College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 college baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be adding players day-by-day until we get to number one!
Number 38 on our Top 100 Countdown is Stanford’s AJ Vanegas. The 6’3 right-handed pitcher from Alameda, California was selected in the 7th round by the Padres in 2010.
During his freshman season, he made 23 appearances for the Cardinal including three starts. Throughout the season he posted a record of 1-0 with an ERA of 3.35, striking out 30 and holding opponents to a .252 batting average of 40.1 innings.
As a sophomore, Vanegas filled a variety of roles for Stanford, spending time in both relief and starting roles before settling in as the Cardinal’s full-time closer. In his 21 appearances, he went 4-0 with five saves and an ERA of 2.62. He also struck out 53 and held opponents to a .235 batting average. Vanegas spent both the 2011 and 2012 summers in Cape Cod playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
From a scouting perspective, Vanegas has one of the most powerful arms in college baseball. His power is best seen in his fastball, which sits in the mid 90s, as well as his slider. A seventh-round selection out of high school, Vanegas’s draft stock has only climbed during his time at Stanford with most scouts seeing him going in the first two rounds of the 2013 draft. Command has been a bit of an issue for Vanegas, but not an alarming one. It is important to remember that Vanegas is recovering from back surgery due to a herniated disk. If his control continues to develop and he is able to maintain his velocity which was rumored to be touching as high as 98 over the summer, Vanegas has the potential to become one of the most dynamic closers in college baseball, making him one of the top players to watch for in 2013.