Top 200 Prospects: 151-200
From Carter Capps to Amir Garrett
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #1-50
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #51-100
See also: Scouting
Reports On Prospects #101-150
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.
151. Carter Capps, rhp
Mount Olive (N.C.)
A catcher in high school, Capps redshirted as a college freshman and then moved to the mound at the behest of Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster. That idea looks brilliant, as Capps has a career mark of 12-0, 1.59 with 110 strikeouts and 13 walks in 96 innings. He has a big, durable body at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, and arm strength to boot. His fastball can range from 90-96 mph, usually sitting in the low 90s with hard sink. He has a slider that shows occasional depth, as well as a curveball and changeup, though those two pitches need work. Capps will likely shift to a bullpen role because his stuff plays better there and he has issues with his delivery. He throws across his body and has a long stride that makes it difficult for him to get out front. Scouts think his mechanics can be ironed out, but still like him better as a reliever.
152. Jack Armstrong Jr., rhp
Armstrong will be one of the draft's most interesting calls. The son of former big league pitcher Jack Armstrong, who was a first-round pick in 1987, Junior has really been a significant contributor only as a sophomore, going 7-4, 4.71 in 2010. He has performed well for two summers in the Cape Cod League, earning the No. 6 prospect spot in 2009 and No. 23 in 2010, and he was a preseason third-team All-American in 2010. He has jumbo size at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, yet he's athletic enough to do standing backflips. Armstrong hasn't been fully healthy in 2011 and didn't start pitching until mid-March while battling back woes. He hasn't flashed the mid-90s stuff he showed as a freshman, though he has still worked in the low 90s and at his best has shown plenty of stuff against good competition. His best outing came in a loss as he threw four hitless innings against Florida, though he walked four and had more balls (38) than strikes (36). Armstrong throws a curveball and changeup that have their moments, but he's more of a physical athlete than a polished pitcher at this point. Signability will matter a great deal for a player who has been better in the past than he is in 2011.
153. Kyle McMyne, rhp
At 6 feet, 215 pounds, McMyne is a stocky righthander who is strong and well put together. He has served as Villanova's ace this season and has power stuff, with a fastball that ranges from 90-96 mph and can sit 92-93. He throws a curveball and slider that are inconsistent. He's confident in using the curve to get strikes, while the slider might be a slightly better pitch. McMyne hasn't shown great command as a starter, and a team may send him to the bullpen where that won't be as much of a factor and he can get by with his fastball and slider. As a starter, however, he has been able to hold his velocity deep into games.
154. Cody Kukuk, lhp
Free State HS, Lawrence, Kan.
In addition to being the best athlete in the draft, Bubba Starling is also the best high school pitcher in Kansas. Among those whose future will be on the mound, however, Kukuk stands out. He's a projectable 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefthander whose best days are ahead of him. For most of the spring, he pitched at 88-91 mph with good armside run on a fastball that has reached 93 in the past. He also shows a hard slider at times, though it gets slurvy. His changeup is a work in progress. Kukuk's biggest need is consistency, as his release point varies and affects the quality of his pitches and his control. In an effort to throw more strikes, he tried using a more compact delivery, frustrating scouts who wanted to see him cut loose as he had in the past. Though he's far from a finished product, loose and athletic lefties with quality arms are hard to ignore. A Kansas recruit, he could get popped as early as the third round.
155. Andrew Suarez, lhp
Columbus HS, Miami
Scouts have watched Suarez for some time, and in some ways it seems they only look for his flaws now. He was Dade County's top pitcher as a sophomore in 2009, and scouts noticed his easy arm action and smooth delivery. He hit 92 mph easily, so scouts kept waiting for more out of the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder. Suarez still throws 92 mph and sits in the 88-92 range at his best. Like many prep pitchers, his fastball velocity has fluctuated, and he was up-and-down this spring. He shows a good feel for throwing his curveball for strikes and a solid changeup as well. The biggest question with Suarez is how much is left in his arm. Projecting on Florida high school pitchers can be dicey because they play year-round, and some area scouts question his athleticism. He has a strong commitment to Miami as well. Even if his fastball velocity doesn't improve, Suarez has a chance to be a physical three-pitch lefty, making him a first-five-rounds talent.
156. Austin Wood, rhp
Wood's track record has never matched his premium arm strength. A 36th-round pick of the Astros in 2008 out of high school in Florida, Wood didn't sign and went to Florida State, where he posted a 6.35 ERA and walked 25 in 23 innings as a freshman. He transferred to St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC and pitched his way out of rotation, though his upside still prompted the Rays to draft him in the fourth round last year. He finally performed in the Cape Cod League last summer, leading the circuit in opponent average (.144), ranking second in ERA (0.74) and touching 99 mph in the all-star game at Fenway Park. He transferred to Southern California and has reverted to his inconsistent ways. Wood looks the part of a big league workhorse, with a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. His fastball has ranged from 92-96 mph this spring, yet hitters often square it up. His control has improved, but he still falls behind in counts too often and struggles to spot his fastball, which does have good arm-side run. Scouts see him as a one-pitch reliever because his secondary stuff is below-average at best. He had success with his changeup in the Cape, and he flashed a decent one this spring, but it has regressed as he has focused on developing his curveball. He has a tendency to cast the curve, which lacks late action. Wood's arm strength and body will get him drafted somewhere inside the top five rounds, but he still has a long way to go to become a pitcher who can get outs consistently.
157. Jacob Anderson, of/1b
Chino (Calif.) HS
Anderson's stock soared after he won the home run derby at the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field last August, nearly putting a ball on Waveland Avenue in the final round. Scouts were frustrated they could not see Anderson play the outfield this spring, because Chino High had no other viable options at first base and used Anderson there. Tall and projectable at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he is a long strider with solid-average speed under way, and he profiles either in center or right, where he should have adequate arm strength. Anderson is a physical specimen with plenty of leverage and solid-average to plus raw power potential in his slightly uphill swing. Scouts are not convinced his bat is ready for pro ball, as he struggles to recognize offspeed stuff and needs to learn how to make adjustments. But he has the ability to become an average hitter down the road. A top-five-rounds talent, Anderson is likely headed to school at Pepperdine, where he'll help anchor a strong recruiting class.
158. Carson Smith, rhp
After having little success as a freshman at Grayson County (Texas) CC in 2009, Smith has been the Southland Conference pitcher of the year in each of his two seasons at Texas State. He ended the regular season with 12 straight quality starts, lowering his ERA to 1.98 with 114 strikeouts in 95 innings. Though he has three pitches and has had success as a starter, scouts project Smith as a reliever because of his delivery. He slings the ball with a lot of effort while keeping his elbow low and close to his side, and doesn't appear suited to durability or command. Smith came down with shoulder tendinitis in the offseason and has pitched through shoulder issues this spring. He also has a high leg kick that provides deception. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has been clocked at 97 mph coming out of the bullpen last year, compared to 90-93 mph early in games and 88-92 mph later in 2010. His low arm angle does add sink to his fastball and his changeup, and his slider can be a swing-and-miss pitch at times.
159. John Hicks, c
Hicks could provide a lot of value if he can stay behind the plate. He has shown improvement defensively, though his arm is average and the receiving skills are fringy. He is a good athlete with a live body, and teams may think that will allow him to continue to develop as a catcher. Hicks has some power, but he's more likely to work the gaps while teammate Steven Proscia has more loft. Hicks has shown good plate discipline this season, though his swing can get long at times. If a team buys into him as a catcher, he could go higher than Proscia; he doesn't profile nearly as well as a first baseman or corner outfielder.
160. Michael Reed, of
Leander (Texas) HS
Reed has created mixed opinions among Texas area scouts this spring. Those who buy into his strong 6-foot, 210-pound body and tools think he could fit in the second or third rounds, while others who worry about his lack of polish see him as more of a sixth- to 10th-rounder. His proponents think he profiles nicely as a right fielder who swings the bat with authority from the right side of the plate and backs up his raw power with plus speed and arm strength. Others think he has a mature, maxed-out frame and does everything with a lot of effort, and that he's a fringe to average runner. Reed also pitches, reaching 90 mph with his fastball, and he'll see action as a two-way player if he attends Mississippi. It may take second-round money to sign him away from Ole Miss, for whom his father Benton played football en route to a brief NFL career.
161. Cole Green, rhp
The Tigers drafted Green in the fourth round last year after he won Big 12 Conference pitcher of the year honors, but he opted to return to Texas after turning down a reported $400,000. After shaking off a surprising shelling by Maryland in his first start of 2011, he has been just as effective this spring. The 6-foot, 210-pounder doesn't have a classic pro body or sexy stuff, but he competes and throws strikes every time he takes the mound. He pitches off his sinker, which sits at 88-92 mph and occasionally peaks at 94. His changeup grades out as his best offering and keeps lefthanders at bay, and he uses a late-breaking slider that runs from 79-82 mph. Green commands his pitches well, working in the bottom of the strike zone and generating groundballs. On pure stuff, he may project as no more than a middle reliever, but his feel for pitching may allow him to become a back-of-the-rotation starter. In part because he'll come at a discount as a college senior without much leverage, he should go around the fourth round again in 2011.
162. Tyler Pill, rhp
Cal State Fullerton
Pill, the younger brother of former Fullerton star Brett Pill, has been a valuable two-way contributor for the Titans for three years, but his future in pro ball is on the mound. An elbow injury limited his pitching duties as a sophomore, and he played the outfield in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he returned to full strength as a junior and put together a fine season on the mound. Pill is physically unimposing but sturdily built at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. His frame and stuff evoke Ian Kennedy, and his tenacity is a major asset. He pitches with a fringy fastball that ranges from 88-91 mph and bumps 92, but it plays up a bit because of his deception and command. He throws an average curveball and a solid-average to plus changeup, and he has enough feel with both pitches to throw them to righties as well as lefties. He also mixes in an 86-87 mph cutter that runs in on lefthanded hitters. Pill does not have huge upside, projecting as a back-of-the-rotation starter, but his feel for pitching and makeup should get him drafted around the fifth round.
163. Aaron Nola, rhp
Catholic HS, Baton Rouge
Nola's older brother Austin is a three-year starter at Louisiana State, and Aaron has signed with LSU as well. They could be teammates in 2012 because scouts see positives and negatives on both as the draft approaches. Aaron gets compared to former LSU righthander Louis Coleman because of his low-slot release point and fastball/changeup combination. Nola is much less physical than the 6-foot-4 Coleman, though, listed at 6 feet, 164 pounds. In some ways he more closely resembles former LSU recruit Jeremy Hellickson, as his out pitch is a devastating changeup that earns plus grades from scouts now. Nola has had health issues, with a sports hernia that cost him weight and time in 2010 and shoulder tendinitis that slowed him in 2011. He came back strong, throwing strikes and sitting with average velocity at 89-91 mph this spring. His lower slot is better suited to a slider, but Nola is still throwing a below-average curveball. Signability and size could push Nola out of the first five rounds, but his whippy arm and changeup could prompt a team to buy him out of LSU.
164. Mark Pope, rhp
Pope was highly regarded out of high school in Atlanta, leading his Walton High team to a state title as a junior and a runner-up finish as a senior. He was a 17th-round pick of the Braves but went to Georgia Tech, where he was a closer as a freshman and mid-week starter as a sophomore. Few were prepared for Pope to become the Yellow Jackets' Friday starter as a junior, pushing likely first-rounder Jed Bradley to the Saturday spot. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference in wins (11) and innings (105) while ranking third in ERA (1.54) through the end of the regular season, yet he wasn't impressing scouts. While he hit the mid-90s in high school, he now works with an 88-92 mph fastball with average life and command. He has good feel for his slider, either as a strike or a chase pitch, and most scouts grade it as major league average, more notable for its command than its bite. He's more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout artist, and his changeup gives him a decent third option. Pope doesn't get rattled and pitched with a lot of confidence this season. Some scouts think there's more in his arm if he can pitch off his four-seamer more as a pro. His solid repertoire and performance should get him off the board in the first five rounds.
165. Garrett Buechele, 3b
Buechele originally signed with Kansas, but changed his mind after the Jayhawks wanted to convert him into a catcher. After transferring to Oklahoma and sitting out 2008 in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, he has been one of the Sooners' best hitters for the last three years. The 6-foot, 205-pounder makes consistent contact, uses the whole field and has average power from the right side of the plate. He's a cerebral hitter with a good approach, no surprise considering that his father Steve played 11 years in the big leagues. While Buechele has good hands and instincts at third base, his arm is just decent and his speed is well below-average. He doesn't profile well defensively at any position, which detracts from his bat and his bloodlines. The Rangers drafted him in the 18th round a year ago, when he was a redshirt sophomore.
166. Cody Stubbs, 1b/3b
Walters State (Tenn.) JC
Stubbs drew early-round interest out of high school in Waynesville, N.C., but headed to Tennessee after spurning the Red Sox as a 29th-round pick in 2009. Nothing went as Stubbs planned, as he drew sporadic playing time and hit just .241 with three home runs, then struggled in the Cape Cod League, hitting just .172 with one homer. He transferred to Walters State, Tennessee's top junior-college program, and got hot in the second half, showing the form that got scouts interested out of high school. Stubbs is big and physical at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and he has played mostly left field in junior college, indicative of his decent athleticism as well as his solid arm strength. He's a below-average runner and will fit better at first eventually as a pro. Scouts who like him buy the bat, with Stubbs' strength and leverage producing above-average power. His 12 home runs ranked in the top 20 nationally among juco players. He's committed to North Carolina if the draft doesn't work out for a second time.
167. Preston Tucker, of/1b
Tucker broke in to college ball with a splash, driving in 85 runs and earning first-team Freshman All-American honors in 2009. He was primarily a first baseman in his first two seasons but has shifted to the outfield as a junior to help Florida get more bats into the lineup and to showcase Tucker's versatility. Most scouts says it has done more to expose Tucker's flaws than highlight his strengths, though, and after he batted .113 in the Cape Cod League he has his detractors. He did rally in the Cape to hit two home runs in the postseason, and he rallied from a slow 2011 start to get back over .300 in Southeastern Conference play while hitting double digits in home runs again. Tucker has solid hitting ability and makes consistent contact, and he's not afraid to work counts. He has solid power, but it's hard for scouts to give him above-average grades for either of his best tools. Defensively, he fits better in left field, where his below-average speed and arm are less of a factor than in right, where he plays for the Gators. Some scouts see him as more of a first baseman. His track record of performance should get him off the board in the first six rounds.
168. Phillip Evans, 2b
La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad, Calif.
A veteran of the showcase circuit, Evans went 2-for-3 in the Aflac All-American game last summer and entered his senior year as a preseason All-American. But he regressed this spring, showing less speed and strength than he had in the past, and hitting the ball with less authority. Scouts say he models his defensive style after Tony Wolters, a Southern California middle infielder who was drafted in the third round by the Orioles in 2010. But Wolters had better tools than the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Evans. A high school shortstop who could probably handle the position at San Diego State if he goes to college, Evans projects as a second baseman in pro ball. He has good hands and flashes average arm strength, but sometimes he drops his arm slot and flips the ball to first too casually. He lacks the range for shortstop but could be an average defender at second. Evans has shown average speed in the past, but he has consistently produced below-average running times this spring. He plays hard, though, and his speed plays up a tick because of his hustle. Evans has a simple, repeatable righthanded swing, and projections on his bat range from fringe-average to plus, depending on the scout. He has some strength in his forearms and projects for fringe-average power, despite his small stature. Evans lacks standout tools, but he's an instinctive player, and the sum is greater than the parts. Scouts say they wouldn't be shocked if Evans gets drafted in the top three rounds, but most of them seem more comfortable with him in the fifth- to seventh-round range.
169. Michael Cederoth, rhp
Steele Canyon HS, Spring Valley, Calif.
Cederoth showed intriguing arm strength at the Area Code Games tryouts last summer before walking off the mound with a shoulder injury. He showed an 88-91 mph fastball and a slow curve in the MLB Urban Youth Invitational in February, and his velocity jumped during the spring. At his best, he pitches in the 94-96 mph range, though he normally sits between 90-94. Tall, skinny and projectable at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, Cederoth has significant upside. Scouts aren't sure he's mature enough to start his pro career or if he'd be better off developing at San Diego State. He remains raw, with an unrefined delivery full of moving parts and a violent arm action. He struggles to repeat his arm angle and tends to sling the ball. At times he flashes an average curveball with short break, and on his best days he even unleashed a power slider or a cutter at 86-88, seemingly out of nowhere. Cederoth comes with plenty of risk, but a club could take a chance on his power arm inside the top five rounds.
170. Pat Connaughton, rhp
St. John's Prep, Danvers, Mass.
Connaughton starred as a basketball player during his career at St. John's Prep, averaging nearly 22 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists per game, but he might have a brighter future in baseball. At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, it isn't surprising Connaughton had success on the hardwood, but those same dimensions make him projectable on the mound, as he's physical and athletic. He has committed to Notre Dame, where he would play both sports, similar to Yankees' 2007 first-round pick Andrew Brackman, who played basketball for two years at North Carolina State. If Connaughton concentrates on baseball, his potential is significant. He shows easy velocity, sitting anywhere from 87-94 mph with his fastball that has good run and sink. He throws both a curveball and a slider, the latter showing more promise, along with a changeup that flashes plus. His secondary stuff and command need refinement because he hasn't fully dedicated himself to baseball and hasn't pitched many innings. Connaughton's arm action is deep in the back, but he has good hand speed and the ball comes out well in front on release. Connaughton is regarded as a difficult sign, but he is a top-six rounds talent with a chance to land a big bonus.
171. Ian Gardeck, rhp
Angelina (Texas) JC
In 2005, an unheralded pitcher transferred from an NCAA Division I program to Angelina JC and quickly blossomed into a top prospect. Gardeck has taken a similar path, and while he won't duplicate Clay Buchholz's rise and become a supplemental first-rounder, he has some of the best sheer arm strength in this draft. Gardeck didn't start pitching until his junior year at Crystal Lake (Ill.) South HS, and he occasionally touched 94 mph as a senior in 2009 and as a reliever at Dayton in 2010. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder's velocity spiked when he pitched in the New England Collegiate League last summer, and he opened more eyes when he hit 98 mph in the fall after moving to Angelina. Because he's so new to pitching, Gardeck is still raw. Scouts don't like his arm action, which hampers his ability to throw strikes, as does his inability to maintain his arm slot. He pitched his way out of Angelina's rotation and into its bullpen this spring. He consistently pitches at 94-96 mph as a reliever. He'll show a mid-80s slider that's a wipeout pitch at times, but he struggles to harness it. With two pitches that grade at 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale at times but command that rates a 35, Gardeck's pro future also is in the bullpen. He'll attend Alabama if he doesn't turn pro.
172. Nick Martini, of
Martini set an NCAA Division I record by reaching base in 93 straight games in 2010-11, and that's what he does best, as he's a gifted lefthanded hitter with quick hands, a line-drive swing and good command of the strike zone. He works counts, makes consistent contact and uses the opposite field well. His instincts allow his solid speed to play up on the bases. Martini is 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds, and most of his power comes to the gaps. He has played both left and center field for Kansas State, and though he gets good jumps, his range fits better in left field. His arm is average. Because Martini doesn't have a plus tool besides his bat, he may profile better as a fourth outfielder than as a big league regular. Nevertheless, his hitting ability should get him drafted in the first five rounds or so.
173. Taylor Hill, rhp
Hill has pitched in Vanderbilt's rotation for most of his four seasons on campus. A 30th-round pick of the Indians last year, he didn't sign and has maintained his rotation spot despite the Commodores' tremendous pitching depth. Hill earned and has kept his spot due to his ability to pound the strike zone with four pitches, and he has been rewarded with fewer home runs allowed due in part to the new bats. Hill's fastball has sink and boring action and can reach 93-94 mph, though he usually sits 87-92. His slider and changeup are solid-average secondary pitches, and every once in a while he'll mix in a split-finger pitch. Big and physical at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Hill profiles as an innings-eating, back-of-the-rotation starter.
174. Kylin Turnbull, lhp
Santa Barbara (Calif.) CC
Turnbull showed up at Santa Barbara as a raw Oregonian and redshirted in 2009. The White Sox drafted him in the 30th round last year, and he took a leap forward in 2011, going 5-2, 2.47 with 92 strikeouts and 17 walks in 80 innings and generating third- to fifth-round buzz. He faded a bit down the stretch, whether due to either fatigue or pressure. Lean and loose at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Turnbull does a good job working downhill with his fastball and maintaining his arm slot. He typically works in the 88-91 mph range but has touched 93-94 this spring. His command was poor in his final outing during the state playoffs, and he settled into the 87-88 mph range after topping out at 91 early. He flashes an average split-finger at 80-84 mph and a fringy slider. Sometimes he'll throw it harder and it can be an out pitch that flashes plus, but other times it gets bigger and slower. Scouts are intrigued by Turnbull's fresh arm, size and stuff, but his inconsistent command is a concern. He's committed to Oregon.
175. Sam Gaviglio, rhp
Gaviglio doesn't light up radar guns, but he really knows how to pitch. He can reach back for 90 mph on occasion, but mostly sits in the 86-89 mph range. He gets tremendous sink on his fastball, but can still command the pitch and he lives in the bottom half of the strike zone. The movement makes Gaviglio a groundball machine and he mixes in an above-average changeup and a good slider. He mostly uses the changeup against righthanded batters and the slider against lefties, so the pitches break in toward their hands. He changes speeds well on his offspeed stuff, adding and subtracting to always keep hitters guessing. Gaviglio has a lot of moxie and is a smart pitcher that controls the running game well. He's a good athlete and also does a good job of keeping his emotions on an even keel. A 40th-round pick by the Rays out of high school, where he helped the Ashland (Ore.) Grizzlies win a 5A state championship, Gaviglio knows how to win but ultimately is what he is—a back-end of the rotation type of guy.
176. Jake Sisco, rhp
Merced (Calif.) JC
Junior college pitchers, especially those in Northern California, don't typically go off the board early. Sisco should be an exception, as some scouts think he has a chance to be special. He was the best junior college pitcher in the state, thanks to a fastball that sits at 92-93 mph and gets up to 95. He shows the makings of four plus pitches, with his fastball, curveball, slider and changeup, though he needs to improve the consistency of all his pitches. He has a nice pitcher's build at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds and has shown more maturity this year on the mound. A 37th-round pick by the Giants out of high school in Modesto last year, Sisco could go as high as the third round this year.
177. David Goforth, rhp
Goforth showed mid-90s velocity and thrived in a set-up role as a freshman in 2009, striking out 36 in 35 innings. He was a draft-eligible sophomore last season and imploded when he moved into a part-time starting role, with an 8.41 ERA. He couldn't throw his secondary pitches for strikes, but remedied that in 2011 when he added a cut fastball. Goforth's four-seamer still has plenty of giddy-up, at times reaching 97 mph even when he starts. He can throw strikes with the cutter, which sits 88-92 mph and gives him a power pitch with life. His four-seam fastball tends to flatten out. He still throws a curveball and changeup on occasion, but his approach is mostly to overpower hitters. He's thrown a lot more strikes this year thanks in large part to the cutter, and should be able to pitch mostly off his fastball and cutter as a pro reliever. A 31st-round pick a year ago, Goforth should go out in the fifth-round range this season.
178. Matt Stites, rhp
It's easy to underestimate Stites because of his size, generously listed at 6 feet and 181 pounds, but he keeps proving himself. He was the ace at Jefferson (Mo.) CC for two years, held his own in the Cape Cod League last summer and has been Missouri's most effective starter in his first season with the Tigers. Stites succeeds with quality stuff, using his quick-twitch athleticism and fast arm to consistently pitch at 90-93 mph and peak at 95. His size does cost him some plane on his fastball, which can get straight and sit up in the zone, but he pitches off it well. His slider gives him a reliable second pitch, and he mixes in a curveball and changeup. Stites competes well and has a resilient arm, which along with his size and fastball/slider combo probably will lead to a pro career as a reliever. He turned down the Cubs as a 33rd-round pick last year.
179. Cody Hebner, rhp
Green River (Wash.) CC
Although he didn't go to the same school as Tim Lincecum, Hebner's high school coach in Washington was Glen Walker, who also coached Lincecum. Hebner was mainly a shortstop in high school, but he has been electric on the mound for Green River. Like Lincecum, Hebner is undersized at 6 feet and 160 pounds. He doesn't have a delivery like Lincecum's, though it is unorthodox as he brings his knee up to the brim of his cap at his balance point. Hebner has incredible arm speed and has hit 97 mph this year, though he's more typically in the 90-94 range. He has been better than he was last year and put up great numbers, but pitch consistency has been an issue for Hebner. His slider does show flashes of being an above-average pitch, as does his changeup. Scouts believe he has a chance to start because of his athleticism, the movement on his fastball, his relatively fresh arm and the potential for three plus pitches. Hebner turned down a chance to pitch for Coastal Carolina this year and returned to Green River. If he doesn't sign, he will go to Arizona State.
180. Christian Lopes, 2b
Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Lopes matured early and has been a nationally prominent player for a long time. As a high school freshman he looked like a future first-round pick, but he never developed premium tools and other Southern California high schoolers have leapfrogged him. Some scouts compare Lopes to former Cal State Fullerton star Christian Colon at the same stage of his development, though others scoff at that comparison, saying he lacks Colon's competitive fire, instincts and defensive ability. Lopes does play hard and is instinctive, but not to an extraordinary degree. He played shortstop in high school and could play there if he winds up in college at Southern California, but scouts project him as a second baseman in pro ball. He has good hands and smooth infield actions, but he tends to sit back on balls and sometimes adds unnecessary flash. He was an average runner when he was younger, but as his 6-foot, 180-pound body has matured his speed has regressed to well below-average. He lacks the range for shortstop but should be all right at second, where his fringe-average arm should play. Lopes' best tool is his righthanded bat. He has an advanced approach for a high schooler and does a good job using the opposite field, though scouts would like him to tinker less with his swing. Assessments of his power potential range from below-average to average. With his lengthy track record and feel for the game, Lopes has a chance to be drafted in the top five rounds, but he might find himself a victim of overexposure and wind up at USC.
181. Johnny Ruettiger, of
The nephew of Dan "Rudy" Ruettiger, the Notre Dame football player who inspired the movie, Johnny Ruettiger has had a disappointing spring. He came into his junior season as a .354/.474/.509 career hitter, and he led the Cape Cod League in batting last summer at .369 and ranked as the league's No. 12 prospect. He has pressed this year for the Sun Devils, however, and was trying to show more power, which isn't a part of his game. He was batting .325/.406/.378 with no home runs this year. Ruettiger's approach at the plate should focus more on putting the ball in play and finding the gaps instead of trying to launch home runs. His speed grades out at 60 or sometimes 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He has mostly been used in left field for the Sun Devils, so scouts haven't been able to see him in center, where he projects best. He also needs to polish his basestealing, as he had stolen 21 bases this year but had been caught 11 times.
182. Jake Cave, lhp/of
Kecoughtan HS, Hampton, Va.
Cave was a big reason scouts were excited to cover Virginia this spring, but he and several others had seen their stock fall this spring. A legitimate two-way prospect, Cave has scouts divided on whether he projects better on the mound or in the outfield. As a hitter, he shows bat speed, but he has a loop in his swing that could be a long-term problem. He has a lean frame at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and figures to move to a corner as he fills out. He also lacks the speed for center field. If he concentrates on hitting, his arm would allow him to stick in right field, though he might not have the power to profile there. On the mound, Cave ranges from 86-93 mph with his fastball, usually sitting around 90-91 and touching 94. His best offspeed pitch is a changeup. He has tinkered with a slider this season, but it needs work and scouts haven't seen it much. While some like his aggressive makeup, others describe it as reckless and immature. He's committed to Louisiana State, where he would contribute on both sides of the ball.
183. Kyle Simon, rhp
While he's a lot bigger than Oregon State's Sam Gaviglio at 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds, Simon has similar stuff, as a righthander with a lot of sink on his fastball and a good feel for pitching. Simon peaks at 93 mph, though he usually works between 86-89. He doesn't have a put-away pitch as Gaviglio does, and it shows up when comparing their strikeout totals. Simon's secondary offerings consist of a cutter at 84-87 mph and a changeup. Simon is big and sturdy with a lot of deception in his delivery. He could go to the bullpen and show more of those 93s, or he could stay in the rotation and get a bunch of groundouts as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
185. Blake Snell, lhp
Shorewood HS, Shoreline, Wash.
Snell is a long and lean 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, but he has narrow, sloping shoulders and may always be skinny, and scouts don't see anywhere to put a lot of added weight on his frame. His fastball sits between 88-92 mph, and he has touched 94 this season. While that grades out as an average fastball, scouts question whether he'll be able to maintain that velocity over a full minor league season because of his frame. His curveball and changeup are just average at best. Snell has performed well this season and wasn't fazed when there were 40-50 scouts behind the backstop. Snell was home schooled until this year and was committed to Washington's banner class, but he has not yet qualified academically, which may make him more signable. Because of his signability, his velocity and how well he has performed in front of crosscheckers, Snell could get popped as high as the supplemental first round, though on pure talent he would probably go a few rounds later.
185. Chris Mariscal, ss
Clovis North HS, Fresno, Calif.
Mariscal doesn't have the body scouts are looking for from modern shortstops like Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez or Troy Tulowitzki. Instead, he's more of a throwback at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds. He flew under the radar a bit because he didn't play in a lot of showcase events last summer, choosing instead to focus on playing quarterback on the football team. Mariscal is a fluid defender with smooth actions and a definite chance to stay at shortstop. He has above-average speed to go with a plus arm. He's a little raw at the plate and doesn't project to hit for above-average power, but he should be able to hit for average. Marical's tools and ability to stay at a premium position may run him up into the third round. If he doesn't sign, he'll head to Fresno State and could be a first-rounder in three years.
186. Pratt Maynard, c
North Carolina State
The first thing scouts notice about Maynard is his hitting ability from the left side. He hit just .273 as a sophomore, but with 11 home runs and more walks (64) than strikeouts (42). The new bats in college baseball this season haven't seemed to affect him, as he was hitting .330/.408/.481 in 212 at-bats. His power is more in the form of doubles this season and scouts think he'll continue to show more line-drive power than home runs as a pro. He hasn't walked as much this season, but still shows good plate discipline. The doubts surround Maynard's ability to catch, though teams will give him every chance given the lack of depth at the position. He needs polish in all facets defensively, and if he has to move to a corner, his lack of home run power dents his profile. If a team believes in Maynard behind the plate, he could go off the board in the fifth round.
187. Mike Wright, rhp
In his first full season in the weekend rotation, Wright has been one of the Pirates' better arms. He has a good frame at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds and has a chance to remain a starter. He works with a sinker/slider combination, getting ground ball outs and keeping the ball in the park rather than racking up strikeouts. His sinker will work in the low 90s, and he throws strikes with both his fastball and slider. He has flashed a decent changeup this season, though it needs more consistency. Scouts like his competitiveness on the mound. He feeds off big situations and struck out Rice's Anthony Rendon twice, challenging him inside. Wright is probably best suited to a relief role and could get popped in the sixth round, but if a team thinks he can start he could go a little higher.
188. Jordan Weems, c
Columbus (Ga.) HS
Weems has taken advantage of his bloodlines, his own improved play, the down year in Georgia and the dearth of catching to jump up draft boards. He helped lead Columbus High to a state championship in 2010, and he helped the team reach the state 3-A semifinals this season. He hopes to become the third member of his family to get drafted, joining father Rick (1980, 15th round, Cardinals) and brother Chase (2007, sixth round, Yankees). Weems is tall and lanky at a listed 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, and lacks present strength. Scouts have to project his hitting ability and power because of his lack of physicality. His arm gets easy above-average grades, and he posts sub-2.0-second pop times. He's a decent receiver now who projects to be average with more strength. Weems is committed to Georgia State.
189. Ricky Jacquez, rhp
Franklin HS, El Paso
Inch for inch, Jacquez is the hardest thrower in the 2011 draft. Though he's just 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Jacquez is a gifted athlete with a quick arm capable of producing 92-94 mph fastballs and touching 97. He also has a hammer curveball, and the combination allowed him to post a 20-strikeout game in March. A dual citizen who grew up playing Little League baseball in Mexico, Jacquez also has proven himself against better competition with Team USA. He was part of the 16-and-under team that took the gold medal at the 2009 World Youth Championship, winning two starts as a pitcher and also playing regularly at first base. There's effort in his delivery, but it's not excessive. He could stand to add life to his fastball and pitch down in the strike zone more often. As intriguing as Jacquez's arm is, he may be difficult to sign away from his commitment to Texas. The Longhorns recruited him primarily as a pitcher but also could give him some playing time in the middle infield.
190. Blake Treinen, rhp
South Dakota State
Treinen's story is the most improbable among Baseball America's Top 200 Draft Prospects. He didn't play in an official game in the first three years of his college career, which began in 2007 with a stint on the junior varsity team at Baker (Kan.), an NAIA program. He attended Arkansas but didn't play baseball the next year, then had to sit out 2009 after transferring to South Dakota State. Treinen shocked scouts with his raw arm strength last spring, touching 94 mph, and has been even better in 2011. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder has sat at 92-94 mph with his fastball, maintaining that velocity late into starts, and topped out at 97. His slider also has improved, showing the potential to become a plus pitch, and he has refined his control and command as well. His changeup is usable but will require more work in pro ball. Treinen planned on signing with the Marlins as a 23rd-round pick last year, but Florida backed away after a physical led to questions about his shoulder. Treinen has never had arm problems and has much less mileage on his arm than a typical 22-year-old pitcher. He has a chance to become the highest-drafted player ever from the Dakotas, a distinction currently held by fellow South Dakota State righthander Wade Adamson, a Twins fourth-round pick in 1978.
191. Brian Flynn, lhp
Though Flynn has been inconsistent at Wichita State, winning just seven games in two seasons sandwiched around a redshirt year in 2010 when he was academically ineligible, he remains intriguing because he's a 6-foot-8, 239-pound lefthander who operates in the low 90s and can reach 95 mph with his fastball. His size allows him to throw on a steep downward plane. Flynn's future depends on his ability to develop his secondary pitches. He scrapped his curveball and had some success with a slider, generating momentum in April that might have carried him into the first rounds had he not slumped in May. His slider isn't always reliable, and neither is his changeup or control. His size and plus velocity still could get him picked in the first five rounds, though teams also may be leery of the extra leverage he possesses as a draft-eligible sophomore.
192. Cole Wiper, rhp
Newport HS, Bellevue, Wash.
At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, Wiper is a quality athlete who also played
high school basketball. His best attribute as a pitcher is his secondary
stuff. He flashes an above-average curveball with tight rotation and
added a slider this year, which also showed hard, sharp break. His
changeup has nice drop, almost like a splitter, and has improved
throughout the season. His fastball sits in the 88-90 mph range, and
he'll have games where he's 90-93. While Wiper has a feel for spin, his
fastball is pretty straight right now. Because of his good secondary
stuff, he sometimes uses it too much and will have to pitch off of his
fastball more at the next level, whether that's in the pros or at
Oregon. Wiper is a good student and is mature for a high schooler, and
some scouts regard him as the best high school prospect in the
193. Tayler Scott, rhp
Notre Dame Prep HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Scott, who moved to the United States from South Africa three years ago, did not pitch at any major showcase events last summer, but he's popping up this spring in another down year for Arizona high school talent. He's a good athlete who is also a standout soccer player for Notre Dame Prep. Scott has a projectable 6-foot-2 frame and is committed to Arizona. His fastball sits in the 90-92 mph range, topping out at 93. He flashes an above-average breaking ball at times and he can throw the pitch for strikes, though it's mostly below-average now. Like most high school pitchers, Scott doesn't throw a changeup. He got roughed up during a couple of starts late in the year, but scouts still like his athleticism and projection.
194. Nick Rickles, c
Rickles was summer-ball teammates in 2009 with Bethune-Cookman's Peter O'Brien, and while O'Brien is the better pro prospect, many college coaches prefer Rickles, who has a durable 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. He struggled as a sophomore before straightening out his swing in the Valley League last summer, hitting .284 with eight homers. He carried that over as a junior and has had his best power season, adding loft to his swing. Using a contact-oriented approach, he had more home runs (11) than strikeouts (seven). He has excellent balance at the plate and a professional approach to go with excellent bat control. Rickles is a decent athlete and runs around 7.0 seconds over 60 yards. Some scouts have reservations about Rickles' catch-and-throw skills. He has a hitch in his throwing motion as he transfers from glove to hand, negating to a degree his solid-average arm strength. Nevertheless, he threw out 35 percent of baserunners in 2011, after throwing out 29 percent as a sophomore and 26 percent as a freshman. He's a good receiver at the college level but no better than average. He has been one of the nation's best-performing college catchers and should sneak into the fifth to eighth round.
195. Jesus Valdez, rhp
Oxnard (Calif.) CC
An unsigned fifth-round pick of the Angels out of high school last year, Valdez had committed to Arizona but wound up at Oxnard instead. His stock has held steady after a year of junior-college ball, and he figures to be drafted in the same range this year. He has made strides throwing quality strikes, and his breaking ball has improved. He threw a loopy curveball a year ago, but now he's throwing a slider. His fastball is his bread and butter, sitting at 90-92 and peaking at 94. He dabbles with a changeup, but it is still in its nascent stages. Valdez has a quick arm and a loose, wiry 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame. Scouts would like to see him develop a more aggressive approach on the mound, and they question his work ethic and intensity. He has the arm strength to reach the big leagues, but his current repertoire suggests he'll be a reliever in pro ball.
196. Richard Prigatano, of
St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif.
Being teammates with a premier player—in this case, Tyler Goeddel—can often pay dividends, and Prigatano has taken advantage this year. After batting .182/.273/.269 in just 22 at-bats last year, he worked hard to get into better shape and now has a muscular, 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. Scouts started to take notice when he hit a home run off Joe Ross early in the season. Prigatano profiles as an above-average hitter with well above-average power potential. A righthanded hitter and thrower, he plays first base now but is athletic enough to hold down a corner outfield spot. He's at least an average runner and has good arm strength. Prigatano generated a lot of buzz this spring and fielded multiple scholarship offers before committing to Long Beach State. He may have pushed himself too far up draft boards to end up on campus.
197. Nick Ramirez, 1b/lhp
Cal State Fullerton
Multiple scouts used the phrase "a really tough one" when evaluating Ramirez this spring. He's had a tremendous college career, starring for three seasons as the primary power threat in the heart of Cal State Fullerton's order as well as the team's closer. Some scouts prefer him as a pitcher. He has good feel for a solid four-pitch mix, including an 86-90 fastball, a plus changeup, a solid slider and curveball. But Ramirez wants to be a hitter, and the majority of scouts prefer him as a first baseman. After his monstrous sophomore season, Ramirez struggled to adjust to wood bats last summer with Team USA, causing some scouts to wonder if his lefthanded swing is more tailored to metal bats. He has undeniable strength in his bulky 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame, leading to above-average raw power but average game power. He does not have elite bat speed, and he sometimes exhibits an arm bar in his swing, making him vulnerable on the inner half. He uses his hands well and excels at lacing hard line drives into the left-center gap, and he has a chance to be an average hitter. Most of his home run power is to center-right, and he's gotten better at turning on balls. He's an average defender at first base, with soft hands but limited range. Ramirez could be drafted anywhere from the fourth to the 10th round.
198. Carlos Rodon, lhp
Holly Springs (N.C.) HS
An important part of a quality North Carolina State recruiting class, Rodon may not make it to campus because he's left-handed and athletic. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds with room to fill out, Rodon has been inconsistent this spring but gives scouts a lot to like. When he's on, he features an 88-92 mph fastball, a curveball and slider with solid command. The slider is arguably his best secondary pitch, and both pitches are sharp and show plus potential. On off nights, Rodon has dipped into the mid-80s and struggled with command. While that may scare some teams off, others see a raw pitcher who will benefit from advanced coaching. Consistency with his mechanics, tempo and arm slot could help him blossom. Because of the raw material, Rodon could see himself gone before the fourth round concludes.
199. Chris Lamb, lhp
Davidson hasn't had a player drafted in the first 10 rounds since the Yankees took shortstop Robert Eenhorn in the second round in 1990, but Lamb will likely change that this season. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound southpaw, Lamb hasn't had much support from the Wildcats offense, so he was 1-7 in spite of a 3.75 ERA. He works with an 88-92 mph fastball and a splitter that is an average to plus pitch. There is some funk and deception to the delivery, with a herky-jerky motion and high arm slot, and scouts don't see any long-term problems with it. His curveball is just OK, but scouts see him as a lefty specialist so he likely won't need it in his arsenal long-term.
200. Amir Garrett, lhp
Findlay Prep, Henderson, Nev.
Garrett has quickly gone from being unknown to being a legitimate prospect in two sports. He didn't start playing organized basketball until his freshman year but jumped onto the varsity from day one. He has grown into a 6-foot-6 wing player with explosive leaping ability and has committed to St. John's. He is also interested in playing baseball. While playing on a travel basketball team last summer, Garrett made time to pitch in the Tournament of Stars, flashing upper 80s velocity from the windup, dipping 8-10 mph from the stretch. His athleticism has allowed him to make great strides this spring even though he hasn't played for a team. He has a throwing program that incorporates yoga, long-toss and resistance training and started throwing bullpens and stretching his arm out. When basketball season ended, he ramped up his baseball workouts and has been throwing for scouts. In early May, he threw for a group of scouts in Las Vegas and sat 90-94 mph while touching 96. He also flashed a changeup with life in the lower 80s and has shown flashes of a usable curveball. Everything is, understandably, a work in progress for Garrett but his athleticism from the left side is impossible to ignore.