With his beautiful lefthanded stroke and five-tool potential, Dahl earned comparisons to Colby Rasmus this summer. He shows excellent balance with a wide stance and his bat speed is evident in his fluid, compact swing. He consistently squares the ball up and projects to hit for both average and power. Dahl has a keen eye at the plate, showing good patience in his at-bats and quiet takes on pitches narrowly out of the strike zone. He's an above-average runner who is smart on the bases, though he's not a burner and it's possible he may wind up fitting better in a corner outfield spot, but he'll at least get the chance to stick in center field. Right field would be an option, as he has a strong arm. Dahl is committed to Auburn.
The second-youngest player in Baseball America's High School Top 100, Correa won't turn 18 until September after the signing deadline. That makes his physical build and present tools even more impressive. Correa has a pro body at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds with a high waist and room to fill out. Despite his large frame, he's light on his feet and shows fluid actions at shortstop with soft hands and above-average arm strength. Correa is a little raw at the plate and is currently a free swinger, but has some strength and hits the ball hard when he makes contact. He's an above-average runner now but may slow down as he fills out. Being a first-round pick this June could keep him away from his Miami commitment.
Smoral has an imposing presence on the mound, standing 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds. His height along with his low three-quarter arm slot from the left side makes him tough to pick up. His stuff doesn't make it any easier for hitters. Smoral throws a fastball in the 89-92 mph range and tops out at 94. Smoral also throws a slider in the 81-84 mph range and a changeup with similar velocity. His low arm slot causes him to sometimes get around his slider, but when he stays on top of it, it's a tight pitch with late break. Like many big pitchers, Smoral is still growing into his frame and learning how to control his delivery. He currently lands a little open and a little stiff, sometimes stumbling off the mound in his follow through. This causes his control to come and go, but when he's on, his stuff is dominating. Smoral has the athleticism to smooth things out. His father, Steve, was a basketball player at North Carolina State, but Matt is committed to North Carolina.
Kolby Copeland has a muscular, athletic build at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds. Because he's a fringy runner, Copeland profiles best in right field. His bat should play there, as he has good whip to his swing and some power potential. Copeland uses a big leg kick, but still frequently squares the ball up because his swing is smooth and it stays through the zone a long time. Copeland is uncommitted, but said he is looking for a school that will allow him to play both football and baseball.
Major League Baseball has informed teams that Cuban lefthander Onelkis Garcia will be subject to the 2012 draft.
Two days before the 2011 draft, MLB sent teams scrambling when it distributed a letter to clubs saying that Garcia, who was expected to become a free agent, would be eligible for the draft. Moments before the draft, MLB issued another announcement, this time saying that Garcia would not be eligible for the 2011 draft. Now, it appears his situation has finally been resolved.
Garcia, 22, projects to go somewhere around the third round, with most scouts reporting that he profiles as a reliever due to his control issues and lack of a reliable third pitch. Most recently Garcia has been pitching for the Leones del Ponce in the Puerto Rican League, where between the regular season and the playoffs he has an ERA of 0.57 in 15 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and four walks.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Garcia has shown solid stuff for Ponce, with an 89-93 mph fastball that has touched 94, though it doesn't have great life and he struggles to command it because he has trouble repeating his delivery. Garcia's curveball flashes above-average occasionally when he's able to stay on top of it, but it's an inconsistent pitch. He throws a changeup as well but hasn't used it much in winter ball.
While in Cuba, Garcia pitched for Guantanamo in Serie Nacional in 2009-2010, when in 15 starts he had a 3.40 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 51 walks in 84 2/3 innings. He ranked 16th in the league in both strikeouts and ERA and tied for seventh in walks.
The Cardinals have hired Dan Kantrovitz as amateur scouting director to replace Jeff Luhnow, who was named Astros general manager in December.
Kantrovitz, 33, returns to the Cardinals organization after spending the past three years with the Athletics, most recently as director of international scouting. Kantrovitz was drafted by the Cardinals in the 25th round of the 2001 draft out of Brown, where he led the '01 Bruins in the triple crown categories, batting .417-5-41. But his professional career was quickly limited to three at-bats (including one hit) in the Rookie-level Appalachian League due to a shoulder injury, and he went to work for an investment banking company before getting back into baseball.
First, he worked for a company that offered baseball software tools to major league teams. One of the teams the company worked with was the Cardinals, and general manager John Mozeliak hired him for the Cardinals' front office. Before going to Oakland, Kantrovitz was director of college scouting for the Cardinals, working under Luhnow. [...] Continue Reading »
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