H/W: 6'2'', 200 lbs.
Weiss was lightly recruited out of Brenham, Texas yet has been one of the most consistent hitters for the Texas Longhorns over the last three seasons. He's shown a great ability to hit, though his numbers have come down in this season. He doesn't have a consistent spot on the diamond, an issue that could cause him to fall come draft day. He's played both second and third, but his lack of power potential will probably keep him at the keystone.
Weiss did absolutely everything at the plate his freshman year at UT. Aside from hitting .348 in 224 at-bats, no small feat itself, Weiss hit 12 doubles, seven triples, four homers and knocked in 45 runs. He also stole 11 bases, and his slash line that year was an impressive .350/.483/.518. He was pretty reasonable in the field, committing 7 errors in 162 chances. His sophomore year was just as productive, hitting .348/.428/.547 with 5 homers and 38 RBIs. Weiss' fielding was much worse, committing 16 errors for a fielding percentage of .884.
2013 wasn't as kind to Weiss offensively. His slash line dropped to .299/.399/.390, solid but not what he's been used to for his college career. The positive take is that he continued to get on base, drawing 24 walks. It's interesting, however, that his slugging percentage dropped by more than 120 points from his first two seasons. He only hit 11 extra base hits this year (1 home run) which explains the drop, but it's weird why his power suddenly disappeared.
One explanation I've come up with is that Weiss focused more on his defense. He made a good comeback on the defensive side from his sophomore year, putting together a fielding percentage of .968. That's only four errors allowed while playing both second and third base. However, the Texas offense was painfully bad, so I can't think of any reason why the coaches would allow him to sacrifice his offense to work on defense. Though worse decisions have been made from our coaches in Austin this year...
Weiss looks a little like Jed Lowrie in the batter's box. He has decent bat speed and a swing that has a little loft, though probably more line-drive oriented. Regardless, that's where the power we saw his freshman and sophomore years came from though I see him as more of a doubles power guy than a homer run power guy. He can get a little too out in front on his front leg at the plate, leading to some inconsistency in his swing.
If Weiss' defense never fully comes around and he can't regain his power, he'll probably end up as minor league depth, though as a guy who can play second, he could work his way into a little more value.
If his defense comes along and shows he can man second and third, he can build a lot of value as a utility guy on a big league bench. If you want a player comp I'll say Ben Zobrist as his absolute ceiling, though I don't think he'll ever hit for that much power. However, I'd like to be proven wrong on Weiss' ability to hit for average before I draw any conclusions. A career .327 average in a pretty competitive conference is nothing to scoff at.
Projected Draft Round
It's not a particularly strong class of college hitters, but Weiss is probably not in the top 200 players in the draft. I see him being selected between rounds 6-12. His ability to hit and his position (second, if a team thinks he can stay there) will increase his value and make him an interesting, safe pick for some teams. Wherever he goes, it's definitely cool to see a guy drafted after he was so lightly recruited out of high school.
Will He Sign?
Since there's little incentive for Weiss to return to a terrible team with no offense, a bad coach who's overstayed his welcome for an inept athletic director...he'll probably sign. /endrant
Erich Weiss (via CollegeBaseballBlog)
Erich Weiss (07-03-2011) USA vs Japan (Durham, N.C.) (via DiamondScapeBaseball)