Wichita State’s 2009 infield has taken two significant hits this summer, losing two late-round picks to pro teams. In late June, Goddard (Kan.) High middle infielder Logan Watkins signed with the Cubs for $500,000. Now Wichita media outlets are reporting that the Athletics are on the verge of signing shortstop Dusty Coleman for $700,000.
The Shockers had been counting on Watkins and Coleman to be their double-play combination next season, and when Watkins went in the 21st round and Coleman went in the 28th round, they had reason to feel they could keep both. But with teams ponying up two of the three highest bonuses given to players taken after the 10th round in this year’s draft—the Rockies signed multisport star Tyler Massey for $525,000 in the 14th round—Wichita State suddenly is looking for middle infielders.
Watkins hit .476 as a senior at Goddard and generated some predraft buzz, but not nearly enough to indicate that a team would spend $500,000. He’s an athlete with good speed and a contact-oriented approach from the left side of the plate.
Coleman was regarded as a fourth- to sixth-round talent, but his extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore scared teams off. He has smooth actions and a strong arm at shortstop, and good strength and power potential for the position. He helped his cause by hitting .330 and earning all-star honors in the Cape Cod League this summer.
Just like they did four years earlier, the Rockies have paid an above-slot bonus to land a multisport star in the 14th round.
Colorado signed The Baylor School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) outfielder Tyler Massey on July 22 for $525,000, luring him away from a baseball scholarship from Virginia. Massey also starred in football as a linebacker and quarterback and was heavily recruited in that sport as well. As a result, the Rockies were able to take advantage of MLB provisions for multisport athletes and spread his bonus over four years.
Massey’s bonus is the highest so far this year for a player drafted after the 10th round.
Massey drew raves from scouts for both his athleticism and his competitive makeup. He has a short lefthanded stroke, good feel for hitting and natural power. Colorado plans on using him as a corner outfielder.
In 2004, the Rockies drafted Dexter Fowler in the 14th round and signed him that August. Now the system’s top prospect, Fowler has risen to Double-A at age 22.
Though 12 first-round picks remain unsigned a little more than two weeks before the Aug. 15 deadline, a number of above-slot deals were struck last week. In addition to Massey, players established new highs for the fifth through eighth rounds in this year’s draft:
I was sitting in the shady comfort ofthe Press Box at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton on Wednesday, watching the second game ofthe inaugural Breakthrough Series. In walked Frank Robinson, who promptly sat down next to me. Flummoxed, a flash flood of thoughts and questions ran through my head, foremost being: "What the hell do I say to Frank Robinson?"
The legendary slugger and managerial pioneer could not have been nicer. Nonetheless, Robinson may have mellowed in his 72nd year, but he still holds sharp opinions. A lively but friendly discussion erupted among the press box occupants over the issue of instant replay in baseball. Robinson argued his case, his massive hands jabbing the air for emphasis. [...] Continue Reading »
That was the phrase that floated through the Southern California air on the third day of the Breakthrough Series at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton.
It was on the lips of scouts and coaches. It certainly was evident in the scores of the first two of the day’s three seven-inning games, as the Major League Scouting Bureau team was blown out twice. The MVP (Mentoring Viable Prospects) team dominated MLSB, 12-1, followed by a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the UYA team. [...] Continue Reading »
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels earned their wings and polished their halos as they proved to be genuine guardian angels to the 60 participants in the Breakthrough Series.
The first-year initiative, co-sponsored by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, provides a showcase opportunity and educational components for urban high school prospects throughout the country who ordinarily would not have the financial means to travel to high-priced tryouts.
The four-day Breakthrough Series is being hosted at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, CA, which is directed by former Angel Darrell Miller.
Several current and former Angels took the field at the UYA on Tuesday to offer instructional clinics in infield defense, catching and pitching. [...] Continue Reading »
Hall of Famer Rod Carew invoked the name of Jackie Robinson last night when he discussed breaking the color barrier with 60 high school players gathered from around the country. A different kind of breakthrough is occurring this week at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, CA, where Major League Baseball and USA Baseball have teamed up to present its inaugural Breakthrough Series.
The Breakthrough Series is a major new initiative which provides urban youth with access to the types of scouting opportunities usually reserved for high school players with the financial wherewithal to travel to showcases. MLB and USA Baseball are providing all-expenses-paid trips for 60 prospects to the academy, where they will be evaluated by scouts from major league teams, participate in instructional clinics run by the Los Angeles Angels and experts in nutrition and body conditioning, attend an Angels-Indians game and participate in talks by guest speakers such as Carew.
Carew, an 18-time All-Star, whose illustrious career included AL Rookie of the Year, AL MVP and Roberto Clemente awards, played for the Angels from 1979-1985. The lifetime .328 hitter, who stole home 17 times in his career, spoke to prospects on topics ranging from respect for the game, using the mind (the "sixth tool"), hustle, character and steroids. [...] Continue Reading »
Two of the best football players in the 2008 baseball draft signed for seven-figure bonuses on Thursday. The Red Sox landed first-round pick Casey Kelly for $3 million, while the Nationals inked second-rounder Destin Hood for $1.1 million.
Both players will have their bonuses spread over five years under MLB’s provisions for two-sport athletes. Though that reduced the present value of their deals by roughly 20 percent, Kelly (pictured at right) and Hood are still two of the few players who have signed for significantly more than MLB’s slot recommendations in 2008. MLB valued Kelly’s No. 30 slot at $1.21 million and Hood’s at No. 55 at $726,000.
At Sarasota (Fla.) High, Kelly not only starred in two sports but also in two phases of baseball. The son of former big leaguer and current Reds minor league manager Pat Kelly, Casey had a scholarship to play quarterback at Tennessee. There was debate among clubs and within the Boston organization as to whether his baseball future is brighter as a righthander or a shortstop. He offers a low-90s fastball and a plus curveball on the mound, and raw power, arm strength and slick defensive actions as an everyday player. When they drafted him, the Red Sox announced Kelly as a pitcher, but they’ll allow him to begin his pro career in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League as a shortstop, per his wishes.
Eighteen of the 30 first-round picks have now agreed to terms, with No. 1 overall choice Tim Beckham and Kelly the only ones to land above-slot deals. The Rays gave Beckham a draft-record $6.15 million bonus. Though he didn’t have a college scholarship to play another sport, Beckham’s football and basketball prowess allowed Tampa Bay to spread his bonus over five years.
Hood, a star wide receiver who had a football scholarship from Alabama, now will become a full-time left fielder. A product of St. Paul’s Episcopal High (Mobile, Ala.)—Jake Peavy’s alma mater—Hood was one of the more electric athletes available in the 2008 draft. He’s still raw because of the time he lost to football, but his bat speed, raw power and foot speed are all plus tools. Like Kelly, he’ll begin his pro career in the Gulf Coast League. [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball has anounced the final 18-man roster that will represent the United States in the IBAF World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada July 25-Aug. 3.
The team was chosen from a field of 34 players that were picked in June at the Tournament of Stars showcase held in Cary, N.C. For a week, the trials invitees faced each other in five intra-squad scrimmages. Of the 18 players selected, 10 have previous USA Baseball international experience–Harold Martinez, Ryan Weber, Matthew Purke and Jeff Malm were all bronze medal winners on the 18U team last year at the Pan American Games, while Andrew Aplin, Colton Cain, Nolan Fontana, Nick Franklin, Austin Maddox and Max Stassi all competed for the 16U national team in Venezeula, winning the gold medal at the World Youth Championships.
This year’s team seems to loaded with quality pitching, catching and athleticism. With both Purke and Jacob Turner on the roster, the national team boasts what seems to be the top lefty and righty in the 2009 prep class. [...] Continue Reading »
MARIETTA, GA. – Monday marked the end of a week long tournament, boasting 192 of the best high school summer travel teams from across the country. The event, hosted by Perfect Game, began July 8 and finished on July 14 with the Diamond Devils, a team made up of players from across the state of South Carolina, defeating the ABD Bulldogs 13-6 in the championship game.
The story of the week was rain, as almost daily, the schedule was plagued by delays or cancellations due to heavy downpour or thunderstorms. The event was originally scheduled to begin single-elimination tournament play on Saturday evening and continue all day Sunday and Monday, but rain washed out the entire day on Sunday, causing what seemed to be a logistical nightmare for the P.G. staff, and led to a Marathon day on Monday.
Realizing the eventual champion of the event would have to win five games on Monday to prevail, the tournament committee shortened all games leading up to the finals from seven innings to five–to save both time and arms for pitching.
MARIETTA, GA. – Continuing with the theme of players that grab my attention while out on the road, here are five players that I liked while in attendance at the 17U WWBA National Championship on the ground of the East Cobb Baseball complex.
(Note: This is not a ranking of the players from the event, and none of these players appear on my top-10 lists from previous events.)
Tucker Barnhart, c, Brownsburg, Ind.
Barnhart just adds to the list of quality catchers in the 2009 high school class. A scout once told me that when looking at catchers, if you can imagine him playing shortstop, then he will probably also be good behind the plate (quick reference: Buster Posey). Barnhart is exactly that way. Barthart is listed at 5-foot-9, 170 but is very strong and athletic. He has a compact and durable frame but is also blessed with agility. Defensively, Barnhart has solid catching mechanics and a strong arm, good enough to shut down the running game. At the plate, Barnhart is a switch-hitter, with a good bat path, short to the ball but has length through and after contact. Even at his size, Barnhart has power. In the final inning of his team’s tournament run, trailing 6-2, Barnhart drove a ball deep over the right field fence for a solo home run. He seemed to be the do-it-all player on the squad and undoubtedly has leadership skills and plus-makeup. [...] Continue Reading »
Perhaps the most fascinating storyline of the 2009 Draft has begun to develop in Southern California, courtesy of the Stock brothers.
Robert Stock of USC, currently playing in the Cape Cod League, has long been one of the premier prospects in the country. A catcher (and occasional pitcher) blessed with a howitzer for an arm and a powerful lefthanded bat, Robert has spent his youth drawing raves from scouts and collecting an attic full of shiny gold-plated trophies. [...] Continue Reading »
Over the past couple weeks, Aflac announced another group of players that will attend the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game on Aug. 9th in Los Angeles, Calif. at Dodger Stadium. The committee is making a tour across the country, introducing players in on field presentations and presenting the prospects with their official game jerseys for the event.
In a presentation held at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, Aflac announced RHP Matthew Graham (Oak Ridge HS) of Spring; LHP Matthew Purke (Klein HS) of Spring; OF Everett Williams (McCallum HS) of Austin; OF/RHP Jacob Morris (Coppell HS) and C/IF Jonathan Walsh (Coppell HS), both of Coppell; and OF/LHP Slade Heathcott (Texas HS) of Texarkana have all been selected.
A few days later, at Turner Field in Atlanta, Aflac announced that OF/RHP Drew Steckenrider (Greater Atlanta Christian HS) of Lawrenceville, Ga.; OF Donovan Tate (Cartersville HS) of Cartersville, Ga.; C/3B Luke Bailey (Troup HS) of LaGrange, Ga.; RHP Zack Wheeler (East Paulding HS) of Dallas, Ga.; OF Braxton Lane (Sandy Creek HS) of Tyrone, Ga.; INF/RHP Richie Schaffer (Providence HS) of Charlotte; RHP/INF Daniel Tuttle (Randleman HS) of Randleman, N.C.; OF Brian Goodwin (Rocky Mount HS) of Rocky Mount, N.C.; RHP/OF Keyvius Sampson (Forest HS) of Ocala, Fla.; INF/OF Jacson Thompson (Germantown HS) of Germantown, Tenn.; and LHP Ian Krol (Neuqua Valley HS) of Naperville, Ill. will also be at the event.
Yesterday, righthander Christopher Jenkins (Westfield HS) of Westfield, N.J., was introduced, at a presentation at Waterfront Park in Trenton, N.J., as the newest selection.
"We are thrilled to have such a great group of future stars added to the Aflac All-American roster," said Al Johnson, Vice President for Marketing Services for Aflac. "I am certain the kids are as excited as we are to take this game to the next level by hosting it at historic Dodger Stadium."
The Aflac All-American Game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net at 3 p.m. EST.
The updated full roster for the game is as follows:
|Luke Bailey||c/3b||Troup HS, LaGrange, Ga.|
|Matt Davidson||3b/rhp||Yucaipa (Calif.) HS|
|Matthew Graham||rhp||Oak Ridge HS, Spring, Texas|
|Brian Goodwin||of||Rocky Mount (N.C.) HS|
|Slade Heathcott||of/lhp||Texas HS, Texarkana, Texas|
|Christopher Jenkins||rhp||Westfield (N.J.) HS|
|Ian Krol||lhp||Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.|
|Braxton Lane||of||Sandy Creek HS, Tyrone, Ga.|
|Tyler Matzek||lhp||Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.|
|Jiovanni Miller||inf/rhp||Bonita HS, Pomona, Calif.|
|Jacob Morris||of/rhp||Coppell (Texas) HS|
Cypress (Calif.) HS
|Brooks Pounders||rhp/inf||Temecula Valley HS, Temecula, Calif.|
|Matthew Purke||lhp||Klein HS, Spring, Texas|
|Keyvius Sampson||rhp/of||Forest HS, Ocala, Fla.|
|Richie Shaffer||if/rhp||Providence HS, Charlotte, N.C.|
|Jonathan Singleton||1b||Millikan HS, Long Beach|
|Max Stassi||c/inf||Yuba City (Calif.) HS|
|Drew Steckenrider||of/rhp||Greater Atlanta Christian HS, Lawrenceville, Ga.|
|Andrew Susac||c||Jesuit HS, Roseville, Calif.|
|Donovan Tate||of||Cartersville (Ga.) HS|
|Chad Thompson||rhp||El Toro HS, Trabuco Canyon, Calif.|
|Jacson Thompson||if/of||Germantown (Tenn.) HS|
|Daniel Tuttle||rhp/if||Randleman (N.C.) HS|
|Jonathan Walsh||c/if||Coppell (Texas) HS|
|Zack Wheeler||rhp||East Paulding HS, Dallas, Ga.|
|Everett Williams||of||McCallum HS, Austin, Texas|
|Beau Wright||lhp||Los Alamitos (Calif.) HS|
DURHAM, N.C.—USA Baseball’s college national team made two interesting roster additions over the weekend, filling out its 22-man roster with College World Series M.O.P. Tommy Mendonca from Fresno State and Athletics seventh-round draft choice Brett Hunter out of Pepperdine. Both players made their debuts on Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the middle of a six-game series against the Chinese Taipei national team. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog