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Harper Leads A Very Talented Junior College Crop

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

It's a good year for junior college talent. Of course that will be the case when a phenom like catcher Bryce Harper graduates early from high school to enroll at JC of Southern Nevada and outfielder LeVon Washington—a first-round pick by the Rays last year—doesn't sign and heads to Chipola (Fla.) JC. But even beyond those two, there are some interesting players in this year's junior college crop.

Draft | #2010#Draft Dish

O’Conner Has A World Of Options

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

Coming into the summer, Justin O'Conner was a bit of a riddle. Was the senior at Cowan High in Muncie, Ind., better as a position player—where he projected to be a solid third baseman with power potential? Or was he a better prospect as a pitcher—where he showed a 90-94 mph fastball and flashed a good curveball?

Draft | #2010#Draft Dish

Who’s Next?

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

While righthander Jameson Taillon from The Woodlands (Texas) High has separated himself from the rest of this year's high school pitchers, scouts have mixed opinions about who comes next in a talented but inconsistent group. Here are scouting reports on the next five pitchers behind Taillon in this year's class.

Draft | #2010#Draft Dish

Winners And Losers

John Manuel -

The last three years, Major League Baseball has implemented a signing deadline, ending the interminable holdouts that often plagued baseball's draft process. The draft still has plenty of problems, but that's another story. This draft is essentially in the books now that Monday's deadline has passed, with two fourth-year pitchers—indy leaguers Aaron Crow (Royals first-rounder) and Tanner Scheppers (Rangers supplemental first-rounder) still unsigned but not subject to the deadline.

Draft | #2009#Draft Dish

Last Chance

Bill Ballew -Premium Content

In the weeks immediately prior to the 2008 draft, Jordan Lyles looked through the pile of letters from major league clubs and knew he had a decision to make that had nothing to do with choosing between professional baseball and a scholarship to South Carolina. The 17-year-old high school hurler for Hartsville (S.C.) High, instead had to decide which invitations to pre-draft workouts he should accept in the days leading up to the event that could determine his fate for years to come.

Draft | #2009#Draft Dish

Swimming In Sophomores

Jim Callis -Premium Content

A year after college baseball boasted its best draft crop of position players this decade, scouts have lamented the dropoff among 2009 candidates after Southern California shortstop Grant Green and North Carolina first baseman Dustin Ackley. If not for an unusually strong group of draft-eligible sophomores, the pickings would be even slimmer.

Draft | #2009#Draft Dish

Have To Adapt

Conor Glassey -Premium Content

On Feb. 19, on a very comfortable 70-degree night in Ocala, Fla., righthander Keyvius Sampson took the mound for Forest High's first game of the season. About 930 miles north, another one of Baseball America's top 100 high school prospects, Neuqua Valley High lefthander Ian Krol, was preparing for his high school season indoors. The high temperature in Krol's hometown of Naperville, Ill., that day? A bitter 24 degrees and windy. Such is life for amateur pitchers in cold climates.

Draft | #2009#Draft Dish

Mining For Talent

Lorraine Cwelich -Premium Content

As director of the Major League Scouting Bureau, Frank Marcos is quietly one of the most influential people in baseball. While the 30 major league franchises all have their own scouting staffs, the scouting bureau serves as an independent, nationwide scouting network that evaluates prospects and reports its assessments to all the teams. Freelance writer Lorraine Cwelich, on assignment for Baseball America, sat down with Marcos for a look at exactly what scouts consider when rating prospects—and how a young player can access the scouting system. The conversation with Marcos revealed (among many other things) what scouts observe that is unrelated to results, as well as how the mission of the scouting bureau differs from that of individual teams.

Draft | #2009#Draft Dish