In #1 I looked at my targets for 1.8, now I'll take a nearly exhaustive and definitely exhausting look at some potential targets (or not) for picks #24 and #25, which kick off the free agent comp round, which is always a fun stage. In no significant order:
Anfernee Grier OF Auburn
Troubling as it is that he was named after Penny Hardaway, I'm extremely, extremely high on this guy. There's good reason not to be, however, as he's sporting upwards of a 20% K rate without much power (granted he's hit 10 homers this year, but mostly very early on). Performance is all BABIP at a staggering .477 after a .420 last year. That's so high that it's probably just a thing. Plus all around athlete, looks good doing everything, power potential, defensive and base running value is likely high. Reminds me of Austin Jackson and maybe even, god help us, Harrison Bader.
Buddy Reed OF Florida
How the mighty fall once everybody remembers they can't hit. Bat did not come around this year and looks a hot mess at the plate, but hey: defensive potential is through the roof but most accounts, great athlete and seems pretty bright, who knows what professional instruction might do for him? Played hockey and soccer of all things in HS...in Rhode Island.
Bryan Reynolds OF Vandy
Here's a guy nobody will want to take. And then he starts hitting.
Logan Shore RHP Florida
Pitching's Bryan Reynolds. He has and will continue to get some James Kaprielian comparisons. He is no James Kaprielian (whose defining characteristic was punctuating Shore-like blandness with occasionally showing TOR stuff for full starts) but he's a consistent performer at a very high level with a beautifully simple delivery. BOR strike thrower, there's a place for that, likely not on the mock Padres, however.
Justin Dunn RHP Boston College
One of the draft's biggest risers now that he's throwing hard as a starter, and has basically all of the characteristics I look for in college pitchers when I try to find those who're being undervalued...and as a result, I'm probably way overrating him. May not reach #24 at this rate. Doesn't have much of a track record but man does his stuff look sharp.
T.J. Zeuch RHP Pitt
Another riser who I'd totally slept on, and he's rivaling Dunn now as one of my favorites here. He's 6'7" throws nice and easy, he's been up to 95+ at times through apparently more often at 92-94. Slider isn't nearly as crispy as Dunn's, but he's been decimating the mid-Atlantic worm population. Sinker is his ticket. Weak name tool.
Alex Kirilloff OF! PA HS
Heavy Cody Bellinger vibes, both from his swing and the fact that he was listed as a 1B for some reason until recently. Runs well, at least for now, and makes really hard contact. Despite his frigid native climes I bet he hits the ground running. Committed to Liberty of all places (finally, a baseball player who puts God first), and there's zero chance of that happening.
Jared Horn RHP CA HS
2016's Who The Hell is That? potential 1st round prospect. Never heard of him until he popped up on recent lists. He's very young, and he's now throwing very hard. Violent arm action scares me.
Will Benson OF GA HS
A jacked 6'6" 17 yo with above average speed and a plus arm. In the past I've either had too little imagination or too much skepticism to want to take HS hitters like this early, and I'm not a huge Benson guy anyway, but his upside is enormous. The sort of tool shed in whom the real Pads will probably be interested.
Will Craig 1B Wake Forest
Unlike the above Will, everything is already out on the table with him. Positional value is not in his favor, and he's a righty hitter, which means he can't be taken high, but maybe he becomes the RHH A.J. Reed?
Joe Rizzo 3B? VA HS
Fascinated by his bat, and fearful about his eventual position. Looks like a guy who played baseball in HS, not a professional athlete, though he's niftier than you'd guess. If he can stick at 3B, maybe even switch to C or be a heavyweight 2B, I'm very interested even this early in the draft. Much less so as a 1B or COF, though with a good eye and a thunderous swing he could work there too. Helpful to imagine him after 3 years of SEC ball.
Kevin Gowdy RHP CA HS
One of those guys. While he's nowhere near as interesting to me as either of them, he's in the Peter Lambert/Triston McKenzie vein of polished HS pitchers who offer a lot of physical projection. Also a good test for my ongoing neck size : bodyweight system for RHPs.
Reggie Lawson RHP CA HS
Big kid, not a stiff, sound delivery, solid stuff, hopefully more on the way, a bit old. Not real explosive, but composed. Okayokay.gif.
Kyle Muller LHP TX HS
He's huge, he's left handed, he has a great arm action, and I'm sure he has other characteristics.
Connor Jones RHP UVA
Likely gone by this point, but his arrow's been down. Have to think the community will be higher on him though. Polished pitcher and keeps it on the ground and throws a splitter. Giddy up.
Zack Collins C? C. Miami
Continuing the pipe dream suite we have Collins, though it looks like good sense is prevailing and he'll be gone 10 picks earlier.
Alex Speas TJS GA HS
Nasty stuff, nasty delivery. The most inverted of Ws. The highest elbow ever. Chris O'Leary would have a stroke. My impression is Touki Toussaint meets Dakota Chalmers. Even though he's raw, fastball/curve, build and athleticism say early 1st round. Not sure what his arsenal says once the necessary adjustments are made, and I bet he falls a long way in the real draft like Chalmers before him (who I loved and took last year).
Robert Tyler RHP Georgia
Can't look much more the part than Tyler. Fastball is explosive, aided by big extension and some pretty major arm-lag in back - lets him hide the ball well, but it can't be doing much for his arm or shoulder, and may make it tough to be consistent with a release point. Seems athletic enough to make adjustments. Off speed stuff isn't great, but the heat and deception may be enough to make him a MOR starter or HLR.
Cal Quantrill RHP Stanford
Had top 5-10 buzz before TJ, and not yet back on the mound. Struck me a bit rich at the time, but if he can get back and show something he'll be in the mix.
Corbin Burnes RHP St. Mary's
Off-brand Arnold Becker over here has rec specs, athleticism, and above average velocity going for him. He's off the beaten path a bit, which is something I like in college pitchers too. Profile and stats don't jump off the page, but there's some upside here. Likely more of a round 2 guy though.
Alec Hansen RHP Oklahoma
Yup. A fairly disastrous season has dumped him into 2nd round prospect status, he tore it up in a recent return to a starting role though. Almost without question, this is the best college arm in the draft (and definitely without question, the most ridiculous pitching face, look at any still photo of this dude), so if he continues to turn it around even a little bit I'll have to consider him to kick off the comp round (if not, then definitely later, but I may not want to wait til 48). He needs a lot of work, having gone from "Bigger Dillon Tate" to "Famous Josh Staumont" but this is a 1.1 talent.
Carter Kieboom 3B...SS? GA HS
Been around the block few times now and looks to be settling into the 2nd round. I like him here and could take the plunge. He has the right kind of bloodlines with two brothers playing high level ball, good actions on defense, love the swing, should add a lot of strength. Also, his last name is "Kieboom."
Jon Duplantier RHP Rice
Seems like he's been on the map forever, and he's finally making due. Maybe a bit of a reach, and could be around at 2.48, but if not for the injury history he stacks up with any of the college starters in this range. On the plus side, his time spent on the shelf is time not spent getting run into the ground by those hacks at Rice, right?