Top 200 Prospects: 51-100
From Kes Carter to Logan Verrett
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #1-50
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #101-150
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #151-200
See also: Bio/Statistical
Information On The Top 200
See also: 2011
Baseball America compiles its Top 200 Prospects after interviews with college recruiters, area scouts, crosscheckers and scouting directors. BA editor John Manuel and executive editor Jim Callis line up the players and write the scouting reports, along with staff members Aaron Fitt, Conor Glassey and Nathan Rode, as well as contributor Matt Forman. Our list is meant to rank players in terms of talent, rather than where they will be drafted.
51. Kes Carter, of
Western Kentucky is one of the better mid-major programs in college baseball, having won 77 games and produced 11 draft picks in the previous two seasons. The Hilltoppers should have another half-dozen players selected in 2011, led by Carter, who could become the highest-drafted player in school history. An athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pounder, Carter flashes all five tools. His smooth lefthanded stroke and disciplined approach allow him to hit for average, and he has at least average power potential. He still needs to fine-tune his timing at the plate and turn on balls more frequently. He has slightly above-average speed that plays up on the bases and in center field, as well as a solid arm for the position. The biggest issues with Carter are his struggles against lefthanded pitching and his health. He injured his hip in the Coastal Plain League last summer, sat out during fall practice and missed time this spring with a calf strain. Nevertheless, he shouldn't last past the second round.
52. Granden Goetzman, of
Palmetto (Fla.) HS
Three factors have helped Goetzman jump up draft boards this spring: the thin Florida high school class, a lack of high school power bats and his own sizable talent. Minor shoulder issues kept him off the main showcase circuit, though he was a known commodity among Florida area scouts, so he has really introduced himself to national-level scouts this spring. Primarily a shortstop and pitcher in high school, Goetzman will move to an outfield corner as a pro, and he's gotten comparisons to such players as Jayson Werth and Jay Buhner. Bat speed and leverage help him produce prodigious power, and like Werth, Goetzman is a tall, angular athlete who might even have a shot at playing some center field. He's far from a stiff righthanded hitter, with a loose swing and above-average speed, especially under way. His hit tool is also advanced, as he has good natural timing. Scouts laud his makeup, and if a team thinks he can stay in the infield or play center, he could push his way into the first round.
53. Williams Jerez, of
Grand Street HS, Brooklyn
Jerez moved from the Dominican Republic with his father two years ago. He originally drew interest as a lefthander, but he has more potential as a center fielder and has generated a lot of buzz this spring after playing in Florida for Hank's Yanks, a team sponsored by Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner. Jerez's 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame is what one scout described as "about as good a body as you could imagine." He has a wiry strong build and should add bulk as he matures. He has average raw power, with loft and leverage in his swing, which has a tendency to get long. Some scouts worry how he will fare against premium velocity, but his bat speed has improved even since March. Jerez has a plus arm and plus speed, but it doesn't play down the line because he's slow out of the batter's box. There's no consensus on Jerez: Some scouts question his background and age and don't like his bat, while others project on his raw tools and athleticism.
54. Matt Dean, 3b
The Colony (Texas) HS
Dean wasn't at his best on the showcase circuit last summer, but he redeemed himself with a strong spring and established himself as the best prep third-base prospect in the draft. Few high school players can match his batting-practice fireworks. With his bat speed, the loft in his righthanded swing and the room to add strength to his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame, he projects to have plus power while hitting for a solid average. Dean has average speed but figures to lose a step as he fills out. He gets the job done at shortstop and has an above-average arm, but he'll move to the hot corner after he either turns pro or attends Texas. As with most coaches' sons—he plays for his father Martin at The Colony HS—Dean earns praise for his work ethic and competitiveness. His strong commitment to the Longhorns may make him difficult to sign.
55. Anthony Meo, rhp
Meo was part of a stacked 2008 prep class in Connecticut and Rhode Island, a group that included Vanderbilt's Jason Esposito and UConn stars Matt Barnes and George Springer. Meo threw 91-92 mph in high school but has bumped his fastball up to 96 mph in college, regularly sitting in the 93-94 range. He's quick-armed and live-bodied at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, with a lean frame that hasn't added much weight over the years. His curveball is quick and short with downer break, and he's starting to harness the command of both pitches. Meo's changeup remains "underdeveloped," as one scout put it, and while his delivery isn't maximum effort, it's not smooth either. He throws strikes but doesn't locate enough to have the command clubs look for in starters. He should go out in the first two rounds as a starter but likely will wind up as a reliever.
56. Grayson Garvin, lhp
Garvin has performed as well as any Division I pitcher over the last calendar year. He was the Cape Cod League's ERA champion last summer at 5-0, 0.74 with 37 strikeouts in 37 innings. In the spring, he was 11-1, 2.08 and was a perfect 9-0 in Southeastern Conference play until his last start of the regular season. He was named SEC pitcher of the year. Garvin's performance stems from his size, solid stuff and ability to pitch off his fastball. At 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, he gets a good angle on his fastball, pitching downhill, coming inside effectively at 90-92 mph and reaching 94-95 on occasion. His fastball velocity should be a tick above-average as a pro, and he uses his fastball well to set up his solid-average changeup, which has solid fade when he turns it over. His slurvy slider is below-average and rarely generates swings and misses, which limits his upside for many scouts, and he may wind up throwing more of a cutter eventually. Garvin is considered a safe pick, and his summer performance could push him into the first or supplemental first round despite his short breaking ball.
57. Ricky Oropesa, 1b/3b
A heralded two-way recruit, Oropesa scrapped pitching his freshman year and quickly became one of the Pac-10's premier power hitters, slugging 33 home runs over his first two seasons and leading the Cape Cod League with seven long balls in 2010. He also led the Cape with 52 strikeouts, after fanning 51 times in 235 at-bats for the Trojans. He has decreased his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate this spring, but his power numbers have also dropped with the less-potent metal bats—he has just six homers through 186 at-bats. Still, Oropesa is a strong, physical specimen at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, and he has well above-average raw power from the left side. He'll need to become a better hitter because he still struggles against lefthanded pitching and is prone to chasing breaking balls. His swing gets long at times, but he has enough bat speed to punish even premium fastballs. Some scouts think he has a chance to become an average hitter in time. Oropesa has a plus-plus arm but needs a lot of work on his glove positioning and fundamentals at third base. He profiles better as an average defensive first baseman, where his arm is largely wasted. He's a well below-average runner.
58. Hudson Boyd, rhp
Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
Boyd transferred from South Fort Myers High to Bishop Verot as he teamed with similarly beefy first baseman Dan Vogelbach. Together, they led their team to a state 3-A championship with Boyd 10-0 with 112 strikeouts through early May. His delivery and 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame have elicited comparisons to Jonathan Broxton and Bartolo Colon, and scouts intend those as positives. Boyd projects as a mid-rotation workhorse who will work with two plus pitches. He maintains the velocity on his fastball deep into games, topping out at 95-96 mph and sitting in the 90-94 range. His breaking ball also is plus, a power curve that scrapes 80 mph with tight rotation and sharp break. Boyd's changeup can be too firm at times, but he hasn't needed it much in high school.
59. Aaron Westlake, 1b
At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Westlake is physically ready for pro ball and was strong enough to have a strong season despite the powered-down bats in college baseball this season. He was forced to redshirt in 2008 due to a blood clotting issue, and he was drafted in the 22nd round as a sophomore last year. The Blue Jays followed him in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .292 with five homers. He had career-best numbers this spring for Vanderbilt as the team's offensive anchor, murdering mistakes, and his eight home runs in league games led the Southeastern Conference. He's patient and strong, generates solid bat speed and is an adequate defender. A gamer, he played catcher (albeit poorly) for an injury-ravaged Vandy team in 2009. He's 22, so he'll probably be pushed through the minors quickly.
60. Chris Reed, lhp
Last year was the first time since 1999 that Stanford didn't have a player selected in the first five rounds of the draft. That won't happen again this year because of Reed, who could go as high as the sandwich round. Reed is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, but scouts say he has grown and gained strength from last year to this year. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph some nights to 92-94 on others, and he has touched 96. He'll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency. That should come with experience. Reed has totaled just 68 innings at Stanford and has started only one game. His size, athleticism and three-pitch mix will tempt teams to give him a shot as a starter in pro ball.
61. Brett Austin, c
Providence HS, Charlotte
Scouts in the Carolinas consider Austin the most improved player in the area this spring after seeing him on the showcase circuit last summer. He gained favor in May as crosscheckers and scouting directors came in to watch his team wrap up a conference title against rival Ardrey Kell High, a nationally ranked team at the time. Austin tied the game in the seventh inning with a missile home run, leaving scouts impressed with his sweet lefthanded swing. At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, he has improved his top-hand strength from the left side and is more fluid than in the past. A switch-hitter, Austin is a natural righty and has more strength from that side, but his swing can get long at times. In addition to his swing, Austin has improved his body, though questions remain about his defense. He's not athletic, and his arm strength is average at best, but some scouts believe he could be an average defender. Couple that with his ability to hit to all fields and Austin could find himself off the board in the second round. He is part of an impressive North Carolina State recruiting class.
62. Charlie Lowell, lhp
In Lowell and Brian Flynn, Wichita State has two big-bodied lefthanders who will get selected in the early rounds of the 2011 draft. The Missouri Valley Conference pitcher of the year, Lowell is the better prospect because he's more polished and has had more consistent success. He set a Missouri state record by finishing his high school career with 57 straight scoreless innings in 2008, and has experienced few speed bumps with the Shockers. He missed six weeks with a strained forearm a year ago, but returned before the end of the season and ranked as the top prospect in the Jayhawk League during the summer. Six-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Lowell delivers 90-95 mph fastballs on a tough angle to the plate. His hard slider is a solid second pitch, and he also uses a serviceable changeup. He generally repeats his delivery well and throws strikes, though his command is no better than average.
63. B.A. Vollmuth, 3b/ss
Vollmuth hit all of three home runs as a high school senior, so Southern Mississippi coaches were surprised when he stepped in as a freshman for injured team leader Brian Dozier and hit eight home runs in just 97 at-bats. He helped lead the Golden Eagles to their first College World Series bid, then bashed 20 homers as a sophomore. Vollmuth has battled the new bats and a hip injury in 2011, and moved off shortstop to the less-demanding third base. At 6-foot-4 and a listed 200 pounds, he may wind up outgrowing third and moving to a corner outfield spot—or first base if his below-average speed further deteriorates. With an accurate, above-average arm, that would waste of one of his better tools. Vollmuth still has looseness in his swing, and he has tremendous leverage. He's always going to swing and miss, but instincts and savvy have helped him improve his hitting ability over his college career. He has toned down an exaggerated leg kick, and while he remains streaky, he has gained consistency.
64. Cam Gallagher, c
Manheim Township HS, Lancaster, Pa.
At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Gallagher doesn't look like a high school player who can stick behind the plate, but until this spring his defense was considered superior to his bat. He has had a good season and showed improvement at the plate while endearing himself to scouts by playing with energy and taking batting practice with wood bats after games. Because he's big, Gallagher's swing can get long at times, but his strength helps him get by. He has strong hands and arms that allow him to hit to all fields. Scouts would like to see more feel at the plate from him, but he has the potential to bring an average hit tool and plus power to a premium defensive position. Gallagher's older brother Austin is a Dodgers farmhand, and they come from a baseball family. Though he is committed to East Carolina, the younger Gallagher seems interested in starting his pro career and could go in the first three rounds.
65. Brandon Martin, ss
Santiago HS, Corona, Calif.
Perhaps the most improved prep player in Southern California, Martin has rocketed to the top of the region's thin group of high school infielders by showing off five legitimate tools this spring. He worked hard to add muscle in the offseason, and it paid dividends at the plate. Scouts used to question his bat, but now they praise his line-drive swing and bat speed. Some scouts think he'll develop at least average power, while others regard his power as fringy. He's a good high-ball hitter with an aggressive approach, and he could mature into a solid-average hitter. An average runner, Martin is a fast-twitch athlete who can make highlight-reel plays at shortstop, though he has plenty of work to do there. He has good range and a strong arm with good carry, but he's also an upright defender who tends to field balls deep and needs to smooth out his actions. He has a quiet personality but is a good teammate and a hard worker.
66. Derek Fisher, of
Cedar Crest HS, Lebanon, Pa.
Heading into the spring, Fisher looked like he could sneak into the first round thanks to his bat and body. Terrible weather in Pennsylvania has made it tough for scouts to get a good look at him, however, and Fisher has been inconsistent when he has played. He has swung and missed a lot, been too aggressive on balls out of the zone and not aggressive enough on strikes. He has an extra load at the plate this spring and now it seems to be a mental block. When he is on, Fisher shows an above-average bat with above-average power. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and has shown good speed in the past. He plays center field now but eventually will get too big and will have to move to left field, and he should provide solid defense there. He is committed to Virginia and isn't considered an easy sign, but he could still go in the first two rounds if scouts see him perform well before the draft.
67. Joe Panik, ss
The phrase scouts use most often when describing Panik says a lot about the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Yonkers, N.Y.: "He's just a good baseball player who can hit." His bat is his only plus tool, but he plays the game the right way and makes the most of his ability. Panik thrived in the Cape Cod League last summer and was the circuit's No. 24 prospect after hitting .297 with eight doubles and two home runs for Yarmouth-Dennis. He manipulates the barrel well and has a short, compact lefthanded swing that generates gap power and consistent hard contact. Scouts rave about Panik's disciplined, polished approach and strike-zone awareness. He had labrum surgery after his freshman year, and he has difficulty with throws deep in the hole, but his hands work well. He profiles best as a bat-first second baseman, though he could play short in a pinch because of his instincts. A thin crop of college middle infielders puts Panik in prime position to get popped in the first few rounds.
68. Brad Miller, ss
Teams pursued Miller out of an Orlando high school, but his signability pushed him to the 39th round. He started at shortstop for most of his first two years for Clemson, and spent the last two summers with USA Baseball's college national team. After failing to register an extra-base hit in the summer of 2009, he hit .441 last summer with four doubles and a home run. Miller kept hitting this spring, especially after returning from a broken finger. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting (.431) and on-base percentage (.536), earning ACC player of the year honors despite an odd approach that evokes Craig Counsell. He holds his hands high to start his stance, and while he doesn't always get his hands into an ideal hitting position, he has excellent hand-eye coordination and keeps his bat in the strike zone a long time. He's been inconsistent defensively, including 31 errors as a sophomore, and has had inconsistent throwing mechanics. He has been steadier this spring but probably fits better at second base. He's a solid-average runner, if not a tick above-average, and has good baserunning instincts. He's a baseball rat with good makeup.
69. Adam Conley, lhp
Conley moved from Washington State's closer role last year to the Friday night starter this year. He has an aggressive, almost Dontrelle Willis-like delivery. His fastball typically sits in the 88-93 mph range, but he can touch 95 and has been as high as 97 when he was used in relief as a sophomore. His two-seam fastball has heavy sink and his changeup has good fade. He throws a slider, but it has a long way to go. It has rolling action instead of sharp snap and he mostly relies on locating his fastball, changing speeds and inducing weak contact. With his peerless work ethic and outstanding makeup, Conley has embraced a leadership role this year. Still, evaluators are split on his future role. Some believe his lack of a breaking ball will limit him to a bullpen role. Supporters say the sink on his fastball, the confidence in his changeup and his strong work ethic will allow him to remain as a starter as his breaking ball develops.
70. Andrew Gagnon, rhp
Long Beach State
Though he has yet to post a winning season in college, Gagnon has improved each year at Long Beach, lowering his ERA from 6.28 to 3.28 to 2.80. He showed good feel for pitching in the Cape Cod League last summer, leading the circuit with five wins, and he carried that momentum into his junior year. Gagnon has a prototypical 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame and an easy arm action, but his delivery can get a bit too mechanical at times, and scouts would like to see him loosen up and just throw. He pitches heavily off a lively 90-93 mph fastball that has peaked at 94 this spring, and he pounds both sides of the strike zone with it. Gagnon has worked to improve his feel for his breaking stuff, as he throws both a slider and a curveball, and for much of his career they tended to blend into each other. At his best, he shows a 79-82 hammer curveball and an 82-85 slider, each with distinct shapes. His 82-85 changeup is also an average pitch. Gagnon is still learning to put hitters away with his secondary stuff (he has 183 strikeouts in 245 career innings) and still learning to win, but he has the ingredients to be a workhorse mid- to late-rotation starter in the big leagues.
71. Jace Peterson, ss
Peterson is one of the top two-sport athletes in the draft. A 6-foot-1, 200 pounder, he's a cornerback for McNeese State's football team and had an interception during the 2009 season. He has been more of a factor as the Cowboys' shortstop, leading the Southland Conference in runs in 2010 as an all-conference choice and ranking among the nation's leaders again in 2011. Peterson's profile and athleticism should push him into the first three rounds, as he's a physical, speedy lefthanded hitter with present strength, well above-average speed and a polished approach for a two-sport athlete. He has rough edges to polish in his fielding actions and swing, yet he has more walks than strikeouts as a collegian and has a flat, short, low-maintenance swing. He has the arm strength for shortstop and room to improve there if he can learn to get more extension out front, which would give his throws more carry. Scouts are more comfortable slotting him at second base, and some see him as a utility type. He makes plenty of contact, sacrificing power and limiting his impact potential a bit offensively.
72. Tyler Marlette, c
Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
Evaluators like Marlette's fast-twitch athletic ability behind the plate, and his power potential is sending his draft stock higher. He has shown excellent bat speed in past showcase events, such as the Aflac all-star game last summer, when he homered at Petco Park and was the game's MVP. Then he got hot in front of crosscheckers and other high-level scouts this spring, showing power to all fields, an improvement from his past approach. Marlette has above-average arm strength as well, and earns praise for his grinder mentality. He has the makeup to be a take-charge catcher. The biggest concerns center on his size (he's 5-foot-11, 195 pounds) and scouts' views of how well he'll receive. He has a tendency to lose his front side in his swing, opening his hips early and yanking everything to his pull side. A Central Florida signee, Marlette has a chance to jump into the supplemental round and should go in the first three rounds if he's signable.
73. Roman Quinn, of
Port St. Joe (Fla.) HS
A Florida State signee, Quinn was a must-see at relatively remote Port St. Joe, on the Florida Panhandle. The fastest player in the BA Top 200, he's a true top-of-the-scale runner with game-changing speed. He's a high school shortstop who has the arm strength (solid-average) and hands to stay in the infield. Quinn has the athleticism to play second base, but his speed plays better in center field, which is where more scouts project him to wind up. He's a righthanded hitter who has been learning to switch-hit over the last year. The 2010 East Coast Pro showcase was his first game action hitting lefthanded, and he was overmatched, so he backed off switch-hitting for a time. He resumed it this spring and has improved from the left side. Scouts like his righthanded swing, which produces surprising pop. His 5-foot-9, 165-pound size may drive him down draft boards, but he had helium and was unlikely to get out of the third round.
74. Bryan Brickhouse, rhp
The Woodlands (Texas) HS
Brickhouse is the latest strong-armed pitcher to come out of The Woodlands, which also spawned first-rounders Kyle Drabek (2006) and Jameson Taillon (2010). He won't go quite as high in the draft, and the Tar Heel State native may not be signable away from a North Carolina scholarship if he doesn't. Brickhouse will show good stuff at times, but he doesn't always maintain it past a few innings or throw strikes with it. He has two plus pitches in a 90-93 mph fastball that peaks at 95 and a spike curveball with 11-5 break. The curve sometimes morphs into a slider, and he has the beginnings of a changeup. Six-foot-2 and 190 pounds, he's not particularly big or athletic. He has effort in his delivery and doesn't always stay on top of his pitches. If he can develop consistency, Brickhouse might be a No. 3 starter. He also profiles well as a late-inning reliever who could focus on attacking hitters with his fastball and breaking ball. He helped his cause with a strong performance in the Texas 5-A state playoffs, striking out 11, 12 and 13 batters in his three starts.
75. Larry Greene, of
Berrien County HS, Nashville, Ga.
Greene isn't quite one-dimensional, but it's close. He's a physical beast at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, and one evaluator compared his power to that of Russell Branyan, another south Georgia lefthanded hitter. Green was dominating and putting on huge power displays against modest pitching, pushing himself into first-round consideration. However, scouts who saw him last summer recall he struggled mightily with velocity at the East Coast Pro Showcase. Greene is somewhat stiff but is an average runner, which should give him a chance to play left field, but some scouts think he'll wind up as more of a first base/DH type. Greene's value is mostly in his bat and well above-average raw power. He's likely to put on a display in individual workouts for teams prior to the draft.
76. Michael Kelly, rhp
West Boca Raton (Fla.) HS
Kelly powered West Boca to Florida's state 5-A title with his bat and his arm, throwing an 86-pitch six-hit shutout in the state semifinal in his final appearance. Scouts want him as a pitcher, and his frame is as ideal as any pitcher in the country. He's a fairly fluid athlete who is growing into his 6-foot-5, 210-pound body. Kelly entered the year with great expectations and didn't live up to them early, struggling mechanically to stay tall in his delivery and with inconsistent velocity. His body and stuff elicit comparisons to A.J. Cole, who entered 2010 as the top arm in Florida's prep ranks and wound up a fourth-rounder while still signing for $2 million. Kelly's fastball is a shade below Cole's, topping out at 94 and regularly sitting in the 89-92 mph range. He also throws a curveball and changeup that project to be average pitches but are fringe-average at present. His curve flashes the depth to be a plus pitch if he can firm up his delivery and get better extension out front. Kelly, like Cole, doesn't always attack hitters aggressively like scouts want him to, but he has gotten better as the season progressed.
77. Jason Esposito, 3b
The Royals drafted Esposito in the seventh round out of high school in 2008, but he turned down a reported $1.5 million offer to attend Vanderbilt. He may not get that much this time around, but he'll be close. He got hot offensively this spring at the right time, hitting .376 in SEC play. Esposito is a college version of Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez in that his glove is ahead of his bat. He played some shortstop this spring but is an above-average defender at third with good hands and plus arm strength. Offensively, he has backed up a bit. An average runner with good instincts, he has been less proficient on the bases this year (11 SB, 10 CS) after going 51-for-60 his first two seasons, and stolen bases won't be a significant part of his game as a pro. He has struggled against velocity at times and lost his rhythm, which tends to happen with players with a big leg kick. Some scouts wonder if he's a natural hitter and believe he'll wind up as a utility player, with his glove as his calling card.
78. Travis Harrison, 3b
Tustin (Calif.) HS
Harrison established himself as one of the top power hitters in Southern California early, homering off future Rockies first-rounder Tyler Matzek with a wood bat as a freshman in scout ball. He easily rates as the region's best high school bat this year. Harrison has a physical 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame and above-average righthanded power potential. Some scouts think he could be an above-average hitter, too, if he does a better job protecting the outer half and adjusting to breaking balls. He can make loud contact, but he centers balls on the barrel inconsistently, and other scouts see him as just an average hitter. It's unclear where he'll play on the diamond. His arm has improved to the point that some scouts now consider it average, but his actions at third base are stiff and his range and footwork are fringy. He'll get a chance to stay at the hot corner, however, before falling back to first. He's a below-average runner with solid instincts on the basepaths. Harrison plays hard and loves to compete, and scouts expect a club to buy him out of his commitment to Southern California.
79. Nick Ahmed, ss
With the spotlight on UConn teammates George Springer and Matt Barnes this spring, Ahmed made the most of his opportunities. The more scouts saw of him, the more they liked him, especially his old-school approach to the game. Ahmed got bigger and stronger before this season, adding muscle to his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame. He's a good athlete, a plus runner and has a plus arm. There's nothing fluid about his actions at shortstop, but he has average range and makes every play. There are questions about how his bat will play at the next level, and he struggled with Bourne in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he has improved his bat control and the way his hands work to the ball. Ahmed also showed a 91-94 mph fastball in the Big East Conference tournament as a reliever last year. He suffered a collapsed lung in a collision at first base in late April, but the injury isn't a long-term concern. If anything, scouts were impressed with his fiery energy in that midweek game against Quinnipiac.
80. Charlie Tilson, of
New Trier HS, Winnetka, Ill.
Though Tilson was the best player on New Trier's 2009 Illinois 4-A championship team as a sophomore, he didn't burst onto the prospect scene until the Area Code Games the following summer. Tilson led all players with seven stolen bases in three games, hit the wood-bat event's lone home run and finished fourth in the SPARQ athletic testing. He hasn't quite shown the same tools this spring, however, and fits more in the second or third round. The Area Code homer was an aberration, as the 6-foot, 175-pounder has average bat speed and a line-drive swing. Power isn't his game, as he's a lefty hitter who fits at the top of the lineup. His game is to make contact and get on base. His speed rates a 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he'll be more dangerous once he improves his jumps. He runs down balls in center field and shows a slightly above-average arm. His instincts and makeup help enhance his tools. Area scouts who have more history with Tilson don't rate him as highly as scouting directors and crosscheckers who saw him at the Area Code Games. An Illinois recruit, he draws comparisons to former Illini speedster Kyle Hudson, a standout athlete who was a fourth-round pick of the Orioles in 2008. Hudson is quicker, but Tilson is a better hitter and has more polish at the same stage of their careers. He's a top student and could be a tough sign.
81. Lenny Linsky, rhp
Linsky was a decent prospect coming out of high school—though he wasn't drafted—but he has blossomed at Hawaii. He has improved each year and was nearly unhittable this spring, helping the Rainbows finish first in the Western Athletic Conference for the first time since 1992. His fastball has incredible sink, even at 92-94 mph, and he can run it up to 96 from a low three-quarters arm slot. Hitters frequently swing over his fastball, and he has a dominating slider that can get as high as 89 mph. One scout joked that hitters need a shovel if they want to elevate the ball against Linsky. He allowed just three extra-base hits during the regular season—all doubles. Earlier in the season, he was flying open and getting under his pitches, but a few mechanical adjustments fixed that problem and he was better the second half. Linsky has a durable frame at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds and a closer's mentality. He could go as high as the sandwich round and should move quickly through the minor leagues.
82. Connor Barron, ss
Sumrall (Miss.) HS
Barron helped lead Sumrall to a 67-game winning streak that ended last year and moved from third base to shortstop this spring. He helped the team to its fourth straight state 3A title and batted .490 with eight home runs He has matured physically as a senior, going from 6 feet, 170 pounds to 6-foot-3, 195 pounds now. He has remained an above-average runner, and he has the arm strength for shortstop. Throw in his fluid lefthanded swing, and Barron has gone from a solid local follow to a genuine pop-up guy who is making Southern Mississippi sweat. He would replace B.A. Vollmuth as the Golden Eagles' shortstop next season, if he makes it to school. Evaluators compare him to Rays big leaguer Reid Brignac, who was a second-round pick in 2004, and Barron now could go close to that range. He has shown surprising raw power, and scouts believe in his knack for hitting as well as above-average athleticism.
83. Tyler Greene, ss
West Boca Raton (Fla.) HS
Teammate of highly regarded righthander Mike Kelly, Greene is one of the draft's bigger enigmas. The younger brother of Mets farmhand Chase Greene, Tyler pushed his brother off shortstop when they played together in 2009, when he was just a sophomore. He's impressive physically and shows well in workouts and showcases with his raw tools. Greene has improved his speed to well above-average over the last year by getting stronger and more explosive. He has a fast-twitch body and athletic ability, and looks the part at shortstop. He's not natural at short, doesn't always get good hops and doesn't have the most accurate arm, short-circuiting his plus arm strength. Offensively, he was erratic on the showcase circuit and again this spring, where he was hitting around .380 in mid May with just five home runs. Greene also could move up boards with a strong workout.
84. Johnny Eierman, of
Warsaw (Mo.) HS
A product of a central Missouri town with a population of 2,100, Eierman boosted his draft stock by showing impressive raw tools on a bigger stage last summer. He made the rounds of the showcase circuit, posting the second-best 60-yard dash time (6.41 seconds) at the Area Code Games and launching balls in batting practice. Eierman has well above-average bat speed to match hit foot speed, though he'll have to make adjustments against better pitching. He has a long righthanded stroke with an inconsistent load, and he's too aggressive at the plate. If he can iron out his swing, he could be an average hitter with plus power. A shortstop for his high school team coached by his father John, Eierman won't stay in the infield in pro ball. He lacks the hands and actions for second base, and his average arm may not be enough for third. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has the tools to become a solid center fielder. A Louisiana State recruit, he'll need time to develop but has a high ceiling.
85. Tyler Gibson, of
Stratford Academy, Macon, Ga.
The son of Mercer head coach Craig Gibson, Tyler has a smooth lefthanded swing with a classic high finish and plus raw power potential. He combines good bat speed, improved strength and good balance with plenty of leverage. Scouts are somewhat split on just how high Gibson's ceiling is and how athletic he is, and some believe all his value will be in his bat. With broad shoulders, he should fill out his 190-pound frame and has added 15 pounds since last summer, when he was sidelined by an automobile accident that kept him off the showcase circuit. He returned in October and hit two home runs at the World Wood Bat event and hasn't looked back. Gibson signed with Georgia Tech, which would play him at short, but pro scouts don't consider him a fit there, and projecting him at third base can be a challenge if he keeps getting bigger. He runs well enough (6.7-seconds in the 60) to move to an outfield corner and could hit well enough to man either spot. His arm might be better suited to left field, but it won't matter if he hits with plus power.
86. Zach Cone, of
Cone looks like a big leaguer but hasn't played like one this season. After hitting .363 as a sophomore, he was batting .283/.343/.382 as a junior, and scouts were saying more than just the new bats were at play. He appears to lack trust in his hitting ability, swinging early in counts and getting out on his front foot too often. Scouts question his pitch recognition, and he has drawn just 33 walks in three seasons. Cone's other tools range from good to outstanding. He's a plus runner with above-average range in center field. He has understandably played with less abandon after an early-season collision in the outfield that left teammate Jonathan Taylor in the hospital and partially paralyzed with a neck injury. He gets good enough jumps and reads in center field to profile as an above-average defender there. His arm has gone backward, playing fringe-average this spring after it was plus in the fall. Cone has solid raw power and strength, and ranks as one of the college ranks' best athletes, with physical ability comparable to fellow college outfielders such as Mikie Mahtook and George Springer. Even area scouts who see all his flaws expect Cone, who was a third-round pick out of high school in 2008, to improve on that by a round or so in 2011.
87. Kyle Gaedele, of
The shortest player in major league history, 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel, got one at-bat as a publicity stunt concocted by Hall of Fame owner Bill Veeck. Gaedel was roughly half the size of his great-nephew Kyle, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder who's a lock to surpass former major leaguer Lloyd McClendon (eighth round, 1980) as the highest-drafted player ever from Valparaiso. Gaedel has a major league body, though his tools stand out more than his skills. He has plus raw power but he generates it more with pure strength than with bat speed. His righthanded swing gets long at times and he shows inconsistent recognition of breaking balls. Gaedel helped his cause by performing well with wood bats in the Northwoods League last summer. He's more than just a bat, as he has plus speed and a chance to play center field. It's more likely he'll fit on a corner, and his fringy arm fits better in left field. Gaedel generates mixed opinions. His biggest backers think he's a supplemental first-round talent, while others see him as a fourth-rounder.
88. Nicky Delmonico, c/1b/3b
Farragut HS, Knoxville
Delmonico comes from a baseball family. His father Rod was Tennessee's head coach for 18 seasons until 2007, and his brother Tony hit .374 for Florida State's 2008 College World Series team before embarking on a pro career with the Dodgers. Tony moved to catcher as a pro, and Nicky also has a chance to catch. Scouts aren't completely sold on his defensive ability, but he has the body and arm strength for the position. Delmonico is maxed out physically at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and is 19 years old. He had a tough spring, hitting six home runs but disappointing scouts with his lack of impact offensively. His value is in his bat, and his swing has become more stiff in the last year, perhaps as a result of a nagging back injury he had from lifting weights. Some scouts consider his swing mechanical, while others believe he just lost bat speed due to draft pressure and trying too hard. Those who believe in Delmonico believe his above-average instincts, plus arm and adequate receiving skills will keep him behind the plate, making him an above-average offensive player for the position if his bat bounces back. He's signed to Georgia.
89. Tyler Goeddel, 3b
St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif.
Goeddel's father, David, is a pioneer in the biotechnology industry and helped develop synthetic insulin and human growth hormone. His brother, Erik, is a pitcher in the Mets organization, drafted out of UCLA last year. Tyler has a gangly and projectable 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame. He's also a well above-average runner, athletic enough to play third base, though his speed may be best utilized in center field. Goeddel has above-average arm strength and shows intriguing tools at the plate. He takes aggressive swings with bat speed, and his bat head stays in the hitting zone for a long time. Scouts have to project on Goeddel's power, but it's not hard to envision him hitting for at least average power as he adds muscle to his frame. Goeddel missed time this season with mononucleosis, but he still has the track record and skill set to be a premium pick.
90. Joe Musgrove, rhp
Grossmont HS, El Cajon, Calif.
Musgrove has improved his stock as much as any prep player in Southern California this spring. He was solid but unspectacular at the Southern California Invitational Showcase at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in February, working in the 88-91 mph range. Since then, his velocity has jumped, and many scouts now regard him as the best high school righthander in the region's thin crop. Musgrove, a San Diego State commit, has a physical 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame and an easy delivery. For most of this spring his fastball has sat comfortably in the 90-92 mph range with heavy sink, and he can reach back for 93-94 when he needs to. At his best, some scouts say they saw him touch 97-98, to go along with a hammer curveball in the 76-82 mph range. Usually, though, he throws a three-quarters slurve in the 77-80 range. Musgrove also mixes in a split-change. A former offensive and defensive lineman for the Grossmont football team, Musgrove is a tenacious competitor. He still has to work on repeating his delivery more consistently and fine-tuning his secondary stuff, but it's easy to dream on him becoming a big league workhorse starter.
91. Burch Smith, rhp
The Indians selected Smith in each of the last two drafts, taking him in the 49th round in 2009 and in the 20th round a year ago. He'll go much higher this year after transferring from Howard (Texas) JC to Oklahoma, though he could have gone in the top three rounds in 2010 had he been more signable. Smith didn't pitch much until he was a high school senior, then served as the No. 4 starter on Howard's 2009 national championship team that went 65-1. Smith still isn't the most polished pitcher, but he throws 90-93 mph and reaches 95 with ease. He may find more velocity once he adds strength to his 6-foot-3, 192-pound frame. He's doing a better job of throwing strikes this year, though his control needs more work, as does the rest of his arsenal. He throws two breaking balls, with his slider ranking ahead of his curveball, and has exhibited some feel for his changeup. If Smith continues to develop, he could become a No. 3 starter with a quality fastball and solid control and secondary pitches.
92. Keenyn Walker, of
Central Arizona JC
Walker was drafted in the 16th round out of high school in Utah in 2009 and last year at Central Arizona, in the 38th round. Scouts have always been intrigued by the 6-foot-3 switch-hitter with standout tools and impressive athleticism. The raw tools don't always translate on the baseball field, however, and he didn't even start regularly last year. This year is a different story. Walker has performed well with wood and he should get more than the $250,000 he reportedly turned down out of high school. Walker has more power from the right side, but his lefthanded swing is more pure. He's mostly a gap hitter with above-average speed, so he profiles as a good defensive center fielder. He has the speed to hit at the top of the order, but needs to cut down on his strikeouts. If he doesn't sign, Walker will head to Utah.
93. Noe Ramirez, rhp
Cal State Fullerton
Ramirez was lightly recruited and undrafted out of Alhambra (Calif.) High in 2008, but he developed into a top-two-rounds candidate during three stellar seasons at Cal State Fullerton. Ramirez is 29-5 in his Fullerton career, and his 1.76 ERA this spring is the best of his career. He was slowed by elbow tenderness earlier this spring, and he missed two weeks with a sprained ankle later in the season, but he returned strong. Lean and wiry at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Ramirez has gotten stronger since high school, increasing his fastball velocity from the 86-88 mph range to the 88-91 range now, peaking at 92-93 early in games. He generally commands his fastball well, but his bread-and-butter is his offspeed stuff. Ramirez credits former Fullerton great Ricky Romero with teaching him his changeup grip, and he throws his 83-84 mph change with the same arm speed as his fastball, and it has splitter-like action and deception, rating as a plus to plus-plus pitch. His slider still gets sweepy at times, but it has improved as is now an average offering. Ramirez is a fearless competitor with outstanding feel for pitching and one of the best track records in the draft. He has the stuff and makeup to become a mid- to late-rotation starter in the big leagues.
94. Kyle McMillen, rhp
Andrew Chafin isn't the only Kent State arm attracting early-round attention. The Golden Flashes used McMillen as a two-way player in his first two seasons—he showed impressive raw power as a first baseman—but he has concentrated on pitching as a junior after breaking the hamate bone in his right hand last fall. He touched 94 mph in the Cape Cod League last summer and has done so repeatedly this spring, working at 91-94 mph. Kent State's Mike Birkbeck, a former big leaguer who's regarded as one of the top pitching coaches in the Midwest, has helped McMillen refine a slider that's a wipeout pitch at times. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is a good athlete but needs to do a more consistent job of throwing strikes. With the Flashes' starters dominating Mid-American Conference opponents all season long, scouts have had a hard time getting to see McMillen in action. But they've seen him enough that he should go in the first three rounds of the draft, possibly as high as the sandwich round.
95. Brandon Loy, ss
One of the top defensive shortstops in the draft, Loy has enhanced his draft status with improved performance at the plate. His calling card is still his defense, which includes quick feet, solid range, sure hands and a strong arm. He makes all the routine plays as well as spectacular ones and rarely commits errors. In his first two years at Texas, the righthanded hitter batted .271 and was most notable at the plate for his bunting prowess. Loy led NCAA Division I with 25 sacrifices in 2009 and ranked fourth with 17 last year. He has been asked to bunt less this year, when he hit .327 in the regular season with 20 extra-base hits, nearly matching his previous career total of 21. The 6-foot, 170-pounder projects to have well below-average power with wood bats. He controls the strike zone well but sometimes tries to pull and lift pitches, which isn't his game. Loy has average speed and runs the bases well, though he won't be a big basestealing threat. He might be relegated to the bottom of a big league lineup, but his defensive prowess could make him a major league regular.
96. Matt Andriese, rhp
Scouts were intrigued by Andriese's frame and sinker coming out of high school in Redlands, Calif., in 2008, when he was a 37th-round pick. He has boosted his stock in three years at UC Riverside. He struggled as a sophomore, going 5-5, 4.95, but gained confidence in the Cape Cod League last summer and has gotten outs much more consistently this spring. Andriese has a physical, durable frame at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. His delivery has stiffness and length, and he's just a fair athlete. He holds the 90-93 mph velocity on his slightly above-average fastball deep into games, and he flashes a sharp, late power curveball, though he needs to repeat it more consistently for it to become a true plus pitch. He also throws an average split-change with late tumble. Andriese generally has good command, but it can lapse at times. He projects as a durable mid-rotation starter.
97. Erik Johnson, rhp
Johnson has a big, 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame and sometimes has trouble maintaining his mechanics. His delivery can get a little rigid and he loses his arm slot at times, though he's been better about getting it back than he was last year. Johnson is quick to the plate and sits in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and tops out at 95. His best secondary offering is a hard slider that he can throw for strikes or use as a wipeout pitch and he also mixes in a slow, show-me curveball and a changeup that is inconsistent, but shows flashes of being a quality pitch. Johnson sometimes tries to be too fine with his fastball instead of trusting that he can overpower hitters with it. While he needs to sharpen his fastball command, Johnson has shown a good enough feel for pitching to get by and go deep into games without it.
98. Evan Marshall, rhp
The state of Kansas could have as many as seven college pitchers taken in the first 10 rounds, and Marshall has become the top righthanded prospect in the group after excelling as a set-up man this spring. He began last season in Kansas State's rotation, but his stuff has played up significantly this year when he has come out of the bullpen. After pitching in the high 80s as a starter, he has worked at 93-94 mph while teaming with James Allen to give the Wildcats the best bullpen tandem in the Big 12 Conference. His hard slider gives him a second plus pitch, and his lack of a reliable changeup isn't a handicap as a reliever. Marshall isn't big at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds, and he throws with some effort, often flying open in his delivery. He still throws strikes, and he has a loose, resilient arm that has allowed him to top out at 96 mph even when used on consecutive days. He profiles more as a set-up man than a closer but should get to the majors quickly.
99. Chris Marlowe, rhp
Burch Smith (then at Howard JC) and Marlowe (Navarro JC) ranked as the top junior college prospects in Texas last year, and now they're the best college prospects in Oklahoma. Marlowe averaged 17.3 strikeouts per nine innings at Navarro, a rate that would have led all juco pitchers had he worked enough innings to qualify. He has been just as devastating at Oklahoma State, and his 15.5 whiffs per nine in the regular season would top NCAA Division I if he had enough innings. Both his fastball and curveball can be plus-plus pitches at times, though he relies on the latter too much. He pitches at 92-95 mph and tops out at 97 with his fastball, and he throws his curve at 83-84 mph. Though he's athletic, Marlowe isn't physical at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds. He has some effort in his delivery, which hampers his ability to throw strikes, and isn't as sharp when used on consecutive days. A 21st-round pick of the Blue Jays a year ago, Marlowe should be one of the first relievers drafted in 2011.
100. Logan Verrett, rhp
Verrett positioned himself as a possible first-round pick with a strong performance in the Cape Cod League last summer. He hasn't quite pitched up to that standard this spring, though he did finish the regular season on a roll, not allowing an earned run in his final 21 innings. Verrett doesn't have an out pitch, but he has three solid offerings and mixes speeds and plans well. His best pitch is his slider, which generates some swings as misses. He has an average fastball, pitching at 88-92 mph and topping out at 94, though it lacks life. He gets more sink on his changeup. A 6-foot-3, 185-pounder, Verrett repeats his sound delivery well and throws strikes. Scouts also like the way he competes. Though he's athletic, he struggles to control the running game. While he showed a 93-95 mph fastball when he worked out of the bullpen as a freshman, Verrett has a future as a No. 3 starter.