|THIS YEAR'S CROP|
|*****||One for the books|
|***||Solid, not spectacular|
|**||Not up to par|
|*||Nothing to see here|
|National Top 200 Prospects|
|Other Players Of Note|
1. Pedro Beato, rhp (National rank: 13)
School: St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC. Class: Fr.
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 10/27/86.
Scouting Report: Beato was considered an attractive, projectable pitcher as a high school underclassman at Xaverian High in Brooklyn, then had Tommy John surgery in April 2004. He returned for his senior season and showed enough to persuade the Mets to take a flier, drafting him in the 17th round last year as a draft-and-follow. They were expected to sign him, and he could command as much as $1 million. He lacks polish but flashes mid-90s heat from a clean, quick arm action. On scout day at St. Petersburg Junior College, he asked to run the 60-yard-dash and turned in a 6.7-second time, which speaks to his athletic ability. Beato features four pitches, with his fastball, slider and changeup all showing potential to be plus pitches. His fastball sits near 90 mph, touching 96. It has good, late life and sink. His 84-85 mph slider is a power pitch that he doesn't command consistently, but has sharp bite. He has feel for his changeup and will show a curveball that isn't the swing-and-miss offering his slider is. Beato has trouble repeating his delivery, which leads to erratic control. But his arm works well, and when he finds a comfortable, three-quarters slot, he can be dominant.
2. Chris Marrero, 3b (National rank: 23)
School: Monsignor Pace HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 7/2/88.
Scouting Report: Marrero entered his senior season with high expectations, and by most accounts did not live up to them. He held down the starting third base job since his sophomore season at Monsignor Pace, and asserted himself as the nation's top prep position player in the fall, displaying remarkable power at a showcase in Orlando. Marrero has the look scouts savor. Tall, strong, lean and loose, he shows average to plus tools in all five categories, with 70 power on the 20-to-80 scale. His swing has good leverage and he can drive balls out to all parts of the park. He has adequate plate discipline and good pitch recognition. He hasn't shown an ability to make consistent hard contact, but remains high on draft boards based on projection and power. He needs to improve his plate coverage, as he prefers to pull the ball, and tends to fly open and miss pitches on the outer half. He has well-above-average arm strength and shows some ability to make accurate throws from different arm angles and on the run. Some scouts envision him moving to first base or left field, developing into a player the ilk of Pat Burrell. Marrero's power potential won't let him slide out of the first round.
3. Derrick Robinson, of (National rank: 33)
School: P.K. Yonge HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Archer, Fla.
B-T: B-L. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 9/28/87.
Scouting Report: One of last summer's highlights was Robinson strapping on his bright red track shoes to run the 60-yard-dash at showcases, especially after he was clocked last June in 6.19 seconds. Also a top football recruit, Robinson committed to Florida, but he has told scouts he wants to sign to play baseball. The club that believes in Robinson's ability to hit could pop him as early as the supplemental round. He's an 80 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale, but he's more than just an athlete. He has a feel for the game and impressed scouts with his instincts, considering he's split time between two sports. He has improved his pitch recognition, though he has additional room for improvement. He tends to get out on his front foot too early, especially from the left side of the plate, but when he stays back he has gap power and good bat speed. He needs to get stronger, but he knows how to use the whole field and bunts well. His defensive skills are average, with a below-average arm.
4. Colton Willems, rhp (National rank: 34)
School: John Carroll Catholic HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Fort Pierce, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 7/30/88.
Scouting Report: Willems surfaced as an elite arm last summer, garnering most valuable pitcher honors at the Cape Cod Classic in July. His velocity spiked this spring, and he came out pitching at 92 mph and bumping 97 in a relief outing. He is compared to Matt Latos, another hard-throwing righthander from southeast Florida, and Willems holds the edge entering the draft because of better makeup and fastball command. Willems pitches off his fastball and spots it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. He has thrown both a curve and a slider, and both pitches are inconsistent. His slider will likely be his best secondary option. His changeup isn't a put-away pitch, but he does have a feel for it. While he's not muscular, he should be able to log innings as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He could be drafted as high as the back of the first round.
5. Max Sapp, c/1b (National rank: 36)
School: Bishop Moore HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Windermere, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 2/21/88.
Scouting Report: Scouts in Florida are split on whether Sapp's catch and throw skills play behind the plate, but his bat should play anywhere. He's big and strong, but his body doesn't exude athleticism and agility. He's barrel-chested and thick, and he elevated his stock considerably this spring when he came out in good shape. He has above-average arm strength and his hands are adequate, but he's not nimble, doesn't block balls well, and rates as a below-average receiver. He struggles with his footwork and exchange on throws to second base. But even those scouts who predict he'll have to move to first base like his bat. He has plus raw power, good plate coverage and a fair approach at the plate. He reduced a high leg kick he uses as a trigger, but still has too much of an uppercut swing. He has made consistent, hard contact in high school and performed well in big games. He has good makeup and has worked to improve defensively. He could become a prolific college power hitter if he winds up at Florida State, but he's expected to sign if he's chosen in the top three rounds. His power potential makes it likely a club will take him in that range.
6. Matt LaPorta, 1b (National rank: 38)
School: Florida. Class: Jr.
Hometown: Port Charlotte, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 1/8/85.
Scouting Report: LaPorta led the nation in home runs as a sophomore, slugging 26 to set a school record. His power binge continued during the summer, when he anchored the heart of the order for Team USA's college national squad. His junior season was another story. He strained an oblique muscle in February, missed 13 games and never got untracked. He got pull-happy, chased breaking balls in the dirt and shifted his feet in the box, leading to a change in his eye level. LaPorta was a more confident, efficient hitter last summer, and his track record has to be considered. He has huge raw power, rating 70 on the 20-80 scale. When he gets his arms extended, he can launch balls with backspin and carry to all fields. He arrived in Gainesville as a catcher but moved to first base to make room for Brian Jeroloman. LaPorta is adequate defensively at first base, though he has little range, and has an above-average arm. LaPorta's adviser is Scott Boras, further complicating his status. Consensus among scouts is that his overall package fits in the third round, but he won't come cheap, and a club desperate for power could take him as early as the back end of the first round.
7. Stephen King, ss (National rank: 42)
School: Winter Park HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 10/27/87.
Scouting Report: A mediocre senior season and leg injuries hurt King's stock, but his potential to develop into a five-tool shortstop in the mold of Bobby Crosby or J.J. Hardy is why he should be drafted in the first three rounds. He easily passes scouts' eye test, with a strong, slender body and tapered waist. He'll have to make some adjustments in his swing and approach, which currently keep him from getting a good load and trigger in his swing. Good fastballs tend to tie him up, but he has the bat speed and feel for the strike zone to become an above-average offensive player with at least average power. He has good actions up the middle, good hands and above-average arm strength. He's a solid-average runner. The club that buys into King's future with the bat could take him as early as the supplemental round. He's considered signable in the top three rounds.
8. Matt Latos, rhp (National rank: 44)
School: Coconut Creek HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Margate, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 208. Birthdate: 12/9/87.
Scouting Report: Florida's most electric high school pitcher, Latos became a household name in scouting circles last summer when he touched 96 mph and performed well at showcase events. He's often compared to Colton Willems, another high school righthander from Florida's southeast coast. Both flashed 97 mph heat this spring and could be drafted among the first 50 picks. Latos has good command of electric stuff, though he lacks the feel for pitching and fastball command Willems possesses. He throws a curveball and slider, which are inconsistent, but the curve is at times a two-plane pitch with excellent depth and the slider could become a reliable third or fourth offering. He also has a feel for his changeup. Latos has a tall, slender frame, but his delivery isn't picture perfect. His stock slipped after he matched up against Douglas High of Parkland, Fla., and righthander Bandon Holden. Latos lost his cool with his teammates after some errors were made, and detractors say his makeup and mound presence need work.
9. Chris Perez, rhp (National rank: 46)
School: Miami. Class: Jr.
Hometown: Holmes Beach, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 7/1/85.
Scouting Report: Perez bounced between relief and starting roles in his first two seasons at Miami. He was arrested in 2005 on drunken-driving charges, which were eventually dropped. After he returned from suspension, he permanently inherited the closer job. He profiles as a reliever in professional ball, although his stuff fits best in a set-up role. He was gaining momentum this spring, as he did last year, and his fastball velocity climbed to 95 mph. His fastball command is below-average, and Perez often pitches behind in the count. He relies on a wipeout slider at 83-87 mph, giving him two potentially plus pitches and the ingredients to be an effective reliever if he can improve his overall control. He has a repeatable delivery and his arm works well. Scouts are wary of Perez' body, and he was heavy in high school and appeared to gain some weight this season, as well.
10. Adrian Cardenas, 2b (National rank: 62)
School: Monsignor Pace HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Miami Lakes, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 10/10/87.
Scouting Report: No player in Florida took a bigger leap forward this spring than Cardenas, a hard-nosed throwback player with good makeup and feel for the game. He's savvy and bright, and he even plays the piano. He made the most of hitting in front of Chris Marrero in his high school lineup by putting together one of the most impressive high school seasons in South Florida in years. He hit safely in 29 of his first 37 at-bats with eight home runs, broke a Dade County record for home runs and was batting .630-17-56. Cardenas has good strength and a short, compact lefthanded swing. He allows balls to get deep in the hitting zone before driving them to all fields. He should hit 10-15 home runs annually in the big leagues with a .275-.295 average. He won't make it there as a shortstop, however, which hinders his value. He's a fringe-average runner, and his lower half has some stiffness. Most scouts believe he profiles at second base fine, though others insist he'll wind up in left field. His hands are average, as is his arm at second base.
11. Dylan Brown, of (National rank: 73)
School: Plant HS. Class: Sr
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 10/21/87.
Scouting Report: Brown was Hillsborough County's male athlete of the year after impressive football and baseball seasons. He hammered three home runs and nine RBIs in his final home game of the season to break his school home run record, which had stood for 21 years. He hit .457-13-40 and climbed into consideration among the top three rounds. He has reportedly floated a bonus demand in excess of $1 million, due in part to his desire to attend Oklahoma State, where one of his four brothers (Cory) is an outfielder. Brown has good strength and an intriguing package of speed and power. His swing is a little grooved and stiff, but he has plus raw power and can muscle balls out to the deepest part of the park. He's an adequate outfielder and should improve with more instruction, but he's not a true center fielder. He had labrum surgery in 2002, and lacks the arm strength for right field. He's a 60 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale. There was a lot of interest in Brown late in the season, and he could sneak into the top two rounds, but his signability could play a major part in where he's ultimately picked.
12. Steve Evarts, lhp (National rank: 75)
School: Robinson HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 10/13/87.
Scouting Report: Not unlike his high school coach at Robinson High, 10-year minor leaguer Sal Urso, Evarts has made a name for himself thanks to an excellent changeup. He emerged as the top prep lefty in Florida, surpassing Carmine Giardina and Justin Edwards when his fastball climbed from the mid-80s last summer to 88-92 mph, bumping 93 this spring. He has a good feel for pitching and throws strikes. He can cut his fastball and uses it effectively to set up his changeup, which grades as a 70 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. He uses an unconventional grip that gives it late tilt, diving away from righthanded hitters with screwball-like break. He throws it for strikes and in any count. Evarts' breaking balls are barely usable. He tried out a slider later in the season that showed promise, but he needs to improve its break. His arm works well and he has an athletic, repeatable delivery. Evarts should be drafted in the third- to fifth-round range, and he's expected to sign rather than attend junior college.
13. Cody Johnson, 1b (National rank: 82)
School: Mosley HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Panama City, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/18/88.
Scouting Report: One veteran Florida area scout summed up sentiment on Johnson, saying, "I don't know if he can hit or not. One day he's Ryan Howard and the next he's Eddie Pearson," making reference to the White Sox' first round pick in 1992 who never fulfilled his potential. Johnson was the talk of last summer's showcase circuit, picking up MVP award in Marietta, Ga., at Perfect Game wood bat events. He was Aflac's Jackie Robinson Award winner in August, which was around the same time he started to slump. Johnson has a hitch in his swing that hinders his ability to catch up to good fastballs, especially above his hands. His pitch recognition is below-average, as is his defense in the outfield. What makes him intriguing is his plus raw power. He drives balls with loft and carry to all parts of the park, and when he extends his long arms he can really mash. He performed better this spring, but his holes remain glaring. He has above-average arm strength but lacks feel and doesn't take good routes in the outfield. His hands are stiff and he's not fluid at first base, either. He has turned in sub-7.0-second 60-yard dash times, although his times from home to first are typically around 4.2 seconds. Johnson has a good work ethic and age on his side--he doesn't turn 18 until mid-August--but signability could come into play if he isn't drafted in the first two or three rounds. He has committed to Florida State.
14. Adam Davis, 2b (National rank: 85)
School: Florida. Class: Jr.
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fla.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 10/15/84.
Scouting Report: Following a third-team All-American campaign as a sophomore at Florida, Davis batted .313 for USA Baseball's college national team last summer. He thrived in a Gators lineup that had Jeff Corsaletti in front of him and Matt LaPorta behind him. Florida's 2006 season was a different picture. LaPorta got off to a bad start, and the slump seemed to spread to Davis and junior catcher Brian Jeroloman, who all watched their draft stock plummet. Davis has the ability to be a switch-hitting sparkplug, with plus speed and some looseness in his swing. He doesn't work counts as effectively as he needs to in order to profile as a leadoff man, and he needs to improve his contact and stay inside the ball more. He has a slight uppercut in his swing, and shows more pop from the right side but better contact from the left. He can hit the ball to all fields, though his power is limited. He shows average range at shortstop, but he'll move to second base in pro ball, where his footwork and arm strength fit better.
15. Jon Jay, of (National rank: 102)
School: Miami. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 197. Birthdate: 3/15/85.
Scouting Report: In a weak college outfield crop, Jay was a second-team preseason All-American after holding down the leadoff spot for Team USA in the summer of 2005. He's a classic tweener outfielder who doesn't profile as an everyday player on a championship club. He posted a .408 average as a sophomore at Miami, and has a patient, mature approach to hitting, but his range is just average in center field and he doesn't hit for power. He had 11 home runs in 503 career at-bats. His set-up and swing are unorthodox. He has a wide stance and pumps his hands as a trigger. He makes consistent contact when pitches are down in the zone and uses the whole field, but lacks leverage and loft. He's a 50 runner on the 20-80 scale, although his speed plays up on the basepaths. He's got good feel for the game, makes good reads and takes good routes in the outfield. His arm is accurate but his throws lack carry.
16. Carmine Giardina, lhp (National rank: 107)
School: Durant HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Valrico, Fla.
B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 212. Birthdate: 2/20/88.
Scouting Report: Giardina played alongside a bevy of prospects with Chet Lemon's Juice travel team, and was the talk of many of the high-profile showcases last summer and fall. He ranked as the No. 2 prospect at the World Wood Bat Fall Championship in Jupiter, Fla., in November, but it was evident his grueling workload had taken a toll. Giardina was a potential first-rounder entering the spring but his command and mechanics weren't as good as a senior. Against Sarasota High's Erik Erickson he struck out 15, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning in front of a throng of scouts, and could be taken as high as the second round based on a good track record, excellent makeup and his mature, athletic pitcher's body. Giardina works from a high three-quarters arm slot, although at times he was more over the top this spring. His inconsistent arm angle hindered the break oh his curveball, which has potential to be a plus pitch. Giardina's fastball sits near 89 with late life. He pounds the bottom half of the strike zone. He'll flash a slider and changeup as well, both of which are average offerings.
17. Justin Edwards, lhp (National rank: 108)
School: Olympia HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 9/7/87.
Scouting Report: Edwards and Carmine Giardina fronted Chet Lemon's Juice rotation, and Edwards won over scouts last summer when he repeatedly performed well on big stages on the summer showcase and tournament tour. He's undersized and his stuff isn't overpowering, but he was dominant at times against top prep hitters because of deft command and feel for above-average offerings in his curveball and changeup. Edwards, who has committed to Georgia, didn't fare as well this spring. Despite his 81-9 strikeout-walk ratio, his command wasn't as sharp as it had been, especially with his fastball. He maintains good arm speed on his changeup, which has late fade and sink. Edwards' breaking ball is a true curveball that isn't a present plus pitch but has lots of potential. His fastball was up to 90 mph last summer, but sat 84-87 mph most of the spring. He has a clean arm action, smooth, repeatable delivery and athleticism.
18. Sergio Perez, rhp (National rank: 109)
School: Tampa. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 12/5/84.
Scouting Report: After winning the Division II south regional and advancing to the College World Series in Montgomery, Ala., Tampa should graduate its top pitcher, Perez, to the draft, perhaps as early as the third round. He threw the Spartans' first no-hitter in a decade and dominated at times this spring, posting a .180 opponent average. Perez works off a lively fastball that has been up to 95 mph and sits near 92. He complements his heater with a hard, short slider. When he stays on top of it, he drives it down and away from righthanded hitters. He has a quick arm, but his arm action is violent, somewhat similar to that of Orioles closer Chris Ray. Perez struggles to repeat his delivery, which hinders his fastball command, although he has average control. He gets under his slider, showing it early and causing it to hang in the strike zone. His wide, thick frame doesn't offer much projection.
19. Ken Herndon, rhp (National rank: 114)
School: Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC. Class: Fr.
Hometown: Southport, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/4/85.
Scouting Report: A 23rd-round draft-and-follow from 2005, Herndon was expected to garner a six-figure signing bonus from the Twins after performing well in his second season in junior college. Herndon's bread and butter is a hard, heavy fastball that he throws at 90-93 mph. He stays on top the pitch well and throws it on a downhill plane. He pitches aggressively, pounding the strike zone and working off his fastball with solid-average command. His secondary stuff is less reliable. He's shown a slider and a curveball, but neither has true break. His slider is the better of the two pitches presently, but he needs to stay down and through it upon release. His changeup is a show-me offering with potential for improvement. He struggles against lefthanded hitters. Herndon needs to improve his mental toughness on the mound. He could be drafted as high as the fifth round if he re-enters the draft, and sentiment among scouts is he wants to sign rather than continuing his college career.
20. Marcus Lemon, ss (National rank: 120)
School: Eustis HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Sanford, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 6/3/88.
Scouting Report: There isn't a player in this year's class scouts want to see succeed more than Lemon, the son of former major leaguer Chet. He's a throwback who puts his best effort into everything. To go along with his championship makeup, Lemon has played through his senior season with his dad extremely ill. Lemon works counts, makes consistent contact and uses the entire field, but he doesn't have much load in his swing and lacks looseness in his hands and wrists at the plate. He has some pull power but because he's a fringe-average runner, he can't rely on a slap approach. He has good hands and enough arm to make plays in the hole at short. His remarkable feel and instincts for the game allow him to make spectacular plays. His ceiling isn't considerable, which could lead him to slide outside the top three rounds. Signability could become a question at that point for the Texas signee.
21. David Christensen, of (National rank: 128)
School: Douglas HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Parkland, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 2/11/88.
Scouting Report: Christensen was a preseason third-team All-American and received plenty of exposure on one of South Florida's top prep teams. When scouts heard the family threw out a $1 million signing bonus target, however, some teams decided they were willing to let him head off to Miami. But the bonus target may have been overstated, and Christensen could be taken as high as the second round by the club that buys into his ability to hit. He doesn't make consistent contact, and needs to improve his pitch recognition. He generates good bat speed, and when he squares balls he can drive them out to all parts of the park. Christensen's arm strength is as impressive as his raw power, which helps him profile as an everyday right fielder. His waist is high and he's athletic, though some scouts worry about his ability to maintain his body as he matures. He's presently an average runner.
22. Riley Cooper, of (National rank: 161)
School: Clearwater Central Cath. HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Clearwater, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/9/87.
Scouting Report: While Cooper's prowess on the football field was well known, his stock as an outfielder spiked the summer before his senior year. He committed to Florida to play football, and set state prep records for punt and kickoff return yards as a defensive back/wide receiver. With the makings of five above-average tools, he was considered a potential high-round draft pick until he put his fist through a car window less than five games into his senior baseball season, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report. He needed surgery to repair severe cuts on his right arm, and was on the sidelines as Clearwater Central Catholic make it to the Class 3-A state semifinals. Cooper turned in a 6.29 60-yard-dash time at Perfect Game's National Showcase in Atlanta last summer. He generates good bat speed and gets nice extension on his swing, showing the potential for power. His approach is unrefined, at the plate and defensively. He needs to improve his pitch recognition and his swing often lacks balance. He has an above-average arm. Because of Cooper's commitment to play football and makeup questions, some clubs had no interest in drafting him at all, but at least a few others might be willing to use a late pick and try to sign him.
23. Alex Cobb, rhp (National rank: 162)
School: Vero Beach HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Vero Beach, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 10/7/87.
Scouting Report: Cobb made a name for himself as a junior in 2005 when he matched up against Wellington (Fla.) High's Tyler Herron and competed well. This spring it was his turn to climb draft boards, and he came on strong after spending the fall playing quarterback. He offers less projection and more present ability than the prototypical high school pitcher. While athletic, his frame isn't big and strong, creating questions about his durability. He doesn't pitch off his fastball, mostly because he features a well-above-average curveball. It's a power out pitch with 11-to-5 break that he throws in any count. His fastball sits between 87-91 mph, though he endured a heavy workload this spring and his fastball velocity tailed off late in the season. He also throws a split-finger fastball. His overall command is above-average. Cobb has committed to Clemson, and is considered signable in the top three rounds.
24. Jacob Brigham, rhp (National rank: 165)
School: Central Florida Christian HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Ocoee, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 2/10/88.
Scouting Report: Few players in the high school class took a bigger step back from last fall to this spring than Brigham. He has shown a feel for pitching, a pair of potential plus pitches in his fastball and breaking ball and a fluid, easy delivery in the past. His delivery looked more mechanical this spring, and his control and velocity suffered. At his best, Brigham features a low-90s fastball, which has been up to 94 mph, and a hard-biting 82 mph slider. His arm works well from a high three-quarters slot that allows him to pitch downhill. He has shown good command and a feel for pitching, though he isn't as aggressive as he should be. Brigham played at a small high school, and some scouts said he played down to his poor competition. He regained his command and velocity later in the year, with only a handful of scouts at some of his starts. Based on his past performance, he could still be drafted in the top three rounds, and a good performance at the Florida high school all-star game in Seabring could rekindle interest right before the draft.
25. Shane Robinson, of (National rank: 169)
School: Florida State. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 10/30/84.
Scouting Report: Evaluating Robinson divides scouts. One might say the productive outfielder is the best pound for pound player in the United States, while another tags him as a lefthanded Steve Stanley, saying Robinson's size and lack of strength will keep him from succeeding in pro ball. A football/baseball star at Tampa's Jesuit High, Robinson had started every game in his three seasons at Florida State. As a sophomore, he had a school-record 40-game hitting streak and became the only college player with 100 hits and 40 stolen bases in the same season, finishing with 122 hits, a .427 average and .532 on-base percentage to go along with a .987 fielding percentage. Robinson centers the ball consistently, spraying line drives to all fields with well-below-average power. He has good plate discipline and works counts well. He has good bat control and bunts well. He doesn't have exceptional bat speed and lacks the plate coverage to handle pitches on the outer half. He's a solid-average runner, with good instincts on the basepaths and in center field, where he's a solid-average defender. His arm is fringe-average but accurate, and his good technique upgrades his overall defensive package. Predictions of where Robinson will be drafted are as divergent as the opinions on how good he'll be. He won't likely be taken higher than the fourth round, in any case.
26. Chase Fontaine, ss (National rank: 173)
School: Daytona Beach (Fla.) CC. Class: So.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 10/22/85.
Scouting Report: Fontaine's route has been a circuitous one. He slumped badly late in his senior season at Nease High in St. Augustine, Fla., in 2004, went undrafted and headed to Texas. He never played for the Longhorns and transferred to Dayton Beach when Seth Johnston decided to return for his senior season. The Rangers drafted Fontaine in the 18th round in 2005, but after he spent the summer in the Cape Cod League he returned for his sophomore season. He was among the state's top five juco hitters in average (.407), runs (57) and homers (10) and capped his sophomore season with an impressive display of hitting in the state tournament. He has committed to Florida, and reportedly was seeking at least $500,000 to sign with the Rangers. He is a good all-around player without a plus tool. He generates good bat speed with a short, compact swing. He will use the whole field and shows good plate discipline. Fontaine has good hands and an above-average arm, but lacks the range to profile as a true shortstop. Scouts doubt he'll develop more than average power, making third base a difficult spot for him to profile, too.
27. Mike Mehlich, rhp (National rank: 182)
School: Bishop Moore HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 9/5/87.
Scouting Report: When he threw in the mid-90s last fall, Mehlich was one of several high school pitchers in Florida who came out flashing significantly higher velocity than they had before. He took advantage of his exposure, pitching for one of the state's top teams alongside catcher Max Sapp. Mehlich played quarterback at Bishop Moore, and offers plus arm strength with a rudimentary feel for pitching. He works exclusively out of the stretch, and while his arm works well his mechanics need refinement. His pitched with his fastball between 88-94 mph this spring and complements it with a power curveball at 77 mph. His command is average. Mehlich's show-me changeup is a distant third pitch, and scouts believe he has a chance to develop into a back-of-the-rotation starter.
28. Tim Bascom, rhp (National rank: 184)
School: Central Florida. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 1/4/85.
Scouting Report: Bascom hoped to parlay a solid sophomore season into a spot in the top two rounds of the draft but didn't overwhelm scouts with his junior season. He had a knee injury last fall that lingered into the spring. Scouts praised his makeup and competitiveness, and they loved the way he was willing to pitch through the injury even though his performance didn't measure up. His final regular season outing was the briefest of his career, as he was lifted after one inning after allowing six runs at Southern Mississippi. Bascom's fastball sits between 87-89 mph but lacks movement. He didn't show the 94 mph heat he flashed previously, more often topping out at 91-92. He has a feel for three secondary offerings. His curveball has better action than his slider. Bascom is a strike thrower and attacks the zone with all four of his pitches. He has a tendency to leave the ball up in the zone and profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
29. Austin Hudson, rhp (National rank: 191)
School: Boone HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 1/6/88.
Scouting Report: Hudson opened the spring showing an 84-87 mph fastball, but a month into the season he was pumping his fastball in at 93 mph. He has a good pitcher's build and some projection, and he has drawn comparisons to Rockies righthander Aaron Cook for his heavy, sinking fastball. Hudson was shelled in a showdown with Orlando's Bishop Moore, primarily because he has little feel for a breaking ball and must keep his fastball down in the zone to succeed. In another outing against Justin Edwards and Olympia High, he retired 14 batters on ground balls in a five-inning stint. He has a loose, quick arm, but doesn't repeat his delivery well. His mid-70s curve lacks depth and snap. He shows some feel for a changeup.
30. Mark Sobolewski, ss/2b (National rank: 192)
School: Sarasota HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Sarasota, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 12/24/86.
Scouting Report: Sobolewski's stock climbed this spring when he homered off hard-throwing righthander Billy Bullock with more than a dozen scouts on hand. He helped lead Sarasota High to a national ranking and the Florida Class 6-A championship game. He has good tools across the board, without any that are plus, and he's 19, which makes him an old senior. He's an offensive-minded middle infielder who won't likely remain at shortstop in pro ball because he's heavy-footed and lacks the lateral quickness for the position. He has an average arm and good hands, making second base a more likely destination than third. He's a fringe-average runner. He has an unrefined, pull approach with average power, but he projects to hit for average and power once he learns to use the entire field. Sobolewski has committed to Miami, and could be a difficult sign for slot money beyond the fourth round.
31. Bryant Thompson, rhp (National rank: 193)
School: Pensacola (Fla.) JC. Class: So.
B-T: . Ht.: . Wt.: . Birthdate: .
Scouting Report: Based purely on his present stuff and makeup, Thompson has second-round value, but there are several question marks about him. He transferred to Pensacola from North Alabama after an injury led to surgery, when he had two pins inserted in his right elbow. He was aggressive in his rehab and came out this spring flashing a fastball with life at 95-96 mph. He has average command of his fastball and changeup, which also has potential to be a plus pitch. Thompson's slurvy breaking ball has a ways to go, as do his mechanics. He pitches from a low three-quarters arm slot, and his elbow is too low on its way back through to his release. He profiles as a set-up man unless he can develop a usable slider, as opposed to trying to throw a curveball from an arm slot that is more conducive for a slider.
32. Brian Jeroloman, c (National rank: 194)
School: Florida. Class: Jr.
Hometown: Wellington, Fla.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 5/10/85.
Scouting Report: Jeroloman was always considered a defense-first backstop, but even without big expectations offensively he took a step back this spring. The slump that affected Florida teammates Matt LaPorta and Adam Davis hit Jeroloman as well, though all three are considered better players than their performances this spring. His poor hitting seemed to carry over to his defensive play at times, as well. He showed sure hands, sound footwork and above-average receiving skills as an underclassman, and played well for Team USA last summer. Jeroloman has well-above-average arm strength and has turned in 1.9-second pop times in games. He has agility and good lateral movement behind the plate and is adept at blocking balls in the dirt. He has good rapport with pitchers and calls a good game. At the plate, he showed a feel for the strike zone and an ability to keep his hands inside the ball in the past, but showed an impatient, pull approach as a junior. Scouts also question his bat speed. He has below-average power and running speed.
33. Brandon Holden, rhp (National rank: 200)
School: Douglas HS. Class: Sr.
Hometown: Coral Springs, Fla.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 1/1/88.
Scouting Report: Holden came on strong early in the spring, helping Douglas High to a national ranking and flashing improved velocity in front of lots of scouts who were also evaluating teammate David Christensen. He was lifted from a late March outing with a sore triceps muscle and had at least one MRI, and he never returned to the mound in game action. It was uncertain if he would be healthy enough to pitch in the Florida high school all-star game right before the draft. Holden has a loose, quick arm and a projectable body. His mechanics require some cleaning up. He often misses up in the zone, but when his delivery is online his fastball has good life at 88-92 mph. His hammer curveball is an above-average offering, though he gets around it occasionally. He had potential to be taken as high as the second or third round, but his inconsistent fastball command and health could cause him to slip to fourth or fifth round.