I was not expecting to write a lot about the draft this offseason. However, with the Cubs picking so high. I have taken an unintended interest in who they could possibly pick. For most of the past month, I’ve been focused a lot on some high school players and what mock drafts and rankings have been like across-the-board. I have honed in a little bit on Dylan Lesko as a possibility along with Cam Collier for the Cubs pick. Now that the college baseball season is ending its first month, we’re beginning to see some new names creeping to to the top of some of the boards.
This past week, Prospects Live in Baseball America both put out new lists. Baseball America only went to 200 while Prospects Live is already up to 400. I’m not ready to go that deep yet. I’m still focused on the first round. In that vein, I thought I would examine a few players who seem to be moving their way up the boards, some with more speed than others.
The current player with the biggest amount of juice that has bumped himself up into the top 10 is Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada. Coming into the season, he was seen as more of a mid first round pick. Thanks, in part to a home run barrage, Parada has jumped up in the rankings. Baseball America had him at number seven this week and that is probably a good landing spot for him. I would not be opposed to the clubs taking him if he was available that bad. The question is whether he can sustain his production of the next two months or if he’s just on a hot streak before SEC play begins.
Another player on the rise should be pretty familiar to Cubs fans. He is the son of former Rockies and Cardinals outfielder Matt holiday. Jackson Holliday is a much different player than his father. For one, he’s a little bit leaner and he plays a premium position at shortstop. He is also left-handed at the plate. That adds a totally different dimension to his value and to what he could do the spring in early summer. Holliday has popped all the way to 10 for BA and 17 at PL. In watching video of him, I really like the nice smooth stroke although I have not really seen a lot of him in the field under game conditions to know the movement of his feet.
Jordan Beck has been lighting up the stat sheet in leading the University of Tennessee up the top 25 rankings this spring. He has shown a mix of power and hitting for average, but there is still some swing and miss to his game. One thing that concerns me is the gigantic leg kick. That can be fixed. In fact, everything can be fixed. The Cubs are going to have to decide if Beck is someone they think they can work with and if he will continue to improve in the future as much as he’s improved this year.
I just love to watch Cade Doughty hit. For a second baseman, the LSU prospect has got a pretty impressive bat. He’s going to be one of those guys that has a mix of power and average. Going forward, I wonder how much scouts look at him and project him down the road a bit. Can he be more than he is now, or do they see that he’s pretty much finished project as is?
The biggest riser on Prospect Lives’ top 400 is Iowa starting pitcher Adam Mazur. The recent South Dakota State transfer tore it up on the Cape last summer and has been phenomenal for the Hawkeyes this spring. He’s lighting up radar guns and showing much more control and command. What I like most about Mazur is that he still a long way from being a physical specimen. He could add a lot of meat to his bones and crank up the mph without getting too big and bulky. I just wonder how much he’s going to improve in the second half of the college season and if it will be equal to be on par with what he’s done in the first part of the year.
In a bout a month, more names will be working their way up the lists. Those names should be just as interesting as these.