College Prospects, Part IV
Here's the last crop of prospects that I'm going to look at....
SP: WADE TOWNSEND Rice
Wade Townsend should be a little rusty come the time he resumes baseball activity after he’s drafted in June, but BA thinks he’ll ebe hungry and close to Major League ready. Townsend Works in the 87-91 range and can pump it into the mid-90’s though he used to be able to dial it up into the high 90’s earlier in his college career. Townsend also posses a nasty curveball and as one coached pointed out, if he can ever refine a splitter or a changeup as third pitch, he’d be untouchable. Well, he was basically untouchable throughout his college career as his .183 BAA supports.
Statistically, Townsend had the best college career out of himself, Humber, and Neiman. He went 25-3 in 290 innings with 363 K’s, 12 homers allowed, only 192 hits allowed and a 1.052 WHIP. He posted a 6.0 H/9 innings for his career and never struck out less than 1 man per inning and topped 11.00 K/9 in his last two years. BA had said that out of the Rice trio, Townsend was the “most competitive and ‘spits fire’ every time he goes to the mound”. In 2003, he was named as the best prospect in the Cape Cod League by scouts. At this point, he may project better as a closer and a pretty damn good one at that. If he falls to the 8th spot, he may be too good to pass up for Mets and they just may end up taking Rice pitchers with their first pick in back to back years.
Tyler Greene is the other big named shortstop along with Troy Tulowitzki. Both are projected to be taken into the top 10 but Green is a better fielder and Tulowitzki projects to be the more offensive shortstop. While he made 11 errors in 65 games in 2004 and 16 errors in 32 Cap Cod games, he’s still regarded as having Gold Glove caliber skills.
"His arm's a plus and his speed's a plus--there's two right there," an NL scouting director said. "The bat is still up and down, and up for debate. The question was 'How much bat?' out of high school, you liked his defensive tools. Now all of sudden his bat's better, and he made 16 errors. He's got all the tools, it's just a matter of putting it together." SS: TROY TULOWITZKI Long Beach State University
Green was named the best professional prospect in the Cape Cod League after hitting .295/.413/.424 with 1 homer, 13 RBIs, 21 BBs, and 43 K’s. You have to like patience he has show thus far walking a combined 52 times in 96 games in 2004, but his 111 K’s in 96 games is a bit scary. He’s obviously got time to cut down on that, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Overall, Tulowitzki sounds like the better prospect in my mind for the simple fact that he’s a good fielder, though not great, with more potential with the bat. However, Greene is rated ahead of him and rated the #4 prospect in all of college baseball. Keep in mind though, he is being “advised” by Scott Boras so whoever drafts him should start thinking major league contract at this point.
SS: TROY TULOWITZKI Long Beach State University
If Troy is drafted by the Mets, he would be the second Dirt Bag drafted by the Mets in two season and he would join Steve Traschel as another ex Dirt Bag playing for the Mets. Allan Simpson from BA has described Tulowitzki as a good hitter…for a shortstop. Which could be a good thing or a bad thing. Nowadays, shortstop is not exactly the light hitting position that it used to be.
According to BA, Tulowitzki reminds plenty of scouts of his predecessor at Long Beach State, American League rookie of the year Bobby Crosby, because of his above-average power potential and flashy major league actions. That is not exactly a bad thing in my book. For Team USA in the summer he hit .299/.355/.519 , 4 hr (tied for 1st), and 18 RBIs (2nd) in 77 at-bats. However, out of 25 games played (20 started) and amassed 7 errors. The Mets worst position in terms of depth and complete lack of any prospect at any level worth much is excitement is shortstop. Except for Jose Reyes, the cabinet is bare. If the Mets make a pickup of Tulowitzki, it would not necessarily be a bad one. Yes, Reyes is the resident shortstop, but if he fails to keep healthy or does not prove to be the electric superstar that everyone thinks he can be, the Mets have nothing in the system. If Reyes works out, Tulowitzki can move to second base or whatever, but strengthening a position of weakness with a guy who projects to have solid power is not the worst thing I can think of.