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2014 MLB Draft: Atlantic Region-College Discussion

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This year, it is flat out loaded with talent including as many as 14 players who could be considered in the first round and three that may go in the top 10.

Derek Fisher of Virginia
Derek Fisher of Virginia

This is just to get the discussion going on this region. Some of you guys know this area better than me. Let me know if I'm missing anyone that you guys like in the first 10 rounds plus or minus.

The Atlantic Region consists of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

Carlos Rodon is the best lefty in the country and, as it stands, the clear-cut favorite to go first overall. He is the ace of the N.C. State Wolfpack and has been since he came to campus. He will likely be the same on any team he pitches as long as he is healthy. On the same squad is one of the top college hitters, Trea Turner. He is an impressive athlete with 80 speed and solid defense at short while swinging the bat well enough to impact in the batters box as well.

Jeff Hoffman of East Carolina is a righty that has frontline potential and three plus pitch potential. He would be the kind of guy who would be in discussions for the top pick in any draft, so he should be in this draft as well, even with Rodon in it. I don't want to oversell Hoffman at this point because his stuff has always been better than his results but his summer on Cape Cod was simply dominant.

Derek Fisher at Virginia was highly touted out of high school, I had him 20th overall in the draft, and he has done nothing to hurt his stock while a Cavalier. He still has some swing and miss issues, a balding head and big time power but his speed has maintained better than I expected. His toolset is that of a solid regular or better in the majors.

There are four catchers just in this region that have potential to be MLB backstops. Brett Austin at N.C. State was a sandwich pick already. Grayson Greiner has improved by leaps and bounds as a receiver in the last two seasons at South Carolina. Mark Zagunis and Garrett Boulware (V.T. and Clemson respectively) both have the 6'1", 200-ish build with power potential to be compared to Mike Zunino.

Joey Pankake, yep, like pancake, at South Carolina improved from a funny name and a decent defender as a freshman to an impact college bat as well. He won't be a superstar with the stick (well, Garciaparra) likely won't be a superstar with the stick but is a solid all around up the middle talent and should be a top pick this coming June.

On the mound, North Carolina has three arms that could garner early attention. Benton Moss, who has a little Trevor Bauer to his delivery, has the look of a solid mid rotation starter. Mason McCullough can touch 98 and Taylore Cherry is a 6'9", 260 LB draft eligible sophomore. I expect McCullough to get the most attention but he is also more likely to be a reliever than Moss. Cherry could be a big name this year or be completely overlooked depending on how his spring goes. He only threw 10 innings as a freshman but UNC has a couple rotation spots open this year.

Curt Britt at South Carolina and Clemson's Matt Crownover are also draft eligible sophomores who could get mentioned on day two of the draft but I don't see either of them breaking into day one.

On the outfield corner opposite Derek Fisher is Mike Papi. His bat has looked very good statistically but I have yet to see him good. I have two more games involving him to watch this winter before I say too much about him, though.

Tanner English at South Carolina is one of the remaining college hitters I haven't mentioned. He reminds me a little of Tyler Naquin a few years ago but Naquin was a better hitter at this point. English covers center field better and looks like he could be a 4th outfielder type of guy.

Shon Carson at USC., Boo Vasquez at Pittsburgh, Kevin Jordan at Wake Forest and Jay Baum at Clemson are all very good athletes but have yet to figure out how to get the tools to play. They could be factors but it will take big improvements from them to move up a lot.