NCAA College World Series 2013: Top MLB Prospects from Every Team
The College World Series is a contest to find the best team in the country. However, it is also a great way for MLB fans to get a look at the future.
It is not surprising that these talented squads are loaded with future prospects, many of them were selected in the recent MLB draft. Those who were ineligible are certain to be taken in the 2014 draft.
Of course, the best collegiate players are not always the best prospects. Some guys who thrived in the spotlight at this level simply do not have the tools to succeed against better players.
Therefore, this is not a list of each team's biggest stars, but rather the top MLB prospects for each team remaining in the CWS.
Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres
As one of the top prospects remaining in the College World Series, Hunter Renfroe will certainly be a player to watch.
The outfielder was one of the best power hitters in the SEC this season, totaling 15 home runs and 61 RBI. While guys like Kris Bryant were able to rack up stats against weaker opponents, Renfroe got it done against some of the best pitchers in the nation.
Additionally, he is solid in the outfield with a great arm that prevents runners from advancing on him.
San Diego decided to take Renfroe with the No. 13 pick in the draft, and he should be one of the first players in the class to reach the major leagues.
Adam Frazier, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
While Adam Frazier might not have the power of his teammate, the shortstop is just as good of a contact hitter.
He finished the regular season with a batting average of .359 and was fourth in the nation in total hits with 102. He also plays good defense at a premium position on the field.
Mississippi State would not be where it is without Frazier, and his leadership will help him at the next level as well.
Kendall Graveman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
It is clear that Kendall Graveman is not Mississippi State's most consistent pitcher, but he might have been the team's most important this season. His ability to keep taking the ball in big moments was invaluable.
The senior is the type of player that gets by more on intelligence than talent. He does not have the best fastball, but he has great command of it and complements it well with his other pitches.
Toronto is taking the chance that he will continue to succeed against better hitters, and the organization should be rewarded with a good pitcher.
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Oregon State has reached this point thanks in large part to its great starting rotation. Ben Wetzler has been a huge part of that, racking up a 9-1 record with 2.11 ERA.
The southpaw has improved every year of his career, and he has become deadly with his changeup.
Although he allows too many guys to reach base at this stage, he can be successful if he avoids walks as a professional.
Matt Boyd, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
If Matt Boyd had more experience as a starter, he probably would have been taken earlier in the draft. He spent the past three seasons as a reliever before switching this season and absolutely dominating.
Boyd led the Beavers this season in innings pitched and strikeouts while keeping his walk rate relatively low. With a bunch of different offerings, he keeps hitters off-balance throughout the game.
It remains to be seen if he will stick as a starter as a professional, but the Blue Jays might have gotten a steal with the No. 175 pick.
Tyler Smith, SS, Seattle Mariners
Although Tyler Smith might not be great in any one area, his ability to be good at everything is what makes him such an appealing prospect.
The young player can handle shortstop at a high level and projects to stick at the position throughout his career. He also can hit for a high average and has a good approach at the plate.
Smith is a guy who will never be a superstar, but he is certain to help his new organization for many years.
Aaron Slegers, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Although Aaron Slegers has struggled with injuries throughout his career, he appears to finally be on the right track.
The starting pitcher is a monster on the mound at 6'10", and his downward action makes it hard for hitters to see the pitch. This helped him allow only one home run in 97 innings this season.
While he is still relatively raw due to his missed time, he has plenty of potential as a professional pitcher.
Dustin DeMuth, 3B, Minnesota Twins
As one of the best pure hitters in the nation, Dustin DeMuth is one of the biggest reasons Indiana is still alive in this tournament.
The third baseman finished 15th in the country with a batting average of .389 and was a doubles machine throughout the year. He will join Slegers in the Twins organization, and he could be a big prospect if he starts turning those doubles into homers.
Kyle Schwarber, C
Since Kyle Schwarber is only a sophomore, he was not eligible for the draft this season. However, he is certain to hear his name called early in the process next year.
Not only is he solid behind the plate as a catcher, but he is also one of the better hitters at any position in his class. He finished the year tied for third in the country with 18 home runs to go along with a .376 batting average.
Catchers with this much pop are hard to find, so he should be in high demand next year.
Dace Kime, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Despite bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen this season, the Cleveland Indians decided to select Dace Kime with the No. 79 pick of the draft.
The reason for this is the pitcher's pure stuff. When Kime is on, he is almost unhittable with a strong fastball and solid breaking balls.
At the next level, he will have to show he can be more consistent with these pitches.
Jeff Thompson, RHP, Detroit Tigers
Throughout the year, Jeff Thompson has been Louisville's best pitcher, and his gem against Vanderbilt in the last game is the reason the Cardinals are in the CWS.
Thompson threw seven innings of one-run ball against one of the better lineups in baseball, which was just a continuation of his great season. For the year, he has a 2.00 ERA and an 11-1 record.
If he can keep this up throughout the minor leagues, he will advance through the Tigers' system in a hurry.
Nick Burdi, RHP
College relievers are not often highly sought-after in the MLB draft, but Nick Burdi might end up being an exception next season. He has overpowering stuff and produced a ridiculous 0.78 ERA this season.
Additionally, he struck out 61 batters in only 34.2 innings pitched, showing he is clearly ready for the next level.
Burdi is the type of player that could be drafted next June and then find his way onto a major league roster within a year.
North Carolina State
Carlos Rodon, LHP
The thing that makes North Carolina State so dangerous is its youth. Most of the top talent is coming back, although the major league scouts will certainly be watching this team for the future.
Carlos Rodon exemplifies that more than anyone with his electric stuff. He was named first-team All-America as a freshman and also became the first freshman in ACC history to be named Pitcher of the Year.
Although he has given up a few more runs this season, he easily leads the nation with 170 strikeouts.
This ability will help him be named one of the top picks in the 2014 draft.
Trea Turner, 3B
Like Rodon, Trea Turner will have to wait another year before entering the draft. However, he will be just as sought-after a year from now.
The speedy player is one of the best base stealers in the country, totaling 57 as a freshman. Although pitchers were ready for him this season, he still helped North Carolina State in other ways.
Turner finished the regular season with a team-high .378 batting average as well as a .460 on-base percentage. He also hit seven home runs, which is a good sign for his future.
Few players can do what Turner does on the field, which will make him a good professional when he gets the chance.
Nick Vander Tuig, RHP, San Francisco Giants
UCLA does not have much of a lineup, so the pitching staff is the group to thank for the team's inclusion in the CWS.
While there is nice depth in the rotation, Nick Vander Tuig is the best of the bunch with his great command. During the regular season, he only threw 17 walks in 114 innings.
The junior has a good repertoire of pitches and should provide solid depth to the Giants organization early in his career.
Zack Weiss, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Although Zack Weiss was selected only three picks after Vander Tuig, he does not have the upside of his teammate. The reliever throws hard, but he has been inconsistent throughout his career.
The Reds must feel like he can move quickly through the system as a reliever after posting good numbers in that role this season.
David Berg, RHP
One of the best parts of UCLA's roster this year is closer David Berg. The righty has been lights out this season, posting a 0.88 ERA. He also has a 7-0 record and 21 saves, which ranks second in the nation.
Berg has proven to be incredibly reliable while pitching multiple innings in many games throughout the year, and this track record should place him highly in the 2014 draft.
As long as he continues to play this well next year, scouts will give Berg a hard look.
Ryan Eades, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Although he is still finishing out his collegiate career, Ryan Eades has the stuff to move quickly up the ranks and into the major leagues.
The right-handed pitcher has a mid-90s fastball to go with a curveball and a changeup that all project to be average or better as a professional. Just as important, he has a good enough command to throw all of them for strikes.
Eades will be missed at LSU, but he has a bright career ahead of him with the Twins organization.
JaCoby Jones, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
The first thing you notice with JaCoby Jones is his speed. He was not always able to get on base consistently, but when he did, he usually was able to get to second base in some way.
He has played a number of positions, but he could be best-suited in the outfield where he can utilize his speed.
Pittsburgh will hope that the bat will come around for Jones to truly reach his potential. If it does, he could be a star in the outfield.
Aaron Nola, RHP
If teams were excited about Eades, just wait until Aaron Nola is available. The pitcher is only a sophomore this year, but he led the team with a 1.68 ERA and a 12-0 record.
Nola also has outstanding control and is rarely behind in the count. This helps against even the best hitters in the SEC.
With two solid seasons under his belt, it would be surprising if the youngster was not a first-round pick in 2014.
Colin Moran, 3B, Miami Marlins
As the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, Colin Moran is clearly one of the top prospects in the college game. His best attribute is his approach at the plate, where he is so tough to get out.
Moran finished the regular season with a .343 batting average but a .472 on-base percentage. He totaled 61 walks this year and only struck out 22 times.
When he is swinging the bat, he usually makes great contact with the ball and has loads of raw power. Considering how weak the Marlins are at the major league level, you should expect Moran to get to the top quickly.
Kent Emmanuel, LHP, Houston Astros
At this point, it seems as though Kent Emmanuel is getting by more on his past success than his future potential.
The pitcher does not have great stuff, but he is a fantastic competitor who has anchored the rotation all year. While North Carolina has plenty of great players, Emmanuel has been one of the leaders who is always asked to perform when the team needs it.
This mindset will help him go far as a professional, regardless of his pitches.
Cody Stubbs, 1B, Kansas City Royals
As good of a hitter as Moran is, Cody Stubbs was the one who led the Tar Heels in hitting this season. He batted .366 and had eight home runs and 26 doubles.
These extra-base hits are a great sign for the player's future, who is still developing as a power hitter. He will end up being a big-time prospect if he can get a little more strength behind his swing.