Draft Preview: Rounds 2-4

Hey all.  Back here again with a little bit of a draft preview.  With the 8th overall pick, we all have our own favorite guys that we like or want to see.  I gave my top 5 guys that I like at #8 in my previous post, but thought I would dive a bit deeper into the draft for the later rounds. 

The Angels have a 2nd round pick for the first time in what seems like forever!  We also have a comp pick for Ohtani leaving, so we have a great opportunity with 4 picks in the top 100.  

For rounds 2-4, I will give a couple of options, plus a “wild card” pick that is attached with the caveat of our first pick being an under slot deal.

Round 2 (#45 overall)

Players I like in this slot:

  1.  Christian Moore, 2b Tenn– This guy just flat out rakes.  He might push into the first round, but is projected as the 50th best prospect.  He hit leadoff for the #1 team in the country, and produced at an all time level.  He was great in SEC play as well, facing top competition.  What I like most is the adjustments he made from last year to this year.  Last year he was much more jittery at the plate with a lot of movement that made him late on fastballs.  Now he is much more quiet and is absolutely annihilating balls. https://x.com/sthorn_23/status/1793330564856004617?s=46
  2.  Ryan Prager, LHP Texas A&M–  Friday night starter for one of the best programs in the country.  He’s a big country boy, with really good stuff.  He sits in the low 90’s with the fastball, but I think there is more in there as he continues to recover from TJ surgery a few years ago.  His changeup is his best pitch, a nasty pitch that keeps righties off the fastball.  He’s not afraid to pitch inside, and has a bulldog mentality. https://x.com/ssn_tamu/status/1766283514146664922?s=46
  3.  Jurrangelo Cijntje, Pitcher Miss St.–  When I say pitcher, I mean it, because he throws both left handed and right handed.  His stuff is better from the right side, but he’s no slouch as a lefty.  From the left side, he’s a little lower in the arm slot, while right handed he’s a bit more traditional.  Some say right handed he reminds them of Marcus Stroman.  Admittedly, I picked him because his name is confusing as heck, but also having a switch pitcher and letting him do both sounds so much like the Angels. https://x.com/mlb/status/1771238772975264082?s=46

Wild Card round 2: 

  1. Theo Guillen, SS High School– I don’t think he will be here, but if he falls, I’d love this pick.  He has some of the best hitting tools amongst prep players in the class.  He has dealt with injuries during his HS career, but has looked good this spring.  If he did not have the injuries, he might be up there in the top 10.
  2. Jonathan Santucci, LHP Duke–  Has had some big performances in the past.  Came in as a two way guy but now focuses on pitching.  Classic fastball/slider combo.  His downfall has been his command, but he has a clean delivery and is athletic enough to where I think he will throw plenty of strikes.  Also pitches in a great conference, and with college hitting on the rise, command issues could be a result of trying to be too fine. https://x.com/thevergepod/status/1758566382650769509?s=46
  3. Kaelen Culpepper, SS Kansas State–  Team USA guy, played 3b for them but could move to 2b.  Not a ton of power results, but has a great swing that produces a ton of line drives.  I would expect 15-20 homers with room for more if he tries to get some more lift, but the hit tool is nice. https://x.com/usabaseballcnt/status/1676023157533167622?s=46

Round 2 Comp (#74 overall)

Players I like in this slot:

  1.  Kyle DeBarge, SS Louisiana-Lafayette–  Player of the year in his conference, he is a steady hitter.  He might have to move off SS at the next level, but he has plenty of arm and athleticism.  He is a hit over power guy, but has tapped into his power a bit more this year.  He hits line drives all over the field, and is a steady competitor that I would love. https://x.com/11point7/status/1789369656739762300?s=46
  2.  Gage Jump, LHP LSU–  I don’t anticipate he will be here if he has a good postseason, and I would ultimately consider him in round 2.  He has good stuff, just been inconsistent.  He has a good fastball/slider combo from a funky arm slot and pitched for a premier program. https://x.com/joedoylemilb/status/1792966996969267690?s=46
  3.  Ryan Forcucci, RHP San Diego– Good stuff, repeatable mechanics.  Only issue has been durability.  He’s had some back spasm issues in the past, and has not pitched deep into games very often, but I’m trusting the stuff here. https://x.com/draft_analyst_/status/1758697179382714624?s=46

Wild Card round 2 Comp: 

  1. PJ Morlando, OF High School–  He came into the year as a top 15 pick, but has slid quite a bit.  He has not shown a ton of in game power, but he has a solid swing, good contact rate, and part of the reason for the “down” year is teams basically walk him every chance they get.  He’s been on the radar for a while, so the slide could also be due to scouting fatigue. https://x.com/summervillebase/status/1765172340818583569?s=46
  2. Tyson Lewis, SS High School–  Left handed swing, a little pull happy, but overall great tools.  Played for team USA so has used wood bats https://x.com/prepbaseballne/status/1773492511249420748?s=46
  3. Levi Sterling, RHP High School–  two way player that will most likely be drafted as a pitcher.  Focusing on pitching should help with his stuff.  He already has a good fast and offspeed deliveries, but also played SS when not pitching so ran into fatigue problems.  Comes from a good school that has produced multiple major leaguers. https://x.com/eephustosser/status/1760517907787001965?s=46

Round 3 (#81 overall)

Players I like in this slot:

  1.  Carson Demartini, 3b VA Tech–  short left handed swing.  Power over hit right now, but he has great bat speed numbers and has cut his K rate from 25% to 17%.  Suffered a labrum injury and has just been DHing, so some of the swing issues could be due to the lingering impact of the surgery. https://x.com/tylerjennings24/status/1793072139740070105?s=46
  2.  Chris Cortez, RHP Texas A&M–   This dude is nasty.  Throws 100 and has a disgusting slider.  He works in the pen for the Aggies right now, but there is talk that he might return to school to be a starter.  I take the stuff as is right now.  Let him try and start, but he could be a lethal weapon out of the pen if that does not work out. https://x.com/11point7/status/1768794135283327165?s=46
  3.  Garrett Schull, OF High School–  He’s a little bit older for the class (will be 19 on draft day), but the tools are loud.  He’s fast and athletic, and has electric bat speed.  

Wild Card round 3:

  1. Mike Sirota, OF Northeastern– once projected to be a top 15 pick, he struggled this year, there is no doubt about it, but the tools are hard to ignore.  He’s a plus runner, plus defender, has elite bat speed, and has some power.  He struggled squaring balls up this year due to timing issues, but the tools are hard to ignore.  I also like that he has had success in the Cape with wood bats (nearly a 1.000 OPS each summer).  Those cold weather kids are often overlooked and hard to evaluate because they don’t play year round as much, and quite frankly it’s hard to focus and play when it’s freezing. https://x.com/draft_analyst_/status/1714078587970859212?s=46
  2. Peyton Stovall, 2b Arkansas–  one of the better hitters on the Arkansas team, he has a sweet left handed swing and hits in the middle of a good lineup.  There’s some pull happiness to his game, but has the ability to hit to all fields, and for a small guy has some sneaky pop.  Reminds me of Brian Roberts (former Oriole). https://x.com/razorbackbsb/status/1785820335658680571?s=46
  3. Blake Burke, 1b Tenn– This guy just looks like a gamer.  Has some edge to him, and has significant pop.  You might look at him and think he is a swing and miss sell out for power guy, but he’s really not.  Currently hitting .370 for the #1 team in the country, he would be a great guy to get and just let hit.  Limited to 1b and DH. https://x.com/jo_dynasty3/status/1794198933369192486?s=46

Round 4 (#110 overall)

Players I like in this slot:

  1.  Jalin Flores, SS Texas–  Struggled a little bit early at UT.  Recruited by Tulo, but then Tulo left the program and I think it impacted his mental game a bit.  He broke out this year and has great all around tools. https://x.com/bigdonkey47/status/1758703246573437030?s=46
  2.  Ethan Schiefelbein, LHP Corona HS– has dropped quite a bit this year, but the kid has game.  I think the stuff has taken a little bit of a hit because he has pitched so much over the last year, but he has good command, and one of the better breaking balls for a prepster.  Co-ace of one of the top high school teams in the country, he threw a complete game shutout in the CIF finals this year. https://x.com/taylorblakeward/status/1792034575830683649?s=46
  3.  Aidan May, RHP Or St.–  consistent starter for a consistent program.  He basically throws just fastball and slider, but has tools for a changeup.  He sits mid 90’s touching upper 90’s, but his slider is his best pitch.  Some compare him to Spencer Strider with the high octane fastball and disgusting slider combo. https://x.com/joedoylemilb/status/1779019167682674818?s=46

Wild Card round 4: 

  1. Derek Curiel, SS Orange Lutheran–  He has good tools in the box and should stick in the middle of the field.  The issue here is he isn’t very big.  He’s skinny and has not put on much weight or strength, so he has great bat to ball skills, but only average power.  I also think scouts have seen him so much that since he hasn’t “lived up to expectations” he has fallen off a bit.  Reminds me a bit of J.P Crawford but with less power and better bat to ball skills. https://x.com/pg_scouting/status/1681434301458513920?s=46
  2. Colby Shelton, 3b Florida–  I’ll admit, he has dropped off a lot.  I had high hopes for him transferring to Florida (my fav team) and hitting behind Cags.  He shows flashes, but is inconsistent.  He’s playing out of position, so maybe that is messing with his mental game a bit.  He has good pop to all fields, and has a good swing, but needs to put it all together. https://x.com/gatorsszn/status/1766300342981947449?s=46
  3. Thatcher Hurd, RHP LSU–  LSU has a track record with arms, and although Hurd has not performed up to expectations, all the tools are there to be a plus arm. https://x.com/tigerstripeslsu/status/1793611854121500786?s=46

Other players I like for rounds 5 and on:

  1. Casey Cook, UNC- he’s a senior, so a little older, but he is the best hitter on the UNC team.  He took Chase Burns deep twice this year, and I’d love to get him into a lineup and just let him hit. https://x.com/carolinacurvebb/status/1793745029963632705?s=46
  2. Ben Miller, Duke-  this guy just hits.  Bats 2nd for one of the better teams in the country, and has an absolutely dynamite mustache.  Not a ton of power, but could hit 20-25 in the pros.  A little bit positionless, so would have to find a good fit for him. https://x.com/accnetwork/status/1794782144973173070?s=46
  3. Roman Kuntz, Morehead St.-  This dude rakes.  He won’t get a ton of attention from scouts because he’s a little older (23 on draft day) and played in the Ohio Valley Conference, but he was the OVC player of the year and hit over 30!!!! homers.  https://x.com/11point7/status/1791300530414703096?s=46
  4. Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, OF ECU- solid production, nothing fancy, I just like his game. https://x.com/ecubaseball/status/1794488772941488142?s=46
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13 days ago

Aiden May has been the pitching story for Oregon State. I assume he’s pitching tonight in the Regional opener. His last 5 starts, 31 IP, 4 runs, 20 hits, 39 Ks, 7 walks

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