Dillon Tate, Dansby Swanson headline top 20 MLB draft prospects

UC Santa Barbara Gouchos pitcher Dillon Tate could be the top overall pick in the upcoming MLB draft.

Steve Garrity and Paul Doran of DraftSite.Com rank the top college prospects in the June 8-10 Major League Baseball draft.

1. Dillon Tate, RHP.

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200.

College: UC-Santa Barbara (junior).

There is no consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, but Tate is the closest one to it. You can at least expect him to be the first college player taken off the board. As a former closer-turned-starter, he has swing-and-miss stuff, including a fastball in the upper 90s that has topped out at 97 mph and a plus slider that’s tight and in the mid-80s. He’s working on his changeup and other breaking balls. His big leg kick, though, probably will need to be refined in the pros.

HOT STOVE UPDATES: MLB free agency: Ranking and tracking the top players available.

2. Dansby Swanson, SS.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 190.

College: Vanderbilt (junior).

Swanson got his name on the map when he won most outstanding player of the College World Series in his sophomore season. After a season and a position change from second base to shortstop, he’s the top college fielding prospect in this year’s draft. He uses his speed to add to his range and has a tight, compact swing with good bat speed that allows him to catch up to fastballs on the inner half of the plate.

3. Kyle Funkhouser, RHP.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 225.

College: Louisville (junior).

Funkhouser has a full arsenal of pitches, with a mid-90s fastball, a good slider, changeup and curveball. He has a strong frame, making him very durable, yet he’s a ground-ball pitcher, which is unusual for a first-round prospect.

4. Alex Bregman, SS.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 186.

College: LSU (junior).

Bregman was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2012 in the 29th round but went to LSU instead, and that turned out to be a great decision as he won the national freshman of the year award. He looks smaller than 6feet on the field but has sound defensive fundamentals at shortstop. He’s an elite baserunner with plus speed as well as great bat speed enabling him to hit for power.

Explore more:  UFC's Conor McGregor has plans beyond Dennis Siver

5. Carson Fulmer, RHP.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 195.

College: Vanderbilt (junior).

Fulmer has doubled as a starter and a reliever, leading to his somewhat unstable draft projection. However, his stuff cannot be contested as his fastball sits in the mid-90s when he starts and reaches the upper 90s out of the bullpen. He also throws a changeup and a slider to complement his fastball. Fulmer’s frame, though, leaves scouts to question if he is durable enough to withstand the workload of professional starting. He also can suffer from a lack of command at times.

6. Walker Buehler, RHP.

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175.

College: Vanderbilt (junior).

Unlike Fulmer, Buehler’s role as a starter has been set in stone since the beginning of this season. His fastball is average, sitting in the mid-90s, but his secondary pitches help him rank so high on this list. Buehler mixes a changeup, slider and curveball into his arsenal effectively, with his changeup being his best secondary pitch.

7. Jon Harris, RHP.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190.

College: Missouri State (junior).

Harris has grown into his frame over the last year and a half, and that has helped his fastball, sitting in the mid-90s. He has demonstrated good command, and he mixes in well his borderline-plus curveball and changeup. Harris was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 33rd round in 2012.

8. Ian Happ, OF-2B.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 205.

College: Cincinnati (junior).

Happ is a switch-hitter but is better from the left side of the plate. He has demonstrated the ability to spray the ball in between the lines while maintaining a solid power stroke at the plate. He recently switched from second base to the outfield, and he has proved that he can handle the position well.

9. Tyler Jay, LHP.

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175.

College: Illinois (junior).

Jay was not drafted out of high school because of his smaller frame, lack of command and strength of his fastball. Yet his mid- to upper 90s fastball and off-speed pitches have scouts looking at him as a starting pitcher or reliever. Jay was fantastic for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, going 2-0 with 0.00 ERA, and one save, striking out 21 in 16 2/3 innings.

Explore more:  Digital Life: Dangers of the email 'BCC'

10. Nathan Kirby, LHP.

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 185.

College: Virginia (junior).

Kirby has his command to thank for this top 10 rank. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s. He has an average slider, but his changeup is his best off-speed pitch. He has yet to show durability, but his ability to spot his pitches helps him stand out. As a sophomore at Virginia, he pitched a no-hitter while striking out 18 batters.

11. Kevin Newman, SS.

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180.

College: Arizona (junior).

Newman was the first player in Cape Cod League history to win the batting title in two consecutive years. His approach at the plate is mature, and his discipline helps him fight through at-bats to get on base. Power is not a plus for Newman, however, and neither are his arm, range and speed, leading scouts to think he eventually will move to second base.

12. Cody Ponce, RHP.

Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 235.

College: Cal Poly-Pomona (junior).

Ponce uses all of his frame to generate power. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, and he is the only pitcher on this list who has developed a cutter, which is considered to be a plus pitch. His curveball and changeup have room for improvement.

13. James Kaprielian, RHP.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200.

College: UCLA (junior).

Kaprielian has a four-pitch mix that makes him appealing to scouts. They are average pitches at this point, but his low-90s fastball, along with his curveball, slider and changeup, help him to be effective on the mound. Kaprielian put up dominant numbers in high school and pitched well at UCLA, yet he is a raw prospect.

14. Richie Martin, SS.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185.

College: Florida (junior).

Martin’s line-drive approach leads to low power numbers, but he has the speed to turn a gap double into a triple. His frame and arm strength fit the mold of a professional shortstop, and he is a serious threat as a basestealer.

15. DJ Stewart, OF.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 230.

College: Florida State (junior).

The All-American has a good eye at the plate and great left-handed bat speed. His frame gives him the power he needs to stand out as a prospect. He profiles as a left fielder, though he has yet to show many strengths when he’s in the field. Stewart has great bloodlines, though, with a mother (Dana) who played college softball and a father (Reginald) who was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 13th round of the 1991 draft.

Explore more:  Alcorn State puts away Jackson State with late run

16. Scott Kingery, 2B.

Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 175.

College: Arizona (junior).

Kingery has a line-drive swing and good discipline at the plate that leads to a high on-base percentage. He doesn’t possess monstrous power, but as a top-of-the-.

Order second-base prospect, it won’t be necessary. His speed will help him turn singles into doubles and steal a few bases.

17. Riley Ferrell, RHP.

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 200.

College: TCU (junior).

Ferrell’s stock would be much higher if he were not stuck in the bullpen. His fastball has been clocked as high as 98 mph and usually sits in the mid-90s. He is a two-pitch pitcher with a slider to go along with his fastball but profiles as a relief pitcher because of his poor command.

18. Chris Shaw, 1B-OF.

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 248.

College: Boston College (junior).

Shaw has the ability to hit for power to all fields. His strong frame leads many scouts to think he will be a first baseman moving forward. While he turned down the New York Mets after being drafted in the 26th round out of high school, he had a nice career at Boston College, including an impressive 16-game hitting streak.

19. Blake Trahan, SS.

Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 180.

College: Louisiana-Lafayette (junior).

Trahan has good range and is one of the most polished defensive prospects in the draft. His bat lowers his stock, however, as he doesn’t use his speed to his advantage and can get discouraged easily when he tries to swing for the fences. Yet he was a leader at Louisiana-Lafayette and played shortstop with reckless abandon and confidence.

20. Michael Matuella, RHP.

Ht.: 6-7. Wt.: 220.

College: Duke (junior).

Matuella’s combination of size and stuff is arguably the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But injury troubles, including Tommy John elbow surgery in April, might hold Matuella back. He has a mid- to upper 90s fastball, a good curveball and an average slider. Matuella’s strong frame adds power to his fastball and creates a plane for his breaking balls.