Scouting Reports: Oklahoma




2007 MLB Draft Oklahoma has three position players who could go in the first or supplemental first round of the draft. Oklahoma State outfielder Corey Brown is one of the best college athletes in the draft this year, while teammate Matt Mangini, a third baseman, is one of the best college bats. Owasso High's Pete Kozma is arguably the best shortstop, high school or college, in this year's class.
THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
After that trio, the colleges offer their usual depth but the junior colleges and high schools are down a bit in 2007.

National Top 200 Prospects

1. Corey Brown, of, Oklahoma State
2. Pete Kozma, ss, Owasso (Okla.) HS
3. Matt Mangini, 3b, Oklahoma State
4. Stephen Porlier, rhp, Oklahoma
5. Jeremy Hefner, rhp, Oral Roberts

Other Prospects Of Note

6. Tyler Mach, 2b, Oklahoma State
7. Chance Chapman, rhp, Oral Roberts
8. Jackson Williams, c, Oklahoma
9. Justin Friend, rhp, Oklahoma State
10. Matt Hoffman, lhp, Owasso (Okla.) HS
11. Andy Wilkins, 3b/1b, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS
12. Kody Kaiser, of, Oklahoma City
13. Joe Dunigan, of, Oklahoma
14. Jeremy McBryde, rhp, Rose State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Padres)
15. John Maschino, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Rangers)
16. Parker Frazier, rhp, Bishop Kelley HS, Tulsa, Okla.
17. Brendan Duffy, of, Oral Roberts
18. Ty Wright, of, Oklahoma State
19. Josue Peley, ss, Seminole State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Pirates)
20. Darren Blocker, 3b, Connors State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Red Sox)
21. Chaz Gilliam, rhp, Cyril (Okla.) HS
22. Brandon Harrigan, c, Oklahoma City
23. Tony Snow, rhp, Oklahoma City (SIGNED: Marlins)
24. Davis Duren, ss, Union HS, Tulsa, Okla.
25. Aaron Reza, inf, Oklahoma
26. Martin Beno, rhp, Oklahoma State
27. Heath Taylor, lhp, Oklahoma
28. Erik Crichton, rhp, Oral Roberts
29. Tim Brewer, lhp, Connors State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Angels)
30. Steve Martin, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC
31. Tommy Luce, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC
32. Kyle Dyer, rhp, Page HS, Sand Springs, Okla.
33. Drew Rucinski, rhp, Union HS, Tulsa, Okla.
34. Keanon Simon, of, Oklahoma State
35. Rebel Ridling, 1b, Oklahoma State
36. Ryan Mottern, rhp, Oklahoma
37. Patrick Norris, of, Oklahoma City
38. Brian Joynt, of, Oklahoma City
39. Brad Burns, rhp, Oklahoma
40. Jake Kahaulelio, 2b, Oral Roberts

Scouting Reports

Corey Brown1. Corey Brown, of (National rank: 29)
School: Oklahoma State. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 11/26/85.
Scouting Report: Teammate Matt Mangini came into 2007 with more buzz, but Brown has surpassed him as the best prospect at Oklahoma State. He's a more well-rounded player, showing all five tools and the athleticism that made him the target of football recruiting offers as a wide receiver out of high school. Brown shows power and speed, and he was on pace for a 20-20 season with the Cowboys. He has a quick bat and the patience to rank among the NCAA Division I leaders with 53 walks through 50 games. He has the range to play center field and more arm strength than most players at that position. While Brown has been productive at the plate, he doesn't always make consistent contact. He has 51 strikeouts this spring, and he batted just .192 with 57 whiffs in 41 games in the Cape Cod League. His makeup raised red flags in high school, when he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of battery and was placed on probation. According to police, Brown--who was 17 at the time--and three other boys were drinking alcohol and had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl, a violation of Florida state law. That incident cost him a scholarship to Virginia. Whether it lingers in the minds of some teams remains to be seen, but he still figures to go no later than the sandwich round. Brown's younger brother Dylan, a freshman at Oklahoma State, should be a top prospect in the 2009 draft.

2. Pete Kozma, ss (National rank: 39)
School: Owasso (Okla.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 4/11/88.
Scouting Report: There may not be a true middle infielder drafted in the first round this year, but Kozma is as good a candidate as any. He impressed scouting directors when his team made a swing through Florida in late March, and he had a three-homer game in an Oklahoma 6-A playoff contest. Kozma has no true standout tool, but he also has no glaring weakness. He grades out as average to slightly above-average in every tool except power, and he does have pop. His instincts help him play above his physical ability at bat, on the bases and in the field. He has good plate coverage and uses the entire field, projecting as a future No. 2 hitter in a big league lineup. Coming into the spring, some scouts questioned whether he'd be a long-term shortstop, but he has no doubters now. A Wichita State recruit, Kozma draws raves for his consistency and energy as well.

3. Matt Mangini, 3b (National rank: 52)
School: Oklahoma State. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 222. Birthdate: 12/21/85.
Scouting Report: Mangini won the Cape Cod League batting title with a .310 average last summer, then transferred from North Carolina State to Oklahoma State. He entered the year projected as a first-round pick--and he still may realize those expectations because college position players are in short supply and will be overdrafted--but his stock has slipped. He had changed his approach to simply trying to make contact. He was spread out at the plate, costing him leverage, and ranked just fourth on the Cowboys in both batting (.342) and homers (nine) through 50 games. He always has used a line-drive approach more than a loft stroke, but he drove the ball better in the past. Despite being 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, he may have no more than average power. Mangini is adequate at third base and on the bases, so his bat will have to carry him. He has enough arm for the hot corner, but he has been vulnerable to bunts and inconsistent in the field, so he may have to find a new position down the line.

4. Stephen Porlier, rhp (National rank: 107)
School: Oklahoma. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 206. Birthdate: 11/28/85.
Scouting Report: Porlier ranked as one of the top high school pitching prospects in Texas three years ago until he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. After redshirting at Tulane in 2005, he pitched one season for the Green Wave before transferring to Oklahoma for 2007. He quickly became the Sooners' No. 1 starter, and while he has spun shutouts against Nebraska and Kansas (a combined effort), he also has been inconsistent this spring. His low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup are all good pitches, he throws strikes and he has a durable 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame. Nevertheless, scouts question his mental toughness and wonder about his signability as a draft-eligible sophomore. His talent would dictate taking him in the first three rounds, though if his asking price is high he could slide considerably further than that.

5. Jeremy Hefner, rhp (National rank: 166)
School: Oral Roberts. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/11/86.
Scouting Report: Scouts were aware of Hefner in 2006, but he got lost in the shuffle at Seminole State (Okla.) Junior College. The pitching staff also included Drew Miller (who got $300,000 as a draft-and-follow from the Padres), Duke Welker (a likely third-round pick this June) and hard throwers John Maschino and Ryan Lindgren. Hefner went undrafted after the Mets had drafted him in the 46th round in 2004 and the 48th round in 2005. He made a jump forward this spring under the tutelage of Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton. Welker's fastball velocity has risen from 87-89 mph a year ago to 89-94, and his command of the pitch has improved as well. Walton has taught him an effective two-plane slider, and Hefner also uses a curveball and changeup. He also has size (6-foot-5, 200 pounds), athleticism and good arm action in his favor. Hefner moved from the bullpen to the rotation in March, and his stock has climbed as well. He should go in the first five rounds, perhaps higher if he performs well against tougher competition in the NCAA playoffs.

Mach Doesn't Let Up

In 2006, his first season at Oklahoma State after playing at Washington and then Edmonds (Wash.) Community College, Tyler Mach won the Big 12 home run title with 16 and shared player-of-the-year honors with Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs. Stubbs went eighth overall in the draft to the Reds, while Mach lasted until the Cardinals took him in the 40th round. Scouts saw Mach as a dead-fastball hitter who took advantage of the hitting conditions in Stillwater, but he has proven himself again in 2007. He was battling teammate Ty Wright for the league batting title (Wright was at .417, Mach at .410 entering the NCAA regionals) and led the conference with 76 RBIs. He also moved from third base to second base to make room for Matt Mangini. Mach is still seen as an all-bat player, and he's probably going to have to play first base in pro ball. But he can hit and his bat makes him an interesting senior sign.

Another transfer doing well for the Cowboys is righthander Justin Friend, who spent the previous two seasons at Chabot (Calif.) Junior College. He has settled into Oklahoma State's closer role and showed an 88-91 mph fastball and a slider that has peaked at 82-83 mph. His command helps his stuff play up.

Outfielders Brendan Duffy and Wright are both leadoff types who run well. Duffy, whose older brother Chris plays for the Pirates, is a better prospect because he can play center, while Wright's arm relegates him to left. Wright extended his hitting streak to 35 games, second in Oklahoma State history behind Robin Ventura's NCAA-record 58-game skein, in the Cowboys' first NCAA regional game.

Righthander Chance Chapman has had a pair of spectacular strikeout performances, fanning 17 against Arkansas and 19 against Centenary. The Mid-Continent Conference pitcher of the year, he entered the NCAA regionals ranked third in Division I in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.4)--eight spots ahead of teammate Jeremy Hefner (11.6) in the latter category. Chapman's strikeout pitch is a big league slider, and he also has an 88-91 mph fastball with life. When he commands his fastball, he's tough to hit. Chapman's age works against him, as he's 23 after spending three years at Cuesta (Calif.) Junior College and missing all of 2004 with an injury.

Jackson Williams has some of the best catch-and-throw skills in the Midwest. He records pop times of 1.8-1.9 seconds from the mitt to second base. The question about Williams always has been how much he'll hit, and he doesn't offer much power. But he heated up at the end of the season, raising his average to .344 after batting .263 as a freshman and .292 as a sophomore.

Matt Hoffman got exposure when scouts flocked to Owasso High games to see Pete Kozma. Owasso won the state 6-A title with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a solo homer from Kozma and a three-hit shutout from Hoffman. He entered the year known more as a center fielder, but pro teams now prefer him as an athletic lefthander who has touched 91-92 mph. His delivery and command need some work, and he may not be signable away from Oklahoma.

The best high school hitter in Oklahoma is Andy Wilkins. He has size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and a short, strong lefthanded stroke. The ball jumps off his bat. He would be more attractive if he had a realistic chance to stay at third base, but he'll have to be a first baseman. He might not get picked high enough to lure him away from an Arkansas scholarship.

Outfielder Kody Kaiser transferred from Oklahoma, where he played for his uncle Sunny Galloway, to NAIA power Oklahoma City. He's a switch-hitter with speed and hitting ability, and he put up monster numbers (.425-18-63, 35 steals) typical of the Stars program. His size (5-foot-8, 185 pounds) works against him and he may profile better at second baseman, but he never has been able to claim that position on any of his college teams. The Dodgers drafted him in the 26th round as a draft-eligible sophomore last June.

Few college players look the part more than outfielder Joe Dunigan, a 6-foot-2, 247-pounder with tremendous bat speed and strength, good speed for his size and arm strength. But he never has made consistent contact and is shaky in right field, and some scouts question how well he sees the ball. While he has made improvements, he's still raw after three years in the Big 12. He also struggled with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. Through no fault of his own, Dunigan was thrust into the spotlight last April, when former Oklahoma coach Larry Cochell twice used a racist epithet to describe him while talking to ESPN commentators. That cost Cochell his job.

Top Juco Prospects Sign Before Draft

Oklahoma's best junior-college prospects all signed six-figure deals as draft-and-follows in May. Righthander Jeremy McBryde (Padres, 26th round in 2006) throws in the low 90s and has a decent slider. Righty John Maschino (Rangers, 17th) has a little more power to his stuff but not as much pitchability. A former member of the Canadian junior national team, Josue Peley (Pirates, 35th) showed speed and pop while playing a slick shortstop. The Pirates will try to convert him into a catcher. Third baseman Darren Blocker (Red Sox, 36th) was the most dangerous hitter in the state, batting .436 with eight homers.

Righthander Parker Frazier defines projection at 6-foot-5 and 160 pounds. The son of former big leaguer George Frazier, he already throws 86-89 mph and has plenty of room to get stronger. His slider and command are advanced for a high schooler. He has committed to Oral Roberts.

Righthander Chaz Gilliam starred in three sports at tiny Cyril High, but he's more polished in football (accounted for 31 touchdowns last fall as a quarterback) and basketball (averaged 18 points a game). As a pitcher, he offers size (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) and projectable velocity (his fastball already is 87-90 mph). His arm action and command need to improve, which could happen if he dedicates himself to baseball.

Tim Brewer made draft news when the Rockies took him out of a Virgin Islands high school in the 35th round of the 2005 draft--only to discover that he was a junior and have the pick voided. The Angels took him in the 50th round last June and signed him as a draft-and-follow. He's a projectable 6-foot-3, 187-pound lefty who can touch 90 mph with his fastball.