Part Two of a series of sleepers coming out of the college ranks for this year’s draft. Here’s part one. Some of these names will be familiar to big college fans, but again, I’ll try to keep it to lesser known guys. In no particular order:
- Tanner Krietemeier, INF (Oklahoma State): One of a few interesting 2013-eligible guys on the Cowboys. The JUCO transfer and Colorado native is having a pretty good time of it in his first Division I experience. With a .386/.455/.632 (.441 wOBA, 3 HRs) line through 15 games, Krietemeier is showing off both a strong hit tool and interesting power. The switch hitter also happens to have serious arm strength as well, putting up strong lines with Iowa Western CC following his freshman season with Nebraska. He’s quietly becoming one of the more interesting college bats out there, and might be had on the cheap come June.
- David Garner, RHP (Michigan State): The righty posted strong peripherals in 2012 (9.12 K/9, 3.77 BB/9) through 20 games (11 starts for the Spartans. The following summer (in the Cape Cod league), he struck out nearly a batter an inning, and walked 15 in 43.1 IP, en route to a 3.12 ERA. Garner is showing better control and around the same K rate this year, posting a solid 3.60 FIP through 4 starts. It remains to be seen if he has a good third offering, but so far he’s getting by just fine with a low to mid 90s fastball and strong slider. At right around 6′ tall and under 190 lbs., there’s still projection left as well, although not as much as organizations like.
- Forrest Allday, OF (Central Arkansas): The outfielder has the skillset of a leadoff man, but also has a pretty strong hit tool. Allday’s approach is excellent, and his .470/.544/.621 (.501 wOBA) is one of the best in Division I right now. Last year, Allday posted a .324/.486/.426 line, with 57 bb against 25 K through 55 games. During his summer league time (Northwoods), Allday continued to get on base at a ridiculously high rate with a .324/.512/.416 line (77 bb, 40 k in 66 games). He even stole 20 bases. The senior could be a cheap sign out of a lesser known school, and with solid speed, patience, and a strong hit tool, he could be a very nice value.
More after the break…
- Mitch Garver, C (New Mexico): The undrafted University of New Mexico catcher hit .377/.438/.612 (.405 Park/Sched adjusted wOBA) in 2012, production that wasn’t incredibly far off from teammate and projected first rounder DJ Peterson (.367/.446/.645, .466 wOBA). At one point, Garver was in the same conversation as other college catchers like Tom Murphy and Josh Elander (a fellow Mountain West-er), who both put up similar number last year. The big red flag with the Lobos backstop in the past was his defense, although I have not read anything negative about it any later than mid 2011. It also doesn’t hurt that he was a finalist for the Johnny Bench award last year (along with Mike Zunino and Kevin Plawecki. Certainly not a guarantee that he’s a big value on defense, but you can discount the nomination either
- Patrick Biondi, OF Michigan: O’Neill might be getting all of the press in Ann Arbor, but Biondi is showing off a great hit tool yet again. Following up a .306/.412/.412 junior year with a .388/.478/.488 line during the summer, there’s no question he has an excellent feel for hitting, and a great approach. It doesn’t hurt that he’s shown a good bit of speed as well, with 88 SB (32 CS) in his three years with Michigan. He’s probably flying under the radar a little less now with Michal O’Neill tearing it up in the outfield, but that might just work perfectly for his draft stock. He’s currently batting .393/.493/.443 (.442 wOBA, 6 SB) through 15 games.
- Jeff Kemp, SS (Radford): The shortstop was drafted in the 31st round last June. He should go a good bit higher in a weaker class this year. Hitting for more power certainly shouldn’t hurt either. With a .328/.393/.536 line last year, he had some teams’ attention, and this year, he’s already matched 2012′s HR total with 4 and a line of .333/.469/.771 (.484 wOBA) through 15 games.
- Brandon Bayardi, OF (UNLV): Now in his senior year, Bayardi is looking to improve upon his 36th round selection in last year’s draft. Already a pretty legitimate hitter, I think he just needs to hit for a little more power to get himself on the map. While his .361/.456/.551 line last year was nothing to scoff at, he’ll hit like that, and then some. Fortunately for him, playing for surging UNLV will certainly help quite a bit, at the very least getting some more scouts in attendance for himself and the program. Currently, Bayardi is posting a .386/.442/.514 (.386 wOBA) line.