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This year brings on a major change to the MLB draft that will improve the health of college coaches everywhere - slot money for signing bonuses. No more worrying that your 19th round pick by the Yankees is gonna get a million dollars offered to him. The slot money will be consistent with the historical normal range and will obviously decrease as the rounds go on.
Our most pressing need is SS and since the Big Lowski and the boys have potentially monkeyed up the SS recruiting once again, our eggs seem to be firmly planted in the basket of Addison Russell. He's a stud. A bonafide starter from Day 1 because of his defense - not to mention he can smash - 37 career homers again 6A competition and 6A sized parks in Florida - that's legit. He's been a lock to be a 1st round pick until he put on 30 pounds over last summer. Granted, he lost the 30 pounds this spring but his future size is a major concern for clubs signing million dollar checks. At a legit 6'1", he's probably not going to stay small enough to stay at short in the bigs which means probably 3rd base. His stick says plus power at SS but probably not the power that warrants 1st round money. He had an average year at the plate although his power numbers were there. His grandfather that raised him is big on two things - Auburn University and a college education. That bodes well for Auburn. ESPN has his stock falling some - possibly to the 2nd round. And after being told you are a 1st rounder for 2 years it would be a bummer to get slotted 2nd round money - not life changing money. We will see what happens on draft day.
David Dahl is our other highly rated guy. There are bigger outfielders that have seen their stock rise - possibly over Dahl who is a skinny kid that has the discount factor of playing against AL competition. If scouts compare him to Colby Rasmus then they aren't seeing a lot of upside - possible major league player but not a franchise type guy. ESPN also has his stock dropping. I've heard rumblings that he's told Auburn he won't go to school but after being lauded for 2 years like Russell - what happens if he is facing slotted 2nd round money? Also like Russell, he had an average year at the plate but showed pop (6 homers in 77 official abs). He would also likely play right off the bat at Auburn and might get some time on the mound with his 93 mph fastball.
Rock Rucker was rated highly in the preseason but transferred from Atlanta to Russell County AL and struggled some against much less competition. He's raw and if I were a major league club, I wouldn't burn a 1st round pick on him. Walked over 40 batters with a high school strikezone and competition - he may throw 94 but if he can't harness it then it doesn't matter. Didn't dominate at the plate either - average was mediocre for what he faced. His power is there but struck out too much. Honestly, I think he will struggle against SEC competition as a freshman and don't look for him to be ready next year. Hope I'm wrong and he is the SEC frosh of the year. Would love to get him into the fold and develop him. All kind of tools on this kid including size and speed. Could play 1st for us.
Sam Gillikin is a kid that I really like from Hoover. His stock has really risen this spring but hopefully not enough to pull him away from Auburn. Legit 6'2" centerfielder with big-time speed. Stole 25 bases and hit 6 homers from the leadoff spot along with double digit doubles and almost .600 OBP. He could very well start for us next year if Tella leaves for the draft as expected.
Dylan Smith had another monster year for Clay-Chalkville. Grandson of Auburn legend Zeke Smith so hoping he'll make it in school. Big, big kid with some glove and could play 1st or 3rd for us. Best hitter in the state this year but only really a 2-tool guy so shouldn't get drafted too high. Would most likely contribute for us. Hit 14 homers and 18 doubles this year and drove in 60 to lead the state in almost every offensive category. Slugged over 1.000 and OBP was over .600. Kind of kid we need.
Damek Tomscha had another monster year at the plate for Iowa Western with 15 homers so far and 25 doubles. Big left-handed stick that would help us next year. Was hoping he could play 3rd but his .919 fielding percentage is not what we need unless we have a monster offensive team next year. Probably 1st base or DH for us as he has a 6'4" 230 pound frame. Would definitely help us next year. Possibly athletic enough to play a corner outfield - got a cannon for an arm.
The kids from Shelton State and NW Shoals had pedestrian years at the plate this year but Hunter Kelley could revert back to form next year - unfortunately he's another outfielder - do we really need that many outfielders?
That's pretty much the position players that we could lose. I've heard Ebert is pretty much not wanting to come to school but not a massive loss. We've got a couple of freshmen that haven't played much this year that can probably help us next year so the cupboard isn't going to be completely bare.
As far as pitching signees, I don't think we have any imminent losses to the pros but you never know. There's hopefully a few guys that are frontline pitching material - lots of lefties in this class and a big, strong righty from Chicago that is a marginal threat to be drafted high. The two juco lefties will hopefully come through - both are big guys.
That's good stuff. Thanks. I thought it was a heck of a class when they signed and it will be interesting to see how many make it into school.
Good stuff. +1 for the research and insight.
Interesting. Thanks for the update.
Here is the most comprehensive MLB mock draft I've found. The intro says "This time I went a little deeper and added some info thanks to Baseball America. Prior to the draft, I will do a mock of what I am hearing and not just randomized placements. This is more for general information than an actual projection," so it isn't a perfect mock...but there never is.
The top Auburn signees: (the $ is the slot price)
15- Indians-$2,250,000-David Dahl
I didn't see anyone else in the top few hundred. Didn't look past that, however. With those slot prices, I'd be shocked if we signed Dahl or Russell and mildly surprised if we got Rucker on campus. Of course, all 3 could slip and not be happy like the OP suggested. All I know is we could use all 3, and the other signees, on campus.
News, analysis and opinion from the fan perspective.
This post was edited by Texas2AU 23 months ago
Ive got a call in to an NL GM who grew up in Pensacola with a good friend of mine that played at Tate. That should give us the straight skinny.
I was with Ebert last night. If not taken by a certain round, looking forward to going to Auburn.
This post was edited by foleytiger 23 months ago
Any chance he can handle shortstop defensively?
I am reluctant to predict how a kid will do at the next level, but Ebert has played on highly competitive traveling summer teams (Atlanta area last year). I don't know what position he will end up playing, but he has succeeded at every level since he was a little kid. He led his high school team to a runner-up in 6A state tournament las year.
In the latest projections, both players are sliding. Dahl is completely out of the 1st round in Some of the mock drafts and no higher than 21st in the ones that he is in. Some injury issues could have teams worried. Russell is in most of the draft mocks but at pick #30 to the Yankees consistently. Could he slide out? We shall see.
This post was edited by nujaC 23 months ago
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