Going through my notes file of all the 2013 high school players I’ve seen over the past several months, here are six players who didn’t make Baseball America’s Top 100 list, or the list of 50 players who just missed, but who are still guys that I really liked when I saw them. Some will be drafted out of high school, others may have to go prove themselves in college, but these are all guys who drew my attention for one reason or another . . .
Derek Rustich, 3b/1b, Grossmont HS, El Cajon, Calif.
I didn’t see Rustich this summer, but I liked him when I saw him as a rising junior. He has good size at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, has strength in his lefthanded swing and already shows some feel for driving the ball the other way. Rustich is committed to Texas Tech and apparently he’s also pretty good at basketball trick shots.
Austin Sexton, rhp, Sparkman HS, Harvest, Ala.
Sexton has a lean, projectable build at 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds. His fastball sat in the 87-89 mph range this summer, but there’s room for more there as he continues to get stronger and fill out. He showed a clean, athletic delivery, a quick arm and good control and feel for his pitches. In addition to his fastball, he mixed in a slider and a changeup that both hovered around 80 mph. Sexton is committed to Mississippi State. Update: Sexton tore the ACL in his left knee playing basketball this winter and likely won’t pitch this spring.
Owen Spiwak, c, Cawthra Park SS, Mississauga, Ont.
Spiwak is another player in an interesting year for Canadian prep talent. He stands out with his athletic 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. He shows very good balance behind the plate, but moves well for his size, when necessary. At the plate, he shows a smooth, balanced lefthanded swing.
Kevin Trader, rhp, Delmar (Del.) HS
Trader has a compact, athletic and muscular build at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. While it’s not ideal size for a pitcher, he hides the ball well and has a quick arm. When I saw him at the Perfect Game National Showcase last summer, his fastball sat between 89-91 mph and he touched 92, and he mixed in a tight slider in the 73-76 mph range and an occasional changeup around 79 mph. Trader is committed to Chipola (Fla.) JC.
Riley Unroe, ss, Desert Ridge HS, Mesa, Ariz.
Unroe (pictured at right) is a spark-plug of a player with good bloodlines, as his father Tim spent parts of five years in the big leagues as part of an 11-year pro career. A switch-hitter, he shows a lot more potential from the left side, where he has electric bat speed and a balanced swing with natural loft. He has a 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame and can play shortstop or center field because of his above-average speed and average arm strength. Unroe is committed to Southern California.
Weston Wilson, 3b, Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point, N.C.
For a school with fewer than 100 students per grade level, Wesleyan Christian is starting to have a nice track record of producing baseball players. Rays outfielder Wil Myers graduated from the school in 2009 and now there’s Wilson, a Clemson recruit. Wilson has a great build at 6-foot-4 and 175 pounds and made a strong impression on me at the East Coast Professional Showcase. He is a big, strong athlete with average speed, intriguing bat speed and power potential.