The NCAA Super Regionals came to a close last weekend and the field is now set for the 2012 College World Series. Action kicks off today, Friday and it is a double elimination tournament up until the championship game which is a best of three series. This is a great opportunity for draft fans to catch a look at recent draftees on live television. The eight teams that will be playing in Omaha are Arizona, UCLA, Florida, FloridaState, Stony Brook, South Carolina, KentState, and Arkansas. There are a handful of top draft prospects scattered throughout this field of teams. This article will be a two part series and in part one I will take a look at Florida, Florida State, and Kent State.
First up, we have Florida who has the most top draft prospects on their team.
Mike Zunino: Zunino was the third overall pick by the Seattle Mariners and is the top draft pick playing in the CWS. He was the best college bat available in the draft as well as the top catching prospect available. Zunino is really the complete package when it comes to a catching prospect. He has all the tools to hit for a good average, with great power. He is solid all around at the plate and there is no doubt that he will stick there long term. Zunino is also said to manage the pitchers very well and is a great leader.
Brian Johnson: The Red Sox took Johnson at pick 31, the last pick of the first round. I thought the pick was a little bit of a reach especially after the slip of Johnson’s stock this spring. He’s a legit two way player but he was drafted as a pitcher where the left hander could develop into a good mid rotation pitcher. He has a good four pitch mix and all of his pitches could develop into above average pitches. He has the build to be an innings eater and with where his command and control are at, he shouldn’t take long to reach the bigs.
Nolan Fontana: Fontana was the first pick in the second round, taken at pick 61 by the Astros. He does not have any standout tools but is solid across the board. I think he has the ability to stick at short stop but he would fit nicely at second. I think he could be an average starter and if not, a super utility guy. He should not take long at all to reach the majors.
Steven Rodriguez: I did not see Rodriguez going as high as the second round but the Dodgers picked him up at pick 82. He is a good left handed arm with a fastball in the high 80s. He should move as a reliever but he does have the ceiling as a closer. If not, he could be a useful late inning setup man and I think he could even see him in the majors by the end of this year in the Dodgers bullpen
Austin Maddox: The Red Sox take another Florida pitcher here, but this time in the third round. There seems to be now question that Maddox’s future is in the bullpen. He has an above average fastball with plus potential and an above average curve to go with. He profiles well as a back end of the bullpen guy.
Florida State also features a high draft prospect, but they don’t compare to the amount of Florida guys.
James Ramsey: The Cardinals took Ramsey at pick 23 in the first round and I thought it was a bit of a reach. It’s not that I think Ramsey is a bad player, I just think that there were a lot better college bats available at that pick. The left handed bat has a good hit tool with the ability to hit for a good average. He does not have much power potential but he has plus speed. I’m not so sure he can stick in center but he could fit in the corners or even at second base.
Jayce Boyd: Boyd was drafted in the 6th round by the Mets, and I think he was good value there. He has done nothing but hit at Florida State and he should hit for a good average at the next level. He has good power potential but many question whether or not it will ever come around. How his power develops will really affect his value as a first baseman.
Kent State did not have a player drafted very high up but their top pick came in the seventh round.
David Starn: Starn was drafted in the 7th round by the Braves. The left handed pitcher had himself a fantastic year and he was named the MAC pitcher of the year. He does not have much velocity, as he sits in the upper 80s. He has good control, command, and polish though and he does a good job mixing up his fastball, curve, and change up. He could be a solid back end of the rotation lefty.
Filed under: Draft Coverage, On the Farm - Prospects Tagged: | Austin Maddox, Brian Johnson, College World Series, David Starn, James Ramsey, Jayce Boyd, Mike Zunino, NCAA, Nolan Fontana, Steven Rodriguez