Interesting College Hitters for 2011 Draft, Part Three
My goal with this series is to cover the potential first-round picks plus selected other players that I find interesting for one reason or another. Expect more of this as the spring moves forward. We'll start hitting the high school and junior college guys in the next reports.
Nick Ahmed, SS, Connecticut
Junior, 6-2, 180, hits right. Hitting .300/.403/.430 with 14 steals in 17 attempts. Playing on the same team with Matt Barnes and George Springer will get Ahmed plenty of exposure and boost his stock on draft day. Good defensive reputation is backed up by the numbers, and he can hit some, too. I'd peg him for the third round but he could go in the second. There is talk of him becoming an outfielder but I'd leave him at short and see what happens.
Mike McGee, OF-RHP, Florida State
Senior, 6-2, 200, bats right. Hitting .340/.436/.588 with six homers, 18 walks, 23 strikeouts in 97 at-bats;doubles in the bullpen and has picked up four saves with a 3.60 ERA and a 17/6 K/BB in 10 innings. Although he's not toolsy, he is one of the most successful two-way players available and an affordable senior. He is not a premium prospect, but scouts are extremely familiar with him and someone (say a team with multiple early picks that wants to save money in later rounds) might be tempted sooner thatn expected. He does have sleeper potential in the sense of playing above his tools.
Pete O'Brien, C, Bethune-Cookman
Junior, 6-3, 215, hits right. Hitting .283/.378/.575 so far, with nine homers, 14 walks, 24 strikeouts in 113 at-bats. Positives include strong power potential and a good throwing arm. Negatives are high strikeout rate, defensive rawness, and level of college competition. Was being mentioned as a supplemental pick pre-season. His stock has dropped a bit, but his power upside should still get him drafted early given the paucity of catchers with a chance to hit.
John Ruettiger, OF, Arizona State
Junior, hits left, 6-2, 180. Hitting .348/.418/.391 with 17 steals in 27 attempts, 12 walks, nine strikeouts in 115 at-bats. Line drive hitter with good strike zone judgment, plus speed and center field range, but hasn't shown any power with the new bat, has lost 150 points of SLG since last year. Seen as supplemental or second round guy pre-season, but could easily drop lower now given the depth this year and the disappearance of his pop.
Cameron Seizer, 1B, Oklahoma
Junior, 6-4, 225, hits left. Hitting .347/.441/.515 with 13 walks, 15 strikeouts in 101 at-bats. Like teammate Buechele, bloodlines and performance could get him drafted sooner than pure tools would indicate, possibly as high as the third round. Main question revolves around how power would translate into pro ball, and he's hit just one homer this year with the new bat. Very good fielder.
George Springer, OF, Connecticut
Junior, 6-3, 205, hits right. Hitting .337/.479/.584, 17 walks, 18 strikeouts in 89 at-bats, 11 steals in 16 attempts. Excellent tools all-around, and I think the early "concerns" about his slow start were just nitpicking. He's still a bit raw compared to some college players, but the power/speed combination is potent and his bat is heating up. Still a certain first rounder and likely in the top ten.
Andrew Susac, C, Oregon State
Sophomore, hits right, 6-1, 205. Hitting .364/.496/.614 with four homers, 21 walks, 23 strikeouts in 88 at-bats. Good defensive catcher has caught on fire with the bat this year, raising stock accordingly. Sophomore status gives him some leverage, but stock has been rising all spring and he seems a certain first-round pick at this point.
B.A. Vollmuth, SS, Southern Mississippi
Junior, 6-4, 200, bats right. Hitting .319/.423/.637 with nine homers, 19 walks, 27 strikeouts in 113 at-bats. Sleeper prospect could surprise on draft day. Probably switches to third base at higher levels, but he's maintained power production with the new bat and scouting reports on his hitting are positive. Definitely someone to track.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii
Junior, 5-8, 175, hits left. Hitting .393/.459/.561 so far, 11 walks, 12 strikeouts in 107 at-bats, 10 steals in 14 attempts. He's small but is still getting first round consideration due to strength, speed, and solid across-the-board tools, plus a swing with few flaws. He's hit well in a low-offense environment this year. Level of polish is considered high and he won't need a lot of minor league time. No way he gets past the supplemental round and he could go in the 20s.
Ryan Wright, 2B, Louisville
Junior, hits right, 6-1, 190. Hitting .303/.379/.514 with four homers, 12 walks, 17 strikeouts in 109 at-bats, eight steals in eight attempts, has made just two errors. Solid across-the-board, doesn't have super elite tools but doesn't have any real weaknesses either, has hit well in low-offense environment this year while showing very reliable defense. Led US Collegiate National Team in hits last year.