2009 High School Preseason All-America Team

Our first-team All-Americans




C   Bryce Harper   1B   Jeff Malm
Bryce Harper   Jeff Malm
Harper confirmed himself as a legend-in-the-making last summer. Each showcase he attends he attracts large crowds of scouts, fans and players as he displays exceptional tools. He just turned 16 in October, but already has well above average arm strength behind the plate, consistently keeping his pop times between 1.8 and 1.9 seconds. His plus raw power makes for great BP sessions and he has a knack for squaring up every pitch. At the International Power Showcase in January, Harper used a metal bat to blast a ball 502 feet over the big screen at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Speed is his lone average tool, making him the favorite to be drafted No. 1 overall in 2011.   Malm has started and hit in the middle of the lineup for Bishop Gorman for three years, and he's helped the Gaels win three state 4A championships. A career .487 hitter with 186 RBIs in 129 career games, Malm has one of the most potent bats in the high school ranks and proved that again last summer, leading Team USA with 11 RBIs as the 18-and-under squad won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships. He has good present strength and a short, quick swing producing plenty of power. The Southern California recruit also contributes on the mound, pushing 90 mph his fastball and sporting an 8-2 career record.
 
IF   Jiovanni Mier
  IF   Scooter Gennett
Jiovanni Mier   Scooter Gennett
Mier popped onto the national radar in the summer of 2007, playing scout team ball in Southern California. Scouts dreams on the projection on his rail-thin frame, and he has since filled out and assured evaluators that he can stay at shortstop with his outstanding hands and fielding actions. His arm is strong and accurate, allowing him to make just about any throw from shortstop. Though Mier's calling card is defense, his bat has improved vastly over the last few months, and his stronger offensive performance vaulted him to the top of the prep middle-infield class. He's also a USC signee.   Gennett has modest size at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, but his game is anything but modest. He's a strong hitter with quick wrists and strong hands, helping him generate impressive power for a prep player of any size. His bat ranks among the most advanced in a prep class long on athletes and short on polished hitters, and he jumped up draft boards with a strong performance in the 2008 East Coast Pro Showcase. A Florida State commit, he's a grinder with solid-average speed and a fringy arm, likely profiling him as a second baseman or perhaps a center fielder in pro ball.
 
3B   Bobby Borchering
  OF   Donovan Tate
Bobby Borchering   Donovan Tate
ot many know it, but Borchering made heads turn on a major league field when he robbed Albert Pujols of a home run at the 2005 derby. Now, Borchering has been blasting home runs himself. At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds with a thick, strong lower half, he produces plus power from both sides of the plate. He also shows a plus arm, essential for third basemen, but his below-average running grade and lateral quickness could force him to first base. If he can stay at third his value will increase, but it's the bat that has him projected to go in the first round.
  The top-rated prep position player on most draft boards entering the spring, Tate has an enviable combination of speed (6.4-second 60 times), power and impressive polish. He's the son of ex-NFL running back Lars Tate and has a dual commitment to North Carolina, but he's a better prospect on the diamond than on the gridiron. He's shown five-tool ability with a wiry-strong body, a sound righthanded swing and better baseball instincts than one might expect from a two-sport player. He should become an asset defensively in center field thanks to his speed and plus throwing arm.
 
OF   Brian Goodwin
  OF   LeVon Washington
Brian Goodwin   LeVon Washington
Goodwin's hometown of Rocky Mount produced jazz great Thelonious Monk and 1970s college basketball stars such as Phil Ford and Buck Williams, but Goodwin is angling to be its best baseball product. He hit .473 to lead Rocky Mount High to its first state baseball title in 28 years, despite being intentionally walked four times in the state title series. MVP of the Aflac All-American Game at Dodger Stadium, Goodwin is a lefthanded hitter with blazing speed—he was 21-for-21 stealing bases last season—and premium athletic ability. He's shown offensive potential and could explode with more polish at the plate. His other tools all grade as above-average, including his defense and throwing arm.
  Arguably the fastest player in the draft, Washington is an absolute terror on the basepaths. His 60-yard times are consistently around 6.3 seconds and he can get down the line in 3.95 seconds. In 2008 he led his team in steals with 35. He doesn't hit for much power, but with his speed and above-average hit tool, he won't need to. He uses the whole field and puts enormous pressure on the defense because of his speed. Washington is very athletic and has long legs, which allow him to cover so much ground in very little time. He is a natural athlete who's speed will let him excel at the next level.
 
UTIL   Mychal Givens
  LHP   Tyler Matzek
Mychal Givens   Tyler Matzek
This time last year scouts were still trying to decide whether they liked Aaron Hicks as a righthander or outfielder. Hicks was more polished, but Givens is under the same microscope at shortstop and on the mound. A raw but talented athlete, Givens is a plus defender with good range and a strong arm. He uses the whole field at the plate and has occasional power. On the mound he's been up to 96-97 mph with natural sink coming from his three-quarters arm slot. He also possesses a plus slider that comes in the high 70s to low 80s. However, his mechanics are very raw and he shows the ball early, so some adjustments are in order.
  Without Purke in the mix, Matzek would be head-and-shoulders above the prep pitching class. Matzek has four offerings that are all at least average. His fastball is 90-93, complemented by a mid-70s curveball, high-70s slider and low-80s changeup. His secondary stuff is the best in the prep class as a group, with his curveball meriting special mention. It's his best pitch as it has two-plane drop, good tilt and depth. His mechanics are clean with a compact delivery, producing exceptional command for his experience level. He throws quality strikes with any pitch in any count and has an excellent feel for pitching.
 
LHP   Matthew Purke
  RHP   Shelby Miller
Matthew Purke   Shelby Miller
The two best prep pitchers for 2009 are lefthanders and you can't really go wrong with either. Purke is a tall, slender lefty with a low three-quarters arm slot. He's very tough on lefthanded hitters, but can also cut off the plate and jam righties. His fastball sits in the low 90s with tailing action, but has touched 95. His slider is his second plus offering and has lateral sweep. In a one-inning appearance in the Aflac All-America Game, Purke used just seven pitches to punch out two hitters and needed only nine total to get out of the inning.   Texas' tradition of prep fireballers is long and distinguished. Miller may not be in the class of recent phenoms such as Kerry Wood or Josh Beckett, but he's the best the state has to offer in 2009 and has a chance to be the first prep righthander picked. Miller has a live arm with a fastball that reached 94 mph making him the hardest thrower at the Area Code Games last summer. He rounds out his repertoire with two quality secondary pitches—a mid-70s curveball that has plus potential and a changeup that is advanced for his age and experience level. Scouts also like his loose arm and fluid delivery.
 
RHP   Jacob Turner
  RHP   Zack Wheeler
Jacob Turner   Zack Wheeler
Turner follows 2008 preseason first-teamer Tim Melville as a Missouri product who signed with North Carolina. Like Melville, he's tall and rangy with plenty of arm strength, giving him present stuff and plenty of projection. Turner had a strong summer, striking out 11 in 7 2/3 innings during the Tournament of Stars in June, then posting an impressive two-inning stint in the Aflac All-American Game, when he pushed his fastball to 92 mph and mixed in quality curveballs and changeups. His downer curve, thrown in the mid-70s, has above-average future potential.
  Wheeler has as much projection as any pitcher on the first team with a wiry 6-foot-4, 170-pound frame. He has present fastball velocity to match anyone in the class though, peaking at 94 mph and sitting in the 90-93 range. Signed to Kennesaw State—which could produce a first-rounder of its own this year in 6-foot-9 righty Kyle Heckathorn—Wheeler has one of the top sliders in the prep class, a power breaking ball that helped him strike out two hitters at the Aflac All-American Game. He has impressive command for his size and figures to add some velocity as he matures physically.