2012 Florida Collegiate Summer League Top 10 Prospects
The DeLand Suns finished the regular season in third place, entering the postseason with a 23-17 record. The Suns went on to defeat Winter Park in a best-of-three semifinal series, capped by a three-run ninth-inning comeback in Game Three, before defeating Leesburg 10-7 in a winner-take-all championship at Tropicana Field. Bryan Adametz (North Carolina State) earned MVP honors, hitting a go-ahead seventh-inning grand slam to give the Suns a 9-6 lead.
1. Nick Gonzalez, lhp, Sanford (Jr., South Florida)
Coming off a rough freshman campaign at South Florida in which he was demoted from a weekend starter role, Gonzalez had a much-improved 2012 spring, going 4-1, 2.63 out of the bullpen with a 40-16 K-BB ratio over 41 innings. He returned to a starting role this summer in the FCSL and dominated, striking out 41 over 28 innings. A 30th-round selection in 2010 out of Leto (Fla.) High, Gonzalez has a physical 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and strong arm. As a starter, he shows good command of an 88-90 mph fastball that tops out at 93 with plus movement. His breaking ball is a legitimate strikeout pitch that flashes plus potential at times while his changeup projects to be an average offering. Overall, both lack consistency. With 20 walks on the summer, control continues to be a concern for Gonzalez, but the rising junior should have the opportunity to regain a starting role in 2013 and boost his draft stock.
2. Daniel Sweet, of, Winter Park (Fr., Polk State JC, Fla.)
Sweet was selected in the 23rd round by the Reds this June but opted for school, tuning up with a stint in the FCSL. The Mississippi native is a raw, athletic outfielder with a high ceiling. On the summer, Sweet batted .262/.445/.350 over 103 at-bats, demonstrating the ability to hit from both sides of the plate with above-average power potential. He was unafraid to work deep into counts, drawing 20 walks while striking out 20 times. Sweet is a well above-average runner, covering 60 yards in 6.5 seconds, and utilizes his speed on both the basepaths and in the outfield. He swiped 24 bags in 30 attempts this summer, third-most in the league. Originally committed to Youngstown State, Sweet will attend Polk State JC in Florida this fall, after a coaching change at Youngstown altered his plans.
3. David Lee, of, Orlando (Sr., Bethune-Cookman)
After serving as a fourth outfielder in 2010 and '11, Lee emerged as a top run producer for Bethune-Cookman in 2012, leading the team to its seventh straight regional while earning Most Outstanding Performer honors in the MEAC tournament. The physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound center fielder followed up his impressive spring with an equally solid summer, batting .382 with eight doubles and three home runs in 76 at-bats. A switch-hitter with power to all fields, Lee has an excellent approach at the plate, with good strike-zone discipline and improving pitch recognition. His walk-rate (21 percent) was one of the best in the FCSL. Defensively, Lee profiles as a corner outfielder but played well in center this summer, displaying solid speed and an average arm.
4. Trey Norris, rhp, Leesburg (So., Polk State JC, Fla.)
Norris excelled in relief at Polk State this spring, going 1-0, 2.18 with a 35-4 K-BB mark in 33 innings. As the Leesburg closer this summer, he led the FCSL with 12 saves, striking out 34 while walking 17 over 27 innings. At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Norris has a lean, projectable frame and a loose, quick arm. His fastball touches 93 mph, sitting at 88-90 with good angle, and he could see an uptick in velocity as he adds muscle. At times he struggled to command his fastball down in the zone, but he figures to improve his command with experience. While his offspeed offerings remain works in progress, his slider shows plus potential, giving him a solid second pitch.
5. Darryl Knight, c, Orlando (So., Seminole State JC, Fla.)
Coming off a successful freshman season at Seminole State in which he led the team in home runs (seven), RBIs (31) and walks (28), Knight excelled this summer for his hometown club, batting .276/.401/.483. Despite seeing regular action both this spring and in the FCSL, Knight remains a very raw talent. Offensively, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound catcher shows above-average power potential, slugging five home runs and seven doubles, but his free-swinging approach has led to high strikeout totals. After being set down a team-high 47 times in 144 at-bats this spring, Knight led the Monarchs with 39 strikeouts in 116 at-bats this summer. Defensively, the Orlando native displays an above-average arm, registering consistent pop times in the 1.9- to 2.0-second range, but he needs to continue improving his blocking and receiving skills in order to stick at catcher long term.
6. Drew Jackson, rhp, DeLand (So., Stetson)
Jackson struggled in limited action out of the Stetson bullpen this spring, allowing 19 runs over 18 innings, but he excelled in a starting role for DeLand this summer. In 26 innings over six starts, the rising sophomore went 2-1, 2.81 with a 30-10 K-BB mark, while holding opposing hitters to a .176 batting average. One opposing manager credited him with the best feel for pitching in the FCSL. As a starter, Jackson sits at 87-89 mph with his fastball, dialing it up to 92 mph with good sinking action. He also shows good command of an above-average slider with late break. At 6-foot-3, 165 pounds, Jackson has a tall, wiry frame with plenty of room for projection. He should compete for a starting role at Stetson this spring.
7. Mike Danner, 1b/lf, Winter Park (Jr., Tampa)
Widely regarded as the best pure hitter in the league, Danner crushed FCSL pitching, batting .349 with eight home runs, ranking third and first in the league, respectively. Coming off a stellar sophomore campaign at Polk State, Danner reached base in all but one of his 44 games this summer, while posting 16 multi-hit games. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder impressed talent evaluators with his quick hands and ability to make consistent contact, but there are concerns over his aggressive approach at the plate as he advances. In addition, Danner's speed and baserunning ability were on display, as he led the league with 32 stolen bases in 39 attempts. As an undersized corner infielder/outfielder, there are concerns about his pro profile, so Danner's bat will have to carry him. He will attend Division II Tampa this fall.
8. Mike Sylvestri, rhp, Winter Park (Sr., Florida Atlantic)
A former catcher at St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC, Sylvestri made the transition to reliever this spring at Florida Atlantic and found success, going 1-2, 4.11 with 28 strikeouts in 31 innings. In a starting role this summer, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder continued to impress, posting a 38-10 K-BB ratio over 34 innings. With less than a year of pitching experience, Sylvestri has a rare, fresh arm, making him a potential steal as a senior sign in 2013. Sylvestri pounds the zone with a low 90s fastball, regularly touching 94 mph. He mixes in a developing slider that shows flashes of being an above-average offering.
9. Cary Baxter, rhp, Winter Park (R-So., Alabama)
A two-way player at Alabama, Baxter focused on pitching this summer in the FCSL, making nine starts for Winter Park. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound righthander went 3-2, 3.97 with a league-high 55 strikeouts over 48 innings. Baxter is a strike-thrower whose fastball sits in the low 90s with good downhill plane. He mixes in an average breaking ball that can both land for strikes or be used as an out pitch. After missing his freshman season in 2011 due to surgery on his pitching arm, Baxter looks to be fully healed, using the 2012 summer to continue building up his arm strength.
10. Mike Compton, rhp, DeLand (So., Florida State)
Compton went 12-2, 2.87 over 18 starts at Florida State this spring to earn second-team freshman All-America honors. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander carried his success into the summer, posting a 2.65 ERA with 25 strikeouts and six walks over 17 innings for DeLand. After pitching 91 innings for the Seminoles, Compton made just four starts due to workload concerns. With a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 80s, Compton relies on plus command and heavy sink, rather than overpowering stuff. His breaking ball rates solid-average, and he stands out for his excellent feel for pitching.