The college season is winding down. College baseball season should end around May 19th, so we are 2 weeks away from that happening. It’s been fun doing these weekly recaps for you all and I hope that leads into more MLB draft articles.
The 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will begin on June 4, 2018.
Mock Drafts (Braves pick only):
PerfectGame.org (4/20) - Nolan Gorman, 3B
Fangraphs.com (4/19) - Kumar Rocker, RHP
BaseballAmerica.com (4/3) - Kumar Rocker, RHP
TTF Baseball (4/26) - Travis Swaggerty, OF
MLB.com (4/30) - Shane McClanahan, LHP
Keith Law (5/3) - Nolan Gorman, 3B
MLB Pipeline updated their rankings and expanded to top 100
PerfectGame.org is up to 250 players
Baseball America just expanded from 300 to a top 500 list, but membership is required
John Sickels is still working on player draft profiles. Find them here.
College player stock trending up
Luke Reynolds (Southern Miss) - There’s no one hotter than Reynolds right now. He’s hit 4 home runs in the past 3 games (though Sat), which gives him 12 HRs on the season and a total of 30 XBH. The 6’1” third basemen is hitting a cool .387 and has a strong walk rate at 18% too.
Eric Cole (Arkansas) - The switch hitter is on a hot streak and has seen his avg rise back up to .342. Also, he has hit 3 home runs this past weekend as well to push his overall total to 12.
Joey Murray (Kent State) - I know Murray doesn’t throw very hard (87-90 mph), but good lord is this guy one of the best college pitchers right now and no one is talking about him. He has a 1.02 ERA with a 13 SO9 and a 3 BB9 rates. The most interesting thing about him is that while he doesn’t pitch all that hard, he has not given up a single home run. 0 home runs in 79.1 innings of work. Baseball America has him ranked 264.
Casey Mize (Auburn) - Nothing more really needs to be said about Mize. However, just when you think he can’t pitch any better he goes and throws a complete game with 15 strikeouts. Mize simply doesn’t get the respect he deserves cause the doesn’t throw a typical repertoire of pitches. I’d love for him to be there at 8, but he most likely won’t. Mize is having one of the best college seasons ever.
Griffin Conine (Duke) - Let’s not get carried away at seeing Conine in the trending up. He’s really hurt himself this year, but over the past 2 weeks, he has been hitting better and seen his average tick up to .237. A far cry from a respectable college batting average. Still not displaying much power, but has reduced his strikeouts recently, but still has 50 K’s on the season.
College player stock trending down
Sean Hjelle (Kentucky) - Hjelle is really tall and has great control for someone 6’11”. However, he doesn’t throw hard and doesn’t strike many guys out. That leads to more contact and more hits. This past week Hjelle got hit hard, giving up 10 hits in a little over 5 innings of work.
Ryan Rollison (Mississippi) - This guy was once predicted to go top 10. There’s no chance of that happening now. Rollison has given up 74 hits in 69.2 innings of work. The guy is very hittable and he averages close to 4 walks per 9. Add those up and you have a guy sporting a 1.49 WHIP and a 4.13 ERA. Those aren’t even 1st round numbers. He does have a deceptive delivery and gets movement on all his pitches. If a team thinks they can tweak his mechanics and improve his control, he might be a bit of a steal after round 1.
Tristan Pompey (Kentucky) - I’m really down on Pompey right now. Pompey has the measurables you want, 6’4” OF with power, and he’s a switch hitter. Pompey is in a bit of a slump and showing he has contact issues (23% K-rate). On top of that, his power is down significantly since returning from his injury. I would wager that Pompey is still playing hurt and it’s likely gonna cost him in draft position.
Greyson Jenista (Witchita State) - Jenista hasn’t done much recently. No XBH in 8 straight games and is not showing off his speed either as he hasn’t attempted to steal a base in 6 straight games. He’s still showing off a great walk rate, but that’s about it.
College players to keep an eye on
Ryan Olenek (Mississippi) - Through 44 games, Olenek is still hitting above .400 and showing off a bit of power too with 16 doubles. He’s 6’5” playing in the outfield, so you’d think some of those doubles will turn into more HRs at some point. Olenek is similar to Madrigal in that he doesn’t walk nor strikeout much (7% BB & K rates).
Michael Helman (Texas A&M) - Another second baseman that’s doing quite well. Helman is hitting .378 and showing a bit of pop with 20 XBH. He’s showing that he does have some speed with his 11 stolen bases in 12 attempts.
Ethan Small (Mississippi State) - In his first season back from TJS, Small is showing that he’s pretty healthy, making all 12 starts and throwing 69.1 innings. He’s also struck out 88 batters with just 24 walks.
High School Player Notes
Nick Schnell - I think I found this year’s Drew Waters. He has a lot of helium right now too with the way he’s hitting and displaying power. He might also be a tick faster than Waters too, but from what I’ve been reading scouts expect him to be just above average. His fastball has been clocked as high as 93 so he has a above average to plus arm. Schnell is a left handed hitter. The kicker is that he’s from my home state of Indiana. Woo!
Nick Schnell does it again. Seventh home run in last 14 at-bats. pic.twitter.com/JaPtWZo9n3— Kyle Neddenriep (@KyleNeddenriep) May 5, 2018
Kumar Rocker vs Cole Wilcox - Wilcox won this one in terms of overall stuff according to Keith Law. Rocker has been suffering from a hamstring injury and his velocity has been hovering 90-93 lately vs mid 90’s that we are more accustomed too. Curveball was fringey and he wasn’t missing very many bats. Rocker is a big guy and conditioning might be an issue for him.
As for Wilcox, he was sitting 92-93 and hit a max of 96. Change-up had good fade and he was throwing a hard slider as well. Most importantly, he was getting swings and misses off all 3 pitches. The thing for Wilcox is that his delivery is a bit unorthodox, so could propose a risk.
That’s it for this week. Please share your thoughts on your favorite draft prospects below. Also, if I missed any recent mocks, just let me know and I’ll get them added.