|THIS YEAR’S CROP|
|*****||One for the books|
|***||Solid, not spectacular|
|**||Not up to par|
|*||Nothing to see here|
Two players in the Mid-Atlantic entered the spring with aspirations of being drafted in the top two or three rounds, but neither Derrik Lutz nor Neal Davis dominated the way scouts had hoped. Lutz followed his superb stint in the Cape Cod League last summer with an ordinary spring for George Washington, and Davis had yet to fulfill the projection he promised as an underclassman.
|National Top 200 Prospects
1. Derrik Lutz, rhp, George Washington
|Other Players Of Note
2. Neal Davis, lhp, Catonsville (Md.) HS
3. Daniel Cropper, rhp, Snow Hill (Md.) HS
4. Stan Posluszny, of, West Virginia
5. Bryan Hagerich, of, Delaware
6. Enrique Garcia, rhp, Potomac State (W.Va.) JC (CONTROL: White Sox)
7. Brian Chrisman, lhp, Marshall
8. Seth Overbey, rhp, Maryland
9. Ryan Smith, c, Westlake HS, Waldorf, Md.
10. David Carpenter, c, West Virginia
11. Steve Bumbry, of, Dulaney HS, Timonium, Md.
12. Dan Pfau, lhp, George Washington
13. Alex Foltz, of, East Hardy HS, Baker, W.Va.
14. Chris Inuriato, ss, Bridgeport (W.Va.) HS
15. Todd Davison, ss, Delaware
16. John Kibbler, lhp, CC of Baltimore County-Dundalk
17. Rob Bryson, William Penn (Del.) JC
18. Adam Kearney, c, Baltimore JC
19. Joe Agreste, 1b, Potomac State (W.Va.) JC (CONTROL: Mariners)
1. Derrik Lutz, rhp (National rank: 84)
School: George Washington. Class: Jr.
Hometown: Grantville, Pa.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 4/22/85.
Scouting Report: Born to two high school students, Lutz didn’t meet his father until he was a teen himself. His extended family rallied around him and helped raise him, and former George Washington recruiting coordinator Eric Healy discovered Lutz in high school and brought him in. Lutz was a Baseball America summer All-American thanks to his performance in the Cape Cod League last summer. He did not allow an earned run in 25 innings, notching 12 saves, 39 punchouts and three walks with Chatham. Elbow tendinitits held him back this spring, and his velocity and stuff had not been as consistently sound as they were last summer. He’s a strike thrower with an aggressive approach. His fastball has sat mostly in the 84-87 mph range, though he was up to 94 mph last summer. It has some sink, but has not been the heavy pitch it was previously. His slider backed up, too. Its spin is average, though at times he will flash one that has plus potential. Lutz hasn’t been used in the role he’ll fill as a pro. He profiles as a set-up or middle reliever, and scouts are optimistic his stuff will play better once he’s back in the bullpen. He doesn’t offer any projection, as his body is thick and on the soft side.
Most Mid-Atlantic Prospects Need Development Time
When the region’s second-best college pitcher is compared to a couple of specialist relievers, it’s a fair indication area scouts aren’t combing through a bumper crop this year. Mets righthander Steve Schmoll and Padres righty Cla Meredith are two names that come up when Maryland senior righthander Seth Overbey is evaluated. Like Schmoll, Overbey experimented with a low three-quarters arm slot as an underclassman and embraced the angle this season. He led the Terrapins with 29 appearances and five wins, and he had a 4-1 strikeout-walk ratio. His fastball sits at 89-90 mph, and he pitches down in the zone and works ahead in the count. His slider is a fringe-average pitch with sweeping break near 80 mph. If he doesn’t improve it, it’s hard to see him as more than a situational reliever who can come in and induce ground balls.
Some scouts actually prefer Neal Davis among all the pitchers in the region, but questions about his arm speed, velocity and signability should push him behind Lutz in the draft. When asked what it would take for Davis to forgo his scholarship at Virginia, his father replied: “Many zeroes.” Davis spent the winter playing basketball, which might have been why his fastball was in the mid-80s early in the season. He has shown he can dial it up to 89 mph. He dropped his arm slot this spring, which took away the downhill plane he had in the past, but his mechanical flaws are correctable. He has good control and his secondary stuff has potential, but he doesn’t offer a present above-average pitch.
Daniel Cropper offers less projection with better present arm strength, and a fastball that has been up to 91-92 mph. He has a good, sturdy frame, while his secondary stuff will need work.
Marshall lefty Brian Chrisman was putting the finishing touches on a strong freshman season in 2004 when he blew out his elbow in his last outing of the year. He had Tommy John surgery and missed a year, and this spring he showed enough velocity and determination to be considered as a draft-eligible sophomore. He flashed a 92 mph fastball that more commonly sits in the 88-89 mph range. He doesn’t have much feel for it, and his inability to command the strike zone led to him being hit hard this season. He’ll also have to refine his secondary stuff.
Fifth-year senior Stan Posluszny possesses plus raw power. The Angels drafted him in the 21st round in 2004 as a draft-eligible sophomore, and he should be taken on the first day this time around. His brother Paul was an all-American linebacker at Penn State. Posluszny finished as the No. 2 career home run hitter at West Virginia, with 33. He’s a good athlete but his swing is stiff. He has improved his approach considerably during his career, and his pitch selection boosts his stock. He’s a fringe-average runner with enough feel defensively to profile in left field. Teammate David Carpenter’s forte is defense. He’s a dependable catch-and-throw receiver with little offensive upside. His arm strength rates a 70 on the 20-80 scale.
At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Bryan Hagerich looks the part. He’s strong and can drive the ball out of the park, though his power is primarily to the pull side. He’s athletic and has an accurate arm. He swings and misses too much, racking up 68 strikeouts and 26 walks in 226 at-bats this season, and can be beaten with good fastballs in on his hands and will chase breaking balls in the dirt.
Steve Bumbry, the son of former Orioles outfielder Al, has his father’s instincts and a good feel for the game. He’s signed at Virginia Tech and could develop into a strong college outfielder.
Hardy County, W.Va., has a population of just 12,669 and no stoplights, but it’s home to one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best athletes. Alex Foltz was a three-sport star at East Hardy High (enrollment: 230) and was West Virginia’s player of the year in baseball as well as football. He led the state as a junior with 29 points a game in basketball and averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds as a senior. In football last fall, he ran for 1,605 yards, scored 18 touchdowns and kicked 10 field goals. He runs the 60-yard dash in 6.6 seconds. On the diamond, he’s a raw, righthanded-hitting outfielder. Foltz batted .469-8-29 this spring and was 30-for-31 in stolen bases. His approach requires an overhaul, but he could develop into an intriguing player after three seasons at James Madison.
Enrique Garcia, at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, was a 17th-round draft-and-follow selection of the White Sox last year and is the area’s top juco prospect even after an up-and-down sophomore season. He has plenty of arm strength but lacks feel and a consistent secondary offering. He throws a pair of fringy breaking balls as well as a split-finger fastball that appears to be the secondary pitch he’s most comfortable with. His fastball has been in the 90-95 mph range, helping him garner interest from several Division I schools.