Scouting Reports: New Mexico
The biggest news in New Mexico happened in the fall of 2005, when New Mexico State righthander Tyler Sturdivant appeared to be positioning himself for a run at the first five rounds of the 2007 draft. The lithe, athletic 6-foot-1 righthander with the quick arm was outstanding on scout day for the Aggies back then, hitting 94 mph with an 82 mph slider. However, Sturdivant hurt his elbow and had Tommy John surgery, limiting him to 28 innings last year and none this season. In his absence, the state lacks a true impact talent.
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1. Jordan Pacheco, 2b, New Mexico
2. Matt Moore, lhp, Moriarty HS, Albuquerque
3. Tyler Sturdivant, rhp, New Mexico State
4. David Carpenter, rhp, New Mexico JC
5. Brian Gausman, rhp, New Mexico State
6. Brian Cavazos-Galvez, New Mexico JC
7. Bobby LaFromboise, lhp, New Mexico
8. Kevin Chavez, rhp, St. Michaels HS, Santa Fe, N.M.
9. Rich Bohlken, ss, La Cueva HS, Albuquerque
10. Justin Aragon, rhp, La Cueva HS, Albuquerque
11. Matt Speake, rhp, New Mexico JC (CONTROL: Giants)
12. Adalberto Santos, 2b/ss, New Mexico JC
13. Brian Cavazos-Galvez, 1b, New Mexico JC
New Mexico went just 28-30 this season, and it cost head coach Rich Alday his job after 18 seasons with a record just above .500. Junior second baseman Jordan Pacheco
did his part for Alday, ranking second in the Mountain West Conference in batting (.397), leading it in on-base percentage (.511) and doubles (21, tied), and generally being one of the area's best hitters. He has strength, works hard at hitting and keeps things simple at the plate. He's not considered light on his feet or blessed with soft hands, and he probably will give third base a try as a pro, as he has enough arm strength to have seen brief work on the mound in college. If he hit lefthanded, he'd be a lock for the first five rounds, but as a righty bat he's less likely to stick as a utility infielder.
Teammate Bobby LaFromboise
, on the other hand, benefits from his status as a lefthander, as all his stuff has some movement. He has fringy velocity (at times below-average) and generally throws strikes, staying tall in his delivery.Matt Moore
emerged as the state's top high school prospect by showing above-average fastball velocity for a lefthander. Moore, whose older brother Bobby is a redshirt sophomore at New Mexico, also signed with the Lobos but has New Mexico Junior College as a backup plan. He's athletic at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and has arm strength, often pitching in the 89-91 mph range and hitting 92. He's just 17 and needs to add polish to his curveball and changeup.
Another 17-year-old, righthander Kevin Chavez
, has come back from a football knee injury (he's a quarterback and tore his anterior cruciate ligament) to show a high-80s fastball (it has scraped the low 90s in the past) to go with a good spike curveball. He joins Moore in the Lobos' recruiting class.
New Mexico JC advanced to the Junior College World Series and was 47-6 thanks to a deep team that had no true draft star. Tall righthander David Carpenter
uses a lower arm slot to get good sink on a low-90s fastball, making him the team's consensus top prospect. He also uses a sweepy low-80s slider in his role as the team's shutdown closer (six saves, 1.16 ERA).
The team's top winner, righthander Matt Speake
, wasn't under control last year and is a 45th-round draft-and-follow this year with the Giants. He has topped out at 91 mph with a solid slider and succeeds when he keeps the ball down. The team's most interesting player in terms of background might be Bronx native Adalberto Santos
, who transferred in from Louisburg (N.C.) Junior College and put up stunning numbers. He hit .520/.570/.861, leading the nation in batting while adding a team-high 20 stolen bases. One of the team's better athletes, Santos is best suited for second base. He came to New Mexico JC with former Little League teammate Danny Almonte, but when Almonte signed a pro contract with an independent team, Santos stayed with the Thunderbirds and polished his hitting approach significantly.