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Name: Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS, Bradenton, Fla.
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 210 LBS
Ceiling: Above Average Regular, Floor: Fourth Outfielder
Cord Sandberg is one of this classes’ best overall athletes, and he possesses major upside across the board, but is also committed to play quarterback at Mississippi State.
The lefty has the potential to be a five-tool centerfielder someday, but he’s extremely raw, and his commitments are still relatively unknown. He also has a rep of being a hard worker (the “I’m in the best shape of my life” of the draft process), and his father made a brief appearance in the Red Sox system.
If he commits to baseball — whether it be college, or the draft — his speed, arm strength and athleticism should all translate fairly easily, but there’s obvious questions about his bat and defense (from a pure skills standpoint). He’s said to have a quick swing and “plus power potential”. Here’s a pretty extensive video of his swing/defense:
Based on talent alone, Sandberg is probably a first-round prospect. But because he’s still somewhat iffy on sport/college commitment, and raw, in terms of pure baseball skills, I could see him sliding anywhere from rounds 2-5. If the Astros follow a similar strategy in 2013 that they did in 2012, maybe they could throw a bunch of money Sandberg’s way, in the later rounds, stealing him away from football.
Below is the beginning of my 2013 MLB Draft Big Board, based on the prospects I’ve researched thus far.
2013 Big Board (2/17/13)
2)Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS (FL.)
Name: Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 225 LBS
Ceiling: No. 2 Starter, Floor: Late-inning reliever
Alex Balog scouting reports are sparse. From what I’ve gathered, he’s an inconsistent college pitcher, with the stuff to fly up draft boards with a good 2013 performance.
Balog started 12 games for San Francisco in 2012, finishing 4-4 with a 3.43 ERA. His 57-to-31 K:BB ratio in 78.2 innings is underwhelming, considering his electric trio of pitches. He is said to sit anywhere from 93-97 with his fastball, and possesses two “wipeout” pitches – a slider and changeup. Both have a chance to become plus pitches in the future. He also has good sink on his fastball and decent command, despite what his numbers suggest.
Scouts cited poor conditioning as the main culprit of his inconsistent 2012 performance, but apparently he’s worked extremely hard this off-season to get his body in shape. If the “flashes of brilliance” he showed during the 2012 season occur on a regular basis, Balog could vault his way into the first round. Not to mention his drool-worthy frame.
Here’s one of the rare videos I was able to find on his delivery:
Watching Balog perform in 2013 will be one of my favorite activities of the college season (along with sleeping with Carlos Rodon .gifs under my pillow). If you get a chance to watch Balog pitch this season, DO IT. As of today, he’s probably more of a 3.1 candidate, than 2.1, but I expect him to be in the 2.1 conversation before the season ends. Below it the beginning of my 2013 MLB Draft Big Board, based on the three prospects I’ve researched thus far.
2013 Big Board (2/17/13)
1) Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
This particular prospect has a special place in the hearts most of Astros fans, because his last name reminds them of the Hall of Fame career his dad had in Houston. At 6’2”, Craig’s son is a few inches taller than his dad, and from the left side of the plate, his stance is much louder than his father’s – he sort of has a Bonds/Sheffield wiggle at the top of his swing. But, once he settles in and takes his line drive swing, it’s a pretty thing to watch:
There isn’t a whole lot of question when it comes to Biggio’s bat. Most scouting reports cite his advanced plate approach for a high schooler, the way he squares up balls and uses the entire field, as well as the modest power potential he possesses.
The others tools are where scouts have questions. Biggio doesn’t have a great arm or speed, nor does he doesn’t have a set defensive position, at this point. Some think he’ll be able to stick at third. Some think his arm will force a move to second. And some profile him as a corner outfielder.
His commitment to Virginia might make him a tough sign, causing teams to stray away from him on draft night. But, if there’s one team he’s almost a lock to sign with, you gotta think it’s the Astros.
UPDATE: Apparently he re-committed to Notre Dame, to play with his brother. Point remains.
Biggio’s another 2.1 candidate for the Astros, and potentially 3.1, if signability becomes a huge concern. If you draft Biggio, you’re betting on the high schooler’s advanced bat to carry him through the minors. Even then, he still needs to develop at least average power, and stick at third – possibly second – to warrant his draft spot/signing bonus.
Baseball America has him ranked 37th overall. Keith Law has him outside his Top 30. Jonathan Mayo ranks him 26th overall. Minor League Ball has him ranked 50th overall.
The Story of Ryan Tellez began in the womb, when he earned the nickname “Rowdy”, for the constant ruckus he caused inside his mother’s stomach. The nickname stuck with Tellez his entire life, to the point where his own grandmother (allegedly) doesn’t even know his real name.
It is said, that at the age of three, Rowdy learned to ride a dirtbike, before he learned to read or speak. 14 years since, The Legend of Rowdy Tellez continues to grow, as does his massive stature. On this day, the 17-year-old Sacramento-native stands 1.8 Altuves tall, weighing in at 240 pounds.
The powerful first baseman, and current USC Trojan commit, has been on most scout’s radar since 2011, when he was named ESPN’s Sophomore of the Year. As a junior, Rowdy continued to rake, with a trip-slash of .587/.673/1.013 and nine home runs, usually of the 400+ feet variety.
The left-handed-hitting first baseman is known for his mammouth power and great work ethic. He’s also shown potential for average-to-above-average plate discipline. He rocks the number 44, to honor his all-time favorite player, Willie McCovey.
During the World Wood Bat Association’s World Championship, in mid-October, Rowdy turned some heads by going 5-for-12 with three doubles, a triple, and a 9:0 K:BB ratio.
With the 2013 MLB Draft slowly approaching, it’s never too early to start looking at candidates for the Astros’ second pick. Baseball America ranks him 36th overall on their big board. Jonathan Mayo left him off his top 50. Minor League Ball has him 26th overall. And Keith Law left him off his top 30.