2012 Draft: Stock Up, Stock Down; Third Basemen and Outfielders

05/14/2012

Moving along in the infield, it’s time to take a look at some of the more interesting bats this year. Some of those that are landing at third in the prep ranks are among the more intriguing hitters available. The same can be said for the prep outfield class, where there are a number of great hitters available this June.

College Third Basemen:

Stock Up Richie Shaffer, Clemson: This year’s class is light on bats. Shaffer has always shown one of the best power strokes going back to last year, and he’s even shown the aptitude to even be a serviceable defensive third baseman as a pro.
Stock Down Patrick Wisdom, St. Mary’s: There isn’t much of a question about his pure talent or ceiling, but it has not always shown up in games. This year is no different. Unfortunately the talent has really not be present for St. Mary’s all year, although he has been better as of late.

College Corner Outfielders:

Stock Up Jeff Gelalich, UCLA: He’s quietly become an interesting option for those looking to pick up a quality bat in the supplemental first. Gelalich has put on a nice power/speed display, leading the UCLA offense.
Stock Down Shaun Cooper, Utah: The senior slugger hasn’t hit much at all this spring. He had a great summer ball campaign, but hasn’t done much to follow it up so far.

College Center Fielders:

Stock Up Barrett Barnes, Texas Tech: There have been a number of solid college center fielders that have come to the forefront this spring, but Barnes might just have the most complete offensive skill set. He’s put solid plate discipline, power, and speed on display for the Red Raiders.
Stock Down Ted Blackman, Coastal Carolina: He had a solid summer ball campaign in 2011, and things looked good for Blackman as he transferred to Coastal Carolina. Blackman hasn’t quite carried over his St. Petersburg CC success to his new team this year.

High School Third Basemen:

Stock Up Tanner Rahier, California HS: Along with Addison Russell, he is one of the faster rising prep infielders in this class. He’s become one of the stronger hitters available in the prep infield ranks, especially for those teams with scouts that think he can be a shortstop.
Stock Down Rio Ruiz, California HS: His bat and arm speed were both big tools heading into this spring. There were some skeptics (as there are with most prep players), but overall it seemed like scouts needed to see more of him. Unfortunately for him, surgery knocked him out for most of the year. It might just make him a steal in the supplemental 1st or 2nd round.

High School Corner Outfielders:

Stock Up Courtney Hawkins, Texas HS: He was one of the higher-celing’d bats heading into this spring season, and nothing has changed that. More than anything, Hawkins has convinced teams that his high ceiling is actually attainable.
Stock Down David Dahl, Alabama HS: His stock is not down all that much per se, but it isn’t quite as high as it was earlier in the year.  Dahl’s offensive upside is big, even with the occasional struggles seen this spring. He’s got lots of bat speed, power, and and impressive approach for a prep bat.

High School Center Fielders:

Stock Up Albert Almora, Florida HS: There are very few bats this year as young and as polished as Almora. The outfielder has a rather high floor for a prep bat, arguably higher than Byron Buxton. An impressive mix of plate discipline and center field defense will have lots of teams calling.
Stock Down Anthony Alford, Mississippi HS: It’s a shame that the new CBA will most likely push him to college ball. A team very well may take him after the first round, but over-slot first round money may still be needed to sign him. His in-game production hasn’t quite lined up with his tools.