2014 MLB Draft College Big Board — March

Even though the draft is still months away – it begins on June 5th, to be exact – here’s a very, very early look at the 2014 College Big Board. For now it’s broken down by round, but with every passing month things will start taking better shape as performances become lengthier.

Again, this is a first pass and is subject to quite a bit of change as the season wears on.

Each round is where I would grab the player.

Final Note: For two way players like Kentucky’s A.J. Reed, I list them twice – once where I would draft them as a hitter and once where I would draft them as a pitcher.

And check out my book The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual.


First Round:

1.       Carlos Rodon, LHP, JR, N.C. State

The undisputed #1 amateur player in the country right now. Power lefty with a history of missing bats and solid-average control/command. Legit ace in the making.

 2.    Jeff Hoffman, RHP, JR, East Carolina

The arsenal’s among the best in the amateur rank. This is the first season, though, that’s he’s been missing bats.

3.       Aaron Nola, RHP, JR, LSU

Not on the same level as Rodon, Nola, nonetheless, looks like a very, very good MLB pitcher. Something along the lines of a #2.

4.       Mike Papi, 1B/LF, JR, Virginia

Papi’s schedule and park adjusted wOBA (according to CollegeSplits) was .509 last season. Of the three players topping that mark, two of them were high first rounders – Hunter Dozier and Kris Bryant. Potential elite eye at the plate.

5.       Michael Conforto, LF, JR, Oregon State

A nice solid start for Conforto, who hitting .333/.452/.508.

6.       Kyle Schwarber, C, JR, Indiana

The bat plays far better behind the plate than it does at first. It’s a question of whether the glove can keep him as a backstop.

7.       Sean Newcomb, LHP, JR, Hartford

8.       Luke Weaver, RHP, JR, Florida State

9.       Tyler Beede, RHP, JR, Vanderbilt

The question isn’t the quality of the arsenal, it’s whether he can harness it. Three games into the year he’s sporting a 24-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Has he turned the corner finally?

10.       Trea Turner, SS, JR, N.C. State

Speed’s a plus skill, but how will the bat play in the minors?

11.    Branden Cogswell, 2B/SS, JR, Virginia

12.    Nick Burdi, RHP, JR, Louisville

Craig Kimbrel-like numbers last season: 0.76 ERA, 1.37 FIP, 15.64 K/9. He’s thrown just six innings thus far, though.

13.    Michael Cederoth, RHP, JR, San Diego State

Highly, highly underrated thanks to his run-of-the-mill 4.25 ERA as a sophomore last season. His FIP, 3.13, and K-rate 10.29 have huge potential. San Diego State made the a catastrophic oversight to push the big right-hander into the bullpen. Foolish, really.

 14.    Brandon Finnegan, LHP, JR, TCU

15.    Mark Zagunis, C, JR, Virginia Tech

16.    Brad Zimmer, RF, JR, San Francisco


First/Second Round:

17.    Matt Imhof, LHP, JR, Cal Poly

18.    Casey Gillaspie, 1B, JR, Wichita State

One of my favorite bats in all of college baseball, Gillaspie showed an incredible eye at the plate as a sophomore (62-to-35 walk-to-strikeout rate), posted a solid .427 wOBA, and slugged 28 extra-base hits. Off to a scorching start this season, hitting .526/.640/.921 through 10 games, with four doubles, one triple, and a trio of homeruns.

 19.    Dan Mengden, RHP, Texas A&M

20.    Daniel Gossett, RHP, JR Clemson

21.    Derek Fisher, LF, JR, Virginia

Took some major strides at the plate during his second season. Still worried about a rather troubling K-rate, though.

 22.    Trey Teakell, RHP, JR, TCU

23.    Zech Lemond, RHP, JR, Rice


Second/Third Round:

24.    Brandon Downes, CF, JR, Virginia

Potential first round tools, but the swing-and-miss risk is fairly high.

25.    Sam Travis, 1B, JR, Indiana

26.    Matt Chapman, 3B, JR, Cal State Fullerton

27.    Brian Anderson, CF, JR, Arkansas

28.    Garrett Boulware, C, JR, Clemson

29.    Erick Fedde, RHP, JR, UNLV

Cut his walk rate by 20% and improved his K-rate by nearly 18%. Could be one of the big breakout players this year.

 30.    Jacob Lindgren, LHP, JR, Mississippi State

31.    Travis Radke, LHP, JR, Portland

32.    Trevor Megill, RHP, JR, Loyola-Marymount

33.    Benton Moss, RHP, JR, UNC

34.    Kyle Freeland, LHP, JR, Evansville

35.    Jake Reed, RHP, JR, Oregon


Third Round:

36.    Ben Wetzler, LHP, SR, Oregon State

Phillies should have handled it better. Period.

37.    Ryan Harris, RHP, JR, Florida

38.    Chris Ellis, RHP, JR, Ole Miss


Third/Fourth Round:

39.    Chad Sobotka, RHP, JR, South Carolina-Upstate

40.    Max Povse, RHP, JR, UNC Greenboro

41.    Jordan Stephens, RHP, JR, Rice

42.    Dylan Davis, RF, JR, Oregon State

 After hitting .335/.379/.502 last season, Davis is off to a rather slow start thus far (.220/.320/.305).

43.    Joey Pankake, 3B, JR, South Carolina

44.    Bo Thompson, 1B, JR, The Citadel

Thompson posted a ridiculous 54-to-28 walk-to-strikeout ratio as a sophomore and posted a park/schedule adjusted .480 wOBA. Very intriguing power potential here too. Sort of sleeper.

Fourth Round:

45.    Nick Howard, RHP, JR, Virginia

46.    Ross Kivet, 2B/OF, SR, Kansas State

Not a tremendous amount of upside here, but Kivet does some things well enough – run, solid hit tool. No power to speak of though. Future utility guy.

47.    Aramis Garcia, C, JR, Florida International

48.    Riley Moore, C, JR, Arizona


Fourth/Fifth Round:

49.    Brandon Leibrandt, LHP, JR, Florida State

50.    Jordan Ramsey, RHP, JR, UNC Willington

51.    Dillon Peters, LHP, JR, Texas

52.    A.J. Reed, LHP, JR, Kentucky

53.    A.J. Reed, 1B, JR, Kentucky

54.    Connor Joe, SS, JR, San Diego

55.    Max Pentecost, C, JR, Kennesaw State

56.    Grayson Greiner, C, JR, South Carolina

57.    Alex Blandino, 3B, JR, Stanford

58.    Brett Austin, C, JR, N.C. State

Former first round pick by San Diego in 2011 will be hard-pressed to hear his name called that high again.

Fifth Round:

59.    Austin Robichaux, RHP, JR, Louisiana-Lafayette

60.    Parker French, RHP, JR, Texas

61.    Michael Katz, IF, JR, William & Mary


Fifth/Sixth Round:

62.    Brandon Woodruff, RHP, JR, Mississippi State

63.    A.J. Vanegas, RHP, SR, Stanford

64.    Nigel Nootbaar, RHP, JR, USC

65.    Dustin DeMuth, 3B, SR Indiana

66.    J.D. Davis, 1B, JR, Cal State Fullerton


Sixth/Seventh Round:

67.    Adam McCreery, LHP, JR, Azuna Pacific

68.    Andrew Chin, LHP, JR, Boston College

Finesse lefty with mediocre control. Ho hum.

69.    Austin Cousino, CF, JR, Kentucky


Seventh Round:

70.    Pay Connaughton, RHP, JR, Notre Dame


Seventh/Eighth Round:

71.    Taylor Sparks, 3B, JR, UC-Irivine

72.    Tanner English, LF, JR, South Carolina

73.    A.J. Murray, C, JR, Georgia Tech


Eighth Round:

74.    Alex Real, C/1B, JR, New Mexico


Ninth Round:

75.    Sam Coonrod, RHP, JR, Southern Illinois


Tenth Round:

76.    Hawtin Buchanan, RHP, JR, Ole Miss

77.    Mason McCullough, RHP, JR, Lander University

78.    Josh Laxer, RHP, JR, Ole Miss

79.    Alex Detz, IF, SR, Mississippi State

80.    Christian Ibarra, IF, SR, LSU

81.    Richard Prigatano, 1B, JR, Long Beach State

82.    Hunter Cole, LF, JR, Georgia

83.    Wayne Taylor, C, JR, Stanford

84.    Taylor Gushue, C, JR, Florida

85.    Casey Turgeon, SS, JR, Florida


Fifteenth Round:

86.    Aaron Brown, LHP, JR, Pepperdine

87.    Jordan Brink, RHP, JR, Fresno State

88.    Adam Choplick, LHP, JR, Oklahoma

89.    Brett Graves, RHP, JR, Missouri

90.    Eric Skoglund, LHP, JR, UCF

91.    Austin Slater, 3B, JR, Stanford

92.    Jordan Tarsovich, IF/OF, JR, VMI

93.    Austin Davidson, 3B, JR, Pepperdine

94.    Boo Vasquez, LF, JR, Pittsburgh

95.    Scott Heineman, 3B, JR, Oregon

96.    Chris Harvey, C, JR, Vanderbilt

97.    Mason Robbins, LF, JR, Southern Miss



98.    Dusty Isaacs, RHP, SR, Georgia Tech

99.    Jack Fischer, RHP, SR, Wake Forest

100.  Grant Watson, LHP, JR, UCLA

101.  Adam Ravenelle, RHP, JR, Vanderbilt

102.  T.J. Pecoraro, RHP, SR, Vanderbilt

103.  Chris Ohmstede, 3B, JR, Furman

104.  K.J. Hockaday, SS, JR, Hartford

105.  Alex Calbrick, 1B/3B, SR, Maine

106.  Josh Tobias, SS, JR, Florida

107.  Sikes Orvis, 1B, JR, Ole Miss


Photo of Carlos Rodon Courest of Liz Condo/USA Today Sports via ESPN.com.


After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.