Steele Walker
Steele Walker (Photo: Joey Helmer, 247Sports)

 

The Tigers have the first pick in the draft this June, and TigsTown wants you to be informed. Check back each week to see how the draft’s top prospects are performing.

4/05-4/11

College Outfielders

Player

AB

R

HR

RBI

K:BB

SB/CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

Travis Swaggerty

104

27

7

19

20:34

6/3

.308

.490

.567

Steele Walker

112

22

3

21

21:19

1/2

.321

.430

.455

Tristan Pompey

95

18

5

28

25:15

4/2

.358

.455

.632

Tanner Dodson

126

27

1

13

20:11

9/3

.325

.393

.421

Kyle Isbel

145

40

9

39

32:19

4/3

.386

.461

.697

Jameson Hannah

130

39

3

25

24:17

4/1

.392

.464

.585

South Alabama’s Travis Swaggerty continues to look like the top college outfielder in this draft, and he just produced one of his best weeks of the season, going 4-for-9 with four walks, two homers, a steal, and five runs scored. There seems to be a growing consensus that he’ll be a top five pick in June, with rumors connecting him to the White Sox at pick four. The big question now seems to be which college OF will be the second off the board, and last week’s standout was Oklahoma center fielder Steele Walker, who had a monster performance, going 9-for-21 with three walks, a double, five home runs, a steal, and 12 RBIs. Other strong performers last week were Kentucky’s Tristan Pompey (6-for-13, 2BB, 2B, HR, 7 RBIs), Cal’s two-way standout Tanner Dodson (6-for-16, 2BB, 3 2B, HR), UNLV’s Kyle Isbel (6-for-14, 6BB, 3 2B), and Jameson Hannah (6-for-17, 4BB, 2 2B, 2SB) of Dallas Baptist.

College Infielders

Player

POS

AB

R

HR

RBI

K:BB

SB/CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

Joey Bart

C

131

33

11

31

31:23

2/0

.359

.465

.664

Alec Bohm

3B

112

33

8

34

11:24

7/2

.348

.464

.643

Jonathan India

3B

93

33

11

26

19:22

5/1

.430

.545

.903

Cadyn Grenier

SS

116

35

2

21

25:15

4/0

.319

.413

.474

Richie Palacios

SS

118

34

6

26

11:27

15/0

.356

.479

.619

Johnny Aiello

SS

131

27

7

32

39:19

7/0

.290

.400

.504

Kyle Datres

1B

133

32

3

19

18:20

6/2

.376

.463

.549

The best performance from a player on the dirt last week came from Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart. The 6’3 backstop went 7-for-19 with seven walks, a double, and three homers, and he appears to be playing himself into top-ten pick consideration. Wichita State’s Alec Bohm continues to garner talk of a potential top five pick, and he had another strong week, going 6-for-17 with two walks, a double, a homer, and six RBIs. Speaking of infielders who just keep performing, Florida’s Jonathan India had another outstanding week (6-for-15, 3BB, 2B, HR, 3SB) as he continues his run toward the Golden Spikes Award. Oregon State shortstop Cadyn Grenier (6-for-13, 3 2B, 6 RBIs) was solid, and he looks like he could be a legitimate option in the second round, and while the draft status of Towson shortstop Richie Palacios is still somewhat unclear, his stats speak rather loudly. Last week he went 10-for-22 with four walks, five doubles, three steals, and an inside-the-park homer in which he circled the pillows in under 15 seconds. Finally, we highlight a couple of ACC third baseman who should go in the top five rounds in Wake Forest’s Johnny Aiello and North Carolina’s Kyle Datres. Aiello went 5-for-13 with three walks, a double, two homers, and eight RBIs last week, while Datres was 6-for-13 with four walks and four doubles.

College Pitchers

Player

G/GS

W-L

IP

H

R/ER

K:BB

ERA

WHIP

Casey Mize

8/8

6-1

54.0

32

14/13

77:4

2.17

0.67

Shane McClanahan

8/8

4-3

47.1

26

17/12

81:24

2.28

1.06

Brady Singer

8/8

7-1

51.0

37

20/17

57:11

3.00

0.94

Blaine Knight

8/8

6-0

46.2

39

12/10

48:11

1.93

1.07

Ryan Rolison

8/8

4-3

46.2

45

22/17

63:18

3.28

1.35

Konnor Pilkington

8/8

2-4

48.1

43

19/14

61:8

2.61

1.06

Colton Eastman

8/8

4-2

55.1

34

16/13

52:17

2.11

0.92

Joe DeMers

7/7

3-1

48.2

30

10/7

41:9

1.31

0.81

Carson Teel

13/4

4-1

47.0

35

14/13

52:15

2.49

1.06

It seems like every week there are a few huge pitching matchups in the SEC between potential early round draft picks, and it also seems like Arkansas hurler Blaine Knight comes out on top every time. Last week he gave up just one run on six hits and a walk while striking out six in 6 1/3 innings to beat Auburn and presumptive #1 overall pick Casey Mize (7IP, 7H, 2ER, BB, 7K). Knight doesn’t have quite the same stuff as Mize, and his slender frame makes him a bit risky, but his college track record, solid athleticism, four-pitch mix, and strike throwing ability should see him come off the board in the top 40 picks. Mize was obviously solid, too, showing his usual mid-90s fastball and plus-plus splitter. The other college pitcher frequently mentioned as 1-1 material, Shane McClanahan, didn’t post good numbers (6 2/3 IP, 6H, 5ER, 5BB, 8K) on Friday, but three of the runs charged to him came after he left the mound, and he still showed his electric stuff, hitting 97 with his fastball, locating his plus, upper-80s changeup, and flashing an above-average breaking ball in the low 80s.

A trio of SEC arms return to list this week, headlined by Mississippi lefty Ryan Rolison, who responded to being moved from Friday to Saturday with a dominant start (7IP, 6H, ER, 2BB, 9K) in a win over in-state rival Mississippi State. That came one night after fellow southpaw Konnor Pilkington (7IP, 5H, 2ER, BB, 7K) led his Bulldogs to a win over Ole Miss. But the best performance came from towering Kentucky ace Sean Hjelle, who gave up just one unearned run on 5 hits and no walks while striking out eight in seven innings against South Carolina.

We finish with a group of pitchers more likely to go in rounds 3-5 in the draft, headlined by Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman, who followed up his no-hitter the week before with another dominant performance (8IP, 3H, BB, 8K) against Cal Poly. It’s tough to top a no-hitter, but Washington righty Joe DeMers did just that earlier this year, throwing a perfect game against UC Riverside. He wasn’t perfect last week, but he was outstanding against a strong East Carolina club, giving up just five hits and striking out seven in a complete game shutout. And we finish with Carson Teel, a former walk-on at Oklahoma State who was one of the most effective relievers in the Big 12 last year. But the lefty has been working more as a starter lately, and last week he tossed a 142-pitch complete game against Kansas State, giving up just one run on six hits and four walks while striking out nine.



High School

After a few weeks filled with tournaments and showcases most high school players returned to regular action last week, though some of the top prep players in the Midwest will be gearing up for the PBR Midwest Select this weekend.

Outfielders

The biggest news from the prep outfield ranks is that Wisconsin CF Jarred Kelenic has been linked to the Tigers as a very real option with the first overall pick. There had been whispers about this, but Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs appears to be the first national writer to mention it publicly. Kelenic has been flashing all five tools for the Hitter’s Baseball travel team this spring, though he apparently sat out last week due to illness. Speedy center fielder Alek Thomas continues to impress in Illinois, going 7-for-13 last week with a triple, two steals, and eight runs for his Chicago Mt. Carmel team, and he seems locked in to the first two rounds now. Meanwhile, Joe Gray Jr. continues to tear up the competition in Mississippi, going 4-for-8 with with four runs scored and four steals last week. There’s not much available info out there for other top prep outfielders like Mike Siani and Connor Scott, while the conversation around premium North Carolina athlete Jordyn Adams continues to hinge on his decision to play pro baseball or college football. One name to look for this weekend at the PBR Midwest event is Nick Schnell, from Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, as he has the tools to man center field in pro ball.

High School Infielders

There isn’t a ton to report on the prep infield front, with California shortstop Brice Turang performing solidly in both the NHSI and the Boras Classic, but not necessarily convincing scouts he’ll ever have an impact bat. Meanwhile, Arizona third baseman Nolan Gorman seems to have fallen out of top-ten consideration as questions about his hitting ability and defensive home continue to grow. Florida shortstop Nander De Sedas doesn’t get talked about as a top-ten pick anymore, and it seems increasingly possible he could slide all the way into the second round. Georgia catcher Will Banfield remains the top prep backstop in the class, but his Peach State neighbor Anthony Seigler might be the most interesting player in the whole draft, because he’s a switch-hitter and a switch-pitcher, with a solid enough bat to go in the first three rounds. Another name creeping into that range is California shortstop Matt McClain, who shows strong all-around tools. The infield name to watch in the PBR Midwest is Nick Northcut, a Vanderbilt commit who owns the big arm and promising bat of a prototypical third baseman.

High School Pitchers

The top prep pitchers in the class seem to be falling into a ranked consensus these days, with Florida hurler Carter Stewart’s near-elite curveball and recent velocity spike seeing him rise over Ethan Hankins as the draft’s top high-school righty, and possibly even over Arizona southpaw Matthew Liberatore. All three, and Georgia righty Kumar Rocker, still figure to come off the board within the first 15-20 picks. It’s after those four when things start to get interesting. Colorado-transplant Cole Winn had a great two weeks and now seems like a good bet to be a first rounder, while Georgia fireballer Mason Denaburg had top-15 heat, but biceps tendonitis has his stock in question. One name who hasn’t been mentioned in this column yet is Tennessee southpaw Ryan Weathers, the son of former big-leaguer David Weathers, who owns a mature body, three solid pitches, and the control to land in the first round. The other names currently garnering first-round consideration are Georgia righty Cole Wilcox, Texas popup arm Grayson Rodriguez, and Boston righty Mike Vasil, who was brilliant on Wednesday, showing a mid-90s fastball and promising secondary offerings in a 13-strikeout one-hitter.