2012 Great Lakes League Top 10 Prospects
Licking County swept the best-of-three series against top-seeded Cincinnati to capture its second title in three years. The Settlers won the final game 6-2, scoring all six runs in the eighth inning, which featured back-to-back home runs to lead off the inning and seven hits total in the outburst. Righthander Connor Murphy got the win, pitching two shutout innings of relief, striking out three, and finishing 2-0 in the playoffs and 7-1 overall.
1. Ryan Cordell, of, Licking County (Jr., Liberty)
Undrafted out of San Jose's Valley Christian High in 2010, Cordell flashed all five tools while leading the Settlers to a championship this summer. Cordell's most impressive game came on July 28, when he went 5-for-5 while hitting for the cycle, scoring four runs and also swiping four bases. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Cordell batted .336/.371/.632 and played errorless defense at all three outfield positions and first base. He was also 15-for-16 in stolen bases and covered 60 yards in 6.5 seconds prior to the league's all-star game. One league manager said Cordell has tremendous baseball instincts, while another said he has the range to play center field and would routinely take the extra base on balls hit in the gap. Exactly half of the righthanded-hitting Cordell's 42 hits went for extra bases (11 doubles, four triples, six home runs) this summer thanks to plus bat speed. He's coming off a sophomore campaign in which he led Liberty in hitting during Big South Conference play at .403/.471/.565 in 62 at-bats.
2. Ivan De Jesus, of, Lima (Jr., Alabama-Birmingham)
Selected by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of San Juan, P.R., De Jesus led UAB in hits, total bases and steals as a sophomore. He just recently turned 20 and will be one of the younger juniors that will be drafted next year. De Jesus broke his ankle last winter and needed screws inserted, but he recovered nicely, running a 6.7-second 60 this summer and going 12-for-14 in stolen base attempts. He hit .373/.405/.578 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 102 at-bats for the Locos. A righthanded hitter, De Jesus' best tool is his bat. He has a short, compact swing with an innate ability to barrel pitches up and spray line drives to all fields. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, De Jesus has some projection remaining but will never be a big home run hitter. He'll also need to continue to hone his pitch recognition. And, despite his slightly above-average speed, he needs work reading balls off the bat and being more aggressive defensively. His manager raved about his work ethic, desire to win and leadership on and off the field.
3. Brian Clark, lhp, Lima (So., Kent State)
Clark was KSU's best reliever as a freshman this past year and played a vital role in the Golden Flashes' stunning College World Series run, going 5-0, 2.08 with 28 strikeouts to 10 walks in 30 innings. Undrafted out of Munroe Falls, Ohio, Clark prepped as a starter for the Locos this summer, and was the recipient of the league's top pitching prospect award despite pitching just 12 innings and making one start, as he was worn down after KSU's long postseason run. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Clark is physically impressive, although he needs to add muscle to become more durable as a starter. Pitching crucial innings for KSU, he has developed a bullpen mentality, but he has the stuff and command to become a starter as he builds stamina and fine-tunes his secondary pitches. His fastball sits at 90-92 mph with natural running action. He also features a slider that is capable of being a strikeout pitch as well as a good feel for a changeup for his age.
4. Matt Glomb, ss, Southern Ohio (So., Santa Clara)
Overmatched in his freshman year for the Broncos (.213/.277/.250 in 108 at-bats), Glomb was one of the most complete hitters in the Great Lakes League and has the tool set of a prototypical third baseman. He batted .337/.435/.489 this summer as the Copperheads' shortstop. Glomb has a strong, athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He has a plus arm and fluid actions to handle the hot corner, where he has a chance to become an above-average defender, but he lacks the quick feet to stay up the middle. Although he hit well for Southern Ohio, Glomb still has some work to do mechanically. His swing path is flat, which doesn't allow him to get much leverage under the ball and sometimes causes him to hit the ball into the ground. Most of his damage was done on pitches over the plate, but he has the chance to develop plus power, as the ball jumps off his bat. An average runner, Glomb has good baseball instincts and runs the bases well.
5. Max Murphy, of, Stark County (So., Bradley)
The unanimous choice by managers for league MVP, Murphy led the GLL in six offensive categories and garnered attention from scouts this summer. He hit .369/.413/.637 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 168 at-bats. Murphy had one of the fastest bats in the GLL, and he doesn't get cheated at the plate. No matter what the count was, he swung the bat the same way. His stance is unconventional, and he will need to learn to let the ball travel deeper before unloading. He has plus speed and was a perfect 8-for-8 in steals, and he uses his legs to full advantage defensively, covering plenty of ground in center. Murphy gets good jumps and reads the ball well coming off the bat, but he also knows when to go after balls and when to cut it off. He's smart, focused and laid back. One manager said although he produced like a five-tool guy, he wasn't sure how his offensive tools would translate against better competition. Undersized at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Murphy is a very intense player and has a winning mentality.
6. Justin Glass, of, Cincinnati (Jr., Cincinnati)
Named first-team all-Big East after hitting .366/.424/.507 with 15 steals in 227 at-bats this past season, Glass carried his momentum over to the summer, hitting .364/.420/.535 for the Steam. Glass has a line-drive swing that produces consistent, hard contact to all fields, and he hits lefties and righties equally well. In batting practice, he shows light-tower power, but it's still raw. He's a bit aggressive and needs to learn to be more selective and stay within the zone. He's a good athlete and a fringy runner, but he was suspect defensively for the Steam, struggling at times with reading balls off the bat. He also had some recurring arm problems after having surgery in the offseason. Glass will likely make the switch to first base, and his future hinges on whether or not he can turn some of that raw power into game action.
7. Justin Brantley, rhp, Southern Ohio (Sr. Siena)
The nephew of former big league player and coach Mickey Brantley and cousin of Indians outfielder Michael Brantley, Justin has the live arm that could make him an intriguing senior sign next year if he can overcome his control and command issues. Looking to rebound after a rough junior year (2-9, 6.60), Brantley went 5-1, 4.18 with 33 strikeouts and 14 walks in 32 innings for the Copperheads. His best outing of the summer came against Stark County, the league's most potent lineup, when he went six innings and gave up just one run on two hits while striking out nine and walking two. Brantley ran his fastball up to 94 mph this summer, and he also features a swing-and-miss curveball, a slider and a changeup. Brantley has projection remaining in his frame and could tap into his upside if he can hone his mechanics.
8. Collin Radack, of, Xenia (Jr., Hendrix, Ark.)
Radack is a diamond in the rough at Division III Hendrix (Ark.). He proved himself against mostly D-I competition this summer, hitting .393/.429/.563 in 112 at-bats. He has an athletic frame at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and has plenty of room to add strength. His 6.7-second time in the 60 at the scouting combine makes him a slightly above-average runner. As the season progressed, Radack showed considerable improvement in adding loft to his swing, though it has yet to translate into game action. A line-drive hitter, most of his doubles came to the pull side. Defensively, he may have to move to a corner outfield position unless he can improve his routes in center.
9. Jake Madsen, 1b, Cincinnati (So., Ohio)
As a walk-on Madsen led the Bobcats in batting as a freshman this past season (.344/.402/.416). Lightly recruited out of Cincinnati as a prep, the sweet-swinging lefty was rated the best pure hitter in the league by a half-dozen managers. He hit .396/.480/.566 in 106 at-bats for Cincinnati. Madsen can barrel up just about any type of pitch and sprays line drives to all fields. Most impressive is his approach at the plate, as he struck out in just seven percent of his plate appearances. He's very good at working into hitters' counts and has the discipline to lay off pitches he can't handle—he's a quality-at-bat machine. He showed a knack for delivering timely hits for the Steam. In a tie game in the ninth inning with the bases loaded against Hamilton, Madsen hammered a grand slam off of a lefty for the walk-off win. But he doesn't have much power for a first baseman, and he's a below-average runner. There is some projection in his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame, but he doesn't figure to develop double-digit home run power. Madsen has a great work ethic and baseball instincts.
10. Justin McCalvin, rhp, Lima (So., Kennesaw State)
At first glance, the 6-foot, 159-pound McCalvin doesn't look the part of a prospect. He's an undersized, sidearming righthander with below-average stuff. But McCalvin was nearly unhittable this summer pitching out of the bullpen, going 1-1, 0.38 with six saves, with 31 strikeouts and six walks in 24 innings. The lone run he surrendered came on an infield single. Opposing hitters very rarely barreled his pitches up. He has good command of a fastball that sits in the high-80s and touches 90 with tailing action, and he hides the ball very well. He also mixes in a slurvy breaking ball with good command. Against Licking County, he pitched six innings out of the bullpen as the game went deep into extra innings, allowing just three hits and striking out seven without issuing a walk. He's very mature for his age and is extremely competitive.