High School Top 100 Scouting Reports: Outfielders
See also: Catchers Scouting Reports
See also: Middle Infielders Scouting Reports
See also: Corner Infielders Scouting Reports
|2010 TOP OUTFIELDERS
|1. Josh Sale, Bishop Blanchet HS, Seattle
2. Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee State
3. Todd Cunningham, Jacksonville State
4. Jarrett Parker, Virginia
5. Michael Choice, Texas-Arlington
6. Austin Wilson, Harvard-Westlake HS, Los Angeles
7. Gary Brown, Cal State Fullerton
8. LeVon Washington, Chipola (Fla.) JC
9. Chevez Clarke, Marietta (Ga.) HS
10. Leon Landry, Louisiana State
11. Austin Wates, Virginia Tech
12. Drew Vettleson, Central Kitsap HS, Silverdale, Wash.
13. Michael Lorenzen, Union HS, Fullerton, Calif.
14. Reggie Golden, Wetumpka (Ala.) HS
15. Brian Ragira, Martin HS, Arlington
16. Kevin Jordan, Northside HS, Columbus, Ga.
17. Ty Linton, Charlotte Christian School
18. Gauntlett Eldemire, Ohio
19. Tyler Holt, Florida State
20. Ryan LaMarre, Michigan
It's not a great year for teams looking to add an impact bat, especially from the college ranks. On sheer volume, this year's college class stacks up fairly well against last year. In 2009, nine college outfielders were selected in the first three rounds and there are 10 college outfielders in the top half of our preseason Top 100 list. However, quantity isn't the same as quality. Last year's college crop included the second-overall pick, Dustin Ackley, who the Mariners drafted as a center fielder but is now working out at second base. It also included five other first and supplemental-first rounders in A.J. Pollock (17th overall, Diamondbacks), Jared Mitchell (23rd overall, White Sox), Brett Jackson (31st overall, Cubs), Tim Wheeler (32nd overall, Rockies) and Kentrail Davis (39th overall, Brewers).
Scouting directors aren't getting very excited about this year's college hitters in general, and many of the class' best bats may end up coming from the high school class. This year's outfield crop offers a little bit of everything—there are power-hitting corner guys, defensive-minded speedsters and everything in between. It's also a very interesting group with guys that also pitch—including one with both arms, guys that are also standout football players, players with big league relatives and more. Here are scouting reports for this year's top high school outfielders.
Josh Sale (Photo by Jesse Soll)
In a draft thin on impact bats, Sale stands out for profiling as an above-average hitter with above-average power. He put himself on the prospect map as a rising junior at the 2008 Area Code Games, when he accomplished the rare feat of hitting for the cycle.
"I think he might have more bat speed than Travis Snider," an American League area scout said. "He's a special kid, he's got special makeup. A lot of people say that, but when you've got a guy that's hitting at 6 a.m. before he goes to class, just to get extra work in, that's pretty unique."
In his baseball swing, Sale rises up out of a crouch, which can leave him susceptible to breaking pitches. However, he's always had incredible hand-eye coordination, as evidenced by the fact that he golfed with a single-digit handicap until he was 15—and the best part is that, even though he hits from the left side, he golfed from the right side.
Sale has a thick, muscular build and ridiculous strength. Sale hasn't maxed out on bench press this year, but last year, he could put up 365 pounds. He squats 540 pounds and leg presses 735 pounds—but that's only because that's the most his machine will hold. Mostly, he focuses on core strength and does 600-700 abdominal repetitions per workout.
Sale is an average runner, but is likely limited to left field. Scouts love his exceptional makeup and strong work ethic.
With a chiseled frame and one of the best bodies in the draft, Wilson passes scouts' eye test with flying colors. But Wilson impresses scouts beyond just their first look at his frame. He's a great athlete with all five tools projecting to be average or better.
Wilson is very physical and it shows up when he's hitting. He puts on a show in batting practice and that was also on display this summer when he hit a home run at Wrigley Field at the Under Armour All-American Game off of Karsten Whitson. Wilson has good balance and frequently hits the ball hard, showing the rare ability to drive a pitch deep even when he doesn't put his best swing on the ball.
In addition to his bat, Wilson also stands out because of his arm. He has a hose from the outfield, ranking as a 70 on the 20-80 scale. His routes in the outfield could use a little polish, but with his athleticism and arm, there's no reason to think he can't handle right field.
Wilson is just as strong in the classroom as he is on the baseball diamond. His father went to M.I.T. and Harvard and his mother went to Stanford and Harvard, so Austin may be a tough sign away from his commitment to Stanford. Throwing another kink into the situation is how Wilson recovers from a stress fracture suffered in his lower back this fall.
Clarke has a slender frame that's built for speed and profiles as a prototypical leadoff hitter. At 60-yard dashes over the summer, Clarke was clocked at 6.41 (PG National), 6.75 (East Coast Pro) and 6.55 (Bo Jackson 5-Tool Showcase in Jupiter). That makes him easily a 60 runner, probably a 65. The speed not only helps him cause terror on the basepaths, it helps him in centerfield, where he covers a lot of ground.
"He's going to be a plus defender, that's not even a question," a National League area scout said.
Clarke is a switch-hitter and shows good looseness and hitting actions from either side of the plate. He's not going to be a power hitter, so teams must be sure he's going to hit for average. His speed will help with that, but there are concerns that he has trouble squaring up pitchers with good velocity.
Clarke left a bad taste in some scouts' mouths this summer for doing things like wearing his sunglasses during games in the Metrodome and coming off as apathetic and lackadaisical. However, it sounds like he's done a 180 in that regard this spring.
"Chevez has played as well as he can play early this spring," the scout said. "He went from this summer playing kind of like he didn't really care that much to this spring, he's come out with a whole new energy about him. He shows passion and he's performed."
Vettleson is a very unique player. Mostly known for being a switch pitcher, ala Pat Venditte, Vettleson's future is as an outfielder because of his power potential from the left side of the plate.
Vettleson's mother is a lefty and his dad is righthanded. Growing up, whenever he play catch with one of them, he would use the other parent's glove and the ability to throw with either hand always stuck with him. He considers himself a natural lefthander, but pitches better as a righthander and always plays outfield as a righthander.
Vettleson has a quiet approach in the box. He keeps his hands low and deep, ready to explode through the baseball. Vettleson showed he could handle quality pitching, as he was basically on fire the entire summer against the best high school hurlers in the country. He shows good pitch recognition and a patient approach at the plate. Also, scouts have commented that, because he has the ability to switch pitch, he's wired a little differently than the rest of us and may have an easier time making adjustments down the line. Vettleson's raw speed is a tick below average, clocking in at 7.1-seconds in the 60-yard dash.
Although he garnered the nickname "Howdy Doody" from his high school coach for always smiling and his happy-go-lucky nature, Vettleson is all business between the lines. He's a heads-up player that shows great poise and polish. He's locked into each at-bat and plays the game with a killer instinct, always looking to take an extra base whenever the defense will allow it.
is high school teammates with shortstop Dominic Ficociello (No. 49 on
Baseball America's Top 100)—has an athletic, projectable frame and
reminds observers of Jake Marisnick, a third-round pick by the Blue Jays
Lorenzen shows flashes of a quick swing
with a nice high finish and can really put a charge into a ball at
times. However, he also has a tendency to over stride—sapping any power
he could generate from his legs and slowing his bat down. If he can make
the necessary adjustments needed there, he has the ability to be
another five-tool player.
He ran a 6.8-second 60-yard
dash at PG National and a 6.64 at the Bo Jackson 5-Tool event down in
Jupiter and shows one of the best arms in the class from the outfield,
regularly lighting up the radar gun in the mid-to-upper
Lorenzen has enough tools and promise with the
bat to project as an outfielder, although he always has the fallback of
being a pitcher, as he's been clocked in the low 90s off the
is a built like a running back with a compact, tightly-wound,
5-foot-10, 200-pound frame. He's built similarly to another former
Alabama high school outfielder, Kentrail Davis, who was a supplemental
first-round pick by the Brewers last year out of Tennessee.
Golden runs the 60-yard dash in
6.67 seconds, making him an above-average runner. He started slowly this spring due to a hamstring injury, but the tools are evident.
"He's a legitimate guy—he's got some power and he's an athlete, he's a runner and arm strength—he's a legitimate top part of the draft, top three or four rounds for sure, I would imagine," an American League area scout said. "It's a real aggressive swing with some power that's going to play at the pro level. He has the athleticism to play a corner outfield, he's got the arm strength for right field."
Golden is a bundle of talent, but is raw as a
baseball player. He has tremendous raw power, but it mostly shows up
during batting practice. While he did hit a monster home run at the
Under Armour All-American game that nearly left Wrigley Field
altogether, Golden typically sells out for power when he swings,
utilizing and all-or-nothing uppercut swing that results in a lot of
swinging and missing.
"You're going to get that with some kids," the scout said. "Not everyone is polished. He's got some bat speed, he's got some power, he can run and he's got arm strength, so you kind of anticipate your development system cleaning up some of the other stuff."
Tall, lanky loose and projectable, Ragira is one of the premier high school outfield prospects for the 2010 draft. He shows ease and athleticism in everything he does; however, currently his tools are good but not overwhelming.
Ragira has a good but not huge arm, and while he shows promise as a defensive outfielder, he will need a great deal of experience to reach his potential in that area. He exhibits provocative hitting ability—he shows patience at the plate and can whip and accelerate the bat head at contact to produce fine exit speed on his drives. He is not strong enough to drive the ball yet, but power should develop over time.
Ragira runs the 60-yard dash between 6.8 and 7 seconds, but those times could be cleaned up with a little work. When running, Ragira seems like he's moving as much side-to-side as he is forward, really getting his hips into it and not pumping his arms properly.
Scouts have to look a long time into the future to see Ragira's potential. Any club that drafts him will have to be patient as he develops. If they are, the payoff with Ragira could be enormous.
Ragira's parents were talented soccer players and runners in their native Kenya before moving to the United States in 1979.
has some tremendous tools and there's a lot to like, as he runs the
60-yard dash in 6.6 seconds and shows pop from the left side of the
One of the highlights of the summer showcase
circuit was Jordan's home run at the East Coast Professional Showcase.
He launced a 400-foot blast off the tin roof of the batting cages in
right field at Joker Marchant Stadium—the same building Jason Heyward
hit with his ballyhooed home run during Spring
Jordan also belted six home runs to win the
power portion of the Bo Jackson 5-Tool showcase in Jupiter, edging
notable power hitters such as Yordy Cabrera and Wagner Mateo, who hit
five apiece. However, that event was unfortunately with metal bats and
Jordan will have to prove to scouts that he's not just a showcase
In professional frame-by-frame video analysis
of Jordan at this summer's Area Code Games, it was noted that he
rotates his back foot too quickly during his swing, almost flipping it
off the ground.
"Kevin's got a chance to be a
tomorrow guy," a National League area scout said. "You take him now and
down the road he really pays dividends for his tools. He's such a good
makeup guy and such a good worker—he's very interesting. You've got to
perform a little better to be a today guy, but he does have two things
that make him very intriguing and that's speed and power. That's a hard
combination to find, when a guy can really run and can pork a ball out
of the park."
Ty Linton (Photo by Alyson Boyer)
Linton is a premium athlete committed to North Carolina for both football—where he plays linebacker—and baseball, where he's an outfielder. Linton is built like you might expect out of that type of athlete—he's big and physical. He shows above-average speed, running a 6.69-second 60-yard dash at the East Coast Professional Showcase, but is a better runner underway than he is going home to first, where he's average.
Linton has power potential as well and he opened some eyes at East Coast Pro by hitting a big home run onto the lawn in left-centerfield. However, because he has split his time between football and baseball, he's still raw in some facets of his game. His swing can get long, he swings at bad pitches and doesn't always recognize breaking balls.
That said, the team that selects Linton is getting a quality athlete with five-tool potential. Linton is a hard worker and plays the game with a football mentality—always going 100 percent, whether it's tagging up and taking third base on foul pop outs to the first baseman or slamming into fences trying to run down fly balls. If he ends up at North Carolina, Linton will be draft-eligible again as a sophomore.
Bolden is the rare player that bats righthanded and throws lefthanded. Since 1961, only nine such position players have amassed more than 1,000 plate appearances.
Scouts will look past that when it comes to Bolden because he's so athletic. At the East Coast Pro Showcase, he ran a 6.4-second 60-yard dash, making him a well above average runner. But Bolden is more raw athlete than he is polished baseball player. He needs to work on keeping his hands inside the ball and has a fringe-average arm in the outfield.
"He's a runner that's a good-sized kid that's got some power, but his swing is a bit behind the rest of his game," an American League scout said. "You're just not really sure about that bat, but the rest of the package is pretty good and it's good enough for you to keep going back to see if he's going to be able to figure it out at the plate."
Bolden was a part of Central's 5-A state title last year. He showcased his tools on the summer showcase circuit, but scouts will be watching him closely this spring because they are still waiting for his tools to translate into better results on the field.
potential five-tool player, Gumbs is one of the most exciting players
in the 2010 High School Draft Class. Gumbs flashes the energetic playing
style of his idol Roberto Clemente.
He is an
aggressive baserunner, flying around the basepaths, challenging
outfielders and diving head first into bags. Gumbs "plays above" his
speed, which is already above average—4.1 seconds from home to first and
6.75 seconds in the 60-yard dash.
He fits any of
the 3 OF positions, exhibiting a powerful and accurate throwing arm and
dazzling fielding skills. His diving catch in the Flores All Star game
at USC in late 2009 was one of the finest grabs by a local HS OF in many
As a hitter, Gumbs has made steady progress.
Working recently with professional hitting coaches, his fundamentals
have markedly improved, allowing him to use his terrific natural bat
speed to drive balls out of the park in BP during wood bat showcases.
While Gumbs' strong and athletic 6-foot,185-pound
pound frame is not overly projectable, he has the advantage of being
very young—Gumbs won't turn 18 until four months after the June 2010
Bratsen is one of the fastest players in this year's class. He ran a 6.35-second 60-yard dash at PG National and can get from home to first from the right side of the plate in less than four seconds.
Speed is his game and he uses a flat swing to hit line drives and ground balls. Obviously he can cover a lot of ground in the outfield and he has a cannon arm that grades out well above-average.
"He's a slender young guy," an American League area scout said. "I'm not sure how much bigger that frame's going to get—I think he's always going to be a slender, wiry-strong kind of kid. Good throwing arm, runs pretty well. His swing is okay—he swung and missed a little more than I'd like to see against high school pitching, but I think he's a kid where there's some things there, but he's a ways off. I don't think he's ever going to be a power guy—I think he's going to be a gap guy that can run."
Bratsen's father, James, played for Texas A&M in the mid '70s, leading the team in RBIs each of his three seasons so, as one opposing recruiting coordinator put it, Krey has been committed to the Aggies "since he was born." If he does wind up there, he will be draft-eligible again as a sophomore.
Though he was only 5-foot-4 as a freshman, Pederson has grown a lot over the past few years and now sports a muscular, compact frame that draws comparisons to Jim Edmonds.
He doubled as a wide receiver for Palo Alto's football team, but Pederson's future is on the baseball diamond, where he profiles as a five-tool player. He runs a 6.7-second 60-yard dash, gets fantastic jumps in the outfield and has an above average arm.
His swing can get a little drifty at times, but Pederson is strong and actually hits better with wood than he does with metal. He hit well this summer—which has carried over into the fall and spring.
Pederson's father, Stu, was a ninth-round pick by the Dodgers in 1981 out of Southern California. He was an outfielder for 12 seasons in the minor leagues with the Dodgers and Blue Jays and got a cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 1985.
Despite rushing for 3,454 yards and 47 touchdowns between his junior and senior seasons on the football field, Perkins said he's giving up football to focus solely on baseball.
Although his game has some rawness because he's never given all his attention to baseball, he's big and physical with good power potential from the left side of the plate.
Perkins played in the Area Code Games, but didn't make the showcase rounds like a lot of players on this list because of his football commitment at the time. He's a little under the radar but could break out in a big way this spring.
"He's a big strong kid that swings the bat well," an American League area scout said. "He looks like he moves well for a big guy too. He's probably one of the higher ups down there in the South Texas area in the outfield, based on the projectability and the size and the swing. He's definitely interesting and one of the best high school players I've seen down there."
The younger brother of Brewers third baseman Mat Gamel, Ben doesn't yet have his brother's size or strength, but shows a patient approach at the plate and a knack for putting the barrel of the bat on the ball and using the entire field.
He has a short, compact swing, although there are three mechanical problems he'll need to fix for continued success: His lead arm is a little stiff, his swing can be a little too uphill and his hands are too tight. Some evaluators believe Gamel will be better off going to college—like his brother did—to continue to show what he can do with the bat and improve his stock.
Gamel is an average runner and along with having a big league brother, he was part of Bishop Kenny's 2008 4-A state champion squad.
Undersized at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, the lefthanded Hahn nonetheless possesses a sparkling set of all-around tools. Detractors who prefer big, physical outfielders complain about Hahn's lack of size; his supporters point to the fact that Brett Butler enjoyed an exceptionally productive major league career, and Butler's raw tools were inferior to Hahn's at a similar stage.
One of the fastest outfield prospects in the nation, Hahn has consistently reeled off 6.6-second 60-yard dash times at showcases the past two years. His speed helps him in the outfield, where he's an excellent defender. It also helps his approach at the plate, as he has the speed to beat out bunts for base hits. In a recent high school game, Hahn laid down a perfect drag bunt and beat it out for a base hit, racing down the line in 3.65 seconds.
Blessed with an outstanding arm, Hahn doubles as a starting pitcher for Mater Dei. His fastball comfortably sits in the upper 80s. One veteran scout, in fact, prefers Hahn as a situational lefthanded relief pitcher, not an outfielder.
To raise his draft stock—and to succeed in pro ball—Hahn will need to improve substantially with his bat. He has always been an eye-opening batting practice hitter, and he does a commendable job of using his smaller build to compress the strike zone and get ahead in counts.
an athletic outfielder from thet Northeast, Podlas may garner Ryan
Westmoreland comparisons this spring, but he's not as fast-twitch or
explosive as the Red Sox No. 1 prospect.
an athletic and projectable frame. He's an excellent athlete that runs
well and shows fine defensive ability. Currently below average, his arm
projects to be solid average—sufficient for center field in college and
left field as a pro.
He shows promising ability as a
hitter, displaying a smooth, line drive stroke from the left side.
Interestingly, even though he's from New York, Podlas spent his summer
playing for California's elite summer ball team, the ABD
Podlas is an elite D-I recruit. His draft
value figures to be higher after three years in college than it will be
in 2010, but Podlas displays the frame and tools to eventually be an
upper-round draft selection.
Mason Williams has a thin, wiry frame. The build keeps him light on his feet, which helps him run fast, but he's not very strong and often tries to bunt for a base hit instead of trying to drive the ball.
Williams ran a 6.56-second 60-yard dash at PG National and gets down the line very quickly. On one bunt at that showcase, he got from home to first in 3.7 seconds. He covers a lot of ground in the outfield, but some teams are toying with the idea of Williams as a shortstop.
"There's actually been a lot of people that have been looking at him as a shortstop too," West Orange head coach Jesse Marlo said. "He's never played shortstop for me, but a lot of the scouts that have come out have tinkered with the idea of putting him at shortstop because he's such a good athlete, he can pretty much go anywhere and get it done. Probably half the times that have been out here want to try him as a shortstop before an outfielder. He definitely has the arm. He has a hose from the outfield. I think he's hit 92 (mph) in a showcase from the outfield before. He's got good hands, he's got good range. He'd probably be my best shortstop on my team, but he doesn't do it for me because I have some infielders capable of doing it, but I don't have outfielders capable of doing it, so he makes us stronger out in center. He probably needs a little more work keeping his hands out front and simple things that can be taught. But, for somebody that's never really been taught how to play short and just goes out there and takes fungoes when a scout shows up, he's pretty good."
Williams is a better pro prospect as a position player, but if he makes it to South Carolina, he could also see some time on the mound as a reliever. He pitches from a sidearm slot, sits in the mid 80s with his fastball and also has a sweepy slider.
Williams' father, Derwin, was a wide receiver for the New England Patriots from 1985-1987.
CONTRIBUTING: Dave Perkin