Written By: Zack Silverman
Follow Him on Twitter: @ZackMatt4
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
In contrast to football and basketball, where the BIG Ten routinely challenges for national championships, the BIG Ten is the weakest of the Power Five conferences in baseball. Michigan’s surprise run to the College World Series Championship against Vanderbilt in 2019 was a key achievement, but otherwise, the BIG Ten is a tier below the SEC, ACC, and even Pac 12 and BIG 12.
In terms of draft talent, we see a very clear theme here. Eight of the BIG Ten Top Ten listed prospects are pitchers, and even they have a lot in common. These stringbean pitchers were listed, on average, at 6’4″ and 209 pounds, and only Seth Lonsway, Mason Erla, and Garrett Burhenn have any significant Big Ten experience. That means the ongoing theme will be projection, projection, projection.
As a map enthusiast, I also have to point out that this really represents the team of the North, with two players from Massachusetts, two from Indianapolis, and one each from Chicago, Portland, Baltimore, northwestern Ohio, and northeastern Michigan. In a sport typically heavier on players from warmer climates, I find that noteworthy.
1. LHP Steven Hajjar, Michigan
Bat: L. Throw: L. 6’5″, 215 lbs. Born 8/7/2000. Hometown: Andover, MA
2020: 3-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 24/11 K/BB in 20 IP.
Leading the way, Michigan’s Steven Hajjar fits all of the themes on this list. He’s long and lanky at 6’5″, grew up in Massachusetts, and is all upside with just 20 collegiate innings under his belt. Hajjar actually missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL, but he put himself back on the map with a statement start to open 2020. In his first college inning, he struck out Arizona State’s Drew Swift and Spencer Torkelson back to back, the latter of course going on to be selected first overall four months later. When the day was through, Hajjar had tossed six shutout innings and struck out seven against the best lineup in college baseball, and he finished with a 2.70 ERA in four starts.
Hajjar is oozing with traits scouts love to see. The 6’5″ lefty has a ton of room to fill out his lanky frame, which could help a fastball that currently sits in the low 90’s play up into the mid 90’s down the line. What was once a slurvy slider has added finish in Ann Arbor, flashing plus at its best and missing plenty of bats. He’s also improved what was once a fringy changeup into a legitimate solid average to above average offering, giving him three strong pitches from the left side. The stuff is there now and could get even better, but like many arms in the BIG Ten, we’re waiting for some track record.
The ACL injury and shutdown mean he’s thrown just 20 innings in his college career, and he walked eleven in that span (including at least two in every start). He doesn’t always get his long left arm coming down in the same slot, leading to command questions that he hasn’t quite assuaged yet in fall workouts. That’s fixable with more reps, especially given that he’s young for a college junior and won’t turn 21 until August, but for now it’s at the top of the to-do list. For now, scouts will just have to dream on the stuff and projectability. With improved command and perhaps a tick or two of velocity, Hajjar has arguably the highest ceiling in the Big Ten.
2. RHP Sean Burke, Maryland
Bat: R. Throw R. 6’6″, 230 lbs. Born 12/18/1999. Hometown: Sutton, MA
2020: 2-0, 1.99 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 35/11 K/BB in 22.2 IP.
Two names, two towering pitchers from Massachusetts who missed 2019 with injuries. Sean Burke, who has an inch and fifteen pounds on Steven Hajjar, grew up an hour away from him in the Bay State, then spent 2019 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery while Hajjar dealt with his ACL. Returning in 2020, he shoved against a relatively weak non-conference schedule, putting up a 1.99 ERA and a 35/11 strikeout to walk ratio 22.2 innings. Heading into 2021, Hajjar has the leg up in handedness and a deeper arsenal, but Burke might have the louder “now” stuff.
Standing 6’6″ and 230 pounds, Burke was a cold weather projection arm coming out of high school and has made good on that projection. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s, touching 95 with regularity. That fastball gets nice riding action up in the zone and misses bats consistently, playing above its velocity and pairing well with his curveball. That breaking ball is a tight spinner that can be equally tough to hit, and the two pitches give him a very high floor on their own. However, there is certainly still work to be done.
Hajjar has walked eleven batters in twenty innings, and it’s a similar line for Burke, with eleven walks in 22.2 innings against slightly weaker competition. He has a tendency to yank or sail his pitches, which hasn’t hurt him to this point but is something to watch. He has a clean delivery and seems to have finally grown into his large frame, so perhaps he just needs time to harness his loud stuff. Burke also needs to refine his changeup, which is clearly his third pitch at this point and not quite on par with Hajjar. As a two pitch pitcher with command questions, he faces considerable relief risk, but we’re looking at some of the loudest stuff in the BIG Ten.
3. RHP JP Massey, Minnesota
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’5″, 205 lbs. Born 4/1/2000. Hometown: Chicago, IL
2019-2020: 1-2, 5.08 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 55/34 K/BB 44.1 IP
Another name, another towering pitcher from up north. Between Steven Hajjar, Sean Burke, and JP Massey, the latter is the purest “projection” arm, with the most room to fill out his frame and the most work to do on his secondaries. Through two seasons in Minneapolis, the Chicago native has a 5.08 ERA and a 55/34 strikeout to walk ratio over 44.1 innings, not the loudest line but there is stuff to like when you look closely. In addition to striking out 26.1% of his opponents, he also has allowed just a .201 opponents’ batting average. With a considerable refinement, his ceiling is tremendous.
Massey’s best attribute is his fastball, which presently sits in the low to mid 90’s and can scrape 95-96. Given his long, lanky build, it’s easy to see him sitting more consistently in the mid 90’s down the road and touching higher. His two breaking balls can blend into each other, but his slider can really stand out when he tightens it up. We don’t have much of a changeup at this point, and the command is mediocre but improving.
Massey has a lot to work on, but just as much to like. If he can get a little more consistent with that slider and show more 55-60’s than 40-45’s, he has a chance to shoot up boards even without improvement in other areas. Meanwhile, maintaining steady progress with his command and getting it closer to average will help, while the changeup is obviously something to watch for. He’s a favorite among area scouts, and he only barely ranks behind Burke on my list. Watch Massey very closely for any signs of improvement in a multitude of areas.
4. LHP Seth Lonsway, Ohio State
Bat: L. Throw: L. 6’3, 200 lbs. Born 10/7/1998. Hometown: Celina, OH
2019-2020: 9-6, 3.59 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 168/77 K/BB in 110.1 IP.
Seth Lonsway was a well-known draft name in rural western Ohio in 2017 but elected to attend Ohio State, then was mentioned as high as the second round for the 2020 draft. A high asking price left him undrafted, and now he becomes a priority draft name for a third cycle. You don’t see much contact in his game, as he struck out 30.3% of those he faced in 2019 and walked 14.2%, then got even more extreme in 2020 with 50.6% and 21.7% rates, respectively. For those more comfortable with raw numbers, that’s an incredible 42/18 strikeout to walk ratio in 18 innings in 2020.
Lonsway has the loudest “now” stuff in the Big Ten, and it’s not particularly close. His explosive fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s and tops out around 96, playing above its velocity because it runs hard and really jumps out of his hand. Then we have two breaking balls, led by an absolute hammer of a curveball that was one of the best in the 2020 draft. His lateral slider is improving as well and looks like at least an above average pitch, if not plus, and his changeup rounds out his arsenal nicely. All three secondary pitches generate whiff rates of 59% or above. To this point, Big Ten hitters have had absolutely no chance to make contact against him, instead relying on drawing walks or seeing fastballs over the middle of the plate.
That command is a serious problem. As his stuff has gotten louder, his location has gotten even more erratic, and he walked a combined 30 batters in 30 innings between the 2019 Cape Cod season and 2020 regular season. He struggles to wrangle that truly explosive stuff, despite a pretty clean overhand delivery. Sturdily built at 6’3″, he has every starter trait necessary except command, so whoever drafts the 22 year old will likely believe in his ability to start. If the command never gets better, the stuff could play exceptionally well out of the bullpen, especially from the left side, and he has plenty of margin for error.
5. OF Grant Richardson, Indiana
Bat: L. Throw: L. 6’2″, 185 lbs. Born 7/13/1999. Hometown: Fishers, IN
2019-2020: 14 HR, .306/.366/.572, 4 SB, 73/17 K/BB in 60 games.
After four arms to start the list, we get to our top hitter at #5. Grant Richardson was draft-eligible as a sophomore last year, but went undrafted despite slashing .424/.453/.797 with five home runs in 14 games. That was no weak schedule either, as he went 6-12 with a home run in a weekend series against Louisiana State and had a pair of matching 2-5 performances against East Carolina and Ole Miss, homering in both. In a BIG Ten Conference, weak on position players, Richardson enters 2021 as the Big Ten best all-around.
It’s easy to fall in love with the tools here. Richardson is a great athlete at 6’2″ with plenty of twitchy strength, giving him the ability to impact the game in a multitude of ways. Plus speed makes him a threat on the basepaths and in the outfield, and it helps him get down the line quickly from the left side. His bat has a chance to be special, especially if he can prove his crazy 2020 line was not a mirage. The Indianapolis-area native has a knack for hard contact, consistently squaring the ball up for above average power and plenty of balls in the gaps, where his speed becomes an asset. His strong arm is another above average tool, and if he can refine his reads and routes, he could be a plus defensive center fielder. If not, he should be above average in right field either way.
The big ding in Richardson’s profile is plate discipline, and that’s an important one. He has a very aggressive approach at the plate that leads to considerable swing and miss, and he rarely walks. It hasn’t hampered him yet, but scouts will be watching closely in 2021 now that his potent bat is no longer a secret. When Big Ten pitchers like the four above him on this list adjust to him, will he be able to adjust back? Will he at least chase less, so scouts can be more confident he’ll work pro pitching? Set to turn 22 on Day Three of the draft, he’ll be a little older than many other players in the class, but not by much.
6. RHP McCade Brown, Indiana
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’6″, 200 lbs. Born 8/15/2000. Hometown: Normal, IL
2019-2020: 0-2, 14.86 ERA, 2.85 WHIP, 11/13 K/BB in 6.2 IP.
After a brief hiatus, we’re back on the “towering pitchers without track record” theme, and McCade Brown takes it to the extreme. If you started off looking at the stats, you might be scratching your head to see Brown listed as the #6 prospect in the BIG Ten. I mean, in two years with the program, Brown has pitched in just six games, tossed just 6.2 innings, and allowed eleven runs while walking thirteen. That’s a walk rate over 30%. But this kid is special, and we’re not here to scout the stat line.
Obviously, if he’s ranked this high with those kind of stats, it must be the stuff, right? Correct. At his best, Brown’s stuff is right up there with Seth Lonsway and Sean Burke for the best in the Big Ten. The fastball sits low to mid 90’s in short stints and can hit 96, with nice arm side run that makes it tough to square up. The secondary stuff is inconsistent, but it can be devastating when it’s on. His curveball can be an absolute hammer with late, deep tilt and eleven to five movement. In the video above, he rattles off some eye-popping ones. His slider can flash plus as well, with short, tight bite that comes on late. He rounds it out with a changeup that’s probably his fourth pitch.
All of that is great, of course, and but we’re not here to rank bullpen sessions. Brown has to put up some real numbers this year, and even before consistency comes into play, he has to improve on 30-grade command. The 6’6″ righty loses his arm slot often, tending to cast or yank his pitches and miss badly. Slight improvements to get to even 40-grade command could do wonders for his draft stock, but 30 won’t play on Day One. Then of course if he wants to be a pro starter, he needs to hold his stuff deep into games and show the ability to spin the ball on a consistent basis, not just on “on” days. Fortunately, our Illinoisan prodigy is young for the class and won’t turn 21 until a month after the draft, giving him that much more development time.
7. 1B Maxwell Costes, Maryland
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’1″, 215 lbs. Born 7/1999. Hometown: Baltimore, MD
2019-2020: 19 HR, .295/.444/.581, 4 SB, 61/44 K/BB in 73 games.
Maxwell Costes might not appeal to traditional scouts as a right-right 1B/LF type, but man, can this kid put on a show at the plate. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2019 when he slashed .266/.397/.547 with 15 home runs in 58 games, but that turned out to be his low point as a hitter. He slashed .380/.514/.789 with 15 home runs that summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, then hit .432/.620/.750 with four home runs as a sophomore last year. Put those together, and you have 19 home runs and a .392/.543/.780 line over 57 games in a calendar year – the PGCBL isn’t the most elite summer league around, but you don’t luck into those kinds of numbers.
Costes is no toolshed, but he just hits. Built like a truck at 6’1″, he can absolutely smoke a baseball with brute strength and a loose swing from the right side. His raw power plays way up in games, with 34 home runs in college/summer ball so far, giving him some of the best in-game power is not just the BIG Ten, but the college class as a whole. The Baltimore native is not just a one-tool player, as he’s been more than willing to take walks – and get hit – as pitchers stopped pitching to him. In the batters box, he’s been the complete package so far.
I’m going to throw a Brent Rooker comp on here. Rooker, like Costes, was a right-right corner bat that didn’t sign the first year he was eligible, and went back to school to prove his bat. Because of his lack of tools, Rooker had to absolutely explode at the plate to push himself into Day One draft consideration, and Costes may have to do the same without the benefit of SEC competition to show it’s “real.” He has the strong 2019 under his belt, but he didn’t face the strongest competition in the PGCBL or in 2020, and the Big Ten isn’t the strongest conference either. He’ll have to hit a lot to prove it, but I’m optimistic and I think he could be an impact hitter in pro ball.
8. RHP Mason Erla, Michigan State
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’4″, 200 lbs. Born 8/19/1997. Hometown: Cass City, MI
2017-2020: 10-15, 4.24 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 163/79 K/BB in 195.1 IP.
Mason Erla will be nearly 24 (!) on draft day, making him the oldest draft prospect I’ve ever written about. Erla, who is already relatively old for his class, was draft-eligible in 2019, but he was coming off a 5.49 ERA and 16% strikeout rate and went undrafted. 2020 was a completely different story, when he put up a 1.04 ERA and 42/6 strikeout to walk ratio over 26 innings, including an absolute gem against Troy to end the season (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 12 K). However, he went unselected in the shortened draft, and now the 23 year old is going to give it one more shot.
Erla’s exceptional 2020 was no fluke. Always more of a control/command guy more than a stuff guy, his fastball jumped into the low to mid 90’s, now topping out around 96. Like Seth Lonsway, the fastball plays well above its impressive velocity, coming from a low three quarters release that puts considerable ride on the pitch. By far, that fastball is now his best attribute. The secondary stuff is just that, secondary, with a solid-average tight curveball and a changeup, helped by above average command.
The 6’4″ right hander has a nice #4 starter profile with a plus fastball, two usable offspeed pitches, good command, and a sturdy frame. However, his age complicates things. If a drafting team wants to develop Erla as a starter, they may have to wait until he’s 26 or 27 to see him in the majors, and only as a back-end guy. Putting him in the bullpen, where he could pitch more effectively off that fastball, could help him move much more quickly and get there around age 25. Either way, I see him as a high floor, low ceiling type, and one who could be a big time money saver.
9. RHP Garrett Burhenn, Ohio State
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’3″, 215 lbs. Born 9/12/1999. Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
2019-2020: 8-6, 4.73 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 98/35 K/BB in 112.1 IP.
This is a complex one, but very interesting. Garrett Burhenn showed well in his freshman season in 2019, putting up a 3.96 ERA and a 69/31 strikeout to walk ratio over 91 innings, but a bad start vs Georgia Tech in 2020 caused his ERA to balloon to 8.02 despite a sharp 29/4 K/BB. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan and originally left him off this list, but then after more data and digging, noting significant improvement during the shutdown. Let’s jump in.
During his career in Columbus, Burhenn has shown average stuff with a low 90’s fastball, a slider, and a changeup. He’s always pounded the strike zone, but he tended to get hit hard when his pitches caught too much plate. Since the shutdown, McRae noted that he substituted a curveball for his changeup, and he’s worked to increase the spin rates on all of his pitches. The results have been promising, as he now shows tighter breaking pitches while making his solid-average velocity play up. I’m not here to call him the next Bryce Jarvis, but those are promising developments.
Burhenn’s control is ahead of his command, and previously that left him as a “jack of all trades, master of none” type of arm. Now, if he can generate more swings and misses in the zone, he has a chance to play up to a #3 or #4 starter. I’m very curious to see how he comes out of the gate in 2021, with the chance to move quickly up draft boards by proving his new stuff is for real. Down the road, he’ll likely want to pick that changeup back up, and tightening his command in the strike zone will help as well. There will be a lot of eyes on him in 2021, that’s for sure.
10. RHP Willie Weiss, Michigan
Bat: R. Throw: R. 6’3″, 205 lbs. Born 3/3/2000. Hometown: Portland, OR
2019: 2-2, 2.97 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 50/32 K/BB in 39.1 IP.
We’ll close out with a sleeper pick. Willie Weiss was a key cog in that famous 2019 Michigan pitching staff, earning key innings in relief of current pros Tommy Henry (ARI), Karl Kauffmann (COL), and Jeff Criswell (OAK). In 27 appearances, he had a 2.97 ERA and a 50/32 strikeout to walk ratio over 39.1 innings as a true freshman, closing it out with a scoreless appearance against Vanderbilt in the CWS championship. However, a minor triceps injury sidelined him for the start of the 2020 season, and the pandemic meant he never got to work back in. Heading into 2021, Weiss has a lot to prove, but could work his way up draft boards in a hurry.
Weiss sat in the upper 80’s and scraped the low 90’s in high school, but there were reports of him hitting as high as 94-95 as a freshman at Michigan. He also flashes a sharp slider that can miss bats as well, and the two pitches helped him strike out 27.8% of his opponents. At this point, he needs to work on his changeup, which is his third pitch.
The fact that we haven’t seen Weiss since his freshman year means there could be significant untapped potential here. With two good pitches, a sturdy 6’3″ build, and plenty of big game experience, there are starter traits here. However, his closed off delivery can make it difficult to get back on line towards the plate, causing his arm slot to wander and miss spots. Even more important than developing the changeup at this point will be getting more consistent with that delivery, as it’s hard to feel comfortable projecting someone as a starter with 40 command. Michigan has a great track record of producing arms, and a cleaned up Weiss could make some noise in 2021.
Other Interesting Options
I know baseball doesn’t use the divisional format, but we’ll go with football divisions to break up this section. At Maryland, where Sean Burke has plenty of draft buzz and Maxwell Costes has some eye-popping track record to his name, Sam Bello is a bit more of a sleeper. The 6’3″, 225 pound New Yorker is draft-eligible as a sophomore, coming off a short but successful freshman season where he struck out eleven and walked two over 6.2 strong innings. Built like a tank, he attacks hitters with a low 90’s fastball and a nice slider, commanding both pretty well. He has a lot to prove in 2021, but with plenty of on-paper starter traits, he might not be a sleeper anymore once he gets some Big Ten innings under his belt.
Behind Steven Hajjar and Willie Weiss, Michigan has another interesting option in Cameron Weston. The 6’1″, 200 pound sophomore from the Pittsburgh area is draft-eligible this year with an August 27th birthday, the very last day before the cutoff. He’s a fastball/splitter pitcher that sits in the low 90’s, with a clean delivery and starter’s build. On the docket for 2021, aside from building up some track record, will be sharpening his breaking ball into a usable offering.
Down south, BIG Ten rival Ohio State has another interesting arm behind Seth Lonsway and Garrett Burhenn. Meanwhile, Jack Neely is a very different pitcher. The San Antonio native began his career at Texas, but put up a 14.90 ERA as a freshman and transferred to Iowa Western CC. There, he was about as dominant as you can be, striking out 17 and walking four over eleven shutout innings, allowing just one hit along the way. The towering 6’9″, 230 pound righty now comes to Ohio State with a low 90’s fastball that plays up due to tremendous extension, but the rest of his game needs a lot of work. Neely’s secondary stuff is fringy at best, and while his command took a step forward in 2020, it’s still well below average. Further improvement in either his breaking balls or command could bode very well for him in 2021.
Our headliner in this group is Michigan catcher Jimmy Obertop. A top recruit from the St. Louis-area high school ranks, he’s draft-eligible as a sophomore after hitting .265/.375/.353 in eleven games. If you’re a college baseball fan, you might also recognize him from his viral ejection against Vanderbilt in his very first game. To this point, the ample strength he packs into his 6’1″, 220 pound frame is his best attribute. It gives him above average raw power to work with and a strong arm behind the plate, while a disciplined approach at the plate should help him make the most of it. However, he’s not the most athletic catcher in the draft, needing considerable refinement in his movement behind the plate. His power is also more a product of strength than bat speed, so he’ll need to prove himself against velocity.
A short trip across the middle of the state brings us to Michigan State‘s Zaid Walker. The Chicago-area native has had a nice start to his Spartan career, slashing .281/.305/.375 with a pair of home runs in 62 games, and he’s hoping for a breakout in 2021. Walker does a lot of things well, with a line drive bat, some power to tap into, speed, and a good arm. At this point, he lacks a true carrying tool, so putting it all together for a strong season in East Lansing in 2021 will be his ticket to louder draft buzz. Toning down his hyper-aggressive approach could aid that endeavor.
Outside of the top ten, arguably the loudest stuff in the Big Ten draft class belongs to Illinois right hander Aidan Maldonado. The Twin Cities native has put up ugly numbers in Urbana-Champaign (6.28 ERA, 34/40 K/BB), but also looked great in the Cape Cod League (3.20 ERA, 32/7 K/BB), so he’s a bit of an enigma. At his best, he can touch 96 with his fastball and hold it in the mid 90’s for innings at a time, adding in a sharp, bat-missing slider. However, at other times, the stuff can flatten out and he can get hit hard. The inconsistency in his stuff is compounded by command that fluctuates between 30 and 45, and he’s a bit undersized a 6′, 170 lbs. Smoothing out the pronounced stabbing motion in the back of his delivery could help, but unless he gets much more consistent with everything, he’s likely a reliever.
JP Massey will get most of the attention at Minnesota, but two-way prospect Sam Ireland is a sleeper behind him. The Denver-area native was better as a hitter (.303/.361/.424) than as a pitcher (9.00 ERA, 10/8 K/BB) in his short freshman season, but a full 2021 will be more enlightening. On the mound, his fastball sits around 90 and can bump 92, complemented by an average slider and changeup. There is some power in his 6’4″ frame, though as a right/right corner bat, he’ll need to prove he can tap into it.
Out on the plains, Nebraska offers up a very interesting arm in Colby Gomes. The Cornhuskers’ closer in 2019, he was a starter in 2020 and didn’t fare as well. The Omaha native can sit in the low to mid 90’s with his fastball and adds a nice sharp slider, but to this point he hasn’t had much success in games (5.26 ERA, 24/15 K/BB). His delivery isn’t really conducive to starting, with very long arm action, a low three quarters arm slot, and a pronounced head whack, so I don’t expect him to put up big numbers in the rotation this year. He could be a real sleeper for a team looking to convert him back to relief.
Handling Aidan Maldonado and that Illinois pitching staff will be Jacob Campbell, a Wisconsin native who has hit just .197/.303/.280 over two years with the Illini. He’s obviously a glove-first prospect that stands out for his blocking and receiving, so teams will be interested regardless of how he hits. That said, if he wants to be anything more than org depth, he has to take a step forward with the bat. He shows a nice, loose swing with some pop, but even though he doesn’t have a crazy amount of swing and miss, he just doesn’t find the barrel often enough to tap it. Incremental steps towards squaring the ball up more often could make him a solid backup.
The Illini will also have shortstop Branden Comia, fresh off a red hot .426/.526/.702 start to his 2020 season. A bit undersized at 5’10”, Comia has great feel for the barrel and has shown surprising gap and over the fence power at Illinois, but that hasn’t been the case in two summers in the Northwoods League (.200/.341/.270). He has a short swing that’s more geared towards line drives and ground balls, and his lack of production with wood bats makes it hard to project more than 40 or 45 power on him for the future. He’ll also want to cut down on his swing and miss a bit, but with a solid glove that will keep him in the middle infield, the bat will have some slack.
Out in Lincoln, Nebraska shortstop Spencer Schwellenbach has been one of the Big Ten more consistent hitters as of late. The Michigan native has a career .281/.407/.394 line with six home runs, seven stolen bases, and a 52/36 strikeout to walk ratio over 59 games, giving off a “high floor, low ceiling” vibe. He’s a patient hitter with some ambush power, though his swing can get a little loopy and the barrel isn’t always in the zone for long. That has led to a fringe-average hit tool where you’d like to see a bit better given his profile. A shortstop, for now, he can make it work at the premium position but fits better at second base.