Want a quick rundown on the top prospects prior to Major League Baseball’s annual draft? We’ve got you covered along with an enormous assist from our friends at the MLB Public Relations office.
The News Tribune has put together a consensus list of the Top 20 prospects for the draft, which starts at 4 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday. We’ve listed those 20 players alphabetically. The capsules are taken from The 2014 First-Year Player Draft Selection Guide, which is produced by the MLB Public Relations office.
We’ll have more preview coverage on the draft in Thursday’s editions and offer up a look at the Mariners’ top selections in the days ahead.
LHP Brady Aiken, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego.
(6-feet-3, 195 pounds, Bats/Throws: R/R, Born: Aug. 16, 1996)
In his three seasons playing varsity baseball at Cathedral Catholic, Brady has tossed a total of 144.2 innings with a 1.02 ERA and 229 strikeouts. He has competed in the 2014 18U Perfect Game MLB Championship, the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park and the 2013 Area Code Games. Brady has committed to play baseball at the UCLA next season.
RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt
(6-3, 215, R/R, May 23, 1993)
In 2013, Beede was a First-Team All-American according to the NCBWA, a Second-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, ABCA, Perfect Game and Baseball America. He was named a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award. The right-hander was selected as a member of Team USA’s Collegiate National Team. He finished his sophomore season with a 14-1 record, a 2.32 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 101 innings pitched. In his freshman season, Beede fanned 86 batters in 79.1 innings and was named to the 2012 SEC All- Freshman Team.
OF Michael Conforto, Oregon State
(6-2, 217, L/R, March 1, 1993)
In 2013, Conforto played in 65 games and batted .328 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBI. He was named the 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year as well as earning All-Pac-12 First- Team and College World Series All-Tournament Team honors. The outfielder finished the season with 26 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI games. As a freshman, he batted a team-lead- ing .349 with 13 home runs and 75 RBI. For his efforts, he was named Baseball America All-America Second-Team, ABCA All- America Second-Team, NCBWA All-America Second-Team (first freshman All-American in OSU history), Perfect Game All- America Third-Team, NCBWA Freshman Hitter of the Year and Freshman All-America First-Team, Louisville Slugger Freshman Hitter of the Year and Freshman All-America First-Team, Baseball America Freshman All-America First-Team, Perfect Game Freshman All-America First-Team, Pac-12 Freshman Of the Year, All-Pac-12 First-Team and ABCA All-West Region First-Team.
RHP Erick Fedde, Nevada-Las Vegas
(6-4, 180, R/R, Feb. 25, 1993)
In 2013, Fedde posted a 7-3 record for the Rebels with a 3.92 ERA in 15 starts. He struck out 83 batters, including a career- high 10 in his first complete game at UNLV on March 29th. In the summer of 2013, the right-hander, who recently underwent Tommy John surgery, played a partial season with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape League before joining the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. In the Cape League he went 3-1 with a 2.34 ERA in five starts. As a freshman, Fedde went 6-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 15 starts. He was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 24th round of the 2011 Draft.
LHP Brandon Finnegan, Texas Christian
(5-11, 185, L/L, April 14, 1993)
In his sophomore campaign, Finnegan posted a 3.18 ERA with 86 strikeouts in 79.1 innings of work. After the season, he was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and went on to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team. As a freshman, the left-hander had a 3.47 ERA with 56 strikeouts. He did not allow a home run in 62.1 innings of work. Finnegan was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 45th round of the 2011 Draft.
LHP Kyle Freeland, Evansville
(6-3, 185, L/L, May 14, 1993)
In 2013, Freeland made 14 starts on the mound, throwing three complete games and finishing the year with a 4-8 record and 4.34 ERA. He ranked second on the team with 84 strikeouts and 93.1 innings of work. In his freshman campaign, the left- hander was an All-Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention after starting 14 games, and going 4-5 with a 4.55 ERA. He tossed two complete games, both of them shutouts. Freeland was originally selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 35th round of the 2011 Draft.
SS Nick Gordon, Olympia HS, Orlando, Fla.
(6-1, 170, L/R, Oct. 24, 1995)
Nick is the son of former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon and the younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon. In 2013, Gordon was named the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year, received the Jackie Robinson Award presented by Perfect Game and was named 2014 Preseason Mr. Baseball from Florida by MaxPreps. Nick played in both the Under Armour All-American Game and the Perfect Game All-American Game in 2013. Through 20 games of his senior season, Nick was hitting .508 with five home runs, 24 RBI and seven stolen bases. Nick has committed to Florida State University to play baseball next season.
RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
(6-4, 192, R/R, Jan. 8, 1993)
Hoffman was named to the Baseball America Pre-Season All-America squad before undergoing Tommy John surgery. In 2013, the right-hander earned Second-Team All-Conference honors after posting a 6-7 record in 15 starts with a 3.20 ERA. He pitched 109.2 innings with 84 strikeouts. After the season, Hoffman played for the Hyannis Hawks of the Cape Cod League for the second straight summer. He made four starts with a 2-0 record and 33 strikeouts. He was named the 2013 Robert A. McNeese Award winner for Outstanding Pro Prospect in the Cape League and was named to the All-Star squad for the second time. In 2012, the New York native earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors after making 19 appearances and 10 starts for the Pirates. He posted a 3-2 record with one save and fanned 55 batters in 73.2 innings of work.
RHP Grant Holmes, Conway (S.C.) HS
(6-0, 220, L/R, March 22, 1996)
As a sophomore, Holmes went 4-3 with a 1.16 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. During his junior year, Grant went 6-1 with an ERA of 0.40 and 88 strikeouts in just 52.2 innings. Entering his senior season, Grant’s career pitching record at Conway was 16-5 while compiling a .380 career batting average at the plate. He was named WMBF News’ Athlete of the Week in April 2014. Grant has committed to the University of Florida to play baseball next season.
C/OF Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo HS, Escondido, Calif.
(6-2, 210, R/R, Dec. 25, 1995)
In his junior season, Jackson hit .343 in 35 games with 14 home runs. Through 23 games of his senior season, Jackson was batting .415 with 14 home runs, 22 RBI and a .600 on-base percentage. Jackson was named the Cal-Hi Sports 2011 State Freshman and 2012 State Sophomore of the Year. Alex has committed to play baseball at the University of Oregon next season.
RHP Tyler Kolek, Shepherd (Texas) HS
(6-5, 235, R/R, Dec. 15, 1995)
In eight appearances in 2013, Kolek went 4-1 with a 0.45 ERA and 100 strikeouts in just 46.1 innings pitched while allowing only six walks. Kolek participated in both the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic and the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, California. Tyler has committed to play baseball at Texas Christian University next season.
LHP Sean Newcombe, Hartford
(6-5, 240, L/L, June 12, 1993)
In his sophomore season, Newcomb made 13 appearances, finishing with a 3.75 ERA and a 5-4 record. He fanned 92 batters in 72.0 innings of work. The lefty struck out at least five batters in 11 of his 13 outings. He was named to the American East All-Conference First-Team. In his rookie season, Newcomb made nine appearances, all starts, before suffering a season-ending injury. He led the team with a 4.17 ERA and was named to the America East All-Rookie Team. After the season, the hurler played for the Wareham Gateman of the Cape Cod League.
RHP Aaron Nola, Louisiana State
(6-1, 196, R/R, June 4, 1993)
Nola was named a First-Team All-American, SEC Pitcher of the Year, First-Team All-South Region, NCAA Regional All-Tournament, and Louisiana Pitcher of the Year after his sophomore campaign. The Louisiana native compiled a 12-1 record with a 1.57 ERA and five complete games. He struck out 122 batters in 126 innings of work. In 2012, the right-hander went 7-4 with a 3.61 ERA. He fanned 89 batters in 89.2 innings. For his work, Nola was named a First-Team and Second-Team Freshman All-American, Freshman All-SEC, NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team and Second-Team All-Louisiana. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 2011 Draft.
C Max Pentecost, Kennesaw State
(6-1, 209, R/R, March 10, 1993)
Pentecost earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference Second-Team accolades during his sophomore season, hitting .302 at the plate while catching 13 runners attempting to steal. He started and played in 57 games, seeing action as a designated hitter when not catching. He led the team with three home runs, belting two alone during the Atlantic Sun Tournament, earning him a spot on the All-Tournament Team. In 2012, the backstop batted .277 with 16 doubles, three triples, 23 runs and 23 RBI. In the following summer, Pentecost played for the Holyoke Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. He was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft.
RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
(6-3, 216, R/R, Aug. 30, 1995)
As a junior, Sean went 6-3 with a 1.00 ERA in 70.1 innings pitched. Perfect Game named Sean a First-Team All-American for 2014. He has committed to play baseball at Florida State University next season.
LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State
(6-3, 235, L/L, Dec. 10, 1992)
In 2013, Rodon went 10-3 with a 2.99 ERA in 19 starts, striking out 184 and walking 45 with three complete games in 132.1 innings pitched. He set NC State’s single-season record with 184 strikeouts. The southpaw was named the USA Baseball Player of the Year, Second-Team All-America from Louisville Slugger, NCBWA and ABCA, Third-Team by Baseball America and All-ACC First-Team. In 2012, Rodon was the first freshman in conference history to be named ACC Pitcher of the Year. He was also named ACC Freshman of the Year, Louisville Slugger’s National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, and a consensus First-Team All-America and Freshman All- America. He was the first Division I freshman named a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. The lefty set the NC State freshman record with 135 strikeouts, breaking the previous record by 50. He was one of two undefeated pitchers in the NCAA in 2012 with nine or more wins after going 9-0 with a 1.57 ERA. Rodon earned a spot on USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, where over the last two summers he has compiled a 0.75 ERA and notched 42 strikeouts. He was originally selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft.
C/1B Kyle Schwarber, Indiana
(6-0, 240, L/R, March 5, 1993)
Schwarber’s .366 average, 54 RBI and 86 hits each ranked third in the conference in 2013. He notched 18 home runs, moving him into sixth place all-time in school history. He was selected as the best catcher in the country by Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earning First-Team All-America honors from both entities. He was also named a Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-American. As a freshman, Schwarber was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, voted All-Big Ten Second-Team catcher and was a unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad.
RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs Christian HS, Miami
(6-3, 185, R/R, June 20, 1996)
Perfect Game has ranked Toussaint the number three prospect in the Class of 2014. As a sophomore in 2012, Toussaint set a school record for his .515 batting average and finished 5-0 in 12 appearances. Touki also won a gold medal with the USA Baseball’s 16U National Team in 2011. He has committed to play for Vanderbilt University next season.
SS Trea Turner, North Carolina State
(6-1, 171, R/R, June 30, 1993)
Turner was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round pick of the 2011 Draft. As a freshman at North Carolina State, Turner earned honors as a consensus Freshman All-America, ACC All-Tournament and All-Regional. Trea started 63 games as a freshman and finished the season hitting .336 with 12 doubles, five homers and 43 RBI. Additionally, he led the nation in stolen bases, going 57-for-61, including a string of 29 consecutive successful attempts without being caught. As a sophomore in 2013, Trea stole 30 bases to become NCSU’s leader in career stolen bases in just 94 games. He was a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award and named All-ACC First-Team, Second-Team All-America by Louisville Slugger and Third-Team from Baseball America.
OF Bradley Zimmer, San Francisco
(6-5, 205, L/R, Nov. 27, 1972)
Bradley started 42 games as a freshman at San Francisco, hitting .242 in 153 at-bats. As a sophomore, he played 58 games and hit .320 with seven home runs, 37 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He was named to the All-WCC team in 2013 and played for the USA Collegiate National team that summer.