1. Yonder Alonso, 1b, Luray (Miami)
spasms slowed him toward the end of the summer, but Alonso still
managed to hit eight home runs and slug .556 in 99 at-bats for the
Wranglers after leading Miami with 10 homers as a freshman this spring.
A disciplined lefthanded hitter who can wait on an offspeed pitch or
turn on a fastball, Alonso’™s best tool is his above-average power. He’™s
also a solid defensive first baseman, with soft hands and surprisingly
2. Blake Tekotte, of, Woodstock (Miami)
who hit .354 in 82 at-bats for Woodstock, owns an intriguing all-around
package of speed, power potential and defense. He makes consistent,
hard contact with gap power and enough bat speed to hit occasional home
runs. Tekotte plays a shallow center field but has no trouble tracking
down balls over his head thanks to his plus speed and excellent
instincts. He also has an above-average arm and is an intelligent
3. Paul Burnside, rhp, Winchester (Auburn)
did not take long to make a name for himself in the Valley, striking
out 14 in a perfect game in his first start of the summer. Burnside,
the son of former major league lefthander Sheldon Burnside, logged 25
consecutive innings without allowing an earned run during one stretch
in the Southeastern Conference in his freshman year this spring.
Burnside has a projectable 6-foot-4, 207-pound frame and a lively 89-93
mph fastball. He has ditched his curveball in favor of a promising
slider, and he flashes an improving changeup.
4. Tyler Kuhn, ss, Luray (West Virginia)
was named the Valley League MVP after leading Luray to its first
championship and leading the league in batting (.374), slugging (.570),
runs (34) and triples (5). A second baseman his first two seasons at
West Virginia, Kuhn moved to shortstop this summer, where the
Mountaineers plan to play him in 2007. He showed adequate range and arm
strength for the position, but he probably still profiles better at
second. Kuhn is a scrappy, hard-working player who can keep fouling off
pitches at the plate until he gets one he can drive. Kuhn is a
line-to-line hitter with some pop and slightly above-average speed.
5. Brandon Dickson, rhp, New Market (Tusculum, Tenn., College)
Valley League’™s saves leader (13) and wins leader (five in relief),
Dickson simply overwhelms hitters with gas. He showed good command of a
low-to-mid-90s fastball while mixing in occasional cutters as a change
of pace. Dickson has clean mechanics and a confident demeanor on the
mound. The 6-foot-5, 190-pounder signed with the Cardinals after the
Valley season and made six appearances in the Rookie-level Appalachian
League, going 1-0, 7.11.
6. Jamie McOwen, of, Luray (Florida International)
led the Valley with 17 doubles, an indicator of his smooth, lefthanded,
line-drive swing, perfectly tailored to driving doubles into the gaps.
The first thing managers said about McOwen is that he is a tough out,
thanks to his bulldog mentality and ability to make solid contact. He
also has developing power, above-average speed and a strong outfield
arm to go along with good defensive instincts. He is a smart ballplayer
with an excellent work ethic.
7. Josh Dew, rhp/3b, Harrisonburg (Troy)
pounding 17 home runs and going 5-1, 2.98 in 48 relief innings for the
Trojans this spring, Dew wasn’t drafted, then struggled mightily at the
plate for Harrisonburg thanks to an injury to his non-throwing elbow.
Nevertheless, he still showed impressive stuff in limited bullpen
innings. He throws a 92-94 mph fastball, but his best pitch is an
above-average mid-80s slider. Dew does need to work on his mechanics,
as his back arm tends to drag a bit and he opens up his front shoulder.
8. Adam White, of, Waynesboro (West Virginia)
balky hamstring held White out of the VBL playoffs, but he had already
established himself as the fastest player in the league. White uses his
well-above-average speed to cover lots of ground in center field, and
his arm is fringe-average, but he’™s got to improve his release. White
also needs to learn how to use his speed more effectively on the
basepaths, where he’™s still learning how to read pitchers. A
switch-hitter, White turns plenty of ground balls into infield hits,
and he is a good bunter.
9. Jordan Karnofsky, 1b/of, Front Royal (California)
redshirted at Cal in 2005 after having surgery on his right shoulder,
but he returned to play 25 games this spring, batting .283/.377./457.
With a sturdy 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame, his plus raw power is his best
tool, and he showed it off this summer, slugging .483 (fourth-best in
the league). Karnofsky is aggressive early in the count but needs to
work on his approach with two strikes, and while he showed an ability
to hit to the opposite field in batting practice, it has not translated
as well into games. He has decent agility for his size and can play a
corner outfield spot or first base.
10. Clint Robinson, 1b, Harrisonburg (Troy)
did not have a standout summer, hitting .254/.352/.440 with six homers
in 134 at-bats, but when he connected, he hit the ball a long way. A
6-foot-5, 225-pound specimen, Robinson has big-time raw power but tends
to struggle against quality curveballs and needs to learn to harness
his power by pulling the ball more. He is a decent defensive first
baseman who also probably has enough arm strength for right field.