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Live looks from scouting: MLB Draft prospects at the Big Ten tournament

There are only about 45 days left until the MLB Draft takes place and a lot will happen during that time. The Super Regionals, College World Series and Draft Combine will take place in the coming weeks. For most teams, they form their draft boards shortly thereafter and that’s when the magic happens. I had the pleasure of covering the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska as a credentialed media member on behalf of North Side Bound, which I hope to do again in 2025. Let’s take a look at the key players I evaluated.

Cade Obermueller, LHP, Iowa

Scouting Report: At 5-11, Obermueller doesn’t exude a physical opposing presence, but if you were a lefty hitter in the box you could easily be intimidated. Obermueller releases the ball from an extremely low slot. It’s not a profile based on speed, at least not during his appearances as a starter. Obermueller was 88-91 in this outing with the fastball and it was inconsistent. When he used it in the zone it caused more scents and chases. However, it was the sweeper slider that was Obermueller’s best throw. It had a heavy sweep and registers with high spin rates (according to TrackMan on site). Obermueller has a small repertoire of mainly fastball/slider and lacks command of that arsenal. Despite the negatives, I believe Obermueller is a good Day 2 selection for a team that plans to cut him as a reliever. He showed increased velocity during his Cape Cod League stint last summer, where he hit 97. Obermueller fits the profile of a medium to high leverage reliever.

Player development plan: The lack of command is concerning, but his low release and history of higher speed combined with the swing and miss sweeper are the foundation of an intriguing project. I would send him out to start his pro career to see if his batting improves in a new environment. I will then note that this is much less common for lefties, but Obermueller has dabbled in a splitter/split-change. I would be intrigued to see what a professional development system can do to optimize the profile.

Tyler Cerny, SS, Indiana

Scouting Report: I came into the tournament with questions about whether Cerny was a shortstop in the professional ranks and I left the tournament feeling a bit more optimistic about that projection, but still unconvinced. I still believe he’s more likely to slide back to second base, where he played prior to this season. However, the offense has taken a step forward.

Dylan Carey, SS, Nebraska

Report: Carey showed a reliable glove at shortstop. It’s hard to find a college shortstop who you think can play the position at the next level, but Carey looks good. The bat was more of a question and it will ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether his play translates to the pros. He doesn’t make contact and chases out of the zone way too much. Unfortunately, it comes with average average power. I think Carey is a Day 3 pick and worth it for an organization looking to take things further.

Connor Foley, RHP, Indiana

Game result: Foley dominated through the first two innings with a velocity over 90 and a good slider. Control was average and control was better. It all fell apart in the third inning. A walk, hit batters, an errant throw to the plate, followed by a failure to cover home plate, and finally a balk. It tarnished what would be a strong performance. Foley then went back out for the fourth and gave up a handful of hits, but it seemed more under control than the third inning. Sometimes baseball happens.

Scouting report: Foley has an ideal starter build (he stands 6-5 and weighs 230), but still looks like he could add more power in pro ball. Foley shows an impressive fastball that combines both speed and movement. It generated an odor rate of over 30% during the regular season. Command wash and wipe, as evidenced by the outing above.

Player Development Plan: The template is there for a professional pitcher. At his peak, he shows you the physical skills along with the on-field characteristics that professional teams demand, along with enough control to get the job done. At its lowest point, the lack of command could be unhelpful. He was able to move to a strong development club midway through Day 2 and make good progress.

Joshua Caron, C, Nebraska

Evaluation: Caron showed more brute strength, but did not use it enough. That certainly changed in Omaha. Charles Schwab Field is a notorious pitcher’s park, making home runs extremely difficult to hit. Not so for Josh Caron this week. He hit six(!) home runs in the tournament and they weren’t cheap. His two home runs in the tournament quarterfinals went over 433 and 432 ft with exit velocities of 110 and 112 mph, respectively. His home run in the championship game went 400 feet to the opposite field with an exit velocity of 110 miles per hour. What’s most exciting is that Caron generated a lot of that power on his pull side, allowing pro teams to see what a concerted effort to get him to pull the ball more could do for him at the next level. Caron has looked good behind the plate and there will be some work to do at the professional level to develop him, but the foundation is there to be a backup C or better who leans toward power as he progresses.

Others to watch:

Jackson Brockett, LHP, Nebraska

Evaluation: Brockett wasn’t even traveling with the Huskers squad a few weeks prior to the tournament, but he’s coming at the right time. While the arsenal doesn’t scream pro-caliber, I think there might be some upside in the profile. He was 88-91 (low spin 1900-2100 rpm) with the fastball, but executed it brilliantly. His slider was going 75-80 miles per hour and was getting odors. If I were an organization, I’d take a chance on day 3. Maybe at the right time you’ll find a player who can challenge top-tier fastball hitters with an extra tick or two.

Dylan Carey, SS, Nebraska

Report: Draft-eligible Carey showed a reliable glove at shortstop. It’s hard to find a college shortstop who you think can play the position at the next level, but Carey looks good. The bat was more of a question and it will ultimately be the deciding factor as to whether his play translates to the pros. He doesn’t make contact and chases out of the zone way too much. Unfortunately, it comes with average average power. I think Carey could be a Day 3 pick and worth an organization looking to step up. Or he could come back to the Huskers for his junior season.

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