|THIS YEAR'S CROP|
|*****||One for the books|
|***||Solid, not spectacular|
|**||Not up to par|
|*||Nothing to see here|
|National Top 200 Prospects|
|Other Prospects Of Note|
|1. Kentrail Davis,
of (National rank:
School: Theodore (Ala.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 6/29/88.
|Scouting Report: When Davis was growing up, he spent his summers helping his father haul concrete and cinder blocks for his job, which developed his upper body considerably. He's built like Kirby Puckett, with a barrel chest, Popeye forearms and wide, thick hips. He was rear-ended in a traffic accident before the season, which cost him the first month with neck and back aches. At his best Davis is a sparkplug player with speed, hustle and a live bat with pop. He performed much better last summer than he has this spring. His swing is less fluid and he hasn't driven the ball as well, but he has above-average bat speed and plus raw power. He has feel for the strike zone and hits the top half of the ball well. He'll likely move to a corner outfield spot as a pro. He has a fringe-average arm. Davis is represented by Scott Boras and could plummet down draft boards if he isn't taken in the top 50 picks. He's committed to Tennessee.|
|2. Kevin Patterson,
1b/c (National rank:
School: Oak Mountain HS, Birmingham. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/28/88.
|Scouting Report: Power is Patterson's calling card, and he has shown he has lots of it. During a scout-organized tryout for the East Coast Showcase last summer at Mississippi State, he cleared the double fences at Dudy Noble Field, and he mashed 17 home runs in a 10-out round during a home run derby in the offseason. When his senior season began, Patterson homered three times on his first three swings. He got sick and missed the East Coast Showcase last summer, which prevented him from showing his stuff to scouts outside his area, and then broke his hamate bone this spring, which cost him most of this season. He returned for the final two games and was working out for teams leading up to the draft. He has a mature, muscular body and plus bat speed. His swing lacks looseness, he tends to drift to the ball and is susceptible to soft stuff away as well as fastballs above his hands. He's raw but adequate behind the plate, but not a fast-twitch, fluid athlete, so the consensus is his final destination will be first base. Depending on how he bounces back from his injury, he could be the first player drafted from Alabama, as high as the second round.|
|3. Josh Donaldson, c
School: Auburn. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 202. Birthdate: 12/8/85.
|Scouting Report: After a prolific high school career in Mobile, Ala., where Donaldson played football and basketball and starred as a shortstop and pitcher, he has developed into a dependable, steady player for the Tigers. He played third base as a freshman in 2005, began catching as a sophomore and boosted his reputation with a strong showing in the Cape Cod League last summer. A right thumb injury limited his action behind the plate as a junior, but he had not missed a game dating back to his freshman season. He's a work in progress defensively, but shows passable catch-and-throw skills with a solid-average arm. He's a hitter first, and has relied on plus bat speed and an aggressive approach to pace Auburn in several offensive categories, including double-digit home runs in back to back years. His swing is unorthodox, and a hard front step that triggers his swing should be toned down to improve his timing and balance. He's susceptible to good breaking balls. But Donaldson can murder good fastballs, and did it with wood last summer when he hit .302 with 15 extra-base hits. He'll go off the board as early as the supplemental round and no later than the third round.|
|4. Brandon Hamilton,
rhp (National rank:
School: Stanhope Elmore HS, Millbrook, Ala. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 12/25/88.
|Scouting Report: Based on his mature, muscular body and electric stuff alone, Hamilton would be a first-rounder. But he has a violent delivery and erratic command and has performed poorly as often as he was spectacular as a senior. He could still be drafted as high as the second round based on his considerable ceiling. His fastball has been up to 95 mph and he pitches between 89-91. He shows a filthy, 80-82 mph power curveball with downer action. He has feel for a changeup, and at times will mix in a two-seam fastball that has plus armside fade, as well. But with more than 30 scouts in to see an early-season outing, Hamilton had no control of his breaking ball, leading to five wild pitches, and baserunners ran wild, as he showed no ability or desire to control the running game.|
|5. Tommy Hunter, rhp
School: Alabama. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 250. Birthdate: 7/3/86.
|Scouting Report: A draft-eligible sophomore, Hunter could garner attention as a third- to fourth-round pick if he's willing to sign for slot money. He stepped into the Tide rotation as a freshman last season and won 10 games, then made 14 appearances out of the Team USA bullpen last summer and compiled an impressive 23-4 strikeout-walk ratio. With a soft body that's not well proportioned, Hunter flunks scouts' eye test. He's a two-time junior Olympic champion in judo, however, and more athletic than he looks. He has a four-pitch repertoire, working off a solid-average fastball that bumps 93 mph and a power slurve at 82-84. His delivery is passable and his arm works well. Some scouts see him as a two-pitch set-up man in the mold of Braves reliever Tyler Yates, something of a poor-man's Jonathan Broxton. Others point out his ability to hold his velocity late into games and believe he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter.|
|6. Hunter Morris, 1b
School: Grissom HS, Huntsville, Ala. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 10/7/88.
|Scouting Report: Morris has one of the best approaches among the high school draft class. But outside of his polish at the plate, his swing has holes and his defensive shortcomings are obvious. An Aflac All-American, he enjoyed a successful high school career as a four-year starter. In Grissom's state quarterfinals loss, Morris broke a bone in his right hand while taking a swing. He had surgery and was expected to be able to swing a bat a week before the draft. The injury isn't a major issue because Morris wasn't considered signable beyond the sandwich round, and he has second- to third-round value. He'll likely attend Auburn, where he could be a mainstay in the heart of its batting order. Morris is patient and powerful, and he feasts on fastballs over the plate, especially down in the zone. He broke the Alabama record for walks in a season with 59 this spring, eclipsing the 54 Athletics farmhand Jeremy Brown racked up in 2002. His swing is grooved and sweepy, and he struggles with pulling his hands inside the ball and keeping his stroke short, which could present difficulties against more experienced pitching. He's stiff defensively, with a below-average arm, meaning he's probably best suited for first base.|
|7. Cale Iorg, ss
School: Alabama. Class: --
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 9/6/85.
|Scouting Report: While Iorg was wrapping up his two-year Mormon mission in Lisbon, Portugal, his parents' home phone was ringing as scouts tried to gauge his interest in signing a pro baseball contract. Iorg posted a respectable .280 average with five homers and 15 stolen bases in 2004 as Alabama's everyday shortstop, but he has been abroad since then. The son of former big league infielder Garth and nephew of big league outfielder Dane, Cale had achieved assistant to the president status during his mission, a high-ranking position, but was scheduled to return to the U.S. July 14, which would give the team that drafts him a month to work him out and negotiate before the new signing deadline. Iorg hasn't played in two years, but as a freshman he showed outstanding feel for all phases of the game, a smooth swing and good actions up the middle. He wasn't going to sign for a pittance, but a team will take a chance on him later in the draft just to see what might happen this summer.|
|8. Austin Bailey,
rhp (National rank:
School: Prattville (Ala.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 10/10/88.
|Scouting Report: When Bailey hooked up with an East Cobb (Ga.) travel team as an underclassman, he proved he was capable of competing with the best high school players in the country. He's a strong, undersized athlete with good tools on both sides of the game. His arm strength is his best asset. He has an aggressive mentality and comes right after hitters with a three-pitch mix. His fastball ranges from 88-93 mph. His secondary stuff is fringy, though he'll flash a curveball with depth and tight rotation. He has rudimentary feel for his changeup. He's still mostly a thrower and lacks much feel for pitching. Because Bailey doesn't project to get much bigger or throw much harder, he's considered a third- to fourth-round talent. Judging his signability has been difficult, and if he slips past the fifth round he could elect to attend Auburn.|