Throwing a no-hitter in high school will put you in the local paper without question. You may get some national coverage if you’re a draft prospect. Now, being a draft prospect and throwing four straight no-hitters? You can’t hide from that.
Patrick Schuster, a lefthander from Mitchell High in New Port Richey, Fla. has done just that. April 20 was his most recent outing and Schuster shut down Dade City, Fla.’s Pasco High by tossing seven no-hit innings for his fourth-straight no-hitter. The first came against Land O’Lakes (Fla.) High on April 3. He allowed an unearned run in that game, but has had shutouts since. [...] Continue Reading »
On Friday, we told you about John A. Logan lefthander Danny Jimenez, the top junior college prospect in Illinois this spring. Two more Midwest juco players worth watching are Allen County (Kan.) shortstop Dillon Hazlett and Iowa Western righthander Derek Landis.
Hazlett is the best position prospect in Kansas this spring–college, junior college or high school. A 6-foot-1, 191-pound sophomore, he’s an explosive athlete. He has plus speed, good actions and arm strength at shortstop, and quick hands at the plate that give him surprising pop. He’s hitting .454/.526/.754 through 40 games, with six homers and 25 steals in 26 attempts. He’ll attend North Carolina next year if he doesn’t turn pro. [...] Continue Reading »
Stephen Strasburg isn’t just the best pitcher in the country; he’s also the hardest thrower in the country. It’s rare for a starting pitcher to earn that honor; usually there’s some reliever out there blowing gas, and there are some guys like that this year, such as UC Riverside’s Joe Kelly. But Strasburg is the hardest thrower, regularly hitting triple digits. The rest of the country’s starters are all fighting for second place on that front.
Among the leading contenders, though, South Carolina’s Sam Dyson stands out. The athletic 6-foot-2, 195-pound Dyson has recovered from a torn labrum that prompted him to take a medical redshirt in 2007, emerging as South Carolina’s top pitcher the last two years. He regularly works in the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball and was at his best Friday night against Auburn, throwing a complete game with a career-best eight strikeouts. He needed 134 pitches to do it, but Dyson was strong late, hitting 97 mph with his fastball in the ninth. [...] Continue Reading »
Our Draft Preview goes to the printer not quite a month from now, so we’re working the phones frantically these days. I handle our Midwest coverage, and my goal this year is to blog an interesting note or player I learn about when I’m done with my calls each day.
The top junior college prospect in Illinois this year is John A. Logan lefthander Danny Jimenez. BA readers may remember him from our 2008 Illinois draft prospects list, where we ranked him No. 8 as a senior at St. Charles North High. Jimenez is a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder with the strength to maintain his velocity into the late innings. In a complete-game win over Lincoln Trail (Ill.) last Saturday, he was throwing 90 mph in the ninth inning.
Jimenez usually pitches from 87-91 mph with his fastball. He also has tightened up his breaking ball and gotten more comfortable with his changeup. In nine starts, he’s 4-2, 2.38 with a 72-33 K-BB ratio in 64 innings. Opponents are batting just .197 with one homer against him.
BA staffers have started their draft calls in earnest, bearing down for our mid-May Draft Preview issue, and conversations with scouts and college coaches always reveal interesting information that need not be held until the Preview issue. So we’ll be dropping some of these short updates between now and mid-May, when our full reports really get started online and in the print edition of the magazine.
• We just posted an updated Top 50 for subscribers, and we’re already receiving plenty of feedback on it from industry types. One player it looks like we’re a little light on is Georgia prep righthander Zack Wheeler, who is likely to go much higher than our No. 32 listing. One front-office official said he didn’t think Wheeler would get out of the first 10 picks; the top 20 certainly seems reasonable.
Wheeler pumps his fastball into the 90-94 mph range, touching 96, and does everything with ease, while sporting a 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame that scouts love to project. As one source put it, 2008 High School Player of the Year Ethan Martin—a Georgia prep righty whom the Dodgers picked in the first round last year, 15th overall—had better present stuff, but Wheeler’s is comparable, with more mound savvy and control and consistent, dominant performance. [...] Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES—For the second straight evening, a traditional high school football powerhouse snatched a championship in a major baseball tournament.
Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) captured the 2009 Anderson Bat National Classic title Thursday by defeating El Toro (Calif.) High, 2-1, in the final tourney game at Cal State Fullerton’s Goodwin Field. The Monarchs’ victory came on the heels of Mission Viejo (Calif.) High’s surprise win in the Anaheim Lions tournament on Wednesday night. [...] Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES—The 2009 Anaheim Lions Tournament wrapped up on Wednesday night at Old Glover Stadium in Anaheim, with Mission Viejo (Calif.) High edging Capistrano Valley High (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 3-1.
Sixty scouts crammed into the 70-year-old edifice to watch top draft prospect Tyler Matzek of Capo Valley, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefthandeder. In five innings of work, Matzek allowed one run and one hit, walked three, and struck out nine. [...] Continue Reading »
LOS ANGELES—The National Classic continued apace on Tuesday, April 14, with two games generating substantial attention from both local and national scouts: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) vs. Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Norco (Calif.) vs. Aptos (Calif.).
Esperanza High of Anaheim was the site of the Mater Dei-Notre Dame clash. Forty scouts watched studiously as Aaron Northcraft, Mater Dei’s 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior righthander, warmed up in the bullpen adjacent to the first base dugout.
LOS ANGELES—Scouting Directors, cross checkers, area scouts and sundry others have descended this week on Orange County to observe the action in both the Anaheim Lions and National Classic tournaments.
My first stop in the Lions tourney on Monday was to see Cypress (Calif.) High, who faced off with Long Beach’s Millikan High in front of 30 scouts, cross checkers and scouting directors included.
Baseball America has learned that Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.) High lefthander Tyler Matzek, BA’s No. 1 high school prospect, has recently developed a blood blister on his left index finger. The blister is on the inside of his finger and also goes under the fingernail.
Matzek was scheduled to pitch next on Saturday, but will miss that game and will be day-to-day until the blister is healed.
LOS ANGELES—An annual highlight of the scouting calendar in Southern California is the San Diego Lions High School Easter tournament. The 2009 version began on Monday, April 6.
Stockdale High of Bakersfield and Cathedral Catholic High of San Diego squared off Tuesday at Cathedral Catholic HS in the tourney’s marquee match up. Cathedral has been in existence for only three years, and was known as University High of San Diego in its previous incarnation. Uni High produced several prominent stars, including Barry Zito, Mark Prior and Carlos Quentin.
Stockdale’s top attraction is KC Hobson, BA’s 66th ranked high school prospect and the son of former major league player and manager Butch Hobson.
Matt Moynihan is Cathedral’s most recognizable name. The speedy center fielder is ranked No. 53 by BA. As approximately 30 scouts looked on, CCHS shutout Stockdale 7-0 behind a complete game gem by senior righthander Ryan Wilkins.
Both home plate and the spotlight were stolen by Tyler Gaffney, Cathedral’s 6-foot, 215-pound right fielder. Gaffney, who has committed to Stanford, doubles as one of the nation’s premier high school football players.
[...] Continue Reading »
HOUSTON—Lefthander Matt Purke of Klein (Texas) High ranked as BA’s third-best high school prospect coming into the season. A probable first-round selection in the June draft, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Texas Christian signee faced rival Collins High of Klein at home on March 31.
At the game to observe Purke was Greg Perkin, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 16th-round choice in the 1999 draft and the nephew of BA bird dog Dave Perkin. A righthander, Perkin pitched in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system for four years from 1999 through 2002 and will do some bird-dogging to help BA this spring. Perkin joined approximately 20 scouts in viewing Purke, who in seven innings of work allowed four hits, two walks and struck out eight while delivering 94 pitches. Purke recorded a no-decision in the extra-inning contest.
Greg Perkin offered these insights about the performance:
[...] Continue Reading »
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