Las Vegas College Prospects - Top 10

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Top 10 College Prospects from AA Games West

- Written by Matt Bomeisel, President/Founder of Prospect Wire

- Notes, evaluations, ratings, reports compiled by PW staff, which I was part of for the weekend

LAS VEGAS - The 1st Annual Underclass All-American Games West concluded on Sunday at UNLV Baseball Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.  Prospect Wire scouts and staff have been hard at work debating and agreeing over the top 10 college baseball prospects from the event.

NOTE: 3 rating = Major D1 caliber recruit / 2 rating = Mid-major (at least) D1 caliber recruit.  Defining a major and a mid-major gets tricky and it is not meant to slight any programs, so to keep it basic, consider Pac-12/SEC programs as MAJOR (obviously Fullerton, Long Beach St., USD, Fresno State, etc, should be considered MAJOR baseball programs as well) and consider most WCC/Big West programs as Mid-MAJOR (USF, UC Santa Barbara, Nevada, etc).  Obviously there are schools in the non-BCS type conferences that ARE MAJOR programs in the sport of baseball.  I tend to think of a MAJOR program as school in a BCS conference and/or a program that is consistently in the playoffs or in the Top 40 of the country year in and year out. 


 

1. Ryan Day, MIF, 2014 - Day was the most talented player at the event right now, with multiple tools that will excel at the college level.  His batspeed is good, he squares up a lot of balls, he has a high baseball IQ, and a very advanced approach offensively.  He also pitched a little bit (up to 87mph).  Although he doesn't have a lot of power potential on offense, he is a top of the order bat with consistent line drive/gap to gap pop.  He also showed very well against breaking balls.  He was the most well-rounded player at the event that can do a little bit of everything.  He plays hard, the game comes easy to him and he's a gamer.  Major division 1 colleges in California should all have Ryan Day high on their radar.  PW Rating - 3*

2. Greg Minier, LHP/1B, 2013 - Minier had the best pro body at the event.  He passes the eye test with ease, with a very well put together frame.  Up to 87mph on the mound, there is more in there to come, and he creates an outstanding downhill angle that makes it very tough for hitters to square up.  Again, another kid that should generate heavy D1 interest, and wouldn't be surprised if he drew some draft interest if his velocity comes before he graduates high school.  PW Rating - 3*

3.  Tristan Hildebrandt, SS, 2014 - Hildebrandt won't impress you with a physical frame.  The shortstop can pick it at shortstop with anyone.  Hildebrandt has a chance to stay at shortstop for a long time.  The game comes fairly easy to him, he showed a 45/50 arm on the MLB scale, and outstanding hands and feet at short. Offensively, his bat lacks serious juice, but he's easily a 2-hole hitter/action guy.  He gets good extension, has a smooth, fluid swing, and generates easy line drives and occassional gap power.  Hildebrandt will generate a lot of interest from major D1s in So Cal, and they will pull the trigger when he gets a little stronger.  With a college weightlifting program and reps, Hildebrandt may generate some late college draft interest after school. PW Rating - 3*

4.  Kobie Foppe, 2B/SS, 2014 - A staff favorite, he was easily the most mentioned name at the event.  It seemed anytime a positive play happened on offense or defense, Foppe was right in the middle of it.  This is the type of player that is going to be a favorite of a major D1 college coach.  Hailing from Arizona, we fully expect ASU or UA to step in and pick him up.  He is a grinder, a kid who will play his butt-off, and do the little things right.  Switch hitting middle infielders are always in demand, but Foppe can really swing the bat and make hard and consistent contact from both sides.  Good baseball IQ, intangibles for days, everything needed to be successful.  He showed a 40/45 arm, and rock solid defensive ability.  Our staff argued over Foppe and Hildebrandt, and it was basically a coin flip with Hildebrandt getting the nod due to easier actions and the ability to stay at SS, while Foppe will be a rock solid 2B.  Foppe is the type of player that you can recommend to any school in the country and even if they don't like him, or he didn't show well that particular day, that college coach will not leave the baseball field upset that he went to see Foppe perform.  PW Rating - 3*

5. Lucas Halstead, C (Monte Vista HS), 2014 - If this was a pro prospect list, Halstead would be #1.  MLB draft rooms are centered around catchers who have power arms and power bats.  Halstead has both.  He's got a plus arm, with a chance for plus power.  He just started catching so he needs work on receiving and blocking, but he has an absolute hose and generates serious juice with the bat.  Throw in a durable frame, and Halstead will be one of the more draftable players at the event. Because he just started catching, he still has some ways to go on defense, making him the #5 college prospect on our list because he may not be able to contribute behind the plate until a year or two in a major college program.  PW Rating - 3*

6. Shane Carrier, OF, 2014 -  Carrier continued to produce and show well each day.  Carrier has an ggressive approach offensively, and is a good middle of the order bat.  He's got occasional loft, pullside juice, above average batspeed and good pitch recognition.  In the OF, he is very consistent, with a quick transfer, good range, and soft hands.  His arm showed as a 40 on the MLB scale.  Overall, Carrier is just a good baseball player, with avg college tools, but he plays better than those raw tools show.  He should play division 1 baseball at a mid level D1.  PW Rating - 2*

7. Joey Wise, LHP, 2013 - Wise came in to throw on Sunday and the lefty did not disappoint.  Though his velocity was down due to the end of the summer (up to 84mph), Wise is better on the gun then he showed.  We project him to be a frontline starter at the mid division 1 level, and easily is an AZ JuCo guy.  He showed craftiness, with command of 2 pitches.  He had an oustanding overall delivery that will allow him to repeat his delivery, stay consistent on the mound and continue to excel.  He also showed a 71mph slider.  PW Rating - 2*

8. Hunter Stephens, OF/LHP, 2013 - Stephens was an interesting player at the event.  The game came very easy to him.  He's a glider, smooth, smart player - who plays hard.  He is advanced and patient offensively with top of the order potential at the mid D1 level.  He's not a big power guy, shoots a lot of line drives, with above average batspeed and good pitch recognition.  He's a consistent, solid defender that showed a 40 arm.  PW Rating - 2*

9.  Marcus Wise, CF (Deer Valley HS), 2013 - Wise is very well put together, with an athletic/muscular build.  He's a fast twitch athlete with a short, quick stroke on offense, yet still learning how to hit.  The game does come easy to him in most facets, and he plays hard.  He is a leadoff type hitter at the next level.  He was a bit pull-happy during the games, and began going middle of the field and oppo towards the end.  He is a plus defender in CF, covering tons of ground.  A (+) runner, Wise is an interesting player who has some draft ability down the road with improvement.  In the more immediate future, he will be a mid level D1 prospect. PW Rating - 2*

10.  Kaelan Crisosto, 3B/SS (Enterprise HS), 2014 - Crisosto is a guy that can really become a good player in the future.  He has a projectable frame, lean with room to fill.  He has a high waisted, tapered look that scouts look for.  The game comes easy to him, he's a smooth ballplayer, with instincts.  On offense, he should be a middle of the order bat at the mid D1 level.  He is aggressive yet advanced.  He has line drive, straightaway juice, and swung and missed at times during the games.  At SS, he has a quick release, a 40 arm on the MLB scale, with soft hands and he can make the tough plays.  Overall, he probabl won't have the footspeed to stay at SS, and a move to 3B is probable.  PW Rating - 2*

Honorable Mentions:

Tyler Vistalli, RHP, (Deer Valley HS), 2013 - + mound presence, + changeup, 84-85mph now.  Bulldog mentality.  Short relief at the next level easily.  Ignore the radar gun, and watch him PITCH - he will wow you. Good, sharp run on the fastball.  Needs a little work on the breaking ball as it has inconsistent break right now.  If he sees a velocity jump over the next few years, he's got a lot of intangibles and secondary stuff in place to be very good.  PW Rating - 2*

Jaret Vermillion, 2013, RHP/1B  - Another really interesting player that can really hit.  He's a bigger framed, Prince Fielder-like body, but that's not why he can hit.  He knows what he's doing, has a good bat path and obviously has power.  Was also up to 87mph off the mound. PW Rating - 2*

Gio Lopez, 2015, SS/RHP - Although listed a SS/RHP, his future may be on the mound.  Any time your best tool is your arm, (and it is up to 85mph off the mound as a 2015 grad) it's time to take a look.  Lopez has no pitchability right now, and hasn't thrown bullpens at his high school yet.  But it wouldn't be out of the question for him to be 90mph+ by his senior year and generating some possible draft interest based on tools.  Lopez can run a little bit, but had shin splints and toughed it out all weekend.  His bat is a little light right now, and is solid defensively.  PW Rating 2*++

Ian Evans, 2014, 2B - Evans is a classic baseball player that lacks eye-popping tools but does everything that you want and can really play the game at a high level.  He's another kid that you have to watch a few times to have a true appreciation for what he does on the baseball field.  He's got intangibles, an advanced approach on offense, and a top of the order bat at the next level.  Also a solid defender that is an easy 2B when he graduates.  PW Rating - 2*

Justin LaForce - 2014, 3B/OF - Though listed as a shortstop, he is a lock for 3B/corner, at the next level.  LaForce is a quality left handed bat with some power potential and a physical build.  High waisted with square shoulders, La Force projects as a mid level D1 player now, but could be better if he continues to improve.   He has an advanced, patient approach and is a middle of the order bat.  He needs some work on breaking balls, but the batspeed is above average and his power potential is above average.  La Force will be a quality LH bat for a mid level D1 and easy AZ Juco guy.  PW Rating - 2*

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