Aaaaand, we’re back! Early March and amateur baseball is in full swing. Here at Royals Farm Report we look to keep you in the loop regarding the top players eligible for the 2019 draft class as well as lesser known players that are turning in great performances. With that said, here’s a look at what happened this past week.
The more things change, the more they stay the same…
Another week in the books and another week of the same two college bats distancing themselves from the pack. Yes, it’s still early but I’m not sure anyone will catch Adley Rutschman. The ability to hit for power and average from both sides of the plate as well as playing (at least) above average defense at a premium position sets him apart. Going .375 average, .565 OBP, 14 runs, 12 hits, 5 homers, 12 RBI, 14 walks, 8 Ks in 10 games to start the season is a hell of a way to state your case early.
Next up is Andrew Vaughn, who continues to show that even though he may may not fit the profile of a top 3 pick, his ability at the plate has scouts, fans and front offices buzzing.
Game of Thrones: Prep bats edition…
It’s been long thought that Bobby Witt was the consensus top bat in the prep class, but he may be standing on shaky ground. Whether that be due to his age (a month shy of 19 come draft day), questions about the hit tool, or a simple case of prospect fatigue, Witt is no longer the clear cut, top dog. Contenders for the crown include…
CJ Abrams who features double plus speed and solid bat to ball skills. There’s a chance that Abrams ends up in the outfield but it’s still a profile that’s easy to get excited about.
Riley Greene is a corner outfield prospect has the best hit tool in the HS crop while the remainder of his tools likely grade out closer to average. That said, he’s got such an advanced approach and feel for the barrel. He screams “consistent performer” to me.
Corbin Carrol – My “dark-horse” to overtake the aforementioned studs in this section. I like everything about Carrol’s game. His speed and defense would play well in CF at the K. He barrels up guys with elite velocity. He fits the bill for what the Royals like.
College pitching pecking order…
Another group that’s seeing a lot of movement would be that of the college pitching crop. Graeme Stinson came into the season viewed by many as the top pitcher in a position group that’s down in depth and talent from last year. Thus far, Stinson hasn’t lived up to the billing with decreased velocity, although his numbers look good in short starts. Instead we’ve seen players like George Kirby and Alex Manoah heaped with praise for their excellent stuff and great performances. Here are a few more that showed out and could be on the rise.
Jackson Rutledge is a big bodied righty with a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid 90s and a nasty 12-6 curve. In a down year for college pitchers, he’s shooting up draft boards quickly.
Lefty starter out of TCU, Nick Lodolo entered last season listed as Perfect Game’s top 2019 draft prospect. A 6-6 frame, a low 90s fasball and a couple of plus secondaries will generally do that for a guy. Unfortunately the numbers weren’t there and his stock took a slight hit. If recent performance is any indication of what the future holds, Lodolo could be well on his way toward regaining some of the ground that he’d previously lost.
Isaiah Campbell is a RS Junior from Arkansas, formerly of Olathe, KS that’s had a solid start this season. 23:3 strikeout to walk ratio in 17.1 IP and the 3.12 ERA. Definitely a name to watch from the back end of the first round on.