Checking In on the Mets 2016 Draft

Here’s the first installment of the new series, and it is about the Mets. They are my favorite team, so they naturally get priority. Back in 2016, I was not too happy about this draft, but lets see if my mind changes by the time this article ends.

Minor League Team Key

Rookie-Kingsport Mets

Short Season-Brooklyn Cyclones

Low A-Columbia Fireflies

High A-Port St. Lucie

AA-Binghamton Rumble Ponies

AAA-Las Vegas 51’s

1-19 Justin Dunn-RHP

Dunn was somewhat of a surprise pick by the Mets considering at the time they were very deep at pitching. Then this season’s fiasco happened and suddenly it is great that they have more high end depth. I am not going to lie, as a fan of the Mets, I was not a fan of the pick then, and I still am not a fan of it now. Dunn has a great fastball(90-94) and slider as well as being super athletic, but he has not developed anything softer besides a curve that flashes average on occasion, and I can’t help but think that he will end up in the bullpen, although trusted with high leverage situations. He is ranked number 4 in the organization by Fangraphs, so maybe I am wrong.

His season this year was not a lights out season that I expected after his good season in 2016. He posted a 5.00 ERA(4.35 xFIP) and 7.08 K/9 and 4.53 BB/9 in 95.1 innings in high A ball. The walk rate is concerning, and his 41.9% GB percentage is nothing special either. I know I have been bearish on his this entire write up, but I do have faith that after a year of pro ball, he can make adjustments and I think his athleticism will allow him to continue to improve.

1-31 Anthony Kay-LHP

Kay had Tommy John surgery in late 2016 and it forced him to miss all of last year, so there is not much to say. Hopefully he ends up like Steven Matz, another Mets lefty who battled arm injuries, and is able to get through it. I will say that I love his changeup, but besides that there is not a lot else. Should be an end of the rotation guy.

2-64 Peter Alonso-1B

Alonso was brought in to pound the baseball, and that is what he did this year at high A and at his stint in double A. In 346 PA in high A ball, he hit 16 homers with a .286/.361/.516 slash line and a 157 wRC+. The scary part was that he did not take many walks(7.2% in A+,4.3% in AA) but his K% was only 18.5%. I think it would have been foolish to expect him to take a lot of walks, but taking more walks is something he has to work on. The power is really nice though and he has potential to be a regular at first.

3-100 Blake Tiberi-3B

Tommy John hit the Mets twice in the first five rounds, getting Tiberi this year. He managed only 22 plate appearances before getting the surgery. The scouting report on him is that he can really hit, but he wasn’t able to show that in lower A ball in 2016, hitting just .235. Hopefully he can get back healthy and regain his hitting stroke next year.

4-130 Michael Paez-SS

Paez was listed as a shortstop in the draft, but he might be better suited for second base. He’ll get lots of time at short, but I think his ceiling is either an everyday second baseman or a utility guy who is able to play every position in the infield. Paez got called up midway through the season from low A to high A ball and it was a mixed bag. He slashed .290/.376/.509 with 8 homeruns(wRC+ 152) in low A, but really struggled in high A hitting just .200/.324/.270 and 2 homers(wRC+ 82). However, his walk rate went up and his strikeout rate went down in high A. Give him another half season at A+ and I think he will be fine.

 

5-160 Colby Woodmansee-SS

Woodmansee was one of the better defensive shortstops of this class, and his solid plate discipline and power made him appealing. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily this year in A ball, hitting .132/.197/.165 for a wRC+ of 9. His strikeout rate was a horrendous 31.6% and the walk rate was only 6.8%. Not exactly what we were looking for, even out of a guy that was primarily a defensive player. He did get a call to A+ where he did slightly better(.213/.275/.340) but it still was not good. He definitely needs another year at A ball and I think that if he can hit at least .250 he will be fine.

6-190 Chris Viall-RHP

Viall is a monster at 6’9’’ 230 with a big fastball at 94-96 topping 98. He’s a classic high strikeout/high walk reliever, but this year in low A he was able to reign it in. Viall put up a 10.59 K/9 and a 4.78 BB/9 in 26.1 innings with a 3.42 ERA and a 43.3% GB rate. I like Viall, his fastball is great and the curve is average as well. One of my favorite draft picks by the Mets

7-220 Austin McGeorge-RHP

McGeorge is a sinker/slider guy from Long Beach State who struck out a ton of guys(13.89 K/9) in his draft year. He started at A ball but then moved up to high A after just 12.2 innings. He had a great season in St. Lucie with 11.84 K/9 and 3.08 BB/9 and an excellent 66.2% GB rate in 38 innings. McGeorge had a 1.89 ERA(2.07 xFIP) and I am really excited to see how he does in AA ball next year

8-250 Placido Torres-LHP

This was the oddest pick in the draft class for me. Torres was a 23 year old pitcher out of Tusculum College, a school I did not know existed. He did pitch 116 innings in 14 starts in his senior season which is very impressive and had a 12.16 K/9, but his fastball/slider arsenal is not very impressive. Torres pitched only 10 innings this year in short season A, with a unimpressive 7.20 K/9 and 6.30 BB/9 and a 3.60 ERA. His groundball rate was 36% and his lack of strikeouts and his high walk rate makes me doubt he will get to AA ball.

9-280 Colin Holderman-RHP

Holderman is a big guy(6-6 220) who has a good fastball(90-94) and two potentially average secondary pitches, a low 80s slider and a curve. I like Holderman, even though he does have three pitches I do not see him as a starter but I think he can be a solid reliever. He had a solid year in Columbia and had a 7.26 K/9 and 3.19 BB/9 with a 4.94 ERA in 31 innings. I’ll be interested to see what he does next year.

10-310 Gene Cone-OF

Cone has everything besides power, but a serious lack of power can keep a guy out of advancing in today’s era of baseball. The lack of power would have been ok if he had plus defense, but his defense is not enough to make up for the lack of power. He slashed only .219/.323/.273 in Columbia and had no homers. He did have a 13.0% BB rate and a 18.9% K rate, but not being able to hit a homerun writes him off for me.

11-340 Cameron Planck-RHP

Planck had the oddest signing bonus of the draft, getting $1,000,001 dollars. While I was not super high on some of the players they got in the first 10 rounds, the Mets plan to save money in the first 10 to get quality prep players after is a solid strategy. Planck is 6-4 220 with a 90-94(top 96) fastball. His slider flashes average, but it is hard to say much about a high school pitcher who is not lock 1st round pick. Obviously there is a lot of dreaming going on in these evaluations. He has not played yet, we will have to wait a couple years to see how he will do professionally.

12-370 Matt Cleveland-RHP

The Mets got another big high school pitcher with this selection. Cleveland is 6-5 200 with a fastball with good sink that is in the 88-92 MPH range and has a curve and changeup that is developing. He had 2.55 ERA with a 6.21 K/9 and 4.39 BB/9 in 24.2 innings in the GCL. Not too shabby for a 19 year old.

13-400 Dan Rizzie-C

Rizzie is a guy that anyone can get behind. He was never recruited out of high school and walked on to Xavier, and then become one of the best catchers in the nation his senior year.

He projects to be a defense first catcher with a big league backup as a ceiling. In Columbia, he hit .261/.317/.304 before getting promoted to high A and hitting a uninspiring .153/.271/.169. Also, he didn’t hit any homeruns, which would write him off if it wasn’t for the fact that he is a good defender. Still, the lack of power is concerning and it makes me more bearish on his chances of making the big leagues. I am still rooting for him though.

14-430 Christian James-RHP

This sounds redundant by now, but James is another big high schooler who has good velocity. In 51 innings at Kingsport, he had a 4.18 ERA and a 10.10 K/9 and 2.79 BB/9 with a 51.1% GB rate. Super impressive, can’t wait to follow him as he rises through the minor league ranks.

15-460 Jacob Zanon-OF

Zanon was another guy who did everything well except for hitting for power while at Lewis-Clark. Unlike Gene Cone though, his defense and speed makes up for the lack of power and has the potential to become a backup outfielder in the majors. Zanon spent time between Columbia and Port St. Lucie this year, with most of the time being in Columbia. In Columbia, he slashed .246/.338/.330 with 1 homer(yes!) and had a pretty good walk percentage 11.5%. He also had 28 stolen bases which confirmed his plus speed. Should be an interesting guy to follow.

16-490 Trent Johnson-RHP

I am pretty sure Trent is the first JUCO player that the Mets were able to sign. He is 6’5’’ 185 and could get fill out more. He didn’t have the best season in Kingston, putting up a 5.55 ERA in 60 innings with only 5.10 K/9, but his walk rate was only 2.85 BB/9 and an above average 57.3 GB%. I’ll be interested to see how he does in a full season.

17-520 Jay Jabs 3B

Jabs is a third baseman from Franklin Pierce with plus speed and an above average arm with average power. He had a rough year in Columbia, hitting just .206/.278/.347 with 7 homers and 4 stolen bases. The 28.3% strikeout rate was ugly too. Definitely needs another year in low A ball. However, this video might make you laugh.

18-550 Adam Atkins-RHP

Good pick by the Mets here, and not just because I love sidearm pitchers. Atkins had an incredible senior year at Louisiana Tech, with a 1.10 ERA and 11.63 K/9 and 2.20 BB/9 in 41 innings. In his first full year of pro ball, he pitched  31.1 innings in Columbia and had a 0.86 ERA with 8.33 K/9 and 1.72 BB/9. Incredible. He was rewarded and got called up to A+, where he had a rough time, having a 7.71 ERA in 7 innings. His xFIP was 3.15 though and he had 10.29 K/9 and 3.86 BB/9 which makes me think that he will be fine. Should start the season in A+ ball next year with a shot at starting in AA.

19-580 Gary Cornish-RHP

Cornish has one good pitch, a low 90s sinker, and a breaking ball that is average. Not super impressive, but he was a strikeout machine in college. It did not really translate to pro ball, as he only had 6.14 K/9 in 29.1 innings in Columbia this year. Cornish isn’t my favorite college reliever that the Mets got, but he isn’t terrible. Not a lot to say about him.

21-640 Max Kuhns-RHP

Kuhns solid junior season at Santa Clara was enough to get him selected in the 21st round. Didn’t have much to say about him, but he had a great year in Columbia. In 25.2 innings, he had a 12.97 K/9 and 3.51 BB/9 with a 2.10 ERA. That type of year will make anyone interested in you, and I can’t wait to see what he does next year.

22-670 Ian Strom-OF

Strom is another solid defensive outfielder with limited upside. He split time between Columbia and Port St. Lucie, and did well at both levels. In Columbia, he slashed .294/.370/.462 with 3 homers and 11 stolen bases. In Port St. Lucie, Strom hit .270/.270/.351 in 37 plate appearances, and did not record a walk. Strom’s approach isn’t very good, his 6.8%/17.9% BB/K in Columbia and 0.0%/21.6% in Port St. Lucie is concerning. Should start at A+ next year, will be interested to see what he does.

23-700 Nick Sergakis-2B

Not really a fan of redshirt seniors being drafted, but Sergakis has proven me wrong. He made it to Port St. Lucie this year, where he hit .252/.371/.432 and 6 homers and 12 stolen bases. Sergakis is already 24, but I am excited to see what he can do next year.

24-730 Dariel Rivera-RHP

Another high school player, this one from Puerto Rico. Lots of room to grow, as he is 6-3 160. Has a 86-90 FB and a low 70s curve. He struggled in the GCL this year with a 5.63 ERA in only 8 innings and had a 4.50 K/9 and 3.38 BB/9. Rivera’s got some time though.

30-910 Eric Villanueva-RHP

Another high school pitcher from Puerto Rico. Had a rough year in the GCL where he had a 13.50 BB/9 and a 5.63 ERA in 16 innings.

31-940 Jeremy Wolf-OF/1B

Wolf was a stud at D3 Trinity University, hitting.408/.508/.741 in his senior year. He only hit .241/.308/.313 with a 22% strikeout rate and 0 homers. I am bearish that he can make it out of A ball.

 

36-1090 Garrison Bryant-RHP

Another high school pitcher, this one from Philadelphia. His year at Kingston was rough, as he he had a 8.76 ERA(4.86 xFIP) with a 8.03 K/9 and 4.38 BB/9. Bryant has a lot of time, he was one of the younger players in the draft.

Well this was a lot of fun to make. I do like the college relievers they got later in the draft, but I was unimpressed by the hitters they got. Only Alonso is a hitter that should have above average power, and the trio of only defensive outfielders was not my favorite. Hopefully they prove me wrong, but I was not much of a fan of this draft.

As usual, if you liked the article, please follow me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) or on WordPress. If you want to contact me, leave a comment or check out the contact page, I would love to answer any questions. Thanks again for reading.

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New Segment Coming Up

School really gets in the way of things sometimes. I wish I had a better excuse, but it’s all I got, so I apologize for the lack of content.  Also, I do not have much interest in writing individual scouting reports until next year. They are getting dry and also I think it is too early for them. Don’t worry I will be writing them, just not until next year. But even though I have been really busy, I still have been working on draft stuff for next year. First off, I have been putting together follow lists for all of the D1 conferences. They are mostly for me, but I will be publishing them before the season starts. The lists are grueling to do, but they have to be done and they give a good picture as how the standings will stack up next year. I would compare it to when you are building a DCF model for a business; you get to see how the business, or in our case, the baseball team, is structured and how they should play next year. The other thing I have been working on is for the site. Currently I have been doing a follow up of all of the players selected in the 2016 draft to see how their first full season of professional baseball. So throughout the next 2 months or so, expect to see posts about every team’s 2016 draft and how they have performed this past season. I think this is a cool idea to get us through the rest of the year and see how right or wrong we were about players from the 2016 draft. If anyone has suggestions for how it should work, post a comment I can still tweak stuff. I hope you enjoyed this article, please consider following me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) so that you can get updated for each part of the series.  

Looking Over the Justin Verlander Trade

Normally I don’t make posts about MLB news, but I wanted to talk about the Justin Verlander trade, who was traded yesterday to the Astros for Jake Rogers, Franklin Perez and Daz Cameron.I was really surprised to hear about this trade, mostly because I thought the waiver trade deadline was over. I can’t be the only one who is confused about when the trade deadline is. Anyway, I thought this was a great trade for the Tigers, who got three legit prospects, and a good trade for the Astros too. The Astros are making a big push for the World Series and they needed help at starting pitching and while I am not sold that Verlander can push them over the edge, he is an upgrade and it makes them much more formidable. For the Tigers, I think this is a great trade. Over the last 5 years, they have tried so hard to win the World Series, but they always give out huge contracts to free agents who made them better, but not World Series threats. Last season, signed Jordan Zimmermann to a 5 year, 110 million dollar contract and Justin Upton to a 6 year, 133 million dollar contract. Zimmermann has been horrendous, and Upton had a rough 2016, but he’s done well this year and the Tigers were able to ship him to the Angels in another rebuilding move that was great. But now it seems like they are stopping with the crazy free agent deals and going down the same route as their division rivals, the White Sox.

Franklin Perez is the highest touted prospect shipped off to Detroit. He was signed in 2015 out of Venezuela, and I am rooting for him just because his home life is probably a mess with the whole situation in Venezuela right now. I am not going to lie, I do not know much about him. He has a mid 90s fastball to go along with a high 70s 12-6 curve and a low 80s slider. The fastball projects to be above average and his breaking pitches project average. Perez does have a over the top arm slot that gets him a lot of ground ball. This year in A+ ball he had a 8.78 K/9 and 2.65 BB/9 and a 7.03 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9 in AA ball with a 37.5% and 33.0% ground ball rate, respectively. I think he has mid rotation upside and Fangraphs is listing him as the Tigers second best prospect.

Jake Rogers was a great pick by the Astros last year. He was easily the best defensive catcher in the 2016 draft, with a plus arm and he flashed above average power while being very athletic. There was an Austin Hedges comp, which has its merit but I hate comps so I don’t want to discuss that much. This year he split time in A/A+ ball, and had solid batting numbers. He slashed .265/.357/.457  in A+ ball with 12 homers and 12.0% BB/19.6% K and a 127 wRC+. I was disappointed that he did not make it to AA this year since he is a bit old for A ball(he’s 22 years old). To sum everything up, I think Rogers is an MLB backup lock as a floor with a very good chance that he becomes a solid regular in the majors.

Daz Cameron was drafted out of high school in the Comp A round in 2015. He got a 4 million dollar signing bonus after the fiasco with Brady Aiken. Cameron was one of the older high school players in that draft, so it was disappointing to see him struggle for the first year and a third of his professional career. After a miserable start to the 2017 season, Cameron turned it around and was able to finish with a .271/.349/.466 with 14 homers and a 128 wRC+ in A ball this year. Daz has above average speed with a plus glove, and even though he does not project to be an above average hitter, his fielding and speed should be enough to make him a regular.

To sum this up, I think this was a good trade for both teams, even though I think the Astros might have overpaid a bit. It would have been nice to see them hold on to pitch framing extraordinaire Jake Rogers since he such a Houston player, but I think their shot at getting to the World Series just got better. And I’m happy that the Tigers are finally rebuilding, they should have started five years ago. But at least they finally realized it, right.

Hope you enjoyed this article, please consider following me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress. Also feel free to leave a comment, I would love to respond.

The Ryan Rolison Report-Ole Miss-Orleans Firebirds

D1 baseball has just started releasing their top 200 prospects from this year’s Cape Cod league. Frankie Piliere is one of my favorite authors in sports and is one of the most respected in baseball, so I could not wait to read this. Today they released players 1-25 on the list, and Ryan Rolison was listed as number 1 on their list. In honor of that, I thought I would do my own report on Rolison.

Ryan Rolison is a draft eligible sophomore lefty for Ole Miss. He was drafted in the 37th round by the Padres in 2016 out of Jackson, Tennessee. In 61.2 innings this past season with Ole Miss, he put together a 3.06 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 24 walks. Obviously these are very good stats for a freshman to put up, and it is especially impressive to see him in the starting rotation this year. With the Orleans Firebirds this year in the Cape, he put up a 1.54 ERA with well over a strikeout per inning(11.25 K/9) and his walk rate stayed roughly the same(3.21 BB/9).

Beyond the stats, Rolison has two pitches that are above average. His fastball sits in the 90-93 range and can hit 95. The curveball is in the low 80s and the movement on it isn’t conventional. It has slider movement to it and has hard, late break. Rolison’s best pitch in my opinion is his curveball and I believe that it can be a plus pitch in the future. Ryan also has a changeup that is in the mid 80s that is still a work in progress, but it has improved. I predict that it can at least be an average pitch in the majors. Rolison also has good command over his pitches and I do not think he will be forced into the bullpen because of control issues. From what Frankie Piliere wrote on D1, Rolison has a high baseball IQ, which is another reason why I think he can be a front of the rotation pitcher.

In conclusion, I can not say that I disagree that Rolison is number one on that list. His plus fastball and curveball and his elite IQ is why I think he can be a future ace. Ryan Rolison should be in consideration this year for a top 10 selection in the 2018 draft, and I will be interested to see how he does at Ole Miss this year.

Hope you enjoyed this article, please consider following me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress. Also feel free to leave a comment, I would love to respond. Thanks and have a great rest of your week.

Aaron Rozek-Minnesota State-St. Cloud Rox

Well I was supposed to get this article out earlier but got a bit sidetracked. I was looking over my last article and saw that I completely messed up Aaron Rozek’s name, instead calling his Adam Rosek. What a professional I am.

Aaron Rozek is a left handed pitcher for Minnesota State-Mankato. His first two collegiate baseball season were rough. In his first year, he had a 4.07 ERA in 48.2 innings, which is not terrible considering he was a freshman and he pitched nearly 50 innings, which showed that the coaches trusted him. He also had a 6-0 record, and he along with fellow freshman pitchers Dalton Roach, Brody Rodning, and Christian Howell looked to be very promising. Rozek’s sophomore year was a disappointment though, as he had a 5.29 ERA in only 32.1 innings pitched. His BB/9 went up from 2.78 to 3.87 and his K/9 went down from 7.59 to 6.16.

However, his junior season went very well even though his innings dropped to 29.1. He recorded a 1.53 ERA and had a 11.67 K/9 and 1.84 BB/9. Rozek followed up this season with a 2.39 ERA in 64 innings pitched and 78 strikeouts, while winning Pitcher of the Year in the Northwoods League with the St. Cloud Rox.

There is not much(any) video on Rozek, so I cannot comment to much on his mechanics. There is a video of him from high school, and I though his mechanics were solid. I know that is pretty vague, but I just do not really have anything to work with.

To sum up Rozek, I will be watching him closely in his senior year to see how many innings he throws this year. If he gets into the high 30 to low 40 innings pitched range while maintaining his impressive strikeout rate, he has a shot at being drafted. If not, I do think he can play independent baseball and I think he could be successful there.

Hope you enjoyed this article, please consider following me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress. Also feel free to leave a comment, I would love to respond. Thanks and have a great rest of your week.

Zack Zubia wins Northwoods League MVP

The Northwoods League announced today the MVP and Pitcher of the Year for the 2017 season. The league’s MVP is Zach Zubia, a power hitting first baseman for the Rochester Honkers and the Pitcher of the Year was Adam Rosek, who I briefly discussed already in my Northwoods League Top Pitchers Profile. Expect a longer writeup about Rosek tomorrow. Today though, we will be discussing Zubia, who had an excellent season despite only having one year of collegiate baseball under his belt.

Zach Zubia is a 6’4” 235 pound first baseman who plays for the University of Texas. When I looked at his Perfect  Game profile, it said that it is easy to forget he is just a kid, and that is true. Zubia is a strong guy who can crush the baseball, as proven by the 22 home runs he hit this season with the Honkers. Coming out of high school, Zubia was ranked number 500 amongst prep players in 2016. He also was a standout quarterback for Strake Jesuit high school.

Statistically, there is not a lot to go off of. He didn’t play last season for Texas, although I would expect him to have a larger role this year. This year with Rochester, he hit .309/.456/.678 with 22 home runs as well as 18 doubles and a triple. His ISO was an incredible .369 and 56.9% of his hits were extra base hits, which is very impressive. He did commit 7 errors for a fielding percentage of .977, but he made up for it with his bat.

This season with the Longhorns, I think it is safe to say that he could hit around .270 with high teens home runs and a respectable on base percentage. Although he is a power hitter, he did have more walks than strikeouts, something that always makes me happy. I can’t wait to see if his incredible Northwoods numbers translate this year for him in Texas and he is definitely on my sophomore watch list.

That’s all for today, if you liked what you read please follow me on Twitter(@theamateurbball) as well as WordPress to get notified when a new article gets posted. You can also leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks and see you next time.

Logan Gilbert-Stetson-Orleans Firebirds

This past season, Stetson had quite a pitching rotation, with all of their starters having over 100 strikeouts and sub 3.20 ERA’s. Their strikeout leader, Brooks Wilson, was drafted in the 27th round by the Rangers this year but did not sign, making him one of the top senior signs for the 2018 draft and making next year’s rotation one of the scariest in college baseball. And while I want to do a more in depth review of both Wilson and sophomore Jack Perkins, today I want to discuss Logan Gilbert, who had the lowest ERA of the rotation and was Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Year for 2017.

Gilbert is a 6’6” 210 pound righty who has a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90’s as well as a curveball in the high 70’s and a changeup in the low 80’s. His arm motion in his delivery is somewhat loopy since he pulls the ball behind his back from his glove, which caught me off guard at first. His arm slot is a three quarters slot and it allows him to get some movement on his fastball. Mechanically he is a bit stiff in my opinion, but nothing too bad. I do like his curveball and think it projects to be an above average pitch.

Statistically, there is nothing not to like about Gilbert. His K/9 has gone up(10.82) and his BB/9 rate(2.63) has gone down. He also only gave up one home run this past season with Stetson. This year in the Cape, he had a 1.72 ERA with 31 strikeouts(8.91 K/9) and only 4 walks(1.15 BB/9) and was selected to the All Star team.

To finish this off, Gilbert is one of my favorite collegiate pitchers in this year’s class. I love his K/9 and BB/9 ratios and he has good stuff as well. Gilbert is very high up on my list and I am excited to see if he can top the numbers he put up this year.

Thanks a lot for reading, and please follow us on Twitter(@theamateurbball) and on WordPress if you enjoyed this article. Have a great weekend and I hope come back again.

Nolan Bumstead Report-Cal State Northridge-Willmar Stingers

Wow it has been awhile since I have last posted. There’s been a lot going on recently with school stuff(college apps are awful) but don’t worry I have not forgot about this site. Today we are discussing Nolan Bumstead, a third baseman about to enter his senior season at Cal State Northridge and was an All Star this year for the Willmar Stingers.

Bumstead recovered from his disappointing sophomore season to hit .302/.388/.422 with 4 homeruns and an ISO of .120 last year with the Matadors. Obviously these are not world beating numbers, but they are decent and I think he will have a breakout year next season. His OBP has gone up every season and his K/BB ratio has gone down. His power numbers are not the greatest, but his slash line so far in the Northwoods League leads me to believe that he could hit double digit home runs this year with Cal State Northridge. So far with Willmar, he has slashed .264/.347/.406 with 6 homeruns in 276 at bats.

What holds back Bumstead the most is that his fielding is not very good at all. So far in the Northwoods he has had 14 errors for a .934 fielding percentage. That is just bad, and a bit shocking considering that he made just 3 errors with the Matadors this past year and seemed to be improving his glove. However he does have a history with errors, and he had 11 in his sophomore year and 10 his freshman year.

Overall, I doubt that any teams will take a flier on Bumstead in the draft this upcoming season. He just does not hit for much power and his glove is not where it needs to be selected in the draft. If Bumstead is able to start hitting for more power and get into the double digits for homers, while making his glove more dependable. If he can do that, he has an outside shot at being a late round senior sign, although it is a very small percentage. I do think that he might be able to sign on with an indy ball team if he has another good year with the Matadors.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this review, it’s fun to look at players that nobody knows about. If you enjoyed this, please consider following this site through WordPress or on twitter at @theamateurbball. Thanks again!

 

Jimmy Herron Report-Duke/Orleans Firebirds

In the first installment of the Cape Cod hitters to watch, I profiled Duke outfielder Griffin Conine. However I left off the other Duke stud, Jimmy Herron. And by “other” I mean that I wanted to save him for another post, not that he is inferior to him. They both were MVP’s in the All Star Game and they both have had spectacular seasons. Today I just wanted to do a more in depth write up about Herron, so here we go.

Herron is a 6’1” 185 outfielder who was a draft eligible sophomore selected by the Yankees in the 31st round. Obviously there was signability issues other wise he would have been a top 5 round pick for sure. Herron returns to Duke and will look to keep on doing what he has been doing for the past 2 years, while improving on the power.

In his first year at Duke, Herron slashed .324/.418/.440 with an ISO of .116 and he didn’t have any home runs. While that is very impressive as a freshman, I think that his 25 K/29 BB ratio is far more impressive. What is not to love about a freshman that has that great of an approach at the plate? He improved upon that first year by improving his power with a .474 SLG and a .148 ISO and had 5 homers. His OBP dipped slightly to .412 but his 34 K/29 BB ratio was still very impressive. The only small concerning thing is that his secA dropped from .353 to .317, but I am not to concerned about that because he was able to hit for more power. Also this year with the Orleans Firebirds, he slashed .355/.447/.504 with 20 K/14 BB, 3 HR, and 11 SB. This slash line just reinforces everything he has done so far with Duke.

To go along with his above average to plus hitting tools, Herron also has plus speed and above average fielding tools as well. In 2016 he went 24/28 in stolen base attempts and in 2017 he was 17/24. His 60 time coming out of high school was 6.55 which is very good. With his plus speed and plus arm Herron projects to be an above average fielder in the majors.

Another interesting thing is that his KATOH projection was a 1.5 WAR. If you do not know what KATOH is, go to Fangraphs, they are the creators and they can explain it far better than me. In this years list of top KATOH draft prospects, he ranked 25th, which is surprising considering that he was ranked 283 by Baseball America. While this is not objective, it is pretty interesting and it shows that he is somewhat underrated.

Hopefully this write up give you a better picture about Jimmy Herron. Thank you for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Cape Cod League Pitchers(Part One)

No big intro today, let’s jump right into the pitchers.

RHP Griffin Roberts(Jr.-Wake Forest)-Wareham Gateman

Draft eligible sophomore Griffin Roberts was drafted in the 29th round by the Minnesota Twins, but he decided that he was going to return to Wake Forest for his junior season. Roberts has a fastball that sits at 92-95 and tops out at 97 as well as a slider in the low 80’s. Roberts last season had 80 strikeouts in 53.1 innings(13.5 K/9) but he also had 32 walks(5.40 BB/9). With those numbers he projects to be a reliever unless he can improve his control and add a third pitch. In the Cape this year, he has shown great command though with 4 walks in 28 innings while having over a strikeout per inning and a 1.93 ERA. It will be interesting to see where he goes in the draft next year. If his Cape numbers translate this year with Wake Forest, I think he might breakout and be a top 5 round pick.

LHP Kris Bubic(Jr.-Stanford)-Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox

Bubic is more of a conventional starter the Roberts is. This year at Stanford he has 3 pitch mix that includes a fastball that is ranges from 88-91 with some tail as well as a curve in the mid 70’s and a changeup in the high 70’s. But he’s increased his velocity this year in the Cape to sitting in the low 90’s as well as getting the changeup in the 80’s. His curveball has also gotten sharper, as reported by Frankie Piliere of D1 baseball. His changeup has always been his best pitch, but it seems that it has gotten better while in the Cape and apparently his curve has as well. I was not really sold on his curve, but if he can continue this development I think it has potential to be an above average pitch to go with his potentially plus changeup. Bubic had a great season with Stanford last year as their Friday starter after Beck went down, putting up a 9.56 K/9 against a 3.09 BB/9 and a 2.79 ERA. He’s continued his success with the Red Sox by having 32 strikeouts and 7 walks with a 1.95 ERA in 27.2 innings. Right now I say he is a 20-30 round pick, but look for him to go up the boards as next season progresses.

RHP Austin Bergner(So-North Carolina)-Chatham Anglers

For some reason I thought that Bergner wasn’t eligible until 2019, but turns out he is a draft eligible sophomore. Bergner has already been drafted, going in the 38th round by the Red Sox out of high school in 2016. He probably should have gone much higher as he was ranked 165 by Baseball America but he was firm in his commitment of playing college ball. Bergner already is throwing mid 90’s and has a changeup that sits in the low to high 80s. He also has a curve in the low 80’s. Bergner’s delivery is not the smoothest and he short arms it., and his velocity is iffy at times. At times he’s sitting at mid 90’s and other times it’s in the low 90’s, which is concerning to some. I think that shows that his conditioning is not there yet, but I can’t say that for certain. Also could be because of his short arm delivery.What I can say for certain is that he has amazing run and sink on his fastball. If he can consistently sit mid 90s and have that movement, it is a plus fastball for sure. He had a solid freshman year with the Tar Heels, posting a 3.00 ERA in 48 innings, but he only had a 8.44 K/9, which is slightly disappointing for a power pitcher. Also, he walked a lot of batters, recording a 4.69 BB/9. Bergner’s Cape season has gone a bit better as he has a 9.35 K/9 and 3.11 BB/9. Hopefully Austin puts together a great sophomore year for the Tar Heels and gets drafted in the first round, I think he has the potential to do it.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this. I think that this has been my favorite post to write so far for whatever reason. Also, check out the video Matt Antonelli did on the Cape Cod League, I think you might find it interesting. If you like what you read, please follow the blog on Twitter and WordPress so that you will be notified whenever I have a new post up. Thank you.