1. Chris Friedrich, lhp, Vermont (Eastern Kentucky)
say Friedrich combines a knack for pitcing with a low-90s fastball that
has good life. He also has good command of two secondary pitches, a
curveball and a changeup. Friedrich went 2-0, 1.41 this summer with a
sparkling 36-5 strikeout-walk ratio in 32 innings, then won both of his
playoff starts to help lead Vermont to the league championship. His
feel for pitching allowed him to limit hitters to a .152 average as he
followed up his Ohio Valley Conference freshman-of-the-year
performance. He was 10-2, 1.98 this spring.
2. Andres Perez, 3b/of, Torrington (Stony Brook)
much-traveled Perez has played at Lamar, Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC and now
Stony Brook in his college career, and still has excellent tools to go
with a raw approach. Perez was the only player league coaches could say
had five tools, and he hit .355/.423/.609 and finished second in the
batting race. A rising senior, Perez has a strong, live body and bat
speed, but he is overly aggressive at the plate. Defensively, he wasn’t
polished enough in his tries at third base and was better suited right
now to a corner outfield spot, where his plus arm played well.
3. Curt Smith, 3b, Vermont (Maine)
native of Curacao, Smith
has fleet feet and a sharp bat in his arsenal. He stole 20 bags in
22 attempts, and batted .323/.419/.384 this season. Far from a
slap-and-dash hitter, though, Smith has strength and some power, which
will help as he mans third base for the Black Bears next season as a
4. Chris Dominguez, 3b, Newport (Louisville)
was considered a top prospect out of Gulliver Prep in Miami before an
uneven senior year, and he needed the at-bats he got this summer after
taking a medical redshirt at Louisville in 2006. Dominguez has power
tools at the plate and with his throwing arm from third base. His 11
home runs led the league, and Dominguez showed enough range and good
enough hands to stay at third base. However, his approach at the plate
remains raw, as he hit .201 and struck out a league-high 54 times in
154 at-bats. Let’s hope it was the rust.
5. Pat McAnaney, lhp, Newport (Virginia)
outstanding command of a three-pitch mix helped the rising junior
dominate NECBL hitters. He went 7-0, 1.74 and posted a 55-9
strikeout-walk ratio in 52 innings, all while giving up just 33 hits.
McAnaney lived in the upper 80s with his fastball and changed speeds
6. Jay Monti, rhp, Holyoke (Sacred Heart)
who started in the all-star game and struck out the side in one inning,
challenged McAnaney for the most dominating line in the league. In
July, he struck out 13 Concord batters in a 3-0 complete-game victory.
Coaches gave McAnaney an edge as a prospect because he’s a southpaw,
but Monti has better stuff, throwing his fastball between 90-92 mph. He
also has a solid breaking ball that he threw for strikes, going 5-1,
1.62 while posting a 59-9 strikeout-walk ratio. Coaches also liked the
competitiveness he showed on the mound.
7. Jim Murphy, 1B, Newport (Washington State)
a rising junior, would have won the NECBL triple crown if not for
Dominguez and his 11 homers. Murphy led the league in batting (.358)
and RBIs (40) while hitting .358/.458/.635. Torrington head coach Greg
Hunt said Murphy always seemed to give his team the big hits it needed.
The righthanded hitter also is surprisingly nimble around first base
defensively, despite his 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame.
8. Mark Murray, rhp, Vermont (Evansville)
of the top relievers in the league, Murray gave up just two runs all
summer, both unearned, and kept his ERA perfect through the playoffs as
well. The slightly built (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) rising senior was
essentially unhittable with his tough, heavy sinker in the upper 80s
and solid control of the pitch.
9. Brendan McKearney, rhp, Newport (Washington)
was one of the league’s harder throwers working in a relief role for
the Gulls, sitting at 89-92 mph with his fastball. He has some movement
on the pitch, giving up just 10 hits in 29 innings while striking out
30. He has a funky arm action that keeps him from having good command
(15 walks), but he has a fine pitcher’s body (6-foot-3, 190 pounds)
that could offer projection if he smooths out his arm.
10. Willy Fox, util, Pittsfield (Wake Forest)
versatile player who can play second base, third base or the outfield,
Fox batted .341/.496/.427, ranking fifth in the league in batting.
While coaches described him as a contact hitter, he struck out 34
times, unacceptable for a player with modest power. Fox is a savvy
basestealer (17 in 20 tries) who is transferring from Arizona State to
Wake Forest for his junior season.