Prospects In Person: 2023/2024 Rutgers Baseball Fall Roster

October 24, 2023

For a long time, the Rutgers baseball program was not exactly known for churning out MLB Draft picks.

Now is no longer that time.

On the heels of Ryan Lasko going at No. 41 overall as a second-rounder to the Oakland Athletics just last year and with a program on the rise as a whole, Bainton Field in Piscataway has become more and more of a must-stop for big-league scouts.

Lasko became the highest-drafted Scarlet Knight since Todd Frazier went with the 34th overall pick in the first round in 2007, and was one of only 11 players taken off the banks of the Raritan over the last ten years, including Drew Conover, who Oakland also took nine rounds later.

For many of those who now have Rutgers on their radar once again, that included a rare visit from Vanderbilt for a fall scrimmage on Saturday, one that entailed three, six-inning games and gave plenty of looks at nearly everyone on two deep rosters. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the Scarlet Knights names that stood out, starting out with an under the radar arm who is 2024 MLB Draft eligible.

Rutgers RHP Jordan Falco, 2024 MLB Draft eligible

A transfer from DII Adelphi, Falco provides an imposing presence on the mound at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, and has an older, similarly big-framed brother, David, who recently transferred from Maryland to Wake Forest. One of multiple notable arms to get an inning or two on the day — including Zach Konstantinovsky and Sonny Fauci, who was up to 94 MPH — Falco would be an intriguing Day 3 option for teams in the upcoming Draft.

With good feel for offspeed and a fastball that was seemingly free and easy at 91-93, Falco did well in his outing, inducing the ground balls he needed to get out of jams, but also showcasing some swing-and-miss stuff against a talented Vanderbilt lineup.

Rutgers INF Ty Doucette, 2026 MLB Draft eligible

It’s easy to dream on Doucette after Saturday, although you’ll be waiting three years to see what it might look like on the pro side. A true freshman and alumni of the Canadian National Team, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound first baseman took one deep to his lefty, pull side from off of highly-touted Vandy arm Devin Futrell early in the day, and wasn’t done hitting after that.

Once slated to go to Oregon State, Doucette ended up changing his commitment to Rutgers, and could have a big impact in their lineup early and often as one of several players who provide legitimate power threats in Piscataway from one through nine.

Rutgers INF Tony Santa Maria, 2024 MLB Draft eligible

Santa Maria was a fringe prospect for last year’s Draft — he ended up at 595 in the FSS Plus Top 600 — seeing his stock fall after injuries shortened his season to just five games after a massive sophomore year that helped put him on the map.

Now a redshirt junior and healthy, Santa Maria had a big day on Saturday, smacking a home run, as well as delivering a hit and a big defensive play at third early in the scrimmage. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Santa Maria has the agility to handle the hot corner in the short term and some better than expected pop, and could again see some big-league attention this year if he’s able to stay healthy.

He also did have several defensive lapses at third as well, and some think he may move to a middle infield role when he makes the jump to pro ball, but both good or bad, it’s hard to put too much stock into anything you see in an October scrimmage.

Rutgers INF Joshua Kuroda-Grauer, 2024 MLB Draft eligible

Kuroda-Grauer has some significant hype for this year’s Draft already, listed at No. 97 in FSS Plus analyst Joe Doyle’s most recent Top 300 as the only Rutgers player currently on the board.

Joe’s scouting report says it all: “Kuroda-Grauer has been a force for Rutgers in his two years with the program hitting for average, a bit of power, and displaying one of the most impressive eyes at the plate in college baseball. Kuroda-Grauer has almost a 1 to 1 walk-to-strikeout ratio for his career. He’s performed well with the wood bat for Bourne in the Cape Cod League as well. “JKG” has positional versatility and has handled plenty of time in the outfield, as well as time at second base and shortstop. The narrative here is a polished pure hitter with fringy tools in terms of power and speed, but a reliable glove that can be deployed anywhere on the field.”

On Saturday, Kuroda-Grauer seemed to be in midseason form. The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp invite brings a lot of tools to the table, but it’s the bat that may carry him into the first few rounds of the Draft; he seemed to effortlessly smash a triple to the gap on Saturday, showing off the legs that got him 13 stolen bases last year as well in the process to hustle for the extra bag. The six-foot, 195-pound native of Somerset, New Jersey would provide a very unique and versatile profile for interested big-league clubs.

Rutgers OF Trevor Cohen, 2025 MLB Draft eligible

Rutgers has two players within the Top 100 of Joe Doyle’s most recent look at college prospects for the 2025 MLB Draft, and Cohen may make it three sooner rather than later.

An athletic outfielder with a lefty bat, the knock on Cohen after a breakout year as a true freshman last season was that perhaps he didn’t have enough pop. After hitting just one homer in 2023, he’s technically on the board already with his fall ball homer, and impressed with several solid tools. He made hard contact often, but also showed good range and instincts in center field, hauling in a hard-hit ball that was moving all over the place on a windy day and immediately getting it back in.

Having posted a .736 OPS in 56 games as a regular last year, Cohen seems primed for more once the games start to count this spring.

Mike Ashmore
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