Draft Top 200: No. 151-200
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 1-50
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 51-100
See also: Scouting
Reports for Prospects 101-150
Our pre-draft ranking of the Top 200
prospects for the 2010 draft, as selected by Baseball America's
151. Matt Suschak, rhp
Suschak didn't attract much attention in his first two years at Toledo. His fastball jumped from the high 80s in his freshman season to the low 90s a year ago, but he had no success on the mound, going a combined 2-4, 11.01. A different Suschak has emerged this spring, and this one likely will get drafted in the first five rounds. For the first two months of the season, when the Rockets brought him out of the bullpen, his fastball resided at 92-95 mph and touched 96. He backed it up with a hard breaking ball alternately described as a curveball or slider, and also showed glimpses of a changeup. Though his 6-foot-4, 203-pound frame is built for durability and Toledo moved him into its rotation in late April, his future is as a reliever. He has been much more effective in that role, with a 1.40 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings, compared to a 6.52 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 29 innings in five regular-season starts.
152. Greg Peavey, rhp
Peavey has been on the prospect radar for a long time. He played in the 2000 Little League World Series, hit 90 mph as a 14-year-old and was a member of Team USA's 16U team in 2004 and the 18U team in 2006. He was a Top 200 talent coming out of Hudson's Bay High in Vancouver, Wash., in 2007, but fell to the Yankees in the 24th round due to signability. Last year, as a draft-eligible sophomore, he went in the 32nd round to the Astros. While many of Oregon State's pitchers have spun their wheels this spring, Peavey has been the most consistent. His fastball sits in the 88-92 mph range and touches 93. He has a slider that at times shows hard, two-plane break, though it can flatten out. He doesn't throw many changeups. Peavey gets ahead of batters and struggles to put them away and gives up a lot of two-strike hits. He doesn't have a lot of deception, often leaves the ball up in the zone and struggles throwing his fastball for strikes in on righthanders. Teams that like him project him as a mid-rotation starter, but teams that don't see him as a sixth- or seventh-inning reliever. He is a Boras Corp. client, but shouldn't be a particularly tough sign this time around.
153. Austin Kubitza, rhp
Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
Kubitza is the third Texas high school ace in a potentially banner Rice recruiting class. He can't match Jameson Taillon's stuff or John Simms' pitchability, but he has plenty of both. He's projectable at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, and he has better body control than many pitchers that tall, which allows him to throw strikes. His fastball currently sits at 88-91 mph and peaks at 93, with sink and armside run. He'll flash one of the best sliders in this high school draft crop, and once he fills out and adds velocity, he should have two plus pitches. A team willing to bet on Kubitza's upside could be tempted to draft him as early as the third round, but that might not be enough to steer him away from Rice.
154. Joc Pederson, of
Palo Alto (Calif.) HS
A young athlete with professional bloodlines, present tools and a football approach to the game, Pederson is a favorite among Northern California scouts. See him on the right day and you are seeing a borderline five-tool high school prospect, though the ceiling is basically average across the board. Pederson hits and throws lefthanded, has an average arm, above-average range, runs a bit above-average down the line, has plenty of bat speed, and at times shows projectable average raw power. He tends to tinker a lot with his swing and approach, which gets in the way of him just going out and trusting his tools. Pederson was a talented high school football player and brings that type of toughness to the ball field, and if he were from the Midwest or Northeast he might be even higher on draft lists because as a multi-sport athlete he would be seen as having tremendous baseball upside. Just because he lives in California doesn't mean the same projection shouldn't apply. He has committed to Southern California, where his father Stu also played before moving onto the professional level.
155. Niko Goodrum, ss/of
Fayette County HS, Fayetteville, Ga.
Goodrum is part of the deep class of Georgia prep players who are viewed as future outfielders, a list that includes Delino Deshields Jr., Chevez Clarke, Aaron Shipman and Chris Hawkins. Goodrum, like Hawkins, played shortstop in high school but probably will move out of the infield as a pro because he lacks the pure infield actions most scouts look for at short. He has excellent quickness and well-above-average arm strength and is a 60 runner on the 20-80 scale, though he should slow down as he bulks up. Goodrum was committed to Kennesaw State, and despite the Owls' recent track record of success, he is considered signable. Goodrum is a switch-hitter who got off to a slower start with the bat, thanks in part to him pressing on a modestly talented high school team. As the weather heated up, though, so did Goodrum's bat and he made more contact. He's long and lean at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, and his swing has holes as a result of his long arms. He also has surprising raw power, as his swing has leverage and he has good hands. Scouts like Goodrum's makeup, and he's an easy player to dream on. He could wind up at third base, center field or even right and should go out in the first four rounds.
156. Brian Guinn, 2b
Based on pure athleticism, Guinn rates as one of the top two or three players in Northern California this year. He was a 10th-round pick of the White Sox out of high school and almost certainly has improved his draft position three years later. Northern California scouts knew about Guinn even before he was in high school, as his father, Brian Sr., is a former professional player and local youth baseball coach. A switch-hitter with plus-plus speed and fluid, graceful actions, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Guinn can make the game look easy at times. He started out at shortstop but moved to second base this season and looks like a natural there. If a team believes his bat will play, he could go earlier than expected. Guinn is a contact, line-drive hitter with occasional extra-base pop and has cut down on his strikeout percentage this year, which will stand out to scouts that like him. Those who believe in his bat can envision a Delino DeShields comparison.
157. Cody Buckel, rhp
Royal HS, Simi Valley, Calif.
Residing close to Hollywood, Buckel relishes a good dramatic flourish. He begins his pregame warm-up by standing on the grass between the mound and second base with the ball in his hand. He races up the backside of the mound, down the front, and fires the ball plateward. A fledgling singer and actor when he isn't striking out hitters, Buckel is undersized for a righthander at 6 feet, 170 pounds. He does flash a big man's fastball at 92-94 mph. Buckel mixes in an excellent array of secondary pitches, with a curveball, changeup and cutter. His pitching idol is Tim Lincecum, and while his stuff is not as electric as the Giants ace's, he still displays the potential for four average to plus deliveries. The primary concern is durability, as he usually loses 3-4 mph on his fastball as a game progresses. Committed to Pepperdine, Buckel projects as either a back-of-the-rotation starter or set-up man in professional baseball.
158. Tyler Burgoon, rhp
Five-foot-10, 160-pound righthanders aren't usually prospects, but Burgoon isn't the usual 5-foot-10, 160-pound righty. He has an exceedingly quick arm and a clean delivery, allowing him to maintain a 92-93 mph fastball with sink and armside run. He also has a wipeout slider that tops out at 85, and he throws both pitches for strikes. The 2009 Cape Cod League reliever of the year, he put on a show for scouts who came to watch Wolverines outfielder Ryan LaMarre in a series against Ohio State. Burgoon worked in all three games, sitting at 93 mph and touching 95 during a 3 2/3-inning stint in the middle contest and coming back with a 91 mph fastball and 80 mph slider on day three. Michigan tried Burgoon in its rotation earlier in the season before deciding he was more valuable in relief, and that will be his role in pro ball. He could go in the first five rounds to a team looking for a reliever who can advance quickly to the majors.
159. Pat Dean, lhp
Like Virginia Tech's Jesse Hahn, Dean was a skinny, projectable Connecticut prepster in 2007, and like Hahn he blossomed in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Dean's fastball sat in the 84-88 mph range in high school, but he touched 93 mph and held his velocity deep into games as a sophomore at BC last spring. Dean has not been at his best this spring due to elbow inflammation, which caused him to miss a start in mid-March and another three weeks later. But MRIs and X-rays revealed no structural damage, and the Eagles eased him back into action. Through 67 innings, he was 5-1, 3.76 with 51 strikeouts and 10 walks, demonstrating his outstanding control. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Dean is a competitive lefthander with excellent feel for pitching, earning comparisons to Glen Perkins. He settled into the 88-91 mph range with his fastball this spring and has topped out at 92 on occasion. He has good command of a four-pitch mix, but his solid-average changeup is his best pitch. His slider and curveball both rate as fringe-average offerings. Dean's frame gives scouts pause, but his polish gives him a good chance to reach the big leagues as a back-end starter.
160. Cole Cook, rhp
Cook's father (known by his stage name Peter MacKenzie) is an actor who has appeared in dozens of Hollywood productions, including the movies "Major League: Back to the Minors" and "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep. A high school teammate of Twins prospect David Bromberg, Cook was a 36th-round pick of the Mariners in 2007 but did not sign. He missed his freshman season at Pepperdine in 2008 after a freak accident when he broke his wrist while helping to roll up the field tarp on a rainy day. After Pepperdine ace Brett Hunter signed with the A's in 2008, Cook assumed the Friday starter's role in 2009 and 2010 and has performed well, moving to Saturdays of late after the emergence of lefty Matt Bywater. Cook's rangy 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame and low three-quarters delivery are reminiscent of the Weaver brothers. He fires a 91-93 mph fastball, with a changeup and a slurvy 77-78 mph breaking ball. His change is a decent pitch, and scouts agree that his weakness is his curve. It shows sharp break at times, but Cook has trouble controlling it, due in part to his low arm slot. A rare college pitcher with significant projectability, Cook will need to sharpen his mechanics, command and secondary pitches to succeed in pro ball. If he does that, he fits comfortably as a mid- to back-of-the-rotation starter.
161. Jake Thompson, rhp
Long Beach State
Due to California high school transfer rules, Thompson did not pitch varsity baseball in his junior season at Wilson High, which is directly across the street from Blair Field, Long Beach State's home field. He graduated from Wilson a semester early to play for the Dirtbags. Thompson's college career has been a mixed bag, with bursts of brilliance interspersed with wildness and control problems. Relying heavily on his fastball, Thompson is an aggressive hurler who resembles, in frame and style, former big leaguer Troy Percival. His 92-94 mph fastball peaks at 95, and Thompson adds an excellent changeup which he mixes in sparingly. Thompson's primary weakness is his curveball, a pitch he short-arms and doesn't finish off cleanly. Scouts think that Thompson's results don't match his talent because of his unusual arm stroke, which will need to be cleaned up, and a weak delivery finish in which he circles away from the plate. He has the arm and raw stuff to be a mid-rotation starter, but he will more likely end up in the bullpen.
162. J.R. Bradley, rhp
Nitro (W.Va.) HS
West Virginia's Jedd Gyorko isn't the only player generating interest in the Mountain State this season. Bradley, a prep righthander from outside Charleston, was also coming on strong. A lanky, projectable righthander at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, his fastball ranges from 88-92 mph, but sits at 89-90 and he can touch 93-94 a couple of times in a game. His secondary stuff is raw, but he has shown flashes that the pitches could be average. He has outstanding control for a high school arm. He reportedly has walked just two batters in the last two seasons. Bradley has drawn comparisons to another 2010 righty in Keenan Kish. Bradley offers more projection, but less polish than Kish. He is committed to North Carolina State but figures to be signable. Scouts can't reach a consensus on where Bradley will get drafted, but considering his projection and signability there is little chance he lasts past the fifth round.
163. Tyler Kuresa, 1b
Oakmont HS, Roseville, Calif.
Elite first basemen affect big league games with power bats as well as strong glovework, while players like James Loney and Casey Kotchman are impact defensive players but average offensive players because they do not provide the power expected in the first-base profile. Kuresa falls into the Loney/Kotchman category, or perhaps an Ike Davis type if he adds power. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, Kuresa is a lanky, athletically built player with plenty of projection left. He has a smooth lefthanded stroke and can occasionally drive the ball to the pull side, but does not project to have plus future power. Defensively he moves around the bag well, has soft hands and plays with passion in the field. His arm is an asset at the position as well. If all goes well, look for him to develop into a player similar to Loney or Kotchman, or at least Travis Ishikawa of the Giants. Kuresa has committed to Oregon.
164. Kellen Sweeney, 3b
Jefferson HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sweeney's older brother Ryan was a White Sox second-round pick in 2003 and now starts in right field for the Athletics. Ryan was the better athlete—he could have been drafted just as high as a pitcher—but Kellen is a better hitter at the same stage of their careers. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has a quick lefthanded bat, a fluid stroke and good pull power. He struggled on the showcase circuit last summer, but scouts don't hold that against him because he hurt his elbow pitching in the final game of his junior season and required Tommy John surgery in August. Though he's a slightly above-average runner, Sweeney doesn't cover enough ground to stick at shortstop in pro ball. Assuming he regains his previous arm strength, he could make a good third baseman, and it's possible he could handle second base. Sweeney will go a few rounds later than his brother did, but that should be high enough to divert him from attending San Diego.
165. Zach Alvord, ss
South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.
Alvord entered the year as one of Georgia's top prep hitters, and that hasn't changed. He's strong and solid at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, and he has good enough hands to stay in the infield. He also has above-average arm strength, having hit the low 90s as a prep closer, but his best tool is his bat. Alvord bars his lead arm, a no-no for many scouts, yet he still creates good bat speed and has present strength, giving him raw power. Some scouts compare him to former Auburn infielder Joe Saunders (a 2009 fifth-round pick now with the Rockies), a comparison made in part because Alvord is committed to Auburn. He may wind up there for two big reasons: He's a below-average runner, and he's got a big price tag. In Georgia this spring, scouts saw so much speed that Alvord's lack of speed stood out in a negative way. He's not going to play shortstop as a pro, may not have the range for second and doesn't have the classic size or profile for third. Alvord's price tag also might cause him to drop, as he has a strong commitment to college and prefers a comparison to Gordon Beckham, who was more athletic and more of a power hitter. If Alvord has a Saunders-like career, scouts will definitely be back. Despite his polished bat, he may wind up falling out of the first five rounds, where his talent fits.
166. Jacoby Jones, 3b
Richton (Miss.) HS
Jones led his Richton High team to the Mississippi 2-A championship game, playing shortstop and pitching. His Louisiana State commitment, and the fact he's being advised by the Boras Corp., had many scouts going in to see him once or twice but not following him closely during the spring. For those still interested, Jones showed excellent tools, including the athleticism, arm strength and infield actions to warrant a long look at shortstop at the pro level. Any team willing to buy him out of LSU would do so believing Jones is a shortstop, not a third baseman. Some scouts have questioned his bat, as he has more of a metal-bat swing with low hands in his set-up and no real load in his swing. He does have bat speed and some strength, and with adjustments he should be able to drive the ball consistently with wood. He's an average runner out of the box and has turned in above-average 6.6-second 60 times in the past. In some ways, Jones is a better prospect than David Renfroe, the Red Sox' 2009 third-round pick who signed for $1.4 million, as his arm and athletic ability are better. His price tag also is said to be higher. On talent alone, Jones factors into the second- to fourth-round range.
167. Sean Dwyer, of
Tavares (Fla.) HS
A Florida Gulf Coast signee, Dwyer started rising up draft boards this year when he just wouldn't stop hitting. The 6-foot, 190-pounder also pitches for his high school team, and probably would have played all over the diamond if he weren't lefthanded. Dwyer is a good athlete for the prep level and plays first base and all three outfield spots. Pro scouts who like him believe he could stick in right, but others doubt his athleticism and arm strength and believe he could wind up in left field, or even first base. His best tool is his bat. Dwyer has present strength, good raw power and a sweet lefthanded swing with balance and some polish to his approach. He struck out just six times all spring and was pitched around frequently. He has also worked out a lot with wood for scouts and has shown the same traits. Dwyer is an average runner with a solid-average arm, and he'll have to maintain those to stick in right, where he'd have more value.
168. Cito Culver, ss
Irondequoit HS, Rochester, N.Y.
Hidden away in upstate New York—hardly a baseball hotbed—Culver sticks out like a sore thumb. He is the rare Northeast prep product with a legitimate chance to play shortstop in the major leagues. Culver's best tool is his arm, which rates as a 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Some scouts report seeing him up to 94 mph off the mound, but he has no interest in pitching. The game comes easily to Culver, whose actions, instincts and range are all plus at times, though he has a long way to go to become a consistent defender, and some believe he profiles as a utility player down the road. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Culver is a solid-average runner and a switch-hitter with a loose, whippy swing from both sides of the plate. He projects to have below-average power and is mostly a slap hitter, but he does generate good bat speed and could be an average hitter as he gets stronger. Culver is an excellent athlete who plays basketball in the winter, and he could take off once he focuses on baseball. He could be drafted in the fourth- to sixth-round range, but he is considered a difficult sign away from his Maryland commitment.
169. Matt Roberts, c
Graham (N.C.) HS
The 2009 draft featured the nation's top defender at catcher, Steve Baron, going off the board in the supplemental first round, even though many scouts had questions about his bat. Roberts isn't quite at Baron's level defensively but does grade as above-average for both his defense and his arm. He's a quiet, consistent receiver with consistent 1.85-1.9-second pop times. Roberts is clearly good enough to step in and play as a freshman at North Carolina defensively, but as the draft approached it seemed less likely that Roberts would make it to school. He homered off Austin Brice, one of the state's better arms, in a heavily scouted game in early May and had shown a smoother swing this season. Roberts' competition level wasn't high, and while he's a good athlete he lacks strength and may not ever hit for much power. He plays with energy and has shown leadership skills behind the plate. Roberts wasn't necessarily considered the top pure talent in the Tar Heel State, but he was expected to be its first prep player picked.
170. Mitchell Taylor, lhp
Spring (Texas) HS
Taylor won Spring's regular-season finale to qualify his team for the Texas 5-A playoffs, where he boosted his stock more than any pitcher in the top 10 rounds. In the opening round against College Park (The Woodlands), he struck out 10 to win the first game and came back in relief two days later to work three shutout innings and outduel John Simms for the victory. He did the same thing in round two against Cy-Fair (Cypress), winning the opener as a starter and the deciding third game as a reliever. Taylor ran out of gas in the third round, losing a 4-3 decision to Klein Collins (Spring), but drove in six of Spring's 12 runs in the two-game series. He's a little lefty with a whippy arm, throwing 88-93 mph despite standing just 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds. He also has a big-breaking curveball that some scouts grade as better than his fastball. He's polished for a high schooler, throwing strikes and exhibiting good mound presence. Though he has committed to Houston, Taylor is expected to sign and could go as high as the fourth round.
171. Michael Goodnight, rhp
Houston's annual early-season Minute Maid Classic always draws a flock of scouts, making it a perfect springboard for college players with draft aspirations to boost their stock. Goodnight seized that opportunity, working seven shutout innings to beat Texas and potential first-rounder Brandon Workman 1-0. He hadn't built off that outing, however, going 6-7, 5.45 in 15 regular season starts. Against Texas, Goodnight maintained an 88-92 mph fastball for seven innings, touched 94 and backed it up with a good, 80-82 mph slider. He showed similar stuff throughout the spring, but his feel for pitching seemed to come and go. He fell behind in the count too often and didn't pitch down in the zone enough, leading to 85 hits and 50 walks in 79 innings, and his stuff should play better than that. He's built for durability at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and has two potential plus pitches, yet Goodnight might wind up as a reliever because of his inconsistent command and lack of feel for a changeup. A two-time district MVP as a high school quarterback, he has good athleticism and a clean delivery. He's eligible for the draft as a 21-year-old sophomore, and it's unclear whether he'd sign for fifth-round money, which is what he's expected to command.
172. Daniel Burawa, rhp
After posting a 3.13 ERA in seven appearances at Suffolk County (N.Y.) CC as a freshman in 2008, Burawa transferred to St. John's after the following fall, so he had to sit out 2009. He has been a revelation as a draft-eligible sophomore this spring, going 1-0, 1.02 with eight saves, 27 strikeouts and eight walks through 18 innings over 23 appearances. Burawa has a loose, wiry frame at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, but he has a long, funky arm action that one scout likened to an Iron Mike pitching machine tipped on its side. He pumps fastballs in the 93-95 mph range with good armside run, and he flashes an average 75-78 mph slurve with some tilt and bite, though more often the pitch breaks too early and he struggles to command it. His changeup is in its early stages of development. Burawa's limited track record causes scouts to be cautious, but his fresh arm is also an asset—one scout called his arm "a very loose cannon." He figures to be drafted somewhere between the second and fourth rounds.
173. Jason Hursh, rhp
Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas
Hursh is the best pitcher to come out of Trinity Christian Academy since David Purcey, who went on to attend Oklahoma, become a Blue Jays first-round pick and reach the majors. Hursh is a good student who has committed to Oklahoma State, but he should be signable if he's picked in the first five rounds. His velocity has picked up this spring, as he's now regularly pitching at 90-93 mph and flashing some 94s. He'll shows signs of a promising curveball and slider, though neither breaking ball is consistent. He's doing a much better job of throwing strikes, though his command still needs a lot of work. Though he's just 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Hursh generates his velocity with arm speed rather than effort. He does throw across his body somewhat, which isn't optimal but does add life to his pitches.
174. Matt Szczur, of
A wide receiver for Villanova's football team, Szczur led the Wildcats to a Football Championship Subdivision national title last fall, earning MVP honors in the championship game after racking up 270 all-purpose yards. He is a legitimate NFL draft prospect as a receiver in the Wes Welker mold, which clouds his baseball signability, but he also could be drafted as early as the fifth round in baseball. Szczur is an electrifying athlete with true 80 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. He is still learning to put his speed to use in the outfield—he arrived at Villanova as a catcher and has never concentrated on baseball full-time—and has played right field for the Wildcats, but he could become an adequate defender in center or left with work. His arm is well-below-average. Offensively, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Szczur has an unorthodox, slashy swing, but he has a knack for barreling up balls consistently, and he projects as an average hitter with below-average power. He has a patient approach, and he can use all fields and make adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. Scouts love Szczur's intensity on the field, and coaches rave about his work ethic and ability to learn. He also has special makeup off the field; days after hitting for the cycle on April 27, Szczur donated bone marrow to a 1-year-old girl with leukemia, sidelining him for the next three weeks.
175. Krey Bratsen, of
Bryan (Texas) HS
Bratsen is the fastest true prospect in the 2010 draft, capable of running the 60-yard dash in 6.35 seconds. He seems destined to take that speed to Texas A&M. His father James led the Aggies in RBIs for three years running in the 1970s, and the campus is just five minutes from Bratsen's high school. He also has a seven-figure price tag, and the rest of his game isn't refined enough to warrant that kind of payday. Bratsen's second-best tool is his strong arm. He has plenty of bat speed, but he has a long righthanded swing and doesn't make consistent contact. At 6 feet and 160 pounds, he lacks the strength to drive balls. His speed is an asset in center field, but his instincts are just fair and he doesn't take good routes on flyballs. Bratsen has considerable potential as a hitter and defender, but he's a few years away from realizing it yet.
176. Chris Marlowe, rhp
Navarro (Texas) JC
Marlowe may be just 6 feet and 175 pounds, but he has big-time arm speed. He routinely works at 91-93 mph, tops out at 94 and has a feel for spinning a hard curveball. Those two pitches have allowed him to overwhelm hitters this spring, as he led all juco pitchers by averaging 17.3 strikeouts per nine innings through mid-May. He originally arrived at Navarro as a shortstop, so he's still a work in progress on the mound. Though his delivery is relatively smooth, he battles his command at times. An Oklahoma State recruit, Marlowe will pitch in the Prospect League this summer if a team wants to get more looks at him.
177. Dixon Anderson, rhp
Dixon Anderson's attributes are quite obvious. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Anderson looks like what scouts and scouting directors want to see on the mound. He is not only the right size, but his build is also streamlined and well proportioned, and he has the stuff as well. Anderson can get his fastball into the mid-90s and does it with pretty easy effort. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, Anderson got into 20 games and scouts noticed him. He then went out in summer ball and threw the ball well, with 56 strikeouts in 56 innings, while showing the same good fastball, and established himself as a prospect to be considered for the upper rounds of the draft. Anderson also has a curveball and a split-finger fastball but both are inconsistent at this point. He was a projection righthander out of high school and was not heavily recruited, so scouts don't have a long track record with him. It's likely that Anderson is still just scraping the surface of his potential, so a drafting team will need patience, even though he is a Pac-10 weekend starter.
178. Kevin Ziomek, lhp
Amherst (Mass.) Regional HS
Ziomek established himself as the best prep prospect in New England at the Perfect Game/World Wood Bat Association Championship last fall in Jupiter, Fla., where he ran his fastball up to 93-94 mph. He has not shown that kind of velocity this spring, pitching mostly at 87-88 and topping out at 91-92 on occasion. Ziomek's 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame and loose arm suggest plenty of projection, and he has good feel for pitching, but scouts have reservations about his mechanics and funky arm action, which includes a hook and a wrap on the back side. He seldom throws his changeup in games, but it projects as an average or better offering. His slider is slurvy and inconsistent, and he tends to cast his slow curveball away from his body. The son of two lawyers, Ziomek is believed to be a tough sign away from his Vanderbilt commitment.
179. Scott Alexander, lhp
Sonoma State (Calif.)
Graded on stuff and talent alone, Alexander would be a lock for the top three rounds of this draft. But a bumpy college track record with an uneven history of performance clouds his resume. The younger brother of former Marlins pitching prospect Stuart Alexander, he was a highly scouted pitcher out of high school in Santa Rosa, Calif. He started his college career at Pepperdine but left after his sophomore year and enrolled at Division II power Sonoma State. Despite a fastball that gets up to 93 mph and a decent changeup, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Alexander struggled early on for the Seawolves. He improved as the year went along but still finished with a 3-6, 4.50 record. Alexander's command improved as the year went along, due in part to lowering his slot a bit and getting more movement on his pitches. He continues to need to work on his breaking ball, which is a slider.
180. Clay Schrader, rhp
San Jacinto (Texas) JC
Schrader went to Texas-San Antonio as a two-way player and had middling success as a starting pitcher in 2009, going 2-1, 3.97 with 43 strikeouts in 45 innings. After transferring to San Jacinto for 2010, he has found his true calling as a reliever. He helped the Gators reach the Junior College World Series, saving 11 games and ranking third nationally with 15.9 strikeouts per nine innings through regional play. Schrader has two legitimate plus pitches, a 91-95 mph fastball and a mid-80s slider. His low-80s curveball can be devastating at times as well. Scouts worry about his size (6 feet, 190 pounds), arm action and maximum-effort delivery, but his power stuff still should land him in the top six or seven rounds. If he doesn't turn pro, he'll attend Oklahoma.
181. Seth Rosin, rhp
Few pitchers who are Rosin's size (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) can match his body control. He repeats his delivery and throws strikes so easily that he posted one of the top K-BB ratios (82-10 in 87 regular-season innings) in NCAA Division I this spring. Rosin topped out at 96 mph in the Cape Cod League last summer and has pitched at 91-92 mph with a peak of 94 this spring. His fastball is pretty straight, which makes it easier to throw for strikes but also easier to hit. His curveball and changeup have improved but still are fringy, and he's going to need more fastball life and better secondary pitches to miss bats in pro ball. He may fit better in the bullpen, where he would project as a possible set-up man.
182. Thomas Royse, rhp
Royse had just started to roll as a weekend starter in 2009, sandwiching a pair of 10-strikeout efforts around eight shutout innings against Pittsburgh, when a compression fracture in his lower back brought his sophomore season to a halt. He has picked up where he left off, becoming Louisville's Friday-night starter this season. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has been healthy all spring and the Cardinals won all but one of his 14 regular-season starts. Scouts have mixed opinions about Royse. Those who like him point to the 90-93 mph fastball he throws on a steep downward plane, his ability to cut and sink the ball in on the hands of lefthanders and his tight slider. Others say his velocity drops to 87-89 mph after a few innings and see the slider as a fringy pitch. He does a good job of throwing strikes and has the makings of a changeup. Undrafted out of a Kentucky high school three years ago when he turned down six-figure overtures from pro clubs, Royse should go in the fourth to sixth round this time around.
183. Blake Forsythe, c
The younger brother of former Arkansas star and current Padres farmhand Logan Forsythe, Blake chose to stay in the Volunteer state after attending high school in Memphis. Forsythe broke though with a first-team all-Southeastern Conference sophomore season, showing his brother's trademark patience (40 walks) as well as above-average raw power. He followed that with a strong summer for USA Baseball's college national team and entered the spring as a potential first-round pick. He maintained the power production as a junior, but in most other facets of his game Forsythe was struggling. He came out of the gate slowly and scouts thought he was pressing. Forsythe always has had swing-and-miss issues and has struggled even more with breaking balls this season. His patience at times fell into passivity, leading to more strikeouts. Forsythe's defensive tools include a plus arm—he threw out 35 percent of basestealers this season—and fringe-average receiving and blocking skills. Forsythe performed better as the year wore on and would benefit from a regional bid for the Volunteers. With college catching always at a premium, Forsythe could go anywhere from the third round to the seventh.
184. Andrew Knapp, c
Granite Bay (Calif.) HS
Switch-hitting high school catchers who profile as high-average hitters and above-average defensive players—not to mention having baseball bloodlines—are not very common. Andrew Knapp, whose father Mike caught professionally for 11 years, fits that description. He has a pure stroke on both sides of the plate and his set-up and mannerisms resemble Chipper Jones. He shows more raw power on the right side. Knapp is 6 feet, 175 pounds with wiry strength, and he physically should resemble Jason Kendall. He hits the ball hard to all fields and does so with flashes of extra-base power. Defensively he flashes the tools of an above-average catching prospect but also has plenty of room for improvement. His arm grades out near average, but if you watch him enough you see a plus arm on his snap throws behind runners. Knapp's receiving skills are presently fair due to occasional trouble on the glove side, but he projects above average. His arm stroke and footwork too often do not work together on his throws to second base, but like his receiving he has the ability to develop better skills. Knapp has committed to California.
185. Zach Neal, rhp
Neal began his college career at Sam Houston State before transferring to Howard (Texas) JC, where he went 13-0 and was part of a 63-1 national championship team in 2009. He has had no trouble making the jump from juco ball to the Big 12 Conference. He seized Oklahoma's Friday-night starter job, and the Sooners won 12 of his 14 regular-season starts this season. Neal works at 88-93 mph with his fastball and holds his velocity into the late innings. His No. 2 pitch is a tight slider, and when he's at his best opponents have trouble telling it apart from his heater. He also has a changeup and a show-me curveball. He throws tons of strikes, and though he's just 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, he does a good job of pitching down in the zone. Scouts love the way he competes, and he has gone 36-4 during the last four springs. Neal went undrafted in 2009 because of his commitment to Oklahoma, but he should be signable as a fifth- to seventh-rounder this June.
186. Nick Kingham, rhp
Sierra Vista HS, Las Vegas
Four Corners scouts compare Kingham to Kevin Walter in that he's a physical righthander who came into the season with less attention than Kevin Gausman, but may end up as the better pitcher. Kingham is 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds but has a solid, athletic frame, a smooth delivery and a clean arm action. He had to sit out his junior year after transferring to Sierra Vista from Calvary Chappel, but Kingham has improved every year, which scouts like to see. Kingham's fastball is in the 90-93 mph range with good life. His changeup is his second-best pitch and it's a solid-average offering. His curveball is below-average now and needs to be tightened up. He profiles as a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, but scouts love his frame and think one day he'll be able to handle a 200-inning workload. As one of the last additions to Oregon's outstanding recruiting class, Kingham may be too good for pro scouts to pass up and could go as high as the second round.
187. Cody Stanley, c
Stanley comes from a baseball family, as his father played both baseball and football at Elon, and his mother played junior-college softball. He was a high school punter at Clinton High, a powerhouse 2-A program in North Carolina, and was defensive player of the game in the state championship game. His draft credentials are less flashy, as Stanley has average tools across the board, but his profile is strong. He's a lefthanded hitter who has solid athletic ability at 5-foot-11, 192 pounds. He has a track record of hitting with wood and has handled a decent pitching staff with some hard throwers. Stanley hit .299/.409/.443 in the Cape Cod League last summer, and his polished approach was evident at the plate this spring, where he had 35 walks against 21 strikeouts. Stanley's a solid receiver and blocker with average arm strength. His release can get long, resulting in below-average times to second base, but he threw out 30 and 31 percent of opposing basestealers the last two seasons. Stanley has solid gap power and is a good runner for a catcher. While he has no glaring weakness, he also has no obvious strength, and for some his tools are only fringe-average. He still figures to go out in the first six rounds thanks to his profile and the lack of catching prospects.
188. Brooks Pinckard, rhp
Pinckard is one of the faster runners available in the 2010 draft, with plus-plus speed that plays well in center field. However, he probably won't get a chance to use his wheels in pro ball. Scouts view him as a slap hitter and are much more intrigued by his strong right arm, which produces fastballs clocked up to 95 mph and loaded with sink. He's a work in progress on the mound, after redshirting in 2008 because he wasn't ready for Big 12 Conference baseball, then pitching just 49 innings while pulling two-way duty the last two seasons. He doesn't have a great feel for pitching yet, and his fastball isn't a strikeout pitch despite its velocity and life. His high-70s slider is inconsistent, and while his funky delivery adds deception, it also restricts his control and command. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder is a quality athlete who could take off once he focuses on pitching—like another former Bears outfielder/pitcher, Aaron Miller, has since signing with the Dodgers as a sandwich pick last summer. Whether Pinckard will be signable if he goes around the fifth round as a draft-eligible sophomore remains to be seen. A stress fracture in his lower leg kept him out of the lineup for three weeks at midseason, but he was healthy again by the end of the regular season.
189. Thomas Keeling, lhp
The Yankees could have taken a huge bite out of the Oklahoma State rotation when they drafted Tyler Lyons (10th round) and Keeling (20th round as a draft-eligible sophomore) a year ago, but both lefthanders decided to return to school. Keeling has improved his stock and should go slightly ahead of Lyons in the fifth to seventh round this June, but he's still trying to figure out how to harness his quality stuff. Keeling would have placed fourth in NCAA Division I in strikeouts per nine innings (12.9) in 2009 if he hadn't fallen a few innings short of qualifying, and he ranked fourth with the same rate at the end of the 2010 regular season. Yet he didn't become a full-time starter until his redshirt junior season and went just 4-6, 5.74 this spring. Keeling's best pitch is a 90-93 mph fastball that tops out at 96 with riding life. The 6-foot-3, 184-pounder gets that movement by throwing across his body, which hampers his control and ability to throw a breaking ball. His slider has improved but he still can't consistently find the strike zone with it. After missing the 2007 season because the growth plate in his shoulder blade was irritating a muscle, Keeling has been healthy since. But he's still learning how to pitch.
190. Tyler Thornburg, rhp
Scouts and opposing coaches inevitably invoke Tim Lincecum when discussing Thornburg, which certainly is a compliment. It started last summer, when Thornburg closed for Brewster in the Cape Cod League. He struck out 18 in 17 innings and racked up eight saves, using a delivery similar to Lincecum's, and his size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) is in the same ballpark, though he's thicker. That helped Thornburg hold up through the grind of being Charleston Southern's top pitcher as well as a middle-of-the-order hitter who often plays right field when he doesn't pitch. He made an early statement with a complete-game, 158-pitch victory against Florida, which won the Southeastern Conference regular-season crown. He also mixed in a loss at Presbyterian, the Big South's ninth-place team. A rough season with the bat and the impending draft prompted the Buccaneers to keep Thornburg's focus on the mound in the season's final month, and he ranked third in the Big South in strikeouts while leading the league with a .213 opponent average. He has top-five-rounds stuff with a low-90s fastball that has topped out at 95 mph. His fastball lacks life and can be pretty flat, which makes his power curveball his best pitch. Thornburg is still looking for a consistent third pitch to round out his repertoire. He's likely more of a middle reliever, a quick-armed set-up man in the Scot Shields mold who should be off the board by end of the fifth round.
191. Hayden Simpson, rhp
Southern Arkansas coach Allen Gum found the most successful pitcher in school history literally right next door. Simpson, his next-door neighbor in Magnolia, Ark., has gone 35-2, 2.39 with 323 strikeouts in 271 innings in three seasons with the NCAA Division II Muleriders. Though he's just 6 feet and 175 pounds, he has a strong lower half and a quick arm that delivers 91-93 mph fastballs that peak at 96. His fastball is fairly straight and he tends to pitch up in the zone, which could lead to difficulty with tougher competition. He has a pair of hard breaking pitches, an 82-83 mph slider and an 78-80 mph curve. He also has a changeup that he uses sparingly, and he commands his entire repertoire well. His velocity decreased a little toward the end of the season, and some scouts are wary of his size and the fact that he's never ventured far from Magnolia. Nevertheless, his fastball could get him drafted as high as the fourth or fifth round.
192. Matt den Dekker, of
Den Dekker was recruited as a pitcher and hitter at Florida, and he has a strong arm that helps make him one of college baseball's better defenders in center field. He has plus range, tracks balls well and plays hard. He was a preseason second-team All-American in 2009 after playing for Team USA the previous summer, but he never quite got going for the Gators and wound up falling to the 16th round of the draft after his junior season. He didn't sign and returned for his senior season, and has a chance to be one of the first seniors drafted. As one scout put it, "He still has the tools everyone talked about last year." Den Dekker is an excellent defender with plus speed (he's still a strong basestealer) and center-field range. He has made more consistent contact as a senior, leading Florida in batting (.361 entering the SEC tournament) and ranking second with 11 home runs. He has the bat speed for scouts to project him to have solid-average power as a pro. He still swings and misses more than he should and has some pitch recognition issues, and at times his swing gets choppy. He has played with more confidence as a senior and may just have had a bad case of draftitis in 2009. Den Dekker could go out in the first five rounds as a budget-oriented senior sign.
193. Evan Rutckyj, lhp
St. Joseph's HS, St. Thomas, Ont.
At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Rutckyj (pronounced ROOT-ski) is a big-bodied lefthander with a chiseled frame, thanks to his time spent as a youth hockey player and his current offseason workout of choice, boxing. He's relatively new to pitching, so he looked a bit raw on the showcase circuit last summer. He has worked hard with a private pitching coach and during his time with the Canadian junior national team to smooth out his mechanics and develop his secondary pitches. His delivery is looser now than it was in the summer, and he's getting better extension. His arm action is pretty clean, but he needs to keep working to repeat his delivery and throw strikes more consistently. His fastball sits in the 87-91 mph range, touching 92, and his slider is 80-81. The slider shows occasional fringe-average break and there's enough rotation to work with, but it's still a work in progress. As his background may suggest, Rutckyj has a real tough-guy mentality on the mound. He is a project and the team that drafts him will need to be patient with his development.
194. Nick Longmire, of
He hasn't had the best statistical year among Northern California's college players, but there is no doubt that Longmire has the best package of tools. He had a great freshman year, struggled a bit as a sophomore, but has had a solid junior season. Longmire was considered a fringe prospect coming out of high school in San Diego and many Division I programs passed on him because they had concerns about his swing, which is how he came to be at Pacific. He was one of the state's home run leaders his senior year in high school and currently grades out as having plus raw power. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Longmire not only passes the tools test, but also the eye test. He can be graded out above-average across the board, except for his ability to hit for average. His body type is not quite the same, but he could be compared to Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young in terms of what scouts can envision him doing at the major league level.
195. Austin Southall, of
University HS, Baton Rouge
Louisiana State could surround current shortstop Austin Nola with three talented freshman infielders next spring—that is, if the pros don't snap up Garin Cecchini (Barbe HS, Lake Charles, La.), Jacoby Jones (Richton, Miss., HS) and Southall first. All three made Baseball America's Top 200 Prospects list and may not make it to school. Southall has a polished lefthanded bat. He fared well on the showcase circuit last summer, showing the ability to hit with wood bats and to use the whole field. He has the strength in his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame to hit home runs. Southall has the arm strength to play right field, but his below-average range and speed could limit him to left field or first base. Even if he doesn't provide much defensive value, his bat should make him an asset.
196. Jimmy Reyes, lhp
College baseball offers few quality lefthanders for this year's draft, and Reyes was taking full advantage. He got off to a terrible start to his junior season, as a loss to Rice—his first after winning his first 12 decisions with Elon—sent him into a funk. He was pressing for scouts, trying to throw harder for radar guns, and lost the life and command on his fastball. When Reyes backed off to a still-firm 88-91 mph, his season took off. He creates some angle and downward plane on his fastball even though he's just 5-foot-10, 194 pounds. When he doesn't overthrow, he gets good life on the pitch with boring action in to righthanded hitters. That helps set up his slider, which can be an above-average pitch when he locates it well. It has tilt, and Reyes has shown the ability to back-foot it to righthanded hitters. His changeup has come along as well, giving Reyes another weapon to combat opposite-side hitters. He had thrown at least seven innings in six consecutive starts entering the Southern Conference tournament and had a gaudy 187-37 strikeout-walk ratio the last two seasons in 171 innings. Reyes offers little projection and lacks athleticism, his biggest negative. He has improved as a fielder and at holding runners, but neither will ever be a strong suit. His strong finish was pushing him up draft boards, perhaps as high as the fourth or fifth round.
197. Chad Sheppard, rhp
Luke Irvine drew more of the early attention at Northwestern State, but scouts came away preferring Sheppard because he has a better body and a better secondary pitch. After redshirting in 2008, Sheppard tied the Demons' save record with 10 as a freshman last spring, then matched that total again during the 2010 regular season. He uses his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and low-90s sinker to keep the ball down in the strike zone and induce grounders. He has given up just two homers in two college seasons. His slider is a solid No. 2 pitch, though it can get slurvy at times. When he has both pitches working and throws strikes, Sheppard can be all but unhittable. His frame would suggest durability, but he has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in college and likely will remain a reliever in pro ball. Though he's a draft-eligible sophomore, scouts don't think he'll be difficult to sign.
198. Connor Narron, ss
Aycock HS, Goldsboro, N.C.
Narron's bloodlines work for him and against him. He has benefited by being around the game at a high level all his life. His father Jerry spent part of eight seasons catching in the majors—including replacing Thurman Munson after the Yankees captain died in a 1979 plane crash—and parts of five others as a manager. Connor served as a batboy for many of his father's teams and spent time observing big league behavior. His big league approach at the prep level can turn off scouts, however, who want to see him play with more intensity. Other scouts question Narron's ability to stick in the infield thanks to his below-average speed and would have liked to see him behind the plate, but that never happened. Narron's bat was tough to scout this spring because he averaged two walks a game as teams pitched around him. He has surprising power and solid hitting tools from both sides of the plate, even though he's active in the batter's box and has an unconventional load. Narron's hands and arm strength are both good enough that he should be able to step in as a freshman at North Carolina and play right away, probably at shortstop, if he doesn't sign. By the time he's draft-eligible again, he'll likely be a third baseman.
199. Dickie Joe Thon, ss
Academia Perpetio Socorro, San Juan, P.R.
It's a bit of a down year in Puerto Rico, but the best player on the island has a familiar name in shortstop Dickie Joe Thon. The son of the former big leaguer, the younger Thon is a little bigger than his father at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. Thon was born in Houston and grew up there before moving to Puerto Rico for high school. Despite being the son of a big leaguer, Thon isn't the polished product some may expect. That's because he hasn't focused solely on baseball yet. Thon is a great athlete who also competes in basketball, volleyball and track and field. Thon isn't a flashy defender, but makes all the routine plays. He has good feet, soft hands and an above-average arm. His bat is a little inconsistent right now, but he profiles as a good top-of-the-order hitter. He has gap power and could grow into some home run power as he continues to fill out and drives more balls. Thon is an average runner out of the box, but is above-average under way. He has good baseball instincts and projects to steal 20-30 bases a year. Signability is the biggest question with Thon because his father apparently wants him to attend Rice. It could take seven figures to buy him out of school, or teams could just see if Thon will blossom into a first-rounder three years from now.
200. Heath Hembree, rhp
College of Charleston
Hembree has one of the draft's freshest power arms, having pitched fewer than 30 innings in three years. He also didn't pitch during his senior season in high school, due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee that he injured during prep football. Hembree made only one appearance at South Carolina, recording one out, then went to Spartanburg Methodist JC and transferred to College of Charleston, getting irregular work as the Cougars' closer. Scouts weren't happy with how he was used, though it's hard to argue with Charleston's 40-win season and regional berth. Hembree displayed mid- to upper 90s velocity, regularly hitting 98 mph and sitting in the 94-96 mph range. He has a long, lean pitcher's body at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds with wide shoulders, as well as a clean arm action. His secondary pitch is a slider that flashes mid-80s power potential. Much of Hembree's game is raw. His fastball tends to straighten out at higher velocity, and he has proved hittable due to spotty command. He doesn't have a pitch to combat lefthanded hitters, though some think his power repertoire and big hands make him an excellent future candidate for a split-finger fastball. Hembree's modest numbers and inexperience may slot him behind college closers such as Texas Tech's Chad Bettis or Florida's Kevin Chapman, but his pure arm and velocity are as good as the college ranks have to offer this season.