Only four seeded have made it to this year’s College World Series, the fewest since 2016. While the upsets have been fun to watch, they have also reduced the number of top MLB Draft prospects who will be playing this weekend. However, the cupboard is far from bare. There will still be a lot of talent on the diamond at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Here are five players to follow during the College World Series.
MLB Draft prospects to watch
Brock Jones, OF, Stanford Cardinal
Jones is a fantastic athlete who came to Stanford to play baseball and football. He gave up the latter after his freshman season, but he uses his defensive back skills to track down fly balls with ease. He has produced 38 home runs and 29 steals since the start of 2021, although his strikeout rate has increased this year, up to 30 percent. That’s alarming, but the lefty batter’s raw materials could tempt a team to take him late in the first round.
Peyton Graham, SS, Oklahoma Sooners
Graham got off to a relatively slow start this year, but that’s in the rear-view mirror now. He has slammed eight homers since May 14 and raised his batting average more than 50 points since the beginning of April. He has tallied 40 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 34 attempts. He hammers fastballs but needs to show more consistency against breaking pitches. He also offers defensive versatility. He spent the past two seasons at third base before moving to shortstop prior to this year, and he acquitted himself well at both spots. He is a late-first, early-second-round prospect.
Cayden Wallace, 3B, Arkansas Razorbacks
Graham and Wallace might find themselves picked right next to one another. Wallace has improved his athleticism over his two years with the Razorbacks. He has 12 steals this year after not picking up one last season. He has played most of this season at third base, but he started his college career in the outfield and has the arm strength to stick in right. He’s hit 15 HRs this spring but generates the type of bat speed that indicates he has more power than the counting stats suggest.
Jake Bennett, LHP, Oklahoma Sooners
A 6-foot-6, 234-pound lefty, Bennett has struck out 120 batters in 104 innings this year thanks to a plus changeup — his best pitch — and a fastball that sits in the mid-90s. He displays good control, as evidenced by his nearly 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The key for Bennett at the next level will be improving his slider. He is considered a third- or fourth-round pick in a draft that’s light on dependable college pitchers.
Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas Razorbacks
Moore is a switch-hitter with some pop, a good defender at second base, possesses decent speed, and has plus strike-zone recognition. Scouts rave about his intangibles, and Moore has shown a flair for the dramatic as he authored a bunch of clutch moments for the Razorbacks last year. That earned him the nickname “Big Game Bob.” However, big statistical dropoffs from last season in home runs (from 16 to 8), average (.283 to .223) and OPS (.942 to .786) have significantly hurt his draft appeal. Once a second-round lock, Moore might fall to the fourth round now.