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Vanderbilt 2015 Baseball Commitment List: Top Prospects

A look into our Commit List for 2015. Today, we focus on the 6 Vanderbilt Commits who find themselves among Baseball America's Top 100 prospects available for this year's MLB draft. Which ones are likely to turn down the big bucks and star at Hawkins Field?

Will this class have a Carson Fulmer in it?
Will this class have a Carson Fulmer in it?
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Corbin is bringing in a massive (and massively talented class) next year to replace one of the, if not the, most talented classes that has ever made Hawkins Field their home. Gone will be Carson Fulmer, Dansby Swanson, Walker Buehler, Rhett Wiseman, and Philip Pfeifer. Likely joining them in the minors will be Zander Wiel and Tyler Ferguson (though both could decide to come back for one more year of glory). In theory, though they're not expected to generate interest from MLB teams, Xavier Turner, Tyler Campbell, and Kyle Smith could be gone, as well. Seeing as none of the three have graduated yet, and Turner will likely attempt to use 2016 to rehabilitate his image/generate interest from MLB teams, it's a safe bet to see them back on the roster.

That is a ton of talent to replace. Further, after seeing his top ranked 2014 class decimated by the MLB draft, it seems Corbin has decided to overload this class with commitments, knowing a good portion of them will be offered too much money to pass up.

With that last idea in mind, let's take a look at who has committed to spend at least the next three years of their lives with your National Champion Vanderbilt Commodores, and how likely it will be that they eschew the guaranteed money of Major League Baseball to suit up at Hawkins Field.

According to Perfect Game, which is the best source available for this kind of information, Vanderbilt has 19 current commits for next year. Not all of these will make it to campus, either due to the siren song of Major League money for those at the top, or the sad reality of the numbers game (roster spot availability) for those at the bottom.

Let's take a closer look at the top of this list:

1. Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville, TN

6'2", 220 lbs
Perfect Game 1st Team All-American
#21 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)
#17 to the Indians on the last BA Mock Draft (5/22)

Everett is a power righty who routinely hits the high 90s with his fastball, and is rumored to be able to hit 100mph. Worse yet, he's got "helium," according to reports out of Baseball America. What "helium" means is he's rumored to be rising in the draft, and may go as high as #10. Some scouts are calling him "this year's Tyler Kolek." The comp makes sense, as he's a big righty who might be able to hit triple digits. Kolek went #2 overall to the Marlins last year. The comp I find most fitting is a pre-steroids Roger Clemens (thought that's mostly because he looks exactly like a young Clemens, facially).

Chances he's coming to campus: Somewhere between Slim and None

But hey, maybe he'll pull a Tyler Beede and hold firm to the number his advisers tell MLB teams?

2. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Royal Palm Beach, FL

6'5" 160lbs
Perfect Game 1st Team All-American
#51 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)

McKenzie is a "projectable" pitcher with an extremely high ceiling. What that means is scouts feel the lanky righty will grow into his body, and there's more ticks on the radar gun left in his frame. Further, they like his delivery and control. He currently sits in the low 90s, but he's likely to add at least 40 more lbs to his frame as he matures physically, and that muscle weight will bring more power with it. According to Perfect Game, he was throwing 80mph in '12, 87mph in '13, and was up to 92mph at the last event. I want to see him grow at Vandy. MLB teams want to plant him in Low A, and bet he will grow into the pitcher their scouts think he'll become.

Here's an clip of McKenzie pitching at the Perfect Game All Star Game:

Chances he’s coming to campus: Low

He’s likely to be drafted in the top 2 rounds, but boy do I want him to don the black and gold.  Like Justus Sheffield last year, I fear the money will be too much to pass up.

3. Nolan Watson, RHP, Indianapolis, IN

6'2" 200lbs
Perfect Game 3rd Team All-American
#56 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)

Watson has a repeatable delivery, and shows good athleticism. Pitching-wise, he reminds me a little of T.J. Pecoraro as a freshman (before his arm surgeries). He sits in the low 90s (PG recorded him at 92mph) and has a good slider and change-up.

Chances he’s coming to campus: Low to Average

If Watson is taken in the first 2 rounds, Corbs will have a hell of a time convincing him to honor his commitment.  If his Vanderbilt commitment scares teams off, he could be a good one for us.  Even if he's taken in the 2nd, he might be offered 1st round money.

4. Alonzo Jones, SS, Columbus, GA

5'10" 195lbs, S/R
Perfect Game 1st Team All-American
#64 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)

Jones is a switch-hitting SS with good speed and power from both sides of the plate. While he wouldn't be able to step in and make us forget about Dansby Swanson, he is a hell of an athlete, and a player I'd love to have suit up in the black and gold. He ran a 6.17 60 yard dash, which would immediately make him one of the fastest players on the team.

Chances he’s coming to campus: Low.

Switch-hitting shortstops with speed and power very rarely make it past the first few rounds of the draft, and Jones is unlikely to be an outlier.  However, if he’s still on the board after round 2, there is a chance.

5. Chandler Day, RHP, Granville, OH

6'4" 162lbs
Perfect Game 1st Team All-American
#79 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)

Day, like McKenzie, is a tall, lanky, projectable righty who is already hitting 93mph with his fastball. Day already possesses a better than average curve and a good change up. In other words, he's another guy MLB teams will fall in love with, as though he can already sits in the low 90s, he's got up to 40lbs of good weight to add to his frame.

Chances he’s coming to campus: Average.

For some reason, I think Day will honor his commitment.  Corbin has shown he can take pitchers who were likely to be drafted in rounds 3-5 and turn them into top of the first round arms.  I’m banking on Day banking on himself.

6. Bryce Denton, 3B/OF, Brentwood, TN

6'1" 200lbs, R/R
Perfect Game 1st Team All-American
#94 on the Baseball America Top 100 draft prospects list (college and HS)

Denton is a local kid from Ravenwood High. He's got pull-side power and the potential to be a right handed power bat. The ball tends to jump off his bat. If he turns down the big bucks, he could be a candidate to replace Rhett Wiseman in right field.

Chances he's coming to campus: Good.

Corbs has consistently done a great job of convincing local kids to star at Vandy. From David Price to Sonny Gray to Bryan Reynolds, Corbs has gotten it done. Unless he unexpectedly rockets up draft boards to the first round, I bet his Vandy commitment is honored.