College : : Story
Monday, February 13, 2012

Top 100 College Seniors

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Bethune-Cookman

Top 100 Juniors
Top 100 Sophomores
Top 100 Freshmen

Late Injury to Texas Lefty Stafford Throws Curve At College Senior Crop


College seniors are often viewed in a disparaging way in the baseball scouting community, sort of like that ugly step sister.

Over the last decade, just six seniors have been selected in the first round of the draft, the last coming in 2008 when the Seattle Mariners took University of Georgia righthander Josh Fields with the 20
th overall pick. Big-leagues teams will often draft a senior in the early rounds as a cost-saving measure, knowing that demographic has little or no bargaining leverage.

No college senior is projected to be drafted in the first round this year, but Texas lefthander Sam Stafford and Miami (Fla.) catcher Peter O’Brien are the logical candidates to draw close enough scrutiny to warrant being in the first-round mix for some clubs, based on their 2011 draft standing.

Stafford (Yankees/2
nd round, 88th overall) and O’Brien (Rockies/3rd round, 107th overall) are the highest unsigned college picks from last year, and rank 1-2 on Perfect Game’s list of the nation’s Top 100 college seniorsfor the 2012 draft.

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Stafford has impressive raw stuff with a fastball up to 94 mph, while flashing a solid 12-to-6 curve. As a junior at Texas, he went 6-2, 1.77 with 42 walks and 91 strikeouts in 81 innings.

Stafford was expected to be the Longhorns ace this season, until it was determined through an MRI late last week that he will need shoulder surgery to correct a nagging shoulder injury. He is expected to be out for the year. That scenario will in all likelihood profoundly impact his draft status in June, with the most-likely scenario that he will return to Texas next year as a red-shirt senior.

O’Brien hit .304-14-69 as a junior at Bethune-Cookman, and was recently granted a waiver by the NCAA that allowed him to transfer to Miami for his senior year without being forced to sit out a year. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound O’Brien has two first-round quality tools in his raw power and arm strength, and could edge his way towards the first round this spring if he can approach the numbers he posted in his breakout sophomore year, when he hit .384 with 20 homers.

While Stafford and O’Brien warranted being early-round picks as seniors on the basis of their superior talent—at least until the severity of Stafford’s injury was determined—several other seniors like Florida first baseman/outfielder Preston Tucker, Florida State outfielder James Ramsey and Texas A&M righthander Ross Stripling should draw close scrutiny, as well.

It’s also entirely possible that big-league teams will look at seniors in increasing numbers in the first 10 rounds this year as the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement may indirectly benefit the draft positions of college seniors. The agreement has mandated a limit on the amount teams can now spend on all their draft picks without being penalized.

Seniors could be treated as sacrificial lambs to an even greater degree than in the past, as they may be the pawns that theoretically enable teams to spend less that the designated bonus amount in select draft slots in the first 10 rounds. The team could then utilize that saving towards paying an above-slot bonus on another selection in the first 10 rounds without being penalized for exceeding their overall cap limit.

Just one college senior was drafted in the top five rounds a year ago, and 24 in total were claimed in the first 10 rounds. In every case, those players were paid a discounted bonus, with one senior, selected in the eighth round, given a signing bonus of just $5,000.

It remains to be seen how teams will strategically treat seniors this year to manipulate bonuses overall, but it’s safe to say that college seniors will impact the 2012 draft more than they did a year ago—if only because there appears to be superior front-line talent in the current senior class. Among the 100 players on the accompany list of seniors, 56 were drafted in 2011, including five in the first 10 rounds.


RK Player POS B-T HT WT School Hometown ST Last Drafted
1 *Sam Stafford LHP L-L 6-4 190 Texas Spring TX Yankees '11 (2)
2 Peter O’Brien C R-R 6-3 225 Miami (Fla.) Miami Gardens FL Rockies '11 (3)
3 Preston Tucker OF/1B L-L 6-0 215 Florida Tampa FL Rockies '11 (16)
4 James Ramsey OF L-R 6-0 190 Florida State Alpharetta GA Twins '11 (22)
5 Ross Stripling RHP R-R 6-3 190 Texas A&M Southlake TX Rockies '11 (9)
6 Jason Coats OF R-R 6-2 200 Texas Christian Plano TX Orioles '11 (12)
7 Adam Matthews OF R-R 6-1 195 South Carolina West Columbia SC Orioles '11 (23)
8 Matt Reckling RHP R-R 6-4 205 Rice Houston TX Indians '11 (22)
9 Mitch Mormann RHP R-R 6-6 255 Wichita State Manchester IA Tigers '11 (25)
10 Taylor Dugas OF L-L 5-7 175 Alabama Lafayette LA Cubs '11 (8)
11 Mark Ginther 3B R-R 6-3 200 Oklahoma State Tulsa OK White Sox '11 (14)
12 Robbie Buller 1B/OF R-R 6-6 220 Houston Baptist Sugar Land TX Never drafted
13 Austin Dicharry RHP R-R 6-4 195 Texas Spring TX Phillies '11 (41)
14 Patrick Cantwell C R-R 6-1 205 Stony Brook West Islip NY Orioles '11 (39)
15 Derek Self RHP R-R 6-2 200 Louisville Cave City KY Athletics '11 (27)
16 Derek Varnadore RHP R-R 6-3 215 Auburn Bishop GA Marlins '11 (17)
17 Zach Wright C R-R 6-2 200 East Carolina Goldsboro NC Phillies '11 (6)
18 Andrew Cain OF/RHP R-R 6-6 220 UNC Wilmington Greenville NC Brewers '11 (12)
19 Michael Palazzone RHP R-R 6-2 195 Georgia Marietta GA Brewers '11 (24)
20 Jacob Lee RHP R-R 6-1 190 Arkansas State Jonesboro AR Never drafted
21 Matt Snyder 1B L-R 6-6 215 Mississippi Centreville VA Nationals '11 (44)
22 Austin Nola SS R-R 6-0 190 Louisiana State Baton Rouge LA Blue Jays '11 (31)
23 Michael Roth LHP/1B L-L 6-1 210 South Carolina Greer SC Indians '11 (31)
24 Kevin Medrano 2B L-R 6-1 160 Missouri State Lee’s Summit MO Cardinals '11 (14)
25 Creede Simpson OF R-R 6-2 185 Auburn Auburn AL Yankees '08 (45)
26 Lincoln Rassi RHP R-R 6-1 180 Toledo Goshen IN Never drafted
27 Chadd Krist C R-R 5-11 200 California Petaluma CA White Sox '11 (13)
28 Josh Smith LHP L-L 6-4 195 Wichita State Pleasant Hill MO Brewers '11 (26)
29 Andrew Triggs RHP R-R 6-4 210 Southern California Nashville TN Giants '11 (21)
30 Jacob Stallings C R-R 6-5 215 North Carolina Brentwood TN Reds '11 (42)
31 Josh Adams RHP R-R 6-2 195 Georgia Southern Bath SC Braves ’08 (49)
32 Casey Kalenkosky 1B R-R 6-0 190 Texas State San Antonio TX Nationals '11 (13)
33 Derek Jones OF L-L 6-1 205 Washington State Snohomish WA Orioles '11 (13)
34 Jared Ray RHP R-R 6-3 200 Houston Waco TX Twins '10 (38)
35 Matt Flemer RHP/1B R-R 6-3 215 California El Cerrito CA Royals '11 (19)
36 Brett Williams OF B-R 6-0 180 North Carolina State New Bern NC Diamondbacks '11 (25)
37 Jeff Popick OF R-R 6-4 210 Colorado Mesa Lakewood CO Never drafted
38 Brandon Magee OF L-R 6-0 230 Arizona State (FB) Corona CA Athletics '11 (21)
39 Tyler Ray RHP R-R 6-1 190 Troy Hoover AL Never drafted
40 Esteban Guzman RHP R-R 6-4 230 San Jose State Fairfield CA Nationals '11 (17)
41 Mike Miller SS R-R 5-8 170 Cal Poly Concord CA Never drafted
42 Tyler Sibley 2B/SS R-R 5-10 160 Texas State Frisco TX Cardinals '11 (50)
43 David Peterson RHP R-R 6-5 190 Charleston Walnut Creek CA Astros '11 (49)
44 Jordan Remer LHP L-L 6-2 215 San Francisco Piedmont CA Rangers '11 (25)
45 David Lyon C B-R 5-11 190 Kent State Emporium PA Never drafted
46 Alex Keudell RHP R-R 6-3 200 Oregon Portland OR Twins '11 (38)
47 Levi Hyams 2B/SS L-R 6-2 200 Georgia Stafford VA Never drafted
48 Tucker Donahue RHP R-R 6-1 195 Stetson Parkland FL Rangers '11 (38)
49 Peter Verdin OF R-R 6-1 205 Georgia Alexandria VA Nationals '11 (39)
50 Willie Argo OF R-R 6-1 215 Illinois Davenport IA Pirates '11 (43)
51 Jeremy Schaffer C R-R 6-1 205 Tulane Bellaire TX Never drafted
52 Ryan Gebhart OF B-R 6-1 180 Florida Gulf Coast McGregor TX Never drafted
53 Joe Bircher LHP L-L 6-4 205 Bradley Omaha NE Never drafted
54 Austin Hall SS/RHP R-R 6-4 200 Brigham Young Danville CA Never drafted
55 Jared Womack C/OF L-R 5-11 195 Oklahoma State Tampa FL Never drafted
56 Rich Witten 1B/3B R-R 6-1 205 Coastal Carolina Danville KY Never drafted
57 Shaun Cooper OF R-R 5-10 195 Utah Tucson AZ Never drafted
58 Adam Lopez RHP R-R 6-5 220 Virginia Military Fredricksburg VA Never drafted
59 Andrew Morris RHP R-R 6-3 190 Auburn-Montgomery Prattville AL Brewers '10 (16)
60 Jake Boyd RHP R-R 6-3 200 Stetson Greenacres FL Never drafted
61 Taylor Garrison RHP R-R 6-0 175 Fresno State Murrieta CA Dodgers '11 (27)
62 Vince Voiro RHP R-R 6-4 200 Penn Cherry Hill NJ Padres '11 (47)
63 David Fischer RHP R-R 6-5 200 Connecticut Scotia NY Giants '11 (30)
64 Sander Beck RHP R-R 6-3 215 Maryland Severna Park MD Orioles '11 (33)
65 Josh Martin RHP R-R 6-5 235 Samford Enterprise AL Pirates '11 (25)
66 Jordan Steranka 3B/1B L-R 6-2 210 Penn State Pittsburgh PA Astros '11 (30)
67 Rand Ravnaas OF L-R 6-2 195 Georgetown Fort Worth TX Pirates '11 (39)
68 Joe Wendle 2B L-R 6-1 185 West Chester (Pa.) Lincoln University PA Never drafted
69 Ben Waldrip 1B L-L 6-6 245 Jacksonville State Medford MA Royals '11 (40)
70 D.J. Crumlich SS/3B R-R 6-1 195 UC Irvine Irvine CA Pirates '11 (38)
71 Sam Mulroy C R-R 5-11 200 Princeton Bethesda MD Never drafted
72 Jason Forjet RHP R-R 6-2 195 Florida Gulf Coast Fort Lauderdale FL Never drafted
73 Steve Anderson OF R-R 6-2 195 Grand Valley State (Mich.) Northville MI Never drafted
74 Mike Mason LHP L-L 6-2 205 Marshall Maumee OH Rangers '11 (23)
75 Lyndsey Caughel RHP R-R 6-3 195 Stetson Orlando FL Orioles '11 (35)
76 Pablo Bermudez OF R-R 6-0 180 Florida International Miami Shores FL Never drafted
77 Brent Suter LHP L-L 6-5 205 Harvard Cincinnati OH Never drafted
78 Casey Webber LHP R-L 6-1 170 Western Michigan Tinley Park IL Never drafted
79 Kyle Barraclough RHP R-R 6-3 180 St. Mary’s (Calif.) Santa Clara CA Twins '11 (40)
80 Tony Bucciferro RHP R-R 6-3 200 Michigan State Joliet IL Never drafted
81 Jordan Leyland 1B R-R 6-4 240 Azusa Pacific (Calif.) San Dimas CA Rays '11 (44)
82 Trent Garrison C L-R 6-0 185 Fresno State Murrieta CA Angels '11 (50)
83 Dillon Napoleon RHP R-R 6-5 200 Alabama-Birmingham Winnetka IL Never drafted
84 Kevin Gelinas LHP L-L 6-5 240 UC Santa Barbara Thousand Oaks CA Mets '10 (44)
85 Alex Radon RHP R-R 6-1 190 Toledo Sylvania OH Never drafted
86 Caleb Bushyhead SS L-R 5-11 175 Oklahoma Mannford OK Never drafted
87 Ben Carhart 3B/RHP R-R 5-11 185 Stetson Palm Beach Gardens FL Dodgers '10 (19)
88 Andrew Barbosa LHP L-L 6-8 235 South Florida San Juan PR Giants '10 (15)
89 Alex Johnson OF R-R 6-2 190 Miami (Ohio) South Euclid OH Never drafted
90 Blake Schwartz RHP R-R 6-3 205 Oklahoma City Rosemount MN Never drafted
91 David Starn LHP L-L 6-3 220 Kent State Hudson OH Never drafted
92 Jason Stolz 3B/SS R-R 6-2 205 Clemson Marietta GA Braves ’08 (31)
93 Greg Larson RHP R-R 6-8 225 Florida Longwood FL Angels '11 (29)
94 Daniel Bowman OF R-L 6-1 215 Coastal Carolina Bridgewater VA Reds '11 (38)
95 Ronnie Shaban RHP/3B L-R 6-1 205 Virginia Tech Moseley VA Orioles '11 (49)
96 Matt Shepherd RHP R-R 6-3 195 Tennessee Tech Bluff City TN Never drafted
97 Paul Snieder 1B/RHP L-R 6-2 225 Northwestern Honolulu HI Never drafted
98 Joey Housey RHP R-R 6-3 200 Oregon Hollywood FL Reds ’08 (31)
99 Owen Jones RHP R-R 6-2 180 Portland Edmonds WA Never drafted
100 Sean Deegan OF L-R 6-1 200 Penn State Somerville NJ Never drafted

*Lost for season / shoulder surgery
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