Summer Ball Standouts

Like most seasons, the top college summer league was the Cape Cod League. Each year there are a few players in other leagues who put up good showings as well and often don't get the national attention that the Cape and Team USA guys get. This year is no different. There were quite a few underclassmen who put up good showings as well.

These players are in no particular order, just players that got my attention in one way or another this summer. I will have more on the USA guys as well as Cape prospects in a future article.

2013 Draft

Brenton Allen, OF, UCLA

UCLA Freshman OF Brenton Allen (vs. USC) (via rkyosh007)


Allen is an impressive athlete. He is 6'1", 210 LBS and is built like a rock. Out of high school, he looked like a solid bet to get some good playing time in his freshman and sophomore years. He has totaled 24 at bats in 25 games. The tools are just too great to overlook. He has bat speed, quick hands and can identify off speed pitches. He has a long way to go to be anything more than a tooled up washout but the potential to be a major league all-star is there. Those are the kinds of guys I like to roll the dice on.

Trevor Simms, RHP, Weatherford JC

At 6'3", 195 LBS, Simms looks the part. He can hit 88-92 MPH with his fastball and considering he has poor pitching mechanics and has an awkward deliver, there is likely more in the tank. He has a plus slider on occasion and could be a very good reliever in pro ball with potential for more.

Trey Teakell, RHP, Texas Christian

Teakell pitched well out of the pen for TCU this spring. He throws a low 90's fastball and with a very good curveball as well as feel for a change. At 6'5 and 170 LBS, its possible that he could gain a few MPH's on his fastball and really become an impressive talent. As a draft eligible sophomore this year, he could be a high round pick if he has a good spring for the Horned Frogs.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Mississippi State

Hunter Renfroe Home Run (via Oriolesfan32)

I was really looking forward to seeing Renfroe dominate this spring but it didn't happen. He looked overmatched and unimpressive at the plate, even if all the tools were there. He can run, throw and play solid D in CF but the bat just wasn't there. That changed this summer. He hit 16 homers in 134 AB's. He also hit 11 doubles and 4 triples while hitting .366 and walking nearly as much as he struck out. At 6'3", 215 he is likely a RF but with that kind of bat, that won't be a problem. With a good spring, he could be a 1st round type of bat.

Tyler Bashlor, RHP, South Georgia JC

Here is a sleeper. If I were a team with cap room, I would have tried to sign him since he was not drafted. At 5'11", 180 LBS he isn't a projectable guy but he is a solid athlete and he has a very good slider. Clocked at 89 out of high school, he was up to 95 this summer. His slider is a plus pitch and he could really put up impressive numbers this spring.

Artie Lewicki, RHP, Virginia

Lewicki is an interesting case. He did well this spring for Virginia. This summer he was up to 95 at times sitting lower than that but flashing a nasty slider. His delivery is far from pretty. His summer ended early with tommy john surgery. Considering he will likely not pitch before the 2013 draft, it will be interesting to see if a pro team rolls the dice on him.

2014 Draft

Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

Carlos Rodon vs. Derek Fisher (via PerfectGameBaseball)


Fisher was looked at as a top of the draft talent out of high school and showed why this spring at Virginia. The batting average wasn't impressive and he struggled mightily in my viewings early in the season but the middle of the season and toward the end he hit very well. The power was obvious, the athlecism is there and he is a solid defender in RF. His receding hairline is well above average as well. Sorry, had to try to get a laugh out of you. He has flaws but he should be a top 10 pick in the 2014 draft.

Mark Zagunis, C, Virginia Tech

There were only a couple freshman I saw this year that impressed me. Zagunis was on that short list. I didn't have big expectations for him but he was usually the best hitter on the field when he played. He looked good this summer but not great as he faded down the stretch. Not a shock considering his position and his age. Defensively, he isn't great but he is a good athlete and looks like he will be average behind the dish. His bat should carry him if he would need to move to 3B and his athleticism would allow that but his potential as an above average hitting catcher could get him taken in the top 2 rounds in 2014.

Nigel Nootbaar, RHP, Southern California

103 year old Herb throws First Pitch to Nigel! (via NootbaarFilms)


He's not a big guy but at 6'1, 185, he looks like he could add 15-20 LBS to hold up over a long season. He will likely step into the rotation this spring as a sophomore and could really do well with his 90-95 MPH fastball and well above average slider that sits 75-78. He has a rudimentary changeup that could improve if he starts for USC this spring. He is a player to watch for the 2014 draft. His Grandpa also kicks ass and his name is Nootbar. You have to respect that.

Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw State

Pentecost will likely be a top 3 round guy just on his defensive ability in 2014. He is a good athlete and can run well. His bat is average and he takes good at bats. He had tommy john surgery as a senior in high school but seems to be back to full speed this summer. I'm not sure that he will hit enough to be a solid big leaguer but he should be a pro backstop for a long time.

Daniel Mengden, RHP, Texas A & M

Daniel Mengden, Texas A&M freshman RHP/C (vs. Pepperdine) (via rkyosh007)

Mengden is unique. He has a high effort delivery that will likely cause him to end up in a bullpen but he has the stuff to be a starter. He has a low 90's fastball that can hit 95. He has a nasty power slider and a hard curveball as well. I haven't seen him throw a change but I know he has one. He also has a splitter that can flash plus. He has the arsenal to be a starter but he is likely a end of the bullpen arm who will close down games in pro ball. I am looking forward to seeing him this spring. He is a 2014 Draft guy along with another power arm from Texas A & M, Gandy Stubblefield. He could be a top of the draft arm if he can stick in the rotation this spring. John Jester should be mentioned here as well even if he is solely a bullpen guy. He is eligible for the 2013 draft and could go high if he pitches well this spring. A & M has a hell of a staff if these guys play up to their potential.

A few others:

Matt Chapman, SS, Cal State Fullerton

Chapman is a very good athlete and can hit. He had good defensive actions but isn't a fast guy.

Richard Prigatano, OF, Long Beach State

Good hitter with plus power potential. He's likely a LF at the next level but his bat should play there.

Mike Suchy, OF, Florida Gulf Coast

With big power with a lot of swing and miss, he is worth watching. He's a solid defender in the OF even though he's 6'3", 220.

Jerrick Suiter, OF, TCU

Baseball Factory Under Armour All-America: Jerrick Suter (via baseballfactoryTV)

I liked him as a pitcher out of HS, so he has the arm for RF. He is a toolsy athlete at 6'4, 230. He has a lot of power and could improve his draft stock a lot next spring. He only threw 5 innings this spring but that is still an option for him as well.

Chandler Shepherd, RHP, Kentucky

Could be a starter for the surprise Kentucky BatCats this coming spring. Intriguing 3 pitch mix.

2015 Draft

Rhett Wiseman, OF, Vanderbilt

Rhett Wiseman (Thayer @ BB&N 05-02-12) (via alskor)

Wiseman is about to be a freshman at Vanderbilt. He is a 2015 draft guy who is miles away from being a pro ball player but he is a name to remember. He is a great athlete, he is smart and works hard. He can run, he can throw and he can hit. His swing needs work but he knows what he is doing and only needs refinement. His swing needs to loosen up a bit but he could be a top 10 pick in 3 years. He didn't hit very well this summer but he shows all the potential you want from a prospect.

Grant Heyman, OF, Miami

Grant Heyman 2012 BP (via grantheyman18)

As an incoming freshman to Miami, he could make a quick impact. His power was impressive this summer, hitting 8 bombs in just 66 AB's. He hit for average. He walked 13 times and only K'd 14 times. He is physically imposing at 6'4", 190 LBS and was drafted by the Blue Jays and he can hit a home run off of a tee, so he has to have something going for him, right? We'll have to wait til 2015 for him to be drafted but he could be a top pick.

Hunter Virant, LHP. UCLA

Hunter Virant pitching at the MLSB Showcase at the Urban Youth Academy (via Fidog91)

While only throwing in the upper 80's most of the summer, Virant is about projection. He is skinny but extremely athletic. His breaking ball needs refinement but has plus potential. His future is dependent on developing his secondary pitches and gaining a few miles per hour on his fastball but he could be a top pick in 3 years.

James Kaprielian, RHP, UCLA

James Kaprielian Pitching at the MLSB Showcase at Urban Youth Academy (via Fidog91)

He may actually make a quicker impact on the Bruins staff. He has a low to mid 90's fastball with a nasty breaking ball. He is built like a rock and could be the second member of the UCLA rotation to garner top 10 pick consideration in 3 years. His arm action is a little shaky and he ended the year with shoulder soreness, so that's something to watch though.

Cole Irvin, LHP, Oregon

COLE IRVIN Under Armour All-America 2011 (via baseballfactoryTV)

Irvin is a less heralded version of Hunter Virant. He is thin and has good stuff that needs refinement as well. His fastball is upper 80's as well and could gain some velo with added strength. He could be a top pick in 3 years as well if things develop as expected.

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