|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. Josh Vitters, 3b
School: Cypress (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 8/27/89.
|Scouting Report: Vitters' older brother Christian was a solid prospect who had an excellent career at Fresno State. While Christian was a 10th-round pick, Josh figures to go nine rounds higher. He entered last summer as one of the top hitters in the class, then blew to the top of the heap while dominating at the Area Code Games, doubling three times at the Aflac Classic and earning MVP honors at the Cape Cod Classic. While Vitters has solid defensive and running tools, that's not what earned him such accolades--his bat did. He has tremendous feel for getting the fat part of the bat to the ball, and with his tremendous bat speed and barrel awareness, he drives the ball more consistently than any hitter in the class. Scouts describe him as the rare righthanded hitter with a pretty swing, and he's shown the ability to handle different velocities and different styles of pitching with ease. Vitters' his hand-eye coordination and ability to make contact are almost too good, because at times he swings at pitches he should let pass, rather than waiting for one he can punish with his all-fields power. While his hands and footwork at third are sound, he tends to misread hops, and defense doesn't come easy to him. His bat should play at any position, however. His only speed-bump this spring was a bout with pneumonia that caused him to miss two weeks, but he was still considered a near-lock to be picked in the first five spots overall.|
|2. Mike Moustakas,
3b/1b (National rank:
School: Chatsworth (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 9/11/88.
|Scouting Report: No premium draft pick had a better season than Moustakas, who had one of the great careers in California high school history (see Page 32). The nephew of former Mets hitting coach Tom Robson, Moustakas tightened up his body between his junior and senior seasons, stepping up his conditioning as he healed completely from a hairline ankle fracture sustained during a scrimmage football game as a high school junior. He was the starting quarterback at Chatsworth as a freshman and has a bazooka for an arm--his fastball sat in the low 90s early in the year in relief roles and hit 97 mph in April. His power arm isn't his best tool though, as Moustakas' quiet, quick hands, polished approach and strength at the plate produce light-tower power and a smooth swing he repeats easily. Earlier in the year, scouts wondered about his defensive position--he's Chatsworth's shortstop but will move immediately as a pro. Most believe third base would be the first natural spot and others dreamed of his arm behind the plate, but most agree now that it doesn't matter. His bat will play at any spot, even first base, though it would be a shame to waste that arm there. The only complicating factor was his commitment to Southern California--he and Robert Stock would become an unrivaled pair of two-way players-- and representation by Scott Boras. The combination clouds his signability, but not his impressive ability.|
|3. Matt Dominguez,
3b (National rank:
School: Chatsworth (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 8/28/89.
|Scouting Report: Dominguez entered the season competing for top prospect honors in Southern California, especially after leading USA Baseball's junior national team with two homers and 11 RBIs at least year's World Junior Championship. He was quickly passed as a prospect by his teammate, Mike Moustakas, this spring, however, and his stock was falling toward the bottom of the first round as the draft approached. The problem isn't tools, but rather adjustments. Dominguez has the tools to hit, with quick hands that he should learn to trust. Instead, he gets on his front foot too early, and to compensate he has tinkered with his approach--a bat wrap, rocking back with his hands, or setting up in a wide-open stance and diving at the ball. He has the bat speed and raw power potential that none of it is probably necessary, but the club that drafts Dominguez and signs him away from his Cal State Fullerton commitment will need to adjust his hitting mechanics. His other tools are excellent, particularly defensively, where he's drawn comparisons to Ryan Zimmerman. Dominguez has a well-above-average arm, and with his supple hands and quick release, it plays as well as Moustakas' 80 arm. He does everything easily defensively and is a solid runner.|
|4. Aaron Poreda, lhp
School: San Francisco. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 240. Birthdate: 10/1/86.
|Scouting Report: Poreda wasn't on the radar screen in high school; he focused more on football as a defensive end/tight end. He did pitch a bit, even tossing a no-hitter, but was awkward and had suspect arm action. In three seasons at San Francisco working with pitching coach Greg Moore, however, he has developed into a first-round candidate and one of the nation's hardest-throwing lefthanders. Poreda works off the fastball almost as much as UC Riverside's James Simmons (No. 47), and like Simmons, it's his only above-average pitch. While his fastball was flat and 89-90 mph in his 2007 opener, he has been consistently in the low 90s since then, touching 96-97 and regularly hitting 94. He throws plenty of strikes (though he lacks true command), and with his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame, he should prove durable. He doesn't pitch as downhill as he should at his size, in part because of his low three-quarters arm slot. Poreda's arm action and lower slot make his breaking ball a fringe-average pitch at best, though it has improved. He has the makings of a changeup but hasn't thrown it much, sticking to his fastball. He had experimented with a higher slot to aid his breaking ball, but the move cost his fastball some of its late life and was back to his old slot.|
|5. Nick Noonan, 2b
School: Parker HS, San Diego. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 5/4/89.
|Scouting Report: If Noonan makes it across the country to play at Clemson, scouts will be surprised. He offers one of the most polished bats in the draft and had emerged as San Diego's top prep prospect, evoking comparisons to Phillies star Chase Utley. While he's not likely to hit for as much power as the former UCLA star, Noonan resembles Utley as an above-average lefthanded bat who profiles best at second base. Noonan has plenty of baseball savvy, first and foremost at the plate. He stays balanced, trusts his hands and makes consistent hard contact. Overmatched earlier in his career with wood, Noonan has made adjustments in his swing and shows excellent aptitude. While he's just an average runner, he's a good baserunner and basestealer, and he's a solid defender thanks to good hands and sound footwork. While he doesn't have flashy tools, he's one of the steadiest players in this draft class. A prep shortstop, his fringe-average arm and range profile better on the right side of the bag, and he has more than enough bat to make the move.|
|6. Ryan Dent, ss/2b
School: Wilson HS, Long Beach. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 3/15/89.
|Scouting Report: With a strong but short body in the Rafael Furcal mold, Dent emerged on last year's showcase circuit as one of Southern California's top hitting prospects, helping the Reds scout team to the World Wood Bat Association championship in the fall. Teams that believe in Dent's hitting may be willing to spend a first-round pick on one of the draft's better runners (he gets from home to first in under 4.1 seconds from the right side) and athletes. He lashes line drives from gap to gap with a short, quick stroke and has sound hitting mechanics. His speed is in play from his first step out of the batter's box; he aggressively stretches singles into doubles. His aggressiveness works against him in his impatience at the plate. Dent doesn't have an obvious defensive home, and most scouts aren't sold on him at shortstop, as his actions, arm and range are just average. He's athletic enough to handle either second base or center field and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, especially if he can learn to take a walk as a pro.|
|7. James Simmons,
rhp (National rank:
School: UC Riverside. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/29/86.
|Scouting Report: Simmons was a high school teammate of San Diego's Josh Romanski, a sophomore lefty and the Toreros' No. 2 starter. Simmons has been UC Riverside's ace since his freshman season in 2005, when he won at Oregon State but was academically ineligible at midseason. He followed a good sophomore season by dominating the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 1.18 ERA. Simmons has worn the label of ace even more comfortably as a junior, winning a much-hyped duel with Cal State Fullerton rival Wes Roemer in late April, when he pumped up his fastball to 93 mph. Usually, Simmons sits at 89-90 mph, but he commands the fastball better than anyone else in college baseball in 2007. Scouts give him 60 or even 70 grades (on the 20-80 scale) for his command. He pitches off the fastball, both a sinking two-seamer and firmer four-seamer, and works all quadrants of the strike zone. Some scouts don't like his secondary pitches as anything but fringe-average, but his slider and particularly his changeup find some takers. His slow curveball needs significant improvement. His toughness and above-average makeup endear him to all scouts. Simmons will go as high in the draft--and as far as a pro--as his fastball command takes him.|
|8. Travis d'Arnaud,
c (National rank:
School: Lakewood (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 2/10/89.
|Scouting Report: In several ways, d'Arnaud resembles his older brother Chase, a two-year starter at third base for Pepperdine, and Travis has also committed to play for the Waves. Chances are he won't get to school, though, because he's a more athletic version of his brother with premium catch-and-throw skills behind the plate and a more advanced bat. While he's still a streak hitter, d'Arnaud has showed an improved ability to stay inside the ball and drive it to all fields. It's a quick, line-drive swing for the most part, but he has shown some loft power, with seven home runs, and he ranked among state leaders in RBIs. Defensively, he grades as above-average as both a receiver and thrower, with a plus arm, soft hands and quick feet. While he's athletic enough to play an infield spot, he's too good behind the plate--consistently getting his throws to second base in 1.9 seconds--to move.|
|9. Kyle Blair, rhp
School: Los Gatos (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/27/88.
|Scouting Report: Blair was one of California's top high school pitchers last year, leading Los Gatos High to a sectional championship and throwing a perfect game along the way. He has been the state's top prep pitching prospect this season even though his team struggled, and he was getting better as the year progressed. Blair's best pitch is a curveball that gets solid 60 grades from scouts on the 20-80 scale thanks to its depth, mid-70s velocity and tight spin. Blair has solid control of the pitch and of his lively fastball, which was sitting 89-91 mph early in the year but had increased as the draft approached, touching 94-95 and sitting in the low 90s. Blair's athletic, strong build--which helped make him an all-conference water-polo player--makes him a candidate to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, provided his changeup continues to come along and he continues to progress with his command. His makeup is universally lauded. He's committed to San Diego.|
|10. Wes Roemer, rhp
School: Cal State Fullerton. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 10/7/86.
|Scouting Report: A preseason first-team All-American, Roemer had one of the best seasons in Cal State Fullerton history in 2006, leading the Titans to Omaha at 13-2, 2.38 in a national-high 155 innings. He stumbled out of the gates in 2007, thanks in part to a broken pinky finger, before rallying late to get his numbers (8-5, 2.97) back in line with past performance. Roemer's best weapon is his command. He had plunked 58 batters in his career, many of them on purpose, as he'd rather hit a batter than walk him (40 career walks). While he doesn't have true elite, put-it-in-a-cup command, he has well-above-average control and pounds the strike zone with his fastball, which was fringe-average early but touched 93 mph and sat at 88-91 later in the year. His slider is above-average for the college level and plays average with mid-70s velocity and some depth. He spots his changeup and throws it for strikes. Roemer's spunky attitude can turn some opponents and scouts off, and his average stuff doesn't leave much room for error. But Titans coaches credit him with competing hard and helping the team while pitching through the pinky injury.|
|11. Danny Duffy, lhp
School: Cabrillo HS, Lompoc Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 12/21/88.
|Scouting Report: Lompoc, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast, is best known for its prison and its proximity to Vandenberg Air Force Base, where the Defense Department tests missiles and launches satellites into space. It has never been a baseball hotbed, but Duffy has attracted scouts by the dozen for his starts this year, dominating with an unrefined but powerful repertoire. He has perhaps the best fastball in the state among draft-eligible players, reaching 95 mph and sitting in the 90-93 mph range with his four-seamer. He's somewhat mature in build and has had back issues in his past, and needs to get stronger. Duffy also throws a high-80s two-seamer with good armside run, and has shown ability with both a slider and curveball. His mechanics aren't a thing of beauty, one easy indicator of how much work he has to do. He doesn't command the strike zone or throw a changeup, and he hasn't maintained his velocity deep into games either. Nevertheless, he's a lefty with power stuff who has dominated inferior competition.|
|12. Gary Brown,
of/2b (National rank:
School: Diamond Bar HS, Walnut, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 9/28/88.
|Scouting Report: While he hasn't been a showcase darling like some of his Southern California peers, Brown has elbowed his way into the conversation for best middle-infield prospect in an area with several contenders. While he's played plenty of center field, Brown takes ground balls in infield practice at second base, shortstop and in center field. Some scouts think he has good enough hands to remain in the middle infield, and if not, his well-above-average speed and range would play well in center, as would his athleticism and plus range. Brown's bat will determine where he's drafted. He's strong for his smallish 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame but has bat speed and has shown the ability to square up the ball and drive it from gap to gap. He lacks polish and patience at the plate. Part of a talent-laden Cal State Fullerton recruiting class, Brown has bigger present tools than fellow Titans recruit Chris Colon, and was rumored to be under consideration for the sandwich or second round.|
|13. Barry Enright,
rhp (National rank:
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/30/86.
|Scouting Report: Few college players were having better seasons than Enright, who could go early to a performance-oriented organization. He had climbed to second all-time at Pepperdine in wins, with a career 34-5 record, and his competitiveness and unwillingness to give in to hitters endears him to scouts. On a good day, Enright touches 90-92 mph with his fastball, but he pitches in the 87-89 range, and none of his secondary pitches--slider, curveball or changeup--excites scouts either. His command rivals that of fellow SoCal college righties James Simmons and Wes Roemer, however, and he had walked just 1.62 batters per nine over nearly 333 career innings. He improved his feel for pitching steadily through his college career and firmed up his body. His stuff, strike-throwing and bulldog nature profile him best as a middle reliever, but he'll get a chance in the back of a professional rotation.|
|14. Matt Thompson,
rhp (National rank:
School: Santa Rosa (Calif.) JC. Class: Fr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 2/22/88.
|Scouting Report: Thompson emerged as the best pitching prospect in California's junior-college ranks this year, with an added bonus that he was not under control to any organization. He pitched Santa Rosa into the state juco playoffs with a pair of pitches that were above-average at times: a fastball that has reached 92-94 mph, and a breaking ball that at times morphs into a good slider. Thompson also throws a curveball and changeup, but both are in the early stages. He was an all-conference high school player more known for his hitting than for his pitching. Thompson faltered in a couple of showdowns with hard-throwing Leroy Hunt and Sacramento City College before regrouping later in the season. He worked at 89-90 mph yet still dominated in his playoff start and showed one of his key characteristics: an ability to work off the fastball.|
|15. Victor Sanchez,
3b/c (National rank:
School: Gahr HS, Norwalk, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 12/30/88.
|Scouting Report: With all the interesting infielders in Southern California this year, Sanchez could get lost in the shuffle because he doesn't have a tool that grades as above-average. However, he played for USA Baseball's junior national team last summer, and with no significant weakness to his game he could get drafted in the first three rounds. His businesslike approach invoked some Garret Anderson comparisons, and he plays the game hard and without unnecessary flash or effort. Sanchez has shown average power at present with a loose, easy swing that promises more down the line. He's shown the ability to adjust within at-bats and games to opposing game plans. His arm plays well at third base, and he has intrigued scouts even more by playing catcher, where his arm actually has improved and grades as slightly above-average. Sanchez is part of yet another strong San Diego recruiting class.|
Barnese, rhp (National rank:
School: Simi Valley (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 1/11/89.
|Scouting Report: Barnese was raring to go this season, having missed his junior year at Simi Valley High due to a team-imposed suspension. He started his spring well, hitting 94 mph on radar guns in Major League Baseball's first-ever preseason showcase at its complex in Compton, Calif. He hadn't hit that kind of velocity consistently, but velocity isn't the best thing about his fastball. It has excellent life, especially down in the strike zone when thrown in the 88-91 mph range, and Barnese has a projectable frame that could allow him to add velocity down the line while preserving the life on his heater. He's not afraid to work inside. He's athletic and has a quick arm, with a lower arm slot that probably means he'll have to ditch his fringy curveball and pick up a slider down the line. His competitiveness and solid control of his fastball could push him into the first three rounds, but if he falls, he could move to the front of the Cal State Fullerton rotation next year as a freshman.|
|17. Grant Desme, of
School: Cal Poly. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 4/4/86.
|Scouting Report: After flying up draft boards early in the spring due to a power display and a lack of college bats elsewhere in the nation, Desme broke a bone in his wrist late in the season. He played shortstop in high school and went to San Diego State as a freshman but transferred after one year to Cal Poly, which tried him in the infield but moved him to an outfield corner. He's athletic enough for either corner and has an adequate arm for right; he has also played some first base. Desme's a solid athlete, average runner and defender who could still fly off the board early because of his above-average raw power and excellent bat speed. He had a streaky season en route to leading the Big West in the triple crown categories, surprising to scouts because he has a tendency to swing and miss, particularly at breaking balls.|
|18. Danny Worth, ss
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 9/30/85.
|Scouting Report: Worth's steady defense and improved bat has won over scouts this spring, as he worked his way into the discussion as one of the better middle infielders available out of college this spring in a down year for the position. A three-year starter for Pepperdine, Worth hit .344 with wood last summer in the Northwoods League and has continued to improve offensively this spring, posting career highs across the board and improving his plate discipline significantly. His swing's a bit stiff, but he has bat control and has shown the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap (he led the West Coast Conference in doubles last spring and ranked second this year), though his home run power is well-below-average. Defensively Worth shines with excellent footwork, natural instincts, sure hands and a strong arm. He makes all the routine plays and has the ability to make the big play from the hole. He's just an average runner, but his grit and reliability make him likely to be drafted in the first three rounds.|
|19. Austin Romine, c
School: El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 11/22/88.
|Scouting Report: Romine's brother Andrew is Arizona State's starting shortstop, and his dad Kevin played there before his brief big league career. Austin also has committed to the Sun Devils, but the consensus in Southern California is he'll never make it to Tempe. That's despite a left hand injury that has plagued him all season. In May, he reaggravated what was diagnosed as a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery. Rather than sit out the rest of the season, he focused on being El Toro's closer. His arm is his best tool, among the most powerful in a strong draft crop of catchers. Romine's pop times to second base have ranged from 1.78 to 1.85 seconds, putting him near an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Romine's receiving is less advanced, but he's no slouch there and has the athletic ability to improve his deficient footwork. Offensively, Romine has gap power and makes consistent contact, and he's got enough strength to project to hit for average home run power down the road.|
Freddie Freeman, 1b/rhp (National rank:
School: El Modena HS, Orange, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/12/89.
|Scouting Report: A member of both USA Baseball's youth and junior national teams, Freeman dominated for the youth team in 2005 before struggling in the World Junior Championship last fall (2-for-21) in Cuba. His stock has rebounded this spring, as he helped El Modena High to a playoff berth as both a hitter and pitcher. While his track record with Team USA and in showcases makes him a top-three-rounds talent as a power hitter, scouts are increasingly intrigued with Freeman as a pitcher. Just 17, he has excellent size, and while working as El Modena's closer he has shown control of two present plus pitches: a heavy 90-93 mph fastball and a power slider. His feel for pitching and clean arm action belie his pitching inexperience--and his desire to remain a hitter. A Cal State Fullerton signee, Freeman could definitely be a two-way player if he gets to college. Teams that like his arm better still may have to give him a chance to hit first before putting him on the mound.|
|21. Christian Colon,
ss/2b (National rank:
School: Canyon HS, Anaheim. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 5/14/89.
|Scouting Report: Colon was a teammate of Southern California freshman Grant Green at Canyon High and often deferred to Green by playing second base while Green manned short. But the Puerto Rico native emerged as a potential star in his own right last August, when he was MVP of the Aflac Classic by going 2-for-3 with three steals and three runs. Colon switch-hits and has good all-around tools, and has the kind of makeup that allows him to rise to the occasion as he did at Aflac, a quiet confidence that allows him to play his best when it matters. Scouts are mixed on whether Colon's tools are worthy of the first three rounds, though, and the consensus seemed to be not. Colon seemed to be pressing offensively and offers gap power rather than a truly robust bat, and he's just an average runner. Defensively, however, he's ready to step in immediately on either side of the bag, with a solid, accurate arm and good hands. He'd likely start as a freshman if he makes it to Cal State Fullerton, and it may take first-three-rounds money to keep that from happening.|
|22. Kyle O'Campo,
rhp (National rank:
School: Poly HS, Riverside, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 4/9/88.
|Scouting Report: O'Campo is part of Cal State Fullerton's recruiting class, and like infielder Christian Colon, he could slip through to the Titans if his expectations and the draft reality don't match up. O'Campo's resume was impressive entering the spring, with the Aflac Classic and Area Code Games among his appearances. He has a quick arm and projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, and his velocity is as good or better than any prep pitcher in Southern California. He has touched 94 mph in the past and regularly pitches in the 88-91 mph range. He throws both a slider and a curveball, and scouts like the slider a bit better at present, as he's shown a feel for throwing it for strikes or burying it out of the zone. O'Campo's mechanics don't engender confidence, either that he'll throw consistent strikes with his fastball or add velocity despite his frame. He has a head snap that caused him to struggle to find a consistent release point. If his delivery can't be smoothed out, O'Campo might end up as a set-up man down the line.|
|23. Rob Rasmussen,
lhp (National rank:
School: Poly HS, Pasadena, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 160. Birthdate: 4/2/89.
|Scouting Report: Southern California's high school hitters--from Ryan Dent to Mike Moustakas to Josh Vitters--outclassed the region's pitching talent. However, Rasmussen emerged as the area's most dominant arm, coming in a reported 5-foot-10, 155-pound package. Scouts agreed his curveball, a true mid-70s, 12-to-6 hammer, was the best pitch for any high school pitcher in the area, and Rasmussen had used it to dominate inferior small-school competition, with four starts of 15 strikeouts or more. He had a 20-strikeout effort that was his best of the year, as Rasmussen sat at 86-89 mph, and the Los Angeles Times reported that he was up to 91 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup. Rasmussen has committed to UCLA and doesn't have ideal size for a pro, but he has been crosschecked enough that the first three rounds was a possibility. Most scouts thought Rasmussen's family wanted him to go to college.|
|24. Scott Alexander,
lhp (National rank:
School: Cardinal Newman HS, Santa Rosa, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 7/10/89.
|Scouting Report: Alexander was the biggest name to pop up in Northern California this spring and was drawing comparisons to 2006 Giants draftee Clayton Tanner. Like Tanner, Alexander is lefthanded and athletic, throwing harder as a senior than he did previously, and signed to Pepperdine. While the Waves have a shot at keeping Alexander, a good student, his athletic ability might be too much for teams to pass on. He also has a relatively fresh arm. He missed much of his sophomore season in high school with biceps tendinitis and was a reliever as a junior, as he also played outfield. This spring, though, Alexander has touched 93 mph and was sitting in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball. He has excellent arm speed and a smooth delivery, and the ball jumps out of his hand. He ditched his curveball in favor of a tight slider and showed flashes with both it and his changeup. Alexander was getting crosschecked regularly, which indicates he could get popped in the first three rounds.|
|25. Mike Stanton,
1b/of (National rank:
School: Notre Dame Academy, Sherman Oaks, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 11/8/89.
|Scouting Report: One of the top athletes in the draft class, Stanton was a three-sport star at Notre Dame Academy and widely regarded as the school's best such athlete since former big league outfielder Jorge Piedra. Stanton is considerably bigger than Piedra and was recruited by Southern California as a wide receiver/defensive back, as well as for his power-hitting ability. While UNLV offered Stanton a football scholarship and a chance to walk on to play baseball, USC wants him on a baseball ride, with a chance to walk on in football. For pro scouts, projection is the operative word with the raw Stanton. He was overmatched against most of the top arms he saw last summer in showcases, though he has shown improvement in pitch recognition. Stanton has a big swing with resulting big power thanks to leverage and bat speed. He profiles as a corner outfielder with an average arm that could be suited to right field with more polish. He's a fringe-average runner under way.|
|26. Thomas Eager,
rhp (National rank:
School: Cal Poly. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/12/85.
|Scouting Report: Cal Poly had a disappointing 2006 season despite a solid rotation that included third-rounder Gary Daley (Cardinals) and sixth-rounder Bud Norris (Astros). Eager stepped forward more than any other Mustang to replace them, emerging as the ace and surpassing both Daley and Norris in terms of performance. His 10 victories left him two shy of the school record, but despite his performance, most scouts see him profiling better as a middle reliever or even a closer. Eager's delivery resembles that of former "Nasty Boys" closer Rob Dibble, as he comes aggressively at hitters with his lead arm in an almost violent motion. If only he threw as hard as Dibble. The delivery creates some deception for his firm stuff, a 90-91 mph fastball that has hit 93 and features average sink, and a hard slider. Eager comes hard after hitters and doesn't change speeds much, which also feeds the Dibble comparison. He's fairly emotional on the mound, which works for him and against him at times.|
|27. Tyson Brummett,
rhp (National rank:
School: UCLA. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 8/15/84.
|Scouting Report: BA ranked Brummett as the No. 100 prospect in California last spring, when he was UCLA's No. 3 starter and considered a solid if unspectacular college pitcher. He wasn't drafted, but this year he's had a brilliant senior season as one of the Pacific-10 Conference's best Friday starters. In terms of stuff and competitiveness, Brummett rivals more-heralded California college righties such as Pepperdine's Barry Enright and Cal State Fullerton's Wes Roemer. He lacks Roemer's putaway slider or Enright's considerable track record, however. He's closer to Enright in that his strong suits are throwing quality strikes down in the zone with three pitches: a fastball that often sits in the 89-91 mph range, a solid-average curveball and a good changeup he uses to attack lefthanded hitters. His fastball has gained a tick or two of velocity this season, and he has improved his slider to give him a fourth pitch. Brummett has been drafted twice before by the Giants, out of a Utah high school (2003, 35th round) and again out of Central Arizona Junior College (2004, 38th round), but figures to go about 30 rounds higher this time around.|
|28. Marc Rzepcynski,
lhp (National rank:
School: UC Riverside. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 8/8/85.
|Scouting Report: Rzepczynski joins Gonzaga's Clayton Mortensen as two seniors who would be first-five-round picks based solely on talent. That they are seniors (and presumably easier, less expensive signs) will push them up draft boards. Rzepczynski had elbow soreness early in the season but has shown plus stuff since then, making that less of a concern. He was unavailable to the Highlanders in May for their showdown series against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, with first place in the Big West on the line, due to a broken knuckle on his pitching hand. He may have done enough to impress scouts last summer, when he was the No. 4 prospect in the West Coast Collegiate League, and again this spring, particularly in a three-hit shutout of Cal State Fullerton. When he's right, his fastball sits at 88-91 mph and touches 93, and he throws three other pitches for strikes: a low-80s power curveball, a slider that at times touches 84 mph, and a changeup he keeps down in the zone. He had not allowed a home run through 73 innings and was throwing more quality strikes than ever before, as command always had been a major problem. His four-pitch mix profiles him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.|
|29. Andrew Lambo,
1b/of (National rank:
School: Newbury Park (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/11/88.
|Scouting Report: Last summer, Lambo proved his ability to rise to the occasion last fall, when he pitched his Reds scout team to the World Wood Bat Association championship in Jupiter, Fla. Lambo was on the team for his hitting prowess, and he's a prospect for his bat, but his pitching career has been impressive as well, including nine complete games this spring. Offensively, Lambo has been one of SoCal's best hitters for several years thanks to a smooth lefthanded swing and solid-average power performance. Scouts doubt his power down the road due to a level swing path. Defensively, Lambo's athletic enough for an outfield corner and plays a solid first base. Most scouts grade his tools average across the board, with his hit tool being above-average. Talent isn't Lambo's problem; makeup is. He's at his second high school after being kicked out of the first school, and he turned off scouts with his immaturity in numerous interviews this spring. His bat still might be enough to get him picked in the first three rounds.|
|30. Leroy Hunt, rhp
School: Sacramento CC. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 220. Birthdate: 11/28/87.
|Scouting Report: The Reds drafted Hunt in 2005 as an outfielder out of high school and followed him to Sacramento City College. He had enormous raw power as a hitter but never seemed to get comfortable at the plate against good velocity, so Sac City moved him to the mound to take advantage of his arm strength. While he remains raw, Hunt has one of the best fastballs in the state. It has heavy sink and boring armside run, and Hunt throws it in the 90-94 mph range, touching 95 at times. His secondary stuff (slider, changeup) is almost nonexistent, but that didn't stop him from a 40-inning scoreless streak this spring, including a pair of outings against better-regarded Matt Thompson of Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College. Hunt needs to develop either his slider or changeup to have a second pitch, a concern because he hasn't shown much aptitude so far. He doesn't have a four-year college option and should be an easy sign, and with his intimidating size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) and fastball, he profiles as a power reliever.|
|31. Brad Meyers, rhp
School: Loyola Marymount. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 9/13/85.
|Scouting Report: Projected as a possible sandwich pick coming out of high school in 2004, Meyers was a 14th-round pick out who eschewed pro ball to pitch at Loyola Marymount. Three years later, the scouting consensus sees him as fourth- to sixth-round talent. But with the shortage of college righthanders and his still-projectable 6-foot-6 frame, Meyers should go higher. Some rumors had him headed for the sandwich round, perhaps to Oakland. Meyers remains a projection pick, as his velocity has never jumped into the plus range. He has flashed 92-93 mph readings on his fastball from time to time but more ordinarily sits in the 88-90 mph range, at times with a good downhill plane. Meyers' best present attribute is his ability to throw strikes with the fastball, as well as his late-breaking curveball, a solid-average pitch. He also throws a slider and changeup. Meyers doesn't fare well in comparison to other SoCal college righthanders such as UCLA's Tyler Brummett, Pepperdine's Barry Enright or Cal State Fullerton's Wes Roemer in his competitiveness or mound moxie, but he has a better pro body and better stuff.|
|32. Evan Reed, rhp
School: Cal Poly. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 12/31/85.
|Scouting Report: Reed wasn't on many follow lists in high school; his graduating class at Quincy (Calif.) High, about 80 miles northwest of Reno, Nev., had just 63 students. He had chances to earn a spot in Cal Poly's rotation but has settled in as the team's closer, and ranked second in the Big West Conference this spring in saves. More importantly, Reed has proven durable with 30 appearances. He has good size and a strong body, delivering fastballs in the 94-96 mph range, though his stuff usually has a bit better life and command when he's in the 92-94 range. Reed throws a slider and changeup but works aggressively off the fastball, keeping the ball down and in the ballpark (no home runs allowed in 40 IP). He has a chance to move through the minors quickly if he can throw more consistent strikes.|
|33. Adrian Ortiz, of
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 1/14/87.
|Scouting Report: A fifth-round pick out of Puerto Rico in 2004 to the Cubs, Ortiz might not go any higher this time around. While he has improved in college, he has yet to have the breakout performance that would catapult his stock. Ortiz is the fastest player in Division I, a top-of-the-scale runner who has turned in 60-yard times in the 6.2-second range consistently—-on grass-—since coming to Pepperdine. His speed translates in center field, where he has good range, but not on the basepaths, where he has just 33 career stolen bases. Ortiz' baseball instincts lag after 160-plus college games, denting his range in center and often leaving him tentative on the basepaths. He has virtually no power (his 14 extra-base hits as a freshman were his career high) and doesn't control the strike zone (12 walks is his career high). Even with those negatives, Ortiz has rare speed and enough hand-eye coordination to hit for average, and figures to go in the fifth-round range again.|
|34. Eric Farris,
2b/ss (National rank:
School: Loyola Marymount. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 3/3/86.
|Scouting Report: Lightly regarded out of high school in Arizona, Farris has had a solid career at Loyola Marymount and should have a chance to reach the majors either as an everyday second baseman or as a utility infielder. He has increased his visibility the last 12 months, first by hitting .298 in the Cape Cod League (the league average was .244) and by playing plenty of shortstop for the Lions this spring. He lacks pure middle-infield actions, and his arm and hands are short to be an everyday shortstop, but he'll fit fine at second, where his athleticism serves him well. Farris has good bat control and has improved his ability to make contact, though he still needs to walk more to be a true No. 2 hitter. He's a slightly above-average runner who has solid instincts on the basepaths.|
|35. Justin Snyder,
of (National rank:
School: San Diego. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 4/8/86.
|Scouting Report: Snyder is a solid all-around athlete and grinder who should go in the first six rounds to a statistically oriented club. A three-year starter for San Diego, he has been the ignitor behind overachieving offenses. He's a lefthanded-hitting second baseman who can play center field, as he did in the Cape Cod League last summer, but mostly he's a top-of-the-order pest who draws walks (35 or more every season at USD, always ranking in the top five in the West Coast Conference). Despite his size, Snyder has solid gap power and won't get the bat knocked out of his hands. He needs to play the short game better, particularly bunting, and if he does he'll be a solid No. 2 hitter. Snyder runs well but isn't as aggressive stealing bases as scouts would like. Defensively, he's sound at second, where he profiles best, and quick enough to play center field.|
|36. Matt Clark, 3b
School: Riverside (Calif.) CC. Class: So.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: --/--/--.
|Scouting Report: Clark has big league bloodlines and lefthanded power, both of which should help him be drafted in the first five rounds and make him the highest-drafted position player from California's junior colleges. The son of ex-big league pitcher Terry Clark (who is currently pitching coach for the Rangers' Double-A Frisco affiliate), Clark began his college career at UC Santa Barbara. He was a part-time player due to shaky defense at third base and platoon splits, and he decided to transfer after one season. Clark carried Riverside Community College to the state finals, leading the state's juco players with 14 home runs (he was the only player in the conference with double digits), thanks to a quick, easy swing. Clark has bat speed, having turned around a mid-90s fastball as a freshman from Cal Poly's Gary Daley. He's limited to an infield corner because he's a below-average runner, and while he has some arm strength, his awkward footwork at third likely will force him to first base. His bat might make the move worthwhile.|
|37. David Dinelli,
rhp (National rank:
School: Sierra (Calif.) JC. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 3/14/87.
|Scouting Report: While Dinelli served as Sierra Junior College's No. 1 starter this spring--leading the team deep into the state's juco playoffs--pro teams don't want him to be a member of their rotations. Some scouts see him as a potential closer because of his power repertoire and aggressive demeanor. A Texas Tech signee, Dinelli rivals Sac City's Leroy Hunt as the hardest thrower in California's junior colleges. He starts with a good pitcher's body, physical at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and comes at hitters hard with a low-90s fastball that often sits at 92-93 mph. While he doesn't throw anything truly offspeed, he has two power breaking balls: a hard curveball that sits around 78 mph, and a true slider/cutter in the low 80s. Scouts can imagine Dinelli eating up a lot of wood bats with his repertoire, when he's not missing them--he struck out 118 in just 86 regular-season innings. Dinelli also averaged more than five walks per nine and will have harness his control to become a closer instead of just a set-up man.|