Here are some additional college hitters to watch for in the draft. We will look at some pitchers on Monday, and then start with the high schoolers on Tuesday. Tomorrow I will post details about the 2008 Minor League Ball Mock Draft.
While the power bats of Alvarez, Smoak, and Alonso will go early in the draft, several teams are likely to try and slot other college bats into the late first round, supplemental round, or later rounds, figuring to possibly find a bargain bat without having to pay an early-first-round price tag. Here are some guys who have drawn my interest in that regard.
This isn't any sort of comprehensive report, and it doesn't look at middle infielders or guys whose calling cards are defense. I will look more at guys like that in subsequent reports.
David Cooper, 1B, California: Hitting .397/.489/.772 with 19 homers, 35 walks, 24 strikeouts in 184 at-bats, about +52 percent OPS compared to context. Not quite in the Smoak/Alonso category among the college first basemen, but still provides pop and patience and would make a good pick in the supplemental round.
Allan Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest: Hitting .329/.532/.665 with 14 homers, 56 walks, 34 strikeouts in 155 at-bats, OPS about +38 compared to context. Not much protection in the lineup for him, no one else on his team has slugged higher than .447, but he's still managed to produce. Looks like a second round type to me.
Jeremy Hamilton, 1B, Wright State: Hitting .442/.536/.769, 29 walks, 21 strikeouts in 147 at-bats, OPS about +53 percent. Good numbers obviously. Strength of competition is an issue here, but Wright State plays in a pitcher's park (85 park factor according to Boyd Nation). It will be very interesting to see where Hamilton goes in the draft. He hit just .209 for Team USA in 2007 but in very limited action, just 48 at-bats. He is regarded as a pure hitter with power potential.
Shane Peterson, 1B, Long Beach State: Hitting .376/.488/.594 with 7 homers, 34 walks, 36 strikeouts in 165 at-bats, OPS is about +46 percent compared to context. While numbers don't look as good as some of the others on the surface, it's strong for the pro-pitching environment in which LBS plays. Another second or third round target?
Nate Recknagel, 1B, Michigan: Hitting .394/.447/.782 with 18 homers, 23 walks, 20 strikeouts in 165 at-bats, OPS about +57 percent. Four-year source of impressive power for the Wolverines, but I never quite know what to make of Big Ten competition. A senior bat with pop should interest someone in the middle rounds, if only as a DH type.
Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Wichita State: Hitting .398/.488/661, 6 homers, 30 walks, 17 strikeouts in 171 at-bats, also 13 steals in 15 attempts, OPS about +55 percent. Defense has been rough with .893 fielding percentage, though according to what I've heard he should be able to remain at third base. Late first round possiblities here.
Jordan Danks, OF, Texas: Hitting .317/.443/.532 with 14 steals, 38 walks, 38 strikeouts in 186 at-bats, OPS about +24 percent compared to context. People keep expecting him to hit for power given his frame and strength, but even if it doesn't happen, his speed, defense, and on-base ability should get him to the Show. I have him as a second-round target for my Shadow Twins.