Righthander Jeremy Hellickson is the latest prospect to make a run at
becoming Iowa's first high school first-rounder ever, but he'll probably
come up a round short. Beyond Hellickson, Iowa is as barren as it was
a year ago, when the state's top picks were 20th-round righties Jose Garcia
and Nathan Johnson. (National ranking in parentheses)
2. Raymond Kruml, of, Indian Hills CC
3. Andy Lytle, ss, U. of Iowa
4. Wesley Freie, rhp/3b, Wilton HS
5. Kyle Murphy, of, Indian Hills CC
6. Nate Yoho, of, U. of Iowa
7. Schuyler Tripp, lhp, Davis County HS, Drakesville
8. Nick Nordgren, of, Jefferson HS, Norway
9. Kris Welker, c, U. of Iowa
10. Brady Burchil, rhp, Iowa Western CC
1. JEREMY HELLICKSON, rhp (National rank: 69) School: Hoover HS.
Hometown: Des Moines.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: April 8, 1987.
College Commitment: Louisiana State.
Scouting Report: Iowa never has had a high school player drafted in the first round. Hellickson had a chance to change that, but it looks like he's destined to go in the second round. He has shown well despite unseasonably cold weather this spring, and he's by far the best prospect in Iowa, which may not have another player drafted in the top 10 rounds. If Hellickson were a couple of inches taller, he'd have a better chance of becoming a first-rounder, but he hasn't let his size hold him back from starring on a bigger stage. He consistently shows well at showcase events and was the ace of the U.S. national team that won the World Youth Championship in Taiwan in 2003. Hellickson works from 87-93 mph with his fastball, shows an average to plus curveball and has nice feel for a changeup. He has good life to his pitches and is mechanically sound. His biggest key is to stay on top of his curveball so it won't flatten out. Hellickson missed his junior season with a fractured growth plate in his right shoulder, but has come back strong and his medical history isn't an issue with teams.
OTHERS TO WATCH
(Numbers in parentheses indicate rank in Iowa)
Scouts Head For The Hills
Indian Hills Community College likely will have more players drafted than any school in Iowa, starting with the state's top two position players. Raymond Kruml (2) is a speedy center fielder and a contact hitter at the plate. OF Kyle Murphy (5) has similar tools, with more pop and a bit less speed.
Iowa's four-year colleges offer little more than senior signs. The best of that crop is SS Andy Lytle (3), who has a line-drive bat and good speed. He's a steady defender with one of the best infield arms in the Big 10 Conference.
Scouts are split over where RHP/3B Wesley Freie's (4) future lies, though they'll probably have three more years to figure it out because he's unlikely to get drafted high enough to give up attending Iowa. He's more polished on the mound, but he has almost filled out at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, so he might not add velocity. On the other hand, his size gives him lots of power potential at the plate.