Potential Draft Prospects/College Notes – Week 3

An article by posted on March 5, 2012

I said I wanted to get this posted early in the week and thankfully I was able to accomplish that task this week.

Branden Kline, RHP – Virginia (Proj. 1st round supp. – 2nd round)

Stat Line: W, 6 IP, 4 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 SO, 7:5 GO:AO

Kline was Virginia’s closer last year, but after losing Danny Hultzen (2nd overall) and Will Roberts (5th round) in the draft last year, UVA elected to move Kline to the rotation and make him the Friday night starter. He uses terrific arm speed to generate a fastball that sits 92-95 mph and features a plus slider. He also throws a curveball and changeup that are considered at least average. With a strong spring he can pitch his way into first round consideration.

Matt Price, RHP – South Carolina (Proj. 3rd – 5th round)

Stat line: 4.1 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 SO, WP (101 pitches, 67 strikes)

The infamous Carolina closer was drafted in the 6th round by the D’Backs last year, but elected to return to South Carolina and has since moved into the rotation. His transition hasn’t gone as smoothly as Kline’s has likely due to the downgrade in stuff. Price has an average low 90′s fastball, a pretty good slider, and throws a changeup but no pitch is a true plus pitch. He should still be able contribute out of the pen at the next level.

Christian Walker, 1B – South Carolina (Proj. 3rd – 5th round)

Stat line: 2-for-13, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HBP

Had a rough weekend, but is a really good all around hitter. He can defend first base well, but he is a college first baseman after all.

Adam Matthews, OF – South Carolina (Proj. 6th – 12th round)

Stat line: 5-for-12, HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, K, SB

The college senior was drafted in the 23rd round by the Orioles last year because of a hamstring injury that cost him a good part of the season, so he returned to improve his stock. Tremendous speed with a decent bat.

Michael Roth, LHP – South Carolina (Proj. 10th+ round)

Stat line: 7.1 IP, R, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 SO, 6:8 GO:AO (102 pitches, 71 strikes)

Will not get drafted nearly as high as he deserves (see 31st round selection last year). His projection is limited to a reliever because he only hits the high-80′s, but few pitchers at ANY LEVEL know how to pitch like him.

Kevin Brady, RHP – Clemson (Proj. 2nd-3rd round)

Stat line: 6 IP, R, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 SO, 3:8 GO,AO (97 pitches, 62 strikes)

Fell to the 17th round last year as a draft eligible sophomore because if injury, but will go much higher this year if he remains healthy. Sits low-90′s and touches mid-90′s with a good 12-6 curveball. He is off to a great start and could be a name to watch for the second round.

Richie Shaffer, 3B – Clemson (1st round – 1st round supp.)

Stat Line: 6-for-9, 2 2B, 2 HR (4), 6 R, 4 RBI, 6 BB, K, E

One of the best pure bats in the entire draft class. He is raising his stock even higher than it was before the season with an outstanding campaign thus far. If he didn’t have defensive questions he would be a sure fire first round selection. The man can hit and hit for power. Could be hitting his way out of the Mets range in the supplement round.

Michael Wacha, RHP – Texas A&M (Proj. Top 25 picks)

Stat line: W, 7 IP, 2 R, 8 H, BB, 7 SO, 7:5 GO:AO (92 pitches, 65 strikes)

Wacha continues to just mow down hitters. He has a 0.92 ERA with a 26:4 SO:BB ratio through 19.2 innings so far. His stock has risen the most of any college pitcher in my mind.

Tyler Naquin, OF – Texas A&M (Proj. 1st round supp.)

Stat line: 4-for-12, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 K, HBP, SB

Known for his arm and speed, Naquin plays terrific defense and is a great hitter (batting .500 this year), but his lack of power is holding him back from being an elite draft prospect.

Mark Appel, RHP – Stanford (Proj. 1st overall)

Stat line: L, 8 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 11 SO, 11:2 GO:AO

Probably one of the oddest complete game lines you will see these days.

Stephen Piscotty, 3B/OF – Stanford (Proj. 1st round – 1st round supp.)

Stat line: 7-for-13, 4 R, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, HBP

He is hitting like a man on a mission.

Kenny Diekroeger, SS/2B – Stanford (Proj. 1st round – 1st round supp.)

Stat line: 4-for-12, 3 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, HBP, CS

Played all three games this weekend at second base which is a bit disappointing.

Brett Mooneyham, LHP – Standford (Proj. 1st round supp. – 2nd round)

Stat line: W, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 13 SO, HBP, 3:5 GO:AO, E

Challenging Wacha as the college pitcher whose stock has risen the most. Just an outstanding performance.

Nolan Fontana, SS – Florida (Proj. 2nd – 3rd round)

Stat line: 7-for-15, HR (2), 6 R, RBI, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 SB

I will probably feature the personal favorite of mine every week. He is really having a great season.

Mike Zunino, C – Florida (Proj. Top 5)

Stat line: 6-for-15, 3 2B, HR (3), 4 R, 4 RBI, BB, 2 K

Just doing what he does.

Brian Johnson, 1B/LHP – Florida (Proj. 1st round)

Stat line: 5-for-7, 2 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 5 RBI / 3.1 IP, 5 R, 9 H, BB, 2 SO, 3:3 GO:AO (73 pitches, 48 strikes)

His stock has taken a beating as a pitcher. I’ve said I like his potential better with the bat and he is supporting that claim early on.

Austin Maddox, 1B/RHP – Florida (Proj. 2nd-5th round)

Stat line: 3-for-12, R, RBI, K, BB / SV, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 8 SO, 3:0 GO:AO (58 pitches, 40 strikes)

Really looking superb off the mound.

Chris Beck, RHP – Georgia Southern (Proj. top 20 picks)

Stat line: L, 6 IP, 9 H, 7 R, BB, 5 SO, (76 pitches, 51 strikes)

Extremely poor effort against the University of North Florida. Beck is much better than that line.

Marcus Stroman, RHP – Duke (Proj. 1st round)

Stat line: W, 7 IP, 2 H, 17 SO (105 pitches, 76 strikes)

I think it is safe to say he wins the award for performance of the week. To put it into perspective he struckout 74% of the men who came to the plate in this game. He has definitely hit his groove early on.

Kevin Gausman, RHP – LSU (Proj, Top 6 picks)

Stat line: W, 6.1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 10 H, 6 SO, WP, 6:6 GO:AO

Not a sensational performance, but Gausman did improve to 3-0 on the young season. In those three games he already has four wild pitches, which demonstrates some of that rawness but the sky is the limit for him.

Deven Marrero, SS – Arizona State (Proj.Top 8 picks)

Stat line: 3-for-6, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI

ASU had a really weak schedule this weekend so he had some time off. Played well in that limited action, however.

Travis Jankowski, CF – Stony Brook (Proj. 1st round)

Stat line: 4-for-12, 2 2B, R, 2 BB, 2 K, CS

Baseball America has a fabulous game report on Jankowski that includes video, which I urge anyone interested in the draft to read.

Josh Elander, C – TCU (Proj. 1st round supp. – 2nd round)

Stat line: 5-for-10, 3B, HR, 3 R RBI, 2 BB, K, HBP

Save the best for last right? I am going to keep VERY close tabs on this kid. If I had to take a catcher early in the draft not named Zunino he might be the one I go with. Mets fans who want the catcher of the future should invest in keeping tabs on this guy.

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