Photo: Dave Lowenstein

Simpson's Top 300 2014 Prospects

Draft : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prospects 101-200
Prospects 201-300

Rodon In a League of His Own
Among Top Sophomore Pitchers

The 2013 NCAA Division I season kicks off in earnest on Friday, and scouts will get their first chance to bear down on some of the top arms in this year’s college draft class, notably Indiana State lefthander Sean Manaea, Arkansas righthander Ryne Stanek and Stanford righthander Mark Appel, rated the top three prospects overall.

Proportionately less attention will be focused on the top three college arms in the 2014 class, but scouts say there’s little, if anything, to distinguish North Carolina State lefthander Carlos Rodon, Vanderbilt righthander Tyler Beede and Louisville righthander Nick Burdi from their counterparts in the current draft crop.

Like Manaea, the consensus top prospect this year, Rodon is ranked No. 1 overall in his class. Both are hard-throwing southpaws capable of reaching the mid- to high 90s with ease, and have excellent overall command.

Like Appel, Beede is a former unsigned first-round pick. Appel was selected eighth overall in 2012 by the Pirates after his junior year at Stanford, while Beede passed up a first-round offer in 2011 out of a Massachusetts to attend college at Vanderbilt. Both pitchers have similar stuff.

Like Stanek, who may be the hardest thrower in this year’s college class with a fastball that has routinely reached the upper-90s, Burdi is the acknowledged hardest thrower in the 2014 class—and has even upstaged Stanek on numerous occasions by reaching triple digits.

Rodon, Beede and Burdi headline Perfect Game’s latest look at the Top 300 Prospects in the 2014 class, though they don’t rank 1-2-3 overall as the top of the board has been sprinkled more liberally with some exceptional high-school talent. Rodon, though, stands out as a clear No. 1.

Catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson (Rancho Bernardo High, San Diego), shortstop/righthander Nick Gordon (Olympia High, Windermere, Fla.) and righthander Touki Toussaint (Coral Springs Charter High, Coral Springs, Fla.) are the top three rated high-school players in next year’s class.


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