A Preliminary Look at Some of the 2011 MLB Draft Class | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

A Preliminary Look at Some of the 2011 MLB Draft Class

While it is hardly early for this sort of piece considering the 2010 draft took place over a month ago, I think it is time the Sombrero begins investigating some of the guys in 2011’s class.  This first piece will examine the top three collegiate arms and the top collegiate hitter.  They are all potential franchise guys with an enormous upside and the polish that first-round draft picks are expected to showcase.  These guys are not typical, though.  The hitter, and consensus top talent available, is 3rd Baseman Anthony Rendon of Rice, recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy and BA’s College POY.  The arms are UCLA’s Garret Cole, UT’s Taylor Jungmann, and TCU’s Matt Purke.  None of these guys should be taken outside of the first 10 picks, and none of them spend a lot of the game under 94 mph.  None of them had an ERA over 3.40, and they all possess at least one 60 or above secondary offering.  They are exceptional.

Anthony Rendon, 3B

Rice’s Rendon put up these slashes as a sophomore: .394/.530/.801.  The dude went deep 26 times, stole 14 bags, and turned in a 65:22 K:BB.  His performance is absolutely mouth-watering, and a reasonable argument could be made that if he were a junior putting up these numbers he could have understandably been selected before Harper.  He at least should have earned the Golden Spikes over Harper.  Sorry, but there has never in the history of the sport been a JUCO guy who deserved the Golden Spikes, not even Harper.

Anyway, Rendon’s defense is at least playable at the hot corner professionally, and while collegiate defensive metrics are somewhat dubious when attainable, scouts seem to regard his defense as good to great.  Perhaps the part of Rendon’s game that I am most impressed with is the fact that he is doing this at an institution like Rice.  Yeah, he’s a baseball player, but he still has to go to class at a place like Rice.  Hell, he probably is expected to perform as well in the classroom as a lot of the other kids on campus not in athletics.  That is a rarity among the better hitters in most draft classes.  I personally feel as though this sets Rendon apart.

Unfortunately, Rendon went down with a broken ankle while playing for Team USA against South Korea a week ago.  With him out we dropped two of three against Chinese Taipei too.  What he provides is irreplaceable for the Red, White, and Blue.  Hopefully Rendon heals quickly and gets back to the form that landed him at the top of the list prior to last week.

I keep thinking that Rendon might become Longoria.  The numbers sure look similar.

Gerrit Cole, RHP

Cole struck out 131 guys in 101 innings as a sophomore Bruin.  He posted a 3.11 ERA and won ten games, not that I care about either of those marks.  What I care about is Cole’s ability to dial it up to 99 mph when he needs/wants and the fact that his breaking stuff comes in around 15 mph slower than the heater.  He actually throws a power sinker as well, but scouts don’t seem so high on it simply because the 4-seamer is so big.  He also has a change that may play as plus in a couple of years, but only plays at a 50 at the moment.  Changeups are feel offerings, though, and can improve every season until a guy bows out (Hoffman).  I don’t put a lot of stock into a guy’s third pitch before he reaches the bigs.  Look at Lincecum.  The guy basically didn’t throw a changeup for outs until the middle of his second season.  Now it grades 80 some days.

Cole will be the first arm taken because Cole’s stuff is retarded.  His mechanics raise some questions from scouts because he fights to get the arm speed he has.  Who cares?  They will be cleaner by the time he arrives to the bigs.  He turned down the Yanks’ offer of $3 million out of high school in 2008 because he really wanted to play in college.  The three years he will have spent under John Savage might be worth the extra $5 million the Yanks weren’t offering come next August… this would likely be a deadline kind of sign for the lucky squad that lands this arm.

Taylor Jungmann, RHP

The Longhorns’ Jungmann posted a slightly better K:BB than Cole, but his stuff is generally regarded as being a little less than Cole’s.  Jungmann is a true mid-90’s guy with a long frame and plus command.  He too has a couple of plus other offerings with the ability to get both sides of the plate out.  The secondary stuff may be a little ahead of Cole’s at the moment.  Jungmann has more pace on his breaker than Cole, but he exhibits a number of the same flaws in his delivery that Cole exhibits.  Both guys are across the body throwers and tend to use a lot of arm in their deliveries, but that is what the minors are for.  Jungmann is a horse as he averages 7 innings per start.  There just aren’t a lot of flaws here.  From what I have personally seen of Jungmann, I expect him to generate a lot of groundballs from the right side of the plate and a lot of swings and misses on secondary stuff from both sides.  Jungmann is as premium an arm as exists, and the fact that he has had the success he has in a Longhorns uniform is worth millions.

Matt Purke, LHP

The Sombrero has already mentioned the lefty Purke, but he deserves to be included with these other guys.  Matt Purke won 16 games as a freshman while striking out 142 guys in 116.1 IP.  His stuff is electric.  He throws real mid-90’s fastballs with good arm-side action as well as a plus slurve.  His changeup is not used frequently, but he has some feel for it, and it should be good enough to get the right side out so long as it is in the zone.  Purke is also long in the arms – very long – and that may lead to some difficulty locating his changeup.  Purke is available in 2011 due to some faulty wording in the rules designed to keep guys in college three years, but his early departure is ultimately going to be better for everyone.  It will provide Purke the leverage to get the bonus he wants as well as the chance to get through the minors quicker due to the extra polish he has picked up since the Rangers deal fell apart in 2009.

We will periodically discuss other higher profile guys in 2011’s draft class.  These first four will all be multimillion-dollar bonus babies and will all get through the minors quickly.  I know this is about a month late in getting posted, but I have been a little fixated on the local baseball scene back home.  Go Cardinals!

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Clark says:

    woops! rendon’s bb/k was a far more spectacular 65/22. sorry.

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