Monday, February 21, 2011

2011 Draft: College Pitchers Follow List

Every year when the college baseball season begins I make a list of players to follow as we head toward the draft. Most years that potentially included every top college prospect since the Rays usually had a top 5 pick. The past couple of seasons of course that has changed, with the Rays improved records they haven’t even had a top 15 pick. When June 6th rolls around the Rays draft begins with the 24th overall pick and includes 12 selections in the first two rounds.

In the past I haven’t posted my follow lists, but I decided to share them this year because of the increased interest in the draft due to all of the picks. Remember, these are only 2011 draft-eligible college pitchers (the position players list is much longer, may post it later). There are over 4,000 college players, which is way to many to follow very closely, but much more manageable than the tens of thousands of high school players. In addition to fewer numbers, college players have a longer track record of performance to review and there is more information available from scouting sites, YouTube, and team sites.

I am intentionally leaving off players who have very little chance of falling to the Rays at #24. The pitchers I’m leaving off include: Matt Barnes (Connecticut), Trevor Bauer (UCLA), Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech), Gerrit Cole (UCLA), Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt), Danny Hultzen (Virginia), Taylor Jungmann (Texas), and Matt Purke (TCU).

Here are the pitchers remaining on the list (alphabetically), all are juniors unless noted:

Tyler Anderson (Oregon) - 6'4", 215, DOB: 12/30/89
Andrew Barbosa# (South Florida) - 6'8", 235, 11/18/87
Ryan Carpenter (Gonzaga, Rays 2008 21st round pick) - 6'5", 225, 8/22/90
Andrew Chafin* (Kent State) - 6'2", 210, 6/17/90
Adam Conley (Washington State) - 6'3", 186, 5/24/90
Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt) - 6'6", 220, 10/27/89
Sean Gilmartin (Florida State) - 6'2", 192, 5/8/90
Charlie Lowell (Wichita State) - 6'4", 245, 10/25/90
Brett Mooneyham (Stanford) - 6'5", 235, 1/24/90 (Out for season with finger surgery)
Sam Stafford (Texas) - 6'4", 190, 4/27/90

Dixon Anderson (California) - 6'6", 224, 7/2/89
Matt Andriese (UC Riverside) - 6'3", 205, 8/28/89
Jack Armstrong (Vanderbilt) - 6'7", 225, 12/14/89
Madison Boer (Oregon) - 6'4", 215, 11/9/89
Jordan Cooper* (Kentucky) - 6'3", 215, 2/16/90
Brian Dupra# (Notre Dame) - 6'3", 205, 12/15/88
Blake Forslund* (Liberty) - 6'4", 215, 2/16/90
Andrew Gagnon (Long Beach State) - 6'4", 195, 6/26/90
Cole Green# (Texas) - 6'0", 210, 5/4/89
Erik Johnson (California) - 6'2", 240, 12/30/89
Chris Marlowe (Oklahoma State) - 6'0", 165, 10/26/89
Cory Mazzoni (N.C. State) - 6'1", 194, 10/19/89
Scott McGough (Oregon) - 6'1", 185, 10/31/89
Anthony Meo (Costal Carolina) - 6'2", 185, 2/19/90
Alex Meyer (Kentucky) - 6'9", 220, 1/3/90
Tyler Pill (Cal State Fullerton) - 6'1", 185, 5/29/90
Mark Pope (Georgia Tech) - 6'2", 205, 8/29/89
Noe Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) - 6'3", 180, 12/22/89
Burch Smith (Oklahoma) - 6'3", 192, 4/12/90
Carson Smith (Texas State) - 6'5", 215, 10/19/89
John Stilson (Texas A&M) - 6'3", 195, 7/28/90
Matt Stites (Missouri) - 6'0", 181, 5/28/90
Logan Verrett (Baylor) - 6'3", 185, 6/19/90
Kyle Winkler (Texas Christian) - 5'11", 205, 6/18/90
Austin Wood (USC, Rays 2010 4th round pick) - 6'4", 220, 7/11/90
Tony Zych (Louisville) - 6'3", 188, 8/7/90

* draft-eligible sophomore
# senior

I’m not trying to be an expert on these players (I’ll only see a few of them pitch in person), but keeping track of their progress is fun and may come in handy if the Rays happen to select them. If this is something that interests you please feel free to mention pitchers I have overlooked or any news about the pitchers on the list. Hopefully I’ll have updates with news, stats, injuries, etc. as the college season unfolds.

Note: Be careful if you attempt to compare 2011 stats (for both hitters and pitchers) to prior seasons due to the new NCAA-mandated  BBCOR bat standards. The new rules regarding bats are designed to make the metal bats used in college perform more like wood bats, and decreased offensive numbers are expected.

Also, in case I don't get my position players list up anytime soon, make sure to check out Lincoln Hamilton's RENDON system for evaluating college batters using stats. Read the intro first so understand what the system does and does not do. I really like it.

[Update]: In case you missed it, Lincoln Hamilton had a chat about the college baseball opening weekend over at Project Prospect. I asked a few questions about some of the pitchers on this list and some position players of interest. Make sure to see the entire transcript, lots of good information.


  1. Excellent job. My only complaint is that Trevor Bauer could fall to the Rays. Not many like his mechnics.

  2. Bauer could fall (any of them could), but I don't think it's likely. Some are saying top 10. He had a nice first outing this weekend: 7.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts. BA had a good article about him and Gerrit Cole, Bauer sounds like an 'interesting' guy to say the least.

    Just noticed Conor Glassey has a stats summary up from the first weekend, link is here. Many of the guys on my list are included.

  3. I like Mooneyham, Alex Meyer, and Bauer the most of all these guys. I know Bauer and Meyer may not fall to us as of right now, but they still look like very good pichers.

  4. The RENDON algorithm - Does it incorporate level of competition, park factors, and the like?

  5. Really great list, Doug.

    Of the pitchers you left off the list I think that all are more than 90% likely to be gone by the 24th, except Hultzen. I see him falling to the end of the 1st round unless he has a Mike Leake-like performance.

    He simply lacks projection while I love his finesse-pitching style.

  6. Anon, the formula is secret of course, but I do know it uses park-adjusted wOBA. The rest I'm not sure. I believe some of the level-of-competition problem is solved simply by who he includes in his database to follow, ie on D1 players.

    BurGi, glad you liked it. And glad others are interested too. It's kind of off-topic for RP, but not really when you consider what's coming as far as # of picks June 6-8, unprecedented haul. Hultzen and Jed Bradley of GaTech were the final two on the left-off list. You and I seem to agree that the upside isn't there for a top 20 pick, but the consensus seems to be that he will be, so I left him off. I really wouldn't want him at #24 for the Rays anyway, hope he's off the board to someone else to worry about. Lots to like, but not enough for me.

    I didn't really say who I would like us to get, so here are my 2 favorites at LHP and RHP as of now:

    LHP - Tyler Anderson and Andrew Chafin (TJS in June 2009, missed 2010, only pitched briefly this weekend due to 'biceps tightness', not necessary at #24 but one of the supp picks, think he might fall due to lack of innings)

    RHP - Anthony Meo and John Stilson.

    If you (anyone) could pick 2 from each, who would you pick (as of the start of the college season)?

  7. Just saw this at BA College Chat about the weekend re Bradley and Hultzen:

    JAYPERS (IL): If the draft were held today, give us your top 5 picks. Thanks.

    Aaron Fitt: Rendon, Cole, Purke, Springer, Jungmann. Lots of guys in the mix after the top four — Bradley Jr., Jed Bradley, Gray, Bauer, Hultzen. Very strong college class.

    BeeYellow (ATL): LHP GT arm Jed Bradley was dominant Saturday against Kent State except against their LHH right fielder. Is Jed a 1st rounder?

    Aaron Fitt: No-doubter. Very strong chance to be a top-10 overall pick.

  8. One more from the latest Ask BA on which 2011 draft picks are represented by Scott Boras, always a concern:

    BA: Related to this subject, I usually get asked which players the Boras Corp. will be advising in the draft. Known Boras advisees include Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon (No. 1 on the Top 50), UCLA righthander Gerrit Cole (No. 2), South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley (No. 7), Starling, Searcy (Ark.) High righty Dillon Howard (No. 20), Jesuit College Prep (Dallas) outfielder Josh Bell (No. 21), Vanderbilt shortstop Jason Esposito (No. 26), Miami Dade outfielder Brian Goodwin (No. 28), Kentucky righty Alex Meyer (No. 34), Hedges, Georgia outfielder Zach Cone (No. 50), Stanford lefty Brett Mooneyham, Southern California first baseman Ricky Oropesa, Arizona State first baseman Zach Wilson and Cal State Fullerton righty Noe Ramirez.

  9. Thanks for your feedback, Doug!

    When talking about the 24th pick I really hope there's somebody falling like last year with Sale. I've hoped for Sale before the draft but thought he'd be gone with a chance of 85-90%. That said I'd hope for one of Jed Bradley (LHP), Trevor Bauer (RHP) and Matt Barnes (RHP) to fall. Otherwise I'd go with Tyler Beede (HS/RHP) or the best position prospect at the time (could be Jason Esposito (3B), Blake Swihart (C), Kolten Wong (2B) or Francisco Lindor (SS)).

    Back to topic: From the pitchers of your list (while not being an expert or knowing a lot about all of them) I like John Stilson most despite his strange and high energy delivery.

    Sad to see Esposito being a Boras client by the way. He looks like the typical Rays pick and I have him as one of my favorite options for the 24th, 31st and 32nd pick.

  10. ... oh and my favourite leftie off your list is Tyler Anderson as well!

  11. Did you see that Esposito is playing SS this year? Quite an athlete but I don't think he'll stick at SS in pro ball. Really like him but not sure if he has the power to play 3B in pros.

    Lindor should be gone by 24.

    Stilson did well in his debut as a starter, interested to see how he holds up as the season goes on with the big increase in innings.

    Wong is talented, but do we want another short 2B? We just added Price and Brett last year, rather spend a pick on something else, at least that high.

  12. Updated to note that Brett Mooneyham, LHP Stanford, will miss the season following surgery on a finger on his left hand.

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