Summer Collegiate : : Rankings
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Team USA prospect reports

Kendall Rogers        

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The general consensus is the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team had just an OK summer both from a results and prospect standpoint.

On the field, Team USA compiled a 12-5 overall record and finished with a bronze medal in the final international tournament this summer.

Interestingly, four of Team USA's five losses this summer came at the hands of Cuba, which defeated them 5-3 in the second round of tournament action.

In terms of prospects, North Carolina State's Carlos Rodon Arkansas' Ryne Stanek, Florida's Jonathon Crawford and Ole Miss' Bobby Wahl are fireballers who headline Team USA's top summer prospects.

In addition to our top-20 prospect rankings for Team USA, here are 20 detailed scouting profiles and prospect reports.

Team USA Top 20 Prospects (list)

1. LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State (Sophomore)

There's little doubt Rodon is expected to be a big-time player both the rest of his career and at the professional level. The imposing, and very confident, 6-foot-3, 234-pound, lefthanded pitcher had a great freshman campaign at N.C. State, along with a heavy workload. Even then, he still had a sensational summer, appeared in five games and tallying a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings. He also struck out 21 and walked seven. As a prospect, Rodon is a big-league type of specimen. He still was touching 94-95 with his fastball well into the summer with Team USA and things just come natural for him. He's an extreme competitor with at least a couple of things that must be mastered. For instance, he needs to improve his control of the running game, and as a very aggressive pitcher, must get better at not trying to attack everything and carefully manage the game. Rodon utilizes a slider with some cut at times, while also throwing an adequate changeup.

2. RHP Ryne Stanek, Arkansas (Junior)

Everyone had been waiting for Stanek to really show his dominant stuff after his freshman campaign with the Razorbacks. Well, he did just that for the Hogs this past spring, that even despite not racking up gaudy strikeout numbers in some games. Stanek is a challenging type of pitcher and he, too, has an imposing 6-foot-4, and somewhat wiry, 180-pound frame. He has electrifying stuff, but must learn to harness things better and improve command. He's the total package at the next level if he can do those things. Stuff-wise, Stanek sits in the mid 90s with his fastball, sometimes touching 96. He also developed his changeup in impressive fashion this past spring, while he utilizes a hard slider and a curveball. This summer with Team USA, the righthander had a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings. He also struck out nine and walked just seven.

3. RHP Jonathon Crawford, Florida (Junior)

Crawford couldn't have left a better impression on Team USA coach Dave Serrano. He put together a very successful spring for the Gators, where he threw a no-hitter in NCAA Regional play. He continued his successful ways this summer, tallying a 2.10 ERA in 25 2/3 innings of work with 13 strikeouts and 11 walks. As a prospect, Crawford has a big-time fastball that topped out at 95-96 at times during the spring and summer. In addition to his fastball, his slider was a plus pitch this summer, and he also utilizes a good change up, though he didn't use it much this summer. Crawford, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, is very competitive and has the tools to be a special player at the next level, assuming he fixes a few hiccups in his mechanics. 

4. RHP Bobby Wahl, Ole Miss (Junior)

Wahl has been quite the success story over the last year. He had his freshman campaign cut short because of an injury two seasons ago before being thrown into the SEC thrust right off the bat as a starter this past spring. Well, he didn't flinch. Wahl put together a great season, and pitched extremely well in the College Station Regional, setting the tone for summer play with Team USA. There, he served as closer with a 1.17 ERA in 7 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out nine and walked five. Wahl, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder, has electric stuff. His low-to-mid 90s fastball jumps out of his hand and he has a great breaking ball. He has great feel of his pitches and has great work ethic. He didn't have a busy summer because of the innings logged in the spring. The big key for him between now and the spring is bulking up a bit, as he's not as imposing as pitchers such as Rodon and Stanek.

5. 3B Kris Bryant, San Diego (Junior)

Bryant certainly fits the mold of someone with a professional-grade body. Standing at 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, Bryant is quite the imposing figure and does a fantastic job of filling up the batter's box. He batted .271 with nine singles, three doubles, one triple, three homers and 10 RBIs this summer. He also had a .368 on-base percentage. Bryant is athletic for his size and can play a multitude of positions. He primarily served as a third baseman, but can play first and played in the outfield at times this summer. Bryant has big-time power in his bat, and showed consistency this past spring at USD. An elite prospect, the only knock against Bryant is that perhaps he isn't the most emotional player out on the field.

6. 3B D.J. Peterson, New Mexico (Junior)

The general sentiment about Peterson during the spring was that he was one of the best pure hitters in college baseball the past few seasons -- if not the best pure hitter. And that came from more than one coach. Well, Peterson also made quite an impressive this summer with Team USA. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, didn't skip a beat with a wood bat this summer, hitting only .241, but also recording 14 hits, eight singles, two doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs. Peterson will be a run producer at the next level and has some serious pop in his bat. He's a much better athlete than many give him credit for and impressed Team USA coaches with his running ability around the bases. Still, his calling card at the next level will be his big-time bat.

7. LHP Marco Gonzales, Gonzaga (Junior)

Just go ahead and call Gonzales this year's version of Florida's Brian Johnson. Johnson, of course, earned a strong reputation last season with his ability to hit and pitch, while also being a lefty with a fastball touching 90-92. Well, that's exactly Gonzales's calling card, too. Gonzales hit .250 in a limited number of at bats this summer, while also tallying an impressive 2.82 ERA in 22 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 29 and walked five. Gonzales is the ultimate college pitcher. He has an impressive ability to throw his fastball anywhere in the strike zone, while he utilizes a plus changeup that sometimes acts like a screwball. He has an above-average curveball that he doesn't use much. His slider emerged as a top pitch this summer.

8. OF Michael Lorenzen, Cal State Fullerton (Junior)

Some have cooled a bit on Lorenzen, and that's not necessarily an incorrect opinion. After all, Lorenzen has consistency issues at the plate for the Titans this past spring, while he hit just .171 with one RBI for Team USA this summer. Still, the wiry 6-foot-3, 185-pounder, has outstanding speed and can be used in a variety of roles. Lorenzen, as a position player, has all the skills to be a very good player at the next level. In addition to being a great defensive outfielder and a speedster, he tops out in the mid 90s with his fastball out of the bullpen. In the end, though, his offensive production must be more consistent. He tends to put too much pressure on himself, causing poor results at times. Lorenzen should have an excellent junior campaign for the Titans.

9. UT Trea Turner, North Carolina State (Sophomore)

Turner made an outstanding first impression with N.C. State this past spring, showing consistency at the plate and excellent speed in the field and around the bases. Turner played third base in the spring, but shifted to second base for Team USA this summer. There he batted .320 with 16 hits, 13 singles, three doubles, and three RBIs. He also had an outstanding .493 OBP. Team USA coaches compared Turner a lot to former Cal State Fullerton star outfielder Gary Brown because of his exceptional speed, among other traits. He can do remarkable things in the field and could move to shortstop for the Wolfpack in 2013. Turner will elevate his stock is he can make that transition, while also serving as the ultimate leadoff hitter. Electric is the best way to describe Turner, and the sky is the limit for him both collegiately and at the next level.

10. OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State (Sophomore)

Few young players made as much of an impression as Conforto during his freshman campaign with the Beavers. The 6-foot-1, 211-pounder, showed massive power in his first season at OSU. However, he suffered a tough injury this summer, hurting his foot after fouling a ball off it. Still, Team USA's coaches saw what they needed -- Conforto is a big-time power hitter with the ability to be one of college baseball's overall elite hitters, and the same at the next level. This summer, Conforto hit .213 with two homers and 10 RBIs only in 47 at bats.

11. RHP Trevor Williams, Arizona State (Junior)

Williams was a consistent contributor for the Sun Devils this past spring and served the same type of role this summer, making five appearances and tallying a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings. He also struck out five, walked five. Williams has an imposing 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame, and is a big-time power pitcher, topping out at 96 for Team USA this summer. Williams still needs to develop his secondary stuff to become a dominant pitcher at the next level, but has the attitude. Williams was highly competitive throughout the summer and showed serious toughness. He showed great makeup.

12. RHP Dan Child, Oregon State (Junior)

Talented freshman lefthanded pitcher Jace Fry garnered more attention for the Beavers this past spring, but with him out for the 2013 campaign, things could very well become the Dan Child show. Scouts will love Child when they see him in the spring. He has a big-league body with a 6-foot-5, 225-pound, frame. This summer with Team USA, he made six appearances and had a 3.00 ERA in nine innings. He also struck out eight and walked four. As a prospect, Child sat anywhere from 90-94 with his fastball, but struggled early in the summer with command of all his pitches. Child still must develop his secondary stuff, though, his slider was a decent pitch at times. Child has downward plane on his pitches and can be tough for right and lefthanded hitters to touch up. He has heavy stuff and looks to be a rising name in the spring.

13. RHP Adam Plutko, UCLA (Junior)

Plutko certainly isn't going to blow anyone away with a power fastball, but has a good fastball with near impeccable command with all of his pitches. Plutko had an outstanding spring with the Bruins and followed that campaign up with a good summer. He tallied a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. He also struck out 12 and walked five. Plutko is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and does an outstanding job of changing speeds. He pitches above the zone at times and is widely known as a fly-ball pitcher. He did a great job this summer, though, of keeping his fastball and changeup down in the zone at times. He also utilizes decent offerings of a curveball and slider, neither plus pitches. Plutko is a very consistent, big-time competitor.

14. OF Austin Cousino, Kentucky (Sophomore)

If not for Oregon State's Michael Conforto, Cousino could've very well been the top freshman outfielder in college baseball this past spring. Cousino was very consistent for Kentucky and showed good athleticism with a good feel for the game. Cousino is only 5-foot-10, 178 pounds, but is a spark plug type of player. This summer, he batted .351 with nine singles, four doubles and five RBIs. He also had a very solid .479 OBP. In addition to his qualities as a good hitter with a nice lefthanded stroke, Cousino, admittedly undersized, is an exceptional defensive player in the outfield. Cousino is a high energy, exciting prospect to watch.

15. RHP Jake Reed, Oregon (Sophomore)

With the Ducks losing Christian Jones to an injury before the 2012 season, Reed was thrown into the fire earlier than expected. He didn't disappoint as he compiled some outstanding numbers in his first season. Reed also did well this summer with Team USA, tallying a 2.08 ERA in 8 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out eight and walked three. Reed, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder, throws from a lower arm angle, has a quick arm and does a nice job of moving the ball around the strike zone. Reed pinches with some sink and has a fastball that sits 88-91. Reed will need to master his off-speed offerings as a front-line guy for the Ducks in 2013. He pitched mainly off his fastball this summer, while also mixing in a slider and changeup. Reed also is an athletic pitcher with upside.

16. 3B/C Jose Trevino, Oral Roberts (Sophomore)

Trevino, much like the other sophomores on Team USA this summer, really jumped on the scene in the spring for ORU. In addition to being a consistent hitter from a batting average standpoint, he showed big-time power for the Golden Eagles. This summer, he hit .263 with seven singles, two doubles and seven RBIs. Trevino, a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder, is a big-time competitor who still is looking at other positions. Though he played third base at ORU in the spring, he showed to be a very serviceable catcher this summer. He also could play the outfield if given the opportunity. He has a great approach at the plate with good feel for the game. Some with Team USA feel like Trevino will be a catcher at the next level, but there's time for that to be figured out.

17. OF Johnny Field, Arizona (Junior)

Field was instrumental in helping the Wildcats win the national title over South Carolina this spring. He followed that up with a solid summer, hitting .261 with nine singles, two doubles,  a home run and nine RBIs. The 5-foot-10, 194-pounder, certainly isn't an elite prospect at this point his career, but he's a very high energy and competitive player with great makeup and potential. Though he played outfield for the Wildcats this past season, some with Team USA believe he is better suited at second base at the next level. Could mold into a Dan Uggla type of player.

18. SS Adam Frazier, Mississippi State (Junior)

Frazier was very much a key contributor for the Bulldogs this past spring. In addition to having a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio, he hit for a solid average and was an outstanding defender at shortstop. This summer with Team USA, Frazier batted .059 in just 17 at bats. Frazier is very much known for his defensive abilities. Though he doesn't have a great arm just yet, he has great instincts and does a tremendous job of making the tough, and easy, plays in the field. Frazier could move to second base at the next level. This summer, Frazier was slick at shortstop and showed he could play three positions in the infield. Had good hands and actions. Proved to be a little light with the wood bat, something that must improve.

19. SS Kyle Farmer, Georgia (Senior)

Farmer decided to return to Georgia as a senior after getting drafted in the 35th-round by the Yankees this past June. Farmer, who has a variety of good qualities, should be a big-time contributor for the Bulldogs in the spring. This summer, Farmer batted .250 with eight singles, five doubles and eight RBIs. Farmer was an excellent defender for Team USA this summer and came up with several clutch hits. The drawback on Farmer is that there's not one part of his game that is excellent all the time from a prospect standpoint. Still, he's one of those steady guys who likes to contribute without being flashy. Though he plays shortstop right now, he could end up catching at the next level.

20. RHP David Berg, UCLA (Sophomore)

Berg is one of the best stories of the year in college baseball. He entered college at UCLA as a walk-on, but certainly should find his way to a scholarship at some point in his Bruins career. Berg was phenomenal for UCLA this past spring, finishing near the top of the nation in number of appearances, consistent appearances that is. Berg only threw his fastball in the 80-82 range this summer, though, he topped out at 84 at times in the spring. He also utilizes a slider and changeup, while his fastball from the sidearm slot has some unbelievable sink. Berg has good movement on all his pitches and finds ways to miss the barrel. Berg doesn't have a lot of upside as a prospect, but he is what he is -- an outstanding college pitcher with a unique ability to get hitters out.

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