Draft Mailbag: January 11


David Seifert
Director of College Scouting

Who are the highest impact four-year graduate transfers?
To my knowledge the top graduate transfers are RHP Jeremy Randolph (Alabama) from Wright State and UTL Augie Isaacson (Dallas Baptist) from Friends University, KS. Randolph made a name for himself last June in the Stanford Regional. He’s a strike-thrower who pitches with a low 90s fastball and an above average slider. After a solid summer in the Cape (2-0, 3.00 ERA, 33 IP, 37 H, 11 BB, 46 SO) he transferred to the Tide this fall and he’s likely to begin the spring season as closer. Isaacson has versatility all over the diamond and should start the spring in left field for the Patriots. We wrote about him this summer during our Northwoods League Dreams Showcase coverage, as well as in our Dallas Baptist Fall Report. Another potential impact grad-transfer who I briefly watched during an intrasquad this fall was CF Kyle Smith (Butler). He’s a transfer from Mississippi College that is athletic and has a feel to hit. Smith should be a difference maker for the Bulldogs in the Big East this spring.

Other top graduate transfers include:

2B Trevor Ezell from Southeast Missouri to Arkansas
John Cable from New Orleans to Georgia (red-shirted with an injury last season at Georgia)
Bryce Carter from Stanford to Oklahoma State
SS Angel Armento from Southern Cal to San Diego State
3B Davis Sims from Murray State to Western Kentucky

OF Brady Harlan from Texas to Oklahoma
OF Jonathan Ducoff from Houston Baptist to Texas A&M
OF Kel Johnson from Georgia Tech to Mercer
OF Will LaRue from Xavier to Southern Illinois
RHP Ben Gross from Princeton to Duke
RHP Conor Dotson from West Virginia to UT Rio Grande Valley

RHP Dylan Duarte from Alabama to TX-Corpus Christi
RHP Kyle Kemp from Lipscomb to Central Florida
RHP Jake Nelson from Penn to Texas A&M
RHP Luke Sommerfeld from Saint Louis to Clemson
RHP Brad Wegman from Southern Cal to San Diego State

Who are the toolsy guys whose on-field performance may finally match, ala Jonathan India last year?
Shortstop Will Holland (Auburn) is loaded with tools, posted very good numbers as a sophomore last season for the Tigers and followed it up with a strong summer in the Cape and the USA CNT. OF/RHP Matt Wallner (Southern Mississippi) has gotten to his left-handed power each spring, but did not this summer with both the USA CNT and in the Cape Cod League. He will likely have another huge spring for the Golden Eagles, but his lack of summer performance with wood against elite competition may limit his ceiling on some club’s draft boards. Another toolshed who certainly qualifies is Sun Devil CF Hunter Bishop (Arizona State). He brings speed and power to any lineup, but also much swing/miss as we identified both this summer in the Cape and during this fall season at ASU.

However, the toolsiest of them all might be sophomore-eligible CF/SS Greg Jones (UNC Wilmington). Jones is a middle of the diamond talent and the type of athlete that MLB clubs drool over to add to their minor league systems. Scouting notes on Jones from his time in Cape Cod last summer can be found here.

 


Wondering your thoughts on Kody Hoese (Tulane) for this upcoming draft. Drafted by the Royals last year and returned to school. Thanks and keep up the great work!

Although we didn’t get a chance to see Hoese in-person this fall, reports are that he swung the bat well, continued to mature in his hitting approach, tapped into his power potential and showed very good defensively at the hot corner. Previous to the fall season, we did see him during his All-Star summer in the NECBL:

6-foot-4, 195 pounds with a projectable frame, Hoese has the look and actions of a power hitting third baseman. Athletically built with a wide upper body, the former high school shortstop moves well for his size and his defensive tools should play up more now that he is over at the hot corner. Arm shows good carry on throws across the diamond with quick and compact throwing actions. Hits from a wide base with a slightly open front foot. Loads into his back hip before getting into his forward stride and landing. Hands maintain a strong hitting position and stay back to create separation. The bat speed and lift in his swing should lead to more power as he gets stronger. May be showing signs of tapping into that power potential already; launched seven home runs this summer through 143 at-bats while this past spring at Tulane it took him 223 at-bats to hit five home runs. Had some tough at-bats during the All-Star game but found ways to put the ball in play once he got down in the count. With another year to develop and add size to his frame, Hoese will likely make a big jump in his production for the 2019 spring season.”

Hoese is also an analytics favorite who we identified this September in our Analytics- Top 100 Draft Eligible hitters. With another strong season at the plate, look for Hoese to be considered on Day Two this June, likely around the fifth round.


Whose stock is going to take off as a result of a move from the bullpen to starting rotation this spring?

After an impressive summer his stock is already sky high, but LHP Graeme Stinson (Duke) first comes to mind. He is poised to start on Fridays for the Blue Devils this spring after relieving his first two years. We featured him with the USA CNT this summer and Aaron Fitt followed up in his Duke Fall Report. RHP Alek Manoah (West Virginia) is another obvious choice after his summer as a starter in the Cape. Oregon has a pair of candidates in RHPs Kenyon Yovan and Ryne Nelson. We previously discussed Yovan with USA CNT and Nelson during our Cape Cod coverage. The biggest arm of them all can be found in the Big East Conference. Conor Grammes (Xavier) has been up to 99 mph with a plus slider at times. He was featured in Kendall Roger’s Post-Fall Risers from December 5 and is scheduled to be the Friday night guy for the Musketeers this spring.

Kenyon Yovan

 

Who are the top prospects at UC-Santa Barbara this season?
The Gauchos top prospects include LHPs Jack Dashwood and Ben Brecht, RHP Chris Lincoln and OFers Tommy Jew and Armani Smith. Sophomore SS Andrew Martinez was selected last June in the 33rd round as a freshman-eligible by age. Dashwood looks to be the top prospect among the group. He was 90-93 mph at times this fall, as were Brecht and Lincoln. All three arms will likely be considered for Day Two of this June’s draft.

Jew is the leadoff hitter for the Gauchos and was highlighted this summer during his time in the Cape Cod League, while notes on Smith and his big power from the Northwoods League this summer can be found here. Martinez is a smooth defender with above average power for a middle infielder, but he must improve his motor in the eyes of many scouts.

The top overall prospect could be sophomore and 2020 eligible RHP Chris Troye. We featured him this past summer after his appearance in New England Collegiate League All-Star game.

 

More prospect questions? Please email me at [email protected]

 

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