Luke Bailey, who ranks No. 18 on BA’s latest Top 50 draft prospects list , is sidelined with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow. The LaGrange, Ga., product, who plays at Troup High, was the top-rated high school catcher on the draft board for most clubs prior to this injury. Bailey told ESPN.com he’s going to have Tommy John surgery.
Bailey’s injury turned up after he took a rare turn on the mound, leading scouts to speculate that he was injured while pitching, but as one college recruiter put it, "There’s coincidence, and then there’s cause and effect. Who really knows how or when pitchers get hurt?" [...] Continue Reading »
Not many NAIA pitchers sit in the 91-95 mph range with their fastballs as starting pitchers, as Austin Adams does for Faulkner (Ala.).
And not many do it while hitting third for their club, as Adams does. When he’s not starting or playing shortstop, Adams often closes for Faulkner, with reports of him hitting 98 mph and sitting at 93-96 with a power breaking ball in the low 80s when he comes in as a reliever.
So why did Adams get rocked Wednesday by Auburn-Montgomery in the first game of the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament? Adams took the loss in a 10-7 defeat. He didn’t last through the fourth inning, giving up 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned). The loss, his first of the season, dropped him to 5-1, 4.85 overall. [...] Continue Reading »
The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for academic and athletic events in Texas, today suspended all such competition until May 11. The move is a response to the swine flu outbreak in the state.
There are 16 confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas, including the death of 23-month-old boy visiting from Mexico City on Monday. Governor Rick Perry made a disaster declaration today, and several school districts have shut down.
Texas offers its usual deep crop of high school talent for the draft, led by potential first-rounders such as Brownwood HS righthander Shelby Miller, Klein HS lefty Matthew Purke and outfielders Everett Williams (McCallum HS, Austin) and Slade Heathcott (Texas HS, Tekarkana). But one area scout contacted by Baseball America said the two-week shutdown shouldn’t make much difference to major league clubs. [...] Continue Reading »
Rice ace Ryan Berry, who hasn’t pitched since March 21, will pitch an inning in relief against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday. If all goes well, he’ll make a start this weekend against Houston.
Berry pitched himself into first-round consideration early in the season when he threw consecutive complete-game victories against Texas A&M, Notre Dame and San Diego. During that span, he allowed just five hits, no walks and one unearned run while striking out 28. Then he lasted just five innings against Southern Mississippi in his next outing before being sidelined by a subscapular muscle strain beneath his shoulder. [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball’s draft is going from the Magic Kingdom to . . . New Jersey.
Cheer up, it’s actually better than that sounds. Major League Baseball confirmed today in a press release that the 2009 draft will take place at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., moving after a two-year stay in Orlando.
MLB is hoping the move and the prime-time start of the draft on its new network will encourage more players to attend the draft. In 2007, three first-rounders were on hand at the Milkhouse in Orlando, and last year only Twins first-rounder Aaron Hicks attended in person.
This year’s draft show will start at 6 p.m. Eastern, with the draft itself starting shortly thereafter. For the first time, the draft will last three days. It starts June 9 with the first 111 selections, rounds one through three with compensation picks. The fourth round begins June 10 at noon ET, with the draft tentatively scheduled to get through the 30th round. The rest of the draft wraps up on the 11th.
Gaither High (Tampa) junior outfielder Drew Doty laced a double in the top of the third inning ending lefthander Patrick Schuster’s bid at a fifth straight no-hitter and a run at the record mark of six, which was done twice. It was the first hit Schuster had given up since March 24.
There were no outs in the top of third and Mitchell High (New Port Richey, Fla.) was up 2-1 when Doty recorded the double. The winner of this game moves on to the district finals.
When planning my trip out to Seattle, I knew I wanted to see Bishop Blanchet High third baseman Jake Lamb. I grew up near Seattle, so I knew to expect a one-sided affair when I saw Blanchet was playing Rainier Beach High, and that’s exactly what I got.
Bishop Blanchet hasn’t produced more professional players than Rainier Beach. Baseball-Reference.com lists three draft picks from each school and all three of Rainier Beach’s come since Blanchet’s last in 1997. However, the two teams couldn’t have been more different.
Bishop Blanchet is a private, Catholic school in north Seattle that costs nearly $10,000 a year to attend. Rainier Beach is a public school in a rough part of south Seattle. Known mostly for its basketball, Beach has produced NBA stars Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford.
DURHAM, N.C.—All the evidence points to the high school catching class being much, much stronger than the college catching class this year.
Still, some college catcher figures to go in the first round, or the supplemental first round. In the previous six drafts, a college catcher has been drafted in the first round every year other than 2006.
The top candidates in ’09 include two names that have been in the mix from the start in Indiana’s Josh Phegley, a preseason first-team All-American, and Boston College’s Tony Sanchez. The third candidate now appears to be North Carolina’s Mark Fleury, who is in his first season as a full-time starter.
Phegley was the favorite coming in, but Sanchez’s better defensive skills and improvement offensively vaulted him to the top of the rankings. Sunday, Sanchez played in front of about 40 scouts, including at least two scouting directors and plenty of other national scouts (i.e., crosscheckers and/or special assignment scouts). His performance almost stopped before it started when Sanchez was hit by a pitch on his right (throwing) hand in his first at-bat in the top of the first. After a delay lasting several minutes, Sanchez stayed in the game, and he hit a line-drive home run in the eighth inning. [...] Continue Reading »
Remember when we told you about Joe Sanders’ broken jaw? I caught up with his dad, Jack, to learn more about the break and the consequential surgery that took place. The pitch broke Joe’s jaw in two places. A three-hour surgery resulted in titanium plates to secure the bone back in place, but they lined back up perfectly. Joe did not lose any teeth and his bite is back to normal. His mouth did not need to be wired shut and he’s already eating soft foods like mashed potatoes. Antsy to get back on the field, doctors said he’ll be out a maximum of four weeks, but he’s hoping to be back in the batting cage this weekend and back on the field when Auburn takes on Kentucky starting May 8.
In an effort to upgrade its defense, Louisiana State has installed freshman Austin Nola at shortstop and moved D.J. LeMahieu from short to second base and Ryan Schimpf from second to the outfield.
LeMahieu played a solid shortstop as a freshman for the Tigers and again last summer in the Cape Cod League, where we ranked him as the No. 6 prospect. Though some scouts thought that he’d have to switch to a less demanding position once his 6-foot-4 frame filled out, others believed he had the fluid actions, first step and range to handle shortstop. [...] Continue Reading »
BA intern Brian Chmielewski was in Dallas, Ga., Tuesday for Zach Wheeler’s latest start, and we got more confirmation that we were a bit light when we ranked Wheeler No. 32 in our Top 50 draft prospects update. Giants general manager Brian Sabean was on hand; the Giants pick sixth, so Wheeler is clearly in the mix for teams in the first 10 selections.
If Wheeler goes in the first round as now seems likely, he’d give Georgia back-to-back years with a prep first-round pitcher. He’d join Ethan Martin, the No. 15 overall pick a year ago.
However, before Martin—who only emerged as a pitcher last spring after being known primarily as a third baseman previously—the state of Georgia had not produced a prep righthander taken in the first round since Adam Wainwright in 2000. [...] Continue Reading »
Indiana University hasn’t had a top-10-rounds pick since the Padres drafted outfielder Kennard Jones in the third round seven years ago. The Hoosiers haven’t had a pair of top-10-rounders since future big leaguers Mickey Morandini (fifth round, Phillies) and John Wehner (seventh round, Pirates) in 1988. And they’ve had only one first-rounder ever, shortstop James DeNeff (No. 8 overall, Angels), way back in 1966.
All of those facts could change this June. Righthander Eric Arnett could be a first-rounder for some clubs, and he, catcher Josh Phegley and lefthander Matt Bashore all figure to go in the first five rounds. [...] Continue Reading »
As would be expected, the Arizona Wildcats recruit mostly in their home and surrounding states, fertile ground for baseball talent. Of the 33 players on their roster, 12 hail from Arizona, 17 from California, two from Colorado and one each from Nevada and Oklahoma.
But that may be about to change. Arizona’s recruiting class includes arguably the top prospects from four separate states in the Upper Midwest: Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. [...] Continue Reading »
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas . . .
One of the names continually popping up during my four-corners calls is Danny Reynolds, a righthander at Durango High in Las Vegas. Over his first seven games with the Trailblazers this season, Reynolds is 3-3, 2.26 with 60 strikeouts and 13 walks over 40 innings, blazing his own trail right up teams’ draft boards.
[...] Continue Reading »
Bad news for Auburn’s Joe Sanders. The night before he was about to make our Draft Tracker as a player whose stock is moving up, Sanders was hit in the face with a Kyle Putkonen fastball that resulted in a broken jaw.
Sanders had a great summer in the Cape Cod League, hitting .273/.309/.412 for the Harwich Mariners. He was named to the all-star game and participated in the home run derby at Fenway Park. He entered the season ranking as the nation’s No. 79 college prospect, but has boosted his stock with a terrific showing this spring.
[...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America has learned that righthander Chad Thompson will undergo Tommy John surgery on May 1. An Arizona State commit, Thompson’s frame is a dream for scouts. He stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 215 pounds. There were questions about his 94 mph fastball reading at the Perfect Game National Showcase, but things were looking up after an appearance in a scrimmage against lefthander Tyler Matzek and Capistrano Valley High (Mission Viejo, Calif.). [...] Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES—With the draft looming, I’m on the road this week to observe several high-round candidates. My first stop on Tuesday, April 21, I checked in on Matt Davidson, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound third baseman from Yucaipa (Calif.) High.
Davidson has the kind of blond haired, matinee idol good looks that would fit perfectly in a 1950s Hollywood western. A Southern California signee, Davidson has long been on scouts’ follow lists, primarily for his ability to drive a baseball terrific distances. [...] Continue Reading »
Minnesota center fielder Eric Decker is one of the best college athletes available in the draft. He packs plenty of strength in his sculpted 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame, and he can get from the left side of the plate to first base in 4.1 seasons. Yet where exactly he’ll fall in the draft remains murky, because he repeatedly has said he’ll return for his senior season of football and because dividing his time between two sports has left him in need of more polish on the diamond.
Decker was an all-Big Ten Conference wide receiver last fall, when he set a school record with 84 receptions, breaking his own mark of 67 he set in 2007. While he ultimately decided not to enter the 2009 NFL draft, he’ll be a football team captain as a senior when the Gophers open 50,000-seat TCF Bank Stadium, and he’s not willing to become a full-time baseball player yet. He could sign a pro baseball deal this summer, then play one more season of college football before making a decision on his future. [...] Continue Reading »
Madras, Ore. has a population of just over 5,000. So when a player from there starts getting compared to Madras’ most famous resident—Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury—most coaches and scouts probably laughed to themselves and thought, "Yeah, right."
Center fielder Darrell Ceciliani will get the last laugh, though, because the comparisons hold up and he’s playing his way into the top five rounds as a freshman at Columbia Basin (Wash.) CC.
[...] Continue Reading »
The best player in the Ohio Valley Conference and the best pitcher in the OVC should have met this past weekend when Jacksonville State visited Eastern Illinois. But neither Brett Nommensen nor Ben Tootle took the field.
Nommensen is out with a wrist injury. Tootle missed the start, his second in a row, as he recovered from a virus that attacked his digestive system, causing him to lose 10 pounds in a week, according to Jacksonville State coach Jim Case.
"I had the same deal, and I lost 10 pounds too," Case said, "but I had some to lose. Ben didn’t. We threw him one inning last week at mid-week (against Kennesaw State), but he just wasn’t ready, so we backed him off."
Case said that Tootle has been tested for mononucleosis and came up negative. Case tentatively plans on Tootle being ready to pitch this weekend against Eastern Kentucky but wasn’t sure if he’d throw Saturday or Sunday.
An all-star in the Cape Cod League last summer, Tootle has shown a mid-90s fastball all spring, touching 98, and is 3-1, 3.58 overall with 45 strikeouts in 37 innings. He’s walked 22.
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