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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Dakotas

By Jim Callis
May 30, 2005


THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Righthander Neil Wagner was supposed to be North Dakota's best prospect in years, but his junior season didn't go as planned, allowing high schoolers Kyle Carr and Andrew Gudmunson to pass him as potential draft picks. Scouts didn't have a reason to trek to South Dakota this spring.

(National ranking in parentheses)
Potential First-Round Picks
None
Potential Second-Fifth Round Picks
None
Others Of Note
1. Kyle Carr, lhp, Linton (N.D.) HS
2. Andrew Gudmunson, ss, Minot (N.D.) HS
3. Neil Wagner, rhp, North Dakota State U.


OTHERS TO WATCH
(Numbers in parentheses indicate rank in Dakotas)

Injuries Knock Wagner Back

RHP Neil Wagner (3) has raw arm strength and hit 96 mph last summer in the Northwoods League, but scouts didn't see nearly as much velocity this spring. A knee injury last fall may be the culprit. Wagner broke his left kneecap and seemed to favor it when he returned, often releasing pitches before landing on his front foot. He pitched at 88-92 mph, and scouts wondered why a 9-43 team used the player who was far and away its best pitcher in relief. With his mechanics a mess, Wagner had trouble throwing strikes and didn't show much in the way of secondary pitches. He'll still get drafted, but he probably won't get signed unless he shows signs of bouncing back in summer ball.

LHP Kyle Carr (1) may be the best athlete in North Dakota. He led Linton High to two state nine-man football championships, and he made the all-state team three times in basketball and twice in football. He's also a four-year letterman in golf. On the mound, Carr shows good actions, an 88-90 mph fastball and a decent curveball. He's projectable at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds and has a lot of room to improve once he's exposed to better coaching and competition. Carr has committed to Minnesota but may also sign with a junior college to keep his options open.

SS Andrew Gudmunson (2) is similar to Carr. A 6-foot-5, 205-pound three-sport star, he earned all-state honors as a quarterback last fall and has played for Minot High's varsity since the eighth grade. He's more polished than Carr and has a chance to hit for power. He may not get drafted because he plans on following in the footsteps of former Minot stars Phil and Charlie Shirek by attending Nebraska. Gudmunson probably will move to an infield or outfield corner at the next level.

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