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 28 on our Top 100 Countdown is LSU’s Raph Rhymes. The 6’0 outfielder from Monroe, Louisiana was selected in the 30th round by the New York Yankees in the 2012 MLB Draft.
Before arriving at LSU, Rhymes helped lead LSU-Eunice to the 2010 JUCO Division II National Title. He batted .483 on the season with 31 doubles, 12 home runs and 98 RBI, as he earned the honor of being named the 2010 Division II National Junior College Player of the Year.
In his first season at LSU in 2011, Rhymes started 56 games for the Tigers, the majority as the designated hitter. He batted .360 on the year with 18 doubles, 42 RBI and 43 runs. In 2012, his success at LSU only continued as he had a phenomenal season offensively, leading the nation with a batting average of .431. He also had 11 doubles, 53 RBI and 44 runs in his 61 starts for LSU. In addition, Rhymes led the SEC in batting average, hits and on-base percentage in 2012. Rhymes also earned a variety of awards following the 2012 season including being named a First-Team All-American and a Dick Howser Award Finalist.
From a scouting perspective, it is hard to ask for more productivity from Rhymes, however he was draft-eligible in both 2011 and 2012 and slipped all the way to the 40th and 30th rounds. His swing isn’t viewed positively from a scouting perspective, however he faces some of the top pitchers in the country week-after-week and his swing has yet to negatively impact his success at the college level. Perhaps what is even more admirable about Rhymes are the intangibles he possesses that allow him to consistently overcome adversity. It’s no question that Rhymes was one of the top players in the country in 2012, and in 2013 it’s no different as Rhymes is one of the most exciting players to watch for.