Draft Scouting Reports: Corner Outfielders
Teams will be looking elsewhere thanks to a dearth of hitters
Not much to see here. So much is expected offensively of corner outfielders, and the players with hitting potential in this class have glaring holes elsewhere.
1. Angelo Songco, Loyola Marymount, B-T: L-R
Undrafted out of high school, Songco has been one of the hottest college hitters in California this spring. Hot bats translate to draft helium, and Songco may have hit his way into the first two rounds. He utilizes one of the most distinctive stances in college baseball, starting deep in the box, standing tall with his bat held high. He lifts his front right leg straight up and then drops it straight down before lashing at the ball with a quick bat. His power was evident with wood bats last summer, when he hit eight homers to rank second in the Cape Cod League. An aggressive hitter, Songco is vulnerable to offspeed pitches and has difficulty covering the outside corner. Early in the count, he looks for a pitch middle-in that he can hammer. He has average speed and is an average defensive outfielder. While he has played right field for Loyola Marymount, his arm probably dictates a move to left in pro ball. But he'll be drafted for thunder in his bat, possibly as early as the supplemental first round.
2. Randal Grichuk, Lamar Consolidated HS, Rosenberg, Texas, B-T: R-R
Grichuk first made a name for himself as a power hitter at the 2004 Little League World Series, leading the tournament with four homers, and hasn't stopped hitting home runs since. He hit three longballs as the United States won the gold medal at the 2007 World Youth Championship in Venezuela, and he regularly went deep at prestigious events on the showcase circuit last summer. At the International Power Showcase at Tampa's Tropicana Dome in January, he led all comers with 20 total homers, including a 475-foot blast with a metal bat. Grichuk is more than just a masher, however. He doesn't have the prettiest righthanded stroke, but his strong hands and bat speed should allow him to hit for a solid average once he adjusts his pull-oriented ed approach. A 6-foot, 195-pounder, Grichuk has decent athleticism and fits best defensively as a left fielder. He's a below-average runner with a fringe arm, but his work ethic and passion for the game should make him a solid defender. He has committed to Arizona but is considered signable if he goes in the first three rounds as expected.
3. Marc Krauss, Ohio, B-T: L-R
After starring in his first two years at Ohio and in the Great Lakes League in between, Krauss went to the Cape Cod League last summer and left as a premium prospect. He led the Cape in RBIs (34) and on-base percentage (.473) and has continued to raise his profile this spring, batting .404 and leading the Mid-American Conference with 22 homers and 61 RBIs with a week to go in the regular season. A lefthanded hitter, Krauss has a quick bat and advanced approach, as he has a discerning eye and uses the entire field. He consistently squares balls on the barrel of the bat. Some scouts wonder how much power he'll have with wood, but the consensus is he should have average pop as a pro. Though he's more athletic than most 6-foot-3, 220-pounders and has played some third base, he'll have to be a left fielder at the next level. He has arm strength but his hands, range and quickness are just adequate. Krauss' bat will have to carry him, but it's good enough to do so. As one of the best college hitters in a thin year for them, he could get taken as early as the second round.
4. Kent Matthes, Alabama, B-T: R-R
5. Blake Smith, California, B-T: L-R
6. Jabari Blash, Miami-Dade CC B-T: R-R
7. Neil Medchill, Oklahoma State, B-T: L-R
8. Max Walla, Albuquerque Academy B-T: L-L
9. Evan Chambers, Hillsborough (Fla.) CC, B-T: R-R
10. Blake Dean, Louisiana State, B-T: L-L