Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Here's an early look at the top college hitters in the 07 draft.


There's a couple things that jump out to me. One, there aren't a lot of college positional players rated highly. In BA's top 50 there were just 8. Two, most of these positional players are catchers.

With the Jays having 7 selections in the top 100 picks or so chances are good that they'll probably take a stab at a catcher at some point.


Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 259 0.355 0.480 0.606 0.7 12.0%
2005 227 0.366 0.470 0.581 0.7 11.6%

Wieters, a switch hitter, is considered one of the top players in the draft and it's not too hard to see why. He also is the team's closer.


Julio Borbon, OF, Tennessee
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 235 0.366 0.412 0.481 0.8 5.9%
2005 220 0.350 0.386 0.450 2.8 14.1%

Borbon is a leadoff type, stealing 31 of 39 bases in two years, and plays center field. Interestingly, he cut his strikeouts dramatically in 2006, but didn't hit much better because of it.


Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma St

Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 239 0.343 0.409 0.531 2.0 20.1%

He's currently rated as a mid-first round pick, but I don't see it in the numbers. It's a red flag to me when I see a K rate over 20% in college.


JP Arencibia, C, Tennessee
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 216 0.352 0.419 0.583 1.5 12.2%
2005 283 0.322 0.379 0.534 1.5 11.9%

I do see good things in Arencibia's numbers however. The line above is obviously strong, especially for a catcher. In addition, Arencibia plays in a pitcher's park in a tough league (SEC) so you can mentally adjust those numbers up a bit. He could very well be one of the Jays targets with their first pick and I'm on the bandwagon.


Todd Frazier, SS/OF, Rutgers
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 227 0.366 0.471 0.599 1.0 15.2%
2005 220 0.295 0.392 0.505 1.3 16.6%

It doesn't sound like Frazier will remain at SS, with a move to 3B or the OF a possibility. The strikeouts are a bit on the high side, but everything else looks pretty strong. He's another player the Jays could be targeting with one of their two first round picks.


Josh Donaldson, C, Auburn
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 228 0.276 0.331 0.487 2.7 16.5%
2005 153 0.294 0.347 0.477 3.1 20.4%

Donaldson followed Josh Bell as the catcher at Auburn and has a similar profile at the plate through his first two years in college.


Mitch Canham, C, Oregon St
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 224 0.299 0.390 0.496 1.5 17.2%
2005 160 0.325 0.423 0.531 1.5 19.7%

The strikeouts are high, but everything else statistically looks pretty good. Lots of walks, good pop, and was on the College World Series winner in 2006.


Josh Horton, SS, North Carolina
Year ABs Ave OBP SLG K/BB K%
2006 271 0.395 0.455 0.542 0.8 9.1%
2005 193 0.347 0.398 0.466 1.1 9.0%

His statistical profile is similiar to Russ Adams' last year at UNC (.370/.476/.555).

-----

There's a site that has the draft order up to date, plus all of the potential picks that could be gained as the remaining free agents offered arbitration sign with other teams.

The Jays will have 7 picks in the top 100 of the 2007 draft. As of right now the picks are below, most of which will slide down a bit as players offered arbitration switch teams. The biggest potential move would be if the Rangers signed Zito or Suppan - the Jays would drop from #16 to the Ranger's 2nd round pick which will likely be in the low 80s.

#16 (from the Rangers)
#21 (own 1st round pick)
#41 (for Speier - pick will be no worse than #42)
#52 (for Cat - pick will be no worse than #57)
#57 (for Lilly - pick will be no worse than #63)
#80 (own 2nd round pick - pick will be no worse than #89)
#83 (from the Angels - pick will be no worse than #92)

Early Look at College Hitters | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 11:34 AM EST (#161225) #
There's not much talent in the collegiate non-pitcher ranks, is there?  I think we can take Ricciardi at his word when he says that they'll be looking closely at high school talent. 

Does anyone know about Arenciba's defence?
Sister - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 11:38 AM EST (#161226) #
I'm curious. How well does K% in college translate into that player's minor league and, if possible, major league rate?



Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 11:48 AM EST (#161228) #
Anecdotally, pretty well.  Chip Cannon's major flaw as a collegiate hitter was his K%, and that has followed him up through the minors.  One guesses that K% at the collegiate level is a more reliable indicator of K% in the minor leagues than HR% or W% might be.  The adjustments for strength of opposition and environment are probably easier to do.
Pistol - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 12:25 PM EST (#161231) #
There's not much talent in the collegiate non-pitcher ranks, is there?  I think we can take Ricciardi at his word when he says that they'll be looking closely at high school talent. 

Both Ricciardi and Lalonde indicated this so I imagine it's how the Jays feel.  BA had 17 college pitchers in their most recent top 50 (a month or two ago) for whatever that's worth.

Does anyone know about Arenciba's defence?

He threw out 10 of 50 base stealers last year, so perhaps he's not going to be a catcher in the future.  If he had a strong defensive reputation I imagine he'd be ranked at the top of the draft.

How well does K% in college translate into that player's minor league and, if possible, major league rate?

Cannon in college was between 16-17% his final two years in college.  He's at 31% as a pro.  I don't know of any study that looked at this, but I figure if you strike out a lot in college it's only going to get tougher in the pros.
Pistol - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 12:42 PM EST (#161233) #
Actually, I found an article that Boyd Nation did at BP a couple years ago that adjusted college stats to the short season minors.  The item that correlated the best for hitters was K rate, and that was 33% more in short season ball than college.

So if someone struck out 20% of the time in college you'd expect them to strike out about 27% of the time in Auburn, if I'm reading that correctly.



CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 01:04 PM EST (#161234) #
Wieter's numbers seem pretty superior to some of these other guys listed... and hes a catcher to boot (and you know hes got a good arm as the teams closer) and a catcher who can bat Switch.

What are his splits by the way?



Sister - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 02:35 PM EST (#161238) #
Mike G, Pistol:

Thank you for responding to my post. It is funny that Chip Cannon was pointed out because he is the exact person I was thinking about when I posed my question. I remember his rates from College and now in the minors and was curious beyond this sample size of 1.

It raises a question as to when a collegiate level players k% reaches a level that effectively makes them a poor draft pick, regardless of the how solid some of his other rate stats might be. In evaluating a player, how do we weight various rate stats (side by side) and what are there respective *negative* thresholds.

For example, Chip Cannon vs. Ryan Howard -- perhaps a poor comparison -- they have similarly poor historic k% but somewhat similar rate profiles (Cannon: 345 obp, 522 slg in minors,  Howard:  386 obp, 547 slg in the minors).  Aside from age, where is the line drawn between Cannon and his fringe prospect status, and Howard's top prospect status?

Perhaps this is not a valid question or even the right question, but I am interested.



Sister - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 02:52 PM EST (#161239) #
I should add, that Howard's minor league K% was 27.8 compared to Cannon's 27.9 (assuming I am calculating it correctly).



Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 03:16 PM EST (#161241) #
Howard at age 24 hit 37 homers in 374 at-bats in double A.  Cannon hit 38 homers in 575 at-bats between double A and AFL at age 24.  Howard has been able to succeed at the big-league level despite all his strikeouts because of his tremendous power.  It doesn't happen often, but it can work.  Cannon hasn't yet shown that level of power.

I conceptualize this aspect of a power hitter's game as BABOP (batting average on balls out of play- HR/HR+K).  If the BABOP is in the .170-.200 range, the hitter is on target.   Cannon's BABOP last year was .167- a little below where it needs to be.  In Howard's age 24 season, it was a very healthy .217. 

Pistol - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 03:25 PM EST (#161242) #
Cannon and Howard both strike out about 30-35% of the time.  The difference is what happens when they don't strike out.  Howard was a lot better at the same stage in AA and kept it going at AAA and in Philly.  That's where their difference in prospect status comes from.

Howard, 24, AA - .297/.386/.647
Howard, 24, AAA - .270/.362/.604

Cannon, 24, AA - .248/.335/.476

Troy Tulowitzki struck out 20% of the time in his final college year and most people have him as a highly rated prospect, and likely to be the Rockies starting SS this year so I might be overrating it.

I could be looking at the wrong things for all I know, but when I look at college stats for hitters I go to average first (like to see .320+), slugging 2nd (iso slg% of at least .200), walk rate (at least 50 points above BA), strike out rate (under 15%), competition, and then park factor.

But really, a statistical profile only takes you so far.  I can't think of too many players that had great college numbers, were drafted late, and became top propsects.  I just find it fun to look at in the absence of other information.


For what it's worth, here's the top 40 players in the majors in OPS, sorted by strikeout rate.

RK PLAYER K%
3 Ryan Howard 31%
32 Bill Hall 30%
7 Jim Thome 30%
38 Pat Burrell 28%
19 Jason Bay 27%
22 Adam LaRoche 26%
26 Alfonso Soriano 25%
34 Brad Hawpe 25%
2 Travis Hafner 24%
23 Alex Rodriguez 24%
12 Jason Giambi 24%
28 Grady Sizemore 23%
27 Carlos Delgado 23%
4 Manny Ramirez 23%
36 Andruw Jones 22%
8 Jermaine Dye 22%
37 J.D. Drew 21%
5 David Ortiz 21%
29 Chase Utley 20%
14 Nick Johnson 20%
6 Lance Berkman 20%
24 David Wright 19%
10 Carlos Beltran 19%
9 Miguel Cabrera 19%
18 Paul Konerko 18%
11 Matt Holliday 18%
20 Frank Thomas 17%
30 Derek Jeter 16%
21 Carlos Guillen 16%
16 Justin Morneau 16%
31 Vernon Wells 15%
40 Scott Rolen 13%
13 Garrett Atkins 13%
33 Ray Durham 12%
39 Robinson Cano 11%
17 Vladimir Guerrero 11%
25 Aramis Ramirez 11%
35 Carlos Lee 10%
15 Joe Mauer 10%
1 Albert Pujols 9%
Pistol - Tuesday, December 19 2006 @ 03:43 PM EST (#161244) #
Interesting, does it at least say whether he is a natural left or right?

He throws right handed, so I imagine that's it.
Shak - Tuesday, May 15 2007 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#168141) #
Saw this on Josh Horton's profile:

PERSONAL
Joshua Ryan Horton is the son of Alan and Kim Horton Born Feb. 19, 1986, in Hillsborough, N.C. Has one brother and one sister Has not declared a major at Carolina Favorite movie is "The Goonies" Favorite MLB team as a child was the Baltimore Orioles Has modeled his game after former Tar Heel Russ Adams Favorite class at Carolina is oceanography Would like to switch places for a day with brother Logan Horton, a frequent batboy for the Tar Heels.

Early Look at College Hitters | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.