Draft Scouting Reports: No. 1-100




#1 STEPHEN STRASBURG, RHP, SAN DIEGO STATE
In the history of the draft, no prospect has received as much predraft hype and publicity as Strasburg—and the attention is warranted. His combination of stuff, pitching savvy and command make him a once-in-a-generation phenomenon. Between spreads in national magazines, television features and glowing articles in major newspapers, Strasburg has had a stunning junior season for the Aztecs. A relatively low-profile recruit, he has improved by leaps and bounds both physically and mentally as a college player. He closed as a freshman and BA ranked him as the New England Collegiate League's No. 1 prospect in 2007, and he emerged as a dominant starter in 2008, highlighted by a 23-strikeout effort against Utah. He pitched both for USA Baseball's college national team and then on the Olympic team last summer, the lone amateur ever to win a spot on a pro Team USA roster. He lost to Cuba in the Olympic semifinal, and that's the last time he has lost a game. His 2009 statistics defy belief for a player competing at the major college level. After a no-hitter against Air Force, he was 11-0, 1.24, with 164 strikeouts against 17 walks in 87 innings. He had allowed just 48 hits this season, for a .161 opponent average. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Strasburg grabs your attention first with his sensational raw velocity. In his first start of the season, his first six pitches registered 98-99 mph, and he touched 100 and 101 later in the season. Of course, raw velocity is no guarantee of major league success, but Strasburg has much more than that. His hard, slurvy curveball is an 81-82 mph hitter's nightmare. Not since Tim Lincecum has one hurler had both the best fastball and the best curve in the same draft. Represented by Scott Boras Corp., Strasburg will no doubt engage in protracted negotiations, and predraft rumors indicated his demands could go as high as $50 million or that he could try a side trip to Japan to make himself a free agent. Barring something unforeseen, though, he will likely sign right at the Aug. 15 deadline and should command a guarantee in the $12 million-$15 million range. There's no doubt that Strasburg is the best college pitching prospect since Mark Prior came out of Southern California in 2001. Prior's career illustrates that no amateur pitcher is guaranteed long-term professional success, but Strasburg is the closest to a sure thing that scouts have ever seen. Major league organizations may not see a prospect like Strasburg for another 20 or 30 years, so the Nationals will not let him pass with the No. 1 pick.
 
 
#2 DUSTIN ACKLEY, 1B, NORTH CAROLINA
Ackley played at a 1-A high school against modest competition, and while area scouts knew about him they couldn't pull the trigger three years ago. Their loss was North Carolina's gain, as Ackley is in the midst of his third consecutive .400 season. The 2007 BA Freshman of the Year, Ackley has the best pure swing and pure bat in the '09 draft class, and maybe the best this decade. He's also a 70 runner (on the 20-80 scale) underway and should be a top-of-the-order, base-stealing threat in pro ball. Ackley has a disciplined approach and makes hitting look easy thanks to his advanced athleticism. He's balanced at the plate and has amazing hand-eye coordination, getting the barrel of the bat to the hitting zone quickly and leaving it there as long as possible. After hitting 17 home runs in his first two seasons, he was tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 16, and scouts grade his raw power as average, if not a tick above. His lone below-average tool is his arm, which he injured as a prep senior while pitching. He has played primarily first base at North Carolina and had Tommy John surgery at the end of the summer of 2008. He made two starts in the outfield in mid-May, and most scouts project him as a future center fielder and potential plus defender. He's a solid-average defender at first base if he winds up there. Scouts struggle to come up with comparisons because he's such a unique player. If he becomes a batting champion and premium leadoff man as a pro, he'll become a player others are compared to.
 
 
#3 DONAVAN TATE, OF, CARTERSVILLE (GA.) HS
Widely regarded as the top prep position player in the class entering the spring, Tate has done little to dissuade scouts of that notion. He earned that status with premium athletic ability, graceful actions, good bloodlines and emerging baseball skills. Tate showed his athleticism during a rigorous summer, playing for USA Baseball's 18U team, and in the Aflac and Under Armour games. The long summer prompted him to consider quitting football, but his father Lars played football at Georgia and in the NFL, and Tate has committed to play both football and baseball at North Carolina. So Tate changed his mind after one week and returned to the gridiron. His two-sport stardom has left his skills in need of some polish, particularly his hitting ability. He can get pull-happy and doesn't have a natural feel for hitting, but that doesn't significantly limit his ceiling. He has earned comparisons to fellow Georgia prep Jeff Francoeur for his athleticism, and has more feel for hitting than the Braves outfielder, with similar power potential. Tate has true bat speed and strength, and makes adjustments against better pitching. His other tools are outrageous: he's a plus-plus runner with Gold Glove potential in center field and a strong throwing arm that grades out above-average as well. Tate plays with supreme confidence that goes hand-in-hand with his well-above-average athletic ability. A Scott Boras Corp. client, Tate was considered a tough sign, and some teams wonder about his willingness to sign. Still, he remained near the top of every club's position-player board.
 
 
#4 KYLE GIBSON, RHP, MISSOURI
For the third time in four years, Missouri will have a pitcher taken early in the first round. Gibson doesn't have the arm strength of Max Scherzer (2006, Diamondbacks) or Aaron Crow (2008, Nationals), but he may wind up being the best pitcher of the three. He relies on two-seam fastballs more than four-seamers, usually pitching at 88-91 mph with good sink and tailing action, though he can reach back for 94 mph when needed. He has two of the better secondary pitches in the draft, a crisp 82-85 mph slider and a deceptive changeup with fade that can generate swings and misses. All of his offerings play up because he has excellent command and pitchability. He repeats his smooth delivery easily, and his 6-foot-6, 208-pound frame allows him to throw on a steep downhill plane. If there's a knock on Gibson, it's that he hasn't added much velocity during his three years with the Tigers, but that hasn't stopped him from succeeding as soon as he stepped on campus. He led Team USA's college team with five wins last summer, including a victory in the gold-medal game at the the FISU World Championships. He is a lock to go in the first 10 picks.
 
 
#5 JACOB TURNER, RHP, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, ST. LOUIS
Already considered a mid-first-round talent entering the season, Turner was generating serious momentum a month before the draft. He had edged ahead of Shelby Miller (Texas) and Zack Wheeler (Georgia) as the top high school righthander in the draft, and was gaining ground on Kyle Gibson as the best pitching prospect in Missouri. Whether his draft position will reflect that status remains to be seen, as he's advised by the Scott Boras Corp. and reportedly will seek to match the record guarantee given to a high school pitcher: $7 million for Josh Beckett (Marlins, 1999) and Rick Porcello (Tigers, 2007). While Turner isn't quite at the same level Beckett and Porcello were when they came out of high school, he's quite talented. The 6-foot-5, 205 pounder has such an easy three-quarters delivery that it makes his 92-94 mph fastball (which tops out at 98) seem even faster. He has good aptitude for spinning a big-breaking curveball, and he has the makings of a good changeup. All three pitches were working when he struck out five straight hitters at the Aflac All-American Game last summer. The biggest quibble with Turner is that he sometimes doesn't command his curveball, but his delivery is repeatable and he does a good job of staying on top of the pitch, so he should gain more consistency with experience. He has benefited from the tutelage of former big leaguers Andy Benes, Mike Matheny and Todd Worrell, who have sons who have played at Westminster Christian. Said Worrell, the team's pitching coach: "He's got the whole package . . . As a pitcher, he's 6-5 with a perfect pitcher's body and a live arm." Turner has committed to North Carolina, just like last year's premium prep pitcher from Missouri, Tim Melville did before signing with the Royals for $1.25 million.
 
 
#6 ALEX WHITE, RHP, NORTH CAROLINA
The Dodgers drafted White in the 14th round in 2006 and made a strong run to sign him, but he wound up at North Carolina, spending three seasons in the weekend rotation and emerging as the staff ace as a sophomore. White was electric for the Tar Heels out of the bullpen in the 2008 College World Series, sitting at 96 mph with excellent life on his fastball, and some scouts see him in that role. However, he has shown three plus pitches at times during his career, though not all at once in a somewhat inconsistent junior season. White's arm action varied a bit during the year, starting out a bit high and long in the back, and despite his excellent athleticism this caused him to struggle to command his fastball. The pitch touches the mid-90s and sits in the 91-94 mph range when White starts. His slider, a plus pitch at times, also has lacked consistency, but his split-finger fastball has supplanted it as his best secondary pitch. It has good depth and deception and neutralizes lefthanded hitters. As good as his stuff can be, White's competitiveness and athleticism may be better attributes. With more consistency he could become a front-of-the-rotation starter, though his command may preclude him from being a true big league ace.
 
 
#7 AARON CROW, RHP, FORT WORTH CATS
Crow, then at Missouri, was the top righthander in last year's draft, and the Nationals were thrilled to get him with the ninth overall pick. But they never found any common ground in negotiations with his agents, Alan and Randy Hendricks, and the signing deadline passed with Crow seeking $4 million and turning down $3.5 million. Now he hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Tigers teammate Max Scherzer, who parlayed a stay in Fort Worth into a $4.3 million big league contract with the Diamondbacks. Crow had the best fastball package in the 2008 draft, with velocity (92-96 mph), hard sink, command and the ability to maintain it into the late innings. He showed the same heater in his first two exhibition starts with the Cats, and flashed the plus slider that overmatched college hitters. He's still regaining the sharp command he had in 2008, when he threw 43 consecutive scoreless innings at Missouri. Crow used his downtime to get stronger and to work on his changeup. There's some effort to his delivery, and some teams wonder if his mechanics and size (generously listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds) will make him more of a closer than a frontline starter. In either case, he should go in the first 10 picks again and shouldn't require much time in the minors.
 
 
#8 TYLER MATZEK, LHP, CAPISTRANO VALLEY HS, MISSION VIEJO, CALIF.
Matzek was virtually unknown until a preseason scrimmage last year, when he squared off against righthander Gerritt Cole, who became a 2008 first-rounder and is now at UCLA. Matzek was fantastic, striking out five of six hitters in two innings as 40 scouts were crammed into the bleachers, whispering, "Who is this guy?" He's anonymous no more. He starred in the 2008 Aflac game and at showcases both nationally and in Southern California, and while he's committed to Oregon he could be the first high school player drafted. With a rare blend of quality stuff, pitching smarts and ease of delivery, he may be the best prep lefty from Southern California since Cole Hamels in 2002. Similar in build and style to Angels southpaw Joe Saunders, Matzek features a 90-93 mph fastball, which peaks at 94, as well as a sharp-breaking curveball. He has flashed a changeup and slider in the past, but had not used them much this spring. Several crosscheckers hoped to see a more advanced feel for pitching and sharper secondary stuff, and Matzek had a few indifferent outings this year, struggling with his command and experiencing a dip in velocity, perhaps due to a blister on his pitching hand, which has since healed. Matzek's arm action is wonderfully smooth, and the ball leaves with his hand with ease, though he has a tendency to open up too soon. With a nearly stiff front leg landing, his fastball will often sail up and out of the strike zone, but any flaws are considered correctable.
 
 
#9 TANNER SCHEPPERS, RHP, ST. PAUL SAINTS
Before Scheppers hurt his shoulder last April, he was on course to go in the first 10 picks of the 2008 draft. But the injury, initially reported as a stress fracture and later described as significant wear and tear, dropped him to 48th overall to the Pirates and caused him to miss Fresno State's run to a College World Series championship. Scheppers opted for rehab over surgery and worked out for Pittsburgh, but his stuff hadn't bounced back enough to warrant meeting his seven-figure asking price. He signed with the independent Saints last September. He began to excite scouts in preseason workouts at Golden West (Calif.) JC, displaying the mid-90s fastball and hard curveball he had before he got hurt. In his first two exhibition outings with St. Paul, Scheppers showed the same fastball and curve, though he battled his control. An athletic 6-foot-4, 200-pounder who initially signed with Fresno State as an infielder, Scheppers has good mechanics but sometimes rushes his delivery. "He's got the best arm action, delivery and stuff in this draft behind Strasburg, and it's a cleaner arm than Strasburg," one scouting director said. Scheppers is learning to harness his curveball and to throw an effective changeup. Though Dr. Lewis Yocum has given him a clean bill of health, teams considering Scheppers near the top of the draft still have some trepidation. He still should become a top-10 choice, a year later than expected.
 
 
#10 MATTHEW PURKE, LHP, KLEIN HS, SPRING, TEXAS
Purke rivals Tyler Matzek as the best lefthanded pitching prospect in this draft. He already throws a 92-95 mph fastball and could throw harder as he adds strength to his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. He backs up his heater with a hard slider that ranks among the best in the prep draft class. He doesn't have much experience throwing a changeup because he hasn't needed one. Last summer, Purke needed just nine pitches to work a perfect inning at the Aflac All-American Game and started the gold-medal game for Team USA at the World Junior Championship in Canada (albeit taking a 7-0 loss against Korea). Matzek has moved ahead of Purke for most clubs because he works with less effort. Purke throws from a low three-quarters angle that adds life and deception, but he has slinging action in his delivery. It's not violent, but it's not smooth either. Purke's stuff, track record and strong makeup combine to make him an upper-first-round talent, though teams still were trying to gauge his signability. If he follows through on his commitment to Texas Christian, he'd be eligible again as a sophomore in 2011.
 
 
#11 SHELBY MILLER, RHP, BROWNWOOD (TEXAS) HS
No high school pitcher has a better fastball than Miller. At 94 mph, he tied for the highest velocity recorded at last summer's Area Code Games, and he has touched 96 this spring. He usually pitches at 92-93 mph, but his fastball has more than just velocity. It has tremendous life, it's deceptive because he has such an easy delivery and he does a good job of using his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame to throw it downhill. Miller spins a solid curve that will be a plus pitch when he commands it more consistently. He has made strides with his changeup as well. He has sound mechanics and arm action, and a blue-collar work ethic. He's a good athlete who also starred in football, making the all-state 3-A second team as a tight end and punter in the fall. Miller is Texas A&M's top recruit, but he's expected to turn pro after going in the upper half of the first round.
 
 
#12 ZACK WHEELER, RHP, EAST PAULDING HS, DALLAS, GA.
Wheeler emerged last summer as the top pitcher in Georgia's East Cobb prep program and didn't let up this spring. He has a chance to be the well-regarded program's best starting pitcher ever, and he could allow Georgia to provide the top high school pitcher in the draft in consecutive seasons, following Ethan Martin (15th overall, Dodgers). Wheeler figures to go higher in the draft than fellow Georgia prep pitcher Ethan Martin did last year (15th overall) based on a picture-perfect projection body. Lean with long levers, Wheeler generates excellent arm speed and can produce mid-90s heat with his fastball, sitting in the low 90s. He has the athleticism and solid mechanics to produce average big league command. Wheeler pitches off his fastball and puts hitters away with a power breaking ball, most accurately called a slurve. It has late bite and depth, giving him a second plus pitch. Wheeler doesn't throw much of a changeup at this point. He's considered signable, having committed early to Kennesaw State with a fallback option of Chipola (Fla.) JC. His older brother Adam was a 13th-round pick in 2001 who spent four seasons in the Yankees system.
 
 
#13 GRANT GREEN, SS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Local area scouts have long been familiar with Green, who was drafted by the Padres in the 14th round in 2006 out of high school in Anaheim. Now 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, Green should move to the top of the first round this year, building on his terrific showing in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he was overwhelmingly chosen as the top prospect. He struggled early this season, perhaps due to a touch of draftitis as well as two nagging injuries: a rolled ankle and hand blisters. His average hovered near the Mendoza line early, but he rallied to .365/.436/.556 as the regular season wound down. After pounding nine homers in 2008, he had three this season. Potential five-tool middle infielders are rare at the college level, prompting comparisons to former Long Beach State stars Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria. Green does not project to have the same thunder in his bat—compared with Longoria, in particular—but he is similar to Tulowitzki in his defensive skills and playmaking ability. He has excellent range, outstanding hands and the smooth and fluid actions of a possible Gold Glove defender. Green has a fine arm, though not quite the cannon Tulowitzki possesses. He's faster than either Longoria or Tulowitzki, frequently clocking in the 6.6-second range over 60 yards. While he doesn't profile as an offensive powerhouse, he should become a long-term middle-infield fixture, a solid .280-plus big league hitter who may produce 15-20 home runs annually. Such potential is extremely rare in a college player.
 
 
#14 MIKE LEAKE, RHP, ARIZONA STATE
Few pitchers were as consistently good this season as Arizona State righthander Mike Leake. That shouldn't come as a surprise—he's been carving up the Pac-10 for three years. A seventh-round draft pick by the Athletics out of Fallbrook (Calif.) High in 2006, Leake instead headed for Tempe and has pitched his way into first-round consideration. Listed at 6 feet, 180 pounds, what he lacks in pure physicality, he makes up for in athleticism and results. In addition to baseball, Leake played soccer, football and basketball in high school and could be a position player at Arizona State if he wasn't so valuable on the mound. Leake pounds the strike zone with a fastball that sits 88-92 mph. He can dial it up to 94, but prefers to work at lower speeds to get more movement. Throwing from a lower three-quarters arm slot, he gets a lot of armside run and sink on his fastball that results in a lot of groundballs. He also throws a changeup, slider and cutter that grade out as above-average offerings. Leake is a smart pitcher with a bulldog mentality on the mound.
 
 
#15 TIM WHEELER, OF, SACRAMENTO STATE
Among California scouts, a "Sac State guy" is typically an undersized, modestly talented but scrappy and energetic player, short on tools but long on hustle. At showcase events, it's common to hear scouts use the term as a shorthand way of identifying such players. No Sac State player has ever been drafted above the fourth round, but Wheeler will smash all of those precedents and clichés. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds with a strong and athletic frame and lefthanded bat, he's a prototypical corner outfield prospect. His wiry build has room for further projection. Scouts suspected Wheeler was poised for a breakout after a strong summer in the Cape Cod League, but he has exceeded even those expectations, batting .396/.500/.786 with 18 homers and 69 RBIs. Wheeler's bat is by far his primary tool. He projects to be a plus big league hitter, with power that is a shade above-average. An average arm and speed that's just a tick above-average probably mean he's best suited for left field in pro ball. Scouts laud his baserunning instincts. Scouts who saw Wheeler last year, or even earlier this year, would not have pegged him as a first-round candidate, but as the season has progressed his bat has made the prospect more and more likely.
 
 
#16 BOBBY BORCHERING, 3B, BISHOP VEROT HS, FORT MYERS, FLA.
As loaded as Florida's high school ranks are in 2009—and several scouts have called it a historically deep year—Borchering established himself early as the state's best bet for a first-round selection, and he hasn't let up. He has excellent size at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, and projects as a power-hitting corner infielder. While projecting high school hitters is one of the toughest jobs in scouting, evaluators regard Borchering as one of the safer prep bats in the draft. He has good hands, present strength and excellent bat speed, giving him the ability to hit both for average and for power. He went on a power binge this spring, lifting Bishop Verot from a poor start with seven home runs in a nine-game span. Borchering's bat already was going to get him drafted high, and his improved defense has moved him into first-round consideration. At times last summer he appeared destined to move to first base, and some scouts still see that as his best fit. He has improved his agility and first-step quickness this season, however, and has retained athleticism while filling out physically. He'll never be a graceful or above-average defender, but he has arm strength and soft-enough hands to play third at an average level if he keeps working at it. Borchering's Florida commitment isn't expected to dissuade him from signing in the first 50 picks.
 
 
#17 REX BROTHERS, LHP, LIPSCOMB
As a prep player in Tennessee, Brothers made the rounds of baseball camps in the state, attending Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State, among others. Still, his best offer came from Lipscomb, which became a full NCAA school in 2004. He was the Atlantic Sun Conference's top freshman in 2007, going 7-4, 3.51, then led the Bisons to a regional bid last season, striking out 96 in 97 innings. He pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, showing a power arm, and has improved significantly this spring, coming out of the gate throwing 92-94 mph with low-80s sliders against Georgia Tech. His stuff got better as he showed a smoother delivery, eliminating a head whack that hampered his command. At his best, Brothers showed two plus pitches: a fastball in the 94-96 mph range that touched 97, and a filthy slider in the 85-87 mph range. Some scouts see Brothers' delivery, which is still not smooth or easy, and want to put him in the bullpen. Several compare him to Randy Myers, who had similar size and stuff and fashioned a 14-year major league career. Others note that Brothers holds his velocity deep into games and should get a chance to start. His matchup with Kyle Heckathorn and Kennesaw State—a huge weekend in the Peach State, when North Carolina visited Georgia Tech and Louisiana State was at Georgia—was perhaps the heaviest-scouted game of the spring, and he delivered with his best stuff, making himself a surefire first-round pick.
 
 
#18 ERIC ARNETT, RHP, INDIANA
Indiana University produced just one first-round pick in the first 44 drafts, shortstop James DeNeff (No. 8 overall, Angels) in 1966. Forty-three years later, the Hoosiers should have their second—and it's not preseason All-America catcher Josh Phegley. After pitching mostly out of the bullpen and having only sporadic success in his first two seasons at Indiana, Arnett got stronger and tightened his slider. He flashed a 92 mph fastball as a freshman, and now he's sitting at 92-94 mph, touching 96 and maintaining his velocity into the late innings. His mid-80s slider gives him a second strikeout pitch. He also is doing a better job of using his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame to leverage the ball down in the strike zone. He's a workhorse who has held up well while averaging nearly eight innings per start, and he ranked second in NCAA Division I with 11 wins entering the final week of regular-season play. Arnett will need to improve his changeup to remain a starter in pro ball, and some scouts think he lands too hard on his front leg in his delivery. Others say his mechanics are fine, and enough teams like him that he should go in the second half of the first round.
 
 
#19 EVERETT WILLIAMS, OF, McCALLUM HS, AUSTIN
Of all the elite high school athletes in this draft, Williams might have the best bat. He has a strong 5-foot-10, 200-pound build and big, quick hands, which allow him to power balls to all fields. One area scout says he's seen Williams hit a 500-foot blast, and the lefthanded hitter finished second in the home run derby at the Aflac All-American Game last summer. He has above-average speed that plays as plus-plus on the bases because of his instincts and aggressive nature. He'll need some time to smooth out his defense in center field, but he's certainly capable of staying there. His arm is fringe-average but playable in center. The biggest knock on Williams is a tendency to play on cruise control. Scouts say he's a good kid who just need to play harder on a more consistent basis. He didn't commit to Texas until March, but if he goes in the first round as expected, he won't suit up for his hometown Longhorns. Williams also has some of the best bloodlines in his draft, as his father played in the NFL, his cousin Cedric Allen pitched in the Reds system and two of his aunts are enshrined in the national softball hall of fame.
 
 
#20 CHAD JENKINS, RHP, KENNESAW STATE
While Kyle Heckathorn entered the year as the top prospect in the A-Sun, Jenkins and Brothers weren't far behind. A mid-80s guy in high school, Jenkins had a soft body but his arm worked well, and he has improved significantly in college. He had a strong sophomore season, first with Kennesaw State (5-5, 3.96), then in the Great Lakes League. Jenkins has firmed up his still soft body, and his velocity has caught up with his ability to throw strikes. He now has two or three plus pitches at times with good command, giving him serious helium. Jenkins has a great feel for pitching and now sits at 90-93 mph with his hard sinker and reaches back for 96 mph with a four-seamer at times. His sinker has boring action in on righthanded hitters when it's going well. His slider gives him a second plus pitch. His changeup is average. Jenkins repeats his delivery, and scouts see his big 6-foot-4, 225-pound body as a durable asset, particularly if he keeps getting in better shape. He resembles Phillies righthander Joe Blanton, with better command, and should go in the first 20 picks.
 
 
#21 ANDREW OLIVER, LHP, OKLAHOMA STATE
Oliver starred with Oklahoma State and Team USA in 2008, but he didn't look like the same pitcher at the start of this season (see page 23 for the complete story). He had trouble locating his fastball, lost a curveball that had been one of college baseball's best and was flying open in his delivery, allowing hitters to get a better look at his pitches. Oliver got back on a roll as the draft approached, pitching inside more and routinely dominating teams with his fastball. It sits at 92-94 mph and touches 95, and he has a slow delivery that lulls hitters to sleep before his heater explodes on them. He relies heavily on his fastball because he never regained his curve. He now employs a cutter/slider as his No. 2 pitch, and he also flashes an average changeup. His strong 6-foot-3, 212-pound frame bodes well for durability. If Oliver can't develop a reliable breaking ball, his fastball velocity and command should make him at worst an effective big league reliever. The NCAA suspended him last May for having an adviser/attorney, Tim Barratta, present during negotiations with the Twins in 2006, when they drafted him in the 17th round out of an Ohio high school. Barratta turned him into the NCAA after the pitcher switched to Scott Boras, but Oliver successfully sued the NCAA and was reinstated. Oliver shouldn't be a tough sign if he's drafted in the first round as expected.
 
 
#22 MIKE TROUT, OF, MILVILLE (N.J.) HS
Trout has turned himself into a favorite of scouts in the Northeast, both for his talent and his makeup. An East Carolina commitment, he has rocketed up draft boards as a senior, thanks to an improved offensive approach. Last year, even in the fall, he had a tendency to bail out in the batter's box, particularly against sliders. This spring he has quieted his approach and improved against breaking balls, and he's shown the ability to hit hard line drives to all fields, though his swing still gets loopy and long at times. Halfway through the spring, Trout even began working on hitting lefthanded, and he showed some aptitude for it. Trout's frame and skill set draws comparisons to Aaron Rowand, but he's a faster runner—he runs the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds. He has good range and instincts in center field and plenty of arm for the position. Trout's bat is not a sure thing, but he has a chance to be a solid-average hitter with average or better power. Like Rowand, Trout is a grinder who always plays the game hard.
 
 
#23 A.J. POLLOCK, OF, NOTRE DAME
Pollock hasn't performed as well this spring as he did last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he was the MVP after finishing second in hitting (.377) and first in slugging (.556). While there's debate as to whether he's a true first-round talent, with a shortage of quality college hitters he should get selected in the bottom third of the round. Six-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Pollock stands out most for his athleticism and pure hitting ability from the right side. He has a simple approach, a quick bat and strong hands. Scouts do say he'll have to stop cheating out on his front side and stay back more on pitches in pro ball. Those who like Pollock say that the rest of his tools are solid, while those who don't say he doesn't have another plus tool and question his power. He projects as a 30 doubles/15 homers threat in the majors, and he's a slightly above-average runner who has plus speed once he gets going. Pollock also has good instincts and a solid arm in center field.
 
 
#24 CHAD JAMES, LHP, YUKON (OKLA.) HS
James spent the offseason on a stringent conditioning program, and his hard work will pay off when he gets selected in the first round in June. After pitching in the high 80s and showing a mediocre curveball last year, he has gotten noticeably stronger. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder now routinely sits at 90-92 mph and touches 95 with his fastball. While his curveball needs more consistency, it's close to a plus pitch at times. He continues to have success with a changeup that ranks as one of the best among this draft's high schoolers. James has some minor delivery issues, but he's so athletic that he should be able to make those tweaks with ease.  His brother Justin was a fifth-round pick out of Missouri by the Blue Jays in 2003. Chad has committed to Oklahoma State, but his stock continues to rise, making it unlikely he'll make it to college.
 
 
#25 GARRETT GOULD, RHP, MAIZE (Kansas) HS
Gould just keeps getting better and was quickly pitching his way into the first round. He was the Kansas 6-A pitcher of the year in 2008, when he broke big leaguer Nate Robertson's Maize High record with 95 strikeouts in 57 innings. He won MVP honors at the World Wood Bat Association championship last October, beating Shelby Miller in the quarterfinals and allowing just one hit and one walk while fanning 18 in eight shutout innings. After adding strength in the offseason, Gould has taken his fastball from 88-91 mph in 2008 to 91-94 mph this spring—and it's not even his best pitch. He has one of the best curves among this draft's high schoolers, a power breaker he delivers from a high three-quarters arm slot. He also dabbles with a changeup. Some scouts worry a little about effort in his mechanics, while others like how he stays tall and gets good extension out front. Gould is a quality 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete who starred as a quarterback in football and as a forward in basketball before deciding to focus on baseball as a senior. He plays the outfield when he's not pitching and has enough righthanded power to play both ways for Wichita State should he attend college. But he'll probably go too high in the draft for that to happen.
 
 
#26 TYLER SKAGGS, LHP, SANTA MONICA (CALIF.) HS
Skaggs has the most projectable frame of any California prospect in this draft class. Thin and lanky at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, Skaggs has long arms, long legs, big hands and the angular and athletic build that could handle more muscle without becoming bulky. Skaggs' mother Debbie is the girls volleyball coach at Santa Monica High, and Tyler has also played football and basketball, though his emerging baseball talent caused him to drop the other sports. He cemented his reputation nationally with an outstanding performance last October in the World Wood Bat Championship, then pitched well this spring. He struck out 15 in a showdown with Bryan Berglund, and then tossed a 12-strikeout gem at the Anaheim Lions Tournament in front of 60 scouts. Skaggs' fastball sits in the 88-91 mph range, peaking at 92, and his four-seamer is most effective when it darts to his arm side. He adds a classic, over-the-top rainbow curveball, and has experimented with a slider. He will need to develop his changeup, but that pitch also shows promise. Utilizing an old-fashioned windup in which he brings his hands over his head and to the back of neck, Skaggs does a nice job of bending his back leg to drive off the rubber. He can fall into bad habits, such as rushing his delivery and overthrowing, and he'll have to be patient enough to let his velocity rise as his frame fills out. He should eventually pitch in the mid-90s, but that might not be for a few years. With his projectable build, easy arm action and promising stuff, Skaggs is one of the more enticing pitchers recently seen in Southern California. He's committed to Cal State Fullerton but is a likely first-round pick.
 
 
#27 JARED MITCHELL, OF, LOUISIANA STATE
Mitchell wanted $1 million to give up football and sign out of high school, when he flashed first-round talent and dropped to the Twins in the 10th round because of signability. Three years later, he has put himself in position to go in the first round and receive that seven-figure bonus. Louisiana State football coach Les Miles gave Mitchell the spring off to focus on baseball, and the extra work has paid off. The best athlete in college baseball, Mitchell is an electric 6-foot, 192-pounder with plus-plus speed and power potential. He was hitting a career-high .325 with a week to go in the regular season, and he has dramatically improved his plate discipline. He still strikes out a lot  because he concentrates so much on taking pitches that he often falls behind in the count. His swing needs work too, as he'll have to spread out for more balance and use less of an uppercut in pro ball. Mitchell flies down the line from the left side and steals bases on sheer speed, and he'll be a terror once he gets better reads and jumps. He plays right field for Louisiana State but easily has enough range to move to center. His defense also needs refinement, as he tends to drift on fly balls. His arm is his lone below-average tool, but it will play fine in center field. A reserve wide receiver on the Tigers' 2007 national championship football team, Mitchell has a passion for baseball and is ready to give up the gridiron. He'll need more development time than most college players, but he also has the potential to become the next Carl Crawford.
 
 
#28 KYLE HECKATHORN, RHP, KENNESAW STATE
Heckathorn has been on scouts' radars since he started growing into his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame. As a prep junior, he had an ankle injury that prompted many of the larger schools recruiting him to hesitate, while Kennesaw State kept after him. He reciprocated their loyalty and finally was having a breakout season as a junior, after several fits and starts. Heckathorn has raw stuff on par with anyone in the draft class, even Stephen Strasburg. He runs his fastball up to 99 mph as a starter, sitting in the 94-97 range into the eighth inning against Jacksonville in a May start. His slider can be similarly lethal, sometimes turning into a true cutter at 91-93 mph, other times getting decent depth in the 85-88 mph range. He doesn't throw much that's soft and actually throws too many strikes; he hasn't yet learned how to set up hitters to chase his slider or heater out of the zone when ahead in the count. Heckathorn's quick (two outing) departure from the Cape Cod League last summer raised some red flags for teams, as has his lack of consistent dominance in the Atlantic Sun. His command also is not what it should be. Most clubs consider Heckathorn, who has a short, quick arm action, a likely reliever as a pro, as a better (they hope) version of Kyle Farnsworth.
 
 
#29 LeVON WASHINGTON, OF, GAINESVILLE (FLA.) HS
Washington attends the same high school that Marlins lefthander Andrew Miller did, but he's about as different a player as he can be. Washington's arm strength might be at the other end of the scale from Miller's, as he's recovering from labrum surgery, and some scouts say his arm is below the 20 at the bottom of the 20-80 scouting scale. His arm and offensive package have drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon, another central Florida prep product. Like Damon, Washington can hit, and he was moving up draft boards thanks to his blazing speed and consistent spring. A 6.2-second runner over 60 yards at showcases, Washington has played mostly infield but doesn't have the arm for it, and most scouts see him as an outfielder thanks to his easy speed. Washington has bat speed at the plate, giving him solid pop, though not true power, and he has shown signs of developing a good pro approach. Washington, who spent three years in Guam when his father was assigned there while in the military, could move as high as the supplemental first round despite his arm.
 
 
#30 MAX STASSI, C, YUBA CITY (CALIF.) HS
Stassi carries on the family's baseball tradition, and he has a chance to be the best offensive catcher in this year's deep catching crop. He is related to Myril Hoag, an outfielder who played during the 1930s and '40s for the Yankees and St. Louis Browns and was an All-Star in 1939, and Stassi's father is his high school coach. Stassi got off to a sizzling start this spring, hitting .593 with nine homers in his first 21 games. For a high schooler, he's an exceptionally advanced hitter. He attacks the ball, uses the entire field and has above-average bat speed. Defensively, Stassi is solid but not outstanding. Other catchers are superior in catch-and-throw skills, but scouts agree that Stassi should have no difficulty remaining behind the plate. A bothersome shoulder injury restricted him to DH duty for about a month, but he has since returned to catching full time.
 
 
#31 WIL MYERS, C, WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN ACADEMY, HIGH POINT, N.C.
Myers emerged last summer and fall as one of the more intriguing bats in the class, and he earned first-round buzz as the year progressed despite poor private-school competition in North Carolina. Most clubs were judging him based on his strong showcase performance, where he showed the athleticism and feel for hitting to project as an average or above-average big league bat. Scouts consider him one of the draft's safer hitters, with a smooth swing he repeats and quick, strong hands. He has the bat speed and leverage to produce future power. A South Carolina recruit, Myers plays all over the field for his high school team—showing upper 80s velocity as a pitcher—but scouts want to try him behind the plate, where he's shown solid catch-and-throw tools. He has yet to handle premium stuff on a consistent basis, so there's no guarantee he'll remain a catcher. An average runner, he has even drawn Dale Murphy as a comparison, right down to a move to right or even center field if catching doesn't work out. Myers doesn't figure to last past the supplemental round.
 
 
#32 TONY SANCHEZ, C, BOSTON COLLEGE
Sanchez, who grew up playing with Miami shortstop Ryan Jackson in South Florida, dreamed of playing for the Hurricanes when he was younger, but he was overweight and overlooked by many recruiters out of high school. He's slimmed down by 35 pounds in three years at Boston College and made himself into one of the nation's premier college catchers. Sanchez is a slightly above-average major league defender with soft hands, quick feet and a solid-average to plus arm. He excels at framing pitches and blocking balls in the dirt. Offensively, Sanchez has solid-average power, but his bat is not a sure thing. He punishes fastballs but struggles mightily against breaking balls, though he's an intelligent enough hitter to lay off breaking stuff that he cannot hit. He has a mature approach at the plate and excellent makeup on the field and off.
 
 
#33 RICH POYTHRESS, 1B, GEORGIA
After helping Georgia to the College World Series last season, Poythress has had an impressive follow-up season, hitting consistently as the anchor of Georgia's lineup. He recovered from a torn ACL in the fall of his freshman year to make 38 starts and hit .282. He's hit close to .390 the last two seasons with 36 home runs. Poythress does it more with strength, a polished approach and leverage in his swing rather than pure bat speed. He's more of a hitter rather than a slugger, lacking the raw power that Bulldogs shortstop Gordon Beckham showed. He ranked second in the Southeastern Conference in batting, slugging, on-base percentage and home runs while having a stellar junior season. His swing is geared to use the middle of the field, and he could hit for more power if he learns to pull for power better. Some scouts wonder if he'll hit for power against better velocity and consider him a solid hitter but more of a second-division player rather than a difference-maker. Poythress gave third base a whirl last summer in the Cape Cod League and in the fall but fits better defensively at first base, where his soft hands are an asset.
 
 
#34 BRETT JACKSON, OF, CALIFORNIA
Jackson is most frequently compared with J.D. Drew, at least physically. But while critics often question Drew's passion, the same accusation could never be directed at Jackson. Strong and muscular, Jackson is a wonderful athlete who is a perpetual motion machine on the field and plays with flair. He is an enthusiastic, upbeat and supportive teammate, and he's an aggressive baserunner who challenges outfielders and takes the extra base, often diving in headfirst while doing so. He uses his above-average speed to chase down drives in the gaps in center field, and he has the range to flag down balls hit in front of him or over his head. His arm can be inconsistent, but he has enough arm strength for both left and center. Most criticism surrounding Jackson centers on his hitting, where he's not nearly as polished as Drew. He utilizes an inward-turning, hand-pumping, leg-kicking, load-up-and-let-it-fly swing. He has excellent bat speed and shows the ability to rifle the ball around the diamond, with acceptable home run power, particularly for a leadoff man. His high strikeout totals hurt his draft chances, though, and he had 58 whiffs in 206 at-bats this season.
 
 
#35 MIKE MINOR, LHP, VANDERBILT
Baseball America's reigning Summer Player of the Year, Minor vaulted into first-round consideration with a dominant performance for USA Baseball's college national team, including two victories against Cuba. Minor could be the third lefthander drafted in the first round out of Vanderbilt in the last six years, and he's more Jeremy Sowers than David Price. Like Sowers, Minor has more pitchability than stuff, with a fastball in the 86-89 mph range and a plus changeup that grades as his best pitch. His other strongest attribute could be his pickoff move, a weapon he broke out repeatedly against Cuba last summer. Minor's future may depend on his breaking stuff. He formerly threw a slider as his primary breaking ball, and at times it was an above-average pitch with depth. He showed he could throw the pitch for strikes or bury it. Minor added a solid curveball this fall and threw four pitches for strikes this spring, but some scouts think the curve has sapped some of the life off the rest of his offerings. Vanderbilt's catching problems—at one point they used a fourth-string catcher due to injuries—also limited Minor's repertoire, making him hesitant to throw his breaking balls as chase pitches. Minor will be all over draft boards in June, and could go anywhere from the first half of the first round to the back half of the second.
 
 
#36 DREW STOREN, RHP, STANFORD
Storen was considered one of the more polished high school pitchers available in the 2007 draft, which makes sense since he was 19. He instantly settled in as the closer and helped the Cardinal reach the 2008 College World Series. The eligible sophomore has been one of the few bright spots for a disappointing '09 Stanford club. Storen has been one of the team's few consistent performers, thanks to his ability to throw quality strikes. He pumps his fastball in the 92-94 mph range and regularly touches 95-96. His fastball has decent life, and his biggest difficulty has been locating it. When he misses, he misses up, leaving him a bit homer prone. While he throws a decent changeup, it's rare, and his power slider is his best secondary pitch, giving him a second plus offering. Storen challenges hitters and isn't afraid to pitch inside. He has a good chance to be the first college closer drafted, potentially in the supplemental or second round. While many eligible sophomores at academic institutions such as Stanford can be tough signs, Storen, whose father Mark Patrick is a radio talk show host who worked on XM Radio's Home Plate baseball channel, will be 22 in August and has little left to prove in college.
 
 
#37 JAMES PAXTON, LHP, KENTUCKY
Paxton was a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder with an 86-87 mph fastball and some feel for a breaking ball when Kentucky recruited him out of a British Columbia high school. Three years, three inches and 30 pounds later, he has shown a 93-94 mph fastball throughout the spring. He has peaked at 97, and his heater also has very good run and sink. He throws with a clean arm action and little effort. Paxton also has transformed his breaking pitch from a slurve into a true curveball. On his best days, he'll show a plus-plus fastball, an above-average curveball and good command. He also has a changeup that has its moments, though he doesn't use it often. He's one of the youngest college juniors in the draft—he won't turn 21 until November—suggesting that he has even more room for improvement. Despite his improved stuff and ability to throw quality strikes (as evidenced by his 109-20 K-BB ratio in 73 innings), Paxton has been hit surprisingly hard this season. His ERA has risen from 2.92 last year to 5.30, with no obvious explanation. He has a history of nagging injuries, including a sore elbow in high school, back problems as a sophomore and some tendinitis in his left knee this spring. But he's never had surgery and scouts don't have serious concerns about his health. Anonymous a year ago, Paxton has pitched himself into first-round consideration.
 
 
#38 SAM DYSON, RHP, SOUTH CAROLINA
Dyson was a 19th-round pick of the Nationals out of Jesuit High in Tampa in 2006, but he decided to attend South Carolina. He missed his freshman season after having labrum surgery but has regained his stuff and has been one of the Southeastern Conference's top starters the last two seasons. Dyson has an electric fastball more notable for its velocity rather than its movement. He generates easy heat, touching the upper 90s while sitting 93-95 mph. He has an athletic frame and quick arm. At times, Dyson has a second plus pitch with a hammer curveball, thrown with power and depth at 78-82 mph. It has lacked consistency, as has his changeup, which like his fastball is fairly straight. Dyson has solid control but lacks command, and hasn't quite figured out how to consistently put hitters away, leading to just 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings for his two healthy college seasons. Dyson's ability to maintain his velocity deep into games and chance for three pitches makes him a good candidate to start at the pro level, but his power arm and relative lack of pitchability could lead him to a bullpen role. Either way, he's one of the hardest throwers in the college ranks and won't last past the second round.
 
 
#39 KENTRAIL DAVIS, OF, TENNESSEE
An All-Freshman choice in 2008 who starred for Team USA, Davis is a sophomore-eligible who doesn't neatly fit any mold. His performance suffered this spring on a Tennessee team having a down season, and he had struck out in 25 percent of his at-bats in two college seasons. However, he has tools and hitting ability that stand out in the 2009 draft class. Strong and physical at 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, Davis has a short, powerful swing when he's going well, with bat speed to spare. Despite that, Davis had a tendency to chase pitches this year when pitched around, and he got pull happy, which caused his swing to get a little long. Similarly, Davis has plus speed as a 6.6 runner over 60 yards, but it doesn't play plus offensively. Davis is an average defender in center field, which is below what most big league teams look for. If he can't stay in center, his fringy arm will push him to left, where his power will have to play.
 
 
#40 MATT HOBGOOD, RHP, NORCO (CALIF.) HS
Hobgood first gained attention in Southern California when he outdueled Gerrit Cole (who went on to be a first-round pick) in a high school playoff game in 2008. That made him the local player of the year as a junior, beating out first-round picks such as Cole, Kyle Skipworth and Aaron Hicks. A 6-foot-4 245-pounder, Hobgood resembles a young Goose Gossage. He has tremendous power at the plate, but he realizes his future is on the mound. His raw stuff is electric, with a fastball ranging from 90-94 mph and peaking at 95. He maintains his velocity deep into games, and in a March start he was firing four-seamers at 92-94 mph in the fifth inning. His curveball shows sharp, late break, and he also has shown a changeup and slider. All three show promise, but his command is spotty and he'll need to develop and sharpen each one. Hobgood's mechanics are cleaner than most high school pitching prospects, though he still needs refinement. If his terrific stuff combined with a more projectable build, he would probably be drafted even higher, but as it stands he should go no later than the second or third round.
 
 
#41 ZACK VON ROSENBERG, RHP, ZACHARY (LA.) HS
Von Rosenberg doesn't light up radar guns like fellow Louisiana high school righthander Brody Colvin, but he's a much more polished pitcher with an exceptional track record of winning at the prep level. Von Rosenberg won state championships in each of his first three seasons, a 5-A title at Barbe in 2006 and 4-A titles at Zachary the last two years. He picked up victories in Zachary's first two playoff games this spring, boosting his career high school record to 40-6. He has advanced command of three solid pitches: an 88-91 mph fastball with good life, a curveball with nice depth and a changeup with deception. He has a 6-foot-5, 205-pound frame and a clean delivery, so his velocity should increase, especially when he stops playing shortstop when he's not pitching. He did work in the low 90s more regularly late in the spring, and some area scouts prefer him to Colvin. Both players have scholarships from Louisiana State that they'll likely turn down when they go in the first two rounds of the draft.
 
 
#42 MATT DAVIDSON, 3B/1B, YUCAIPA (CALIF.) HS
Davidson won the home run derby during the Aflac Classic at Dodger Stadium last summer, and only a late rally by the East squad prevented him from being the game's MVP. Athletic and powerfully built at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Davidson has always flashed impressive raw power. As a junior in the spring of 2008, he put on an eye-opening power display during the National Classic home run contest. Actual games, of course, are not home run derbies, and like many young power hitters, Davidson struggles with consistency and had trouble catching up to quality pitching at some showcase events. When hitting well, he waits out the pitch and then uses a short backswing and sweeping follow-through to wallop the ball. When slumping, he struggles to read the pitch, flinches his front side and commits too early or too late. Davidson's speed is well-below-average, but he does have an above-average arm. His hands and footwork will probably force him to first base down the road. Davidson may never produce in games to match the grades scouts put on his raw power, but the lure of that potential should put him as high as the supplemental first round if he's considered signable away from Southern California.
 
 
#43 BRODY COLVIN, RHP, ST. THOMAS MORE HS, LAFAYETTE, LA.
Colvin lacks polish and consistency, but he sure looks like a first-rounder when he's on top of his game. He has an extremely quick arm that delivers fastballs up to 94 mph, and there's more velocity remaining in his sculpted 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. Scouts project that he'll sit at 92-94 mph and touch 96 once he fills out. Colvin's fastball dances and sinks so much that he has trouble controlling it. His No. 2 pitch is a hard curveball with 11-to-5 break that can be unhittable at times. He's still developing feel for his changeup. Colvin stabs in the back of his delivery and throws across his body, so he'll need to clean up his mechanics, which should help with his command. His athleticism—he has average speed and power potential as an outfielder—bodes well for his ability to make the necessary adjustments. Focusing all his efforts on pitching will help too. Colvin came down with blisters at the end of the season, and he topped out at 92 mph in a 11-3 rout at the hands of Byrd High in a Louisiana 5-A first-round playoff game. He has committed to Louisiana State.
 
 
#44 JIOVANNI MIER, SS, BONITA HS, LaVERNE, CALIF.
Mier is supported by a large and enthusiastic family. At the 2008 Aflac Classic they made up a sizeable cheering section, complete with artfully constructed banners and signs. His mother Leticia is a fixture at his games, with her ever-present video camera, and has seen plenty of highlights this year. Mier is the rare prep shortstop who projects to remain at that position in pro ball. He has above-average speed and a powerful arm that grades out to well-above-average. He occasionally pitches for his high school squad, and scouts have gunned his fastball in the 91-93 mph range. He has an athletic and projectable 6-foot-2 170-pound frame. Mier has decent hands, though his actions need to be smoother, which should come with experience. He has been inconsistent with the bat, struggling last summer during showcases but looking sensational last fall at the World Wood Bat Championship and the Southern California scout ball all-star game. Overstriding threw off his timing earlier in the spring, but of late he shortened his stride, though he still has a tendency to lunge at the ball and get his weight out on his front leg. When Mier squares a pitch up, the ball flies off his bat. He has the natural quickness and hand-eye coordination to be an excellent hitter. He projects as a line-drive singles and doubles hitter, with slightly below-average power.
 
 
#45 MADISON YOUNGINER, RHP, MAULDIN (S.C.) HS
While Younginer has thrown well this spring, he's been one of the harder players in the country to scout because his high school team has used him as a reliever. That approach has frustrated scouts and might cost Younginer some money. Recruited to Clemson as both a hitter and pitcher, he has one of the best raw arms in the draft. He's athletic and throws two plus pitches: a fastball that has sat in the mid-90s in short relief bursts, with reports of him touching 97, and a power breaking ball in the upper 80s. Both pitches have late life, with the fastball featuring armside run. Younginer has trouble repeating his delivery and some scouts question his arm action, which can get long. He has flashed the makings of a changeup in past showcase action but hasn't used it much this spring. Last year's top South Carolina prep pitcher, Jordan Lyles, had less fastball and much less breaking ball yet was a supplemental first-rounder after a good workout. Younginer could improve his stock considerably in the same manner after being so hard to scout this spring and could go anywhere from the first to the third round.
 
 
#46 MYCHAL GIVENS, SS/RHP, PLANT HS, TAMPA
Givens started making noise as a prospect after his freshman season in high school, and he hasn't stopped. A veteran of the Aflac and Under Armour games from last summer, Givens has been evaluated at a national level repeatedly. Over time, he has evolved as a prospect, going from hitter to pitcher and back again. He has a strong, athletic body and physical frame, with elite tools including one of the best arms in the draft. He's reached 97 mph off the mound in short bursts and still shows above-average velocity from a low arm slot, pitching Plant High deep into the state playoffs. While some scouts do like him better on the mound, most see him as a reliever and see more value as a position player. He has strength and good hands that should allow him to hit for power down the line, though his swing will need tweaking. Defensively, Givens isn't smooth at short but has first-step quickness and plenty of arm. His Oklahoma State commitment isn't considered a significant impediment to him signing in the first three rounds.
 
 
#47 KEYVIUS SAMPSON, RHP, FOREST HS, OCALA, FLA>
Florida State's top recruit, Sampson would bring the Seminoles a dynamic arm the program has lacked in recent years, if he gets to school. That's not likely, as his lithe, athletic frame and power arm have attracted scouts' interest for the last two years. Sampson has overcome off-field problems (see story, Page 22) including the death of his mother, to become one of the top arms in the state of Florida, which will be the top producer of talent in this year's draft after California. He reminds some scouts of Edwin Jackson as an African-American pitcher with athleticism and a quick arm that produces above-average velocity. He's touched 95-96 as the season has gone on, showing stronger stuff to go with a power breaking ball. He's shown feel for a changeup as well and has good present control and projects to have average future command thanks to his athleticism. He tends to vary his arm slot more than he should depending on the pitch and needs to become more consistent to make projections of average command come through. Clubs that believe in the arm and athleticism won't let him get through the first two rounds.
#48 NICK FRANKLIN, SS, LAKE BRANTLEY HS, ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLA.
An Auburn recruit, Franklin is the latest in a line of Lake Brantley High baseball stars that has included Jason Varitek, Felipe Lopez and brothers Rickie and Jemile Weeks. Franklin, who helped lead last year's team to a state 6-A title, has surpassed them all in terms of performance, hitting 10 homers this spring to lead Lake Brantley back to the state playoffs. A switch-hitter, Franklin has shown bat speed to catch up to good fastballs and uses the whole field. Scouts don't expect him to hit for even average power with wood, but he should have enough strength in his wiry frame to keep pitchers honest. Scouts have made comparisons to players such as Aaron Hill or Lopez offensively, though he has less power. He's an above-average runner with fast-twitch athleticism and the ability to stay at shortstop as a pro, which makes him likely to go out in the first two rounds. Franklin has infield actions, solid footwork that needs polish and more than enough arm strength for shortstop, as it grades above-average. Franklin's makeup resembles Hill's more than Lopez's, which is a strong positive.
 
 
#49 TOMMY JOSEPH, C, HORIZON HS, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
Hailing from the same Horizon High program that has produced Giants righthander Tim Alderson and Angels shortstop Brandon Wood, Joseph likely won't be a first-rounder like those two. But he shouldn't lag far behind. Having split time between catching and first base in the past, Joseph is behind the plate full time this year. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, the Arizona recruit is a big kid with tree trunks for thighs. He has worked on his defensive fundamentals to stay behind the plate as a pro and is above-average in both arm strength and accuracy. He's been sitting lower and working on the mechanics for blocking. With comparisons to both Mike Napoli and Kelly Shoppach, Joseph's calling card is his bat. In the 2009 Power Showcase, an offseason home run derby, Joseph showed off his well-above-average power by putting a few balls in the upper deck at Tropicana Field, and hit a 465-foot bomb that fluttered the American flag hanging from the catwalk in the left-center field power alley.
 
 
#50 VICTOR BLACK, RHP, DALLAS BAPTIST
Black may have cemented his status as Texas' top college prospect when he outpitched two of his main challengers, Texas A&M's Brook Raley and Alex Wilson, in front of a crowd of scouts in late April. Black allowed just one hit in the first six innings before tiring, topping out at 96 mph and sitting at 92-94. His fastball is pretty straight because he throws from a high three-quarters slot, and his control sometimes deserts him, but he has pitched in the mid-90s throughout the season. Black has improved his mechanics and command significantly from a year ago, when he struggled mightily at Dallas Baptist (1-6, 4.97) and in the Cape Cod League (0-4, 7.01). He had a good curveball as a freshman but lost it in 2008, and he now throws a slider. It has good tilt when he stays balanced over the rubber, and it was sharp against the Aggies.His changeup has been more effective this year, but it will require work in pro ball. His 6-foot-4, 204-pound frame is built for durability. The velocity and progress Black has shown this season could carry him into the end of the first round.
 
 
#51 MATT BASHORE, LHP, INDIANA
Bashore piqued the interest of scouts when he hit 94 mph last spring, but then he came down with a tender arm and pitched out of the bullpen in the Cape Cod League during the summer. He started slowly this spring but had turned in five quality starts in his last six outings heading into the last week of the regular season. He's attractive because he's a lefty with size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), velocity (his fastball sits at 90-91 mph and has peaked at 95 this year), a pair of solid breaking pitches and an effective splitter/changeup. Bashore has an easy delivery and has improved his control this year. He gives Indiana a third player with a chance to get popped in the first two rounds, joining righthander Eric Arnett and catcher Josh Phegley.
 
 
#52 ALEX WILSON, RHP, TEXAS A&M
Wilson projected as a possible first-round pick before he blew out his elbow in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2007, shortly before he transferred from Winthrop to Texas A&M. He redshirted with the Aggies last spring, though he did reach 94 mph in bullpen workouts that attracted a number of scouts. The Cubs took a flier on him in the 10th round last June and followed him when he returned to the Cape in the summer. Chicago reportedly offered him $600,000 to sign but he was looking for $1.5 million. Wilson looked to be in line for that kind of bonus when he opened this season with a 91-95 mph fastball and a true slider, but his stuff slacked off later in the spring and didn't pick up when Texas A&M moved him to the bullpen. By May, his fastball had flattened out and was down to 88-91 mph and his breaking ball had become slurvy. Wilson is mainly a two-pitch pitcher, so he projects as a reliever in pro ball. His control has been sharp (105-18 K-BB ratio in 75 innings) for a pitcher in his first season back after elbow reconstruction. He figures to be a second-round pick at this point, though he's believed to be looking for a seven-figure bonus as a 22-year-old junior.
 
 
#53 TODD GLAESMANN, OF, MIDWAY HS, WACO, TEXAS
After a so-so performance on the showcase circuit last summer and surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament last fall, Glaesmann has exceeded expectations this spring. He has emerged as a potential five-tool talent and a possible second-round pick. He has a prototype 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame that should give him plenty of leverage for power, though he employs more of a line-drive approach at this point. Glaesmann has some obvious length to his swing, but he shows patience and should hit for average from the right side of the plate. He has solid speed and arm strength, with the possibility of sticking in center field and the tools to be a standout in right field should he move there down the road. A quality athlete, Glaesmann played quarterback and wide receiver in high school and played through the injury to his left (non-throwing) thumb. One area scout compared him to former Texas high school and college star Drew Stubbs, the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft, with less athleticism but better baseball skills. Glaesmann has committed to Texas A&M.
 
 
#54 REYMOND FUENTES, OF, CALLEGO HS, MANATI, P.R.
A relative of Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran, Fuentes is an electric, game-changing player. The 6-foot, 160-pound center fielder is slender, but has wiry strength and can put a change in a ball during batting practice. Like a ticking clock, he hits line drives from foul pole to foul pole with his lefthanded swing. He's also an elite runner, clocking in at just under 6.3 seconds in the 60-yard dash at Puerto Rico's annual Excellence Tournament in early May. In game situations, Fuentes stays within himself, goes with a contact-oriented approach and lets his plus speed play to his advantage. These tools make Fuentes an ideal leadoff hitter. Defensively, Fuentes' range will allow him to stay in center field as a professional. Right down to his below-average arm, he's a similar player to the Yankees' Johnny Damon.
 
 
#55 CHRIS DWYER, LHP, CLEMSON
After prepping with Phillies 2008 first-round pick Anthony Hewitt in Connecticut, Dwyer turned down the Yankees as a 36th-round pick last year to enroll at Clemson. Unlike most college players, he knew he wouldn't have to wait three years to re-enter the draft. Because of his background, which includes being held back in elementary school and an extra high school year at Salisbury Prep, he is a draft-eligible freshman, already 21 years old. Dwyer's physical maturity helped him dominate at times, including six straight strikeouts in his debut against Charlotte. Dwyer's maturity is still that of a freshman, however, in that he's been unable to sustain his top-shelf stuff from start to start. An excellent athlete who was a standout quarterback in high school, Dwyer has shown the ability to throw two plus pitches for strikes at times. His fastball can sit in the 90-94 mph range when he's at his best, and his curveball is a plus pitch and a true hammer. He didn't have too many instances of being in trouble or having runners on base in high school, and that lack of experience might be why he's susceptible to the big inning. He hasn't challenged hitters in conference play, with 21 of his 24 walks coming in nine ACC games. He hasn't quite figured out how to battle through jams and execute pitches when he needs to get out of trouble. Being a draft-eligible freshman also clouds his signability, but he has more stuff and pitchability than some of his lefthanded peers in the draft.
 
 
#56 MARC KRAUSS, OF/3B, OHIO
After starring in his first two years at Ohio and in the Great Lakes League in between, Krauss went to the Cape Cod League last summer and left as a premium prospect. He led the Cape in RBIs (34) and on-base percentage (.473) and has continued to raise his profile this spring, batting .404 and leading the Mid-American Conference with 22 homers and 61 RBIs with a week to go in the regular season. A lefthanded hitter, Krauss has a quick bat and advanced approach, as he has a discerning eye and uses the entire field. He consistently squares balls on the barrel of the bat. Some scouts wonder how much power he'll have with wood, but the consensus is he should have average pop as a pro. Though he's more athletic than most 6-foot-3, 220-pounders and has played some third base, he'll have to be a left fielder at the next level. He has arm strength but his hands, range and quickness are just adequate. Krauss' bat will have to carry him, but it's good enough to do so. As one of the best college hitters in a thin year for them, he could get taken as early as the second round.
 
 
#57 AARON MILLER, LHP/OF, BAYLOR
Baylor was supposed to have one of college baseball's best rotations, and instead it has been the biggest disappointment. Kendal Volz, a projected early first-rounder when the season opened, has seen his stuff regress. A pair of possible second-rounders, Shawn Tolleson (elbow issues) and Craig Fritsch (command woes and a lack of mental toughness), fared even worse, and the trio had combined for just six wins with a week left in the regular season. Miller has swooped in to pick up some of the slack, pitching himself into the sandwich round in the process. Though he hadn't pitched regularly since high school, Miller has repeatedly shown a 91-94 mph fastball and a nasty 82-83 mph slider. His command is spotty, but the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has the athleticism to improve with more experience. Miller first emerged as a top pitching prospect when he threw 90-91 mph as a high school sophomore, but by his senior year he was more highly regarded as a right fielder in the mold of Paul O'Neill. Miller didn't want to pitch as a freshman for Baylor and made just six mound appearances in 2008. He still starts in right field for the Bears when he's not pitching, and ranks second on the club in all three triple-crown stats at .354-11-43. But it's clear now that his future will be on the mound.
 
 
#58 RANDAL GRICHUK, OF, LAMAR CONSOLIDATED HS, ROSENBERG, TEXAS
Grichuk first made a name for himself as a power hitter at the 2004 Little League World Series, leading the tournament with four homers, and hasn't stopped hitting home runs since. He hit three longballs as the United States won the gold medal at the 2007 World Youth Championship in Venezuela, and he regularly went deep at prestigious events on the showcase circuit last summer. At the International Power Showcase at Tampa's Tropicana Dome in January, he led all comers with 20 total homers, including a 475-foot blast with a metal bat. Grichuk is more than just a masher, however. He doesn't have the prettiest righthanded stroke, but his strong hands and bat speed should allow him to hit for a solid average once he adjusts his pull-oriented ed approach. A 6-foot, 195-pounder, Grichuk has decent athleticism and fits best defensively as a left fielder. He's a below-average runner with a fringe arm, but his work ethic and passion for the game should make him a solid defender. He has committed to Arizona but is considered signable if he goes in the first three rounds as expected.
 
 
#59 JEFF MALM, 1B, BISHOP GORMAN HS, LAS VEGAS
The first thing out of everyone's mouth when talking about Malm is some variation of: "That guy can hit." Few high school players in the draft have a better track record of performance than Malm, who does it from the left side. Everywhere he goes, he hits, whether it's as the youngest player on the USA Baseball junior national team—where he saw more time at first base than Eric Hosmer—or as the only underclassman at the 2007 Cape Cod High School Classic. Playing for one of the nation's top high school teams, Malm was leading the state of Nevada with 15 home runs heading into the playoffs. The question is whether he will be able to hit for the same power with a wood bat. At a soft-bodied 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he's limited to first base and will need to produce power. He has a good arm—sitting at 87-89 mph as a pitcher—but can't play the outfield. As a lifelong Southern California fan with a long personal relationship with head coach Chad Kreuter, Malm's commitment to the Trojans is strong.
 
 
#60 A.J. MORRIS, RHP, KANSAS STATE
Morris has been one of the biggest surprises of the college season, ranking second in NCAA Division I in wins (11) and third in ERA (1.67) entering the final week of the regular season. He handed Arizona State's Mike Leake his only loss of the season, and would have dealt Missouri's Kyle Gibson a defeat if Kansas State's bullpen hadn't blown a lead for him. It has been a far cry from his 4-4, 6.04 performance as a sophomore. Morris has dominated with just two pitches, a 90-91 mph fastball that tops out at 94 and a solid slider. He locates both with precision, usually on the corners and at the knees, and his command allows them both to play above their average grades. Morris is throwing from a lower arm slot this year, giving him more lateral life on his pitches, and he has scrapped an ineffective curveball. Hitters have trouble picking up his pitches. He also has added 15 pounds and now carries 200 on his 6-foot-2 frame. Morris hasn't needed a changeup and some area scouts say they haven't even see him throw one while warming up between innings. His emergence began in the West Coast League last summer, and some clubs tried to sign him as a free agent after he went undrafted last June as a sophomore-eligible. Some scouts worry about his size, arm action and lack of a third pitch, but a team that believes heavily in performance could take him early in the second round.
 
 
#61 JASON KIPNIS, OF, ARIZONA STATE
Kipnis turned down fourth-round money from the Padres last year as a draft-eligible sophomore, and it's looking like a good decision, as he'll likely be a higher selection this time around. Kipnis redshirted at Kentucky as a freshman and was suspended from the team as a sophomore, but he has impressed the Sun Devils with his work ethic and was Pac-10 newcomer of the year in 2008. He has been even better this season, leading the team in batting, on-base percentage and slugging, as well as stolen bases. Kipnis doesn't have one standout tool, but can do a little bit of everything. He has a patient approach and a line-drive swing. He has shown he can hit quality pitching, though he doesn't profile for big power with a wood bat, making him a potential tweener. While his defense in center field has improved, he doesn't have the range to stay there long-term—yet he might not hit enough to man a corner spot. He may also get a chance to try second base.
 
 
#62 JASON STOFFEL, RHP, ARIZONA
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Stoffel looked like a no-doubt first-rounder entering the season, and while he still flashes a fastball that sits 93-95 mph and a slider that can be unhittable, he has been inconsistent. His fastball and slider have straightened out and lost a few ticks at times this season, and his numbers this season aren't those of a dominant reliever. But Stoffel became Arizona's career saves leader this season with 26 and counting, passing Mark Melancon. Scouts who have seen him good put Stoffel in the same class as Arizona's first-round pitchers from last season, Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth. He's a fierce competitor but falls into the trap of many relievers in pitching to the situation. He pitches better in close games, and can lose focus when he comes in with a cushion. Some question Stoffel's decision to pass on pitching in the Cape Cod League or for Team USA the past two summers.
 
 
#63 KENT MATTHES, OF, ALABAMA
Matthes has never been drafted, even though he was an Aflac All-American in 2004 in high school and was a solid college player as a sophomore and junior, hitting 19 home runs over two seasons though his poor plate discipline (26 walks, 92 strikeouts) held him back. He has put it all together this season, however, prompting one area scout to call the fact that Matthes hasn't been drafted "an indictment of our industry." He has pro tools, and has since high school. He's athletic and a solid-average runner, as well as a good baserunner (27 for 30 on stolen bases the last three seasons), with an average to plus arm that most consider suitable for right field. He'd be an above-average defender in left field if he moves there, and he might because his arm doesn't play plus at times due to a long transfer. He has plenty of raw power, though some wonder if he'll produce enough game power for a corner outfield spot. Alabama coaches believe he started to pick up on breaking balls better during the team's fall tour of Cuba, and Matthes carried that confidence into the spring. As he improved his approach, he turned his power into production, leading Division I with 28 home runs. He made more consistent contact and drove the ball to all fields, helping him hit .365 after entering the season with a .293 career average. Matthes doesn't have major mechanical issues with his swing, so continued improvement with his patience and pitch recognition will determine how his power carries over.
 
 
#64 ANGELO SONGCO, OF, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
Undrafted out of high school, Songco has been one of the hottest college hitters in California this spring. Hot bats translate to draft helium, and Songco may have hit his way into the first two rounds. He utilizes one of the most distinctive stances in college baseball, starting deep in the box, standing tall with his bat held high. He lifts his front right leg straight up and then drops it straight down before lashing at the ball with a quick bat. His power was evident with wood bats last summer, when he hit eight homers to rank second in the Cape Cod League. An aggressive hitter, Songco is vulnerable to offspeed pitches and has difficulty covering the outside corner. Early in the count, he looks for a pitch middle-in that he can hammer. He has average speed and is an average defensive outfielder. While he has played right field for Loyola Marymount, his arm probably dictates a move to left in pro ball. But he'll be drafted for thunder in his bat, possibly as early as the supplemental first round.
 
 
#65 BRIAN GOODWIN, OF, ROCKY MOUNT (N.C.) HS
One of the better athletes in the draft class, Goodwin was part of a strong North Carolina prep class. He has very good tools across the board but wasn't having a tremendous spring, and his signability was thrown into question when he became a client of Scott Boras Corp. Goodwin does a lot of things well and doesn't have a below-average future tool. His bat will be the question, because unlike players such as Donavan Tate or Dustin Ackley, he's just a good athlete, not a great one. Goodwin shined on the showcase circuit last summer, winning MVP of the Aflac All-American Game. The lefthanded hitter has above-average speed, and scouts generally grade him as average or above across the board, with the question coming with his power. Goodwin has present strength and a football body, which makes sense as he was an excellent kick returner in high school. A North Carolina signee, Goodwin could go in the supplemental first round or not until much later due to his college commitment and adviser.
 
 
#66 BILLY BULLOCK, RHP, FLORIDA
A 20th-round pick out of high school, Bullock has been a similar pitcher in college to what he was as a prep. For most of his career, he didn't maximize the leverage his 6-foot-6 frame provides, and his velocity was inconsistent, whether he was starting (as he did once this spring, at Arkansas) or in a relief role. However, Bullock has taken off in a relief role and become the top draft-eligible bullpen arm in the Southeastern Conference. Bullock was at his best when Florida swept Georgia in Athens, hitting 97 mph several times with his fastball. He also held his velocity in pitching in all three games of that series. While scouts have considered him a tease due to his inconsistency, Bullock has pitched more consistently as a closer. His breaking ball has evolved from a curveball to a slider, and at times it reaches 83 mph with tilt. Bullock still tends to leave his fastball up at times, leading to five home runs allowed in 40 innings, and could pitch downhill more frequently with refinements to his delivery. Despite lashing ability for a changeup in the past, Bullock seems to have taken to the closer role, emphasizing power over touch.
 
 
#67 DAVID RENFROE, SS/RHP, SOUTH PANOLA HS, BATESVILLE, MISS.
Renfroe's father Laddie played baseball at Ole Miss, where he was a pitcher and a two-time all-Southeastern Conference selection. If the younger Renfroe makes it to Oxford, he has a chance to exceed his father's accomplishments as a power pitcher who also could be an outstanding college hitter. That's the problem for Ole Miss, though—Renfroe may be too good to get to school. He's a legitimate prospect both ways and reportedly put the word out that he wanted to hit, and that he wanted to sign if the money was right. Renfroe has a polished approach as a hitter, with solid-average power and hitting tools. He's a smooth defender with good hands who should be a capable college shortstop and an outstanding third baseman at the pro level. He has obvious arm strength that also plays on the mound. He sits at 88-92 mph with his fastball and has touched higher, up to 95 at times. He has the ability to spin a breaking ball and has shown a feel for a changeup. Scouts are split on whether he has more upside as a pitcher or as a hitter. He showed his wood-bat power with a home run last year during the Under Armour/Baseball Factory all-star game, easily reaching the Wrigley Field seats. He could go late in the first round as a hitter for a team that wants to buy him away from Ole Miss, though the consensus had him as a second- to third-round talent.
 
 
#68 DANE WILLIAMS, RHP, ARCHBISHOP McCARTHY HS, SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FLA.
Williams has shown electric stuff to rival any prep pitcher in the country—in short bursts. He also has shown that he is recovered from a torn left ACL that he injured last fall, and his North Carolina State commitment didn't look like it would keep him from being perhaps the first Florida prep pitcher drafted. Williams had an electric debut in his first outing coming back from his knee injury in March, sitting in the 94-96 mph range for one inning, then flashing a power slider up to 83 mph to go with it. He's got a pro body at 6-foot-6 and has improved the life and velocity on his stuff since dropping his arm slot from straight over the top to a high three-quarters delivery. Williams settled into the low 90s when he started, losing velocity on his slider as well, but showed a little armside sink on the fastball at lower speeds. His biggest question marks revolve around his command of the fastball and ability to develop a changeup, which he hasn't needed as a prep. Williams was closing strong, throwing a no-hitter in the 4-A regional finals to help Archbishop McCarthy reach the state final four for the first time.
 
 
#69 BRAD BOXBERGER, RHP, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Boxberger is the son of Rod Boxberger, a righthander who led Southern California to a College World Series title in 1978, when he was also a first-round pick of the Astros. Both father and son attended Foothill High in Orange County, where Brad succeeded Phil Hughes as the staff ace and became a 20th-round pick of the Royals in 2006. He decided to follow in his father's footsteps to Southern Cal instead, and he has essentially been the Friday starter since he was a freshman. At an even 6 feet with a strong and mature frame. Boxberger has three pitches with plus potential. First is a 91-93 mph fastball that peaks at 94. He can add and subtract velocity from his 79-80 mph curveball, and his circle changeup is a bit inconsistent but has excellent deception and late drop when it's on. During his windup, he has a distinctive habit of turning his back to the plate. Boxberger offers little projection and ideally would be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. He has a tendency to hit the wall, and late in starts his velocity will drop, his command will disappear and the wheels will come off. Brad doesn't figure to be the 11th overall pick as his father was, but he could reach the back of the first round in a best case
 
 
#70 JOE KELLY, RHP, UC RIVERSIDE
Plagued by shoulder trouble early in his college career, Kelly has emerged as one of the nation's top college closers in 2009. At 6-foot-1, he doesn't fit the classic image of the physically intimidating closer, but his stuff is plenty big. In fall ball Kelly flashed a fastball that ranged from 93-96 mph, with wicked natural sink, and he maintained his stuff in the spring and now regularly clocks in at 94-97. Strictly a short relief man, Kelly is an aggressive hurler who wants the ball in pressure situations. He had nine saves this spring for the Highlanders, with 18 strikeouts against five walks in 25 innings, though his 5.33 ERA wasn't impressive. In his delivery, Kelly is reminiscent of Brett Hunter, chosen last year out of Pepperdine, with a high-effort delivery from a low three-quarters arm slot, and he falls off to his left after delivery. Most pitchers begin their pro careers as starters and are then converted to relievers, but Kelly figures to be a closer from the opening bell. His stuff may help him rush through the minors as quickly as any pitcher in the draft class.
 
 
#71 JAKE MARISNICK, OF, RIVERSIDE (CALIF.) POLY HS
A tall, lanky and projectable 6-foot-4 outfielder, Marisnick's build and raw tools remind scouts of Jeff Francoeur and Dale Murphy. He's one of the best athletes in this draft class and has run a 6.7-second 60-yard dash with a vertical jump of nearly 36 inches (best among those tested at the Area Code Games). He also has a powerful throwing arm, which he shows off in pregame warm-ups. A center fielder in high school, Marisnick projects as a corner outfielder as he fills out. Scouts are split on his future hitting ability. Some are confident he will produce, while others point to mechanical concerns. He's well balanced throughout his swing, and his stride is short and closed. However, a weak beginning hand position sabotaged Marisnick early in the season, keeping him from driving the ball with authority. His frame and athletic skills make him one of the most appealing outfield prospects in the nation, but any club selecting him early will have to be convinced of his hitting potential.
 
 
#72 SLADE HEATHCOTT, OF/LHP, TEXAS HS, TEXARKANA, TEXAS
Heathcott is an enigma for scouts. He's a legitimate second-round talent as both an outfielder and a lefthanded pitcher, but he has DHed for most of the spring. He was out until mid-March recovering from November surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, then jammed his throwing shoulder diving for a fly ball in his second game back. When healthy, he's an athletic outfielder with five-tool potential. He swings a quick bat from the left side and has strength and power in his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame. He earns plus grades for his hitting and his speed, and he has good range and above-average arm strength in the outfield. Heathcott was selected for the Aflac All-American Game last summer as a pitcher, and some clubs like him more as a lefty with an 88-92 mph fastball that touches 94 and a promising curveball. There's effort in his delivery because he approaches pitching like he does everything else: full speed ahead. Heathcott hasn't pitched this spring because of the shoulder injury, however. His makeup also is a concern for several clubs, so it's uncertain where he'll fit in the draft. He's committed to Louisiana State.
 
 
#73 D.J. LEMAHIEU, 2B, LOUISIANA STATE
LeMahieu looked like a first-round pick last summer when he starred in the Cape Cod League. Scouts saw enough athleticism in his lanky 6-foot-4, 193-pound frame to think he could play shortstop, and they liked his power potential. But he hasn't played up to that level this spring. Though LeMahieu led Louisiana State, which has been in the top 10 most of the season, with a .356 average heading into the final week of the regular season, scouts expected him to deliver more than four home runs. He employs an inside-out, opposite-field approach, so he should have more power if he turns on more pitches. Scouts also have noted that his swing seems slower and longer this spring. They also think LeMahieu now has no chance at playing shortstop, as he has looked more methodical and less explosive. The Tigers concurred, moving him to second base at midseason after they had trouble turning double plays. His arm has regressed, too, and at shortstop he would need a full windup to make longer throws. A fringe-average runner, LeMahieu may not have the quick feet for second base, either, and he'd have to produce a lot more power if he shifted to third base or the outfield. Further complicating matters is the extra leverage he possesses as a draft-eligible sophomore. Enough scouting directors saw LeMahieu play well on the Cape that he still should get picked in the second or third round, and he may be signable if he goes that high.
 
 
#74 JACOB STEWART, OF, ROCKY MOUNTAIN (COLO.) HS
Stewart is a phenomenal athlete—some say the best high school athlete ever to come from Colorado. He excelled on the football field, where he was a two-time all-state wide receiver. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder had 60 receptions for 945 yards last fall and had Division I scholarship offers not only in that sport, but basketball as well, where he was a standout forward. But baseball is his first love and will be his sole focus from now on. Described as an all-American kid with great makeup and work ethic, he shows potential in all five tools. He has exceptional speed and gets from home to first in four seconds flat from the right side. His throwing is passable and he has some work to do in the outfield, but scouts believe in the tools. The biggest question is his bat. While he's strong and shows good bat speed, he's raw at the plate, has inconsistent hand positioning and hasn't had much exposure to quality pitching. Stewart won't be easy to sign away from Stanford and will require patience in his development, but if he puts it all together he has a chance to be a special player.
 
 
#75 STEVEN BARON, C, FERGUSON HS, MIAMI
Baron is the centerpiece of Duke's recruiting efforts and has strong academic motivation. He always was considered a defense-first catcher, and that's still the case, but he has made significant progress offensively, pushing him toward the front of a crowded, competitive Florida prep catcher crop. Defensively, Baron stands out, with some scouts rating his arm a 70 on the 20-80 scale. He's an above-average defender with a smooth transfer and good footwork. Baron made strides tightening up his body and getting in better shape from fall to the spring, and scouts noticed. He has holes in his swing and doesn't project to hit for a high average, but a .250-hitting Baron could hit 15 home runs. At worst, Baron's defense should get him to the majors, but to buy him out of Duke, a team will have to believe Baron has enough offensive upside to become a regular.
 
 
#76 DAVID HALE, RHP, PRINCETON
A premium athlete with a prototype pitcher's frame (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and a lightning-quick arm, Hale has split time between pitching and playing center field in three years at Princeton, and many scouts believe he could take off once he starts concentrating on pitching full-time in pro ball. The biggest knock on Hale is that he has never dominated in the Ivy League—he went 2-3, 4.43 with 47 strikeouts and 24 walks in 41 innings this spring—or in the Cape Cod League, but his power stuff is undeniable. Hale helped himself considerably in his final outing of the season in front of a bevy of scouts, holding his 92-93 mph fastball velocity into the sixth inning and regularly reaching 95-96. He has topped out at 97 this year and pitches with minimal effort, but some scouts say his fastball is flat and easy to pick up. At times he'll flash a plus slider in the 84-86 range, reaching 88, but other times the pitch is sweeping and he struggled to command it. Hale still needs to learn to command his stuff in the strike zone, and questions about his ability to do so lead many scouts to project him as a reliever, though he'll show some feel for a changeup every once in a while.
 
 
#77 JOSH PHEGLEY, C, INDIANA
No college catcher has done more at the plate over the last two seasons than Phegley, who has hit .400 with 29 homers. He ranked second in Division I with a .438 average as a sophomore and had 14 home runs this spring. Phegley packs a lot of strength in his 5-foot-11, 215-pound frame and has the patience to draw walks and wait for pitches he can drive. Scouts aren't sold on his future production or his defense, however. Some think his bat is a little slow, and he didn't look impressive with wood bats during Team USA tryouts last summer or Indiana's scout day last fall. He bats out of an exaggerated crouch, which makes it difficult for him to catch up to velocity at the top of the strike zone. Phegley bulked up after batting .232 without a homer as a freshman, and his thicker build has cost him defensively. He has plus arm strength but a slow release, leading to average results in shutting down the running game. He has caught 31 percent of basestealers over the last two years. He is a below-average receiver who has been exposed this spring by Eric Arnett's explosive fastball and Matt Bashore's breaking pitches. He does block balls well. Phegley profiles only as a catcher, so he'll have to improve behind the plate. Scouts do rave about his makeup and believe he'll put in the work to do so. Phegley should be the first or second college catcher drafted and go off the board before the end of the second round.
 
 
#78 CAMERON GARFIELD, C, MURRIETA (CALIF.) VALLEY HS
In a banner year for prep catchers, Garfield stands out as one of the best pure defenders. At 6-feet and 190 pounds, Garfield is fit, strong and powerful. His pop times range from 1.85 to 1.90 seconds at showcase events, with one scout clocking a 1.78, and he has an above-average arm. Scouts' primary worry is that Garfield shines at showcases and struggles in games. He often puts on eye-opening power exhibitions during batting practice, but he has trouble carrying those results into games. He has a breathtakingly quick bat, but he often pulls off the ball and opens his front side, pulling the ball hard but foul. Failure to track the pitch and let it get deep throws off his timing, though he will occasionally show the ability to stay back on the breaking ball. Doubts may exist about Garfield's bat, but few doubts exist about his defense. His bat shows the promise of power, but he'll need improvement to bring it up to big league average.
 
 
#79 BEN TOOTLE, RHP, JACKSONVILLE STATE
Tootle fits in with other small-college high draft picks such as Kyle Heckathorn, Rex Brothers and Chad Jenkins who gained more experience by going to smaller schools and earning rotation time as freshmen. Tootle threw 174 innings his first two seasons at Jacksonville State and shined last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he ranked as the league's No. 4 prospect. He showed a 94-98 mph fastball last summer and similar velocity at times this spring. He's a hard worker and long-toss fan with a quick arm who holds his above-average velocity deep into games when he's physically right. Tootle missed about a month with a stomach virus that caused him to lose more than 10 pounds. In his first two outings after his time off, his velocity was down, but he was brilliant for four innings against Tennessee Tech, sitting 92-96 mph before he tired in the fifth inning.Tootle's secondary stuff remains in question as does the life on his fastball. He throws a hard slider that grades out as average and a changeup as well, though it's below-average. Most scouts consider Tootle a better bet to relieve despite his ability to throw hard for seven innings, as he showed when the last pitch of his seven-inning complete game against Austin Peay was 98 mph. His draft status might hinge on how he finishes and how well teams saw him last summer. He won't go in the first round as he might have right after last summer's performance, but he shouldn't be far behind his small-school brethren.
 
 
#80 RYAN JACKSON, SS, MIAMI
Jackson developed into one of the draft's bigger enigmas as the year progressed. As a sophomore, he was a premium defender and .360 hitter toward the bottom of a loaded Miami lineup. He helped the Hurricanes reach the College World Series, then joined USA Baseball's college national team for the summer. Scouts have questioned Jackson's bat since he was in high school; he wasn't drafted as a prep and scouts have seen his bat go backward this spring. Jackson was dropped from high in the Miami order to the bottom before moving back up as the draft approached. He's a below-average runner with below-average raw power, and virtually all his value is in his glove. Despite his lack of speed, Jackson plays shortstop with grace, showing good hands, a strong arm, outstanding instincts and smooth actions. Jackson's glove is good enough to make him a regular if he can hit .250 with wood, but he was barely hitting .250 with metal, making it difficult to peg his draft position.
 
 
#81 AUSTIN MADDOX, C, EAGLE'S VIEW ACADEMY, JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
Having made the varsity as a sixth-grader at his private school, Maddox has been a high-profile player for much of his prep career, helping Eagle's View to a pair of state 1-A championships. He took a star turn with USA Baseball's 18U team, hitting .367 with a team-best six extra-base hits, including one of the team's two home runs. He hasn't held up as well under the scrutiny this spring. He's among the nation's most physical players, strong and built like an ox at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, with two premium tools near the top of the scale. His raw power and arm both rate near 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He's strong and has a leveraged swing that allows him to drive the ball for home run power to all fields. He has reached 96 mph as a pitcher, though he's more of a prospect at the plate. His arm stroke has gotten longer, making him less accurate as a catcher and hampering his pitching. Maddox faces weak competition and hadn't dominated as hoped this spring. More telling, he has not shown enough athleticism, making some scouts wonder how long he'll remain behind the plate. If the Florida recruit is not a catcher, he likely will be limited to first base, where the offensive demands are much more significant.
 
 
#82 BROOKS RALEY, LHP/OF, TEXAS A&M
Raley can make a case for being the best two-way player in college baseball. The consensus is that he's better on the mound, where he has command of a diverse array of pitches. He works mainly with an 87-90 mph sinker, a slider and a changeup, and he also has a four-seam fastball that peaks at 93 mph and a curveball. Scouts respect his ability to compete and to command all of his offering, but he doesn't have a true out pitch, which will leave him with little margin for error in pro ball. Though Raley has a clean delivery, they also wonder how well he'll hold up at a wiry 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. He also has potential as an outfielder, though a second-half slump has led to some questions about his bat. He does offer plus-plus speed, a good eye and gap power as a hitter, as well as above-average range and arm strength. Raley plays the outfield corners for Texas A&M, in part to reduce the physical burden of playing both ways, but definitely is capable of playing center field as a pro. A sophomore-eligible, he's spooking clubs by not giving them any inkling as to his asking price or agent, so he could last much longer in the draft than his talent would dictate.
 
 
#83 JUSTIN MARKS, LHP, LOUISVILLE
Marks started winning immediately at Louisville, quickly joining the rotation as a freshman in 2007 and earning victories in the Big East tournament and NCAA regional clinchers during the Cardinals' run to their first-ever College World Series. In three seasons, he has become the program's career leader in wins (26), ERA (2.95) and strikeouts (270 in 274 innings). Marks doesn't have an overpowering pitch but he's a lefty with command of four solid offerings: a lively 90-92 mph fastball, a slider, a downer curveball and a changeup. Outside of a rough time in the Cape Cod League last summer, he has been very consistent. Marks has a good 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, though there's some violence in his delivery from a high three-quarters slot. He could beat out more ballyhooed Chris Dominguez to become the first Louisville player drafted this year, with both figuring to go near the third round.
 
 
#84 CHRIS OWINGS, SS, GILBERT (S.C.) HS
Owings streaked to the front of the class of prep hitters in South Carolina and into second-round consideration for several teams, who saw him as an offensive middle infielder capable of staying at shortstop. He joined North Carolina's top prep hitter, Wil Myers, as part of a boffo South Carolina recruiting class, but both were in danger of signing as two of the more accomplished prep position players with present offensive skills and middle-of-the-diamond defensive ability. Owings reminds some scouts of former Georgia All-American Gordon Beckham, though with less power. Owings has offensive tools and put them together at the right time for crosscheckers and scouting directors. He has quick, strong hands and average speed, and makes an impact in several ways as a hitter. He added strength over the last year and hits with more authority, prompting his move up draft boards. He's an average defender at short, though he lacks natural, true shortstop actions. Some scouts believe Owings' value is less than the sum of his parts, as they question his feel for hitting and peg him to move to second base as a pro, rather than remain at shortstop. While he might be a better value in the fifth round, he's not expected to last that long.
 
 
#85 CHRIS DOMINGUEZ, 3B LOUISVILLE
Dominguez's combination of size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), power and arm strength is as imposing as any player in this draft. He hits tape-measure shots in batting practice and games, and he has three home run crowns to his credit (New England Collegiate League in 2006, Big East Conference and Cape Cod League in 2008). "You always worry that he's going to swing and miss, but he's going to hit 25-30 homers if he makes contact,' an area scout says. While Dominguez continues to chase breaking balls, he has made strides as a hitter. His 41 strikeouts through 50 games were a far cry from the 88 whiffs he had in 66 games as a redshirt freshman in 2006. He has quieted his approach and shortened his stroke without compromising his power. He doesn't possess an abundance of speed, but he has improved his conditioning and has enough quickness and instincts to have stolen 17 bases in 22 attempts. Scouts still wonder how dominant Dominguez might be on the mound after he showed a mid-90s fastball as a freshman reliever, but he doesn't want to pitch and hasn't taken the mound in the least two years. His arm is an asset at third base, and he has the hands and reactions for the position. He has made 18 errors this spring and his range is fringy, so he's not a lock to stay at the hot corner. The Rockies thought they had an agreement with Dominguez when they selected him in the fifth round last year as a draft-eligible sophomore, but he ultimately declined to sign. He'll likely go a round or two earlier this time around.
 
 
#86 TOMMY MENDONCA, 3B, FRESNO STATE
AMendonca is well known to college baseball fans for his tremendous performance—offensively and defensively—in last year's College World Series. He was the Most Outstanding Player in Fresno's unlikely run to the title in Omaha, and he has been nearly as good this season. Mendonca can be streaky both offensively and defensively. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he has unique power from the left side and puts on one of the best batting practice exhibitions in college baseball. He's a flyball hitter who looks to lift everything, and his opposite-field power is outstanding. On the 20-to-80 scouting scale, he already possesses 50 power, and projects to 60 raw power easily. He has a distinctive swing. He starts with his hands high, then drops them into an angled launch position. He can drive a ball out even if he doesn't get all of it. In an early-season game at Loyola Marymount, he was slightly fooled by a changeup, got out front and under the ball but still lofted it out of the park. Scouts worry about the fundamentals of his swing, however. He comes close to locking or blocking his hands out front in an arm bar action, and he shows a weakness with offspeed stuff, setting a Division I record with 99 strikeouts last season. There are similar questions about his defense, where he looks fluid going to his left but not to his right, and his arm varies from cannon to squirt gun. He doesn't run well. Still, the lure of Mendonca's power bat and record of rising to the occasion will entice an organization to select him as early as the second round.
 
 
#87 ANDREW DOYLE, RHP, OKLAHOMA
Doyle has solid stuff and a craftsman's approach to pitching. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has the arm strength to dial a four-seam fastball up to 93-94 mph when needed, but he prefers to throw 89-91 mph two-seamers on the corners, allowing their sink to create groundouts. His slider isn't a swing-and-miss pitch but it is an out pitch, generating off-balance swings and more groundouts. His changeup gives him a third pitch that induces weak contact. Doyle has an easy delivery and is always around the plate. He doesn't have the sexiest arsenal, especially compared to flamethrowing but erratic teammate Garrett Richards, but Doyle does have 15 wins in two seasons in Oklahoma's rotation. He projects as a possible third-round pick and potential No. 3 starter in the big leagues.
 
 
#88 ERIC SMITH, RHP, RHODE ISLAND
Smith has made great strides in three years since arriving at Rhode Island as a raw, immature freshman with mechanical issues and an 85-87 mph fastball. He worked mostly in relief in 2007, then showed a glimmer of his potential that summer in the Atlantic Collegiate League, where he ranked as the No. 7 prospect. He broke out this spring, opening eyes with eight shutout innings in a win against Miami in early March, followed by a strong performance against Cal State Fullerton when he allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings. Smith now pitches with an 89-93 mph fastball with power sink that he commands at the knees. He adds and subtracts with his slider, sometimes throwing it in the 84-86 mph range, and the pitch can be average or even plus at times, though it remains a bit inconsistent. He also flashes a solid-average changeup and is improving his feel for the pitch. He drops in a curveball occasionally as a show pitch, particularly for a back-door strike against lefties. Smith is a fierce competitor with a physical 6-foot-3, 213-pound build, and he has the best feel for pitching in the Northeast. He's a safe bet to go in the top three rounds, with a chance to go in the top two.
 
 
#89 MICHAEL BELFIORE, LHP, BOSTON COLLEGE
Scouts were mildly intrigued by Belfiore's big frame and loose arm coming out of Commack (N.Y.) High three years ago, when he worked in the 85-87 mph range with his fastball. He has started at first base for three years at Boston College and has thrived as the Eagles' closer the last two. Belfiore now works in the 90-93 mph range and tops out at 94 with a lively fastball. He shows a solid-average to plus slider in the 83-85 range at times, but he tends to push the pitch at other times. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Belfiore is physical enough to start, and he maintained his stuff for five innings in front of a number of scouting heavyweights in late April against Duke. He also has a starter's repertoire, with an average low-80s changeup that dives at the plate at times. He also shows a promising curveball in warmups, though he rarely uses it in games. Belfiore's mechanics need smoothing, and his offspeed command could use polish, but he could take off once he concentrates on pitching full-time.
 
 
#90 RYAN BUCH, RHP, MONMOUTH
Buch broke out in 2007, when he went 9-2, 2.44 as a freshman at Monmouth and ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Atlantic Collegiate League that summer. He's always had a prototype pitcher's frame and an excellent curveball, but his stock soared in April along with his velocity. Buch has reached the low 90s with his fastball since he was a freshman, and he has still pitched in that range for most of this spring. More recently he had run his fastball up to 95, sitting at 92-93. The velocity on his sharp, downer curveball has also spiked, reaching 84-85 mph. Even when he throws it slower—and some scouts report seeing a 74-77 breaker, while others have seen it at 81-82— it's still a true above-average offering. But when he throws it harder, it can rate as a 70 or better pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. Buch is refining his fastball command, and he does not have a lot of feel for his changeup. But scouts can dream on him, and he seems likely to be drafted in the first two rounds in June.
 
 
#91 JEFF KOBERNUS, 2B, CALIFORNIA
Kobernus is one of the most versatile players in the nation. His athletic and still projectable 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame fits almost anywhere on the diamond, and indeed he has played several positions during his career at Cal. He played second base this season, overcoming a sluggish start to bat .351/.385/.563 with eight home runs in a disappointing season for the Golden Bears. With above average speed, Kobernus stole 17 bases this spring, giving him 41 for his career. Defensively, Kobernus displays fine range, with excellent hands and playmaking ability. He will make careless errors, as with many young infielders, but his arm and glove grade out to solid-average. Primarily a line drive hitter, Kobernus shows an advanced approach, utilizing the entire field and intelligently looking to go with the pitch when needed. He will flash occasional power, but his forte is gap-to-gap line drives. While Kobernus does not have overwhelming tools in any one area, he is an athletic and well-rounded player who has the potential to fill any number of roles as a professional.  Look for the organization that drafts him to start him out as a second baseman, with a move to third possible if he fills out his frame more.
 
 
#92 KENDALL VOLZ, RHP, BAYLOR
Expectations were high for Volz after he showed a 92-95 mph fastball and a low-80s slider with late break as Team USA's closer last summer. He didn't allow an earned run in 14 innings, saved the gold-medal game at the FISU World Championships in the Czech Republic and looked like a possible top-10 pick for 2009. But his stuff had gone backwards so much by May that he might not even go in the first two rounds. His fastball parked in the high 80s and flattened out, and his slider no longer was a weapon. His delivery looks different, as it now contains some ugly recoil, and his command has gotten worse as well. Volz has flashed an effective changeup and has a 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame built for a workhorse role, so he has the ingredients to be a starter at the next level—provided his previous fastball, slider and command return. If not, he looked well suited for a late-inning role last summer. But outside of his time with Team USA, he has been hit harder than someone with his stuff should.
 
 
#93 BRYAN BERGLUND, RHP, ROYAL HS, SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.
Berglund was little known until a local all-star game last December, when he enjoyed a breakout performance and rocketed up draft boards. Berglund is a Swedish citizen who has picked up the American national pastime. His fastball sits in the 90-92 mph range, and his secondary pitches well developed for a prep pitcher. His slider has the makings of a plus pitch, but his best current offering is his changeup, which shows both deception and late drop. Berglund's velocity takes tails off as he progresses through a game, slipping down to 86-87 mph by the third or fourth inning, and he leans too much on his fastball, two problems that should be solved by simple maturity and development. Berglund's projectable 6-foot-4 build, with his three legitimate pitches, make him attractive enough that he probably won't follow through on his commitment to Loyola Marymount.
 
 
#94 MATT DEN DEKKER, OF, FLORIDA
Den Dekker was recruited as a pitcher and hitter at Florida—in fact, Florida's official website still lists him as a pitcher—and he has a strong throwing arm that helps make him one of college baseball's better defenders in center field. He has easy plus range, tracks balls well and plays hard. A preseason second-team All-American, den Dekker played for USA Baseball's college national team last summer, hitting just .229 with one homer, and his offensive production has faltered this spring as well, making his draft position murky. Scouts still like his swing and struggle to explain his difficult season, as he was hitting .305 and slugging just .435 through 49 games. Den Dekker has solid raw power and the bat speed and strength to drive the ball consistently but still seems to fight his swing, which lacks fluidity. He's a plus runner and excellent basestealer, converting 34 of his last 35 attempts. Teams that believe in the bat could take den Dekker off the board by the sandwich round.
 
 
#95 J.R. MURPHY, C, PENDELTON SCHOOL, BRADENTON, FLA.
The scouting consensus seemed to be that Murphy had risen to the top of the pile of Florida prep catchers by the end of the season, after an amazing spring playing for the IMG Academy in Bradenton. Murphy hit .627 with 11 home runs in 102 at-bats, rapping 34 extra-base hits overall and striking out just four times. That built off a strong summer and fall performance, as Murphy starred for the Florida Bombers during Connie Mack play and the World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla., in October 2008. Murphy's bat attracts most of the attention, as he has a short, sharp righthanded swing that generates good bat speed and plate coverage. Scouts grade his hit tool ahead of his power, though he's expected to produce average power with wood. He's also athletic, having made a shift from outfield (and occasionally third base) to catcher. He's shown he's more than capable of handling catcher, showing plus arm strength, solid receiving ability and a quick transfer. The Miami recruit has intelligence and makeup needed for the position, as well, and had hit his way into supplemental round consideration.
 
 
#96 LUKE BAILEY, C, TROUP HS, LaGRANGE, GA.
Bailey entered the season at the front of the national group of high school catchers, one of the strongest positions in the draft. He had shown a rare combination of hitting ability, raw power and arm strength, all of which graded above-average, as well as solid athleticism and surprising speed. Bailey's offense had slipped this spring, as he hit just three home runs. Scouts said he was tinkering too much searching for power, trying different strides and different timing mechanisms. Scouts had no questions about him defensively, where he ranks among the best athletes in the prep catcher group, and he showed toughness as a junior by playing through a broken rib. He has plenty of arm strength and was doing some ill-advised pitching for his high school team before going down with Tommy John surgery in April. Bailey has an Auburn commitment, having grown up a fan, but still was expected to be signable, much as the late Nick Adenhart signed after having had the surgery back in 2004.
 
 
#97 KYLE SEAGER, 3B, NORTH CAROLINA
A three-year starter for North Carolina, Seager is an area scout favorite, not to mention a player opposing coaches respect immensely. National evaluators have a harder time pegging him because he doesn't fit a neat profile. His best tool is his bat. He has a smooth, balanced swing and makes consistent contact with gap power. He ranked third in the nation in 2008 with 30 doubles and was on a similar pace in 2009. He has a patient approach but doesn't project to hit for much home run power because of his modest bat speed and flat swing plane. While he's a fringy runner, he's a fine baserunner. Seager played second base for his first two seasons and moved to third this year, where he has played good defense. Featuring an average arm and impressive agility, he's an average defender at third, if not a tick above. Scouts who like him see a Bill Mueller type who doesn't fit the profile but grinds out at-bats and outs in the field. His detractors see him as a safe pick with low upside and a future reserve or utility player.
 
 
#98 BILLY HAMILTON, OF/SS. TAYLORSVILLE (MISS.) HS
Hamilton, like many Mississippi prep products, remains raw, as he's never played baseball full-time and needs to face better competition. Hamilton ranks among the fastest players in the draft, a true 70 runner on the 20-80 scale. Hamilton also is among the lightest players, if not the lightest being considered in the first five rounds, checking in at around 150 pounds. One evaluator said he resembles Brewers utilityman Bill Hall at a similar stage of development. Hamilton lacks present strength in his wispy frame, and some teams will walk away from a player whose present bat is short. Hamilton's swing is fairly sound, though, and he's learning to bat lefthanded as well to take advantage of his speed. He has outstanding arm strength, reaching 94 mph off the mound, and might be able to remain a shortstop; if not he'll stay in the middle of the diamond in center field. He's a Mississippi State football recruit, but scouts still consider him signable.
 
 
#99 BLAKE SMITH, OF/RHP, CALIFORNIA
California's lefthanded-hitting, righty-pitching Smith perplexed scouts all spring. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he has premium size to go with athleticism,. He had emerged as a premium prospect last summer with USA Baseball's college national team, when he hit .327 with three homers (second on the team) while also throwing nine scoreless innings, striking out 11. Smith flashes terrific stuff on the mound but struggled in getting hitters out. After early-season difficulties on the mound he has rarely pitched since, finally being relegated only to a DH role by a lat muscle strain. As a pitcher, Smith fires a 92-94 mph fastball, which exhibits fine arm side movement but is straight to his glove side. His 82-84 mph changeup resembles an old-fashioned palm ball, and that pitch shows both arm side movement and "drop dead" action. Unfortunately for Smith, he has poor command and control and gets behind hitters too often. A pitcher with his quality of stuff should not get hit as hard or as frequently as he did this year, when he walked 20 in 20 innings. As an outfielder, Smith has a well above average right fielders arm, and his long, sweeping lefthanded swing produces provocative home run power. However, the length and severe uppercut path of his swing may produce holes that professional pitchers can exploit. Observers who saw him regularly with Team USA last summer believe Smith might be better suited for the everyday player role than working on the mound, and see him as fitting the right-field profile perfectly if his bat emerges. However, plenty of scouts believe in Smith's future as a short stint relief man. To be successful in that venture, Smith must greatly improve his command. No one doubts he has the raw stuff to succeed in a middle relief capacity, but he may make it as a hitter as well.
 
 
#100 TRAYCE THOMPSON, OF, SANTA MARGARITA (CALIF.) HS
Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson, the former NBA star who played on several Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship clubs in the 1980s, and the bloodlines show. A 6-foot-4, 200-pound outfielder, Thompson has terrific bat speed, and his future power potential is exciting. He has a great frame that's both athletic and projectable, and his arm strength is impressive. The primary drawbacks are his instincts and feel for the game. He has the look of a player who is relatively new to baseball and is still learning the basics. He often hesitates in the outfield and won't attempt to throw out runners trying to advance, or will defer to other fielders on balls hit in the gaps. Thompson generates terrific bat speed, but his swing is long on the back end and his timing is affected by his habit of pulling out his front side too quickly. Thompson's selection in this draft would be made on potential alone. If he goes to UCLA, develops his skills and gains experience, he would likely be a much higher pick in 2012.