2011 College World Series: Predicting Top 10 Future MLB Stars

John SheltonContributor IIIJune 23, 2011

2011 College World Series: Predicting Top 10 Future MLB Stars

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    Every year we see great players throughout the 2011 College World Series tournament Omaha.

    However, how many of these players are actually good enough to make their impact felt in the MLB.

    We've seen names like Barry Bonds, Pat Burrell, Todd Walker and others who played in the CWS go on to careers in the Majors.

    Who out of the 2011 College World Series will take their talents to the pros with means to succeed?

    I will layout the top 10 players who will become MLB stars in the future.

Grayson Garvin: Vanderbilt (LHP)

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    First on my list of future stars is s lefty pitcher from Vanderbilt University, Grayson Garvin.

    Garvin was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

    This 6'6" junior is a tall, lanky kid who throws absolute fire.  Garvin reminds me of a young Randy Johnson, and has potential to be a fabulous pitcher in the bigs. 

    Garvin helped the Commodores get to their first CWS this year by going 13-2 with a 2.48 ERA.  Garvin also only had 25 walks in 112.2 innings pitched, a very impressive stat.  This kid has the velocity and control to become a true MLB superstar someday.

Preston Tucker: Florida (1B)

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    From the University of Florida comes the next person on my list of future MLB stars, junior Preston Tucker.

    The power hitter Tucker has had a great career with the Gators.

    Helping the Gators get to the CWS for the second year in a row, Tucker had a .315 batting average with 15 HRs and 72 RBI.  This kid is a hitting machine.

    Tucker has the power that will turn him into a star.  Preston is a better fit to become a star DH than a stud first baseman.  He is a shorter guy who has possibly the most power in the CWS this year.

    Tucker has shown great numbers since he was a freshman at Florida and won the Triple Crown.  This kid has something about his swing that makes him an absolute stud player.  With the heart and intensity he shows, there's only room for success in Preston's book.

Aaron Westlake: Vanderbilt (1B)

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    Next is the power hitter out of Vanderbilt University, junior star Aaron Westlake.

    Westlake helped the Commodores to their first CWS appearance this year with his amazing numbers.

    Aaron had a .343 average, adding to his impressive 17 HR and 55 RBI.  However, Westlake's most impressive stat is his .629 slugging percentage.  He's not only impressive with his bat, but also with his glove, playing first base for Vanderbilt the whole season.

    With Westlake's 6'4" stature, he will become a top-rated 1B in the next 10 years.  I believe that this might be the best player from this year's CWS.  He has shown that he has the power, the defense, but also that he has the leadership role to take to the MLB.

    Drafted in the third round of this year's draft by the Detroit Tigers, I believe Westlake will be the perfect person to take over the Tigers first base starting role, allowing current player Miguel Cabrera to move to the DH position. 

Tyler Naquin: Texas A&M (OF)

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    Next, from Texas A&M University comes outfielder Tyler Naquin.

    Naquin as a sophomore this past season led the Aggies with a .390 batting average and .460 OBP, perfect stats for a leadoff hitter.

    Tyler was also awarded the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year for his amazing performance.

    And adding to his speed is Naquin's cannon arm.  

    With a perfect stature to become an MLB star, Naquin is an all-around player who will definitely make an impact as a leadoff batter in the pros. 

Colin Moran: North Carolina (3B/1B)

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    Colin Moran as a freshman at North Carolina University led his team to the CWS this year with a .335 batting average, contributing 9 HR and 69 RBI.  Moran also led the team with .551 slugging percentage and .443 OBP.

    Moran was named 2011 ACC Freshman of the Year, and I believe everyone will be hearing about this kid in the near future.

    Even though Colin hasn't decided when he will enter the MLB draft, I believe he'll eventually become a top 10 pick.

    Moran is a smart player with a great swing and a presence that will scare any opposing pitcher.

Jackie Bradley Jr: South Carolina (OF)

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    Even though Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't play his junior at South Carolina, the speedy outfielder still has shown enough talent to make me believe he will make it big someday. 

    Drafted in the second round of this year's draft by the Boston Red Sox, Bradley is quick and has power to potentially become a great outfielder.  With Boston's solid farm system, the Sox are a perfect fit to exploit all of Bradley's talents.

    Bradley also participated with the 2010 USA Collegiate National Team.

    However, even with this season being worthless, Bradley showcased his talent last year in the CWS for the champion Gamecocks, becoming the College World Series MVP.

    Finally back from an April 23 wrist injury, we will see if Jackie can help his team repeat as CWS Champions.

Mike Zunino: Florida (Catcher)

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    Even as a sophomore at the University of Florida, catcher Mike Zunino led the team this year with a .369 batting average and 18 HR, adding to an impressive 66 RBI. Zunino has the power and defense to become an Hall of Fame-caliber catcher.

    Zunino has impressed scouts with his ability to play behind the plate everyday.  Tearing through the strong SEC conference, Zunino won SEC Player of the Year.

    Even though it will be another year until Zunino enters the draft, he is already projected as a top 10 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.  I expect him to forgo his senior season, and within the next five years become a starting catcher in the big leagues.

Sonny Gray: Vanderbilt (RHP)

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    As the 18th overall pick in 2011 MLB Draft, pitcher Sonny Gray could become a star for the Oakland Athletics.

    Gray, a junior at Vanderbilt University, had an excellent season Gray went 12-3 with a 2.12 ERA this year in leading the Commodores to the CWS.

    Gray nearly dominated the strong SEC in 2011, and with the statistics he has shown adding to the velocity he has, Gray reminds me of a young Tim Lincecum with at 5'11" and 200 pounds.

    Gray also has great experience, already having pitched for 2010 USA National Team, leading the team with a 3-0 record.

Danny Hultzen: Virginia (LHP)

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    Next is the second overall pick from the 2011 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, lefty Danny Hultzen.

    Hultzen, a junior from the University of Virginia, had an impressive junior season going 12-3 with a 1.41 ERA.  Hultzen added to this season with 157 strikeouts in 115 innings pitched.

    Hultzen had already shown success, helping his team go to the CWS in his freshman season.

    Hultzen also displays great hitting ability with a .313 batting average with 35 RBI. 

    Hultzen reminds me of a young Cliff Lee, who happened to play for the team Hultzen will be joining next season.  With great control and decent velocity, Hultzen is the all-around package and will make an impact in the next decade.

Taylor Jungmann: Texas (RHP)

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    With the frame to play basketball at 6'6" and 220 pounds, pitcher Taylor Jungmann from the University of Texas has the ability to become an MLB star.

    With a 13-3 record and 1.60 ERA in his junior season, Jungmann has the pitches and composure that will take him far in his career.

    Drafted with the 12th pick in the 2011 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Jungmann will be able to make an impact right away, helping the Brewers weak rotation.

    Already showing that he can handle pressure, with his 3-0 record in the 2009 CWS as a freshman pitcher, I have faith that we will be hearing about young Taylor Jungmann in the next five years.