John Manuel

Prospect Pulse: Ranking By Positions

John Manuel -Premium Content

While we rank a lot of things, what we're known best for ranking is minor league players. With our Top 10 Prospects completed on the web, and with our Prospect Handbook already out (its earliest release date ever), our Top 100 Prospects rankings can't be far behind. To help sate the need for rankings, here's my take at the top prospects broken down by position, after digesting the work of our staff and correspondents in the Handbook. The deeper the position, the more players I ranked.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Pulse

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Kentucky

John Manuel -Premium Content

While the college programs at Kentucky and Louisville are improving, neither is in position yet to consistently feed talent to the draft. Kentucky figures to have a premium selection next year in infielder John Shelby Jr., the son of the former big league outfielder, but doesn't figure to have recruit Chaz Roe join him on the roster. Roe, whose father played football for the Wildcats, figures to be drafted in the first 50 picks.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Florida

John Manuel -Premium Content

Veterans of the Florida scene can't remember a worse year for the state in recent draft history. Yes, the Sunshine State should still see four players go in the first 50 picks, but that's below-average for the state. Since 2000 Florida has averaged five first-rounders a year, including the sandwich round. Worse than the top-of-the-line talent is the depth, particularly at the state's major colleges. Florida State might not produce a draft pick in the first 10 rounds, and scouts considered Miami's talent ordinary by its lofty standards. The state's high school ranks also were having a down year, with few players other than lanky lefthander Michael Kirkman stepping forward this spring to improve their draft stock.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Tennessee

John Manuel -Premium Content

The story in Tennessee last year was a high school class that produced first-round pick Kyle Waldrop and several top freshmen in the Southeastern Conference, such as Alabama shortstop Cale Iorg, Tennessee pitcher James Adkins and Vanderbilt pitcher David Price. This year, the story is the much-improved Tennessee Volunteers roster, which should produce three draft picks in the first five rounds. Vanderbilt's impact in the draft will outstrip its disappointing season, which kept the Commodores from making back-to-back regional trips.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: South Carolina

John Manuel -Premium Content

South Carolina is sending six teams into NCAA regional play, a testament to the fervor for baseball in the state, and the talent beyond the flagship programs of Clemson and South Carolina shows why so many teams have been successful. The high school crop does not measure up, with the exception of good friends Justin Smoak and Reese Havens, both of whom are committed to South Carolina if they don't start their pro careers.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview