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 four…
No team in the CWS field will lose as much talent as Vandy, who will likely see Sonny Gray, Grayson Garvin, Taylor Hill, Aaron Westlake, Jason Esposito, Jack Armstrong and Navery Moore. In all the Commodores had an SEC record 12 players drafted.
Still, they’ll have some talent prepped for next year’s draft. First, there’s any player who doesn’t sign this year, with Armstrong the most likely. With a strong season, he could be top three or four rounds talent.
Of the players who will become draft-eligible next year, OF Connor Harrellleads the way. An incredible athlete that has a ton of raw power, Harrell got he chance to play regularly in 2011 and responded well, hitting seven home runs in 60 games. He struck out a good amount (43 in 185 ABs), but also showed great instincts on the basepaths, swiping seven bases in the same number of tries.
Harrell made headlines last year with his 10th-inning suicide squeeze bunt that drove in the game-winning run in Vandy’s regional victory over Louisville. With Joe Loftus and Aaron Westlake moving on, the Commodores will have to find a way to get Harrell’s bat into the lineup.
Speedy OF Mike Yastrzemski will likely be a day-one pick, and should be a major catalyst for Vandy next year. He had a break0ut season this year, hitting an even .300 with 42 RBI and 22 steals. He also showed an incredible eye at the plate, notching seven more walks (43) than strikeouts (36). He should easily eclipse all of those numbers next year as he continues to grow and mature.
And yes, he is related to Carl Yastrzemski. Mike is his nephew.
SS Anthony Gomez fought off Jason Esposito and clinched his spot as the team’s starting shortstop for next year with a very strong season at the plate. He finished fifth on the squad with a .343 average and fourth with 45 RBI. He doesn’t have much power in his bat (two career HR) and he rarely walks (eight BB in 62 games), but he also doesn’t strikeout too often, racking up only 13 Ks all season.
On defense, Gomez struggled, committing 19 errors, despite the fact that he was throwing to one of the best defensive first baseman in the SEC. Even so, with his strong arm and good range he should be one of the first college shortstops off the board.