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2016 MLB Draft Follow Lists – Patriot

Garzillo, Lovullo, and Coniglio at the top of the hitting list is music to my Italian ears. Better yet is the fact that all are locks to remain up the middle at crucial defensive spots. Garzillo has more tools than you’d expect out of a typical Patriot Leaguer, so it’s expected that his speed, arm strength, and pop should get him drafted as a senior-sign even if he doesn’t clean up his approach this spring. Lovullo has the bloodlines, athleticism, and steadying infield presence to be a really solid org guy with the chance for more. His bat has improved each year at Holy Cross, so a big senior season is well within range. Nobody is asking for my seal of approval, but having seen Lovullo play on a few different occasions, I can certainly vouch for him as a player that does all the little things beautifully. I’m less sure about Coniglio’s aggressive ranking here than the others – there’s some concern his lack of power will have him getting the bat knocked out of his hands as a pro – but his speed, range in center, and high-contact approach give him three tools that’ll play well enough to give him a shot.

Robert Currie of Navy is a similar player to Coniglio in many respects, so it’s no big shock they are close on this list. Sandwiched between the two is a fellow Midshipman standout, Sean Trent. Everything that I wrote about him last year applies today…

From Bishop Moore HS to Florida (where he redshirted) to Manatee CC to Navy, the well-traveled Trent has been a prospect at every stop. In HS I noted his natural ability to make hard contact, strong to plus arm strength, good enough speed for an outfield corner, and the potential for a position switch to either C or 3B. All of those strengths remained (“plus arm, strong hit tool, good speed”) through his time at Manatee. He’s just a good all-around player with the kind of prospect pedigree not typically seen outside of the power conferences. At Navy I’ve heard he’s in the proverbial “best shape in his life” and so far the results (.405/.464/.541 in 74 AB) seem to back it up. His positional versatility make him appealing for teams in need of a Swiss army knife prospect that can plug holes (cool mixed metaphor) when needed in the low-minors after being drafted. That versatility could be his ticket to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like he’s capable of doing.

Now that I’ve taken a look at the archives, I see that the link from last year has information about a lot of these players. I guess that mention about not a ton of Patriot League prospects signing after their junior season proved to be true. Garzillo, Trent, Jon Mayer, and Luke Gillingham all had a little bit of the spotlight shone on their abilities last year, and all return to school to do it again in 2016. Makes my life easier now that I realize I don’t have to do anything but plagiarize myself. On Gillingham…

JR LHP Luke Gillingham, the aforementioned Navy pitcher putting up video game numbers (again: 13 strikeouts per start) to start the season, was originally tenth on my ranking of pitchers in the conference. I’ve said before that I don’t want to alter these “pre-season” rankings based on overreacting to one month’s worth of data, but I feel like I should be forgiven for making Gillingham one of my few exceptions. Gillingham has been one of college baseball’s best stories this winter, but I’m more interested in understanding the professional implications his hot start could lead to. It’s not exactly a performance out of nowhere as he’s been a prospect since high school who was only under the radar back then due to an injury that wiped out his entire senior season. At Navy he’s consistently missed bats (7.13 K/9 in 2013, 7.81 K/9 in 2014) while showing above-average control of good but not overwhelming stuff highlighted by a mid- to upper-80s fastball that he commands really well. Ultimately, Gillingham is a better college story than pro prospect, but that doesn’t mean his talent needs to be outright dismissed, either. If willing and permitted to start a pro career this summer there’s definitely a draft-worthy talent here.

This year I’m happy to update Gillingham’s profile to include some specific numbers on the fastball (85-89) and make mention of improvements with both of his offspeed offerings (curve and change, both of which flash average to above-average). I stand by the assertion that he’s a better college story (human interest, really) than pro prospect, but I think we can move his draft grade up a notch or two now that he’s seen a small but meaningful jump in stuff. He’s still a long shot, but the pros outweigh the cons when considering the “risk” of taking him in the mid- to late-rounds. At best he’s a matchup lefty of some value and at worst he’s a fine ambassador for your organization.

Circling back to some players ranked high on these lists that weren’t mentioned last year brings us to Joe Ogren, a 2B/OF who some who follow the league closely told me was a better prospect than Garzillo. Alex Woinski is a fine hitter who controls the strike zone well; if 100% healthy in 2016, he’s primed for a big season. On the mound there’s Jon Escobar, the pitcher who is in many ways the polar opposite of Gillingham. Whereas Gillingham is lefthanded, crafty, and accomplished, Escobar is a righthander with power (90-94, up to 96) and limited innings – wild ones, at that – under his belt. I plan on using their relative rankings next time I get accused of “scouting the box score” too heavily. Ahead of Gillingham, Escobar, and every other pitching prospect in the conference (for now) is David Bednar from Lafayette. Bednar is what you get when you get a taste of the performance (10.00 K/9 in 63.1 IP last year) and stuff (88-92 FB, up to 96; nice SL; command to throw four pitches in any count) of Gillingham and Escobar, respectively. Prospects that don’t make you choose between what they’ve done and what they might do are my favorite, so Bednar is a definitely name to know going forward.

Hitters

  1. Lehigh SR 2B/SS Mike Garzillo
  2. Holy Cross SR SS Nick Lovullo
  3. Lafayette SR OF Michael Coniglio
  4. Navy rSR OF/3B Sean Trent
  5. Navy SR OF Robert Currie
  6. Bucknell SR 2B/OF Joe Ogren
  7. Lafayette JR 1B/OF Alex Woinski
  8. Holy Cross JR 1B/3B Anthony Critelli
  9. Lehigh JR OF/C Jacen Nalesnik
  10. Army SR C Ben Smith
  11. Lehigh JR 1B/RHP Connor Donovan
  12. Army JR 2B Kris Lindner
  13. Bucknell SR C Jon Mayer
  14. Navy JR C Adrian Chinnery
  15. Lehigh JR 3B/SS Pat Donnelly
  16. Navy JR OF Leland Saile
  17. Navy JR SS/2B Travis Blue

Pitchers

  1. Lafayette JR RHP David Bednar
  2. Holy Cross JR RHP Jon Escobar
  3. Lehigh SR RHP Brandon Kulp
  4. Navy SR LHP Luke Gillingham
  5. Lehigh SR RHP Kevin Boswick
  6. Holy Cross JR RHP Ben White
  7. Lehigh SR RHP Kevin Long
  8. Navy JR RHP George Coughlin
  9. Bucknell SR RHP Andrew Andreychik
  10. Navy JR RHP Jett Meenach
  11. Bucknell JR LHP/OF Danny Rafferty
  12. Holy Cross SR RHP Sean Gustin
  13. Army SR LHP Brock Davidson
  14. Lafayette SR LHP Ryan Callanan
  15. Navy SR RHP Sam Sorenson
  16. Army SR RHP Justin French

Army

SR RHP Justin French (2016)
SR LHP Brock Davidson (2016)
SR LHP Patrick Gardner (2016)
SR RHP Garrison Franklin (2016)
SR OF Jacob Page (2016)
SR C Ben Smith (2016)
JR 2B Kris Lindner (2016)
SO LHP Jeremy Mortensen (2017)
SO RHP Matt Ball (2017)
SO RHP Stu Schley (2017)
FR LHP Tyler Giovinco (2018)
FR OF Matthew Hudgins (2018)
FR 2B Josh White (2018)
FR 2B Trey Martin (2018)

High Priority Follows: Justin French, Patrick Gardner, Ben Smith, Kris Lindner

Bucknell

SR RHP Andrew Andreychik (2016)
JR LHP Mike Castellani (2016)
SR RHP Dan Keller (2016)
JR LHP/OF Danny Rafferty (2016)
SR C Jon Mayer (2016)
SR OF/1B Spencer Stokes (2016)
JR OF/2B Brett Smith (2016)
SR 2B/OF Joe Ogren (2016)
JR 3B Sam Clark (2016)
JR 3B/SS Mark Powell (2016)
SO RHP Mike Stephens (2017)
SO 1B Mike Korchak (2017)
FR RHP Jeff Gottesman (2018)
FR LHP Jack Grabek (2018)
FR RHP Christian Tailor (2018)
FR RHP PJ Strahm (2018)
FR 1B/OF Miles Moore (2018)
FR C/3B Evan Klugerman (2018)

High Priority Follows: Andrew Andreychik, Danny Rafferty, Jon Mayer, Spencer Stokes, Joe Ogren, Sam Clark

Holy Cross

JR RHP Jon Escobar (2016)
SR RHP Sean Gustin (2016)
JR RHP Phil Reese (2016)
JR RHP Brendan King (2016)
JR RHP Ben White (2016)
JR RHP George Capen (2016)
JR RHP Justin Finan (2016)
JR RHP Zach Fox (2016)
JR RHP Joe Cravero (2016)
SR SS Nick Lovullo (2016)
SR OF Bobby Indeglia (2016)
SR C Connor Perry (2016)
JR C Alex Voitik (2016)
JR 1B/3B Anthony Critelli (2016)
JR OF Bill Schlich (2016)
SO 2B Cam O’Neill (2017)
FR RHP Pat McGowan (2018)

High Priority Follows: Jon Escobar, Sean Gustin, Ben White, Zach Fox, Nick Lovullo, Anthony Critelli

Lafayette

JR RHP David Bednar (2016)
SR LHP Ryan Callanan (2016)
SR RHP Connor McMahon (2016)
SR RHP Mitch Leeds (2016)
JR RHP Trevor Houck (2016)
SR LHP Ari Kaufman (2016)
SR 1B Campbell Lipe (2016)
SR OF Michael Coniglio (2016)
SR SS Jackson Kramer (2016)
JR 1B/OF Alex Woinski (2016)
SR 3B Tyler Hudson (2016)
SO LHP John Cain (2017)
SO OF Drew Aherne (2017)
SO SS Steven Cohen (2017)
FR RHP David Guisti (2018)
FR OF Dan Leckie (2018)

High Priority Follows: David Bednar, Ryan Callanan, Campbell Lipe, Michael Coniglio, Alex Woinski

Lehigh

SR RHP Brandon Kulp (2016)
SR RHP Kevin Long (2016)
SR RHP Kevin Boswick (2016)
JR LHP Matt Kozemchak (2016)
JR RHP David Young (2016)
JR 1B/RHP Connor Donovan (2016)
SR 2B/SS Mike Garzillo (2016)
JR 3B/SS Pat Donnelly (2016)
JR OF/C Jacen Nalesnik (2016)
JR C John Scarr (2016)
SO LHP Peter Moore (2017)
SO SS James Bleming (2017)
FR RHP Cole McManimon (2018)
FR LHP Ethan Frohman (2018)
FR C Jeff Shanfeldt (2018)
FR OF Ryan Malloy (2018)

High Priority Follows: Brandon Kulp, Kevin Long, Kevin Boswick, Connor Donovan, Mike Garzillo, Pat Donnelly, Jacen Nalesnik, John Scarr

Navy

SR LHP Luke Gillingham (2016)
SR RHP Sam Sorenson (2016)
SR RHP Andrew Bartek (2016)
JR RHP George Coughlin (2016)
JR RHP Kyle Condry (2016)
JR RHP Jett Meenach (2016)
SR OF Robert Currie (2016)
rSR OF/3B Sean Trent (2016)
JR SS/2B Travis Blue (2016)
JR OF Leland Saile (2016)
JR C Adrian Chinnery (2016)
SR OF Connor Deneen (2016)
SO 1B Ben McGrath (2017)
SO OF Stephen Born (2017)
SO 1B Ben Lowe (2017)
FR RHP Noah Song (2018)
FR 2B Matt Wilcox (2018)

High Priority Follows: Luke Gillingham, Sam Sorenson, George Coughlin, Kyle Condry, Jett Meenach, Robert Currie, Sean Trent, Travis Blue, Leland Saile, Adrian Chinnery

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Patriot League 2015 MLB Draft All-Prospect Team

Bucknell JR C Jon Mayer
Bucknell SR 1B Rob Krentzman
Lehigh JR 2B Mike Garzillo
Holy Cross JR SS Nick Lovullo
Navy rJR 3B Sean Trent
Lehigh SR OF Justin Pacchioli
Holy Cross SR OF Evan Ocello
Navy JR OF Robert Currie

Navy JR LHP Luke Gillingham
Army SR RHP Alex Robinett
Holy Cross SR RHP Donny Murray
Navy SR LHP Anthony Parenti
Lehigh JR RHP Brandon Kulp

I understand there’s only so much national attention that can be paid to a Patriot League team that already has gotten plenty of buzz about a starting pitcher averaging 13 strikeouts per start (15.4 K/9!), so let me do my small part in bringing to light the strong contributions and promising professional future of Navy rJR 3B/OF Sean Trent. From Bishop Moore HS to Florida (where he redshirted) to Manatee CC to Navy, the well-traveled Trent has been a prospect at every stop. In HS I noted his natural ability to make hard contact, strong to plus arm strength, good enough speed for an outfield corner, and the potential for a position switch to either C or 3B. All of those strengths remained (“plus arm, strong hit tool, good speed”) through his time at Manatee. He’s just a good all-around player with the kind of prospect pedigree not typically seen outside of the power conferences. At Navy I’ve heard he’s in the proverbial “best shape in his life” and so far the results (.405/.464/.541 in 74 AB) seem to back it up. His positional versatility make him appealing for teams in need of a Swiss army knife prospect that can plug holes (cool mixed metaphor) when needed in the low-minors after being drafted. That versatility could be his ticket to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like he’s capable of doing.

Bucknell JR C Jon Mayer is a little rough along the edges defensively, but he has enough arm strength, size, and power as a hitter to consider him a viable prospect. Like most prospects in the Patriot League he’ll almost have to wait until his senior season to warrant serious draft consideration, but no time like the present to start following a worthwhile prospect, right? Fellow junior Lehigh 2B/SS Mike Garzillo could be the rare Patriot League prospect to break the non-senior glass ceiling in 2015. He can throw (above-average), run (above-average to plus), and has enough sneaky pop to make his hit tool work. Topping him as a prospect is his own teammate at Lehigh, SR OF/C Justin Pacchioli. I stick the C in front of his name because he has seen some time behind the plate in the past and some think he could move back there as a pro, but since he’s athletic enough, quick enough, and instinctual enough to play average or better defense in center field then that’s probably the smartest path for now. As a hitter, I really like what Pacchioli can do going forward, so much so that I’ll be making the 90 minute trek without complaint to see him this year. His swing and feel for hitting check off all the boxes of what a “hitter” should look like for me, and his track record of success (especially from 2013 onward) is rock solid. I’m not sold on how much functional power he’ll ever hit for and lacking in that area can often cause a hit tool to play down once the competition improves, but I think there’s enough here to call for a steady organizational player with the ceiling of a useful backup outfielder at the highest level.

JR LHP Luke Gillingham, the aforementioned Navy pitcher putting up video game numbers (again: 13 strikeouts per start) to start the season, was originally tenth on my ranking of pitchers in the conference. I’ve said before that I don’t want to alter these “pre-season” rankings based on overreacting to one month’s worth of data, but I feel like I should be forgiven for making Gillingham one of my few exceptions. Gillingham has been one of college baseball’s best stories this winter, but I’m more interested in understanding the professional implications his hot start could lead to. It’s not exactly a performance out of nowhere as he’s been a prospect since high school who was only under the radar back then due to an injury that wiped out his entire senior season. At Navy he’s consistently missed bats (7.13 K/9 in 2013, 7.81 K/9 in 2014) while showing above-average control of good but not overwhelming stuff highlighted by a mid- to upper-80s fastball that he commands really well. Ultimately, Gillingham is a better college story than pro prospect, but that doesn’t mean his talent needs to be outright dismissed, either. If willing and permitted to start a pro career this summer there’s definitely a draft-worthy talent here.

Lost in the much deserved hype of Gillingham’s big start is Army SR RHP Alex Robinett doing big things in his own right. Though his 7.5 strikeouts per start (9.64 K/9) looks paltry compared to what Gillingham has done, it’s still a really fine number that is consistent with his prior work (8.60 last year). Robinett also has the edge in stuff at the present moment with more velocity (88-92) and a pair of average offspeed pitches (CB, CU). He has the overcome the Army hurdle and short righthander bias, but, like Gillingham, it’s a draftable profile.

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Hitting 

  1. Lehigh SR OF/C Justin Pacchioli
  2. Lehigh JR 2B/SS Mike Garzillo
  3. Navy rJR 3B/OF Sean Trent
  4. Holy Cross SR OF Evan Ocello
  5. Navy JR OF Robert Currie
  6. Bucknell SR OF Anthony Gingerelli
  7. Holy Cross JR SS Nick Lovullo
  8. Navy JR 2B Drew Hayes
  9. Bucknell JR C Jon Mayer
  10. Holy Cross SR C/3B Jack St. Clair
  11. Army SR 3B Harold Earls
  12. Lehigh SR C Tim McKay

2015 MLB Draft Talent – Pitching

  1. Navy JR LHP Luke Gillingham
  2. Army SR RHP Alex Robinett
  3. Holy Cross SR RHP Donny Murray
  4. Navy SR LHP Anthony Parenti
  5. Lehigh JR RHP Brandon Kulp
  6. Lehigh JR RHP Kevin Long
  7. Bucknell SR LHP Xavier Hammond
  8. Bucknell JR RHP Andrew Andreychik
  9. Lehigh SR RHP Nick Stephens
  10. Navy SR RHP/2B Brad Borosak
  11. Bucknell SR RHP Bryson Hough
  12. Navy SR RHP Stephen Moore
  13. Lafayette JR RHP Mitch Leeds
  14. Lafayette SR RHP Cory Spera
  15. Lafayette JR RHP Connor McMahon