2015 MLB Draft Non-Scouting Report: Dansby Swanson – SS – Vanderbilt

by Burke Granger

MLB Draft Prospect: Dansby Swanson – SS – Vanderbilt. Bats: R Throws: R – 6’1″ 190.  Born: 2.11.1994.  Previously Drafted: 2012 – Colorado (38th Round).  
A 4.0 student at Marietta (Ga.) High School and teammate of 2010 first round pick Chevy Clarke (Anaheim), Swanson was considered a tough sign and slid to the 38th round of the 2012 draft, where he was selected by the Colorado Rockies.
As a freshman in 2013, foot and shoulder injuries limited Swanson to just 11 games and 16 ABs.
Swanson won the starting second base job for the Commodores in 2014 and would go on to be named the Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series, while leading Vanderbilt to the first national championship in school history.

 

SCOUTED
Vanderbilt @ Kentucky – May 1-3, 2015
STATISTICS (as of 6/4/15)
YEAR
AVE
OBP
SLG
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
K
SB/ATT
2013
0.188
0.435
0.250
1
0
0
1
4
5
1/2
2014
0.333
0.411
0.475
27
2
3
34
37
49
22/27
2015
0.348
0.443
0.656
22
6
14
61
42
43
15/17

It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the knowledge or training that they have.  I do go get live looks at these players and I talk to scouts.  While scouts typically reserve their reports for their employer, I can share my thoughts on the player with you, the reader.  How lucky are you?

HITTING – Swanson should hit for a high average thanks to a compact swing and an above average eye at the plate.  Swanson has shown good patience at the plate, walking in 13.2% of his career plate appearances.  Swanson owns a career K% of 15.4%, and while that would be above average as a professional, it’s higher than one would expect from the projected #1 overall pick.
POWER – Though he has hit 14 HR this season including 5 so far in this post-season, Swanson has just average power and projects to be more of a doubles hitter as a professional.
SPEED – An owner of above average speed, Swanson gets out of the box well from the right side and gets enough good jumps on the base paths to steal 38 bases in 45 attempts for his career.
ARM – Swanson’s arm was a question mark coming out of high school and entering this season after his transition from second base.  This season he’s made enough plays in the hole to his right to silence his critics and prove that the arm is at least solid average.
DEFENSE – First step quickness, soft hands, and a strong accurate arm make Swanson an above average shortstop and a good bet to stick at the position as a professional.
FUTURE – Swanson is projected to go #1 overall next week and won’t make it out of the top 3 picks.  Swanson’s greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses.  In a draft class lacking cathedral ceiling players, Swanson’s safe tools and exceptional leadership qualities make him an appealing prospect.
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2015 MLB Draft Non-Scouting Report: Carson Fulmer – RHP – Vanderbilt

 

by Burke Granger

2015 MLB Draft Prospect: Carson Fulmer – RHP – Vanderbilt. 5’11” 195. Class: Junior. DOB: 12.13.93. Last Drafted: Boston Red Sox – 2012 (15th Round)
Observed: Vanderbilt Commodores @ Kentucky Wildcats 5.1.15
As I wandered around Cliff Hagan Stadium shooting some video of batting practice, a couple of kids came up to me and asked if the guy who yells at himself was pitching for Vanderbilt tonight.  “You mean Carson Fulmer, yeah he’s pitching,” I said.
Fulmer didn’t disappoint me or those kids that night, going 6.2 innings, striking out eight, while walking the line between intense and Jessie Spano on caffeine pills.
Getting rave reviews from scouts and coaches for his competitiveness and makeup since the day he arrived on campus, Fulmer’s passion is hard to ignore.  He greets his fielders as they exit the field after each inning, he’ll chirp at an opponent when needed, and along with Dansby Swanson, he’s an unquestioned leader on the defending National Champion Commodores.
Fulmer served as Vanderbilt’s closer for much of his first two seasons in Nashville, but was called upon to be the Friday starter when two time first round pick Tyler Beede (Blue Jays – 2011, San Francisco – 2014) struggled down the stretch.
Fulmer started three games in Omaha including the national championship game, going 1-0, with a 3.00 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Picking up where he left off last season, Fulmer’s consistent performance has boosted his stock this spring.
 
 
Statistics *through 5.29.15
YEAR
CLASS
W-L
ERA
G
S
IP
H
K
BB
2013
Fr. 
3-0
2.39
26
4
52.2
37
51
25
2014
So. 
7-1
1.98
26
10
91
61
95
41
2015
Jr.
12-2
1.92
16
0
107.2
71
147
41
It’s important to note that getting one live look at a player doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report.  It’s also important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  None of that is going to stop me from sharing my thoughts on the player.
REPERTOIRE:
Fastball:  Fulmer sat at 94-95 mph against Kentucky and held his velocity throughout the duration of the start.  His delivery provides deception to make the pitch seem even faster, but we’ll get to that later.  Fulmer’s a bit of a short-armer which creates some nice arm side run.
Curveball:  Fulmer’s power curve ball is one of the better out-pitches in college baseball, often generating swings and misses with a sharp 12-6 to 1-7 break.  Fulmer has the confidence in himself and his catcher to throw this pitch in any count.
Changeup: Fulmer threw a couple changeups against Kentucky but I originally mistook them for two seem fastballs, which illustrates that the velocity differential isn’t what it needs to make that pitch effective at present.
DELIVERY
A good athlete, Fulmer’s herky jerky delivery is controlled chaos.  It lacks fluidity, yet it’s oddly repeatable.  He short-arms the ball to the plate, providing great deception and causing hitters to swing at 58 foot curve balls, thinking they’re going to be grooved fastballs.  When throwing from the stretch, Fulmer’s in the 1.2-1.3 second range to home plate which is adequate.
FUTURE
Fuller has been consistently in the top 10 overall pick range in the latest industry mock drafts.  The Red Sox pick at #7 and it’s entirely conceivable they’d select him, given that they took him in the 15th round out of high school.  Boston was in attendance on the day that I saw Fulmer, but so were about 15 other teams so that doesn’t mean much.  It’s probably not even worth mentioning.

 

When I see Fulmer, I see a closer and a damn good one.  I think his floor is that of a high leverage reliever at the Major League level, but any team that takes him in the top 10 is going to try him as a starter first.