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2018 MLB Draft: JUCO Players - The Pitchers

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In part 2 I’ll focus solely on JUCO pitchers. There are quite a few interesting players that could be in play for the Braves in this year’s draft.

Cincinnati Reds v Minnesota Twins Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Just a quick reminder on JUCO players:

First-Year Player Rules are that any Junior college player can enter the MLB draft regardless of what year they completed.

J1 = Two-Year College 1st Year

J2 = Two-Year College 2nd Year

J3 = Two-Year College 3rd Year

In Part 1, we discussed hitters in which several of my favorites included Joey Polak, Alex Peterson and Mark Castelblanco. However, Josh Breaux is considered the top JUCO player in the 2018 draft and has a chance to go in the 1st round.

Also in part 1, we took a look the Braves history with selecting JUCO players, but what about Alex Anthopolous when he was GM for the Blue Jays?

2010: Selected 7 JUCO players; highest selection was a Comp B pick after round 3.

2011: Selected 3 JUCO players; highest selection was in round 23.

2012: Selected 6 JUCO players; highest selection was in round 17

2013: Selected 3 JUCO players; highest selection was in round 5.

2014: Selected 3 JUCO players; highest selection was in round 5.

Unfortunately, AA didn’t had much luck with his JUCO selections. Only 2 made it to the majors, Sean Nolin (2010) and David Rollins (2011). Most never made it past High A. I’m hopeful that he won’t have the same issues because the Braves have very good scouts with some positive draft history.

For Part 2, we’ll discuss pitchers. There are a few pitchers putting up filthy numbers. Keep in mind that Tucker Davidson put up good numbers the year he was drafted, but nothing jaw dropping, however, he was throwing mid 90’s heat with a good breaking ball. That’s the sort of thing I’m looking for. Also, players that aren’t giving up a ton of hits or walks, and getting a good amount of strikeouts. Finding any meaningful information beyond box scores was extremely difficult and a huge chore. I don’t recommend it at all.

With that said, let’s take a look at some pitchers.

Top JUCO Pitchers 2018

Player School Class Height Throws G GS IP ERA BB K HRA BB/9 K/9
Player School Class Height Throws G GS IP ERA BB K HRA BB/9 K/9
Keegan McCarville South Mountain J2 6'1" RHP 14 14 82.2 2.29 13 102 4 1.42 11.17
Heath Olive Wallace State J2 5'10" RHP 18 0 25.1 2.13 19 36 0 6.81 12.91
Taylor Floyd Grayson J2 6'1" RHP 19 1 29.2 2.73 8 50 2 2.47 15.41
Jake Kinney Tallahassee J2 6'7" RHP 24 0 35 1.54 15 57 0 3.86 14.66
Aaron Ashby Crowder J2 6'1" LHP 13 11 60 2.25 38 127 2 5.70 19.05
Joseph Nahas Chesapeake J2 6'0" RHP 13 11 67.2 2.66 31 130 8 4.15 17.41
Erik Sabrowski Cloud County J2 6'4" LHP 12 12 66 3.14 26 117 7 3.55 15.95
Indigo Diaz Iowa Western J2 6'4" RHP 16 2 30.1 5.93 21 39 3 6.28 11.66
Brenden Heiss John A Logan J1 6'1" RHP 10 8 44.1 2.23 31 70 2 6.33 14.29
Trey Riley John A Logan J2 6'2" RHP 12 11 71.2 1.26 30 109 2 3.79 13.78
Chavez Fernander Polk State J2 6'3" RHP 18 0 25 1.80 5 39 1 1.80 14.04
Shane Kelso Feather River J2 6'3" RHP 13 5 21.2 6.65 27 36 0 11.46 15.28
Cole Larson Cowley County J1 6'1" RHP 21 4 51 0.88 10 63 2 1.76 11.12
Nick Iverson Central Arizona J2 6'1" RHP 13 13 76.2 2.35 30 91 3 3.54 10.75
Trey Dillard San Jacinto J1 6'2" RHP 15 0 14.2 1.84 10 25 0 6.34 15.85
Tyler Keysor East Florida State J2 6'6" RHP 15 3 31 4.06 11 35 0 3.19 10.16
Blake Rivera Wallace-Hanceville J2 6'4" RHP 12 3 65 1.80 26 96 2 3.60 13.29
Darius Vines Yavapai J1 6'1" RHP 15 12 72.1 3.98 24 80 9 3.00 9.99
Brandon Young Howard College J2 6'6" RHP 14 14 64.1 4.34 39 74 4 5.48 10.39
Jason Rackers Jefferson (MO) J2 6'5" RHP 12 11 58 3.10 19 78 3 2.95 12.10
Brandon Williamson North Iowa Area J2 6'6" LHP 10 10 55 3.27 29 87 1 4.75 14.24
Julian Smith Catawba Valley J2 6'4" LHP 12 12 68 2.25 30 113 4 3.97 14.96
Garrett Acton Parkland J2 6'2" RHP 12 1 24.2 1.09 16 39 0 5.95 14.50
Chas Sagedahl Southeastern J1 6'2" LHP 11 11 68 1.06 10 101 2 1.32 13.37

Keegan McCarville - FB is 90-94 and throws a slider

Heath Olive - FB is 89-92; Tied for #2 in JUCO ranks with 10 saves; heading to Faulkner in 2019

Taylor Floyd - FB is 88-91, SL is 80; Tied for #6 in JUCO ranks with 9 saves; heading to Texas Tech

Jake Kinney - FB is 87-92, SL is 80 and CH is 85; Transferred from Florida Southern after Sophmore year

Aaron Ashby - FB is 90-92 and throws a curveball; #2 in strikeouts with 127; Drafted by Rangers in 2017; heading to Tennessee

Joseph Nahas - Nahas is #1 in JUCO ranks for strikeouts with 130; heading to Georgia Southern

While I couldn’t find any info on his pitches, I did reach to his dad (who tweets) below and he answered me back saying he was throwing mostly 93 and hit a high of 95.

Erik Sabrowski - FB is 88-93; averages almost 16K/9

Indigo Diaz - FB is 90-94; Pretty live arm, but control issues; heading to Michigan St

Brenden Heiss - FB is 91-96; Live arm, but control issues; transferred from Arkansas after 2017 season

Trey Riley - FB is 88-94; transferred from Oklahoma St after 2016 season

Chavez Fernander - FB is 92-94 and SL grades as plus; strong walk to strikeout ratio

Shane Kelso - FB is mid 90’s; has major control issues (11.46BB/9)

Cole Larson - Leads JUCO league with a 0.88 ERA; has only allowed an ER in 2 games (21 games pitched); no data on pitches; has a .142 BAA

Nick Iverson - FB is 90-94, max 97 and SL is 79 mph (grades as plus); groundball pitcher; from Cananda; heading to Gonzaga

Trey Dillard - FB is 91-96; has a very low .115 BAA and 7 saves; Top JUCO pitcher coming into the season

Tyler Keysor - FB is 91-93, CU is 75-78 and CH is 80-82; heading to Miami

Blake Rivera - FB is low to mid 90’s; Drafted by Giants in 2017; heading to Auburn

Darius Vines - FB is 88-92 and throws a CU, SL and CH; found a note that states Vinex has one of the best breaking balls in the JUCO ranks; drafted by Cubs in 2017; heading to Arizona St

Brandon Young - FB is 91-93 with an 11/5 CU; heading to Louisiana Lafayette

Jason Rackers - FB i s 86-94, SL is 75 and CH is 77 mph

Brandon Williamson - FB is 90-93 and SL is 81; heading to Michigan St

Julian Smith - FB is 88-94 and CU is 76-78; TJS in 2015 and sat out 2016; heading to NC State

Garrett Acton - FB is 90-92 and throws a SL; Drafted by White Sox in 2016; heading to Illinois

Chas Sagedahl - No data on pitches, but was throwing in the high 80’s in HS (2017); threw a perfect game this season; stellar K to BB rate

There were other players I wanted to include, but this list was already pretty lengthy, so had to make some cuts.

Out of the players I mentioned, Nick Iverson would be at the top of my list of wants. He throws in the 90’s, has a slider that grades as plus, and he’s a ground ball pitcher. Oh yeah, another important factor is that he’s Canadian.

Chavez Fernander and Darius Vines were the only other two that I could find that had a breaking ball that graded out as plus, so they are both high on my list. Doesn’t mean no one else has a breaking ball or off-speed pitch that grades out as plus, but information on JUCO players is very limited.

There are only 5 LHP on the list above, and the two that are the most intriguing to me are Aaron Ashby and Brandon Williamson. Asbhy leads the JUCO league in strikeout rate (19K/9), while Williamson is 6’6” and throws in the low 90’s.

At some point Alex Anthopolous will draft from the JUCO ranks and maybe even draft a player I mentioned above. If he does, at least some of you will know a little bit about that player.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the players l mentioned. Did I leave anyone off?