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Regional Scouting Report: Midwest

Compiled by Jim Callis
May 25, 2002

Click a state to jump directly to its report:
Arkansas | Illinois | Iowa | Kansas| Louisiana | Minnesota | Missouri | Nebraska | North Dakota | Oklahoma | South Dakota | Texas | Wisconsin

Each state or area is graded on a five-star scale, with one star indicating a particularly weak crop and five stars a particularly strong one. The ratings are based on the level of talent a place generally produces, so Southern California isn't graded on the same scale as Alaska.

TEXAS *****
Even for a state accustomed to churning out talent, this is a banner year in Texas. Pitchers Scott Kazmir and Clint Everts are expected to become the fourth set of high school teammates to go in the first round of the same draft, and both could be gone by the middle of the first round. Another pair of teammates, James Loney and Wardell Starling, should be gone by the end of the second round. Mark McCormick has one of the best arms in the draft, while Brent Clevlen is one of the best athletes. And that's just the high schoolers. Righthander Derick Grigsby could be the first junior college player drafted, while Chris Snyder could be the first catcher picked. There's no shortage of college arms either, as 23 of the state's 27 best prospects will pitch as pros.

1. Scott Kazmir, lhp, Cypress Falls HS, Houston
2. Clint Everts, rhp/ss, Cypress Falls HS, Houston
3. Mark McCormick, rhp, Clear Creek HS, Clear Lake Shores
4. Brent Clevlen, of, Westwood HS, Cedar Park
5. James Loney, lhp-1b, Elkins HS, Missouri City
6. Derick Grigsby, rhp, Northeast Texas CC
7. Wardell Starling, rhp/of, Elkins HS, Missouri City
8. Zack Segovia, rhp, Forney HS
9. Romelio Lopez, rhp, Conroe HS
10. Chris Snyder, c, Houston
11. Steven White, rhp, Baylor
12. Jesse Crain, rhp/ss, Houston
13. Matt Farnum, rhp, Texas A&M
14. Wes Bankston, of, Plano East HS
15. Jon Slack, of, Texas Tech
16. Khalid Ballouli, rhp, Texas A&M
17. Robert Ray, rhp, Lufkin HS
18. Kyle Edens, rhp, Baylor
19. Alan Bomer, rhp, Texas
20. Garrett Mock, rhp, Grayson County CC (Control: Indians)
21. Ryan Warpinski, rhp, Texas A&M
22. J. Brent Cox, rhp, Bay City HS
23. Garrett White, lhp, Round Rock HS
24. Todd Deininger, rhp, Texas A&M
25. Ryan Rodriguez, lhp, Keller HS
26. Chance Douglass, rhp, Randall HS, Amarillo
27. Brad Halsey, lhp, Texas
28. Lance Pendleton, of, Kingwood HS
29. Mark Schramek, 3b/rhp, Texas-San Antonio
30. Billy Mohl, rhp, John Foster Dulles HS, Sugar Land
31. Eric Arnold, 2b, Rice
32. Terry Trofholz, of, Texas Christian
33. Hunter Brown, 3b, Rice
34. Matt Albers, rhp, San Jacinto JC (Control: Astros)
35. Dan Ortmeier, of, Texas-Arlington
36. Cliff Pennington, ss, Carroll HS, Corpus Christi
37. Matt Goebel, rhp/of, Austin HS
38. Steven Ponder, rhp, Texas A&M
39. Ryan Hubele, c/of, Texas
40. Gera Alvarez, ss, Texas Tech
41. Jared Theodorakos, lhp, Baylor
42. Taylor Teagarden, c, Creekview HS, Carrollton
43. Lance Broadway, rhp, Grand Prairie HS
44. Billy Hogan, ss, Newman Smith HS, Carrollton
45. John Meloan, rhp, James E. Taylor HS, Katy
46. Dana Eveland, lhp, Hill JC
47. Matt Manship, rhp, Ronald Reagan HS, San Antonio
48. Jamaal Hamilton, lhp, Monterey HS, Lubbock
49. Rusty Meyer, c, Texas A&M
50. John Smith, rhp, Navarro JC (Control: Yankees)
51. Phillip Tribe, rhp, Rice
52. Adam LaRoche, ss, Grayson County CC
53. Ben Himes, of, Texas A&M
54. Josh Boop, of, North Central Texas JC
55. Zach Duncan, rhp, Marshall HS
56. Jarrod Plummer, rhp, South Garland HS, Garland
57. J.P. Duran, rhp, St. Mary's
58. Chris Durbin, of, Baylor
59. Jesse Estrada, rhp, Socorro HS, El Paso
60. Travis Chick, rhp/3b, Whitehouse HS
61. Mike Huggins, 1b, Baylor
62. Zach Gallenkamp, rhp, Westlake HS, Austin
63. Steven Herce, rhp, Rice
64. Tyler Bullock, c, Paschal HS, Fort Worth
65. Kevin Jordan, of, Texas Tech
66. Brandon Fusilier, of, Navarro JC (Control: Mariners)
67. Travis Wong, 1b, Texas A&M
68. Ben King, of/lhp, Texas
69. Adam Rogers, c, Grayson County CC
70. Reese Baez, rhp, Northwood

Projected First-Round Picks

Scott Kazmir, lhp
If Kazmir were a few inches taller than his listed 6 feet, he would be the favorite for the No. 1 overall pick. He's still in the mix for the Pirates and could go as high as No. 2 to the Devil Rays. Even if he's not big, his stuff is, as his lightning-quick arm reminds scouts of Ron Guidry. His lively fastball, which reaches 96 mph, and slider are both well above-average pitches, and his hard curveball gives him a third plus offering. His huge hands and long fingers help him throw his quality breaking stuff. Kazmir also shows a feel for a changeup, and he has easy command of all of his pitches. The lone question is whether he'll have the durability to take the ball every five days instead of every seven as a pro. With his ability and the way he dominated every time out this spring, it will be hard for teams at the top of the draft to pass on Kazmir.

Clint Everts, rhp
Kazmir and Everts should become the fourth pair of high school teammates to be selected in the first round of the same draft. With his switch-hitting ability, plus speed and stellar defensive play, Everts might be the second-best shortstop in the nation after Virginia high schooler B.J. Upton. Yet he'll almost certainly be taken as a pitcher, and one scouting director with an early pick says Everts could be the best arm to come out of the draft. He can't match the quality of Kazmir's stuff, but Kazmir can't equal Everts' projectability or the ease with which he throws. Everts is just 17 and could get much stronger as he adds to his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. His curveball is the best among high school pitchers, and he has a 91-94 mph fastball and above-average changeup. Scouts dream about pitchers with his kind of quick arm action. "He's the sleeper of the whole draft," one scouting director said. "He's going to make someone very happy."

Mark McCormick, rhp
Few pitchers in the draft can light up a radar gun like McCormick, who has touched 98 mph and rarely has been below 92 mph this spring. But like many of Scott Boras' players in this draft, McCormick's stock is dropping--and it's not just because of Boras. McCormick lacks a quality second pitch. His curveball and changeup are just so-so offerings, and he tends to stick with fastballs and splitters. For all his velocity, McCormick gets hit more often than he should and doesn't have the smoothest arm action. More troubling to scouts has been a tendency to lose his composure on and off the field. While McCormick has raised red flags, it's still hard to imagine him lasting beyond the first round. Neither he nor Everts is likely to follow through on scholarship offers from Baylor.

Brent Clevlen, of
Clevlen is a possible signability pick for the Marlins at No. 11 and should go no later than the sandwich round. He was the star of the 2001 Area Code Games, impressing with his bat speed, power potential, arm strength and 6.75-second time in the 60-yard dash. He hasn't quite performed at that level this spring, which, granted, would have been a nearly impossible task. He outdueled Everts with a 3-2 complete-game victory in the Texas 5-A regional semifinals. A rock-solid 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Everts is a fine athlete who was an all-district quarterback for his high school football team. Like Kazmir, he's a Texas recruit who doesn't figure to make it to college.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

James Loney, lhp
Loney made a name for himself by eliminating Houston Bellaire in the state playoffs in both 2000 and 2001, and he has surpassed Wardell Starling, his more heralded teammate. The pair has led Elkins High to a 30-1 record and a No. 1 national ranking in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25. Loney also plays first base and has power in his bat, but most teams prefer him as a big, strong lefthander. He gets good arm-side run on an 88-93 mph fastball, and his breaking ball and changeup give him the chance to have three plus pitches. As his velocity increased this spring, Loney's command wasn't as good as usual, and he faltered a little down the stretch, taking Elkins' first loss. Following in the footsteps of former Elkins star Kip Wells (a 1998 White Sox first-round pick), Loney has committed to Baylor. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds and still growing, the Bears see him as the next Jason Jennings (a 1999 Rockies first-round pick) if he comes to school.

Derick Grigsby, rhp
Grigsby is the top junior college prospect in the nation who isn't under control to a major league club. He spent 2001 at Texas, pitching just 11 innings before leaving school when his mother died during routine surgery. He's a product of Marshall (Texas) High, the same program that spawned fireballer Colt Griffin last year. Grigsby also has a big-time arm and threw 95 mph this spring. He's a short righthander with an inconsistent slider, but some team that buys into arm strength could take him as a sandwich pick.

Wardell Starling, rhp/of
As much as any two-way prospect, Starling produces a split among scouts whether he should pursue pitching or hitting as a pro. He rates slightly higher as a pitcher, thanks to a fastball that reaches 95 mph and shows outstanding life at times, as well as an advanced changeup for a high school pitcher. As an outfielder, he offers huge power potential–he homered off a 94 mph fastball from McCormick this spring–and a plus arm and speed. First and foremost he's a 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete who also starred as a wide receiver in football. Keeping him out of the first round are his inconsistency and his approach. He doesn't have much of a breaking ball and doesn't repeat his delivery, making him more thrower than pitcher at this point. At the plate, he has a long swing and doesn't have eye-grabbing bat speed. As a result, he'll be great one game and disappointing the next. Starling's lackadaisical attitude also turns some team off. He expressed interest in playing college football and drew no interest, and he didn't sign to play baseball at San Diego State until April.

Zach Segovia, rhp
On the U.S. junior national team last summer, Segovia was the most effective pitcher who wasn't headed directly for college. Team USA finished second at the world junior qualifying tournament in Cuba, and Segovia worked eight innings without allowing an earned run, fanning 15. He's always had a large body and is listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, but he has done a better job of staying in shape this year. He throws up to 93 mph with nice life on his fastball, and he'll flash a plus slider from time to time. His delivery will need a little smoothing out.

Romelio Lopez, rhp
Lopez has one of the more intriguing backgrounds among the draft's top prospects. He reportedly turned down $800,000 to sign out of his native Venezuela two years ago. He moved to Texas last summer and was ineligible to pitch this spring until one of his parents established residency. He made just two starts, showing a huge body (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) and huge fastball (94-97 mph). He's all arm strength right now, but those numbers got him noticed. He went to the Perfect Game predraft workout in mid-May and threw more in the low 90s, but he starred at the plate and showed tape-measure power. There's some question about how old he is, and a four-year college isn't an option.

Chris Snyder, c
Snyder profiles as a third-round talent, but he could go as high as No. 28 to the Mariners, who drafted him in the 43rd round out of high school. That's a testament to this draft's catching, and to Snyder's catch-and-throw skills, which might be the best in the country. He handles a staff well and has some power in his bat. He has made improvements this year with his swing and his body (6-foot-3, 224 pounds). Some scouts think his swing is too long and leaves him vulnerable to inside fastballs, and he didn't help his cause by batting .175 with wood for Team USA last summer. Others think he's overrated and needs to be more active and agile behind the plate.

Steven White, rhp
White is another potential first-rounder associated with Scott Boras who has slid, though again it's not because of his choice of agents. He has a perfect body (6-foot-4, 195 pounds), a 91-94 mph fastball with good movement and a 12-to-6 curveball that's unhittable at times. His command has been off for most of the year, so White's fastballs often arrived at the plate straight and high, while his curveballs haven't caught the strike zone with consistency. Some teams haven't seen White throw harder than the high 80s, and when he overthrows his fastball it loses its sink. He now figures to go in the third round.

Jesse Crain, rhp
Crain is one of the best players in college baseball. He's a steady shortstop who has been one of Houston's better hitters, and he has been outstanding as a closer, allowing just one run (unearned) in 22 regular season appearances. He's just 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, but the transfer from San Jacinto JC has power stuff, with a fastball that has reached 97 mph and a nasty slider. Crain also throws a knuckle-curve as a changeup and can command all three of his pitches for strikes. He could be another Trevor Hoffman, a big league closer with shortstop on his résumé.

Matt Farnum, rhp
Despite pitching most of the year in relief, Farnum led Texas A&M in both wins and saves at the end of the regular season. A draft-eligible sophomore, he has succeeded by relying almost solely on a 91-95 mph fastball that he throws on a downward plane that belies his 6-foot-1, 185-pound size. Even with a curveball that's average on its good days, Farnum could go as high as the second round. There's word that he wants first-round money, so he could fall out of the early rounds altogether.

Wes Bankston, of
Bankston has been described as a stronger athletic version of Clevlen, a fellow Texas recruit and high school quarterback, which is saying something. He hasn't performed as well this spring, so Bankston probably won't go earlier than the fourth round. He has nice size at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, a right-field arm and the ability to drive the ball a long way. His swing is inconsistent, however, so he doesn't always make contact. His speed isn't quite in Clevlen's class, though Bankston runs well once he gets going. He could be a tough sign because he reportedly wants second-round money and is more likely to go a couple of rounds later.

Jon Slack, of
Slack hit .448 with 20 steals as a freshman and .420 with 32 swipes as a sophomore at the JC of Southern Nevada, and moving to the Big 12 this year barely slowed him down. He hit .349 with 26 steals in 29 attempts during the regular season, further solidifying his reputation as a leadoff prospect. He uses a short, quick stroke and a patient approach to get on base any way possible. Slack not only has speed but also knows how to use it well on the bases. He's just ordinary as a center fielder, in terms of both range and arm.

Khalid Ballouli, rhp
Texas A&M has plenty of talented pitchers, but they don't always find their way to the mound. Ballouli and Ryan Warpinski missed almost all of 2001 because of elbow surgery, while Todd Deininger and Steven Ponder starred in the Cape Cod League last summer but haven't been able to get batters out in 2002. The grandson of former big leaguer Dick Fowler, Ballouli has a 91-94 mph fastball, a good slider and a decent changeup. He has a lean, loose 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, and while his delivery is a bit herky-jerky, it doesn't hinder his command. Ballouli does a good job of working both sides of the plate and of competing. He started the season strong but has been up and down since early April.

Robert Ray, rhp
Ray opened his high school district season with a no-hitter, then tossed a perfect game in his next start. He still needs to tighten his mechanics because he flies all over the place with his delivery, but there's plenty to like. He has a classic pro body at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds and a quick arm that delivers plus fastballs and sliders. His talent has been evident since he was throwing 91-92 mph as a sophomore. Ray might not get drafted as high as his talent warrants because he seems intent on attending Texas A&M.

Kyle Edens, rhp
Edens is a short closer in the mold of Crain, though he's not as big or athletic (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) and doesn't throw quite as hard. While he's not projectable, Edens doesn't have to be because he has the best fastball in the Big 12 at 94-97 mph and a hard slider that destroys righthanders. He keeps lefthanders at bay with a changeup that sinks, and he'll show hitters a plus curve at times. Edens does have effort to his delivery, but not as much as might be expected given his size and velocity, and it doesn't prevent him from throwing strikes.

Alan Bomer, rhp
When Iowa State disbanded its baseball program after last season, Bomer transferred to Texas rather than sign as a ninth-round pick of the Cubs. He offers good size (6-foot-3, 203 pounds) and arm strength (fastball to 95 mph). The Longhorns have tried to make him more of a pitcher, lowering his arm angle and encouraging him to change speeds more often, but it hasn't worked. Bomer's 4.20 ERA is the highest on the staff, he has struggled against lefthanders and hasn't made much progress with his slurvy breaking ball or changeup. There still will be no shortage of teams willing to try to turn him into a finished product.

Others to Watch
Unlike Derick Grigsby, many of the state’s top junior college prospects are under control to major league teams. The Indians will make a full effort to sign RHP Garrett Mock, who has been outstanding this spring. He has a strong body (6-foot-4 and 215 pounds), an 88-92 mph sinker, a good curveball and a decent changeup . . . RHP Matt Albers (Astros) helped pitch San Jacinto to the Junior College World Series. Scouts say his 6-foot frame is a little dumpy, but his fastball can reach 95 mph and runs in on righthanders, and his slider works as a second pitch . . . RHP John Smith (Yankees) has thrown 92-93 mph this year . . . OF Brandon Fusilier (Mariners) is an exceptionally strong athlete with plenty of raw power potential . . . As mentioned with Khalid Ballouli, Texas A&M has a deep stable of arms who don’t always make it to the mound. RHP Ryan Warpinski didn’t pitch last year after having Tommy John surgery in 2000 and having his elbow arthroscoped in 2001. Used as a swingman this year, he throws three plus pitches for strikes: an 87-91 mph sinker, plus curveball and plus changeup. He’s also 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. RHP Todd Deininger, who showed incredible arm speed and 94-95 mph heat in the Cape Cod League last summer, has been buried in the bullpen because he hasn’t had the same velocity or any command this spring. Built along the same lines of Warpinski, Deininger was a fifth-round pick out of high school by the Cubs. LHP Steven Ponder also hasn’t worked much for the Aggies after a strong summer in the Cape. He’s similar to former Texas A&M ace Casey Fossum because he’s short (6 feet tall), lefthanded, doesn’t have stunning velocity and lives off his curveball. But Ponder’s control and velocity have been off this year as well . . . RHP J. Brent Cox was better at the Area Code Games last summer than he has been this spring. He still gets nice run on an 87-89 mph fastball, and his potential is obvious when you look at his projectable 6-foot-3, 188-pound frame. A team that was sold by his showcase performance could take him in the fourth or fifth round . . . LHP Garrett White has a huge body (6-foot-5 and 230 pounds) but isn’t particularly athletic. He’s a project, but there’s a 92-93 mph southpaw in there if he develops as expected . . . Ryan Rodriguez is another big lefty (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) and he’s more athletic than White. Though he has good life on a fastball that reaches 91 mph, scouts wonder why he doesn’t throw his curveball more often. He tapered off after a good start this spring . . . RHP Chance Douglass has a Ben Sheets-like body (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) and like Cox threw very well at the Area Code Games. He’s had a shoulder problem this spring, so his velocity has fluctuated from 84 to 94 mph. He doesn’t have much of a breaking ball, and he’ll be tough to sign away from Rice . . . Previously cut by Southwest Texas State and undrafted out of Hill (Texas) JC last year, LHP Brad Halsey emerged as a solid No. 2 starter for Texas. He dominated Stanford with a 10-inning, five-hit shutout in March and has thrown 88-92 mph with a good splitter. A draft-eligible sophomore, it may be expensive to buy him away from returning to the Longhorns . . . OF-RHP Lance Pendleton was really coming on as the draft grew closer, though scouts were divided on whether he was better as a hitter or pitcher. He has a long, loose build (6-foot-3, 185 pounds). He also has a compact lefthanded swing, power potential and some speed. On the mound, he throws in the high 80s with good life on his fastball . . . The two best college hitters in the state are 3B Mark Schramek and OF Terry Trofholz. Schramek, the Southland Conference’s MVP and defensive player of the year, hit .416-11-49 during the regular season. He has a plus arm, but tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last year’s conference tournament. Scouts worry he might have to move across the diamond to first base as a pro. Trofholz ranked ninth in NCAA Division I with a .446 average entering the postseason. He might have to make adjustments to his swing to hit with wood, and his arm will make him a left fielder as a pro, but he can run and bunt and is a line-drive machine. He was solely a pitcher as a Creighton freshman . . . RHP Billy Mohl was fabulous at the Baseball America/Perfect Game World Wood Bat Showcase last fall, but he never matched that performance this spring. He’s 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, but his heavy 88-91 mph fastball hasn’t added velocity, his curveball is loopy and he has been slinging the ball. It’s unlikely he’ll go high enough to divert him from Tulane, but if he develops there he could be a first-rounder in 2005 . . . The same is true of RHP-OF Matt Goebel, a fellow Green Wave recruit. He’s not as projectable because he’s two inches shorter than Mohl, but his pitchability is off the charts. He throws 86-89 mph with a big league average curveball and a decent changeup . . . Rice was ranked No. 1 in late May despite not having a prospect projected to go in the first five round. 2B Eric Arnold, a former shortstop, has the best tools on the team. He’s an offensive player with a quick bat. 3B Hunter Brown batted just .300–only five points higher than he hit with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. He needs to take better advantage of his strength after homering just seven times this year. RHP Phillip Tribe is 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds and has touched 94 mph, but that hasn’t happened consistently and he doesn’t throw his curveball for strikes. Arnold, Brown and Tribe are all seniors. The Owls’ best junior is RHP Steven Herce, who pitches inside well with an 88-92 mph fastball. He has command of three pitches, including a curveball and changeup, and has come back strong after missing two starts with shoulder tendinitis . . . OF Dan Ortmeier is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound switch-hitter with speed and some power . . . SS Cliff Pennington is considered the best pure baseball player in the state, though his raw tools are a little bit short across the board. Just 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, he looks more like a great college player than an early draft pick at this point, and he probably won’t get picked high enough to keep him away from Texas A&M. In occasional forays to the mound, Pennington has thrown 92-93 mph . . . There’s some catching depth in Texas beyond Chris Snyder. Ryan Hubele has a short stroke and bat speed, but he didn’t have a big year at the plate for the Longhorns. He has some arm strength but isn’t always accurate with his throws. Taylor Teagarden is the best catch-and-throw guy among the high schoolers, but he didn’t hit much either and is very committed to Texas. Some Big 12 Conference observers believe that sophomore-eligible Rusty Meyer is better behind the plate than Snyder, but his bat isn’t in the same class. Tyler Bullock has power in his bat and arm (91-92 mph when used as a pitcher), but he’s a top student who probably won’t get away from Baylor. Adam Rogers helped himself with a good showing at the Perfect Game predraft showcase in mid-May . . . SS Gera Alvarez projects as a utility player who should go in the first 10 rounds. He’s a solid defender who can handle the bat and has basestealing instincts . . . Jared Theodorakos is a 6-foot-5, 255-pound lefthander who can get to 92 mph on the right day. But he has a head-jerk delivery that scares scouts and makes it difficult for him to throw strikes . . . Grand Prairie High, Kerry Wood’s alma mater, has an interesting prospect in RHP Lance Broadway. He’s oh so projectable at 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds, though he hasn’t been at full strength this year while battling mononucleosis. He has touched 90 mph in the past . . . Speaking of Texas legends: Marshall High, where Colt Griffin was such a sensation last year (and also the home of Derick Grigsby), has RHP Zach Duncan. At 5-foot-10 and with a fastball that tops out around 90 mph, he’s not in the class of Griffin and Grigsby, but he has a solid curveball and could get a look . . . A huge Major League Scouting Bureau grade made RHP John Meloan a must-see for all 30 teams. The Bureau saw him throw 92-93 mph during a 20-strikeout no-hitter, while clubs saw him at 88-89. Meloan’s fastball comes out of a high arm slot and is straight, so his 12-6 curveball actually may be a better pitch. He blew out the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last fall, and has mechanical problems related to the knee. He also missed time with a strained back muscle this spring . . . RHP Matt Manship committed early to Stanford and had arm problems in the summer and fall, so teams may not bother to draft him high--if at all. He worked at 90-91 mph this spring, and his 6-foot-4, 185-pound body has plenty of room to add strength. Scouts don’t like his arm action and believe his brother Jeff, a junior who reminds some of Mike Mussina, will be a better draft in 2003 . . . SS Adam LaRoche, whose father Dave was a big league reliever, graduated early from a Kansas high school in December and played at Grayson County CC this spring. LaRoche has a big league arm and has shown some power, but he has been slowed by knee problems . . . OF Ben Himes hurt his knee last summer. He worked out with Texas A&M for two days this spring, but when the knee wasn’t responding he quit to rehabilitate it on his own. He has a live 6-foot-5, 220-pound body, a quick bat from the left side and average speed. He looked good at the Perfect Game predraft showcase and should get drafted . . . 1B Travis Wong was absent from the Aggies for a while as well, the result of an academic suspension. A 13th-round pick in 1999 out of an Idaho high school, he has tremendous raw power but never has hit for average or made much contact against breaking stuff . . . OF-LHP Ben King missed the season after Tommy John surgery, but there’s word that a team may draft him. He was an 11th-round pick out of high school by the Diamondbacks . . . 1B Jeff Ontiveros broke Brooks Kieschnick’s Longhorns career home run record, but he’s very pitchable and isn’t considered a top prospect. Neither is Texas A&M OF Eric Reed, the 2001 Cape Cod League batting champion at .365–79 points higher than his regular-season average this spring. Reed can run and is similar to former Aggie Jason Tyner, but Tyner was a better hitter and quicker down the line.

OKLAHOMA ****
Oklahoma doesn't always get its due as one of the better baseball states, but for the second consecutive year it's chock full of pitching. As in 2001, the high schools are deep in arms, and this time the junior colleges have a pair of stalwarts in Humberto Sanchez and Ryan Blackburn. High school first baseman Cory Shafer is a gifted slugger, while the colleges offer some depth in hitters and pitchers.

1. Humberto Sanchez, rhp, Connors State JC (Control: Tigers)
2. Brandon Weeden, rhp, Santa Fe HS, Edmond
3. Cory Shafer, 1b, Choctaw HS
4. Josh Johnson, rhp, Jenks HS, Tulsa
5. Kendall Bergdall, lhp, Layhoma Cimarron HS, Layhoma
6. Nick Blackburn, rhp, Seminole State JC (Control: Twins)
7. Anthony Reed, rhp, Central Oklahoma
8. Jeff Salazar, of, Oklahoma State
9. Michael Brown, rhp, Owasso HS
10. Daylon Monette, of, Oklahoma State
11. Jason Fransz, of, Oklahoma
12. Michael Rogers, rhp, Oral Roberts (Control: Indians)
13. Nebasset Brown, 2b, Oklahoma State
14. Rocky Cherry, rhp, Oklahoma
15. Troy Pickford, rhp, Oral Roberts
16. Jordan Renz, of, Tulsa Union HS
17. Nick McCurdy, rhp, Oklahoma State
18. Stockton Davis, rhp, Oral Roberts
19. Denver Kitch, ss, Oklahoma
20. James Boone, ss, Clinton HS
21. Curtis White, lhp, Oklahoma
22. Justin Meccage, rhp, Oklahoma State
23. Wilton Reynolds, of, Oral Roberts
24. Chris Reilly, rhp, Oklahoma State
25. Dusty Barnard, rhp, Moore HS

Projected First-Round Picks

Humberto Sanchez, rhp
A 31st-round pick out of Rockland (N.Y.) CC by the Tigers a year ago, Sanchez decided to transfer rather than sign. The decision will pay off handsomely, whether Detroit lands him before the draft or he enters it and goes in the first two rounds. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Sanchez, a native of the Bronx, looks and throws like Jose Mesa. He reached 94 mph this spring and showed a plus-plus curveball. If he picks up a changeup he could be a quality starter, and at worst he should be a late-innings reliever.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Brandon Weeden, rhp
A multitalented athlete, Weeden played quarterback for his football team, forward for his basketball team and pitcher/shortstop for his baseball team. He's 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, and he has quick arm action, so there's a lot of room for projection on his live 88-92 mph fastball. He also has a hard slider and sound mechanics. He surpassed Kendall Bergdall and Josh Johnson as the state's top high school pitcher this spring because he was far more consistent than they were. Weeden solidified his standing at the Perfect Game predraft showcase in mid-May.

Cory Shafer, 1b
Shafer has one of the best lefthanded power bats in the draft, surpassed only by Florida's Prince Fielder and Iowa's Jeff Clement among high school players. Shafer generates his pop with a strong 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and an aggressive and fluid stroke. His bat will have to carry him, and it should be able to. He's not a baseclogger but he's not much of a runner either, and he'll probably have to play first base.

Josh Johnson, rhp
Johnson's season was marked by inconsistency. His velocity fluctuated from 88-92 mph to the mid-80s, and both his breaking ball and slider would come and go in the same fashion. He helped himself by finishing on a high note in the Oklahoma 6-A championship game, throwing 91 mph and beating Weeden's team with a complete-game five-hitter. (Weeden didn't pitch but did homer for Santa Fe's lone run.) With Johnson's 6-foot-7, 215-pound frame, it's easy to project him throwing in the mid-90s down the road. If he doesn't sign, he'll join his brother Tyler, an outfielder at Oklahoma.

Kendall Bergdall, lhp
Before a disappointing spring, Bergdall was Oklahoma's best prep pitcher. After touching 94 mph last summer and fall, he had minor arm soreness and worked in the upper 80s. When he's on he'll show a decent curveball, but he wasn't on often enough. He comes from a small school and will need refinement. For all his recent struggles, he's still a projectable (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) lefthander.

Nick Blackburn, rhp
Drafted in the 34th round out of Del City (Okla.) High by the Devil Rays in 2000 and again in the 29th round out of Seminole State by the Twins last year, Blackburn will go higher in 2002 if he doesn't sign with Minnesota. He helped himself in a head-to-head matchup with Sanchez, throwing a 90-94 mph fastball with plus life and an 84-85 mph slider for strikes. His size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds) is another asset.

Anthony Reed, rhp
Reed could get six figures on the open market as a fifth-year senior who wasn't drafted in 2001, which makes him a free agent. Though he was drafted out high school by the Orioles, Reed flew under the radar in two years at Western State (Okla.) JC and his first season as a starter at Central Oklahoma. He missed all of 2001 after cutting a tendon in his hand the previous fall, and has taken off since being converted to the bullpen upon his return. He has thrown 94-95 mph with life on his fastball, drawing interest from several clubs.

Jeff Salazar, of
Like many of the center fielders in the Big 12 Conference this year, Salazar is a speedy tablesetter. The difference between him and the others is that he provides punch from the left side of the plate. Oklahoma State coach Tom Holliday calls Salazar the best center fielder the program has had in his 25 years. He makes Jim Edmonds-like highlight plays and could be a nice fourth- or fifth-round pick for someone.

Others to Watch
RHP Michael Brown doesn’t have quite the same body (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) or fastball (88-89 mph, peak of 93) that Brandon Weeden and Josh Johnson do, but he has more pitchability. He started the 6-A championship game in his freshman through junior years, and Owasso won state titles in 1999 and 2001 . . . A seventh-round pick of the Indians in 1999, OF Daylon Monette should go in roughly the same area in June. He has a nice swing and is a switch-hitter with a 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame . . . Oklahoma State should have several picks beyond Jeff Salazar and Monette. Next up is offensive 2B Nebasset Brown. RHP Nick McCurdy has been drafted twice and pitches at 88-91 mph. He has touched 94 mph and sometimes shows a hard slider, but he needs to stop trying to blow fastballs by everyone. RHPs Justin Meccage and Chris Reilly are huge guys, 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-7 respectively, but don’t usually reach 90 mph. Meccage has the better breaking stuff between the two . . . Scouts love OF Jason Fransz’ body (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) and raw power, but he has holes in his swing and is a below-average defender . . . RHP Michael Rogers couldn’t quite duplicate the 14-1, 2.37 season that made him Mid-Continent Conference pitcher of the year in 2001, but he still peaks in the low 90s and commands three pitches. A fifth-year senior, he’s under control to the Indians . . . RHP Rocky Cherry would have been more of a factor had he not come down with elbow tendinitis. He hasn’t pitched since beating Arizona State in mid-March. When healthy, he’ll get plus movement on a 90-91 mph fastball and flash a very good slider. He has added a changeup this year, but probably will go around the 10th round, where the Phillies drafted him in 2001 . . . Oral Roberts has lots of players with pro builds. RHP Troy Pickford (6-foot-8, 220 pounds) has an 88-93 mph fastball and an 80-84 mph slider. He has lowered his arm slot to add movement to his pitches. RHP Stockton Davis (6-foot-4, 205), who has started more games at DH than he has appeared in on the mound, has the same kind of stuff: 86-92 mph fastball and 82-85 mph slider. OF Wilton Reynolds (6-foot-4, 196) is a toolsy player who will have to hit more as a pro. RHP David Humen can reach 94 mph and show a decent curveball when he finds his rhythm, but that hasn’t happened often this spring . . . OF Jordan Renz (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) has a good body, too, and some power, though his swing is very hit or miss . . . Sophomore-eligible SS Denver Kitch plays nifty defense thanks to his feet and arm. He has a ways to go offensively, though he has some projected pop and he has worked on shortening his swing . . . SS James Boone is a similar player at the high school level. He hasn’t gotten much attention because he hasn’t attended many showcase events . . . LHP Curtis White should get drafted for the fourth consecutive year. Though he stands just 5-foot-11, he can pitch in the low 90s and show a power breaking ball.

KANSAS ****
After consecutive down years, Kansas has bounced back despite the struggles of Mike Pelfrey. The state still could have a high school righthander go before the beginning of the second round, thanks to the emergence of Blair Johnson. Wichita State and Cowley County CC, Kansas's traditional Division I and junior college powers, are responsible for the bulk of the draft crop.

1. Blair Johnson, rhp, Washburn Rural HS, Topeka
2. Justin Maureau, lhp, Wichita State
3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp, Wichita Heights HS
4. Adam Peterson, rhp, Wichita State
5. Brian Burgamy, 2b, Wichita State
6. John Tetuan, rhp, Wichita State
7. Randy Walter, of, Wichita State
8. Craig Fryendall, lhp, Cowley County CC (Control: Rangers)
9. John Urick, 1b/lhp, Cowley County CC (Control: Dodgers)
10. Dan Olson, rhp, Kansas
11. Pat Maloney, of, Kansas State
12. Kyle Hodges, rhp, Cowley County CC
13. Jeff Davis, rhp, Kansas
14. Ross Hawley, rhp, Kansas State
15. Trent Henderson, rhp, Wichita State

Projected First-Round Picks

Blair Johnson, rhp
After throwing in the upper 80s and lower 90s last summer, Johnson took his fastball up another notch this spring and blew past Pelfrey as a potential first-rounder. At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Johnson should pick up more velocity as he fills out, and he gets heavy sink on his fastball. He has a sound delivery and repeats it well, though his secondary pitches will need refinement. The cornerstone of a strong Nebraska recruiting class, Johnson has improved so much that it's unlikely the pros will let him get away.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Justin Maureau, lhp
Maureau hasn't pitched quite as well for Wichita State as he did in the Cape Cod League last summer, the difference between being a first-round pick and a second- or third-rounder. He was a sixth-round choice by the Diamondbacks out of high school. Maureau doesn't scare anyone at 6 feet and 175 pounds, but his curveball is death on lefthanders. His fastball was clocked in the low 90s in the Cape but has been more in the high 80s this spring, though he can run it to both sides of the plate. Maureau can throw his entire arsenal, which also includes a changeup, for strikes. At worst, his curve should make him a situational lefty in the majors.

Mike Pelfrey, rhp
Teams expected to be looking at Pelfrey in the first round, but he just didn't throw as he has in the past. His association with agent Scott Boras only complicates matters. When he was going good, Pelfrey touched 95 mph with his fastball and accompanied it with a plus slider. This spring, he has pitched in the high 80s and topped out at 92. He's still quite projectable at 6-foot-7 and 190 pounds, but like Oklahoma high schooler Kendall Bergdall, Pelfrey has fallen far enough that both may wind up attending Wichita State.

NEBRASKA **
The University of Nebraska may have a monopoly on the state's talent–eight of the 10 best prospects either play for or are committed to the Cornhuskers–but the top player belongs to Bellevue, an NAIA school. The Huskers' best player (righthander Shane Komine) and recruit (third baseman Alex Gordon) both have been sidetracked by injuries.

1. Jimmy deMontel, rhp, Bellevue
2. Shane Komine, rhp, Nebraska
3. Alex Gordon, 3b, Lincoln Southeast HS
4. Jeff Leise, of, Nebraska
5. Jed Morris, c, Nebraska
6. Jacob Eckley, lhp, Burke HS, Omaha
7. Zach Kroenke, lhp, Northwest HS, Omaha
8. Waylon Byers, lhp, Nebraska
9. Jamie Rodrigue, lhp, Nebraska
10. Matt Hopper, 1b, Nebraska
11. Tim Gradoville, c, Creigthon
12. Chris Gradoville, c, Bryan HS, Omaha

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Jimmy deMontel. Scouts rushed to see deMontel after the Major
League Scouting Bureau slapped a high grade on him during a Bellevue road trip to Texas. They found a 6-foot-4, 250-pound righthander throwing 91-94 mph with life on his fastball. He also has a decent breaking ball, and projects as a two-pitch reliever in the pros. He'll need to work diligently to keep his Charlie Kerfeldesque body in shape, something he hasn't done in the past but improved at this year. At 22, deMontel is old for a college sophomore. He missed time when the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee required surgery, and he spent a redshirt freshman year at Vernon (Texas) JC in 2001. A sore elbow left deMontel unavailable for much of Bellevue's playoff run, but he was expected to be ready for the NAIA World Series.

THE DAKOTAS **
North Dakota, South Dakota
The Dakotas have less talent than usual, especially at the high school level. Outfielder Matt Mann slumped in defense of his NCAA Division II batting title and was passed by outfielder Kerry Jacobsen.

1. Kerry Jacobsen, of, South Dakota State
2. Matt Mann, of, North Dakota State
3. Chase Ohme, of, O'Gorman HS, Sioux Falls, S.D.
4. Jackson Coleman, of, North Dakota State
5. Jason King, rhp, North Dakota

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks
None.

MINNESOTA ***
There are no Joe Mauers or Jack Hannahans this time around for the North Star State. Beyond intriguing lefthander Brett Nyquist, the state may not have another player taken in the first 10 rounds, especially if Minnesota outfielder Jason Kennedy signs as a fifth-year free agent before the draft.

1. Brett Nyquist, lhp, College of St. Scholastica
2. Jason Kennedy, of, Minnesota
3. Luke Appert, 2b, Minnesota
4. Jason Cierlik, lhp, Minnesota State-Mankato
5. Matt Fornasiere, ss, Maple Grove HS
6. John Stocco, rhp, Holy Angels HS, Richfield
7. Aaron Heitzman, lhp, Minnesota State-Mankato
8. Scott Welch, ss, Minnesota

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Brett Nyquist.
A 6-foot-8, 210-pound lefthander, Nyquist threw in the 70s as a high schooler. Since coming to St. Scholastica, his velocity has jumped and he has become a legitimate prospect. How much depends on whom you ask. The NAIA school's radar gun has clocked him in the low 90s, but a scout who saw Nyquist at least five times says the school's gun isn't right. The scout never saw Nyquist top 89 mph, and he usually worked at 85-87 after a couple of innings. He's not athletic, so he doesn't repeat his delivery or command his pitches consistently. His changeup may be his best pitch and he has the makings of a decent curveball. Nyquist would be better off paring down his repertoire by scrapping his slider and split-finger. He dropped his arm slot too low this spring, affecting his velocity, the sharpness of his curve and his control. In his defense, Nyquist has had few chances to show his stuff in good weather or against quality competition.

WISCONSIN **
Wisconsin's best high school prospect is a junior, righthander Cal Stanke. Its top college player may be Brooks Bollinger, better known as a quarterback at Wisconsin–which doesn't field a baseball team. There won't be any early picks from the state this year.

1. Jason Berken, rhp/of, West DePere HS
2. Brooks Bollinger, 3b, Wisconsin (Control: Dodgers)
3. Rob Erickson, rhp, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
4. Jordan Tim, lhp, Wisconsin-Oshkosh
5. Dave Schultz, 1b, Westby HS, Chasebrook
6. Ken Pokryfke, lhp/1b, Wilmot HS, Twin Lakes
7. John VandeBerg, c, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
8. Mike Rohde, ss, Brookfield Central HS

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks
None.

IOWA ****
Iowa has never had a high school player drafted in the first round, though the state's high schools have never been more productive than in the last two years. The drought would have ended last year had shortstop/righthander Matt Macri not been intent on attending Notre Dame. The Hawkeye State gets another chance this year with lefthanded slugger Jeff Clement, whose chances are boosted by the overall lack of catchers.

1. Jeff Clement, c, Marshalltown HS
2. Zach Hammes, rhp, Iowa City HS
3. James Peterson, 1b, Winterset HS
4. Reed Pawelk, rhp, Iowa
5. Nathan Panther, of/lhp, Muscatine CC
6. Alex Dvorsky, c, Northern Iowa
7. Josh Merino, rhp, Kirkwood CC (Control: Rockies)
8. Ian Mattiace, 3b, Iowa
9. Derek Schermerhorn, ss/rhp, Newton HS
10. Travis Welsch, ss, Northern Iowa
11. Eric Wordekemper, rhp, St. Mary's HS, Storm Lake
12. Ivan Maldonado, rhp, Indian Hills CC

Projected First-Round Picks

Jeff Clement, c
Clement is on the verge of making history. He can break Drew Henson's national career high school record for homers if he plays Iowa's summer season, and he could become the state's first high school player ever to go in the first round. He didn't help himself with a poor showing at the Perfect Game predraft showcase in mid-May. He excelled the previous week in front of several scouts, so he probably didn't do too much damage to his chances. He has a quick bat that gives him plus-plus power from the left side of the plate. He has a solid approach, though his pop has been inconsistent as he has hit with wood bats this spring. An adequate catcher with decent arm strength, Clement will have to work to stay behind the plate. Plans B and C would be third base and first base, and he has the power required for either position.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Zach Hammes, rhp
While Clements took a step back at the Perfect Game showcase, Hammes was the best pitcher at the event. He showed a lively 90-92 fastball that he delivered again and again with little effort. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, he projects to throw in the mid-90s. His curveball and changeup need work but show promise. He hasn't pitched for his high school team but has stood out in Perfect Game wood-bat leagues and spring showcases. He reminds scouts of Jeff Juden and that's meant as a compliment–Juden was the 12th pick in the 1989 draft before embarking on a mediocre big league career.

ILLINOIS ***
High school talent was on the rise this year in Illinois, as national college powers Arizona State (Bo Flowers), Miami (Cesar Carrillo), Tulane (Chris Sepanski, Brian Bogusevic) and Wichita State (Dan Jackson) came in search of recruits. The colleges did their share, too, with Curtis Granderson ranking second in NCAA Division I in hitting at the end of the regular season and Aaron Coonrod emerging as one of the best juco prospects in the nation.

1. Curtis Granderson, of, Illinois-Chicago
2. Aaron Coonrod, rhp, John A. Logan JC
3. Bo Flowers, of, Walter Lutheran HS, Maywood
4. Cesar Carrillo, rhp, Mount Carmel HS, Chicago
5. Billy Petrick, rhp, Morris HS
6. Patrick Arlis, c, Illinois
7. Glen Kamis, rhp, Elgin CC
8. Steve Schilsky, rhp, Illinois Wesleyan College
9. Jon Nourie, lhp, South Suburban JC
10. Chris Sepanski, c, Geneva HS
11. Brian Bogusevic, of/lhp, de la Salle HS, Oak Lawn
12. Jake Toohey, lhp, Loyola Academy, Chicago
13. Jason McMillan, lhp, Elgin CC (Control: Yankees)
14. Scott Olson, lhp, Crystal Lake South HS
15. Ja'mar Clanton, ss, Triton JC (Control: Expos)
16. Dan Jackson, 1b, Edwardsville HS
17. Brock Keffer, rhp, Illinois Valley CC (Control: Angels)
18. Jake Alley, rhp, Southern Illinois
19. Wes Gilliam, lhp, Illinois-Chicago
20. Mark Ori, of/rhp, Maine South HS, Niles
21. Kevin Belcher, of, Lake Forest HS
22. Ed Spychalski, rhp, Driscoll Catholic HS, Carol Stream
23. Andy Dickinson, lhp, Illinois
24. Ryan Bos, lhp, Northwestern
25. Zach Schara, rhp, Northwestern

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Curtis Granderson, of
Granderson contended for the NCAA Division I batting title all season long, leading Illinois-Chicago to a school record for victories and its first-ever conference title. He doesn't have a major weakness or strength. His bat is his best tool, but it projects as more solid than spectacular, and he's a good all-around athlete with an above-average arm and average speed. Some scouts don't like his power potential, while others do. He has closed holes in his swing and quickened his bat this spring. He'll likely be selected in the third or fourth round.

Aaron Coonrod, rhp
Unlike most of the nation's better junior college prospects, Coonrod isn't under control of a major league team because he sat out the 2001 season and wasn't drafted. He has improved and matured since returning, maintaining a 92-93 mph fastball that has reached 95 and developing a plus changeup. He also has a low-80s slider and a solid 6-foot-4 pitcher's frame. The consensus has Coonrod going between the third to fifth round, but he could be attractive to the Cubs as a cost-cutting sandwich pick.

Bo Flowers, of
Flowers probably will be drafted behind Granderson and Coonrod, but he has a higher ceiling. He's an athletic 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, though none of his tools plays much above average. Some scouts see him as a plus runner, and he offers bat speed and raw power potential. He tends to swing and miss a lot, and he's going to need development time because he hasn't faced quality competition. Flowers performed better at the Area Code Games than he has in high school. The bad weather in Illinois for much of the spring made it difficult to get good looks at him, further clouding his potential.

Cesar Carrillo, rhp
More than one scout has compared Carrillo to Pedro Martinez. Carrillo isn't that good, but he is a diminutive, skinny Hispanic with a loose, fast arm. His 6-foot, 160-pound frame may not wow scouts, but his stuff does. He throws a 90-92 mph fastball and a tight curveball, and he's not afraid to work inside. The question is whether he's physically ready for the rigors of pro ball, a concern heightened when he came down with biceps tendinitis. If he isn't drafted high enough, he'll head to Miami.

Billy Petrick, rhp
One of the best long snappers in the nation, Petrick has signed to play football with Washington State. He's an enticing baseball prospect because he's 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds and has thrown 88-91 mph all spring in bad weather. He needs polish but won't be a long-term project. He has the makings of a solid curveball, though he tips it off because he slows down his arm speed when he throws it. Petrick also has a feel for a changeup and is all the more projectable because he's just 17. The Cubs have monitored his progress closely.

MISSOURI **
After having sandwich picks (Bob Keppel, John Rheinecker) in each of the past two years, Missouri should have an early first-rounder in John Mayberry Jr. The talent drops off after that, with precious little in position players after Mayberry and Randy Braun, and only righthander Brad Ziegler expected to go in the first 10 rounds.

1. John Mayberry Jr., 1b/of, Rockhurst HS, Kansas City
2. Randy Braun, of, Belton HS
3. Brad Ziegler, rhp, Southwest Missouri State
4. Ronald Ray, rhp, Pacific HS
5. Corey Lawson, rhp/1b, Saint Louis
6. Matt Palmer, rhp, Southwest Missouri State (Control: Rockies)
7. Kodiak Quick, ss/rhp, Belton HS
8. Mike Phelps, rhp, Hazelwood West HS, Hazelwood
9. Drew Endicott, rhp, Missouri
10. Mike Mitchell, rhp, St. Charles CC
11. Jody Roughton, ss, Missouri
12. Dante Brinckley, of, Southwest Missouri State
13. Brandon Smith, rhp, Southeast Missouri State

Projected First-Round Picks

John Mayberry Jr., 1b-of
Unlike his father John Sr., a thick Royals all-star in the 1970s, Mayberry is a finely tuned 6-foot-4, 195-pound athlete. He'll move to the outfield on a permanent basis once he turns pro, and he has the range and arm to be an asset out there. Mayberry's build is reminiscent of Jermaine Dye's. As great as Mayberry looks in uniform, some scouts wish he had produced more this spring. He has strength and a solid approach, yet he didn't feast on the subpar pitching he faced. There's some doubt about his bat speed. As one scouting director put it, "He could be Dave Winfield, or he could be Jimmy Hurst," alluding to the athletic outfield prospect who couldn't make it with the White Sox. Mayberry's mother wants him to attend Stanford, but teams believe he's signable as long as a Stanford scholarship is part of the package.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Randy Braun, of
Braun is another athletic outfielder who scouts wish would show a little more with his swing. It looks pretty, but it's too grooved and he doesn't adapt as well to live pitching. He's a potential Paul O'Neill because of his 6-foot-4, 180-pound build, his line-drive power and keen instincts on the basepaths. His arm is more average than O'Neill's was, and Braun will move from center field to right at the next level because he's not that fast.

ARKANSAS **
Daniel Haigwood had his four-year winning streak snapped in his final high school start, but he can take solace in being the state's only lock to go in the first five rounds. If Zach Davis hadn't popped up this spring, it would have been a bleak year for position players.

1. Daniel Haigwood, lhp, Midland HS, Batesville
2. Charlie Isaacson, rhp, Arkansas
3. Zach Davis, of, J.A. Fair HS, Little Rock
4. Adam Harben, rhp, Westark CC (Control: Tigers)
5. John Findley, rhp, Nettleton HS, Jonesboro
6. John Sullivan, c/3b, Central HS, Little Rock
7. Omar Blunt, lhp, Pine Bluff HS
8. Gary Hogan Jr., rhp, Arkansas
9. Ryan Fox, of, Arkansas
10. Taylor Fowler, lhp, West Memphis HS, Marion
11. Chris Turner, c, El Dorado HS
12. Kyler Pomeroy, rhp, Arkansas
13. Michael Connor, of, Arkansas
14. Ryan Talbert, rhp/1b, Cabot HS, Ward
15. Jay Sawatski, lhp, Westark CC (Control: Mets)

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Daniel Haigwood. Haigwood won the first 43 decisions of his high
school career and hadn't allowed an earned run all year until losing 5-3 in the state 2-A semifinals. He's a lefthander with a sound body (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and a good feel for pitching. He throws three pitches for strikes: an upper-80s fastball that peaks at 92 mph, a tight curveball and a changeup. His curve was the best breaking ball at the Perfect Game predraft showcase in mid-May, and his attendance at that event means he may be more signable than previously thought.

LOUISIANA ***
Louisiana has its usual solid array of talent, but scouts can't wait until 2003. Southern second baseman Rickie Weeks and Tulane outfielder/lefthander Michael Aubrey project as the top two college prospects in the nation. Louisiana State shortstop Aaron Hill also should be a first-rounder, as should high school righthander/outfielder Xavier Paul and righthander Cain Byrd.

1. Micah Schilling, ss, Silliman Institute, Clinton
2. Nick Bourgeois, lhp, Tulane
3. O.J. King, rhp, Northwestern State
4. Lee Gwaltney, rhp, Louisiana Tech
5. Sean Barker, of, Louisiana State
6. Nick Tisone, rhp/ss, Mandeville HS, Covington
7. Freddie Lewis, of, Southern
8. James Jurries, 3b, Tulane
9. Matt Liuzza, c, Archbishop Rummel HS, Kenner
10. Dewan Day, rhp, Southern
11. Greg Smith, lhp, Alexandria HS
12. Will Harris, rhp, Slidell HS
13. Corey Keener, lhp/of, Minden HS
14. Bo Pettit, rhp, Louisiana State
15. Carl Makowsky, rhp, Northwestern State
16. Adam LaVerne, lhp, Westgate HS, New Iberia
17. Jarrod Farrell, rhp, Hahnville HS, Boutte
18. Danny Davis, lhp, Slidell HS
19. Chase Lambin, ss, Louisiana-Lafayette
20. Carl Primus, rhp, Southern
21. Tyler Kimmons, rhp, Mandeville HS
22. Derek Brewster, rhp, Louisiana Tech
23. Gary Adair, lhp, Northwestern State
24. Stoney Stone, rhp, Ruston HS
25. Adam Arrant, lhp, Cedar Creek HS, Monroe
26. Wade Robinson, ss, Louisiana Tech
27. Billy Brian, rhp, Louisiana State
28. Derek Patterson, lhp/of, Evangel Christian HS, Keithville
29. Tom Lipari, lhp, New Orleans
30. Jared Gothreaux, rhp, McNeese State

Projected First-Round Picks
None.

Projected Second- to Fifth-Round Picks

Micah Schilling, 2b
Schilling has dropped a bit this spring as clubs have focused on his shortcomings. He won't play shortstop as a pro because he doesn't have the arm, feet, range or actions. What he does have is one of the smoothest swings in the draft, maybe the best the state has seen since Will Clark was playing his high school ball in New Orleans. A Louisiana State recruit, Schilling reminds area scouts of former Tigers second basemen Todd Walker and Mike Fontenot, and is considered a better hitter than those two first-round picks were at the same stage. He doesn't get out of the batter's box quickly but is a decent runner once he gets going. Schilling will be an offensive player at either second base or left field. He still could go late in the first round, with the Athletics, Braves and Indians showing the most interest.

Nick Bourgeois, lhp
When Bourgeois outdueled Rutgers' Bobby Brownlie in March, he showed that he was back. A hot prospect at Barbe High in Lake Charles, La., in 1999, he didn't get drafted when his velocity plummeted at the end of his senior season. He had shoulder surgery in the summer of 2000 and wasn't healthy until this spring. He's throwing in the 90s with a plus changeup and average curveball. He often throws 86-87 mph in the early innings, then picks up velocity and maintains it for the remainder of the game. Part of the second tier of college pitchers, Bourgeois could sneak into the sandwich round to a team seeking a southpaw.

O.J. King, rhp
The Southland Conference pitcher of the year, King is one of the better senior signs available. Before back spasms slowed him down in May, he showed a 90-93 mph fastball and an 80-82 mph slider. He also made progress with his changeup and throws all three pitches for strikes. Add a strong 6-foot-3, 210-pound build and a fierce competitive nature, and King has a complete package. After spending two years at Connors State (Okla.) JC, he has improved throughout his time with the Demons.

Lee Gwaltney, rhp
Gwaltney's path mirrors King's. He pitched for two years at a national junior college power (McLennan, Texas, CC) and is an attractive senior sign. He wasn't successful in his first taste of NCAA Division I, posting a 6.27 ERA, but made major improvements in 2002 despite his 3-11 record. His best pitch is a plus-plus splitter that may be the best in the college ranks, and he owns a 90-94 mph fastball and a tough slider. His 6-foot-6, 210-pound frame allows him to deliver his pitches on a harsh downward plane. Why Gwaltney hasn't been able to win more often is a mystery. He throws as many as six pitches, and focusing on his three best would seem to be a start. His conditioning was a weakness in the past, but less so this year.

Sean Barker, of
Barker turned down $150,000 as 46th-round pick of the Blue Jays last year and is in line for a bigger bonus in 2002. He's a potential five-tool player with a pro body (6-foot-3, 225 pounds). He ran a 6.45-second 60-yard dash on a track, and he has arm strength to go with this speed, making him a tremendous right fielder. The Bakersfield (Calif.) JC product has hit for average but has shown much more power in batting practice than in games. If he can produce offensively, he'll play in the major leagues.

Nick Tisone, rhp
The top two-way player in the state, Tisone signed with McNeese State rather than LSU or Tulane so he could continue to see time at pitcher and shortstop. He played shortstop at the outset of his high school career, and there's little question he could be a productive college hitter. If he signs, he'll give that up and stay on the mound. He just started pitching a year ago, and his fastball has jumped from 87-88 mph to 89-91, with nice sink to boot. Tisone's slider is a plus pitch, his changeup is above-average and his curveball is a tick below-average. He's not huge at 6 feet and 180 pounds, but his stuff isn't short.

Freddie Lewis, of
Southern had a sandwich pick last year in Michael Woods and should have an early first-rounder next year with Rickie Weeks. Bridging the gap is Lewis, who spent two years playing football and baseball at Mississippi Gulf Coast JC. Like Woods and Weeks, Lewis is athletic. He can run the 60 in 6.4 seconds and is getting stronger. He flashes above-average power at times and should have more consistent pop in the future. The Marlins have been watching Lewis and could pop him as early as the fourth round.

James Jurries, 3b-of
Jurries beat out Mark Teixeira for Baseball America's Freshman of the Year award in 1999. Though Teixeira has eclipsed him and then some, Jurries has had a solid career in spite of injuries. He's Conference USA's 2002 player of the year, and he earned all-league recognition in each of his four seasons. He's a pure hitter with good power. He isn't blessed with a lot of speed but shows good instincts on the bases. The big question is where to play Jurries. His feet and arm may relegate him to first base or left field.

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