The NCAA Baseball Super Regionals kick off this Friday, just a few days after the 2012 MLB draft.
Several prospects who were drafted in the first round this year are still playing in college baseball's postseason, including three top-10 picks.
This is your last chance to see these prospects in the college ranks before they head off to the minor leagues. Here are five first-round draft picks to watch for in the Super Regionals.
5. Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida (No. 31, Boston Red Sox)
In 16 starts for the Gators this season, Brian Johnson is 8-4 with a 3.56 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 89 innings pitched. Those certainly aren't eye-popping numbers in college, but he still projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues based on his command and off-speed stuff. His best pitch is his changeup.
4. James Ramsey, OF, Florida State (No. 23, St. Louis Cardinals)
James Ramsey has had an impressive season with the Seminoles, batting .385 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and 72 runs in 61 games. He also owns a perfect fielding percentage. Ramsey doesn't have major league power, but he sprays the ball all over the field and will hit while coming out of the batter's box like Ichiro Suzuki. Beyond that, he has great instincts and a good arm in the outfield.
3. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford (No. 8, Pittsburgh Pirates)
Many draft experts thought Mark Appel would be the No. 1 overall pick. He throws in the mid-90s with good movement and has a plus changeup and breaking ball. He's having a spectacular season for the Cardinals: In 15 starts, he's 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 119 innings.
2. Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU (No. 4, Baltimore Orioles)
There's a bit of a debate surrounding who the better pitching prospect is: Appel or Gausman. Gausman has been terrific for the Tigers this season, going 11-1 with a 2.72 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings pitched. His fastball regularly sits in the mid-90s, but he can get it up to 99 mph. Beyond that, he has an above-average slider and his changeup is a plus pitch, yet inconsistent. Both Gausman and Appel have the potential to be a No. 1 starter in the big leagues.
1. Mike Zunino, C, Florida (No. 3, Seattle Mariners)
Mike Zunino is quite the prospect. In 62 games for the Gators this season, he's hitting .316 with 18 home runs, 60 RBI and 50 runs. He's a decent enough catcher, but his arm will always be a weakness. Nonetheless, he's the top college bat in the 2012 MLB draft class. He should develop into an above-average player in the majors.
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