State Reports: Oklahoma




THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Oklahoma features one of the draft's better all-around shortstops in Jordy Mercer. As a homegrown player still at his first college, he's a rarity in the Sooner State. The next eight college prospects on our list all were born elsewhere and played at another juco or four-year school before migrating to Oklahoma. While the state's colleges are deeper in position prospects this year, the high schools are more notable for their pitchers.

NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS

1. Jordy Mercer, ss/rhp, Oklahoma State (National Rank: 64)
2. Bobby Bundy, rhp, Sperry HS (National Rank: 96)

OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE

3. Mike Lee, rhp, Oklahoma City
4. Luis Flores, c, Oklahoma State
5. Matt Hague, of/3b, Oklahoma State
6. Robbie Weinhardt, rhp, Oklahoma State
7. Brian Flynn, lhp, Owasso HS
8. Mark Ginther, 3b/rhp, Jenks HS
9. Ben Petralli, c, Oral Roberts
10. Danny Clement, rhp, Cascia Hall Prep, Tulsa
11. Brian Van Kirk, of, Oral Roberts
12. Neil Medchill, of, Oklahoma State
13. Juan Carlos Perez, of, Western Oklahoma JC
14. J.T. Wise, c, Oklahoma
15. Rebel Ridling, 1b, Oklahoma State
16. Garrett Regan, of, Oklahoma City
17. Joe Patterson, c, Seminole State JC
18. Josh Rosencrans, c/rhp, Santa Fe HS, Edmond
19. Aljay Davis, of, Oklahoma
20. Brendan Duffy, of, Oral Roberts
21. Ryan Groth, of, Oral Roberts
22. Dustin Williams, rhp, Connors State JC
23. Ashton Mowdy, rhp, Eastern Oklahoma JC
24. Chris Ellison, of, Norman North HS, Norman
25. Randy McCurry, 3b/rhp, Tupelo HS
26. Drew Bowen, rhp, Memorial HS, Tulsa
27. Chris O'Brien, c, Bishop Kelley HS, Tulsa
28. T.J. Kelly, rhp, Oral Roberts
29. Michael Jarman, lhp, Oral Roberts
30. Jake McCarter, rhp, Oklahoma

SCOUTING REPORTS

1. Jordy Mercer, ss/rhp, Oklahoma State (National Rank: 64)

There aren't many all-around shortstops in this draft, and after Tim and Gordon Beckham go off the board at the top of the first round, Mercer might be the best bet to both hit and stay at the position. He has recovered from early season arthroscopic knee surgery in 2007 to display solid-average tools across the board. Though he's big for a shortstop at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he has smooth actions. His range and hands are fine, and he enhances his defensive package with a plus arm. Mercer doubles as Oklahoma State's closer, powering through a rough delivery with 91-94 mph fastballs, hard sliders and grit. He has room to get better as a hitter, as he can add strength and tighten his strike zone. He has improved each year, hitting .345 with 10 homers with a week to go in the regular season after batting a combined .284 with 11 homers in his first two seasons. Mercer's speed is slightly above-average, and he's an instinctive runner if not a basestealer.

2. Bobby Bundy, rhp, Sperry HS (National Rank: 96)

Bundy's first-round aspirations got sidetracked when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a basketball game in December. Though his surgery usually requires a nine-month rehab, he was back on the mound with a knee brace this spring. Bundy was able to sit at 88-91 mph and touch 93 with his fastball, down 2-3 mph from last summer. He still had his trademark big-breaking curveball, which changes hitters' eye level at the plate, and he still threw strikes with ease. He has a sturdy 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame that also gives him power at the plate. Pitching with the brace forced him to smooth out his delivery, which will help him in the future. Bundy led Sperry to its second Oklahoma 3-A title in the last three years, picking up the victory and going 3-for-3 with three RBIs in the title game. He has committed to Arkansas, where he would get the opportunity to play both ways as a freshman. Whether the diminished velocity—which should return in time—drops him far enough in the draft to compromise his signability remains to be seen.

NAIA Power Boasts Best College Arm

Oklahoma City, which finished third at the NAIA World Series, features Oklahoma's best college pitching prospect in towering righthander Mike Lee. Six-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Lee throws a consistent 90-91 mph on a steep downward plane. There are mixed reports on his hard curveball, as some scouts grade it as a plus pitch and others think it's below-average. The Yankees drafted Lee in the 22nd round out of high school in 2005, and in the 27th round out of Bellevue (Wash.) CC a year later.

Luis Flores may not hit enough to be a regular in the major leagues, but his catch-and-throw skills and leadership should allow him to at least carve out a career as a backup. He's a tremendous receiver and teams rarely challenge his arm. Flores, who spent his first two college seasons as a two-way player at Houston, focused on catching after transferring to Oklahoma State. He hit just .302 with five homers in hitter-friendly Stillwater, though scouts like his bat better than that of Jackson Williams, a surprise sandwich-round pick out of Oklahoma by the Giants in 2007.

Oklahoma State has two good senior signs in outfielder/third baseman Matt Hague and righthander Robbie Weinhardt. Hague, who spent his first three seasons at Washington, planned on transferring to Clemson before eligibility issues arose. He has hit throughout his college career, including a .299 performance in the Cape Cod League last summer. He has an unconventional set-up and a big bat wrap in back, but he's so quick and strong (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) that he has no problems producing. Most of Hague's value lies in his offense, and he fits much better defensively in right field than at first base. Some scouts are intrigued by his pitching because he has flashed a 94 mph fastball in brief relief stints, but he'll be drafted as a hitter. He turned down the Indians as an 11th-rounder last year.

Weinhardt was a 38th-round pick of the Astros in 2007, when he showed an 86-89 mph fastball and a slurvy breaking ball. He should go about 30 rounds earlier this time around, because he has boosted his fastball to 92-95 mph. His curveball is still fringy and his control can be spotty at times. He started for two seasons at Hill (Texas) JC but is best suited for relief, his role with the Cowboys.

Teams who covet size and velocity love lefthander Brian Flynn, a 6-foot-8, 235-pounder who has touched 93 mph this spring. Flynn, who does everything righthanded except for pitching, threw in the mid-80s in 2007. He has won the last two state 6-A championship games for Owasso High. He's a long-term project who is raw in every phase of pitching, so clubs might let him develop for three years at Wichita State before making a big run at him.

Mark Ginther quarterbacked Jenks High to the last two 6-A state football titles, leading the state's passers with 2,467 yards and throwing for 15 touchdowns last fall. The athletic 6-foot-3, 185-pounder has a sound swing and approach to go with power potential, and he has been clocked as high as 91 mph on the mound. He's a possible replacement for two-way star Jordy Mercer at Oklahoma State, but Ginther isn't as smooth on defense and projects more as a third baseman than a shortstop.

Danny Clement is another two-sport star whose future lies in baseball. A three-time state wrestling champion in weight classes ranging from 152 to 171 pounds, he also has a 91-93 mph fastball that can reach 96. Though he's just 6 feet and 195 pounds, he throws with little effort, letting his lightning-quick arm action do all of the work. His second pitch is a slurvy breaking ball. A good student, he's strongly committed to Texas A&M.

Two sons of longtime big league catchers are plying the same trade in Oklahoma. Ben Petralli, whose father Geno spent 12 years in the majors, will be drafted for the fifth straight year after transferring to Oral Roberts from Sacramento CC. Petralli, who didn't become a regular catcher until he went to junior college, has improved as a receiver and has a solid arm. He's a switch-hitter with good plate discipline and a growing sense of how to tap into his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame for more power.

Chris O'Brien has the opposite profile from his father Charlie, who parlayed defense into 15 years in the big leagues. Chris is more offensive-minded and less polished behind the plate, and he'll probably follow his dad's path from Bishop Kelley High to Wichita State.

Outfielder Brian Van Kirk was the Summit League player of the year after winning the league triple crown (.414-18-74). A senior who made stops at Miami-Dade CC and Tennessee before coming to Oral Roberts, he has strength, a good approach and a compact swing for a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder. He has caught in the past and logged a few innings behind the plate this spring, but he's best suited as a left fielder or DH. His biggest issue as a catcher was throwing accuracy and not arm strength or receiving skills, so he may get another look there.

In his first season at Oklahoma State after transferring from Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) CC, outfielder Neil Medchill has displayed impressive athleticism for a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder. He has average speed and plus arm strength, and he'd profile well as a right fielder if he added strength and power. He's a redshirt sophomore with extra leverage, so clubs may wait to see how he progresses in 2009 before offering him a big bonus.

Juan Carlos Perez put up the craziest statistics in the state. Playing at hitter-friendly Western Oklahoma JC, he set a Division II junior college records with 37 homers (one short of the overall juco mark) and 102 RBIs while batting .465 with a 1.102 slugging percentage. While his stats might be inflated, the 6-foot, 185-pounder has legitimate tools. He has a sound swing with bat speed and easy power, average speed and arm strength, and a chance to play center field. The bigger issues with Perez are his age (he'll be 22 in November) and his immigration status. A Dominican, he stayed in the United States after his original tourist visa expired, which could prevent him from gaining a work visa to play pro ball. If he gets his paperwork, he could go in the first 10 rounds.

One of Perez' teammates is outfielder/lefthander Danny Almonte of Little League World Series infamy. Almonte now throws 86-88 mph and has more potential as a hitter, but he also has age and visa issues and probably won't get drafted.
 
J.T. Wise has changed schools (Louisiana State to Oklahoma) and positions (third base to catcher) as a junior. His raw arm strength and his power potential are interesting, but he has a ways to go as a receiver and swings and misses too much. A 45th-round pick by the Athletics in 2007, he's the great-nephew of 1960 World Series MVP Bobby Richardson.

Wise became the Sooners' top prospect after righthander Stephen Porlier had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in March. Porlier, who had Tommy John surgery in high school, showed a low-90s fastball and an effective curveball and changeup as a redshirt sophomore in 2007. He deserved to go in the first five rounds based on talent, but teams questioned his signability and he lasted until the Athletics took him in the 21st.