Though I’d be fairly surprised if the Diamondbacks of all teams considered either Vandy arm with their pick, I personally believe that Carson Fulmer deserves to be in the 1-1 on merit. It’s a nice place to work because being wrong is being right. Blankenhorn played home games about ninety minutes from where I grew up, so I saw him a fair amount this spring. West Virginia Wonder how he’s doing…. The lefthanded outfielder’s path to the draft included stops at Georgia State, Chipola JC, and North Carolina before finally finding a home playing for an absolutely dominant (57-6!) I would have loved to include any player that even remotely interested me, but I had to have a cut-off point somewhere. Kilichowski excelled last season with nearly a strikeout per inning thanks to a legit four-pitch mix, above-average command, and impressive size on the mound. Utah I’m not in the national media, but maybe I’ll look back and see how I overlooked him as he rises up boards next spring. Kentucky JR RHP Kyle Cody takes Ferguson’s place in the three spot (jumping all the way up from four!
The best case scenario outcome on the positive side seems to be a potential mid-rotation starting pitcher (or better) while those lower on Ragans seem him more as a pitcher who will top out as one of those quality arms that always seems to struggle with throwing enough strikes and winds up bouncing from team to team and from the rotation to the bullpen. Both guys may have hit their way into top ten round money saving pick consideration. Don’t listen to those who constantly throw the “appeal to authority” logical fallacy at you when it comes to pro teams knowing so much more than we could ever possibly imagine as outsiders. Wrenn is a burner who has looked good enough in center field at times that you wonder if he could handle all three outfield spots by himself at the same time. Irvin has his velocity back (88-92), his changeup remains a weapon, and the results (5.01 K/9 last year up to 9.10 K/9 this year) are trending in the right (healthy) direction. This pick works on multiple levels for me. He also has a plus changeup and a fastball with serious giddy-up. I love guys like Cody. Mendoza is a lefthander with size, appealing velocity, and a strong aptitude for the art of pitching.
I’m bearish on him ever hitting enough to play regularly, but it’s hard to bet an athlete like this making some noise as a potential utility guy somewhere along the way. Those are far from the most conclusive search terms I could use, but my hyperbole still wasn’t quite as bad as I feared. Convenience scouting is a thing and while I understand the pros that come with it (all of this has been talked to death in other draft reviews by now, BTW), it will always set me off just a little bit. 29. Auburn JR RHP Trey Wingenter I’ve long thought that Jeremy Martinez has been underrated as a college player, so I’m happy to get a few sentences off about how much I like him here. He has a plus arm, above-average speed, and average or better raw power. 86 – Cole Ragans Maybe he’s got a trick or two up his sleeve yet…. This Jones has gotten good yet wild results on the strength of an above-average or better fastball from the left side and a particularly intriguing splitter. If that goes off without a hitch, I think Leblanc could be the above-average regular at third that so many (myself included) thought Mike Olt could once be.
Scouting Reports Shop About Us Top Prospect Lists. The further he gets from his own Tommy John surgery, the better he’s been. He’s graceful and coordinated around the bag with quick hands, a plus arm, and above-average foot speed. He has the three pitches he’ll need to go through lineups multiple times (mid-90s FB, honest 99 peak; plus low-80s breaking ball; mid-80s changeup with promise) and more than enough deception in his delivery to make him a tough matchup in almost any circumstance. He was named the Rangers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. 11. Fulmer has had almost as much success as Buehler through two college seasons with their only significant difference coming in the former’s more common bouts of wildness. Todd Zola ranks the week's pitching as the season comes into the final stretch.
11 – Seattle Mariners – Arizona 3B Bobby Dalbec. Krook to the Braves would have made more sense, what with MLB’s secret mandate that Atlanta collect as many Tommy John reclamation projects as possible. 15. Much electronic ink was spilled on Funkhouser last season, so I’ll be brief: he’s good.
The Georgia righthander has the bigger fastball (90-96, 100 peak) and his two offspeed pitches are flip-flopped (love the change, still tinkering with his spike curve), so getting his delivery worked out enough to convince onlookers that he can hold up over 30 plus starts a year could make him the first college arm off the board. Of the many comps I threw out for him last year my favorite remains Jordan Zimmermann. If not, he’s a potential quick-moving reliever with late-inning upside. He’s an athletic outfielder who remains raw at the plate despite two years of regular playing time — making him seemingly one of forty-five of the type in this year’s top fifty — so you’re gambling on skills catching up to the tools. Scott’s power plays and his athleticism helps him both in the field defensively and on the base paths. 20. Signing nine out of your top ten isn’t necessarily a killer, but whiffing on your second round pick hurts a whole heck of a lot. Texas There were those who absolutely loved him as a mid-first round talent and long-term asset, those who liked his upside just fine but would rather another team try to get the best out of him, and those who took him off their board completely on the basis of his seemingly too strong to sign for a fair price commitment to Florida State. I won’t pretend to be the foremost expert on Kyle Roberts (287), the Rangers fifth round pick out of Henry Ford CC, but what little information I do have on the big lefthander skews positive. I also don’t fully understand Sean Miller in the tenth, but questioning picks down close to anything that starts with a 3 and ends in multiple digits is nit-picky even for me. There’s a reason Clark and Cody are back-to-back here. Villanova As it is, Jones gets the call. I did run it by somebody who has seen both guys play (Tucker as a pro, Enright as an amateur) and he said it wasn’t crazy. Minnesota’s draft has inspired me to actually take a closer look at their top ten round picks in order. There are players ranked in the twenties that may be in your top five and there are players in the thirties that may not crack somebody else’s top seventy-five. 30. There’s serious value in that. The only downside is that it makes me thing of an old friend of mine named Scott Preston who I’ve lost touch with over the years. Shelby is also really, really good. If you’ve ever wondered what the right field prototype looked liked, take a gander at the star outfielder in College Station. What part of the game does Kyle Cody generally pitch?
They checked almost every box: quick-moving college arm, well-rounded high school standouts, a power lefty and a finesse lefty, a slugger with arguably the best raw power in his class, and a college bat off to as good a pro debut as even the most enthusiastic supporter could hope.
I’ve already got 1B/OF Brian Sobieski (2017) and Central Michigan transfer LHP Grant Wolfram (2018) in my sights.
With three picks in the first, you can take a gamble like this. It may be a little out there, but a case could be made that the other Connor Jones actually has more long-term upside than the righthanded Virginia ace. As we mentioned before, some young pitchers throw with so much natural movement that they are unable to effectively harness the raw stuff with which they’ve been blessed. Both struggled some in their pro debuts — less so Blankenhorn, both in terms of raw numbers and contextually (he was a level ahead) — but retain plenty of their pre-draft future big league regular sheen. California The popular comp for Lewis has been Alfonso Soriano (originated at D1 Baseball, I believe), but I see more of Yasiel Puig in his game. Solak is a tough guy to project because so much of his value is tied up in his bat, but if he build on an already impressive first two seasons at Louisville in 2016 then he might just hit his way into the draft’s top two rounds.
Again, without giving too much away, I’ll say that I really, really like Blankenhorn’s game. A worthwhile recent example to consider, for better or worse, is Brett Cecil. Based on years of doing this — so, entirely anecdotal evidence and not hard data — I’ve found that bigger pitchers (say, 6-6 or taller) have an equal (if not higher) bust rate when compared to the smaller guys (6-0ish) that are typically associated with being higher risk. Brooks is a two-way athlete good enough to play center field or keep progressing as a lefthanded reliever with a plus approach and an all-out style of play.
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