CBB Column: Checking in on Former College Stars (AL Edition)

bates.aaron The start of spring training games gives us a chance to check in on some Former College Players and how they are adjusting to pro baseball. Today, we check in on some American League stars and will be checking in on the National League in the coming days.

OF – Colin Curtis, NYY (Arizona State, 4th Round, 2006)

Curtis started off Spring Training strong with a walk-off 3-run homerun against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first game of Spring Training, and has a chance to make the Opening Day roster.  His chances depend on the what the Yankees see in Jamie Hoffman, who is currently hitting .125 with only one extra basehit in 16 AB’s.  Bleacher Report has a good analysis on Colin’s chances of making the 25-man roster.

1B – Aaron Bates, BOS (North Carolina State, 3rd Round, 2006)

Bates could be the heir apparent to Kevin Youkilis at third base as he looks to make the team this spring. He’s having a less than average Spring (.214 AVG, 5 K’s in 14 AB, no extra base hits) but should see time in the majors this season at some point. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is dealt to San Diego in the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez trade.

1B/DH – Brett Wallace, TOR (Arizona State, 1st Round, 2008)

Wallace is off to a slow start this Spring, but that slump shouldn’t last long. Wallace is going to be one of the best pure hitters in baseball soon, succeeding Lyle Overbay in that 1B/DH role for the Jays.

2B – Brad Emaus, TOR (Tulane, 11th Round, 2007)

Emaus is having an excellent spring hitting 8 for 20 with 4 doubles, and is a career .271 minor league hitter over 3 seasons. He faces a tough road to start for the Blue Jays with Aaron Hill and Jarrett Hoffpauir in front of him, but can also play third base. A team with questions at 2B would be smart to inquire about acquiring him.

OF – Jared Mitchell, CWS (LSU, 1st Round, 2009)

Jared Mitchell had a major setback last week as he tore a tendon in his left ankle while crashing into the outfield wall. He will require surgery and could miss the entire season after hitting .444 in Spring Training, but he should crack into the White Sox outfield permanently in 2011.

3B – Lonnie Chisenhall, CLE (South Carolina/Pitt CC, 1st Round, 2008)

Chisenhall is impressing the Indian coaching staff with his fielding and hitting ability during Spring Training, and should be considered someone to keep an eye on with current starter Jhonny Peralta being a free agent at the end of the 2010 season. Chisenhall will likely start the season in AA Akron, and is hitting .300 during Spring Training so far with his hits coming in key situations. Wes Hodges from Georgia Tech could also provide some competition at this position as he is hitting .400 this Spring, but his power numbers have dropped considerably since 2008.

RHP – Tyson Ross, OAK (Cal, 2nd Round, 2008)

Ross is in his second camp and is trying to break into a rotation that is already manned by several young potential aces. The 6’6 right hander has had mediocre success at the minor league level, but with how the A’s seem to give just about everyone a chance, don’t be surprised if you see him at the Major League level at some point in 2010.