World Wood Bat Class Of 2007 Top 20 Prospects




The WWBA fall championship is the final major scouting event of the year and has become a valuable setting for scouts to evaluate some of the country's best high school players. Here's a look at the top 20 seniors in attendance, as judged by BA's Alan Matthews in conjunction with scouts in attendance. Rankings reflect the player's ceiling and likelihood of reaching that ceiling with some consideration to performance at the event.

RankName, posHigh SchoolThe Skinny
1Rick Porcello, rhpSeton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J.Scouting directors are stocking up on thermal underwear, as Porcello is one of a bevy of big arms out of the Northeast.
2Jack McGeary, lhp/1bRoxbury (Mass.) Latin HSMcGeary isn't among the class' hardest throwers, but his feel for pitching, secondary stuff and command make him a potential front-of-the-rotation starter.
3Michael Burgess, ofHillsborough HS, TampaBurgess' bat speed is unmatched among high school hitters, prompting one scout to compare it to that of Mets prospect Lastings Milledge.
4Josh Vitters, 3bCypress (Calif.) HSThe class' best pure hitter, Vitters reinforced his stock with another strong performance.
5Jason Heyward, ofHenry County HS, McDonough, Ga.A man-child with strength and power, Heyward combines awe-inspiring physical tools with instincts and feel for the game.
6Michael Main, rhp/ofDeland (Fla.) HSWhile his performance was lackluster in Jupiter, Main's lightning-quick arm and athleticism make him a potential first-rounder.
7Ryan Dent, ssWilson HS, Los AngelesDent displayed the event's best top-of-the-lineup tools, and his all-out, aggressive approach made a positive impression.
8Nick Noonan, ss/2bParker HS, San DiegoAnother high-profile event, another solid performance for Noonan, who has a knack for making consistent hard contact with wood.
9Josh Smoker, lhpCalhoun (Ga.) HSIf ever performance was a factor in evaluating a high school prospect, it has to be considered with Smoker, who struck out 21 in nine innings.
10Justin Jackson, ssRoberson HS, Asheville, N.C.Jackson, who was Team USA's starting shortstop in Cuba last month, looked exhausted and didn't perform well, but remains one of the class' top shortstop prospects.
11Yasmani Grandal, cMiami Springs (Fla.) HSFor those riding the fence on Grandal's prospect status, they likely left Jupiter convinced he can remain behind the plate and handle the bat adequately.
12Peter Kozma, ssOwasso (Okla.) HSKozma quietly continues to impress with well-above-average defensive skills, plus running ability and a confident approach at the plate.
13Christian Colon, ss/2bCanyon HS, AnaheimColon swung the bat well in Jupiter and compares with Kozma defensively.
14Kevin Ahrens, 3bMemorial HS, HoustonAhrens' towering home run punctuated the Heat's win over East Cobb (Ga.) and showed one of the many ways this talented switch-hitter can affect a game.
15John Tolisano, 2bEstero (Fla.) HSLike Jackson, Tolisano didn't perform especially well, but has a chance to stay in the middle of the diamond and hit for average in the big leagues.
16Andrew Lambo, 1b/ofNewbury Park (Calif.) HSLambo raised his profile by displaying plus hitting ability and a mature approach that produced eight hits in 21 at-bats.
17Nathan Vineyard, lhpWoodland HS, Cartersville, Ga.This loose, projectable lefthander has a chance for three plus pitches, and a solid-average fastball that could climb in velocity.
18Brett Krill, ofAliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.Like Heyward, Krill is physically imposing, though his approach is more aggressive and his power is a slightly more developed tool.
19Derek Dietrich, 3b/cSaint Ignatius HS, ClevelandThrowback-style player makes hard contact from the left side of the plate, is instinctive and has one of the strongest arms in the class.
20Danny Rams, cGulliver Prep, MiamiLike Tolisano, Rams is a veteran of these events and his powerful righthanded bat reminds us why he's been well-known for so long.