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2018 MLB Draft Profile – UMass-Lowell

RHP Collin Duffley seemed primed for a big draft year, but he’s only tossed six innings for the River Hawks so far in 2018. Three minutes of research revealed nothing, but I’ll assume injury. That would be a bummer for the 6-3, 200 pound righthander with the low-90s fastball and promising breaking ball. Healthy or not, I like Duffley so much that I’d still use an irresponsibly high pick on him and hope for the best.

RHP Andrew Ryan is a rock solid senior-sign who would fit in nicely in any pro bullpen tomorrow. His stuff (88-92 FB, good SL) and performance to date (6.82 career K/9) are both more good than great, but sharpened command and increased whiffs as a senior (9.18 K/9) suggest there may be more than first meets the eye. I like Ryan as a mid- to late-round depth piece. With similar stuff, RHP Nick Rand falls into the same category. With any non-premium mid-major non-senior talent there exists a strong possibility that he returns to school in 2019. If three straight hyphenated words isn’t a record, then I’ll just have to go for four next time. RHP Luke Tomczyk is a senior already, so it’s now or never for the big (6-5, 235) effectively wild (8.68 K/9 and 6.79 BB/9 career) hard thrower (up to 94, also mixes in a good cutter) from Chili, New York. He’s no lock to get picked with those walk rates, but 94 MPH is 94 MPH.

The fact that LHP Ricky Constant has been allowed to throw 73.1 combined innings in three years as a River Hawk despite posting a ridiculous 8.84 BB/9 is a testament to his intriguing raw stuff (85-91 FB, has been up as high as 93-94) and the eternal hope we all feel when watching 6-6, 200 pound lefthanders throw off the mound. To his credit, Constant has missed a bunch of bats in his (small sample) 2018 run to date. He’s also walking slightly fewer batters. Maybe a small corner has been turned here. I don’t have any notes on LHP Jack Riley, but was told not to forget him when asking around about UMass-Lowell. So here he is. Same with RHP Kendall Pomeroy. So here they are.

OF Colby Maiola has some shockingly big fans among those who have seen him consistently. I don’t mean to say that I’m shocked a player like Maiola would have fans — he’s good, after all — but rather there’s always some element of surprise for me when a player with little public fanfare (i.e., not once featured at BA, PG, or FG) gets mentioned as often as Maiola’s name has come up to me in private. All I can figure is that this draft — like all drafts, really — is dying for some power/speed types, and that’s exactly what Maiola, above-average in both departments, brings to the table. There’s still way too much swing and miss in his game to like him more than a later round lottery ticket, but I get the appeal of any college hitter with tools that should play in pro ball and a track record of producing as his team’s best hitter. 1B/OF Steve Passatempo also got a little more love than I expected as a power guy with enough defensive versatility (some think he can catch) to eventually got a chance at pro ball. Like Maiola, his approach leaves something to be desired. Also like Maiola, Passatempo may have to wait until his senior season is complete before embarking on the minor league adventure.

You know who has a BB/K ratio I find a little more exciting? 1B/OF Russ Olive. My personal system for adding guys to my database is pretty simple. You can get on with any kind of scouting buzz (whether it’s something I read, hear, or see) or you can get on by doing something that piques my interest statistically. Olive did not make the cut after his freshman year. He was added after that sophomore year on the basis of his power production. Now, as a junior in the middle of a .375/.479/.708 season with 22 BB/23 K in 120 AB, Olive is breaking out in a way few college hitters in this class can match. Going from an unheralded recruit once seen as a 50/50 possibility of winding up on the mound to a lefty power bat with more than enough athleticism to field his position at first and a suddenly very healthy approach at the plate is one of the draft’s best under the radar stories. Get ready to see Russ Olive ranked higher here than anywhere else this June.

JR RHP Collin Duffley (2018)
SR RHP Andrew Ryan (2018)
JR RHP Nick Rand (2018)
rJR LHP Jack Riley (2018)
SR RHP Luke Tomczyk (2018)
SR RHP Tim Fallon (2018)
SR RHP Dan Cunico (2018)
JR LHP Ricky Constant (2018)
JR RHP Kendall Pomeroy (2018)
SR OF Colby Maiola (2018)
JR 1B/OF Russ Olive (2018)
JR 1B/OF Steve Passatempo (2018)
SR 2B Ben Prada (2018)
JR OF Michael Young (2018)
rSO C Austin Young (2018)
JR SS/3B Oscar Marchena (2018)
SO RHP Connor Metelski (2019)
SO RHP/1B John Polichetti (2019)
FR RHP Henry Funaro (2020)
FR SS Joey Castellanos (2020)
FR OF Vinnie Martin (2020)
FR C/1B Kyle Maurice (2020)