State Report: Oregon

Strong college talent masks lack of depth




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THIS YEAR'S CROP
***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Rating compares this year's group to what a state typically produces, not to other states
Oregon State's rise to back to back national championships did wonders for baseball in the state, and the surge continued when the Beavers' success prompted rival Oregon to revive its dormant program. The competition between the two schools is clearly a good thing for baseball—just look at the top of this year's ranking of talent in the state.

While the state is not particularly deep this year, it is extremely strong at the top, with three players likely to be taken in the first or supplemental first round. The last time a player from Oregon went in the first round was Jacoby Ellsbury in 2005, and the last time it was a pitcher was when the Royals picked high school lefthander Matt Smith in 1994. The state should continue to produce, as Oregon State continues to target the top players in the Northwest and Oregon typically ventures south to mine California for talent.

NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS

1. Tyler Anderson, lhp, Oregon (National Rank: 24)
2. Andrew Susac, c, Oregon State (National Rank: 30)
3. Josh Osich, lhp, Oregon State (National Rank: 41)
4. Madison Boer, rhp, Oregon (National Rank: 123)
5. Scott McGough, rhp, Oregon (National Rank: 126)
6. Sam Gaviglio, rhp, Oregon State (National Rank: 175)

OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE

7. Kellen Moen, rhp, Oregon
8. Jack Marder, c, Oregon
9. James Nygren, rhp, Oregon State
10. Jace Fry, lhp, Southridge HS, Beaverton
11. Sam Johnson, rhp, Westview HS, Portland
12. Riley Wilkerson, rhp, West Linn HS
13. Daniel Dillard, of, Western Oregon
14. Matt Nylen, of, Mount Hood CC
15. Alex Keudell, rhp, Oregon
16. Matt Pechmann, rhp, Mount Hood CC

SCOUTING REPORTS

Tyler Anderson, lhp
Oregon

Anderson came to Oregon from Spring Valley High in Las Vegas in 2009, the Ducks' first season back after a 29-year hiatus, and stepped right into the rotation. He became Oregon's all-time leader in strikeouts this season. He's a good athlete who has gotten bigger and stronger and now stands 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. Anderson's biggest selling point is his feel for pitching. He takes a businesslike approach to carving up hitters and commands five pitches for strikes. He throws both a two- and four-seam fastball, and it sits in the 89-93 mph range with above-average movement. His slider is his best breaking pitch, and he'll mix in a curveball. His bread-and-butter secondary offering is an above-average changeup. Anderson has a funky leg kick in his delivery. It doesn't affect his ability to throw strikes and adds deception for the batter. After being drafted in the 50th round in 2008 by the Twins, Anderson should be a first-rounder this time around and has the polish and work ethic to move quickly.

Andrew Susac, c
Oregon State

Susac gets mixed reviews from scouts in the Northwest this spring, but scouting directors saw him at his best last summer and catching is at even more of a premium than usual this year, so he could still be a first-rounder. He broke the hamate bone in his left wrist midway through the season but was back in game action a month later, even getting back behind the plate. During the layoff, Susac still threw regularly and did drills to improve his footwork behind the plate. He has above-average arm strength and can shut down a running game. He needs to improve his receiving skills, as his hands can get a little stiff, but he's a good athlete who blocks well. Susac has a good approach at the plate, which Beavers coaches attribute to him seeing quality stuff from their pitchers day in and day out. He has more power than a pure feel for hitting. He uses a high leg kick as part of his load, which can disrupt his timing and rhythm at times, but when he's in sync he shows above-average pop, mostly to his pull side. His success on the Cape carried over to this season and helped his confidence behind the plate.

Josh Osich, lhp
Oregon State

Scouts have always loved Osich's arm strength and body, and he was a seventh-round pick of the Angels last year, even though he didn't throw a pitch following Tommy John surgery. After showing what he can do when healthy, he should go significantly higher this time around. A key component to Oregon State's weekend rotation, Osich matched his career innings pitched total for the Beavers in the fifth inning of his no-hitter against UCLA on April 30. His repertoire mostly consists of a 93-94 mph heater that he can dial up to 97 and a changeup, though he started mixing in a breaking ball this spring. His changeup and command have both improved, and the breaking ball took his game to a new level. His power arsenal, injury history and age (22) mean a team will likely put Osich on a fast track to the big leagues as a reliever, where he has the stuff, work ethic and mental toughness to succeed.

Madison Boer, rhp
Oregon

Boer has the type of frame scouts look for in starting pitchers. He's big and strong at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and he's a good athlete that ran a 6.7-second 60-yard dash for scouts in the fall. The athleticism helps give Boer a clean and efficient delivery and helps him maintain stamina throughout game. His fastball sits in the 90-93 mph range, but there could be more in there—he's touched 96 before in relief stints and moved back to the bullpen late this spring as he tired out. Boer has a good slider, but it's the splitter he added to this year that has helped the most. He throws the pitch with two different grips. If he needs to throw it for a strike, he'll keep the ball closer to his fingertips, throwing it like a changeup. But he can also put the ball deeper into his hand to get more depth on the pitch if he's trying to get a hitter to chase.

Scott McGough, rhp
Oregon

Scouts got excited about McGough, the son of a former Indians farmhand, after he went 5-2, 2.45 last spring and then had a successful summer with Team USA. His results (4.28 ERA in 29 appearances) haven't matched his stuff this season pitching out of the Ducks bullpen, which has puzzled scouts. He isn't physical at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, but he's the best athlete on the staff and has a quick, loose arm. He pitches at 92-94 mph with his fastball and can run it up to 96. Oregon tried to add a curveball and a changeup to McGough's arsenal this year, but he decided to focus on developing one wipeout pitch instead of three average offerings. His go-to strikeout pitch is an 82-84 mph slider that has been inconsistent this spring, but he can throw it for strikes. McGough can get caught between breaking balls, but his slider has the chance to be above-average. His pure stuff, solid track record and competitive makeup give him the potential to work at the back end of a bullpen.

Sam Gaviglio, rhp
Oregon State

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.

Marder Impressive Behind The Plate

Righthander Kellen Moen has pitched well out of the Oregon bullpen, leading the team with a .185 opponent average, and should be a solid senior sign. He pitches between 90-93 mph and can touch 94. He has a good changeup and a sharp curveball. He needs to show better feel for the curveball and throw it for strikes more often, but it has the tight rotation scouts like to see. He'll likely get a chance to start in the minor leagues.

Andrew Susac isn't the only draft-eligible sophomore catcher in the state. Oregon's Jack Marder also fits that bill. Used mostly as a right fielder and first baseman last year, Marder has been behind the plate this year and has flashed outstanding defensive at times. He's an above-average athlete and it shows. He has soft hands, moves well and puts up pop times in the 1.85-second range. He's inconsistent, mostly because he's new to the position. He was a middle infielder in high school and split time between right field and first base last year. He's also a diabetic who plays with an insulin pump. He looked like a natural behind the plate and handled a quality pitching staff. He has the makeup teams seek in a backstop and has shown an ability to hit in the past, though his bat was down this year as he focused on defense.

Oregon State also has a senior sign in righthander James Nygren, who was decidedly mediocre in his first three years with the Beavers but was having a solid season at 8-3, 3.18. Nygren can run his fastball up to 94 mph, but he's most effective when he's 88-91 and goes with movement over pure velocity. He attacks the bottom half of the strike zone and produces a lot of ground balls. He throws three pitches for strikes, including a slider that pairs nicely with his sinking fastball and a changeup. He smoothed out his delivery some and worked hard this season to improve his tempo and get into a better rhythm on the mound.

The best high school players in the state are pitchers: righthanders Sam Johnson and Riley Wilkerson and lefthander Jace Fry. Fry and Wilkerson both have projection, but they'll likely wind up as teammates at Oregon State. Fry is a slender 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds and pitched in the 87-90 mph range this spring. He has a good feel for pitching, but his secondary stuff needs work. Wilkerson has a lanky, 6-foot-3, 170 pound frame, and the coaches at Oregon State are excited about what he could do when he fills out and gets stronger.

Johnson generated buzz last summer, looking like he could be Oregon's answer to Dylan Davis in Washington. He's similarly built at 6 feet and 185 pounds and got his fastball up to 95 mph with a sharp curveball. But the spring was a different story. He was mostly in the 87-89 mph range, and the hand speed he showed in the summer wasn't there. He'll likely wind up at Oregon.