We move now to options and the 2nd round (and some beyond) among college position players. Again, this probably won't be a place where the Blue Jays play, barring a major shift.
Starting again with a table of players to be profiled, with background and 2016 college stats. Note: the MLB.com rankings are from their top 100, not their recently released Top 200, since all the other college writeups of the college class used them.
|Lucas Erceg||3B||6'1"||188||Menlo (NAIA)||58||52||76||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Sean Murphy||C||6'0"||194||Wright St.||50||83||63||.281||.408||.504||6||23||16||5|
|Jake Fraley||OF||6'0"||190||Louisiana St.||86||54||66||.320||.405||.445||4||35||31||27|
|Bryson Brigman||SS||5'11||170||San Diego||67||68||81||.372||.428||.424||0||16||19||17|
|Nick Banks||OF||6'0"||190||Texas A&M||95||103||82||.293||.361||.498||9||21||46||7|
Ryan Boldt (video)
We'll start with a player who probably won't be around at 57, but talent wise is considered generally in that range. Boldt was a potential first rounder out of high school in 2013, but tore his meniscus which wiped out his senior season and he ended up at Nebraska. He's been a solid college performer all three years, but also hasn't taken steps forward. In particular, he's never really shown the power that was expected with just 8 home runs and a .108 ISO in college. It's a tricky profile to draft up high, and absent a huge pivot doesn't really fit with the Jays.
Heath Quinn (video)
Quinn has been an offensive force for Samford, a midmajor school, hitting 9, 14 and then 21 home runs to finish third in Division I in 2016. He also hit well in the Cape Cod league in an extended stint last summer, showing the ability to hit against better competition. There's an element of swing and miss that will have to be managed in pro ball. He can probably stick in the outfield, but he's being drafted for the bat.
Lucas Erceg (video)
Erceg played two seasons at Cal, but transferred out last fall last fall apparently due to academic issues, ending up at a NAIA college. This will raise makeup issues for some teams, as he was poised to lead Cal's offence after a breakout 2015 (.344/.480/.678, 16 HR). It's big power, though there are some questions about how much he'll hit and thus he able to use that power. He's also a legit prospect as a pitcher, up to 93-94, so he has a big arm defensively that leads to him profiling as a third baseman (and if not, outfielder).
Sean Murphy (video)
Murphy is a classic catch and throw defensive catcher, with perhaps the best arm behind the plate in the draft. He's also considered a good receiver, and impressed scouts on the Cape last summer behind the plate. He's hit in college, but not against great competition in the Horizon League, and struggled with the bat on the Cape. That's the wild card that will determine where he gets drafted. He had helium coming into 2016, but has slipped in the rankings and also missed a significant amount of time with an injury that limited him to DH.
Jake Fraley (video)
Fraley is a proven performer in both the SEC and on the Cape Cod, with a contact oriented approach combined with a good approach but not much power. He's speedy and a thread on the basepaths, likely fitting best in left field since he doesn't have a great arm. The issue is whether he'll hit enough to be a corner outfielder, with the lack of power possibly making him a tweener. This is more of a "safe", lower ceiling pick.
Bryson Brigman (video)
Brigham is a draft eligible sophomore, which gives him a little more leverage than most players. He plays shortstop for San Diego but probably won't stick there as a pro. He's got a solid line drive swing with a proven ability to hit in college, with a solid approach. On the flip side, he's not hit for any power and doesn't project to. There's not really a standout tool, but other than power he's solid across the board. All in all, this doesn't feel like a Blue Jays pick.
Wild Card: Nick Banks (video)
This time last year, Banks was considered to be a possible likely first round pick, coming off a huge .364/.450/.536 season at Texas A&M and having been chosen for Team USA's college team for whom he hit .386 to lead the team. However, he missed the beginning of 2016 as he was slow to recover from back surgery to remove a cyst, and didn't show the same level of dynamism. The consensus rankings now have him in the 80-100 range, which would be more like 3rd round territory.
That said, he put up much better numbers the last month, and frankly I don't really understand him being ranked that low given where he was a year ago and the fact that he did not have a major injury. If someone gets him in the second round, I think he could end up being a huge steal.
Finally, again a list of others, most of whom fit beyond the second round, but again this is the prime demographic for going off the board earlier or cutting a deal to save money:
Jake Rogers, C Tulane - Considered the best all around defensive catcher in the draft, but it's an open question if he hits enough to be more than a back-up type.
C. J. Chatham, SS, Florida Atlantic - Chatham has played his way into being probably the best college middle infielder, though in a very weak class. Could move to 2B, but has made big strides the last two years withhis bat.
Brett Cumberland, C, Cal-Berkeley - Had a breakout 2016 with 16 home runs, but probably doesn't stick behind the plate.
Bobby Dalbec, IF/P, Arizona - Dalbec will likely be drafted as a position player, and he has big power but has a huge issue with swinging and missing that could be fatal. He's also thrown 60 innings in each of the last two years wherever Arizona needed help and could go
Sheldon Neuse - SS/P, Okalhoma - Another two way player, has played shortstop but profiles as more of a third baseman or even catcher due to his big arm. He took a big step forward in 2016 with the bat but struggled on the Cape last summer.
Logan Ice, C, Oregon State - Strong defensive catcher who should stick behind the plate, didn't do much offensively until breakout 2016 though tailed off later in the season against better PAC-12 pitching which will limit how high he goes
Jameson Fisher, 1B, Southeastern Louisiana - One of the best pure bats in the college class with emerging power, but not proven against the best college competition, plus he's older and limited positionally.
Peter Alonso, 1B, Florida - Solid college performer in the SEC but really broke through with the power this year (12 HR in under 225 PA) before a hand injury sidelined him. He's returned and hit two home runs in one game in regionals, so appears to be fine.