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2016 Draft Profile: Will Craig

School: Wake Forest University; Class: Junior

Position: 3B/OF/RHP; B/T: R/R

Height: 63; Weight: 235

Previously Drafted: Kansas City Royals, 37th round, 2013

Background: One of the biggest breakout players in the collegiate ranks last season, Craig, who’s triple-slash line jumped from .280/.357/.439 as a true freshman to a scorching .382/496/.702 in 2015, upped the ante even further during his junior campaign. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound infielder/outfielder/part-time pitcher is slugging .411/.551/.822 – with each of those statistics ranking among the best in Division I baseball. He’s slugged 15 doubles and 13 homeruns to go along with an impeccable 23-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

And, of course, there’s plenty of awards and recognition to go around:

2014 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American

2014 ACC Player of the Week

2015 ACC Player of the Year

2015 Louisville Slugger First Team All-American

2015 NCBWA First Team All-American

2015 ABCA First Team All-American

2015 D1 Baseball First Team All-American

2015 Perfect Game First Team All-American

2015 Golden Spikes Award Watch List (Top 30)

2015 John Olerud Award Watch List

2015 Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist

2015 First Team All-ACC

2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Alternate

For his career, at through his first 147 games, Craig is sporting a preposterous .354/.463/.637 with 41 doubles, one triples, 34 homeruns, and an 80-to-95 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Projection: Craig’s resume isn’t without a pockmark, though. Last summer he looked underwhelming in the Cape Cod, hitting a depressing .242/.366/.318 with just eight total extra-base hits (seven doubles and one homerun). He also swung-and-miss a lot more than he’s shown during his collegiate career (35-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio). So he’ll have that hanging over his head come draft time.

Anyway, now onto the good news. No Division I player between 2011 and 2015 have met the following criteria except for Craig: 170PA, 18.0% walk rate, a sub-13.0% strikeout rate, and slug .800.

Finally, one more comparison:

Player

PA

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

813

0.353

0.486

0.702

17.00%

17.00%

Will Craig

639

0.354

0.463

0.637

14.90%

12.50%

An absolute stud at the plate, with a strong enough arm to play the hot corner or outfield, Craig’s bat will certainly play anywhere on the field. He profiles as a solid middle-of-the-lineup thumper with 25- to 30-homerun potential and strong OBP skills.

Ceiling:   3.0- to 3.5win player

Floor:  2.0-win player

Risk:  Moderate

Grade: First Round



About

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.


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