Best Pure Hitter: This is undoubtedly the thinnest area among this year's class of prep prospects. 1B/OF Chris Parmelee (11) is easily the best all-around hitting prospect. He makes consistent hard contact and has a good feel for the strike zone. 3B Chris Marrero (2) has been less consistent but has good bat speed and a knack for centering the ball. OF/1B Travis Snider's (27) swing isn't without its holes, but he, too, has shown a penchant for making solid contact with wood bats.
Best Raw Power: While pure hitters are in short supply, the high school class is loaded with position players with awe-inspiring raw power. 1B/OF Cody Johnson (9) made a mockery out of good pitching last summer on the showcase circuit. His easy swing generates natural loft, and he can drive the ball out to all fields. C Hank Conger (10) has an uppercut swing that might not cut it against more advanced pitching, but he's made a name for himself since he was a high-profile Little Leaguer with plenty of tape-measure shots. Marrero, C Max Sapp (13), 1B Andrew Clark (42), 3B Dustin Dickerson (55), SS/3B Bill Rowell (23) and OFs Jason Place (26), Drew Poulk (66) and Devin Shepherd (25) are dangerous hitters with plus raw power.
Fastest Runner: One of last summer's highlights was Robinson strapping on track shoes to run the 60 at showcases. Scouts' laughter turned to gasps, especially after he was clocked last June in 6.19 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded at a Perfect Game event—topping the 6.23 seconds recorded by Justin Upton, No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft, a year earlier. In addition, OF Brent Brewer (79), Cooper, Gerhart, Richardson, Rapoport and OF Clint Stubbs (53) turned in sub-6.5 times.
Best Defensive Player: Some scouts believe SS Ryan Jackson (39) is going to improve at the plate. Should he do so this spring, he could make his way into the first two rounds as he is a defensive wizard up the middle with great hands, instincts, a strong and accurate arm and superb feel for the game. 2B/SS Ryan Adams (15) is also an above-average defender. SS Grant Green (17) projects as an above-average defender though he lacks Jackson's fluidity. Though just 5-foot-8, C Torre Langley (38) has the makings of becoming a Gold Glove-caliber catcher. He delivers strikes to second base in less than 2.0 seconds and, while his receiving has room for improvement, he is agile and athletic, has good hands and blocks well. Robinson’s speed enables him to track balls in center field.
Best Fastball: RHP Jordan Walden (1) touched 99 mph during a Connie Mack League game last July. He pitched near 90 most of the summer, but his arm strength is the best among high school hurlers in this year's class. RHP Jeremy Jeffress (8) flashed 98 mph heat at the East Coast Showcase last August. Drabek and RHP Cory Rasmus (24) have touched 97. RHP Matt Latos (5) has been up to 96 and has a free and easy delivery, while RHPs Nathan Karns (51) and Josh Ravin (56) also have run fastballs into the mid-90s. Kasey Kiker (12) is the fast lefthander in the prep crop, with a fastball that has touched 94.
Best Breaking Ball: Drabek, whose father Doug won 155 games in 13 big league seasons on the strength of a hammer curveball, features a spike curveball and a slider. The latter has filthy late break at 85-87 mph. Six-foot-9 RHP Dellin Betances (7) spins a more traditional curve that changes hitters' eye level, and Latos' 79-82 mph slider has potential to be a plus pitch, as does his 71 mph, two-plane curve. RHP Nick Fuller (52) features a slider comparable to Drabek's with good, late break, though he doesn't command it as effectively. LHP Carmine Giardina's (14) out pitch might be his changeup, but he has good feel for his 68-72 mph breaking ball that has nice downward tumbling action from his high arm slot.
Best Command: LHP Brett Anderson (3) and RHP Jason Stoffel (19) spot their stuff as well as any high school pitchers in the country. Latos can manipulate the strike zone effectively with above-average stuff, while Giardina and RHPs Josh Thrailkill (22) and Chris Tillman (6) also possess good command of multiple offerings.
Most Intriguing Background: Drabek’s father won the 1990 National League Cy Young Award and has long been a fixture on prominent youth travel teams. SS/2B Marcus Lemon's (21) father Chet spent 16 seasons in the big leagues and runs the prominent youth travel team Chet Lemon’s Juice, whose alumni include Rickie Weeks. Anderson's father Frank is the head baseball coach at Oklahoma State. Rapoport's brother Jim is Stanford's starting center fielder. Rasmus' brother Colby was a first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2005. Stubbs’ brother Drew, an outfielder at Texas, has a shot at becoming the first player drafted this year. Conger, whose real name is Hyun, is a native of Korea and was nicknamed Hank after Henry Aaron, by his grandfather, who resides in Atlanta. OF Khris Davis' (63) father Rodney is a minor league pitching coach in the Angels organization.
Best Two-way Player: Drabek's pedigree and athleticism are evident at shortstop and on the mound. His arm strength and ability to spin a quality breaking ball sway most scouts to like him best as a pitcher, though his size, speed and bat profile well in the infield. 1B/LHP Aaron Miller (32) has good tools across the board and could become an all-America caliber two-way player at Baylor if he opts for college. SS/RHP Tommy Pham (76) and SS/RHP Graham Stoneburner (71) have good ability on both sides of the game.
Closest to the Majors: Anderson and Drabek, not surprisingly, are the most polished pitchers, while Thrailkill and RHP Shawn Tolleson (18) are close behind. Parmelee and Adams have the most refined approaches to hitting among the class' position players.
Don't Forget About Us: This year's high school class isn't top-heavy, but rather deep with players who could be drafted in the second-fifth rounds. LHP Gavin Brooks (99) could shoot up the list if he reverts to his sophomore form. He missed last season with minor shoulder surgery after ranking third overall in the country heading into his junior year. At least a dozen serious candidates for the top 100 could climb into that group, including LHP Steven Evarts from Tampa's Robinson High, who one scout called a "lefthanded Tyler Herron.” Herron jumped into the second round a year ago despite entering the spring without much fanfare. OF Ross Smith (Dodge County HS, Eastman, Ga.), whose father Roger scouts for the Cardinals, would have been solidly in the top 100 had he not been slowed by a knee injury. RHP Kyle Thompson (Chaminade Prep, West Hills, Calif.) is at times overshadowed among the deep crop of righthanders in Southern California, but could come on this spring.