Browse Articles

The BA Draft

Will Lingo -

To provide another perspective on this year's draft, we gathered three of our draft experts—editor John Manuel, executive editor Jim Callis and assistant editor Conor Glassey—and allowed them to make their own selections. This isn't a prediction of how the first round will unfold, but rather what would happen if our lead draft writers were in charge of each team's scouting department.

Draft | #2010#Draft Preview

State Report: Tennessee

John Manuel -Premium Content

The Volunteer State hasn't had a draft class this weak since 2003, when the state's top picks were second-rounders Javier Herrera, a catcher out of Tennessee, and Memphis prep righty Stuart Pomeranz. The state's best contribution to this year's draft will be indirect, as Pomeranz's younger brother Drew attends Mississippi. Even without Pomeranz, Tennessee could extend its streak of drafts with a player picked in the top 10 overall if someone bites on Middle Tennessee State outfielder Bryce Brentz. Vanderbilt should pick the streak back up next year when sophomore righthanders Sonny Gray and Jack Armstrong and third baseman Jason Esposito become draft eligible. All three are potential first-round selections.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Kentucky

Jim Callis -Premium Content

As expected, the Bluegrass State's top prospect hails from the University of Kentucky—but it's second baseman Chris Bisson and not lefthander James Paxton, who ran into eligibility issues after failing to sign with the Blue Jays as a sandwich pick last summer. Instead of pitching for the Wildcats, Paxton is showcasing his stuff in the independent American Association. In a draft that's generally much deeper in pitching than hitting, Kentucky is unusual in that most of its top prospects are position players. By contrast, there may not be a single high school player in Kentucky whose talent and signability warrants turning pro.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Ohio

Jim Callis -Premium Content

With righthanders Stetson Allie and Alex Wimmers, Ohio should have its first pair of first-round picks since Chad Billingsley and Mitch Maier in 2003. In between, the state hasn't had anyone drafted before the sandwich round (Emmanuel Burriss in 2006, Cory Luebke in 2007). The draft overall is down in terms of position players, but the Buckeye State can offer a talented high school catcher in Allie's batterymate Alex Lavisky, and one of college baseball's best athletes in Ohio outfielder Gauntlett Eldemire.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: California

Dave Perkin and Blaine Clemmons -Premium Content

California's college crop comes up a bit short in 2010 aside from Cal State Fullerton's titanic duo of Christian Colon and Gary Brown. Area scouts prefer Brown's package of tools, but national scouts and scouting directors have seen Colon perform for years and last summer with USA Baseball and value his savvy and profile more. The other shortcoming for California was among lefthanded pitchers, who are short all around the country but shockingly so in the West. California does have its usual amazing depth, particularly with high school pitching (which is the strength of the overall draft). However, the top-ranked pitcher prep pitching in the state, Dylan Covey, was backing up as the draft approached, while others who throw harder, such as Peter Tago, Taijuan Walker, Robby Rowland and Scott Frazier, were on the rise.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: South Carolina

John Manuel -Premium Content

Eight of the state's top nine prospects are four-year college products. With six of those players in the Top 200, it's a great year for the state. The lure of the state's college programs remains very strong, and with good reason. Five South Carolina colleges earned regional bids in 2010, with Coastal Carolina and South Carolina serving as hosts. Clemson and South Carolina boast some of the nation's best college baseball ballparks, and the profile of college baseball in the state is so high that it's hard to lure players away to pro ball out of high school.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Upper Rockies

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

As usual, the top players hail from perennial NAIA power Lewis-Clark State, though there are no premium prospects this year. Montana and Wyoming have produced just eight draft picks over the past decade and don't have any players likely to be selected this year.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Washington

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

The high school class may be as strong as any since the once-in-a-lifetime class of 1999, which produced four first-rounders. Washington hasn't had three high school players taken in the first two rounds of the draft since 2001 (Jeremy Bonderman, Andy Sisco and Alhaji Turay), but it could happen again this year. The top player this year is Josh Sale, a likely first-rounder, with a couple of other players who should go in the first three rounds at least. Washington State's program is on the rise, reaching regionals in consecutive years for the first time since 1987-88, but the Cougars don't have much professional talent to offer, and college talent was generally down this year. The junior college talent didn't measure up to last year's level, either.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Michigan

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The University of Michigan carries the mail for the entire state this year. Outfielder Ryan LaMarre's strong play since coming back from a broken thumb gives him a chance to become the state's first first-rounder since the Yankees reached for David Parrish ten years ago. The college crop has good depth, a stark contrast to a depleted high school group. A year after Daniel Fields received a $1.625 million bonus as a sixth-round pick from the Tigers, no prepster projects to go in the first 15 rounds and there might not be a single one signed.<br/>

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Texas

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Texas offers its usual deep crop of prospects. Jameson Taillon is the Lone Star State's best high school arm since Josh Beckett, and he may be better. Texas-Arlington outfielder Michael Choice has a chance to be the first four-year college player selected in the draft, though the state's position-player crop drops off sharply behind him. There's no shortage of arms, however. Texas' Brandon Workman, Texas Tech's Chad Bettis, Texas A&M's Barret Loux and Henderson High's Tyrell Jenkins are all getting first-round consideration. McKinney High's Zach Lee would as well if he weren't dead set on playing quarterback at Louisiana State. The independent leagues have their usual draft refugee, this time Grand Prairie (American Association) lefthander James Paxton, a Blue Jays sandwich pick a year ago. The junior colleges are productive as usual, with righthanders Zach Cates (Northeast Texas) and Burch Smith (Howard) leading the way.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: North Carolina

John Manuel -Premium Content

The state of North Carolina's draft talent has been buoyed in recent years by the surge of the University of North Carolina's baseball program. And while this year's team isn't expected to return to Omaha, it should produce another first-round pick. Overall, college talent is down a bit, while the high school players are solid but might head to college rather than sign.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Illinois

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The state of Illinois hasn't produced a first-rounder since Kris Honel in 2001, and that streak likely won't end this year because top prospect Mike Foltynewicz fits more in the sandwich round. Foltynewicz headlines a deep crop of high school arms, many of whom could be early picks three years from now after time in college. The state does not have much in the way of position players. The colleges are barren, there's divided opinion on Wabash Valley CC outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. and the best high school bat, St. Rita outfielder Mark Payton, stands just 5-foot-8.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map

State Report: Mid-Atlantic

Nathan Rode -Premium Content

Two premium players coming out of West Virginia makes this a strong year for the Mid-Atlantic. The four-state region has had an average of 22 players drafted in each of the last three drafts, but just eight of those picks in those three drafts combined have come in the first 10 rounds. West Virginia has not produced a first-round pick since 1997, when the Athletics took righthander Chris Enochs 11th overall out of the state's flagship university. West Virginia University could have a first-rounder again this year in Jedd Gyorko, and the state has prep righthander J.R. Bradley should go in the first five rounds. That would be a double unseen in the state since 1999, when the Orioles took prep lefthander Josh Cenate in the supplemental first round and the Rays took prep righthander Seth McClung in the fifth.

Draft | #2010#2010 draft#Draft Map