Players signed indicated in Bold
|There's no doubt that Taillon has more upside than any pitching prospect in the 2010 draft. The only debate is whether he's a better pitching prospect than fellow Texas fireballer Josh Beckett was at the same stage of his career. They have similar stuff, with Taillon having a bigger frame (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) and Beckett possessing a meaner streak on the mound and turning in a more consistent high school senior season. Taillon gave up 11 runs in a much-anticipated pitching duel with fellow Rice recruit John Simms in mid-March. His fastball command was out of whack, but he solved the problem and threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter a week later. He finished the year 8-1, 1.78 with 114 strikeouts in 62 innings, fanning 13 to win a first-round playoff game in his final start. Taillon owns the two best pitches in the draft: a heavy 93-97 mph fastball that has touched 99, and a hammer curveball in the mid-80s. He throws his heater with such ease that it looks like he's playing catch. He also has a hard slider and the makings of a changeup, though he rarely has needed more than two pitches to this point. He has a classic pitcher's body and strong makeup. With the Nationals zeroing in on Bryce Harper, Taillon is unlikely to become the first high school righthander selected No. 1 overall. He still could match or exceed two draft records shared by Beckett: the highest draft slot for a prep righty (No. 2), and the biggest guarantee ever given to a high school pitcher (a $7 million major league contract).
||Tampa Bay Rays