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Interesting College Hitters, Part Two

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Here are a few more interesting college hitters for your consideration.

I am now working on a mock draft.

Jedd Gyorko, 3B, West Virginia
     Hitting .359/.445/.696 with 14 homers for West Virginia, Gyorko's OPS is about 33 percent better than the context in which he plays, a strong number though not superb. However, Gyorko's track record with wooden bats is excellent, and scouts have few doubts that he'll hit pro pitching well. Defense is a problem: he has a strong arm but lacks the range to be a plus defender, and may end up in the outfield down the line. That issue will keep him out of the first round, but as a supplemental or second round choice he will attract attention. 

Tyler Holt, OF, Florida State University  
     A very successful collegian at Florida State, the 6-1, 190 pound right-handed hitter has leadoff skills including speed (16 steals in 17 attempts), good plate discipline, and a strong track record including a .361/.474/.651 mark this year, leading his team in every positive offensive category except home runs, where he ranks second. He has above average speed and has shown he can hit with a wooden bat in summer ball, but otherwise his tools are more average than plus. His makeup is excellent, and he's polished. Holt won't go in the first round, but a team with extra picks and a budget to deal with could pop him in the supplemental.

Marcus Knecht, OF, Connors State Junior College   6-3  210  R
     A Canadian, Knecht has an intriguing combination of power and speed in his 6-3, 210 frame, hitting .472 with 16 homers this spring. He has 20/20 potential, but his cold-weather background means he's still somewhat raw. A mediocre arm limits him to left field, but if he fully taps into his offensive potential, he'll definitely hit enough for the position. He hasn't received quite as much attention as some players, but he could slot nicely into the supplemental round.

Mike Kvasnicka, C-OF, University of Minnesota   6-3  210  R
    Although he's splitting time between catching and outfield this year, at the pro level he'll likely get a full shot behind the plate, given his arm strength and mobility. He'll need some polish of course, but the upside is worth it. At 6-3, 210, Kvasnicka has the strength and size to hit for plenty of power. His numbers this year are quite good: .348/.460/.591 with 35 walks and just 15 strikeouts in 164 at-bats. His OPS is about +33 percent in context, very solid, but the very strong BB/K ratio stands out. He could go as early as the second round depending on how teams evaluate his defense.

Hunter Morris, 1B, Auburn University 
    One of the leading power hitters in the '10 college class, Morris is hitting .402/.469/.777 with 15 homers, 19 walks, and 36 strikeouts in 184 at-bats. The 6-2, 220 pounder has pull power from the left side and occasional plate discipline issues, and might not hit for a huge batting average in pro ball. But he's still considered one of the safest college bats available, in the sense of having one major league skill that definitely stands out. He's been considered a first round candidate at times, but probably fits better in the supplemental round for a team looking for a quick power boost.

Jarrett Parker, OF, University of Virginia
    The 6-4, 210 pound Parker is one of the bigger disappointments in college ball this year. He's hitting .326/.418/.560, but his OPS is just around team average. Scouts report deterioration in his swing, and he just hasn't dominated the competition to the extent that he should. Coming on the heels of a poor showing in the Cape Cod League last year, Parker has seen his stock drop sharply. That said, he's still very toolsy, with good speed, raw power, and fine outfield defense. A team that considers his issues fixable could still nab him early.

Tony Thompson, 3B, University of Kansas
    Another disappointment, Thompson is a 6-5, 220 pounder who drew Troy Glaus and Mike Lowell comparisons pre-season for his combination of power and solid defense. Alas, he fractured a kneecap right before the beginning of the '10 season. He's back on the field but hasn't looked the same, especially on defense. He's hitting .299/.403/.505 and has shown good plate discipline with 14 walks against 12 strikeouts in 97 at-bats, but in general his bat hasn't looked quite as quick. More worrisome is a noticeable decline in both fielding range and reliability. It's possible he's still feeling the effects of the knee injury, but his draft status is unclear and he'll need a late hot streak to get back into early round consideration.

LeVon Washington, OF, Chipola Junior College   5-11 170  L
     Hitting .341 with eight homers and eight steals in 38 games for Chipola JC, the 5-11, 170 pound Washington continues to flash the excellent speed and occasional power that made him a first round pick last year, but he's been bothered by nagging injuries again and his performance is uneven. His stock is certainly no higher than it was a year ago, and there is no guarantee he'll go in the first round again.