Sunday, December 23, 2012

Names to Know for the Draft v. 4.0

Several months ago, I took a look at a few names to know for the 2013 draft. There was a second version, there was also a third edition of exclusively high school draft prospects.  Now, there is an edition with exclusively college players. Check it out after the jump.




Jacoby Jones


Measurables: 6'3, 205 lbs  
Bats: R, Throws: R  
DOB: 5/10/1992  
Position: 2B/OF  
School: LSU (Junior)

In 2010, Jacoby Jones drew early round interest across the league thanks to impressive tools and athleticism.  However, his commitment to LSU made him a signability risk and he fell to the 19th round where the Houston Astros gobbled him up.  They were unable to sign him and he attended LSU.  Now a junior, Jones hasn't yet lived up to his considerable tools.

Because of that, Jones potential draft position falls in a large range.  A team that believes in the tools could draft him high in the draft, even in the first round, especially if he has a strong junior year. The LSU Tiger's power especially stands out.  On the other hand, Jones needs to work on his swing-happy approach that leads to high strikeout numbers.  If he's unable to improve in that area and impress during his junior year, Jones could fall well out of the first round and down draft boards, similar to Kenny Diekroeger.


Aaron Judge


Measurables: 6'7, 240 lbs
Bats: R, Throws: R
DOB: 4/26/1992
Position: OF
School: Fresno State (Junior)

The first thing that stands out about Aaron Judge is his massive size.  The Fresno State player towers over most baseball players at 6'7.  That size creates the perception that Judge has massive raw power and he does not disappoint.  At the moment, Judge has issues translating that power to games, but he's still young.

In addition, Judge is surprisingly good at other facets of the game, adding value in that fashion. First, he's got solid plate discipline for his power potential. Second, he has a strong arm and runs well for his size. As a younger player, he should have the athleticism to play in right field, lessening the need for prodigious offensive production.  Despite that, Judge could still offer that type of offensive output if he's able to tap into his raw power.  If he does that this spring, he could rocket up draft boards and should go in the first round regardless.


D.J. Peterson


Measurables: 6'1, 190 lbs
Bats: R, Throws: R
DOB: 12/31/1991
Position: 1B
School: New Mexico (Junior)

D.J. Peterson doesn't have any tools that really stand out. He doesn't have a particularly imposing frame; he only stands at 6'1, 190 lbs.  He's not particularly athletic; he's relegated to first base defensively.  Those are the negatives about Peterson.  On the other hand, Peterson provides plenty of positives, albeit in a more subtle form.

First, Peterson has a great approach at the plate.  He takes plenty of walks and strikeouts out at a low rate.  In addition, Peterson offers plus power that translates well to game situations. In fact, it translates incredibly well as Peterson has been insanely productive since attending New Mexico.  Peterson hit 17 homeruns in 2012 while walking more than he struck out, showing a great blend of on-base ability and power.  Despite not having a particularly sexy scouting report, Peterson offers enough offensively that a team will bite come June in the first few rounds of the draft.


A.J. Vanegas


Measurables: 6'3, 215 lbs
Bats: R, Throws: R
DOB: 8/16/1992
Position: P
School: Stanford (Junior)

The Stanford pitcher that dominates the presses is Mark Appel, both for his talent and the drama created last year when he dropped down the draft and then chose to go back to Standford rather than sign with he Pittsburgh Pirates.  Back in the draft this year, Appel is slated to again go in the top 10 of the draft.  Appel isn't the only Stanford pitcher deserving of attention however.  His rotation-mate, A.J. Vangeas is a strong draft prospect in his own right. 

Vanegas features a strong fastball - the heater sits in the mid 90's - and compliments it with a solid slider and a raw cutter.  However, at the moment Vanegas is more stuff than polish. He has issues with control and even when Vanegas does manage to find the strike zone, he gets harder than his stuff would suggest.  That said, some team will take a gamble on his raw pitch arsenal.  Plus, if Vaengas is able to figure it out this spring, he could really shoot up draft boards and give Stanford a pitching draft class similar to UCLA in 2010.


Bobby Wahl


Measurables: 6'3, 200 lbs
Bats: R, Throws: R
DOB: 5/10/1992
Position: P
School: Ole Miss (Junior)

Wahl doesn't have any super standout pitches in his aresenal, but he does feature pitchability that helps two well above-average pitches play up.  First, Wahl throws a fastball that can reach the mid 90's and sits comfortable in the low 90's.  That fastball has good life, often wrecking havoc on hitters. Wahl compliments his heater with a curveball that is at least average and often flashes plus.  Finally, Wahl finishes his pitch repertoire with a raw, but good looking changeup.  

Overall, Wahl is simpy a solid pitching prospect.  He's got a good arsenal and knows how to pitch.  Wahl's upside isn't super-high; he'll probably never be an ace, but he's fairly safe and should quickly be ready to fill the middle of a major league rotation.  All that combined should means that Wahl will be an attractive option in the early-middle portion of the first round.