|2010 Top College Draft Prospects|
|2||Drew Pomeranz||LHP||20.6||Ole Miss|
With summer leagues starting to hit their stride I figured now would be the perfect time to take a way-too-early look at the top prospects for the 2010 MLB Draft. These rankings are certainly not set in stone, and I’m sure I’ll change my mind on these guys several times over the next 12 months. I’ve decided to exclude high school players right now, because I simply haven’t seen enough of them to feel comfortable ranking them, with the semi-exception of...
1) Bryce Harper – C – College of Southern NevadaJust a few weeks ago the 2010 draft looked solid but lacked a true star. Enter Bryce Harper. Harper told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he planned on getting his GED and has already enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada, a junior college with a strong baseball program. The Sports Illustrated cover boy will be the most hyped teenage sports star since LeBron James. With 80 raw power, a plus-plus arm, above-average speed and good defensive ability at the most difficult position on the diamond, the only thing holding Harper back might be the pressure living up to the hype.
2) Drew Pomeranz – LHP – Ole MissPomeranz is a 6-foot-5 lefty with smooth mechanics, a fastball that sits 92-93 mph and touches slightly higher, a devastating curveball and good command. Last season, the Rebels’ ace struck out 31.2% of batters he faced last year while walking 9.3%. When I saw him earlier this spring he didn’t use his changeup much, but showed some feel for it. If his change can develop into a solid third offering, Pomeranz could have a long career as a No. 2 starter.
3) Anthony Ranaudo – RHP – LSUPomeranz and Ranaudo were both selected by the Texas Rangers in the 2007 draft – in back-to-back rounds no less. The 6-foot-7 Ranaudo got the call in the decisive game three of the College World Series and helped propel the Tigers to their sixth national championship. Despite his exceptional size, Ranaudo doesn’t throw particularly hard. I’ve heard reports of his fastball touching mid-90’s, but the couple times I’ve seen him he sat 88-92 mph. Ranaudo does make the most of his height, coming nearly over-the-top and creating a lot of downhill plane on his pitches. His best pitch is his curveball, which should be an out pitch at the major league level; a true 12-to-6 offing that comes out of the same arm slot and flight path of his fastball before sharply falling off the table. The battle between Pomeranz and Ranaudo is extremely close, statistically the two were almost identical; Ranaudo struck out 31.5% of batters while walking 9.9%.
4) Christian Colon – SS – Cal State FullertonColon was very highly thought of out of high school, winning the MVP of the Aflac All-American game in 2007, but slid to the 10th round due to a mediocre spring and a strong commitment to the baseball factory in Fullerton. A full-time starter from the day he set foot on campus, Colon managed a .357/.442/.529 line in 2009 with 26 of his 91 hits going for extra bases. Colon shows great contact ability, only whiffing 8.0% of the time last year. Defensively he has a strong arm, solid range and outstanding instincts. Colon has always been seen as a very smart player who maximizes his abilities. While he doesn’t have the raw tools of a Grant Green or Brandon Crawford, Colon looks like a very solid bet to be an average big leaguer.
5) Josh Osich – LHP – Oregon StateOsich is a power lefty who was used primarily out of the bullpen last season but will look to transition to starting in 2010. Coming from an over-the-top arm slot, Osich has a fastball that sits 94-96 mph with late life. His curveball shows great break and is pretty much unhittable when it’s on. Osich’s changeup is thrown with good arm speed and has solid fading action, but wasn’t used much last spring in relief. Osich has the best pure stuff of any college pitcher in this class, but also the shortest track record. He could go No. 2 overall, or fall out of the first round depending on how he fares this spring. For now, I’ll take my chances with a guy of his talent.
6) Bryce Brentz – OF/1B – Middle Tennessee StateIf you want your kid to be a massive power hitter, name him Bryce. Bryce Brentz is the No. 1 power hitting prospect from the four-year college ranks. Brentz lead all of Division-I in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, and total bases all that ads up to a triple slash line of .465/.535/.930 with 28 home runs. While MTSU plays in a strong hitter park (120 PF, BoydsWorld.com), Brentz compliments his outstanding power with very solid zone judgement. Brentz walked 11.4% of the time last year while striking out in just 11.8% of his plate appearances. A college center fielder, Brentz gets knocked some for his defense as some think he may wind up at first base in the pros. Wherever he plays, his bat could be special.
7) Yasmani Grandal – C – University of MiamiOne of the top unsigned prospects for the 2007 Draft Grandal might be 2010’s Josh Phegly - a good hitter, with big time power but questionable defensive ability behind the dish despite a strong arm. Grandal lead the Hurricane’s in home runs with 16 this spring while sporting a .299/.410/.599 line with 33 walks and 37 strikeouts in 239 plate appearances. If Grandal can stay at catcher defensively, his strong bat could make him a star.
8) Matt Harvey – RHP – University of North CarolinaA first round talent out of high school in 2007, Harvey slipped to the fourth round due to bonus demands. While his time at North Carolina has been a bit rocky, Harvey still has good stuff and struck out 81 batters in 75 innings last spring. Harvey’s fastball sits in the low 90’s with some sink, and is complimented by a potentially plus breaking ball and changeup. If Harvey can show some improved command this spring, he walked 11.9% of batters last spring, he still has as much upside as any pitcher in this class.
9) Tyler Holt – CF – Florida StateWhile Holt may not have the same buzz as the rest of guys above him on this list, he is very deserving. At least a plus runner, Holt gets good jumps on the ball and covers tons of ground in centerfield. He’s an asset in the field and on the base paths (34-39 stolen base attempts). Holt’s biggest tool is his on-base ability, as he walked an astonishing 17.9% of the time last spring boosting his overall line to .401/.520/.578. A line-drive hitter with strong wrists and good bat-speed and a fantastic approach, Holt projects as a prototypical lead-off hitter.
10) Chris Hernandez – LHP – University of Miami
There’s lots of depth in this years college class, and you could make the case for a dozen other players finding a spot on this list. I decided to go with Hernandez because he has a long track record of success he was the National Freshman of the Year in 2008 and followed that up with a very solid 2009 campaign in which he struck out 24.7% of hitters while walking 8.2%. Hernandez has solid, but not overpowering stuff. His fastball sits in the high-80’s with good sink, he features a solid changeup and very good curve. He doesn’t have the sexiest upside, but his combination of command, multiple breaking pitches and good knowledge of how to pitch make Hernandez a good bet to have a solid big league career.
A few thoughts on some of the guys guys who were in contention for this list… Georgia right hander Justin Grimm has a plus fastball, sitting 93-96 mph, but must improve his command and off speed offerings….Missouri’s Nick Tepesch also has good velocity but was hit around a lot last spring…Brandon Workman of Texas had a good spring and has good upside, but needs to clean up his delivery…Alex Wimmers from The Ohio State University has smooth mechanics and a big curveball that helped dominate big 10 action this spring, with another strong season he should garner lots of first round attention…the University of Alabama should have the most talented left side of infield in college next year as SS Josh Rutledge and 3B Ross Wilson both have solid tools with decent power potential. Rutledge, like fellow college SS’s Derek Dietrich of Georgia Tech and Rice’s Rick Hague have big time problems making contact, of those three Hague is the only sure bet to stick at short, where he is very, VERY good…. Tennessee’s backstop Blake Forsythe and LSU’s catcher Micah Gibbs are potential first round picks. Both guys need to improve their contact abilities next spring but have good upside. Forsythe has more power while Gibbs has more defensive value…Leon Landry will follow in the footsteps of teammate Jared Mitchell as a super-toolsy two-sport athlete outfielder from LSU.
Contact Lincoln Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org