Best Of D1: The Science Of Paul DeJong (2015)Features
Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 college baseball season, so we’re digging through our archives and re-posting some of the best work of D1Baseball’s first five years, highlighting some of college baseball’s biggest stars and most compelling storylines. As we continue to work our way through the 2015 season, let’s revisit this 2015 feature by Michael Baumann on Illinois State’s Paul DeJong. Who could have predicted that the modestly built fourth-year junior would reward the Cardinals for drafting him in the fourth round by hitting 74 homers in his first three big league seasons, earning all-star honors in 2019? Baumann had an inkling that DeJong — a true analytics darling — had a chance to be something special. Read on.
Originally published: May 20, 2015.
BY MICHAEL BAUMANN
NORMAL, Ill. — The Missouri Valley Conference is having a great year — with three no-doubt regional teams, two potential hosts and one potential national seed — and that success is reflected in the conference’s stable of prospects. Missouri State righthander Jon Harris has been mentioned as a possible top-10 pick; Dallas Baptist features a terrifying stable of power righties, as well as catcher Daniel Salters. In the outfield, there’s Evansville’s Kevin Kaczmarski, who’s among the top hitters in the country in almost every offensive rate category, as well as Missouri State center fielder Tate Matheny, who’s on his way to becoming a second-generation big leaguer. One of those players — probably Harris — is probably the best professional prospect in the MVC.
But that’s not what the numbers say. …