|FIVE YEARS AGO|
|1. *Hanley Ramirez, ss, Lowell (Red Sox)|
|2. *Brandon League, rhp, Auburn (Blue Jays)|
|3. Mike Hinckley, lhp, Vermont (Expos)|
|4. *Bronson Sardinha, of, Staten Island (Yankees)|
|5. *Russ Adams, ss, Auburn (Blue Jays)|
|6. *Chien Ming-Wang, rhp, Staten Island (Yankees)|
|7. D.J. Hanson, rhp, Auburn (Blue Jays)|
|8. Carlos Cabrera, rhp, Batavia (Phillies)|
|9. Alex Hart, rhp, Williamsport (Pirates)|
|10. *Curtis Granderson, of, Oneonta (Tigers)|
|*Has played in major leagues|
|1.||Brett Cecil, lhp, Auburn Doubledays (Blue Jays)|
|B-T: R-L Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 220 Age: 21 Drafted: Blue Jays '07 (1s)|
|Cecil worked primarily out of the bullpen in three years at Maryland, though his three-pitch mix led many scouts to believe he could start in pro ball. After the Blue Jays drafted him 38th overall in June, Cecil shifted to a starting role and dominated NY-P hitters. He saved his best start for last, pitching seven-innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts to win the clinching game of the playoffs for Auburn.|
He's still adjusting to pitching for longer stints, and while he runs his fastball up to 93-94 mph early in games, his velocity drops off fairly quickly. That didn't make him any less effective at the short-season level, as he did a good job mixing in his above-average mid-80s slider and quality changeup. He commands the strike zone well and also has a commanding mound presence, thanks to his broad shoulders, physical build and tenacity.
"I think he's an internal competitor of sorts. I don’t think he wears his emotions on his sleeve very much," Auburn manager Dennis Holmberg said. "He's everything he was advertised as. He's got all the ingredients: a power-throwing lefthander with an outstanding breaking ball, and a good competitor."
|2.||Joe Savery, lhp, Williamsport Crosscutters (Phillies)|
|B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 215 Age: 21 Drafted: Phillies '07 (1)|
|Savery had a decorated collegiate career at Rice, winning Baseball America's Freshman of the Year award in 2005 and first-team All-America honors as a two-way star this spring. The Phillies might never have gotten the chance to draft him at No. 19 had he not been slowed by offseason surgery to shave down a bone growth in his shoulder, and they monitored his workload carefully this summer.|
Savery looked good in limited action, running his fastball up to 92 mph and showing an above-average downer curveball and solid changeup. He's very polished, with command of all his offerings and a smooth, repeatable delivery.
|3.||Hector Correa, rhp, Jamestown Jammers (Marlins)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 165 Age: 19 Drafted: Marlins '06 (4)|
|Correa impressed in his U.S. debut last summer in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, so the Marlins jumped the 19-year-old to the South Atlantic League to start 2007. He was hit hard in low Class A but was simply dominating after his demotion to Jamestown, finishing second in the league with 83 strikeouts despite throwing just 59 innings.|
Correa has a pretty clean delivery, a loose arm, and a tall, lean frame that still has some projection. He pitches at 92-94 mph with his fastball and touches 95, but he needs to improve his fastball command. He tends to pitch backwards at times, using his hard, tight slider and outstanding changeup early in counts, and he could benefit from attacking hitters more with his fastball.
|4.||Daniel Moskos, lhp, State College Spikes (Pirates)|
|B-T: R-L Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 210 Age: 21 Drafted: Pirates '07 (1)|
|Like Cecil, Moskos spent most of his college career as a closer. Clemson moved him to the front of its weekend rotation midway through the 2007 season and scouts believe he could start as a pro, but the Pirates kept him in the bullpen for his pro debut.|
Early in the summer, he didn't have his good fastball, worked in the 88-89 mph range and fell behind hitters, and his ERA ballooned. But he settled down late in the season and climbed back into the 90s and touched 94 with late, heavy action on his fastball that gave State College catchers fits. His sharp slider is an out pitch, and he flashes a quality changeup but rarely uses it.
|5.||Jordan Zimmermann, rhp, Vermont Lake Monsters (Nationals)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 200 Age: 21 Drafted: Nationals '07 (2)|
|Zimmermann burst onto the prospect landscape during the summer of 2006, when he led the wood-bat Northwoods League in ERA (1.01) and was named the top prospect in that strong summer collegiate circuit. He pitched through a broken jaw and pulled wisdom teeth this spring and continued to dominate Division III competition, but he truly peaked this summer against far better hitters in the NY-P.|
Zimmermann's heavy, sinking fastball sits at 91-93 mph range and touches 94, and its life makes it a true plus pitch. He attacks the strike zone with his fastball, his hard slider with late bite and his decent changeup. He's also working on a 12-to-6 curveball because the Nationals don't like their young pitchers to throw sliders.
Zimmermann has strong legs and good mechanics, and he should only get better the more he pitches in warmer weather.
"I think he's a sure-fire big leaguer," Oneonta manager Andy Barkett said. "He comes right at you with a very lively fastball, good slider and good changeup. He has a great arm action, and he has a powerful presence on the mound."
|6.||Ryan Kalish, of, Lowell Spinners (Red Sox)|
|B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 205 Age: 19 Drafted: Red Sox '06 (9)|
|The Red Sox bought Kalish out of a commitment to Virginia by giving him a $600,000 signing bonus as a ninth-round pick a year ago, and he's making the investment look wise. He got a taste of the NY-P in 2006, though he was much better in his first extended stint in the league this summer as a 19-year-old. A wrist injury shortened his season prematurely, but doctors advised rest instead of surgery, so he should be ready to open the 2008 season.|
A dynamic football player in high school, Kalish has a sturdy, athletic build and is aggressive in all phases of the game. He makes consistent, hard contact to all fields with a short, quick lefthanded swing. He's mostly a line-drive hitter, but he's strong enough to hit the ball out of the park and projects to hit 15-20 homers down the road.
Kalish also stole 18 bases in 21 attempts. He's a very good defender in center field, with excellent range and instincts and a playable arm.
"I loved him," Barkett said. "I was not happy he got hurt, but I was happy we didn't have to see him anymore. He was the heart and soul of that ballclub. He got on base, swung the bat, had a powerful presence and he could go get it in the outfield. Just a gamer."
|7.||J.P. Arencibia, c, Auburn Doubledays (Blue Jays)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 210 Age: 21 Drafted: Blue Jays '07 (1)|
|Arencibia entered his junior year at Tennessee as a potential top 10 pick, but he was slowed by a strained muscle in his back early this spring and slipped to Toronto at No. 21 overall. It took him some time to get comfortable in pro ball, and he was hit by a pitch on his left wrist in midsummer, which sapped his power. In the past, he showed above-average pull power with wood bats with Team USA.|
Arencibia should hit for power with a decent average, but his catch-and-throw skills have been widely debated. The consensus this summer was that he's a good enough defender to catch in the big leagues.
He has decent mobility and a strong arm, though he's still working on getting rid of the ball quicker and controlling the running game. Arencibia threw out 34 percent of basestealers in the NY-P. He blocks balls well and made progress calling games.
|8.||Oscar Tejeda, ss, Lowell Spinners (Red Sox)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 177 Age: 17 Signed: Red Sox '06|
|The Red Sox signed Tejeda for $525,000 as a 16-year-old in 2006, and he more than held his own at age 17 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and against much older competition in the NY-P this summer. He drew raves for his all-around game.|
Tejeda has a smooth, fluid and controlled swing. He creates a lot of backspin and does a good job staying through the ball. He's an excellent fastball hitter but is vulnerable against breaking balls, not surprising given his age. His frame has plenty of projection, and he could hit for some power as he fills out.
Defensively, Tejeda has quick, sure hands and a strong, accurate arm with a free, easy throwing motion from over the top. He still needs to improve his range, both to the hole and coming in on slow rollers and high choppers. He's an average to slightly above-average runner, and he plays with enthusiasm and energy.
|9.||Glenn Gibson, lhp, Vermont Lake Monsters (Nationals)|
|B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 195 Age: 19 Drafted: Nationals '06 (4)|
|The son of former major league lefthander Paul Gibson, Glenn is far more advanced than the typical high school product from the Northeast. He might have been the best pitcher in the NY-P until his final two starts, when he tried to pitch while sick and saw his ERA rise from 1.74 to 3.10.|
Gibson pores over hitting and pitching charts before every start so he can exploit hitters' weaknesses. He mixes speeds and locations very well. He's starting to fill out his lean frame and he ran his fastball up to 91 mph this summer, though he usually pitches in the high 80s with late movement.
He's not afraid to throw his exceptional changeup or solid 12-to-6 curveball in any count, and all of his offerings look the same out of his hand. Gibson doesn't have overpowering raw stuff, but his savvy and polish should allow him to move quickly.
|10.||Dellin Betances, rhp, Staten Island Yankees|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-7 Wt.: 185 Age: 19 Drafted: Yankees '06 (8)|
|The Yankees gave Betances a $1 million bonus as an eighth-round pick last year to lure him away from a Vanderbilt scholarship. While he's still a work in progress and was shut down this summer with elbow tendinitis, his upside is as huge as his 6-foot-7 frame.|
Lanky and ultraprojectable, Betances already flashes a mid-90s fastball and occasionally snaps off a hard, biting, downer curveball. He's a little erratic around the strike zone but he also has shown the ability to bail himself out of tight spots by getting big strikeouts. He also throws a changeup that lags far behind his other two offerings.
Though his delivery has some moving parts, Betances is athletic and has a smooth arm action. He's still figuring out his control and command.
|11.||Colton Willems, rhp, Vermont Lake Monsters (Nationals)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 175 Age: 19 Drafted: Nationals '06 (1)|
|After drafting Willems in the first round last June, the Nationals shut him down after 16 innings when he came down with a sore elbow. He came out strong this summer, regularly running his fastball up to 94-95 mph and pitching in the low 90s. His downer curveball and changeup are both promising offerings, but he's still working on refining his command. |
Willems grew about two inches this summer and is now 6-foot-6, and he pitches from an imposing downhill plane. He does a good job pounding his fastball down in the zone. He matured quite a bit with Vermont, and his demeanor on the mound never changes no matter the situation.
|12.||Yamaico Navarro, ss/3b, Lowell Spinners (Red Sox)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 170 Age: 19 Signed: Red Sox '06|
who played the entire season at 19 against mostly players with
college experience, began the year at shortstop before sliding to
third base to accommodate Tejeda. Like Tejeda, Navarro flashed
impressive tools across the board. |
Navarro is an aggressive hitter who swings violently at everything. He's mostly a gap-to-gap hitter with some power, especially to the opposite field.
He's a more polished defender than Tejeda and throws well from a three-quarters slot, but like Tejeda he needs to improve on making backhand plays in the hole. He has good speed but doesn't always run balls out, and he sometimes displays a bit too much flash. Still, he usually brings passion and energy to the park.
"He was electric. He could be like Edgar Renteria," an scout with a National League club said. "He just put on a show, in bunches, and showed some raw power and some tools."
|13.||Jess Todd, rhp, Batavia Muckdogs (Cardinals)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 210 Age: 21 Drafted: Cardinals '07 (2)|
|In his first season at Arkansas after transferring from Navarro (Texas) KC, Todd split time as a starter and reliever, finally settling in the rotation and striking out 17 in a Southeastern Conference tournament win against high-powered South Carolina. Like Razorbacks teammate Duke Welker (see No. 14), Todd was drafted in the second round and began his pro career by thriving in the NY-P.|
Todd showed some fatigue after throwing 93 innings this spring, and he pitched at 88-89 mph for Batavia rather than at 90-94 like he did for the Hogs. His fastball was still effective, because it cuts and sinks and he throws it for strikes. He also showed an excellent slider and a promising changeup that still needs some work.
Todd is generously listed at 6 feet, which raises questions about his long-term durability and might ticket him for a bullpen role. He compensates for his lack of size with a fierce competitive streak, which will be a major asset should he end up as a late-inning reliever.
|14.||Duke Welker, rhp, State College Spikes (Pirates)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-7 Wt.: 220 Age: 21 Drafted: Pirates '07 (2)|
|Welker had an up-and-down spring as a weekend starter for Arkansas after transferring from Seminole State (Okla.) JC, but the Pirates drafted him in the second round based on his arm strength and projectable 6-foot-7 frame. He had a strong pro debut before the Pirates shut him down because of elbow soreness.|
Welker pitches at 92-93 mph and touches 95-96 with his lively fastball, and he might throw even harder as he matures. He pitches off his fastball, working it in and out, and mixes in a slurvy breaking ball that has potential but needs some tightening. His changeup is usable but also needs some refinement.
Welker has a strong, durable frame and pitches on a good downward plane. He could be a starter in the big leagues if he can polish his secondary offerings.
"One thing that sticks out the most to me is his competitiveness and his presence," State College manager Turner Ward said. "To me, he's definitely a big leaguer. He's got the stamina, the body, just the package of a starting pitcher."
|15.||Dominic Brown, of, Williamsport Crosscutters (Phillies)|
|B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 204 Age: 20 Drafted: Phillies '06 (20)|
|An exceptional athlete, Brown was recruited by Miami as a wide receiver but he chose instead to sign as a 20th-round pick in 2006. The ball jumps off his bat, though his swing can get long and has some holes that can be exploited. His wiry-strong build evokes Darryl Strawberry, and he can hit the ball a long way when he connects.|
A long strider with above-average speed, Brown plays a shallow center field. He occasionally takes some bad routes, but he's athletic enough to compensate and has a strong arm.
"He's got a ton of tools," Hudson Valley manager Matt Quatraro said. "His body, if it fills out, he could be a monster. His swing's long at times, but when he gets on top of the ball, he's got some juice."
|16.||Nick Carr, rhp, Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 195 Age: 20 Drafted: Mets '06 (41)|
|The Mets took Carr in the 41st round of the 2005 draft out of an Idaho high school and signed him as a draft-and-follow the following May. Idaho's unforgiving climate kept his arm fresh and his mechanics raw, but his 74 strikeouts in 66 innings this summer reflect his power stuff. He maintains his 93-96 mph fastball velocity late into games, and he attacks hitters with a hard 84-88 mph slider.|
Carr throws an occasional changeup, but it's not a usable pitch at this point, and he'll need to develop it in order to stick as a starter. He'll also need some mechanical refinement. He has a rock-and-fire, max-effort delivery with a head jerk, and he sometimes rushes his delivery, though he still manages to throw strikes.
|17.||Damon Sublett, 2b, Staten Island Yankees|
|B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 190 Age: 21 Drafted: Yankees '07 (7)|
|A two-way player at Wichita State, Sublett didn't allow an earned run in 32 innings over his first two seasons and many scouts preferred him as a pitcher heading into 2007. But a variety of minor injuries limited him to just four innings this spring, and the Yankees drafted him as a second baseman. He led the league with 53 RBI and ranked second with a .531 slugging percentage.|
Sublett makes consistently hard, line-drive contact with a compact lefthanded stroke, and he's strong enough to hit the ball out of the park on occasion, though most of his power is to the gaps. He has slightly above-average speed on the basepaths and is a smart baserunner.
Sublett threw from a high three-quarters angle as a pitcher, but he tends to drop down to the side as a second baseman, though his arm remains slightly above-average. He's a sure-handed defender and excels at turning the double play and making the throw from his right, but his range is just adequate and he needs to become a more consistent all-around defender. He's intensely competitive, and he shows a knack for making adjustments.
|18.||Zach McAllister, rhp, Staten Island Yankees|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 230 Age: 19 Drafted: Yankees '06 (3)|
|McAllister held his own as a 19-year-old in the NY-P, showing an advanced feel for pitching and racking up more than a strikeout per inning. With a big, strong, projectable frame, he looks the part of a frontline starting pitcher, and he has a loose, easy arm action and clean delivery.|
McAllister pitches at 91-92 mph and touches 94 with his fastball, and he does a good job throwing the pitch for strikes. His slider and changeup remain works in progress, with his slider a better pitch at this point. He has a significant upside, but his aptitude is really what makes him stand out.
"He pitches more maturely than his age," Quatraro said. "He's got some poise. When he pitched against us, he didn't out-stuff us, but he pitched well and he's got the potential to throw hard."
|19.||Michael McCormick, c, Hudson Valley Renegades (Devil Rays)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 200 Age: 20 Drafted: Devil Rays '05 (5)|
|McCormick struggled as a third baseman for two years in the Rookie-level Appalachian League before the Devil Rays decided to convert him to catcher. He took to the new position, showing a strong arm and quick release that yields pop times between 1.8 and 2.05 seconds. He threw out 31 percent of basestealers at a level where pitchers typically aren't great at holding runners. He also shifts and blocks balls in the dirt well.|
"Obviously he has work to be done receiving. It's new for him," Quatraro said. "But his footwork's good. He's just polishing up the receiving and game-calling. You're not going to get somebody that works harder. We'll get the most out of him."
Offensively, McCormick has bat speed and good raw power. He made strides becoming a more patient hitter this summer, but he cocks the bat head toward the pitcher and can be beaten up and in under his hands. But if a pitcher makes a mistake, he can hit it a long way.
|20.||Brant Rustich, rhp, Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets)|
|B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-6 Wt.: 225 Age: 22 Drafted: Mets '07 (2)|
|Rustich and fellow Cyclone reliever Eddie Kunz both entered the spring as closers on Pacific-10 Conference contenders, and both lost the confidence of their coaches by the end of the season thanks to shaky command. Still, the Mets drafted both in the first two rounds based on flashes of brilliance, and Rustich showed much more progress in his pro debut than Kunz.|
Rustich can run his fastball up into the mid-90s, and his hard-breaking, mid-80s slider can be impossible for hitters to lay off when they're behind in the count. His changeup also can be an above-average pitch at times, but he hasn't yet developed enough confidence in either offering to throw them unless he's ahead in the count. He could emerge as a closer if he can avoid blowups and continue to refine his overall command.