1. Neil Ramirez, rhp, Youse’s Orioles (Kempsville High, Virginia Beach, Va.)
rising high school senior, Ramirez has garnered plenty of interest from
major league scouts already and is committed to Georgia Tech for the
2007-2008 school year. Ramirez has a free, easy delivery that generates
an explosive 90-93 mph fastball that touches 94-95 with late movement.
His 73-76 mph curveball is slightly below average right now and needs
to be tightened, but he posted a 3.38 ERA in eight innings as a
2. Mitch Harris, rhp, Youse’s Orioles (Navy)
was the Patriot League pitcher of the year in the spring, going 10-3,
1.74 with 113 strikeouts and 20 walks in 83 innings, while also playing
third base for the Midshipmen. He gets excellent sink on his 90-92 mph
fastball thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame and straight over-the-top
delivery. He does not have a lot of pitching experience, but his
repertoire is developing–he has a decent curveball and some feel for a
changeup and cutter. His military commitment obviously clouds his pro
baseball future as well.
3. Evan Frederickson, lhp, Bethesda (Virginia Tech)
6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Frederickson gets good downward action from his
high three-quarters arm slot, though there is a bit of effort in his
delivery, which is a little long in the back. He relies for now mostly
on his lively low-90s fastball, which touches 93-94, but he needs to
tighten his 73-75 mph curveball. Frederickson racked up 53 strikeouts
in 32 innings this summer but still posted a rather pedestrian 4.22 ERA.
4. Hunter Harris, rhp, Youse’s Orioles (Texas)
to be confused with the Longhorns’ recently graduated outfielder of the
same name, Harris redshirted this spring but should factor into Texas’
pitching mix in 2007. He showed decent command of three pitches while
going 3-1, 1.59 this summer: a 90-92 mph fastball with good movement,
and a curveball and slider that could both end up as average offerings
as well. His 6-1, 200-pound frame has a sturdy lower half but not a ton
5. Vinny DiFazio, c, Youse’s Orioles (Alabama)
46th-round pick by the Orioles out of Indian River (Fla.) Junior
College in June, DeFazio transferred to Alabama for the 2007 season.
DiFazio, who was the No. 1 prospect in the Atlantic Collegiate League
last summer, hit .400/.494/.629 this summer before hurting his meniscus
in his knee in his final game. He is an above-average receiver who does
a very nice job running the game from behind the plate, and he has a
prototype catcher’s body (6-foot-1, 195). Offensively he hits for some
average but has not shown much power.
6. Eddie Bach, lhp, Youse’s Orioles (Maryland-Baltimore County)
struggled with his command this summer, posting a 17-16 strikeout-walk
ratio in 25 innings, but he flashed impressive velocity despite his
slender 6-foot-1, 170-pound build. Thanks to his quick arm, Bach can
run his fastball up to 93-94 mph, and if he can fill out his lower half
he could even throw harder. He needs to improve his below-average
curveball and nascent changeup so hitters can’t sit on his fastball.
He’ll start in college but profiles as a lefty reliever in pro ball.
7. Neal Davis, lhp, Youse’s Orioles (Virginia)
enters his freshman year at Virginia with plenty of expectations after
a standout prep career at Catonsville High in Baltimore and a 1-1, 3.91
performance in 23 innings in the Ripken League. A lower back strain
affected his velocity and stamina this summer, but he still competed
despite a below-average fastball and curveball. When he’s healthy, the
6-foot-5, 195-pound Davis has an average fastball and close to average
curve, with plenty projection. He hides his pitches well with his long
8. Preston Pehrson, c, Bethesda (Towson)
got just 27 at-bats for Texas this spring but figures to see plenty of
playing time after transferring to Towson, where he’ll be a senior in
2007. A standout linebacker in high school, Pehrson has a physical
6-foot-2, 215-pound frame with plus raw power that he is beginning to
tap into–he slugged .496 for Bethesda. His catch-and-throw skills
remain somewhat raw, but if catching doesn’™t work out he could latch on
as a first baseman because of his potential lefthanded power bat.
9. Ivor Hodgson, of, Rockville (Mount St. Mary’s)
led Rockville with a .313 average, though he managed just four
extra-base hits–all doubles–in 96 at-bats. With a slender 6-foot-2,
180-pound build, Hodgson’s above-average speed would be more of a
weapon if he could develop the strength to shoot the ball into the
gaps. He is a good defensive center fielder with range and good carry
on his throws.
10. Jim Britton, rhp, College Park (St. Bonaventure)
putting up a 6.10 ERA as a redshirt freshman for St. Bonaventure this
spring, Britton bounced back with a 4-3, 2.59 performance in the
summer. He has a herky-jerky delivery with a lot of leg motion, but he
is not afraid to work inside, and his ball has movement. His
fringe-average fastball touches 90 mph, and his curveball could be an
average offering if he can tighten it a bit.