Draft Top 200: No. 101-150
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 1-50
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 51-100
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
101. Ty Linton, of
Charlotte (N.C.) Christian School
Linton is both a football and baseball recruit for North Carolina, signed to a football scholarship but needed by a baseball program woefully short on his best tool—righthanded power. Strong and physical at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Linton was an all-state linebacker known for jarring hits in football and would likely play safety for the Tar Heels' football team. He has run 60 yards in 6.5 seconds. Linton's arm rates as average, and he's athletic enough to fit the right-field profile. The biggest questions are with his hitting ability and his signability. Buying him out of his college commitment likely will require a seven-figure signing bonus, and scouts aren't convinced his bat is worthy of such a commitment. Linton's offensive approach remains raw, and at times he's a front-foot hitter who jumps at the ball and doesn't trust his hands. He has struggled at times against modest high school competition, flailing at breaking balls well below the quality he'd see even in Rookie ball. It takes only one team, though, to believe in his raw ability and sign him away from North Carolina.
102. Angelo Gumbs, of
Torrance (Calif.) HS
Gumbs wears No. 21 in tribute to his idol, Roberto Clemente, and plays with the same energy and abandon, slashing at the ball, diving into bags, cutting loose with powerful throws and making spectacular plays in the field. Gumbs also hails from a school with a strong baseball legacy, and its major league alumni include the father-son tandem of Fred and Jason Kendall. Gumbs has spent most of his high school career at shortstop, but the 6-foot, 200-pounder's future is in the outfield. His tools are impressive but not overwhelming. His 60-yard dash times were in the 6.75-6.85-second range in showcases last summer, and he zips down the line in about 4.15 seconds from the right side of the plate. His windmill delivery produces strong throws, and he has often made breathtaking catches on the scout ball and showcase circuit. At bat, Gumbs has improved immensely over the past year, working under the tutelage of professional coaches at MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Compton, and he has terrific bat speed. He got off to a blazing start this spring, only to be slowed in late April by a sore right elbow and flu symptoms, which reduced him to DH duty. He has struggled with offspeed stuff and breaking pitches, and battles a tendency to pull off the ball. Gumbs has the ability to be an electrifying outfielder with five average to plus tools. He's just 17, and the club that drafts him will need to be patient as he develops, but Gumbs could provide an enormous payoff.
103. Devin Lohman, ss
Long Beach State
Following a Dirtbags shortstop lineage that has included Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria and Danny Espinosa, Lohman is an intriguing talent if not quite in that league. Blessed with above-average speed, Lohman, 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, is an excellent athlete who could easily transition to less demanding defensive positions. His arm grades out to solid-average. He has worked hard to improve his defense and has a chance to stay at shortstop, though second base is his more likely home. At bat, Lohman has altered his approach in 2010 to use the whole field and focus on hitting line drives. His earlier attempts to be a lift and pull power hitter were ill-suited to his natural inclinations. The changes had paid off and Lohman was batting .415 at the end of the regular season, a difficult feat considering that Blair Field is possibly the best pitcher's park in college baseball. He blends an average arm and glove with above-average speed, and his advancement at bat should boost his draft stock in a year that's thin in college position players, particularly on the infield.
104. Joe Leonard, 3b
Leonard's father, John, was a first-round pick of the Orioles in 1982, and Joe stepped into Pitt's starting lineup as a freshman. After two solid seasons, Leonard exploded as a junior this spring, hitting .452/.507/.719 with eight homers and 60 RBIs though 199 at-bats. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Leonard has below-average game power currently, but he has shown good pop with wood bats in batting practice and projects for average power if he can add loft to his flat swing. His swing is long, making him vulnerable against good fastballs on the inner half, but he has good bat speed and feel for hitting, so he barrels up balls consistently. He projects as an average hitter. Leonard also reaches 92-93 mph off the mound as Pitt's closer, and his arm is above-average at third base. He is not a finished product defensively but has good feet and solid instincts, and he projects as a solid-average defender. He is a below-average runner but not a clogger. Leonard projects as a second- to third-round pick.
105. Tony Dischler, rhp
Louisiana State-Eunice JC
Dischler got strafed for a 9.64 ERA in 19 innings at Louisiana-Monroe as a freshman in 2009, but he caught the eye of scouts with a strong summer in the New York Collegiate League. He opted to transfer to a junior college to become eligible for the 2010 draft, ultimately choosing Louisiana State-Eunice over Chipola (Fla.). Dischler quickly became the ace of the two-time Division II juco champion Bengals, touching 96-97 mph in the fall and working at 91-94 mph this spring. He has a lean 6-foot-3, 198-pound frame and an arm that generates velocity with ease. The key for Dischler will be refining his secondary pitches, and his success doing so will determine if he's ultimately a starter or a reliever. His 82-84 mph slider has depth at times, but it's more often flat. His changeup similarly has promise but lacks consistency. He has committed to Louisiana-Lafayette for 2011 but is expected to turn pro as a third- to fifth-rounder.
106. Sam Dyson, rhp
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 and seemed primed to go out high in the 2009 draft, as he showed power stuff and good competitiveness. His medical history, though, helped push him down draft boards, and he wound up as the Athletics' 10th-round pick and didn't sign. After going 17-4 his first two seasons, he hadn't posted as gaudy a record as a redshirt junior, but his 5-5, 3.92 season actually was more impressive. Dyson has dialed his velocity down into the 92-93 mph range rather than the upper 90s and sitting 93-95. He can still flash that kind of velocity but has sacrificed it for better command and life. He's driving the ball down in the strike zone more and had cut his home runs allowed from 18 in 102 innings to three in 83 innings. Dyson is at his best when he is throwing his curveball for strikes and not just using it as a chase pitch. He also throws a slider in the mid-80s that doesn't have great depth, but he locates it better than the curve. His changeup has made progress as well. Dyson's medical history is what it is, but he has been durable over the last two seasons, making every start and approaching 200 innings total. His improved control should allow him to stay in a rotation in the near-term, though his power stuff could lend itself to a bullpen role eventually.
107. Jimmy Nelson, rhp
Nelson emerged as the Crimson Tide's top prospect, surpassing middle infielders Josh Rutledge and preseason All-American Ross Wilson. He has the size (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) and hard, heavy fastball to profile as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Nelson has had an inconsistent career as he's honed his mechanics, and an inconsistent junior season, peaking with strong starts against Kentucky early in the season and with a complete-game gem against Mississippi in mid-May. The latter start was key, as many scouts weren't sure he wanted the ball in big-game situations. Nelson can run his fastball up to 95-96 mph at times, and he has learned to rely more on movement and less on velocity. When his fastball is in the 88-93 range, it has natural, hard sink. He complements it with an 80-84 mph power breaking ball that scouts call a slider, as at times it has some depth. At his best, both pitches grade out as above-average. His changeup remains below-average but has its moments, and he tosses in a curve from time to time that some scouts believe suits his arm slot better than the slider. Nelson's arm action is decent, but he still loses his release point from time to time and struggles to throw strikes. He has improved his mound demeanor and has matured so that fielding miscues or a lack of run support don't disrupt his rhythm as often. He failed in a try as a closer last season, and some evaluators believe being in a rotation suits him better. Teams that like him as a starter will be tempted starting in the second round, and he finished the regular season strong.
108. Rob Rasmussen, lhp
In his first collegiate start against UC Santa Barbara in 2008, Rasmussen got hit on the foot by a crackling line drive through the box. He continued to pitch, but later came out and discovered the foot was broken. That is the type of competitiveness scouts love in Rasmussen, a 5-foot-11, 170-pounder who was the only junior in UCLA's weekend rotation this year, behind sophomore flamethrowers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. Taken by the Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2007 draft, Rasmussen's draft stock for 2010 received an enormous boost with his 2009 summer performance, when he went 4-0, 1.80 in the Cape Cod League. He stumbled out of the gate in 2010 but rebounded to average 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a nearly 4-1 strikeout-walk ratio. Rasmussen's arsenal consists of four pitches: a 91-93 mph fastball, a slider, a changeup, and an old-fashioned, over-the-top, two-plane low-70s curve. His command difficulties can be traced to inconsistent mechanics and a tendency to rush his delivery. Despite his smaller frame, Rasmussen comfortably profiles as a back of the rotation starter or situational lefthander, where his breaking balls would be deadly.
109. Justin Grimm, rhp
Grimm has many of the ingredients scouts look for in a college pitcher. He has a pitcher's body at 6-foot-4, 193 pounds; he's quick-armed and athletic; he has big-conference experience and was Georgia's Friday starter this season; and he touches 95 mph regularly with his fastball. The bad news: Grimm had a career 5.80 ERA over nearly 180 innings, and some scouts consider him much the same pitcher after three years at Georgia as he was in 2007, when he was a 13th-round pick of the Red Sox out of high school in Virginia. Grimm has above-average fastball velocity at 90-94 mph, but the pitch lacks life and command thanks to poor mechanics. He rushes through his delivery, leaving his pitches up in the strike zone. He's vulnerable to home runs because he finishes too upright and doesn't drive the ball downhill. Scouts do consider the flaws to be correctable. He has a sharp curveball that at times grades out as an above-average pitch, but he wasn't ahead of hitters enough to use it as a strikeout pitch this spring. Grimm's changeup remains his third-best pitch. He competed well this season despite Georgia's disappointing year, even pitching in midweek in relief to sew up a victory against Georgia State, then pitching a career-best eight innings in his final start, beating Kentucky. He's still expected to go in the first four rounds despite his career 6-12 record.
110. Mike Kickham, lhp
Missouri State has produced six big league pitchers (Ross Detwiler, Jeff Gray, Shaun Marcum, Matt Palmer, John Rheinecker, Brad Ziegler) and two first-round arms (Detwiler, Brett Sinkbeil) in the last decade. The Bears have another top pitching prospect—it's just not who scouts expected. Aaron Meade was coming off a strong sophomore season and summer in the Cape Cod League, but fellow lefthander Kickham has surpassed him. Missouri State didn't recruit him out of a local Springfield, Mo., high school, and he didn't turn any heads while going 3-3, 5.62 at Crowder (Mo.) JC in 2009. When his velocity increased to the high 80s in the MINK League last summer, the Bears offered him the opportunity to transfer. Kickham's fastball has continued to improve, sitting at 90-92 mph and touching 94 consistently throughout the spring. A strong 6-foot-4, 210-pounder, he backs up his fastball with a true slider that has good depth. He also throws a solid changeup and an overhand curveball. Scouts like his size, stuff and command, but also wonder why that hasn't translated into more success, as he went 4-8, 5.00 in the regular season. Though he's a draft-eligible sophomore, he's expected to go high enough in the draft to sign. Kickham's twin brother Dan, a righthander at Crowder, also has seen his velocity spike this spring and should get drafted in the later rounds.
111. Sean Coyle, ss
Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.
Coyle's older brother Tommy was North Carolina's starting second baseman as a freshman this spring, and Sean will join him in Chapel Hill next year unless a major league club opens up its checkbook. Coyle is undersized at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, but the consensus among scouts is that he has a legitimate chance to be an everyday big league second baseman in the Brian Roberts mold. He played shortstop for Germantown Academy and spent some time at DH this spring because of a mild forearm strain. Coyle might not be tall, but he has plenty of strength in his compact righthanded swing, and he makes consistent, hard contact to all fields, though he projects for below-average power. He has above-average speed and is aggressive on the basepaths. Coyle has sure hands and good infield instincts, and he should have solid-average range and arm strength at second base. He is a confident, competitive grinder who gets the most out of his quality tools.
112. Marcus Littlewood, 3b
Pine View HS, St. George, Utah
Littlewood was on the 2008 Team USA 16U squad, and his bases-clearing double brought home a gold medal in the Pan Am Youth Games against Mexico. Last year, he was named Utah's high school player of the year. While he's been on the prospect map for awhile, however, Littlewood draws mixed opinions on his ultimate value. Skeptics say he has no standout tools: He's not rangy enough to stay at shortstop and won't hit enough to play third. Those that like him see him as a player whose sum is greater than his parts. Littlewood is a slow-twitch athlete, which shows up in his swing and his speed. He is currently a below-average runner. He lacks the range to stay at shortstop, though his hands are soft and his arm is at least average. He is a natural righthanded hitter and took up switch-hitting as a freshman in high school. He profiles as a .270 hitter and, even after outslugging Kris Bryant at a spring workout for the Blue Jays by hitting 15 home runs in a row, he'll likely hit no more than 12-15 homers a season as a pro. Littlewood's father Mike was drafted as a third baseman out of Brigham Young by the Brewers in 1988 and is now the head coach for Dixie State in Utah. Having grown up around the game, he has great baseball instincts, works hard and plays the game the right way. He's probably a third-round talent, but a team that likes him may have to take him as high as the supplemental first round to buy him out of his commitment to San Diego.
113. Daniel Tillman, rhp
Florida Southern has had back-to-back seasons with a high-profile prospect who thrived in the Cape Cod League the previous summer. Robbie Shields didn't live up to billing last season, though the Mets still popped him in the third round. This year, Tillman figures to go in the same range as he has continued to rack up strikeouts in the nation's best Division II conference. He put up 22 scoreless innings on the Cape for Cotuit last summer and has had consistent stuff this spring. Tillman has a quick arm on his 6-foot-1, 200-pound body, and he consistently sits in the 90-94 mph range, touching 96. He complements it with a quick, hard slider, giving him two plus pitches. Tillman's mound presence gives him an extra edge and he has a closer's mentality. He'll have to hone his command to get a chance to close at the big league level but should have the stuff to reach the majors as a set-up man, going out as early as the third round.
114. Austin Wood, rhp
St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC
Wood has a big arm and a big-school track record. Drafted by the Astros in the 36th round in 2008 out of high school, he began his college career at Florida State, making five starts as a freshman in 2009 and walking 25 in 23 innings. He transferred to St. Petersburg JC, where he also failed to stick in the rotation. However, he probably had the best arm in the junior-college ranks this season, and garnered first-three-rounds interest even after dropping back into a bullpen role. He wound up going 3-4, 4.81, and control was a problem for him all season as he walked 21 in 43 innings. Worse, he fell behind hitters too often and had to groove fastballs, leading him to get hit around more than he should. His only appearance in the Florida postseason junior-college tournament was a 13-pitch, four-out outing when the game was not in doubt. Wood's 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame and power arm are hard for scouts to walk away from. He lives in the 90-95 mph range as a starter, sitting at 93-94, and hit 96 in a relief stint in the state tournament. His slider also grades out as average at times, and he has flashed a changeup that is better than his breaking ball at times. His arm works well, so scouts believe his control should improve with maturity and professional instruction. His future role likely is as a reliever, though his durable body and three-pitch repertoire will give him a chance to start.
115. Chad Lewis, 3b
Marina HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Lewis would never fool panelists in a "What's My Line?" contest. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, with California blond hair and a prototypical third baseman's build, Lewis is an obvious athlete, and is the premier hot corner prospect in Southern California in 2010. A fixture on the showcase scene, Lewis' best offseason performance came at a showcase in Jupiter, Fla., last October. On a humid and windy day, he blasted a long, wood-bat home run into an unforgiving crosswind. Pro third basemen must hit, and Lewis shows promise with the bat. He has a fluid swing and exciting bat speed, but still needs to correct some technical issues. Lewis struggles with breaking balls and offspeed pitches and needs to improve his pitch recognition. Defensively, Lewis shows playmaking ability and easy fielding actions. His arm is strong and accurate, though his range is a tad short. Like many young players, Lewis loses his concentration in the field and will make errors he shouldn't. Time and experience should solve that problem. Below-average speed is Lewis' only glaring weakness. He profiles as a textbook third baseman with an above-average glove and arm, and average power and hitting ability.
116. Jesse Biddle, lhp
Germantown Friends HS, Philadelphia
Biddle's stock climbed along with his fastball velocity as the spring progressed. In his first outing of the season against Germantown Academy ace Keenan Kish, Biddle worked at 88-91 mph, but by the end of April he was sitting at 90-92 and touching 93-94 at times, with sinking and cutting action. Biddle's best assets are his arm strength and size; his 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame is both physical and projectable, and his upside is significant. But Biddle lacks polish and must do a better job staying on top of his secondary stuff. Scouts widely agree that his slider is more promising than his soft curveball, but he seldom deploys the slider in games, relying instead on the curve. His slider has a chance to be above-average in time. Some scouts say Biddle has shown feel for a tumbling changeup in bullpens and between innings, but he does not throw it in games. Biddle is an Oregon recruit who is regarded as a difficult sign, but he is a top-three-rounds talent with a chance to land a high six-figure bonus.
117. Adam Duke, rhp
Spanish Fork (Utah) HS
Duke's father, Dev, was killed on July 4, 2001, when a fireworks stand he was running blew over on top of him during a strong windstorm. Duke has persevered through that adversity, however, and will likely be the highest-drafted pitcher from the Beehive State since Mark Pawelek was a first-round pick by the Cubs in 2005. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Duke looked good in the summer and was on the rise early this spring when he threw the ball 92-95 mph with a sharp curveball and a changeup with some fade. His velocity dipped down to 85-89 late in the year. Some teams thought he might be hurt, while others thought he may have been coasting a bit, or it may have been a dead-arm period. He was back up to 92 in his team's first playoff game, twirling a one-hit shutout. Duke throws from a three-quarters arm slot, and his fastball gets late tailing action and jumps in on hitters. He's polished for a high school pitcher and fills up the strike zone with all of his pitches. He's a good athlete and plays shortstop when he's not on the mound. He also works fast and understands the finer points of the game, like setting up hitters and holding runners. Duke is a bulldog on the mound. His brother Brock is a freshman righthander at Utah, and Adam is considered a tough sign away from his Oregon State commitment.
118. John Simms, rhp
College Park HS, The Woodlands, Texas
Jameson Taillon is the top pitching prospect in the draft, but he's not the only pitching prospect in The Woodlands. While Simms can't match Taillon's overpowering arsenal, he has a better understanding of the craft of pitching and plenty in his arsenal to get hitters out with. Simms outpitched Taillon in a mid-March matchup, winning a sloppy 14-11 contest with a 13-strikeout complete game, and blanked The Woodlands 7-0 in a later rematch (though not over Taillon). He also beat Taillon 1-0 a year ago to hand him his lone loss of 2009. Simms has exceptional life on his 90-92 mph fastball, which he can throw with so much armside run or sink that one area scout said it's almost like having two separate pitches. He'll show a sharp 83-84 mph slider at times, and he commands it better than his fastball. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has an athletic, projectable frame that bodes well for additional velocity in the future. Simms will need to clean up some of the funk in his mechanics—he employs a drop-and-drive delivery with some wrist wrap in the back—but it also offers him deception. Scouts rave about his pitchability and mound presence. It may be three years before he turns pro, however, because he's a top student who may require a seven-figure bonus to pass on attending Rice.
119. Dan Klein, rhp
An outstanding quarterback at Anaheim's famed Servite High, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Klein turned down numerous college football scholarship offers to play baseball at UCLA. Selected by the Orioles in the 24th round of the 2007 draft, Klein struggled in his first season at UCLA in 2008 and then took a medical redshirt in 2009 due to shoulder problems, so he is a draft-eligible sophomore. Pitching exclusively as a closer in 2010, Klein has found his niche and was having a terrific season at 5-0, 2.23 with nine saves, with 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 40 innings. While Klein may not project as a closer in pro ball, he is perfectly suited to work as a set-up man. He relies on three effective pitches: a 91-93 mph fastball which he uses to run in on a hitters' hands; a changeup and a downer curveball, which hitters find difficult to read and time.
120. Tyler Green, rhp
Brazoswood HS, Clute, Texas
Though Green has one of the better bats in the Texas high school ranks this spring, his power arm is too much for scouts too ignore. He regularly operates at 90-92 mph and reaches 95 with his fastball, and he backs it up with a hard curveball. He's only 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, and while he has a quick arm, he has some effort to his delivery that will need to be addressed. He's a tenacious competitor who was slowed late in the spring when he jammed his wrist on a headfirst slide. A high school shortstop, Green will play both ways if he attends Texas Christian. He has plus bat speed that gives him good power potential from the right side of the plate. Though he has the arm to play shortstop, he projects as more of a third baseman or corner outfielder at the college level. Scouts believe he's more signable than the typical TCU recruit.
121. Cole Green, rhp
Green can't match the stuff of the other members of Texas' weekend rotation (projected first-round picks Taylor Jungmann and Brandon Workman), but he has outpitched them both this spring. At 10-0, 2.08, he was among the NCAA wins leaders, and he had a 62-22 K-BB ratio and .189 opponent average in 95 innings. He doesn't have a classic pro build at 6 feet and 210 pounds, and he can't overpower hitters, but he pitches so well and competes so hard that he should go in the first five rounds. Green sits at 89-91 mph and peaks at 93 mph with his sinker, living in the bottom of the strike zone and generating plenty of groundouts. His changeup is a quality offering, and he also has a late-breaking slider. He throws strikes with all three pitches and keeps his pitch counts down, allowing him to work deep into games. Some scouts project him as no more than a middle reliever in the big leagues, but his feel for pitching and his makeup may allow him to make it as a starter.
122. Jordan Cooper, rhp
Cooper was as hot as any college pitcher in the month before the draft. He struck out 14 in a complete-game shutout of Missouri State and set a Wichita State record with a 32 1/3-inning scoreless streak while improving his record to 9-2, 1.59 with 87 whiffs in 96 innings. Cooper ranked as the top high school prospect in Kansas two years ago, and though he has grown an inch and added 25 pounds since then, the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder still stands out more for his polish and feel than for his overpowering stuff. He gets outs with an 89-91 mph sinker, tight slider and good changeup. He's athletic, repeats his delivery easily and fills the strike zone. Cooper could have been a fourth- or fifth-round pick out of high school had he been signable in that range, and should go a round or two higher this year as a draft-eligible sophomore.
123. Cameron Rupp, c
Teams covet catchers with power and arm strength, which put Rupp in position to be a possible first-round pick. But he hasn't had the numbers to put him there, batting .309/.402/.505 in the regular season. Scouts have admired his strength since he won the home run derby at the 2006 Aflac Classic, though they aren't sure he'll be able to tap into his power as a pro. He has an arm bar in his righthanded swing that allows pitchers to tie him up inside with good velocity, and he chases too many offspeed pitches and offerings up in the strike zone. Rupp has worked hard to improve his defense and keep his 6-foot-2, 235-pound frame under control, but scouts still worry that his size and lack of athleticism will affect his long-term ability to remain behind the plate. He has plus arm strength and has shortened what once was a long release, and while it's still not compact, he has thrown out 40 percent of basestealers this year. He has gotten better as a receiver and calls most of the pitches for college baseball's most talented pitching staff. He's similar to Ryan Garko, who was a third-round pick out of Stanford, with more power and defensive ability than Garko had.
124. Tyler Holt, of
Two of the nation's most successful college baseball programs, Stanford and Florida State, annually frustrate scouts with their approaches to hitting, which scouts say work with metal bats but not with wood. Holt is one of the latest examples. His open stance and deep crouch don't get him into an ideal position to load up his hands and drive the ball, but for now he stays balanced and uses his hands to spray line drives from pole to pole. He has sacrificed some batting average in trying to hit for more power as a junior, but scouts still project his power as below-average. His offensive profile fits best in center field. He has been one of college baseball's best basestealers over the last two seasons (59-for-65 overall) and has drawn more than 150 career walks, making him an outstanding tablesetter. He's an above-average runner, and he'll have to maintain his speed to have the range to stick in center field. Holt's instincts on both sides of the ball help him play above his tools. He's a bigger, stronger version of his Seminoles predecessor, Shane Robinson, who reached the majors with St. Louis in 2009 and is in his third season in Triple-A.
125. Will Swanner, c
La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, Calif.
A promising hitter with the potential to hit for average and power, Swanner has significantly improved at the plate in the past year by working with Deron Johnson, son of the National League's 1965 RBI king. He has good bat speed and a good approach to utilizing the entire field, though he has stretches when he flips his head and front side off the ball and collapses his back side. Swanner has great makeup and is mature enough that his coach lets him call his own game behind the plate. An athletic receiver, Swanner is projectable but does not have the classic squat catcher's build at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. He's relaxed and comfortable behind the plate, and his flexibility enables him to present a low target. He does an outstanding job of framing pitches. He will need to make some defensive adjustments, however, and his pop times are slowed significantly by his habit of pausing at the top of his delivery and then flipping the ball to second base. He also struggles with catching pitches to his left or right. Committed to Pepperdine along with his brother Michael, who's a righthander, Swanner is considered a tough sign. He offers enough upside behind the plate that a club may take an early gamble on him.
126. Luke Jackson, rhp
Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale
Jackson didn't start pitching seriously until his freshman year in high school, and he immediately showed aptitude and a live arm. By his junior season, he earned a spot in the Area Code Games. He's athletic and has a quick arm, rivaling bigger-name Florida prep pitchers Karsten Whitson and A.J. Cole in terms of pure velocity. Several scouts have seen Jackson's fastball hit 95-96 mph, and he usually sits in the 90-94 range, a significant jump after sitting 87-91 as a junior. The Miami recruit has room to grow on his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame, and he'll need to get bigger and stronger to harness his quick arm, improve his durability and maintain his mechanics. Jackson has a bit of effort to his delivery and had inconsistent command as the season wore on. His changeup and curveball, while flashing potential, rate as below-average pitches now. Scouts use words like "electric" to describe Jackson's stuff and athletic ability, and at his best he's not far from his peers in the Sunshine State who were expected to go out in the first round. His inconsistency pushes him down draft boards, and his signability will ultimately determine how far down.
127. Rob Brantly, c
A draft-eligible sophomore, Brantly has a strong profile as a consistent backstop and patient lefthanded hitter. He enjoyed a breakout summer season in 2009 playing in the Northwoods League, batting .346/.411/.516 to earn top prospect recognition. Steady but not spectacular, Brantly is an exceptionally patient hitter. He does not have outstanding power, but he has the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and use the entire field. He employs a balanced and spread stance and may need to reduce the length of his stride. Drafted by the Nationals out of high school in the 46th round in 2008, Brantly is a good athlete for a catcher, and he runs well and has a mature backstop's frame. Defensively, Brantly has a strong, accurate throwing arm and quick release, with pop times that hover around 1.92 seconds, earning an above-average grade. He receives the ball well, is relaxed and comfortable behind the plate, and displays a knack for handling any pitch in any location without difficulty. Brantly's only below-average tool is power, which likely will relegate him to the bottom third of a big league order.
128. Rick Hague, ss
Teams targeted Hague as a likely first-round pick after his summer with Team USA, when he shifted from shortstop to third base in deference to Cal State Fullerton's Christian Colon, tied for the team lead in batting (.371) and was named the top hitter at the World Baseball Challenge. But he started the spring in an extended funk, hitting just .290 and committing 22 errors in his first 38 games, bottoming out with a four-error game against Texas A&M. Hague has been on fire since, going on a 32-for-72 (.444) tear with just one error in his next 16 contests. Hague has strong hands, an easy righthanded stroke and a good ability to use the opposite field at times. He swings and misses badly at others and falls into ruts when he tries to pull every pitch he sees. His power and speed are fringe-average, though he has good instincts on the bases and is a better runner under way. He has the arm strength to play shortstop or third base, but he lacks the range for short and doesn't have the true power for third. Scouts acknowledge that Hague has decent tools and love his makeup, but he doesn't profile well at any position because he doesn't have the quickness for second base or the offensive production for an outfield corner. Though his resurgence still could land him in the third round, his future position remains in doubt.
129. Tony Thompson, 3b
Thompson won the first triple crown in Big 12 Conference history a year ago, batting .389 with 21 homers and 82 RBIs. Hopes for an encore were dashed when he fouled a ball off his left kneecap in a February practice, sidelining him for the first 19 games of the season with a hairline fracture. He was overanxious when he returned, chasing too many pitches, but started to look more like himself toward the end of the season. Huge and strong at 6-foot-4 and 219 pounds, Thompson generates easy power to all fields. His swing can get long at times, but he doesn't strike out excessively like many sluggers do. Thompson's speed and mobility were below-average before he got hurt. While he has the arm strength to play third base, his range and agility are substandard. His regular-season fielding percentage was just .880, a further indication he's destined for first base as a pro. His bat should play well enough there for him to get drafted in the first five rounds.
130. Nick Tepesch, rhp
If Tepesch hadn't angled for a seven-figure bonus, he would have gone in the first three rounds of the 2007 draft coming out of high school. He was seen as the next in the recent line of Missouri first-round pitchers—Max Scherzer, Aaron Crow, Kyle Gibson—and while he won't get chosen that high, he still offers intriguing upside. He's a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder whose arm works well, and he added polish in the Cape Cod League last summer and with the Tigers this spring. He opened the season pitching in the high 80s, but his fastball has settled in at 90-92 mph and touched 94. He can run his fastball into the mid-90s, but has found better command and success not trying to max out his velocity. Tepesch's secondary pitches are getting better but still need work. His curveball is his No. 2 offering but is inconsistent, and he has made the most strides with his changeup this spring. He also throws a cutter. In part because of his size, Tepesch has a long arm action that makes it easier for hitters to pick up his pitches. He's still a work in progress, but he's also showing improvement.
131. Adam Plutko, rhp
Glendora (Calif.) HS
Since his emergence as a top prospect two years ago, Plutko had bedeviled scouts with his inconsistent performances. He wavers from terrific to downright pedestrian, with a mid-80s fastball and bland secondary stuff. His best performance may have been at last year's Area Code Games, where he touched 93 mph and snapped off a fiendish curveball. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Plutko has been effective but not overwhelming this spring, and his fastball has ranged from 87-91 mph, with a curve, changeup and slider. His secondary offerings are decent, but will require a substantial amount of refinement to reach major league average. His fastball is straight and strays up in the strike zone too often, and he'll need more movement to be effective against advanced hitters. On his best days, Plutko flashes the stuff of a premium pick, but those days don't happen quite often enough. He is committed to UCLA, and if he doesn't sign a pro contract, Plutko should become a weekend starter immediately and could move into the top two rounds in 2013.
132. Zach Weiss, rhp
Northwood HS, Irvine, Calif.
Weiss has a mature body at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds but is still working on his mechanics. He has a power arm, firing a fastball that touches 93 mph and sits 90-92 in the early portion of a game. His curveball has fine shape and sharp downward two-plane drop, but it finds the dirt more often than the strike zone. His changeup is the weak link in his arsenal and will need refinement. Weiss' command is affected by his inability to repeat his mechanics. He cuts himself off in his delivery and will throw around or across his body. While he does a fine job of finishing out over his front leg, Weiss' arm action needs to be looser and easier. His velocity tails off significantly as a game wears on. Right now he profiles as a short reliever or back-of-the-rotation starter, but he could improve his outlook significantly if he honors his commitment to UCLA. With the glut of righthanded pitching in this year's draft, he may head to school and wait for 2013, when he could easily move into the top two rounds.
133. Gabriel Encinas, rhp
St. Paul HS, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Between showcase events last summer and fall and the spring season, Encinas boosted his stock significantly by improving his conditioning and mechanics. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he now looks the part of the classic lanky and projectable high school righthander. His stuff didn't significantly improve, but he can maintain it deep into starts now. Encinas delivers a fastball that sits comfortably in the 90-92 mph range, and he shows a nice feel for mixing in a crisp curveball and changeup, which is probably the best changeup among Southern California prepsters. With smooth mechanics and an advanced feel for pitching, Encinas does an excellent job of mixing pitches, speeds and locations, and altering pitch sequences from at-bat at-bat. The large flock of scouts who started following Encinas this spring—particularly in games against top prospects Angelo Gumbs and Austin Wilson—did not seem to faze him. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter, and a future bump in velocity could even improve that outlook. He's committed to Loyola Marymount.
134. Kevin Walter, rhp
Legacy HS, Westminster, Colo.
While Kevin Gausman came into the year as the more highly touted prospect from Colorado, some scouts believe Walter will end up being the better of the two. He's a giant at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds. Because of his size he sometimes has timing problems in his delivery, but he's a good athlete with clean mechanics for the most part. He hasn't shown the same velocity as Gausman, pitching at 88-90 mph with some sink and touching 92, but scouts believe it's in there. Walter has shown the ability to spin two different breaking balls, in a power curveball and a hard slider. They're distinctly different pitches and both show the potential to be above-average. He doesn't throw many changeups at this point, but that's not uncommon. Walter is committed to Boston College but may not get there, as he's getting fourth- to sixth-round buzz.
135. Mel Rojas Jr., of
Wabash Valley (Ill.) CC
Rojas is a lock to become the highest draft pick ever out of Wabash Valley CC, surpassing Toby Matchulat, a Cubs 11th-rounder two years ago. The son of the former big league closer of the same name, Mel Jr. could go as high as the second round to a team that views him as a five-tool athlete. He's the most debated prospect in the Midwest, as some see him as a tweener who doesn't fit the profile at any outfield position. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound switch-hitter, Rojas has good bat speed and strength, but his flat swing results in a lot of grounders and he doesn't barrel balls consistently. He led all national juco players with 60 steals in 62 attempts through regional play, though his naysayers don't think he'll be as prolific in pro ball because his pure speed grades out as just slightly above-average. He may not be quick enough to play center field at the major league level, though he has the arm strength to move to right field. The consensus among area scouts is that he's a fourth- to fifth-round talent, but he'll get picked higher than that. He turned down offers to sign out of the Dominican Republic, and went undrafted a year ago when he redshirted at Wabash Valley.
136. Christopher Hawkins, 3b
North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga.
Hawkins is a high school shortstop who is projected to play third base if he winds up at Tennessee. Most scouts don't necessarily see him staying in the dirt as a pro, but they do see tools that stand out even among Georgia's deep, talented class of high school athletes. Most project him as a center fielder thanks to his above-average speed. That has some scouts dreaming of Hawkins, a lefthanded hitter, as a poor man's Colby Rasmus, but he isn't as easy or fluid as Rasmus was at the same stage. Hawkns also has arm strength, and if his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame proves too big for him to stay in center, he is athletic enough to handle a corner. Hawkins doesn't have Rasmus' all-around hitting ability, but he has a track record of success and has shown the ability to catch up to good fastballs this spring. He has performed well in front of crosscheckers all spring, leading North Gwinnett to a playoff berth while surpassing double digits in home runs. He carried a 29-game hitting streak into the state 5-A playoff semifinals, having set school records with 14 homers, 19 doubles and 58 hits. The strong finish was pushing Hawkins up draft boards, and he was considered a potential second- or third-round selection.
137. Donn Roach, rhp
JC of Southern Nevada
Roach won three state championships at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas and was a 40th-round pick out of high school by the Angels in 2008, but he didn't sign and headed to Arizona, where he went 1-4, 7.84 with 22 strikeouts and 22 walks over 41 innings as a freshman. He transferred to Southern Nevada this year to play with Bryan and Bryce Harper, whom he's known since he was 10 years old. His fastball regained the giddy-up it had in high school, getting back up to 90-94 mph and touching 95. It's a big leap from the 86-88 mph he showed at Arizona. Roach credits the boost to getting back to a lower arm slot that he had in high school. He also scrapped his splitter for a curveball that shows flashes of being an above-average pitch. Roach doesn't have much projection remaining. Coupled with the uncertainty of what version of Roach teams will be getting, he'll be a bit of a wild card on draft day. If he can maintain his current stuff, he could be a good middle-of-the-rotation starter or a set-up man.
138. Kyle Waldrop, of
Riverdale HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
Waldrop was an all-area linebacker in football, and his football career held back his baseball career prior to this spring. He missed parts of previous seasons with football injuries and wasn't always at his best on the summer showcase circuit. He still entered the season on most scouts' follow lists thanks to his explosiveness and lean, athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pound body. Then the South Florida recruit started hitting and shot up draft boards. He has good present strength and a lefthanded swing he repeats. He has bat speed that can't be taught and drives the ball with authority to all fields. Waldrop's other tools are solid-average across the board, and he might run a tick better than average. He probably won't be able to handle center field at the big league level, though he might at lower levels. He could fit in right field, though with his average arm he'll never be confused with Larry Walker. Waldrop's offensive ability could push him into the first two rounds, especially if he has a strong finish in Florida's high school all-star games in Sebring at the end of May.
139. Brian Ragira, of
Martin HS, Arlington, Texas
With his bat speed and the strength in his 6-foot-2, 185-pound build, Ragira offers some of the best righthanded power potential in this draft class, though it may be three years before that potential is tested in pro ball. Scouts have enough questions about his bat that he probably won't get the kind of bonus offer that a Stanford recruit advised by the Boras Corp. usually seeks. The son of Kenyan immigrants, Ragira can put on a show in batting practice and has room to put more weight on his wiry frame. He employs a patient, line-drive approach, yet didn't tear up the showcase circuit last summer and has had a so-so spring at the plate. With average speed and arm strength, he's capable of playing right field but could fit better in left. He won't be a first-round pick in 2010, but if he proves himself at Stanford, he easily could go that high three years from now.
140. Michael Lorenzen, of 6-3, 190
Fullerton (Calif.) Union HS
Lorenzen is a potential five-tool talent, and his 6-foot-3, 190-pound build and skills draw comparisons to Jake Marisnick, a third-round pick of the Blue Jays last year out of nearby Riverside Poly High. Tall and projectable, Lorenzen has a howitzer arm. Clocked at 93 off of the mound, his throws from right field approached 100 mph at a showcase last fall, albeit with a running start. A fine defender who fits at any of the three outfield spots, he routinely ran 60 yards in the 6.7-second range at showcase events. The primary concern regarding Lorenzen is his bat. Scouts have reservations about his quickness at the plate, and he has rarely impressed in games or BP when using a wood bat and facing tougher pitching. At this stage, Lorenzen is a mistake hitter, able to hammer pitches left out over the plate but unable to handle much of anything else with metal or wood. He shows enough promise, however, that he will get every opportunity to succeed as an outfielder in pro ball. If he emerges as a hitter, he has the other tools to be a big league star. Given Lorenzen's tremendous all-around talent, a switch to the mound would occur only as a last resort.
141. Ryan Bolden, of
Madison (Miss.) Central HS
Mississippi has produced plenty of raw, toolsy outfielders over the years, with recent examples including Wendell Fairley (Giants, first round, 2007), Justin Reed (Reds, fourth round, 2006) and Bill Hall (Brewers, sixth round, 1998). Hall is the last Mississippi high school signee to reach the major leagues for more than a cup of coffee. Bolden has excellent size at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, and big tools to go with his athletic body. He's a 65 or 70 runner on the 20-80 scale, and his strength gives him above-average raw power. He is raw in all phases of the game. He has bat speed and hitting ability—he's unusual as he bats right but throws left—but hit at the bottom of the order as a junior, when Madison Central won a state title, and still swings and misses a lot as a senior. Scouts question his pitch recognition and ability to hit breaking balls. While he has played center field, Bolden also logged time in right because of his inability to get good reads in center. He profiles better in center field due to his fringe-average arm. While Bolden is an Ole Miss recruit, most clubs considered him signable, and he fits the mold for teams that love pure athletes, such as the Phillies, Rays and Marlins. He also would be a better risk for a club with multiple selections.
142. Jimmy Hodgskin, lhp
Bishop Moore HS, Orlando
Hodgskin could be the highest-profile baseball recruit Troy has ever had, and scouts in Florida were wondering whether it was worth making a run at keeping him from the Alabama school. Hodgskin trains with and plays for coach Joe Logan, who played for Troy coach Bobby Pierce at Chipola (Fla.) JC. The relationship led to Hodgskin's interest in Troy. Hodgskin has a relatively fresh arm, good size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, broad shoulders that give him room for projection, and an 88-91 mph fastball. He has touched 94 and pitches off his fastball, throwing it to all four parts of the strike zone. His command gives him a chance to step right into Troy's weekend rotation, as he also throws his changeup for strikes. He has a below-average breaking ball that he just started throwing frequently in the last year. Projecting the curveball adds another level of uncertainty for pro scouts, who may just see how it all turns out after three seasons in the Sun Belt Conference. The lack of lefthanded pitching nationally, though, had teams taking long looks at Hodgskin, and they'll get another in Sebring at the state's high school all-star festival. If he's signable, Hodgskin could go in the third or fourth round.
143. Bobby Doran, rhp
Pitching in the shadow of Chad Bettis at Texas Tech, Doran has been the Red Raiders' best starting pitcher this spring. After going winless in the first half of the season, he won five of his next six starts, highlighted by a 16-strikeout effort against Missouri. His stuff has kicked up a notch, matching what he showed last summer when he ranked as the top pitching prospect in the Jayhawk League. Not only is he pitching at 90-92 mph and topping out at 94, but he's also commanding his fastball to both sides of the plate. He also has a hard 77-78 mph curveball with late break, as well as a serviceable changeup. He's athletic for a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder, and his arm works easily, enabling him to throw strikes. He spent the first two years of his college career at Seward County (Kan.) CC, where the Pirates drafted him in the 36th round last year. He'll get picked more than 30 rounds earlier this time around.
144. John Barbato, rhp
Varela HS, Miami
Barbato played on a team coached by his father that wasn't competitive in South Florida's tough high school 6-A ranks. He didn't bolt the program for a private school in the area and still showed one of the state's better arms despite not having much help in the field. While Luke Jackson has better present stuff, Barbato could have a higher ceiling because he does it easier, repeats his delivery and throws more strikes. His stuff isn't that far behind, either. Barbato has a loose arm and solid 6-foot-2, 185-pound body that allows him to produce fastballs that have reached 95 mph, after topping out at 92 last year. Barbato's delivery is sound and repeatable, and he throws an average curveball with good shape and plus potential. He's a Florida recruit, and the Gators have done well holding onto top prospects under third-year coach Kevin O'Sullivan. Signability will determine whether Barbato goes out in the first four rounds or winds up in college.
145. Mason Williams, of
West Orange HS, Winter Garden, Fla.
Williams pitches and plays center field and led West Orange High to its deepest playoff run in school history. While he competes hard on the mound, his slight 6-foot-1, 160-pound frame and sidearm delivery don't get scouts excited. His hitting ability, speed and overall athletic ability do. His build evokes Doug Glanville comparisons, and Williams has some strength and a surprising feel for hitting for a high school outfielder. He's shown polish to his approach and makes consistent, hard contact with a fundamentally sound swing. His speed stands out as well, and scouts have seen him consistently above-average and occasionally even better. He has excellent range in center field as well and has above-average potential defensively with solid arm strength. Power is his only true below-average tool. Williams has the athletic ability and the skill to go out in the first three rounds, and his commitment to South Carolina wasn't seen as a hindrance to his signability.
146. Ryan Brett, of/ss
Highline HS, Burien, Wash.
Brett is a throwback player who's fun to watch. He's always dirty, doesn't wear batting gloves and is a sparkplug who always plays at full speed. For most of the year he tried to switch-hit, but he reverted back to his natural righthanded swing as the draft drew near. He has a knack for getting the barrel on the ball, though sometimes he tries to play bigger than he is and scouts said they would like to see him embrace small ball. Brett is smallish at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, but he works out regularly with Josh Sale and is strong. Scouts are split on where he'll play defensively. Some believe he'll be able to stay at second base, while others say his actions are too choppy and the game will be too fast for him there. He's an above-average runner and could be an above-average defender in center field. The speed also makes him a terror on the basepaths, and some scouts think that if he fulfilled his commitment to Gonzaga that he could bat better than .400 and steal 40-50 bases a season. In professional ball, his ceiling would be a .285 hitter with about 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases a season. He'll likely be drafted around the third round and is considered signable.
147. Mark Canha, 1b
Canha has long been known to scouts in Northern California based not only on his talent but also his ability to produce, first emerging as a sophomore at Bellarmine College Prep, the alma mater of Pat Burrell, when he led the West Catholic Athletic League in home runs. That's no small feat as the WCAL is the top conference in Northern California and one of the top conferences in California. He is a strapping 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and has a good combination of athleticism, strength, skill, and tools. That combination, along with his history of performance, makes Canha one of the safest picks in this draft. He can drive the ball out of the ballpark from pole to pole, and his power to right field really stands out. He's a good bet to hit for average and run production, with a realistic expectation to produce average power. He throws and runs slightly above-average and can man either outfield corner spot, as well as first base, drawing comparisons to Michael Cuddyer.
148. Daniel Gibson, lhp
Jesuit HS, Tampa
Gibson led Tampa's Jesuit High to the state championship game at Florida's 4-A classification, where they lost to Nick Castellanos and Archbishop McCarthy. Gibson had won his previous four starts in the playoffs, and the Florida recruit kept climbing up draft boards as he pitched well. Prior to the state title tilt, Gibson was 14-0 and had allowed just 13 hits and two earned runs in 21 playoff innings, before giving up three runs in six-plus innings in the title game. Gibson has excellent size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and he maintains his solid-average stuff. His fastball usually sits in the 87-91 mph range, but he attracted more scouting attention by bumping up his velocity in shorter outings, at times reaching 94 mph. While his breaking ball and changeup flash potential, the slider ranks ahead of his changeup presently. Gibson isn't afraid to use any of the three and has better pitchability than most of his prep peers in Florida. His competitiveness, body and polished repertoire, as well as his jump in velocity, had some clubs pushing him into the first five rounds, especially in a draft short on lefthanders. Others believe more in the velocity they've seen over Gibson's career rather than the recent spike and see him as a solid, rather than spectacular arm. His signability will likely determine whether he goes in the first 200 picks.
149. Chris Bisson, 2b
Among players expected to remain at the position as pros, Bisson is the best second-base prospect in the 2010 draft. Ball State's Kolbrin Vitek is a likely first-round pick, but he's expected to move to the outfield. Bisson hit just .157 in a part-time role as a freshman before blossoming last year, leading Kentucky in most offensive categories during the spring before topping the Cape Cod League with 36 steals in the summer. He'll be a legitimate basestealing threat at the next level, too, with well-above-average speed and savvy on the bases. To be an effective leadoff man, he'll need a more consistent approach at the plate. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder offers some lefthanded pop, but too often gets caught up trying to drive balls and overswinging. He's at his best when he stays on top of the ball and distributes liners and grounders all over the field. Bisson is a fast-twitch athlete with good infield actions, though his arm limits him to second base rather than shortstop. He also profiles as a possible center fielder.
150. Josh Mueller, rhp
Mueller won 14 games in his first two seasons at Eastern Illinois, then proved himself with a strong summer in the Cape Cod League. He came out throwing 90-95 mph with a good three-quarters breaking ball in his first start of the spring, but two weeks later he was down to 83-87. Shoulder weakness was the culprit, and it knocked him out for a month. Since returning, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has worked at 88-92 mph and with less downward angle and life than before. He also has struggled to hold his velocity out of the stretch. His No. 2 pitch is more of a low-80s slider now. His changeup has its moments but lacks consistency. A fully healthy Mueller might have gone in the first three rounds of the draft, but he now figures to go between the fourth and sixth.