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Horizon League 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Illinois-Chicago SR C Tyler Detmer
Wright State SR 1B Andrew McCafferty
Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR 2B Michael Porcaro
Oakland JR SS Mike Brosseau
Wright State SR 3B Michael Timm
Illinois-Chicago rJR OF Jeff Boehm
Oakland SR OF Rob Enslen
Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR OF Sam Koenig
Wright State rSR RHP Andrew Elliott
Youngstown State SO RHP Kevin Yarabinec
Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR RHP Gunnar Eastman
Illinois-Chicago SR LHP Ryan Hinchley
Valparaiso JR LHP Dalton Lundeen

SR C/OF Tyler Detmer (Illinois-Chicago) is a relative newcomer to the position, so it should come as no surprise that his defense will be under the microscope more than anything else this spring. If he proves capable of handling the position, then his power, patience, and overall athleticism could make him a very attractive senior sign. JR C Mitch Ghelfi (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) is right there with him in terms of power upside; some teams might prefer him because of his longer history of quality defense while others might want to see a little more (i.e., hold off on him until 2016 as a senior sign) before committing to him. His teammate, SR 2B Michael Porcaro, might serve as an example for Ghelfi’s path to the pros. Porcaro has enough pop to keep pitchers honest to go with his smart base running, steady defense, and disciplined approach at the plate. Still, he hasn’t been drafted yet and will likely need a year closer to his sophomore season (the power spike year) to hear his name called in June. I think it happens, and I think Ghelfi will follow a similar path.

You know you might have a problem when you legitimately find yourself wrestling for ten honest to goodness minutes about the relative pros and cons of a pair of Horizon League senior sign third base prospects. SR 3B/2B Michael Timm (Wright State) and SR 3B/SS Spencer Mahoney (Valparaiso) are about as close as two prospects can be from the scouting side of things. Timm is a good glove at third with the kind of strength and bat speed to potentially produce average or better power numbers as a professional. Mahoney is the more naturally gifted hitter, but doesn’t have quite the same power ceiling. He’s right there with Timm defensively, athletically, and physically. Career numbers to date for the duo…

MT: .289/.384/.401 with 67 BB and 91 K in 539 AB
SM: .282/.401/.353 with 94 BB and 90 K in 507 AB

They aren’t exactly twins, but I’d say they at least qualify as distant cousins. I give Timm the slightest of edges because of his power and the generally positive trends in his year-to-year production. Mahoney has always been able to maintain his excellent plate discipline, but his power indicators have decreased with every passing season. Both rank among the top three position players in the conference, so picking one over the other is nothing more than splitting hairs at this point. It would be nice for my sanity if one separates himself from the other in his senior season.

Timm and Mahoney rank two and three respectively on the 2015 draft list (hitters only) for the conference. The only guy standing in their way for the top spot right now is rJR OF/LHP Jeff Boehm (Illinois-Chicago). Boehm flashes all five tools and enough at the plate to potentially profile as a regular in right field. The Kentucky transfer’s arm strength is his best current attribute while his other four tools all have a shot to play average or better as he continues to develop as a position player. Another outfielder of interest is a player you could argue for inclusion in the Timm (his closest comparable) and Mahoney head-to-head battle. rSR OF/3B Sam Koenig (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) is an old favorite who has plenty of raw power, but inconsistent contact skills. He’s even bigger than Timm and Mahoney – listed at 6-5, 220 pounds compared to their measly 6-5, 200 frames – but not nearly the defender at the hot corner as the two more natural infielders. That’s why he’s now listed as an outfielder first. It feels like he’s been on the verge of bursting out since mid-way through his sophomore season and just last year he was off to a blistering start (.424/.500/.667 with 5 BB and 6 K in 33 AB) before going down with an injury. It would be silly to suggest that such a small sample is the smoking gun that will lead to a breakout senior season; no sillier, however, then prematurely dismissing the progress any young, still developing player makes. There’s no need to overreact to Koenig’s aborted 2014 season, so the best (and most obvious) course of action is to keep a close eye on him in 2015 to see if he can finally put it all together. For good measure, here’s Timms, Mahoney, and Koenig all stacked up through their senior seasons…

MT: .289/.384/.401 with 67 BB and 91 K in 539 AB
SM: .282/.401/.353 with 94 BB and 90 K in 507 AB
SK: .287/.370/.391 with 60 BB and 102 K in 522 AB

We really need to talk more about rSR RHP Andrew Elliott (Wright State). His is a name that you’ll never hear mentioned when talk of the best relief prospects in college baseball comes up. All the man does is get outs. I’ll admit that Elliott’s first season as a pitcher at Wright State (2012) didn’t go quite as well as you’d like to see. He kept guys off the board (3.17 ERA), but didn’t show the kind of bat-missing stuff to sustain it. By 2014, however, he transformed himself into a strikeout machine. If you can put down 13+ batters via strikes per nine while spotting four pitches (FB, SL, CB, CU) whenever and wherever you want them, then you’re a prospect. He’s undersized (6-1, 200), overaged (23), lacks a true plus heater (upper-80s mostly, can hit some 92s, 93s, and 94s), and can be viewed as a one-year wonder as of today, but I’d still happily snap an arm like this up in the mid-rounds and watch as he continues to mow down batters in the minors.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Illinois-Chicago rJR OF/LHP Jeff Boehm
  2. Wright State SR 3B/2B Michael Timm
  3. Valparaiso SR 3B/SS Spencer Mahoney
  4. Illinois-Chicago SR C/OF Tyler Detmer
  5. Oakland SR OF Rob Enslen
  6. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR OF/3B Sam Koenig
  7. Wisconsin-Milwaukee JR C Mitch Ghelfi
  8. Wisconsin-Milwaukee rJR OF Luke Meeteer
  9. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR 2B Michael Porcaro
  10. Oakland JR SS Mike Brosseau
  11. Wright State JR C Jason DeFevers
  12. Wright State SR 1B/OF Andrew McCafferty
  13. Illinois-Chicago rJR OF Conor Philbin
  14. Illinois-Chicago rSR OF Zenon Kolakowski

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Wright State rSR RHP Andrew Elliott
  2. Youngstown State SO RHP Kevin Yarabinec
  3. Wisconsin-Milwaukee SR RHP Gunnar Eastman
  4. Illinois-Chicago SR LHP Ryan Hinchley
  5. Valparaiso JR LHP Dalton Lundeen
  6. Illinois-Chicago rJR RHP Joe Perricone

2/12/15 EDIT: I didn’t want to go back and mess with this lists because I’d go crazy adding guys in that I missed the first time, but I whiffed on realizing that Wisconsin-Milwaukee LHP Justin Langley is draft-eligible in 2015 as a redshirt-sophomore. I’m not an expert on Langley — or anything, if we’re being honest — but what I have heard/read about him I really, really like. Put him unofficially second on the list behind only Elliott.