State Report: Southern California

Even in a down year, nowhere else produces more talent




Follow me on Twitter

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
Even in a down year, Southern California has a greater sheer volume of legitimate draft prospects than just about any other region, as well as two of the nation's top prospects in UCLA righthanders Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer. But make no mistake—the region is down in 2011.

"It's the worst class I've seen out here in at least a decade," one scout said. "I guess it's down to be a down year sometimes."

"In my opinion," another scout added, "there are some very good college players at the very top, then it kind of drops off."

The region's high school class lacks its usual array of blue-chippers, as catcher Austin Hedges and lefthander Henry Owens are the only prep players with strong chances to be drafted in the first round, and neither projects as an elite pick. It's possible Southern California will not produce a prep righthander in the first two rounds, and a number of the region's biggest names have lost luster as high school seniors.

NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS

1. Gerrit Cole, rhp, UCLA (National Rank: 3)
2. Trevor Bauer, rhp, UCLA (National Rank: 5)
3. Austin Hedges, c, JSerra HS, San Juan Capistrano (National Rank: 28)
4. Henry Owens, lhp, Edison HS, Huntington Beach (National Rank: 33)
5. Ricky Oropesa, 1b/3b, Southern California (National Rank: 57)
6. Brandon Martin, ss, Santiago HS, Corona (National Rank: 65)
7. Andrew Gagnon, rhp, Long Beach State (National Rank: 70)
8. Travis Harrison, 3b, Tustin HS (National Rank: 78)
9. Joe Musgrove, rhp, Grossmont HS, El Cajon (National Rank: 90)
10. Noe Ramirez, rhp, Cal State Fullerton (National Rank: 93)
11. Matt Andriese, rhp, UC Riverside (National Rank: 96)
12. Matt Summers, rhp, UC Irvine (National Rank: 125)
13. Jake Reed, rhp, Helix Charter HS, La Mesa (National Rank: 128)
14. Taylor Sparks, ss, St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower (National Rank: 131)
15. Daniel Camarena, lhp/of, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego (National Rank: 138)
16. Dante Flores, 2b, St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower (National Rank: 148)
17. Aaron Brown, of/lhp, Chatsworth HS (National Rank: 149)
18. Riley Moore, c, San Marcos HS, Santa Barbara (National Rank: 150)
19. Austin Wood, rhp, Southern California (National Rank: 156)
20. Jacob Anderson, of/1b, Chino HS (National Rank: 157)
21. Tyler Pill, rhp, Cal State Fullerton (National Rank: 162)
22. Phillip Evans, 2b, La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad (National Rank: 168)
23. Michael Cederoth, rhp, Steele Canyon HS, Spring Valley (National Rank: 169)
24. Kylin Turnbull, lhp, Santa Barbara CC (National Rank: 174)
25. Christian Lopes, 2b, Edison HS, Huntington Beach (National Rank: 180)
26. Jesus Valdez, rhp, Oxnard CC (National Rank: 195)
27. Nick Ramirez, 1b/lhp, Cal State Fullerton (National Rank: 197)

OTHER PROSPECTS OF NOTE

28. Brandon Meredith, of, San Diego State
29. Ryan Garvey, of/1b, Palm Desert HS
30. Desmond Henry, of, Centennial HS, Compton
31. Colin O'Connell, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
32. Matt Koch, c, Loyola Marymount
33. Chris Jensen, rhp, San Diego
34. Jason Wheeler, lhp, Loyola Marymount
35. Danny Keller, rhp Newbury Park HS, Thousand Oaks
36. Adam McCreery, lhp, Bonita HS, La Verne
37. Bryce Mosier, c, Valhalla HS, El Cajon
38. David Schuknecht, c, Palm Desert HS
39. Kenny Peoples, ss/2b, Westchester HS, Los Angeles
40. Rashad Harlin, of, Helix Charter HS, La Mesa
41. Calvin Drummond, rhp, San Diego
42. Jake Floethe, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
43. Austin Davidson, ss/2b, Oxnard HS
44. Andrew Triggs, rhp, Southern California
45. Chris Joyce, lhp, Santa Barbara CC
46. Jordan Leyland, 1b, UC Irvine
47. Trevor Gretzky, 1b, Oaks Christian HS, Westlake Village
48. Chris Devenski, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
49. Adam Ehrlich, c, Campbell Hall HS, North Hollywood
50. Tyler Leslie, rhp, Silverado HS, Mission Viejo
51. Chad Thompson, rhp, Orange Coast CC
52. Clay Williamson, JSerra HS, San Juan Capistrano
53. Bradley Zimmer, of, La Jolla HS
54. Steve Rodriguez, c, UCLA
55. Dean Espy, 1b, UCLA
56. Kirk Singer, ss, Long Beach State
57. Jesse Meaux, rhp, UC Santa Barbara
58. Ryan Keller, rhp, West Ranch HS, Stevenson Ranch
59. Tyler Rahmatulla, 2b, UCLA
60. Brian Humphries, of, Pepperdine
61. Eric Snyder, of, Edison HS, Huntington Beach
62. Nigel Nootbaar, rhp, El Segundo HS
63. D.J. Crumlich, ss, UC Irvine
64. Wyatt Strahan, rhp, Villa Park HS
65. Trevor Hairgrove, ss, UC Riverside
66. Matthew Troupe, rhp, Chaminade Prep HS, West Hills
67. Jose Cardona, rhp, El Camino Real HS, Woodland Hills
68. Branden Pinder, rhp, Long Beach State
69. Drew Muren, of/rhp, Cal State Northridge
70. Mark Haddow, of, UC Santa Barbara
71. Kenny Mathews, lhp/1b/of, Diamond Bar HS
72. Rouric Bridgewater, of/1b, Diamond Ranch HS, Pomona
73. Logan Odom, rhp, Southern California
74. Aaron Gates, lhp, Pepperdine
75. Mitchell Beacom, lhp, UCLA
76. Aaron Brooks, rhp, Cal State San Bernardino
77. Quincy Quintero, rhp, Valencia HS
78. Brian Hernandez, 3b, UC Irvine
79. Carlos Gonzalez, rhp, Cal State Northridge
80. Jacob Ehret, rhp, San Dimas HS
81. Drew Hillman, of, UC Irvine
82. Ridge Carpenter, of, Cal State Northridge
83. Guido Knudson, rhp, UC San Diego
84. Taylor Siemens, lhp, Cal Baptist
85. Michael Jordan, rhp, Murrieta Valley HS, Murrieta
86. Ryan Hawthorne, Loyola Marymount
87. Cameron McVey, rhp, Biola
88. Matthew Budgell, rhp, Woodbridge HS, Irvine
89. Scott Heineman, rhp, Crespi Carmelite HS, Encino
90. Max Homick, lhp/of/1b, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
91. David Hurlbut, lhp, Cal State Fullerton
92. Shawn Stuart, rhp, Long Beach State
93. Matt Anderson, rhp, Chaffey JC
94. Zack Kometani, c, San Diego
95. Alex Sherrod, of Southern California
96. Tim Shibuya, rhp, UC San Diego
97. David Colvin, rhp, Pomona-Pitzer
98. Arby Fields, of, Cypress JC
99. Mike Marjama, c/3b, Long Beach State
100. Ronnie Shaeffer, c, UC Irvine
101. Matt Moynihan, of, Orange Coast CC
102. Brian Sharp, ss, Cal Baptist
103. Sean Madigan, of, UC Irvine
104. Koby Gauna, rhp, St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower
105. Paul Sewald, rhp, San Diego

SCOUTING REPORTS

Gerrit Cole, rhp
UCLA

Cole had one of the best arms in the 2008 draft, when the Yankees drafted him in the first round, but he opted to attend UCLA. In three years with the Bruins, he has matured on and off the field, becoming a clubhouse leader as well as an ace for UCLA's national runner-up team as a sophomore. This spring, he has consistently shown the best pure stuff of any pitcher in this draft, and he has pounded the strike zone, though he struggled to command the inner half during a rough three-outing stretch in April, leading to a fairly pedestrian 5-7, 3.27 mark for the season. At his best, Cole throws three pitches that rate 70 or better on the 20-80 scouting scale. His four-seam fastball sits in the 94-97 range and tops out at 99, and he shows a 92-93 two-seamer that scouts would like to see him use more. His power slider ranges from 86-90 mph with good depth, and he has developed his 85-87 changeup into a third plus to plus-plus pitch this year, though it had more tumbling action earlier than the year than it did down the stretch. In high school, some scouts were concerned about the effort in Cole's delivery, but he has smoothed it out; most scouts generally regard it as clean, repeatable and simple now. He has a physical, durable frame and a competitive but composed mound demeanor—another change from his prep days. Scouts think Cole could rocket to the majors as a closer throwing 98-100 mph, but the consensus is that he has all the makings of a frontline starter.

Trevor Bauer, rhp
UCLA

After graduating high school early to enroll at UCLA in the spring of 2009, Bauer quickly found his way into the Bruins' weekend rotation, and went on to break school records for career wins (32 and counting) and strikeouts (432) by the middle of his junior year. Bauer is as unconventional as he is dominant. He takes an intellectual approach to his craft, studying advanced concepts like biomechanics, effective velocity and pitch tunneling. He is a long-toss devotee who works with rubber tubes before and during his starts. He idolizes and patterns himself after another slight righthander with electric stuff: Tim Lincecum. Like Lincecum, he generates premium velocity using extreme torque, and while some scouts worry about the head movement and recoil in his delivery, others say his arm action is loose and his mechanics add deception. Bauer has the deepest repertoire of any pitcher in the draft. On his worst days, he still holds 91-93 mph fastball velocity deep into games, and he often tops out at 95-96. He has exceptional feel for a sharp, downer curveball that rates as plus to plus-plus. His changeup is above-average, and he mixes in an occasional split-finger and flashes a slider. He also throws what he calls a "reverse slider," which runs in on lefthanded hitters at 85-87 mph—and some scouts say that is plus, too. Bauer relishes striking hitters out, so he throws a lot of pitches. He usually works deep into games (and threw five straight complete games in April and May). That workload concerns some scouts, but others think his arm is in exceptional shape and point out that he conditions himself to throw a lot. He has top-of-the-rotation upside and could move quickly, but he is adamant about continuing his own training regimen in pro ball, which will turn some clubs off.

Austin Hedges, c
JSerra HS, San Juan Capistrano

Scouts in Southern California rave that Hedges is the best defensive backstop to come out of the area in at least a decade. He has spent six years honing his defense with highly regarded JSerra coach Brett Kay, a former catcher at Cal State Fullerton and in the Mets system. Grades on his receiving range from 60 to 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, while his arm rates as a 70 or even an 80, producing pop times as low as 1.78 seconds. Wiry, athletic and agile, Hedges is an exceptional blocker, adept at keeping balls in front of him. He's a below-average runner but not a baseclogger. Hedges is a high-energy player with an aggressive approach at the plate, and some scouts think he has a chance to be an average hitter with average power, though others think that is too ambitious. A righthanded hitter, most of his power is to the pull side, but he has worked hard on using the opposite field. He's a good competitor with an outstanding work ethic, and he projects as an everyday catcher with all-star potential, though he'll be tough to sign away from his commitment to UCLA.

Henry Owens, lhp
Edison HS, Huntington Beach

The top high school pitching prospect in Southern California by a landslide, Owens has a long track record of success against top competition in the biggest showcases and high school games. His 6-foot-7, 200-pound frame, easy arm action, deception, composure and advanced feel for pitching make him a potential late first-round or sandwich pick this June. Scouts have been waiting for his velocity to jump up from the 87-90 mph range for two years, and this spring it has bumped 94, though he still pitches at 88-91. He entered the spring with a loopy curveball as his second pitch, but his offspeed stuff has improved as the season progressed. His curveball has firmed up a bit, and midway through the spring he started throwing a slider and a low-80s cutter, demonstrating better feel for his craft. He also has a promising changeup, though he seldom uses it against overmatched high school hitters. Despite his size and arm action, scouts aren't convinced Owens has a ton of projection, and his lack of current plus stuff creates reservations.

Ricky Oropesa, 1b/3b
Southern California

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.

Brandon Martin, ss
Santiago HS, Corona

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.

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.

Travis Harrison, 3b
Tustin 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.

Joe Musgrove, rhp
Grossmont HS, El Cajon

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.

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.

Matt Andriese, rhp
UC Riverside

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.

Matt Summers, rhp
UC Irvine

Summers arrived at UC Irvine as a center fielder with a strong arm, throwing just 38 innings (and posting an 8.36 ERA) over his first two college seasons. He hit even more sparingly, though, and made the decision to focus on his pitching last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he ran his fastball up to 96-97 mph in a relief role. He has taken a dramatic step forward on the mound as a junior, taking over as Irvine's Friday starter and ranking second in the Big West in ERA and opponent average and third in strikeouts. Summers still looks like a position player on the mound. He pitches exclusively from the stretch and has an extremely short arm action that makes his stuff hard to pick up and leads scouts to project him as a reliever in pro ball. He holds the velocity on his 90-93 mph fastball and will occasionally run it up to 94-95. His second pitch is a power curveball that projects as a solid-average offering, and he dabbles with a changeup but throws it sparingly. Summers is an excellent athlete with a durable 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame. Scouts believe his fastball will play up in a relief role in pro ball, and he has shown excellent aptitude since switching to a full-time pitching role, which is also encouraging.

Jake Reed, rhp
Helix Charter HS, La Mesa

Also a high school quarterback, Reed earns raves for his athleticism and makeup. He has outstanding feel for pitching and a promising three-pitch mix. He spots his fastball well and it ranges from 88-92 mph, peaking at 93. His breaking ball and changeup both flash average, and he can throw both pitches for strikes. He gets caught in between breaking balls; sometimes it looks more like a slider with good depth, and other times more like a curveball. His changeup has late sink when it's on, but he needs to become more consistent with it. Reed's arm action is a little funky and short, but he could add velocity as he fills out his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. He's committed to Oregon, but as one of the top two prep righthanders in Southern California, he could be drafted in the top three to five rounds.

Taylor Sparks, 3b
St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower

Sparks' father Don played for coach Dave Snow at Loyola Marymount and was a fifth-round pick of the Yankees in 1988 who played nine seasons as a corner infielder in pro ball. Sparks was a standout wide receiver for the St. John Bosco football team before focusing on baseball in 2010, when he stood out at the Area Code Games along with Bosco teammate Dante Flores. Sparks played an able shortstop this spring, demonstrating soft hands, quick feet and a quick release, but his range is limited and he profiles better as a third baseman as he grows into his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. He has average arm strength but below-average accuracy. He's an outstanding, physical athlete with average speed under way. Sparks takes a "major league batting practice," as one scout put it, flashing plus raw power, but it doesn't yet translate to games. Early in the spring, his stance was upright and his swing had plenty of holes, but he made an adjustment midway through the year, spreading out his lower half and flattening his stroke. His performance this spring has not matched his tools, and scouts seem content to let him go to UC Irvine and refine his game. He's a good student and is considered a tough sign.

Daniel Camarena, lhp/of
Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego

Camarena has performed as well as any prep player in Southern California this spring. If you throw out his lone loss of the season (when he walked four in three innings), Camarena issued just two walks in 49 innings this spring while striking out 76, illustrating his superb feel for pitching and ability to carve up the strike zone. Camarena's fastball ranged from 85-88 mph last year, and he sat at 87-88 in the MLB Urban Invitational in February. But he worked hard to add strength and his velocity jumped a tick this spring, ranging from 87-91. Though his arm action is clean, his 6-foot-1, 205-pound frame lacks projection. He makes up for it with his polish and command. Camarena has excellent feel for his changeup, which some scouts rate as an average pitch, but he rarely needed to use it at the high school level. His curveball has good depth and projects as a solid-average pitch, as he already flashes a big league breaking ball sometimes. Most scouts see Camarena's future on the mound, but he could be a standout two-way player if he honors his commitment to San Diego, and he has pro talent as a hitter as well. Camarena has a smooth, balanced lefthanded swing with some looseness to it and a gap-to-gap approach. He's an adequate runner who would fit at a corner defensively.

Dante Flores, 2b
St. John Bosco HS, Bellflower

Flores has been on the national stage for years, earning a spot on the USA Baseball 14-and-under national team in 2007. He made a favorable impression playing alongside St. John Bosco teammate Taylor Sparks in the Area Code Games last summer, and he showcased one of Southern California's best pure strokes this spring. His 5-foot-11, 160-pound build and quick, efficient, compact lefthanded swing prompt comparisons to Kolten Wong, a likely first-round pick out of Hawaii this year. Flores makes consistent contact and laces hard line drives to all fields, and he has a chance to be an above-average hitter as he adds strength. The bat is his only standout tool, however. Flores has wiry strength that gives him sneaky power, but he'll have below-average home run pop. He's a below-average to fringe-average runner who lacks the range and arm strength to play shortstop in pro ball. He plays second base in high school in deference to Sparks and profiles best at that position, with the actions to be an average defender and a playable arm. Flores has top-five-rounds talent but has told clubs he is determined to honor his commitment to Southern California, where he could be an impact player from day one.

Aaron Brown, of/lhp
Chatsworth HS

Physical and athletic, Brown has legitimate two-way talent, though most scouts prefer him as a hitter. A veteran of the showcase circuit, Brown made a splash in the Jesse Flores Memorial All Star Game in November, when he ripped an RBI double to left-center. He also struck out Mike Moustakas in a Chatsworth alumni game last year. Brown has good strength in his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, and he flashes above-average raw power in batting practice, though it does not yet translate to games. In the past, Brown had a tendency to open his hips too early in his swing, but he has made a conscious effort to stay closed longer and drive the ball the other way. His lefthanded swing is compact and flat, giving him a chance to be an average hitter in time, but his bat remains inconsistent. He swings and misses more than he should, a result of timing and pitch recognition issues. He's a fringe-average runner who projects as an average corner outfielder, and his solid-average to plus arm should play in right field. Off the mound, Brown reaches 90 mph from the left side to go along with a promising hard slurve and some feel for a changeup. He could be a strong two-way player if he honors his commitment to Pepperdine.

Riley Moore, c
San Marcos HS, Santa Barbara

As a rising high school senior last summer, Moore played in 11 games in the California Collegiate League and caught power arms like Texas State's Carson Smith and Texas' Sam Stafford and Hoby Milner. He held his own in the Area Code Games and in fall scout ball, but he has seen little to hit on a bad high school team this spring. Lanky and wiry-strong at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, Moore has a chance to be a fringe-average lefthanded hitter with average or better power as he fills out his projectable frame. He's a switch-hitter who struggles from the right side, and scouts still are not completely sold on his bat. Moore, who is committed to Arizona, stands out most for his defense. His athleticism plays well behind the plate, where he has excellent agility and advanced receiving skills for his age. His best tool is his above-average arm.

Austin Wood, rhp
Southern California

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.

Jacob Anderson, of/1b
Chino 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.

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.

Phillip Evans, 2b
La Costa Canyon HS, Carlsbad

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.

Michael Cederoth, rhp
Steele Canyon HS, Spring Valley

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.

Kylin Turnbull, lhp
Santa Barbara 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.

Christian Lopes, 2b
Edison HS, Huntington Beach

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.

Jesus Valdez, rhp
Oxnard 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.

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.

Pitching Highlights Mediocre College Crop

Some scouts are bullish on San Diego State outfielder Brandon Meredith, while others are lukewarm. A physical specimen at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Meredith looked like a potential high-round pick after hitting .383/.484/.542 with seven homers and 54 RBIs as a sophomore in 2010, but a blister problem and a lack of lineup protection helped cause him to slump to .272/.418/.471 with five homers and 38 RBIs in an uneven junior year. Scouts who like him say he's a quality athlete with above-average speed and above-average raw power, while others peg him as just a decent athlete with average speed and average raw power. His short, line-drive swing gives him at least a chance to be an average hitter, but he has holes and still tends to chase breaking balls at times. He has made a concerted effort to improve his plate discipline, with 40 walks and 46 strikeouts in 191 at-bats this spring. A corner outfielder by trade, he has played first base (and looked bad there) and even center field (and looked surprisingly good) this spring. He projects as a fringe-average defensive left fielder with a similar arm. Enough scouts like him that he could go as high as the third to fifth round but the consensus has him in the fifth to eighth.

Cal State Fullerton's stable of quality arms goes well beyond Top 200 prospects Noe Ramirez, Tyler Pill and Nick Ramirez. Righthander Colin O'Connell pitched sparingly as a freshman and primarily in relief as a sophomore, but his stuff improved as he grew into a 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame. His junior year has been up and down, and he found himself working as a weekend starter, a midweek starter and even in relief for four outings. He came on strong down the stretch and carried a 7-3, 2.42 mark into regionals. Scouts don't care for O'Connell's rigid, one-piece arm action from a high slot or his violent finish, but his funky, upright delivery does give him deception. He usually works at 90-91 mph but has flashed 93-94 mph heat on his best days. His sweeping slider is an average offering, and his changeup is fringy. His arm strength, size and ability to pound the strike zone should get him drafted inside the top 10 rounds, maybe as high as the fifth or sixth.

Fellow Titans righties Jake Floethe and Chris Devenski fit into the eighth- to 15th-round range. A reliever on Fresno State's 2008 national title team, Floethe missed 2010 after Tommy John surgery and transferred to Fullerton for his redshirt junior year this spring, going 6-3, 3.45 as a starter and reliever. He has a physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame and average fastball velocity, sitting at 90-91 and bumping 92-93 mph. At his best, his fastball has power sink, but sometimes it is less lively. His slider can be average, though when he uses a lower arm slot his stuff has a tendency to flatten out. He also works in a serviceable changeup. Most scouts think he profiles better as a reliever. So does Devenski, a converted shortstop who transferred from Golden West JC. He fell out of favor early in the year before coming on again a bit in the second half, though he had a 4.98 ERA in 22 innings through 15 appearances on the spring. Devenski ran his fastball up to 94 mph in the fall, but he's been more 90-92 and straight this spring, and there were outings when he worked in the high 80s. His slider and changeup are serviceable.

In a world where catchers are always in demand, Matt Koch has a chance to be drafted between the sixth and 10th rounds. A fourth-year junior, Koch has two carrying tools: an above-average arm and raw power that he's still learning to tap into. He hit 15 homers in 2010, and though he has just four with the new bats in 2011, his doubles total has spiked from 13 to 22. Loyola Marymount coach Jason Gill says the 6-foot, 210-pound Koch has some of the best raw power he's ever seen, and he puts on an impressive display in batting practice, regularly launching balls way over LMU's Blue Monster in left field. Scouts aren't convinced he'll hit for enough average to be an everyday catcher, as his plate discipline needs considerable improvement (he has 118 strikeouts and 37 walks in his college career). His receiving needs polish, but he projects as an average defender with his plus arm.

Teammate Jason Wheeler could be drafted in the same range. The younger brother of former Loyola Marymount slugger and current Diamondbacks Double-A third baseman Ryan Wheeler, Jason was hampered by poor command of his secondary stuff during his first two college seasons. He turned a corner in the Northwoods League last summer, winning the circuit's pitching triple crown and ranking as its No. 13 prospect. The hulking 6-foot-6, 260-pound lefty dominated hitters with an 88-93 mph fastball with good downward angle last summer, but he pitched mostly at 88-91 as LMU's Friday starter this spring. His changeup has developed into an average second pitch, but he's never shown the ability to consistently throw a quality breaking ball. He tinkered with it over the fall and spring and at his best he flashed a decent slider, but it needs refinement.

San Diego struggled this season, and its two best arms—Chris Jensen and Calvin Drummond—were up and down, though they flashed intriguing potential. Jensen has spent most of his college career as a reliever thanks to inconsistent command, but he made 11 starts in his 17 appearances this spring, going 3-6, 3.84 with 70 strikeouts and 34 walks in 75 innings. He has a strong arm, regularly sitting 92-93 mph and touching 94-95 now and then. He flashes a good power slurve, though it flattens out at times, and he mixes in an occasional split-finger. Scouts say his short, rigid arm action and high slot hamper his command.

Drummond, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound redshirt sophomore, was a 34th-round pick out Huntington Beach High in 2008, and he started college at Arizona State before transferring to Orange Coast CC for the 2009 season. He sat out 2010 after transferring to USD, then led Toreros starters with a 3.29 ERA this spring. He came out of the chute strong, impressing scouts with a 91-94 mph fastball, a good 85-87 cutter, and a serviceable curveball and change. He settled into the 87-91 mph range as the spring progressed, and his feel for pitching was spotty. His delivery has funk and effort, and he could benefit from more seasoning in college, though a team could make a run at him inside the top 10 rounds.

USC righthander Andrew Triggs, who had Tommy John surgery as a prep senior and redshirted in 2008, entered his 2010 sophomore season with serious draft buzz after a strong fall, but an uneven spring caused him to drop to the 24th round and he returned to school. His stuff hasn't been as electric in 2011, but he has competed hard on Fridays for the Trojans, going 5-4, 3.67 with 72 strikeouts and 28 walks in 91 innings. For much of the season, the rap on Triggs was that he looked great for three or four innings, before his velocity dropped. He got stronger down the stretch, holding his 88-90 mph velocity deeper into games and peaking at 91. His best asset is the heavy sink on his two-seam fastball, and he complements it with a sweeping curveball and an occasional changeup. He's a strike-thrower with good feel for pitching. His medical track record makes clubs wary, and he profiles as a middle reliever in pro ball.

A trio of Long Beach State players could be drafted between the 10th and 20th rounds. Shortstop Kirk Singer (.217/.302/.274) needs to get stronger to become a passable hitter, but scouts are intrigued by his above-average arm and good actions at shortstop. Righthander Branden Pinder (3-5, 5.37) had a rough spring, but at his best he gets good sink on an 88-91 mph fastball that bumps 92. He adds and subtracts from a three-quarters breaking ball that ranges from the mid-70s to the low 80s, and his changeup is decent, but he sometimes struggles to stay on top of his stuff. He has a low three-quarters slot and a crossfire, rotational delivery, and he profiles as a middle reliever. Fellow righty Shawn Stuart (3-4, 3.49) has ordinary stuff—an 88-90 mph fastball and slurve—but throws strikes and competes.

UCLA catcher Steve Rodriguez gets plenty of exposure receiving for blue-chippers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, and his ability to handle their premium stuff will get him drafted despite meager offensive numbers (.216/.312/.254 with five extra-base hits through 134 at-bats). Rodriguez excels at receiving and blocking, and his average arm plays up because of its accuracy. He has a durable 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame and could be a big league backup if his lefthanded bat ever comes around. Physically mature at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Dean Espy lacks the raw power to project as an everyday first baseman in the big leagues, but he has strength in his line-drive swing and a chance to hit for average, with occasional home run pop. He has played third base in the past, but his range is better suited for first.

Bruins second baseman Tyler Rahmatulla has been snake-bitten over the last two years. He had a strong sophomore season (.328/.434/.509 with seven homers and 19 doubles) as UCLA's No. 3 hitter, but he missed the Bruins' run to the College World Series finals after breaking his wrist in the post-super regional dogpile celebration. When he returned last fall, Rahmatulla misstepped while taking ground balls in the Bruins' first workout, breaking a bone in the top of his foot and sidelining him for eight weeks. Then his season ended after just 18 games due to academic ineligibility. He has a chance to be an average defender at second base with an average line-drive bat and a blue-collar mentality, but his stock has dropped.

UCLA lefthander Mitchell Beacom has a future in pro ball as a left-on-left specialist, though his stuff is underwhelming. His funky delivery and sidearm slot give him deception, and his 85-88 mph fastball has some sink and run. He also uses a Frisbee slider that is adequate against lefthanders. He needs to develop a viable changeup if he is to succeed against righthanded hitters in pro ball.

Brian Humphries and Aaron Gates showed intriguing talent in high school and arrived at Pepperdine with fanfare, then didn't develop as expected. Both could wind up back at Peppedine for their senior seasons. Scouts still like Humphries' 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame and decent lefthanded swing, but he lacks bat speed and does not hit the ball with any authority. He's a below-average hitter with a chance to be a tick or two better, but at this stage he seems unlikely to come into power as scouts once thought he would. He's an average runner and a fringy defender in center field, and he projects as an extra outfielder. Gates' command went backward this spring. He has shown low-90s velocity in the past, and he more often worked at 85-87 mph this spring, to go along with a curveball. He's undersized and projects as a middle reliever.

Like Gates, Cal State Northridge's Drew Muren was expected to be an impact two-way player in college. While Gates wound up focusing on pitching, Muren focused on hitting and playing center field. Scouts are down on his bat—he needs to add strength to his skinny 6-foot-6, 195-pound frame—but he is a solid-average to plus runner who can track balls down in the outfield. He also has good arm strength, and there are scouts who like him as a sleeper on the mound. They just haven't gotten the chance this spring to see what he can do as a pitcher.

UC Santa Barbara ace Jesse Meaux was a 44th-round pick by the Phillies a year ago, and he should go considerably higher as a senior sign this spring. He has a nice pitcher's frame at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and good arm strength but unrefined feel for pitching. Pitching with the Santa Barbara Foresters in the NBC World Series in Wichita last summer, Meaux flashed 93-94 mph heat and a good slider, but he worked mostly in the 88-92 range this spring, and his secondary stuff has been inconsistent. His slider flashes average when he gets on top of it, and his changeup has similar potential and similar inconsistency. Fellow Gaucho Mark Haddow is another senior sign with upside—a tools guy who finally translated his talent into performance this spring. Physical and athletic at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Haddow is a solid-average runner with a solid-average arm and average defensive skills at a corner outfield spot. Making consistent contact has always been his bugaboo. He has done a better job with it this spring, though scouts still doubt he'll hit enough to be a big league regular.

Scouts heap praise on the UC Irvine coaching staff to get the most out of its players, and the Anteaters are loaded with quality college players who project as organizational players in pro ball: third baseman/righthander Brian Hernandez, outfielders Drew Hillman and Sean Madigan and catcher Ronnie Shaeffer. Irvine also has a pair of draftable juniors in first baseman/DH Jordan Leyland and shortstop D.J. Crumlich. Leyland was an all-star in the Cape Cod league last summer, showing a feel for hitting with a wood bat and plus raw power. But he had a bad spring, struggling with his timing, rhythm and stride at the plate, and he's a fringy defender at first, causing the Anteaters to use him at DH for much of the season. Crumlich is a surehanded, steady defender with just enough arm strength for shortstop, but he lacks the range to stick there at the upper levels of pro ball. He's a below-average to fringe-average runner with feel for hitting and good all-around instincts. Scouts don't envision him becoming a big league-caliber hitter. With no carrying tool, Crumlich figures to be a nice senior sign next year.

In other words, he should be what UC Riverside senior shortstop Trevor Hairgrove is now. Hairgrove lacks a plus or even solid-average tool, but he's a decent defensive shortstop with a future as an organizational player. Hairgrove does not handle the bat as well as Crumlich does, though.

Small Colleges Disappoint

Scouts say the junior-college crop in Southern California is weaker than it has been in years, and there's a big dropoff after Kylin Turnbull and Jesus Valdez. The only other JC player with even a chance to be drafted in the top 12 rounds is Santa Barbara CC lefthander Chris Joyce, the pitcher of the year in his conference this spring. Joyce was a big deal out of high school, getting drafted in the 10th round and heading to UC Santa Barbara, where he was academically ineligible. He transferred to Central Arizona JC and dominated in 2010, getting drafted again—this time in the 29th round by the Tigers. He ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the Cal Collegiate League last summer, dominating with an 89-94 mph fastball and a decent cutter. His velocity has dropped this spring, sometimes sitting in the 84-86 range, other times ranging from 86-91. He throws both a cutter around 85 and a slider around 82, as well as a slow curveball and changeup that are mostly show pitches. Most scouts are down on Joyce because of his soft 6-foot, 200-pound frame, history of knee problems and less-than-overwhelming stuff this spring, but he has a good feel for pitching and could easily be drafted inside the top 10 rounds.

Orange Coast CC righthander Chad Thompson was a Top 200 prospect and a 17th-round pick out of high school in 2009. He missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and his velocity has been up and down this spring. Early in games, Thompson has flashed 90-93 mph heat and even topped out at 95, though even then he tended to get hit around. Other times he pitches at 84-87 or 87-90 mph. He clearly has arm strength and a huge 6-foot-8, 210-pound frame, but his delivery and arm action aren't pretty and he struggles with his control and command. He also throws a slow curveball and a slider that both rate as well below-average.

There are no Division II, D-III or NAIA prospects who should get into the top 10 rounds, but there are a few interesting arms. The best of the lot is Cal State Bernardino junior righty Aaron Brooks, a physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound strike-thrower. He pitches with a fringy fastball at 87-90 mph, occasionally bumping 91-92, as well as a fringy slider and changeup. He's aggressive and durable but lacks upside.

UC San Diego righthanders Guido Knudson and Tim Shibuya should be solid senior signs. Knudson's delivery and arm action are best suited for a relief role. He has arm strength, with a 90-93 mph fastball and the makings of a decent slider. Shibuya has good feel for pitching and less stuff, working in the 86-91 mph range and mixing in a get-me-over curveball, a changeup and a usable slider.

The region's best Division III prospect is Pomona-Pitzer senior righty David Colvin, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who pitched for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League last summer. Colvin pitches with a fringe-average 88-91 mph fastball, a passable slider and a changeup that's his best pitch. Colvin will be an organizational player with a middle relief ceiling.

Biola closer Cameron McVey is a physically mature 22-year-old junior righthander with some arm strength. He'll show a 92-93 mph fastball and spin a breaking ball that's serviceable at best, with a poor arm action. Sticking in the NAIA ranks, Cal Baptist lefty Taylor Siemens is a Tommy John surgery alumnus who has regained fringy fastball velocity, working in the 87-90 mph range. His changeup and slider are also fringe-average. At 6-foot-5 and with a three-quarters arm slot, Siemens gives hitters an unusual look; he profiles as a lefthanded specialist. Teammate Brian Sharp, a 23-year-old junior, has dominated considerably younger competition this year. He won't stick at shortstop in pro ball, but he can hit, has some pop and decent speed.

Prep Ranks Feature Famous Names

Southern California has a strong recruiting class lined up, and even if Travis Harrison signs, the Trojans have a real chance to land both Dante Flores and Christian Lopes. It's the minority opinion, but there are scouts who like fellow USC signee Ryan Garvey even more than Harrison. The son of 10-time big league all-star Steve Garvey, Ryan has hitting in his blood. His best tool is his above-average raw power. Scouts like his swing and think he has a chance to hit for average once he refines his approach, because he does swing and miss more than they'd like. Strong and physical but not terribly athletic at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Garvey's position is a question. He has above-average arm strength, but it was erratic when he has played third base. He plays center field for his high school team, but he's a below-average runner who figures to wind up at first base or left field, so his bat will have to carry him. He's a tough sign who will likely wind up at school, where he'll be joined by two-way talent Nigel Nootbaar. Loose and athletic at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Nootbaar is a better prospect on the mound than in the outfield. His fastball ranges from 88-91 mph with late life, and he has a good, sharp curveball. Fellow USC recruit Wyatt Strahan is cut from the same cloth: He commands the zone with an 88-91 fastball and solid secondary stuff, including a changeup that has a chance to be plus.

Garvey does not have the most famous last name in the Southern California prep class. That belongs to Trevor Gretzky, son of Wayne, the greatest hockey player in history. Long-levered and projectable at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Gretzky has plenty of holes in his swing, and his feel for hitting needs to improve. But he does have power projection and natural hand-eye coordination. He's a poor runner who has a long way to go defensively at first base, and he's likely to wind up at San Diego State. The Aztecs have another of the region's top recruiting classes, centered around Top 200 prospects Philip Evans, Michael Cederoth and Joe Musgrove. Their class also features Bryce Mosier, a physical catcher with a slightly above-average arm and solid receiving skills. Mosier impressed scouts at the Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star Game in November, earning MVP honors with a two-run triple. He has some feel for the barrel and power potential, and he could sneak into the back of the top 10 rounds. Outfielder Rashard Harlin, a teammate of Top 200 prospect Jake Reed, is considered signable inside the top 10 rounds but has a chance to wind up at San Diego State, as well. He has a short track record and generated a bit of buzz this spring, showing slightly above-average speed and an average-to-plus arm. He is strong and athletic, while his bat is unrefined. Harlin is a bit of a wild card and could be drafted anywhere from the fifth to the 15th round.

A pair of raw, athletic Los Angeles high schoolers without major college commitments are considered signable, and both figure to go inside the top 10 rounds. Outfielder Desmond Henry's premium speed could even make him a top-five-rounds pick. He's a well above-average runner with excellent range and an adequate arm in center field. He hit in the Area Code Games last summer, but his righthanded bat is still a major question mark. He has bat speed and hand-eye coordination, but he needs to shorten his swing and do a better job putting the ball in play, and on the ground. He has sneaky strength in his 6-foot, 175-pound frame, though his power is below-average.

Middle infielder Kenny Peoples is not as fast as Henry, but he has above-average speed and a knack for making contact. He's a bit undersized and has below-average power, but he has good hand-eye coordination, which helps him hit despite a swing that fails to utilize his lower half effectively. While he plays shortstop in high school, scouts agree that his range, arm strength and actions fit better at second. Peoples lacks polish and has questionable instincts, but his athleticism and chance for an average bat should get him drafted between the seventh and 12th rounds.

Righthander Tyler Leslie is also uncommitted and figures to sign out of high school this spring. He flashed velocity this spring, running his fastball into the 91-94 mph range, but his control and feel for pitching have a long way to go. At his best, he also flashes a decent slurve with promise.

Projectable 6-foot-6, 185-pound righthander Danny Keller was one of the stars of November's Jesse Flores Memorial All-Star Game, showing a 91-92 mph two-seam fastball and a sharp three-quarters curve. The breaking ball had less power at February's MLB Urban Youth Invitational, and his feel for pitching did not impress scouts as the spring progressed. He struggled to throw strikes, thanks in part to an unrefined delivery that includes some head violence. He has arm strength—he topped out at 93 this spring—and upside, and a club could take a shot at him as high as the fifth- to seventh-round range, though he seems to fit better a few rounds later than that. He is committed to Cal State Northridge.

One of the region's biggest X-factors is lefthander Adam McCreery, an ultra-projectable 6-foot-8, 200-pounder with medical baggage. His fastball ranged from 84-88 mph in the Area Code tryouts last summer, and by the Jesse Flores All-Star Game in November his velocity had jumped into the 88-91 range, to go along with a promising slider, and his stock rose accordingly. He missed most of the spring with an elbow injury, and when he returned in May his stuff lacked crispness and his command was poor. He sat 84-86 mph and occasionally touched 90 in limited action, and he did not throw his breaking ball with conviction. Many scouts don't think he's ready for pro ball, but he'll get drafted as a summer follow and could get signed away from school if he returns to form. Otherwise, he'll head to Arizona State, where he'll be joined by slugger Rouric Bridgewater, a physical corner bat with leverage and power potential in his lefthanded swing. He's a below-average defender without a real defensive position, and scouts are content to let him go to school for now.

While Austin Hedges and Riley Moore are clearly the top two prep catchers in Southern California, the region has depth at the position, with Mosier, David Schuknecht and Adam Erhlich all drawing pro interest. An Arizona signee, Shuknecht has a strong, athletic frame at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. A lefthanded hitter, he swings hard and often misses, but when he stays on the ball he can lace hard line drives from gap to gap, and he has power potential. He's an average runner and has good mobility behind the plate, to go along with promising receiving skills, though they are not yet polished. He also has good arm strength. Ehrlich, a Loyola Marymount recruit, played in the Area Code Games last summer, and like Schuknecht he kicked off the spring at the MLB Urban Youth Invitational in Compton. He has plenty of strength in his sturdy 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, but he is stiff at the plate and behind the plate. He has good arm strength but lacks good footwork, agility and throwing accuracy. He also lacks bat speed and seldom pulls balls with any authority, preferring to go the opposite way.

Another Arizona signee leads a contingent of players likely bound for college, where they could turn into legitimate draft prospects in three years. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, righthander Matthew Troupe lacks projection but has good feel for a solid three-pitch mix: an 87-91 mph fastball, a tight curveball and a changeup. He has effort and head violence in his delivery, and he struggles to command to his arm side.

Pepperdine has one of the best recruiting classes in the region, with a pair of Top 200 prospects with a chance to wind up at school in Jacob Anderson and Aaron Brown, plus a nice supporting cast. Austin Davidson plays shortstop in high school and could handle the position in college, but he projects as an average defensive second baseman with an average arm in pro ball. He's a good athlete with fringe-average speed and a chance for an average lefthanded bat in time, and scouts praise his grinder mentality. Strike-throwing righthander Quincy Quintero showed well at both the Jesse Flores All-Star Game in November and the MLB Urban Youth Invitational in February, but he generated little buzz leading up to the draft. He's athletic and loose with a deceptive crossfire delivery. His fastball reaches 90-91 mph, and he shows a promising curve.

Cal State Fullerton's recruiting class lacks premium Southern California talent but is full of players who are safe bets to be quality college players. The best of the lot is outfielder Clay Williamson, who has gained admirers in the scouting community playing alongside likely first-rounder Austin Hedges. Like Hedges, Williamson is considered a tough sign, but he has intriguing upside. He has a loose, athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame and a quick, slashy lefthanded swing with some strength. He's an average runner with at least a chance to stick in center field. Righthander Jose Cardona has a stocky frame and a mid-three-quarters slinger arm action. At his best he shows an average fastball and a swing-and-miss hard slider in the low 80s. Rival coaches think lefthander/first baseman/outfielder Kenny Mathews will be the next in Fullerton's long tradition of standout two-way players. He throws strikes with a fastball that has below-average velocity and has good feel for his breaking ball and changeup. He'll need to shorten up his swing at Fullerton, but he has some feel for hitting. Righties Matthew Budgell and Koby Gauna both showed promise in the Jesse Flores All-Star Game last November but garnered scant interest from scouts this spring. The lanky Budgell has an easy arm action that produced 90-91 mph fastballs and a promising curve in November. Gauna has a mature, unathletic build, but his 90-91 mph fastball had good bore in November, and he flashed a quality changeup.

UCLA also signed a pair of interesting players who are almost certainly headed to college. Outfielder Eric Snyder makes up for his undersized 5-foot-11, 170-pound build with his aggressive, hard-nosed approach. Scouts say his arm and speed are lacking for pro ball, while college coaches think both tools are more than adequate to help make him a star at the college level. He lacks explosiveness and projectability, but his lefthanded bat has a chance to carry him. Righthander Jacob Ehret is still fairly new to pitching but shows feel for an 87-88 mph fastball that touches 89-90 and a curveball. He has a good 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and could blossom under UCLA coach John Savage's tutelage.

San Diego commit Ryan Keller has a good pitcher's frame at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and a loose, slingy three-quarters arm action. His fastball sits at 88-90 mph and touches 91 with sink, and he projects to add velocity as he matures. He showed a tight curveball in February and has flashed a decent slider. Fellow USD signee Max Homick could be a valuable two-way player for the Toreros, and he profiles as a lefthander in pro ball. He has some feel for pitching and a good curveball, though his velocity has been inconsistent this spring, ranging from 84-89 mph. He also has a smooth lefthanded swing and is an adequate defender at first base.

Outfielder Bradley Zimmer, a San Fransisco signee, garners comparisons to Pepperdine outfielder Brian Humphries, who was similarly skinny at the same stage of his development. The younger brother of USF weekend starter Kyle Zimmer, Bradley broke a bone in his hand in a freak accident down the stretch this spring, curtailing any draft momentum. Six-foot-5 and lanky, Zimmer is a long strider with average speed and some power projection once he fills out. He has decent bat speed and natural lift in his lefthanded swing, and he simply needs to get stronger. He could develop into an intriguing prospect in three years at USF.

Righty Michael Jordan has an even more famous name than Gretzky, though he's no relation to the basketball great. A smallish 6-foot-1 righty with some violence in his delivery, Jordan has shown inconsistent velocity this spring, reaching 91-92 mph at times and sitting at 86-87 at other times. He'll spin a decent breaking ball at times, but he does not command it well. Jordan originally committed to California, signed with Pepperdine when the Bears announced they were dropping baseball, then went back to Cal after the program was reinstated.