The All-Reese Team

I'm sure everyone is aware already, but, if not, Aaron Fitt compiles an "All-Fitt" team at the end of each college season. He released his yesterday (here). It's always an enjoyable read, so I decided to release my own. These aren't necessarily the best players I've seen this year, merely my favorite. I got to see some teams more than others and it definitely affected my list, but that's OK.

Al Skorupa's (Bullpen Banter) video on one of my favorite college players, George Springer:

George Springer (Louisville @ UConn 05-13-11) (via alskor)



 

C: Andrew Susac, Sophomore from Oregon State University
Susac quickly won me over when I watched my first Oregon State game of the year (it was the doubleheader against Harvard). He showcased a big arm behind the plate and a sort of confidence receiving and handling the pitcher that I hadn't seen at this level. He did get a bit nonchalant at times, but I don't have any concerns about him defensively. At the plate, it seemed everything he swung at was barreled and absolutely smoked. Calling him dangerous wouldn't quite do it justice. He did show a bit of a tendency to chase off speed pitches out of the zone, and I was anxious to see how his plate discipline would hold up against better competition. He broke his hamate bone in the middle of the season, depriving me of that opportunity. He made his way back by the end of the year, but given the power sapping nature of the injury and the brevity of time he spent on the shelf, I don't consider what he did after all that meaningful. Honorable Mention: Mike Zunino, Sophomore from the University of Florida

1B: Aaron Westlake, Junior from Vanderbilt University
Speaking of players that consistently seem to barrel up pitches... Aaron Westlake did something uncommon for first base only players, he made me a believer. He has massive raw power, good leverage, a sweet swing and, oh yeah, he can also shorten up with two strikes. He did strikeout a bit more than you would like this year; however, his ability to adjust to a situation and line pitches opposite field when he's down in a count seals the deal for me. I think this guy will hit for power and average. Honorable Mention: Brian Ragira, Freshman from Stanford University

2B: Kavin Keyes, Freshman from Oregon State University
This might be cheating as Keyes played a few positions this year before settling in as Oregon State's DH. He was supposed to be a member of the 2011 draft class, but graduated early and took his talents to OSU. He made a few nice plays in games that I watched, ranging well, showcasing a strong arm for the position and showing good reactions (I'm thinking specifically of a play where he made a great leaping catch on a smoked line drive, doubling off the runner at first in the process). At the plate, he showed the ability to take pitches, and did a fantastic job extending his arms while making contact. Honorable Mention: Lonnie Kauppila, Freshamn from Stanford University

SS: Stephen Perez, Sophomore from the University of Miami
I only had the opportunity to see him once this year, and he really make an impression on me defensively. It was a poor day by his standards as he committed a couple of errors on routine ground balls; yet, he showed silky smooth actions throughout the game. In one instance he ranged far into the hole, fielded the ball on a slider and made a strong throw to first in the same motion. It was MLB caliber and the best defensive play that I saw all season. The bat, especially when batting right handed, is a work in progress, but there is some wizardry in that glove. Honorable Mention: Nolan Fontana, Sophomore from the University of Florida

3B: Anthony Rendon, Junior from Rice University
Rendon played third base early in the season, and he showed me enough to convince me that he was the best in the land. His range was completely unaffected by the ankle injury from the summer. He showed the ability to charge, bare hand and make a strong throw off balance on a slow roller to nab the batter runner. Unless his shoulder is completely shot, it would be a mistake to move him to another position. At the plate, he has a patient approach and lightning quick bat speed. He was pitched around this spring, and I think that was the major reason for his somewhat disappointing numbers. This selection probably didn't surprise anyone, and if you want to see me fawn over Anthony Rendon some more, I wrote an entire article doing just that about a month ago. Honorable Mention: Jason Esposito, Junior from Vanderbilt University

LF: Tony Kemp, Freshman from Vanderbilt University
Tony Kemp also made Ben Badler's team, and it really is hard not to like him. Kemp is the best lead off hitters that I saw all year, he has a very patient approach and uses his quick bat to spray line drives. He's another guy that just seems to have a knack for barreling balls. He also has a surprising amount of pop in his bat for his size and is a plus-plus runner. He has seen time in left field and center this year; no matter where he's stationed, Kemp shows fantastic range. Honorable Mention: Tyler Gaffney, Sophomore from Stanford University

CF: George Springer, Junior from the University of Connecticut
Springer has been a personal favorite for quite some time now. The term "physical specimen" is often used to describe him. What I enjoy watching most is the crazy bat speed. He does have a tendency to overswing, but he's done a good job shortening it from where it was a season ago (and you can see it in the drastic reduction in strikeouts). Defensively, he may ultimately fit better in right field, but he is a great college center fielder who gives everything he has. If you haven't seen the catch he made during super regionals - while dealing with a slight hamstring issue - you need to hop onto youtube right now! He is lauded as being a hard worker that takes to instruction well, and I'm very optimistic that he'll continue to improve once he gets into pro ball. Honorable Mention: Andrew Toles, Freshman from the University of Tennessee

RF: Austin Wilson, Freshman from Stanford University
He did not have a huge season, but it seems like it will only be a matter of time until he does. At the plate, he is an absolute monster, perhaps the most intimidating presence that I saw. He has an ample amount of power and I saw him hit quite a few rocket line drives. Wilson did show a tendency to chase pitches low out of the zone, and it lead to him racking up strikeouts, but the pitch recognition wasn't terrible. Most of the Stanford games I saw were early in the year, and I was impressed by the progress he made in that area by the time post season began. Austin Wilson covers plenty of ground in right field and is an owner of a cannon for an arm. Honorable Mention: Mike Yastrzemski, Sophomore from Vanderbilt University

RHS: Kevin Gausman, Freshman from Louisiana State University
Gausman was a guy I liked coming out of high school, and he certainly did not disappoint me. His fastball is huge, delivered on a good downward plane with late arm side run that results in plenty of ground balls. He held his velocity late into the outings that I watched, and he has projection left in that frame. His change-up was the real surprise. He wasn't known for having one in high school, but he relied heavily on a devastating change with late split action this year. The curve ball shows good hard two-plane break at times but is not yet a consistent pitch. The slider is his least refined offering. Honorable Mention: Andrew Triggs, Junior from the University of Southern California

RHS: Austin Kubitza, Freshman from Rice University
Kubitza is the owner of an absolutely nasty sinker with excellent late arm side run and sink, usually delieverd in the low 90s. It misses bats often and generates weak ground balls when hitters put it in play. The change mirrors the fastball and the curve has classic 12-6 movement with sharp late break. All three pitches can generate swings and misses. The command and control come and go, often going through bouts of wildness. Should Kubitza work that out of his game over the next couple years, he'll go very high in 2013. Honorable Mention: Marcus Stroman, Sophomore from Duke University

LHS: Danny Hultzen, Junior from the University of Virginia
Disregard what you've heard, Danny Hultzen has fantastic stuff. The fastball may not be an overpowering offering, but working in the low to mid 90s, it has plenty of velocity. It plays up when combined with his advanced command and becomes a bat that can definitely miss bats. The change has been a plus pitch since he entered Virginia and the slider is better than people give him credit for. It has a significant amount of depth and late 2-7 break. When Hultzen's command is on, hitters have no chance at the plate. When his command isn't on, he's still most likely going to take a shutout deep into the game. That just speaks to how good of a pure pitcher he is. Honorable Mention: Justin Jones, Sophomore from the University of California, Berkeley

LHS: Kent Emanuel, Freshman from the University of North Carolina
Emanuel was a pleasant surprise. He doesn't have impressive velocity just yet - there is plenty of projection in the frame so it may come in time - rather the fastball command was incredibly impressive for a Freshman. It has good downard plane and some late arm side run and can miss bats when located well. His curve ball is slow but has excellent depth and steep break that hitters had difficulty squaring up. The change-up shows some promise as well when he finishes the pitch, but he does have a tendency to guide it at times. If he should develop a put away pitch, he will become the next premier pitcher in the ACC. Honorable Mention: Josh Osich, Junior from Oregon State University

RP: Chris Reed, Junior from Stanford University
Relievers usually don't capture my attention, and the thing I most like about Reed is that I think he can succeed as a starter. In fact, the only reason I can think of for Stanford not using him as one is that his command needs refinement. The fastball has plus velocity and good life that induces ground balls. The change has good drop and the curve ball is sharp. It would be a slot path, but I absolutely think the Dodgers should give him a try as a starter. Honorable Mention: Branden Kline, Sophomore from the University of Virginia

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