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Home » Draft Insider Forum » College player observations - Weeks 1-3

Insider-based subscribers can receive updates and reports from the PG staff on some of the top draft-eligible players from across the nation.
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3/6/2013 10:10:11 AM

Posts: 44
Welcome back to the PG Draft Forum! Based on the number of views the threads have received, I know you're out there and welcome you to participate in the conversation.

Obviously the college season started several weeks ago, and I have been able to catch some games on TV and online. Kendall Rogers covers the sport like no one else between his own daily features, tweets and posts on his blog. I plan to continue to use this forum to share my own thoughts from the players I am able to see over the course of the spring.

That will include (weather permitting) taking in the expected Sean Manaea/Tom Windle matchup at the Metrodome next week as Indiana State travels to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota.

I'm going to start with one of my favorite players eligible for the 2014 draft:

Michael Cederoth: Built tall and strong with a high waist, very projectable and without a doubt you're going to hear comparisons to Stephen Strasburg between now and next June due to SDSU connection. Cederoth doesn't have Strasburg's electric overall repertoire, or command, but he throws hard (reports have him up to 97/98 this spring, sitting in the 93-95 range) and has a potentially dominant breaking ball. What is most impressive is the way he throws, using his size incredibly well to throw on a downward plane. Physically, and his delivery, are very reminiscent of Kevin Gausman, another player I was (am) very high on.

Adam Choplick: A very big-bodied freshman LHP that has been handling the Sunday role behind Oklahoma's exciting Friday/Saturday combo of Dillon Overton and Jonathan Gray. Choplick's stuff isn't nearly as electric as those two, but for his age, and size, he does a pretty good job commanding his 3-pitch repertoire. The biggest question with Choplick is how much better can he get? He's 6-8/260 or so, but looks to throw in the upper-80s, topping out in the low-90s in the early innings. He can add/subtract off of his curveball, and throws a changeup that he currently lacks feel for but there's enough there to get better. His breaking ball lacks consistent bite at this stage (or at least in this game), but again, there's enough there to build off of and he can throw it for strikes. Physically he resembles Brett Mooneyham, with broad shoulders, and is pretty smooth and repeats well for a big guy.

Dillon Overton: Oklahoma's Friday starter, has been enjoying very good season outside of Friday's start against Scott Frazier and Pepperdine. If you watched this game is was really boring, as neither team looked particularly enthused to be out on the field. It was cold and damp, which may have played a part in this. Overton did have 7 Ks through 3 IP, giving up all 6 runs in the 4th inning (going 6 innings in the game). He has a pretty big leg kick, which he even uses at times out of the stretch. His delivery is very smooth and repeatable, and he moves the ball around well in the strike zone. He doesn't have big velo (reports on the velocity of all Oklahoma pitchers is exaggerated from what I've heard), but he can still dial it up to the low-90s. He also throws a nice changeup with the perfect/exact arm action as his fastball, serving as the perfect 'slow ball.' He needs to tighten up his breaking ball which currently is a slurvy sweeper, but again, he may show better with this pitch other weeks. It's easy to see why he's gaining steam as a 1st rounder come June.

Scott Frazier: His start was similar opposite of Overton in that he went 6 innings, but gave up one huge inning in a 7-run third. Frazier is huge, iwth an exaggerated, multi-piece delivery and obvious emotions expressed on the mound. He commands his fastball well, with reports on it being up to 96-97 this spring. Similar to his past profile, he has yet to develop consistent secondary offerings, but it is clear he is working to develop these pitches. Even during the big 3rd inning, he wasn't hit that hard, although quite a few balls were hit in the air. Basically, without much of a breaking ball or off-speed pitch his fastball is exposed that much more no matter how hard it is thrown. He did throw one incredibly nasty curveball to close out the 5th inning, so it's in there, he just needs to find it more often. As it stands right now he could develop into a one-inning reliever with a big fastball in the mold of Kyle Farnsworth.
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3/6/2013 10:19:39 AM

Posts: 44
Like any year, you can watch a lot of Florida baseball from afar. I think I saw 50-70 of Nolan Fontana's at-bats while with the Gators, and that type of exposure allows you to draw some pretty solid conclusions, especially over a 3-year span. With a young squad, I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing in 1-2 years with some of their current players.

Jonathon Crawford: Without a doubt there are going to be questions about Crawford's delivery, as he appears to throw across his body with some effort on his arm. He is an excellent overall athlete as he quickly passes the eye test, and if a team believes his arm can hold up over time you have all of the pieces for a frontline starter for years to come. His stuff wasn't the best on this day (last Friday vs. Miami), and he has always been better when he keeps his stuff down in the zone. When thrown down in the zone his fastball shows excellent life, and hitters have had a very hard time driving the ball at all. He induces a lot of ground balls with this pitch and his slider, which also is an explosive offering. His curveball is more of a show-me pitch that he's able to drop in for strikes. He does elevate his fastball for more velocity, but again, just isn't as effective when pitching like this.

Jay Carmichael: A freshman serving a big role in the Gators' bullpen, Carmichael threw the final 3 frames of their game against Miami on Friday, striking out 5 despite giving up the go-ahead run in the 9th. He actually had recorded 2 quick outs in the 9th, throwing almost entirely nasty sliders, before giving up a single, stolen base, and another single. That slider is a really nice pitch. He needs more consistency with it, but has the ability to drop it in for strikes, backdoor it on RH hitters and bury it in the dirt for swinging strikes. His fastball has good velo and command as well. He's a lanky, skinny RHP with plenty of room for added strength. He'll need to work on repeating his delivery better, and if he throws a changeup I didn't see it in this game. He should be starting for the Gators next season, if not later this year.

I'll have more thoughts on the Gators and a couple of their opponents later on.
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3/6/2013 11:40:47 AM

Posts: 44
Tyler Beede: PG All-American in 2010. Improved command this year as opposed to last. More consistent, higher velo with his fastball with reports of him peaking at 95/96. Shows a very good changeup with the same arm speed/action as his fastball. Still working to develop more consistent breaking ball. I could see him going with more of a traditional slider, as he's currently trying to throw a slurvy curveball. Very exciting RHP prospect for 2014.

Brandon Lopez: Miami freshman SS. Very slender, athletic build with sloped shoulders. Room to add muscle/strength. Good approach at the plate with promising bat speed. Had 3 hits in this game, the most impressive of which was going with a hanging slider to lace it up the middle in the 6th inning. Easy, fluid actions all-around, including on defense. Keep an eye on him as he's a potential 1st rounder in 2015.

David Thompson: Miami has quite the pair of promising freshmen, although Thompson also plays QB for the Hurricanes, clouding his future on the diamond. Obvious, powerful build. Very good bat speed, shows ability to make adjustments and take pitches. Struck out swinging on Carmichael fastball in 7th (after he got 2 strikes trying to bunt), but made up for it by hitting sharp RBI single on slider to drive home the go-ahead run. I really look forward to seeing him play again, as he's going to hit some big home runs with his swing/approach/strength.

Sean Dwyer: Florida Gulf Coast OF. Mature, stocky yet athletic build. Good approach at plate, shows interesting power potential. Went 4-6 in games vs. Florida, including turning on a high FB for a 3-run go ahead HR in the 11th inning.

Michael Suchy: Another FGCU OF, plays CF now, likely corner OF down road. Big guy with obvious strength, well put together, narrow lower half with room for added strength; Upper body already pretty well developed. One of NWL top prospects last summer. Big uppercut swing with obvious power potential. Seems to swing for the fences every time up, needs to rely on hand/wrists/bat. Made a really nice diving catch game.

Harrison Cooney: FGCU reliever making waves this spring. Very good athlete with easy, repeatable delivery. High-waist build, slow wind, quick arm. Throws strikes with fastball. Telecast said he was up to 96, but take that for what it's worth (first-hand observations do have him in similar range). Threw mostly fastballs early, inducing groundballs and getting weak swings. Leaves ball up at times. Needs to improve off-speed, not surprising since he's a converted C. A handful of curveballs showed promise, but need added velo, break and consistency in command. Changes release on breaking ball. Can also spike what looks like a slider in dirt.

Florida players:

Eric Hanhold: Saw back-to-back appearances. One of the top prospects for the 2015 draft, but has a lot of work ahead of him. Very raw, but very projectable. Very good size/strength with room for more. In 1st appearance recorded only 1 out and responsible for 3 runs (only 1 earned). Command/consistency issues, but very promising fastball/curveball combo. 2nd outing came out and visibly different (cut his moppy hair, I like to think it was because of his previous appearance). Has a very similar build to Jameson Taillon, similar upside as well. Looks like a potential workhorse. Changeup there but needs work.

John Magliozzi: PG All-American in 2010. Shorter stature with good, not great stuff. Pounds the strike zone. Sharp breaking ball that he can drop in for strikes or out of the zone for swings and misses. Stays composed/cool on mound. Likely future middle reliever/swing-man, serving in expanded role for Gators this spring that likely will get a ton of appereances.

Zack Powers: Is what is quickly defined as a "professional hitter." Good approach, swing path. Keeps his hands in and is short to the ball. His power stroke, which everyone knew was there, is starting to materialize more in games. Still somewhat of a tweener in that his actions aren't ideal for 3B and his power potential isn't idea for 1B. Profiles as a LH hitting Shea Hillenbrand.

Richie Martin: Freshman SS that will hold position down for 3 years just like Nolan Fontana did ahead of him. Very polished baseball player, plays the game the right way and very instinctive. Upside at plate is limited similar to Fontana due to smaller stature and limited strength. Plays SS well with quick hands/feet and accurate arm.

Taylor Gushue: Very interesting prospect with power from both sides of the plate as a switch hitter. Has good bat speed with very good extension and overall power potential but likely will always be prone to Ks. Has a strong throwing arm but also has some work to do behind the plate defensively. Provides a good target and can handle talented, hard-throwing staff.

Corey Stump: Low 3/4 LHP with good size/proportions/high waist. Not overpowering, but should be very effective throughout career and at next level against LH hitters at the very worst. Needs to sharpen breaking pitch, but could serve as a specialist as-is.

Ryan Harris: Broad shoulders, stocky build, one of the top prospects in the NWL last summer. Strong base generates torque from bottom up. Throws curveball for strikes -- not a huge breaker, but effective. Overthrowing with fastball in game I saw, but saw him spot better last summer. Future short reliever given current profile, but I'm a little surprised he's not getting a chance to start for Gators.

Limited looks at: Josh Tobias, former PG All-American, I really like his approach to the game but likely will have a hard time finding proper defensive home given upside offensively. Smaller athlete that can put a charge in the ball but may be best at 2B if he can play there. Daniel Gibson, can dial FB up to 93/94 at times, working upper-80s to low-90s, but hasn't received as many opportunities as you think he would with shaky overall staff. Seems to be used as a lefty specialist, but has good enough stuff to get RH hitters out at college level.
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