Preseason Prospect Chat: Feb. 8


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The season is around the corner and we’ve released the 2019 College Top 350 Prospects and 2020 College Top 150 Prospects.

Here’s the chat transcript from David Seifert’s prospect chat:

DSeif: With a 90-95 mph riding life FB, a plus SL and a solid CH his three pitches project to easily being a Day 2 pick. We currently have him slotted in the 7th round, but with a full season of good health and performance, that will obviously change.

Stacey: Josh Burgmann seemed to have quite a strong fall, with his velocity increasing and poised to have a starter’s role this spring. What would you think is ceiling would be come draft time?

DSeif: Yes, prospect with a FB touching 94 in short stints, otherwise more 90-91. Fringe breaking ball, will show an average CH. Will be tough for his #s to transfer. Even though he pitched for one of the top JCs in the country last season, his competition in the Big Ten will be much better than anything he saw on the IA JC circuit.

Seth: Indigo Diaz had a monster year at IWCC, what do you see from him and would those numbers translate over to the B1G for Michigan State? Legit prospect?

DSeif: Great question. I can’t get the 2017 CWS championship game out of my head…Dyson.

Jenkins: Who ends up being the best prospect from the Florida pitching trio of Mace, Leftwich and Dyson?

DSeif: Based on history, I don’t think any of their eligible sophs leave after this spring. Why only complete half of a Vandy education when you can get 3/4+ by staying one more year? SEC baseball, Nashville…I’d stay.

Ali S.: Do you expect any of the draft-eligible sophomores from Vanderbilt to stay for their junior years? Also, what does Austin Martin need to show to develop into a future first rounder?

DSeif: I will go with one of Kendall Roger’s favorites- Justin Collins, catcher from Rice.

Jack Shaw : Hey guys, who do you think might be set to breakout as the next Luke Reynolds of C-USA coming this spring.

DSeif: I’ve seen Cooper almost every year since his junior year in HS. He’s always had a cannon for an arm and his swing mechanics have improved over the years, but he still struggles with the bat. Unfortunately, I don’t see his draft value ever approaching what it did for some scouts as a HS senior.

Johnny: Will Cooper Johnson put it all together this year?

DSeif: Yes, just like he did at Mizzou a few years back. Timing is everything.

Jacob: With five arms in your top 350, it seems like new Hogs pitching coach Matt Hobbs stepped into a nice situation!

DSeif: Many prospects who seem to fall through the cracks as juniors are actually seen and liked by scouts, but the prospects set their signability $$$ so high (or their advisors do) that it doesn’t match where a club sets its value for the prospect. As a result, they fall (or aren’t even selected) in the draft. When they return to college the following year, they have little to no leverage in a negotiation and will get the “senior treatment.” Unfortunately, there’s not much they can do. It’s the system.

Mick : Can you guys explain how some Juniors now Seniors fall through the cracks in the draft even if they did everything right the first time around. How do they bounce back and become legitimate prospects without getting the senior treatment in June.

DSeif: They have a chance to be lights out and both taken in the 1st round.

Duck dad: How dynamic do you think the combo of Yovan and Nelson could be this year?

DSeif: Yes, many D1s haven’t charged in the past. Not sure what they will do this spring, but Illinois and Illinois State haven’t charged for several years. Just walk right in and enjoy the game.

Terry: Do you know if any D1 schools that don’t charge for tickets to their games? I have heard that this exists, but don’t know of any myself.

DSeif: Sounds like more of an analytics question. Cam Warren from Texas Tech rakes, but lacks top tools. Here’s who else our computer likes-…

Jacob: Who on the Top 350 list may have currently depressed value based on tools, but will get performance eval’d up boards this spring?

DSeif: Gorski is the better athlete with the better tools, but I think Massey is the best pure hitter, as well as a top defender at his position. From what I’ve seen so far I would select Massey over Gorski based on the bat and the fact that Massey plays on the dirt and will likely stay there in pro ball.

Bradley: Do you think IU OF Matt Gorski will be the first bat taken out of the Big 10?

DSeif: My former SD told me to look for guys who swing down to the ball, like swinging off the edge of a cliff. It has no value today, nor did I give it any when I heard it from him three years ago. The biggest adjustment I’ve made is not worrying about where a hitter will play. Just evaluate the bat. If you like it, run the prospect up your draft list. One of my failures as an area scout was placing too much emphasis on where Paul DeJong (STL) was going to play. With that in mind I put him in the 7-8th round range. He went in the 4th and the rest is history- he’s now a ML starting SS. I liked the bat, but whiffed on the rest.

Jacob: Process questions: anything you used to think was important in evaluations that you now believe doesn’t have much value? anything you used to think lacked value that you now weigh more heavily?

DSeif: My personal comp for Cotton is Chuckie Jones, a 7th rounder by SF in 2010. I haven’t had good looks at Cotton, he struggled for me both last summer in the Cape and at Grand Canyon during a scrimmage this past fall. I do agree that we are more bearish on him than the industry at this point. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in late April when the Lopes come to Chicago.

Manny: Do you have a comp for Quin Cotton? He seems underrated to me.

DSeif: High pitchability RHP with an 88-92 FB. Aggressive, pitches to contact with 3 pitches for strikes.

Hottub: John Baker of Ball State was statistically impressive in 2018 and on the Cape, what type of stuff does he bring?

DSeif: Currently, we have McSweeney in the 3rd and Peluse in the 4th, although that might be a little light for both of them. There is just so much talent in the college games this spring-

Billy MacMIllan: Wake Forest’s two junior arms Peluse and McSweeney generating some buzz. Where do you see them going and also any thoughts on draft-eligible Deacon position players. Poteet is a draft eligible sophomore with some tools, and there are a few senior signs such as IFs Bruce Steele, Jake Mueller and OF Keegan Maronpot. Do you see any of those guys being Day 1 guys at a bargain price?

DSeif: Love him! Awesome passion for the game, as well as blocking, throwing and receiving skills like few others in the college game.

John: Any thoughts on Stanford catcher maverick handley?

DSeif: Busch, although I do like Toglia’s switch hitting abilities, especially his sweet LH stroke. Busch is a LH masher who has shown me the perfect mix of selectivity and aggressiveness at the plate.

JR: Who has more upside with the bat.. Toglia or Busch?

DSeif: After missing most of last season (just 4 ABs) with a finger injury, Hill is a top defender in CF. Will run through a wall to catch the ball and always gives 100%. Offensively, he will find a way to get on base and is a threat to steal every time with his plus to better speed.

Mike: Hey guys, thanks for doing this as always. I haven’t heard much on Cam Hill at UK, who would be eligible this year. What have you heard regarding his fall?

DSeif: We are not down on Langworthy. He’s actually one of our picks to click this spring-

Anthony: How down are scouts on Langworthy? For a while, he seemed to be tracking as a first-rounder, but that no longer seems the case?

DSeif: Yes on both of those guys.

Greg D.: Thanks for the lists and all the preseason work guys! The Bruins look primed for another Omaha run. Do Toglia and Strumpf have a chance of playing themselves into first round consideration at all?

DSeif: I live 5 min from Duffy Bass Field and plan to see Headrick a couple times this spring. First time I ever saw him was as a HS junior. He’s definitely progressed from then. However, when I saw him this past fall he still had a reliever look to him. At 6’7 it’s very difficult to hold together a delivery. Anything is possible with a big spring, but I see him closer to the 10th than the 5th round. Again, hope I’m wrong. I like to see players progress and perform.

Wiz: What would Brent Headrick from Illinois St. need to do to solidify himself as a Top 10 round pick? Any chance he could work himself into the Top 5 rounds?

DSeif: I saw Pepiot this fall during a scrimmage at Butler. He was solid, but not spectacular. 4th round might be a tad high at this point, but with 3 solid pitches, high spin rates, good makeup and a durable history it is possible for him to go early on Day 2.

Dave: What are you guys hearing about Ryan Pepiot at Butler? Incredible sophomore year and strong Cape. Could you see him sneaking into the top 4 Rounds?

DSeif: With Wallner, Shenton and Canterino leading the way as potential Day 1 prospects and other intriguing guys like Pages, Ruff and Moss C-USA definitely has its share of high level talent this year. We’ve been hearing great stuff about Wallner on the bump so far this pre-season. Should make for some exciting Sundays in Hattiesburg.

Rob Cook: What is your perspective on the talent level in conference USA this year. Wallner is set to start on Sunday this spring. Very intriguing.

DSeif: Although listed at 6’4 Shewmake is a little taller, I’ve heard anything from Robin Ventura to Brandon Crawford.

Lake: What MLB player do you think is a comparable for Braden Shewmake?

DSeif: We have dozens of small school and JC names on our Top 350 list. Check it out-

Bsbguy74: It is an obvious trend that more JC and small school guys go in the top 10 rounds than preseason lists would indicate. Who are some of the top JC/small school names not in top 5-7 round consideration that could end up there that you guys like?

DSeif: Stay healthy and pitch deeper into games (he averaged just 4 IP per start last spring) while bringing consistent stuff each outing.

Devin: What does Isaiah Cambell need to prove in order to rise in the rankings?

DSeif: He is certainly one to watch after a big fall at Campbell and converting recently from SS. He has solid spin rates (2400+ FB) (2750 on 11/5 breaking ball). I’m more bearish at this point since he hasn’t logged a single IP in D1 baseball, but I hope he jumps into Day 1. That would be good for him and good for college baseball!

Fan 123: Hearing Seth Johnson from Campbell is in the Day 1 conversation (and even better for some teams) with basically every single organization. Why is he so low on your list?

DSeif: Regardless of how a pitcher is used in college, it still comes down to athleticism, stuff, command, arm action, delivery and to some extent, physical size. Obviously, there are exceptions; Chris Sale, Max Scherzer as just two examples.

Toby: How do you assess relievers who are likely to stay relievers versus converting to starters? It would seem that there is an increased emphasis on their ability to influence multiple games rather than 1 game in a week. Thanks for your time

DSeif: Graeme Stinson

Tristen: Who do you think will be the first player from the 2019 draft class to reach MLB?

DSeif: Ydens should go around the 5th round. He played both corners during my look last spring in Minneapolis during the Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge. He does not project to be an everyday CF in pro ball from what I’ve seen.

Anthony: Where do you see Jeremy Ydens ending up? Can he stick in center at the pro level?

DSeif: Great question. We are a big fan of both. We currently have Hancock ranked #17 and Wilcox #19 in the 2020 Rankings which were released yesterday-

Bailey: Who do you think has more upside..Cole Wilcox or Emerson Hancock?

DSeif: Yes for Kirby. Will be close or Burno. We currently have him in the 3rd round, 55th overall in the college class, making him an early pick on Day 2.

Anthony: Kirby and Brnovich both Day 1 guys?

DSeif: Yes

Denny: Do you think Graeme Stinson could pitch in a MLB bullpen effectively right now?

DSeif: Both project as 1st rounders and future middle of the lineup bats for a ML club. In my eyes, Vaughn has a slight advantage with hitting ability, while Torkelson has more power. I’m glad they are not in the same draft class, it would be very difficult to choose one over the other. The best one long term…I’m going with the better pure hitter…Vaughn.

Jake: Who do you think is a better MLB prospect long term.. Andrew Vaughn or Spencer Torkelson?

DSeif: Yes, there is always a place in the 1st round for a 6’7 RHP who touches 99 and flashes a plus breaking ball. Maintaining his stuff and command will be a key for him, just like it would be for anyone else. Nate Pearson, a 2017 1st rounder, 28th overall by TOR out of the JC of Central Florida is a recent comparable.

Allen: Early reports have been good on San Jacinto pitcher Jackson Rutledge.. do you think he can sneak into the first round of the draft?

DSeif: Currently, we have Horn as a potential 3rd rounder. I did not see his best last spring at Stanford, nor was he his sharpest during another look of mine in the Cape last summer. With that said, he was considered by at least one club in the top 40 picks out of HS and could rebound to the 2nd round this June.

Sam : Where do you think Jared Horn gets drafted do you think if he has a really good season do you think he can go top two rounds

DSeif: Griffin McLarty looks to be the Cougars top prospect this season. At his best the RHP sits 90-92 with a good slider and control…85 Ks, 23 BB in 76 IP last season.

Sam : who do you think is the top prospect on the College of Charleston

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