College students are returning to their respective campuses for the start of the academic year. Many of the college game's top players spent the summer showing what they could do against a high level of competition as teams start building follow lists for the 2019 Draft.The following top 10 names
College students are returning to their respective campuses for the start of the academic year. Many of the college game's top players spent the summer showing what they could do against a high level of competition as teams start building follow lists for the 2019 Draft.
The following top 10 names were compiled with the feedback of several scouting directors and national crosscheckers who saw the top collegians playing in the elite Cape Cod League or for USA Baseball's National Collegiate Team. Some played in both places, not everyone excelled and one didn't play at all this summer, but this is the best representation of what the industry feels are the best 10 college players heading into 2019.
"The college left-handed pitching seems to have some strength," one scouting director said about the class as a whole. "There are a few higher college bats then there is a significant drop in my confidence in their ability to hit."
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1. Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State: Rutschman, a candidate to go No. 1 overall, raked during Oregon State's run through Omaha in the College World Series and he kept going with Team USA. Despite not joining the national team until late, he still led the squad in batting average (.355), on-base percentage (.432), slugging (.516) and doubles (five).
2. Andrew Vaughn,1B, Cal: After winning the Golden Spikes Award as a sophomore (.402/.531/.819), Vaughn went on to hit .308 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 14 Cape Cod League games. From there, he joined Team USA, where he hit a bit of a wall (.224/.316/.367), though that did little to hurt his stock as one of the best all-around college bats in the class.
3. Logan Davidson, SS, Clemson: Davidson has been a bit of an enigma, but one scouts clearly feel will figure it out. He's hit for power over his first two years at Clemson (27 homers), albeit with some swing and miss. He has the tools to stick at short, but he didn't hit well in the Cape for the second straight summer.
4. Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor: Langeliers had a down sophomore year at Baylor (.252/.351/.496), but the catcher had a strong showing for Team USA, hitting .346/.393/.500 in eight games of action. There's plenty of power to go along with very good catch-and-throw skills behind the plate.
5. Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU: The big left-hander, who was taken No. 41 overall by the Pirates in the 2016 Draft, didn't pitch over the summer. But despite being a bit inconsistent in two years as a part of Texas Christian's rotation, scouts can't look past his size (6-foot-6) and his stuff (a fastball up to 95 mph and a solid breaking ball) when evaluating the college crop.
6. Josh Jung, 3B, Texas Tech: After a huge sophomore season (.392/.491/.639 with 12 homers and 80 RBIs) at Texas Tech, Jung served as Team USA's primary third baseman and acquitted himself well there. He hit .283 with a .377 OBP, albeit without much power, finishing tied for the team lead with 15 hits.
7. Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky: Thompson may have at least partially answered some questions about his elbow, which forced him out of action for a chunk of his sophomore season, while pitching for Team USA this summer. He tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings over three appearances and while he did walk five, he only allowed three hits and struck out seven. Yes, he'll have to show he's durable for a full season in the spring, but this was a nice finish to a disappointing season.
8. Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss: Wallner had a brief stint with Team USA, hitting just .154 over four games. He continued his summer on the Cape and hit four homers while driving in 11 over 23 regular-season games before going 5-for-15 in the playoffs. He didn't pitch this summer, but he closes for Southern Miss with a fastball that touches the upper-90s.
9. Graeme Stinson, LHP, Duke: Another big lefty, Stinson pitched in relief for Team USA and was very effective, allowing just a lone unearned run in six innings across three outings. He yielded just two hits, and while he walked five, he struck out 10. He had one appearance in the Cape this summer as well, a dominant five-inning stint in which he gave up just three hits and a walk while striking out 12.
10. Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV: Stott played both in the Cape and for Team USA after leading UNLV with a .365 average as a sophomore. The left-handed hitter performed capably but didn't dominate in either spot, although he continued to show his ability to make consistent contact, limiting strikeouts while playing solid up-the-middle defense.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.