Tuesday, February 28, 2012

College draft prospect weekly recap...

This will be the debut post in what I hope to be a weekly column updating the performances and scouting reports on prospects I believe are/should be on the Twins radar. I hope to have a high school round up posted later this week, but for now let’s start with the college prospects.

Stats from Feb. 17th-26th

Mark Appel has dominated much of the Twins draft coverage so far this winter and rightfully so. In his most recent start, he turned in possibly his best career performance going 7+ innings while allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. He struck out a career high 10 and walked only 3 in a 7-2 win against #7 Texas. If he consistently has starts like this the rest of the spring, he will be all but a guarantee to go 1-1 in the draft.

Florida State outfielder James Ramsey had a fantastic first week hitting .563/.763/1.000 in 6 games against Hofstra, Jacksonville, and Florida International. The Twins took Ramsey in the 22nd round last year, and he turned down a 6 figure bonus offer from them to go back for his Sr. season. So far, he is carrying over his strong showing from the Cape this summer and looks poised to be taken at the latest in the early 2nd round. I had him as a good option for the Twins at #63, but if he continues to hit he may sneak into the supplemental round.

Brandon Kline of Virginia had a rough start to his transition from closer to starter lasting only 4+ innings and giving up 5 runs, though only 1 was earned, against Boston College. He rebounded with a better start this past week against Monmouth going 6.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits. He struck out 5 and walked 3. Kline given his size and stuff is an intriguing prospect who could go high in the supplemental round, and could be an option for the Twins at #32 if he looks like he can stick as a starter.

Oklahoma State Lefty Andrew Heaney was very good in his first start against Cal Poly, which I cover here. He was just as good, if not better, in his second start against Bowling Green. He went 7.1 giving up only 1 run while punching out 12. He did surrender 7 hits and 2 walks, but against the weaker competition was able to pitch around it. He has now struck out 22 in 14 innings, and is finally living up to some of his potential he showed coming out of high school. If he can keep it going into conference play, he may solidify his position as a supplemental round pick.

Arkansas closer Nolan Sanburn has only thrown 3 innings so far this year with a couple of k's, but mid-90's fastball and power breaking ball would be a welcome addition to a farm system lacking power arms. He would most likely be available when the Twins pick at #42.

Sanburn's teammate D.J. Baxendale, has started out well throwing 5 shutout innings against Villanova and 6.1 of three run ball against Valparaiso. He has 9 k's, 3 bb's, and has given up 9 hits in those 11 innings. As a command and control righty, he is the typical low ceiling, high floor pitcher the Twins love and he should be available when they pick at #72.

Brady Rogers of Arizona State opened his season with a good outing against Western Michigan striking out 7 over 6 shutout innings. He followed that up with 7 more shutout innings and 9 k's against Cal-Riverside. Despite averaging more than a K per inning so far Rodgers is not known as a strikeout pitcher, but more of a control artist with mediocre stuff. He should be available when the Twins pick at #63 or if he slides to #72.

Other names to watch:
University of Georgia lefty Alex Wood could move up draft boards this spring if he can show he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Through 2 starts this season he has 12 k’s and only 1 bb in 12 innings.
Cal Bear’s 2B Tony Renda could fill the Twins quota this year for drafting a short, “gritty” middle infielder in every single draft.  He has started the year hitting .435/.552/.478 and currently profiles as a mid-2nd round pick.
Kyle Hansen of St. John’s offers a ton of projection with his 6’8” frame and mid-90’s fastball, but has yet to show strong secondary stuff or consistency. He has started the year with 16 k’s and 4 bb's in 10 innings, and also currently profiles as a mid to late 2nd round pick.

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