Atlantic Collegiate League Top 10 Prospects
The Kutztown Rockies won their third-consecutive Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League championship, defeating the Hampton Whalers 8-2 on Aug. 9. The Whalers got off to a good start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning, but that's all the scoring they could muster. Kutztown starter Casey Lawrence (Albright, Pa.) settled down after that and ended up going six innings, giving up six hits and two runs while walking two and striking out eight. Kutztown was ahead 4-2 late in the game and slammed the door with a four-run eighth inning.
1. Darin Gorski, lhp, Kutztown (Jr., Kutztown University, Pa.)
Gorski, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound lefthander, had a fine sophomore year for Division II Kutztown (Pa.), going 8-4, 2.43 with 83 strikeouts and 27 walks in 81 innings. He followed that up with an utterly dominant summer in the ACBL, going 7-0, 1.33 with 78 strikeouts and 15 walks in 61 innings. Gorski works in the high 80s with his fastball, but the key to his success is his excellent command of a slider, split-finger and changeup.
2. Greg Folgia, 2b, Quakertown (Jr., Missouri)
Folgia arrived at Missouri as a two-way player and spent the bulk of his freshman year as a pitcher, working 60 innings, mostly in relief. He hit .293 as Mizzou's starting second baseman as a sophomore this spring, then led the ACBL in batting (.388) and slugging (.746). Folgia's compact, 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame produces good power to the gaps from both sides of the plate. He's a smart baserunner with sound baseball instincts.
3. Kyle Morrison, rhp, Lehigh Valley (Jr., Wagner)
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Morrison had a solid spring for Wagner, going 5-5, 3.99 in 12 starts, but he really broke out this summer. Morrison went 3-0, 2.06 with 46 strikeouts and 13 walks in 35 innings for Lehigh Valley. He ran his fastball up to 90 mph and showed a decent slider and changeup, but his ability to pound the strike zone was his best asset.
4. Tim Morris, 1b/of, Lehigh Valley (Jr., St. John's)
Morris went just 1-for-17 as a freshman at Clemson in 2007, then transferred to St. John's and hit .283 in 40 games in 2008. He broke out for Lehigh Valley, batting .322 and leading the ACBL with four home runs. Morris generates good power from the left side and has a professional frame (6-foot-3, 215 pounds). He's also an average runner—especially for his size—who gets up the line in 4.3 seconds.
5. Alex Pracher, rhp, Quakertown (So. Stanford)
Pracher took his lumps in a relief role as a freshman at Stanford, posting a 7.42 ERA in 30 innings, but he bounced back with a fine summer, going 2-0, 2.42 with a 25-6 strikeout-walk ratio in 26 innings. His skinny 6-foot-2 frame has room for projection, and he commands a promising three-pitch mix: a 90 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.
6. Chris Sedon, inf, Kutztown (Jr., Pittsburgh)
Sedon spent his first two collegiate seasons at Lackawanna (Pa.) Junior College before transferring to Pitt this fall. Along the way, he opened eyes in the ACBL with two home runs and a triple in the all-star game, and he hit .346 while slugging .551 to capture the league's MVP award. He's just 5-foot-9 but does not lack strength and has good power to the gaps. He's also a good runner and a versatile defender who can play three infield positions.
7. Jimmy Tanner, c, Lehigh Valley (Jr., South Carolina-Upstate)
Tanner hit .304 in 52 games for Upstate this spring, but he was even better this summer, batting .355. He showed an ability to consistently put the bat on the ball, striking out just seven times while drawing 10 walks in 93 at-bats. Tanner has a sturdy 5-foot-11, 210-pound build and is a good defensive catcher who threw out 12 of 28 baserunners (43 percent) this summer.
8. John Flanagan, rhp, Hampton (So., Fordham)
Flanagan has a live arm but is still learning to harness his stuff and refine his mechanics, which explains his 8.34 ERA for Fordham in 41 innings this spring and his 5.56 mark in 23 innings this summer. Between the spring and summer combined, he had 46 walks and 38 strikeouts. But Flanagan also showed plenty of upside, with a low-90s fastball and a promising 74 mph curveball.
9. Andrew Guarrasi, lhp, Hampton (Jr., New York Tech)
Spotty control plagued Guarrasi this spring, when he went 4-6, 4.38 with 57 walks and 63 strikeouts in 84 innings for New York Tech. He turned a corner this summer, however, going 4-2, 1.70 with a sparkling 57-19 K-BB ratio in 48 innings. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound lefty works in the high 80s with his fastball and touches 90.
10. Glen Johnson, ss/3b, MetroNY (So., Jacksonville)
Johnson played in just 12 games as a freshman for Jacksonville this spring, batting .275, but he showed good plate discipline, developing power and solid speed this summer, stealing 11 bases in 11 attempts. Johnson has excellent bloodlines—his father is former Mets infielder Howard Johnson—and was a 36th-round pick of the Mets out of high school in 2007.