Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Top Power Hitters - College

When a minor leaguer hits a lot of home runs, people get excited. Though not always the case, the player will go on to become a power hitter in the Major Leagues. He may strike out a lot and he may not hit for average but very often, you can count on the power threat. But what about college hitters? Can you project college power? I don't know. I haven't done an exhaustive study. All I did was take the top ten power hitters of 2011 and the top ten power hitters from 2006. The top tens are ranked by homers. Here they are:

2011 Top Ten College Home Run Hitters

#   Player Name         HR  School            Drafted 2011
1.  Victor Roache       30  Georgia Southern  Sophomore
2.  Jake Lowery         24  James Madison     Cle 4th Round
3.  Daniel Aldrich      22  C of Charleston   Sophomore
3.  Paul Hoilman        22  East Tennessee    Chc 19th Round
3.  Xavier Macklin      22  NC A&T            Oak 12th Round
6.  Casey Kalenkosky    21  Texas State       Was 13th Round
7.  Jonathan Griffin    19  Central Florida   Ari 21st Round
7.  Dan Paolini         19  Siena             Sea 10th Round
7.  Mike Zunino         19  Florida           Sophomore
10. Matt Leeds          18  C of Charleston   Tex 31st Round
10. Andrew Rash         18  Virginia Tech     Sd  36th Round
10. Aaron Westlake      18  Vanderbilt        Det 3rd  Round

But what does college power mean? Does it necessarily translate into a pro career?

2006 Top Ten College Home Run Hitters

#   Player Name         HR  School            Lvl Most HR
1.  Kellen Kulbacki     24  James Madison  AA  22 in 2008
2.  Michael Cowgill     23  James Madison  A+   2 in 2006
2.  Andy D'Alessio      23  Clemson        AA  16 in 2008
2.  Josh Morris         23  Georgia        A    5 in 2007
2.  Quinn Stewart       23  LSU            A+  21 in 2007
6.  Pedro Alvarez       22  Vanderbilt     MLB 29 in 2010
6.  Shawn Scobee        22  Nevada         A-   6 in 2007
8.  Chris Carlson       21  Nebraska       A+  13 in 2009
8.  Brad Miller         21  Ball State     A+  22 in 2007
8.  Ben Saylor          21  BYU            Rk   2 in 2006

Is there something in the water at James Madison? Next to each player is their highest level reached and the most homers they have hit in a pro season.

With the exception of Pedro Alvarez, none of the players above made it past AA. I know that its hard to equate the lower level Division I schools like James Madison with Vanderbilt and Clemson but power is power and all of these players were drafted which meant the scouts didn't turn the other way. Bottom line, you can't necessarily count on college power numbers when projecting major leaguers. Sorry Victor Roache. Better get your CV ready, just in case.

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