2014 GZL Draft - Position by Position MLB Ranks
90-100 - Elite Prospect
80-89 – Very Good Prospect
70-79 – Good Prospect
60-69 - Average Prospect
50-59 - Adequate Prospect
21-49 - Borderline Draft Prospect
A series of draft articles written by draft analyst John Stanley. They rank the top players at each position in the draft and provide some analysis on each of those players. The rankings aren’t merely a reflection of my own rankings, but also take into account league value and perception on all of the players which may influence the ranking of certain players.
MLB Snapshot: This year the MLB class doesn’t feature a top flight prospect, but is filled with a number of solid players that can start for a lot of teams. I can see one or two sneaking into the Top 20, but most likely the first MLB off the board will be in the 20s of the 1st round. From there, the depth of the MLB class is real good with a number of solid players. You could find yourself a nice ‘backer even in the 3rd or 4th rounds that can potentially start for you in the future.
1. Bryan Keith - California :: Grade - 87 :: Bryan Keith isn’t an elite player by any means but as his grade shows he is a very good player. Keith will likely start from day 1 for a team. He has prototypical size that you look for in a MLB at 6’4” 257lbs, and has pretty good athleticism and strength. He is also a very polished player out of college. He should be the first or second LB off the board in my opinion.
2. Kevin Minter - LSU :: Grade - 87 :: Minter gets the same grade that Keith got for me. He is a little smaller then Keith but just as good a player. He is more athletic and is just as polished as Keith is coming out. Minter has been apart of a number of top defenses in his time at LSU and has all the skills to lead a defense in the middle in the GZL.
3. Jack Pounds - Iowa :: Grade - 85 :: While some may knock Pounds down because of his unusual and small size for a MLB. I won’t and you shouldn’t either. Pounds is built like a brick wall, and while small in stature is an absolute beast at 260lbs. He still is pretty athletic and is extremely polished coming out. He will make for a good pro and will be a tackling machine in the league.
4. Shayne Skov - Stanford :: Grade - 80 :: After the top 3 MLB, there is a slight drop off, in my opinion. The next group, lead by Skov, is still solid but not quite as athletic as the group above, but with work can still be just as productive in the league. Skov is a good sized LB at 6’3” 242lbs, and has pretty good athleticism and polish. He was productive at Stanford, but did have some injury trouble. If he can shake the injury bug in the pros, he will be a very good starter.
5. Michael Mauti – Penn State :: Grade - 78 :: The leader of the Penn State defense and football team as a whole this past year was Michael Mauti. A leader on and off the field, he stayed with the team through the thick and thin. Mauti doesn’t quite have the top flight athleticism that you look for, but he is a very sure tackler and a smart player who can lead a defense. He may not be the flashy pick, but could be a very productive mid-rounder.
6. Nico Johnson - Alabama :: Grade - 76 :: Johnson is a thumper type of MLB. He can come up and lay the wood on ball carriers and is a real enforcer in the run game. He is a little challenged athletically and can be a liability at times in coverage but with work could improve that part of his game. He will make for a good mid-round pick with a little work and could be a real good #2 MLB in a 3-4.
7. Kevin Reddick - UNC :: Grade - 76 :: Reddick isn’t the type of player you envision as a MLB, but he was very productive at UNC. Reddick looks more like an athletic weakside OLB, but was an ILB at UNC. He has very good SPD at 84, and can be a very rangy player going sideline to sideline. With that in mind though, he is very raw, and lacks the strength to hold up against stronger interior linemen at times. He needs some work, but could prove a steal if you are willing to work with him.
8. A.J. Klein – Iowa State :: Grade - 69 :: Klein is your average backup MLB type. He likely will never be a team’s opening day starter barring injury but could prove to be a very valuable backup for a team, who can play in a pinch. He lacks great athleticism, but is very solid in all aspects of his game and is pretty polished coming out of Iowa State. Good later round depth.
9. Adrian Collie - Massachusetts :: Grade - 68 :: Similar to Klein, Collie isn’t anything special at the LB position. He is a little more athletic than Klein but is not quite as polished and lacks strength. His size (5’10”) could prove to be a weakness of his, especially without the skills to make up for it. Like Klein though, he will make for good depth.
10. Vinny Bush - Arizona :: Grade - 65 :: Beating a deadhorse with Bush here. He is pretty much like the two players above him, but just not as good. He will likely be a 3rd backup at the ILB position for a team, providing cheap depth.