The Rockies and supplemental first-rounder Trevor Story have agreed to terms. The deal is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.
No terms were immediately available. The commissioner's office's recommendation for his No. 45 draft slot is $764,100.
A product of Irving (Texas) HS, Story was one of the best all-around shortstops available in the draft. He has above-average speed, range and arm strength, along with more bat speed and power than most middle infielders. He had committed to Louisiana State.
Three quick notes on supplemental first-round picks:
The Cardinals agreed to terms with Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong on Saturday for $1.3 million. Wong becomes the sixth of 33 first-rounders to sign, and the second to get a deal slightly above the commissioner's office recommendation for his draft slot.
MLB's guideline for Wong's slot at No. 22 is $1.287 million. The only other above-slot deal in the first round so far went to Rays shortstop Jake Hager, whose $963,000 was $9,000 more than the recommendation for his No. 32 slot.
Wong was one of the best pure hitters available in the draft, batting .341 to win Cape Cod League MVP honors last summer and following up by hitting .378 this spring. He has surprising pop for a 5-foot-9, 180-pounder, along with average speed and solid defensive skills.
First-round pick C.J. Cron agreed to terms with the Angels on a $1.467 million bonus on Thursday. He'll officially sign the deal on Monday.
His bonus matched MLB guidelines for his draft slot, No. 17 overall.
A Utah first baseman, Cron had one of the most potent bats available in this year's draft. He hit .434/.517/.803 this spring, leading NCAA Division I in slugging and OPS (1.320), and projects as a plus hitter with at least plus power. A former catcher, he'll be limited to first base as a pro and will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
Cron's father Chris played briefly in the majors and currently manages Double-A Erie in the Tigers system. Cron's brother Kevin, who also projects as a power-hitting first baseman, was a third-round pick of the Mariners out of Mountain Pointe HS in Phoenix.
The Rays have been busy signing top draft picks and landed their highest selection so far on Tuesday, agreeing to a $963,000 bonus with first-rounder Jake Hager. The deal is slightly above MLB's recommendation for his No. 32 slot, which is $954,000.
A shortstop from Las Vegas' Sierra Vista HS, Hager has solid tools across his board to go with keen instincts. He profiles as a good hitter with gap power and average speed, and he has the actions and arm strength to remain at shortstop. He had committed to Arizona State.
Tampa Bay had a record 12 picks in the first two rounds, and now has signed six of those choices. Yet to join the fold are South Carolina high school righthander Taylor Guerrieri and Louisiana State outfielder Mikie Mahtook (first round); California prep shortstop Brandon Martin, California high school third baseman Tyler Goeddel and Vanderbilt lefthander Grayson Garvin (supplemental first round); and Hawaii righthander Lenny Linsky (second round).
The Rays signed their third and fourth supplemental first-rounders in the last five days on Monday, landing Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC righthander Jeff Ames for $650,000 and Oakland Technical HS outfielder James Harris for $490,000.
Both bonuses are less than MLB's recommendations for their slots—$802,800 at No. 42 for Ames, $605,700 at No. 60 for Harris—but likely more than they would have gotten had they not cut deals to move up in the draft. BA ranked Ames 119th on its Draft Top 200 Prospects list, while Harris didn't make the Top 200.
Ames' signature pitch is his lively mid-90s fastball, which tops out at 97 mph, while his breaking ball and changeup lack consistency. He had committed to Oregon.
Harris' best tool is his well above-average speed. He has some raw power, but profiles more as a center fielder/leadoff type.
Tampa Bay signed sandwich-rounders Blake Snell and Kes Carter last Thursday, and also gave an above-slot bonus to second-rounder Granden Goetzman two days before that. The Rays have yet to sign seven of their record 12 picks in the first two rounds.
Once again, Perfect Game saved the best for last at PG National.
Last year, it was Daniel Norris who pitched on the last day. This year, it was Jesuit High (Tampa) righthander Lance McCullers Jr. who took the mound in front of a thinned-out crowd, after many scouts left to catch flights to the next assignment.
McCullers fumbled a few plays at shortstop this week, but it doesn't matter. His future is undoubtedly on the mound and today's two-inning stint was dominating, as usual.
"I think the last few days I was playing a little bit outside myself and I was trying to do a little bit too much, but there was no reason to," McCullers said. "I went out on the mound today and was really focused, trying to get ahead early, so I could throw my off-speed pitches. But I really felt good out there. I felt my stuff was coming out of my hand really well, so overall it was a successful day."
McCullers threw 22 fastballs today: five at 94 mph, seven at 95, six at 96 and four at 97. He throws both a curveball and a slider. There is a subtle difference in the velocity—the curveball is 83-84 mph and the slider is 86-87—but the pitches blend together a bit with hard, late break.
McCullers said he has been hitting the gym to add muscle to his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame, mostly focusing on strengthening his legs and core. The improved strength showed up on the mound today, as McCullers looked more balanced than he has in the past. He was sticking his landing pretty well instead of falling off or overthrowing and the adjustment allowed him to throw more strikes.
"I worked for about six months with Orlando Chinea, who is the guy that worked out Jose Fernandez," McCullers said. "Me and Jose are really good friends and work out together all the time and I've really transformed into an athletic thrower and a guy that can be looked at as more of a complete pitcher. I have much better control down in the zone now. I don't leave as many balls up for guys to take good hacks at. My curveball is much sharper and I'm working on that changeup now."
For the rest of the summer, McCullers will be pitching with the Tampa Bay Warriors, skipping out on a chance to pitch again for Team USA this summer.
"I'm really sorry I can't be there, it was an amazing experience last year," McCullers said. "USA (Baseball) puts on an amazing week at the Tournament of Stars and playing with the USA team was one of the best experiences I'll ever experience. But I just can't get away from school that long or I would suffer too much in the classroom. I regret not being able to do it, but it's just something I have to deal with."
• Scouts that did grind it out and stay for the entire showcase got a little treat in the last game with lefthander Nathan Kirby from James River High in Midlothian, Va. Kirby has an athletic, 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame and showed a 89-91 mph fastball that topped out at 92. His fastball had good downward angle and a lot of late life. Kirby showed good rhythm in his delivery, but did fall off to the third base side a little bit. The Virginia commit mixed in a nice 78-82 mph slider.
• Righthander Nolan Gannon from Santa Fe Christian High in Solana Beach, Calif. has a nice projectable frame at 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds. He utilizes a full windup, but has a short arm stroke and threw his fastball in the 90-92 mph range with arm-side run. His curveball was inconsistent—he got around a few of them—but it showed flashes of being a quality pitch in the 73-77 mph range.
• Righthander David Gonzalez from Gainesville (Ga.) High has a stocky, 6-foot-1, 200-pound build. There's a little funk to his delivery, but his stuff was legit. Everything was down in the zone, including his 90-93 mph fastball, his 76-77 mph 12-6 curveball and his slider and changeup, which were both in the 82-84 range and blended together in shape because his changeup has splitter action.
• One rumor swirling around the stands today is that outfielder Fernelys Sanchez and catcher Nelson Rodriguez will be moving south this spring. The duo played for Washington High in New York this spring, but will reportedly spend 2012 at Bucky Dent's Baseball School in Delray Beach, Fla.
Lefthander Hunter Virant has been one of the best arms so far through the first three days of PG National. Virant has a lean, projectable 6-foot-3, 172-pound frame and threw four pitches for strikes.
Virant's fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range, but he touched 93 and threw the pitch for strikes to both sides of the plate.
"I felt great," Virant said after his outing. "My arm was a little tight in the beginning, but I loosened up quick. The heat helps out a lot. It's way different than what I'm used to. It's nice and humid—different than the nice, cool climate of California.
His arm can get a little sweepy in the back, but he oozes projection and commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate. The UCLA commit mixed in a 77-79 mph slider, a 78-79 mph changeup and a 71-73 mph curveball.
"Usually I stick with the fastball, that's my main pitch," Virant said. "After that, I go to my slider. Then I use the changeup to get hitters off balance and get them thinking. And if I need to, I can go to the curveball and use that big hook." [...] Continue Reading »
The Yankees signed their top 2011 draft pick on Saturday, landing supplemental first-rounder Dante Bichette Jr. with a $750,000 bonus. MLB's recommendation for Bichette's No. 51 overall draft slot is $694,800, making his the biggest above-slot deal to date.
Bichette's father Dante made four All-Star Game appearances during a 14-year big league career. Dante Jr. played third base at Orangewood Christian HS (Orlando) but profiles more like his dad as a power-hitting left fielder. He generates plenty of bat speed and also has a strong arm.
Here are the players that stood out most during the 16 hours at City of Palms Park for PG National Day Two. . .
• Today's biggest arm—both literally and in terms of velocity—was righthander Taylore Cherry from Butler High in Vandalia, Ohio. Cherry, who stands 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds is a behemoth on the mound. But, despite his hulking size, he shows excellent body control and an effortless delivery. Cherry, who throws from a low three-quarter arm slot, sat 91-92 mph with his fastball and topped out at 94 twice over his two innings of work. Cherry threw a heavy fastball with some arm-side life and commanded both sides of the plate, challenging hitters inside. He mixed in a 79-81 mph breaking ball that he calls a curveball, but the pitch has slurvy movement due to his lower arm slot. He mixed in a couple 84-85 mph changeups and dominated in his outing, getting five strikeouts and a groundout, with a little dribbler of an infield single in between.
• Two outfielders from Suffolk, Va. made a strong impression today. Josh Henderson, who is home schooled, has a nice frame that looks a little bigger than his listed 6 feet and 184 pounds. His swing can get a little long, but he has good bat speed from the left side of the plate and cranked three home runs during his batting practice session. Kyle Moore from Nansemond River High is a lean 6 feet and 180 pounds and hits from the right side of the plate. He hit the first home run of the event, pulling his hands in on an 86 mph fastball and lifting it over the left field wall. Moore has shown great hustle on the basepaths, as well.
• Trey Williams came into this event as one of the big names to watch. The third baseman from Valencia High in Placentia, Calif. had an inconsistent batting practice, looking like he was trying to do too much. The Pepperdine recruit made up for it though in his first real at-bat by scorching an opposite-field home run to right-center off a 90 mph fastball from Florida righthander Kenneth Burkhead.
• Some good arms have come out of South Carolina high schools in recent years and righthander Jamie Callahan from Dillon (S.C.) High looks to be next in line. Callahan has a 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame with projection remaining. He throws from a high three-quarter arm slot and gets good downward angle on his 88-90 mph fastball that topped out at 92. Callahan can be a little slow to the plate, but varies his looks and showed a three pitch mix with his 79-82 mph changeup and 71-74 mph 12-6 curveball that showed good depth.
• Several hitters put on impressive displays during batting practice today. Shortstop C.J. Hinojosa from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas hammered everything during his BP session. The Texas commit showed good bat speed, the ability to square balls up and some pull power. . . Shortstop Addison Russell from Pace (Fla.) High made a lot of hard contact and launched a big home run to left field. Russell is committed to Auburn. . . Shortstop Jesmuel Valentin Diaz from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound switch-hitter that showed good bat speed and hit a home run from both sides of the plate. The Louisiana State commit also showed quick hands and good actions in the field. . . Outfielder Rhett Wiseman from Buckingham Browne & Nichols High in Cambridge Mass. showed big strength by crushing a pair of home runs to the gap in right-center field. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound lefthanded hitter swings very hard and looks like he could break a bat on his back during his follow through. A Vanderbilt commit, he looked a little clumsy in the outfield during workouts and showed below-average arm strength, but has an enticing power-speed combination. . . Outfielder Vahn Bozoian from Ayala High in Chino Hills, Calif. missed most of his junior year with a broken left wrist, but he's healthy now and was back to showing off his big tools. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound righthanded hitter showed above-average bat speed, thanks to his strong core built up from playing water polo earlier in his high school career. The Southern California commit hit two batting-practice home runs and showed a strong arm in the outfield. . . Catcher R.J. Ybarra from Riverside (Calif.) Poly High made lots of hard contact. He loses his front side a little bit in games, but showed some power with a towering home run in BP. The Arizona State recruit has a thick frame at 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds.
The Rangers announced the signing of their top two 2011 draft picks, Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS lefthander Kevin Matthews and Georgia outfielder Zach Cone, on Friday. Matthews received a $936,000 bonus, while Cone got $873,000.
Texas is the first team to lock up its first three draft choices this year. In addition to Matthews (the final pick in the first round at No. 33) and Cone (a supplemental first-rounder at No. 37), the Rangers also signed second-rounder Will Lamb last week for $430,200. All three received slot bonuses.
Matthews has athleticism and a fastball that belies his 5-foot-10, 160-pound frame. His heater peaks at 95 mph, though he usually works in the upper 80s, and he backs it up with a tight curveball. He had commited to Virginia.
Cone was one of the best all-around athletes in the entire draft, though he hasn't always had the performance to match, struggling in the Cape Cod League last summer and batting .275/.331/.385 this spring. He has well above-average speed, plus range in center field and promising power potential. He'll have to improve his pitch recognition and ability to make consistent hard contact.
Ryan Burr has always moved around.
As a kid, Burr was born in Colorado, where he lived for five years. He then spent five years in Utah before moving to Belgium for three years. During those years—ages 11-13 for Burr—he played on the Belgian Little League team that lost to the Saudi Arabian team that wound up in Williamsport, Pa. He also learned some French in Belgium and, though he wouldn't call himself fluent, he said knows the language well enough to get by.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound righthander is back in Colorado at Highlands Ranch High. But he'll be doing some moving this summer, too.
Burr helped the USA Baseball 16U team win a gold medal last year against Mexico in the COPABE Pan Am 'AA' Youth Championships by going 1-0, 1.13 with 14 strikeouts and four walks over eight innings in the tournament. But he's not returning to USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars this summer for a shot at making the 18U team. Instead, he'll be in Amelia, Ohio with the Midland Redskins.
"It was a tough decision because anything with USA Baseball is definitely an honor," Burr said. "But I just felt like it would be better for me to play in front of my adviser (Midland coach Kris Glazier) and guys who are going to be looking at me in the draft. And I'll get to go to the Connie Mack World Series with my team. It was a big commitment, but I'm happy with the choice I made."
Burr will be moving again soon, this time up draft boards.
He came out to the mound at City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, slowly brought his hands up over his head and then crow-hopped down the mound to fire a missile for his first warm-up pitch.
"It's something I picked up from another kid in Colorado, Kevin Gausman," Burr said. "It just kind of looked cool, so I started doing it. I mean, I don't want to take his swagger or anything, but it just kind of stuck. Maybe it adds to the intimidation factor a little bit."
During his two innings of work, Burr sat in the 91-93 mph range and topped out at 94. He has a little bit of a wrist wrap, but it didn't prevent him from throwing strikes with his fastball to both sides of the plate. Burr looked fearless on the mound and also mixed in a nice, tight 75-77 mph curveball with sharp 12-6 break.
"I felt pretty good. It was my first good outing in the past couple weeks, so I was happy about it," Burr said. "I just tried to dominate with the fastball early and then come back with the curveball and break it off and get them to bite at it. I've actually played against a lot of these kids before, so I kind of know their tendencies a little bit."
He showed flashes of an 82 mph changeup, but the pitch is something Burr knows he needs to improve.
"Scouts tell coaches of mine all the time that I have a lot of potential, but guys that are everyday pitchers in the big leagues have three pitches they throw for strikes and right now I'm kind of shaky with the changeup, so that's what I need to work on the most," Burr said. "Plus, I'm always working to get in better shape."
• One pitcher actually stood out more than Ryan Burr on the first day of PG National, and that was Clate Schmidt from Allatoona High in Acworth, Ga. Schmidt, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound righthander committed to Clemson, sat in the 92-94 mph range over his two innings and topped out at 95. He throws from a low three-quarters arm slot and has a whippy arm with incredible hand speed. Schmidt also mixed in a hammer breaking ball between 79-82 mph. He is also a switch-hitting shortstop, but his future is likely on the mound.
• Righthander Jake Cosart from Clear Creek High in League City, Texas is the younger brother of Phillies prospect Jarred Cosart and showed similar arm strength. . . sort of. Jake has a smaller frame than Jarred, at just 6-foot-1 and 145 pounds. But he has long arms and hit 98 mph on PG's gun on a throw from the outfield during morning workouts. Throws from the outfield are typically a few miles an hour faster than what a player would record as a pitcher, because outfielders have the benefit of getting a running start on their throws. But, scouts were still excited to see Cosart on the bump. When he did take the mound, though, he was mostly in the 85-87 mph range. The heat—combined with the fact that he'd already thrown a lot as a position player before pitching—may have taken a toll on his skinny frame, but there's more in that arm than what he showed today.
• A few players put on impressive shows in batting practice: Outfielder Jesse Winker from Olympia High in Orlando hit everything hard, including three towering home runs to right field. Eric Neitzel from Gulliver Prep in Miami started off his BP with a couple home runs and infielder Austin Dean from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas barreled everything up, resulting in lots of line drives and a pair of home runs himself. Outfielder Albert Almora from Mater Academy from Hialeah Gardens, Fla. showed off his sweet swing, as usual, hitting a lot of line drives.
The Rays signed two of their seven supplemental first-rounders on Thursday, landing Washington high school lefthander Blake Snell (No. 52 overall) for $684,000 and Western Kentucky outfielder Kes Carter (No. 56) for $625,000.
Snell's bonus matched MLB's recommendation for his slot, while Carter's was slightly below MLB's guideline of $643,500 for the 56th pick.
Baseball sources indicate that Tampa Bay also is on the verge of signing two more sandwich picks, Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC righthander Jeff Ames (No. 42) and Oakland Technical HS outfielder James Harris (No. 60).
A product of Shorewood HS (Shoreline, Wash.), Snell has a fastball that has topped out at 94 mph and backs it up with a curveball and changeup that both qualify as works in progress. He had committed to Washington.
Some area scouts compared Carter's ceiling to that of Jim Edmonds. He's an athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pound center fielder with a smooth lefthanded swing, at least average power potential and slightly above-average speed.
The Rays signed second-round pick Granden Goetzman on Tuesday, giving him a bonus of $490,000. That makes Goetzman the first player in the 2011 draft known to have received a bonus greater than MLB's recommendation for his slot (in his case, $485,100 for pick No. 75).
A source told Baseball America that he believes teams can exceed the slot guidelines by as much as 5 percent without going through the commissioner's office/ That may be because the slots haven't changed in the last three drafts and were reduced by 10 percent from the 2008 guidelines.
An outfielder from Palmetto (Fla.) HS, Goetzman is most notable for his bat speed and power potential. He also has enough athleticism to possibly remain in center field. He had committed to Florida Gulf Coast.
A day after signing first-rounder Cory Spangenberg, the Padres agreed to terms with another premium pick on Saturday. They reached a deal with sandwich-rounder Jace Peterson for a $624,600 bonus, matching MLB's recommendation for his No. 58 overall draft slot.
A shortstop from McNeese State, where he was also a cornerback on the football team, Peterson stands out most on the diamond with his well above-average speed. He has a line-drive lefthanded swing and a strong arm at shortstop.
St. John's shortstop Joe Panik became the second first-rounder from the 2011 draft to sign, agreeing to a $1.116 million bonus with the Giants on Saturday. The first was Padres second baseman Cory Spangenberg, who turned pro the day before.
Panik's bonus matches MLB's recommendation for the slot in which he was drafted, No. 29 overall.
Panik's bat is his best tool, and he showed it off by hitting .297 in the Cape Cod League last summer and .398 for the Red Storm this spring. He offers gap power and slightly above-average speed, and he has a chance to stay at shortstop in pro ball. While his selection in the first round was somewhat of a surprise—Baseball America rated Panik as the 67th-best prospect in the draft—he has a similar profile to North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael, whom the Twins drafted at No. 30.
Cory Spangenberg became the first 2011 first-rounder to sign when he became a Padre on Friday. The 10th overall pick, he received a $1.863 million bonus—matching MLB's bonus recommendation for the No. 10 slot a year ago.
Spangenberg transferred from Virginia Military Institute to Indian River (Fla.) JC to become draft-eligible as a sophomore, a move that paid off. He quickly became regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the 2011 draft crop, and he also has well above-average speed. His defensive home is in question, and San Diego is expected to initially play him at second base.
Joe Musgrove became the first early pick of the 2011 draft to turn pro, signing with the Blue Jays on Thursday for $500,000. Musgrove was a sandwich-round selection, 46th overall.
MLB's bonus recommendations are believed to be the same as they were in 2010, and last year's guideline at No. 46 was $751,500. Baseball America rated Musgrove as the 90th-best prospect in the draft, and his bonus is more in line with that ranking.
A righthander from Grossmont HS (El Cajon, Calif.), Musgrove usually works with a 90-92 mph sinker and his fastball has reached 98 mph. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder also has flashed a hammer curveball. He had committed to San Diego State.
The staff at USA Baseball has added another premiere event to its summer amateur schedule, announcing the Prospect Classic on Thursday. The event will feature the Collegiate and 18U National teams in a two-game series. This is the first time the federation has had an event like this and it will provide an opportunity for baseball fans to see some of the best amateur talent in the country go head to head.
“Each year our Collegiate and 18U National Team programs field some of the brightest young stars in baseball,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “The Prospect Classic will provide an unprecedented opportunity to not only watch both teams compete in a series for the first time, but to also see the future top prospects in our sport."
Team USA's national programs are no stranger to talent. The 2010 Collegiate and 18U teams combined for 13 selections on the first day of this week's draft, including eight of the first 20 picks.
The games will be held on July 1-2. Both games will be at 7:05 EST. The first game will be hosted by the Durham Bulls Athetlic Park while the second will be played at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Both will also be aired on a one-day delay on MLB Network.
• The most intriguing high school player that slipped to the 31st round, the first round of the third day, was Southeast Guilford High shortstop Josh Tobais, who went to the Nationals. He has a strong, stocky body and probably profiles better at second base or center field, but will likely wind up honoring his commitment to Florida.
• The Blue Jays drafted Louisiana State shortstop Austin Nola nine rounds after they drafted his younger brother, righthander Aaron Nola from Catholic High in Baton Rouge, La. Both will likely be tough signs and could wind up together next season for the Tigers.
• It's not often a team can get a player that once threw 99 mph in the 31st round, but that's exactly what the Cardinals did with Georgia Tech righthander Kevin Jacob. Jacob has fallen out of favor, as he has an unusual, extremely over-the-top delivery and his fastball has fallen into the 91-93 mph range. Still, Jacob should be a great value pick as a senior for the Cardinals and, who knows, maybe his stuff can come back to where it was two summers ago in the Alaska League.
• The Tigers got a hometown guy in 32nd-round outfielder Brandon Eckerle from Michigan State. Eckerle has a small, 6-foot, 175-pound frame and has little power, but he gets good jumps in center field and won the Big Ten batting title this year with a .379 average.
• The Rockies also went for a hometown guy in the 32nd round by taking Northern Colorado outfielder Jarod Berggren. Berggren put his name on the map last summer in the Alaska League, where he ranked as the No. 2 prospect. The ranking may have been aggressive, but Berggren does have intriguing tools and a 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. When he's on, Berggren has above-average power, mostly to his pull side, and shows above-average speed underway.
• Tarleton State (Texas) righthander Ryan Turner heard his name called for the fourth time during this year's draft—the third time it's been called by the Rays.
• Oregon State righthander James Nygren is a nice senior sign for the Marlins in the 33rd round. Nygren can run his fastball up to 94 mph, but he's most effective when he's 88-91 and goes with movement over pure velocity. He attacks the bottom half of the strike zone and produces a lot of ground balls.
• Opposing coaches and scouts were quick to mention the name Ryan Tella when discussions turned to Northern California junior colleges. The outfielder from Ohlone (Calif.) JC has the ideal leadoff profile, as a high-energy player that covers a lot of ground in center field, and has a nice, compact swing from the left side of the plate. The Twins will be tough pressed to sign him away from Auburn as a 34th rounder.
• Connecticut catcher Doug Elliot showed that he could handle a first-round arm in Matt Barnes and got a chance to play professionally as the Brewers' 35th-round selection.
• The Rays took a late run (35th round) at righthander John Magliozzi from Dexter High in Brookline, Mass. Magliozzi has a 5-foot-9 righthander but has a low 90s fastball and a hammer curveball. He'll probably join Tobias at Florida, where he could be the rare draft-eligible freshman next season.
• The A's took the third player drafted from St. Francis High in Mountain View, Calif. this season when they popped shortstop Alex Blandino in the 38th round. Blandino is going to be a nearly-impossible sign away from Stanford, where he should be able to contribute immediately—most likely at second base—thanks to his polished bat.
• Another high school player that fell because of signability is righthander Pat Connaughton from St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass. Connaughton starred as a basketball player during his career at St. John's Prep, averaging nearly 22 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists per game, but he might have a brighter future in baseball. At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, it isn't surprising Connaughton had success on the hardwood, but those same dimensions make him projectable on the mound, as he's physical and athletic. He has committed to Notre Dame, where he would play both sports, similar to Yankees' 2007 first-round pick Andrew Brackman, who played basketball for two years at North Carolina State.
• The most interesting pick in the 39th round was the Cubs selection of Franklin High righthander Ricky Jacquez from El Paso, Texas. Nobody questions Jacquez's stuff—he sits 92-94 mph with his fastball and touches 97, also mixing in a hammer curveball. It's his size that has teams shying away. Jacquez is listed at a generous 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds. He is committed to Texas.
• Righthander Michael Cederoth dropped to the Diamondbacks in the 41st round. He's tall, skinny and projectable at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, but saw his velocity spike this spring. After sitting 88-91 in February, he showed 94-96 at times while sitting mostly 90-94. His delivery is unrefined and he remains raw. He is committed to San Diego State.
• California prep shortstop Chris Mariscal went to the Orioles with the next pick. He's a throwback player with a 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame. He didn't play a lot on the showcase circuit last summer because of football, but showed fluid actions at short this year. He has a plus arm and speed and projects to hit for average. He could go in the early rounds after three years at Fresno State.
• A 27th-round pick in 2010, righthander Austin Urban bypassed his commitment to Penn State to head to Des Moines (Iowa) Area CC to be eligible again this year. He dropped to the 41st round this time around despite showing a 90-92 fastball that touches 94. He also throws a mid-80s slider and has the makings of a changeup.
• Dante Flores, a prep middle infielder from California, burst onto the scene as a 14-year-old on the USA Baseball 14U National Team in 2007. He has one of the best pure swings in Southern California this season as it is quick, efficient and compact from the left side. He could be a plus hitter with added strength. His talent alone warranted a top five round selection, but going in the 41st means he will likely honor his commitment to Southern Cal.
• Third baseman Tyler Bream of Liberty impressed at the plate in 2010, but had a very disappointing 2011 season. The son of former major leaguer Sid Bream, Tyler may have been affected by the new bats, thus his fall to the 42nd round.
• Lefthander Jake Eliopoulos generated buzz as a high schooler out of Canada in 2009, but has nearly fallen out of favor. He turned down the Blue Jays as a second-round pick that year and headed to Chipola (Fla.) JC. He posted a 8.44 ERA in 2010 and fell to the Dodgers, who he turned down, in the 15th round. He gave St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC a try for 2011 but left the school without appearing in a game. Now a 43rd-round pick, he is likely to sign as he has no leverage left.
• Nationals 44th-round pick Matt Snyder, a third baseman at Ole Miss, is the younger brother of Orioles first baseman Brandon Snyder.
• An Under Armour All-America Game participant, outfielder Shon Carson was taken in the 44th round by the Reds. He has raw tools and is a plus runner with a football scholarship to South Carolina.
• Adam Ravenelle, a prep prospect from Massachusetts is headed to Vanderbilt after being a 44th-round pick by the Yankees. A projectable righty with a low-90s fastball, he will join a stellar pitching staff in Nashville, but may be without his good friend if Tyler Beede signs with the Blue Jays.
• Lefthander Mark Reyes of Jessieville (Ark.) HS landed with the Orioles in the 46th round. An Arkansas signee, he has a tremendous feel for pitching to go with athleticism. His fastball has touched 90-91.
• Hunter Cole, a Georgia recruit, was a High School Top 100 prospect in the fall, but was dead set on attending college. He has the defensive tools for third base with a strong arm and good hands.
• Austin Robichaux was popped by the Reds in the 50th round. A righthander from Notre Dame High in Baton Rouge, Robichaux has a projectable frame at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds. His fastball sits in the upper 80s, but can touch the low 90s. He is committed to Louisiana-Lafayette where is father, Tony, is the head coach.
Contributing: Nathan Rode
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog