Photo: Vanderbilt

Team USA prospect reports

Summer Collegiate : : Rankings
Frankie Piliere        
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Perfect Game summer collegiate top prospect index

The list below is comprised of any player that participated with the Collegiate National Team this summer, regardless if they made the final roster. The thoughts shared below are based mostly on the first-hand observations of Frankie Piliere combined with polling with national level scouts and directors.

1. Carson Fulmer, rhp, Vanderbilt (JR)
It came as a surprise to essentially no one that Fulmer was a standout performer for the Stars and Stripes this summer. The baseball world watched him become an indispensable part of a staggeringly talented Vanderbilt pitching staff during the spring, and he had plenty of airtime to shine during their College World Series run. And, he showed absolutely no signs of slowing down after moving to the rotation, then spending the summer with Team USA. He maintained his electric 93-96 mph fastball, hitting as high as 97, and missed bats on the strength of his plus 80-83 mph downer curveball. He did show his third pitch, his changeup, although he pitches mostly off the fastball-curveball combination. His delivery still has effort, but it’s been cleaned up drastically, now giving him a very real chance to be an impact arm in a big league rotation. His ability to show that to scouts puts him squarely in the top 10 overall picture when next year’s draft rolls around.

2. Robert Tyler, rhp, Georgia (SO)
The interesting catch to Robert Tyler being ranked second on this list is that he was not included on the final roster. But, he was on the initial trials roster for the Red, White and Blue Tour so for the purposes of prospect rankings, this is where he played his summer ball. And, in terms of upside, he is difficult to match. Tyler worked at 94-98 mph from a low effort delivery this summer, staying down in the zone consistently and showing an ability to change eye levels. His velocity dips only slightly to 93-96 later in his outings. He pitches mostly off that fastball, and his go-to pitch is a plus, late tumbling changeup that he throws at 84-86 mph. He’ll need to show his breaking ball more moving forward, but his powerful, 6-foot-4, 217-pound frame, low effort 70 or better fastball and good command put him right near the top of any early 2016 draft list.

3. Kyle Funkhouser, rhp, Louisville (JR)
You could find plenty of scouts who followed the USA squad this summer who might name Funkhouser their No. 1 pitching prospect on the team. It’s that closely bunched at the top of this list. Following up on an outstanding sophomore season at Louisville, Funkhouser kept on rolling this summer as he led the team with 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings of work. He checks all the boxes so to speak. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound righty has a durable frame and works from a clean, repeatable delivery. He commands his 92-96 mph fastball extremely well, and his arsenal consists of a full-fledged four-pitch mix. He’ll flash an above average slider at 80-83 mph, and also throw a slower mid-70s curveball now and then. His changeup may eventually be his best secondary, as it shows downward action and he keeps his arm speed consistent.

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