The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

College Baseball Look-In: Nick Kurtz Power Surge

The weather is heating up and we are starting to see a power surge in College Baseball as it’s quickly becoming crunch time for these draft-eligible players. The MLB Draft takes place in July with the biggest names going in the first several rounds from both College and High School players. In this article, we will dive into some of the college prospects catching fire and get a better understanding of them leading up to the MLB Draft.

If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. Just starting out in a dynasty league? Then check out Rick Haake’s Top-400 Overall Fantasy Prospects and George Bissell’s Top-500 Dynasty League Rankings.

College Players On The Rise

Nick Kurtz, 1B Wake Forest

Coming into the season ranked at the top of prospect rankings for the 2024 MLB Draft, Nick Kurtz hit his struggles early on and dropped considerably. The 6’5” 240-pound first baseman from Wake Forest had two previous seasons of high expectations propelling him to be the 1A or 1B to JJ Wetherholt (whole different story). Despite solid at-bats both Kurtz and Wake Forest as a team struggled and started to fall down rankings. This all started to turn around in a big way since Wake Forrest’s series with Carolina on 3/31. Since that game, Kurtz has hit eight home runs in five games.

This exciting feat has not been seen in some time and has jumpstarted Kurtz’s season. In 25 games played Kurtz is currently slashing .289/.500/.738 with 11 home runs, 30 runs scored, 26 RBIs, and one stolen base. This mid-season surge from Kurtz is coming at the right time as he continues to build back his stock heading into the MLB Draft in July.

Grant Knipp, C Campbell

The Campbell Camel’s power-hitting catcher who is currently fourth in the NCAA in home runs is not being talked about enough. Standing 6’2” and 220 pounds Knipp is solid behind the plate but it’s what he is doing with the bat that has me interested to see where he ultimately ends up in the MLB draft. The bat-to-ball skills have been solid for Knipp in his two previous seasons with Campbell slashing .271/.362/.475 in 22 games played as a freshman and .278/.414/.572 in 55 games played as a sophomore in 2023. The power started to come around in 23’ as Knipp hit 13 home runs in 233 plate appearances but the increased power, bat-to-ball skills, and OBP have been off the charts this year.

In just 22 games played Grant Knipp is slashed .455/.593/1.156 with 15 home runs, 37 runs scored, 40 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. These are major steps forward over the previous season and could result in Knipp being a catcher taken in the first two rounds.

Luke Holman, RHP LSU

The pitcher whose stock is on the rise in the SEC is LSU right-hander Luke Holman. Similar to Paul Skenes last season Luke Holman is making the most of his lone season with the LSU Tigers. Originally with the conference rival Alabama Holman became a starter his Sophomore season appearing in 16 games (starting 15) while striking out 87 batters in 81 innings pitched walking 3.4 BB/9 and finishing the season with a 3.67 ERA with the Crimson Tide. Holman features three potentially plus offerings with a mid-90s fastball that has excellent ride-ups in the zone. The low-80s slider has excellent break and movement out of the zone while the curveball has a similar look out of the hand breaking in around 78 mph. The change-up is thrown sparingly as Holman’s command and control of the other three offerings tend to get the job done.

This season “getting the job done” might be an understatement. In eight starts with the LSU Tigers Holman has 71 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched, good for a 14.3 K/9 while lowering the walk rate over the previous season to 2.6 BB/9 and currently has a 2.01 ERA. Currently, Luke Holman is fifth in the NCAA in strikeouts making him yet another interesting College arm to watch heading into the MLB Draft.

Trey Yesavage, RHP ECU

Let’s start off by saying Trey Yesavage has an 80-grade last name as a starting pitcher and will be easy to create memes once he is a professional. One player I have watched a ton of over the last three seasons for East Carolina University has been Trey Yesavage. Standing at 6’4” and 225 pounds Yesavage has a starter’s build and has the potential to go into the MLB draft with four plus offerings. The four-seam fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches 98 mph the pitch can be flat at times but is helped by the high release point baring down on batters. The mid-80s slider can be adapted to be a slider with two plane depth or a sharp cutter into left-handed batters. The curveball and change-up come in at 83 mph and is effective in inducing weak contact and swing-and-miss.

This season with ECU Yesavage has started eight games with the Pirates striking out 74 batters across 48.1 innings pitched, Good for a 13.8 K/9 while walking 2.6 BB/9 while currently having a solid 1.86 ERA. There is a solid mid-rotation arm here in Yesavage with the upside to be a Zack Wheeler esc SP 1 if everything clicks.

James Tibbs III, OF/1B Florida State

Florida State fans love James Tibbs III and it’s easy to see why. The 6’0” 201-pound left-handed bat has made incremental improvements each season at Florida State. So far this season he could be my underrated prospect to click once he makes his pro debut. In Tibbs’s previous two seasons with the Seminoles, he has hit above .300 while maintaining an OBP north of .400 with 27 home runs and had 98 runs scored in 110 games played. This season he has upped his game to slash .422/.503/.860 with 13 home runs, 35 runs scored, 52 RBIs, and five stolen bases in 31 games played. In 147 plate appearances, Tibbs has shown excellent plate discipline striking out just 6.1% and has a 13.6% walk percentage.

It won’t be long before Tibbs climbs draft boards and by the time FYPD comes around he could be a top-10 pick for dynasty managers. The mix of a plus hit tool with a potential plus power is appealing from first base or a corner outfield spot long-term. Stolen bases shouldn’t be expected from Tibbs long-term but that is not an issue with all he provides with the bat.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.