Alaska League Top 10 Prospects
The Mat-Su Miners finished the season with the best record at 28-17 and were awarded the Alaska League title. The Anchorage Bucs were the runner-up with a 26-19 record after getting four wins (and one tie) over their final 10 games.
The third-place Anchorage Glacier Pilots represented the Alaska League in the NBC World Series, as both the Miners and the Bucs declined to attend because of the travel expenses required.
1. Kevin Jacob, rhp, Anchorage Bucs (Jr., Georgia Tech)
During his time at Georgia Tech, Jacob has pitched in many different roles. He settled in as the team's closer during the second half of last season and the success carried over to summer league play. With an unorthodox, over-the-top delivery, Jacob whips fastballs that sit in the mid-90s and top out at 98 mph. He also has an above-average breaking ball that helped him put up some video-game numbers as the Bucs' closer this summer. Over 24 appearances, the 6-foot-6, 223-pound righthander went 2-1, 0.34 with 12 saves, 45 strikeouts and four walks in 27 innings, an indication that he has made progress toward eliminating the command lapses that have plagued him in the past. He was about as dominating as you can get—opposing hitters batted just .101 against him (9-for-89).
2. Ryan Carpenter, lhp, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (So., Gonzaga)
A 21st-round pick by the Rays out of Cactus High in Glendale, Ariz., Carpenter instead headed north to Gonzaga. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound lefthander stepped into the Bulldogs' weekend rotation and went 6-4, 5.26 with 68 strikeouts and 29 walks over 65 innings. Carpenter's velocity was up and down during the spring season. Generally, he sits in the 89-91 mph range with his fastball and can touch 95. This summer, his fastball was a hard and heavy 92-94 with some armside run. He commands his fastball well and can change speeds with it, but his slider and changeup are still developing and he's still learning how to pitch.
3. Jason Martinson, 3b, Anchorage Bucs (Jr., Texas State)
Martinson is a good athlete who came to Texas State on a football scholarship and played wide receiver in one game during his freshman year. Now focusing solely on baseball, Martinson hit .301/.406/.520 for the Bobcats this spring. The 6-foot-1 190-pounder runs well and has an above-average arm. Defensively, he could stay at third in pro ball, but he has the athleticism to move to second base or the outfield. He will hit for average and shows some pop to all fields, but he also has a tendency to chase fastballs up in the zone. Over 199 at-bats with the Bucs this summer, Martinson hit .291 with seven doubles, one triple and two home runs. He was also 13-for-15 in stolen base attempts.
4. Scott Snodgress, lhp, Peninsula (So., Stanford)
The lefthanded Snodgress stands out with his physical, 6-foot-5, 210-pound body. Snodgress got significant playing time last year as a freshman at Stanford, appearing in 17 games with five starts. He went 1-3, 5.85 with 17 strikeouts and 12 walks over 32 innings. Armed with a low-90s fastball that has good movement and a promising curveball, Snodgress went 2-3, 2.93 with 55 strikeouts and 25 walks over 43 innings for the Oilers this summer. Snodgress needs to improve his control and work on his composure on the mound. Coaches said he didn't look comfortable pitching from the stretch, and when things started to go south for him on the mound, he unraveled quickly.
5. Ryan Woolley, rhp, Athletes In Action Fire (Jr., Alabama-Birmingham)
This summer in the Alaska League marked the most time Woolley has been on the mound since high school. The righthander spent his freshman and sophomore years with Georgia, but threw just 30 innings over those two seasons. In the summer of 2008, he threw one inning for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League but left after a drunk-driving incident
that resulted in Woolley's arrest and serious injuries to teammate B.J. Dail. After the incident, Woolley transferred to Alabama-Birmingham and had to sit out the season because of transfer rules. He had a good workout for the Braves and they selected him in the sixth round of the draft, but Woolley did not sign. This summer with the Fire, he was hot and cold over his 37 innings, going 4-5, 7.12 with 29 strikeouts and 15 walks. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder throws a fastball that he can dial up to 96 mph, a hard curveball and a changeup that is actually his best pitch when it's on. But Woolley struggled to locate his offspeed pitches this summer and hitters were able to sit on his fastball.
6. Logan Darnell, lhp, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Jr., Kentucky)
Last summer, after Darnell's freshman year at Kentucky, he pitched for
the Amsterdam Mohawks and was the New York Collegiate League's top prospect
This spring, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefthander pitched exclusively out
of the Wildcats' bullpen, going 5-6, 4.50 with 47 strikeouts and 20
walks over 46 innings. Darnell started nine of his 13 games for the
Glacier Pilots, going 5-1, 1.66 with 37 strikeouts and 18 walks over 49
innings. Darnell keeps everything down in the zone with a fastball that
sits at 88-89 mph and touches 91. He also has a sharp slider. There is
some effort in Darnell's delivery, but he is a good competitor.
7. Kellen Kiilsgaard, of, Anchorage Bucs (Jr., Stanford)
is a physical 6-foot-2 and 225-pound specimen, which isn't surprising,
considering he came to Stanford as an outfielder for the baseball team
and a linebacker for the football team. He played both sports during
his freshman year, but has since given up football to focus solely on
baseball. Last year as a sophomore, Kiilsgaard was second on the team
in batting average, hitting .313/.411/.527 with 14 doubles and nine
home runs. He runs well for his size, has an above-average arm and a
good swing from the left side of the plate. Kiilsgaard handles pitches
over the middle of the plate or on the inner half well, but he
struggles to go the other way with pitches on the outer half. He's a
streaky hitter, but he projects to have average power. Over 146 at-bats
with the Bucs this summer, Kiilsgaard hit .295 with seven doubles, two
triples and one home run. He struck out 28 times and drew 11 walks over
39 games and was 9-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
8. Jason Coats, of, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (So. Texas Christian)
Coats already has an athletic, 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, but a baby
face indicates he's likely still maturing and getting stronger. Coats
frequently puts on shows in batting practice, but his usable power is
average at this point. While he's not fleet-footed enough to play
center field, he's an average runner with a strong arm and has the bat
to hold down a corner position at the next level. Last season for the
Horned Frogs, Coats hit .316/.393/.518 with 17 doubles, two triples and
six home runs. Over 117 at-bats for the Glacier Pilots, Coats hit
.325/.382/.564 with 11 doubles, one triple and five home runs.
9. James Ramsey, of, Mat Su (So., Florida State)
After a standout high school career at Wesleyan High in Norcross, Ga., Ramsey headed to Florida State, where his father, Craig, was captain of the 1980 College World Series team. As a freshman, the 5-foot-11, 186-pounder got into 45 games, mostly as a reserve. Over 68 at-bats, he hit .294/.412/.426 with three doubles and two home runs. In Alaska, Ramsey impressed coaches because of his advanced feel for hitting as one of the younger players in the league. The lefthanded hitter consistently squared balls up and showed some power to all fields. Over 178 plate appearances, Ramsey hit .314/.449/.453 with 14 doubles, one triple and one home run. He showed a good feel for the strike zone, as he drew 36 walks and struck out just 24 times. Ramsey's future position is up in the air. Ramsey played infield in high school, but only played left field for the Seminoles and in Alaska. While Ramsey is an average runner, he lacks first-step quickness and sometimes has difficulty reading the ball off the bat.
10. Drew Heid, of, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Sr., Gonzaga)
Heid may be undersized at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, but he's hit everywhere he's played. After transferring from Walla Walla (Wash.) CC, Heid hit well during his past two seasons at Gonzaga. Last summer, Heid led the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League in batting average and hit .403/.484/.566. After going undrafted as a junior, Heid headed to Alaska and hit his way to player of the year honors, leading the league with a .427 batting average in 171 at-bats. The next-highest average was .323. The lefthanded-hitting Heid roped 18 doubles, one triple and four home runs. While he's not a burner, he has great baseball instincts and stole 11 bases. Defensively, Heid plays center field now but will likely have to move to a corner in pro ball, which has hurt his draft stock.