Postseason Recap: The Madison Mallards topped the Duluth Huskies 12-3 in championship game to win their second NWL title and first since 2004. Four teams made the NWL playoffs—the winners of each division’s first and second half. At 41-29, Madison had the worst regular-season record of the four teams. The Waterloo Bucks, who lost in the first round of the playoffs, finished with an NWL-record 51 wins (.729 winning percentage).
The NWL has a robust YouTube library, where you can find every game from the 2013 season, top plays and scouting videos. Most of the position players in the top 25 have video on YouTube.
1. Colin Poche, lhp, Willmar (So., Arkansas)
An unsigned 2012 fifth-round pick from a Texas high school, Poche started five games as a freshman and had eight total appearances, generating a 1.37 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 20 innings. He dominated Northwoods League hitters with a 2.26 ERA in eight starts and five relief appearances. If Poche had thrown five more innings to qualify for the ERA title, he would have finished second in ERA and in the top five in both strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.8) and strikeouts-per-nine (10.6). Poche has a clean, athletic delivery and repeats it well. He has a loose arm and hides the ball well from a high three-quarters arm slot. His 88-92 mph fastball with average movement and sink plays up because he gets good extension out front and has above-average command. He has feel for a changeup with good arm speed and a breaking ball with three-quarters tilt that both show the makings of average or better offerings. Poche has an athletic, projectable 6-foot-3, 210-pound build with a large frame, long limbs and room to add more strength. He has drawn physical comparisons to 2011 first-rounder Sean Gilmartin. With all three of Arkansas’ spring starters in pro ball, Poche has a strong chance to claim a weekend starter role next season.
2. Eric Hanhold, rhp, Lakeshore (So., Florida)
Despite generating draft helium in his senior season, Hanhold was considered a tough sign away from Florida and headlined a 2012 Gator class decimated by the draft. In seven starts and 34 innings as a freshman, Hanhold had a 5.88 ERA and 2-1 strikeout-walk ratio. He has arguably the highest upside of any arm in the NWL with good present stuff and projectability. At his best, Hanhold sits 91-94 mph with downhill plane and two-seam sink from a high three-quarters arm slot. In high school, stamina was an issue for him, but that has improved as Hanhold sat 92-94 in his final summer start. He had a mid-70s curveball in high school but relied more on a hard slider that is 82-85 mph this summer. His low-80s changeup has the makings of an above-average pitch. With a lean, angular build at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, Hanhold has broad shoulders, long extremities and considerable physical development remaining. Although he has a long arm action, Hanhold can fill up the strike zone. His laissez-faire demeanor on the hill can confound evaluators at times. Although he walked less than three per nine innings, he could firm up his front side in his delivery. With Jonathon Crawford, the only full-time, dependable starter for the 2013 Gators, lost to the draft, Hanhold could grab a weekend rotation job next spring.
3. Mike Papi, of/1b, Lakeshore (Jr., Virginia)
A first-team All-American this spring, Papi had a dominant sophomore campaign, leading the ACC in batting and on-base percentage while finishing second in slugging percentage, finishing with a .381/.517/.619 line. An invitee to Team USA trials, Papi continued to rake (.313/.476/.414) upon his late arrival to the NWL. From a tall, narrow stance with even weight distribution, Papi has a simple setup with a short, soft stride and balance throughout his swing. The lefthanded hitter had arguably the best bat speed in the league, according to scouts, and a direct, line-drive bat path that produces loud contact to all fields. Papi occasionally has a slight hitch in his swing that causes him to be pull-oriented and hook the ball down the right-field line. His flat bat path inhibits big time power in games, but he does have average raw power. Scouts believe Papi can turn many of his doubles into home runs with slight mechanical alterations and increased physical maturity. Lauded for his approach and plate discipline, Papi had 36 walks against 24 strikeouts this summer (45 walks and 25 strikeouts in the spring). A fringy runner, Papi has the athleticism and speed to handle an outfield corner and has also seen time at first base. With an above-average to plus arm, Papi has the arm strength for right field but does have a long arm stroke that slows his release time. With an athletic build and a solid lower half at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Papi has a large frame that should hold more weight as he matures.
4. Paul Voelker, rhp, Eau Claire (Jr., Dallas Baptist)
A junior-college transfer, Voelker was a reliever out of the Patriots bullpen with a 4.14 ERA and 2-1 strikeout-walk ratio in 41 innings this spring. He was stretched out as a starter this summer. Just like former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker tamped down double-digit inflation in the early 80s, Voelker consistently deflated NWL bats this summer, posting a 3.10 ERA and 9.8 strikeouts per nine that would have ranked second in the league if he had one more inning to qualify. Voelker had as much arm strength as any pitcher in the NWL with a fastball that sat 91-94 mph but could touch 95-96 with heavy arm-side run at its best. Using a drop-and-drive delivery, Voelker has compact arm action and throws from a three-quarters arm slot. His delivery is surprisingly smooth and has less effort than most small-statured, hard-throwing pitchers. His 78-81 mph slider with late three-quarters tilt is an average present pitch, and his hard mid-80s changeup has the potential to be an average offering. Voelker also mixes in a below-average curveball. With command of three potentially average-or-better offerings, Voelker has a chance to fill a back-end starter role at the major league level, but could fit well in the bullpen. Scouts and coaches lauded Voelker for his bulldog mentality and aggressiveness on the mound, as he was considered the most intense pitcher in the league. At 5-foot-10, 182 pounds, Voelker has a medium frame and solid build with a broad upper body and strong lower half. Coaches said he physically resembled Jeff Brantley and pitched like him too. He is a good athlete that holds runners close with his quick feet and fields his position well.
5. Blake Hickman, rhp/c, Waterloo (So., Iowa)
A big, fluid athlete capable of playing many positions, Hickman has wanted to catch since high school. He hit .220/.355/.264 in 36 games as a first baseman/catcher as a freshman and continued to catch this summer. Scouts selected Hickman to pitch in the Big League Dreams Showcase, a showcase after the league’s all-star game. With a tall, lean and wiry build, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Hickman physically resembles Dwight Gooden, according to scouts. His fastball sat 91-94 mph and touched 96. On the mound, Hickman has the short, compact arm arc expected of catchers and a whip-like arm action from a high three-quarters slot. His upper-70s slider showed depth but was inconsistent, as expected. The live-bodied Hickman only threw six innings the entire summer, excluding the showcase. If he chooses to pursue a career on the mound, Hickman’s rare athleticism, arm strength and projectability suggest that his upside is as high as any player on this list.
6. Alex Young, lhp, Lakeshore (So., Texas Christian)
The top Illinois prep player in 2012, Young was considered a third-to-fifth-round talent, but he fell to the later rounds because of his commitment to Texas Christian, where he averaged nearly a strikeout an inning, posted a 3.7 strikeout-walk ratio and a 2.66 ERA in 41 innings. The lefthander offers projection, athleticism and solid present stuff. Young’s fastball sat 89-91 mph with sink and life, touching 93-94. He has feel for both a promising changeup and a hard slider that he could back-foot to righthanded hitters. Young had just four starts in the NWL and struck out 21 in 20 innings. A very good athlete, Young has quick feet and fields his position well. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Young offers projection and could vie for a rotation spot next spring.
7. Taylore Cherry, rhp, Madison Mallards (So., North Carolina)
A star of the showcase circuit, Cherry logged just 10 innings as a freshman, though he started and won the ACC tournament championship game. This summer, Cherry showed one of the highest upsides in the league. The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Cherry has an easy, controlled delivery, and the ball jumps out of his hand as he gets good extension out front from an arm slot around three-quarters. He gets good angle and sink on a fastball that can sit 90-94 mph and touch 95 in shorter stints but will fall into the high 80s over extended innings. Cherry shows feel for a hard changeup that can get into the mid-80s. With both a slider and curveball, Cherry favored his mid-to-upper-70s curveball this summer. Although Cherry has an easy delivery, he did not show command or control this summer. In 30 innings, Cherry walked 28 against 21 strikeouts. With an extra-large frame, the mammoth Cherry has a broad upper body and thick build that will need to be diligently maintained or it could further hamper his ability to throw strikes. He will need to do a better job of holding runners and fielding his position.
8. J.P. Feyereisen, rhp, Wisconsin Rapid Rafters (Jr., Wisconsin-Stevens Point)
This spring, Feyereisen won Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pitcher of the year honors with a 2.69 ERA and 59 strikeouts with a 2-1 strikeout-walk ratio in 12 starts and 77 innings. After leading the Pointers to the Division III World Series, Feyereisen dominated as a late-inning reliever this summer. Feyereisen struck out 11 per nine with a 4-1 strikeout-walk ratio and a 1.16 ERA in 31 innings. His fastball sat 90-91 mph in the all-star game, but he touched 94 mph this summer and often sat in the low 90s with downhill plane. Feyereisen has feel for an 81-84 mph slider with power that was one of the best in the league. The righthander dominated with those two pitches and command of the strike zone. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds with a thick, strong core, Feyereisen physically resembles the only big leaguer to come out of Stevens Point, Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmermann, who was listed at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds when he was drafted.
9. John LaPrise, 3b/2b, Madison (So., Virginia)
Undrafted out of high school, LaPrise saw limited time (35 at-bats in 19 games) as a freshman amid a talent-laden infield. This summer was LaPrise’s coming-out party, as he led the NWL in batting average at .407/.458/.471. Scouts said he was one of the few hitters in the league who has a chance to be an average hitter at the major league level. The lefthanded hitter has good bat control and a fluid, balanced and direct swing geared to hitting line drives to the left-center-field gap. LaPrise currently has well below-average power but should grow into more pop as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 180-pound build. He has a lanky, rangy body with sloped shoulders and a tapered chest. Like his UVa. teammate Mike Papi, LaPrise has a good approach and walked nearly as many times (17) as he struck out (19). An above-average runner (14 steals) with athleticism, good body control and balance, LaPrise has seen time at the keystone and hot corner, but fits best at second because of his fringy arm. Although he lacks arm strength, LaPrise has a loose arm and can throw accurately from different angles. Scouts believe he has the chops to be a solid-average defender at second but must first minimize his errors.
10. Chesny Young, 3b/2b, Waterloo (Jr., Mercer)
This spring, Young built on his Atlantic Sun freshman of the year campaign by winning conference player of the year honors, leading the offense-oriented Bears to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. Young led all Division I players with 106 hits and ranked sixth in batting, finishing with a .402/.458/.538 line. This summer, coaches universally praised his approach and pitch recognition at the plate, as Young posted a .325/.470/.442 line. Young led the Northwoods in on-base percentage, walking in 20 percent of his plate appearances and striking out in just 8 percent. From a wide base and an open stance, Young has good plate coverage, bat control and a line-drive-oriented swing path. The righthanded hitter has a gap-to-gap approach and below-average present power (two home runs). He is an above-average straight-line runner who stole 12 bases but posts home-to-first times in the 4.4-second range. Young was one of the better pure athletes in the NWL, standing out for his lateral movements and short-area quickness. Without profile power for third base and a fringe-average arm, Young likely profiles best at second base, where he has a chance to be a solid-average defender. At 6 feet, 180 pounds, Young has a long, lean and rangy build that has some present immaturity but will get stronger.
11. Michael Suchy, of, Willmar (Jr., Florida Gulf Coast)
After struggling as a freshman, Suchy broke out last year for Willmar. He built on that with a strong sophomore campaign, hitting .314/.384/.473 with a team-leading nine home runs this spring. Suchy mashed again this summer, with the fourth-highest OBP and fifth-highest slugging (.329/.443/.557) while hitting 11 home runs, which tied for fourth. A physical specimen with tremendous strength at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Suchy fills out a uniform and has a big, burly build. “When you walk into a ballpark he is the first body you notice,” a coach said. Suchy has plus raw power, yet he is a line-drive hitter with a flat bat path who uses the whole field and simply has the physical strength to put balls over the fence. There is some swing-and-miss to his bat, and scouts would like to see more in-game power. The athletic Suchy moves well for his size and profiles in an outfielder corner, and his plus arm plays in right field.
12. Tyler Eppler, rhp, Rochester (Jr., Sam Houston State)
In his first season in Huntsville, Eppler logged 13 starts and 69 innings with a 3.41 ERA. Although he didn’t have a dominant summer statistically with a 4.58 ERA and 7.3 strikeouts per nine, Eppler has one of the best pitcher’s builds in the NWL, solid present stuff and a shot to remain a starter at the next level. With a large, well-proportioned frame, broad shoulders and a lean build, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Eppler has a body to dream on. In short stints, his fastball can sit 90-92 mph and touch 93 from a high three-quarters arm slot. Over extended outings, Eppler pitches in the high 80s and low 90s and touches 92. At times, his fastball can be too true and lack life, but he does have good plane to the plate. His best offspeed pitch is an 81-83 mph changeup thrown with good arm speed that he commands well. A mid-80s slider that acts more like a cutter became a key piece of his repertoire this summer. Eppler also has feel for a curveball with 11-to-5 tilt that is his fourth offering. He has a simple, on-line delivery that he finishes well out front and a good arm action. Despite walking 4.2 per nine this summer, Eppler’s delivery and athleticism give evaluators reason to believe that he can show improved command.
13. Adam Dian, rhp, Waterloo (Jr., Temple)
Dian posted a 2.65 ERA and a 3-1 strikeout-walk ratio working primarily out of Temple’s bullpen as a sophomore, and he dominated in the later innings this summer. Dian posted a 0.34 ERA in 26 innings and struck out 48 against nine walks while finishing among the league leaders in saves (nine). No NWL pitcher relied on a single offering more than Dian relied on his fastball, which sat at 91-94 mph and touch 95 with plus life and downhill plane from a high three-quarters arm slot. He would rank higher if evaluators saw more than a big fastball, as his 73-75 mph curveball is a well below-average pitch and he didn’t show a changeup. But he didn’t need to in relief, which is where his repertoire and delivery project long term. Dian has an extra-large frame and a strong build at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. With a big, thick lower half, Dian will need to work to maintain his body as he matures, but he put himself on the map this summer.
14. Georgie Salem, of, Alexandria (So., Alabama)
A third generation Salem to play sports at Alabama, Georgie was a key piece of Alabama’s No. 4 ranked recruiting class in 2012. Salem started every game in center field and hit .269/.339/.299 with nine steals as a freshman. This summer, Salem showed a well-rounded skill set and finished ninth in batting average (.337/.393/.474). Salem has good plate discipline, feel for the barrel and a true up-the-middle approach. From an erect stance, Salem has a soft stride, quiet load and line-drive swing. He gets his front foot down early and has a quick stroke. Although his power is currently below-average, supporters believe he has plus potential, while others think average power is more likely. An above-average runner who stole 14 bases, Salem will stay in center field in college but could wind up on a corner as a pro. Opinions of his arm differ from below-average to average. A standout high school football player, Salem has a compact, physical build at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds with sloped shoulders, a muscular chest and well-developed lower half. Salem earned praise from coaches for his aggressive style of play and energy.
15. Cam Gibson, of, Battle Creek (So., Michigan State)
A late-round 2012 draft pick of the Diamondbacks—the club his father, Kirk, has managed since 2010—Cam had a strong freshman campaign for Michigan State (his father’s alma mater), hitting .325/.387/.393 with 12 steals and more walks (18) than strikeouts (14). Gibson became a favorite of coaches and scouts this summer for his intensity, grit and aggressive style of play. A powerful runner with plus wheels who finished ninth in the league in steals (23), Gibson was one of the best defensive center fielders in the NWL and has a chance to stay there long term. If he moved to a corner, Gibson would likely slide to left field, as he has a below-average arm. At the plate, Gibson has a contact-oriented approach and walked (28) more than he struck out (27). A lefthanded hitter, Gibson is a pull hitter who finished seventh in batting at .345/.420/.436. Although he hasn’t shown much power in games yet, Gibson has some pull-side power that could emerge over the next few years. A longtime scout who saw Cam’s father said that their bodies were very similar at the same age. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Cam has an athletic physique similar to a football player with present strength and muscular definition.
16. Garrett Harrison, lhp, Green Bay (R-So., St. Cloud State, Minn.)
Harrison redshirted his first year on campus and saw limited time (4 innings) as a freshman. In the spring, he sat 85-87 mph for the Huskies. His first start this summer, Harrison came out throwing 90-94 mph in front of some major league brass. Although his velocity fell to 88-90 by the later innings, Harrison sat 88-92 over extended innings the rest of the summer. He showed the ability to spin a breaking ball with vertical tilt and depth that has potential. He has feel for a 73-75 mph changeup with arm-side fade. With broad shoulders, a tapered waist and long, lean legs, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Harrison has a large frame and lean, projectable build. A long arm action in the back and a head tilt contributed to 28 walks in 49 innings and a 5.36 ERA. But Harrison struck out 38 and jumped on many follow lists this summer.
17. Jake Jefferies, 2b/ss, Wisconsin Woodchucks (So., Cal State Fullerton)
Jefferies saw significant time as a freshman, starting 44 games and hitting .260/.327/.360 for one of the top teams in the country. Had he not arrived late and left early due to an injury, Jefferies likely would have finished in the top 10 in all three triple-slash categories (.358/.426/.516). From a wide, crouched stance, the switch-hitting Jefferies has an aggressive, pull-oriented approach. He has surprising pop for a middle infielder, especially to his pull-side, and hit four home runs in 95 at-bats. An above-average runner, Jefferies swiped 11 bags. The athletic, rangy 6-foot-1, 180-pound Jefferies has good quickness, body control and range. Jefferies could be a very capable college shortstop but likely profiles at second base in the pros because of his arm. Jefferies, who is the son of two-time big league all-star Gregg, will be a vital cog for the Titans over the next two years.
18. Mitch Sewald, rhp, Lakeshore (So., Louisiana State)
Sewald, who was on the draft radar as a prep senior, pitched just three innings during his freshman campaign, but he had a strong summer as a late-inning arm. Sewald might have the most projectable body in the NWL. With broad shoulders and a wide back leading to a tapered waist and long, lean legs, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Sewald has a slender build and long extremities. “He is a follow just because of the body,” a scout said. “The body screams projection.” Seward threw from an over-the-top slot in high school, but now he uses a more conventional arm slot, creating considerable sink and arm-side life on an 87-90 mph fastball that touched 92. Sewald does not have a strong secondary pitch currently, but his mid-70s breaking ball is his favored offspeed pitch. He could benefit from making a few mechanical adjustments and repeating his delivery better. Sewald, who is a very good athlete, posted a 2.41 ERA, a nearly 3-1 strikeout-walk ratio and seven saves in 41 innings.
19. Tate Matheny, of, Madison (So., Missouri State)
The Missouri Valley Conference freshman of the year and Baseball America Freshman All-American, Matheny led the Bears in nearly every offensive category at .336/.396/.459. Matheny, who is the son of the Cardinals manager and former Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny, has a well-rounded skill set and a grinder’s mentality. With some bat speed and gap power, Matheny has an aggressive approach and looks for his pitch early in the count. The righthanded hitter uses all fields, especially the opposite field. Matheny is growing into fringy power and hit eight home runs this summer. He hit .279/.355/.451 for the Mallards but will have to curtail his strikeouts, as he had 60 in 262 plate appearances against 20 walks. Matheny’s best tool is his average to above-average speed, which he used to play a good center field and steal 11 bases. He has an adequate center fielder’s arm. The 6-foot, 180-pound Matheny has an athletic build that will hold additional strength gains. Coaches liked his competitive style of play and swagger.
20. Matt Trowbridge, lhp, Eau Claire (Jr., Central Michigan)
Trowbridge had a big sophomore campaign as the Chippewas’ ace reliever, posting a 2.91 ERA in 34 innings to go with 53 strikeouts (14 per nine). He continued his late-game success this summer with a 2.77 ERA in 24 innings and 43 strikeouts (16 per nine). Trowbridge brandishes a 91-93 mph fastball that touches 94 from a nearly over-the-top arm slot. He primarily relies on an overhand 77-78 mph curveball with 12-to-6 action that is a weapon against lefties. He occasionally mixed in a low-80s changeup that is a distant third pitch. Scouts believe that with a max-effort delivery and a small build, Trowbridge will likely fit best as a reliever long term, likely a lefthanded specialist. Although his arm is quick, he has a herky-jerky delivery with a stab and some length to his arm path and a head snap at finish. At 5-foot-10, 177 pounds, Trowbridge has a small frame and athletic, wiry build. He has the athleticism to be a strong defender off the mound and received looks from pro scouts as a hitter out of high school.
21. Aaron Rhodes, rhp, Waterloo (R-So., Florida)
After throwing 14 innings out of the Florida bullpen this spring, Rhodes was one of the top starters in the NWL this summer. Among qualified pitchers, Rhodes finished fifth in ERA (3.19) and first in strikeouts per nine (11.2) with the third-best strikeout-walk ratio (4.1). The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Rhodes has a medium frame and solid, muscular build. As a starter, Rhodes sat 89-92 with arm-side life but can work at 90-94 in short stints. From a full windup, Rhodes has loose, slingy arm action and comes from a low three-quarters arm slot. He is primarily a sinker-slider pitcher; his slurvy breaking ball is currently a below-average pitch but is an effective weapon against righthanders. Rhodes, who is draft-eligible as a redshirt sophomore, has some feel for a changeup. Scouts believe his height, lack of plane on his fastball and some effort in his delivery point to his long-term future in the bullpen.
22. Donnie Hissa, rhp, Lakeshore (Sr., Notre Dame)
Hissa continued to make developmental strides this spring and logged 40 innings, getting one start. He made seven starts and threw 56 innings this summer, finishing with the fourth-best strikeout-walk ratio (3.7) and strikeouts per nine (8.3) in the league with a 3.81 ERA. Maybe the most physically imposing pitcher in the league, Hissa is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound specimen. He has an extra-large frame and a powerful build with broad shoulders and a physical lower half. At his best, Hissa aggressively pitches off a fastball that will sit 89-93 mph with plane from a high three-quarters arm slot. Hissa has three offspeed offerings, with his curveball and high-70s changeup showing the most promise. There is some stiffness to his delivery, but Hissa has made consistent strides since reaching campus and could be one of the top senior arms if that pace continues.
23. Marc Flores, 1b/of, Willmar (Sr., Hawaii)
As a junior, Flores had a solid campaign for the Rainbows, hitting .280/.357/.409 and leading the team in doubles (15) and home runs (two), but was bypassed in the draft. Flores changed his hitting stance at the outset of the summer and slugged his way to NWL co-MVP honors. The lefthanded hitter finished fourth in batting average (.352/.414/.593), third in isolated power (.241) and home runs (13) and set an NWL record with 26 doubles. Flores can put on a show in batting practice with his 70 raw power on the 20-80 scouting scale, and the ball makes a different sound off his bat. Despite his numbers, scouts have doubts about his pure hit tool, saying his swing can break down in games and that Flores has a hitch in his swing that will impair him against velocity. He can be beaten with good fastballs on the inner third, as Flores likes to extend his hands, and he will expand his strike zone. Scouts would like to see a more disciplined approach as opposed to his current free-swinging, pull-oriented approach. But his power was one of the best tools in the league and scouts were surprised he wasn’t drafted. With a large frame, broad shoulders and physical build, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Flores has present strength and looks the part in a uniform. A below-average runner with some stiffness to his movements, Flores is likely limited to first base.
24. Keith Curcio, of/if, Duluth (Jr., Florida Southern)
A first-team Sunshine State Conference player as a sophomore, Curcio led the Mocs in batting average, slugging percentage (.349/.421/.448) and steals (29). Without any loud tools, Curcio earned NWL co-MVP honors. A lefthanded hitter, Curcio has good bat-to-ball skills and finished second in batting average (.367/.442/.471) with the third-lowest strikeout rate (7 percent). Despite his contact ability, scouts said Curcio would have to prove his hitting ability at every level because of a lack of overall strength and bat speed. At 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, Curcio lacks the physicality of an impact bat, but he fits the mold of a grinder with secondary skills, as he walked significantly more (33) than he struck out (24). He has a line-drive swing with a gap-to-gap approach and well below-average present power. Curcio is an above-average runner and finished third in steals (28). This summer, Curcio saw time in center field, which is where he will play with Florida Southern, but he fits a tweener outfield profile because he is not a true burner, though coaches did praise his defensive instincts. Although he has a quick release, Curcio’s below-average arm will push him to left field if he has to move off center. Curcio has the athleticism to handle second base and has seen some time there in college.
25. Nate Carter, rhp, Duluth (Sr., Florida Southern)
Carter struggled in his junior campaign, tossing 17 innings with a 4.76 ERA, 16 strikeouts and six walks. This summer, his second in Duluth, Carter finished among the league leaders in saves with 12, and he struck out 38 in 34 innings. Upon his arrival this summer, the coaching staff noticed that Carter’s arm slot had dropped and his stuff had suffered. So Carter went back to his usual high three-quarters slot and his stuff sharpened. Carter is capable of sitting in the low 90s and hitting 93 mph with an energy-packed delivery. He has feel for a 77-80 mph curveball with 11-to-5 tilt and tight downward break. There is some effort to Carter’s delivery.