Round Five, Pick 135 Selection: Deon Stafford Jr.
Age: 21 years and two months
School: Saint Joseph’s University
Height/Weight: 6″1’/205 lbs.
The Atlantic 10 Conference has been headlined by Deon Stafford Jr. ever since he stepped onto campus at Saint Jospeh’s University. All Stafford Jr. did in his first year was hit .341 with 24 extra-base hits, 36 runs, and 26 RBI’s. He showed the tools of an all-around ballplayer. He showed plus tools behind the plate. The only question mark was his power, as he only went deep twice in his first season.
Then, he went on to hit 18 big flies his sophomore year while raising his batting average to .395. He scored 57 runs while piling up 49 RBI’s. His strikeout-to-walk ratio improved slightly, going from 1.38 in his freshman year to 1.25 in his sophomore season.
Stafford Jr. is widely respected as one of college baseball’s best catchers. He also proved that the weak competition he faced in the Atlantic 10 was not the reason for his success. Stafford Jr. played in the collegiate summer Cape Cod League. The Cape Cod League is one of the most prestigious collegiate summer leagues, and Stafford Jr. tore it up in 2016. In 32 games, he hit .283 with six long balls, five stolen bases on five attempts, and had 18 runs with 25 RBI’s.
Stafford Jr. more than likely has finished his collegiate career. Major league scouts always attend the Cape Cod League heavily, and saw him perform quite well. Stafford Jr. is someone who can contribute rather quickly, with a high floor. However, his limited potential is what keeps him outside of the higher rounds. And while the Angels have spent their past two first round picks on college backstops, Taylor Ward and Matt Thaiss, they should not hesitate if Stafford Jr. is there in round five.