• 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
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