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2011 Draft: Day 3 Preview

Oh yes, you best believe that I would reload the draft board for day three. Honestly, the MLB talent is likely gone, but you never know.

The third day is about taking flyers on prep guys certain to go to college (such as a guy on my top 33 list still hanging out there, Trent Gilbert). It is about taking guys to fill out the short-season rosters. It will also be about doing a few favors for players, coaches, and scouts in organizations. There should be some fun names that come off the board in the waning rounds. There always are.

Personally, I wish that more teams emphasized college seniors in the third day. There are lots of quality ballplayers that may not ever make the majors, but have had great collegiate careers. Not only are they nice guys to fill out short season rosters with, but it's good for the sport to recognize these guys. It's a big deal to get drafted by an MLB team, no matter the round. How cool would it be to get paid to play baseball too, even if for only a few months?

So, today's list is mostly a collection of productive college players that don't necessarily project to the pro level. There are lots of them, and this is my little way of letting some of them know that somebody out there pays attention and salutes the job you've done on the field.

Without further ado, the players:

Remaining from the top 33:
  • INF Trent Gilbert

Remaining from the day 2 preview
  • C Jeremy Schaffer
  • 1B D.J. Hicks
  • 2B Marquis Riley
  • SS Julius Gaines
  • 3B Trenton Moses
  • RHP Mason Radeke
  • RHP Bo Reeder
Other players of note (in alphabetical order):
  • Andrew Barbosa, LHP, South Florida - This 6'8" senior barely pitched this year, but was quite effective, and I think he has some upside as a relief prospect.
  • Steven Brooks, OF, Wake Forest - Didn't make as much contact as you'd like to see, but the walk rate and speed are appealing. He could cut down his swings and misses somehow and carve out a solid pro career.
  • Kyle Brule, RHP, Oklahoma Baptist - 65/10 K/BB ratio as a senior reliever in 49.2 IP of work. The level of competition isn't elite, but that kind of production will do for me this late in the draft.
  • David Chester, 1B, Pittsburgh - Listed at 6'5", 270, Chester is an intimidating presence at the plate, and he gets his fair share of walks and home runs. He is a senior.
  • Tony Cingrani, LHP, Rice - Highly productive senior closer for a solid baseball program. Oops, he was picked 114th overall by the Cubs. Should have looked for "Anthony" instead of "Tony."
  • Dave Ciocchi, 1B, Binghamton - He doesn't have much power, but has some speed and makes solid contact. Perhaps he isn't limited to first base, and with some versatility to carve out a bit of a pro career.
  • Peter Copa, 3B/1B, Massachusetts - He's got a little pop, a little speed, and all around nothing too bad in his hitting line.
  • Chas Crane, 3B/OF, Winthrop - Chas had an unexpected power outage this spring, but it might be due to getting pitched around. He walked a ton, and also struck out a ton. He might be a one-tool batter (patience), but some power might return if he doesn't press to hit pitches that might have been intended as unintentional intentional balls. I don't know, but he's also a switch hitter, and it is day three after all.
  • Joey Denofrio, RHP, California - He barely pitched this year, but was good in his limited innings. This would be a shot in the dark if someone took him, but he part of a program slated to shut down. He might sign, and you never know what he could become.
  • Quintavious Drains, RHP, Jackson State - Gotta love the name. Doesn't he sound like a candidate for the Name of the Year bracket? He's also got some respectable numbers as a starter.
  • Marty Gantt, OF, College of Charleston - Gantt is a bit undersized, but uses it to his advantage to draw lots of walks. He also has good speed, and a little bit of power.
  • Richie Goodenow, LHP, Lipscomb - While Goodenow is among the best hitters on his team, I think any sort of pro potential is on the mound. His numbers are pretty bad, but he has a good strikeout rate without many walks. I wonder if focusing on pitching would allow his command to improve so he isn't hit quite as hard. It's a long shot, but this is the third day of the draft.
  • Ross Heffley, 2B, Western Carolina - I love guys with big numbers, and Heffley sports a .400 batting average with double-digit doubles and homers, as well as more walks than strikeouts. Western Carolina is a solid program too. He's worth drafting.
  • Ryan Jones, 2B, Michigan State - Jones looks like a scrappy senior on paper. He doesn't have much power, but makes contact and draws walks. He also doesn't have a great stolen base percentage, but runs a fair amount.
  • Matt Juengel, 3B, Texas A&M - Not a senior, but he showed some speed with at least gap power, and an ability to possibly stick in the infield. Strikeouts are a bit of a concern, but he's still available, and I think he's got a chance to stick around the pros a while.
  • Colin Kaepernick, RHP, Nevada - Some football players get picked every year, and I think someone will take the former Wolfpack QB. Colin has pitched in his past, and reportedly can get the ball into the low 90s. He's destined to be a 49er, but with the NFL lockout, could he possibly play for a month or two in a short-season baseball league?
  • Matt Larkins, RHP, UC Riverside - Senior reliever with very good numbers across the board.
  • Matt Leeds, INF, College of Charleston - Tons of homers and strikeouts, 'nuff said.
  • Trey Karlen, INF, Tennessee-Martin - I noticed him last year, and he caught my attention again this year. The stolen bases suggest good speed, and I think he has at least gap power.
  • Will Locante, LHP, Cumberland - Locante used to be at Tennesee, and is a junior. Control is his biggest demon, but the strikeout rate is impressive. Another oops. He went 334th overall to the D'Backs.
  • A.J. Miller, C, Lafayette - This senior emerged as the best hitter in the Patriot League this year.
  • Brandon Miller, C, Samford - The quintessential slugging catcher that strikes out way too much, and there are always questions about how well power translates from smaller schools. It's day three though, where there is no such thing as a bust. I'd consider taking a chance on those dingers.
  • J.T. Odom, RHP, Mercer - I think Odom might be a legitimate deep sleeper in this draft. His numbers are fantastic in relief, and he's got a track record to back it up.
  • Eric Phillips, 2B, Georgia Southern - A middle infielder with some speed and at least a bit of gap power.
  • Andrew Rash, OF, Virginia Tech - Lots of home runs and strike outs, but in the ACC.
  • Caleb Reed, RHP, Mississippi State - He's undersized, but produced at a high level out of the bullpen at an SEC school.
  • Tyler Robbins, INF, Dallas Baptist - What jumps off the page for me with this senior is a very high walk rate. I think he's a feared hitter, and even with potentially getting pitched around, he has some solid power numbers.
  • Kevin Tokarski, INF, Illinois State - Tokarski had an insane year last year, though it seemed to be driven a bunch by luck. That's been backed up by a less impressive campaign this year, but the speed and patience is still there.
  • Trever Vermeulen, RHP, South Dakota State - The Dakotas aren't known as a baseball breeding ground, but this undersized reliever has been awfully tough to hit this year.
  • Dave Walkling, RHP, Penn State - Walkling is an unfortunate name for a pitcher, but he had a nice year out of the Nittany Lions bullpen.
  • Terrance Washington, RHP, Jackson State - While he is a bit wild, his high strikeout rate is intriguing, especially at this stage of the draft.
  • M.L. Williams, OF, Lipscomb - He's got good speed, but strikes out too much. Shortening his stroke might fix that, and it wouldn't hurt his value much because it is all about speed for him.
  • Brad Zebedis, C/1B, Presbyterian - Someone better take a chance on this gaudy stat line. A third oops. He's just a sophomore.
  • Mark Zecchino, RHP, Virginia Tech - Redshirt junior with Tommy John surgery in the past - but also the owner of a nice K rate and maybe a bit of bad luck that drove his ERA up.
  • Chad Zurcher, INF, Memphis - This senior batted over .440 with no power, but also a nice walk rate and few strikeouts. He has a bit of speed too.
Knowing my history with day three, not all of these guys will get drafted. We will find out for sure what happens tomorrow. It's pretty much a pure guessing game this late in the draft, because it is mostly about whomever caught scout's eyes for each individual team. These are some of the guys that I stored away in the back of my head as I looked through numbers.