Scouting Reports: Pennsylvania




2007 MLB Draft Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog resident of Punxsutawney, Pa., didn't see his shadow when he emerged from his burrow in February. He also could not have predicted that by the end of the spring, he'd no longer be the most popular figure in the small town about an hour northeast of Pittsburgh. But the rise of Punxsutawney High catcher Devin Mesoraco was easily the most exciting draft story in the Keystone State this year.

THIS YEAR'S CROP
*****One for the books
****Banner year
***Solid, not spectacular
**Not up to par
*Nothing to see here
Mesoraco put himself in position to be the first high schooler from the state to be drafted in the first round since Chris Lubanski went fifth overall in 2003. He didn't have much company at the top of the draft, but Pennsylvania did produce a good crop of supporting prospects that should be drafted in the top 10 rounds. A handful of them enough upside to eventually carry over their success to pro ball.

National Top 200 Prospects

1. Devin Mesoraco, c, Punxsutawney (Pa.) HS

Other Prospects Of Note

2. Kyle Greenwalt, rhp, Souderton (Pa.) HS
3. Austin Gallagher, 3b, Manheim Township HS, Lancaster, Pa.
4. Drew O'Neil, rhp, Penn State
5. Mark Adzick, lhp, William Penn Charter HS, Haverford, Pa.
6. Tobias Streich, c, Johnsonburg (Pa.) HS
7. Bob Revesz, lhp, Grove City (Pa.) HS
8. Mike McCardell, rhp, Kutztown (Pa.) University
9. Keith Meyer, rhp, Duquesne
10. Phillip Gosselin, 2b, Malvern Prep, West Chester, Pa.
11. Kyle Landis, rhp, Pittsburgh
12. Yadiel lanzo, lhp, Keystone (Pa.) College
13. Brett Weibley, 3b, Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Area Senior HS
14. Chris Murphy, of, Fox Chapel HS, Pittsburgh

Scouting Reports

1. Devin Mesoraco, c (National rank: 24)
School: Punxsutawney (Pa.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 6/19/88.
Scouting Report: As strong as this year's high school class was considered at the outset of the season, it got even better when high school righthanders Jarrod Parker and Nevin Griffith and Mesoraco came out of the gate showing better tools and ability than they had last summer and fall. Griffith and Mesoraco appeared in showcases, but they didn't show impact potential until this spring, and Mesoraco has been the biggest riser of them all. An arm injury led to Tommy John surgery when he was a sophomore, and he was relegated to DH duties as a junior. His arm strength has slowly returned, and this spring he has shown a 70 arm with quick, efficient releases. Defensively, Mesoraco compares favorably to 2001 Angels first-rounder Jeff Mathis, with athleticism serving as the foundation of an agile, quick-twitch player who receives and blocks exceptionally well. He shows above-average bat speed and 50-55 power at the plate. He's a solid-average runner, too, rounding out a legitimate five-tool package that probably won't make it out of the first round.

High School Players On The Rise

There is not another player in the state in the class of Mesoraco, though a pair of South Carolina signees rank as the next-best prospects. Austin Gallagher always dreamed of playing at Clemson like his father Glenn, who played football and baseball for the Tigers before being drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1981 June draft. But he ended up committing to the rival Gamecocks instead. Austin is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound third baseman who was considered by most scouts to be unprepared for professional pitching right now. There were at least a handful of clubs, however--including the Reds, Pirates, Dodgers and Yankees--that could feel otherwise. Their main attraction is likely Gallagher's plus raw power from the left side and physical frame. His bat speed isn't exceptional, nor are his instincts for the game, and Gallagher has a tendency to collapse his back side in his swing. The loft and leverage are evident in batting practice and he has considerable room for improvement. He's a good athlete who was also a basketball player, quarterback and righthander for Manheim Township, compiling an 8-0, 0.90 record for one of the state's most competitive high school teams. He'll probably have to be offered slot money in the fifth round or earlier in order to skip college.

Righthander Kyle Greenwalt won't be a simple sign, either, but like Gallagher he showed promise during an otherwise down year in eastern Pennsylvania. He was a high-profile figure as an underclassman and may have worn himself out with a plethora of showcase appearances last summer, but he was returning to form this spring. He has flashed an above-average fastball up to 93 mph with heavy sink at times. Greenwalt's breaking ball has inconsistent shape, but ranges from 76-81 mph, and he will occasionally snap off a filthy downer with hard break and tight rotation.

While Mesoraco made his move early this spring, a college prospect made a push later, although his stock will not be nearly as high as Mesoraco's. Righthander Drew O'Neil has accrued quite a bit of mileage during his college career, and he might get reimbursed on draft day with a spot in the top 10 rounds. A suburban Atlanta native, O'Neil committed to Wake Forest but never threw a pitch for the Demon Deacons, missing his freshman season in 2005 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He transferred to Young Harris (Ga.) Junior College in 2006, but didn't show the stuff to garner much consideration in the draft and transferred a second time, to Penn State.

As a redshirt sophomore, O'Neil found his calling in the bullpen. The 21-year-old went 4-2, 1.34 this season with 11 saves in 23 appearances. His strikeouts were underwhelming, as he registered just 21 with 10 walks in 33 innings, but he held hitters to a .188 average. He works from a low three-quarters arm slot, which gives his delivery deception. He's been up to 92 mph and will flash a plus slider at times, though it's inconsistent. He was invited to predraft workouts for at least a couple of teams.

Division II Kutztown rolled off a 49-5 regular season record and earned a berth in the Division II World Series, and senior righthander Mike McCardell was a major reason. He was lights-out at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament, flashing a low-90s fastball and pinpoint control. McCardell allowed just 36 hits with 79 strikeouts and 10 walks in 59 innings, and with a 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and athleticism--he also batted .344/.413/.492 as an infielder--he could be taken as high as the ninth or 10th round.

Righthander Keith Meyer didn't fare quite as well this spring, but he's got arm strength and a plus curveball that he can't command. He spent last summer closing in the New York Collegiate League, and liked it so much he talked his way into Duquesne's bullpen this spring. Meyer is raw and hasn't pitched much, which was evident in his 1-2, 7.00 performance with 18 strikeouts and 14 walks in 27 innings this year. His fastball has been up to 92 and his athleticism is an asset. He toys with a two-seamer and splitter. A team that can be patient in his development and likes his upside could draft him in the 10th-12th round.

A pair of projectable prep lefties, Mark Adzick and Bob Revesz entered their final high school seasons with a chance to pitch their way into the professional ranks, but neither pitcher performed terribly well and now they look like good bets for college. Adzick pitched poorly out of the gate then missed several starts with nagging injuries, of which an oblique strain was the most serious. He's long and lean and gets good extension on his pitches, making him projectable. His father Scott is a noted pediatric surgeon who has performed a rare surgery on fetuses while still in their mother's wombs. He was never expected to be a cheap sign, so now he's all but certain to attend Wake Forest. Revesz committed to Louisville and will likely find his way there, too. His fastball sits at 86-89 mph, his command is inconsistent and so is his secondary stuff.

Tobias Streich received plenty of exposure coming up and was pegged as a potential top-five-round selection as the season began. He was one of just three players selected to attend the East Coast Showcase as both a sophomore and a junior, and he was also chosen to appear in the Cape Cod Classic last summer. He transferred from Ridgeway (Pa.) High following his junior season. Outside of his 65 arm strength on the 20-80 scale, Streich doesn't possess a separating tool. He has a mature, physical body and has shown promising skills behind the plate, but his ability at the plate is well behind his defensive game.