Top Picks of This Year’s NPF Draft Dominated by Hitters
By Daniel Urban
Here are this year’s 1st round NPF draft picks:
(1) USSSA Florida Pride - Brittany Mack
(2) Chicago Bandits - Kimi Pohlman
(3) Akron Racers - Lexy Bennett
(4) USSSA Florida Pride - Andrea Harrison
Until the draft I had never heard of any of these ladies. So who the heck are they?
Mack is the ace pitcher for the LSU Tigers. In 2011 she threw for a 20-7 record, 1.74 ERA, 184 innings and 209 strikeouts. In 2012 Mack’s numbers are down with a 6-4 record, 2.91 ERA, 55 innings and 69 strikeouts. Mack is not an overwhelming strikeout pitcher like the best fastpitch pitchers, but she does have proven ability and success in one of the toughest softball conferences (the SEC) in the country. I am a little confused by why Mack would be the #1 overall pick when there are other more qualified options out there. Mack must have expressed serious interest in going pro. But the Pride can take a risk at pitcher because they already have a top staff anchored by Cat Osterman and filled out by Danielle Lawrie, Sarah Pauly and recent acquisition Jamee Juarez.
Pohlman is a outfielder for the Washington Huskies. In 2011 she hit .432 with 79 hits, 3 home runs, 28 RBI, 57 runs, and 25 stolen bases. Pohlman was a very consistent hitter against top tier pitching in the #1 softball conference in the NCAA. Her numbers prove she has great speed and some power potential. Pohlman will be a great table setter for some of the Bandits’ heavy hitters like Alissa Goler and Dorian Shaw.
Bennett is a slugger that plays for the Texas Longhorns. In 2011 she hit .438 with 57 hits, 9 home runs, 41 RBI, 51 runs, .792 slugging percentage and .510 on base percentage. Bennett led her team in batting average, hits, slugging percentage and on base percentage. Bennett is a very consistent hitter with good power and will make a great addition to the other quality bats in Akron’s lineup.
Harrison is the top hitter on the current version of the nation’s most storied softball team: UCLA. In 2011 Harrison hit .409 with 67 hits, 15 home runs, 52 RBI, 39 runs, a .768 slugging percentage and a .512 on base percentage. In 2011 Harrison won the triple crown on her own team by leading in average, home runs, and RBI. And just for good measure she also led her team in hits, total bases, slugging percentage and on base percentage. Harrison is a machine and could easily wind up as the best hitter to come out of the 2012 draft.
So there you have it! It is interesting that only one pitcher was selected in the 1st round while prior drafts have been very pitcher-heavy early on. It will be fun to see who the next big names will be in the NPF. I’m very excited for the season!