2007 Top 200 Draft Prospects: 41-60


2007 DraftThis is Baseball America's comprehensive review of the top prospects for this year's draft, based on discussions with high school and college coaches and professional scouts and executives. Our list is based on the overall professional potential of the players, not necessarily on where we expect them to get drafted. Capsules were written by Jim Callis, Aaron Fitt, John Manuel and Alan Matthews.


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41. Nick Noonan, 2b
School: Parker HS, San Diego. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 5/4/89.
Scouting Report: If Noonan makes it across the country to play at Clemson, scouts will be surprised. He offers one of the most polished bats in the draft and had emerged as San Diego's top prep prospect, evoking comparisons to Phillies star Chase Utley. While he's not likely to hit for as much power as the former UCLA star, Noonan resembles Utley as an above-average lefthanded bat who profiles best at second base. Noonan has plenty of baseball savvy, first and foremost at the plate. He stays balanced, trusts his hands and makes consistent hard contact. Overmatched earlier in his career with wood, Noonan has made adjustments in his swing and shows excellent aptitude. While he's just an average runner, he's a good baserunner and basestealer, and he's a solid defender thanks to good hands and sound footwork. While he doesn't have flashy tools, he's one of the steadiest players in this draft class. A prep shortstop, his fringe-average arm and range profile better on the right side of the bag, and he has more than enough bat to make the move.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.567 90 49 51 19 14 9 9 33

42. Yasmani Grandal, c
School: Miami Springs (Fla.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: B-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 11/8/88.
Scouting Report: Grandal was born in Cuba and moved to Miami when he was 11, and he started catching when he was 13 at the encouragement of his stepfather. He emerged as the country's top prep catching prospect last summer when he played in the Aflac Classic and committed to Miami. He has since been surpassed by Devin Mesaraco for top high school catching honors, and his all-around game is solid but not exceptional. He has soft hands and receives fine, and he has an above-average arm that produces quick throws with carry and accuracy. His ability to make contact from both sides of the plate enhances his value, but his bat speed is fringe-average. He makes sharper contact and drives the ball much more consistently from the left side. Grandal has good makeup and instincts, and should be taken no later than the second round.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.447 76 26 34 0 0 13 48

43. Casey Crosby, lhp
School: Kaneland HS, Maple Park, Ill. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-L. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/17/88.
Scouting Report: Crosby is the obvious standout in a deep crop of Illinois high school pitching. That would have seemed unfathomable a year ago, when he was a 6-foot lefthander with a low-80s fastball and a torn meniscus from playing football. Then he started to grow and his fastball blossomed. Now Crosby is a 6-foot-5, 200-pounder with a low-90s heater that tops out at 93. He still has plenty of room to add strength to his frame, too. He impressed scouts last October by playing wide receiver on Friday night, taking the ACT test Saturday morning and then flying to Florida to light up radar guns at the World Wood Bat Championship. He finished the fall with 76 receptions for 1,150 yards and 19 touchdowns. Crosby still is more of a thrower than a pitcher, and his command and secondary pitches need refinement. He throws both a curveball and slider, and they show potential to be solid-average offerings. He may not be as polished as other top high school pitchers in this draft, but he's a hard-throwing lefthander with athleticism and competitive fire. That should get the Illinois recruit drafted in the sandwich round.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
4 1 0.30 9 2 47 18 25 65

44. Chris Withrow, rhp
School: Midland (Texas) Christian HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 4/1/89.
Scouting Report: Withrow first boosted his stock last summer at the Texas Scout Association showcase, and he has continued to rise up draft boards this spring. He has a projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound body and plenty of present velocity. He was reaching 93-94 mph as the draft approached and consistently pitching at 88-92 mph. He has a clean delivery, no surprise for someone whose father Mike pitched at Texas and reached Double-A in the White Sox system. Mike is also his pitching coach at Midland Christian High. Withrow doesn't always finish his curveball, but it's a promising pitch with bite and has improved this spring. He should get drafted high enough to pass up the opportunity to attend Baylor, but if he does go to college he'll be a two-way player. He has some hitting ability and the athleticism to play an outfield corner.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
8 1 1.32 13 3 58 40 8 90

45. Nevin Griffith, rhp
School: Middleton HS, Tampa. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 3/23/89.
Scouting Report: The quintessential projectable high school pitcher, Griffith showed all the ingredients of a premium prospect as an underclassman and put it all together this spring. He solidified his status as a high-round pick by dominating in two showdowns with crosstown rival Michael Burgess and Hillsborough High, the first of which was the buzz of amateur baseball for weeks. Griffith is long, lean and athletic with a whippy arm action. He has improved his balance over the rubber and better incorporated his lower half in his delivery, and his velocity spiked, touching 96 mph and humming along at 90-92 with sink on most nights. His 80-84 mph slider is a plus pitch at times, and he throws a more traditional curveball as well. He has feel for a changeup that he can keep down in the zone. Outside of inconsistency and fatigue, there isn't much to knock on Griffith, who profiles as a middle-of-the-rotation starter and should be drafted in the supplemental round.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
7 2 0.92 11 1 68 36 18 119

46. Ryan Dent, ss/2b
School: Wilson HS, Long Beach. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 3/15/89.
Scouting Report: With a strong but short body in the Rafael Furcal mold, Dent emerged on last year's showcase circuit as one of Southern California's top hitting prospects, helping the Reds scout team to the World Wood Bat Association championship in the fall. Teams that believe in Dent's hitting may be willing to spend a first-round pick on one of the draft's better runners (he gets from home to first in under 4.1 seconds from the right side) and athletes. He lashes line drives from gap to gap with a short, quick stroke and has sound hitting mechanics. His speed is in play from his first step out of the batter's box; he aggressively stretches singles into doubles. His aggressiveness works against him in his impatience at the plate. Dent doesn't have an obvious defensive home, and most scouts aren't sold on him at shortstop, as his actions, arm and range are just average. He's athletic enough to handle either second base or center field and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, especially if he can learn to take a walk as a pro.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.476 82 39 39 6 6 0 27 27

47. James Simmons, rhp
School: UC Riverside. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/29/86.
Scouting Report: Simmons was a high school teammate of San Diego's Josh Romanski, a sophomore lefty and the Toreros' No. 2 starter. Simmons has been UC Riverside's ace since his freshman season in 2005, when he won at Oregon State but was academically ineligible at midseason. He followed a good sophomore season by dominating the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 1.18 ERA. Simmons has worn the label of ace even more comfortably as a junior, winning a much-hyped duel with Cal State Fullerton rival Wes Roemer in late April, when he pumped up his fastball to 93 mph. Usually, Simmons sits at 89-90 mph, but he commands the fastball better than anyone else in college baseball in 2007. Scouts give him 60 or even 70 grades (on the 20-80 scale) for his command. He pitches off the fastball, both a sinking two-seamer and firmer four-seamer, and works all quadrants of the strike zone. Some scouts don't like his secondary pitches as anything but fringe-average, but his slider and particularly his changeup find some takers. His slow curveball needs significant improvement. His toughness and above-average makeup endear him to all scouts. Simmons will go as high in the draft--and as far as a pro--as his fastball command takes him.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
9 2 2.11 14 0 102 80 12 102

48. Justin Jackson, ss
School: Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 12/11/88.
Scouting Report: Cameron Maybin was the most recent former Asheville Tourists batboy to make a splash in the draft, and the scrawny kid that was tagging along back then has developed into a fine prospect himself. Jackson was the starting shortstop for USA Baseball's junior national team last fall, but after he spent most of last summer near the top of follow lists, his bat speed has come into question this spring. He was hitting best as the season was ending, and homered on his final high school swing in a playoff loss. He's a long-armed, wiry athlete with lots of holes in his swing, but shows a good feel for hitting as well as strike-zone discipline. If Jackson gets stronger and fills out, he could hit for above-average power, but that's a projection not every scout will make. He's a strong defender with above-average arm strength. His flash in the infield turns some scouts off, but he fields the ball out front and has outstanding actions up the middle. He's not a great runner, but shows average speed under way. Jackson could sneak into the first round, but could slide to the second as well.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.520 98 53 51 12 5 12 39 21

49. Travis d'Arnaud, c
School: Lakewood (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 2/10/89.
Scouting Report: In several ways, d'Arnaud resembles his older brother Chase, a two-year starter at third base for Pepperdine, and Travis has also committed to play for the Waves. Chances are he won't get to school, though, because he's a more athletic version of his brother with premium catch-and-throw skills behind the plate and a more advanced bat. While he's still a streak hitter, d'Arnaud has showed an improved ability to stay inside the ball and drive it to all fields. It's a quick, line-drive swing for the most part, but he has shown some loft power, with seven home runs, and he ranked among state leaders in RBIs. Defensively, he grades as above-average as both a receiver and thrower, with a plus arm, soft hands and quick feet. While he's athletic enough to play an infield spot, he's too good behind the plate--consistently getting his throws to second base in 1.9 seconds--to move.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.433 104 42 45 11 4 7 52 8

50. Kyle Blair, rhp
School: Los Gatos (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/27/88.
Scouting Report: Blair was one of California's top high school pitchers last year, leading Los Gatos High to a sectional championship and throwing a perfect game along the way. He has been the state's top prep pitching prospect this season even though his team struggled, and he was getting better as the year progressed. Blair's best pitch is a curveball that gets solid 60 grades from scouts on the 20-80 scale thanks to its depth, mid-70s velocity and tight spin. Blair has solid control of the pitch and of his lively fastball, which was sitting 89-91 mph early in the year but had increased as the draft approached, touching 94-95 and sitting in the low 90s. Blair's athletic, strong build--which helped make him an all-conference water-polo player--makes him a candidate to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, provided his changeup continues to come along and he continues to progress with his command. His makeup is universally lauded. He's committed to San Diego.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
8 2 0.38 12 2 74 30 11 124

51. Nathan Vineyard, lhp
School: Woodland HS, Cartersville, Ga. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 10/3/88.
Scouting Report: Like fellow Georgia high school lefty Josh Smoker, Vineyard has been on the map as a prospect for several years. His performance has been far less consistent than Smoker's, but he re-established himself as a potential high-round pick last fall when he dealt in front of more than 100 scouts in the featured game of a World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla. His delivery is loose and easy and the ball jumps out of his hand. His fastball comes in at 88-91 mph, but because he leans heavily on his plus slider, there's reason to believe he will add velocity once he learns to pitch off his fastball. His slider has late break with good depth and tilt. He'll throw it in any count and can spot it down in the zone or bury it as a chase pitch. Vineyard profiles as a No. 4 starter or set-up man in the big leagues and could be drafted as high as the supplemental round.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
8 2 0.84 10 0 59 29 12 105

52. Matt Mangini, 3b
School: Oklahoma State. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 222. Birthdate: 12/21/85.
Scouting Report: Mangini won the Cape Cod League batting title with a .310 average last summer, then transferred from North Carolina State to Oklahoma State. He entered the year projected as a first-round pick--and he still may realize those expectations because college position players are in short supply and will be overdrafted--but his stock has slipped. He had changed his approach to simply trying to make contact. He was spread out at the plate, costing him leverage, and ranked just fourth on the Cowboys in both batting (.342) and homers (nine) through 50 games. He always has used a line-drive approach more than a loft stroke, but he drove the ball better in the past. Despite being 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, he may have no more than average power. Mangini is adequate at third base and on the bases, so his bat will have to carry him. He has enough arm for the hot corner, but he has been vulnerable to bunts and inconsistent in the field, so he may have to find a new position down the line.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.342 190 53 65 13 2 9 45 5

53. Mitch Canham, c
School: Oregon State. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 212. Birthdate: 9/25/84.
Scouting Report: Most scouts probably prefer Canham's baseball talent to his hip-hop credentials, but he may be the most accomplished rapper in draft history. His "O-State Ballaz" (born at a 2005 charity event) set the stage for Oregon State's national championship run in 2006, and he penned "Still Ballin' " for 2007. Draft-eligible as a sophomore last year, Canham hit .299 with seven homers and fell to Cardinals in the 41st round. His bat has been his best tool throughout his career, and he made marked improvement this spring, building off an outstanding summer (.300, four homers) in the Cape Cod League. Canham's athleticism helps him repeat his short lefthanded stroke, he has solid-average power and he runs above-average for a catcher. Defense remains his nemesis. He improved his throwing and has handled excellent pitching staffs in three seasons with the Beavers, but scouts still grade his catch-and-throw skills as below-average. His makeup and leadership profile well behind the plate, however. He overcame adversity that might have sidelined other players, as his mother died of a drug overdose on Canham's first day of class as a freshman.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.352 162 45 57 13 1 8 51 2

54. Kentrail Davis, of
School: Theodore (Ala.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 6/29/88.
Scouting Report: When Davis was growing up, he spent his summers helping his father haul concrete and cinder blocks for his job, which developed his upper body considerably. He's built like Kirby Puckett, with a barrel chest, Popeye forearms and wide, thick hips. He was rear-ended in a traffic accident before the season, which cost him the first month with neck and back aches. At his best Davis is a sparkplug player with speed, hustle and a live bat with pop. He performed much better last summer than he has this spring. His swing is less fluid and he hasn't driven the ball as well, but he has above-average bat speed and plus raw power. He has feel for the strike zone and hits the top half of the ball well. He'll likely move to a corner outfield spot as a pro. He has a fringe-average arm. Davis is represented by Scott Boras and could plummet down draft boards if he isn't taken in the top 50 picks. He's committed to Tennessee.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.410 78 38 32 3 6 6 22 29

55. Jake Arrieta, rhp
School: Texas Christian. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 3/6/86.
Scouting Report: After a sensational 2006, Arrieta has cooled off this spring. He tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 14 wins at Texas Christian after transferring from Weatherford (Texas) Junior College, and encored by going 4-0, 0.27 with Team USA last summer. But instead of dominating the weak Mountain West Conference this spring, he has been inconsistent. He showed a 91-94 mph fastball with life and a hard slider a year ago, but this spring he has lost velocity and life. His fastball has been 88-91 mph and straight, and though he's 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, his drop-and-drive delivery means his heater comes in on a flat plane. Arrieta has struggled to repeat his mechanics, which has led to command difficulties. He hasn't used his changeup much, though it should become a decent third pitch. If Arrieta can turn himself around, he could be a steal in the supplemental first round after projecting at one point as a possible top-10 pick. But he's also represented by Scott Boras, and if he's looking for more than slot money, he could slide.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
8 3 3.46 14 0 83 82 41 81

56. Cole St.Clair, lhp
School: Rice. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 7/30/86.
Scouting Report: Like Joe Savery, St. Clair is a Rice lefthander who has been tough to get a handle on because he has been less than 100 percent physically. He impressed scouts last summer with Team USA, going 4-0, 0.69 with three saves while displaying a 91-94 mph fastball and a plus curveball. His size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is another plus. But he strained his shoulder lifting weights shortly before this season began and missed the first two months. St. Clair's stuff has looked good when he has taken the mound, as he has worked at 90-92 mph and flashed a good curve. Yet he had pitched just 11 innings in five weeks and he's a reliever, so scouts had trouble catching him in action. When healthy, St. Clair has been more dominant than Savery. Several clubs believe he has enough stuff to start in pro ball, a transition he wants to make. St.Clair was a potential top 10 pick coming into 2007, and he could vault back into the first round if he shows teams he's healthy. If that happens, he'd be the second member of Foothill High's (Santa Ana, Calif.) 2004 pitching staff to go in the first round, joining Phil Hughes of the Yankees. If he drops too far, signing him away from his senior season at Rice could become an issue.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
0 0 2.38 8 0 11 8 2 14

57. J.P. Arencibia, c/1b
School: Tennessee. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 1/5/86.
Scouting Report: Shortly after Julio Borbon broke his ankle in the preseason, Tennessee's next best hitter, Arencibia, pulled a muscle in his back and was forced out of the lineup until mid-March. He ranked with Borbon among USA Baseball's college national team's top prospects last summer after leading the team with nine home runs in 121 at-bats. Power has long been his calling card. The Miami native tied Alex Rodriguez' Westminster Christian High career record for home runs with 17 and was drafted by the Mariners in the 17th round in 2004. A potential first-rounder entering the season, Arencibia struggled offensively and behind the plate upon returning to the lineup. He's an aggressive hitter with plus power to all fields. His swing gets long and he tends to have too much of an uppercut stroke. The verdict is out on whether he'll stay behind the plate as a pro. His receiving skills are rudimentary at best, and his footwork prevents him from getting off better throws despite solid-average to plus arm strength. His stock has slipped, but he won't make it out of the second round.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.309 162 38 50 13 1 6 35 1

58. Joshua Fields, rhp
School: Georgia. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 8/19/85.
Scouting Report: Fields was pegged as a potentially fast-moving, low-risk college reliever after his remarkable 2006 summer in the Cape Cod League. He led the league with 13 saves and ranked as the league's No. 4 prospect. He maintained his 93-96 mph velocity this spring as a junior, but his command has been erratic and the plus-plus breaking ball he showed last summer has deserted him. He has a tendency to overthrow, and he's upright in his delivery, flies open, doesn't stay back over the rubber and has lots of effort. While his slider had hard, three-quarter tilt at 83-85 mph in the past, its shape and spin have been inconsistent, and the pitch has been mostly 79-81 mph. It's also hard to project much in his smallish frame. He's hard-nosed and determined, but he struggled most of the spring and slipped out of contention for a spot in the first round. Based on his past performance, Fields will likely still get a look in the supplemental round.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
1 6 4.75 24 6 36 32 23 43

59. Zack Cozart, ss
School: Mississippi. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 8/12/85.
Scouting Report: In this year's draft class, Cozart is a commodity as a college position player with passable skills in the field and at the plate. One scout described him as a "manager's dream" for his hustle and steadiness. He swung the bat best down the stretch this year and may have played his way into the supplemental round. A player in the mold of Adam Everett, his glove is ahead of his bat and he's an above-average defender with solid-average range, supple hands and enough arm to make the play in the hole. He is a solid-average runner. Cozart is a dead-pull hitter with solid-average bat speed and gap power. He cheats on fastballs on the inner half and can be susceptible to balls on the outer half of the plate. How well he handles the wood bat will determine his ultimate value, but he's a backup big league shortstop at worst.

AVG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
.318 211 41 67 14 1 5 41 14

60. Nick Hagadone, lhp
School: Washington. Class: Jr.
B-T: . Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 230. Birthdate: 1/1/86.
Scouting Report: Hagadone was a big-bodied lefthander with a low- to mid-80s fastball and solid breaking ball his first two seasons at Washington, and he entered the 2007 season as the Huskies' Friday starter despite having made just five career starts. He has dramatically increased his arm strength and velocity, as his physical ability and improved mechanics came together perfectly. Coach Ken Knudson moved Hagadone back to the bullpen after two starts, and his velocity jumped, as did his performance (1.88 ERA, 10 saves). Hagadone was throwing in the 90-93 mph range and had several outings when he hit 94-95 mph repeatedly. He also features a power slider that's at least an average pitch. While his delivery isn't textbook and his fastball tends to flatten out, he's deceptive, keeps the ball down (one home run allowed) and has some feel for pitching. His changeup also has average potential, and Hagadone likely will be given a chance to start in pro ball.

W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
5 1 1.88 22 10 57 50 16 62

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