(Delaware, West Virginia, Washington, D.C.)
Like neighboring Pennsylvania, this area has one premium player and no one else really even close. Suburban Baltimore righthander Gavin Floyd has been the center of attention since last summer, and he could be the first high school player drafted overall. Maryland can also lay claim to Georgia Tech's Mark Teixeira. He's a product of the same high school as Floyd and grew up in the same neighborhood.
Projected First-Round Picks
Gavin Floyd. Floyd has been a known commodity nationally for most of his high school career, and scouts have compare him to a young Kerry Wood. He has No. 1 starter stuff and command of three pitches. His fastball sits at 91-94 mph and has touched 97 this spring. His power curve is the equal of almost any pitcher in the amateur ranks. His arm action is clean and effective. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, his body is long and lanky--ideal for a pitcher. If anything, he has gotten stronger this year in the lower half of his body. The intangibles are all there as well. Floyd has excellent makeup and is focused in his approach to pitching. High school arms are normally the riskiest commodity in the draft, but scouts say Floyd is as safe as a high school pitcher can be.P>Projected Second-Fifth Round
Others to Watch:
Six-foot-2, 215-pound RHP Jason Baker has earned enough interest to be a legitimate first-day draft pick. He has two solid pitches: an 89-92 mph fastball and a quality slider . . . RHP Bryan Simmering has similar stuff--an 87-91 fastball with run and a true slider--but scouts say he's smaller than his listed 6-foot, 175-pound frame, probably putting him behind Baker . . . No high school hitter in the country has put up numbers the last two years to match 5-foot-10, 210-pound 1B Mike Sweeney, who hit .596-18-88 in 2000 and .478-15-57 this spring. He also had a 42-game hitting streak that bridged the two seasons. He doesn't have another tool that grades out as even average. He doesn't run well and is marginal at first base, his only position . . . C Brent Weiss has surfaced as the No. 2 high school player in Maryland after Floyd. He's committed to Notre Dame and had surgery on both shoulders as a junior, but has above-average speed and power potential . . . It's a lean year for West Virginia at every level. Shane Rhodes should be the first of four or five West Virginia University draft picks. He's a soft-tossing lefthander who knows how to pitch . . . John Schneider projects as the best college pick in Delaware and one of the top catchers in the area. He's a sound defender with a questionable bat . . . RHP Mark Comolli has arm strength (91-92 mph) but not the size to be a high pick.
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