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Top Junior College Prospects: Draft & Follow Update

Updated: June 5, 2001

Lefthander Sean Henn, a 26th-round pick of the Yankees in the 2000 draft, signed late last week for a reported $1.7 million, the largest bonus ever for a draft-and-follow.

Henn, a sophomore at McLennan (Texas) Junior College, would have been a likely first-round pick in this year's draft had he not signed with the Yankees prior to May 29, the beginning of the close period. No player from the 2000 draft who was still eligible this spring to sign could do so after that date.

Henn's bonus breaks the record set by Cypress (Calif.) JC catcher Gerald Laird, a second-round pick of the Athletics in 1998 who signed the following spring for $1 million.

In addition to Henn, every top-ranked junior college player that was under control from 2000 and identified by Baseball America as a potential early-round selection if he had re-entered this year's draft signed before the start of the close period.

Junior college players are traditionally the toughest group of prospects to assess for the draft. A handful surface as early-round projections each year, but most of those players remove themselves from the draft altogether by signing with the teams that drafted them the previous year as draft-and-follows.

Clubs have 51 weeks to sign players who attend junior college. If a player doesn’t sign before the closed period begins a week before the draft, he goes back into the draft pool. About 60 or 70 draft-and-follows are signed each year.

Here’s this year’s top juco talent, with the teams that control the players’ rights until the closed period.

RankPlayer, Pos., SchoolSigned (Round Drafted)
1.Sean Henn, lhp, McLennan (Texas) JCYankees (26)
2.Jose Bautista, 3b, Chipola (Fla.) JCPirates (20)
3.Ryan Wing, lhp, Riverside (Calif.) CCNone
4.Scott Hairston, 2b, Central Arizona JCNone
5.Jake Woods, lhp, Bakersfield (Calif.) JCNone
6.Jon Asahina, rhp, Fresno CCMarlins (31)
7.Jared Hemus, lhp, Grossmont (Calif.) JCNone
8.Kyle Roat, c, Connors State (Okla.) JCBraves (20)
9.Kurt Birkins, lhp, Los Angeles Pierce JCOrioles (33)
10.Jonathan Van Every, of, Itawamba (Miss.) JCIndians (29)
11.Mark Perkins, rhp, Lake City (Fla.) CCBlue Jays (18)
12.Zach Parker, lhp, San Jacinto (Texas) JCRockies (21)

A list of draft-and-follows that had signed to this year's draft, with 2000 draft round indicated:

Anaheim

Ransel Melgarejo, of, Broward (Fla.) JC 25th round

Jeff Balser, rhp, Polk (Fla.) CC 43rd round

ARIZONA

Rick Haydel, ss, U. of Louisiana-Lafayette 11th round

Jesus Cota, 1b, Pima (Ariz.) CC 14th round

Corby Medlin, rhp, San Jacinto (Texas) JC 22nd round

ATLANTA

Kyle Roat, c, Seminole (Okla.) CC 20th round

Francisco Arteaga, rhp, East Los Angeles JC 38th round

BALTIMORE

Kurt Birkins, lhp-of, Los Angeles Pierce JC 33rd round

BOSTON

Kason Gabbard, lhp, Indian River (Fla.) JC 29th round

Dusty Brown, c, Yavapai (Ariz.) JC 35th round

Brett Bonvecho, 3b, West Valley (Calif.) JC 37th round

CHICAGO--AL

Heath Phillips, lhp, Lake Wales (Fla.) CC 10th round

Brandon Bounds, of, Grayson County (Texas) CC 32nd round

Tyrel Davis, 3b-of, Columbia Basin (Wash.) JC 39th round

CHICAGO--NL

Nick Williamson, of, Louisburg (N.C.) JC 19th round

Weston O'Brien, rhp, Fullerton (Calif.) JC 31st round

CINCINNATI

Michael Wagnon, rhp, Northeast Texas JC 40th round

CLEVELAND

Jonathan Van Every, of, Itawamba (Miss.) CC 29th round

Scott Thomas, rhp, Lake Michigan CC 32nd round

COLORADO

Zach Parker, lhp, San Jacinto (Texas) JC 21st round

Darren Clarke, rhp, South Florida CC 35th round

Jentry Beckstead, rhp, Salt Lake (Utah) CC 38th round

DETROIT

Demetrius Heath, 2b, Louisburg (N.C.) JC 31st round

Jay Dunn, rhp, Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC 36th round

FLORIDA

Ben Birk, lhp, U. of Minnesota 24th round

Jon Asahina, rhp, Fresno CC 31st round

KANSAS CITY

Ruben Gotay, 2b-ss, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC 31st round

LOS ANGELES

Ryan Johansen, rhp, Indian River (Fla.) CC 32nd round

Victor Diaz, 2b, Grayson County (Texas) CC 37th round

MILWAUKEE

Todd Gelatka, rhp, Cypress (Calif.) JC 28th round

Ryan Tretten, rhp, Marshalltown (Iowa) CC 39th round

MINNESOTA

Terrell Taylor, ss, Sacramento CC 24th round

Chad Pylate, rhp, Faulkner State (Ala.) CC 37th round

Brian Baron, of, UCLA 46th round

MONTREAL

Jason Stephenson, lhp, Sacramento CC 12th round

Josh Vaughn, lhp, Cowley County (Kan.) CC 21st round

NEW YORK--AL

Sean Henn, lhp, McLennan (Texas) JC 26th round

Trevor Tacker, rhp, McLennan (Texas) JC 28th round

Tommy Rojas, c, CC of Southern Nevada 30th round

John Ramistella, of, Monterey (Calif.) JC 35th round

Jeff Kennard, rhp, Rend Lake (Ill.) JC 40th round

Ryan Clark, lhp, Owens (Ohio) CC 45th round

NEW YORK--NL

Ryan Danly, lhp, Kirkwood (Iowa) JC 38th round

Joe Jiannetti, 3b, Daytona Beach (Fla.) CC 40th round

Brett Harper, 3b, Scottsdale (Ariz.) CC 45th round

David Housel, 2b, Daytona Beach (Fla.) CC 47th round

OAKLAND

Rich Harden, rhp, Central Arizona JC 17th round

PITTSBURGH

Jose Bautista, 3b, Chipola (Fla.) JC 20th round

Mike Cockrell, ss, Los Angeles Harbor JC 33rd round

Michael Collum, ss, Indian River (Fla.) CC 41st round

Josh Shackleford, lhp, Navarro (Texas) JC 50th round

ST. LOUIS

Tyler Johnson, lhp, Moorpark (Calif.) JC 34th round

SAN DIEGO

John DiBetta, ss, CC of Southern Nevada 15th round

SAN FRANCISCO

Anthony Pannone, rhp, Seward County (Kan.) CC 16th round

Markus King, rhp, Modesto (Calif.) JC 23rd round

Brian Burres, lhp, Mt. Hood (Ore.) CC 31st round

SEATTLE

Chris Collins, ss, South Mountain CC 47th round

TAMPA BAY

Brian Lockwood, rhp, Los Angeles Harbor JC 19th round

Shawn Riggans, c, Indian River (Fla.) CC 24th round

Jason Habel, of, CC of Southern Nevada 40th round

TEXAS

Nick Masset, rhp, St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC 8th round

Arlington Murray, lhp, Salt Lake (Utah) CC 19th round

Nick Devenney, rhp, Delgado (La.) JC 30th round

Dustin Smith, c, Cowley County (Kan.) CC 38th round

Jason Guy, of, Polk (Fla.) CC 47th round

TORONTO

Charles Talanoa, rhp, Los Angeles Harbor JC 14th round

Mark Perkins, rhp, Lake City (Fla.) CC 18th round

Neesan Zieour, 2b, Sacramento CC 39th round

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