David Narodowski, KU shortstop.
Kansas shortstop David Narodowski was the first Jayhawk taken in the 2009 MLB draft. Narodowski was selected in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamonbacks.
David had an impressive year at the plate, hitting .354/.434/.542 in 240 at bats. He hit for good power for a middle infielder with 19 doubles and 8 home runs. Narodowski scored 64 runs and drove in 43. He stole six bases in 10 attempts.
Narodowski was both very impressive and inconsistant in the field. He made at least a dozen show stopping plays at shortstop but also committed 20 errors. Most of his errors were on rushed throws to first base.
Narodowski is a junior so he has one year left of NCAA eligiblity. He would certainly be welcomed back by KU. Narodowski was honored by the Big-12 by being named Newcomer of the Year in 2009. This was Narodowski's first year at KU after transfering in from a Juco.
There is no clear back-up at shortstop should he choose to leave. James Stanfield played short for a few games when Narodowski was injured in mid-season. Stanfield hit for good average but did not show power. Stanfield's defensive range is also a question mark. He seemed better suited to second base in the limited action I saw. Of course defense is one area in which a player can improve dramatically while in college. Just look at how far Buck Afenir has come as a catcher for evidence. Another possiblity is Brandon Macias, (South Mountain College, Phoenix, Arizona), who signed on to join KU next year. Coach Price said Macias was "Rated by many as one of the top defensive infielders in the country. Plays in a wood bat conference and hit 350 with 7 homeruns as a freshman. Was at Arizona State on scholarhship in the fall of his freshman year."
Here is Aman Reaka's scouting report on Narodowski:
SS) JR. David Narodowski, 5'10, 193 (.354, 19 doubles, 8 HR, 43 RBI, 33 bb, 46 K, 6 SB)
This was my preseason preview of Nardo:
David is flat-out "show time" on defense. He has amazing lateral speed with a good arm and he runs through the ball when he fields it. I have seen this kid get to some balls that just aren't reachable by very many players. So he's all defense right? Wrong. This kid can hit the ball. He hits to all fields and has a shocking amount of power for a guy his size. He was a great find for this coaching staff to get this kid to transfer to Kansas. I would expect him to really surprise the Big 12 this year.
Narodowski "Nardo" has really helped himself in this year's post season. He showed a lot more power and tore through the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA regional in North Carolina. He showed an amazing skill set on defense this year (a few too many silly errors here and there). I could see him moved to 2b at the next level because he doesnt really posses a cannon of an arm. Offensively, he shows plenty of power with his 19 doubles and 8 homeruns. He strikes out a little bit much but he also walks quite a bit. He has decent speed as well and already works, looks and acts like a professional athlete. With Nardo's post-season success and power showing, I think he really moved himself up the draft charts. I would expect Nardo to be selected in rounds 20-30 and I have this feeling that he will sign and unfortunately be done with his Jayhawk career.
Fun fact - Every shortstop who has played at Kansas under Ritch Price has been drafted. David is the fourth consecutive Jayhawk shortstop to hear his named called in June. The man Narodowski replaced this year, Erik Morrison, was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team a few days ago.