Monday, May 12, 2014

Scouting the Draft: College Hitter Update

Here's a list of college hitters and their season lines so far with some comments.  Max Pentecost seems to be the current top rated draft eligible college hitter with several mock drafts putting him at #14 to the Giants.  The Giants brass is also rumored to have scouted local boy Brad Zimmer at USF.

Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw St.  .421/.475/.636, 8 HR, 14 SB.  Pentecost is a college catcher who can stick at the position, but athleticism gives him flexibility to play almost any position.  Strength of college competition a mild concern, but hit well in the Cape Cod League.  Great fit for what the Giants seem to be looking for in a hitter.

Brad Zimmer, OF, USF.  .370/.462/575, 7 HR, 21 SB.  Tall LH batter.  Could be a Brandon Belt with more speed.  I'm always a bit wary of height at the plate.  The way I think of it is height gives you a higher ceiling, but also increases your bust potential.

Trea Turner, SS, NC State.  .319/.418/.505, 7 HR, 22 SB.  Stock seems to have slipped a bit.  Recent scouting reports have his speed down to 70 from 80.  The BA might be a bit disappointing too.  Seems to be a true SS, though, and would not be a terrible pick at #14.

Alex Blandino, 3B, Stanford.  .303/.395/.497, 7 HR, 2 SB.  Just not wowed by this guy at all.  Seems like more of a second round talent to me.  Is he another Stephen Piscotty?

Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia.  .289/.343/.443, 2 HR, 2 SB.  Athleticism galore.  Missed time with an injury suppressing his counting stats.  I think you want to see more production at the plate if you are considering for a top 15 pick.

Kyle Schwarber, C, Indiana.  .348/.457/.619, 9 HR, 8 SB.  Probably MLB first baseman/DH.  More of an AL player, but gotta love the bat.

Matt Chapman, 3B, CS Fullerton.  .289/.393/.472, 6 HR, 5 SB.  Plays in a tough conference for hitters.  I see him as more of a second or third round talent.

Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon St.  .391/.542/.603, 5 HR, 4 SB.  Love the bat. Not sure about the rest of his game.  Has mashed for 3 full years in a tough conference for hitters.  Part of me wants the Giants to just take the great bat and worry about the rest later.  Conforto would be the guy to scratch that itch.

Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita St.  .394/.506/.697, 14 HR, 8 SB.  Another terrific bat, but probably not what the Giants want at #14 and probably won't be there in round 2.  Would make a great second round pick, though.

Brian Anderson, CF, Arkansas.  .321/.398/.456, 4 HR, 8 SB.  Nothing really stands out here.  OK as maybe a 3'rd or 4'th round pick.  Haven't there been several Brian Anderson's over the years who failed to meet expectations as baseball prospects?

Aramis Garcia, C, FIU.  .353/.428/.588, 7 HR, 4 SB.  This guy was shooting up draft boards, but now seems to have plateaued.  Might be the best catching prospect in the draft.  Would make a terrific second round pick for the Giants if they go pitcher in round 1.

Mike Papi, OF/1B, Virginia.  .293/.451/.479, 8 HR, 4 SB.  A bit of a disappointing junior season.  Could be a 3'rd or 4'th round pick.

Grayson Greiner, C, South Carolina.  .347/.416/.549, 8 HR, 0 SB.  Nice numbers. Not sure how he scouts as a catcher.

Jordan Luplow, OF, Fresno St.  .378/.465/.617, 8 HR, 8 SB.  8 seems to be a popular number for college HR's at this point.  Those are terrific numbers.  Draft sleeper?

Greg Allen, OF, SDSU.  .313/.406/.368, 0 HR, 23 SB.  Kind of a Gary Brown prospect without the college BA, but seems to take a lot more walks as part of his game.

Austin Byler, OF, Nevada.  .356/.441/.700, 13 HR, 7 SB.  How much do you trust numbers from the desert southwest?

Rhys Hoskins, OF, Sac. St.  .341/.449/.575, 8 HR, 5 SB.  Strong junior season for Hoskins.  Might make a nice 3'rd or 4'th rounder.

Dylan Davis, OF, Oregon St.  .293/.357/.431, 4 HR, 4 SB.  Nothing stands out here.

Taylor Sparks, 3B, UCI.  .302/.389/.495, 4 HR, 7 SB.  Tough pitching conference, but those are disappointing junior year numbers.

JD Davis, OF, CS Fullerton.  .314/.410/.449, 3 HR, 6 SB.  2 way player who may have been distracted by his pitching responsibilities.

AJ Reed, 1B, Kentucky.  .354/.487/.787, 21 HR.  I tend to take Kentucky hitting stats with a grain of salt, for some reason.


  1. Definitely the weakness in the draft. I like Papi, Garcia, Sparks but I don't think the Giants should pay a premium for them. Where are the Mac Williamson's of the class - the guys who can give you the same bump without paying first round moneys? Moneyball baby! I share your fear of Zimmer. Pentecost or bust in the first says I! And I'll listen to arguments on Turner but I'm not convinced.

    1. The Giants are well known to draft guys whose stock has dropped in rounds 3-5. I'd be looking at someone like Taylor Sparks there. I like what I've seen of Rhys Hoskins too. I took these names from Kiley McDaniels' top 119. There's Nick Torres from Cal Poly who is not on this list. I'm sure there are many others. It's really hard to dig them up, though,
      There are just so many good college teams out there it's hard to find that needle in a haystack. Gotta really respect what scouts do and how they sniff out players in out-of-the-way places.

  2. Note that Sparks did play SS in a series here. Saw several players in the Big West I would be happy the Giants taking in rounds 2 to 5. One hitter I'm intrigued with though is Casey Gillespie, Conors little brother. He had a good series against Hawaii last year despite not getting good pitches to hit and took his walks. Remember reading an article where Conor said that Casey has a lot more talent then he does. I was surprised last year when tampa bay used a 4th round pick on a HS kid from the Big Island of Hawaii by the name of Kean Wong. Yes, he is koltens little bro but the big island is less populated and the competition not as good. Kean is currently the 5th youngest player in the Midwest league and has a 345 BA. Amazing the job scouts do.


  3. Scouts flock to bloodlines. If a top prospect or big leaguer has a younger brother, you can bet the farm that someone scouted him for that reason alone.

    1. So far coaching pony ball the one thing I've found is the best players are younger brothers with one year experience under their belt (I'm only at U6). It makes a lot of sense, usually youngers worship the big brother, they also want to do everything the same, they just get exposed that much earlier. So much of baseball is about reps. Sure natural athletes can go late to the game, but there is something to be said for getting in early and often.