Draft 2012: Prospects 176-200
Reports written by Jim Callis, Aaron Fitt, Conor Glassey, John Manuel and Nathan Rode.
176. Edgardo Rivera, of, Inzarry de Puig HS, Toa Baja, P.R.
Rivera was essentially an unknown before playing in Puerto Rico's Excellence Tournament in May. He cemented himself as one of the island's top prospects there and reminded some scouts of 2009 first rounder Reymond Fuentes. Rivera isn't as polished, but he has similar tools, beginning with premium speed. Rivera is at least a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale and some scouts give him 80 grades. He lacks instincts in the outfield but has the speed to make up for bad jumps or reads. His arm is fringe-average but projects to be average or better with pro instruction and a throwing program. At the plate, Rivera has a short swing from the left side of the plate and the ball jumps off his bat. Power won't be a part of Rivera's game and he'll likely need two years in short-season ball, but he could be an average hitter. Because Rivera came on so late, teams might not have seen enough of him to take him in the first five rounds, but his tools are hard to ignore and he should be signable.
177. Giovanni Brusa, of, St. Mary's HS, Stockton, Calif.
Brusa stood out at the Area Code Games last summer for his muscular 6-foot-3, 195-pound physique and for his power during batting practice from both sides of the plate. His swing, however, was segmented and a little long. He smoothed things out this spring, allowing him to tap into his power more, and scouts loved that he hit with a wood bat. Not all scouts believe in Brusa, though. He's a good athlete but spent a lot of time this season at DH, rather than playing in the outfield. He has the tools to play there, and he's an average runner with fringe-average arm strength. Brusa is committed to Pacific, but scouts believe he wants to sign, which could help him move him up draft boards.
178. B.J. Boyd, of, Palo Alto (Calif.) HS
Boyd benefited from playing right across the street from Stanford, making it easy for crosscheckers to see Boyd and the Cardinal's many prospects in one trip. Boyd has a compact, muscular frame at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. He starred on Palo Alto's football team as a running back, wide receiver and kick returner and his speed is above-average or maybe a little better. He has drawn Division I interest as a football player, but remained uncommitted and scouts believe he is more interested in baseball. His two-sport focus means he'll need instruction and reps at the next level, but he has tools and quick-twitch athleticism that can't be taught. He has put his above-average speed to use this year, stealing 25 bases in his team's 32 games. His speed helps him cover ground in center field, though he'll need to improve his routes, and his arm is below-average right now. He also has the elements to be an above-average hitter from the left side of the plate and projects to hit around 10 home runs annually as a pro.
179. Matthew Reckling, rhp, Rice
Rice produced the first college senior drafted last year in lefthander Tony Cingrani, who went in the third round to the Reds. Reckling should be one of the first seniors to go this year, after turning down the Indians as a 22nd-round pick last summer. Scouts knew he'd be a tough sign because he's a good student and he comes from a wealthy family—Rice's stadium is named after his grandparents. Reckling didn't start pitching until his final year of high school and wasn't effective in college until the Owls eliminated the recoil in his delivery last year. He has won more games this year (eighth through mid-May) than he totaled in his first three seasons (seven) while averaging 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder sits at 88-92 mph with his fastball as a starter, and he has jumped as high as 97 mph as a reliever. His spike curveball shows flashes of being a plus pitch, and most scouts think he profiles best as a two-pitch reliever. Reckling's control and command have improved but don't project to be better than average, and his changeup is a mediocre third offering. Scouts don't believe his low-elbow delivery is conducive to starting in the long term.
180. Mark Sappington, rhp, Rockhurst (Mo.)
Sappington threw in the mid-80s as a high school senior in Peculiar, Mo., so he was lightly recruited and wound up at NCAA Division II Rockhurst. In three years with the Hawks, he has developed into a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder whose fastball now operates at 92-93 mph and peaks at 96. He could have even more velocity if he shifts to the bullpen in pro ball, as most scouts believe he will. They love Sappington's body and arm strength but think the rest of his package fits best in a relief role. His delivery will need a lot of work, as it features a lot of twists and turns and effort. Better mechanics would improve the consistency of his slider, which shows the makings of becoming a solid second offering, and his command. He throws strikes but will need to improve the location of his pitches. Sappington earns kudos for his makeup and willingness to learn.
181. Billy Waltrip, lhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC
Waltrip did little to impress scouts as a Seminole State freshman in 2011, working in the mid-80s and with below-average control as a reliever. He since has added 25 pounds and his fastball has gotten stronger as well, sitting in the low 90s and topping out at 95 mph. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder shows promising feel for both a slider and curveball, and scouts believe he'll develop at least an average breaking ball. His changeup is very much a work in progress, and his command and control still need improvement. But there aren't many lefthanders who can hit 95 mph, and he should be signable out of junior college. If he doesn't turn pro, he'll pitch at Oklahoma in 2013.
182. A.J. Simcox, ss, Farragut HS, Knoxville
Simcox's father Larry was an assistant coach for Tennessee for 17 seasons, and A.J. served as a Vols bat boy on their trips to the College World Series in 2001 and 2005. He would likely be Tennessee's starting shortstop as a freshman if he makes it to campus. Simcox has emerged as the top hitter in the Volunteer State this spring by adding strength to his wiry frame; he's listed at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds but is closer to 180 now. He hit the weight room, resulting in harder contact from his improving swing. His feet and hands work well, and his average speed should be sufficient at the college level. He may not have the present speed or power for teams to buy him out of Tennessee, but his defensive ability and improved bat make Simcox an intriguing fourth-round talent.
183. Mikey White, of, Spain Park HS, Hoover, Ala.
White is a key piece of Alabama's recruiting class, a dirtbag in the best sense of the word with solid tools, and he went 8-2 on the mound as well. The second-leading hitter for USA Baseball's 18-and-under team last fall, batting .415, White profiles as a leadoff or No. 2 hitter with average speed, a polished approach and surprising pop in his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. He turns in average times down the line and doesn't wow scouts with range, but he turns it up when he needs to leg out a hit, take an extra base or make a play at shortstop. He has good instincts that help accentuate his improving actions and solid-average arm strength, and he plays with intensity. Some scouts don't know where he fits defensively if he can't stay in the middle infield, as he may not have enough speed for center field.
184. Jon Moscot, rhp, Pepperdine
Moscot transferred to Pepperdine from Cuesta (Calif.) JC after his freshman year and found a home in the weekend rotation as a sophomore. After tying for the Cape Cod League lead in strikeouts last summer, Moscot carried his momentum over into this spring, going 4-5, 3.39 with 79 strikeouts and 18 walks through 90 innings as the Waves' Friday starter. Moscot is a lanky 6-foot-4, 210-pound strike-thrower with good feel for pitching. Some scouts are turned off by the head whack and slight recoil in his delivery, but the funkiness adds deception, and he has proven durable so far in his career. Moscot pitches with an average fastball with decent sink in the 88-91 mph range, bumping 92 early in games and touching 94 at his best this spring. He throws both an average changeup and a split-finger with some drop, though the two pitches can be difficult to tell apart. His slider is average and can be an out pitch when it's on. His solid stuff across the board, competitiveness and command give him a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues.
185. Ryan McNeil, rhp, Nipomo (Calif.) HS
The athletic McNeil started slowly this spring after playing basketball into mid-February, but his stock has been on the rebound. Early in the spring, his mechanics, command and fastball velocity were off and his slider was flat. His velocity picked back up down the stretch, sitting at 90-91 mph and touching 93 at times, and he has a chance to pitch with a solid-average fastball as he adds strength to his 6-foot-3 frame. He has done a better job staying on top of the ball lately, lending his fastball more life and improving his command. His slider shows flashes of being a solid-average pitch with good shape, but other times it gets slurvy or flat. He also has improved his feel for a changeup, though it's still a work in progress like the rest of his repertoire. Some clubs soured on McNeil early in the spring, but a team that likes his frame, athleticism and arm strength could take him around the fifth round and try to buy him out of a commitment to Long Beach State.
186. Trey Lang, rhp, Gateway (Ariz.) CC
Lang played both ways at Skyline High in Mesa, Ariz., and at Northern Illinois before transferring closer to home at Gateway CC. Head coach Rob Shabansky saw Lang as an outfielder with power potential, but when he ran short on pitchers during fall ball asked if Lang wanted to take the mound. His first pitch was clocked at 93 mph, and Shabansky knew that's where Lang belonged. Lang has a sturdy, muscular build at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, after trimming down from 260 pounds at Northern Illinois. Lang has continued to play both ways for the Geckos and served as their closer this year, so he was sometimes tough for scouts to see. His fastball was in the 92-94 mph range and topped out at 96 at its best, and his slider was a wipeout pitch, but his stuff faded down the stretch. His fastball was in the 87-90 mph range and his slider wasn't as firm. That's understandable given his inexperience on the mound and the fact that he was also spending time in the outfield and at DH. A team that is patient with Lang could wind up with a quality bullpen arm. He is committed to New Mexico but most scouts think he'll sign.
187. Scott Griggs, rhp, UCLA
Griggs ranked as the No. 135 prospect in the BA Top 200 coming out of high school in 2009, based on his raw arm strength and upside. He struggled with his mechanics and control in his first two seasons at UCLA and pitched sparingly, issuing 29 walks in 26 innings. He made progress repeating his delivery and this year emerged as the Bruins' closer, going 1-1, 2.08 with a school-record 13 saves. His 52 strikeouts in 30 innings are an indication of his electric stuff is, but his 29 walks are illustrative of control that scouts still grade as well below-average. Griggs sits in the 91-93 mph range and tops out at 94-95, but an inconsistent delivery can make it difficult for him to command his fastball. He actually commands his curveball better, and it is a true power pitch in the 79-82 range with depth and bite. He dabbles with a changeup but rarely uses it in games. Griggs has made major strides with the mental side of the game as well, though he still needs to convince scouts he has the toughness to throw strikes consistently in big spots. Griggs comes with risk, and many scouts are convinced he'll never have enough command to be a big league closer, but his stuff will likely get him drafted in the top three to five rounds.
188. David Hill, rhp, El Modena HS, Orange, Calif.
A strong spring for El Modena helped Hill emerge as something of a pop-up prospect this spring, and he signed with Long Beach State late. He has an athletic 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame and the makings of a good delivery, but sometimes he throws across his body, causing him to pull fastballs into the lefthanded batter's box and his breaking ball to get sweepy. When he stays on line he can be very good, showing a fastball that sits average and bumps 93 mph. His 80-83 mph slider also projects as an average pitch, and he has feel for a changeup that could give him a third average offering in time. Hill could be drafted in the top five rounds.
189. Cody Poteet, rhp, Christian HS, El Cajon, Calif.
Poteet established himself on the showcase circuit, but his stock has fallen this spring. He passed on playing for his high school team to play in the same wood-bat league as Tanner Rahier. The 6-foot-1 Poteet has good strength in his frame and flashes tantalizing stuff. He works in the 88-92 mph range and tops out at 93-94, but his fastball lacks life and deception, and it was hittable this spring. His fastball is more effective when his changeup is on, diving down and away from lefthanded hitters. His calling card is a power curveball that flashes plus, and he mixes in a decent slider that he controls better than the curve. His overall command is spotty, in part because he doesn't do a great job finishing his delivery. Scouts also question his competitiveness, and some think he would benefit from three years at UCLA. A team that likes his upside could take a chance on him in the third to fifth round.
190. Zach Quintana, rhp, Arbor View HS, Las Vegas
Some teams won't have Quintana high on their draft boards simply because of his size: 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. Teams that look past that will see a pitcher who throws his fastball in the 90-95 mph range with an easy delivery. His stuff has been inconsistent this year, in part because of a heavy workload. After throwing 129 pitches to beat local power Bishop Gorman High, Quintana was asked to start against them again on just two days rest. He has a hard breaking ball that can meander between a curveball and a slider, and a developing changeup. Quintana is a good athlete who plays shortstop when he's not pitching. He is committed to Nevada-Las Vegas, but is expected to sign if he's drafted between the fourth and sixth rounds.
191. Beau Amaral, of, UCLA
Amaral's father, Rich, was a second-round pick out of UCLA in 1983 and spent 10 years in the big leagues as a utilityman; he now works as a Southern California area scout for the Royals. Beau has all the intangibles you'd expect from the son of a big leaguer, and he has been a solid everyday center fielder for three years at UCLA. Though he is just an average or slightly better runner, Amaral is an above-average defender thanks to his ability to read the ball off the bat and take direct routes. His portfolio of diving and leaping catches has made him a fan favorite, though his arm is below-average. Offensively, Amaral is a bit too prone to swing and miss for a leadoff man (he has 134 strikeouts and 61 walks in his collegiate career), but he has learned to hit the ball up the middle and to the opposite field, giving him a chance to be an average hitter down the road. He'll never have better than below-average power, and he profiles as an extra outfielder with plenty of heart and baseball skills. In other words, a lefthanded-hitting version of his father, but without the versatility of being able to play the infield.
192. Adrian Marin, ss, Gulliver Prep, Miami
Marin would be a key recruit for a Miami program that needs an infusion of talent, and scouts had him pegged as a "good college player" until he smoked one of the nation's hardest throwers, Las Vegas two-way phenom Joey Gallo, at the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., early in the spring. That encounter raised Marin's profile with national evaluators, and area scouts already liked him as a heady player with no glaring weakness. Marin still has scouts trying to figure out his future impact with his bat. His hitting mechanics aren't ideal and he has swing-and-miss tendencies, and his below-average power means he'll either have to be a leadoff hitter or hit at the bottom of an order. Marin's best present tool is his speed, which is at least slightly above-average. He's a steady defender with average actions and shortstop and an average arm. Marin had early buzz to go in the first three rounds.
193. Kyle Carter, of, Columbus (Ga.) HS
Carter has a flair for the dramatic. He has been in the limelight since he and current Columbus High teammate J.T. Phillips led Columbus, Ga., to the 2006 Little League World Series championship, and he struck out 11 in the title game. In many ways, Carter is the anti-Byron Buxton. He's a lefthanded-hitting and throwing corner outfielder who is maxed out physically but has present ability. Scouts have little projection to do with Carter, who won the Power Showcase in January and has committed to Georgia. A below-average runner, Carter has a smooth swing, good balance and enough strength to go out and hit right away as a pro. He has the arm strength for right field, but his modest speed may limit him to left. If he makes it to Athens, he'll also be an asset on the mound with an 88-91 mph fastball and solid-average curve. Most scouts like Carter better at the plate. He's known nothing but success as an amateur and plays with confidence. The Red Sox and Tigers were among the teams expected to make a run at Carter in the first three rounds.
194. Ty Blach, lhp, Creighton
Blach has been a steady starter at Creighton for three years, claiming a role in the weekend rotation as a freshman, winning 10 games in 2011 and leading NCAA Division I with 18 regular-season starts this spring. Though his stuff hasn't been quite as crisp as it was a year ago, he finished the regular season with a streak of 18 innings without an earned run. Blach's stuff isn't overwhelming, though in a down year for college lefthanders he's attractive as a southpaw who commands three average pitches. His fastball sits at 89-92 mph and occasionally hits 94. His changeup is more effective than his breaking ball, a hybrid between a curveball and a slider that usually arrives at 80-82 mph. There isn't room for projection in his 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame, so he's pretty much a finished projection, but as a potential No. 4 starter he could come off the board around the fifth round.
195. Christian Powell, rhp, College of Charleston
A 47th-round pick of the Indians in 2009, Powell's size and arm strength is lauded by scouts. He stands at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and fires fastballs that sit 90-93 mph and touch 95-96 with sink. Powell has had success for the Cougars this season, and he was 8-3, 2.35 in
14 appearances (13 starts) and opponents were batting just .222 off of
him. He throws strikes, but he doesn't have the strikeout numbers you would expect out of a hard thrower, with 66 in 80 innings. That is likely a product of his lack of command and secondary stuff. He has a questionable arm action that affects his velocity, command and breaking ball. His curveball is solid, but he doesn't command it and it's not an out pitch right now. He mixes in a hard changeup.
196. Zach Isler, rhp, Cincinnati
With a big frame and a plus fastball, Isler looks the part of a late-inning reliever and should get popped in the first five or six rounds of the draft. He's a 6-foot-5, 239-pounder whose heater ranges from 90-95 mph and often sits at 93-94, with the added benefit of heavy sink. He lives off his sinker, as his 82-84 mph slider is more notable for its velocity than its break. It has the potential to be an average second pitch. Isler has a decent delivery that he generally repeats, though he'll need to sharpen his control and command in pro ball. Injuries pressed him into Cincinnati's rotation at the end of the spring, and while he responded with a 1.61 ERA and averaged seven innings in four regular-season starts, he'll be strictly a bullpen option in pro ball.
197. Vahn Bozoian, of, Ayala HS, Chino Hills, Calif.
Bozoian's impressive raw tools helped him make a name for himself on the showcase circuit, and he ranked as the nation's No. 61 high school prospect last fall. But his stock dropped during a lackluster spring, and he had just two home runs through 73 at-bats, not what scouts expected from a player whose calling card is above-average raw power. Bozoian has plenty of projection in his long-levered 6-foot-5, 215-pound frame, but his swing is long and flat, and he tends to make contact with his arms fully extended, limiting his finish through the ball. He has done little to address scouts' swing-and-miss concerns in the last two years, so some would be content to let him go to Southern California. Bozoian does have a second plus tool in his arm strength, and though he's a well below-average runner, his defensive instincts are solid enough to give him a chance in right field. A club could gamble on his upside between the fourth and seventh rounds.
198. Reid Scoggins, rhp, Howard (Texas) JC
Area scouts had to flock to Howard JC in mid-April amid reports that Scoggs was hitting 101 mph. The Major League Scouting Bureau graded his Overall Future Potential as 62 on the 20-80 scale, which would put him in the top half of the first round. When scouts got to Big Spring, they didn't see triple digits but did see a 91-96 mph fastball that could land him in the first five rounds. Scoggins is somewhat of a mystery because he missed 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery and pitched only 20 innings in relief this spring. He has a strong 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame and a slurvy mid-80s slider with some depth that gives him the makings of an average second pitch. There's a lot of effort in his delivery, which features a pronounced head whack, and his mechanics lead to below-average command. Scouts wonder whether he'll throw enough quality strikes if his pro team leaves his delivery alone, or whether he'll lose velocity if a club tries to clean him up. Though he's committed to Florida International, Scoggins already is 21 and is believed to be signable.
199. Zack Jones, rhp, San Jose State
Jones was a 24th-round pick out of high school in San Jose by the Royals in 2009, but chose to stay close to home instead of signing. He has pitched primarily out of the bullpen for the Spartans, though he has made eight starts this season, and scouts view him as a reliever because he has two pitches: a fastball that sits in the 94-96 mph range and tops out at 98 and a potentially above-average slider. He mixes in a curveball when he starts, but it's a soft, loopy pitch that probably won't work in pro ball. At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Jones is more physical than Braves fourth-round pick J.R. Graham was last year coming out of Santa Clara, but Graham had a better feel for throwing strikes. Both pitchers lack plane on their fastballs at times, letting the pitch get flat. That's why Jones has never posted an ERA under 3.50, even with his electric arm. Jones came to San Jose State as a two-way player and is a good athlete, but his delivery is a little rough, which limits his ability to throw strikes.
200. Bryan de la Rosa, c, Bucky Dent Academy, Delray Beach, Fla.
De la Rosa will be one of the first catchers drafted, even though he doesn't have the desired size for the position at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds. The Puerto Rico native has some of the best catch-and-throw tools in the draft class, having posted a 1.71-second pop time to second base in a showcase last fall. His arm is strong and accurate, and he has agile feet and soft hands that allow scouts to project him as an above-average defender behind the plate. He has strength in his frame but will need to add more to handle the wear and tear of the position at the pro level. De la Rosa doesn't project as an offensive asset but won't be a zero either, with solid-average pull power and a decent swing. The Florida State recruit was hard to evaluate this spring while playing for the Bucky Dent Academy team, which had a somewhat erratic game schedule, but he got crosschecked enough for teams to take him in the first six rounds.