Factory Alums’ Major Part of Baseball America’s 2016 College Pre-Season All-America Teams
Baseball America has released their 2016 Pre-Season All-America Collegiate Teams and of the 42 selections, Baseball Factory alumni make up an astounding 43%.
Of the 18 alumni awarded, nine were placed on the 3rd team, five on the 2nd team and four were 1st team selections. Of the selected alumni, many of them participated in multiple Baseball Factory events, including nine players who attended either a National Tryout and Evaluation or College PREP event.
The prestigious Baseball America Pre-Season All-America First Team features Alumni KJ Harrison (1B, Oregon State), Ole Miss SS Errol Robinson, Louisville OF Corey Ray, and Florida OF Michael “Buddy” Reed. Harrison, a Hawaiian graduate of our PREP program, also attended Team One events, where he was profiled as catcher with elite hitting potential. Harrison has developed into an outstanding hitter with elite bat speed and plus power.
Errol Robinson, a Maryland product, paced Ole Miss with 62 hits and played an outstanding shortstop in one of the most competitive conferences in the country. Robinson, who attended St. Johns College High School in Washington DC, attended a National Tryout in Baltimore, where he was rated as a terrific athlete by scouts with the potential to develop his outstanding athleticism into an elite defensive talent.
Corey Ray, a junior outfielder from Chicago, hit .325 last year for Louisville with 11 home runs and 34 stolen bases. Ray, who participated in our National Tryout in McCook and then played in the Under Armour All America Game in his hometown, was projected as an outstanding defensive outfielder by our scouts.
Buddy Reed, another Marylander, projects as the highest draft pick out of the bunch. The switch-hitting center fielder displayed tremendous offensive ability, hitting .305 with 23 extra base hits. Even more impressive, however, was his ability in center field, where he was named to the SEC All-Defensive team. Having participated in both the PREP program and Team One South Showcase, Reed was noted as having an exceptional arm and having good pop from both sides of the plate.
Alumni who represent Baseball Factory on Baseball America’s Preseason All-America Second Team are catcher Zack Collins (Miami), 1st Baseman Peter Alonso (Florida), outfielder Bryan Reynolds (Vanderbilt), and Starting pitchers Daulton Jefferies (Cal) and Alex Lange (LSU).
Our scouts profiled Alonso, who was a participant in the PREP program, the Arizona Fall Classic Tournament and Team One, as an elite hitter as far back as 2010. Additionally, it was clear that Alonso had the intangibles early on; “His best tool may be his mental makeup as he a tremendous attitude and displays solid leadership on the field.”
Reynolds, who also was a PREP and Team One graduate, caught our eye at the Pre-Season All America tournament as a switch hitter that can display power from both sides. Our scouts noted that he displayed good range defensively, which has turned into one of his better tools at the college ranks.
Jefferies, who came to our National Tryout in 2009 as a shortstop, made the right choice in transitioning to pitching. While six years ago he was topping out at only 80 MPH, Jefferies turned in a phenomenal 2012, going 6-5 with a 2.02 ERA and 74 strikeouts.
Collins and Lange both competed in the Under Armour All America Game at Wrigley Field. Collins, a Team One member, has always been a plus hitter, known for his ability to barrel up the baseball from the left side of the plate. His power has developed, as he hit 15 home runs last year to go along with his 70 RBIS and .302 average. Lange, who as a freshman posted an impeccable record of 12-0 with a 1.97 ERA over 114 innings pitched, performed well at the UA All America Game in 2013. His fastball touched 92 MPH and he featured 2 versions of a curveball, a get-me-over at 78 MPH and an elite put away pitch at 82 that had “serious depth” that he was able to bury on the back foot of lefties.
The Preseason All-America Third Team is littered with Factory alumni, starting with catchers J.J Schwarz (Florida) and Pavin Smith (Virginia) who both participated in our Fall Classic and Memorial Day Classic. Smith, who also participated on our Team One Showcase team, won a National Championship as the starting first basemen for the Cavaliers last season. Our scouts evaluated him in 2012 as an outstanding hitter who has plenty of potential power, a trait he showed off last year.
The left of the infield was populated by another set of BF alumni, third baseman Ronnie Gideon (Texas A&M) and SS Colby Woodmansee (Arizona State). Gideon participated in one of our National Tryouts in Texas, while Woodmansee is a graduate of our PREP program, in addition to our Fall Invitational and the TeamOne Showcase team. At the TeamOne West Event, Woodmansee put on a show, displaying good speed and great defense in addition to a great approach at the plate.
The outfield of the third team featured two more alumni, Jake Fraley from LSU, who went through the Team One program and Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt), who attended a National Tryout twice and was invited to the Pre-Season All America tournament twice. Kendall, a sophomore, is best known for smacking a walk off home run in Omaha last year to knock off Cal State Fullerton in the College World Series, profiles as a true center fielder. Our scouts noted in 2013 that Kendall is “the game type of game-changing athlete that is hard to find.” If this path continues, Kendall will stay on pace to be a top pick in the 2017 MLB draft.
The third team pitching staff included 3 Factory alumni, 2 starters and one utility player. Oklahoma 3B/RHP Sheldon Neuse attended a National Tryout, while Georgia’s Robert Tyler was a participant in the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field. Another Under Armour All America Game participant was Virginia starter Connor Jones. Jones, who also compete in our Team One program, first popped up on our radar in 2011, when had a running fastball at 87 and uncanny command of an advanced changeup at a young age. That development continued all the way to Wrigley, where he got the fastball up to the low 90s. Now, his steady mechanics, along with his change up, have allowed him to excel for the National Champion Wahoos.
Congratulations to all of the Baseball Factory alumni that have been recognized for Pre-Season Awards across all levels of collegiate baseball and beyond.