look from an area guy, or, in some cases, sight unseen. In the latter example, the players were selected due to hitting certain statistical benchmarks, or, believe it or don’t, a quick check of the rankings or scouting blurbs at some of the industry leading prospect publications (though I think it’s fair to say the quality has dipped of late, Baseball America remains the go-to for draft coverage within the game – I think Perfect Game’s draft work has lapped them and is the true industry standard right now, but old habits die hard). All this is to say that I think Beaty could wind up as one of those players who gets picked on the strength of his ridiculous college production rather than years of up close and personal scouting trips. That’s not to say that he’s a mystery to pro teams right now – there are too many scouts on the road at any given time for anybody to remain a mystery for long – but rather that he could position himself to get drafted even if an area guy submits a lukewarm (or worse) scouting report on him.

Finally, since I should wrap this Matt Beaty opus up some time before June, a quick word on his defense. It has taken a few years, but I’m just now willing to move off my stubborn insistence of sticking with Beaty as a pro catching prospect. He’s been the starter at third for Belmont for a long time now, so it’s time to acknowledge, despite having a few pro guys tell me they’d only consider drafting him to give him a shot as a catcher, that it’s at least as likely that he’s a pro third baseman than he’s a catcher in the future. I don’t know. I wish I knew more, but I don’t. I haven’t seen him and I haven’t heard from anybody in the last eighteen months or so who had a strong enough take on his defense to move me in either direction. His bat as a catcher is really intriguing. His bat as a third baseman – depending on how well he can pick it there – is still really intriguing, albeit slightly less so. His bat as a first baseman is still worth taking a shot on in the round range for the dollar value that I described earlier. In other words, any good news I hear about his defense between now and June will be considered a pleasant surprise. The bat is what will make or break him, and I’m willing to ride it out to see how he adjusts as a hitter to pro ball no matter what the glove does.

Both Jacksonville State JR 1B Paschal Petrongolo and Morehead State SR 1B Kane Sweeney have power, work deep counts, walk a bunch, and strike out. All that also applies to Southeast Missouri State JR 1B/OF Ryan Rippee, a high upside transfer off to a good start with plus raw power and size (6-6, 230) to dream on. Jacksonville State JR 1B Tyler Gamble, Eastern Kentucky JR 1B/3B Mandy Alvarez, and Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR Alec Saikal (listed at 6-7, 240) have a little less present power than the rest of the first base class, but provide more patience as hitters. I’m about as bullish on this collective group as I can be, so take the following prediction with a grain of salt: at least three first basemen from the OVC get drafted this June. The prediction is a tad less bold when you realize the Ohio Valley has seen a highly impressive dozen players selected in each of the past three MLB Drafts, but still.

I made the choice to headline this piece with Matt Beaty, but I could just have easily opted to kick it off with a couple hundred words on the bizarrely underrated Tennessee Tech SR SS/2B Dylan Bosheers, who is ranked one spot ahead of the big bat of Beaty due to his almost equal bat but clearly more impressive defensive upside. Quite simply, Bosheers was a baffling omission from last year’s draft. He’s done everything asked from him as a college player and then some (.368/.444/.577 with 27 BB/32 K in 234 AB last year), and he has at least two clear average or better professional tools (defense, speed). He’s not just a slap and dash bat, either; he’s got an approach geared towards driving the ball and he’s capable of using the whole field as well as almost any middle infielder in the country. A future pro shortstop with average speed (plays up thanks to his smarts on the bases) and meaningful pop that walks as much as he strikes out has a place in the draft’s top fifteen rounds. I could see him deservedly getting picked in the same range I predicted for Beaty (8th/9th/10th) as a money-saving option senior sign for a smart club that emphasizes college production. Depending on how things shake out the rest of the way, he might wind up even higher than that on my personal board. I like players with the upside of being quality big league infielders, what can I say? I’m not great at analogies, but I think something like [Alex Bregman : Blake Trahan as Blake Trahan : Dylan Bosheers] works.

Morehead State rSR C/OF Chris Robinson is far more athletic than your ordinary catcher with above-average or better speed and defensive tools interesting enough that you can envision him becoming pretty good behind the plate if his drafting team is patient with him. I’m a fan.

Morehead State rJR RHP Aaron Goe is an imposing 6-5, 220 pound strike-throwing machine with enough fastball (88-92) and an above-average breaking ball. When sifting through late round draft candidates from smaller conferences extremes tend to jump out, so Goe’s easy plus control could give him a shot to go higher than expected on draft day. Small samples both years, but his current 0.70 BB/9 is actually up from his 0.69 BB/9 mark from last year. He falls just behind Austin Peay State JR RHP Jared Carkuff in the conference for me based largely on Carkuff’s promising blend of present stuff (90-94 FB, above-average low- to mid-80s SL) and projection (long, lean 6-4, 170 pound frame).

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Tennessee Tech SR SS/2B Dylan Bosheers
  2. Belmont SR 3B/C Matt Beaty
  3. Eastern Illinois SR 3B Brant Valach
  4. Jacksonville State JR 1B Paschal Petrongolo
  5. Morehead State SR 1B Kane Sweeney
  6. Southeast Missouri State JR 1B/OF Ryan Rippee
  7. Morehead State rSR C/OF Chris Robinson
  8. Eastern Kentucky JR OF Kyle Nowlin
  9. Tennessee Tech JR OF Jake Rowland
  10. Morehead State SR OF Brandon Rawe
  11. Eastern Illinois rJR OF/1B Demetre Taylor
  12. Eastern Illinois SR OF Caleb Howell
  13. Belmont SR OF Drew Ferguson
  14. Jacksonville State JR 1B Tyler Gamble
  15. Eastern Kentucky JR 1B/3B Mandy Alvarez
  16. Belmont JR 2B/OF Tyler Fullerton
  17. Murray State SR 2B/OF Anthony Bayus
  18. Southeast Missouri State SR C Cole Ferguson
  19. Tennessee-Martin SR OF/RHP Taylor Douglas
  20. Eastern Illinois JR 2B Mitch Gasbarro
  21. Morehead State SR SS Robby Spencer
  22. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR OF Denton Reed
  23. Southeast Missouri State JR C Scott Mitchell
  24. Southeast Missouri State JR SS Andy Lack
  25. Eastern Kentucky JR 2B/3B Doug Teegarden
  26. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR OF Nick Lombardo
  27. Morehead State SR OF Nick Newell
  28. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR 1B Alec Saikal
  29. Belmont SR C/1B Alec Diamond
  30. Southeast Missouri State rSR OF Jason Blum
  31. Tennessee Tech SR C Jordan Hopkins

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Austin Peay State JR RHP Jared Carkuff
  2. Morehead State rJR RHP Aaron Goe
  3. Morehead State JR RHP Tyler Keele
  4. Morehead State rJR RHP Craig Pearcy
  5. Southeast Missouri State JR LHP Alex Winkelman
  6. Murray State JR RHP Andrew Bramley
  7. Jacksonville State SR RHP Zachary Fowler
  8. Southeast Missouri State SR RHP Ryan Lenaburg
  9. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR RHP Jarrett Bednar
  10. Tennessee Tech JR RHP Trevor Maloney
  11. Belmont JR RHP Aaron Quillen
  12. Southeast Missouri State SR RHP Travis Hayes
  13. Belmont SR LHP Dan Ludwig
  14. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR RHP Ryan Daniels
  15. Murray State SR LHP/OF Brock Downey
  16. Tennessee-Martin SR LHP Carter Smith
  17. Eastern Kentucky SR RHP Ben Gullo
  18. Morehead State JR RHP Matt Anderson
  19. Eastern Kentucky SR RHP Cody Creamer