Scouting Reports: Massachusetts
Last year, Massachusetts produced a first-round arm (Northeastern's Adam Ottavino) out of the college ranks and offered a limited selection of high school players. Depth remains a problem this year, but the Bay State could produce a first-round pitcher for the second straight year in lefthander Jack McGeary. The prep class is better behind McGeary than it was a year ago, but the college crop is uninspiring.
|THIS YEAR'S CROP|
||One for the books|
||Solid, not spectacular|
||Not up to par|
||Nothing to see here|
|National Top 200 Prospects|
1. Jack McGeary, lhp/1b, Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass.
2. Kevin Boggan, rhp, Boston College
3. Terry Doyle, rhp, Boston College
4. Steffan Wilson, 3b, Harvard
5. Dan Milano, c, Northeastern
6. Daniel Mahoney, rhp, Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, Mass.
7. Maguire Wiswall, 3b, Belmont Hill School, Belmont, Mass.
8. Garret Smith, ss, St. John's HS, Shrewsbury, Mass.
9. Shawn Haviland, rhp, Harvard
10. Kris Dabrowiecki, rhp, Northeastern
11. Kevin Moran, rhp, Barnstable (Mass.) HS
12. Marc Perdios, of, Catholic Memorial HS, West Roxbury, Mass.
13. John Leonard, rhp, Hanover (Mass.) HS
14. Kyle Prohovich, 1b, Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, Mass.
15. Matt Vance, ss, Harvard
16. Scott Hampe, rhp, Holy Cross
17. Greg Hopkins, ss, Bishop Feehan HS, Attleboro, Mass.
18. Sean O'Hara, ss, St. John's Prep, Danvers, Mass.
College Crop Disappoints
|1. Jack McGeary, lhp/1b (National rank: 27)|
School: Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/18/89.
|Scouting Report: McGeary had separated his non-throwing shoulder playing basketball during the winter, and he did it again while diving for a ball at first base just 48 hours before he was scheduled to make his 2007 pitching debut, but he showed no signs of injury this spring. As polished and steady a prep lefty as there is in the nation, McGeary sits consistently in the 87-90 mph range with his fastball, touching 91, and he figures to add velocity as he fills out his tall frame, which invites comparisons to Andy Pettitte's. McGeary can spot the pitch to all four quadrants of the zone, and his above-average 76-78 mph curveball is a legitimate out pitch that he commands very well. McGeary also flashes an average changeup that he rarely has to use. He has a smooth, easy delivery, though he breaks his hands really low near his knees during his windup. McGeary could also be a power-hitting first baseman should he wind up at Stanford, but he might be signable if he goes in the first round. As a Massachusetts native, he's a Red Sox fan and has already been interviewed by a Red Sox fan blog.|
Righthander Terry Doyle
and third baseman Steffan Wilson
both entered the season with high expectations built upon past performance in summer ball, but both struggled this spring.
Doyle ranked as the No. 18 prospect last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he threw a no-hitter and ranked second in the league in wins (five) and strikeouts (52 in 47 innings). But early in the season Doyle was hindered by a growth on his hand, causing him to struggle to command the zone as he had in the past. Despite a 6-foot-4 frame, Doyle's fastball sits in the 85-87 range and tops out at 89. He has a clean, easy delivery and a plus curveball, and he flashes an average changeup and a passable slider. In the first half of the season, Doyle would close games on Friday and then start Sunday, and he seemed to struggle with the dual role, finishing 4-5, 5.87 with 47 strikeouts and 30 walks in 69 innings. Doyle's swing-and-miss curveball gives him a chance to succeed in pro ball, but his below-average fastball velocity and heavy frame are likely to keep him out of the first 10 rounds.
After winning Ivy League rookie of the year honors in 2005, Wilson ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the New England Collegiate League (one spot behind Doyle). Scouts were intrigued by his developing power and his strong arm, but he has failed to build upon that momentum. He batted just .241 with no homers in the Cape last summer, and a broken hamate bone in the fall sapped his power this spring--he batted .331/.416/.484 with three homers and 17 RBIs. He still shows above-average raw power in batting practice at times, but he gets out in front of breaking balls and saw few fastballs to hit in the Ivy League. He lacks range at third base, and some scouts like the idea of moving him behind the plate. Wilson is unlikely to go in the first 10 rounds and seems a good bet to return for his senior year.
While Doyle and Wilson slipped, righthander Kevin Boggan
boosted his stock somewhat with a solid senior year at BC, going 5-5, 3.73 with 78 strikeouts and 34 walks in 80 innings. Boggan misses bats thanks to his deceptive, funky, almost corkscrew delivery, and scouts like his competitiveness. His 88-91 mph fastball has some life, his big-breaking curveball is a solid offering, and he gets outs with a low-80s cutter. Boggan pitched in the bullpen his first three years at BC, and he probably profiles as a reliever in pro ball. He could be drafted around the 10th round.
There isn't much else in the college class. Catcher Dan Milano
is a dependable catch-and-throw guy with some pop in his bat (13 homers for Northeastern this spring). He figures to be a solid senior sign in the second half of the draft. Righty Shawn Haviland
has flashed an 89-91 mph fastball and the ability to spin a breaking ball, but no club is likely to buy him out of his senior year at Harvard. Righthander Scott Hampe
lacks impressive fastball velocity but has a sneaky slider, helping him throw a seven-inning no-hitter against Lehigh this year. He could be a late senior draft.Eagles Clean Up
Unless a team opens the checkbook to buy McGeary out of Stanford, there doesn't figure to be any prep player in the state who will sign a pro contract this year. Righthander Daniel Mahoney
emerged as the second-best prep player in the state thanks to his projectable 6-foot-4 frame and quick arm. Mahoney pitches in the 86-88 mph range with his fastball and runs it up to 88-90, and he has good feel for a curveball, though it remains inconsistent. He has committed to Connecticut and is likely to head to school.
Boston College did a good job scooping up many of the top prep players in the state, including third baseman Maguire Wiswall
, righthanders Kevin Moran
and John Leonard
, shortstop Garret Smith
, outfielder Marc Perdios
and first baseman Kyle Prohovich
Wiswall might be the best high school hitter in New England, and he's held his own against McGeary over the last two years. He has a quick bat and squares the ball up on the barrel consistently, and he has a mature offensive approach, with a good idea how to drive the ball when he's ahead in the count. His arm might be his best tool. He has limited pitching experience but has been into the low 90s, and he makes the throw across the infield look easy.
Moran has a clean, easy delivery and a projectable 6-foot-4 frame. A converted third baseman, he just started pitching last summer and is still developing, but he already pitches in the 86-88 range and has touched 91. He has the makings of a hard slider, though it is slurvy right now. Leonard is polished for a Massachusetts high school arm. He commands an 88-91 mph fastball, a promising curveball and changeup.
Smith is a big shortstop at 6-foot-2 with an above-average arm and good defensive instincts. His swing is a little uphill and upside down right now, but he makes good contact and sprays line drive around the field. He draws comparisons to another big New England shortstop, Vanderbilt's Ryan Flaherty, and the Eagles hope he can take over at shortstop as a freshman.
Perdios is a good defensive center fielder with speed and a solid arm. The son of a coach, Perdios is a good baseball player with occasional power to the gaps, but his bat needs to develop.
The same is true of Prohovich, a teammate of McGeary who has big raw power in his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. Prohovich just needs to take better advantage of the leverage in his build to tap into his power.