Continuing with our reviews of the results of the 2015 MLB Draft, we turn to hitters drafted in the second round.We wrote up the pitchers earlier today. The original comment written back on draft day in June is in italics.
45) Texas Rangers Eric Jenkins, OF, West Columbus HS, Chadbourn, North Carolina: Hits left, UNC-Wilmington commit, stands out for speed/defensive ability in center field, an immature hitter at this point who will need development time. Projects as leadoff man if bat develops as hoped. Very much a Rangers style pick, will need time but high upside. RESULTS: Hit .262/.348/.349 in 195 at-bats, mostly in the Arizona Rookie League but with five games at Low-A Hickory to finish the season. Stole 28 bases in 30 attempts, 24 walks, 61 strikeouts. Showed expected speed on bases though other phases of game need work; no power yet but some could develop in time. Promising, fits the Rangers mold perfectly. B-.
47) Chicago Cubs Donnie Dewees, OF, University of North Florida: Junior, hits left, mashed at .422/.483/.749 with 18 homers, 23 steals, 30/16 BB/K in 251 at-bats. Intriguing power/speed combo with mature hitting approach, also strong record with wood bats. Cubs continue to stockpile hitters. RESULTS: Hit .266/.306/.376 with 19 steals, 14 walks, 54 strikeouts in 282 at-bats in Northwest League. Note deterioration in BB/K/PA from college, showing you the difference between NCAA and MiLB. Fast, more power should come, will have to see about OBP. B-/C+ territory.
48) Philadelphia Phillies: Scott Kingery, 2B, Arizona: Junior, hits right, batted .392/.423/.561 with 9/18 BB/K in 237 at-bats, stole 11 bases, was more aggressive this year lowering walk rate but showing more pop, defense solid, can also play outfield. Rumored as high as late first round or as late as third round, so early second is a plausible slot. RESULTS: Hit .250/.314/.337 with 11 steals, 18 walks, 43 strikeouts in 252 at-bats in Low-A. Glove remains solid at second, production was rather blah at this stage but pro transition isn't automatic if you're not Andrew Benintendi. C+.
52) Tampa Bay Rays: Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS, Long Beach, California: Lefty hitter, committed to Tennessee. Impressive power hitter with long track record of success; there are few doubts about his bat. He is mobile for a bigger player and has strong leadership skills, but his glove tools aren’t quite as good as Stephenson’s so he fell a little behind on most boards. I'm surprised he fell this far frankly; we'll have to see if there is a signability issue but this is probably early enough.RESULTS: Needed Tommy John surgery; concerns about the elbow were apparently the real reason he dropped.
53) New York Mets Desmond Lindsay, OF, Out-of-Door-Academy, Sarasota, Florida: Hits right, North Carolina commit, another injury victim, in his case a bad hamstring. Good power/speed potential but another guy who has signability concerns due to injury and college commitment though should sign here. Risky choice but with very high upside.RESULTS: Hit .304/.400/.464 in 69 at-bats in Gulf Coast League, then .200/.308/.267 in 45 at-bats after moving up to New York-Penn League. High physical upside the main draw but skills in early developmental stages so it is no surprise he had trouble against older players in the NY-P.
54) Atlanta Braves Lucas Herbert, C, San Clemente HS, California: Right-handed hitter, committed to UCLA. Mobile and polished behind the plate and made good strides with the bat this year, showing strong plate discipline and gap power possibilities. Projected for second round and that's where he went. RESULTS: Played three games in rookie ball before going down with torn meniscus. Obviously everything is on hold until we see how recovery goes.
58) Washington Nationals (failure to sign Andrew Suarez) Andrew Stevenson, OF, LSU: Junior, hits left, batted .362/.413/.466 with 26 steals, 16/24 BB/K in 232 at-bats. Lacks power but hit well with wood in Cape Cod League, very good glove, speed. Looks like a fourth outfielder to me but a good one. RESULTS: Good debut, hit .308/.363/.379 with 23 steals, 16 walks, 30 strikeouts in 214 at-bats split between NY-P and Low-A. Defense drew excellent reviews. As expected he showed speed and contact hitting ability, but not a lot of distance power. I have no proof except instinct but I think more pop may come eventually.
62) Pittsburgh Pirates Kevin Kramer, SS-3B, UCLA: Junior, hits left, batted .323/.423/.476 with 36/38 BB/K in 254 at-bats. Regular shortstop this year but range may fit best at third base. Not a big power hitter but dangerous, gets on base, seems to have overcome labrum issues. RESULTS: Hit .291/.375/.366 between NY-P and Low-A, 12 steals, 30/36 BB/K in 227 at-bats. Played mostly second base and reportedly looked excellent there, little power at this point but has a good sense for the strike zone.
63) Oakland Athletics Mikey White, SS, Alabama: Junior, hits right, batted .339/.444/.537 this year, 31/47 BB/K in 218 at-bats. Physical tools average to slightly above but an instinctive player, particularly on defense, whose performance consistently exceeds tools. Some chance he winds up at second. RESULTS: Hit .315/.405/.459 in NY-P but just .200/.203/.262 after moving up to Low-A, playing time was evenly split, 241 at-bats total. Midwest League sources liked the glove at shortstop but found the bat disappointing. I'm not sure what to make of him at this point.
66) St. Louis Cardinals Bryce Denton, OF, Ravenwood HS, Brentwood, Tennessee: Hits right, Vanderbilt commit, projects well as a power hitter with a good measure of polish and strong makeup as well. Strong throwing arm but doesn’t run great, some see him as a third baseman. Signability risk like most Vanderbilt guys. RESULTS: Hit .194/.254/.245 with 11 walks, 32 strikeouts in 155 at-bats in rookie ball. Advertised in high school as a polished bat with power potential but did not play that way in rookie ball. Cardinals used him at third base and he did okay but has things to prove with the bat now. Very young, turned 18 in August, so lots of time on the clock.
67) Los Angeles Dodgers Mitchell Hansen, OF, Plano HS, Texas: Hits left, Stanford commit, clean swing from left side with 6-4, 200 frame that promises more power to come. On merit looks like a second round type, but Stanford scholarship makes him a signability risk and slot will depend on bonus demands as much as talent. RESULTS: Hit .201/.281/.282 with 15 walks, 51 strikeouts in 149 at-bats in rookie ball. Like Denton with the Cardinals, Hansen with the Dodgers had a big-time college commitment and a promising bat that did not perform well in his first pro competition. Like Denton, Hansen has loads of physical talent. Unlike Denton, Hansen was actually old for his high school class, already 19 on draft day, and thus has a bit less chronological slack to work with. It is still too soon to draw conclusions of course.
69) Washington Nationals Blake Perkins, OF, Verrado HS, Buckeye, Arizona: Hits right, Arizona State commit, renowned for speed, excellent defense, throwing arm. I thought he was more of a fifth or sixth round type but I'm told that was too low and understates his athletic ability. RESULTS: Hit .211/.265/.283 with 13 walks, 36 strikeouts in 166 at-bats in rookie ball. Athletic ability did not translate to pro performance, but as with Denton and Hansen it is too soon to tell for certain.
70) Los Angeles Angels Jahmai Jones, OF, Wesleyan HS, Roswell, Georgia: Hits right, North Carolina commit, exciting athlete with speed, developing power, will hit for average, makeup rated as outstanding, still just 17 years old. I love this pick and think he is a great choice here. High ceiling. RESULTS: Hit .244/.330/.344 with 17 walks, 33 strikeouts in 160 at-bats in rookie ball, stole 16 bases. Like Denton, he didn't turn 18 until August; probably has the best pure tool set of the prep players picked in this area.