Top Prospects to Watch in College World Series
The College World Series gives MLB fans a chance to view of some of the league's future stars on the biggest stage of college baseball. As play begins in Omaha, NE, here are the college players who went off the board early in this year's MLB draft:
Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State (Chicago White Sox, Round 1, Pick 4):
Madrigal missed nearly two months with a broken wrist but has been a very consistent hitter when healthy. His power is limited, having tallied only eight home runs in three years at Oregon State, but he has posted a career .328 batting average and has more walks than strikeouts in each of the last three seasons.
He was bumped to second base by Cadyn Grenier and probably will not be a shortstop down the road. As long as he stays healthy, his floor is high, but his ceiling, as a likely second baseman without considerable power, is somewhat limited given today’s game's increasing demand for power to score runs.
Jonathan India, 3B, Florida (Cincinnati Reds, Round 1, Pick 5):
India’s monster junior season for the Gators lofted him into a top-five draft selection after being labeled as a likely second or third round prospect last season. India posted a stat line of .373/.522/.765 in SEC play and drew more walks than strikeouts this past season. He has the versatility to play all three infield spots too. India is a third baseman now, but he could certainly play second, and probably shortstop if needed.
Brady Singer, RHP, Florida (Kansas City Royals, Round 1, Pick 18):
Singer was tremendous all season for the Gators, recording a 2.33 ERA and over a five-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. Singer is a low-slot pitcher who sits in the lower 90s with his fastball but can top out at around 95 mph. His fastball has great movement to it, which allows him to set up his slider and changeup that he also utilizes effectively. He lacks a great pitch to use against left-handed batters, but he throws strikes and is a great competitor.
Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State (Minnesota Twins, Round 1, Pick 20):
Larnach has posted a stat line of .336/.466/.645 and has hit nearly a third of Oregon State’s total home runs this season. He has refined his swing mechanics and added more loft without hindering his pure hitting skills or becoming too pull-oriented. He strikes out almost 20 percent of the time, but he is a selective hitter who also walks frequently. He most likely projects as a left fielder due to his lack of elite arm strength and average speed.
Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida (Kansas City Royals, Round 1C, Pick 33):
His teammate, Brady Singer, might have been selected higher than him, but Kowar may project better as a long-term starter. He can top out at around 97 mph with his fastball and complement it with a 70 mph changeup. He has improved his breaking ball since last season as well. Further refinement of the breaking balls and general sharpening of his command will be the first items on his agenda as a pro.
Cadyn Grenier, SS, Oregon State (Baltimore Orioles, Comp. Balance A, Pick 37):
Grenier was one of the top college shortstops in the class, a fringe first-round talent out of high school, who has had a breakout year for Oregon State, hitting .322/.408/.467 and playing shortstop well enough to be an asset on defense.
Grant Little, LF, Texas Tech (San Diego Padres, Comp. Balance B, Pick 74):
Little has been a stud for Texas Tech in an overall down year for the Big 12, hitting .372/.469/.654. He has drawn more walks than strikeouts this season and has a very smooth right-handed swing. He has decent power but tends to land a little open after his stride, which could be a problem at the next level. Little has a well-rounded skill set and a fairly high floor.
Kody Clemens, 2B, Texas (Detroit Tigers, Round 3, Pick 79):
Clemens has had a monster season for Texas, hitting .352 with 24 homeruns after hitting just 10 in his first two seasons combined. He does not have great speed and will not be a threat on the bases, but the power is legit. His arm strength has been down since Tommy John surgery, and he is not rangy enough to play good corner outfield defense. However, he has shown great intangibles and grit and could make it as an MLB player if he can show his breakout power numbers are no fluke.
Will Desautelle is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Senior / Broadcast Journalism and Spanish