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20 Prospects to know ahead of the WPF Draft

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It’s draft season. The WPF is having its second-ever draft later on Monday at 7 p.m. ET live from Oklahoma City. Who will be selected to be the next stars of the Smash It Sports Vipers, USSSA Pride, Oklahoma City Spark and Texas Smoke? We have a few ideas. 

Note: All advanced stats come from our partners over at 643 Charts. 

Rachel Becker, INF, Oklahoma State

Don’t forget that Becker was an All-American before she arrived in Stillwater. Nevertheless, she’s having a career year as a Cowgirl. Any player that hits over .500 for most of the year is a very good hitter. Becker also doesn’t strike out much and walks a ton (over 125 base on balls in her career). She also spent most of her time at Purdue as a shortstop and has done fine moving over to second base for Oklahoma State.

Ellessa Bonstrom, UTL, Utah

The Utah All-American is power hitter from the left side. She’s gotten better as her career progressed against Pac-12 pitching. Bonstrom is currently on pace for her best batting average as well as her third double-digit home run season and second straight with 10-plus doubles. She’s also played nearly every position besides pitcher and catcher for the Utes. 

Chenise Delce, RHP, Arkansas

If you’ve been following softball the past couple of years, you’ve seen Delce’s rise at Arkansas. A lot of it has to do with her drop ball, a pitch that she and Courtney Deifel added to her arsenal when she got to Fayetteville. Delce is hard to barrel up. She has had a groundball rate of nearly 50 percent, while opponents only hit line drives against her about 15 percent of the time. 

Charla Echols, INF, Florida

Echols has been one of the toughest players to strike out since she arrived at Florida. She’s had a contact rate of 92.6% in her four years as a Gator. Echols also comes through in clutch moments. This will be her third year with at least 50 RBIs. Even in a ‘down’ year last season, Echols set a school record with 10 sacrifice flies. She’s also been a solid defender at third base.

Megan Faraimo, RHP, UCLA

Faraimo will finish as one of the best to do it in Westwood. She’s continued to grow throughout her career. Faraimo still used her speed and strength to her advantage, leading to a career whiff rate of about 30%. Faraimo has also seen the percentage of home runs given up go down by about five this season from last year. 

Montana Fouts, RHP, Alabama

Fouts comes into the draft as the active leader in strikeouts. It doesn’t take much to realize how special the Alabama ace is in the circle. She threw a perfect game in Oklahoma City against UCLA back in 2021. Fouts shows no fear, having thrown a first-pitch strike nearly 65% of the time during her career. Don’t be shocked to see her go early and become the face of a franchise like she has been in Tuscaloosa. 

Leanna Johnson, RHP, Troy

Johnson is a proven winner and currently leads the NCAA in wins with 22 in 2023 season. The senior right-hander surpassed Ashlyn Williams’ career wins record at Troy with her 94th win earlier the season. Working east to west is what Johnson does best with the ability to go up in the zone and throw the off-speed.

Baylee Klingler, INF, Washington

There are plenty of things that make Klingler special at the plate, which you have to be to earn a Triple Crown in the Pac-12. Klingler is a bad ball hitter and comes through in plenty of clutch situations for the Huskies. She hasn’t got a ton to hit in 2023, leading to a career high in walks. Through four seasons in Seattle, she’s only struck out 23 times. Kilingler has played every infield position, including catcher for the Huskies, but is best suited for a corner spot. 

Kayla Kowalik, UTL, Kentucky

The all-time leader in hits at Kentucky is a very capable hitter. She is a true triple threat as she holds plenty of speed, nearly 80 career stolen bases, and hit a career-high 12 home runs in 2021. She also had 11 doubles and six triples that year. Kowalik has spent most of her time behind the plate the past few years at catcher, but early in her career she roamed the outfield. 

Haley Lee, INF/C, Oklahoma

Lee is one of the most dynamic power hitters in the sport. She homered 25 times back in 2021 with Texas A&M. That number dropped in 2022 but that was due to opposing teams forcing anyone else aside from Lee to beat them, leading to 50 walks. She has fit right into the Oklahoma lineup, hitting home runs and working walks.

Grace Lyons, INF, Oklahoma

Lyons is a wizard in the field. It’s remarkable what she’s able to do and when Patty Gasso calls you the best shortstop she’s ever seen, who is to argue? Lyons has also seen an increase in her power numbers, hitting 37 home runs combined in 2021 and 2022. Lyons gets the barrel on the ball a lot, hardly ever pops up (under 10% the past three seasons) and hits line drives at a high percentage (career-high 25.4 in 2023). 

Sydney McKinney, INF, Wichita State

Collegiate pitchers will be happy to see McKinney move on. The reigning batting champion, who has a good chance to repeat this year, has been one toughest outs in the game. The Shocker shortstop will finish her career on the NCAA Division I top 10 hit list. She’s also a plus-defender, has stolen over 40 bags and has 80-plus extra-base hits. 

Kiley Naomi, INF, Oklahoma State

Naomi has been an up-and-down hitter in her career. However, when she’s on, she’s on. Her stats this season and 2021 tell the story of her true potential. In those seasons, her average Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) was around 175 (the average player sits at 100). Oh, and yeah she’s a pretty good defender herself, as there’s a reason why Becker moved over to second base.

Autumn Pease, RHP, Minnesota

Minnesota’s No. 1 arm seriously spins it. Pease boasts 182 strikeouts on the season with two-thirds of the strikeouts via swing and misses. The right-hander can go after hitters with the off-speed, curve, screw and rise. All are used as strikeout pitches. Staying on the ball is tough when it resembles a wiffle ball. Pease’s 32.7 K% is just over 10% higher than her mark of 21.9% in 2021.

Ashley Rogers, RHP, Tennessee

Rogers has been one of the premium arms in college softball when healthy. Rogers can complement a deep professional staff well. Tennessee has been able to use three arms this season, which has brought out the best in Rogers. She has a career-low in batting average against (.108) and a pop-up rate (23.1%). 

Jordyn Rudd, C, Northwestern

If one of these franchises wants a dependable backstop, Rudd is your girl. She was the first catcher in conference history to be named first team All-Big Ten in her first three full seasons. Rudd is also on pace for her fourth season with double-digit doubles.

Alex Storako, RHP, Oklahoma

After an incredible career at Michigan, Storako is thriving with the Sooners and the added run support. The righty will soon record her 1,000th career strikeout, which shouldn’t shock anybody. She has had a whiff rate over 29.8% since her freshman year with it being as high 40.6 percent in 2021. Storako primarily uses her riseball but has a great understanding of mixing her speeds.

Kathryn Sandercock, RHP, Florida State

The Seminoles advanced to the WCWS final back in 2021 due in part to Sandercock appearing in 43 games with 26 starts. In her senior season at Florida State, the pitch-by-committee approach has reigned supreme as the right-hander has 13 starts but has the bulk of the innings. Why is she so effective? Sandercock keeps the ball down in the zone but developed a rise during her career at FSU to keep hitters guessing. The All-American arm doesn’t forfeit free passes either with a 2.8% walk rate, 8th in the nation.

Danielle Williams, LHP, Northwestern

Williams led the Wildcats to their first WCWS appearance since 2006 just a season ago. The lefty ace mixes speeds and is devastating to opposing hitters as she is able to throw her curve and rise in different parts of the zone. Not to mention she has one of the most filthy off-speed pitches in Division I and throws it almost 50% of the time.

Brooke Yanez, LHP, UCLA

The lefty hurler has had success in all three programs she’s competed for in her collegiate career. In her freshman season at UC Davis, Yanez was named the Big West Pitcher of the Year, at Oregon (2020-2022) she went 31-7 with 362 strikeouts and has an impressive 1.89 ERA at UCLA. The sixth-year pitcher is so effective from the left side as she is able to throw her curve and rise in different parts of the zone.

Be sure to tune in to the D1Softball Youtube channel as our Tara Henry and Jen Schroder break down the selections from Oklahoma City. 


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