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Community discussion: college hitters and tools in pro ball

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Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig
Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

With the completion of the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book, I am turning my attention to researching the 2015 MLB amateur draft. The general consensus seems to be that this class is weaker than the last couple of years, particularly with college hitters.

That got me thinking about college hitters in general and an idea for a Minor League Ball community discussion question.

It is a truism of scouting that a player's college stats can be very misleading. There are innumerable examples of players who put up gaudy slash lines in college but who lack strong tools, don't replicate that success in the pros, and are just organization players. You can find a dozen examples by pulling a random almanac off the shelf and looking at the NCAA hitting leaders.

Occasionally, however, you will find an Allen Craig or a Matt Carpenter or Kevin Youkilis or Kole Calhoun whose skills are so strong that they exceed their physical tools and remain successful all the way up the ladder.

But what about the opposite, a player who hits poorly in college but then turns out to be a good player in the majors? Can we come up with some examples of players who match that pattern? I am not talking about someone who played another sport or took up baseball late, but rather someone who played college baseball enough to stink at it, got drafted on their tools and figured out what they were doing in pro ball.

Can you think of any examples? I am talking specifically about HITTERS here, not pitchers. We will have a separate discussion about that.