State Reports: Florida




THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
The state of Florida can claim a regular season triple crown this season, with the top-ranked college, junior college and high school teams in the country. Miami won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships, spent most of the season as Baseball America's No. 1 team and was the No. 1 national seed entering the NCAA tournament. Pensacola Junior College finished its regular season on top of the national junior college poll, where it had been for six consecutive weeks. And American Heritage High in South Florida was the No. 1 team in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association poll entering the Florida 3-A championships—which it convincingly won.

The state's draft class also features talent from each of those levels and should have at least five players picked in the first round. American Heritage features one of the top high school bats in this draft in Eric Hosmer, but he's not even the top prospect in the state. That honor falls to Florida State catcher Buster Posey, who is a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick. Miami has the deepest talent, with six Hurricanes in Baseball America's Top 200, including five hitters.

NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS

1. Buster Posey, c, Florida State (National Rank: 4)
2. Eric Hosmer, 1b, American Heritage HS, Plantation (National Rank: 7)
3. Yonder Alonso, 1b, Miami (National Rank: 12)
4. Casey Kelly, rhp/ss, Sarasota HS (National Rank: 19)
5. Jemile Weeks, 2b, Miami (National Rank: 27)
6. Brett DeVall, lhp, Niceville HS (National Rank: 33)
7. Dennis Raben, of, Miami (National Rank: 34)
8. Adrian Nieto, c, American Heritage HS, Plantation (National Rank: 73)
9. Carlos Gutierrez, rhp, Miami (Natinoal Rank: 82)
10. Blake Tekotte, of, Miami (National Rank: 85)
11. Ben McMahan, c, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando (National Rank: 111)
12. Rolando Gomez, ss, Flanagan HS, Pembroke Pines (National Rank: 135)
13. Wesley Freeman, of, All Saints Academy, Lakeland (National Rank: 138)
14. Mark Sobolewski, 3b, Miami (National Rank: 150)
15. Harold Martinez, ss, Braddock HS, Miami (National Rank: 160)
16. Tyler Stohr, rhp, North Florida (National Rank: 172)
17. Anthony Ferrara, rhp, Riverview HS, Odessa (National Rank: 189)
18. Daniel Thomas, rhp, South Florida (National Rank: 193)

OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE

19. Graham Hicks, lhp, Jenkins HS, Lakeland
20. Ryan Chaffee, rhp, Chipola JC
21. Richard Bleier, lhp, Florida Gulf Coast
22. Brett Oberholtzer, lhp, Seminole JC
23. Blaine Howell, lhp, Pensacola JC
24. Jack Armstrong, rhp, Jupiter (Fla.) HS
25. Brett Moorhouse, rhp, Indian River JC
26. Jarred Holloway, lhp, St. Petersburg JC
27. Ryan Weber, rhp, Clearwater Central HS, St. Petersburg
28. Will Smith, lhp, Gulf Coast JC
29. Tony Delmonico, ss, Florida State
30. Tyler Pastornicky, ss, Pendleton HS, Bradenton
31. Bruce Pugh, rhp, Hillsborough JC
32. Jeff Walters, rhp, St. Petersburg JC
33. Carlos Moncrief, rhp, Chipola JC
34. Kenny Wilson, of, Sickles HS, Tampa
35. D.J. Hicks, 1b, Lake Brantley HS, Altamonte Springs
36. Ben Jeffers, rhp, Chipola JC
37. Cole Figueroa, ss, Florida
38. Matt Richardson, ss/rhp, Lake Mary HS
39. Eric Fornataro, rhp, Miami-Dade JC
40. Corey Thomas, 3b, Middleton HS, Tampa
41. Justin Dalles, c, St. Petersburg JC
42. Ryan Strauss, rhp, Florida State
43. Melvin Ray, of, North Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee
44. Mitch Houck, lhp, Central Florida
45. Enrique Garcia, rhp, Miami
46. Elih Villanueva, rhp, Florida State
47. Casey Coleman, rhp, ss, Florida Gulf Coast
48. Juan Carlos Sulbaran, rhp, American Heritage HS, Davie
49. Jeff Beliveau, lhp, Florida Atlantic
50. Jon Michael Redding, rhp, Florida JC
51. Alex Mendez, of, Bishop Moore HS, Longwood
52. Brad Miller, ss, Olympia HS, Windemere
53. Drew Poulk, of, St. Petersburg JC
54. Sam Mende, ss, Central Catholic HS, Clearwater
55. Reynaldo Cotilla, rhp, Miami-Dade JC
56. Joe Belviso, of, American Heritage HS, Plantation
57. Will Cherry, of, Florida Southern
58. Mitch Herold, lhp, Central Florida
59. Hunter Scantling, rhp, Episcopal HS, Jacksonville
60. Jack Rye, of, Florida State
61. Keon Broxton, ss, Lakeland HS
62. Greg Larson, rhp, Lake Brantley HS, Longwood
63. Sean Koecheler, rhp, Palm Beach JC
64. Aaron Tullo, rhp, St. Petersburg JC
65. Kiko Vazquez, 1b, Central Florida
66. Jeff Hulett, ss, Okaloosa-Walton JC
67. Chris Berroa, of, Chipola JC
68. Daniel Cook, of, Florida Atlantic
69. Greg Conver, rhp, American Heritage HS, Plantation
70. Marcus Brisker, of, Winter Haven HS
71. Avery Barnes, 2b, Florida
72. Anthony Figliolia, rhp, Winter Springs HS
73. Jacob Rogers, of, Dunedin HS
74. John Lambert, lhp, Sante Fe JC
75. Moises Montero, c, Chipola JC
76. Eric Broberg, rhp, Seminole JC
77. Mike McKenna, of, Florida Atlantic
78. Austin Armstrong, rhp, Palm Beach JC
79. Dennis Guinn, 1b, Florida State
80. Mickey Storey, rhp, Florida Atlantic
81. Pablo Bermudez, of, Miami Springs HS, Miami Shores
82. Austin Wood, rhp, Niceville HS
83. Matt Fairel, lhp, Florida State
84. Robert Lara, c, Central Florida
85. Brandon Decker, 1b, South Florida JC
86. Tyler Thompson, of, Jupiter HS
87. Jeff Barfield, rhp, Lake City JC
88. John Hellweg, rhp, Florida JC
89. Kyle Allen, rhp, IMG Academy, Pendleton
90. Donald Jordat, rhp, Miami-Dade JC
91. Mike Meschke, 1b, North Florida JC
92. B.J. Zimmerman, of, Osceola HS
93. Chris Matulis, lhp, Park Vista HS, Boynton Beach
94. Matt Gilson, lhp, Broward JC
95. Marcus Salmon, rhp, Miami-Dade JC
96. Clay Kollenbaum, rhp, Dunedin HS
97. Joseph Gautier, lhp, Bethune-Cookman
98. John Brebbia, rhp, West Palm Beach HS
99. Taylor Wrenn, ss, Lakeland HS
100. Nick Pugliese, rhp, Stetson
101. Pat Keating, rhp, Florida
102. Ryan Ditthardt, of, Pensacola JC
103. Brandon Short, of, St. John's River JC
104. Jason Townsend, rhp, Chipola JC
105. Vickash Ramjit, 3b, Columbus HS, Miami
106. Alex Pepe, lhp, Florida Atlantic
107. Justin Bass, of, Stetson HS, Deland
108. Jonathan Griffin, 1b, Manatee JC
109. Arden McWilliams, 3b, Florida Southern
110. Steven Stewart, rhp, Florida International
111. Jimmy Marshall, rhp, Florida State
112. Brian Busch, lhp, West Boca HS, Boca Raton
113. Adam Severino, of, Miami
114. Corey Figueroa, 2b, St. Petersburg JC
115. Frankie Rawdow, ss, McKeel Academy, Lakeland

SCOUTING REPORTS

1. Buster Posey, c, Florida State (National Rank: 4)

Posey was recruited out of high school by Florida State to play shortstop, and he started all 65 games there for the Seminoles as a freshman. Following the 2006 season, however, Posey was asked to move behind the plate and catch for the first time in his life. He took to it naturally and two seasons later is considered the top catching prospect, both defensively and offensively, in the country. His offensive numbers this season, including a .471 average, put him among the national leaders in several categories. His receiving, footwork and release are all advanced, and his athleticism is apparent. Posey's arm strength (he reaches 94 mph off the mound) and accuracy are pluses as well. At the plate, Posey has above-average bat speed and makes consistent contact. He has power to all fields but will probably be known more for his batting average than home runs. Drafted out of high school by the Angels in the 50th round in 2005, Posey is regarded as one of the safest picks in this year's draft. His projection as an offensive catcher with Gold Glove-caliber defense has boosted Posey's draft stock as much as anyone's over the weeks leading up to the draft.

2. Eric Hosmer, 1b, American Heritage HS, Plantation (National Rank: 7)

An Aflac All-American and preseason High School All-American, Hosmer is one of the most decorated prep players in this year's draft class. He played for Team USA's junior squad last summer and this spring is a member of one of the nation's top high school teams, which won a state championship. Regularly compared to fellow Floridian Casey Kotchman, Hosmer is a physical specimen with bat speed to spare. Swinging from the left side, Hosmer has as much raw power as anyone in the draft. His power ranges to all fields, as he is known for letting balls get deep and driving them for opposite-field home runs. While his approach at the plate is advanced, Hosmer's pitch recognition has been a concern for some scouts. In the field, he's a solid defender with athleticism and a well-above-average arm. He is the closer on his high school team, regularly touching 95 mph off the mound. While his actions at first base need refinement, he could be an above-average defender. Hosmer has the tools to be an all-star first baseman and has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this year's draft. As an Arizona State signee and a client of the Boras Corp., however, signability could be an issue.

3. Yonder Alonso, 1b, Miami (National Rank: 12)

The most dangerous slugger on one of the nation's top hitting college teams, Alonso has produced consistent offensive numbers for Miami in each of his three years. As a freshman he led the team with 69 RBIs, leading the Hurricanes to the College World Series. As a sophomore, he led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 18 home runs, and finished the season with a .376 batting average. A native of Cuba, Alonso came to America at age 9. He was drafted out of Coral Gables (Fla.) High in the 16th round by the Twins in 2005. Alonso has always hit for average and power, and he is considered one of the most professional hitters in this year's draft. Blessed with superior plate discipline, Alonso has a great strikeout-to-walk ratio and has an advanced approach. He swings lefthanded and has power to all fields, making consistent contact. In the field, Alonso is limited to first base but plays the position well. He is a below-average runner with adequate arm strength, but he should be an above-average defender. Alonso's professionalism and makeup are both strengths as well, making him a safe pick to reach the major leagues.

4. Casey Kelly, rhp/ss, Sarasota HS (National Rank: 19)

A tremendous athlete with professional bloodlines, Kelly is committed to play quarterback and shortstop at Tennessee. He is the son of Pat Kelly, who played briefly in the big leagues in 1980 and is a longtime minor league manager, and he is fundamentally sound on the baseball field. His defensive actions are advanced and he has the hands and arm strength to stay at shortstop now. However, as he develops, Kelly may outgrow the position, leading to a move to third base. At the plate, Kelly is somewhat raw and his production is still a projection for scouts. He has raw power due to his size and will need to improve his ability to make consistent contact. While he prefers playing shortstop, many scouts like his repertoire on the mound as much, if not better, than his skills as a position player. With a fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s and one of the nation's best hammer curveballs, Kelly is a safe pick in that if he doesn't pan out in the field, he could be successful on the mound. However, with his commitment to Tennessee and his desire to play shortstop, signability could become an issue.

5. Jemile Weeks, 2b, Miami (National Rank: 27)

The brother of Brewers second baseman Rickie, Weeks is an accomplished middle infielder with above-average athleticism. Drafted out of high school by the Brewers in the eighth round in 2005, Weeks elected to attend Miami instead. He competed on the U.S. college national team following his freshman and sophomore seasons and was named as a preseason All-American by BA coming into the year. A switch-hitter and plus runner, Weeks has the unique ability to put pressure on the defense with his speed on the basepaths. Although he is just 5-feet-9, 180 pounds, he is not limited to small ball as he has quick wrists and plus bat speed, allowing him to hit for power as well. Defensively, Weeks has shown flashes of making the spectacular play but needs to become more consistent with the routine play. Also, his ability to turn the double play needs improvement. In the pros, Weeks profiles as an offensive second baseman with less power than his brother but a better chance to stay in the middle of the diamond. He and Gordon Beckham are the most athletic college position players expected to be drafted in the first 50 picks.

6. Brett DeVall, lhp, Niceville HS (National Rank: 33)

From Florida, a Team USA Junior Olympic team alum and a participant in the East Cobb League, Devall has been on the scouting radar for a long time. DeVall was an Aflac All-American in the fall and has distinguished himself this spring as the top pure high school lefthander in this draft. DeVall, at 6-foot-4, has the ideal pitcher's build and has an advanced understanding of how to pitch. His delivery and arm action are sound as he repeats his mechanics, leading to his plus command of three pitches. The velocity on his fastball typically stays between 88-89 mph but can touch the low 90s. His curveball has the makings of an average pitch at the very least and his changeup is advanced for a high school pitcher. While he has feel for each of his three pitches, none of them is presently labeled as an out pitch. DeVall is projected as a third or fourth starter at the big league level. With the development of a plus breaking ball or an increase in velocity on his fastball, DeVall could be a No. 2 guy in a major league rotation. He is committed to play baseball for Georgia.

7. Dennis Raben, of, Miami (National Rank: 34)

Lefthanded power hitters are always in demand, and with this draft class being low on quality college outfielders, Raben satisfies two areas of desire. A 49th-round draft pick by the Mariners in 2005, Raben chose to attend Miami and helped lead the Hurricanes to the College World Series as a freshman. Following his sophomore year, Raben played in the Cape Cod League for Orleans, hitting six home runs and earning all-Cape Cod League honors. A preseason All-American, Raben was recognized as one of the top hitting outfield prospects in the upcoming draft. Raben has a strong build at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He is aggressive at the plate and can often times get caught chasing pitches out of the zone. His swing has some length, but Raben has tremendous power that translates to the game. In the outfield, he is a below-average runner but does have good instincts and takes proper routes. However, Raben could be moved to first base at some point in his professional career.

8. Adrian Nieto, c, American Heritage HS, Plantation (National Rank: 73)

A Cuban refugee, Nieto came to America as an 8-year-old and started catching not long after. A teammate of Hosmer since he was 11, the two have made pitchers' lives miserable for years. An Aflac All-American in the fall, Nieto is thought to be the best switch-hitting catching prospect in the country. Nieto is blessed with an above-average arm and has good instincts behind the plate. There are concerns with his receiving and blocking skills and whether or not he will be able to stay behind the plate is still to be determined. Regardless of position, he will be an offensive player. With power to all fields from both sides of the plate, Nieto has a good feel for hitting. At times, his approach at the plate needs refinement as he can be fooled or caught chasing. At 6 feet and 200 pounds, Nieto is more athletic than he looks and he runs and moves well for a catcher. Nieto plays the game with an ego and a swagger that should carry him to the big leagues. He is signed to play baseball at South Florida in the fall.

9. Carlos Gutierrez, rhp, Miami (Natinoal Rank: 82)

A casualty to Tommy John surgery, Gutierrez redshirted at Miami last season. He is back to form this season, and is considered the top closer in the ACC. Pitching for one of the top-ranked college teams in the country, Gutierrez has gotten plenty of chances to show off his low-90s fastball. The pitch has late life with heavy sink and Gutierrez commands it well, down in the zone, causing hitters to swing over the top of it. He throws a slider on occasion but it currently can't be considered average and he does have an arm recoil that follows his delivery—both of which raise red flags. However, upon developing and refinement of a second pitch, Gutierrez could be a fast mover as his sinker is a current major league plus pitch. Gutierrez is one of many quality college closers in this year's draft. He was not drafted out of high school as he began playing baseball just before his senior year.

10. Blake Tekotte, of, Miami (National Rank: 85)

Tekotte plays on a Miami team loaded with impact draft prospects, and he has taken full advantage of the increased exposure. He has been a spark plug for the Hurricanes all season hitting out of the leadoff spot and could fit the same role as a big leaguer. Hitting from the left side, Tekotte puts pressure on the defense with his above-average speed and ability to put the ball in play. He also steals bases—more than 20 this season—and has shown occasional power this spring. Tekotte will also benefit from this being a draft low on college outfielders. He is an above-average college center fielder, and could be average there in the pros despite his below-average arm strength. Tekotte performed well in the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting .256 for Brewster in 43 games. He was subsequently named to the Cape Cod all-star team and earned all-league honors following the season. Tekotte has a good chance to hit for average at the major league level but will most likely be a gap-to-gap hitter with below-average power. His lack of power might leave his bat a bit shy for an everyday regular, and he could settle in as a fourth outfielder.

11. Ben McMahan, c, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando (National Rank: 111)

The state of Florida has two prep catchers who stand out as impact draft prospects in Adrian Nieto (No. 73 in BA's predraft rankings) and McMahan. While Nieto is considered the better bat, McMahan is the superior receiver. McMahan made a push up draft boards last fall at the World Wood Bat championships when he led his team to a second-place finish. A Florida 4-A state champion in high school, McMahan knows how to win and is a natural leader on the field. He is athletic behind the plate and has a solid, durable frame. Known as a quiet receiver, he has a strong arm and improving catch and throw mechanics. Projected as a defense-first catcher, McMahan may also provide surprising offense. He has occasional power and above-average speed for a catcher with a chance to be an average hitter. If he's not selected early, signability may cause him to slip a long way because he's committed to Florida and is a strong student.

12. Rolando Gomez, ss, Flanagan HS, Pembroke Pines (National Rank: 135)

Gomez draws comparisons to his relative and long time major leaguer Tony Fernandez, though Fernandez is five inches taller. At 5-feet-9, 160 pounds, Gomez is an undersized middle infielder with flare and above-average defensive ability. In the field, his actions are smooth and he has the ability to make difficult plays look routine. While the knock on Gomez is his fringe-average arm strength, he has soft hands and uses good footwork to get himself in the proper position to make plays. Staying at shortstop would make him more valuable, but some scouts think he'll eventually move to second base, in which case he will need to hit more. At the plate, Gomez has a quick lefthanded swing, spraying balls into the gaps. He shows occasional power, but capitalizing on his above-average speed with small ball better suits his skills. He was a regular on the showcase circuit last summer, and has gained a reputation as a grinder. He's committed to play for Miami if he doesn't sign.

13. Wesley Freeman, of, All Saints Academy, Lakeland (National Rank: 138)

A full package of five raw tools, Freeman is the prototypical well-built high school prospect who scouts can dream on. At 6-feet-4, 210 pounds, he's a physical specimen blessed with strength and speed. He shows plus speed, an above-average arm and athleticism in the outfield and projects to be an average defender at worst. At the plate, Freeman's ability is still raw and he has an aggressive approach in need of refinement. Swinging with a natural uppercut, he has leverage in his swing and pure bat speed, leading to plus raw power to all fields. His swing concerns scouts, however, because he has a straight arm hitch in his load, which would affect his ability to hit quality pitching if it's not corrected. But teams won't be able to ignore his raw tools. An Aflac All-American last fall, Freeman is committed to Central Florida.

14. Mark Sobolewski, 3b, Miami (National Rank: 150)

Sobolewski is a draft-eligible true sophomore, and playing for Miami has afforded him plenty of exposure this spring. He should be one of at least seven Hurricanes drafted this June. A Freshman All-American last season, Sobolewski had a 20-game hit streak last season and reached base safely in 31 of his team's last 32 games. He struggled last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .189 with no home runs in 39 games. Drafted in the 20th round out of high school by the Astros in 2006, Sobolewski is still raw at third base and at the plate. While he has an above-average arm, he has made too many errors this season, most of them throwing errors because he has a tendency to drop down and throw across the diamond from a lower arm slot. He does have the actions and hands to be an above-average fielder if he refines his technique. At the plate, Sobolewski is strong, as he often hits cleanup for the Hurricanes, but most of his power is pull-side. As a sophomore, Sobolewski may be a tough sign, and one more year of college may be enough to make him a top prospect for next year's draft.

15. Harold Martinez, ss, Braddock HS, Miami (National Rank: 160)

Committed to Miami and a preseason All-American this year, Martinez has competed for Team USA's Junior  and Youth national teams and was an Aflac All-American. This spring, he has struggled to translate his talent into production. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he has a projectable pro body that is still growing. He is likely to outgrow shortstop but should become an above-average defender at third base. An average runner, he is athletic and moves well, with good actions in the field and a solid arm. In batting practice, Martinez shows above-average raw power and good hitting mechanics, but in games, his struggles begin. He has major timing issues and often reverts to a swing with no load. While he has fallen from a first-round prospect, a team will still take a chance on Martinez, and repeated at-bats in the minor leagues may be just what he needs.

16. Tyler Stohr, rhp, North Florida (National Rank: 172)

After attending high school in Florida, Stohr attended Army as a freshman, making seven starts. He decided to transfer back closer to home and was in North Florida's weekend rotation as a sophomore. He made just three starts this season before heading to the bullpen and has been successful as the Panthers' closer. Stohr pitches off a fastball that sits between 92-94 mph with late life. He also throws an average changeup with sinking action and a fringe-average slider. While he strikes out 1.5 batters per inning this season, Stohr has a delivery that could cause command issues. With a backward shoulder tilt, consistently getting over the rubber is a concern for Stohr. While he's been successful as a closer, he profiles more as a middle reliever at the pro level.

17. Anthony Ferrara, rhp, Riverview HS, Odessa (National Rank: 189)

Blessed with an electric left arm, Ferrara has been a well-known prep prospect for the past three years. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Ferrara is lanky and projectable, with an ideal pitcher's frame. Ferrara also has a pitcher's mind and shows advanced maturity on the mound. He throws three pitches, all of which could be average or better. His fastball sits between 89-91 mph now, and his curveball and changeup are advanced as well. He shows plus command and is a competitor on the mound. Teams' main concern will be with his injury history. After having issues with his shoulder last year, Ferrara visited Dr. James Andrews but only required rest, not surgery. He did have to sit out the Aflac Classic at the end of the summer. Committed to South Florida, Ferrara would likely step right into the weekend rotation if he doesn't go pro.

18. Daniel Thomas, rhp, South Florida (National Rank: 193)

As a redshirt sophomore, Thomas was the Bulls' Saturday starter in 2007 and was drafted by the Cardinals in the 44th round. He returned to school to take on the Friday night ace role this season. Even though his statistics aren't gaudy, Thomas has boosted his draft stock. Typically pitching at 90-93 mph, he continues to improve his arm strength and has been seen up to 95. He also throws a true downer curveball and has excellent feel for his above-average changeup. With clean mechanics and a high three-quarters arm slot, Thomas pitches downhill with plane but little deception. He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school in 2004, then felt discomfort in his arm again last season and was shut down after just 28 innings—though he did not require surgery. Thomas is a projectable 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and could add velocity to his fastball. He will get a chance to start at the pro level but could end up in the bullpen.

Colleges Offer Plenty Of Options

While most of Miami's talent is in the Top 200, rival Florida State is the opposite. The Seminoles finished on top of the Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division this season behind the leadership of Buster Posey and a supporting cast of experienced prospects. Shortstop Tony Delmonico transferred in from Tennessee, along with his father Rod, who used to be the coach of the Vols and is now an assistant on Mike Martin's staff. Delmonico is athletic but has limited range and questionable hands and will likely end up at second or third base at the pro level. He can hit for average and occasional power as well.

Righthander Ryan Strauss has split time between starting and relieving this season. He finished the regular season 8-1, 4.39 in 19 appearances, eight of which were starts. Strauss throws between 90-93 mph and mixes in a curveball that is sharper in relief. He should make a good senior sign. Elih Villanueva transferred from Miami-Dade JC, where he posted a 0.81 ERA last season, and became the Sunday starter role for the Seminoles. He wound up leading the team in ERA with a 6-2, 3.23 mark in 14 starts. Villanueva uses plus pitchability to get the most of his average curveball, changeup and fastball—which sits between 89-91 mph.

Jack Rye and Dennis Guinn are senior position players with value. Rye is a lefty-swinging outfielder with raw power and hit better than .400 for the Seminoles this season. Guinn plays first base and hit 16 home runs swinging righthanded.

The University of Florida finished its first season under new coach Kevin O'Sullivan and earned a regional with mostly young talent. Middle infielders Cole Figueroa and Avery Barnes are both draft-eligible, though, after leading the team in batting.  Figueroa is sophomore eligible and the better of the two prospects, with bat speed and gap power. At shortstop he makes the routine plays needed for a college player but does not have the range for the pro level.

Florida Atlantic's draft talent is led by lefthander Jeff Beliveau, who transferred from College of Charleston and had an up and down season because of problems with command. Beliveau pitches at 90 mph with plus life. He also throws a downer curveball that creates swings and misses from hitters. Poor command is all that holds Beliveau back from being a top-tier talent because he is a competitor and an athlete on the mound.

Daniel Cook took a foul ball off his foot early in the season, causing him to miss almost half the season. A switch-hitting third baseman, Cook is athletic and could also play in the outfield. Cook is 6-foot-3, 175 pounds and has room to add strength. He's a quality senior sign with upside. Another senior, Mike McKenna, was Sun Belt Conference player of the year after batting .394 with 16 home runs for the Owls. A good runner with an average arm, McKenna is athletic in the outfield and a solid defender.

Deep St. Pete Squad Leads Juco Ranks

Florida always has one of the deepest pools of junior-college talent, and this year is no different. Ryan Chaffee is the best of the bunch. The winning pitcher for Chipola in the Junior College World Series championship game last season, he broke his ankle in April and had surgery to repair it. Chaffee returned late in the season and pitched a shutout in the Florida junior college tournament, striking out 18 and sending Chipola back to the Junior College World Series. Committed to Louisiana State, Chaffee attacks hitters from multiple arm slots, creating three different breaking balls. He pitches in the low 90s and throws a plus changeup. When healthy and commanding all his pitches, Chaffee is dominant.

Teammates Carlos Moncrief and Ben Jeffers don't have the same package as Chaffee but are intriguing prospects. Moncrief is an arm strength guy with velocities up to 96 mph and the projection to add more. He also throws an above-average slider and developing changeup. Moncrief is an athlete who also plays in the field for Chipola and is raw on the mound. He projects as a late-inning reliever and has one of the highest ceilings of the juco prospects in the state. He has Tommy John surgery in his past and is still discovering how strong his arm can be. Up to 94 mph this spring, Jeffers pitches out of the bullpen and may have more in the tank.

Brett Oberholtzer was drafted last year in the 47th round by the Mariners and is the top juco lefthander in the state. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Oberholtzer has a durable build and throws a fastball with natural tail at 90 mph. He has a good feel for pitching, with an advanced changeup and a knockout slider, giving him a true three-pitch arsenal.

After transferring from Brigham Young, Blaine Howell has dominated for Pensacola JC, but scouting departments aren't sure where to put his name on their boards. A lefthander pitching between 90-92 mph, Howell has made it known that he plans to go on his Mormon mission and won't be available for pro ball for at least two years. He is a true pro prospect, complementing his above-average fastball with an exceptional curveball, and could be a valuable lefty in a major league bullpen down the road.

Righthander Brett Moorhouse features pure arm strength. He pitches in the low 90s and has been seen up to 94. His secondary stuff keeps him from being a top prospect, as his changeup and slider are still in the developmental stages. A good sign is that he finished with a K/BB ratio of nearly four/one this spring.

Lefthander Jarred Holloway began his college career at Mississippi State but transferred to St. Petersburg JC after his freshman year. He has two above-average pitches, but like so many juco pitchers struggles with command. Holloway's fastball sits between 89-92 mph, and at 6-feet-3 he pitches with good downward plane. His second pitch is a slider that is inconsistent but at times devastating.

Holloway's teammate at St. Petersburg, righthander Jeff Walters, has comparable arm strength and command issues. His fastball velocity has been inconsistent, sitting typically in the upper 80s but touching as high as 93 mph. He also throws a sinker that creates either swings and misses or ground balls when he commands it. Walters' other two pitches, a slider and changeup, are average at best. Used as a starter and a reliever, Walters has seen the most success in the closer role. He doesn't fit that profile at the pro level, but with improved command could be a middle reliever. Walters is committed to Georgia.

A third St. Petersburg pitcher, Aaron Tullo, has been drafted twice by the Brewers but like Holloway and Walters has struggled with command and has been unable to make himself into a frontline prospect. Tullo has a projectable frame and arm strength, and his fastball has been seen up to 94 mph. With inconsistent velocity, poor command and the lack of an average second pitch, however, he has struggled to get outs even at the JC level. Tullo had Tommy John surgery in high school and is committed to Tennessee.

St. Petersburg also has a group of draftable hitters. Catcher Justin Dalles has performed well this season. He has a strong arm and handles the pitching staff well. At the plate, he has a chance to hit and shows occasional power. He is signed to play with South Carolina. Drew Poulk transferred to St. Pete after a season at North Carolina, and he's a strong, athletic outfielder with big raw power.

Honoring Their Heritage

It's hard to talk about high school talent in Florida this year without mentioning American Heritage High. Beyond Eric Hosmer and Adrian Nieto, the Patriots have three more players who could be attractive picks. Even with those two on the roster, outfielder Joe Belviso led the team in home runs. Playing center field, Belviso is an inconsistent defender and might be forced to a corner position. He has a short power swing with a chance to hit at the next level.

Righthanders Greg Conver and Juan Carlos Sulbaran were the Patriots' two best pitchers this season. Sulbaran pitches in the low 90s with a clean delivery and downhill plane. He has a durable frame and projects as a starter in the pros with three pitches (fastball, curveball, changeup) that could be average to above-average. Sulbaran is committed to Florida. Conver is a North Carolina State signee and pitches in the upper 80s with plus life and sink on his fastball. Conver has long arms and throws from a low three-quarters arm slot, and at times he has trouble finding his release point.

Lefthander Graham Hicks significantly improved his draft stock with an impressive performance at the Florida high school all-star game. Hicks showed a fastball up to 92 mph and plus pitchability with his curveball and changeup as well. All three are average pitches at worst with potential to improve. Hicks is a projectable 6-foot-5, 170 pounds with room to add strength and velocity to his fastball.

Jack Armstrong Jr. is the son of former major leaguer Jack Sr., and at 6-foot-7 is two inches taller than his father. Armstrong is a tremendous athlete and is a legitimate basketball prospect as well, and he's committed to Vanderbilt. He was an Aflac All-American last summer and has shown velocity up to 92 mph but has been inconsistent this spring. Armstrong has yet to focus on pitching, which makes it hard for scouts to decide what to make of him. He has shown flashes of top-tier stuff but also has had his share of lackluster performances this spring.

At 5-foot-11, Ryan Weber is an undersized righthander with an oversized resume. He has arguably the best mix of command, feel for pitching and competitive nature in the country and has proven it on the international stage. Weber has pitched as the ace for both the youth and junior national teams for USA Baseball, but aside from his track record he doesn't fit the pro mold, with a fastball in the high 80s. Weber has movement on all of his pitches, and commands his slider and changeup with pinpoint accuracy. Pitching out of a three-quarters arm slot, Weber has a loose delivery and is one of the most proven high school pitchers in the state. He is committed to Florida.

Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky is slated to fill Tony Delmonico's shoes at Florida State next spring. An athletic middle infielder, Pastornicky is an advanced defender with an above-average arm. He has a chance to be an average hitter with occasional power. Also committed to Florida State, Hunter Scantling is a 6-foot-8, 235-pound righthander with an upper-80s fastball and fringy secondary stuff. He is projectable and should add velocity to his fastball.

Along with Graham Hicks, Central Florida has D.J. Hicks (no relation) committed to school this fall. D.J. Hicks is a potential two-way college player, throwing 90 mph off the mound and showing huge raw power at the plate. He's a lefthanded hitter who makes consistent contact. Shortstop Matt Richardson is also committed to UCF and could also be a dual threat. He is a tremendous defender in the middle of the diamond and has an above-average arm, which he uses to throw 92 mph off the mound. At the plate, Richardson is a singles hitter with little power.

Brad Miller is another prep shortstop from Florida who could make an immediate impact a the college level next season. Committed to Clemson, Miller is a lefthanded hitter with decent bat speed and power to the gaps. In the field, Miller is a plus defender and can stay in the middle of the diamond.