Guide to Collecting 2014 Bowman Draft Autographs Part 1 – The annual release of Bowman Draft Baseball by Topps, provides collectors with one of the first opportunities to invest in highly-touted prospects from the year’s MLB Draft Class after a season playing for their organization. But who are these guys and how do you know which ones make for a solid investment?
Offensive players have less risk and the most upside. However, the right pitcher can see quick gains (think Stephen Strasburg) and they often arrive at the big leagues quicker than other position players. We have compiled some notes and statistical information for all of the players included in 2014 Bowman Draft autograph checklist. Click on the player name to be taken to their full scouting report. A second and third part of this guide will be published in the coming days.
|Tyler Kolek – Miami Marlins, RHP
Overall Pick: 2, Organization Ranking: 2
Scouting Report: Projected to be a top of rotation starter. Throws four pitches for strikes with velocity of 100mph on his fastball. At 6’5″ and 250lbs, he is an imposing figure on the mound. His stuff draws lofty comparisons to Josh Beckett at the same age.
|Kyle Schwarber – Chicago Cubs, C
Overall Pick: 4, Organization Ranking: 6
Scouting Report: Another in a long line of Top 100 Prospects (72) the Cubs are developing. He hits for tremendous power and is considered the organization’s second best bat after Kris Bryant. He doesn’t project to hit for average but will be a significant and consistent run producer.
|Nick Gordon – Minnesota Twins, SS
Overall Pick: 5, Organization Ranking: 6
Scouting Report: Solid baseball pedigree being the son of Tom Gordon and brother of Dee. Has the potential to be an elite shortstop with both speed and power. He is a plus defender and draws comparisons to Alexei Ramirez.
|Alex Jackson – Seattle Mariners, OF
Overall Pick: 6, Organization Ranking: 1
Scouting Report: As close to a prototypical “5-tool” player as you are going to find. An all-around athlete with above average skills at the plate with the ability to hit for average and power.
|Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies, RHP
Overall Pick: 7, Organization Ranking: 2
Scouting Report: The most developed pitcher in the draft. He generates a lot of ground balls with a low 90s fastball that he throws with deceptive downward movement. His curveball is his best pitch making batters swing and miss. Could be fast-tracked to the majors as soon as next season.
|Kyle Freeland – Colorado Rockies, LHP
Overall Pick: 8, Organization Ranking: 4
Scouting Report: Projected as a starting pitcher, he throws three pitches with above average control – fastball (95mph) a devastating slider in the low 80s and a changeup.
|Jeff Hoffman – Toronto Blue Jays, LHP
Overall Pick: 9, Organization Ranking: 4
Scouting Report: Tommy John surgery kept him from being drafted in the Top 5. However, he is rehabbing well and should regain his low 90s velocity. Has three other pitches including a devastating curve which breaks with a snap from 12 to 6.
|Max Pentecost – Toronto Blue Jays, C
Overall Pick: 11, Organization Ranking: 6
Scouting Report: A contact hitter who hits deep line drives and is comfortable hitting to the opposite field. An all-around athlete with good plate discipline. These attributes combine to project as a solid hitter for a high average at the pro level.
|Kodi Medeiros – Milwaukee Brewers, LHP
Overall Pick: 12, Organization Ranking: 3
Scouting Report: Solid mechanics lead to a low 90s fastball that should increase in velocity. At just 18, has a big upside in terms of improvement in command, control and size.
|Trea Turner – San Diego Padres, SS
Overall Pick: 13, Organization Ranking: 5
Scouting Report: A plus defender with great range due to his blazing speed. That speed also produces extra-base hits. An all-around athlete with good awareness at the plate, he rarely strikes out translating into a consistent run scorer and above average hitter.
|Tyler Beede – San Francisco Giants, RHP
Overall Pick: 14, Organization Ranking: 2
Scouting Report: Fastball sits in the low 90’s but can hit 95. Throws a consistent curveball for strikes. When he is on his game he displays a smooth and fluid delivery. He struggles to repeat those mechanics on a routine basis but has all the raw skills to contribute at the big league level.
|Sean Newcomb – Los Angeles Angels, LHP
Overall Pick: 15, Organization Ranking: 1
Scouting Report: A solidly built power pitcher with a dominating mound presence at 6’5″, 240lbs. Has a four pitch arsenal he can throw for strikes.
|Erick Fedde – Washington Nationals, RHP
Overall Pick: 18, Organization Ranking: 4
Scouting Report: He is coming off Tommy John surgery. His a fastball that tops out at 96mph. He counters that with a late breaking slider in the low 80s.
|Nick Howard – Cincinnati Reds, RHP
Overall Pick: 19, Organization Ranking: 5
Scouting Report: A gifted two-way player with an impressive bat for a pitcher, he would be an asset to any NL team. He uses his solid 6’4″, 215lb, frame to throw a fastball in the 90s that can top out at 98mph.
|Bradley Zimmer – Cleveland Indians, OF
Overall Pick: 21, Organization Ranking: 4
Scouting Report: An above average fielder with a strong arm. While he doesn’t hit for power, he consistency at the plate and speed generate plenty of extra-base hits.
|Grant Holmes – Los Angeles Dodgers, RHP
Overall Pick: 22, Organization Ranking: 4
Scouting Report: He compliments a consistent low 90s fastball with a ridiculous curve ball that can make batters look foolish. He shows good command with repeatable mechanics.
|Derek Hill – Detroit Tigers, OF
Overall Pick: 23, Organization Ranking: 1
Scouting Report: A top-notch defender, he poses incredible speed allowing him to cover balls from gap to gap. Combine that with an incredibly strong arm and he has all the makings of a top tier MLB outfielder.
|Cole Tucker – Pittsburgh Pirates, SS
Overall Pick: 24, Organization Ranking: 9
Scouting Report: His tools are well rounded, showing average hitting but plus speed and defense. He has a high baseball IQ with great instincts, both in the field and at the plate.
|Matt Chapman – Oakland Athletics, 3B
Overall Pick: 25, Organization Ranking: 5
Scouting Report: Drawing comparisons to Troy Glaus he is a solid power hitter and an above average defender. He possess an absolute canon for an arm which is his greatest tool.
|Michael Chavis – Boston Red Sox, SS
Overall Pick: 26, Organization Ranking: 14
Scouting Report: One of the best prep hitters in the draft he has exceptional plate discipline. A solid contact hitter, he will develop power as he rounds out his 6’0″, 185lb frame. He is an above average defender with a strong arm.
|Luke Weaver – St. Louis Cardinals, RHP
Overall Pick: 27, Organization Ranking: 6
Scouting Report: He has above average pitch ability with above average control of a fastball, slider, changeup combination. He has an inefficient but consistent delivery that incorporates a high leg kick.
|Foster Griffin – Kansas City Royals, LHP
Overall Pick: 28, Organization Ranking: 9
Scouting Report: At 6’5″ and 190lbs, he is learning to deliver the ball with consistent and repeatable mechanics. Scouts envision a dominant power pitcher as he fills out his frame.
|Alex Blandino – Cincinnati Reds, SS
Overall Pick: 29, Organization Ranking: 7
Scouting Report: A solid all-around player with above average defensive skills. He projects to hit for average and has the ability to hit for power. His plate discipline and ability to hit to all fields produces a lot of line drives.
|Luis Ortiz – Texas Rangers, RHP
Overall Pick: 30, Organization Ranking: 11
Scouting Report: Has a solid fastball that rests in the 92-95mph range but can hit 98. He offsets that with a mid 80s slider. He is working on a curve that has a nice break to it in the low 70s. His change in speeds is a great asset with both solid command and control.
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