Lefthander Robert Carson was among more than 200 high school players in attendance at the 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory preseason all-America tournament in Tucson. The senior from Hattiesburg (Miss.) High was named the event’s top prospect after showing an 88-89 mph fastball, touching 94. Carson has not committed to play in college, but raised his profile considerably at the event.
Other top seniors at the event included: Pepperdine signee Cole Cook (Palisades High, Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Alabama-bound righthander Nathan Kilcrease (Glenwood Academy, Phenix City, Ala.) and Brigham Young-bound righty Taylor Cole (Bishop Gorman High, Las Vegas).
Lefties Jaff Decker (Sunrise Mountain High, Peoria, Ariz.) and Luke Erickson (Berkley, Calif., Prep) were the top two underclassmen in attendance.
Following are the top prospects in attendance, as ranked by the staff of Baseball Factory.
|Top 10 Seniors|
|Rank||Player, Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||B-T||High School||College Commitment|
|1.||Robert Carson, lhp||6-3||225||L-L||Hattiesburg (Miss.) HS||undecided|
|Carson has a well-built body with a loose, easy arm action. He topped out at 94 mph and pitched at 88-89 with downhill plane to his fastball. He established his fastball early in counts, and relied on it to get ahead of hitters. He flashed a breaking ball with tight spin and good depth. He also showed good command of his changeup. Although he profiles best from the mound, he is extremely talented as a hitter, as well.|
|2.||Cole Cook, rhp||6-6||195||L-R||Palisades Charter HS, Pacific Palisades, Calif.||Pepperdine|
|Cook continues to take the mound with an awesome presence and confidence. His fastball has life, and topped out at 91 mph. He sat between 88-90, and his fastball has good arm-side run. He shows a curveball with 11-to-5, sharp break and tight spin. His changeup may have been even more impressive, with good arm-side run and a willingness to throw it behind in the count. His stuff plays up because of solid-average command of all of his pitches.|
|3.||Nathan Kilcrease, rhp||5-7||165||R-R||Glenwood Academy, Phenix City, Ala.||Alabama|
|Kilcrease showed arm strength to go along with some feel for pitching. His fastball sat at 88-89 mph and topped at 91. It had good, two-seam, arm-side action that produced plenty of ground balls. He also showed two well above-average offerings in his curveball and changeup. He showed good command and feel of all three of his pitches. He has repeatable delivery, clean arm action and obtains good direction to the plate.|
|4.||Taylor Cole, rhp/ss||6-1||180||R-R||Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas||Brigham Young|
|Cole is an athletic player that profiles best from the mound. He topped out at 90 mph and pitched between 86-88 mph. He’s been up to 94 in the past. He has good feel on his ground ball-inducing changeup as well as his curveball. When he gets out front more in his delivery, his curveball has sharper break and rates as an above-average offering. Cole has considerable room for projection.|
|5.||Chase Bradford, rhp/3b||6-0||195||R-R||Silverado HS, Las Vegas||Community College of Southern Nevada|
|Bradford is a legitimate two-way college prospect. On the mound, his fastball was consistently clocked at 89 mph. He also showed a tight, biting curveball with 10-to-4 shape. He maintained his arm speed on his changeup, which showed good arm-side fade. When you watch a solid approach at the plate and steady glove work and footwork in the infield and it’s difficult to determine which part of the game he best excels.|
|6.||Stephen Johnson, ss/rhp||6-1||170||R-R||Poway (Calif.) HS||Arizona|
|With an athletic, muscular build, Johnson shows great mobility with his feet and versatility with arm angles. A mature player, he has polished hands and plenty of arm strength to handle throws from the left side of the infield. At 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, he lacks significant strength, but has room for added development and could mature into an impact-type college player. At the plate he has a quiet approach with excellent rhythm and explosive bat speed.|
|7.||Trey Vice, lhp/1b||6-3||215||L-L||Westbrook Christian HS, Rainbow City, Ala.||Alabama Birmingham|
|Vice approaches pitching with excellent confidence and composure. He sat at 86-87 mph and was able to achieve downhill action with some cut on his fastball. His 1-to-7 curveball had occasional tight spin and late break and at other times featured slurvy break. He also showed a split-finger that had late, downward action. Vice throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot and has a repeatable, fluid delivery.|
|8.||Cory Vaughn, of||6-3||220||R-R||Jesuit HS, Carmichael, Calif.||San Diego State|
|Also a football standout in high school, Vaughn has exceptional physical tools and tremendous athletic ability. He has an athletic, muscular body with long limbs and strong hands. He has a well above-average arm from the outfield and shows excellent power at the plate. He needs to refine his approach at the plate, but possesses bat speed and his swing has leverage and loft.|
|9.||Gaspar Santiago, lhp||6-2||195||L-L||Puerto Rico Baseball Academy||undecided|
|Santiago topped out at 91 mph and showed impressive arm strength despite pitching on a cold day. He has a strong, mature body. He needs more consistency with his offspeed pitches, but his delivery and arm action are solid. He also showed an excellent move to first base.|
|10.||Ryan Acosta, rhp/ss||6-3||175||B-R||Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS||Georgia|
|Acosta is a legitimate two-way player as an infielder, and possesses significant upside as a relatively raw, talented pitcher. He profiled best for on the mound where he topped out at 91 mph and sat at 87-88. He showed occasionally above-average offspeed stuff headlined by a solid slider. In the infield, he has steady, fluid actions with plus arm strength. He flashes pop in an aggressive, fluid approach at the plate.|