With the MLB Draft continuing over the next 2 days, it's time to start looking out for some Terps to come off the board.
Here's my expectation: The over/under for Terps being picked this year is 3.5. Jake Stinnett and Jimmy Reed are locks, but after that there is much uncertainty, as there always is with baseball drafts. Charlie White is likely to be picked too, but after that, it is a complete crapshoot. Based on production, Jordan Hagel and Kyle Convissar both have a good chance to go in the late rounds. Other dark horses include Blake Schmit, Tim Kiene and Michael Montville, all guys who have immense upside but have not put together more than a full season of at bats with the Terps.
If they get 4 guys picked this year, they should be thrilled.
But look out Terps fans, that number could rise close to double digits in the years to come.
Here's my scouting reports on the guys that could go:
Jake Stinnett, RHP
JR Vista, CA
The Report: Stinnett has more pro potential than anyone on the Maryland roster. He began the year as the team’s closer because of his big fastball and mental makeup, but was moved into the rotation mid-season. He blossomed as a starter and became one of the ACC’s best, lowering his ERA from 8.10 to 2.83 by season’s end. On top of his plus-stuff, Stinnett’s motion is extremely simple and easy to repeat. He has a good head on his shoulders too, posting a 4.47 cumulative GPA in high school.
The Good: Stinnett’s fastball-slider combo is pretty much Big League ready, with the heater touching 93 and a big power slider that’s proven to be unhittable at the college level. His command is always on-point and he pounds the strike zone, having walked only 24 batters in 63 innings. At 6-4, 202 pounds, his projectability is immense and many professional coaches would kill to get their hands on a talent like Stinnett.
The Bad: Stinnett has literally half a season of starting pitching under his belt in college. He was recruited to play infield and worked sparingly as a reliever in his first two years in College Park. He’s battled bouts with inconsistency too, having failed to reach the fourth inning in two of his starts this year.
The Bottom Line: Stinnett’s command and mental makeup should eliminate any concerns about his inexperience. His upside is tremendous, and scouts have taken notice in 2013. Even with all the freshman talent that has arrived in College Park, it was Stinnett who the scouts came out to see. He WILL be picked and could garner some high prospect grades once he’s there.
Prediction: Jake could drop because of his signability. He could certainly return to Maryland for one more year and anchor a strong but young staff in 2014, a la Jimmy Reed. Because of that, I bet MLB teams stay away from him in the early rounds and pick him in the rounds 8-16 region. But if he was a senior this year, he could go as early as round 3.
100% Chance to Get Picked
Jimmy Reed, LHP
Sr. Gaithersburg, MD
(drafted in the 21st Round of last year’s draft by the New York Yankees)
The Report: Reed has one of the best curveballs you will ever see. It’s nearly impossible to hit and accounts for many of his strikeouts. His fastball sits 87-89 and can touch 90 at times. He also has a good changeup with late sink that he can throw for strikes. But Jimmy’s best trait is his command, as he can put all three of his pitches where he needs to and mixes speeds extremely well. With three useful pitches, his arsenal is built for starting pitching, as he is equally effective against righties and lefties.
Reed dazzled ACC bats for the second straight year in 2013.
Photo: Washington Post
The Good: Reed finished top-10 in the ACC in ERA (2.33), innings pitched (88) and strikeouts (74). He was hands-down one of the best pitchers in the country in 2013 and peaked at the right time. He allowed just seven earned runs in his final five starts and stuck out 38 batters (7.6 K/start).
The Bad: Reed lost a full 2 miles-per-hour on his fastball and was only able to touch 90 on occasion in 2013. The fastball is a major concern, as it will need to stay around 90 to keep Reed out of the "junk-baller" category. Also, having stayed in college for four years, it can be argued that his window to grow is closing.
The Bottom Line: The results are there, and he’ll likely dominate A-ball, but his ability to handle Big League hitters will be in question until he gets the chance.
Prediction: Jimmy will certainly get picked and likely in the first half of the draft. If it weren’t for the drop in velocity this year, he would be a top-5 round selection. But because of that, he’ll likely go later.
100% Chance to get picked
Charlie White, CF
RS SO Naperville, IL
The Report: White is a dynamic centerfielder and has the ability to take over a game purely with his legs. Featuring plus speed, White finished top-5 in the nation with 39 stolen bases. He routinely disrupts a pitcher's rhythm when he reaches base, which he did in nearly 45% of his plate appearances.
The Good: White's speed will make heads turn. He is as good a bunter as you will ever see and uses his speed to track down balls in centerfield that seem impossible to get to. He's an excellent slap hitter and sprays the ball to all fields for a high average (.350). On top of all that, Charlie is tough to strike out (17 Ks in 214 ABs) and possesses an above average arm.
The Bad: Many scouts will not roll the dice on White's style of play. Without any power potential, teams must bank on the fact that he can hit for a high average all the way up to the Major Leagues. Additionally, this was Charlie's first season as an everyday starter.
The Bottom Line: With the excitement he brings to the leadoff spot and the numbers he put up in an elite conference, it stands to reason that White will get picked. The question is, will he sign?
The Prediction: All the high-ceiling high school guys will go before him, but I bet someone pulls the trigger on White in the second half of the draft. For the right price, they might get themselves a steal, as Charlie will likely dominate the lower levels of pro ball.
Chances to Get Picked: 80%
Blake Schmit, SS
JR Eden Prairie, MN
The Report: Schmit is a defensive wizard. This panel unanimously names him the best defensive shortstop we’ve ever seen. The Minnesota native is a highlight reel waiting to happen every time he steps on the diamond. He has infinite range to either side, a good arm and is as athletic as any player in the country. Despite transferring from junior college, Schmit carried himself like he belonged right from day one, becoming the everyday shortstop.
The Good: Obviously his defense is what jumps out, but Blake can hit, too. He goes the other way when necessary and has some pop to the pull side. He’s still adjusting to the ACC level of pitching, but a .277 average in his first season at Maryland is awfully promising. Once he makes more consistent solid contact, he has the potential to hit for more power as well.
The Bad: Schmit had trouble catching up to hard fastballs at times.
The Bottom Line: Teams may wait to see him duplicate his first ACC season before giving him a chance. His ceiling is as high as anyone on the Terps roster as he has the ability to be a legitimate professional shortstop.
Prediction: Someone may try and steal him away from Maryland in the late rounds by paying him overslot, but chances are he’ll stay in College Park one more year and could be a blue-chip prospect this time next year.
Chance to get picked: 20-30%
Next year: 60-80%
To see what Schmit can do on defense, check out these videos:
Jordan Hagel, RF
Sr. Fairfield, CT
The Report: Hagel has absolutely zero weaknesses to his game. He is the kind of player you need to watch over a full season to appreciate what he brings. Hagel hits for average and power, has good speed, some projectability and is solid on defense. He led the Maryland team with 21 XBH hits this year despite missing 16 starts with a broken hand. Cast and all, he continued to contribute by pinch-running late in games to help his team. I think that says it all about Jordan Hagel.
The Good: Jordan has improved in each of his four years at Maryland. He led the squad in SLG (.534) this year and posted an impressive .415 OBP. He led the team in OBP, hits, doubles and total bases last season, proving to be a consistent .300 hitter in the nation’s best conference. Hagel also stole 13 bases to complement his power production. He is freakishly athletic and can be considered a five-tool player if he continues to develop.
The Bad: He is a senior with only two full seasons of high-level amateur baseball under his belt. He tends to take big hacks and is out of control at times, as evidenced by his high strikeout total this year (35 Ks in 39 starts).
The Bottom Line: Hagel has been the most underrated player in the Maryland program the last two years and this panel believes he deserves more recognition. The numbers speak for themselves.
Photo: Rick Heath (Cotuit Kettleers)
Jordan Hagel playing in the Cape Cod League
Prediction: Hagel has never been drafted before, which could mean scouts just don’t see him as a pro prospect. But based on his numbers and strong all-around game, he should get picked in the late rounds.
Chances to get picked: 50-60%
Kyle Convissar, 2B
JR Severna Park, MD
The Report: Convissar is a consummate professional with one of the best brains in the game. A perennial all-academic performer, the Severna Park native has the methodical style of hitting you’d expect from such an intelligent individual. His .325/.427/.427 line is one of the best in the ACC. He is a very complete hitter and has improved his numbers in each of his three years in College Park.
The Good: Convissar sprays the ball to all fields with authority. He takes the ball where it’s pitched and never tries to do too much. He’s a tough out every time up: he works the count, fouls off innumerable pitches and is very tough to strike out. He has some pop too, stoking 13 extra-base-hits this season and several doubles off the wall.
The Bad: Convissar doesn’t really have a position. He’s played exclusively second base with the Terps and done so adequately. However, he is a bigger body and only average athletically, so he may project better at third base or a corner outfield spot. His arm is good enough to play any of those positions.
The Bottom Line: Convissar’s production and intangibles are good enough to be a pro right now. However, his herky-jerky style of play may scare some scouts away.
Prediction: Kyle can be a doubles machine at the next level. He has proven he can hit the finest pitching, and combined with his baseball IQ, he should get a chance, even if it’s not this year.
Chances to get picked: 50-60%
This year: 30-40%
Fun Fact: 2 Terps are currently playing in the Major Leagues
You can see my scouting reports on all the draft-eligible Terps by clicking here: Terps Scouting Reports
You can follow me on Twitter @JohnVittas3