2006 Jayhawk League Top 10 Prospects

1. Sam Elam, lhp, Hays (Notre Dame)

Elam
struck out 19 batters in 12 innings of relief as a freshman at Notre
Dame and should find a starting role as a sophomore following the
departures of Jeff Samardzija and Tom Thornton. He was erratic in
relief, but throwing regularly this summer agreed with him, as he won
the Jayhawk League pitching triple crown with a 5-0, 0.95 record and
42-7 strikeout-walk ratio in 28 innings. Elam pitched with the poise of
a more advanced pitcher, and also the stuff with a 90-92 mph fastball
that reached 95 with excellent command and clean mechanics. His
curveball and changeup are workable pitches that can get better, and he
already knows how to mix and vary his repertoire to attack hitters.

2. Matt Brown, of, El Dorado (Wichita State)

Brown
followed a stellar sophomore season for the Shockers (.335/.392/.504)
with one of the best offensive performances in the Jayhawk League. He
led the league with nine home runs and 36 RBIs, ranked third with a
.385 average and was seventh with 11 steals in as many tries. Brown
packs all five tools into his 6-foot-1 frame, with above-average hit,
run, throw and field tools and power that just slides above the average
line, though at most only one of his home runs was a cheap one,
according to El Dorado manager J.R. DiMecurio. Brown does fall into the
trap of overswinging and gets pull conscious when he’s going well
power-wise, and he also must take care that his hyper-intense persona
doesn’t rub teammates the wrong way.

3. Brian Rike, of, Liberal (Louisiana Tech)

Rike
rates just behind Brown as the league’s top five-tool talent and
reminded one manager of Grady Sizemore for his across-the-board skill
set. Rike batted .362 with a .455 on-base percentage while adding nine
doubles and three homers for Liberal. He made quick adjustments and
always seemed to square the ball on his bat. He’s a solid defensive
player with above-average speed and arm strength. His .533 slugging
percentage ranked second among Louisiana Tech hitters as a sophomore.
Joplin outfielder Jacob Julius (transferring to Arkansas) also
displayed a similar tool set to Rife’s but wasn’t as far along.

4. Cliff Springston, lhp, Hays (Baylor)

Springston
reminds most coaches of a less polished and less advanced version of
Elam. He threw 25 innings as a freshman and posted a 6.39 ERA. He went
3-1, 1.35 to post the second-best ERA in the Jayhawk League, with 30
hits allowed, 31 strikeouts and 18 walks in 40 innings. At 6-foot-2 and
180 pounds, Springston has a pro body and consistently fires his 89-90
mph fastball for strikes; he can reach back to hit 93. His breaking
ball and changeup are good enough to make hitters respect them, but
need refinement.

5. Kyle Day, c, Hays (Michigan state)

Day’s
favorite player is Javy Lopez, and his scouting report reads similarly.
Day is a hit-first catcher who batted .371 and ranked among the
Jayhawk’s top three players in RBIs (27), runs (31), hits (46), doubles
(12) and homers (seven). The lefthanded hitter didn’t go the other way
much, but he was able to get away with it because of his hand-eye
coordination and a down year for pitching in the league. He’s an
average defender with good arm strength who needs to work on his
receiving and release point.

6. Dusty Renfrow, rhp, Nevada (Southeast Missouri State)

A
former catcher, Renfrow moved to the mound full-time during 2006 at
Jefferson (Mo.) Junior College and showed flashes over the summer. He
held Team USA to three runs (two earned) on five hits over seven
innings in a 3-0 loss. Renfrow lives low in the strike zone with good
movement on and command of a fastball that sits at 88-90 mph, but it
reached the low to mid-90s more in his high school days. That past,
plus his prjectable 6-foot-3 frame, leaves scouts thinking there’s more
velocity in there for a pitcher who also throws a 78 mph slider. The
breaking pitch could stand more bite, but he rarely hangs it. He went
2-1, 3.27 with 16 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 innings.

7. Dylan Moseley, rhp, Liberal (Louisiana Tech)

Like
his older brother Dustin, a 2000 supplemental first-round pick who
pitched for the Angels this year, Moseley is tall and projectable (at
6-foot-5, 200 pounds, he’s a bit bigger than Dustin), succeeds with a
heavy sinker and uses the Paul Byrd, old-school delivery where he gets
his momentum going back and then toward the plate. Moseley went 4-2,
3.25 with 27 strikeouts and nine walks, but might find more success
with a more traditional windup, which could help him stay more aligned
over the rubber. He throws an 86-88 mph two-seamer that falls and runs
through the strike zone and used it to no-hit league champ Hays during
the season. He throws a loopy curveball for a strike but might be
better served with a slider. His changeup is effective against
lefthanders. His competitive nature helps his stuff play up a grade.

8. Noah Krol, rhp, El Dorado (Wichita State)

Krohl
played shortstop and assumed the closer’s role following Damon
Sublett’s injury at Wichita State. The latter role was where he stood
out for El Dorado. He ranked second in the league with seven saves
while recording 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. He allowed eight hits,
five walks and three runs on the summer while featuring a big-breaking
power slider that touched 80 mph and made a lot of good hitters flail
meekly. Krol’s fastball gets up to 92 mph, but he’s more in the 87-88
range and mostly uses it to set up his slider. He reminded one coach of
Angels setup man Scot Shields with a looser arm.

9. Drew Bowman, lhp, Liberal (Nebraska)

Bowman
threw 13 innings at Arizona State as a redshirt freshman in 2006 and
will transfer to Nebraska for the 2007 season. The 6-foot-4 lefthander
throws an upper-80s fastball on a good downhill plane and has peaked at
92 mph this summer. He went 3-1, 3.31 with a 27-18 strikeout-walk ratio
in 35 innings. Bowman has a feel for throwing his fastball, but needs
to further develop his offspeed offerings. His slider comes with the
same arm action as his fastball and has shown the chance to be an
average pitch, but he needs to improve his changeup.

10. Derek Schermerhorn, 3b, El Dorado (Wichita State)

Schermerhorn
battled nagging injuries early in his junior season and was batting
near .200 before a late-season surge pulled him to .329 for the year.
He was fully healthy over the summer, batting .300 with 13 steals.
Schermerhorn’s hand-eye coordination makes him a good contact hitter,
and he adapts to any situation offensively. He’s quick through the
hitting zone. His speed rates just a tick above average, but he’s a
good basestealer. Defensively, Schermerhorn’s versatility is
impressive. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, he’s best equipped for a corner
infield position, but he never looks out of place in the middle of the
diamond.

College | #2007

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