2017 College Top 100 Draft Prospects
SEE ALSO: High School Top 100 SEE ALSO: 2017 Draft Archive The calendar turning this week to 2017 is the latest sign both the start of the college baseball season and the draft are fast approaching. As players prepare for the season, scouts are also readying for the spring. The college class is rich in pitching, as both USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team and the Cape Cod League demonstrated over the summer. The CNT’s pitching staff posted a 1.81 ERA and held opponents to a .197 batting average in 18 games last summer, while the Cape’s Top 30 draft prospects was again dominated by pitchers. As a result, college pitching is one of the strengths of the 2017 draft class. For the second year in a row, a Florida pitcher tops the College 100 ranking entering the spring. A year after lefthander A.J. Puk ranked No. 1, righthander Alex Faedo goes into 2017 atop the list. Puk ultimately was the first college pitcher selected last year, though he slipped on draft day and went No. 6 overall to the Athletics after an up-and-down spring. Faedo, who will take over as Florida’s ace this season, will hope for a steadier draft year. Though he sat out the fall as he recovered from minor knee surgery, he has the stuff, size and track record to be the top pick in the draft. Listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Faedo has a plus fastball-slider combination and improved his changeup this summer while pitching with the CNT. He went 13-3, 3.18 and ranked third in the country with 133 strikeouts in 104.2 innings last season. A host of pitchers join Faedo near the top of the list. Righthanders J.B. Bukauskas (North Carolina), Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt), Alex Lange (Louisiana State) and Tanner Houck (Missouri) all joined him this summer with Team USA and turned in impressive performances. Righthander Tristan Beck is a draft-eligible sophomore who has a chance to be the latest Stanford pitcher to be picked early in the first round. Vanderbilt center fielder Jeren Kendall has established himself as the top college position player. A well above-average runner with surprising power in his wiry frame, he has the ability to impact the game in multiple ways. Scouts will also be keeping a close eye on another center fielder in Nashville, as Lipscomb’s Michael Gigliotti has the skill set to profile at the top of the lineup. Sluggers Keston Hiura (UC Irvine), J.J. Schwarz (Florida) and Pavin Smith (Virginia), as well as Florida shortstop Dalton Guthrie are among the other position players who will receive first-round consideration. Louisville’s Brendan McKay, the 2015 Freshman of the Year, could fit near the top of either the position players or pitchers. He has been the best two-way player in the country the last two years, and there is still no consensus as to whether he will be developed as a lefthander or first baseman in pro ball. Florida and North Carolina lead all schools with five players each on the top 100. South Carolina and Virginia closely follow with four players. In all 61 colleges are represented.
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