Including today, I’ll have discussed 38 different college hitters and 47 pitchers. That’s not even half the players I’ve been scoping out. Each week, I’m adding 5-10 players to my list that I find intriguing. It’s certainly rewarding finding those underdog players, or even mentioning players just before they start shooting up prospect lists. I don’t mean to brag, but I did mention Hunter Bishop after the 2nd week of season. #humblebrag
It’s fasinating witnessing players rocket up MLB draft prospect rankings like Bishop, or see a top prospect mired in a funk that could have repercussions in this draft, not so much that Kameron Misner might fall out of the first round (which is still possible), but could end up costing him millions of dollars by just falling out of the top 10. There’s certainly more at stake for dropping a few slots in the first round than someone going from a potential 2nd round pick to the 4th or 5th round. Will Holland is another player that’s playing himself out of the first round. He’s pretty toolsy, but he’s currently sporting an ugly .627 OPS.
On a separate note and more in line with the title, there’s definitley some frustration after the first three games due to Braves pitcher’s inability to consistently throw strikes. I will include one of the top closers today that is very good at throwing strikes, but I may have to get serious about doing this each week. #MakeTheBravesThrowStrikesAgain
Baseball America (3/21) - Hunter Bishop & Brennan Malone
Also, here’s my spreadsheet that has stats (through 3/23) and some additional info. With that, let’s start discussing college prospects.
College player stock trending up
Jack Little, RHP, Stanford - Are you tired of relievers that walk everyone? Well then check out Jack Little. He had a 1.62 BB/9 last year and this year it’s sitting at 2.09 BB/9. His fastball sits 90-94 to go with a breaking ball that’s more of a slurve. So while he doesn’t have electric stuff, he just gets results. There was a pitcher last year that didn’t have overpowering stuff, but he just got outs. The Braves drafted him too in the 7th round - Brooks Wilson.
Spencer Brickhouse, 1B, East Carolina - Listed as the 110th best prospect in the draft according to both Baseball American and Fangraphs, Brickhouse is certainly to see some upward movement into the top 100. The 6’4” first baseman has seen a big increase in power this season and has done a very good job of refining his approach at the plate by improving his BB:K ratio. He’s currently slashing .386/.522/.757 with 10 HRs. His swing reminds me a little of Mo Vaughn.
Bryant Packard, LF/DH, East Carolina - Packard is coming off a season in which he hit over .400 while hitting 14 HRs. This season Packard has improved his BB and K rates, but he still isn’t the most patient hitter. The HR power has taken a dip this year, but he’s still hitting plenty of doubles. Howeever, he has hit a HR in 2 straight games, so his overall power is looking just fine. Packard is currently hitting .330/.400/.534 with 4 HRs.
Here's an open-face clip of @ECUBaseball Junior OF Bryant Packard smashing a grand slam to left-center.— Eddy Almaguer (@EddyAlmaguer) March 31, 2019
The fourth of the season for arguably a top five college outfielder. Eligible for 2019 MLB Draft, potential 3rd rounder. pic.twitter.com/hmjAL8Vm5B
Harrison Freed, OF, Butler - Freed has had an interesting three years at Butler. He had a solid freshman campaign where he showed a little power and hit over .300. Sophomore year he upped the power (48% XBH%), but suffered major contact issues. Freed has struck a nice balance as a junior. The power is down a little, but he’s making consistently good contact. His strikeout rate dropped from 23% to 14% and he’s taking more walks too. On the year he’s hitting .408/.479/.738 with 8 HRs.
Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Butler - Freed’s teammate and pitcher Repiot has been really good this season. Repiot has a solid four-pitch mix that keeps hitters off balance. He’s Top 10 in D1 in strikeouts with 68 on the season in just 42 innings. This is a guy that struck out 101 batters last season and had a solid Cape Cod. Fangraphs loves this guy rating him the 55th best prospect, while Baseball America puts him at 245. Fangraphs has a note saying he has a mid 90’s heater.
Tristen Carranza, LF, New Mexico State - One of the best hitters on a good New Mexico State team is a senior. Carranza has been a consistent player where he’s hit over .300 each of the past three seasons. The power took a big dip last year, but is back to where he was his sophomore season (over 50% XBH%). Carranza has never shown much plate disciple, but this year he’s walking at a very high level to go along with a reduced strikeout rate. He’s not a top prospect, but could be a decent senior signing who comes with some power. On the season Carranza is slashing .382/.508/.853 with 12 HRs. Not to take anything away from his offense, but let’s take a look at a slick defensive play.
Angel Camacho, 3B, Jacksonville - Camacho has been one of the hardest players to strikeout out for two straight seasons (season low 8% K-rate). In addition to making consistently good contact, Camacho has shown more power this year (already career high with 7 HRs) and has improved his walk rate to over 10%. While he is a senior, he definitley has become a more more well rounded hitter. He’s currently playing 3B, but has played 1B in the past which ups his versatility.
Jacob Kostyshock, RHP, Arkansas - If Matt Cronin weren’t on Arkansas, Kostyshock could very well be the closer. Kostyshock might be undervalued since he’s not closing games, and that could be to some teams benefit. Check out the video below and the 3rd pitch in sequence. Yeah, he’s pretty filthy. Kostyshock has a sinking fastball that sits mid 90’s, as well as a pretty sick slider. He’s also sporting an incredible 0.94 WHIP.
The Parade of Arms continues with Jacob Kostyshock @RazorbackBSB Pitch 1, 95 mph sinker. Pitch 2, 81 SL. Pitch 3, no thanks, just looking, 83 mph frisbee freezer.— David Seifert (@DSeifertD1PBR) August 8, 2018
What a fun night of @NWLbaseball pic.twitter.com/kEoWmGofGw
Ty Adcock, RHP, Elon - First we’ll talk about Adcock’s good side, which is his pitching side. Adcock has been Elon’s closer this year and it’s easy to see why since he features a fastball that gets up to 97 mph. He also shows an above average change and an average breaker. While his overall numbers aren’t great, if he focused more on pitching there could be something there. As a redshirt junior, he still has options, so a team would really have to think twice about drafting him this year.
Andre Pallante, UC Irvine - I mentioned Pallante last year as someone to keep an eye on just like Jack Little. Pallante has picked up where he left off last season with maintaining the solid walk and strikeout rates. His fastball does appear to be down a little this year (89-92 vs 92-94), but that was only 1 game in which it was reported. He does throw with effort, so he’s still likely a reliever long term. Still, he should be able to get the fastball to sit mid 90’s for short spurts.
College player stock trending down
Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri - After starting out the season on fire and getting early mentions as a guy that could even go Top 5, Misner has cooled off since facing tough competion. Mizzou has a tough schedule, and since playing top ranked teams Misner has seen his batting overage dip from almost .400 to now sitting at .267. Not only that, his K-rate jumped from around 14% to 22%. He’s just been awful, there’s no other way of putting it. He’s really shrunk in the face of good teams, not what you want in a Top 10 draft pick. He’s a toolsy outfielder, but he needs to make some serious adjustments quickly.
Ty Adcock, OF, Elon - Now let’s talk about the bad side, Adcock’s hitting. He’s never really shown much ability to hit, but yet he’s starting. He has a career .700 OPS as a college hitter. So just ignore the hitting, because he’s a reliever at the next level.
Ben Anderson, RHP, Binghampton - Anderson has not been very good for his college career so far. He’s been mostly a reliever, but is now starting as a junior. As a starter, he’s been ok, where both his K-rate and BB-rate have seen big jumps. It’ll be curious if the Braves do decide to draft Ben in the later rounds as a nod to Ian. We just shouldn’t expect much if that did happen. I can’t find anything on his pitch repitoire and I’m only including him here since he’s Ian’s twin.
Todd Peterson, RHP, LSU - LSU has been pretty good this year despite not being able to count on big arms like Zach Hess and Todd Peterson. We’ve discussed Hess before, so let’s talk about Peterson. Peterson has a fastball that can get up to 98 mph and a slider that’ll sit around 88 mph. He has dealt with weight issues due to poor diet, but reports are that’s behind him now. Even with that renewed dedication the results haven’t been pretty this year. He’s sporting a 2.12 WHIP where he’s given up a ton of hits while walking four batters per nine innings. He is carrying close to 10K/9, so there’s that. At the end of the day, he’s 6’5” and throws really hard. Someone will take a chance, but it won’t be in the top rounds.
Cameron Junker, RHP, Notre Dame - Junker has come along way. Before he couldn’t find the strikezone, but slowly but surely has improved every year. This season his BB rate is a career best 4.22. Still not great, but might be enough for someone to take a chance on him since he can throw mid 90’s. I’m including him in trending down section, because his walk rate still isn’t great even if it has improved.
Ryne Nelson, RHP, Oregon - Here’s a pitcher with an electric arm, but struggles to get outs. His fastball sits mid 90’s and maxes out at 99. His slider flashes above average and while his change has improved, it’s still very inconsistent. Nelson is going to get drafted on potential, but due to his actual performance he could see a slide.
Ryne Nelson has insane stuff. He’s a top two round pick by that standard, his ability to get outs was questionable and for that he might slip this year.— Jacob Rudner (@Jacob_Rudner) March 24, 2019
That’s it for this week. Let me know your thoughts on how some players performed this week on the diamond.