A powerful swing helped T.J. Collett (Kentucky) earn top prospect honors from Baseball America (photo credit: Travis Larner).
Baseball America released its list of the top 10 professional prospects in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) on Wednesday afternoon, a group headlined by the powerful T.J. Collett of the Amsterdam Mohawks and the University of Kentucky.
Collett was one of five Mohawks named to the top prospects list, a year after earning the same honor in the Prospect League. Although his freshman campaign at Kentucky was limited to a mere 23 at-bats due to injury, he showed little signs of rust in the Amsterdam lineup. In 20 games played in the summer season, the Terre Haute, Ind., native slashed .375/.465/.639 with five home runs and 24 RBIs. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound catcher/first baseman flashed “legitimate plus power,” and Amsterdam head coach Keith Griffin told Baseball America that he had “never seen power like Collett's in his nine years in the league.”
Here’s the full report from Baseball America:
1. T.J. Collett, 1B/C, Amsterdam (So., Kentucky)
From a power standpoint, Collett might have the best bat in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. After missing his first season with the Wildcats with a torn knee ligament, Collett bounced back from injury nicely and slashed .375/.465/.639 with five home runs in 20 games for Amsterdam. Collett has legitimate plus power; Mohawks coach Keith Griffin said he had never seen power like Collett's in his nine years in the league, while Albany head coach Nick Davey added that if tossed into MLB batting practice today, Collett would fit right in. The 6-foot-1 Collett could be an immediate impact bat for the Wildcats this spring, led by a hit tool that got him drafted out of high school (40th round, 2016, Twins) and named last year's top prospect in the Prospect League.
2. Will Holland, SS, Amsterdam (So., Auburn)
Holland didn't necessarily have the most eye-popping stat line this summer (he hit .298/.385/.409 with one home run), but he's physically gifted at the shortstop position. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder can run a 6.7 60-yard-dash time, throw 93-94 mph across the diamond and busted out a 14.25 second time around the base paths at the all-star game. His defense, specifically his arm strength, is well ahead of his bat (he hit .209 in his first season with the Tigers) but a productive summer season and a year to grow could do him wonders.
3. Houston Roth, RHP, Elmira (So., Ole Miss)
Roth was electric out of the Ole Miss bullpen as a freshman. In 18 appearances, he posted a 1.57 ERA and struck out 41 in 28.2 innings. The 6-foot-3 right-hander carried that momentum into the summer with Elmira; in seven starts, he struck out 46 batters, to the tune of a 1.75 ERA. He consistently hit 91-93 mph, and had a solid secondary pitch in his slider. Six of Roth's starts with Elmira lasted at least five innings—one of which was a complete-game two-hit shutout with a league-record 20 strikeouts and no walks. Roth has the body to be a starter, and now with a successful summer, he could see his role expand.
4. Tyler Mattison, RHP, Glens Falls (Fr., Bryant)
Mattison's arm this summer left many coaches wondering how no major programs signed him. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, the rising freshman headed to Bryant has a projectable body, and he struck out 41 batters in 28.2 innings with Glens Falls. He hit a consistent 93-94 mph with his fastball over the summer, although struggled to land his breaking pitches. Mattison is one of the more raw pitchers in the PGCBL and has plenty of room to grow. He needs to develop and fine-tune the fundamentals of pitching, but he flashed some of the better tools on the mound this summer.
5. Eric Rivera, OF, Amsterdam (So., Florida Atlantic)
A player with a diverse skillset, Rivera hit for power and average (six home runs, .295 average), showed speed (6.5 60 time, nine stolen bases), a strong arm in center and the ability to play multiple positions. A Conference USA all-freshman team member this spring in which he hit .256/.366/.422 with six home runs, Rivera was heralded as one of the best pure athletes in the PGCBL and had arguably the best bat speed in the league. The 6-foot, 175-pound Rivera has the skills to play the outfield and the left side of the infield, and his quick bat will follow.
6. Mathieu Gauthier, RHP, Amsterdam (So., North Carolina State)
On the smaller side, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Gauthier has plenty of room to grow as he heads into his second season with the Wolfpack. He hit 92-94 mph this summer and started to develop an effective slider come season's end. He struck out 27 and walked 13 in 32.2 innings. His best outing was his first start against Mohawk Valley, when he struck out five and allowed only one hit over five innings of work. Gauthier is one of the more projectable pitchers in the league and will likely see a boost in his fastball velocity as he adds pounds to his slim frame. With a slider in the works, Gauthier could earn more innings at N.C. State this spring (he pitched just 18.1 innings as a freshman).
7. Dustin Skelton, C, Amsterdam (So., Mississippi State)
Skelton was offered $400,000 coming out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays (who took him in the 36th round in 2016), and it's evident why. He was the top catcher in the PGCBL due to his play behind the plate. His pitch framing was elite, and his pop time (1.89 seconds to second base) paired with a strong arm make him a menace to base runners. His bat isn't at the same level as his defense, although he did hit .311 with a pair of home runs for Amsterdam. If he puts as much work into his offense as he does his defense, Skelton could quickly become a dynamic player.
8. Greg Marino, RHP, Albany (So., Stony Brook)
Marino is an incredibly projectable pitcher. At 6-foot-6, 175, he still has quite the frame to fill out. With that being said, he found success at Stony Brook after redshirting his freshman year, and struck out 58 batters in 60.1 innings. He was up to 93 mph with Albany with pitchability, a plus changeup and a good feel for his slider. He gave up three earned runs in three innings in his first start, then gave up just four in 35.1 innings (1.02 ERA) the rest of the summer, striking out 29.
9. Brett Rodriguez, SS, Elmira (So., Wofford)
Rodriguez has plenty of physical tools. He posted a 6.6 60-yard dash time, threw 94 mph across the infield at scout day and has a strong frame at 6-foot, 200 pounds. Rodriguez hit for average in his first season at Wofford (.294) and for Elmira (.306/.440/.425). He's not a power bat by any means, but he smacked 12 doubles this summer for the Pioneers. His physical tools will help him stick in the infield, and his bat should only improve as he develops.
10. Russ Olive, 1B, Mohawk Valley (So., Massachusetts-Lowell)
Olive has yet to hit in college (.226/.318/.370 in two seasons), but he flashed hitting ability and power with Mohawk Valley this summer. He hit .324/.433/.565 with a league-high eight home runs and nine doubles and hit to both sides of the field from the left side of the plate. He was athletic in the field, and at 6-foot-3, he has the size—and power—to remain at first base.