Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Born: September 17, 1991
Prior to the season, Roache would have been an easy top five selection, thanks to an impressive bat that led the country in home runs in 2011. Unfortunately, a broken wrist has limited him to six games and 17 at-bats. Not only has his absence hurt the chances of his squad (25-21), but it’s also put him out of sight and mind, negatively affecting his draft stock.
That shouldn’t taint Roache’s prospects come draft day, when he’ll still likely be a first-round selection. There’s no debate that he is the top power hitter from the college ranks, and possibly the entire draft class. He shattered school and conference records with an awe-inspiring season in 2011, slugging 30 home runs and driving in 84. In April alone he put up numbers worthy of an entire season: .368, 15 HR, 32 RBI. He also finished the campaign with a .326 average and .438 on-base percentage, the latter a product of 37 walks, three of which were intentional, and 11 hit-by-pitches.
Roache’s other tools aren’t as impressive as his power, but he should be a decent enough hitter to avoid a fate as a fourth outfielder or designated hitter. He’s much more athletic than his 6-1, 235 pound frame would indicate and he’s actually a pretty savvy baserunner.
Defensively, he’s okay, featuring average arm strength and enough speed to track down the majority of balls hit his way. He dabbled a bit at first base, and there’s a good chance that he’ll end up back there down the road. The versatility of having played both positions will definitely work in his favor.
Roache is still holding out hope for a return to the field, possibly in time for the So-Con tournament, where the Eagles will likely need all the help they can get. A strong finish to the season, with an impressive display of power would silence concerns about the long-term effects of the injury, which required surgery, and keep him in the forefront of team’s minds.