Draft 13 – Austin Wilson, Notre Dame, Florida Gulf Coast, Top 50 H.S. Prospects
Bad News: Stanford junior OF Austin Wilson will be out for up to eight weeks with a stress reaction in his right elbow. Wilson, a particular favorite of mine, was a projected early first round pick come June.
It will be interested to see how teams will deal with this. Last year’s version of this was Georgia Southern University’s Victor Roache who was favorite to be a top five pick until he was lost for the 2012 season. His drop in the draft was minimal, falling to the 28th pick overall, owned by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Two new teams entered the BA top 25 rankings.
When you think the Fighting Irish (5-1, 0-0), it’s always football first and then, maybe, basketball. What you don’t do is run to the D1 baseball website to check the baseball scores.
Notre Dame went into Tulane last week and swept a three-game series, the first time the Green Wave was shut out at home by a non-conference team since 1997. It was a team pitching effort, giving up only a total of five runs. Freshman Nick McCarty (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R), senior Adam Norton (5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), and junior Sean Fitzgerald (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) were standouts.
Top draft prospect, IF/OF Eric Jagielo, leads the team in batting (.500) while McCarty (0.00) has now posted ten scoreless innings in three outings.
They now head off to Cary, North Carolina for the Irish Baseball Classic, against 25th ranked Virginia Tech, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
The problem you have with teams like Florida Gulf Coast (5-1, 0-0) is they usually don’t get a shot at playing decent teams during the season. You simply can’t figure out if they legitimately should be ranked with the big boys.
Well, what about this year where the Eagles are 3-0 against top-25 teams?
No one was ready for a three-game weekend sweep of Florida, but that’s exactly what happened. This is a team that had only beat the Gators one time… ever. And this series was played in Gainsville!
There are so many heroes here, but you have to tip your hat to junior RHP Rickey Knapp (2-0, 1.20), who threw up a 6-hit complete game Friday night against Jonathan Crawford. He was joined by fellow junior, LHP Brian Bixler (2-G, 1-0, 1.00), on Saturday (5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K).
Leading hitter so far this season is 1B red-shirt senior Brooks Beisner (.520, 4-HR, 11-RBI, 1.120-slugging %)
1. Clint Frazier, OF, Loganville HS (GA)
Plus/plus bat speed, plus speed (6.42/60), plus arm (98 mph), power to all fields and a very high character make the 6’-1”, 200-pound right-hander number-one on my list. He hit .424 with 24 home runs and stole 14 bases over 114 at-bats as a junior. Draws comps to Mike Trout for his style of play. Has hit three home runs in his first two games of the season.
2. Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS (GA)
At 6’-4” and 200 pounds, the left-hander already has a major league body. A true five-tool talent, his plus speed, plus arm and instincts should allow him to stick at center field. Great bat speed allows him to hit the ball all over the field and the power potential is huge. Like best friend Frazier, he has a great make up and high understanding of the game.
3. Jonathan Denney, C, Yukon HS (OK)
At 6’-2” and 205 pounds, the right-hander has some of the best power in the draft, and his defense is good enough to keep him behind the plate. Has been one of the most impressive prep players over the last year and, in a draft loaded with prep catchers, has very few holes on either side of the plate.
4. Dominic Smith, 1B/OF, Serra HS (CA)
In my opinion, Smith is the best pure hitter in the draft. Over his 77-game high school career, he is hitting .568 with 14 home runs, 126 RBI, 29 stolen bases and has fanned just 13 times. He recently went 10-for-13 with four walks and two stolen bases at the MLK Tournament sponsored by Perfect Game, garnering MVP honors. The 6’-1”, 190-pound left-hander has an incredible batting eye and more power should come as he matures. If he can stick at a corner outfield position, his value goes way up.
5. Trey Ball, LHP/OF, New Castle Chrysler HS (TX)
At 6’-6”, the southpaw hits the low/mid 90s with an easy delivery and there is still room for more. He adds a low-80s slider and change-up but both are still inconsistent at times. A great athlete, his future should be on the mound despite his potential on offense.