2011 NYCBL Top 10 Prospects
: Oneonta won its first NYCBL title since the franchise moved from Saratoga Springs last year. The Outlaws finished in second place in the East Division before sweeping four games in the playoffs to win the championship.
1. Mike Johnson, lhp, Utica (SIGNED: Angels)
Johnson was picked in the 46th round by the Angels after his first year with Hillsborough (Fla.) CC and spent the summer improving his stock. Johnson signed a deadline deal with the Angels for $140,000, the biggest bonus doled out in the final seven rounds of the draft. With Utica, Johnson struck out 55 batters in 52 innings while going 9-1, 2.21. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touched 95 mph this summer. He developed a cutter during the summer, which one manager called a devastating pitch. Johnson also mixes in an overhand curveball and changeup. At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Johnson still has room to get stronger as he begins his professional career, which began with Rookie-level Orem.
2. Chris Bostick, 2b/ss, Webster (SIGNED: Athletics)
Bostick was drafted in the 44th round by the Athletics after his senior year of high school. He was committed to St. John's and appeared ready to step into the Red Storm's starting lineup before Oakland signed him for a $125,000 bonus in early August. During the summer, Bostick joined his older brother Ben in Webster, and he more than held his own against older competition. Bostick hit .413/.503/.652 with 17 extra-base hits in 138 at-bats. Bostick's plus speed plays on the basepaths, and he stole 18 bases this summer. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder then hit .442 with four more steals in his first 14 pro games.
3. Scott Weathersby, rhp, Oneonta (Fr., Mississippi)
After redshirting this spring at Mississippi, Weathersby got back on the mound during the summer with Oneonta. In 49 innings, Weathersby struck out 56 batters, walking just nine. He allowed just five extra-base hits and posted a WHIP of 0.98. Weathersby's fastball sat in the low 90s with some run. Just 6-foot-2, and listed at 160 pounds, he throws a slider that was very effective against NYCBL hitters, though his changeup still needs work. "He knows how to pitch, that's for sure," one manager said.
4. Artie Lewicki, rhp, Oneonta (So., Virginia)
Though his arrival was delayed by Virginia's deep run in the College World Series, Lewicki threw 34 innings in four games for Oneonta. He made the most of his time in upstate New York, however. Lewicki struck out 33 batters, walked just four and won the deciding game of the championship series. He threw his fastball in the low 90s with some run and held opponents to a .187 batting average in the regular season. Lewicki has a projectable 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and a whippy arm action. He also has the makings of a quality slider and solid feel for pitching.
5. Matt Chavez, if/rhp, Oneonta (Sr., San Francisco)
Chavez was drafted in the 44th round by the White Sox in 2010 but was not drafted as a junior this June. The White Sox picked him as a righthander, but some managers thought he was better suited as a hitter than as a pitcher. On the mound, Chavez threw just 11 innings this summer, striking out 16 and walking five. At the plate, he hit .333/.358/.504. Chavez has some pop in his bat, as evidenced by his 12 doubles in 141 at-bats. But he hit just .194 with two homers in 72 at-bats this spring at San Francisco, and he needs to prove he can handle quality pitching. Without a home defensively, teams may prefer to draft him as a raw pitcher with arm strength.
6. Brady Wager, rhp, Oneonta (Jr., Grand Canyon, Ariz., CC)
Though Wager was a starting pitcher at Grand Canyon CC in the spring, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was used as Oneonta's closer during the summer. He appeared in 12 games, pitching 11 innings. Wager struck out 12 batters while walking only one, though he also allowed 11 hits. Wager pitches in the low 90s with some sink on his fastball and has flashed an average slider. His changeup is in its early stage. He was the Rays' 27th-round draft pick in 2009.
7. Carlos Asuaje, 2b, Oneonta (So., Nova Southeastern, Fla.)
Asuaje moved between second and third base during the summer, though he is primarily a second baseman. Asuaje's glove drew praise from the league's managers, though he did make seven errors in 41 games. At the plate, the 5-foot-8, 155-pounder was among the league's leaders, hitting .369/.464/.537. In 149 at-bats, he struck out just 10 times and drew 25 walks, illustrating his good pitch recognition and patient approach. He also showed off good speed, stealing 19 bases.
8. Daniel Mims, of, Utica (Jr., Southeastern, Fla.)
Mims has aspirations of becoming a minister, though it's possible those plans will have to wait until after he finishes a professional baseball career. The rising fourth-year junior hit .333/.476/.517 during the summer, while playing effectively in left field. Mims is listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and has good speed, running the 60-yard dash in 6.8 seconds. He stole six bases and hit three triples this summer. Defensively, Mims still needs work in the field, but he has a good arm.
9. Dan Fiorito, 3b, Syracuse Salt Cats (Jr., Manhattanville, N.Y.)
League's managers were mystified that Florito plays for Division III Manhattanville, as several believed he could play for a higher-level program. "Someone missed the boat on this guy," one said. Fiorito hit .319/.417/.428, leading Syracuse in batting average and slugging percentage. He made eight errors in 42 games, but the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has a strong arm and two managers said he was the best third baseman in the league.
10. Scott Krutel, 3b, Utica (Sr., Missouri Baptist)
Krutel led the league with seven home runs despite playing in one of the league's biggest parks. He hit .304/.366/.534 and had 40 RBIs, the second-most in the league. Krutel made 14 errors at third base and will likely need to move across the diamond to first, where his 6-foot-2, 257-pound frame will fit better anyway.