State Report: Northern California
Talent tilts north in the Golden State this year
|THIS YEAR'S CROP
||One for the books
||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
It's usually Southern California that produces the best high school talent in the state. The best players from the northern part of the state—Troy Tulowitzki, Pat Burrell, Brandon Morrow and Brett Jackson, to name a few—typically go to college before entering the professional ranks. This year, the tables have turned. It's a bit of a down year for Southern California talent, but NorCal is booming, particularly in the high schools.
While it isn't an outstanding year for college players—that will be next year—there are some solid players from the Northern California schools and three teams—Fresno State, California and Stanford—spent time in Baseball America's Top 25 rankings this year.
|NATIONAL TOP 200 PROSPECTS
1. Robert Stephenson, rhp, Alhambra HS, Martinez (National Rank: 25)
2. Joe Ross, rhp, Bishop O'Dowd HS, Oakland (National Rank: 36)
3. Chris Reed, lhp, Stanford (National Rank: 60)
4. Tyler Goeddel, 3b/of, St. Francis HS, Mountain View (National Rank: 89)
5. Erik Johnson, rhp, California (National Rank: 97)
6. Dusty Robinson, of, Fresno State (National Rank: 115)
7. J.R. Graham, rhp, Santa Clara (National Rank: 120)
8. Billy Flamion, of, Central Catholic HS, Modesto (National Rank: 124)
9. Bobby Crocker, of, Cal Poly (National Rank: 147)
10. Jake Sisco, rhp, Merced JC (National Rank: 176)
11. Chris Mariscal, ss, Clovis North HS (National Rank: 185)
12. Richard Prigatano, of, St. Francis HS, Mountain View (National Rank: 196)
13. James Harris, of, Oakland Tech HS
14. Justin James, of, Sacramento CC
15. Mitchell Walding, ss, St. Mary's HS, Stockton
16. Shawon Dunston, of, Valley Christian HS, San Jose
17. Scott Snodgress, lhp, Stanford
18. Cody Anderson, rhp, Feather River JC
19. Kyle Barraclough, rhp, St. Mary's
20. Scott Lyman, rhp, UC Davis
21. Jeff Johnson, rhp, Cal Poly
22. Kyle Castro, rhp, Pleasant Valley HS, Elk Grove
23. Michael Jensen, rhp, Hartnell JC
24. Nick Grim, rhp, Monterey Peninsula JC
25. Ryan Tella, of, Ohlone JC
26. Kevin Kramer, ss, Turlock HS
27. Alex Blandino, 2b, St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif.
28. Roberto Padilla, lhp, San Jose State
29. Dixon Anderson, rhp, California
30. Chadd Krist, c, California
31. Marcus Semien, ss, California
32. Trent Garrison, c, Fresno State
33. Brett Mooneyham, lhp, Stanford
34. Andrew Milner, rhp, Feather River JC
35. Greg Gonzalez, rhp, Fresno State
36. J.D. Davis, 3b, Elk Grove HS
37. Kevin Miller, rhp, California
38. Danny Muno, 2b, Fresno State
39. Kevin Brahney, lhp, Chico State
40. Jordan Pries, rhp, Stanford
41. Dayton Alexander, of, Feather River JC
42. Cole Brocker, rhp, Sacramento CC
43. Josh Poytress, lhp, Fresno State
44. Dylan Chavez, lhp, American River JC
45. Spenser Linney, lhp, Head-Royce HS, Oakland
46. Sean Mullen, rhp, San Luis Obispo HS
47. Matt Flemer, rhp, California
48. Mason Radeke, rhp, Cal Poly
49. Derek Benny, rhp, Fresno State
50. Ryan Rieger, 1b, JC of the Sequoias
51. Scott Templeton, of Sierra JC
52. Stephen Yarrow, 3b, San Francisco
53. Garrett Weber, ss, Fresno State
54. Pete Lavin, of, San Francisco
55. Alex Vetter, rhp, Feather River JC
56. Cory Hall, rhp, Santa Clara
57. Victor Mendoza, 1b, Feather River JC
58. Troy Channing, 1b, St. Mary's
59. Zach Jones, c, Stanford
60. Steven Fischback, rhp, Cal Poly
61. Chris Keck, of, Amador Valley HS, Pleasanton
62. Jordan Ribera, 1b, Fresno State
63. Lydell Moseby, 1b, American River JC
64. John Hochstatter, lhp, San Ramon Valley HS, Danville
65. Frankie Reed, lhp, Cal Poly
66. Eugene Wright, rhp, Cal Poly
67. Marc Wik, of, Chabot JC
68. Jaret Bogue, c, Feather River JC
69. O'Koyea Dickson, 1b, Sonoma State
70. Clay Cedarquist, 1b, Fresno CC
71. Seth Moranda, rhp/ss, Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif.
72. Grant Watson, lhp, Centennial HS, Bakersfield
73. Mike Botelho, rhp, Chabot JC
74. Darin Gillies, rhp, San Benito HS, Hollister
75. Alex Todd, ss, Sonoma State
76. Kyle Jones, of, Sonoma State
77. Joe Mello, ss, Dublin HS
78. Brett Geren, c, San Ramon Valley HS, Danville
79. Kyle DeVore, rhp, Sacramento CC
80. Joe Armstrong, rhp, Logan HS, Union City
Robert Stephenson, rhp
Alhambra HS, Martinez
Stephenson has a long and loose 6-foot-2 frame, and he's not done growing yet so scouts see projection as he matures. He had a busy summer on the showcase circuit and then started off his senior season by throwing back-to-back no-hitters. His fastball sat in the the 90-92 mph range last summer, and he took things up a notch this spring, sitting 93-95 and touching 97. Stephenson has a smooth, athletic delivery and produces good hand speed. This has helped his curveball improve along with his fastball, and he's now throwing the pitch in the 78-80 mph range and commanding it well. He also mixes in an occasional changeup. Stephenson is just as gifted in the classroom as he is on the pitcher's mound, and he's Washington's biggest recruit in a long time. He has been working with Huskies assistant coach Jordon Twohig since he was 13, but the program's recent struggles and Stephenson's status as a possible first rounder make it unlikely he winds up on campus.
Joe Ross, rhp
Bishop O'Dowd HS, Oakland
Like Robert Stephenson, Ross' stuff has also been a little bit better this spring than it was on the showcase circuit this summer. Ross, whose older brother Tyson is a righthander for the Athletics, sat in the 91-93 mph range with his fastball this summer. This spring he's been as high as 96. The pitch has good life and comes out easily from Ross' smooth delivery. He has a hard curveball in the 78-80 mph range with 11-5 break and flashes a good changeup. While he doesn't have his brother's size, he still has a nice pitcher's frame at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. Ross is the total package—he is a quality athlete and he's also a very good student, so he'll likely be a tough pry away from his UCLA commitment.
Chris Reed, lhp
Last year was the first time since 1999 that Stanford didn't have a player selected in the first five rounds of the draft. That won't happen again this year because of Reed, who could go as high as the sandwich round. Reed is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, but scouts say he has grown and gained strength from last year to this year. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph some nights to 92-94 on others, and he has touched 96. He'll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency. That should come with experience. Reed has totaled just 68 innings at Stanford and has started only one game. His size, athleticism and three-pitch mix will tempt teams to give him a shot as a starter in pro ball.
Tyler Goeddel, 3b
St. Francis HS, Mountain View
Goeddel's father, David, is a pioneer in the biotechnology industry and helped develop synthetic insulin and human growth hormone. His brother, Erik, is a pitcher in the Mets organization, drafted out of UCLA last year. Tyler has a gangly and projectable 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame. He's also a well above-average runner, athletic enough to play third base, though his speed may be best utilized in center field. Goeddel has above-average arm strength and shows intriguing tools at the plate. He takes aggressive swings with bat speed, and his bat head stays in the hitting zone for a long time. Scouts have to project on Goeddel's power, but it's not hard to envision him hitting for at least average power as he adds muscle to his frame. Goeddel missed time this season with mononucleosis, but he still has the track record and skill set to be a premium pick.
Erik Johnson, rhp
Johnson has a big, 6-foot-2, 240-pound frame and sometimes has trouble maintaining his mechanics. His delivery can get a little rigid and he loses his arm slot at times, though he's been better about getting it back than he was last year. Johnson is quick to the plate and sits in the 90-94 mph range with his fastball and tops out at 95. His best secondary offering is a hard slider that he can throw for strikes or use as a wipeout pitch and he also mixes in a slow, show-me curveball and a changeup that is inconsistent, but shows flashes of being a quality pitch. Johnson sometimes tries to be too fine with his fastball instead of trusting that he can overpower hitters with it. While he needs to sharpen his fastball command, Johnson has shown a good enough feel for pitching to get by and go deep into games without it.
Dusty Robinson, of
Robinson went undrafted out of high school, but he has performed well for Fresno State for three years. He has a compact, muscular frame at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, and he's a grinder who always gives 100 percent. But he also has tools, as an above-average runner with above-average power potential and a strong arm. He has a similar frame and skill set to Brent Morel of the White Sox, who was a third-round pick out of Cal Poly in 2008, but Robinson is a better runner who could play center field. Robinson's power does come with strikeouts, so he doesn't project to hit for a high average. Robinson doesn't offer much in the way of projection, but he has an interesting package of tools, drive and a history of performing well for a good team.
J.R. Graham, rhp
Graham has always been a fighter. He was born three months premature and weighed 2 pounds, and as an infant he stopped breathing in his father's arms before reviving. The Athletics took him in the 46th round in 2008 out of Livermore (Calif.) High, but he headed to Santa Clara as a two-way player. He has turned his focus to pitching now and is getting second-round buzz, thanks to a fastball that sits in the mid- to upper 90s. Graham isn't physically imposing, standing 6 feet and 175 pounds. He is blessed with a lot of fast-twitch muscle and gives a lot of credit for his arm strength to his father, who helped develop his workout program. The program utilizes plyometrics and medicine balls to improve core strength and explosiveness. Despite his big arm strength, Graham draws skepticism from some scouts. He's a bulldog on the mound, but he doesn't get a lot of angle on his fastball and his slider has been inconsistent. He'll also need to work on his changeup.
Billy Flamion, of
Central Catholic HS, Modesto
Flamion played well on the showcase circuit last summer and showed some of the best bat speed in this year's high school class—and from the left side of the plate. He is also a football player and came into the spring a little rusty with some softness to his body. He pressed at times and didn't show the kind of production scouts hoped to see. He could be an above-average hitter with above-average power, and a team will have to buy into Flamion's bat because he doesn't show many other tools. He's a below-average runner and he has an average arm, so it's likely he winds up in left field. He also needs to work on making quicker adjustments. Once thought of as a supplemental-round talent, Flamion's stock has slipped and he's looking more like a third-rounder. It will likely take more than third-round money to buy him out of his commitment to Oregon.
Bobby Crocker, of
Crocker is much more physical than the other top outfielder from Northern California, Fresno State's Dusty Robinson, and they're very different players. Scouts can project more with Crocker more than they can with Robinson, who is what he is. Crocker is an above-average runner with some juice in his bat, though he doesn't turn on balls as well as he should. He has an inside-out approach right now, but could definitely start showing his power more as he gets into pro ball and loosens up his swing. Crocker is an impressive athlete with a chiseled, 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame. He's a hard worker with an unusual amount of upside remaining for a college junior.
Jake Sisco, rhp
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.
Chris Mariscal, ss
Clovis North HS, Fresno
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.
Richard Prigatano, of
St. Francis HS, Mountain View
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.
Intriguing Tools In Prep Ranks
Outfielder James Harris
looks great in a uniform with his 6-foot-1, 175-pound athletic frame. He's raw and may need two years in Rookie ball, but he has huge upside. Harris is an explosive athlete. He is a well above-average runner, with a 37-inch vertical leap, and can fly on the bases and in center field. He has below-average arm strength, but enough for center field. A righthanded hitter, Harris is patient at the plate, trying to get on base any way possible, and some scouts wonder if he's actually too passive. He also shows some raw power. Harris has not committed to a college, so he should be signable.
As the quarterback for his high school football team, Mitchell Walding
didn't get many looks last summer or fall. Then he had a stress fracture in his right foot at the end of April, though he returned in mid-May when his team was in the playoffs. He has a lot of things that scouts like. With a 6-foot-4, 185-pound frame, Walding he's athletic and agile for his size, with fringy speed. While evaluators aren't convinced he will remain at shortstop long-term, he'll at least get a chance to stay there. He has average arm strength, and it could get better if teams can fix a hitch in his throwing motion. Walding is a good student with a lot of passion for the game. He hits from the left side and he has good bat speed, sound swing mechanics and a patient approach. He tracks the ball well, letting it travel deep, and is comfortable taking the ball the other way. He doesn't have a lot of power yet, but most scouts think it's in there. Walding could go in the fourth to sixth round and will spend this summer in the West Coast League. If he does not sign, he is committed to Oregon.
Shawon Dunston Jr.'s
father was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1982 draft, played 18 years in the big leagues and is a special assistant for the Giants. While the elder Dunston was drafted out of high school, however, most scouts
believe his son would be better off going to Vanderbilt, where he's a key
recruit. Dunston has a slender, 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame, and it's obvious that his best baseball is in front of him, and he's surprisingly raw. He is an above-average runner, which helps both on the bases and in center field. Unlike his father, he swings from the left side of the plate. As Dunston fills out, he could grow into gap power and be an average hitter. Scouts love his speed, passion for the game and bloodlines, but they may not want to buy him out of school at this point.
Righthander Kyle Castro
has a projectable, athletic frame at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds. He also starred on his high school football team as a defensive back and led the state with 12 interceptions last season. When he's not pitching, he plays third base and hits in the middle of the order. Teams prefer him on the mound, though, where he sits in the 88-90 mph range, topping out at 92. He throws a curveball that is inconsistent but shows flashes of being an above-average pitch. His mechanics are free and easy because of his athleticism, which along with his competitiveness and lack of a college commitment may push him up draft boards.
takes charge on the field as both a quarterback and shortstop for Turlock High. He has an average build at 6 feet and 195 pounds, and smooth actions at shortstop. He's an average runner with an average arm. At the plate, Kramer pressed early in the year and needs to work on not coming up out of his swing. He did heat up in the second half of the season, helping Turlock reach the playoffs. When he shows good rhythm and balance, his swing is a compact, line-drive stroke from the left side. Kramer, who played for USA Baseball's 16U gold medal team in 2009, is one of the younger players in this year's class, and scouts expect him to wind up at UCLA next year.
St. Francis High is loaded with talent, with two players in the Top 200 in Tyler Goeddel and Richard Prigatano. Yet shortstop Alex Blandino
may be the best pure hitter of the bunch. He has a fundamentally sound, compact swing that produces a lot of line drives. He's not the same kind of prospect as his teammates, though, because he is undersized at 6 feet and 180 pounds, is a below-average
runner and hits from the right side of the plate. He may wind up at second base, but has the actions to stay at shortstop and definitely the arm strength, as he's been clocked up to 89 mph off the mound. He's considered a tough sign away from his Stanford commitment, and three years of maturity and development could boost his draft stock.
At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, third baseman J.D. Davis
is a good hitter with a lot of strength and
above-average power. His swing is more about strength than pure bat
speed, which concerns some scouts. He also has a stocky body with a thick lower half and will have to watch his conditioning as he gets older. He is already seen as a baseclogger. Davis also pitches and has been up to 93 mph off the mound, with a curveball and a changeup. His arm strength and body type make scouts think he might be worth trying at catcher. Davis is committed to Cal State Fullerton.
Righthander Sean Mullen
just started pitching this year. Judging from his 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame, broad shoulders and a narrow waist, scouts wonder what took so long. He's a good athlete who shows promise on the mound, sitting in the 88-91 mph range. He's raw but shows a smooth delivery with good body control for a pitcher his size. He has worked with Jerry Weinstein, the manager of the Rockies' high Class A Modesto affilliate, who also helped Bud Norris develop at Cal Poly.
Cal Baseball Here To Stay
The biggest baseball story in Berkeley this year was that Cal baseball was terminated, then reinstated. While that's obviously great news for college baseball, the Bears will face challenges going forward, as they have several key players who will get drafted this year, and the uncertainty roiled their recruiting.
Righthander Dixon Anderson
was a sixth-round pick by the Orioles last year as a draft-eligible sophomore but returned to school and did little this year to improve his stock. He touched 96 mph last year year and had been more in the 90-91 mph range this spring, topping out at 93. He has learned to be more of a pitcher this year, instead of just a thrower, because he couldn't rely on simply blowing it by guys. He uses a two- and four-seam fastball, and his two-seamer is his biggest weapon because, when it's on, it really moves. It's not consistent, but at its best the pitch has above-average life and dives to his arm side. Anderson makes the mistake of throwing harder when he gets in trouble, but is better when he lets off the gas and trusts his movement. His secondary pitches are a curveball that is occasionally a plus pitch and a splitter. He worked in a cutter this year that he can throw for strikes and helped him against righthanders. Anderson has a workhorse frame at 6-foot-6 and 224 pounds. He worked this year to get more rhythm and looseness to his delivery, but it's still segmented and mechanical.
Catcher Chadd Krist
did a great job handling the premium stuff on Cal's staff. He has a solid arm that plays up thanks to his athleticism and quick footwork, and he threw out 61 percent of basestealers this year. He's agile behind the plate, and he receives and blocks well. He belted 10 home runs last year, but only showed gap power this year with the new bats, leading the team in doubles. Krist is a good leader with a blue-collar work ethic; he'll have to show more with the bat to be an everyday player.
Righthander Kevin Miller
has never been drafted, but should be a good senior sign this year. A torn labrum in his hip limited him the past two years, but he's back to 100 percent this year. He settled into the 88-92 mph range with his fastball and touched 94 earlier in the year. He has good command of his fastball and spots it to all quadrants of the strike zone. He also shows confidence in his 12-to-6 curveball and mixes in a changeup. Miller has had success as a starter—he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Coastal Carolina in his season debut this year—but most of his work with the Bears has been in relief, and that's probably where he profiles best with his stocky, 6-foot, 207-pound frame and injury history.
Closer Matt Flemer
has the fearlessness scouts love to see. He's a strike thrower who sits 88-92 mph with a good slider, and teams may wait to sign him as a senior. The same is true for shortstop Marcus Semien
, who also was Flemer's teammates at St. Mary's High in Berkeley. Semien is a steady defender with sure hands and some arm strength, though he may lack the first-step quickness to stay at shortstop. He's an average runner. He hit well last year and in the Northwoods League last summer, but scouts have questions about his bat. He didn't do anything to quell doubters this year, hitting .260/.357/.380.
Stanford has a younger team, loaded with premium picks for 2012 and 2013. Outside of Chris Reed, the Cardinal's best draft-eligible prospects this year haven't lived up to expectations. Lefthander Brett Mooneyham
has been an enigma to scouts, showing great stuff as well as a lack of control and general inconsistency. With Team USA last summer, he pitched at 86-88 mph, not the low to mid-90s he had shown in the past. He did not pitch at all this year after he needed surgery to repair a cut middle finger on his pitching hand.
Another physical lefthander, Scott Snodgress
, showed better velocity in the fall and settled back into the 90-92 mph range out of Stanford's bullpen this spring. Scouts like his size—he's 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds—and potential, but he doesn't have great command or composure. Snodgress throws a good curveball and changeup and needs to trust his stuff is and show more confidence on the mound.
Fresno State senior righthander Greg Gonzalez
dominated the Western Athletic Conference this year, going 11-0, 1.43 with 121 strikeouts and 26 walks in 101 innings heading into regionals. He was the WAC pitcher of the year as the Bulldogs won their fifth conference title in the last six years. Despite being just 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Gonzalez gets good downward plane on his pitches thanks to an over-the-top delivery with a lot of shoulder tilt. He also strides open, and the funkiness adds to his deception, but he's not all smoke and mirrors. Hitters never have comfortable at-bats against Gonzalez, who pitches at 89-90 mph and scraped 93 this year. He throws a big curveball and an above-average changeup, and he added a cutter to his repertoire this year that took his game up a notch.
A 16th-round pick of the Astros out of high school, lefthander Josh Poytress
has good athleticism in his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame. He sits in the upper 80s with his fastball and tops out at 92, with a slider and changeup as secondary pitches. His command took a big step forward this year. Righthanded reliever Derek Benny
has an imposing, 6-foot-5, 215-pound build. His results haven't matched his power stuff. He has a sinking fastball up to 93 mph and mixes in a slider that he can also shorten up and use as a cutter as well.
Senior infielder Danny Muno
, a 26th round pick last year by the Cubs, has been remarkably consistent and has done nothing but hit at Fresno. He is an above-average runner who puts together smart at-bats with good bat speed from both sides of the plate. He played third base this year, but profiles better at second base or as a utility player.
Fresno State's biggest wild card is catcher Trent Garrison
, who was one of the better catch-and-throw guys on the West Coast coming into the season, with a 70 arm on the 20-80 scouting scale. Garrison has also hit well from the left side of the plate, but tore his left ACL and MCL during the first game of the season. If healthy, Garrison could have been a first-five-rounds pick this year, and a team still may take a flyer on him later in the draft.
Best Of The Rest
has been difficult for scouts to evaluate this year. He's a two-way player for UC Davis, usually playing the outfield on Fridays and Saturdays and taking the mound on Sundays. Pro scouts are interested in him only as a righthander, and they felt he was sometimes worn out when he pitched. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Lyman shows good arm strength, touching 96 mph with his fastball, but it's in short bursts. He has below-average mechanics, dragging his arm through the zone, so it's likely his future is in the bullpen. Lyman, whose brother Jeff pitches in the Braves organization, shows flashes of an above-average curveball and changeup, but the pitches lack consistency.
St. Mary's righthander Kyle Barraclough
has a strapping, 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame with a barrel chest. He has shown good arm strength, touching 94 mph as late as the eighth inning of games. His secondary stuff comes and goes, and he shows a nasty slider on occasion. If he doesn't improve the consistency of those offerings, he may wind up in the bullpen, where he could add velocity in shorter stints.
Cal Poly closer Jeff Johnson
missed a few weeks this season with tendinitis, but when he's 100 percent he has good stuff, including a fastball in the 92-95 mph range and a splitter he throws between 86-88 mph. He mixes in an occasional slider and has the ability to handle both lefthanded and righthanded hitters. Righthander Mason Radeke
pitched well in the Mustangs rotation this season. He's a great competitor with a four-pitch mix: a fastball in the 87-91 mph range, a curveball, cutter and changeup.
Heading into regionals, just two pitchers could say they had beaten UCLA righthander Trevor Bauer this year. One was San Jose State lefthander Roberto Padilla
, who pitched a complete game against the Bruins on Feb. 26. That surely boosted Padilla's stock, but he was already well known among area scouts and college coaches after he was the California junior college pitcher of the year at Ohlone (Calif.) JC in 2010. He led the state with 15 wins and helped the team win a state championship. Padilla's stuff matches his accolades. His fastball sits in the 87-89 mph range and tops out at 91. He throws two variations of his breaking ball—a hard slurve and a softer curveball—but it's his changeup that is his best weapon. He has command of all of his pitches, and scouts love his competitiveness.
The son of 11-year major leaguer Dion James, Sacramento CC outfielder Justin James
is making a name for himself on the diamond. At Kennedy High in Sacramento, James was mainly known for his talent on the basketball court, once scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter of a game to help his team overcome a 20-point deficit. He didn't play baseball his senior year of high school and came to Sac City as a forward for the basketball team. A change of heart led him back to the baseball field, where he is clearly raw but shows five-tool potential. James is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and is still an above-average runner. Like his father, he hits from the left side of the plate, and he shows raw power in batting practice, even to the opposite field. Because of his frame, speed and raw power potential, James will stand out in predraft workouts and could go as high as the third round.
Sac City doesn't get many players from Wisconsin, but that's where righander Cole Brocker
grew up. He pitched through arm soreness this year, and when he's at his best he has a 91-94 mph fastball and a slider that gets a lot of swings and misses. He fits in the 10th-15th round on talent, but has been adamant about going to a four-year school in the fall, so he'll likely end up at Oregon State.
Feather River CC has six players who have been drafted previously, including righthander Cody Anderson
, a 17th-round pick by the Rays last year. Anderson, who is 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, has steadily boosted his fastball velocity. At Quincy (Calif.) High, he was mostly in the 86-88 mph range. He touched 92 last spring and was mostly 92-94 mph this year, topping out at 96. He has the size and velocity scouts like, but needs to refine his delivery and secondary pitches: a curveball, splitter and changeup. He could go as high as the third to fifth round, and is committed to Texas Christian.
Righthander Andrew Milner
has a squat 6-foot, 230-pound frame. He sits in the 90-92 mph range, topping out at 94, and shows flashes of an above-average slider. Outfielder Dayton Alexander
is the cousin of Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino and shows similar speed and excellent defense in center field. He's a righthanded hitter who has gap power but gets a little too pull-happy at the plate. If he learns to use all fields, his speed could make him a serious threat. Alexander is committed to Washington. Righthander Alex Vetter
has a 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame with a heavy fastball in the 87-91 mph range. He is still growing into his body and developing his secondary stuff. First baseman Victor Mendoza
has battled injuries since his sophomore year in high school, but there's no denying his ability to hit. He has a great eye and a pure swing from the left side of the plate.
American River JC has produced major league lefthanders Dallas Braden and Manny Parra, and its best prospect this year is another southpaw, Dylan Chavez
. He's 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and his mechanics are a little herky-jerky, which adds some deception, and he doesn't throw anything straight. His 88-91 mph fastball has some run to it, and he mixes in a curveball and a changeup. Chavez tries to be too fine with his breaking ball and needs to learn the difference between a curveball that he wants to throw early in the count for a strike and one he wants to use when he's ahead to put hitters away. Chavez is committed to Mississippi.
After Jake Sisco and Cody Anderson, the best junior college arms in the state are righthanders Nick Grim
and Michael Jensen
. Grim, who is committed to Cal Poly, is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, compared to Jensen, who stands 6 feet and 190 pounds. Both have live arms, capable of touching 94 mph with good curveballs.
Outfielder Ryan Tella
impressed scouts and opposing coaches with his high-octane style of play. He's a lefthanded leadoff hitter and center fielder who shows above-average speed, which helps him cover a lot of ground in the outfield and be a pest on the bases. Tella has an above-average arm and a short, efficient swing that produces a lot of doubles. If he doesn't sign, he's headed to Auburn.
First baseman Ryan Rieger
transferred to College of the Sequoias after spending a season at Santa Clara and shows a good feel for hitting with some power with wood. If he doesn't sign, he'll be back in Division I next year at Long Beach State.
Chico State senior lefthander Kevin Brahney
has a physical, 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame and showed good arm strength this season. His fastball sits in the 91-92 mph range and topped out at 94. He mixes in a firm curveball with tight rotation and late break. He needs to work on smoothing out his max-effort delivery, so he may wind up in the bullpen.
With a possible lockout looming for the NFL, fringe players are looking for other options. New England Patriots defensive back Jarrad Page has reportedly been working out for teams. Page has been drafted three times in baseball: in the fifth round out of San Leandro (Calif.) High by the Brewers in 2002, in the 32nd round out of UCLA by the Rockies in 2005, and in the seventh round out of UCLA by the Angels in 2006. The 6-foot, 225-pound outfielder obviously has premium athleticism, but there's probably too much working against him. He hasn't played organized baseball since 2005 and is 26.