2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Jordan Sheffield

By: Burke Granger

Jordan Sheffield – RHP – Vanderbilt. 6’0″ 185. Class: RS Sophomore. DOB: 6.1.95. Last Drafted: 2013 – Boston Red Sox (13th Round).

Scouted:

Vanderbilt Comedores @ Kentucky Wildcats – May 3, 2015.  Lexington, Kentucky.

Jordan’s younger brother Justus was selected in the first round in 2014 and is one of the top prospects in the Cleveland system.  Jordan was on his way to first round contention himself in 2013 before needing Tommy John surgery.

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2016 MLB Draft Prospect: Kyle Cody

By: Burke Granger

Kyle Cody – RHP – Kentucky. 6’7″ 245.  Class: Senior.  DOB:  August 9, 1994.  Last Drafted:  2015 (Minnesota Twins – 2nd Round).

Scouted:

Vanderbilt @ Kentucky, May 3, 2015.  Lexington, Kentucky.

Florida @ Kentucky, March 27, 2016.  Lexington, Kentucky.

The Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy isn’t the only Chippewa Falls Wisconsin export that I’ve been enjoying in recent years. Kyle Cody, the Badger State product, ranked as the 267th best prospect in the 2012 draft by Baseball America, but slid to the Phillies in the 33rd round.  It wouldn’t be the first, or last time that Cody would be drafted.

In the summer following his sophomore season in Lexington, Cody excelled in the Cape Cod League.  In 8 starts that summer, Cody worked in the mid 90’s and posted a 2.80 ERA while striking out 33 in 35.1 innings for the Wareham Gatemen.

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Prospect Roundup: Week 11

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Virginia ace Connor Jones tossed a complete game four-hitter against Pittsburgh on Saturday in ACC action.

By: Burke Granger

As the June 9th MLB draft approaches, Florida’s A.J. Puk is solidifying his spot as the top arm in this class.  After exiting a start earlier this month with back spasms and then sitting out the following weekend, Puk has looked like the 1:1 candidate he is since his return.

This weekend against Georgia, Puk struck out 10 over 6 innings, while surrendering just 4 hits, a run, and 3 walks.  Puk did leave this start with what coach Kevin O’Sullivan later called a hand cramp so that will be something to monitor this weekend to determine if it’s something more serious.

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2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Zack Brown

By: Burke Granger

Zack Brown – RHP – Kentucky.  6’2″ 200.  Class: Junior.  DOB:  December 15, 1994.  Last Drafted:  2013 (Chicago Cubs- 38th Round).

Scouted:

Vanderbilt Commodores @ Kentucky Wildcats, May 1, 2015.  Lexington, Kentucky.

Florida Gators @ Kentucky Wildcats, March 25, 2016.  Lexington, Kentucky.

Baseball America ranked Zack Brown as the 385th best prospect in the 2013 draft out of Seymour (Ind.) High School.  Brown slid to the Cubs in the 38th round, due in in part because of his strong college commitment to Kentucky.  As expected, the Cubs were unable to sign Brown as he ended up in Lexington.

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2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Anthony Kay

By: Burke Granger

Anthony Kay – LHP – Connecticut.  6’0″ 187.  Class: Junior.  DOB:  March 21, 1995.  Last Drafted:  2013 (New York Mets – 29th Round).

Scouted: University of Connecticut @ University of Cincinnati.  Cincinnati, Ohio.  4.8.16.

Kay hails from Ward Melville High School in Long Island, the same school that produced Steven Matz.  Like Matz, Kay was selected by the New York Mets out of high school, though Kay followed through on his college commitment and attended UConn.

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2016 MLB Draft Scouting Report: Alec Hansen

By Burke Granger

Alec Hansen – RHP – Oklahoma.  6’7″ 235.  Class: Junior.  DOB: October 10, 1994.  Last Drafted:  2013 – Colorado (25th Round).

Scouted:  The University of Oklahoma @ West Virginia University on 4/18/2015.

In 2013, the same year the Colorado Rockies popped flame throwing righthander Jonathan Gray from the University of Oklahoma at #3 overall, they selected Hansen from nearby Loveland (Colo.) High School in the 25th Round.  Baseball America ranked Hansen as top draft prospect in the state of Colorado that year and the 136th best overall prospect.  The Rockies were unable to dissuade Hansen from his college commitment, so it was onward to Norman.

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2015 MLB Draft Non-Scouting Report: Thomas Eshelman – RHP – Cal State Fullerton

By Burke Granger

2015 MLB Draft Prospect: Thomas Eshelman – RHP – Cal State Fullerton.  6’3” 210.  Class:  Junior. DOB: 6.20.94. Last Drafted:  None.  

SCOUTED:  Cal State Fullerton @ Indiana 3.14.15

Eshelman burst onto the scene as a freshman when he won 12 games and he had a streak of 63.1 innings without issuing a walk.  Premium control has been Eshelman’s calling card throughout his career at Fullerton as he’s posted obscene 0.44 BB/9 and 17.33 K/BB ratios.

Given that level of consistent strike throwing combined with questions around whether some of the top college arms will start or relieve, it’s not surprising that Eshelman has some late helium in the hours leading up to the draft.
 
Statistics *through 6.7.15
YEAR
CLASS
W-L
ERA
G
S
IP
H
K
BB
2013
Fr. 
12-3
1.48
17
0
115.2
86
83
3
2014
So. 
8-3
1.89
16
0
123.2
100
99
8
2015
Jr.
8-5
1.59
17
0
130.1
101
130
7
It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  I do go to the games see these guys play live, and while there, I talk to scouts.  That’s more than you’ll find in some other so called “Scouting Reports” online.  Also, while scouts reserve their thoughts on a player for their employer, I can share my thoughts with you, the reader.
REPERTOIRE:
Fastball:  Eshelman sits at just 88-91 mph with his fastball and it’s pretty straight, but he doesn’t get hit hard because he doesn’t make many mistakes.  He pounds the lower limits of the zone with this pitch.
Curveball:  I saw an average pitch – 75-76 mph with great command.
Changeup:  Eshelman throws his changeup at 79-80 mph with confidence in any count and is able to keep the pitch down.
DELIVERY
Prior to this season, Eshelman’s delivery used to have an exaggerated pause which he has since abandoned.  There aren’t a lot of wasted motions left, and his release and follow through aren’t particularly taxing.  He could stand to push off the mound more which could lead to more velocity.
FUTURE
Eshelman has been in the third round discussion for most of the season, and while he still might end up there, I’m seeing his name come up more often in the supplemental round and even the back half of the first round in some of the later industry mock drafts.  Command is typically the last thing to develop in a pitching prospect, but Eshleman already has it.  Projected as a back end starter, his ceiling isn’t particularly high, but in a draft with more uncertainty around the top tier arms than usual, Eshelman’s high floor is appealing.