Round

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Pick Overall Team Player Position School State Bonus
1 33 Seattle Mariners Steve Baron C Ferguson HS, Miami Fla. $980,000
Baron is the centerpiece of Duke's recruiting efforts and has strong academic motivation. He always was considered a defense-first catcher, and that's still the case, but he has made significant progress offensively, pushing him toward the front of a crowded, competitive Florida prep catcher crop. Defensively, Baron stands out, with some scouts rating his arm a 70 on the 20-80 scale. He's an above-average defender with a smooth transfer and good footwork. Baron made strides tightening up his body and getting in better shape from fall to the spring, and scouts noticed. He has holes in his swing and doesn't project to hit for a high average, but a .250-hitting Baron could hit 15 home runs. At worst, Baron's defense should get him to the majors, but to buy him out of Duke, a team will have to believe Baron has enough offensive upside to become a regular.
2 34 Colorado Rockies Rex Brothers LHP Lipscomb Tenn. $969,000
As a prep player in Tennessee, Brothers made the rounds of baseball camps in the state, attending Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State, among others. Still, his best offer came from Lipscomb, which became a full NCAA school in 2004. He was the Atlantic Sun Conference's top freshman in 2007, going 7-4, 3.51, then led the Bisons to a regional bid last season, striking out 96 in 97 innings. He pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, showing a power arm, and has improved significantly this spring, coming out of the gate throwing 92-94 mph with low-80s sliders against Georgia Tech. His stuff got better as he showed a smoother delivery, eliminating a head whack that hampered his command. At his best, Brothers showed two plus pitches: a fastball in the 94-96 mph range that touched 97, and a filthy slider in the 85-87 mph range. Some scouts see Brothers' delivery, which is still not smooth or easy, and want to put him in the bullpen. Several compare him to Randy Myers, who had similar size and stuff and fashioned a 14-year major league career. Others note that Brothers holds his velocity deep into games and should get a chance to start. His matchup with Kyle Heckathorn and Kennesaw State--a huge weekend in the Peach State, when North Carolina visited Georgia Tech and Louisiana State was at Georgia--was perhaps the heaviest-scouted game of the spring, and he delivered with his best stuff, making himself a surefire first-round pick.
3 35 Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Davidson 3B Yucaipa (Calif.) HS Calif. $900,000
Davidson won the home run derby during the Aflac Classic at Dodger Stadium last summer, and only a late rally by the East squad prevented him from being the game's MVP. Athletic and powerfully built at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Davidson has always flashed impressive raw power. As a junior in the spring of 2008, he put on an eye-opening power display during the National Classic home run contest. Actual games, of course, are not home run derbies, and like many young power hitters, Davidson struggles with consistency and had trouble catching up to quality pitching at some showcase events. When hitting well, he waits out the pitch and then uses a short backswing and sweeping follow-through to wallop the ball. When slumping, he struggles to read the pitch, flinches his front side and commits too early or too late. Davidson's speed is well-below-average, but he does have an above-average arm. His hands and footwork will probably force him to first base down the road. Davidson may never produce in games to match the grades scouts put on his raw power, but the lure of that potential should put him as high as the supplemental first round if he's considered signable away from Southern California.
4 36 Los Angeles Dodgers Aaron Miller LHP Baylor Texas $889,200
Baylor was supposed to have one of college baseball's best rotations, and instead it has been the biggest disappointment. Kendal Volz, a projected early first-rounder when the season opened, has seen his stuff regress. A pair of possible second-rounders, Shawn Tolleson (elbow issues) and Craig Fritsch (command woes and a lack of mental toughness), fared even worse, and the trio combined for just eight wins this season. Though he faded down the stretch, Miller was the Bears' best pitcher for much of the spring and pitched himself into the top two rounds in the process. Though he hadn't pitched regularly since high school, Miller repeatedly showed a 91-94 mph fastball and a nasty 82-83 mph slider. His command is spotty, but the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has the athleticism to improve with more experience. Miller first emerged as a top pitching prospect when he threw 90-91 mph as a high school sophomore, but by his senior year he was more highly regarded as a right fielder in the mold of Paul O'Neill. Miller didn't want to pitch as a freshman for Baylor and made just six mound appearances in 2008. He still started in right field for the Bears when he wasn't pitching, and hit .310 while ranking second on the club with 12 homers and 47 RBIs. But it's clear now that his future will be on the mound.
5 37 Toronto Blue Jays James Paxton LHP Kentucky Ky.
Paxton was a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder with an 86-87 mph fastball and some feel for a breaking ball when Kentucky recruited him out of a British Columbia high school. Three years, three inches and 30 pounds later, he has shown a 93-94 mph fastball throughout the spring. He has peaked at 97, and his heater also has very good run and sink. He throws with a clean arm action and little effort. Paxton also has transformed his breaking pitch from a slurve into a true curveball. On his best days, he'll show a plus-plus fastball, an above-average curveball and good command. He also has a changeup that has its moments, though he doesn't use it often. He's one of the youngest college juniors in the draft--he won't turn 21 until November--suggesting that he has even more room for improvement. Despite his improved stuff and ability to throw quality strikes (as evidenced by his 115-20 K-BB ratio in 78 innings), Paxton has been hit surprisingly hard this season. His ERA has risen from 2.92 last year to 5.86, with no obvious explanation. He has a history of nagging injuries, including a sore elbow in high school, back problems as a sophomore and some tendinitis in his left knee this spring. But he's never had surgery and scouts don't have serious concerns about his health. Anonymous a year ago, Paxton has pitched himself into first-round consideration.
6 38 Chicago White Sox Josh Phegley C Indiana Ind. $858,600
No college catcher has done more at the plate over the last two seasons than Phegley, who has hit .400 with 32 homers. He ranked second in Division I with a .438 average as a sophomore and had 17 home runs this spring. Phegley packs a lot of strength in his 5-foot-11, 215-pound frame and has the patience to draw walks and wait for pitches he can drive. Scouts aren't sold on his future production or his defense, however. Some think his bat is a little slow, and he didn't look impressive with wood bats during Team USA tryouts last summer or Indiana's scout day last fall. He bats out of an exaggerated crouch, which makes it difficult for him to catch up to velocity at the top of the strike zone. Phegley bulked up after batting .232 without a homer as a freshman, and his thicker build has cost him defensively. He has plus arm strength but a slow release, leading to average results in shutting down the running game. He has caught 31 percent of basestealers over the last two years. He is a below-average receiver who has been exposed this spring by Eric Arnett's explosive fastball and Matt Bashore's breaking pitches. He does block balls well. Phegley profiles only as a catcher, so he'll have to improve behind the plate. Scouts do rave about his makeup and believe he'll put in the work to do so. Phegley should be the second college catcher drafted (after Boston College's Tony Sanchez) and go off the board before the end of the second round.
7 39 Milwaukee Brewers Kentrail Davis OF Tennessee Tenn. $1,200,000
An All-Freshman choice in 2008 who starred for Team USA, Davis is a sophomore-eligible who doesn't neatly fit any mold. His performance suffered this spring on a Tennessee team having a down season, and he had struck out in 25 percent of his at-bats in two college seasons. However, he has tools and hitting ability that stand out in the 2009 draft class. Strong and physical at 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, Davis has a short, powerful swing when he's going well, with bat speed to spare. Despite that, Davis had a tendency to chase pitches this year when pitched around, and he got pull happy, which caused his swing to get a little long. Similarly, Davis has plus speed as a 6.6 runner over 60 yards, but it doesn't play plus offensively. Davis is an average defender in center field, which is below what most big league teams look for. If he can't stay in center, his fringy arm will push him to left, where his power will have to play.
8 40 Los Angeles Angels Tyler Skaggs LHP Santa Monica (Calif.) HS Calif. $1,000,000
Skaggs has the most projectable frame of any California prospect in this draft class. Thin and lanky at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, Skaggs has long arms, long legs, big hands and the angular and athletic build that could handle more muscle without becoming bulky. Skaggs' mother Debbie is the girls volleyball coach at Santa Monica High, and Tyler has also played football and basketball, though his emerging baseball talent caused him to drop the other sports. He cemented his reputation nationally with an outstanding performance last October in the World Wood Bat Championship, then pitched well this spring. He struck out 15 in a showdown with Bryan Berglund, and then tossed a 12-strikeout gem at the Anaheim Lions Tournament in front of 60 scouts. Skaggs' fastball sits in the 88-91 mph range, peaking at 92, and his four-seamer is most effective when it darts to his arm side. He adds a classic, over-the-top rainbow curveball, and has experimented with a slider. He will need to develop his changeup, but that pitch also shows promise. Utilizing an old-fashioned windup in which he brings his hands over his head and to the back of neck, Skaggs does a nice job of bending his back leg to drive off the rubber. He can fall into bad habits, such as rushing his delivery and overthrowing, and he'll have to be patient enough to let his velocity rise as his frame fills out. He should eventually pitch in the mid-90s, but that might not be for a few years. With his projectable build, easy arm action and promising stuff, Skaggs is one of the more enticing pitchers recently seen in Southern California. He's committed to Cal State Fullerton but is a likely first-round pick.
9 41 Arizona Diamondbacks Chris Owings SS Gilbert (S.C.) HS S.C. $950,000
Owings streaked to the front of the class of prep hitters in South Carolina and into second-round consideration for several teams, who saw him as an offensive middle infielder capable of staying at shortstop. He joined North Carolina's top prep hitter, Wil Myers, as part of a boffo South Carolina recruiting class, but both were in danger of signing as two of the more accomplished prep position players with present offensive skills and middle-of-the-diamond defensive ability. Owings reminds some scouts of former Georgia All-American Gordon Beckham, though with less power. Owings has offensive tools and put them together at the right time for crosscheckers and scouting directors. He has quick, strong hands and average speed, and makes an impact in several ways as a hitter. He added strength over the last year and hits with more authority, prompting his move up draft boards. He's an average defender at short, though he lacks natural, true shortstop actions. Some scouts believe Owings' value is less than the sum of his parts, as they question his feel for hitting and peg him to move to second base as a pro, rather than remain at shortstop. While he might be a better value in the fifth round, he's not expected to last that long.
10 42 Los Angeles Angels Garrett Richards RHP Oklahoma Okla. $802,800
The state of Oklahoma is loaded with pitching prospects this year, and no one has stuff as unhittable or a performance as mystifying as Richards. He routinely sits at 93-95 mph with life on his fastball and touched 98 in a relief outing against Wichita State. He has a mid-80s slider with bite that peaked at 89 mph against the Shockers. And if that's not enough, he has a power curveball and flashes an effective changeup. He has a quick arm, a strong 6-foot-2, 217-pound build and throws on a downhill plane with little effort. Yet Richards never has posted an ERA lower than 6.00 in three college seasons, and opponents had batted .268 with 11 homers against him entering NCAA regional play. "It's unbelievable that he gets hit," one scout said. Outside of a stint in the Alaska League last summer, Richards never has harnessed his wicked stuff on anything approaching a consistent basis. He has trouble throwing strikes and flies open in his delivery, allowing hitters a good look at what's coming. He has the raw ingredients to become a frontline starter, and on the rare occasions when he has command, he looks like an easy first-round pick. He looked better than ever down the stretch and in the NCAA playoffs, fueling speculation that a team could gamble on him as high as in the first round.
11 43 Cincinnati Reds Brad Boxberger RHP Southern California Calif. $857,000
Boxberger is the son of Rod Boxberger, a righthander who led Southern California to a College World Series title in 1978, when he was also a first-round pick of the Astros. Both father and son attended Foothill High in Orange County, where Brad succeeded Phil Hughes as the staff ace and became a 20th-round pick of the Royals in 2006. He decided to follow in his father's footsteps to Southern Cal instead, and he has essentially been the Friday starter since he was a freshman. At an even 6 feet with a strong and mature frame. Boxberger has three pitches with plus potential. First is a 91-93 mph fastball that peaks at 94. He can add and subtract velocity from his 79-80 mph curveball, and his circle changeup is a bit inconsistent but has excellent deception and late drop when it's on. During his windup, he has a distinctive habit of turning his back to the plate. Boxberger offers little projection and ideally would be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. He has a tendency to hit the wall, and late in starts his velocity will drop, his command will disappear and the wheels will come off. Brad doesn't figure to be the 11th overall pick as his father was, but he could reach the back of the first round in a best case.
12 44 Texas Rangers Tanner Scheppers RHP St. Paul (American Association) Minn. $1,250,000
Before Scheppers hurt his shoulder last April, he was on course to go in the first 10 picks of the 2008 draft. But the injury, initially reported as a stress fracture and later described as significant wear and tear, dropped him to 48th overall to the Pirates and caused him to miss Fresno State's improbable run to a College World Series championship. Scheppers opted for rehab over surgery and worked out for Pittsburgh, but his stuff hadn't bounced back enough for the club to meet his seven-figure asking price. He signed with the independent Saints last September and began to excite scouts again in preseason workouts at Golden West (Calif.) JC, displaying the mid-90s fastball and hard curveball he had before he got hurt. In his first two exhibition outings and three regular-season outings with St. Paul, Scheppers showed the same fastball and curve, though he battled his control. An athletic 6-foot-4, 200-pounder who initially signed with Fresno State as an infielder, Scheppers has good mechanics but sometimes rushes his delivery. "He's got the best arm action, delivery and stuff in this draft behind Strasburg, and it's a cleaner arm than Strasburg," one scouting director said. Scheppers is learning to harness his curveball and to throw an effective changeup. Though Dr. Lewis Yocum has given him a clean bill of health, teams considering Scheppers near the top of the draft still have some trepidation. He's a top-10 candidate once again, though he could slide if clubs worry about his shoulder and his asking price.
13 45 Arizona Diamondbacks Mike Belfiore LHP Boston College Mass. $725,000
Scouts were mildly intrigued by Belfiore's big frame and loose arm coming out of Commack (N.Y.) High three years ago, when he worked in the 85-87 mph range with his fastball. He has started at first base for three years at Boston College and has thrived as the Eagles' closer the last two. Belfiore now works in the 90-93 mph range and tops out at 94 with a lively fastball. He shows a solid-average to plus slider in the 83-85 range at times, but he tends to push the pitch at other times. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Belfiore is physical enough to start, and he maintained his stuff for five innings in front of a number of scouting heavyweights in late April against Duke. He also has a starter's repertoire, with an average low-80s changeup that dives at the plate at times. He also shows a promising curveball in warmups, though he rarely uses it in games. Belfiore's mechanics need smoothing, and his offspeed command could use polish, but he could take off once he concentrates on pitching full-time.
14 46 Minnesota Twins Matt Bashore LHP Indiana Ind. $751,500
Bashore piqued the interest of scouts when he hit 94 mph last spring, but then he came down with a tender arm and pitched out of the bullpen in the Cape Cod League during the summer. He started slowly this spring but finished strong, pitching himself into the verge of first-round consideration before getting knocked around by Vanderbilt in the NCAA regionals. He's attractive because he's a lefty with size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), velocity (his fastball sits at 90-91 mph and has peaked at 95 this year), a pair of solid breaking pitches and an effective splitter/changeup. Bashore has an easy delivery and has improved his control this year. His 244 strikeouts in 248 innings are tied for the most in school history.
15 47 Milwaukee Brewers Kyle Heckathorn RHP Kennesaw State Ga. $776,000
Heckathorn has been on scouts' radars since he started growing into his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame. As a prep junior, he had an ankle injury that prompted many of the larger schools recruiting him to hesitate, while Kennesaw State kept after him. He reciprocated their loyalty and finally was having a breakout season as a junior, after several fits and starts. Heckathorn has raw stuff on par with anyone in the draft class, even Stephen Strasburg. He runs his fastball up to 99 mph as a starter, sitting in the 94-97 range into the eighth inning against Jacksonville in a May start. His slider can be similarly lethal, sometimes turning into a true cutter at 91-93 mph, other times getting decent depth in the 85-88 mph range. He doesn't throw much that's soft and actually throws too many strikes; he hasn't yet learned how to set up hitters to chase his slider or heater out of the zone when ahead in the count. Heckathorn's quick (two outing) departure from the Cape Cod League last summer raised some red flags for teams, as has his lack of consistent dominance in the Atlantic Sun. His command also is not what it should be. Most clubs consider Heckathorn, who has a short, quick arm action, a likely reliever as a pro, as a better (they hope) version of Kyle Farnsworth.
16 48 Los Angeles Angels Tyler Kehrer LHP Eastern Illinois Ill. $728,100
Kehrer went just 1-5, 5.02 as a sophomore in 2008, but he hinted at his potential by battling Eastern Kentucky's Christian Friedrich (who became the Rockies' first-round pick) and Jacksonville State's Ben Tootle, the Ohio Valley Conference's two best arms, to draws. While he's still somewhat of a work in progress, Kehrer's fastball has sat at 90-93 mph for most of his starts this spring, and he carries that velocity into the late innings. He has improved his slider to the point where it's an average pitch. He helped his cause by delivering a 14-strikeout one-hitter against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in front of several scouts. How much progress Kehrer can make with the consistency of his changeup and command will determine whether he remains a starter in pro ball. He's a strong 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, and his fastball would play up in shorter relief stints. If Kehrer goes in the third round, he'd be Eastern Illinois' highest draft pick since the Athletics took Stan Royer 16th overall in 1988.
17 49 Pittsburgh Pirates Vic Black RHP Dallas Baptist Texas $717,000
Black may have cemented his status as Texas' top college prospect when he outpitched two of his main challengers, Texas A&M's Brook Raley and Alex Wilson, in front of a crowd of scouts in late April. Black allowed just one hit in the first six innings before tiring, topping out at 96 mph and sitting at 92-94. His fastball is pretty straight because he throws from a high three-quarters slot, and his control sometimes deserts him, but he has pitched in the mid-90s throughout the season. Black has improved his mechanics and command significantly from a year ago, when he struggled mightily at Dallas Baptist (1-6, 4.97) and in the Cape Cod League (0-4, 7.01). He had a good curveball as a freshman but lost it in 2008, and he now throws a slider. It has good tilt when he stays balanced over the rubber, and it was sharp against the Aggies.His changeup has been more effective this year, but it will require work in pro ball. His 6-foot-4, 204-pound frame is built for durability. The velocity and progress Black has shown this season could carry him into the end of the first round.