Area Draft Prospects: KU, Cowley County and Wichita H.S. Arms

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University of Kansas

Last Tuesday I was able to see the KU baseball team play Wichita State. I was concentrating on Poppe, but got some thoughts on some other players also:

Michael Suiter -LF
Ranked #38 in Central Region Report - Minorleagueball.com
Local Watch for University of Kansas by Greg Schaum at Pinetarpress.com
Drafted in 2011 in 37th round by the Reds.
Hitting: 0.313/.382/.369

  • Played acceptable LF. He caught a couple balls in the sun and threw a one hopper over 300 ft to home.
  • His 6'0" height on the score card was a bit of a stretch.
  • Nice compact swing.
  • Excessive bat movement kept him from being ready on several pitches and really messed with his timing. Also, his hands were even and over his head. He would pull his hands back and down when the pitch was thrown.
  • Slow long swing.

Tanner Poppe -SP

Local Watch for University of Kansas by Greg Schaum at Pinetarpress.com
Drafted in 2011 in the 37th round by the Rays.

  • I was surprised a bit by the speed Poppe was able to throw his fastball out of a 3/4 arm slot. In the first inning it averaged 92-94 mph on the stadium gun (it can be a bit fast, but acceptable). In the 5th inning it was 90-94 mph. It was as straight as can be with no movement.
  • He threw a slider or a change, but it was tough to tell which one it was. It was basically straight and just 10 mph slower than his fastball. He had no confidence in it and rarely threw it for strikes.
  • He threw one or two of out of the zone curves in the 77 mph range hoping to get hitter to chase.
  • He struggle out of the stretch in the second inning.
  • He lives on the outside part of the plate.
  • He will get crushed in pro ball, but I could see a team take a chance on him. He could end up as a bullpen arm. Upside: Kyle Farnsworth.

Ka' iana Eldredge - C

Ranked #50 in Central Region Report - Minorleagueball.com
Local Watch for University of Kansas by Greg Schaum at Pinetarpress.com
Drafted in the 48th round by the Reds
Hitting: 0.215/.318/.257

  • Preloads with front foot way early to a wider stance from an already wide stance. Swing prohibits any power production.
  • Plate discipline was a mess. Seems to be looking to walk all the time and took some strikes right down the middle. Once behind, swung at pitches out of the zone.
  • Had a 1.7 time to 2B (in video).
  • I saw nothing special from him. He is the same or worse than every other college catcher.

Alex DeLeon -1B

Local Watch for University of Kansas by Greg Schaum at Pinetarpress.com
0.333/.410/.576, 9 HRs

  • Stance is wider than I prefer. Will struggle with inside pitches with a wooden bat. Otherwise, his swing is nice and is the best looking hitter on the team. At times he opens up too early.
  • His defense was acceptable at 1B. Made all the plays he was supposed to.

Cowley County Community College

Cowley County was the #2 ranked Junior College team in the country coming into this past weekend's playoffs. The team went 1-2 and was eliminated from the tournament which finishes tonight with Coffeyville facing off against Neosho County. Several players from Cowley are considered draft prospects. I watched Cowley's first game when they faced off against Colby CC.

The entire Cowley County team looks like a bunch DHs when they take the field, big and slow. They seemed on average 3 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than the players on Colby.

Mark Meadors - SP - Threw a good fastball with a late cut to the 3B side 95% of the time. I saw a couple of straight fastballs and maybe one off speed pitch. When in the strike zone, it was pretty devastating. He had problems controlling it and hit 4 batters.

Seth Holman - RP - Pitched Bishop Carroll to 5A championship in 2012 where his dad coaches. Nephew of former MLB pitchers, Brian and Brad Holman. He pitched the 9th inning. He worked extremely fast and threw a straight over the top fastball.

Dylan Delso (.394/.470/.654) - C - Transfer from Arizona St. Started swing with his bat on shoulder and then moves it all over the place. Swings bow legged with absolutely no weight transfer. Long swing. Was OK behind the plate with a 1.6 pop time.

Mike Parker (.429/.533/.647) - 1B - 2012 Conference Freshman of the Year. Another wide stance, but otherwise a nice fast swing. Swung to crush the ball all the time. Swung out of the zone quite a bit with no contact. Issue fielding 1B. To put it in perspective. Think of Billy Butler at 3B. Cowley's 3B fielded worse than Billy would. Now remember Parker is at 1B than the statue at 3B.

Matt Anderson (.355/.428/.488) - Transferred from Illinois State. Couldn't keep his weight balanced at all at the plate. Moving all over the place. He did make a nice backhand grab and throw and 2B.

Cory Linn (.243/.425/.378) - A walk machine with some pop. Starts with a wide stance with a minuscule amount of load. Generates good bat speed with arms and hit a home run during the game.

Wichita NW vs Bishop Carroll

On April 30th, I watched two of the top teams in the Wichita area play, Wichita NW (#5 in 6A) vs Bishop Carroll (#1 in 5A). I saw two of the top area pitchers go against each other with Carroll getting a 2-1 victory (Video). Northwest put Mitchell McIntyre on the mound (0.65 ERA, 13.2 K/9) who has signed with Wichita State. Carroll put Braden Larkey (1.08 ERA, 10.4 K/9) on the mound.

McIntyre has some potential, but he has an unorthodox motion. He plants he front foot early, killing momentum, pivots up from the front foot and then throws over straight over the top. It would confuse quite a few batters and I wonder if it is even a legal pitch. It will be interesting to see if he gets drafted in June (doubt it).

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