2012 MLB Draft Preview: Kenny Diekroeger | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

2012 MLB Draft Preview: Kenny Diekroeger

With the fall baseball season in full swing nationwide and the WWBA championships coming to a close in Jupiter, FL, it seems fitting to discuss a prospect who perhaps has the most to gain or lose out of anyone in the months leading up to the June draft.  Stanford SS Kenny Diekroeger is arguably the best athlete in this year’s college crop.  He is basically a 60 across the board player in the “athlete” tools as well as with the glove.  He has all of the tools necessary to be a key up-the-middle contributor with a very good chance to be average at short or plus at second.  Diekroeger will have three years at Stanford under his belt come June and that combination of tools and experience should mean a very high selection in the draft, right?  Not necessarily.

Diekroeger posted a .293/.364/.356 slash line for the Cardinal in 2011 after .356/.392/.491 line as a freshman.  Many have used the new bat regulations to explain this drop in production.  I think there is more to it.  Kenny’s bat speed is easily at least plus, but he creates very little loft with his swing mechanics and produces entirely too many GB’s because his hands drop as he loads.  For most belt-high pitches and above (easily within the NCAA strike-zone) Kenny is a below-the-ball hitter.  This is not necessarily an easy fix, and it could be a problem that he will fight the rest of his days on the diamond.  It’s not necessarily as though he will ever be a bad hitter with his current mechanics, but he cannot be elite with them either, and with a frame as large as the one he currently has, sliding to third or the outfield is a real possibility.  An average or below hit tool on a 60 runner is not a first round player in many organizations’ opinions, and Diekroeger has potentially millions to gain from improved bat track and mechanics this year.

Diekroeger fails to transfer all of his weight and tends to close his lower half off as well.  This is usually an easier fix than the bat track issues, but is much tougher to do when also attempting to correct upper body flaws.

The PAC-12 is loaded with strong pitching this season, and Diekroeger will be able to prove (or not prove) that he is deserving of the top-10 talk that he was receiving after his freshman year as opposed to the late first round or early compensation round talk that he began receiving after his numbers softened up in 2011.  Diekroeger might very well be the second infielder off of the board in 2012 behind ASU SS Deven Marrero, but he also could end up falling behind several prep kids too like Gavin Cecchini.


3 Comments

  1. Mike Rosenbaum says:

    Dee,
    Who would you say is his big league comparison?

  2. Steve says:

    for me, he has a lot in common with green. both are big body guys that really have to fight themselves to move like shortstops, and we saw what happened to green. the difference is the bat. i think green’s bat could have played at third and it definitely plays in center. i’m not sure diekroeger is a first rounder if he can’t be an up the gut infielder. his hands are acceptable in the field, and his arm is enough for the left side, but neither tool is one to drool over. his feet are great…for a bigger guy. with the bat, he reminds me of kinsler in that he hits with a flat front and enters the hitting zone from below the ball on all but the lowest of strikes. the difference is that kinsler cheats a lot to hit at extension. kinsler does just about everything within the game as though he’s new to it except guess pitchers, and i’m not sure anyone in the game guesses pitches as well as he does.

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