The amateur draft kicks off on Thursday, June 6. And here’s a look at NCAA Draft Big Board. Click on the player’s name for a more detailed analysis.
The elite bat in the class, Bryant profiles as a middle-of-the-lineup thumper, capable of hitting .290/.360/.540 with 30+ dingers. And despite the fact that he’s probably headed across the diamond to play first base, the need for offense in the professional game makes him the top collegiate player in this season’s draft class.
The most polished player in the draft class, Appel has the potential to step into a big league rotation and compete today. And at the very least, the 6-foot-5 right-hander needs less than a full season of fine-tuning in the minors. He has front-of-the-rotation-type potential and very little risk involved.
Gray, who’s been previously drafted by the Royals in 2010 and the Yankees the following year, closely parallels the production of Stanford’s Mark Appel’s production — so much so, in fact, that no data largely separates the two. Gray’s track record isn’t as extensive, especially considering his history of below-average command, but he has ace potential.
Obviously, as a former infielder Shipley is likely more athletic than most hurlers, and the wear-and-tear on his right arm isn’t as great either. He looks like a decent bet to develop into a mid rotation-type guy with a peak as a good #2. He could have a a higher ceiling than most college pitchers not named Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel because of a lack of experience.
Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year in 2011, Moran is one of the premier collegiate bats this season, showing an elite 57-to-21 walk-to-strikeout ratio and solid-average power. He profiles as a solid-average big league bat, capable of hitting .280/.380/.460-type hitter with 20+ homerun potential. Being a left-hander there’s the potential to show some platoon splits.
Owner of the top triple-slash line in college baseball (.402/.522/.807), the problem with Peterson’s production is that most of it has been done in a bandbox. And once his production is adjusted for park and schedule, his overall line, while still solid, is noticeably less (.364/.487/.739). He’s always shown a strong eye at the plate and his power grades out as a 55 or 60. Peterson has has a ceiling as a good #5/#6-type hitter, capable of hitting 20 to 25 homeruns with a .280/.350/.500.
Having spent some time behind the plate as well as on the mound, Renfroe is certainly one of the more athletic prospects in the collegiate class. But with that being said, there’s a rather sizeable risk given that his production is relegated to this year. Still, though, he could be an above-average regular, maybe similar to a Hunter Pence or so.
There’s some concern with Kubitza’s ability to throw strikes: his walk rate has worsened in each of his three seasons, going from 2.16 BB/9 to 4.26 BB/9 to 4.32 BB/9. He clearly has front of the rotation potential, but there’s a decent amount of risk because of his control problems. Still, though, he’s allowed just 11 extra-base hits and the ability to miss bats looks like a premium.
The above-average power seems to be real, as it’s continually become a more prevalent skill each season. And if he can stick at short — which is a big if — the bat plays even better. Otherwise, he might have to shift to third where it plays down. He has 15- to 20-homerun pop, with a decent eye at the plate, and some speed. He could develop into a an above-average player, maybe a touch better.
Gonzalez is a decent grab somewhere around the middle of the first round, but he’s not going to be a star. He may not even make it to the big leagues right away, either. His K-rate will definitely regress once in the professional ranks, and his future will largely depend upon the amount of groundballs he generates — something he’s shown a strong tendency of doing now. Using CollegeSplits’ spray chart data, the right-hander has induced contact fielded by an infielder at some pretty extreme rates: 60.1% vs. LHs and 51.3% against RHs. Gonzalez is another one of those low ceiling/high floor-types, sort of like Cincinnati’s Mike Leake.
Stanek looks like backend rotation material, maybe peaking as a #3. He reportedly has plus-velocity, but he’s plagued by below-average control/command. Outside of a potential injury, there’s very little risk associated because his floor is fairly high. He could spend a year or two in the minors before getting the call up.
Judge, a hulking 6-foot-7, will always have to contend with an abnormally large strike zone and the subsequent questions surrounding it. But he’s incredibly athletic, has a history of solid plate discipline, and could be another 20/20 candidate down the line. A reasonable comp might be Milwaukee’s Corey Hart, another gangly, athletic outfielder with a similar skill set.
More finesse than anything else, Gonzalez grades out as a mid- to late-first rounder. His work with Team USA last summer (29 K’s in 22 IP) adds to his impressive resume. One red flag, however, is the amount of extra-base hits he’s surrendered through his 106 innings: 17 doubles and a pair of triples. As a part-timer, he’s hitting .311/.375/.389 in 167 AB’s. He profiles as a good #4-type guy.
Knapp, a switch-hitter, showed some blossoming power during his sophomore campaign, slugging 21 extra-base hits. It’s now developed into a solid-average skill with the potential to be 12 to 17 homeruns down the line. He couples that with a decent eye at the plate, though his walk rates will likely be average or slightly below in pro ball. According to CollegeSplits, he tends to be an extreme fly ball hitter from both sides of the plate, as well. Defensively, he’s nabbed 65% of would-be base stealers. He’s not going to be a star and his bat profiles as league average. But he’s the type that could carve out a long career as solid big league regular that’s capable of adding value on both sides of the ball.
Along with the impressive K-rate (8.89 K/9) is the fact that’s it’s come against a difficult schedule, something not every lefty can boast. Once adjusted for park and schedule — thanks to CollegeSplits.com — Ziomek’s peripherals are even more impressive: 9.29 K/9 and 2.88 BB/9. He’s not an elite prospect, but he’s right up there with Gonzaga’s Marco Gonzales.
Useful, #4-type ceiling. He’s always shown a strong ability to pound the zone, average-ish K-rates, and teams could certainly do worse in the latter part of the first or early second rounds.
Ervin has decent pop for a smaller player, with the potential to develop into 15 or so homeruns down the line. And he could very likely swipe upwards of 25 or 30 bases in the professional ranks as well. He really doesn’t have a standout tool, but does everything well enough. He could be a capable starter in a few years, maybe peaking as an above-average regular depending how his defense grades out. Could be a Mark Kotsay-type player with a bit more speed.
Something to be wary of: this is largely the first time in his career that he’s shown this particular combination of strikeouts and solid control/command. Still, though, Anderson has the ceiling of backend rotation-type, capable of chewing innings and posting an ERA in the low to mid 4.00s.
There is some concern that while Blair’s ability to miss bats has improved during the past two seasons, his control has failed to do the same, basically remaining average-ish. He profiles as a decent option in a big league rotation with a ceiling as a #3 and a floor as a #5. One incredible stat, according to CollegeSplits, is that only 2.4% of balls in play against RHs is pulled to third base, suggesting that RHs have trouble getting the bat head around on him.
Manaea’s hip issues likely cost him a shot at the top 5 — so he’s quite risky. But he’s not only performed well while in school, but his performance in the Cape shows what he can do against elite levels of competition. He could be nabbed by a team with multiple first rounders.
Jagielo has two red flags to be wary of: Notre Dame’s home field tends to inflate numbers and his power grades out as average. He won’t be a star, but he could be a solid-average everyday player, peaking with 15 or so homeruns and a .260/.330/.420 line. And, of course, a lot of that will hinge on his ability to hit southpaws.
Evans has above-average power and plate discipline and could find his way into the top 45 or so picks in the draft. He’s looks a bit raw behind the plate, but the four-year starter should develop into a capable big leaguer and a serviceable #7-type hitter, though he needs to improve upon a lowly 30.6% caught stealing percentage.
He’s built well, but he’s never really shown a whole lot of power. And for a player relegated to a corner outfield spot that’s a bit concerning, though he did slug six homeruns in 23 games in the Cape last summer. He’s more about projectability right now, maybe with 20/20 potential. He might be what Oakland’s Michael Taylor was supposed to be, but there’s more risk here than normal though.
Moll is always going to have to answer questions about his stature, and he’s almost assuredly smaller than the listed height as schools tend to slightly exaggerate players’ sizes. With that being said, there’s really no reason that he shouldn’t be given a shot to develop as a starter, maybe developing into a #3/#4-type guy down the line. And at the very worst, the little lefty could easily become this year’s version of Paco Rodriguez or Rob Rasmussen.
There’s some upside here, but that comes with a checkered injury past — Tommy John surgery — and very little statistical data to go on. Hursh, who was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Pirates in 2010, tossed just 29.2 innings prior to this season. His command thus far, 2.37 BB/9, is quite impressive given how pitchers returning from TJ tend to struggle after a long injury layoff. He could be a nice gamble for a team in the supplemental or early second rounds.
After slugging 12 extra-base hits in 137 ABs during his freshman year, Lorenzen’s power hasn’t really developed as expected. Rather, it grades out as slightly below-average with the potential to hit double-digit HR in the pro ball. One huge red flag that will likely plague the junior at the next level is his plate discipline.
Lorenzen sported an awful 42-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio last season and has only slightly improved this year (34-to-16). He could easily strikeout a quarter of the time in the minors. He really doesn’t have a standout tool offensively either.
He does, however, have a chance to become a dominant backend reliever, striking out 20 and walking just four in 22.2 innings for Cal State.
There’s some upside here given his track record, including his dominant sophomore season (8.46 K/9 and 2.78 BB/9) as well as his work during the summer. But he’s taken a rather large step back, developmentally speaking, and one wonders if it’s from a long 2012 season. Unless he can rediscover some of his peripheral-magic, Crawford looks like a backend filler, potentially peaking as a #4/#5-type guy.
Wahl’s success this season is largely driven by an unsustainably low batting average against (.197). If that were to normalize his ERA would spike dramatically. He’s probably not a second round talent, but could very well find himself being drafted there as due to his step back this season. Back rotation fodder or good bullpen arm.
The data’s exceptionally limited — good, but limited. And there are not too many DI hurlers that can match his ability to miss bats and pound the zone. But the problem will come down to size, where teams shy away from sub-six-foot right-handers, particularly starters. He’s probably headed for the third round or so, but he’s going to be a steal — if the drafting team keeps him in the rotation.
A do-everything-type center fielder without a true standout tool, King has the potential to develop into a league average regular. He shows decent pop, a bit of speed, and some on-base skills. The problem, however, is K-State’s home ballpark tends to inflate offensive numbers. And once King’s production is adjusted for the park and schedule his Weighted On Base Average drops seven points, from .418 to .411 (according to CollegeSplits).
#31. Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
Eades isn’t going to miss a whole lot of bats in the professional ranks, maybe averaging about 6.7 punch outs per nine innings. But he’s typically shown a strong feel for the strike zone and could eventually slide into the backend of a rotation in a couple years.
Overton shows an above-average ability to pound the zone with the skills to miss a handful of bats. He won’t be a star, but he’s the kind of pitcher that could carve out a long career as a crafty lefty in the back half of a big league rotation.
His bat doesn’t play nearly as well at the corner positions, and second base is likely not his final position. However, he could very well go in the second round because the need for offense in the pro ranks. Katz profiles as a capable utility player, not on the same level as Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist but he could settle in as a Scott Hairston-type.
McGowin’s likely to be the highest player picked from Savannah State. And while his numbers are certainly impressive, the level of competition has to be taken into account. He does, however, rank in the top 30 K-rate among DI players. He’s a very, very tough read. For now, though, he looks like a #4/#5-type guy.
Analytically speaking, there’s really not a whole lot that separates Masek and Arizona State’s Trevor Williams, a player rumored to have first round potential. The problem, though, is Masek’s track record is incredibly short, throwing just 191 collegiate innings thus far, most of which came with below-average production. He has a peak as back rotation guy, maybe as a decent #4.
He’s got size and some projectability left. And his control took a pretty noticeable step forward this season. Plus, he tossed just 41.1 innings each of the two previous years, meaning far less wear and tear than the normal collegiate starter. You do have to wonder, however, if fatigue will eventually become a problem in the next year or two. He could be another low ceiling/high floor guy nabbed in the second and third rounds.
Mitchell clearly has the ability to miss bats, but the question will be if he can throw the ball over the plate more frequently in the professional ranks, relying less on pure stuff. It’s probably too early to give up on him as a starter, and he’s shown in the past at least solid control. He’s got mid-rotation-type potential with improved control; if not, he’s a useful late inning reliever. And he’s the type of higher ceiling/higher risk gamble a team could take after the opening round or two.
Turner’s a few rungs behind Georgia Tech’s Zane Evans and Cal’s Andrew Knapp, but he does have the ability to develop into a capable backup. But he’s likely not going to become a starter. his power is below-average and he doesn’t own a true standout tool.
Frazier’s a decent prospect, potentially one that could go within the first three rounds of the draft. He has size, ability to miss bats, and his control during his sophomore season was far better (2.71 BB/9) than this year (4.06 BB/9). His peak is probably somewhere around a fourth or fifth starter, but there’s some potential big league value here.
Emanuel’s value has slipped after his sophomore season, going from a potential supplemental round pick to maybe a round or two later. He does show above-average control, limits extra-base hits (only eight doubles, three triples, and five homeruns on the year), and has a good build.
He pounds the zone and knows how to pitch, both of which will help him make it to the big leagues. But Williams is yet another one of those safe, low ceiling/high floor pitchers in the class. He’s very reminiscent of another former ASU hurler, Cincinnati’s Mike Leake. The ceiling, however, is very low because the production is rather blah.
McGee really struggled through a poor 2012 showing, hitting just .230/.428/.275, so there’s very little useful analytical data available. He’s always shown an elite eye at the plate, and now that’s accompanied with a bit of pop (.226 Isolated Power). And he doesn’t really swing-and-miss a whole lot either.
McGee could be one these guys that grinds his way through the minors before carving out a role as a slightly below-average bat with good on-base skills. But there’s some value in that, especially coming from behind the plate. Ask A.J. Ellis.
There are a few red flags to be cognizant of here, mainly O’Neill’s pop and inability to take a walk. Even in a breakout season, the center fielder’s power grades out as below-average (at best) and he’s walked just 11 times in 56 games. His production is largely driven by batting average and stolen bases, meaning he profiles as a decent fourth outfielder-type option.
Forget command, control doesn’t even exist for the hard-throwing right-hander yet. He certainly has the talent to make into the top 50 or so picks, but it likely won’t happen come June. He’s eventually going to develop into a shutdown backend reliever, but it could take a few seasons.
Plutko has a pretty decent pedigree: drafted in the sixth round out of high school, three solid years at UCLA, and a member for the USA Collegiate National Team. He’s another one of these arms that has a high floor/low ceiling. Back rotation-type fodder. But more likely than not: org guy.
Johansen’s otherwise solid season will be masked by a horrifically poor 5.53 ERA. However, his FIP, 3.81, is more in line with his actual skill set. And his BABIP is also incredibly high, at .373. He’s going to be a very wise selection for a numbers savvy organization. And if his control really is a tangible skill, there’s no reason to believe that he couldn’t have a future in the big leagues, maybe even as a backend guy in the rotation or bullpen.
The massive amount of production (.410/.453/.714), however, comes with the caveat that Delaware’s home ballpark tends to inflate offensive production quite a bit. According to CollegeSplits.com, Yezzo’s Weighted On Base Average drops forty points when adjusting for the park, dropping from .493 to .453.
He’s a decent fourth or fifth round pick for a team looking to add some organizational depth. He’s likely not a starter, but he could develop into the quintessential Quad-A player, or maybe even a useful platoon bat against righties.
Palka has shown some above-average pop (Isolated Powers of .305), his lack of plate discipline will likely cost him a shot as a potential second or third round pick. His K-rate is nearly 22%, a number that’s likely to slide somewhere near 27% or so in the pro ranks.
He has some useful skills: solid speed, a pretty decent eye at the plate, and a little bit of pop. But Jones strikes out an awful lot (19%) and his total production is hardly noteworthy (.283/.382/.417) Still, though, with the current state of the game, it wouldn’t be surprising to find him being taken as soon as the third round. Jones probably won’t be an everyday player and may not even be serviceable bench option, but he provides some depth with a little bit of upside. If a team’s lucky, maybe, just maybe, they might be able to unlock the key to his successful freshman year.
Shelinsky would be a nice mid-round gamble — maybe around the tenth round or so — for a stats savvy team. He’s likely to swing-and-miss an awful lot in the professional ranks — he’s sporting a 26.6% K-rate this season — but he averages the seventh highest BB/G total in DI.
Along with an elite eye, Shelinsky offers solid-average power, maybe with the potential to peak at 20 homeruns. He’s very intriguing given his lack of a track record, and he certainly has three-true outcome potential. But the walk rate could be special.
It’s a bit surprising that Farmer lasted until the fifteenth round last season given a rather lengthy track record of strong peripherals. According to CollegeSplits.com, once his numbers are adjusted for the home ballpark and strength of schedule they become even more impressive: 10.45 K/9, 2.39 BB/9, 2.47 ERA and 3.15 FIP. He also generates a lot of contact handled by infielders too.
A red flag for the senior, however, is the amount of extra-base hits he’s allowed: 19 doubles, one triple, and four homeruns. He looks like a backend starter, maybe a good relief arm.
Prior to the year Tauchman was primarily a first baseman and now he’s handled a switch to left-field rather well. The problem, of course, is the southpaw’s bat really only plays in center; thanks in large part due to his lack of power.
His speed, or at least base running prowess, seems to suggest that he could handle center. If so, he could have a chance to develop into something between an org player and bench play in the big leagues.
Prior to this season, Rizzotti had thrown just 4.2 innings in his career, so there’s very little data to analyze. On the positive side, however, he has room to grow and has very little wear and tear on his right arm. With the available data, he looks like bullpen fodder. But, again, there’s going to be some upside in his potential here.
Pinder has clearly benefited from a favorable park, despite playing against some tough competition. And his pop is barely average, posting an unadjusted Isolated Power of .162. He doesn’t look like a future big league regular, unless his plate discipline and power numbers improve noticeably.
Balog has the size scouts crave — 6-6 and 225 pounds — but the production has failed to impress. And statistically speaking, there’s really no reason to believe that he will be anything more than organizational depth right now.
A three-year starter for Elon, Kinsella’s power took a dramatic step forward this season, already surpassing his career total by seven. But, of course, there are several red flags for the lefty-swinger: despite being a DI school, Elon’s competition isn’t on par with some of the other elite college bats, and Kinsella’s strikeout numbers — 19.3% K-rate — suggest that he has a crater-sized hole in his swing.
Still, though, Kinsella could go as high as the fifth round given the need for power in the professional ranks. But he’s probably nothing more than a Quad-A-type player, maybe peaking as a useful bench/platoon bat.
It’s really all about pitchability for Wade at this point. He doesn’t miss a whole lot of bats — probably because of a lackluster arsenal — but he knows how to get by with was he has. The right-hander’s another one of these high floor/low ceiling-type guys, but that ceiling resides as a big league swingman at best. And it’s very probable that he peters out in Double-A.
Snelten has one of the few things that can’t be taught: size. And that’s really the only tangible thing he has going for himself. He’s never missed a whole lot bats and his control is good, not great. If everything breaks right, then maybe — maybe — he carves out a Brian Tallet-type career as a long man out of the pen.
Gregor spent the year playing first base where his below-average power becomes an even more damning skill. What he does do, however, is walk — a lot. So far this season, he’s sporting a BB-rate of 18.8%. He does have experience in the outfield and above-average speed (20 stolen bases in 23 attempts), so that increases his value. And his bat plays far better in center. Teams could do a lot worse late in the draft by taking Gregor and turning him into a decent org guy.
Blair has a below-average hit tool and power, but he does offer speed and tremendous on-base skills. He’s walked in more than 22% of his plate appearances this season. And while he’s not likely to find his way to the big leagues, a middle infielder with a plus-eye and speed can be very beneficial as an org-type.
Photo of Kris Bryant Courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images