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 seven…
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have been one of the few teams to march through the regional and super-regional rounds, despite the lack of a truly elite draft prospect, either for this year or next. SS Levi Michael was a first-round pick, but most of the other Tar Heels that were drafted aren’t expected to have very bright pro futures.
The same can be said of their 2012 draft crop, which will be led by 2B/SS Tommy Coyle. Coyle is the older brother of Sean Coyle, who was drafted by the Red Sox in the third-round of the 2010 draft, and while he is arguably one of UNC’s top position players, he isn’t likely to break into that three-rounds territory.
Coyle had a stellar sophomore campaign, hitting .318, second on the team, with 36 RBI, a 38:22 BB:K ratio and 18 steals. He led the Tar Heels with 83 base-hits. On defense, he was solid, posting a .963 fielding percentage while splitting time at second base and shortstop.
RHP Cody Stiles should be a mid-round target for some teams. He was selected by the Yankees in the 39th-round back in 2009, but spurned their offer to join the Tar Heels in the hopes that he would someday squeeze his way into the rotation. He made eight starts this season, in addition to four relief appearances, and pitched very well, posting a 4-0 record, a 2.43 ERA and a 29:13 K:BB ratio in 37 innings. With the departure of Patrick Johnson, it looks like Stiles might get that chance.
While he is definitely undersized (5-10, 160 lbs), OF Chaz Frank might get some attention if he can put together a better season that he did this year. He hit .278 and finished tied for the team lead with three triples. Like most Tar Heels, he too posted more walks (41) than strikeouts (31) and also showed good speed on the basepaths, swiping 10 bases in 13 tries.
Expect UNC’s closer RHP Michael Morin to get some looks as well. He hasn’t had the best year (4.71 ERA, .263 avg against), but he has locked down ten saves for the Tar Heels. He has also posted a 65:18 K:BB ratio in 63 innings. He also shared duties as a week-day starter for UNC, making six starts, leading many to think he could be in line for an expanded role next season. Morin has great size (6-4, 180 lbs) and was already drafted once, by the Royals in the 40th-round of the ’09 event.
RHP Chris Munnelly was the Tar Heels third starter this season and he filled the role admirably, winning six games and posting a 4.11 ERA. You could tell he didn’t have near the experience on the mound, or the composure of Patrick Johnson or Kent Emanuel, as evidenced by his 57:31 K:BB ratio in 70 innings. Coming out of high-school Munnelly was ranked the #5 prospect in the state of North Carolina by Impact Baseball. He throws in the mid-to-high 80s, occasionally scraping the low 90s and complements his fastball with a changeup and a curveball.
LHP R.C. Orlan served as the Tar Heels lefty specialist this year, appearing in 30 games, but logging only 14.1 innings. He struck out 19 batters, but also issued ten walks, plunked two batters and threw two wild pitches. As a lefty specialist he likely won’t get many looks, but if the Heels expand his role, he could do better than his 44th-round selection back in ’09.
And last but not least is a very intriguing arm that hasn’t seen too much work,RHP Cody Penny. Penny was up to 89-90 mph his senior year of high-school, but has only seen 25 innings as a Tar Heel. The 6-foot-3, 195 pound right-hander also throws a wicked slider.