2010 College World Series: Your Guide to the Top 15 Position Players
Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas Christian University, and UCLA make up the College World Series slate for 2010. Fans of these schools know this, and some fans of baseball have started to set aside the FIFA World Cup and are looking into it.
Fans of these schools probably know one or two of their team's best players, but baseball sure is boring if you don't have anyone to root for.
Unlike football, in which players are hidden by a mask, baseball is a game of faces, of individuals who stand out in a crowd.
Most of the guys on this list have been or will be drafted to the Big Leagues, and a decent number will someday contend for a real World Series, so you should start to get to know them now.
Among the top eight schools in the country this year, you'll find that these 15 position players are their elite.
15. Tyler Rahmatulla of the UCLA Bruins
Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA
2010 Batting Line: .328/.509/.434
Fielding Percentage: .959
Sophomore Tyler Rahmatulla may be one of the younger players in the College World Series, but he deserves serious recognition for his rising production at the dish.
Rahmatulla jacked seven homers this season and swiped 13 bases as well. While the infielder's .959 fielding percentage leaves a bit to be desired, Rahmatulla does primarily play the hot corner—a position notorious for increased errors among the best fielders.
Unfortunately, Rahmatulla took a page from Kendry Morales' book and broke his wrist celebrating the Super Regional victory, so he will not be playing in this College World Series.
Nonetheless, watch for him on the bench because you will see this kid again at the top stage.
14. Austin Maddox of the Florida Gators
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
2010 Batting Line: .333/.596/.364
Fielding Percentage: .945
Catcher Austin Maddox was drafted in the 37th Round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft and wisely decided to wait for better slotting.
The freshman Gator swatted an incredible 17 home runs in 2010. A catcher with that kind of power can only climb on future draft days.
13. Cameron Seitzer of the Oklahoma Sooners
Hometown: Overland Park, KS
Height/Weight: 6-5 / 199
2010 Batting Line: .311/.604/.431
Fielding Percentage: .984
What is not to like about Cameron Seitzer? Seitzer's developing 6'5" frame has the potential to take him as far as he'd like to go. If his 15 home runs this year are any indication, as he matures, Seitzer will have a swing to match his size.
Of a Major League pedigree, Seitzer may simply have "it" genetically. His father, Kevin Seitzer, played 12 years at The Show, where he hit .295 for his career. In 1987, his father hit .323 with 15 home runs and 83 RBI as the Kansas City Royals' third baseman.
Can Cameron follow in his father's footsteps and perhaps break their mold? You can start following him this week in the College World Series.
12. Dean Espy of the UCLA Bruins
Hometown: Mesz, AZ
2010 Batting Line: .353/.600/.406
Fielding Percentage: .979
Originally drafted in the 41st Round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft, Dean Espy elected to stay in college and it looks like that decision could pay huge dividends.
Sophomore Espy's quickly rising plate production should only balloon as he matures. Nothing indicates that this powerful infielder is slowing down.
The College World Series is just the next logical step... one of many.
11. Jackie Bradley Jr. of the South Carolina Gamecocks
Hometown: Prince George, VA
2010 Batting Line: .371/.587/.477
Fielding Percentage: .993
Although Bradley went undrafted in 2010, he looks to leap to the top of the heap in 2011.
Bradley possesses a powerful, centered swing, a swift read from the outfield, and an electrifying arm capable of gunning a runner at the plate.
Watch him on this relatively little stage now, for Bradley it won't be long for metal bats and Omaha. Next year, you'll be following him on Draft Day.
10. Zack MacPhee of the Arizona State Sun Devils
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
2010 Batting Line: .394/.679/.491
Fielding Percentage: .963
It's no surprise that Zack MacPhee names Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia as his favorite professional athlete. MacPhee also plays the infield and, like Pedroia, MacPhee hasn't allowed his diminutive stature to diminish his prospects or his power.
Selected out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 2008 draft, the switch-hitting MacPhee knocked nine balls out of the park this year en route to a .679 slugging percentage.
Fast as well, MacPhee stole 19 bases for the Sun Devils, barely second to his teammate Riccio Torrez.
9. Riccio Torrez of the Arizona State Sun Devils
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
2010 Batting Line: .399/.658/.491
Fielding Percentage: .992
Riccio Torrez was originally drafted out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 32nd Round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft but decided to continue playing collegiately, and now he's in the College World Series.
An infielder, Torrez actually turns double plays alongside his brother Raoul, another Sun Devil, and both flash some serious leather.
Torrez is both powerful and quick. In 2010 he slugged 10 home runs and stole 20 bases.
8. Mike McGee of the Florida State Seminoles
Hometown: Port St. Lucie, FL
2010 Batting Line: .328/.584/.443
Fielding Percentage: .988
A power-hitting junior out of Port St. Lucie, Mike McGee was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 41st Round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft.
Slugging 15 home runs and driving in 68 runs during the 2010 season, McGee turns in double duty for the Seminoles as he both roams the outfield grass and toes the mound's rubber.
That said, watch for McGee to serve his primary purpose in this College World Series: smashing.
In game one of the Super Regionals against Vanderbilt, McGee sealed the deal with a walk-off blast.
Should he continue knocking them out, it will go a long way toward proving scouts wrong in their lukewarm assessment of McGee's potential.
7. Garrett Buechele of the Oklahoma Sooners
Hometown: Arlington, TX
2010 Batting Line: .371/.645/.452
Fielding Percentage: .970
With such gaudy numbers as a .371 average and a .645 slugging percentage, it may have surprised some to see Garrett Buechele slip to the Texas Rangers in the 18th Round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft, but perhaps a metal bat skews things a bit much at times and those 16 homers Buechele struck this year may have been a tad soft.
Since Garrett's father played 11 MLB seasons, six with the Rangers, there may have been some familial connection involved in the decision-making process.
Still, Buechele's strong fielding and clearly powerful bat give him some of the raw skills necessary to progress and perhaps perform a bit better than his father, who was owned a career .394 slugging percentage.
6. Matt Curry of the Texas Christian University Frogs
Hometown: Red Oak, TX
2010 Batting Line: .346/.702/.471
Fielding Percentage: .992
When the Pittsburgh Pirates took designated hitter and first baseman Matt Curry in the 16th Round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft, they may have made out like true bandits.
Curry hasn't ever ranked very high, but this senior slugger has the frame and developing power to produce at the highest level. For TCU in 2010, Curry launched a team-best 17 bombs and even stole 12 bags. Not bad for a player who is largely relegated to the DH role.
5. Tyler Holt of the Florida State Seminoles
Hometown: Gainesville, FL
2010 Batting Line: .352/.628/.468
Fielding Percentage: .994
Drafted in the 10th Round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians, junior outfielder Tyler Holt projects as a Major League center fielder with power in the gaps.
A natural speedster, Holt has the potential to flash exciting leather in the outfield and should definitely wreak havoc on the base paths as he swiped 30 bags in 2010.
4. Whitley Merrifield of the South Carolina Gamecocks
Hometown: Advance, NC
Bats / Throws: R/R
2010 Batting Line: .327/.506/.405
Fielding Percentage: .955
The Kansas City Royals may have gambled a bit when they drafted Whitley Merrifield in the Ninth Round of this year's First Year Player Draft. Whitley's weak arm makes him a difficult candidate outside of the corner outfield posts, and even those might be a stretch.
Still, Merrifield hit 12 dingers and stole as many bags in 2010. With above average speed and power, Merrifield could develop into a fine slugger and a decent outfielder for a Kansas team that will take it where they can get it.
3. Bryan Holaday of the Texas Christian University Frogs
Hometown: Dallas, TX
2010 Batting Line: .350/.599/.436
Fielding Percentage: .989
Catcher Bryan Holaday may have deserved to go higher than he did in the 2010 First Year Player Draft. As it is, Holaday must settle for a Sixth Round selection by the Detroit Tigers.
Considered by many scouts to have above average to elite skills both behind the plate and in the batter's box, Holaday could easily have ranked much higher among draftable catchers.
13 homers coming out of a catcher isn't anything to scoff at, and throwing out 19 of 37 would-be base stealers would catch the attention of any MLB scout.
Should he stay healthy, Holaday could experience a quick rise through the Tigers' system; but for now, let's just enjoy watching him play in the College World Series.
2. Matt Den Dekker of the Florida Gators
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
2010 Batting Line: .358/.575/.436
Fielding Percentage: .987
With 13 homers and 23 stolen bases in the 2010 season, Florida center fielder Matt Den Dekker made a lot of sense to the New York Mets, who selected him in the Fifth Round of this year's First Year Player Draft.
Someday soon, this speedy outfielder could prove a valuable addition to the Mets as he roams the deeper parts of Citi Field.
1. Kyle Parker of the Clemson Tigers
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
2010 Batting Line: Unavailable
Fielding Percentage: Unavailable
Outfielder Kyle Parker stands alone in this year's College World Series as the only position player selected during the First Round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft.
Taken 26th overall by the Colorado Rockies, Parker should find a nice home high in the mountains, where his phenomenal power to all fields can translate to the MLB level.