Florida Collegiate Summer League Top 10 Prospects
The Leesburg Lightning cruised through the FCSL playoffs, allowing just two runs in three games en route to their second league championship. The Lightning toppled the defending champion Clermont Mavericks 5-1 in the title game at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
1. Jabari Blash, of, DeLand (So., Miami-Dade CC)
Blash has tremendous raw talent, and he was drafted by the Rangers in the ninth round this June but did not sign. Blash has a great body at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and has the potential to be a five-tool player. He has a strong enough arm to play right field and also has enough speed to play center. Blash hit .279/.400/.365 in 104 at-bats this summer but hit just one homer after blasting 10 in 102 at-bats this spring. He has plus raw power to go along with his plus speed and plus arm, but he has holes in his swing and is still learning the nuances of the game.
2. Jimmy Nelson, rhp, DeLand (Jr., Alabama)
After ranking as the No. 3 prospect in the Texas Collegiate League last summer, Nelson was up and down in a relief role this spring, going 2-3, 4.54 with 39 strikeouts and 20 walks in 38 innings. For the second straight year, he was better in the summer, going 4-4, 2.76 with a FCSL-best 75 strikeouts and 23 walks in 59 innings, nearly all of them as a starter. Nelson has a durable 6-foot-6, 235-pound build and an 88-92 mph fastball that touches 93. His 80-82 mph slider has good tilt and can be a plus pitch at times; it is a big reason he racks up so many strikeouts. Nelson uses both sides of the plate and should be able to get even more out of his arm as he grows into his large frame. He is durable enough to start but must develop a third pitch.
3. Taylor Wrenn, ss/2b, DeLand (So., Southern California)
Wrenn was drafted in the 33rd round out of Lakeland (Fla.) High in 2008 and again in the 25th round this June after hitting .386 with seven homers as a freshman at Manatee (Fla.) CC. Wrenn is a good hitter for average who makes solid contact and uses all fields. His 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame has some strength and he shows occasional pop, but he won't be a home run hitter at the next level. Wrenn has good speed and instincts on the basepaths, and he is a solid defender at both middle infield positions. He could take over for Grant Green at shortstop for USC next spring.
4. Mike Dufek, 1b/rhp, Leesburg (Sr., Michigan)
Dufek led the Big Ten Conference with 17 home runs as a junior this spring and also showed a power arm off the mound in a relief role, posting a 2.70 ERA and a 21-5 K-BB ratio in 17 innings. Still, he went undrafted because of his high pricetag and headed to the FCSL, where he hit .283/.324/.457 with four homers (third in the league) and thrived in a closer role, recording six saves, a 0.93 ERA and a 13-5 K-BB ratio in 10 innings. Dufek has legitimate lefthanded power and a physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound build. Off the mound, he can rear back and throw in the 90-92 mph range in short stints. But his best tool is his power bat, and he should be a quality senior sign as a hitter.
5. Derek Luciano, ss/2b, DeLand (Jr., Central Florida)
Luciano hit .345 with 14 doubles and six home runs for Manatee (Fla.) CC as a sophomore this spring—not including the three hits he had in a spring-training exhibition victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates—and has transferred to UCF for his junior year. He fared well in the FCSL, hitting .299/.400/.463 with 30 RBIs (all team bests). He also led the league with three triples. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Luciano has a strong, physical build. He has a patient approach (23 walks and 21 strikeouts) and makes consistent contact from the left side, and he also flashes some pull power. He can play both middle infield positions but profiles better at second base.
6. Tyler White, rhp, DeLand (So., Alabama)
After redshirting in 2008, White used a strong summer in the Coastal Plain League as a springboard and carved out a role in Alabama's bullpen this spring, posting a 2.28 ERA and a 37-14 strikeout-walk ratio in 28 innings. He continued to miss bats this summer, racking up 35 strikeouts while walking 18 in 17 innings as DeLand's closer. His wildness led to a 4.76 ERA, but he held opponents to a .138 average and accrued seven saves. White is physical and durable at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and he attacks hitters with a 91-93 mph fastball with decent sink. His curveball has good bite and depth, giving him a second quality offering and helping him profile as an effective late-innings reliever in pro ball.
7. Nick DelGuidice, ss/2b, Leesburg (Jr., Florida Atlantic)
DelGuidice followed up his solid sophomore spring (.321/.356/.478) with a decent summer in the FCSL, batting .284/.311/.383. DelGuidice is a contact hitter who showed a bit of pop with a metal bat this spring, but defense is his calling card. As a freshman at Lake Sumter (Fla.) CC, DelGuidice was named the defensive player of the year in his conference. He has excellent instincts and range at shortstop, and he's steady and reliable, as evidenced by his .969 fielding percentage this summer.
8. Robert Lake, rhp, Leesburg (Jr., Winthrop)
Lake is a fierce competitor with a fine arm and a good body (6-foot-2, 185 pounds). His fastball sits in the 89-91 mph range, and he spots it well to both sides of the plate. His secondary stuff is still developing, but he made progress in the FCSL. After struggling this spring (6-3, 6.63 with 47 strikeouts and 21 walks in 77 innings), Lake put up impressive numbers this summer, going 4-0, 0.38 with 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 innings while holding hitters to a .141 average.
9. Josh Smith, rhp, Sanford (Sr., Lipscomb)
Smith was dominant at times as a fourth-year junior for Lipscomb this spring, going 7-4, 3.86 with 101 strikeouts and 48 walks in 89 innings. He made four starts this summer, going 3-1, 3.42 with 24 strikeouts and eight walks in 24 innings. Smith has good movement on an 88-92 mph fastball, the centerpiece of a decent four-pitch mix. He has a good professional body at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds.
10. Delgis Soto, rhp, Sanford (Jr., Brewton-Parker, Ga.)
Soto is undersized and raw, but he has an electric arm. He posted an 8.88 ERA as a sophomore at Seminole (Fla.) CC this spring, but he did record a 27-12 K-BB ratio in 24 innings. Soto racked up six saves for Sanford this summer, striking out 14 in 12 innings, though he issued nine walks. Soto is not a prototypical prospect at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, but he can run his fastball up to 94 mph and sits at 91-93. He also flashes a hammer curveball, but he's still learning how to pitch. He is transferring to NAIA Brewton-Parker for his junior season.