Continuing with a look at intriguing college hitters for the 2011 draft. Part Three will follow tomorrow.
Harold Martinez, 3B, University of Miami (Florida)
Junior, right-handed hitter, 6-3, 210. Hitting .289/.357/.361 so far, with nine walks and 19 strikeouts in 997 at-bats. A first-round candidate in high school, Martinez' stock has gone up and down sharply over the last three years. He was seen as a possible second-rounder pre-2011, with a chance to go higher if he broke out, but so far his performance for the Hurricanes has been undistinguished this spring. Has the tools for third base but has to hit a lot better than this to push into the higher rounds now, given the depth of the class.
Nick Martini, OF, Kansas State University
Junior, lefty hitter, 5-11, 195. Hitting .354/.480/.479 with 21 walks, 11 strikeouts, 10 steals in 13 attempts. Positives include a quick line drive bat, athleticism, good speed, and strong plate discipline. Main negative is lack of home run power, which will keep him out of the first two rounds, but he could be a nice pickup for someone in the middle part of the draft.
James McCann, C, Arkansas
Junior, right-handed hitter, 6-3, 210 pounds. Hitting .297/.396/.484 with four homers, 14 walks, 11 strikeouts in 91 at-bats. Catchers with good gloves and a chance to hit are always in demand, and McCann fits the bill. He's shown good plate discipline this year and some power despite the switch in the metal bats. I can't see how his stock has dropped at all, and he could fit into the supplemental round due to positional scarcity. Any sort of late offensive charge could sneak him higher than currently expected.
Levi Michael, SS, North Carolina
Junior, switch-hitter, 5-10, 180. Hitting .327/.457/.477 with 12 steals in 13 attempts, 24 walks, 18 strikeouts in 107 at-bats. Has made just four errors so far. Rated supplemental or early second round talent pre-season and has done nothing to hurt that. He's a bit undersized, but steals bases, gets on base, and doesn't make mistakes. The first round is too deep for him to sneak in there, but he won't last much longer. Questions: power at higher levels, and if he moves to second base eventually.
Brad Miller, SS, Clemson
Junior, 6-0, 180, hits left. Hitting .344/.506/.426 with 21 walks, 19 strikeouts, six steals in eight attempts in 61 at-bats. Considered about even with Michael pre-season, he's shown good OBP ability but almost no power with the new bat, with just three doubles and a triple so far. I think it likely that he'll have to show more pop to remain in the higher rounds. His range and arm are well-regarded but he needs to cut back on errors.
Ricky Oropesa, 1B, Southern Cal
Junior, hits left, 6-3, 225. Hitting .363/.425/.584 with five homers, 13 walks, 23 strikeouts in 113 at-bats. Standard power-hitting college first baseman has remained productive with the new bat. Rated in the supplemental or early second round range pre-season and has maintained that status. Strikeout rate is a bit high and batting average at higher levels may be an issue.
Joe Panik, SS, St. John's
Junior, hits left, 6-1, 180. Hitting .361/.496/.474 with 22 walks, 12 strikeouts in 97 at-bats, eight steals in nine attempts. Cold-weather college player making a name for himself this year, also playing well defensively and can remain at shortstop. Got less attention than some players pre-season but that is changing now, and I think he'll go in the supplemental round.
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice
Junior, hits right, 6-0, 190. Hitting .370/.566/.583, 47 walks, 15 strikeouts in 108 at-bats. Shoulder injury has bugged him and consensus number one pick pre-season may drop all the way to number two. I still think he's an outstanding prospect with terrific plate discipline, power, and excellent defense, perhaps something like a blending of David Wright and Evan Longoria.