So the Major League Baseball season got started and college baseball season is heating up. Especially since we hold two high picks in this year's draft, I figured I would like to share my notes from watching some of these guys so far this season. I only have few things to share but those few things might be important as it deals with couple of the players that figured to be in the mix for both of our high picks. So here is my quick notes on few draft prospects and mock draft.
Instead of listing the scouting report for each player this time, I'm going to write ups and downs to see who's stock is rising and who's is falling. These are only big names guys that most of us know about already and I will write about some of the other guys later on in separate post.
Gerrit Cole seemed to have taken the lead for that number one overall pick in this June's draft. He is absolutely filthy and his stuff looked even better than what I saw in the spring. He has the size, poise, and stuff to make batters shake before they come up to face him. 43 strikeouts already in 39 innings? That's ridiculous.
Another pitcher that's on the rise is Danny Hultzen. This is a guy that we picked back in the day but couldn't get him signed in time. Make sure to keep this name in mind because it is widely known that we are in love with this guy. At first I did not understand why they would consider him for the number 3 spot let alone in the top ten, but boy was I wrong. His command is outstanding and has tremendous amount of movement in his fastball. Never judge a book by its cover because he is a tiny guy on the mound with big time arm in him. Stat line is stellar. During his 40 plus innings of work, he struck out whopping 71 batters while walking 7. Goodness that is crazy.
Sonny Gray of Vandy is also cementing his name in the top 5 discussion. A scout I ran into in the stands (not sure if he was major league or college scout) was talking about how he is probably the safest bet to become the top of the rotation guy in majors second to Cole. He is also not big in size but absolutely dominates with his fastball and above average secondary offerings. No velocity nor delivery style that will wow you but he seem to get outs pretty well, which is probably the most important thing. Opposing batters are hitting below .160 mark against him and he racked up 58 Ks in 41 innings pitched.
Taylor Jungmann is seriously good. And underrated. He has the size that mirrors Kam Mickolio but don't think of him as anything close to Kam (not to offend you by any means, Kam.) He uses his frame to pound the strike zone and he looks like a force on the mound. It's almost unfair that nobody mentions his name when talking about best players in college baseball because he is something. 0.52 ERA in 50 plus innings so far this season. Get the picture? Still need more evidence that he is underrated? How about only FIVE walks.
This might sound weird, but I'm going to put Anthony Rendon here as well. His power numbers are down significantly (3 HR so far,) he is showing signs that ankle surgery he got will not stop him from being a superstar in the Major League level. He is showing tremendous amount of improvement on the fielding side of the ball and has been pretty impressive stealing bases as well.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is back on the map as well. He's walked more than he's struck out and has racked up tons up extra base hits including six home runs. His defense is out of this world and while he hasn't been doing much of base running, he is also gifted in running the bases as well.
One more name I'll add here is Matt Barnes of UConn. He has pitched well so far posting ERA under one and his stock has rised a little. It's safe to say he is worth the top ten look and probably will be a good choice for us at 7 considering that pick is not protected. The outing that I saw he threw a shut out but I personally thought his stuff was little less impressive than in the spring.
Matt Purke is free falling. And I mean land sliding. His overall numbers might fool you but he had his stock shot down so much to the point where one mock draft had him going at 20. I've always liked him but was worried about his delivery style. I don't think it was that got him sidelined as he had some blister issues early on but he did miss couple starts and many people view this as early signs of him being injury prone. His stuff was not sharp at all and he was already batted around by two below average teams. Many also believe that he is better suited for bullpen. If it were me, I'd stay away from Purke.
George Springer is going to be a quality Major League outfielder. And he still deserves to be picked in top ten in one man's opinion. But he hasn't been producing as much as people were expecting him to and he looked a little off. He still showcases big time power with ability to drive the ball to opposite field but I believe his stock is falling a little bit due to his less than stellar performance at the plate. He's still hitting over .300 with 8 stolen bases but only has 3 round balls so far this season.
Vandy's co-ace Jack Armstrong Jr. has been plagued with injury and has not been able to pitch much at all. I thought he might be able to pitch his way into top ten discussion but it certainly doesn't look like it. If somebody can get him in late first round or even second round due to his injury however, they're striking gold.
Obviously haven't seen any high school guys play yet but heard few things about them so I'll make a quick note of it here. Daniel Norris and Henry Owens, two lefties who are thought to be the best two high school arms in the draft, are off to a fast start as they continue to build momentum towards status as potential high pick in this draft. Righty Dylan Bundy was recently featured in couple different reports including ESPN's Keith Law's report and seems like this guy has some major talent. Archie Bradely and Bubba Starling, two high school outfielders who are considered a top ten pick in this June's draft, have received scholarships to play football at big time football programs and should be tough to sign. Their talent is out of this world, however, but we should stay away from them with our unprotected pick 7 no matter how much we like them.
Personal mock draft based on what I saw. I might be biased on college guys because I haven't been able to see high school games.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates - RHP Gerrit Cole (UCLA)
2. Seattle Mariners - 3B Anthony Rendon (Rice)
3. Arizona Diamondbacks - RHP Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt)
4. Baltimore Orioles - RHP Dylan Bundy (HS)
5. Kansas City Royals - OF George Springer (Conneticut)
6. Washington Nationals - OF Bubba Starling (HS)
7. Arizona Diamondbacks - LHP Danny Hultzen (Virginia)
8. Cleveland Indians - RHP Taylor Jungmann (Texas)
9. Chicago Cubs - OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (South Carolina)
10. San Diego Padres - SP Matt Barnes (UConn)