Plate Discipline - Walk Rate (>15%) and BB:K ratio (>1.50)For a player to be noted, they had to hit on each category. Such a simple foundation will probably be fraught with error, but I will go on and evaluate how well it is working. I won't discuss Anthony Rendon because...well... don't think we really need to follow someone who Baseball America ranked as the best prospect in last year's draft.
Contact Rate - Batting Average (>.300)
Power - ISO (>.180)
C/1B, College of Charleston
Kral improved on his 16th round selection in 2010 by being taken by the San Diego Padres in the 10th round this past year. He wound up playing 14 games in the Arizona Rookie League. Twelve of those games were as a catcher. I am unsure how well he caught, but teams were averaging about 2.5 stolen bases per game with him catching one out of nine base runners. Although this is a very thin analysis, it appears his first taste of the pro game behind the plate has left him with a great margin for improvement if he wishes to stay there. Otherwise, he did quite well with a 275/463/425 line. It will be interesting to see how he fares against more accomplished players instead of the smattering of high school and college signees you find in Rookie ball these days.
SS, St. John's
Panik was seen by many as a supplement round or second round talent. He would up being selected by the San Francisco Giants with the 29th selection in the first round. He signed relatively quickly and played short-season ball. He did well at the plate with a line of 341/401/467. Baseball America ranked him as the fourth best prospect in his league. Although at a higher level than Kral, I think it is still important to note that these two players may be able to take advantage of pitchers at this level. Having high plate discipline and a solid contact rate will often translate into good production at these lower levels where even the best pitchers have poor command of their offerings. Regardless, it is nice to see the first two picks to have done well so far.
Gamache was taken in the 6th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. That is likely before when I would have taken him as I am not completely sure about my criteria and none of the people I talk to had Gamache ranked in their top 300. The Pirates did though. He signed early and played 6 games in Rookie ball and 20 in short season A ball. He appeared advanced for Rookie ball and overwhelmed at short season. His line was 231/292/338. I still have faith in him being a better player than this.
Dugas was selected in the 8th round by the Chicago Cubs, but decided to go back to school for his senior year.
Duffy was selected in the 20th round by the Houston Astros. He wound up playing 63 games in short season ball with a final line of 298/370/417. He showed good contact, an above average plate discipline, and the hope that his many doubles may turn into a few more home runs. It was a very solid debut by a 20th round selection.
3B, Georgia Tech
Matt Skole was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round and wound up earn Baseball America's respect by ranking him as the 13th best prospect in the New York Penn League. His final line was 290/382/438. He showed good contact, discipline, and power. None of which was great, but all were solid.
Players that just missed the criteria:
MIF, North Carolina
The Twins selected Michael with the 30th pick in the 2011 draft. He did not play as a professional last year.
Chester did not qualify under the criteria set above have barely missed the contact rate portion. He was chosen by the Red Sox in the 33rd round and played rookie ball last year. He has continued to show good power, but has not been able to earn walks and has been having issues with contact rate. His line is 243/305/450. If I ran a draft (which it is probably a good thing I do not), Chester would have been a pick for me in the 20s along with several non-draftees: Ross Heffley, Rob Lind, Mark Micowski.