I don't claim to know more than organizations that focus on the draft. I do, however, prioritize a Cubs perspective. Use my opinions as you wish, but I try to get more accurate every day of the college season. Until then, a bit on Boston College and Week 3 of college baseball.
Drafting for the Cubs at 21, some players are more important to focus on than others. Getting hung up on Jack Leiter versus Kumar Rocker is likely wasted effort. Both will fly off the board, and are unlikely to be Cubs soon. Louisville has a catcher (Henry Davis), a third baseman (Alex Binelas) and an outfielder (Levi Usher) who could go top 25. As such, watching Louisville games is wise to assess all three, though none might be in the 18-24 range.
Boston College's center fielder is Sal Frelick. He's a hockey guy with speed, a level of pop, and leadoff skills. It's too early to say anything for sure, but Frelick could well be available in the 18-22 range. To do this right, the players closer to 18-22 are the ones I ought to prioritize. As it happens, BC's third baseman Cody Morissette seems a bit 28-60, and their Friday starter Mason Pelio ranks in the top 50 on the Fangraphs list. I should prioritize any Pelio start, to decide if he belongs in my July Top 100 (3rd Round), Top 60 (2nd Round), or Top 24 (first round).
In week two, Boston College visited Duke. The first game was weather-impacted. It was delayed and suspended midway until Saturday, which pushed Pelio's start back so he could pitch without weather concerns. Nonetheless, on Friday, Frelick beat out an infield hit, and stole second.
Saturday's game jumped without me, and Pelio struggled a bit early, despite throwing 94-97 miles per hour. When Frelick batted his second time, the lefty looped a fly to left-center, high off the wall. That hints he was prioritizing contact, which he earned. Frelick also went all-out on two flies deep, making one catch and just missing the other.
B1: It's Schreck once again for Duke, as he comes up with a two-run double (that Frelick just can't come down with in CF). Three straight two-out hits, 2-0 Blue Devils. pic.twitter.com/M66G0dOiWJ— Bradley Smart (@bradleysmart15) February 27, 2021
Morissette was less loud, but both he and Pelio settled into my second round list, and Pelio's outing only lasted four innings on pitch count. Frelick remains in the top 21+3, along with many two dozen others.
This weekend, both Auburn and Boston College lost their scheduled series to COVID outbreaks for their scheduled opponents, so that resulted in two quality foes meeting in Alabama. With Pelio against likely first rounder Richard Fitts for the War Eagles. Poor me. I was able to select Frelick, Morrisette, and Pelio against a stud SEC Friday guy. Wow, that's a gift.
In the first, Frelick lined out. In his next two trips, he homered. The downstroke was, nobody was airing the thrown together game. However, people have smart phones.
Video from side the of Frelick’s second home run. Such a short smooth swing, quick bat. pic.twitter.com/2QNFEtvK2c— Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612) March 5, 2021
By his next at-bat, I'd started following an Auburn fan (in attendance) on Twitter. His fourth at-bat wasn't a homer, but I include it to show he isn't an all-or-nothing guy. With a six-run lead, he was aiming for contact, to move the runners up with nobody out. If you Twitter and dig Auburn, feel free to follow Caleb Jones:
BC second baseman Luke Gold matched Frelick's two homers, and bounces to my third round Cubs Watch List.
Some big-name pitching prospects were bolstering resumes last weekend. One was Texas' Ty Madden. This video hints he might not be available at 21.
another sensational outing for @TexasBaseball RHP Ty Madden, one of the top pitchers in the 2021 Draft— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) March 6, 2021
last week vs. BYU: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
tonight vs. Houston: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K
all 14 strikeouts, for your viewing pleasure: pic.twitter.com/I2CkVbDq3X
I had some spare time before the BC/Auburn game, and tuned in for LSU and Jalen Hill. He had a clunker, one that shows how a Walker Buehler can slip to late in the first round. Hill retired one hitter, was charged with eight earned runs, and nobody "rolled over" the inning. The full game is on YouTube. Here are the highlights of a 22-7 LSU loss, and you see his velocity getting lit up. I doubt Hill sees pick 21.
One player who might be in play at 21 is Colton Cowser. A lefty-hitting center fielder is the type that impresses more across-the-board than in any one aspect. (He might be considered a poor-man’s Frelick.) I have Cowser in my second-round pool, rather than the top 24. Bumped to leadoff this weekend for the Sam Houston Bearkats, he flashed some leather last Friday night.
Got 'em!!!— Sam Houston Baseball (@BearkatsBSB) March 5, 2021
Cowser with the one-hop laser from CF and Johnson picks it to get Karp at home to end the 5th.
Kats up 5-2 as we go to the 6th. #EatEmUpKats
KSAM 101.7 FM pic.twitter.com/GeYuXKQVVM
Not enough to make or break a selection at 21, but it’s a cumulative thing.
The Big Ten debuted last Friday. Illinois (1-3) and Northwestern (2-2) didn’t get off to great starts.
James Wood is a prep hitter. Outfield/first base sounds boring. His power isn't. He's done this before.
James Wood (2021 Olny, MD) DESTROYED! The #MissStCommit just unloaded on a 3-run home run that travelled over the high bullpen wall at the Hoover Met. #PGShowdown #MissStCommit @Florida_PG pic.twitter.com/Ejy8kheLBM— Perfect Game Scout (@PG_Scouting) March 6, 2021
On Saturday night, I accidentally ran into a Santa Barbara game against Oregon, a middling PAC-12 squad. Oregon trailed 1-0 in the second, with potential first-rounder Rodney Boone on the mound. He walked the first two hitters on about nine pitches. A hard hit grounder got by the third baseman. On a grounder to first, Boone dropped the toss from the first baseman. Eventually, a triple and a homer ended his night. It's not that there's nothing there. He's a lefty with velocity. I can't see burning a pick on him with players more likely to cash on the board at 21.
Finishing where I started, the first two games of the Auburn series were blowouts, with both teams claiming one. BC trailed 9-1 heading to the ninth in the Sunday rubber match. Frelick walked early on in the inning, and the Auburn bullpen couldn’t close it out. Frelick batted with two outs and two on, down three.
A two-run homer by Gold made it 11-9 in the tenth, and BC earned the series win, setting up a Louisville/BC matchup this weekend. With the key Louisville hitters trying to shake slumps, Pelio against them should continue to shuffle collective draft boards.