Draft | Story | 11/19/2021

Draft Board Primer: Gut Feel Guys

Brian Sakowski      Vincent Cervino     
Photo: Ian Ritchie Jr (Perfect Game)
Every year, at any given time in a draft cycle, evaluators have what they refer to as “gut feel guys,” which is to say “players I believe in more strongly than their current draft stock,” more or less. With Vinnie and I deep into updating the 2022 MLB Draft Board and all that goes with it, we thought it would be appropriate to give you all a glimpse behind the curtain, and highlight several of our own “Gut Feel Guys.” -Brian Sakowski

Ian Ritchie Jr, RHP, Bainbridge Island (Wash.)
Ritchie isn’t exactly under the radar, ranked in the top-30 of the class in the 2022 class rankings, but this is a guy that my gut feel says has a chance to go in the first round next spring, so here he is. Ritchie has the physical projection, athleticism, and stuff necessary to take a jump up draft boards in the spring as he continues to refine, and the upside of a right-handed starter with three plus pitches exists here. 

Ryan Ritter, SS, Kentucky 
Ritter was one of the major pieces of the 2020 JUCO class, heading to Kentucky after a single season at John A. Logan, and started at shortstop for the Wildcats right away in 2021. Ritter is a bigger-than-normal shortstop, and given how much room for strength gains exists on his frame, the projection for his power to make a big leap and rocket him into the first round in 2022 isn’t outlandish. He can defend, is a good athlete for his size, and has shown good hitting tools. If the power comes on this spring, watch out.

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