Editor’s Note: Every week through the draft we will have a Full Count Trends piece running here on SCOUT. Every weekend I will look at three players who had a strong weekend and two who had a down week or had their draft stock impacted by something negative (health or otherwise). I am looking at a full count from the hitter's perceptive, so players on the rise will be in the three-balls category and those who have had negative performances or health news will be in the two-strikes category. Think of this feature as a running stock watch on draft prospects. A player in the two-strikes category may recover in plenty of time before the draft commences. You will also likely see names jump into the three-balls category that may not have a high profile yet but will be worth watching in the lead-up to the draft.
It was another big week for the college baseball season and I will start with the biggest news of the week. This weekend, Alec Hansen was not listed among the starters for Oklahoma. It appeared he would be moved to the bullpen, although he did not pitch all weekend. I think a week off, or even a move to the bullpen, is a great thing to help Hansen’s confidence and give him a mental break.
This news is huge for the obvious reason that Hansen was widely viewed as a likely 1-1 candidate to start the year and instead he has struggled to get out of the first innings in his past few outings. Last year, we saw another big right hander who hadn’t pitched all summer come out of the gate and flop with Mike Matuella of Duke. Matuella ended up needing surgery, but maybe that would be better than the struggles that have dogged Hansen. Matuella ended up with a $2 million bonus and going in the third round. At this point, Hansen is the biggest wild card in this draft. He has the upside that made many put him at the top of their boards. Yet, if anything, he has reinforced all the concerns scouts had for him before the year began. It is a horrible thing to see a kid falling apart and costing himself millions. As of now, things look decidedly grim for Hansen, although he still has time to turn it around.
In more positive news, Matt Thaiss and Logan Ice both had strong Friday nights. The pair of catchers also have something else in common, as they are near impossible to strike out. In fact, through Friday night, they had each struck out just three times all year. Ice is the better defender, while Thaiss has the better track record. They are part of the solid 2-4 round group of catchers in this class.
In other positive news, Nick Senzel continues to hit. Also, water is still wet.
Ronnie Dawson continued his extra-base hit parade. On Friday and Saturday, he had three combined hits and, of course, two of them were for extra bases, a double and a homerun. Dawson has 31 hits this year and 18 of them have been for extra bases. I will see Dawson on Tuesday, so expect a scouting report and video to follow.
Colby Woodmansee went 7-14 this weekend. In a weak shortstop class, he seems to be the only one really stepping up week-in and week-out.
Zach Brown had another outing to forget. At this point, if not for Hansen, Brown would be the player who has seen his stock take the biggest hit this year.
Robert Tyler, RHP, Georgia
I have to lead off with Tyler. He took a perfect game into the ninth inning. Tyler got the first two batters out before giving up a solo homerun against Alabama. He only allowed three base runners on the one hit and two walks and struck out nine.
Tyler has one of the best fastballs in this class, but he has had a lot of struggles with his command leading up to his Friday performance. This should not come as a surprise, as this is his first year back from Tommy John surgery and command struggles are very common.
Tyler is a first rounder. I don’t think he will go in the top-10 picks, like some projected at the start of the year. Still, it is hard to see him not going in the top-30 overall; he’s a big guy with big velocity.
Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State
This was a big start for Hudson, facing Ole Miss in a rivalry game. Hudson pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and no walks. He did hit a batter, as well. He also struck out 11 batters. Hudson threw 113 pitches, 72 for strikes.
The previous two years, Hudson had pitched a combined 34 innings. So far on the year, he has 48.2 innings and has walked one less batter over that time than he had those previous two years combined. His improved command has been one of the most impressive things I have seen this year.
Hudson sits in the low 90s. He has hit 97, but that was when he worked out of the bullpen. His performance this year has moved him up to the top of the college right-handers in this draft. I would still put Jordan Sheffield above him, but there is not a college right-hander who is pitching better than Hudson. His transformation from a reliever who struggled to find the strike-zone to one of the best pitchers in college baseball has been pretty amazing to watch.
Braden Webb , RHP, South Carolina
Webb is technically a freshman for South Carolina. He took a year off between college and high school, due to injury, and is now draft-eligible thanks to his age. Webb was drafted a year ago by the Cleveland Indians in the 38th round. Right now, the Indians have to be wishing they had saved a little more pool money to sign him.
On Friday, Webb went eight innings, allowing no runs on two hits and three walks while facing one of the top teams in the country, Vanderbilt. He struck out 11 batters, which marked the second week in a row he had double-digit strikeouts.
I am pretty sure Webb, much like Andrew Benintendi a year ago, has sent scouts scrambling. I don’t think he was on the draft radar. I wrote about him a year ago and I will admit he was not on mine. As a matter of fact, in my Indians draft capsule, I didn’t think he would be eligible this year.
Webb is making a name for himself right now. I would say it is not out of the realm of possibility that Webb could find his way into the first round, especially if he continues to dominate the SEC. A big, strong righthander, who is dominating in the SEC and could add velocity, is going to excite a lot of teams.
Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt
Reynolds, to many, is the fourth-rated college position player in this class and a possible top-10 overall pick. He does a bit of everything, but nothing plus; in spite of this, he has a lot of fans and is currently the number three hitter on one of the best teams in the country.
This weekend, Vanderbilt faced a very good South Carolina pitching staff. It was a rough weekend for Reynolds, who went 1-10 with a double and two walks.
I worry that Reynolds might need to move to a corner outfield spot and, because of his arm, he can only play leftfield. He lacks a carrying tool, so I really don’t get why Reynolds is viewed as a top-10 prospect. His hit tool is the only above-average tool I see. He is a solid player, but not one that you are going to see in my 30 this year. This is one of the players I vastly disagree with the consensus on, but, as a general rule, you won’t see a player in my top-20 who I don’t think has a chance at multiple 55 grade tools, or at least one 60 or greater tool.
Michael Shawaryn, RHP, Maryland
On Friday, Shawaryn and Maryland lost to High Point University. It has been a rough year for Shawaryn, who I honestly think needs to take some time off and rest. The last month has been a disaster for his value and Friday was another bump in the road. He lasted all of 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, one walk, and three hit batters. He did manage to strikeout five of the 17 batters he faced.
Shawaryn pitched 116 innings as sophomore, which was an average of 6.8 innings per start. This was after 92.1 innings as a freshman. He pitched poorly over the summer and most people just assumed he was suffering from dead arm.
This dead arm has continued into this season and is raising new concerns. Shawaryn was projected as a backend starter whose control and command were likely his best tools. He had an excellent 4.76 strikeout to walk ratio as a sophomore. This year, his strikes are down and his walks are up. He has pitched one third as many innings as a year ago and put up half as many walks and a quarter of the strikeouts. If you dislike math, this means he is going to have significantly more walks and fewer strikeouts than a year ago.
Shawaryn was talked about as a possible first rounder before the year began. I would be surprised now to see him go before the third round. A control pitcher who is struggling with his control is just not a guy who can be expected to go high. I would be more surprised right now if he went in the first, rather than the seventh or eighth.