Beckham Rises To The Top Spot


• See also May 7 Draft Tracker

• See also Top 200 Rankings


Rk. Player Pos. School Previous Top 200
1. Tim Beckham ss Griffin (Ga.) HS 2 3
As the draft got closer, Beckham got better, and the buzz about him going No. 1 to the Rays continues to grow.
2. Pedro Alvarez 3b Vanderbilt 1 1
Alvarez didn’t bust out at the SEC tournament; in fact, quite the opposite, going just 3-for-21 (.143) in five games with two homers and seven strikeouts.
3. Brian Matusz lhp San Diego 3 2
Scouts will be out in force to see Matusz face Cal’s Tyson Ross, another potential first-rounder, in the regional at Long Beach State.
4. Buster Posey c Florida State 4 4
He’s put himself in the mix for the first few picks, and shouldn’t be affected by a leg tweak that caused him to not start a game for the first time in his Florida State career, in the ACC tournament against North Carolina.
5. Aaron Crow rhp Missouri 5 5
After a midseason slump, Crow has reestablished himself as a solid pick in the first 10 selections.
6. Eric Hosmer 1b American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. 6 7
Hosmer helped lead American Heritage High to a Florida state championship with his arm (up to 98 mph on the mound) and power bat.
7. Justin Smoak 1b South Carolina 7 8
Statistically, Smoak’s having his best season, with 21 homers, a .745 slugging percentage and 55 walks. What’s not to like?
8. Gordon Beckham ss Georgia 8 6
Beckham was getting pitched around at the SEC tournament and late in the year, but no one expected him to fall out of the first 10 picks.
9. Kyle Skipworth c Patriot HS, Riverside, Calif. 11 9
Repeatedly tied to the Marlins with the sixth pick, there’s some talk he’s in the mix for the Pirates at two and won’t fall past Houston at 10.
10. Yonder Alonso 1b Miami 12 12
Alonso’s short, powerful stroke might make him the purest of the power-hitting first basemen in the draft class; some knock his defense but no one knocks the bat.
11. Christian Friedrich lhp Eastern Kentucky 15 15
As he should have, Friedrich dominated the Ohio Valley Conference, going 5-1, 1.43 this season with a 108-33 strikeout-walk ratio in 82 innings. He gave up just 40 hits, a .144 opponents’ average. Would the White Sox pop the Chicagoland native eighth overall?
12. Tim Melville rhp Holt HS, Wentzville, Mo. 13 13
Melville’s family sent scouts a letter stating he wants to sign but will go to North Carolina if he’s not picked (and of course paid) in the 10-to-15 range. After finishing strong, that’s about where he fits.
13. Aaron Hicks rhp/of Wilson HS, Long Beach 14 13
Hicks bested Hart High and potential first-rounder Mike Montgomery 4-2 in a CIF playoff game Friday, touching 95 and sitting 91-94 with an 82 mph power curve. He has great tools as an outfielder but seems to be a better fit on the mound for this draft.
14. Shooter Hunt rhp Tulane 10 10
Hunt could be falling beyond 11, as his command has never been great, and as the season wore on, his stuff had shown less power. The lack of other college pitching options should keep him from falling too far.
15. Brett Wallace 1b/3b Arizona State 21 20
Rumors of him going No. 8 to the White Sox have died down, but his bat hasn’t as he neared another Pac-10 triple crown.
16. Brett Lawrie 3b/c Brookwood SS, Langley, B.C. NR 37
Lawrie’s legend continues to grow as he tours with Canada’s junior national team; he hit five home runs in a doubleheader against the Mariners’ extended-spring team in the Dominican Republic, going foul pole to foul pole in a demonstration of one of the prep ranks’ most pro-ready bats.
17. Ethan Martin rhp/3b Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga. 16 16
After pitching five innings and striking out 11 on Monday in the Georgia 3-A State semi-finals, Martin will take the Mound Friday in the first game of the state finals.
18. Gerrit Cole rhp Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif. 18 18
Cole’s got baggage (lack of maturity on the mound, tough signability), but he’s also got the biggest arm in the draft class, reportedly touching 101 mph in a playoff appearance last week.
19. Joshua Fields rhp Georgia 17 17
He finally gave up some runs, but he’s among the draft’s hardest throwers and has a putaway breaking ball.
20. Zach Collier of Chino Hills (Calif.) HS 22 22
Past heart condition could affect some teams, but Collier keeps hitting and has shined in personal workouts; he’s one of the best bets among high school hitters.
21. Jason Castro c Stanford 27 21
Stanford’s most consistent hitter profiles as a similar player to rangy A.J. Pierzynski, with a sunnier disposition.
22. Andrew Cashner rhp Texas Christian 24 24
Fast-moving closer has upper-90s velocity, pushing to front of down college crop in Texas, and teams have history with him, as he’s been drafted twice.
23. Casey Kelly ss/rhp Sarasota (Fla.) HS 20 19
The consensus among scouts is that the Tennessee quarterback signee and son of ex-big leaguer Pat Kelly (the minor league manager) has more upside on the mound.
24. Ryan Perry rhp Arizona 25 25
Scouts are encouraged as the depth on his slider has improved in a return to the bullpen, and Perry’s fastball needs the extra velocity he gets out of the bullpen (up to 98 mph).
25. Anthony Hewitt ss Salisbury (Conn.) HS NR 41
The best athlete in the draft has a raw bat that scared off clubs early, as did his Vanderbilt commitment, but his first-round buzz is too much to ignore.
26. Ike Davis of/1b Arizona State 30 27
Rib injury slowed his Pac-10 player of the year march and might ding his first-round possibilities for some teams, but few prospects answered more doubters than Davis did this season.
27. Jemile Weeks 2b Miami 23 27
Rickie’s younger brother lacks his  pure physicality but has offensive upside, and he’s heated up as the season has gone on.
28. Reese Havens ss South Carolina 26 29
Not that he’s been bad (he’s got 16 homers and 55 walks), but Havens has slowed a bit and still swings and misses a lot (84 in 468 at-bats the last two years).
29. Brett DeVall lhp Niceville (Fla.) HS 28 28
After pitching seven innings and allowing two earned in a losing effort in the Florida State high school semi-finals, DeVall pitched in the Florida High School All-Star game and was seen up to 93 mph. Devall is still in the first-round mix and could go as high as 25 to the Rockies.
30. Alex Meyer rhp Greensburg (Ind.) HS 19 19
Six-foot-7 Kentucky signee and Scott Boras Corp. client isn’t expected to sign despite first-round talent.

BEST OF THE REST
Chris Carpenter rhp Kent State
An ankle tweak cut short his MAC tournament start, and the Golden Flashes’ season is over. Carpenter finished the year 6-2, 3.81 with 88 strikeouts in 76 innings, with only one home run allowed.

David Cooper 1b California
Slow, limited to 1B but can hit and hit for power and should move quickly, particularly for an AL team with the DH option.
James Darnell 3b South Carolina
Still in the mix in the supplemental round for some teams based off his strong Cape Cod performance.
Isaac Galloway of Los Osos HS, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Tools exceed those of Collier, but his bat needs more work.
Conor Gillaspie 3b Wichita State
Despite his strong Cape summer and hitting .421 this spring, Gillaspie didn’t seem to have as much buzz as expected; his .708 slugging percentage has come about due to increased selectivity (36 walks, more than double last year’s total).
Anthony Gose lhp Bellflower (Calif.) HS
Despite injury-plagued season, Gose could squeeze into the supplemental round as a power lefty arm.
Destin Hood of St. Paul’s Episcopal Academy, Mobile, Ala.
Alabama football recruit draws Lastings Milledge comparisons for his bat speed and average frame.
Kyle Lobstein lhp Coconino HS, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Polished mechanics and secondary stuff should still get him drafted high, though his fastball didn’t improve and even went backward from last summer.
Wade Miley lhp Southeastern Louisiana
Some college starter is going to go higher to compensate for the lack of such players in the class, and Miley should be one to benefit.
Mike Montgomery lhp Hart HS, Newall, Calif.
Touched 94 in recent playoff loss to Aaron Hicks and Long Beach Wilson HS, and has projectable frame.
Tim Murphy lhp UCLA
Athletic former two-way player is moving back up after regaining velocity late in the season.
Jake Odorizzi rhp Highland (Ill.) HS
Hard-throwing righty battled Melville for Best Prep Pitcher in Midwest honors, and has put out a $1 million price tag.
Robbie Ross lhp Lexington (Ky.) Christian Academy
Ross went to the front of the Kentucky class by pitching well in duels with Nick Maronde and Brett DeVall.
Tyson Ross rhp California
At his best late in the season as he worked off the fastball more consistently, rather than his plus slider.
Tyler Sample rhp Mullen HS, Denver
Power fastball, power breaking ball and power body for the latest Colorado pitching product.
Dan Schlereth lhp Arizona
An unsigned eighth-round pick a year ago, Schlereth has improved his stock considerably by finding the strike zone more with his mid-90s fastball and power breaking ball; he’s halved his walk rate, from 6.6/9 IP last year to 3.3 this year.
Ross Seaton rhp Houston Second Baptist HS
His season’s over, and Seaton ended it as one of the most-improved—and best—prep talents in a down year for the Lone Star State.
Daniel Webb rhp Heath HS, West Paducah, Ky.
Raw arm strength and raw above-average stuff but may need more polish than Kentucky peers.
 
WILD CARDS
Scott Gorgen rhp UC Irvine
Solid-average fastball, plus changeup and excellent command make him a good bet to go much higher than 183, where he ranked on BA’s Top 200.
Brett Hunter rhp Pepperdine
He’s pitching again, but long-term injury concerns linger, and he hasn’t thrown harder than 93 mph in two short stints since coming back.
Bryan Price rhp Rice
At his best, he’s had first-round stuff. But how do we know he’s not Bryce Cox Part II?
Zach Putnam rhp/dh Michigan
Lost weight and some velocity late, and some clubs have long-standing doubts about him, but he performs and profiles as at least a setup man in the majors.
Tanner Scheppers rhp Fresno State
Clubs are eager to hear results of his exam with Dr. Lewis Yocum, because no one knows what to do with his previous diagnosis (apparently erroneous) of a stress fracture.
Eric Thames of Pepperdine
Leg injury hurts his chances to fill the college outfielder void in the first three rounds.

Draft | #2008 #Draft Tracker

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