2015 MLB Draft: College third basemen to watch
David Thompson, 3B-1B, Miami-Florida: Junior, hits right, mashed to tune of .333/.445/.658 with 19 homers, 43/27 BB/K in 243 at-bats. Huge power to all fields, good strike zone judgment, good track record with wooden bats. This is a first-round bat but shoulder injuries have hampered his throwing and many scouts believe he’ll have to move to first base. He’s not a butcher, however, and in my opinion people are under-rating him. Target Territory: Compensation round/second round, although personally I’d consider him in the second half of the first round.
Carl Wise, 3B, College of Charleston: Junior, hits right, batted .313/.380/.557 this year with 12 homers, 27/38 BB/K in 246 at-bats. Above-average power and a strong throwing arm, has caught in the past and some want to move him back there, but others believe he’ll wind up at first base. Status depends on where you see him with the glove. Target Territory: Fourth round.
Matt Rose, 3B-1B,Georgia State: Junior, hits right, well-built at 6-4, 195, considerable pitching experience but scouts want him as a hitter due to power, batted .289/.391/.613 with 16 homers, 31/43 BB/K. May end up at first base and that impacts where he will fit in draft. TT: Fifth round.
Josh Tobias, 3B-2B, University of Florida: Senior, switch-hitter, just 5-9 but has some power and athleticism, very reliable defense, hit .375/.448/.563 with 11 steals. Lacks range for shortstop but can handle second or third, good senior budget choice. Target Territory: Fifth round.
Garrett Benge, 3B, Cowley County CC (Kansas): Freshman, lefty hitter, statistical monster hit .502/.601/.946 this year. Outstanding plate discipline with power potential, committed to Oklahoma State. Draft stock will depend on level of commitment to OSU, but could go high to the right team. TT: Fifth round.
Matt Beaty, 3B, Belmont: Senior, hits left, excellent multi-year track record, hit .382/.469/.668 this year with 12 homers, 12 steals, 32/17 BB/K, also has good defensive reputation. Has to be a target for sabermetrically-oriented teams in middle rounds. TT: Sixth round.
Matt Dacey, 3B, University of Richmond: Junior, hits left, batted .313/.424/.652 this year with 17 homers, 35/49 BB/K in 198 at-bats. Respected for power and decent glove. but opinions about OBP/BA at higher levels are mixed and hold his stock back a little. TT: Sixth round.
Tyler France, 3B, San Diego State: Junior, hits right, contact hitter, hits for average (.337/.432/.473 over three seasons) defense can be spotty, could switch to first base or corner outfield which would put pressure on power development. Target Territory: Seventh round.
Brandon Wagner, 3B-2B-OF, Howard JC: Sophomore, hits left, season not quite as loud as Benge but still very successful at .435/.571/.891, 22 homers, 46/43 BB/K in 193 at-bats. Bat looks promising but defensive home unclear. TT: Seventh round.
Connor Panas, 3B, Canisius: Senior, hits left, from Canada, put up big numbers in college (.379/.476/.633 this year), has some pop (10 homers) and speed (19 steals). Physical tools are mediocre but track record and senior status hard to ignore if you’re looking for a Matt Carpenter type. TT: Seventh round.
Zach George, 3B, Arkansas State: Senior, switch-hitter with amazing numbers (.399/.548/.562, 52 walks, 28 whiffs in 203 at-bats), superb batting eye, led NCAA Division I in OBP. Lacks power however and has long history of injuries, turns 23 in July. TT: Seventh round.
OTHER POTENTIAL CHOICES:
Jose Cuas, 3B, University of Maryland: Junior, right-handed hitter, impresses on defense but erratic hitting (hit just .242 but with 11 homers) makes stock tough to peg.
Matt Gonzalez, 3B-SS, Georgia Tech: Junior, hits right, runs well, looks like a player and has some pop but held back by contact issues.
Travis Maezes, 3B, University of Michigan: Junior, hits left, batted .293/.390/.380, draws walks and has polish at the plate along with very good glove, but lack of home run power leads to varying opinions.
Mitchell Tolman, 3B, University of Oregon: Junior, hits left, batted .325/.457/.468, polished line drive approach with patience but lacks ideal power for third base.
Xavier Turner, 3B, Vanderbilt: Junior, hits right, has been suspended for a year now for reasons which are not public though he continues to practice with the Commodores. High-ceiling player on both offense and defense but hard to assess.
Christian Williams, 3B, Gulf Coast State JC: Sophomore, North Carolina State commit, hits from left side, stock has been rising due to growing power and better defense. Degree of commitment to NC State will impact slot.
Tommy Williams, 3B, Central Florida: Senior, hits right, mixed record with wood bats and a high whiff rate but has a good glove, some pop and hit .315 this year.