Scouting Reports: Iowa




2007 MLB Draft Iowa City High third baseman Jon Gilmore probably won't become the state's first-ever high school first-rounder, but he should be the state's highest pick since the White Sox drafted outfielder Ryan Sweeney 52nd overall in 2003.

Iowa's high schools are thin behind Gilmore, but the colleges have more depth than usual and Iowa Western Community College had a talented club that advanced to the Junior College World Series.
THIS YEAR'S CROP
*****One for the books
****Banner year
***Solid, not spectacular
**Not up to par
*Nothing to see here


National Top 200 Prospects

1. Jon Gilmore, 3b, Iowa City (Iowa) HS

Other Prospects Of Note

2. Brandon Douglas, ss, Northern Iowa
3. Jason White, ss, Iowa
4. Travis Sweet, of, Iowa
5. Aaron Jenkins, lhp, Northern Iowa
6. Tyson Gillies, of, Iowa Western CC (SIGNED: Mariners)
7. Mike Schurz, rhp, Iowa
8. Nick Nordgren, of, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC
9. Doug Kroll, of, Iowa Western CC
10. Zach Kenyon, rhp, Davenport (Iowa) Central HS

Scouting Reports

1. Jon Gilmore, 3b (National rank: 84)
School: Iowa City (Iowa) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 8/23/88.
Scouting Report: Scouts were excited to see Gilmore this spring after he tore up the showcase circuit last summer, including a double off a Michael Main fastball at the Aflac Classic and a stellar performance at the Area Code Games. But they've had a hard time getting a read on him because he strained a hamstring and has faced weaker-than-usual competition in Iowa. He still might go in the second or third round, but the team that picks him that high will be doing so on the basis of what it has seen in the past. He stands out most for his exceedingly quick bat and his power potential. Gilmore is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, and while he's a good athlete who drew interest from college football programs as a quarterback, a move from shortstop to third base is inevitable, either in pro ball or at Wichita State if he doesn't sign. He has the arm strength to make the longer throws from the hot corner, and his bat will play there as well. Gilmore has two brothers-in-law with baseball connections: Ben Zobrist has played in the majors the last two years with the Devil Rays, while Dan Heefner is the hitting coach at Dallas Baptist.

Shortstops Top College Crop

Though hamstring troubles plagued him early in the year, redshirt sophomore Brandon Douglas was an all-Missouri Valley Conference shortstop for the second time in two seasons. He has average speed and arm strength, which likely means a shift to second base as a pro, but he has enough bat to make the move.

Jason White has a better chance than Douglas at remaining at shortstop. His bat is more in question, but White has made strides at the plate this spring. A frail 160 pounds in the past, White is now 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds and hit 10 homers as a senior after totaling one in his first three years at Iowa. He has room to add strength, and he has more speed and softer hands than Douglas.

Travis Sweet saw more action at second base, pitcher and third base in his first two seasons with the Hawkeyes, but he has found a home in center field this year. Slowed early after he was hit in the knee by a pitch, Sweet rallied to bat .413, good for second in the Big 10 Conference batting race entering the NCAA regionals. He has plus speed and gap power, and he makes consistent contact.

Thanks to a true 12-to-6 curveball that batters know is coming but still can't hit, Aaron Jenkins has been a strikeout machine. He fanned 15 against Bradley in his final start of the spring, and he owns Northern Iowa whiff records for a season (126 in 95 innings this year) and career (247 in 198 innings). Jenkins also has a high-80s fastball and maintains his velocity deep into games. Though he's a lefthander with a big breaking pitch, Jenkins won't be a high pick. He's just 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds and relies on his curve too much, so scouts aren't sure how long he'll last as a pro. He went undrafted as a sophomore-eligible in 2006.

After Iowa Western went to the Junior College World Series, outfielder Tyson Gillies signed with the Mariners as a 25th-round draft-and-follow. A former member of the Canadian junior national team, he's a raw athlete with center-field ability and plus speed. He's also hearing impaired, with just 30 percent hearing in one ear and 60 percent in the other.

From a numbers standpoint, outfielder Doug Kroll was the most productive Reiver, as he made a run at the national juco triple crown by hitting .492-17-82. He redshirted at the Community College of Southern Nevada last year.