The final round of eight of the College World Series kicks off this weekend, and while all but one of the teams will end up going home without the hardware, a few of the members of their teams will likely one day be going with a million-dollar bonus. Here’s who has some helium for the 2012 MLB draft, broken down by team. Here’s part one…
The Cavaliers should take a hit next year after losing Danny Hultzen and Tyler Wilson, but they should be bolstered by the addition of RHP Branden Kline to the rotation.
Kline, a 2009 sixth-round draft pick by the Red Sox, has pitched the last two years out of the bullpen, saving a combined 20 games. This year he has posted a 49:18 K:BB ratio and a 2.15 ERA in 30 contests. Kline has good size (6-3, 190) and is a former Louisville Slugger Maryland State Player of the Year. He throws in the low-to-mid 90s and complements his fastball with a curveball and a slider. He has already proven himself as a reliever, and with the Hultzen and Wilson departing, along with Will Roberts and Cody Winiarski, Kline might finally get his shot as a starter. If he can have a strong year, he could boost his stock greatly.
INF Chris Taylor hasn’t gotten the opportunity to play too much, but he showed his clutch nature in the Cavs’ super-regional finale against UC-Irvine. He was also a Virginia State Player of the Year during his senior year of high-school.
INF/C Rob Amaro got very little time on the field this season, but could next year. He was a 40th-round pick of the Phillies back in 2009, mostly because of his relation to his uncle, Ruben Amaro, the Phillies GM. He could really benefit from seeing some time behind the plate.
INF Stephen Bruno saw very little time this year after a break-out freshman season that saw him hit .388 in 36 games. A native of New Jersey, Bruno is a baseball rat, who can do a little of everything on the field. He is somewhat limited by his size (5-9, 165), but he was already drafted once by New York back in the 26th-round of the ’09 draft.
Another interesting player should be LHP Aaron Stull, who logged only two innings on the mound this season. He has prototypical pitcher’s size (6-6, 185) and is a former record-setting QB at Croatan HS, where he also won Jacksonville (NC) Daily News Player of the Year honors.