College Baseball Prospects for 2006
We will be doing a lot more draft stuff in May, particularly getting the 2006 MinorLeagueBall.com Mock Amateur Draft up and running. That was a lot of fun last year, and I trust it will be even better this season! We will line up Mock Scouting Directors for each organization in early May.
I want to go over some of the top prospects in college baseball, and take a look at how they are doing so far in '06. Today we will look at some hitters; tomorrow we will look at some pitchers.
Possible Early Round Hitters
Not much hitting depth this year, and 2006 has the potential to be one of the weakest college position player classes in history. Every player below has a significant weakness of some sort. There are no Mark Teixeiras or Alex Gordons available. Not even any Pat Burrells.
Evan Longoria, 3B-OF, Long Beach State
Hitting .336/.463/.603 with 8 homers in 116 at-bats, has drawn 24 walks against 18 strikeouts. Having a solid season and has a good chance to be the first college hitter picked. Main question is positional: is he a third baseman, a shortstop, or an outfielder as a pro?
Drew Stubbs, OF, University of Texas
Hitting .333/.440/.614 with nine homers, 15 steals, 28 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 153 at-bats. He has great tools and his numbers are good, but scouts continue to worry that he swings and misses too much and will struggle against advanced pitching. Will these doubts keep him out of the first round? In a normal year, probably. This year, maybe not.
Chad Tracy of Pepperdine
Chad Tracy, C, Pepperdine
Hitting .338/.406/.531 so far, with five homers, 14 walks, 18 strikeouts in 160 at-bats. College catching class is thin, giving Tracy a chance to go in the early rounds. Son of Jim Tracy.
Matt LaPorta, 1B, University of Florida
Got off to a slow start and is hitting just .260 with seven homers and only one double. Has maintained decent plate discipline however, with 18 walks, 18 strikeouts in 100 at-bats. Probably the best raw power in the college class, but will need to have a hot May to keep a spot in the early rounds.
Wes Hodges, 3B, Georgia Tech
Hitting .365/.443/.635 thus far, with nine homers. Having a solid campaign. Normally would project as something like a third round pick, but he will go earlier than that due to the thin nature of this class.
Matt Antonelli of Wake Forest
Matt Antonelli, 3B, Wake Forest
This one is very interesting: .346 with 11 homers, .464 OBP, .667 SLG. He's drawn 33 walks against 20 strikeouts in 159 at-bats, giving him an excellent BB/K/AB ratio that should interest stat-oriented teams. There are some doubts about his power potential at higher levels.
Jon Jay, OF, University of Miami
Hitting .341/.473/.473 with 20 walks, 15 strikeouts, 17 steals in 129 at-bats. Controls the zone well and has speed, but power potential is questionable. Good defensive reputation. Another guy who would normally not go that high, but who might this year given the paucity of hitting talent at the college level.
Shane Robinson, OF, Florida State University
Another possible stat-head type pick, Robinson is hitting .377/.448/.539 with 21 steals, 20 walks, 17 strikeouts in 167 at-bats. Good speed, decent on-base skills and contact rate make him interesting, but lack of home run power is an issue.
Jim Negrych, 2B, University of Pittsburgh
Hitting .431/.531/.638 this year, with six homers. My pick for a sleeper draft prospect, and another guy who will probably interest stat-oriented teams. Negrych has an OPS right now of 1.169. His team OPS is .714; the OPS of Pittsburgh's opponents is .707, for a combined OPS of .711 in the games that Negrych's team has played. His OPS is 64 percent better than the total OPS of the games he has played in, if that makes any sense.
Other Names: Colin Curtis, OF, Arizona State; Emmanuel Burriss, SS, Kent State; Scott Sizemore, 2B, Virginia Commonwealth; Jordan Newton, C, Western Kentucky; Jason Donald, SS, University of Arizona