There's not much of a buzz around this former Kansas prepster who transferred to Division II Central Missouri from Rice. But, a certain someone who will have some influence soon on the Astros also went to Central Missouri and still maintains some close ties there.
To that end, we looked at the roster at Central Missouri to see who might be the best, most reasonable draft pick and came back with DeBiasse, who absolutely mashed in two years as a Mule. DeBiasse hit .460/.554/.708 this season with nine home runs, 21 doubles, 30 walks, 19 strikeouts and stole 10 of 15 bases in 202 at-bats. The previous year, DeBiasse hit .406/.520/.758 with 17 home runs, 20 doubles, 42 walks, 35 strikeouts and was 6 for 6 on stolen base attempts in 219 at-bats.
The drop in his home run power is directly attributable to these new bats they're using in college now, but his numbers are legitimate. As a true freshman for Wayne Graham at Rice, DeBiasse was described as one of the strongest players on the team and got a couple starts his freshman year.
The biggest question about DeBiasse is not his hitting, but his defense. You don't draft a guy solely based on his bat unless he can play in the field. DeBiasse did start at first base the past two seasons and his coach at Central Missouri praised his defense there. His value as a pro, though, will be defined by his ability to play another position.
This is the problem with drafting him highly. DeBiasse's floor is pretty low, since he competed at a lower level of competition than most of the players here. Plus, he's going to be 23 in July, so he's not the youngest guy on the block. If he can't play a defensive position well, he's relegated to first base or left field, which severely limits his value. His hitting seems pretty good and he seems to have good plate discipline. His swing is compact, and though it's not quick, he does get it through the zone effectively. The worst case scenario is that he can't hit professional breaking stuff or catch up to good fastballs, which leaves him mired as organizational depth in the low minors.
This is the question. With his strength, his upside could be of someone like Adam Dunn, who never played well in the field, but had the power and hitting ability to excel. I don't totally love that comparison, and a better comparsion as DeBiasse's ceiling may be a cross between J.D. Martinez and Chris Wallace. I just used two minor leaguers there, which tells you something about his chances. If DeBiasse saw nothing but breaking stuff in DII, like Martinez, he might be more likely to hit well there. He's also a smart guy, making the All-Academic team his freshman and sophomore seasons at Rice, which couldn't hurt him in the minors.
pick him? If so, where?
If Jim Crane has any influence on the draft, DeBiasse has enough talent to be picked. He's not going to go early, but I would imagine he could be picked any time after the 20th round or so.
Where is he projected to go right now?
Keith Law did not have him listed.
Deep Leagues did not have him listed.
Jonathan Mayo did not have him listed.
Perfect Game USA did not have him listed.
Baseball America did not have him listed.
John Sickels did not have him listed.
Bibliography (Scouting Reports and video)
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