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2015 MLB Draft Reviews – Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals 2015 MLB Draft Picks

No catchers. Minimal power. Lots of relievers. Extremely college-heavy. SEC bats. If you’re into brevity, there’s the 2015 Washington Nationals draft in about half a tweet. If you’re up for a few more words on the topic, keep on reading.

I appreciate what OF Andrew Stevenson (115) has done as a pro so far (.322/.373/.402 with 13 BB/20 K and 21/26 SB in 195 PA) not only because that’s a really solid line for any player but also because it validates my view on him from early spring. Prospect evaluation is all about the prospect evaluator and not the prospect, right? That’s what people pay the big bucks to read. Anyway, here is what I wrote then…

LSU JR OF Andrew Stevenson could step into a AA lineup tomorrow (just in time for opening day!) because his defense in center (plus-plus), speed (plus), and hit tool (above-average) are all professional quality right now. He’s one of those players that it would be very hard to imagine not someday carving out a big league role for himself on the basis of his defensive prowess and game-changing speed on the base paths alone. When you add in that hit tool, his emerging pop, and an improved approach at the plate, it’s easy to envision him maturing into a table-setting leadoff hitter guaranteed to give you years of positive defensive and base running value in the bigs. I was high on Stevenson before writing this paragraph, but now I’m more pumped about him than ever.

It’s not AA, but he’s at least one of the few — annoyingly few, in my view — 2015 college draft prospects getting a chance to play in a full-season league already. I compared Stevenson to the draft version of Ben Revere (.326/.383/.404 career minor league player) before the draft, and I’ll stick with that today. Revere has been a pretty valuable player to date and that’s without the ability to play an above-average center field; Stevenson could hit like Revere and wind up a top ten overall big league CF with the way he’ll provide substantial defensive and base running value. Think Brett Gardner or Michael Bourn if it works. Or Sam Fuld (.284/.371/.405 minor league hitter), a comp I got from a source who doesn’t love Stevenson like I do (“extra outfielder, but a good one”) if it doesn’t. I’m clearly bullish on his upside and the likelihood of reaching said upside, though I’ll stick with a Revere-like bat more than Gardner. The Nationals got a good one here.

Fellow SEC OF Rhett Wiseman (146) reminded me of a lefthanded Mikie Mahtook while at Vanderbilt. I’m sticking with that platoon corner outfield bat upside for now. Some pre-draft thoughts…

I’ve run into two interesting schools of thought about Wiseman while putting this together. The first, and I’ll admit that this was my initial view from the start, is that he’s still more tools than skills right now. The tools are quite strong, but the fact that they haven’t turned into the skills many expected by now gives some pause. Still, those tools that were clear to almost all going back to his high school days are still real and still worth getting excited about. The breakout could come any day now for him and when it does we’ll be looking at a potential first-division regular in the outfield. The opposing view believes that Wiseman’s development has gone as scripted and what we’re seeing right now is more or less what we’re going to get with him. He’s a great athlete and a far more cerebral hitter than given credit, but the tools were overstated across the board at the onset of his amateur career and now we’re seeing expectations for him correcting themselves based on what he really is. There really are no pluses in his game and no carrying tool that will help him rise above his future fourth outfielder station. I’m a believer that it’s always wise to bet on athletes having the light bulb turn on before too long, so count me in as still leaning closer to the former (and my original) position. I do understand the concerns about Wiseman potentially topping out as a “tweener” outfield prospect — he hasn’t shown the power yet to work in a corner, but that’s where he’s clearly best defensively — so going on the first day might be off the table. He’s still an intriguing blend of production (good, not mind-blowing) and tools (same) who could wind up a relative bargain if he slips much later than that. I could see him both being ranked and drafted in the same area that I had him listed (110th overall) out of Buckingham Browne & Nichols.

In any event, I don’t think Wiseman’s viewed by many as quite the prospect he was back in high school and a good part of that was the way many — me included — viewed his rawness, age, and relative inexperience as a New England high school product as positives. We all are guilty of assuming there are concretely meaningful patterns we can expect from prospect development and that all young players will continue to get better with age and experience. Development is not linear and can be wildly unpredictable. Some guys are as good as they are going to get at 17 while others don’t figure it out (unfortunately) until way after their physical peak. This speaks to the heart of what makes assessing and drafting amateurs so much fun. We’re all just trying to gather as much information on as many players as possible and then making the best possible guesses as to what we’ll wind up with.

OF Blake Perkins (283) is a really intriguing yet really raw second round gamble. It wasn’t a direct comparison by any means, but one informed source told me after the fact that he believed Washington is hoping Perkins can be another version of Michael Taylor. I can dig it. OF Phil Diedrick was a surprise pick for me, though I guess once you get down to round 29 getting a player selected is really a matter of needing just one area scout pounding the table for his guy. I admittedly don’t know much about Diedrick, but the flashes of college power weren’t enough to overcome the questionable plate discipline for me to rank him in the draftable range. Didn’t see him this year, didn’t talk to anybody who had, so…take my opinion on him with measurable skepticism.

1B David Kerian (216) admittedly has never thrilled me as a hitter, but there’s no denying his senior year production at the plate. Still, the key word there is senior as much as any other; I think we know enough about the importance of age/experience relative to competition that it’s fair to be suspicious about any college senior who puts up numbers out of line with their career marks. He’s more than fine value in the ninth round, but I think his realistic ceiling is more up-and-down bench bat than future regular.

2B Max Schrock (57) in round thirteen is flat robbery. Matt Chapman, Tim Wallach, David Freese, and Kyle Seager were all mentioned as possible comps for Schrock at one time or another on this site. I eventually settled on calling him a “Mark Ellis type of hitter capable of giving you more or less league average production at the plate while making up the difference as needed with smart base running and steady defense” before identifying him as a late-second/early-third round value back in March. My mind didn’t change between then and June. I’d be surprised if he didn’t have a long career in the big leagues, though whether it’s as an everyday second baseman or super-utility player is up to him. Saw him in HS and had this to say then: “[I] hate to resort to the cliché, but he’s a ballplayer – no crazy tools, not a premium athlete, not always aesthetically pleasing watching him play, but will do the things that help you win games…and, yeah, he can hit, too.”

2B Dalton Dulin (274) is a tricky player to love, but an easy player to like. He’s a lot of fun to watch — like Schrock, he’s a “gamer” — who does what he does well (make consistent hard contact, pick his spots on the bases, position himself defensively) really well. The tricky part is he’s also a player with limitations. There’s not a ton of power presently or on the way, and, steady as he is at second, there’s a good chance that’s his only viable long-term pro spot defensively. I still like the pick in the 17th round because Dulin is by all accounts a guy you want on your side between the lines with the acknowledgment that it’s a very tough road for a second basemen with little power. 2B Melvin Rodriguez (373) is like a more extreme version of Kerian in that his big senior year must be viewed through the prism of being an older (24 in Rodriguez’s case) college senior. I like the approach, pop, and potential defensive versatility (maybe 2B, 3B, and corner OF?), but starting your first full season as a minor league player at age 25 is less than ideal.

SS Ian Sagdal (474) was well liked by many I talked to as an offensive player, but his long-term defensive home was an open question. I had somebody compare him to Marcus Semien, so take that one any way you’d like. I thought the abbreviated and underwhelming final college season of SS Angelo La Bruna would cost him a shot to get drafted, but Washington gave him a shot in round 33. I had a guy in the Carolinas absolutely raving about La Bruna prior to the then Duke shortstop’s junior season. Injuries kept that from happening, though I think it’s also fair to speculate about how much upside La Bruna ever had in the first place. 2B Jake Jefferies has always intrigued me from an athletic standpoint, but hasn’t had even a good college season as of yet. Sometimes my notes are incomplete, especially for high school prospects. For 3B Dalton DiNatale, all I had back when he was in HS was “good arm strength.” That’s all well and good, but hardly enough information to do anything with on draft day. Such is the life of attempting to cover a country’s worth of amateurs with an unpaid staff of one. DiNatale took his strong arm to Arizona State where he enjoyed three eerily consistent years of decent but hardly thrilling college production. He’s a thirty-second round organizational player at this point, but I’ll always remember him for my lame attempts at passing off my knowledge of his arm strength as something meaningful.

If RHP Mariano Rivera (198) doesn’t wind up an effective part of a big league bullpen within the next three years, I give up. Some things are just meant to be. From the pre-season…

Bloodlines can be overrated, but I’m buying the potential benefits that Iona JR RHP Mariano Rivera has and will continue to reap as the son of baseball’s all-time best closer. Senior was known for many things such as piling up 652 saves, finishing his career with an inconceivable 205 ERA+, and throwing arguably the greatest singular pitch known to man; while awesome, none of those things (well, maybe some of that cutter magic could rub off…) will translate to helping Junior achieve success on the diamond. It is fair to believe that the insane work ethic and preternatural ability to make adjustments on the mound could be traits passed down from father to son. For now, Rivera is a nice looking relief prospect with enough fastball (88-92, 94 peak) and an above-average slider to compensate for his lack of size and middling track record to date. To a man, every person I spoke to remarked that they believed Rivera would be a better professional than college player.

That last sentence is what stands out most to me. Everybody had Rivera pegged as a better potential pro than a college player and that was before he wound up as a pretty damn good college player in 2015. His improved performance — from 3.50 K/9 in 2013 to 6.43 K/9 in 2014 to 11.96 K/9 in 2015 — not so surprisingly coincided with an uptick of stuff.

LHP Matthew Crownover (161) has reminded me of Adam Morgan for quite some time now, so I’ll stick with that as he enters pro ball. Morgan had to overcome shoulder injuries to reach the big leagues while Crownover is a high school Tommy John survivor who took some time to get back to 100%. There’s not much projection left, but the Clemson southpaw has the three average pitches and command to make a run as a potential fifth starter as is. LHP Taylor Hearn is a fun case as a prospect drafted four straight years. He’s relatively young for a senior, has always put up good numbers, and throws hard. That’s all I’ve got. The fastball of LHP Taylor Guilbeau moves almost too much for his own good at times. It’s a plus pitch even in the upper-80s because of the way it dances, but harnessing it within the strike zone has been a problem for him dating back to his freshman season at Alabama. LHP Grant Borne has similar stuff (FB at 88-92, best secondary pitch is changeup) and ultimate upside (middle relief).

RHP Koda Glover is a really nice looking relief prospect. He had a super junior year at Oklahoma State (10.50 K/9 and 1.88 ERA in 23 IP) and has the fastball (92-96) and slider (above-average at 82-84) to keep missing bats as a pro. I’m in. I’m also a big fan of RHP Andrew Lee (233) as the pre-draft ranking in parentheses indicates. Giving the two-way star from Tennessee a chance to concentrate fully on pitching could make him a surprisingly quick riser through the minor leagues. There’s size (6-5, 220), athleticism, arm speed (upper-80s FB, 93 peak), and a pair of intriguing offspeed pitches. Honestly, what’s not to like? Great pick. RHP Tommy Peterson is a Tommy John survivor (2013) that took some time to return to form, but did so with a bang in 2015 (10.23 K/9 and 2.05 ERA in 43 IP). With a fastball that gets up to the mid-90s, he’s a reliever to keep in mind. RHP Calvin Copping is a sinker/slider arm that could see his upper-80s fastball play up some now that he’s made the move to a professional bullpen. RHP Jorge Pantoja has good size (6-6, 220 pounds), athleticism, and enough fastball (90-93) and slider (average or better low-80s) to keep things interesting. I love SWAC prospects, so he’s a guy I’ll be following closely. It wouldn’t shock me if one of these three eventually wind up pitching in the big leagues one day.

RHP Kevin Mooney (459) can miss bats with his one-two punch of his sinking fastball (88-92, 94 peak) and upper-70s curve with plus promise, but is just too wild to be trusted at this point. Betting on arm talent is smart, so it’s easy to see why Washington liked the local product. RHP Matt Pirro has similar strengths and weaknesses. From earlier in the season…

SR RHP Matt Pirro has a good arm (88-93 FB, 95 peak) with a knuckle-curve that flashes plus, but his below-average control hasn’t gotten much better over the years. Feels like a late round flier on a guy with arm strength is his best bet. Wonder if his bad control stems from bad mechanics; if so, can it be fixed?

RHP Ryan Brinley has a legit fastball (92-94, 95 peak), but his results haven’t quite lined up with his stuff as of yet. RHP Mick VanVossen gets such high marks for his pitchability and baseball IQ that he’s got future pitching coach written all over him. Even with his smarts and average stuff, however, missing bats has never really been his thing. Still, as a 28th round organizational player that can at least hold his own on the mound while hopefully imparting some wisdom to teammates along the way, it’s a nice pick. The one signed HS prospect of note outside of Blake Perkins is LHP Tyler Watson, a very intriguing 34th round pick that the Nationals went above and beyond to work out a deal. The reports and the performance have been nothing short of outstanding to date. I’m sufficiently intrigued.

Nationals taken in my pre-draft top 500…

57 – Max Schrock
115 – Andrew Stevenson
146 – Rhett Wiseman
161 – Matthew Crownover
198 – Mariano Rivera
216 – David Kerian
233 – Andrew Lee
274 – Dalton Dulin
283 – Blake Perkins
373 – Melvin Rodriguez
459 – Kevin Mooney
474 – Ian Sagdal

2015 MLB Draft – Top 100 D1 College Second Base Prospects

1. Cincinnati JR 2B/OF Ian Happ: above-average to plus speed; above-average to plus arm; strong; chance for plus hit tool; average to plus power upside; could also play 3B, SS, or OF; good range; good athlete; pretty swing; strong; not an infielder for everybody, but I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to try; “switch-hitting Michael Brantley with the chance to stick in the dirt” was how one contact put it; also reminds me some of Ben Zobrist; 6-0, 200 pounds

2013: .307/.439/.463 – 47 BB/32 K – 25/30 SB – 205 AB
2014: .322/.443/.497 – 32 BB/35 K – 19/24 SB – 171 AB
2015: .369/.492/.672 – 49 BB/49 K – 12/20 SB – 198 AB

2. Maryland rSO 2B Brandon Lowe: plus approach; average glove; average arm; average speed; good athlete; can look good going 0-3 because every at bat is a battle; rich man’s Nick Punto bat comp; FAVORITE; 5-10, 180 pounds

2014: .348/.464/.464 – 34 BB/20 K – 8/12 SB – 181 AB
2015: .342/.442/.564 – 35 BB/28 K – 10/12 SB – 234 AB

3. Arizona JR 2B/OF Scott Kingery: plus speed; strong arm; can really hit; average power; great athlete; good glove at 2B, chance to be really good with more reps; easy CF range; could be a shortstop conversion for a forward-thinking team that believes in his arm strength; popular Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis comps; shift in approach that sacrifices patience for pop is a slight concern as his pro offensive game should be built on lots of contact, deep counts, and hitting mistakes, but the potential of him marrying his sophomore year approach with his increased strength makes him very valuable; have used “more physical Ray Durham” as a comp in the past; 5-9, 175 pounds

2013: .226/.345/.313 – 17 BB/20 K – 8/12 SB – 115 AB
2014: .354/.456/.467 – 33 BB/27 K – 19/23 SB – 195 AB
2015: .392/.423/.561 – 9 BB/18 K – 11/17 SB – 237 AB

4. Arizona JR 2B/SS Kevin Newman: like everybody, enamored by his hit tool, could be plus; great approach, very patient; average speed plays up; really steady glove; average at best arm plays up due to quick release; not much power; special instincts across the board; like John Manuel’s Adam Kennedy comp; like him less than most because of concerns over how pro pitchers will work him knowing his power limitations and whether or not he has enough arm to make every throw at short; like the Joe Panik comp I’ve heard recently; FAVORITE; 6-1, 180 pounds

2013: .286/.352/.336 – 20 BB/13 K – 11/13 SB – 217 AB
2014: .304/.362/.383 – 17 BB/20 K – 13/20 SB – 230 AB
2015: .370/.426/.489 – 20 BB/15 K – 22/25 SB – 227 AB

5. South Carolina JR 2B/OF Max Schrock: pretty swing; quick bat; strong; above-average speed; legit power upside, at least average raw for me; steady glove, but range a question; have heard a Kyle Seager comp on the bat; think he can work himself into a solid enough fielder to stick up the middle, but glove defense remains the biggest question; could be a Mark Ellis type of bat; 5-9, 180 pounds

2013: .278/.382/.414 – 38 BB/22 K – 15/19 SB – 227 AB
2014: .299/.366/.472 – 11 BB/21 K – 4/4 SB – 127 AB
2015: .328/.419/.500 – 32 BB/18 K – 8/10 SB – 192 AB

6. Clemson JR 2B/SS Tyler Krieger: well above-average speed, plus for some; direct swing; good athlete; really good glove; erratic thrower even when healthy, but return to health after shoulder surgery has resulted in slightly more accurate yet still underwhelming throws; has range for the OF, but likely not the arm; would have ranked very highly as a shortstop at 100% health, but still profiles as a potential first-division regular at second; another player who has gotten a Kyle Seager comp this spring, but doesn’t have quite the same pop; 6-1, 170 pounds

2013: .266/.360/.321 – 29 BB/29 K – 9/15 SB – 218 AB
2014: .338/.410/.447 – 25 BB/24 K – 19/24 SB – 219 AB
2015: .339/.451/.420 – 40 BB/41 K – 13/17 SB – 224 AB

7. Missouri State SR 2B/SS Eric Cheray: can also catch; power upside; steady glove; average arm; lots of pressure on bat to turn him into a contributing big league player, but I think he hits enough to make it worth gambling on; FAVORITE; 6-3, 210 pounds

2012: .290/.381/.398 – 24 BB/28 K – 3/5 SB – 176 AB
2013: .278/.431/.361 – 41 BB/22 K – 2/4 SB – 158 AB
2014: .290/.403/.400 – 40 BB/20 K – 6/10 SB – 210 AB
2015: .436/.550/.538 – 21 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 78 AB

8. Cal Poly JR 2B/OF Mark Mathias: plus hit tool; average at best raw power, doesn’t really show up in games; good approach; average at best arm, has gotten stronger; defense has improved at second; average speed; could also play 3B; BA comps: David Bell and Sam Travis; reminds me of Mark Loretta; another bat-first prospect who will have to keep hitting to keep playing; FAVORITE; 6-0, 200 pounds

2014: .386/.437/.490 – 23 BB/18 K – 12/16 SB – 210 AB
2015: .356/.424/.436 – 23 BB/19 K – 9/13 SB – 202 AB

9. Alabama JR 2B/SS Mikey White: strong hit tool; plus instincts; average at best speed; above-average arm; average at best power; good athlete; like the glove a lot, think he could be plus at second; could also play 3B; popular Josh Rutledge comp; old BA comp that I don’t see at all: Nolan Fontana; obvious elements about his game to like, but approach keeps me from going all-in on him as a sure-fire future regular; 6-1, 200 pounds

2013: .300/.379/.387 – 20 BB/43 K – 3/8 SB – 230 AB
2014: .300/.399/.443 – 27 BB/44 K – 3/5 SB – 237 AB
2015: .339/.444/.537 – 31 BB/47 K – 8/9 SB – 218 AB

10. Connecticut JR 2B/3B Vinny Siena: plus speed; good glove; plus arm; quick bat; can play OF if needed; 5-10, 200 pounds

2013: .325/.390/.373 – 29 BB/49 K – 8/12 SB – 255 AB
2014: .231/.273/.301 – 10 BB/21 K – 6/9 SB – 216 AB
2015: .362/.424/.519 – 29 BB/30 K – 11/16 SB – 260 AB

11. USC SR 2B Dante Flores: quick bat; good hit tool; good glove; average speed; popular Kolten Wong comp back in his HS days; hasn’t turned into player many hoped, but nice senior season validates those who stuck with him; 5-10, 180 pounds

2012: .331/.428/.437 – 19 BB/31 K – 2/5 SB – 142 AB
2013: .278/.333/.378 – 6 BB/21 K – 4/5 SB – 90 AB
2014: .236/.313/.348 – 15 BB/29 K – 4/5 SB – 161 AB
2015: .315/.410/.470 – 29 BB/28 K – 4/5 SB – 200 AB

12. NC State SR 2B/3B Logan Ratledge: average to above-average speed; steady glove; average power; might have enough range for SS; like the older Devon Travis comp on him; 5-10, 190 pounds

2012: .261/.348/.359 – 12 BB/17 K – 4/5 SB – 142 AB
2013: .250/.313/.307 – 14 BB/21 K – 12/17 SB – 176 AB
2014: .274/.367/.375 – 24 BB/33 K – 208 AB
2015: .330/.432/.552 – 31 BB/30 K – 11/14 SB – 212 AB

13. Central Florida SR 2B/SS Dylan Moore: good approach; average or better speed; above-average to plus arm; good athlete; above-average or better raw power; plus glove at 2B; might be able to stick at SS after all; FAVORITE; 6-0, 185 pounds

2014: .315/.391/.414 – 22 BB/25 K – 10/14 SB – 232 AB
2015: .333/.413/.532 – 27 BB/35 K – 14/16 SB – 237 AB

14. College of Charleston JR 2B/3B Blake Butler: average or better speed; good approach; average hit tool; interesting power upside; 6-3, 200 pounds

2013: .330/.434/.397 – 35 BB/44 K – 9/13 SB – 209 AB
2014: .282/.374/.376 – 34 BB/49 K – 7/11 SB – 255 AB
2015: .335/.402/.579 – 23 BB/31 K – 4/8 SB – 233 AB

15. Bradley rJR 2B Chris Godinez: plus speed; can also play 3B but arm is stretched there; steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds

2012: .320/.370/.426 – 14 BB/22 K – 11/17 SB – 169 AB
2013: .324/.439/.324 – 6 BB/8 K – 2/2 SB – 34 AB
2014: .250/.371/.359 – 21 BB/22 K – 17/23 SB – 184 AB
2015: .297/.500/.522 – 44 BB/25 K – 12/16 SB – 138 AB

16. California SR 2B/3B Chris Paul: good athlete; good defensive tools; average arm; average range; can also play OF; strong; has played 1B this season, but good enough athlete to move back to the middle infield; 6-3, 200 pounds (2012: .250/.313/.352 – 8 BB/17 K – 2/2 SB – 88 AB) (2013: .232/.284/.403 – 8 BB/36 K – 3/5 SB – 181 AB) (2014: .264/.302/.341 – 4 BB/13 K – 1/1 SB – 91 AB) (2015: .326/.408/.549 – 24 BB/38 K – 6/9 SB – 184 AB)

17. Western Michigan JR 2B/OF Kurt Hoekstra: good athlete; good approach; good hit tool; above-average arm; 6-2, 190 pounds (2014: .297/.375/.368 – 22 BB/44 K – 7/8 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .322/.401/.491 – 22 BB/25 K – 6/7 SB – 214 AB)

18. East Tennessee State JR 2B Trey York: plus to plus-plus speed; good glove; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .231/.305/.349 – 15 BB/34 K – 11/13 SB – 186 AB) (2015: .355/.437/.611 – 25 BB/44 K – 18/21 SB – 211 AB)

19. Belmont JR 2B/OF Tyler Fullerton: steady glove; power upside; 5-9, 175 pounds (2015: .355/.444/.630 – 25 BB/28 K – 6/8 SB – 211 AB)

20. Lehigh JR 2B/SS Mike Garzillo: legit pop; above-average to plus speed; above-average arm; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .260/.343/.364 – 19 BB/35 K – 14/14 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .308/.395/.407 – 20 BB/35 K – 10/13 SB – 182 AB) (2015: .359/.422/.651 – 18 BB/43 K – 15/18 SB – 209 AB)

21. Western Carolina SR 2B/3B Brad Strong: good athlete; good defensive tools; good speed; gap power; improved approach; smart player; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .277/.299/.367 – 4 BB/30 K – 8/11 SB – 177 AB) (2013: .280/.363/.411 – 25 BB/31 K – 17/23 SB – 207 AB) (2014: .339/.401/.548 – 19 BB/41 K – 20/25 SB – 239 AB) (2015: .344/.401/.608 – 16 BB/18 K – 20/25 SB – 212 AB)

22. Elon SR 2B/OF Casey Jones: can also play 3B; consistently takes good at bats; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .418/.502/.668 – 36 BB/40 K – 11/14 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .313/.422/.475 – 35 BB/36 K – 8/9 SB – 217 AB)

23. Northwestern rSR 2B Kyle Ruchim: 5-10, 200 pounds (2015: .358/.416/.585 – 16 BB/14 K – 1/5 SB – 159 AB)

24. Central Michigan SR 2B Pat MacKenzie: FAVORITE; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .310/.449/.372 – 32 BB/19 K – 4/7 SB – 129 AB) (2013: .247/.380/.323 – 35 BB/30 K – 8/11 SB – 186 AB) (2014: .271/.419/.303 – 46 BB/17 K – 5/9 SB – 188 AB) (2015: .348/.489/.435 – 51 BB/27 K – 24/28 SB – 207 AB)

25. Coastal Carolina JR 2B Connor Owings: good hit tool; 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .326/.400/.446 – 21 BB/30 K – 11/15 SB – 233 AB) (2015: .276/.406/.480 – 45 BB/42 K – 13/18 SB – 196 AB)

26. Radford SR 2B/OF Josh Gardiner: good approach; sneaky pop; good speed; steady glove; great athlete; fractured patella 4/15; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .273/.361/.318 – 25 BB/36 K – 10/15 SB – 198 AB) (2013: .281/.368/.357 – 26 BB/33 K – 20/27 SB – 224 AB) (2014: .294/.415/.418 – 33 BB/45 K – 15/17 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .368/.451/.526 – 23 BB/32 K – 18/22 SB – 171 AB)

27. Washington State SR 2B/SS Ian Sagdal: quick bat; power upside; 6-1, 175 pounds (2015: .298/.391/.498 – 30 BB/47 K – 13/16 SB – 205 AB)

28. Southeastern Louisiana JR 2B/3B Daniel Midyett: good speed; good approach; 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .296/.380/.343 – 14 BB/23 K – 6/8 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .306/.411/.477 – 30 BB/30 K – 7/11 SB – 216 AB)

29. Illinois rSR 2B/RHP Reid Roper: 90-93 FB; CB; CU; good athlete; good defensive tools; great approach; 6-0, 200 pounds (2012: .276/.385/.362 – 25 BB/39 K – 1/3 SB – 174 AB) (2012: 6.07 K/9 | 1.35 BB/9 | 5.87 FIP | 13.1 IP) (2013: .243/.323/.367 – 16 BB/33 K – 2/3 SB – 177 AB) (2014: .250/.346/.388 -15 BB/40 K – 2/8 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .304/.415/.500 – 38 BB/34 K – 5/6 SB – 214 AB)

30. Loyola Marymount SR 2B/SS David Edwards: versatile defender, can play any spot on diamond; good at 2B; good speed; sneaky pop; 6-1, 200 pounds (2012: .203/.282/.234 – 7 BB/21 K – 1/4 SB – 64 AB) (2013: .256/.346/.341 – 17 BB/36 K – 16/21 SB – 164 AB) (2014: .240/.335/.337 – 27 BB/35 K – 12/14 SB – 175 AB) (2015: .316/.390/.492 – 21 BB/41 K – 10/15 SB – 187 AB)

31. Virginia JR 2B/3B John LaPrise: average hit tool; not much current power; good approach; above-average speed; good athlete; iffy arm; good defensive tools; can also play OF; 6-3, 180 pounds (2013: .171/.244/.229 – 3 BB/7 K – 0/0 SB – 35 AB) (2014: .348/.397/.421 – 15 BB/29 K – 5/6 SB – 178 AB) (2015: .286/.286/.286 – 0 BB/2 K – 0/0 SB – 14 AB)

32. UC Davis rSR 2B/OF Tino Lipson: plus speed; plus defender; 5-10, 170 pounds (2012: .338/.376/.375 – 9 BB/14 K – 3/7 SB – 160 AB) (2013: .352/.413/.400 – 14 BB/10 K – 10/13 SB – 165 AB) (2015: .308/.375/.397 – 20 BB/16 K – 21/26 SB – 234 AB)

33. Florida State JR 2B/SS John Sansone: power upside; steady glove; average speed; 5-11, 200 pounds (2013: .228/.378/.311 – 34 BB/54 K – 2/5 SB – 193 AB) (2014: .221/.361/.317 – 29 BB/58 K – 6/8 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .252/.384/.410 – 31 BB/57 K – 2/4 SB – 222 AB)

34. Houston JR 2B Josh Vidales: love the approach; plus glove; FAVORITE; 5-8, 160 pounds (2013: .257/.400/.327 – 50 BB/34 K – 15/19 SB – 214 AB) (2014: .285/.388/.306 – 38 BB/17 K – 11/14 SB – 235 AB) (2015: .313/.410/.402 – 33 BB/21 K – 6/8 SB – 224 AB)

35. Oklahoma JR 2B/3B Kolbey Carpenter: power upside; great approach, wears pitchers out; can also play 1B and LF; 6-0, 180 pounds (2013: .228/.262/.325 – 9 BB/39 K – 1/3 SB – 197 AB) (2014: .300/.368/.450 – 12 BB/20 K – 5/6 SB – 79 AB) (2015: .360/.416/.533 – 23 BB/36 K – 5/11 SB – 242 AB)

36. NC State JR 2B/SS Ryne Willard (2015): good glove; average at best arm; good speed; intriguing hit tool; 6-1, 180 pounds (2015: .298/.377/.429 – 21 BB/49 K – 3/4 SB – 191 AB)

37. Dartmouth SR 2B/SS Thomas Roulis: out in 2015; good hit tool; pretty swing; uses whole field; above-average speed that plays up to plus because of quickness and smarts; not much power; below-average arm; enough range for SS; old Jed Lowrie comp; 5-10, 175 pounds (2012: .257/.335/.349 – 15 BB/20 K – 3/4 SB – 152 AB) (2014: .300/.335/.407 – 9 BB/14 K – 2/4 SB – 150 AB)

38. Virginia Tech SR 2B/SS Alex Perez: 5-10, 165 pounds (2012: .246/.364/.326 – 33 BB/32 K – 4/6 SB – 187 AB) (2013: .212/.338/.264 – 44 BB/27 K – 3/6 SB – 231 AB) (2014: .249/.347/.306 – 30 BB/34 K – 2/3 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .322/.434/.507 – 40 BB/27 K – 3/4 SB – 205 AB)

39. Northeastern rJR 2B/RHP Michael Foster: 92 FB; 6-0, 190 pounds (2013: .319/.378/.540 – 18 BB/49 K – 13/14 SB – 213 AB) (2014: .299/.369/.394 – 22 BB/27 K – 18/21 SB – 221 AB) (2014: 8.00 K/9 – 3.00 BB/9 – 18 IP – 2.50 ERA) (2015: .343/.426/.490 – 26 BB/26 K – 10/12 SB – 204 AB)

40. South Florida SR 2B/SS Kyle Teaf: not much power; decent bat; good defensive tools; 5-9, 170 pounds (2012: .251/.335/.324 – 17 BB/17 K – 5/9 SB – 179 AB) (2013: .269/.384/.346 – 40 BB/31 K – 8/10 SB – 234 AB) (2014: .354/.479/.416 – 42 BB/26 K – 7/12 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .294/.412/.369 – 42 BB/39 K – 14/17 SB – 214 AB)

41. Arkansas JR 2B/SS Rick Nomura: good speed; 5-9, 170 pounds (2015: .312/.390/.459 – 19 BB/22 K – 2/4 SB – 157 AB)

42. Indiana SR 2B/OF Casey Rodrigue: plus glove; plus speed; LSU-Eunice transfer; 5-11, 180 pounds (2014: .264/.320/.362 – 17 BB/34 K – 12/17 SB – 246 AB) (2015: .289/.370/.457 – 23 BB/36 K – 13/19 SB – 232 AB)

43. Portland SR 2B/OF Caleb Whalen: really good defender; plus to plus-plus speed; like his approach; power is coming, average raw; good athlete; strong arm; strong hit tool, plus for some; can also hang at SS or 3B; 6-2, 190 pounds (2012: .271/.345/.446 – 17 BB/38 K – 0/1 SB – 177 AB) (2013: .266/.343/.386 – 18 BB/44 K – 6/8 SB – 184 AB) (2014: .265/.344/.423 – 16 BB/28 K – 3/5 SB – 196 AB) (2015: .279/.380/.395 – 4 BB/10 K – 0/1 SB – 43 AB)

44. Cal State Bakersfield JR 2B/SS Mylz Jones: average or better speed, now plus; good athlete; approach needs work; good defensive tools; average or better arm, could be plus in time; can also play 3B or CF; not much power; 6-1, 180 pounds (2013: .320/.382/.369 – 21 BB/35 K – 1/6 SB – 225 AB) (2014: .300/.348/.411 – 17 BB/27 K – 5/6 SB – 207 AB) (2015: .285/.366/.353 – 26 BB/32 K – 6/8 SB – 221 AB)

45. Grand Canyon SR 2B Chad De La Guerra: power upside; 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .373/.433/.555 – 21 BB/23 K – 16/16 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .344/.401/.544 – 17 BB/31 K – 7/9 SB – 215 AB)

46. New Mexico JR 2B/SS Sam Haggerty: above-average or better speed, plus for some; steady glove; 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .236/.376/.320 – 47 BB/48 K – 4/8 SB – 225 AB) (2014: .340/.420/.418 – 35 BB/35 K – 14/16 SB – 244 AB) (2015: .311/.421/.396 – 19 BB/19 K – 6/9 SB – 106 AB)

47. Pepperdine JR 2B Hutton Moyer: good speed; power upside; strong arm; good range; 6-1, 180 pounds (2013: .270/.320/.362 – 10 BB/35 K – 7/7 SB – 163 AB) (2014: .306/.348/.444 – 17 BB/38 K – 15/19 SB – 232 AB) (2015: .280/.393/.541 – 26 BB/57 K – 13/21 SB – 207 AB)

48. Rice SR 2B/SS Ford Stainback: patient; average speed; steady glove; 5-11, 185 pounds (2012: .296/.420/.352 – 31 BB/30 K – 2/2 SB – 142 AB) (2013: .305/.370/.338 – 27 BB/34 K – 6/9 SB – 275 AB) (2014: .258/.314/.297 – 21 BB/28 K – 2/5 SB – 236 AB) (2015: .336/.414/.411 – 29 BB/31 K – 2/2 SB – 214 AB)

49. Georgia State SR 2B/SS Caden Bailey: sneaky pop; above-average defensive tools; 5-10, 170 pounds (2012: .298/.361/.326 – 16 BB/24 K – 1/2 SB – 181 AB) (2013: .343/.415/.422 – 17 BB/21 K – 8/12 SB – 204 AB) (2014: .283/.351/.366 – 15 BB/31 K – 6/9 SB – 205 AB) (2015: .258/.333/.349 – 25 BB/21 K – 6/8 SB – 229 AB)

50. Florida Gulf Coast rSO 2B/3B Jake Noll: good hit tool; good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .367/.416/.440 – 21 BB/23 K – 25/30 SB – 275 AB) (2015: .348/.406/.423 – 20 BB/26 K – 15/18 SB – 227 AB)

51. Oklahoma State SR 2B/OF Tim Arakawa: plus speed; steady glove; 5-8, 175 pounds (2014: .265/.399/.352 – 47 BB/40 K – 15/17 SB – 230 AB) (2015: .291/.415/.387 – 40 BB/48 K – 10/14 SB – 199 AB)

52. Georgetown SR 2B Ryan Busch: strong hit tool; average arm; average speed; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .191/.303/.283 – 8 BB/30 K – 14/17 SB – 152 AB) (2014: .317/.400/.425 – 17 BB/36 K – 13/15 SB – 167 AB) (2015: .276/.355/.419 – 16 BB/31 K – 7/9 SB – 203 AB)

53. Boston College SR 2B/SS Blake Butera: plus glove; 5-9, 175 pounds (2012: .282/.389/.395 – 33 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 195 AB) (2013: .266/.388/.319 – 32 BB/25 K – 2/6 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .269/.399/.332 – 29 BB/24 K – 8/9 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .284/.370/.377 – 22 BB/20 K – 10/12 SB – 183 AB)

54. Alabama JR 2B/RHP Kyle Overstreet: average power; can also play 3B; could be tried as catcher; 6-1, 200 pounds (2013: .284/.352/.326 – 24 BB/22 K – 0/2 SB – 236 AB) (2014: .278/.335/.368 – 18 BB/32 K – 0/1 SB – 223 AB) (2015: .281/.335/.366 – 20 BB/34 K – 1/4 SB – 235 AB)

55. Louisville SR 2B/SS Sutton Whiting: plus speed; good approach; plus arm, thanks to accuracy though not overly strong; impressive range; plays within self; FAVORITE; 5-9, 165 pounds (2013: .299/.381/.383 – 21 BB/27 K – 25/31 SB – 201 AB) (2014: .216/.369/.289 – 43 BB/53 K – 37/43 SB – 218 AB) (2015: .311/.419/.382 – 36 BB/50 K – 14/20 SB – 225 AB)

56. Maryland-Eastern Shore JR 2B/SS Mike Escanilla: steady glove; 5-7, 150 pounds (2014: .289/.365/.337 – 21 BB/13 K – 11/16 SB – 187 AB) (2015: .349/.456/.480 – 21 BB/23 K – 17/21 SB – 152 AB)

57. Auburn JR 2B/SS Melvin Gray: steady glove; plus speed; 5-8, 170 pounds (2015: .309/.376/.362 – 16 BB/27 K – 18/21 SB – 149 AB)

58. Louisville SR 2B/SS Zach Lucas: above-average to plus speed; plus defensive tools – range, arm, hands; plus athlete; strong arm; think he sticks at SS, but others disagree; can also play 3B; 6-0, 185 pounds (2012: .253/.360/.380 – 24 BB/36 K – 6/7 SB – 158 AB) (2013: .264/.361/.302 – 5 BB/15 K – 1/3 SB – 53 AB) (2014: .270/.333/.405 – 20 BB/53 K – 7/8 SB – 237 AB) (2015: .245/.349/.364 – 31 BB/50 K – 17/20 SB – 220 AB)

59. San Jose State JR 2B Ozzy Braff: plus glove; 5-11, 200 pounds (2014*: .358/.408/.536 – 13 BB/34 K – 8/8 SB – 151 AB) (2015: .310/.410/.380 – 16 BB/22 K – 2/2 SB – 100 AB)

60. Texas Tech SR 2B Bryant Burleson: plus glove; 5-10, 175 pounds (2013: .250/.360/.304 – 26 BB/38 K – 2/6 SB – 204 AB) (2014: .272/.325/.402 – 12 BB/38 K – 2/2 SB – 254 AB) (2015: .248/.342/.390 – 13 BB/22 K – 105 AB)

61. UCLA JR 2B Trent Chatterdon: good defensive tools; 5-8, 175 pounds (2013: .248/.355/.286 – 13 BB/15 K – 2/2 SB – 105 AB) (2014: .291/.371/.339 – 21 BB/21 K – 0/1 SB – 189 AB) (2015: .292/.374/.386 – 17 BB/24 K – 0/1 SB – 171 AB)

62. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR 2B Michael Porcaro: steady glove; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .309/.401/.346 – 15 BB/18 K – 4/7 SB – 136 AB) (2013: .348/.404/.481 – 17 BB/27 K – 8/8 SB – 187 AB) (2014: .271/.376/.356 – 23 BB/18 K – 6/8 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .296/.430/.381 – 33 BB/24 K – 8/10 SB – 189 AB)

63. Texas SR 2B Brooks Marlow: steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds (2012: .243/.353/.324 – 27 BB/36 K – 2/4 SB – 173 AB) (2013: .269/.320/.375 – 11 BB/21 K – 1/1 SB – 160 AB) (2014: .268/.383/.375 – 47 BB/36 K – 4/6 SB – 261 AB) (2015: .250/.320/.370 – 20 BB/44 K – 0/0 SB – 208 AB)

64. McNeese State rSR 2B/SS Connor Lloyd: good speed; 5-7, 165 pounds (2013: .263/.358/.297 – 21 BB/12 K – 4/5 SB – 175 AB) (2014: .266/.349/.300 – 24 BB/17 K – 6/9 SB – 203 AB) (2015: .321/.367/.389 – 12 BB/15 K – 2/4 SB – 221 AB)

65. Ohio State JR 2B/3B Troy Kuhn: can also play SS; good hands; 5-10, 180 pounds (2013: .283/.330/.304 – 7 BB/16 K – 4/6 SB – 92 AB) (2014: .290/.379/.442 – 23 BB/34 K – 5/6 SB – 224 AB) (2015: .256/.360/.469 – 12 BB/39 K – 6/7 SB – 160 AB)

66. UC Riverside SR 2B/OF Joe Chavez: good speed; power upside; good athlete; 5-11, 175 pounds (2013: .293/.400/.449 – 24 BB/58 K – 17/23 SB – 198 AB) (2014: .281/.376/.382 – 25 BB/64 K – 22/27 SB – 217 AB) (2015: .308/.390/.453 – 21 BB/53 K – 9/12 SB – 201 AB)

67. Texas-Arlington JR 2B/SS Darien McLemore: steady glove; power upside; 5-9, 210 pounds (2013: .273/.340/.347 – 18 BB/30 K – 4/6 SB – 176 AB) (2014: .301/.406/.422 – 31 BB/28 K – 2/2 SB – 166 AB) (2015: .238/.279/.297 – 9 BB/27 K – 1/1 SB – 172 AB)

68. George Mason JR 2B/SS Brandon Gum: below-average speed; some pop; steady glove; average at best arm; 6-1, 170 pounds (2013: .221/.303/.262 – 19 BB/52 K – 4/7 SB – 172 AB) (2014: .307/.384/.342 – 23 BB/28 K – 5/7 SB – 202 AB) (2015: .338/.413/.426 – 24 BB/37 K – 5/5 SB – 195 AB)

69. Princeton JR 2B Dan Hoy: good glove; 5-8, 175 pounds (2013: .340/.413/.493 – 15 BB/34 K – 12/13 SB – 150 AB) (2014: .285/.361/.417 – 13 BB/29 K – 7/8 SB – 151 AB) (2015: .311/.361/.576 – 7 BB/24 K – 1/5 SB – 132 AB)

70. Kansas JR 2B/SS Colby Wright: good glove; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .314/.415/.417 – 23 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .264/.435/.326 – 21 BB/17 K – 4/4 SB – 129 AB)

71. Niagara JR 2B Michael Fuhrman: 5-10, 190 pounds (2014: .292/.413/.435 – 23 BB/24 K – 4/5 SB – 161 AB) (2015: .340/.476/.490 – 27 BB/27 K – 15/17 SB – 147 AB)

72. Alabama State SR 2B Einar Muniz: 5-5, 165 pounds (2014: .335/.465/.416 – 29 BB/16 K – 5/7 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .434/.484/.509 – 6 BB/4 K – 5/6 SB – 53 AB)

73. Kansas State SR 2B/OF Carter Yagi: good speed; 5-9, 165 pounds (2014: .261/.323/.322 – 11 BB/4 K – 6/8 SB – 115 AB) (2015: .246/.348/.303 – 26 BB/22 K – 7/11 SB – 195 AB)

74. Oklahoma State JR 2B Kevin Bradley: can also play 3B and C; missed 2014 season; 6-1, 200 pounds (2015: .281/.354/.396 – 17 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 139 AB)

75. Grambling State JR 2B/SS Larry Barraza: 5-8, 180 pounds (2015: .333/.426/.572 – 21 BB/12 K – 9/13 SB – 138 AB)

76. Texas State SR 2B/SS Cedric Vallieres: 6-0, 200 pounds (2015: .267/.432/.497 – 35 BB/31 K – 6/6 SB – 191 AB)

77. Southern rSR 2B Marcus Tomlin: 5-10, 180 pounds

78. Appalachian State SR 2B/OF Michael Pierson: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .343/.415/.537 – 26 BB/41 K – 0/1 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .346/.469/.534 – 41 BB/28 K – 1/4 SB – 191 AB)

79. Bucknell JR 2B/OF Joe Ogren: 5-11, 200 pounds (2013: .270/.368/.401 – 15 BB/24 K – 1/4 SB – 137 AB) (2014: .309/.401/.392 – 16 BB/27 K – 6/8 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .357/.463/.536 – 27 BB/25 K – 7/8 SB – 168 AB)

80. Louisiana JR 2B Stefan Trosclair: 6-2, 200 pounds (2015: .351/.453/.668 – 24 BB/36 K – 14/17 SB – 205 AB)

81. Dallas Baptist SR 2B/SS Drew Turbin: 5-11, 200 pounds (2014: .258/.382/.417 – 28 BB/36 K – 3/4 SB – 163 AB) (2015: .349/.490/.521 – 38 BB/44 K – 7/11 SB – 192 AB)

82. Texas-San Antonio JR 2B/OF Jesse Baker: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .273/.338/.421 – 19 BB/61 K – 11/15 SB – 242 AB) (2015: .330/.381/.637 – 17 BB/41 K – 3/9 SB – 215 AB)

83. Furman JR 2B/SS Jordan Simpson: 6-1, 190 pounds (2013: .315/.352/.401 – 9 BB/33 K – 9/11 SB – 197 AB) (2014: .295/.332/.414 – 10 BB/39 K – 7/12 SB – 251 AB) (2015: .339/.377/.606 – 12 BB/35 K – 2/7 SB – 218 AB)

84. La Salle SR 2B Josh Savakinus: 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .295/.371/.462 – 15 BB/38 K – 4/6 SB – 156 AB) (2015: .300/.390/.525 – 26 BB/39 K – 0/2 SB – 200 AB)

85. VMI SR 2B/SS Thomas Stallings: 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .115/.270/.135 – 7 BB/25 K – 1/1 SB – 52 AB) (2013: .194/.259/.306 – 8 BB/30 K – 98 AB) (2014: .222/.291/.306 – 6 BB/22 K – 1/1 SB – 72 AB) (2015: .286/.409/.579 – 18 BB/43 K – 6/8 SB – 126 AB)

86. Mount St. Mary’s SR 2B/3B Kory Britton: 6-3, 190 pounds (2014: .329/.385/.455 – 11 BB/14 K – 2/4 SB – 143 AB) (2015: .356/.420/.477 – 16 BB/16 K – 2/2 SB – 149 AB)

87. Evansville SR 2B Boomer Synek: 5-9, 185 pounds (2014: .281/.412/.384 – 43 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .288/.418/.423 – 10 BB/3 K – 0/0 SB – 52 AB)

88. Duke SR 2B Andy Perez: 6-0, 185 pounds (2014: .272/.379/.346 – 22/28 SB – 191 AB) (2015: .290/.373/.429 – 27 BB/34 K – 35/45 SB – 210 AB)

89. South Carolina JR 2B/SS DC Arendas: good defender; can also play 3B; 6-1, 180 pounds (2014: .271/.373/.373 – 26 BB/27 K – 1/1 SB – 177 AB) (2015: .215/.388/.319 – 38 BB/49 K – 5/8 SB – 144 AB)

90. Tulane SR 2B Garret Deschamp: good defender; gap power; 6-2, 200 pounds (2014: .266/.360/.391 – 18 BB/40 K – 2/3 SB – 184 AB) (2015: .222/.347/.323 – 24 BB/52 K – 0/0 SB – 167 AB)

91. Oklahoma SR 2B/SS Josh Ake: good range; UNC transfer; 5-11, 175 pounds (2014: .187/.288/.234 – 9 BB/17 K – 2/3 SB – 64 AB) (2015: .214/.328/.308 – 18 BB/22 K – 1/2 SB – 117 AB)

92. San Francisco rJR 2B Michael Eaton: steady glove; 5-9, 180 pounds (2014: .233/.331/.320 – 17 BB/19 K – 1/2 SB – 103 AB) (2015: .286/.337/.357 – 12 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 168 AB)

93. Hartford JR 2B/SS Aaron Wilson: strong glove; good athlete; good speed; 6-0, 180 pounds (2013: .214/.369/.252 – 21 BB/41 K – 4/6 SB – 103 AB) (2014: .234/.339/.266 – 18 BB/32 K – 13/20 SB – 154 AB) (2015: .250/.383/.346 – 25 BB/27 K – 7/10 SB – 136 AB)

94. Canisius JR 2B/SS Anthony Massicci: good glove; strong arm; 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .364/.489/.474 – 42 BB/34 K – 11/14 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .290/.398/.379 – 40 BB/48 K – 5/7 SB – 214 AB)

95. North Carolina Greensboro SR 2B Hunter King: good speed; 5-11, 190 pounds (2014: .382/.445/.538 – 22 BB/30 K – 6/9 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .279/.355/.489 – 20 BB/45 K – 6/7 SB – 190 AB)

96. Cal State Fullerton JR 2B/SS Jake Jefferies: sneaky pop; average to above-average speed; good glove, can also play SS; iffy arm; good athlete; 6-0, 200 pounds (2013: .253/.321/.353 – 12 BB/20 K – 4/4 SB – 150 AB) (2014: .144/.184/.155 – 5 BB/14 K – 2/2 SB – 97 AB) (2015: .252/.311/.294 – 9 BB/18 K – 3/3 SB – 119 AB)

97. Minnesota JR 2B/SS Connor Schaefbauer: good speed; good athlete; good glove; smart player; quick bat; 6-1, 190 pounds (2013: .324/.399/.375 – 17 BB/20 K – 4/5 SB – 136 AB) (2014: .287/.374/.374 – 24 BB/28 K – 13/15 SB – 195 AB) (2015: .260/.318/.333 – 17 BB/41 K – 10/15 SB – 204 AB)

98. Hawaii SR 2B Stephen Ventimilia: plus-plus speed; great athlete; 5-8, 170 pounds (2012: .337/.438/.361 – 38 BB/30 K – 14/17 SB – 208 AB) (2013: .279/.329/.346 – 10 BB/12 K – 7/12 SB – 136 AB) (2014: .296/.378/.315 – 22 BB/24 K – 13/18 SB – 162 AB) (2015: .229/.313/.285 – 19 BB/25 K – 12/13 SB – 144 AB)

99. Murray State SR 2B/OF Anthony Bayus: good speed, uses it well; can also play 3B; 6-2, 180 pounds (2014: .327/.422/.477 – 29 BB/43 K – 8/11 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .266/.357/.402 – 23 BB/42 K – 12/13 SB – 199 AB)

100. Fort Wayne rJR 2B Greg Kaiser: power upside; 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .289/.339/.536 – 8 BB/32 K – 4/4 SB – 166 AB) (2015: .361/.396/.639 – 6 BB/37 K – 5/5 SB – 194 AB)

*****

101. Tennessee-Martin SR 2B/3B Nico Zych: 6-0, 180 pounds (2015: .301/.393/.472 – 24 BB/37 K – 2/2 SB – 193 AB)

102. Delaware SR 2B/3B Zach Lopes: Coastal Carolina transfer; 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .320/.368/.395 – 15 BB/36 K – 5/6 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .341/.415/.476 – 23 BB/36 K – 13/23 SB – 208 AB)

103. Delaware State JR 2B/SS Cameron Onderko: 5-9, 175 pounds (2014: .396/.512/.485 – 17 BB/17 K – 3/3 SB – 101 AB) (2015: .299/.461/.431 – 38 BB/27 K – 3/4 SB – 144 AB)

104. Oral Roberts SR 2B Matt Brandy: 6-0, 185 pounds (2013: .271/.396/.328 – 36 BB/35 K – 2/2 SB – 177 AB) (2014: .277/.362/.357 – 23 BB/29 K – 2/4 SB – 213 AB) (2015: .313/.429/.456 – 44 BB/24 K – 2/6 SB – 217 AB)

105. Long Island-Brooklyn JR 2B Brian Lamboy: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .327/.469/.418 – 24 BB/9 K – 14/15 SB – 110 AB)

106. Eastern Kentucky JR 2B/3B Doug Teegarden: 6-0, 190 pounds (2013: .250/.384/.319 – 35 BB/20 K – 5/7 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .244/.363/.342 – 27 BB/22 K – 11/14 SB – 193 AB) (2015: .292/.445/.425 – 26 BB/19 K – 11/16 SB – 120 AB)

107. Illinois State rJR 2B Joe Kelch: 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .283/.359/.341 – 11 BB/25 K – 0/0 SB – 138 AB) (2015: .338/.401/.482 – 13 BB/26 K – 1/2 SB – 139 AB)

108. Seattle JR 2B/SS Sheldon Stober: 5-9, 175 pounds (2015: .304/.365/.435 – 22 BB/25 K – 22/28 SB – 230 AB)

109. Ball State JR 2B Ryan Spaulding: 5-10, 165 pounds (2013: .253/.323/.329 – 15 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 170 AB) (2014: .292/.394/.440 – 36 BB/26 K – 2/3 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .284/.354/.431 – 20 BB/23 K – 5/7 SB – 211 AB)

110. East Tennessee State rSO 2B/SS Danny Carrier: 5-9, 185 pounds (2015: .327/.431/.490 – 9 BB/17 K – 2/2 SB – 49 AB)

111. Marist JR 2B Joey Aiola: 6-2, 160 pounds (2015: .306/.384/.417 – 18 BB/19 K – 0/2 SB – 144 AB)

112. Southeastern Louisiana SR 2B/SS Jacob Williams: 5-10, 165 pounds (2014: .265/.349/.310 – 22 BB/33 K – 13/18 SB – 200 AB) (2015: .291/.367/.418 – 9 BB/11 K – 7/8 SB – 79 AB)

113. Florida International JR 2B Austin Rodriguez: 5-10, 190 pounds (2015: .258/.338/.417 – 14 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 132 AB)

114. Butler SR 2B/SS Austin Miller: 6-2, 190 pounds (2015: .285/.407/.417 – 17 BB/25 K – 7/8 SB – 151 AB)

115. Pepperdine JR 2B Chris Fornaci: 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .405/.444/.619 – 3 BB/11 K – 0/0 SB – 42 AB) (2015: .239/.395/.426 – 29 BB/47 K – 0/1 SB – 188 AB)

116. Mercer SR 2B Devin Bonin: 5-9, 165 pounds (2014: .284/.395/.326 – 23 BB/20 K – 5/7 SB – 141 AB) (2015: .286/.358/.459 – 23 BB/40 K – 5/7 SB – 231 AB)

117. Pacific JR 2B/3B Louis Mejia: 5-10, 185 pounds (2015: .308/.348/.420 – 11 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 169 AB)

118. Southern Illinois Edwardsville SR 2B Chase Green: 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .292/.339/.398 – 14 BB/35 K – 7/13 SB – 226 AB) (2015: .286/.339/.417 – 12 BB/24 K – 4/6 SB – 206 AB)

119. Lamar SR 2B Mason Salazar: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .256/.333/.306 – 17 BB/20 K – 4/6 SB – 160 AB) (2015: .310/.350/.421 – 7 BB/18 K – 3/5 SB – 145 AB)

120. Dartmouth SR 2B Matt Parisi: 5-9, 170 pounds (2013: .311/.373/.407 – 11 BB/25 K – 3/3 SB – 167 AB) (2014: .273/.348/.353 – 13 BB/29 K – 2/5 SB – 139 AB) (2015: .321/.366/.459 – 11 BB/30 K – 1/2 SB – 159 AB)

121. Florida A&M JR 2B Alec Wong: 5-6, 160 pounds (2015: .271/.372/.400 – 24 BB/23 K – 2/3 SB – 170 AB)

122. South Dakota State SR 2B Al Robbins: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .270/.380/.37 – 22 BB/34 K – 7/9 SB – 141 AB) (2015: .317/.406/.407 – 21 BB/23 K – 4/5 SB – 167 AB)

123. Nebraska JR 2B/SS Jake Placzek: good speed; sneaky pop; good glove; 5-10, 180 pounds (2014: .271/.377/.312 – 33 BB/36 K – 3/3 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .212/.331/.317 – 19 BB/26 K – 2/3 SB – 104 AB)

124. TCU JR 2B Garrett Crain: average speed; 6-0, 185 pounds (2014: .324/.403/.413 – 19 BB/25 K – 8/13 SB – 179 AB) (2015: .260/.330/.315 – 18 BB/32 K – 7/9 SB – 200 AB)

125. Charlotte SR 2B/OF Brad Elwood: 5-10, 180 pounds (2012: .269/.333/.394 – 11 BB/10 K – 3/4 SB – 104 AB) (2013: .335/.395/.451 – 22 BB/10 K – 5/9 SB – 233 AB) (2014: .214/.266/.226 – 7 BB/5 K – 0/1 SB – 84 AB) (2015: .328/.400/.394 – 22 BB/10 K – 0/2 SB – 180 AB)

126. Georgia Tech SR 2B/SS Thomas Smith: 6-1, 180 pounds (2012: .302/.411/.349 – 16 BB/13 K – 126 AB – 5/9 SB) (2013: .295/.375/.455 – 14 BB/15 K – 3/6 SB – 112 AB) (2014: .301/.392/.380 – 26 BB/31 K – 5/9 SB – 229 AB) (2015: .262/.382/.308 – 34 BB/25 K – 10/12 SB – 195 AB)

127. Binghamton JR 2B Reed Gamache: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .283/.362/.347 – 9 BB/38 K – 5/7 SB – 173 AB) (2015: .288/.422/.388 – 24 BB/28 K – 1/1 SB – 139 AB)

128. Iowa rSR 2B Jake Mangler: 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .315/.397/.389 – 21 BB/21 K – 5/7 SB – 216 AB) (2015: .303/.386/.359 – 30 BB/25 K – 8/9 SB – 231 AB)

129. St. John’s SR 2B/3B Robert Wayman: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .276/.380/.319 – 34 BB/22 K – 10/11 SB – 210 AB) (2015: .297/.405/.356 – 15 BB/14 K – 3/5 SB – 101 AB)

130. Eastern Michigan SR 2B/SS John Rubino: 5-8, 170 pounds (2013: .311/.384/.406 – 24 BB/22 K – 11/15 SB – 212 AB) (2014: .330/.383/.401 – 17 BB/19 K – 23/30 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .311/.375/.373 – 20 BB/18 K – 40/46 SB – 228 AB)

131. Lamar SR 2B/3B Reed Seeley: 6-1, 200 pounds (2014: .283/.417/.349 – 42 BB/31 K – 5/9 SB – 212 AB) (2015: .284/.380/.371 – 29 BB/26 K – 0/1 SB – 197 AB)

132. Troy SR 2B/3B Nick Masonia: 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .243/.328/.388 – 19 BB/36 K – 7/7 SB – 206 AB) (2015: .262/.356/.387 – 26 BB/28 K – 1/2 SB – 191 AB)

133. Kansas SR 2B/SS Justin Protacio: great approach; steady glove; 5-6, 165 pounds (2013: .255/.384/.295 – 41 BB/31 K – 9/11 SB – 200 AB) (2014: .280/.393/.322 – 44 BB/37 K – 4/8 SB – 236 AB) (2015: .236/.331/.279 – 28 BB/21 K – 2/3 SB – 208 AB)

134. Charlotte rSO 2B/SS Luke Gibbs: good athlete; good defender; can play anywhere; Mississippi transfer; 5-9, 170 pounds (2015: .203/.316/.297 – 24 BB/26 K – 4/6 SB – 148 AB)

135. Rider SR 2B/SS Greg Fazio: good speed; 5-11, 175 pounds (2014: .245/.313/.367 – 13 BB/39 K – 7/10 SB – 188 AB) (2015: .258/.333/.368 – 21 BB/35 K – 16/19 SB – 190 AB)

136. Butler rSO 2B/SS Chris Maranto: good hit tool; 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .309/.410/.395 – 25 BB/32 K – 8/10 SB – 162 AB) (2015: .275/.370/.292 – 16 BB/21 K – 7/12 SB – 120 AB

137. Long Beach State rJR 2B Zach Domingues: plus approach; FAVORITE; 5-10, 175 pounds (2015: .183/.308/.232 – 24 BB/24 K – 4/11 SB – 164 AB)

138. Fordham JR 2B Joseph Runco: steady glove; smart player; average speed; 6-0, 190 pounds (2014: .298/.357/.361 – 15 BB/33 K – 23/29 SB – 205 AB) (2015: .255/.336/.314 – 19 BB/25 K – 29/33 SB – 204 AB)

139. UC Riverside SR 2B/SS Alex Rubanowitz: average or better range, speed, and arm; 6-1, 180 pounds (2012: .222/.304/.278 – 9 BB/18 K – 1/2 SB – 90 AB) (2013: .230/.320/.297 – 17 BB/27 K – 4/7 SB – 148 AB) (2014: .158/.258/.158 – 8 BB/13 K – 2/2 SB – 57 AB) (2015: .235/.290/.318 – 8 BB/27 K – 0/0 SB – 132 AB)

140. Central Arkansas JR 2B Chris Townsend: good glove; 5-11, 185 pounds (2014: .281/.389/.357 – 25 BB/43 K – 3/5 SB – 199 AB) (2015: .239/.382/.290 – 27 BB/21 K – 5/7 SB – 138 AB)

141. Gardner-Webb SR 2B/SS Henry Rundio: good speed; 6-0, 170 pounds (2013: .257/.319/.367 – 12 BB/45 K – 16/23 SB – 210 AB) (2014: .268/.317/.350 – 12 BB/37 K – 15/21 SB – 183 AB) (2015: .201/.276/.348 – 14 BB/47 K – 11/14 SB – 164 AB)

142. Albany JR 2B Karson Canaday: good speed; good glove; 5-9, 155 pounds (2015: .211/.312/.275 – 16 BB/21 K – 2/2 SB – 109 AB)

143. Southern Illinois Edwardsville JR 2B/RHP Skyler Geissinger: 6-2, 185 pounds (2013: .267/.310/.422 – 6 BB/51 K – 0/2 SB – 187 AB) (2014: .263/.366/.392 – 23 BB/45 K – 4/7 SB – 209 AB) (2015: .297/.375/.401 – 21 BB/41 K – 3/6 SB – 182 AB)

144. Eastern Kentucky JR 2B/3B Luke Wurzelbacher: 6-3, 185 pounds (2014: .207/.317/.337 – 12 BB/46 K – 3/4 SB – 169 AB) (2015: .257/.364/.414 – 10 BB/37 K – 6/7 SB – 140 AB)

145. Fairleigh Dickinson JR 2B/SS Dylan Sprague: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .266/.328/.338 – 13 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .262/.324/.384 – 14 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 164 AB) (2015: .298/.344/.393 – 14 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 168 AB)

146. Missouri SR 2B/SS Brett Peel: 5-10, 170 pounds (2014: .214/.353/.214 – 4 BB/12 K – 2/3 SB – 28 AB) (2015: .257/.362/.332 – 31 BB/47 K – 22/29 SB – 214 AB)

147. California JR 2B Max Dutto: 5-11, 210 pounds (2013: .172/.264/.234 – 7 BB/26 K – 0/0 SB – 64 AB) (2015: .222/.411/.346 – 22 BB/28 K – 2/2 SB – 81 AB)

148. Utah JR 2B Kody Davis: 5-8, 170 pounds (2013: .273/.364/.347 – 9 BB/15 K – 14/15 SB – 121 AB) (2014: .237/.372/.284 – 28 BB/29 K – 12/15 SB – 190 AB) (2015: .275/.423/.365 – 25 BB/32 K – 15/22 SB – 189 AB)

149. Minnesota SR 2B/OF Tony Skjefte: 5-10, 160 pounds (2014: .272/.349/.396 – 17 BB/22 K – 2/5 SB – 169 AB)

150. Cal State Northridge SR 2B Ryan Raslowsky: 5-9, 170 pounds (2014: .269/.309/.284 – 12 BB/14 K – 15/24 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .293/.362/.348 – 14 BB/28 K – 11/15 SB – 198 AB)

151. USC rSR 2B Angelo La Bruna: Duke transfer; 5-10, 170 pounds (2015: .250/.310/.368 – 7 BB/12 K – 4/6 SB – 76 AB)

152. UC Santa Barbara rSR 2B/OF Woody Woodward: 6-1, 200 pounds (2013: .319/.394/.404 – 10 BB/24 K – 8/11 SB – 188 AB) (2014: .260/.364/.326 – 11 BB/21 K – 6/7 SB – 181 AB) (2015: .295/.411/.374 – 16 BB/23 K – 4/4 SB – 139 AB)

153. San Diego rJR 2B/3B Jerod Smith: 5-9, 170 pounds (2014: .303/.343/.303 – 2 BB/3 K – 0/1 SB – 33 AB) (2015: .295/.380/.345 – 26 BB/30 K – 1/2 SB – 200 AB)

154. St. Mary’s JR 2B/OF Connor Hornsby: 5-9, 180 pounds (2014: .230/.321/.246 – 17 BB/16 K – 2/6 SB – 122 AB) (2015: .349/.417/.386 – 17 BB/18 K – 11/13 SB – 166 AB)

155. Northern Colorado SR 2B/SS Reyn Sugai: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .297/.403/.338 – 15 BB/23 K – 9/11 SB – 148 AB)

156. Utah Valley State JR 2B/SS Greyson Bogden: 6-0, 180 pounds (2014: .279/.350/.351 – 18 BB/28 K – 1/2 SB – 208 AB) (2015: .269/.330/.391 – 13 BB/41 K – 2/2 SB – 197 AB)

157. Houston Baptist JR 2B Greg Espinosa: 5-10, 165 pounds (2015: .307/.335/.353 – 5 BB/7 K – 1/2 SB – 153 AB)

158. Sam Houston State JR 2B Zach Smith: 6-0, 175 pounds (2015: .275/.333/.359 – 14 BB/18 K – 11/12 SB – 167 AB)

159. Maine JR 2B Shane Bussey: 6-0, 200 pounds (2015: .250/.346/.333 – 20 BB/34 K – 8/9 SB – 156 AB)

160. Stony Brook SR 2B Robert Chavarria: 5-6, 170 pounds (2014: .292/.395/.308 – 27 BB/20 K – 8/11 SB – 185 AB) (2015: .308/.450/.331 – 35 BB/21 K – 3/6 SB – 169 AB)

161. Towson rSO 2B/SS Colin Dyer: 6-2, 175 pounds (2015: .276/.389/.359 – 25 BB/34 K – 8/10 SB – 156 AB)

162. Arkansas State SR 2B/3B Lucas Feddersen: 5-10, 180 pounds (2015: .314/.372/.398 – 6 BB/31 K – 7/7 SB – 118 AB)

163. Georgia Southern SR 2B/SS Dalton Busby: 6-1, 170 pounds (2014: .274/.318/.406 – 14 BB/27 K – 7/9 SB – 197 AB) (2015: .281/.361/.378 – 23 BB/45 K – 24/28 SB – 196 AB)

164. South Carolina Upstate SR 2B/OF Erik Samples: 5-8, 180 pounds (2014: .294/.362/.428 – 16 BB/34 K – 2/2 SB – 201 AB) (2015: .318/.400/.441 – 22 BB/46 K – 2/3 SB – 211 AB)

165. Dayton rSR 2B Sergio Plasencia: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .231/.332/.313 – 18 BB/15 K – 4/5 SB – 160 AB) (2015: .253/.362/.343 – 28 BB/24 K – 3/6 SB – 198 AB)

166. Massachusetts rSR 2B Rob McLam: 5-9, 180 pounds (2015: .294/.388/.378 – 10 BB/11 K – 3/6 SB – 119 AB)

167. North Florida JR 2B/SS Kyle Brooks: 5-8, 160 pounds (2013: .292/.385/.380 – 21 BB/20 K – 6/9 SB – 192 AB) (2014: .293/.370/.340 – 21 BB/20 K – 3/3 SB – 215 AB) (2015: .303/.375/.354 – 17 BB/12 K – 9/10 SB – 195 AB)

168. Gardner-Webb JR 2B Tyler Best: 5-11, 180 pounds (2014: .269/.331/.303 – 11 BB/22 K – 2/6 SB – 119 AB) (2015: .253/.333/.356 – 14 BB/20 K – 11/17 SB – 146 AB)

169. Longwood JR 2B CJ Roth: 5-7, 165 pounds (2014: .268/.323/.340 – 12 BB/33 K – 2/3 SB – 153 AB) (2015: .285/.406/.326 – 25 BB/42 K – 12/15 SB – 144 AB)

170. Wofford JR 2B/SS Derek Hirsch: 5-10, 160 pounds (2014: .248/.349/.279 – 16 BB/27 K – 11/12 SB – 129 AB) (2015: .306/.389/.347 – 23 BB/33 K – 17/21 SB – 193 AB)

171. Yale SR 2B David Toups: 5-9, 180 pounds (2012: .286/.318/.354 – 7 BB/23 K – 3/5 SB – 147 AB) (2013: .201/.267/.269 – 11 BB/20 K – 6/8 SB – 134 AB) (2014: .221/.327/.316 – 13 BB/15 K – 3/5 SB – 95 AB) (2015: .291/.393/.378 – 18 BB/23 K – 2/4 SB – 127 AB)

172. Harvard JR 2B/3B Mitch Klug: 6-2, 190 pounds (2015: .308/.424/.350 – 16 BB/27 K – 7/9 SB – 143 AB)

173. Fairleigh Dickinson JR 2B/SS Dylan Sprague: 5-11, 180 pounds (2013: .266/.328/.338 – 13 BB/22 K – 1/3 SB – 154 AB) (2014: .262/.324/.384 – 14 BB/23 K – 0/0 SB – 164 AB) (2015: .298/.344/.393 – 14 BB/16 K – 0/0 SB – 168 AB)

174. Eastern Illinois JR 2B Mitch Gasbarro: 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .307/.414/.417 – 24 BB/37 K – 6/10 SB – 192 AB) (2015: .221/.320/.337 – 11 BB/28 K – 4/4 SB – 86 AB)

175. Jacksonville State JR 2B/SS Gavin Golsan: 5-10, 175 pounds (2014: .256/.340/.295 – 16 BB/34 K – 32/36 SB – 176 AB) (2015: .290/.361/.347 – 38/42 SB – 245 AB)

176. Murray State JR 2B Nick Moore: Missouri transfer; 5-11, 180 pounds (2015: .258/.341/.358 – 20 BB/40 K – 1/4 SB – 190 AB)

177. Tennessee Tech JR 2B/SS Jake Farr: 6-1, 180 pounds (2015: .275/.376/.354 – 22 BB/20 K – 1/3 SB – 178 AB)

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

179. Norfolk State rSO 2B/SS Roger Hall: 6-0, 215 pounds (2015: .281/.339/.371 – 12 BB/21 K – 2/4 SB – 167 AB)

180. Illinois-Chicago rSR 2B Alex Lee: 5-11, 170 pounds (2014: .309/.404/.371 – 26 BB/34 K – 1/4 SB – 178 AB) (2015: .314/.382/.387 – 21 BB/37 K – 2/2 SB – 191 AB)

SEC 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team – HITTERS

First Team

Louisiana State JR C Chris Chinea
South Carolina SR 1B Kyle Martin
Louisiana State JR 2B Alex Bregman
Vanderbilt JR SS Dansby Swanson
Florida SR 3B Josh Tobias
Florida JR OF Harrison Bader
Louisiana State JR OF Andrew Stevenson
Tennessee JR OF Christin Stewart

Second Team

Georgia JR C Zack Bowers
Vanderbilt rJR 1B Zander Wiel
South Carolina JR 2B Max Schrock
Georgia rSO 3B Trevor Kieboom
Florida SR 3B Josh Tobias
Tennessee JR OF/LHP Vincent Jackson
Vanderbilt JR OF Rhett Wiseman
Arkansas SO OF Andrew Benintendi

There are so many prospects here that I’m going to do my best to touch on as many as possible as we whip around the diamond. There are some quoted bits from previous entries when applicable so this isn’t entirely original content, but it’s over 6,000 words…and that’s before we get to the pitching. Buckle up.

LSU JR C Chris Chinea is a good athlete with a big raw power and a solid defensive reputation. His teammate SR C Kade Scivicque joins him in what has to be one of college ball’s top catching tandems. It would hardly be a surprise to see the talented Scivicque get selected before Chinea with the former’s senior sign status giving him the edge for teams that view them as comparable talents. I look at Texas A&M SR C Mitchell Nau in a similar way to Scivicque: both are solid senior signs that should come relatively cheaply, provide a steadying presence for young arms, and give you a chance at a big league backup catcher down the line.

Alabama SO C Will Haynie has obvious upside in his 6-5, 230 pound frame. Catchers built like that with plus raw power and plus arm strength get chances even when the overall package – Haynie struggled badly last season and has only made modest improvements in 2015 — doesn’t amount to what you’d expect. A team might bet on his tools higher than expected, but I think the most realistic outcome would be a return to Tuscaloosa in 2016. No need to rush Haynie just because he’s a draft-eligible sophomore, though I suppose the question as to whether or not his development would be better served in college or in the pros going forward is one worth asking. I typically side with the pro side on matters like these, but Haynie needs the kind of at bats that playing every day in the SEC would give him. He’s almost too raw a player to take on the pros right now; I’d worry that he’d get lost in the shuffle of pro ball as even the best player development staffs can only take on so many projects at any one time.

Georgia JR C Zack Bowers can’t match Haynie in terms of sheer mass (Bowers is listed at 6-1, 200), but offers a similarly appealing plus raw power/plus arm strength package. His glove remains a work in progress, but the strides he has made as a hitter this year have been encouraging. He’s still going to swing and miss more than you’d like, but there’s a chance with continued work he can get that aspect under enough control to put his big raw power to use. I’ve personally moved away from the arm/power catcher archetype in recent years (I know lean towards athleticism and plate discipline), but the upside of a player like Bowers is undeniable. To an extent, how much you like Bowers (and Haynie, for that matter) comes down to how much confidence you have in your player development staff working with these kinds of players. If you believe that you can coach up defense and approach, then the raw talent of the arm/power catchers supersedes any concerns. I can buy that defense can always be improved – the Cubs sure seem to think so – but changing a guy’s approach at the plate is a gigantic challenge.

If he can convince teams that he can work defensively as a four-corners (1B/3B/LF/RF) prospect, then South Carolina JR 1B Kyle Martin could wind up drafted higher than most other straight college first basemen in his class. He has the athleticism and arm strength to pull off such a move, though it remains to be seen if the primary first baseman can make the transition in pro ball. As a hitter he’s improved every season – especially in the power department – enough to make a case that he could just keep mashing enough to get a shot down the line even if he’s locked into first base only. Of course, we say it every year and it bears repeating yet again: the tremendous offensive demands of the position makes projecting any amateur first basemen as a regular a long shot. Guys who can play multiple spots – like Martin potentially, as well as LSU SR 1B Conner Hale (who has also seen time at 2B and 3B), Georgia JR 1B Morgan Bunting (3B/OF…when he plays), and Auburn JR 1B Dylan Smith (OF…when he plays) – tend to wind up the most interesting prospects on draft day.

I liked Vanderbilt rJR 1B Zander Wiel last season as a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore, so it should be no shock that I like him again as a draft-eligible redshirt junior. Power, strength, and enough patience make him one of college ball’s better first base prospects. When I wonder here about why certain guys don’t get talked about more, I sometimes stop and think, “Well, how much have I publicly praised the player?” Almost always, I haven’t. I’ve thought about him a lot and maybe fired off some behind-the-scenes type things about the guy, but never given him the public recognition he deserves. That’s one of the reasons I’m glad I did this conference previews even if they did monopolize much of my free time over the past few months. There are so many more players that aren’t projected to be top ten picks that baseball fans should know about, and a quality first base prospect at one of the best programs in the country is one of them.

And now for something totally different. Mississippi SR 1B Sikes Orvis is one of college ball’s most famous names. His colorful personality, noteworthy facial hair (since lopped off, sadly), egg-like bod, and near weekly appearances on ESPN’s coverage of the SEC make him a worthy ambassador for the game and one of the most well-known players to casual college baseball/draft fans (if you’re an athlete who my wife recognizes on TV as she flicks by, then you’re famous). On top of all that, he’s also a pretty good college baseball player. He’s a better athlete and defender than his body suggests, and his power bat is nothing to mess with. The profile is a long shot to ever top out as anything but a 4A slugger, but it’ll be a fun ride. Equally entertaining plus-sized Mississippi State rSR 1B Wes Rea is in the same boat. I don’t know how high he’ll climb in the minors, but all eyes will be on the 6-5, 275 pound ATHLETE at every minor league park he sets foot in. That’s more than most mid-round prospects can say, so I’d argue he’s already ahead of the game.

LSU JR 2B/SS Alex Bregman and South Carolina JR 2B Max Schrock have been covered already, so I’ll be brief with each here. On Bregman…DID YOU KNOW that as of 4/3/15, he has more home runs (7) than strikeouts (5)? That’s good, right? His defense has also universally lauded this spring, enough so that some smart people are starting to lead the Bregman as pro shortstop charge once again. Two things about that: 1) I think whatever team drafts him does so with playing him at shortstop for at least the remainder of 2015 and possibly even 2016. I’m not sure what happens after that, but my hunch is that he’ll be given every shot to stay at shortstop despite what haters like me write. I mean, if Corey Seager is still technically a shortstop, then why won’t a team stick with Bregman at the six-spot as long as possible? 2) As a “hater,” I’m encouraged about the positive reports about his defense, but more so because now I’m more sure than ever that he could be a plus glove at second rather than a future pro shortstop. Any way you look at it his improved defense is a good thing even if it does muddle the Bregman narrative up a bit.

That wasn’t particularly brief, so I’ll try again with Schrock. I’ve read in multiple places how Schrock has been a disappointment this year for South Carolina. We’re not talking from a draft perspective, but from a 2015 college production point of view. His batting average is over fifty points lower so far this year, so I guess that has to be why I keep hearing about his struggles this year. It’s certainly not about his OBP because, lower average or not, he’s getting on base at a higher clip this year (.379) than he did last year (.366). You could fairly point to his decrease in power so far this year, but it’s not so far off – especially with the added OBP value – to say he’s having a down year relative to what he’s done in the past. From a draft prospect perspective I was hoping for last year’s numbers plus improvements across the board (I’m selfish like that), but he’s hardly been disappointing through 105 at bats. I know this doesn’t have much to do with anything, but I feel better for getting that off my chest.

Alabama JR 2B/SS Mikey White’s power breakout has had many talking him up as a possible third baseman as a professional. I don’t think the power spike is real – he’s a really good hitter, but not somebody I would have had down for much more than average power going forward – but it’s the scouts he has to convince, not me. I had somebody smart (and, because I know he wouldn’t mind me saying this, also super old) recently compare him to a righthanded Graig Nettles. That feels a little rich for me – Nettles’ raw numbers don’t blow you away, but he’s a borderline HOF third baseman if going off of JAWS – but it’s an interesting comparison to a historically underrated player who once made the transition from second base to third. Lost in this whole conversation is White’s potential to remain at shortstop. Like those who will fight you to the death on Alex Bregman’s future position, there are some college baseball loyalists who will get very mad if you suggest White will have to move out of the six-spot as a pro. Believe it or not, I understand where those fans of White’s game are coming from: he’s as hard working as any prospect you’ll find, a tremendous team leader, and his baseball instincts are off the charts. Do those intangibles make up for average at best foot speed and suboptimal range? Despite the leading question, White has more of a shot to stick a shortstop for a few years than I had thought coming into the year. I still think either second or third makes more sense, and I’m not entirely sold on the bat being good enough to make him an everyday player, but the comparisons to former Alabama star Josh Rutledge…wait, this felt familiar so I searched my site for my last Rutledge reference and turns out I’ve written almost all this before. Turns out writing 10,000 words a week about college baseball for two months on end leaves you with mush for brains. Here’s my section on White from January…

It goes against a lot of what I’ve written previously, most notably in the LSU preview when discussing Alex Bregman, so don’t read too much into my listing of JR 2B/SS Mikey White’s two most likely pro positions in that precise (2B/SS) order. White could very well wind up sticking at short as a professional; in fact, I reserve the right to switch that up a half-dozen times in my mind (and in print!) over the next few months. Working very much for him are his tremendous instincts, which rank among the best I’ve seen at the amateur level. Though impossible for the amateur eye to quantify, he’s one of those players who always seems to be in the middle of the action on the field, almost always doing something positive after finding himself in the right place at the right time. Watch him for a game or even a series and you might chalk it up as a coincidence, but we’ve now got two years of college, plenty of high-level summer ball, and, depending on who you are lucky enough to talk to, a year or more of tracking him in high school to go off of at this point. If his preternatural ability to be at the right place at the right time is just a coincidence, then I no longer understand the meaning of the word.

There’s a perfectly reasonable and logical Josh Rutledge comp out there (can’t recall the origin) for White that I don’t hate, though I think White is a truer traditional middle infielder (better glove, less power) than Rutledge ever was. There’s also been a Nolan Fontana comparison floating around with Baseball America as the source. I think the Fontana comp is a little bit stronger (both players relying as much on smarts and positioning than raw athleticism as defenders), but, like all comps, it’s still imperfect: Fontana always had an elite approach as a hitter as well as, in my personal view, a surer path to remain at shortstop professionally. The best comparison that comes to mind for me is current Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer. Both guys have good size, strong arms, and have been universally praised over the years for having high baseball IQs. All that, and their sophomore year numbers aren’t all that far off…

JM: .299/.359/.481 – 15 BB/28 K – 5/7 SB
MW: .300/.399/.443 – 27 BB/44 K – 3/5 SB

Mercer followed that up with another quality season highlighted by a power spike significant enough to get him popped with the 79th overall pick in 2008. He then experienced a slow and steady climb through the Pirates minor league system before breaking through as a legitimate regular at short for Pittsburgh in 2013. If Mikey White follows the same path then we can pencil him as a third round pick this June with the chance to hit the big leagues by 2020. Doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me, though I think you could at least argue that he’ll be a faster riser but with more of a utility upside. The latter was often said about Mercer throughout the earliest portion of his career, so you never know.

White has blown past what Mercer did his junior season, especially from a power standpoint. I’ve touched on the veracity of the realness of that power before, but without much evidence against it I’m inclined to believe something good is going on with either his swing, strength, or some combination thereof. A third round selection might be a little light based on what White has done so far this year, though I remain skeptical of a heretofore non-power bat hitting for this kind of pop with the kind of plate discipline red flags evident in White’s game.

I’m about as confused on White as I’ve been on a college player so far this season. I’m no scout, but, as a baseball fan, he is exactly the kind of player I feel like I legitimately need to see more of with my own two eyes in order to better understand his strengths and weaknesses. I want to keep putting him into certain restrictive places in my mind – he’s a scrappy utility player with a “true middle infield” glove, he’s an underappreciated (by me!) power hitter who will be best at third, he’s an overrated mirage, he’s an underrated grinder – but he doesn’t seem to fit nicely in any one player archetype. Mikey White has broken me, and I think that’s a good thing. I lean towards him turning into a potential quality utility player with a chance to play regularly at second with continued progress, but will likely go back and forth a few more times between now and June.

I haven’t heard a player get the “he’ll be a better pro than college player” treatment in a long time quite like Tennessee JR SS AJ Simcox. I’m not sure how to take that exactly. It almost sounds like a dig on the Tennessee coaching staff, but I find that hard to believe knowing what I do about the people they have in place there. I think it’s more likely explained by the differences in the pro grind – all baseball, all the time – versus the multitude of various interested parties pulling one’s attention away from the day in college. I don’t know anything specific to Simcox here, for the record. He could be as focused as can be and simply in need of an all-encompassing baseball environment because of personal preference.

It’s just now occurred to me that the SEC shortstops have a pretty clear tier system. It gets even more clearly defined if we include maybe shortstops like Bregman and White. The top tier includes Vanderbilt JR SS/2B Dansby Swanson and Bregman, then there’s Florida JR SS/OF Richie Martin and White, then a big step down to Simcox, Auburn JR SS Cody Nulph, and Mississippi State SR SS Seth Heck, and a final tier of South Carolina JR SS Marcus Mooney, Arkansas rJR SS Brett McAfee, and whomever else I missed.

I’m still holding out on JR 3B Xavier Turner (formerly of Vanderbilt, though technically he’s still enrolled at school there and just not playing ball this year) as the conference’s best third base prospect. That’s as much as because of Turner’s talent (ample athleticism, bat speed in spades, and average or better raw power, speed, and arm strength) as it is the relative void at the position without him. I had Georgia rSO 3B Trevor Kieboom as the next in line, but his transition to the SEC hasn’t been all that it could be so far. He still gives you intriguing power, defensive upside, and size. Since it was a close battle for second pre-season anyway, I don’t’ feel too bad about editing my list a bit and flipping Florida SR 3B/2B Josh Tobias to the two spot for now. Tobias has always flashed talent (above-average speed, more pop than his size suggests, and a steady, versatile glove), so it’s been nice to see him put together a strong senior season. As a senior sign with a possible utility future (the approach keeps him from being a starter for me), he could find his way into the late single-digit rounds. Similar things apply to Texas A&M JR 3B/SS Logan Taylor, another versatile defender (potentially plus at third, average at both short and second) with some pop who could find a role off a big league bench one day.

I want to say that Florida JR OF Harrison Bader can do a little bit of everything, but that would be a lie. Harrison Bader can do a lot of everything. He’s a legitimate five-tool player and I’ll fight anybody who says otherwise. I’d take him over any bat in the conference not named Bregman or Swanson without a second thought. Above-average raw power, above-average to plus speed, and the ability to play center make him a lot like Vanderbilt JR OF Rhett Wiseman to me, but with a markedly better approach at the plate. If he’s there in the second, it’s an easy call. Also, I’m not a scout and smarter people have disagreed with me, but I love his swing. It’s not conventionally pretty, but his lower half and upper half are coordinated really well and there’s just enough of an uppercut (but not too much) to suggest his power surge is real.

LSU JR OF Andrew Stevenson could step into a AA lineup tomorrow (just in time for opening day!) because his defense in center (plus-plus), speed (plus), and hit tool (above-average) are all professional quality right now. He’s one of those players that it would be very hard to imagine not someday carving out a big league role for himself on the basis of his defensive prowess and game-changing speed on the base paths alone. When you add in that hit tool, his emerging pop, and an improved approach at the plate, it’s easy to envision him maturing into a table-setting leadoff hitter guaranteed to give you years of positive defensive and base running value in the bigs. I was high on Stevenson before writing this paragraph, but now I’m more pumped about him than ever.

Tennessee JR OF Christin Stewart just keeps getting better and better and better as a hitter. With an above-average hit tool and honest plus raw power, his breakout season (happening right now!) was only a matter of time. I’ve been hard on him in the past because of my perceived disconnect between his consistently praised approach at the plate and below-average BB/K ratios (1/2 for most of his first two seasons), but I’m starting to buy in. When I hear this is a below-average draft, I think of players like Stewart who have emerged as worthwhile top three round picks – not just in this draft, but in any draft – and smile. If a down draft means a few pitching prospect have gotten injured and no stone cold mortal lock for 1-1 exists, then I guess this draft isn’t very good. If it means that there will be future big league regulars selected out of college as late as the fifth round, then I feel like we’re not on the same page. I try not to cheerlead, but the bad draft stuff is just laziness from paid professionals who really ought to try digging a little deeper.

I’ve written a lot about many SEC prospects already (links to the teams that had rosters in early are found below), but there are a few players I’d like to quickly revisit based on updated information and performance. I didn’t realize it until after the fact that almost every blurb has a BUT in it, so I did my best to sneak one into each.

  • Tennessee JR OF/LHP Vincent Jackson – still love the tools, but where’s the power?
  • Vanderbilt JR OF Rhett Wiseman – status unchanged (solid tools across the board), but approach still holds him back
  • Auburn JR 2B/OF Jordan Ebert – hoping his early season struggles are more attributable to bad BABIP luck, but his BB/K is still strong enough to give me hope that he’ll hit
  • LSU JR OF Mark Laird – now view him as Stevenson without the ceiling, but still a ML player
  • Tennessee SR OF Jonathan Youngblood – tools remain elite, but hasn’t played at all; could see a fan raging about his IDIOT team drafting somebody with such “bad” college numbers without knowing how damn toolsy Youngblood actually is just as easily as he could go undrafted
  • Alabama JR OF Georgie Salem – had a hunch that he was in line for a breakout season, but I’ve been told (haven’t seen him in person this year) he’s actually regressed at the plate and looks lost at times

I didn’t get to a few SEC schools that were late to post rosters, so special mention should be made about outfielders from Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama. Here are their quick blurbs, all decidedly BUT free…

  • Arkansas SO OF Andrew Benintendi – well-rounded with above-average speed, solid pop, CF range, and a live bat; somehow leading the nation in homers as of this writing at only 5-10, 175 pounds, which says about his strength and swing
  • Alabama SO OF Casey Hughston – swings and misses too much for my taste, though he’s still one of the draft’s best athletes and power hitters who is having a giant second season
  • Kentucky JR OF Kyle Barrett – reminds me a little bit of Laird as a speedy center fielder with fourth outfielder upside, might be a better all-around player
  • Kentucky JR OF Ka’aI Tom – size and tools don’t blow you away, yet he’s found a way to produce at every stop

LSU

Wherever he lands defensively, Bregman is going to hit. The ability to play one of the middle infield spots and hit while doing it is what makes him as close to a first round lock as there is in this college class. If that sounds like exceedingly simple analysis, well, that’s because it is. He has an easy to identify above-average or better hit tool, average to above-average speed that plays up due to his impressive feel for the game, average raw power with an emphasis on splitting the gaps, plenty of bat speed, and a consistently smart approach at the plate. There aren’t a lot of holes you can poke in his game from an offensive standpoint. One thing I’ve found particularly fascinating about Bregman as a prospect is the response you get when his name comes up within the game. I think I’ve heard more comps on Bregman than literally any player I can remember. Something about his game just evokes that “every man” feeling deep inside talent evaluators, I guess. Take a look at the list I currently have of comps I’ve personally heard for Bregman: Mike Lansing, Mark Ellis (BA has used this), Robby Thompson, Orlando Hudson, Tony Renda, Randy Velarde, Bill Mueller, Jose Vidro, Edgardo Alfonzo, Carlos Baerga, Ray Durham, Jhonny Peralta, and Mark DeRosa. There’s also the increasingly popular Dustin Pedroia comp, which makes sense on the surface but is a scary comparison for anybody due to the unique set of circumstances (or, more plainly, an obsessive/borderline maniacal drive to be great) that has led to Pedroia’s rise in the game. I’ve also heard the cautionary comp of Bobby Crosby, though I’m not sure I buy the two being all the similar at similar points in their respective development. A statistical look comparing Bregman and Crosby makes for an interesting conversation starter (if, you know, you’re friends with other obsessive college baseball/draft fans)…

AB: .344/.408/.504 – 51 BB/46 K – 28/35 SB – 526 AB
BC: .340/.417/.496 – 70 BB/103 K – 40/51 SB – 635 AB

Top is Bregman so far, bottom is Crosby’s career college numbers. It would have worked better if I had left out the BB/K ratios, but that would have been intellectually dishonest and I’m far too morally upstanding to stoop to statistical manipulation to make a point. I’d never dream of doing such a thing. Hey, look at this comparison…

AB: .369/.419/.546 – 25 BB/24 K – 17/18 SB – 282 AB
AH: .329/.391/.550 – 20 BB/20 K – 10/11 SB – 222 AB

The top is Bregman’s first year at LSU, the bottom is Aaron Hill’s first year at LSU. Notice how I didn’t say freshman year: Hill transferred from Southern Illinois to LSU after his freshman season. Since we’ve already gone down this dark and twisted road of statistical manipulation, let’s go even deeper…

AB: .316/.397/.455 – 27 BB/21 K – 12/18 SB – 244 AB
AH: .299/.375/.463 – 15 BB/27 K – 6/7 SB – 134 AB

Those would be Bregman and Hill’s “other” college season; more specifically, you’re looking at Hill’s freshman year at Southern Illinois and Bregman’s more recent season. I’m not sure what could be gained from comparing these two seasons, but, hey, look how similar! Jokes aside — though, seriously, those are some freaky similar numbers — I think the comparison between Alex Bregman and Aaron Hill is probably the most apt comp out there at this point. If the numbers don’t sway you, just check Hill’s playing card from his draft year at Baseball America…

In a draft thin on shortstops, Hill is one of the few with legitimate offensive potential. There are questions as to whether he can handle that position all the way up to the majors, but he’ll get the shot to prove he can’t. His instincts and gritty makeup get the most out of his tools–which aren’t lacking. He has enough arm to make plays from the hole, along with range and quickness. He’s not flashy but gets the job done. At worst, the Southeastern Conference player of the year will be an all-around second baseman. Offensively, he has a beautiful swing, above-average speed and control of the strike zone. He doesn’t have plus home-run power, but he can hit the occasional longball and line balls into the gaps.

I don’t normally post full sections like that, but come on! Replace Hill for Bregman and that’s pretty much spot-on! Well, the bit about this being a draft thin on shortstops might not work that well — if the 2015 draft is strong at any one position player group in the college game, it’s shortstop — but still. Interesting to me that this quick scouting report glossed over Hill’s offensive promise much in the same way I coincidentally (I swear!) did with Bregman above. It’s almost as if it was a foregone conclusion that Hill would hit enough to play somewhere, just like how many, myself included, view Bregman today. I like Bregman to hit a little bit more than Hill, run a little bit better than Hill, and field a little bit better than Hill. Otherwise, I think the comparison is pretty damn good.

Tennessee

Of all the teams profiled so far, none have a 1-2 outfield punch of 2015 draft prospects quite like Tennessee’s duo of JR OFs Christin Stewart and Vincent Jackson. Neither are likely first round prospects, so there are imperfections in their respective games that will be watched closely this spring. Stewart betrayed his patient, pro-ready approach last season in an effort to produce gaudier power numbers. It’s hard to blame him what with power being the most coveted singular tool in baseball these days, but the cost might prove to be greater than what it winds up being worth. On one hand, the change in approach worked as Stewart’s slugging percentage jumped about one hundred points from his freshman season. Unfortunately, the major dip in plate discipline — Stewart’s K/BB almost doubled from his first season to his sophomore year (1.48 to 2.80) — now creates a new question in his game that will need to be answered on the field before June. If all of that sounds overly negative, well, it’s not supposed to. Consider it more of a reality check for a really strong prospect than anything else. I’m still very much a believer in Stewart’s raw power (legitimately plus), hit tool (solidly above-average), and overall approach to hitting, past year production be damned.

The current number two to the top ranked Stewart is Vincent Jackson. Jackson is an outstanding athlete with considerable tools — in particular, his power stacks up quite well with Stewart’s and his plus speed blows him away — who has yet to blow scouts away at Tennessee. Inconsistent performance or not, his size and skill set evoke comparisons to two-time All-Star Alex Rios, a lofty comp at first blush but a little more palatable when you remember Rios’ earliest scouting reports and slow to manifest power as a young professional. Jackson’s blend of size, speed, raw power, athleticism, and defensive upside (above-average arm and range at present) combine to make a pretty enticing prospect. In other words, he’s also pretty good.

Alabama
Georgia
Mississippi
Arkansas
Vanderbilt

Swanson broke out last season in a big, big way. His first real test at the college level was hardly a test at all as he hit .333/.411/.475 with 37 BB and 39 K in 282 AB. He also added 22 steals in 27 attempts for good measure. The numbers obviously speak for themselves, but it’s still nice when the scouting reports back it up. Swanson can really play. I’ll indirectly piggyback a bit on Baseball America’s Trea Turner (with less speed) comp and reuse one of my comps for Turner last year for Swanson. It actually fits a lot better now, so I don’t feel too bad going to the Brett Gardner well in back-to-back drafts. The package of athleticism, speed, defensive upside at a critical up-the-middle spot with an above-average hit tool and average-ish power (little less, probably) works out to a consistently above-average regular with the chance for stardom — certainly flashes of it — within reach.

There’s a bit of a gap between Vanderbilt’s (draft) class of 2015 and Wiseman, but that speaks to the strength of having four likely first round picks more so than any major deficits in Wiseman’s game. I’ve run into two interesting schools of thought about Wiseman while putting this together. The first, and I’ll admit that this was my initial view from the start, is that he’s still more tools than skills right now. The tools are quite strong, but the fact that they haven’t turned into the skills many expected by now gives some pause. Still, those tools that were clear to almost all going back to his high school days are still real and still worth getting excited about. The breakout could come any day now for him and when it does we’ll be looking at a potential first-division regular in the outfield. The opposing view believes that Wiseman’s development has gone as scripted and what we’re seeing right now is more or less what we’re going to get with him. He’s a great athlete and a far more cerebral hitter than given credit, but the tools were overstated across the board at the onset of his amateur career and now we’re seeing expectations for him correcting themselves based on what he really is. There really are no pluses in his game and no carrying tool that will help him rise above his future fourth outfielder station. I’m a believer that it’s always wise to bet on athletes having the light bulb turn on before too long, so count me in as still leaning closer to the former (and my original) position. I do understand the concerns about Wiseman potentially topping out as a “tweener” outfield prospect — he hasn’t shown the power yet to work in a corner, but that’s where he’s clearly best defensively — so going on the first day might be off the table. He’s still an intriguing blend of production (good, not mind-blowing) and tools (same) who could wind up a relative bargain if he slips much later than that. I could see him both being ranked and drafted in the same area that I had him listed (110th overall) out of Buckingham Browne & Nichols.

In any event, I don’t think Wiseman’s viewed by many as quite the prospect he was back in high school and a good part of that was the way many — me included — viewed his rawness, age, and relative inexperience as a New England high school product as positives. We all are guilty of assuming there are concretely meaningful patterns we can expect from prospect development and that all young players will continue to get better with age and experience. Development is not linear and can be wildly unpredictable. Some guys are as good as they are going to get at 17 while others don’t figure it out (unfortunately) until way after their physical peak. This speaks to the heart of what makes assessing and drafting amateurs so much fun. We’re all just trying to gather as much information on as many players as possible and then making the best possible guesses as to what we’ll wind up with.

Auburn

The surest bet in the Auburn lineup is JR OF/2B Jordan Ebert. Ebert doesn’t get enough love as one of the college game’s best pure hitters. That above-average or better hit tool combined with enough pop and speed allow him to potentially profile as an above-average regular offensively. I think his glove will play at any of the spots he’s tried — 2B, 3B, OF — but think his value will likely lie in his ability to play multiple spots — especially those where he can show off his plus arm — well. If you only knew what I just wrote about Ebert, you’d surely think he’s a big-time 2015 draft prospect, but, at least for now, an overly aggressive approach at the plate (31 BB/54 K) holds back his appeal to a degree. I still like him quite a bit; quite simply, guys with hit tools like his are not to be dismissed. If Ebert can settle in to a spot defensively (likely a corner OF spot), flash a touch more power, and clean up his approach a bit, he’ll become a prime candidate to become one of college ball’s fastest risers in 2015. I still think a pro team will try to keep him in the dirt for as long as humanly possible after signing. As an outfielder, he profiles as a high-level backup, especially if he can hang in center a bit. As an infielder, however, he’s a potential everyday contributor.

Missouri

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting

(This was my pre-season list with a few minor tweaks where I could remember to update certain position rankings. Outside of the first five picks or so, it doesn’t really reflect where I’m at roughly three months after putting it together initially. I considered not publishing it at all and waiting until I have time to do a full revision to get it up, but so long as everybody understands it is already a bit dated I figured there’s no harm sharing. Consider it a glorified follow list, if nothing else.)

  1. Vanderbilt JR SS/2B Dansby Swanson
  2. Louisiana State JR 2B/SS Alex Bregman
  3. Florida JR OF Harrison Bader
  4. Louisiana State JR OF Andrew Stevenson
  5. Florida JR SS/OF Richie Martin
  6. Tennessee JR OF Christin Stewart
  7. South Carolina JR 2B Max Schrock
  8. Tennessee JR OF/LHP Vincent Jackson
  9. Alabama JR 2B/SS Mikey White
  10. Vanderbilt JR OF Rhett Wiseman
  11. Arkansas SO OF Andrew Benintendi
  12. Auburn JR OF/2B Jordan Ebert
  13. Louisiana State JR OF Mark Laird
  14. Alabama SO OF Casey Hughston
  15. Tennessee SR OF Jonathan Youngblood
  16. Kentucky JR OF Kyle Barrett
  17. Tennessee JR SS AJ Simcox
  18. South Carolina SR 1B Kyle Martin
  19. Vanderbilt rJR 1B Zander Wiel
  20. Florida SR 3B/2B Josh Tobias
  21. Auburn JR SS Cody Nulph
  22. Alabama JR OF Georgie Salem
  23. Alabama JR 2B/RHP Kyle Overstreet
  24. Louisiana State JR C Chris Chinea
  25. Alabama SO C Will Haynie
  26. Mississippi SR 1B/C Sikes Orvis
  27. Georgia rSO 3B Trevor Kieboom
  28. Kentucky JR OF Ka’ai Tom
  29. Texas A&M JR OF/1B Jonathan Moroney
  30. Arkansas rJR OF Tyler Spoon
  31. South Carolina JR SS Marcus Mooney
  32. South Carolina JR 2B/SS DC Arendas
  33. Georgia JR C Zack Bowers
  34. Louisiana State SR C Kade Scivicque
  35. Arkansas SR OF Joe Serrano
  36. Louisiana State SR 1B/3B Conner Hale
  37. Texas A&M SR 2B/SS Blake Allemand
  38. Texas A&M SR 3B/RHP Logan Nottebrok
  39. Arkansas rJR SS Brett McAfee
  40. Vanderbilt JR OF/RHP Kyle Smith
  41. Auburn JR OF Sam Gillikin
  42. Mississippi State rSR 1B Wes Rea
  43. Texas A&M JR C/OF Boomer White
  44. Georgia JR 1B Morgan Bunting
  45. Kentucky rSO OF Storm Wilson
  46. Auburn JR 1B/OF Dylan Smith
  47. Tennessee JR OF Chris Hall
  48. Mississippi State rSO OF Cody Brown
  49. Alabama JR 3B Daniel Cucjen
  50. Mississippi State SR SS Seth Heck
  51. Texas A&M JR 3B/SS Logan Taylor
  52. Texas A&M JR 1B/RHP Hunter Melton
  53. Texas A&M SR C Mitchell Nau
  54. Kentucky JR C Zach Arnold
  55. Texas A&M JR OF JB Moss
  56. Georgia SR OF/RHP Heath Holder

Travis Maezes, Max Schrock, and Ian Rice

It would take exceptionally disappointing seasons for any of Ian Happ, Dansby Swanson, and Alex Bregman to slip past this year’s draft’s first twenty-six picks and into the compensatory round. DJ Stewart’s margin for error isn’t as great, but it would still be a surprise to me to see him fall past the thirty-sixth and final pick of the draft’s first day. Beyond those four names, all bets are off. More bluntly, the fifth spot on this particular ranking of college bats is where things get weird.

Weird doesn’t have to be bad, so I have no problem being the high man on Michigan JR 3B Travis Maezes for now. His hit tool is legit, his power should play average or better, and he has the athleticism, arm strength, and instincts to be a really strong third baseman in the pros. Real life work commitments and frustration at the death of College Splits put me way behind on writing about last year’s draft. If I had written all that I wanted to, I assure you that many glowing pieces on Cal State Fullerton 3B Matt Chapman would have been written. I absolutely loved Chapman as a draft prospect and think he’ll be an above-average pro player for a long time. I don’t bring him up just to relive the past, of course; from a skills standpoint, Maezes reminds me a lot of Chapman. I swear that’s a comparison that I came by honestly through watching them both, hearing from smarter people than myself, and reading whatever has been written about them from the comfort of my couch. Then I looked at the numbers (top Maezes, bottom Chapman) and…

.307/.403/.444 with 54 BB/64 K in 530 PA
.295/.391/.443 with 73 BB/84 K in 702 PA

…whoa. That’s pretty good. Another player comparison that I’ve heard for Maezes that takes me back to my earliest days as a baseball fan is former Phillies 3B Dave Hollins, he of the 162 game average of .260/.358/.420 with 18 HR, 27 2B, 76 BB, and 113 K*.

South Carolina JR 2B Max Schrock could be added to the mix above and not be out of place in the least. His career line to date isn’t too far off from Chapman especially at .281/.381/.422 with 58 BB/45 K in 446 PA. A friend in the game recently compared him to another former Fullerton star, Tim Wallach. I’m not sure I see that since the body types, handedness, and home run power all seem off to me, but it’s something to think about. I’ve run into similar issues (minus the more manageable HR totals) with a David Freese (as a hitter) comparison for Schrock. One mainstream comp (I think, can’t remember where I first saw it) for Schrock is Kyle Seager. I like that comparison not only because it’s a decent enough lens to view Schrock as a prospect (again, however, I don’t think the power expectations fit – that’s something of a trend here), but also because it’s yet another excuse to talk about my appreciation for Kyle Seager. I’ve said a lot of inane stuff at this site over the years, but one of the few strokes of competency came back in March of 2009…

Seager’s well-rounded game (great plate discipline, slightly above-average power, good baserunner, high contact rate) make him a personal favorite of mine and as good a bet as any college hitter to settle in to a long career as a league average (at least) big leaguer.

My only regret is not going in harder back then when I knew Seager was going to be really good. I saw him play up close literally dozens of times during his time at North Carolina and a little nagging voice was always in my head telling me he was a better player than his far more famous teammate Dustin Ackley. I think if I had the guts (and, to a point, knowledge) that I now have back then, I would have at least given a few moments of honest consideration for putting Seager over Ackley on one of my all-important lists. Consideration would not have led to actually acting on it because Ackley was Ackley. That brings us full circle and gets me back to a far more comfortable place where I can talk about my misses rather than my hits: I absolutely LOVED Ackley, so, you know, win some lose some, right?

I’ve used Kyle Seager as a comp a few times in the past, for what it’s worth. The first was Brad Miller (“Seager with more defensive upside”), then it was Matt Reynolds (“a player in-between Seager and Chase Headley is a realistic ceiling”), and finally, one I completely forgot I wrote about even though it was published less than three months ago, came Clemson JR SS Tyler Krieger (“some scouting similarities between the two”). Neither the Miller nor the Reynolds examples make me cringe in hindsight, so I don’t feel too badly about going to the Kyle Seager comp well as often as I do. It’s been pretty good to me so far.

All that said, I’m not sure I’m completely on board with the Schrock/Seager comparison. I liken him more to a Mark Ellis type of hitter capable of giving you more or less league average production at the plate while making up the difference as needed with smart base running and steady defense. That’s an everyday player in the big leagues. Interesting to note that Miller (taken with pick 62), Reynolds (71), and Seager (82) were all off the board around the same range on draft day. That could very well be the window that Schrock (and perhaps Krieger) find themselves taken in this June. Getting a potential regular at second base with a late-second/early-third round pick would make any team really happy.

From the second-to-last day of 2014…

I’m sky high on Houston JR C Ian Rice, a transfer by way of Chipola who can really, really hit. If he shows enough behind the plate to convince teams he’s a catcher long-term (as I believe), there’s no telling how high he could rise by June. It’s just a hair too early to start stacking up prospects by position, but I’m very sure Rice will wind up higher on my board at that spot than anywhere else on the internet.

Nothing has changed since then to move me off my strong positive feelings towards Rice. If anything, I like him even more after hearing some positive things about his glove through the early stage of the college season. Now it’s time to kick back and wait until the rest of the draft internet catches up to how good Rice really is. While we wait for the world to recognize my brilliance, let’s kill some time with a quick tangent. The nice thing about liking a guy more than the consensus goes back to the buzz word you hear during every draft in every sport: value.

Value is a damn near impossible concept to pin down as it relates to an event as large and as filled with unknowns as the MLB Draft. I’ve always tried to avoid being overly critical of a team “overdrafting” a player because of the huge amount of uncertainty that exists when you’re working at an information deficit inherent with being privy to only one board (your own) yet simultaneously working around twenty-nine often non-rational actors on draft day. Even if you think you have some faint idea how other teams may have their boards lined up in the early going of a draft, that advantage only lasts so long. From the outside looking in we know even less. That’s one of the frustrating yet freeing things about being an outsider to the draft process.

If all the expert sites (BA, D1, PG, BP, ESPN, Fangraphs, etc.) have a player ranked in the fifties but he goes in the teens, the first instinct is to point, laugh, and declare the drafting team – not to appeal to authority or anything, but isn’t it crazy that the one collective group here with far more information than any of those outlets and way more on the line if they mess up such a big decision is the one we assume is wrong? — guilty of overdrafting the prospect. All of those major outlets (BA, PG, and likely the new-ish D1) have a ton of resources and arguably as much (if not more) of a league-wide feel for what draft boards could look like, so when they stack their final boards pre-draft it does serve a purpose. Nothing, of course, is written in stone.

My example from last year was Cole Tucker (who I’d like to preemptively note is an outstanding baseball player and very worthy early round draft prospect) going 24th to Pittsburgh. If I was misguidedly put in charge of a team’s draft, I would not have had a first round grade on Tucker. Baseball America, to use just one readily available source, had him at 84th overall heading into the draft. Their ranking was no more or less right or wrong than Pittsburgh’s. Player valuation is all over the place when it comes to amateur talent, as it should be. More to the value point, however, is the fact that Pittsburgh didn’t pick again until 39. If you really valued Tucker and believed the odds markedly decreased on him being available with that later pick, it’s worth it to “overdraft” your guy because the risk of losing him entirely is far more painful than getting your second choices at 24 and 39.

I’m as guilty as anybody (at times) of getting hung up on certain players that I hope my favorite team drafts (or avoids) in all the sports that matter to me. For example, I know far less about hockey than any other major sport, but if my hometown team passes up the guy I wanted them to draft in favor of some nobody, I’m going to react negatively. The fact that my research on both the guy I wanted them to draft and the nobody adds up to a grand total of fifteen combined minutes of reading whatever pre-draft coverage pops up first on Google (hopefully not from a site full of made-up scout quotes that the author didn’t even bother try to disguise in an original voice…not saying this happens in baseball, except that it does, it stinks, and I guess that’s how you get ahead [well, that and sucking up to writers on Twitter] at certain unnamed companies) and/or the hundreds (!) of seconds I’ll spend YouTube scouting (even though I know nothing beyond the very basics of the sport) is beside the point. Everybody wants to be an expert on draft day. So many opinions get thrown around on such highly speculative topics that just hitting on one correct scouting assessment has the positive impact of negating the dozens of misinformed, wrong-headed nonsense spewed all day. I support having the conviction to ride or die with your own personal draft rankings, but being snarky and chiding a team for overdrafting a player based solely on what you think was best for them without considering an alternate viewpoint feels unnecessarily parochial and naïve.

So, I hope Ian Rice receives his proper due as a draft prospect between now and June. If not, then I hope that the team I grew up with or a team that I’m assisting in draft coverage is able to take him later than I feel his skills deserve. That’s value, baby. In terms of draft stock he reminds me a little bit of an inverse version former Ole Miss and LSU-Eunice catcher Stuart Turner, who was known more for his glove than his bat. Turner hit enough to go in the third round (pick 78) to Minnesota in 2013. I see no reason why Rice can’t do the same. Another comparable prospect and player (minus handedness as a batter) is fellow 2013 draft pick (53rd overall) Andrew Knapp out of Cal. It would take Rice exceeding even my own sky high expectations to wind up in that draft range, but that’s why they play the games, right?

* I don’t include batting lines for scouting comps to create any unnecessary expectations for these players – it’s hard enough to compare any individual human being to another, let alone one ballplayer in the midst of a historic, “special vitamin” fueled era of offense to another in a far more muted offensive environment – but to give a reference point that highlights one possible viable outcome.