I've compiled some scouting reports/stats/video on some of the top players per position eligible for the upcomming draft. Thought I'd share it with you nice Cincinnati fans, since you've always been very congenial during my visits to the forum. Cheers.
MLB 2012 Draft - College - Shortstops
1) Nolan Fontana SS, 5’11 190, L/R, Florida, NCAA
36gp 131ab .328/.443/.550 7hr 22rbi 6(2b) 1(3b) 26bb 10so 8sb 0cs
3e 99a .980fld%
Fontana is one of the top defensive shortstops in college. He was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team in both his freshman and sophomore years. He has great hands and a good arm at short. He also shows solid range for the position. Fontana might now wow you with his tremendous physical gifts in the field, but he makes just about every play imaginable. He has a good eye at the plate, and serves as a catalyst at the top of the Gators lineup, consistently getting on base. Fontana is an excellent situational hitter with pretty good pop in his bat. He is really moving up draft boards with the way he’s hit this spring. Already plays the game like a big leaguer, and does all the little things.
2) Deven Marrero SS, 6`1 180, R/R, Arizona, NCAA
34gp 131ab .290/.347/.427 3hr 18rbi 3(2b) 3(3b) 11bb 12so 8sb 1cs
10e 104a .938fld%
Marrero is an excellent defender who will definitely stick at shortstop professionally. He shows good instincts in the field, and has soft hands and a plus arm. Though Marrero lacks top level bat speed, he does make solid contact with a smooth line drive swing. Marrero isn’t particularly fast, but he does have good instincts on the base paths. While he doesn’t profile to hit for much power at the next level, Marrero has the chance to be a good every-day shortstop, with an above average hit tool. Has started slow this spring, making a lot of weak contact, however his track record of performance at Arizona, should keep him from falling too far down most draft boards.
3) Stephen Bruno, SS, 5’10 165, R/R, Virginia, NCAA
35gp 140ab .343/.402/.486 2hr 31rbi 10(2b) 2(3b) 11bb 14so 6sb 0cs
6e 63a .933fld%
Bruno is a slick-fielding college shortstop who should be able to stick at the position thanks to his plus range, and Speedy Gonzalez quick hands. He has surprising pop for a player his size, and could probably hit 10-15 homeruns at the next level. Bruno is a polished hitter, who makes consistent contact at the plate. He doesn’t strike out a lot, and takes his fair share of walks. Those attributes, along with his speed make him an ideal top-of-the-order-hitter. Bruno is a hard worker with excellent makeup. He missed significant time last year due to a serious hamstring injury. Playing third for Virginia right now, but short is his longterm home.
4) Chris Taylor, 6’0 170, R/R, Virginia, NCAA
36gp 142ab .296/.394/.500 4hr 32rbi 9(2b) 4(3b) 21bb 24so 7sb 1cs
11e 89a .928fld%
A potential five-tool shortstop, Taylor has a potent bat, and provides solid defence up the middle. He moves well defensively at short with plus range and good hands. He has a strong arm that rates as solid-average, to slightly above at times. As the leadoff hitter for a talented Virginia squad, Taylor has a solid approach at the plate, and squares up the ball consistently. Offensively he offers an intriguing power/speed combination, with the speed to steal the occasional base, and the potential for at least average power. A versatile athlete, Taylor has played short, second, third and outfield respectively for the Cavaliers. He became the full-time starter at short in 2011, when incumbent Stephen Bruno went down with a hamstring injury. He may profile better at second base as a pro, and some scouts have compared him to Giants 2011 first-rounder Joe Panik.
5) Kenny Diekroeger, 2B/SS, 6’2 200, R/R, Stanford, NCAA
31gp 124ab .315/.367/.468 2hr 23rbi 13(2b) 9bb 23so 2sb 2cs
4e 96a .975fld%
A big, athletic middle infielder, Diekroeger is full of offensive potential with the quick hands and the bat speed to hit for solid power and average. He has a contact oriented approach that isn’t conducive to taking a lot of pitches or drawing walks, but he’s done a good job of cutting down his strikeouts from year to year. Defensively, reviews have been mixed even though most agree that he is as athletic as they come. He has average speed and range to go along with good arm strength, but after playing primarily shortstop for Stanford as a sophomore, Diekroeger has been pushed to second base this spring, and that may be where he profiles best long term.
6) Matt Reynolds, SS/3B, 6’1 200, R/R, Arkansas, NCAA
34gp 116ab .336/.466/.534 4hr 26rbi 11(2b) 28bb 15so 10sb 1cs
7e 73a .931fld%
Matt Reynolds is a solid, versatile player. After a sophomore campaign in which he batted just .233, he impressed at the Cape hitting .322, and has carried that over this spring. Reynolds is patient and selective at the plate. He has good bat speed and is an effective base runner. Reynolds’ swing becomes a bit long at times, but changes made to his load by Team USA coaches over the summer have toned down his approach, and have lead to much better results overall. Reynolds is a standout defensively. While he’s is starting at third for Arkansas as a junior, but can handle any spot on the infield, including shortstop, with his strong arm, and solid athleticism. He’s finally healthy this spring, and is moving quickly up draft boards.
7) Steve Nyisztor, SS, 6’3 190, R/R, Louisburg, JUCO
42gp 149ab .362/442/.436 4hr 32rbi 9(2B) 17bb 19sb 4cs
22e 107a .883fld%
Nyisztor burst onto the scene with Rutgers in 2010 posting a triple slash line of .410/.450/563 to go with 4 homeruns, 17 doubles, 11 stolen bases, and an impressive 11 walks to 0 strikeouts. He transferred to Louisburg, after his sophomore season, when he was declared academically ineligible to play for the Aggies. Nyisztor is a long and lean athlete with a solid all-around package. He is a very good runner registering a 6.55 time in the 60, and his bat projects large, showing the ability to hit for both power and average. Nyisztor hits from a slightly open stance with a no stride approach. He has slight lift in his swing and makes consistent contact at the plate. Defensively, he has excellent actions and body control, with plus arm strength (87mph), and solid range. His defensive stats this spring with Louisburg are not encouraging as far as his ability to stick at shortstop long term. He certainly has the tools to do so, but a switch to second or third base, or even the outfield, shouldn`t hurt his stock too much.
8) Tyler Smith, SS, 6’0 191, R/R, Oregon State, NCAA
33gp 113ab .425/.507/.531 1hr 27rbi 7(2b) 1(3b) 20bb 15so 9sb 1cs
9e 84a .934fld%
Tyler Smith has been a breakout star for Oregon this year, coming out of nowhere to lead the team in hitting. He’s defensively versatile up the middle, well above-average at both shortstop and second base. Smith has good arm strength and above-average speed which he uses well both in the field, and on the base paths. A top of the order type of hitter, Smith has excellent plate discipline and does an excellent job of getting on base. Smith has a nice line drive swing, but his doesn`t figure to hit for much if any power going forward. Hit just .230/.389/.265 in 113 park/schedule adjusted at-bats in 2011. At the very least he’s a big league utility man.
9) Reed Gragnani, SS/OF, 6’0 175, S/R, Virginia, NCAA
19gp 67ab .358/.419/.388 0hr 9rbi 2(2b) 2bb 9so 0sb 1cs
3e 7a .917fld%
Push to the outfield thanks to the pressence of Bruno and Taylor (numbers 3 & 4) on a loaded Virginia infield, Gragnani is a talented player in his own right with above average tools across the board. He has above average speed, running 6.55 in the 60, and an accurate arm that registers 81 mph across the infield. Gragnani’s is a superb athlete, who could virtually play anywhere on the diamond if he needed to. As a shortstop, he has shown that he has soft hands and good actions, to go along with the aforementioned arm and range. He is no slouch with the bat either. He switch-hits and creates good bat speed. He is short to the ball and hits hard line drives to all fields. He is comfortable and balanced in the box and shows excellent hitting ability. Has received comparisons to Orioles All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts in the past.
10) Kyle Farmer, SS, 6’0 195, R/R, Georgia, NCAA
36gp 153ab .294/.329/.451 3hr 24rbi 15(2b) 6bb 16so 3sb 0cs
5e 103a .970fld%
Farmer is a very competitive player, who provides excellent defense up the middle of the diamond. He has nice range and a strong arm that registers 87 mph across the infield. At the plate Farmer is an above average hitter. He has a solid swing and good bat speed. He hits cleanup for the Bulldogs and has very good power for a middle infielder. Could stand to take a few more walks, which would improve his on-base numbers. Farmer has been a consistent performer throughout his college career, with an excellent track record both at the plate and on the field.
11) Pat Blair, SS, 5’10 180, R.R, Wake Forest, NCAA
37gp 155ab .323/.422/.445 2hr 22rbi 13(2b) 27bb 21so 13sb 2cs
9e 101a .943fld%
A good defender in both the infield and outfield, Blair is a very underrated prospect among the shortstops in this class. A hardworking player, Blair plays above his raw tools which are already solid across the board. Always a solid-average hitter, he has made big strides overall with the bat this spring, by cutting down his strikeout rate from a career 18.5 per cent to 11.4 while improving his BA by 58 points from his career average. Blair’s power is mostly gap power, but he will hit an abundance of doubles, and can even turn on a pitch every now and then. Wake Forest’s leadoff hitter, Blair does a good job getting on base, and isn’t afraid to take a walk. Once on, he has the speed and instincts to steal bases at a high percentage. Plays for an excellent program against very good competition. The Maryland product modeled his game after Cal Ripken growing up and like number 8 plays the game right way. Will only be 20 at the draft.
12) Darnell Sweeney, SS/2B, 6’1 160, S/R, Central Florida, NCAA
37gp 143ab .280/.402/.385 1hr 21rbi 4(2b) 4(3b) 30bb 16so 13sb 6cs
15e 102a .910fld%
Sweeney is a long lean athlete who projects to be a top of the order hitter at the next level. He has a patient approach, and does an excellent job getting on base. Sweeney hits from an open stance from both sides of the plate and uses his hands well in his swing. He flashes some gap power from the left side, but struggles with left-handed breaking balls when hitting right-handed. Sweeney is a good base runner. He has an easy stride posting 60 times of 6.86 in the past. Defensively, Sweeney has good lateral range, and solid footwork. His arm strength has improved, and he now throws 87 mph across the infield. Despite possessing the necessary athleticism tools to stick at short, Sweeney’s defensive stats at UCF have been spotty. He may profile best at second base, but a team hoping to keep him at short, will likely be counting on his excellent makeup and work ethic in getting him to iron out the holes in his defensive game.
13) Mike Miller, SS, 5’8 170, R/R, Cal-Poly, NCAA
31gp 130ab .362/.426/.523 1hr 21rbi 10(2b) 4(3b) 14bb 13so 3sb 1cs
4e 71a .969fld%
Another underrated shortstop prospect, Miller has started to open up some eyes with his play this spring. On the heels of an MVP and Gold Glove winning performance in the ABL (where he hit .359, committing only 4 errors), the Mustangs’ starting shortstop hasn’t slowed down since returning to campus. Hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot, the fourth-year senior is a smart hitter with sneaky pop in his bat. Miller has excellent plate discipline and will not strikeout often. He has also shown himself to be a good hitter in pressure situations. Some adjustments made by coaches to his approach last season have enabled him to take his game to another level. They introduced a leg kick, which has helped him generate more torque in his swing while keeping the bat head in the zone longer. In the field, Miller is steady defensively. He makes all the plays, with soft hands, quick feet, and an accurate arm. Praised often for his leadership and makeup, Miller is a tough player who competes on the field. He has had to overcome adversity in his young career, nearly being forced to give up baseball due to a stress fracture in his back. Miller went through a lot mentally and physically just to get back on the field, speaking to his character.
14) Jared Reaves, SS, 5’10 185, R/R, Alabama, NCAA
36gp 143ab .322/.355/.441 3hr 20rbi 6(2b) 1(3b) 6bb 19so 3sb 2cs
12e 113a .929fld%
Good player on both sides of the ball. Reaves is a scrappy shortstop with a great feel for the game. The former Southern Union CC, transfer plays the game under control. He’s steady defensively and makes all the plays with good instincts and a strong arm. Reaves posted a .983 fielding percentage for the Crimson Tide in 2011 committing only 9 errors on 244 chances, while starting all 63 games at short. Offensively, Reaves has a very good bat and above average power for a shortstop. He led Alabama in doubles and RBIs with 22 and 47, respectively last year. While finishing second in six other offensive categories, including average (.340), slugging percentage (.498), on-base percentage (.406), runs (51), hits (82) and walks (24).
15) Austin Nola, SS, 5’10 170, R/R, Louisiana, NCAA
36gp 119ab .303/.435/.403 1hr 22rbi 9(2b) 24bb 17so 2sb 0cs
4e 75a .968fld%
Senior shortstop Austin Nola has built a reputation as a very good defensive player with smooth actions, soft hands, and an excellent arm. Considered mostly an all glove player, he has handled the bat surprisingly well this spring, raising his draft stock some. Nola displays an aggressive approach at the plate, while at the same time keeping his strikeouts in check, and taking a fair number of walks. He`s a line drive hitter with only gap power. Nola has a straight up stance in the batter`s box with no stride. He has quick hands and looks to keep his hands inside the ball. While it`s very unlikely Nola will be an impact player at the next level, his defence good enough, that if he can be at least an average hitter, he will have value.
16) Mikey Reynolds, SS, 5’9 170, S/R, Texas A&M, NCAA
37gp 136ab .329/.444/.445 1hr 19rbi 10(2b) 2(3b) 23bb 17so 15sb 2cs
10e 109a .944fld%
An athletic shortstop with very good speed, Reynolds is a switch-hitter with a good idea at the plate. He provides a spark at the top of the Aggies lineup combining the ability to get on base with the speed and instincts to steal them. While power will never be a big part of his game, he does have some pop, though it`s mostly to the gaps. He`s a scrappy player who really battles in every at-bat, and is difficult to strikeout. Reynolds complements his dynamic offensive game with slick defense and an accurate arm. From a defensive standpoint he shows good actions up the middle. A bit of a Dustin Pedroia type, he plays with a great deal of energy and passion, but like the Boston All-Star, who started at the keystone in college, Reynolds might have to move across the bag to second at the next level.
17) Chase Jensen, SS, 6’2 175, R/R, Houston, NCAA
33gp 129ab .302/.350/.395 1hr 27rbi 5(2b) 2(3b) 9bb 16so 2sb 0cs
10e 107a .946fld%
Houston’s best player is Chase Jensen, a tall and rangy shortstop, with a pro type body. Jensen is a good defensive player with a slick glove and a strong arm. He covers a tremendous amount of ground with excellent range and speed for a player his size. He can not only get to balls that some people can’t but he has the arm strength to throw the runner out. Jensen has been forced to play second base this spring while working his way back from an arm injury but his long term home will be at the keystone. While he can win games on the strength of his defense, Jensen is no slouch with the bat, hitting in the middle of the order for the Cougars. While not your prototypical cleanup man, Jensen is a very good hitter, who seems to hit even better with runners on base. He has mostly gap power right now, but if he fills out his still lanky frame, he could have even more. An aggressive hitter, the Arlington, Texas native is doing a better job taking walks and cutting down the strikeouts in his second year with Houston, but could still improve on these areas further. A rising prospect Jensen could stand to be a little more consistent, but he has the ability to look like a star at times both at the plate and in the field. A quiet leader, Jensen is said to have a very good makeup and work ethic.
18) Stephen Perez, SS, 5’11 184, S.R, Miami, NCAA
29gp 96ab .250/.360/.479 3hr 20rbi 5(2b) 4(3b) 15bb 27so 5sb 3cs
15e 93a .917fld%
The first thing you notice about Perez is his defence. He is an absolute wiz at short capable of turning in highlight reel plays every single game. Though his 60 times (7.12-7.3) might not seem impressive, his range is above average on account of his quick feet, and good instincts. He is silky smooth on the diamond, with lightning quick hands, and plus arm strength, clocked at 89 mph across the infield. Perez has some hotdog in his game, and will try to make the flashy play at times leading to errors. At the plate he has solid tools, but his bat has not advanced very in his three years at Florida. The switch-hitter has a smooth stroke from both sides, and a patient approach, but strikeouts continue to be a problem. In two seasons with the Hurricanes, he has a batting average of just .258 with 122 strikeouts. Small and not overly projectable, he has shown a little more pop this spring, but that isn’t a big part of his game. The bat, especially from the right side, continues to be a work-in-progress, but he will get drafted for his defensive ability alone.
19) Anthony Gomez, 6’0 180, R/R, Vanderbilt
33gp 132ab .356/.416/.386 0hr 30rbi 4(2b) 11bb 8so 3sb 2cs
10e 72a .925fld%
Gomez is a solid middle infielder who makes all the plays he should, but won’t wow you with the flashy play. He only has average foot speed (6.83 in the 60), but moves well enough with nice fluid actions up the middle. His plus arm strength (89 mph), and quick hands, help compensate somewhat for what he lacks in overall range, but he may have to move across the bag to second at the next level. Offensively, Gomez has a compact swing and line drive approach. He won’t hit for much if any power, but he makes up for it by making a crazy amount of contact. Conversely, he doesn’t take very many walks, which would be nice since he hits leadoff for the Commodores. Solid college player, with average tool-set. Hit well in the Cape, .292 with 2 hr in 89abs.
20) Sam Lind, SS, 5’11 190, L/R, Cumberland, NAIA
43gp 146ab .349/.446/.623 8hr 38rbi 10(2b) 3(3b) 22bb 25so 6sb 1cs
5e 88a .971fld%
Lind has bounced from Missouri to Central Arizona to Vanderbilt and now to Cumberland. Lind has a strong glove and a stronger arm. He put up really impressive numbers as a junior college freshman. Above average hit tool, and pretty good pop for a middle infielder. Some holes in swing, will strikeout a bit. Needs to take more walks.
21) Alex Mejia, SS, 6’1 200, R/R, Arizona, NCAA
35gp 142ab .373/.385/.500 3hr 28rbi 7(2b) 1(3b) 4bb 13so 3sb 4cs
12e 116a .934fld%
Mejia is big and physical for a shortstop but he has easy smooth actions and a cannon arm. Defensively he is very good, with soft hands and excellent instincts which he got from his father Carlo, a former All-American infielder at Pepperdine. Mejia’s first step and range are both considered above average, and he has the athleticism to make acrobatic plays on the infield, though he struggles making the routine plays at times. For all his defensive skill however, it has been his work with the stick this spring that has really made the biggest impact. Projected to bat eighth in the lineup before the spring, the talented infielder has since moved all the way up to third in the batting order thanks to his sudden offensive breakout. Mejia had always been a solid hitter, with very good bat speed (his career average prior to 2012 was .327), but now he is hitting for much more power and production tying for the team lead in homeruns with 3 while slugging nearly 100 points higher than his previous career high. A natural ball-player, a wrist injury earlier in the year forced him to bat left handed (something he had never done before) and he held his own. Mejia is a confident, aggressive player, and a vocal leader among his teammates.