I recently chatted with Conor Glassey, who is an MLB draft expert for Baseball America. He specifically focuses on prospects from the West, so he’s very familiar with the Ducks. While I had to ask him about his wild run-in with Paris Hilton, our conversation revolved around Oregon. Glassey talked about the players that will likely hear their names called during next week’s MLB draft, and he discussed a couple of left-handed pitchers who might be the top two starters for the Ducks next season.
I was a little surprised to see Jimmie Sherfy ranked so high (#93) on BA‘s list of the top 500 prospects, since he’s a reliever. What makes him such an intriguing prospect?
He’s a reliever all the way. Some of these college relievers will get paid because they’ll have a chance to start, but with Sherfy, I think he’s going to be a reliever in pro ball. He’s a guy who could move pretty quickly because he’s just been so dominant in one of the best conferences in college baseball. His fastball’s improved this year. It started out in the low-90s, but got up to 94-96 later in the year and he’s got that nasty slider. He knows how to get outs, he’s really competitive on the mound, and he’s got stuff that can play in a major-league bullpen.
In BA’s article discussing the prospects ranked 76-100, you wrote that Sherfy’s small frame might be a problem. Do you see his size hurting his draft stock?
I don’t think so. I wrote that because there are going to be some teams who will dismiss him. There still are some teams who don’t like undersized right-handers, but that’s more for starters than it is for relievers. I think his stuff speaks for itself. He’s electric. The team that does take him will be getting a really good reliever.
Where do you think he’ll be drafted?
He’ll probably go in the third-to-fifth round.
The article said that Ryon Healy (#86 in BA‘s rankings) might be looked at as a third baseman, but it added that such a switch might be unrealistic. Do you think he’s going to stay at first base?
Actually, he might get a chance to go out there and try third base early on. With guys like that, you want to give them a chance to try somewhere else to increase their value, so he might get a chance to play at third base, maybe even left field. At the end of the day, though, I do think he winds up back at first base.
So he’d be rated higher as a prospect if he played third base?
Yes, but it’s kind of a two-way street on that. On one hand, there aren’t a lot of right-right (throws-bats) first basemen in the big leagues. Most of the guys are left-handed hitters, like Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. At the same time, there aren’t a lot of college bats in this draft, so with the year Healy’s had in, like I said, one of the best conferences in the country, he’s going to get selected pretty high. Guys really like his tools; he can really hit and he has power. I would say he’s probably going to go in the third round.
What other Ducks are on the draft radar?
Brett Thomas is getting some buzz. I think I’ve got him in the 8-12 round range. He’s performed pretty well and he’s athletic. Christian Jones will get a chance. J.J Altobelli is going to be a really good senior sign. Scouts really love him. He makes all the plays and is a really smart player. He’s a guy who could grind his way to the big leagues and be a utility player.
What’s your take on Cole Irvin (Note: Irvin is not draft-eligible this year)?
He’s left-handed, he knows how to pitch, and he’s going to get stronger. He was actually one of my favorite players in last year’s draft coming out of high school. I really liked him.
Have you seen Matt Krook play (Krook is a left-handed starting pitcher currently in his senior year of high school. He is committed to play at Oregon next year, and he’s ranked 42nd on BA‘s list of top 500 draft prospects)?
I did see him a little bit this summer. He’s a guy who really blossomed in the spring. The Krook I saw in the summer was inconsistent, but he’s tightened up his curve ball and his velocity has gone up. I saw him topping out around 91-92 miles per hour this summer, but now he’s up to like 95-96. There still are some questions about the consistency, but it’s hard for scouts to look past a left-hander touching 95 with that curve ball.