|THIS YEAR’S CROP|
|*****||One for the
|**||Not up to
|*||Nothing to see
Righthander Jarrod Parker won’t become the highest-drafted player in Indiana history, but he won’t fall far behind former No. 1 overall picks Andy Benes (1988) and Bryan Bullington (2002).
Parker headlines one of the best groups of high school pitching the state ever has produced. Indiana offers little else, however, as the college arms regressed and Southern Indiana second baseman Darin Mastroianni may be the lone position player selected in the first 15 rounds.
|National Top 200
|Other Prospects Of
3. Brock Huntzinger, rhp, Pendleton Heights HS, Pendleton, Ind.
4. Sean Green, rhp, Chesterton (Ind.) HS
5. Joey Williamson, rhp, Notre Dame
6. Ryan Tatusko, rhp, Indiana State
7. Andy Groves, rhp, Purdue
8. Ben Norton, rhp, Evansville
9. Darin Mastroianni, 2b, Southern Indiana
10. Jon Clarence, lhp, Columbus (Ind.) North HS
11. Kyle Leiendecker, lhp, Homestead HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.
12. Dallas Cawiezell, rhp, Valparaiso
13. Jon Ringenberg, rhp, Blackhawk Christian HS, Fort Wayne, Ind.
14. Chad Dawson, rhp, Indiana State
15. Dan Kapala, rhp, Notre Dame
16. Josh Judy, rhp, Indiana Tech
17. Ty Adams, 1b, Brebeuf Jesuit HS, Indianapolis
18. Fred Jones, rhp, Evansville
19. T.J. Baumet, ss/3b, Brownsburg (Ind.) HS
20. Jeff Loveys, rhp, Ball State (CONTROL: Yankees)
|1. Jarrod Parker,
rhp (National rank:
Norwell (Ind.) HS. Class:
Report: Parker pitched for Team USA’s junior national
squad that won a silver medal in the World Junior Championship in Cuba
last September. He has blown away scouts and hitters all spring,
warming up for his initial start at 93-94 mph and hitting 97 with his
first official pitch of the season. He touched 98 in that game and has
continued to do so since, often working at 95-96. Just 6-foot-2 and 175
pounds, Parker generates his exceptional velocity with an unbelievably
quick arm. One scouting director says he has the best arm action of any
high school pitcher in the draft, and he has drawn comparisons to a
righthanded version of Scott Kazmir and to Tim Lincecum. Parker doesn’t
have Lincecum’s untouchable curveball, but he does have a power curve
with good depth and has shown a mid-80s slider. He hasn’t needed it
much against inferior high school competition, but Parker also has
flashed an average to plus changeup. He didn’t allow a run until his
sixth start or an earned run until his seventh. A Georgia Tech recruit,
he should go in the first half of the first round, perhaps to the
Braves at No.
|2. Drew Storen, rhp
Brownsburg (Ind.) HS. Class:
Report: One of the most polished high school pitchers in
the draft, Storen also is one of the oldest, as he’ll turn 20 in
August. He can’t match the upper-90s velocity of fellow Indiana high
school pitcher Jarrod Parker, a certain first-rounder, but on his good
days Storen will show livelier stuff. He gets good sink on an 87-91 mph
fastball and owns a true slider. He also has a solid changeup and shows
a feel for changing speeds and locating his pitches. He’s not big at
6-foot-1, but he could add a considerable amount of strength because he
carries just 170 pounds. Storen’s delivery features a lot of twisting,
which one scout likened to Luis Tiant’s. Some scouts don’t like his
mechanics, but they give him deception and don’t prevent him from
throwing strikes. The son of XM radio baseball broadcaster Mark
Patrick, Storen is expected to be a tough sign because he has committed
Huntzinger Impresses After Late Start
As the draft approached, righthander Brock Huntzinger’s
draft stock was rising. Pendleton Heights didn’t begin its season until
mid-April, and Huntzinger quickly impressed scouts with his 6-foot-3,
210-pound frame, a high 80s fastball that tops out at 92 mph and a good
slider. He’s athletic and has fair command, and he’s still a work in
progress. He could go as high as the third to fifth round, which should
be enough to lure him away from a commitment to Indiana.
Righthander Sean Green
generated a lot of buzz early in the season, though it started to cool
when he didn’t perform as well in front of crosscheckers as he did in
front of area scouts. At his best, he worked at 88-92 mph for three to
four innings and showed a promising slider. Later in the spring, he
topped out at 89 and his breaking ball was mediocre. His 6-foot-6,
190-pound frame is projectable, but he may not go high enough to divert
him from Jacksonville.
There’s no consensus on the best college
pitching prospect in the state, and the leading candidates weren’t even
supposed to be the best pitching prospects on their team. Righthander Joey Williamson
gets the nod after cutting his ERA to 2.81 this year, down from 6.44 in
his first two seasons. He’s probably limited to being a reliever in pro
ball, but he holds the velocity on his 89-92 mph fastball and maintains
a sharp slider out of the bullpen. He looks like an eighth- to
10th-rounder. Fellow Notre Dame righty Dan Kapala hit
95 mph in the Cape Cod League in 2005, but he tore his labrum in the
final start that summer and isn’t all the way back yet. He threw in the
high 80s from a lower arm slot this year.
Righthander Ryan Tatusko
ranked ahead of Williamson before he faded down the stretch. A redshirt
junior who sat out 1994 after having Tommy John surgery as a high
school senior, Tatusko will flash a 94 mph fastball and a good slider.
He also has a lean pitcher’s build at 6-foot-6 and 195 pounds. But his
mechanics and command are spotty, and he was sitting at 90 mph with a
lackluster slider by the end of the season.
Still, he finished stronger than Indiana State teammate Chad Dawson.
A similarly built righthander, Dawson starred in the Northwoods League
last summer and was lights out in a mid-March outing against Miami
(Ohio). But since then, his fastball dropped from 91-94 mph to 84 and
his slider also went bad.
Righthander Ben Norton
will be a solid senior sign after a pair of nine-win seasons at
Evansville. Norton, who began his college career at Wabash Valley
(Ill.) Community College, commands a lively 88-91 mph fastball and a
solid slider. He can throw strikes with four pitches and competes. Fred Jones
has the best pure stuff among the Purple Aces’ draft-eligible pitchers,
but he hasn’t been the same since coming down with biceps tendinitis in
2006. He’ll still flash a plus fastball and slider, just not as often,
and pitched his way out of Evansville’s rotation.
Righthander Andy Groves
threw 86-88 mph as an undrafted junior last year. When there were
reports he had jumped to 93-94 mph against Auburn in March, scouts
scrambled to see him. That was easier said than done, as Groves pitched
just 26 innings out of the Purdue bullpen. He got hit to the tune of a
5.54 ERA and showed just an OK fastball and slurve, so scouts still
aren’t sure what to make of him. Groves pitched for the National
Baseball Congress World Series champion Santa Barbara Foresters last
summer, and he returned to them as a starter while awaiting the draft.
Second baseman Darin Mastroianni
hit .409 and topped NCAA Division II with 64 steals in 67 attempts,
leading Southern Indiana to its first-ever D-II College World Series
berth. Mastroianni, who has plus speed, is the best position prospect
in the state but probably won’t go in the first 10 rounds. He doesn’t
have the arm for shortstop, though he might be able to handle center
field as a pro. He’s a transfer from Winthrop, where he redshirted in
2004 and appeared in just five games in 2005.
Lefthander Jon Clarence
had a chance to go in the first 10 rounds until he came down with
shoulder tenderness. He threw in the upper 80s and showed a nifty
slurve early in the spring, but was down to 83-87 mph by the end of the
season. Whichever team selects him likely will monitor his health and
progress over the summer before deciding whether to try to sign him
away from Louisville.
Scouts had high hopes for a pair of Ball State righthanders, but they didn’t materialize. Jeff Loveys
has optimal pro size at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, and he showed a 90-96
mph fastball last summer in the Northwoods League. But he sat out 2005
(because he transferred within the Mid-American Conference from
Buffalo) and 2006 (academic ineligibility). The Yankees drafted him
anyway last June in the 48th round. Loveys worked just 11 innings this
spring and posted a 10.12 ERA because he lacked command and control. He
threw 92-93 mph, so someone may take a late-round flier on him.
led the Great Lakes League with a 0.86 ERA in 2005, but he missed all
of 2006 after shoulder surgery and pitched just 11 innings for Ball
State in 2007 because he’s still not 100 percent. He’s 6-foot-6 and 225
pounds, and he had a 90-92 mph fastball before he got hurt. He’s still
not 100 percent.
Notre Dame’s Sean Gaston has
had two straight productive summers in the Cape Cod League. As a
lefthanded-hitting catcher with a decent bat and solid defensive
skills, he would have been a nice senior sign. But he missed the entire
season after having surgery to repair his labrum in February.