2013 MLB Draft Preview: TCU Horned Frogs Edition

Mike Stobe

The 2012 draft took quite a lot of talent away from TCU, both juniors and incoming commits, but 2013 shouldn't be as hurtful to the Frogs.

Seniors (BOLD is likely to get drafted)

No. Name Class Pos. B-T Ht. Wt. Hometown Last School
35 Jantzen Witte RS SR INF R/R 6-1 195 Arlington, Texas Martin HS
3 Davy Wright RS SR Util. R/R 6-1 195 Aledo, Texas Country Day High School
20 Justin Scharf SR RHP R/R 6-0 172 McKinney, Texas Paris College
39 Al Ralston SR C R/R 5-8 180 Houston, Texas Second Baptist HS
4 Josh Gonzales SR INF R/R 5-9 185 Pearland, Texas San Jacinto College

- I see Jantzen going in the 6-40 or 6-10 round range because he is a senior and could be forced, hypothetically, into signing for close to nothing ($10k) because he has zero leverage. If not early, he is probably a day three guy if at all.

- The only other hope here is Scharf, but it is much more likely he might see a FA look after the draft. 5% chance he gets a draft look.

Juniors

38 Dylan Fitzgerald RS JR OF L/R 6-1 190 Santa Ana, Calif. Cypress College
28 Stefan Crichton JR RHP R/R 6-3 200 Katy, Texas Cinco Ranch HS
34 Andrew Mitchell JR RHP R/R 6-3 225 Houston, Texas Stratford HS
6 Kyle Bacak JR C R/R 5-9 175 Katy, Texas San Jacinto College
10 Trevor Seidenberger JR LHP L/L 6-2 196 Pflugerville, Texas Blinn College
47 Kevin Daniels JR OF L/L 5-10 165 Victoria, Texas Blinn College
24 Paul Hendrix JR INF R/R 6-2 177 North Richland Hills, Texas Howard College

- Obviously, Andrew Mitchell leads the group here, he WILL get drafted, it is a matter of when... I could see him going in the supplemental first round, or in the fifth round. The reason for the variance is simple: He has two plus pitches, but has major performance issues. If he goes in the first 35 picks, it is because a scout for a team with 2+ picks in the top 35 has figured out his future, what needs to change in his delivery, and see him contributing at the MLB level in a year or so (as a reliever). If he goes later, it is because a team likes him, knows he will take work, but figures he could have a ceiling of a #2 starter so he is worth the long term investment. Either way, he is looking at a nice pay day, $500,000 is probably his floor.

- Trevor Seidenberger will also get drafted, but his range is much higher... I could see him going somewhere between picks 101 - 500 or so. He has a solid fastball, two breakers that are average and a controllable change, but everything can be a bit flat at times and control comes and goes. But, in this baseball generation, lefties with a solid fastball and a successful track record get taken earlier rather than later. And, with the kind of talent at TCU right now, it would probably be best for him to start his professional career.

- The only other guy I could see taken would be Paul Hendrix, who despite a good year has created more questions than answers about himself. He has tons of tools, but the bat has some "structural" issues that need ironing out, and he just spent the entire year at DH/OF/2B instead of his highest potential position, SS. He could go, he could not, I have no idea, but I bet he does and I bet he signs.

Draft Eligible Underclassmen

40 Trey Teakell RS SO RHP R/R 6-5 170 Weatherford, Texas Weatherford HS
5 Derek Odell SO INF L/R 6-1 185 Canyon, Texas Canyon HS

- I don't think either of these guys will get drafted, but Teakell may get a late round look, keep your eyes out... But, in all likelihood, he will be back in 2014 looking to up his innings before he reenters the draft as a 4th year junior.

2013 Recruiting Class Commitments

"Rank" Name Position B/T Height Weight Hometown/Last School
1 Brandon McKinney OF/1B L/L 6'2" 195 lbs. Plano/Plano West
2 Tyler Alexander LHP R/L 6'2" 175 lbs. Southlake/Carroll
3 Brian Howard RHP R/R 6'9" 192 lbs. St. Louis (MO)/St. Louis U.
4 Ryan Burnett LHP L/L 6'2" 208 lbs. The Woodlands/Woodlands HS
5 Connor Castellano IF L/R 6'0" 190 lbs. Shreveport/Sante Fe. JUCO
6 Walker Pennington OF R/R 6'1" 185 lbs. Houston/Memorial
7 Jordan Kipper RHP R/R 6'4" 185 lbs. Phoenix (AZ)/Central Arizona
8 Brandon Gilson LHP L/L 6'5" 225 lbs. Prosper/Prosper HS
9 Eric Garza IF S/R 5'11" 180 lbs. San Antonio/Reagan HS
T. 10 Connor Beck OF R/R 6'2" 175 lbs. Midland/Midland HS
T. 10 Garrett Crain IF S/R 6'0" 185 lbs. Mustang (OK)/Rose State College
T. 10 Will Foreman OF R/R 5'10" 180 lbs. Houston/Lamar HS
T. 10 Will Fox IF/OF L/R 6'0" 160 lbs. Montgomery/Montgomery HS
T. 10 Alex Mata IF R/R 5'10" 165 lbs. Midland/Midland HS
T. 10 Robby Medel RHP R/R 6'3" 180 lbs. Grand Prairie/Bowie HS
T. 10

TJ Scott

Ty Slanina

OF

OF

L/L

L/L

6'1"

6'0"

177 lbs.

182 lbs.

Friendswood/Friendswood HS

East Bernard/East Bernard HS

This is the part of the preview where things get a bit "interesting." Every player on this list is "eligible" to be drafted, and many of them will be drafted. But, what determines their future is not their ability, but often their "signability" or a teams perception of how strong a players commitment to their University is.

TCU has a deep class committed for 2013, starting with top flight outfielder Billy McKinney. McKinney is the biggest draft risk for TCU, and is quite unlikely to make it to Fort Worth. If I had to put a number on it, I give TCU a 5% of chance, at most.

If you want to hope, hope on this: Scouts see McKinney as a great, natural bat, with a 6 projected hit tool and a 6 power tool (on the 2-8 scale), but his other tools are average at best. In fact, some question whether his athleticism and arm will be good enough to play anywhere other than LF or 1B, which makes some think he isn't close to worth the $1 million+ he is asking for.

But, he does play extremely hard, and typically guys with his kind of hustle are given a "pass" for a lack of natural athletic ability, and McKinney projects to go anywhere from pick 20 overall to 50, at the latest. If he drops to the third round, TCU has a shot. But that is unlikely.

After McKinney, things get much better for TCU as there are no serious draft risks left in the commit list. Tyler Alexander is an extremely talented left hander who has risen up draft boards in the last year. Scouts love him and believe he projects out as a potential #3 starter, but his price tag is quite high ($1 million) which has dampened his signability. While Alexander is quite good, his fastball velocity hasn't yet gotten to the point where most see him as a top five round talent, which is where he would need to go to get close to his dollar figure. I think he falls, and comes to TCU.

Brian Howard will likely get drafted and has tons of room for protection, but the kid isn't close to ready... He may get drafted, but he is a strong commit to TCU, he will be a Frog. Same with Ryan Burnett, who has been quite dominant, but his fastball just isn't there yet, he will likely be another stellar left hander for TCU in an already crowded staff.

The only other commits I am worried about are Castellano and Kipper, JUCO transfers who will also get looks in the draft. No word on their signability, both will likely get drafted, but I have to think both will go to TCU at the end of the day.

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