2010 East Coast Pro Standouts
See Also:Feature On Derek Fisher
The 14th-annual East Coast Professional Showcase took place at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., Aug. 1-4. The six teams in the event are comprised of the best rising seniors, along with a few underclassmen, in the Eastern part of the United States, as handpicked by scouts. The consensus among scouts was that this year's crop of talent was down from years past. It certainly didn't help that many top players like Nicky Delmonico, Francisco Lindor, Philip Pfeifer, Dillon Maples and Elvin Soto weren't there because of their commitment to Team USA, and others like Jose Fernandez and Deshorn Lake didn't show up for other reasons.
Still, there were several fun players to watch. In addition to Fisher and the players I wrote about in blogs, like Corey Stump
, Shon Carson
and Aaron Nola
, here are 15 other players that shined at the East Coast Professional Showcase that we haven't mentioned in our PG National
or Tournament of Stars
recaps. . .
Brett Austin, c, Providence HS, Matthews, N.C.
Austin has an average build for a catcher at 6 feet and 190 pounds. With a 7.12-second 60-yard dash, Austin runs pretty well for a catcher and showed average arm strength behind the plate. But the most intriguing part of Austin's game is his bat. He's a switch hitter that gets some nice lift on balls from either side of the plate. Austin is verbally committed to North Carolina State.
Jake Cave, of/lhp, Kecoughtan HS, Hampton, Va.
Cave was on the list of standout players from last year's East Coast Professional Showcase, as he was one of a handful of underclassmen to get the opportunity before his junior season. Cave is a legitimate two-way prospect. He showed a pretty swing from the left side of the plate and pitched at 88-90 mph while touching 93 with a 79 mph changeup and 77 mph curveball. Cave is verbally committed to Louisiana State.
Gavin Cecchini, ss, Barbe HS, Lake Charles, La.
Gavin Cecchini is the younger brother of Garin Cecchini, who profiled as a potential first-round pick this year, but slipped to the Red Sox in the fourth round after a torn ACL cost him most of his senior season. Gavin shows some similarities to his older brother, but also some differences. For starters, Gavin bats righthanded, while Garin is a lefty. Gavin shows the pure hitting ability of his brother, but might not develop the same kind of power. But, he's a leaner, faster athlete with a better chance of staying at shortstop. Cecchini ran the 60-yard dash in 6.89 seconds. He did make a couple mental mistakes during the week, but also showed the tools that make him one of the best prep players in the 2012 draft class. Like his brother, Gavin already has a verbal commitment to Louisiana State.
T.J. Costen, ss, First Colonial HS, Virginia Beach, Va.
Costen is an athletic shortstop that ran one of the fastest 60-yard dashes at 6.62 seconds. His swing is catered to his speed, as he mostly hits hard groundballs or line drives. Costen will need to make adjustments against better breaking balls down the road. Defensively, he shows enough quickness and range at shortstop and strong arm across the diamond. Costen is verbally committed to South Carolina.
Julius Gaines, ss, Luella HS, Locust Grove, Ga.
Gaines displayed athletic, fluid actions at shortstop and a strong arm. He ran the 60-yard dash in 6.83 seconds and showed a short, quick swing at the plate. Gaines spends his summers with the Atlanta Blue Jays, the same summer program that produced Tim Beckham.
Tyler Greene, ss, West Boca Raton (Fla.) HS
Greene easily passes scouts' eye test with his supremely athletic, projectable 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame. Greene ran the 60-yard dash in an above-average 6.70 seconds. At the plate, Greene shows some looseness and nice natural lift to his swing. Greene's problem is that he bails out on pitches. His first step is always toward third base, which leads to off-balance swings and makes it very tough for him to hit pitches on the outside part of the plate with any authority. Greene has a verbal commitment to Georgia.
Taylor Guerrieri, rhp, North Augusta (S.C.) HS
Guerrieri has an athletic, 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame with sloped shoulders and strong legs. His fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range and he mixed in a 77-78 mph curveball that showed some promise. Guerrieri throws from a low three-quarter arm slot that generates some late armside run on his fastball, making it tough for hitters to make solid contact. He is verbally committed to South Carolina.
Nicholas Howard, ss, St. John College HS, Washington D.C.
Howard has a pro body at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. He's athletic enough for shortstop now, with good footwork and a quick release on strong throws. While he may have to move to third base in the future, Howard has the power potential to make that transition possible. Howard is verbally committed to Virginia.
John Norwood, of, Seton Hall Prep HS, West Orange, N.J.
Norwood was one of the fastest players at the event, running the 60-yard dash in 6.50 seconds. He has a lanky, 6-foot-2, 190 pound frame, took a pretty good batting practice and hit two doubles in one of the games. Norwood does have a little stiffness to his swing, but also has bat speed. Norwood covered a lot of ground with long, gliding strides in center field. Despite covering a lot of ground, Norwood made some awkward-looking catches once he got to the ball.
Carlos Rodon, lhp, Holly Springs (N.C.) HS
Rodon is pretty well maxed-out physically at 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds. He pitches mostly in the 87-89 mph range, but did get up to 92 mph in the first inning of his first appearance in Lakeland. Rodon does lose some zip on his fastball after a couple innings, but scouts always take notice of a physical lefthander that reaches back for that kind of velocity. Rodon has an easy delivery, but does tend to fly open a little early and will also need to sharpen up his secondary offerings. Rodon is verbally committed to North Carolina State.
Roman Quinn, of/ss, Port St. Joe (Fla.) HS
There weren't many 80 tools on display at this year's showcase, but Quinn's speed was certainly one of them. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Quinn blazed the 60-yard dash in 6.35 seconds. But, he's not just a speed-only guy. Quinn is a switch-hitter that showed some bat speed from both sides of the plate. He also showed some arm strength, so he could stay at shortstop, but his speed would likely best be utilized in center field.
Alex Santana, 3b, Mariner HS, Cape Coral, Fla.
Santana is the son of Rafael Santana, who played in the big leagues for parts of seven seasons. The younger Santana is more physical than his father and has one of the best physiques in the 2011 class. He's a chiseled athlete that stands 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds. Santana has quick hands and strong wrists that whip the bat head through the zone, resulting in a lot of hard line drives. He ran the 60-yard dash in 6.80 seconds, displayed a strong arm at third base and showed a lot of hustle all week.
Austin Slater, ss, The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.
Slater has a textbook swing and consistently hit the ball hard. He is a heady player that always plays hard and shows excellent instincts on the bases. Slater showed some chinks defensively—some trouble backhanding balls in infield drills and had a routine ball go between his legs at third base, but he made up for it with his offensive performance. Slater is verbally committed to Stanford.
Dwight Smith, of, McIntosh HS, Peachtree City, Ga.
Smith, the son of the former big leaguer with the same name, put on a hitting clinic all week, driving several balls to the gaps for extra bases. Smith has a good understanding of the strike zone and generates good torque and bat speed by utilizing a leg kick in his load. He ran a 6.97-second 60-yard dash and showed below-average arm strength, so he'll be limited defensively to a left field, but should hit enough to make it work. Smith is quicker than he is fast and is a pest on the bases, almost always finding a way to score.
Duane Underwood, of/rhp, Pope HS, Marietta, Ga.
Underwood was one of the youngest players at the event, a 15-year old that will graduate in 2012, but did not look out of place in the slightest. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder ran a 7-second 60-yard dash, showed some strength at the plate and was 87-89 off the mound, touching 92.