Draft Top 200: No. 51-100
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 1-50
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 101-150
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 151-200
Our pre-draft ranking of the Top 200
prospects for the 2010 draft, as selected by Baseball America's
51. Kellin Deglan, c
R.E. Mountain SS, Langley, B.C.
As a member of Canada's junior national team, Deglan has been steadily improving his stock as he has performed well in games against pro players in extended spring training exhibitions. Deglan has gotten bigger and stronger every year and has worked hard to maintain his balance and footwork behind the plate. He is an advanced receiver and has a strong arm, consistently displaying pop times around two seconds flat. Scouts do have a couple of questions regarding Deglan's swing. He has long arms, which can lead to a long swing, and he sometimes swings around the ball and can be attacked inside. But he also has a lot of strength and when he pulls his hands inside the ball, he can use his arms for leverage, which gives him intriguing power potential. When you combine all those things, it's easy to see why teams see a lot of potential in Deglan. He also has great makeup and the leadership qualities that teams look for in catchers. Because of his premium position and lefthanded power potential, Deglan could go as high as the back half of the first round, but grades out as more of a second- to third-round talent.
52. Christian Yelich, 1b
Westlake HS, Westlake Village, Calif.
Yelich first gained widespread scouting attention in the summer of 2008, when he put on an eye-opening batting practice display with wood bats at a Major League Scouting Bureau showcase at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. Bryce Harper overshadowed Yelich that evening, driving several balls off the batter's eye or into the parking lot, but Yelics held his own and has produced other highlights since then, such as the long, opposite-field homer he hit in 2009 off Tyler Skaggs, an Angels supplemental first-rounder last year. Tall (6-foot-3), angular and projectable and possessing a sweet lefthanded swing, Yelich is far more athletic than the usual lumbering first-base prospect, with above-average speed. He consistently runs a 6.75-second 60-yard dash in showcase events, and shows both range and a nifty glove around the bag. That kind of athleticism usually signals a position change, but Yelich has a below-average throwing arm that limits him to first. A Miami recruit, Yelich does not project to have the profile power organizations prefer in a first baseman, but he should develop into an above-average hitter with fringe-average power, along the lines of a James Loney or Casey Kotchman.
53. Kris Bryant, 3b
Bonanza HS, Las Vegas
Bryant entered the summer with lofty expectations, but he often looked overmatched at the plate during the showcase circuit last summer. When he's on, he's a treat to watch. He has a lean, 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame and light-tower power that draws comparisons to a young Troy Glaus. The power, however, mostly shows up during batting practice or when he has a metal bat in his hands. There are a lot of moving parts to his swing and he has trouble barreling balls up with wood, so how much usable power he ends up having is a big question. He has a long, loopy swing and he never changes his approach when he's struggling. He's athletic for a big guy and may be able to handle third base. He has the arm for it, and some scouts said they wouldn't be shocked if he eventually ended up on the mound. Some scouts love Bryant's power enough to take him in the back half of the first round, while others turned him in as a token gesture and have little interest in him—especially for the price it will take to lure him away from his San Diego commitment.
54. Jason Adam, rhp
Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Adam began the year as the highest-rated pitching prospect in Kansas. Though Ryne Stanek has since surpassed him, Adam has pitched well enough that the state could have two high school pitchers drafted in the first three rounds for the first time ever. Adams' draft status hinges more on the strength of his commitment to Missouri than his stuff, which fits near the top of the draft. He has a low-90s fastball that tops out at 95 and also spins a good curveball. His changeup shows enough promise that he eventually could have three average-or-better pitches with good control. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, he's more physical than Stanek, and he also repeats his delivery more consistently.
55. Delino DeShields Jr., of
Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga.
In 2005, the most recent year Baseball America conducted its Baseball for the Ages survey, DeShields ranked as the nation's top 12-year-old, beating out Bryce Harper and A.J. Cole, among others. He had just finished seventh grade. The son of the former big leaguer and 1987 first-round pick of the same name, DeShields has had an up-and-down high school career that included a modest showing at the East Coast Pro Showcase last summer. His loud tools have helped him leap past his peers and jumped him, for some scouts, to the top of a deep crop of Georgia prep talent. His best tool is his explosive speed, which has jumped up a grade to earn 80s on the 20-80 scale. Like many big league progeny, DeShields doesn't play with a ton of energy, and he got off to a slow start, which scared off some clubs. When the weather heated up, DeShields' bat did likewise. He showcased electric bat speed and present strength, leading to projections of average power in his future. His swing needs some fine-tuning and his defense in center field is raw. He has enough arm for center, though it's below-average. Some scouts also had makeup concerns after DeShields changed his mind about his college choice, eventually settling on Louisiana State.
56. Cam Bedrosian, rhp
East Coweta HS, Sharpsburg, Ga.
Georgia has plenty of strong bloodlines this spring, with two sons of big leaguers jostling to go in the first two rounds. Besides Delino DeShields Jr., there's Bedrosian, whose father Steve pitched for the Braves and won the 1987 National League Cy Young Award as the Phillies' closer. Cam Bedrosian, whose middle name is Rock (as his father's nickname was Bedrock), could one day wind up a closer, but he has a chance to be a starter as well, which is why he's a potential first-rounder and a key Louisiana State signee. The only drawbacks with Bedrosian are his size (he's a 6-foot righty but strong at 200 pounds) and the fact he has some effort in his delivery. Scouts have seen his fastball touch 96 mph, and Bedrosian sits in the 92-94 range all day. He repeats his delivery well enough to have fastball command at the amateur level, and with some smoothing out of his delivery he could have average pro command. He also throws a fringe-average curveball and changeup, as well as a power slider. He has the potential to have a plus fastball and three average secondary pitches if it all comes together.
57. Chance Ruffin, rhp
En route to a 12-year big league career, Ruffin's father Bruce was a second-round draft pick out of Texas in 1985. His son could match or exceed that draft status after moving full-time to the bullpen this spring. Ruffin's stuff has played up after the change in roles, with his fastball jumping from 89-91 mph to 90-93, topping out at 95 when he's fresh. His 78-82 mph slider is his best pitch, and he has a late-breaking curveball that he uses to get backdoor strikes against lefthanders. He'll also mix in a changeup, though it's really more of a batting-practice fastball. His numbers through mid-May—0.89 ERA, 11 saves, .189 opponent average, 72-15 K-BB ratio—are as dazzling as any in college baseball. He's similar to former Longhorns closer Huston Street in terms of size, arsenal and competitive makeup. The biggest drawback with Ruffin is his size (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), but nevertheless some scouts think he could make it in pro ball as a starter. More likely, he'll be fast-tracked as a reliever.
58. Robbie Aviles, rhp
Suffern (N.Y.) HS
Scouts have been impressed with how Aviles has performed in the face of adversity. In late March, two of Aviles' Suffern High teammates were killed in a car accident. The two were honored before Suffern's game the following week, and Aviles took the mound and got the win. He struck out 11 in a perfect game in his next start, then whiffed 15 in a no-hitter in his subsequent outing. Aviles sat at 91-92 mph for most of his perfect game but reached back for 93-94 in the seventh inning. Aviles' 6-foot-4, 193-pound frame is athletic and projectable, and his arm action is loose, but he has a tendency to cut off his finish and needs to fine-tune his command. His curveball has good three-quarters break and projects as an average or better pitch. Some scouts say he flashes a plus changeup, but he rarely uses it against overmatched high school competition. Down the stretch, Aviles struggled to repeat his release point—especially on his breaking ball—and started working exclusively out of the stretch. Aviles needs some polish, but his upside is significant, and he is overwhelmingly regarded as the top prospect in the Northeast this year. A Florida signee, Aviles is a supplemental first-round or second-round talent and is considered signable.
59. Aaron Sanchez, rhp
Barstow (Calif.) HS
Sanchez has lured scouts to Barstow, stuck in the middle of the California desert halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Only one player—Royals righty Matt Mitchell, a 2007 14th-round pick—has been drafted out of Barstow in the last 20 years. Sanchez, an angular and projectable Oregon recruit, should change that. He first drew the attention of scouts (and comparisons to Orel Hershiser) during last summer's showcase season, when he starred in the Area Code Games and the Aflac game. Utilizing an easy, mid-three-quarters arm action, Sanchez flashes a 91-93 mph fastball and adds a crisp curve. Mechanically advanced, Sanchez uses his legs well in his pitching delivery, avoids flying his front shoulder open and finishes strongly while creating a decent downward plane. As he progresses, the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder will need to develop more movement on his fastball, which is now too straight. His command is negatively affected by variances in his arm slot, and Sanchez will need to add at least a pitch and potentially two to his current arsenal. Sanchez profiles as a No. 3 starter. He may take some time to reach the majors, but his tantalizing upside is difficult for any organization to ignore.
60. Micah Gibbs, c
Gibbs has the best receiving skills among catchers in the 2010 draft, and those and his ability to handle a pitching staff earn repeated comparisons to Jason Varitek. He doesn't have a cannon behind the plate, but his arm strength is average and he enhances it with a quick release and good accuracy. However, he had thrown out just 15 percent of basestealers through mid-May, down from 32 percent in his first two seasons. His hitting has gone in the other direction, as he was batting .424, up from .306 the previous two years and .212 with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. A 5-foot-11, 207-pound switch-hitter, Gibbs has spread out his stance, added more balance and simplified his swing. He has strength, but his swing can get loopy at times and he doesn't have an abundance of bat speed or power. He may not be more than a .260 hitter with 10-12 homers annually in the majors, but his defensive ability should make him a starter. The scarcity of catchers often enhances their draft status, so Gibbs could sneak into the first or sandwich round.
61. Jordan Swagerty, rhp
Swagerty was a highly touted high school player out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas. He was a 2007 Aflac All-American and a member of Team USA's junior national team. Now a draft-eligible sophomore, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound righthander has been dynamite at the back end of the Sun Devils' bullpen. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range and can get up to 96 when he's amped up. But, that's not his best pitch. Swagerty also throws a 84-86 mph curveball that grades out as a legit 70 on the 20-80 scale. It's a true 12-6 hammer. Swagerty's size concerns some scouts, but he can hold his velocity in back-to-back outings. He doesn't quite profile as a big league closer, but should move quickly to the big leagues and reminds scouts of Angels set-up man Scot Shields.
62. Griffin Murphy, lhp
Redlands (Calif.) East Valley HS
As the 2010 spring season opened, Murphy quickly established himself as the premier lefthander in the Southern California prep ranks, and he joins Dylan Covey in San Diego's recruiting class. Strong and durable, in both frame and pitching style Murphy resembles Angels lefty Joe Saunders. While not a flamethrower, Murphy likes to establish his 89-92 mph fastball early in a game and work his other pitches off of it. He shows an uncanny knack for manipulating his fastball—he can run it in, run it away, sink it or turn it over. Few lefties can succeed without a quality curveball, and Murphy has one. His sweeping, 75 mph bender exhibits fine shape and two-plane movement, but he needs to work the curve down in the strike zone more consistently. Mechanically solid, Murphy loads up well on his back hip and does a fine job of accelerating his arm at release. A fast worker, he may benefit from slowing his motion down a shade and by improving his leg drive. Murphy's size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), stuff and pitching smarts could easily push him up into the first two rounds.
63. Mike Kvasnicka, c/of
After catching sparingly in his first two seasons at Minnesota, Kvasnicka has seen semi-regular action behind the plate this spring while senior Kyle Knudson has recovered from offseason labrum surgery on both hips. Kvasnicka already was an attractive draft prospect as a 6-foot-2, 210-pound switch-hitter with a balanced stroke, good power potential and strike-zone discipline. Now his stock has jumped with the possibility that he could be a catcher rather than a right fielder. He has solid arm strength and accuracy, and he has the athleticism, hands and work ethic to become an average receiver. While he might have been a fourth-round pick as an outfielder, he now figures to go in the first two rounds as a catcher. If he winds up moving back to the outfield, he still has enough bat to reach the big leagues. Kvasnicka's father Jay was a Twins eighth-round pick in 1988—Minnesota drafted Mike in the 31st round out of high school—and reached Triple-A.
64. Austin Wates, of
Scouts have had a hard time pinning down Wates this season because he profiles as a center fielder but plays right and first base for the Hokies. Ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the Cape last summer, Wates is a good athlete with a good track record of hitting for average. He has a medium-sized frame at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and is an above-average runner. His arm is below-average but playable in center. He has below-average power as well, but it's not part of his game. Scouts universally describe his swing as unorthodox. It's not the typical short, flat path that you find in pure hitters and has a little bit of loop to it. Even so, he manages to consistently put the barrel on balls and does a good job working deep counts. Through 178 at-bats this spring, Wates was hitting .382/484/.624 with 25 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases. He walked (29) more than he struck out (24) and leads Virginia Tech in runs with 51.
65. Hunter Morris, 1b
Morris spurned the Red Sox as a second-round pick in 2007, making him the highest unsigned high school draft pick to attend college that year. He was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2008 but stumbled as a sophomore, hitting just .282 and striking out 50 times in 50 games. Morris responded by getting in the best shape of his life, and this time the cliche was actually true: He lost 30 pounds and stunned scouts when he posted a 6.75-second 60-yard time on scout day in the fall. His leaner 6-foot-2, 220-pound body has allowed Morris to improve his bat speed, as he can hit velocity better than he used to, and has made his actions and swing looser. While he's still a below-average defender (though with a solid arm), he's no longer a total liability at first base, and he's a solid-average runner under way. Morris doesn't have explosive power and may have more pure hitting ability than raw juice, with both grading out as average or a tick above. He's likely to go out in the same range as he did out of high school.
66. LeVon Washington, of
Chipola (Fla.) JC
Washington is one of the biggest enigmas of the last two drafts. Born in Guam to a military family, he entered 2009 as perhaps the fastest prep talent in the country and earned Johnny Damon comparisons for his hitting ability, speed and lack of arm strength. A shoulder injury left Washington with a 20 arm on the 20-80 scale, but the Rays looked past that and his Boras Corp. representation and drafted him 30th overall. Washington failed to sign; he also failed to qualify at Florida and wound up at Chipola JC. The Indians and Washington had disappointing seasons, and scouts still don't know quite what to make of him even after another year of evaluation. Athletic and quick, Washington hasn't shown the explosive speed he once did and doesn't run hard consistently. He also didn't run on fall scout day at Chipola, and some scouts now consider him more of an above-average runner than the top-of-the-scale grades he got in the fall of 2008. His arm has improved, to a 30 grade, but he did play the outfield and should be an average defender. Clubs that like Washington are buying the bat, however. Despite a spread-out stance in which he leans over the plate, he barrels up balls consistently, thanks to excellent hand-eye coordination and quick wrists. He's not a slap hitter and would likely have to change to a more conventional stance to hit for average power. Washington doesn't figure to go as high this year but still fits inside the first two rounds.
67. Aaron Shipman, of
Brooks County HS, Quitman, Ga.
The "pop-up" player in Georgia this year shouldn't have been off the radar. Shipman comes from a baseball family, as his father Robert—a 10th-round pick in 1987 by the Tigers—is his high school coach and his brother Robert III is a freshman at Georgia. While his older brother is a slugging first baseman and baseclogger, Aaron Shipman is a fast-twitch athlete who compares favorably to anyone in Georgia's deep class of athletic center fielders. He just hasn't played in the East Cobb program as a south Georgia kid, but he was getting plenty of attention as the draft approached and could go in the second round. Shipman earns above-average grades from scouts in speed, throwing arm and future center field defense, though he could use some polish. His swing is perhaps just as exciting, as it's smooth and low-maintenance. Shipman also pitches and runs his fastball up to 91 mph, but he is a much better prospect in the field and doesn't figure to wind up at Mercer, his college commitment.
68. Mathew Price, rhp
A draft-eligible sophomore, Price has a thin body at 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, and some scouts don't think he'll add much weight because there isn't anywhere to put it. One scout compared his frame to Mike MacDougal. Price is comparable to teammate Jesse Hahn, but he's a notch below him overall. His fastball sits comfortably at 92-93 mph, and he has shown the ability to touch 94-95 late in games. His curveball is average, but he flashes some that scouts can dream on. His second pitch is a changeup that's an average pitch now and has a chance to get better. His command as a freshman was below-average, but it's average to slightly above now. The concern with Price is his delivery. His arm is quick, but it's not real loose. There's some stiffness to his delivery as he has a short stride for someone with his height and he lands on a stiff front leg. This causes him to sometimes leave pitches up in the zone. His stuff puts him as a second-round candidate, high enough to consider him signable despite the leverage of returning for his junior season. For the Hokies, Price was 7-3, 4.37 through his first 12 appearances, 10 of which were starts. In 70 innings he had 68 strikeouts and 21 walks.
69. Derek Dietrich, ss
Dietrich is one of three unsigned 2007 Astros draft picks—Arkansas' Brett Eibner and Texas Tech's Chad Bettis are the others—who figure to go in the first two rounds this year. Dietrich was the highest pick, a third-rounder, and could still fall to that round despite having his best college season. He's a difficult player for scouts to judge because he doesn't fit an obvious pro profile. His lefthanded bat brings value, as do his strong arm and developing power, and he tied his career high with 14 homers this spring. He plays hard and has been a serviceable college shortstop defensively. Scouts believe he lacks the footwork or athletic ability in his 6-foot-1, 196-pound frame to stay at short, though, and wonder if his footwork can improve enough for him to play at second. Most doubt that and believe third base is his best fit with the glove, and he may not produce enough power to profile as a regular there. He also could prove to be a versatile big leaguer in the mold of Geoff Blum or Scott Spiezio, who both had the advantage of switch-hitting.
70. Taijuan Walker, rhp
Yucaipa (Calif.) HS
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Walker doubles as an elite basketball player, averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds per game as a forward last season. He has great leaping ability, and his dunks on the court have made him into a local folk hero. As a junior, Walker pitched little but did play shortstop next to Diamondbacks supplemental first-rounder Matt Davidson, a third baseman. Obviously uncomfortable and ill-suited for the infield, Walker has since concentrated on pitching. Walker was terrific in a stint for the Angels Elite scout team in the fall of 2009, but since then he has been more erratic. His outings in the early part of this season were rocky, probably due to the transition from basketball to baseball. In later starts, Walker would start strongly and then struggle as a game went on. When right, Walker fires a 91-93 mph fastball that can touch 95, and adds a slider and curve. His whippy three-quarters arm action can be free and easy on some occasions, restricted and stiff on others. Scouts agree that Walker, who hasn't committed to a college yet, is a long-range project as a pitcher, but his combination of sparkling athletic ability, raw stuff and imposing build may make Walker a gamble worth taking.
71. Robby Rowland, rhp
Cloverdale (Calif.) HS
When scouts use the term "projection righthander," Rowland is exactly the type of pitcher they're talking about with his body type, athleticism and bloodlines. At 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, Rowland looks the part of a young Josh Johnson. He is one of the top basketball players in California and could have accepted scholarships to small Division I programs as a shooting guard. Rowland's father Rich is a former big league catcher (Tigers and Red Sox from 1990-1995), and his older brother is a college catcher. As for his actual abilities, Rowland pitches with an 87-90 mph fastball and touches 92. He uses a split-finger fastball as his primary out pitch, with an inconsistent overhand curveball, a changeup and recently developed cutter/slider. Rowland has a loose, easy, quick arm stroke from an overhand slot. When he takes his time to get out over his front leg, he gets good tilt and late run and his curveball then shows as future average pitch. He has signed with Oregon.
72. DeAndre Smelter, rhp
Tattnall Square Academy, Macon, Ga.
Scouts who focus on what Smelter does have plenty to talk about. He's an exceptional athlete who turned down Division I offers in football (he was a wide receiver and defensive back) to sign with Georgia Tech to play baseball. He's a plus runner as well as a position player, but his arm strength sets him apart. Smelter has reached 95 mph with his fastball and has been up to 87 mph with a slider, which he doesn't throw often. His pitching coach is former big leaguer Kevin Brown, himself a Georgia Tech alumnus. Brown also has Smelter throwing a split-finger fastball with good action. Despite all those pluses, scouts see negatives on Smelter that have driven him down some boards. He's got big stuff, but he has below-average control and didn't throw a lot of quality strikes this spring. His delivery and arm action resemble those of Brown, complete with the hip turn and wrap in the back of his arm action. Even with his fast-twitch athleticism, it's a difficult delivery to repeat. Smelter's a wild card because of his Tech commitment, his erratic spring and the fact that his bonus can be spread over five years due to his two-sport ability.
73. David Filak, rhp
Oneonta State (N.Y.)
Filak has a fresh, explosive arm; he did not pitch in high school and walked on at Oneonta State as a catcher. He was quickly converted to the mound, where he led all Division III pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings (14.86) and fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.07) as a sophomore last year. Scouts were buzzing about Filak after he ran his fastball up to 95 mph and flashed a plus-plus 83 mph spike curveball in his 2010 debut in Vero Beach, but he exited his third start of the season after just two innings because of elbow stiffness, which caused him to miss his next outing. He did not show quite as much velocity after returning to action, but he still posted a dominant season, going 8-0, 1.82 with 96 strikeouts and 16 walks through 59 innings. Filak's fastball settled in at 90-93 mph, and he still regularly flashed a plus curveball with 12-to-6 break in the 77-80 range. Filak did not learn to throw a changeup until last fall, and the pitch is a work in progress. Filak has a physical, athletic 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, and he could still add velocity as he learns to make better use of his lower half in his delivery.
74. Drew Cisco, rhp
Wando HS, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Cisco signed with Georgia, and the Bulldogs—with a staff ERA close to 9.00 despite a raft of power arms—could have used his feel for pitching this season. Cisco is so polished that it's almost unfair to lump him in with other high school pitchers. His grandfather Galen was a big league pitcher and pitching coach, while his older, shorter brother Mike pitched at South Carolina and is now in Double-A with the Phillies organization. Drew Cisco has good size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, the best command in the prep class and a knack for pitching beyond his years. Scouts believe Cisco will carve up wood bats with his ability to pitch inside and confidently work off his fastball, even if it has just average velocity at 88-91, touching 92. It stands out more for its life and command than for velocity. Cisco has a mid-70s curveball he can throw for strikes or bury that grades out as average, and a changeup with sink that he also commands. Cisco sets up hitters like a pro and will move faster than many college pitchers, but any loss in fastball velocity would reduce his margin for error significantly.
75. Tony Wolters, ss
Rancho Buena Vista HS, Vista, Calif.
Wolters, a San Diego recruit, was the MVP of the 2009 Aflac All-American game at Petco Park in San Diego, an impressive accomplishment considering the field was filled with elite prospects such as Jameson Taillon and Bryce Harper. Undersized (5-foot-10, 180 pounds) for any position on the field except the middle infield, Wolters almost certainly will shift to second base as a pro. He is a sensational defensive player, displaying remarkable playmaking ability, fluid actions and quick hands. Wolters has enough arm for shortstop, but his below-average speed and range make him a better fit on the right side of the infield. He's smart with strong leadership qualities and baseball instincts. Wolters' batting stance and hitting style are unique. He begins with the bat in a straight up and down posture, his hands placed near his right hip. His wide, spread-out stance in his lower half gives Wolters a bit of a Gateway Arch look. As a pitch approaches, Wolters moves his hands into a launch position and then lets the bat fly, using a pronounced sweeping upper-cut. At times, he appears to release his top hand off the bat a fraction too quickly, in effect swinging with one hand. While his swing and set-up are not traditional, it is hard to quibble with the results. He is a patient and savvy hitter, showing a knack for extending pitch counts as he waits for the ball he wants to attack. Wolters projects as an average to slightly above-average hitter with slightly below-average power.
76. Matt Lipka, ss
McKinney (Texas) HS
McKinney quarterback/righthander Zach Lee may continue to play two sports at Louisiana State, but his top wide receiver will focus on baseball, either in pro ball or at Alabama. A two-time 4-A all-state wide receiver in Texas, Lipka caught 22 touchdown passes from Lee last fall. He's one of the fastest prospects in the draft, capable of running the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds. He's a quick-twitch athlete with strength in his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame. A righthanded hitter, he has strong hands and bat speed, though he gets jammed more than he should. He employs a line-drive stroke but has a chance for at least average power. Lipka has the athleticism and arm strength to play shortstop, but his hands and actions are questionable. He'll get the opportunity to play shortstop as a pro, and he also profiles well as a center fielder. While Lee is considered one of the draft's most unsignable players, Lipka should sign if he goes in the first three rounds as expected.
77. Dominic Ficociello, 3b
Fullerton (Calif.) Union HS
Ficociello got off to a slow start to the showcase circuit last summer before breaking out with a five-hit performance during the Area Code Games in Long Beach. He drew more attention with a long, wood-bat home run off a 90 mph Cody Buckel fastball in the Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star game in November at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. A switch-hitter, Ficociello has a level swing from the right side, producing more of a line-drive effect, and a sweeping uppercut from the left, producing more fly-ball power. He does an excellent job of accelerating the bat head at contact, giving him unusual power for a 6-foot-3, 170-pounder. Ficociello has experienced an uneven 2010 season overall, though. He began in blazing fashion, belting four homers in his club's first six games before being suspended for venturing too far out of his dugout to celebrate a teammate's home run. He slumped badly afterward but rebounded in April with an enormous home run during a Lions Tournament game. He has intriguing raw power and offensive potential, which comes in handy considering his below-average speed (7.2 seconds over 60 yards) will prompt a move to third base as a pro. Defensively, Ficociello has an average arm and admirable fielding skills. He frustrates scouts with his lack of concentration in the field, which causes him to make silly errors that could be easily eliminated. However, they may be willing to put up with it because Ficociello's bat has the potential of becoming extraordinary. One observer noted his 400-foot smash at the Flores game and wondered, "When he is 25 years old and 20 pounds heavier, where would that ball have gone?"
78. Josh Slaats, rhp
Slaats came to Hawaii via California High in San Ramon, Calif. He started for the Rainbows his freshman year, but was ineffective and moved to a relief role in 2009 after coming out of the bullpen for Wareham in the Cape Cod League the previous summer. Slaats returned to the Cape last summer and dominated (2-0, 0.95) and reclaimed a spot in Hawaii's weekend rotation, although he didn't become their Friday night guy until midway through this year and missed a start in March with some elbow tenderness. Slaats sits 90-93 mph with his fastball, holding it deep into games, and has even touched 95. Slaats throws a disappearing slider with sharp, two-plane break. His changeup is still coming along but has shown flashes of being a good pitch. Slaats has a physical presence on the mound at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. He repeats his delivery well, but has a tendency to open his hips a little early and fall off to the first-base side. As a pitcher from Hawaii, Slaats final start of the regular season at San Jose State and in the Western Athletic Conference tournament in Mesa, Ariz. will be important, as it will give more scouts a chance to see him.
79. Zach Cates, rhp
Northeast Texas CC
Undrafted out of an Arkansas high school in 2008 and bypassed again at Northeast Texas CC last year, Cates won't be overlooked a third time. He spent most of his freshman season as a catcher, standing out for his strong arm and working just seven innings on the mound. A strong fall as a pitcher landed him on follow lists, and he has steadily risen up draft boards this spring. His fastball ranges from 90-93 mph to 95-97, and there should be more consistent velocity in his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. For an inexperienced pitcher, he has a relatively advanced changeup, which grades out as a better pitch than his curveball. His curve does have its moments, and he could have an easy plus fastball with two solid secondary pitches once he develops. His command and control still need work, but neither is a red flag. He's a tough competitor. Cates hasn't committed to a four-year school for 2010 and should be signable.
80. Burch Smith, rhp
Howard (Texas) JC
Smith was a late bloomer in high school, not pitching much until his senior season, and he served as the No. 4 starter on Howard's 2009 team that started 57-0 and finished at 65-1 as the national juco champion. This spring, he has become the No. 1 starter on the Hawks and emerged as a possible second-round pick—with still more room for improvement. Smith throws a 90-93 mph fastball with little effort, and could add a few more mph and maintain his velocity deeper into games if he can pack some strength on his 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame. He has made the transition from thrower to pitcher, dealing more strikes and using his changeup and curveball to get outs rather than just trying to overpower hitters. Both of his secondary pitches can become at least solid-average, with his changeup grading better than his curve at this point. A 49th-round pick by the Indians a year ago, Smith will pitch at Oklahoma next season if he doesn't turn pro.
81. Kevin Chapman, lhp
Since playing high school ball with Gators teammate Matt den Dekker, Chapman has been drafted twice, out of high school in 2006 (Tigers, 42nd round) and last year (White Sox, 50th round). Entering this season, he had thrown fewer than 50 innings for the Gators, thanks mostly to having Tommy John surgery in 2008. He pitched just 11 innings coming back from the surgery in the 2009 season and entered 2010 as a wild card. However, he emerged quickly as Florida's go-to reliever, replacing departed Billy Bullock, a 2009 second-rounder of the Twins. Scouts like Chapman's stuff better than Bullock's, and he could go higher if clubs sign off on his medical reports. Chapman attacks hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball that has touched 95, and his dastardly slider is a strikeout pitch with two-plane depth. Chapman throws a lot of fastballs, and his changeup works off it well, giving him a solid third offering that he rarely needs. Some scouts wonder if the repertoire and his solid 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame could lead Chapman to a starting role, but his medical history and strong results in relief have most projecting him as a pro closer. Chapman could be the first college closer selected.
82. Kevin Munson, rhp
The closer for the Dukes, Munson has a thick, strong frame at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. He has two average or better pitches that help him shut down batters at the end of games. His fastball consistently sits 90-93 mph, with good sink and armside run thanks to good extension in his delivery. His second pitch is a power slider that can buckle hitters' knees. He gets hard, late depth on the pitch and uses it almost exclusively at times. Occasionally, the break will get a little big on him and the pitch lacks bite. He came to James Madison as a catcher/righthander, so his arm is relatively fresh. He has shown that he can work multiple-inning outings and hold his velocity. In 24 appearances he has tossed 43 innings, striking out 61 and walking 19. Even though he hasn't made a start in his college career, a couple of scouts didn't rule out the possibility if he can find a third pitch.
83. Addison Reed, rhp
San Diego State
As San Diego State's closer last year, Reed led the nation with 20 saves. He often entered games after a fellow named Strasburg had finished his work for the day. Hitters who were overjoyed to see Strasburg leave—and who thought they would have a party when Reed came in—were severely disappointed. In 2010, Reed has made a seamless transition as the Aztecs' Friday starter, going 8-1, 2.07 with 77 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 65 innings. Opponents were hitting .197 off the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Reed, who delivers a 91-92 mph fastball that can peak at 93-94. Reed does an excellent job of moving the pitch around the strike zone—in, out, up, down. He adds an effective two-plane curveball, which he can use to saw off either edge of the plate. One scout said of Reed, "He doesn't have the best stuff in the world, but he's having a good year and knows how to get guys out." As a pro, Reed will get a chance to start, but his bullpen experience will serve him well if he fails in that role.
84. Kyle Blair, rhp
Blair was one of the top high school pitching prospects for the 2007 draft, and the Dodgers took him in the fifth round but did not sign him. His first two seasons at San Diego included bursts of brilliance, nagging injuries (shoulder inflammation in 2009 caused him to miss six weeks) and some struggles. In 2010, Blair has finally delivered on his promise. Earlier in his college career, Blair fought a tendency to overthrow, which caused his front side to pull down and open, lessening his velocity and command. Having improved his mechanics, Blair has also rediscovered his power slider. No longer hesitant to challenge hitters inside, Blair pounds the strike zone with a low to mid-90s fastball, complemented by a slider with depth. He has also added an overhand curve and firm changeup. Blair delivered a sensational one-hit, 15-strikeout masterpiece against Portland in his first May start and was finishing strong. He has matured and improved his fastball control, though he's still lacking in command. A free spirit who has traveled the world and worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes in Honduras, Blair could still be a No. 3 starter.
85. Scott Frazier, rhp
Upland (Calif.) HS
Scant attention was paid to Frazier until a scout game at Southern California last November. One of the last pitchers to throw that day, Frazier sent scouts scrambling to restart radar guns that had already been packed. He began the 2010 spring campaign with a flourish, firing an 18-strikeout no-hitter. Frazier's next outing drew 50 scouts, and he breezed through an impressive first inning by striking out the side. After that, the wheels came off and he was knocked out of the game. Frazier's inconsistency can be traced to his mechanics, which are decidedly funky. He uses a high leg kick, drops his arm down, around and behind his body before delivering the ball by jumping at the hitter. It's hard to repeat, and all the energy causes him to quickly run out of petrol. Still, there is a great deal to like about Frazier, whose build resembles Stephen Strasburg's. At his best, Frazier delivers a 93-94 mph fastball and adds a sharp curveball and promising changeup. While his mechanics will need to be cleaned up, Frazier has an ideal, projectable pitcher's frame at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds. He has a Pepperdine commitment.
86. Drew Smyly, lhp
Smyly's senior high school season in 2007 was marred by back trouble, and he redshirted in his first year at Arkansas after sustaining a stress fracture in his elbow during an intrasquad game. He started to come on at the end of last season, striking out 12 and coming within two outs of a no-hitter in an NCAA regional championship game against Oklahoma. Though he doesn't have a signature pitch, Smyly has been the Razorbacks' ace this spring. He mainly works with a fastball and a cutter/slider. He can add and subtract from his fastball, ranging from 86-93 mph, and works in the low to mid-80s with the cut/slider. He also mixes in a curveball and changeup. Smyly has exceptional feel for pitching, which allowed him to thrive even when a blister on his middle finger prevented him from gripping the seams on the ball for a couple of starts at midseason. Six-foot-3 and 190 pounds, he throws strikes on a good downward angle to the plate. In a draft bereft of lefthanders, Smyly shouldn't last past the top three rounds, though his extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore could scare off some clubs.
87. Todd Cunningham, of
Scouts got familiar with Jacksonville State last year, following hard-throwing righthander Ben Tootle. Cunningham entered the season as a possible first-round pick, and he could still sneak in that high. He has a track record with wood, hitting .387 last year to lead the Cape Cod League after hitting .310 in the Texas Collegiate League in 2008. He hadn't dominated the Ohio Valley Conference this spring, but he was clearly the best hitter in the conference and its best prospect. For some, Cunningham fits the center-field profile well enough to be an everyday player. He's intelligent and has a good baseball IQ. He switch-hits and stays inside the ball from both sides, working counts with a patient, disciplined approach. Some project him to be an above-average hitter with fringe-average power, projecting to 10-15 home runs annually. He's a solid-average runner, with his throwing arm being his weakest tool. He played one game at shortstop and would profile well at second base, but he's a better fit at shortstop if his bat can carry him. Detractors see Cunningham's range and arm as short for center field, and his power short for a corner spot. His safe bat and consistency likely will push him into the second round.
88. Rob Segedin, 3b
Segedin injured his lower back in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2008, and continued back problems and a shoulder injury led Tulane to shut him down after five games last spring. He was healthy again by the summer, when he helped Bourne win its first-ever Cape championship, and has wielded one of the most potent bats in college baseball this year, hitting .434/.516/.788 in the regular season. Segedin has plenty of strength in his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, and he makes consistent, hard contact. His righthanded stroke is geared more toward line drives than loft, but he does show the ability to lift mistakes out of the park. He's not nimble on the bases or at third base, but he manages to get the job done defensively. He has plenty of arm at the hot corner, and his fastball topped out at 94 mph when the Green Wave used him as a reliever two years ago. Because of his back, he has pitched sparingly since. There aren't many quality bats like Segedin's in this draft, but his leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore at an academically strong program could drive up his price and down his draft position.
89. Alex Lavisky, c
St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio
Lavisky and batterymate Stetson Allie could be the highest-drafted pair of high school teammates in the 2010 draft. Allie has pitched his way into the upper half of the first round, while Lavisky's all-around ability and makeup have created interest as early as the sandwich round. More likely, he'll go around the third. He's a strong, 6-foot-1, 210-pounder with plus power from the right side of the plate. He has a sound swing, though there are potential issues with his timing and bat speed that may hamper his ability to hit for a high average. Because Allie has an electric and sometimes erratic arm, Lavisky has gotten plenty of experience receiving pro-quality stuff and has developed into a quality receiver. He has slightly above-average arm strength and makes accurate throws, though he could stand to shorten his release. St. Edward's starting quarterback before he decided to give up football last fall, Lavisky is a better athlete than most catchers and has strong leadership skills. He's not afraid to get on the talented Allie when needed. Lavisky has committed to Georgia Tech and will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2012 if he attends college.
90. Andrelton Simmons, ss/rhp
Western Oklahoma State JC
Like Connors State outfielder Marcus Knecht, Simmons is an Oklahoma junior college player who went from obscurity to scouts' must-see lists. Simmons turned down small bonus offers to sign out of Curacao at age 16, and that would have spelled the end of any professional baseball hopes if Western Oklahoma State coach Kurt Russell hadn't seen him on a Caribbean scouting trip. He's the best defensive shortstop in the draft, an athletic 6-foot-1, 180-pounder with a cannon for an arm and plus actions and instincts. In fact, some teams might be more tempted to draft him as a pitcher, because he has run his fastball up to 95 mph and flashed a mid-80s slider in limited action. That decision became even more difficult when he missed a month with a broken toe. Simmons' righthanded swing is long, but he makes enough contact and has pop to go with his average speed. He might not provide a huge impact with his bat, but he should hit more than enough to make keeping his glove in the lineup worthwhile. Simmons is only a freshman, but he'll turn 21 in September and needs to start his pro career.
91. Eric Jaffe, rhp
Bishop O'Dowd HS, Oakland
Jaffe stands out as the most likely Northern California high school player to be drafted. His size and present stuff immediately get attention. For the sake of comparison, it can be said that he is similar to Matt Hobgood, a first-round pick of the Orioles last year. Like Hobgood, Jaffe is a big-bodied righthander (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) with two plus present pitches. Also like Hobgood, Jaffe is an accomplished high school hitter with plus raw power, not to mention soft hands around the first-base bag. He likes to swing the bat and that could complicate his signability, because Jaffe likely will get the chance to hit if he attends California. However, it is his combination of a fastball that reaches up to 95 and a wipeout power curveball that has scouts preferring him on the mound. He has also added a split-finger fastball. Jaffe has displayed some command issues in the past but is a good athlete, and the more time he spends on the mound, the better the command will be.
92. Randy LeBlanc, rhp
Covington (La.) HS
LeBlanc has gone from unknown to a potential early-round pick this spring. After throwing 87-88 mph last summer and fall, he suddenly jumped to 90-92 mph and topped out at 94. He has a quick arm with more projection remaining in his lean 6-foot-5 frame. He has the makings of a good breaking ball for a second pitch, but he'll need polish. LeBlanc's changeup is in the rudimentary stages and he'll need to clean up his delivery. He flies open and falls off toward first base, giving hitters a good look at his pitches. Scouts agree that he has considerable upside, but they aren't sure whether he's ready for pro ball or would be better off heading to college for the next stage of his development. Originally committed to Louisiana State-Eunice JC, he drew the interest of several four-year schools this spring and accepted a scholarship from Tulane—which could make him a tough sign.
93. Gauntlett Eldemire, of
Eldemire's value is in the eye of beholder. On sheer physical ability, he could be a first-round pick. He's one of the best college athletes in the draft, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder with above-average raw power and speed. That ability has translated onto the field, as he was hitting .391/.487/.714 with 15 homers and 16 steals in the regular season. Some scouts wonder how well his game will play at the pro level. He has natural strength and leverage, but he gears up for power and takes a big cut at the plate, which leads to strikeouts. He's unproven with wood bats, having hit .136 in seven games in the Great Lakes League in 2008 and bowing out of the Team USA trials last summer with a stress fracture in his left leg. Though he was clocked at 6.5 seconds in the 60-yard dash last fall, he goes from the right side of the plate to first base in a more pedestrian 4.3 seconds. He's more quick than instinctive in center field, and he tends to airmail throws with an arm that grades as playable. Eldemire has more upside than most college players, but he also is more raw than most college players. His tools package is enticing enough that he shouldn't last past three rounds.
94. Marcus Knecht, of
Connors State (Okla.) JC
After getting drafted in the 23rd round by the Brewers and playing for Canada at the World Junior Championship in 2008, Knecht went to Oklahoma State and got just 12 at-bats as a freshman last spring. Unhappy with his playing time, he transferred to Connors State, where he has electrified scouts. Knecht's 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame generates plenty of bat speed and raw righthanded power. He ranked among the national juco leaders in hitting (.453) and homers (21), though he struggled at times to make consistent contact against good velocity. Knecht is more than just a slugger. He ran a 6.55-second 60-yard dash during Connors State's scout day in the fall, and he earns solid 55 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale for his speed and his accurate arm. He lacks the instincts for center field and played left for the Cowboys this spring, and it's possible he could play right field as a pro. Knecht doesn't have a long track record, but his huge power potential and all-around tools are attractive to teams. He has committed to North Carolina State, though he's expected to turn pro after getting drafted near the third round.
95. Stefan Sabol, c
Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Sabol is the cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro safety Troy Polamalu. One of the finest prep athletes in the nation, Sabol finished first in the SPARQ testing (which includes several tests that measure athleticism) at last summer's Area Code Games, with a 36.2-inch vertical leap and a 6.28-second time over 60 yards. Some scouts doubt the 60 time, though Sabol has well-above-average speed. Scouts also say that Sabol will not remain a catcher as a pro. While his arm is adequate behind the plate, his receiving skills are substandard. His tools fit comfortably as a corner outfielder. As a hitter, Sabol rarely has been productive with a wood bat. The switch from metal to wood may be a difficult transition for him, though he has the skills to succeed as a hitter. He flashes both bat speed and quickness despite a few problems in his hitting mechanics. His stride is too long, and he has a tendency to pull his head and front shoulder off the pitch. An Oregon signee, Sabol is the most athletic prep receiver available, but he does not figure to catch if he signs a pro contract in 2010. Instead, he profiles as a potential five-tool outfielder.
96. Reggie Golden, of
Wetumpka (Ala.) HS
The top player in Alabama's high school ranks for the last two seasons, Golden is an Alabama recruit whose build and tools remind some evaluators of another Southeastern Conference player of recent vintage, current Brewers farmhand Kentrail Davis. He's a five-tool athlete with present strength who profiles as a right fielder, even though he stands less than 6 feet tall. Golden impressed scouts by grinding through the spring despite a hamstring pull that slowed him all season. He still ran average to above-average times despite his injury, but as he matures, speed won't be a major part of his game. Power will, as Golden has impressive strength and raw bat speed. His approach at the plate is raw, and he lacks the plate discipline that allowed Davis to star from the start of his SEC career. His best present tool is his above-average arm, which fits well in right field. He plays with energy and is coachable, and he'll have to adjust to better pitching with his raw hitting skills.
97. Chevez Clarke, of
Marietta (Ga.) HS
Clarke was one of the highest-profile high school players entering the season, after playing last summer in both the Aflac and Under Armour all-star games. He has shown outstanding tools, from above-average speed (running the 60 consistently in 6.5 seconds) to hitting ability from both sides of the plate. He started switch-hitting at age 13 and has a smooth stroke as both a righthanded and lefthanded hitter, flashing average raw power. He has present strength and explosiveness, generating good bat speed, and has earned comparisons offensively to Jimmy Rollins. While he has played the infield in the past, the Rollins comparison falls short because Clarke is primarily a center fielder. He has a strong arm, which some scouts grade as plus, and has touched 90 mph off the mound. He even has bloodlines. His father played at Southern and he's related to the Hairston family—great uncle Sam and distant cousins Scott and Jerry all played in the big leagues. So why doesn't Clarke fit into the first round? Despite his tools, he hasn't dominated high school competition, and scouts question his instincts. He lacks pitch recognition skills and swings and misses too much for someone with his swing and ability. Clarke has committed to Georgia Tech and could be a tough sign if he's drafted lower than he was expecting.
98. Mike Olt, 3b
Olt followed his older brother Brad to UConn and made an immediate impact as the starting shortstop as a freshman, hitting 13 home runs and setting a school record with 61 RBIs. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the New England Collegiate League that summer but was hampered by a sprained ankle in 2009, when he also missed 22 games after being hit on the wrist by a pitch. Olt moved to third base as a sophomore, and his soft hands, smooth actions and strong arm will make him at least a solid-average defender there, and some scouts believe he has Gold Glove potential. He got off to a slow start offensively this spring, struggling against pitches on the outer half and breaking balls, but midway through the season he went to a narrower stance and worked to shorten up his swing. The adjustment paid off, and he was hitting .342/.407/.668 with 16 homers and 59 RBIs. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Olt has good leverage in his swing and above-average raw power, but his swing has holes and scouts still question his pitch recognition. His work ethic garners rave reviews, giving reason to hope he can become an average major league hitter. He's also a good athlete with fringe-average speed. Olt's stock was on the rise down the stretch, and he could be drafted as high as the second round.
99. Kendrick Perkins, of
LaPorte (Texas) HS
Perkins ran for a combined 3,454 yards and 47 touchdowns as a junior and senior football player, breaking a 30-year-old school record for career rushing yards. He received football offers from Kansas, Southern Methodist and Texas Christian, but announced his intention to play baseball going forward. It's easy to dream on Perkins' potential on the diamond. He's a 6-foot-3, 215-pound quick-twitch athlete with lefthanded power potential and solid speed. Because he has been torn between two sports, he's still raw. He doesn't recognize offspeed pitches well and can get caught on his front foot. At the same time, his hands work well at the plate and he does a good job of squaring up pitches. He has enough arm strength and speed to play right field, though his defense will need work. "He's a classic boom or bust player," one area scout said. "He could be Jason Heyward, or he could be Choo Freeman." At his best, Perkins can look like a sandwich-round talent, though his lack of refinement could drop him to the third or fourth round.
100. Leon Landry, of
Landry was a regular on Louisiana State's 2008 College World Series club as a freshman, but he lost his starting job midway through 2009. After helping the Tigers win the national title as a part-timer, he starred in the Cape Cod League, hitting .364 with wood bats. Landry profiles as a potential four-tool center fielder. He's having his best college season to date, reflecting a more mature approach at the plate. He no longer sells out for power and pulls off pitches, and he's doing a much better job of controlling the strike zone. A 5-foot-11, 195-pound lefthanded batter, he projects as a possible .275 hitter with 15 homers in the big leagues. He has slightly above-average speed and keen defensive instincts that allow him to play center field. If he can't stick in center as a pro, his below-average arm would dictate a move to left field, which in turn would put more pressure on his bat.