Aman provides a great prospect preview of the visiting Baylor Bears. The team is stocked with MLB prospects. They have five players listed in Baseball America's top-100 college prospect list. Print this out and bring it down to Hoglund for Sunday's series deciding game. First pitch at Noon. - JQ
JR Kendal Volz 6'5, 225 RHP
Volz is without a doubt a very solid professional prospect. I have him listed as #8 in my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players and Baseball America had him at #6. Volz was the closer for the USA National Team and gave up ZERO runs in 13 appearances. Volz was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 50th round out of HS. He is a tall kid with plenty more room to fill out and add more velocity to his already 92-94 mph sinking fastball. Volz also throws a very nice sharp slider at about 80 mph and a decent slurve/change up that isnt thrown very often. With those 3 pitches working, he gets a lot of strikeouts and even more ground balls. His command is decent but nothing spectacular. His mechanics are not too bad although he does have some violent actions at certain points of his delivery. He is a very good athlete and has plenty of upside. So far this year he hasnt been quite as sharp and his velocity has been down in the upper 80's. Volz is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 39 innings. He has 32 K's, 16 walks and has given up 13 hits. It appears his command hasnt been quite as good as normal so maybe he hasnt quite rounded into form yet. I would seriously doubt that Volz would make it out of the first round of the MLB draft this summer UNLESS he continues to struggle with his command and his velocity stays down. An injury could be in place as well. I will be getting video and photography of Volz and am very anxious to see what he brings and how his mechanics look in person.
more after the jump...
SO Shawn Tolleson, 6'2, 225 RHP
Tolleson is another professional pitching prospect for Baylor. He is a draft eligible sophomore because of age and he has already had Tommy John surgery back in 06. I have him listed as #45 in my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players and Baseball America had him at #23. Tolleson throws a sinking fastball at around 88-90 mph. He also throws a decent slider with a lot of movement but not the best command at this point. His third pitch is an average change up that he rarely uses. I have heard and seen on video that Tolleson has a rather messed up delivery as far as mechanics are concerned. He has a violent ending to his follow through and he has different body parts going in different directions. He has already had TJ surgery once and he sure looks like an injury risk going forward. I notice his numbers on the year arent looking very good and I think he is back in the bullpen or is being used as a weekday starter, perhaps to help him get back in rhythm or work on finding his pitches and command again. So far on the year he has a 4.96 ERA in 16.1 innings, only 8 K's, 12 walks and 15 hits. Im wondering if another injury may be hiding in there somewhere. At this point i think he will be back for his Junior season and i would drop him from my top 50 list. I hope i get to see him pitch at some point in this series.
JR Aaron Miller, 6'3, 200 OF/LHP
Miller is a dual talent that plays RF and Pitches. I have him listed as #48 in my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players and Baseball America had him at #62. Miller is also a Player of the Year nominee along with Volz. Miller was drafted by the Rockies in the 11th round out of HS. As a sophomore last year, Miller hit .296 with 12 HR and 45 RBI. Miller is a good athlete but lacks in speed. He has very good power and plate discipline. So far this year he is hitting .338 with 3 HR, 22 RBI, 4 doubles, 20 K's and 18 walks. His power hasnt really ramped up yet but his plate discipline is still there and he is hitting the ball, so its just a matter of time. Miller is also a star on the mound as he is the teams closer (or one of them). He is 1-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 20.2 innings. He has 25 K's, 16 walks and has given up 12 hits. Miller appears to be a power pitcher so i am anxious to see what part of his game will give him the best looks for the next level. I could see Miller being drafted in the top 5 rounds this summer depending on if his power production gets back to where it should be.
JR Dustin Dickerson, 6'4, 205 1B/DH
Dickerson is another nice pro prospect. He barely missed my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players and Baseball America had him at #71. Dickerson was drafted by the Nationals in the 15th round out of HS. He is big kid that swings the bat well. He doesnt hit a lot of HR but he does have power potential in his frame if he can find the mechanics and fill out a bit. This year he is hitting .354 with 3 HR, 14 RBI, 5 doubles, 15 K's and 11 walks. Dickerson should be fun to watch at the plate and i also want to see his level of athleticism. Dickerson too should be a top 5 round draft pick this summer depending on his commitment to Baylor.
JR Shaver Hansen, 6', 185 3B/SS
Hansen is yet another Baylor pro prospect. He also barely missed my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players. Hansen is the scrappy lead off type player that makes amazing plays and works his tail off. So far this year however, he is really showing some serious pop in his bat. He is hitting .347 with 8 HR, 22 RBI, 7 doubles, 24 K's and 9 walks. His plate discipline has sacrificed but the HR/Doubles are way up. I will be very curious to see what Hansens swing and defense look like. Hansen has the chance to be a top 7 round draft pick in the MLB draft this summer.
FUN FACT: His dad was a professional wrestler called "The Lariat".
SO Craig Fritsch, 6'4, 180 RHP
Fritsch is another professional pitching prospect for Baylor. He is another draft eligible sophomore. He is another near miss for my Pre-Season College Top 50 (draft eligible) players and Baseball America had him at #38. Fritsch throws a fastball in the 90-94 range with good movement out of his 3/4 arm delivery. His slider comes in more like a curve since its got a lot more sidearm action to it, but it is a very good quality pitch. He also throws a nice change up with good movement so Fritsch offers 3 quality pitches to keep batters guessing. Fritsch pounds the strike zone but he is hittable at times. All of his pitches translate to the next level as well does his frame which has projectablity. He has been struggling mightily of late however with an 8.75 ERA in 23.2 innings. He has 17 K's, 13 walks and has given up a whopping 32 hits. He will need to turn this around quickly or he will for sure be back at Baylor for his JR season. I hope to see Fritsch pitch in this series too.
FR Logan Verrett, 6'2, 170 RHP
Verrett was a very big recruit who went undrafted out of HS because he was strongly committed to Baylor. He is not draft eligible. This kid is putting up some amazing freshman numbers and actually is showing to be more like Baylors second ace of the staff behind Volz. Verrett is 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1 save in 32 innings. He has 42 K's and only 7 walks and has given up 34 hits. His numbers show a power pitcher with a good frame and precise control although sometimes hittable, but a kid that rarely allows the base runners to score. I am very excited to see this kid pitch as he may be something special in the near future.
JR Raynor Campbell, 5'10, 175 2B
Campbell won Big 12 Freshman of the year in 2007 and had a very strong sophomore campaign as well. Campbell is a middle infielder/ outfielder with speed, grit and hustle but also has some good power with the bat. So far this year he is really struggling. Campbell is batting .203 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, 18 K's and 7 walks. Im not sure what his issues are so far this season but i will be watching the talented junior closely to find out. At this point i would expect him to be a late round pick and to return for another season at Baylor.
JR Willie Kempf, 6', 185 RHP
Kempf performed very well in the Cape Cod League this last summer and really put his name on the prospect map. So far this year, Kempf is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 16.1 innings. He has 16 K's, 14 walks and has given up 12 hits. It looks like he has been a bit erratic with his control so far but he is still getting the strikeouts on a regular basis. I will be curious to see if Kempf has anything to really help him climb the prospect and draft charts as this season moves forward.
FR Joey Hainsfurther, 5'11, 185 SS
Hainsfurther is another nice recruit that Baylor landed and is not draft eligible. Hainsfurther was drafted out of HS in the 46th round by the SF Giants. While not the most imposing figure, Hainsfurther can really swing the bat. In his Freshman season he is leading the team at .387 with 1 HR, 17 RBI, 6 doubles, 10 K's and 11 walks. He has some nice power for a middle infielder as well as being a good defender. I have a lot to look at with this exciting freshman.
FR Lucas Hileman, 6'1, 180 OF
Speed and power and yet another big time recruit for Baylor. Hileman was drafted in the 37th round by the Braves. Hileman is batting .500 is limited action with 5 RBI, 2 doubles, 6 K's and 5 walks and is 1-1 in steals so far. Hileman is holding his own and should be a star in his sophomore year. Im hoping he gets to play quite a bit in this series.
FR Dan Evatt, 6'3, 210 1B
Evatt is a redshirt freshman who is getting his first taste of major college baseball this year. He was drafted out of HS in the 45th round by the Indians. Evatt is seeing limited playing time but is batting .298 with 2 HR, 14 RBI, 5 doubles, 10 K's and 3 walks. Not too shabby for a freshman in limited playing time. Evatt is another player i hope to see in this 3 game set.
SO Chris Slater, 6'1, 185 OF
Slater is another young Baylor player that has seen limited action but has a nice future ahead of him. Slater is batting .333 with 1 RBI and 1 K in only 6 at bats. Slater is a speedy outfielder with some good potential with the bat.
I have a lot of work to do in this series but will try to get as much as i can on each one of these guys including some photography and video.
I will post a recap of my findings after the series.