Player: Michael Lorenzen
Drafted by: Cincinnati Reds (No. 38 Overall)
DOB: 1/4/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/195 lbs
School: Cal State Fullerton
Previously Drafted: 2010, 7th round by Tampa Bay Rays
Lorenzen was already highly regarded coming out of high school three years ago, so much so that the Tampa Bay Rays drafted him in the seventh round. Opting to go to Cal State Fullerton, which has a very good baseball program, hoping to improve his stock, the outfielder and occasional pitcher made a wise choice.
Not only is Lorenzen's skill set a bit more polished today than it was in 2010, but he also made a lot more money as a potential first-day selection. One of the better athletes in the class, the 21-year-old has all the makings of a solid-average center fielder in professional baseball.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale,where 50 Is average, with the current score first and projected score second.
High-risk offensive prospect; will show bat speed in games, but lacks polish and pitch recognition skills; loose swing mechanics lead to poor plate coverage and high strikeout totals; inconsistent performer throughout college career; won't be a good hitter, but has enough skills to be fringe-average.
Solid-average raw power that never plays in games; discipline and bat control limit home run upside; bat speed should help him luck into 15 homers per season, but won't hit more than that at peak; true power will come from balls hit into the gap and ability to use legs on basepaths.
Plate Discipline: 30/45
Despite college pedigree, has never been strong at reading and reacting to pitches; will get beaten on pitches out of the zone and average off-speed stuff; raw with the bat in his hands and must prove he can handle the daily grind of being an offensive player to stick in pro ball.
Sneaky quick; doesn't have elite speed or fast first step, but legs play up in stride and when playing center field; ability to move all over the place in a quick fashion will serve him well, especially in big ballparks; should maintain current level of speed for a long time.
Already a big league quality defensive player; has speed in the outfield and better-than-normal instincts; reaction is very good off the bat and always takes clean, precise routes to make easiest play; strong glove with the ability to win a Gold Glove or two.
Moonlights as Cal State Fullerton closer; shows plus-plus velocity on fastball already and uses it incredibly well in center field; even has enough projection as a pitcher that he could move to the rubber if the hitting doesn't work out.
MLB Player Comparison: Drew Stubbs
Projection: Plus-plus defensive center fielder with average offensive upside. Dominant late-inning relief pitcher/closer.
MLB ETA: 2015 (As a pitcher); 2016 (As a position player)
Chances of Signing: 80%
Lorenzen's march toward the big leagues will be one of the most fascinating to watch. He is more highly regarded as a pitcher, where he has the stuff to take the mound in high-leverage situations, but he wants a chance to play everyday.
If that is the case, Lorenzen's price tag does drop a bit because he has holes in his game that you wouldn't like to see from a college player. But given the upside and ability to move him to the mound if things don't work out, the odds of him stepping foot on campus again are small.