If you ordered the 2010 Prospect Handbook directly from Baseball America, you should have it by the end of the week. Once we get the bonus supplement of 30 additional scouting reports back from the printer Tuesday, we'll begin shipping immediately.
We're one Rod Barajas signing away from finalizing the 2010 draft order. Joel Pineiro left the Cardinals for the Angels, giving St. Louis the 49th overall pick as compensation. If Barajas leaves the Blue Jays, they'll get the 41st overall selection. The updated draft order is below.
11. Blue Jays
13. White Sox
15. Rangers (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke)
18. Angels (from Mariners for Chone Figgins, A)
19. Astros (from Tigers for Jose Valverde, A)
20. Red Sox (from Braves for Billy Wagner, A)
29. Angels (from Red Sox for John Lackey, A)
31. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder LeVon Washington)
Supplemental First-Round Picks
33. Astros (Valverde)
34. Blue Jays (Marco Scutaro, A, to Red Sox)
35. Braves (Mike Gonzalez, A, to Orioles)
36. Red Sox (Wagner)
37. Angels (Figgins)
38. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 sandwich-rounder James Paxton)
39. Red Sox (Jason Bay, A, to Mets)
40. Angels (Lackey)
[Blue Jays if Rod Barajas, B, departs]
41. Rays (Gregg Zaun, B, to Brewers)
42. Mariners (Adrian Beltre, B, to Red Sox)
43. Tigers (Brandon Lyon, B, to Astros)
44. Rangers (Ivan Rodriguez, B, to Nationals)
45. Cardinals (Mark DeRosa, B, to Giants)
46. Rockies (Jason Marquis, B, to Nationals)
47. Tigers (Fernando Rodney, B, to Angels)
48. Rangers (Marlon Byrd, B, to Cubs)
49. Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, B, to Angels)
52. Braves (from Orioles for Gonzalez)
56. Red Sox (from Mets for Bay)
69. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Jake Eliopoulos)
78. Blue Jays (from Red Sox for Scutaro)
79. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
112. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Jake Barrett)
113. White Sox (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Bryan Morgado)
114. Angels (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Josh Spence)
The comparison is a little unfair to Harper, because he left high school after his sophomore year and Mauer departed after his senior season. But I like the question, so I'll play along. Mauer went No. 1 overall in the 2001 draft, and Harper currently is the top-rated prospect for the 2010 draft as he enters his freshman season at the CC of Southern Nevada as a 17-year-old.
There's no question that Harper received more hype, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated last June, with the magazine calling him "Baseball's LeBron." Harper has been the focus of more predraft attention than any player ever, including Stephen Strasburg a year ago.
Nevertheless, Mauer was the better prospect coming out of high school. Harper rates an edge for his prodigious power, but Mauer was a better hitter, better defender and better athlete. They had comparable arm strength, but Mauer threw better in games because he had a quicker release and moved better behind the plate.
The excessive hype is getting to scouting directors, some of whom are beginning to wonder is Harper is more of a showcase standout, and perhaps even to Harper himself. He seemed overanxious at the Aflac All-American Game last August, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in front of a national television audience on Fox Sports Network, and hit .294 with two homers in eight games at the Pan American Junior Championships in October.
Then again, for a then-16-year-old to compare favorably to an 18-year-old who went on to win three American League batting titles and one MVP award in first five full big league seasons speaks well for Harper. He'll be under the microscope more than any junior college player in draft history.
There isn't a single active big leaguer who made his major league debut in the same year in which he was drafted out of high school. Since the draft began in 1965, only eight high schoolers have played in the big leagues in the same year they were drafted, and it hasn't happened since 1978.
Four of those players went immediately to the majors after signing: lefthander David Clyde (Rangers, first round, 1973), righthanders Mike Morgan and Tim Conroy (both Athletics, first round, 1978) and catcher Brian Milner (Padres, seventh round, 1978). Clyde was the most highly touted high school prospect to that point in draft history, and the Rangers rushed the local Texas product to revive fan interest in their flagging franchise. The ploy worked, though to the detriment of Clyde's career. The Rangers achieved their first-ever sellout in Clyde's debut and averaged 18,187 fans for his 12 home starts (compared to 6,780 in their other home games).
The A's tried the same trick with Morgan and Conroy in 1978. Morgan pitched a complete game but lost to the Orioles in front of 23,123 fans in his debut, then got bombed twice and was sent to the minors. Oakland replaced him with Conroy, who drew 38,841 fans to his debut in Kansas City but attracted only 3,380 fans for his lone home start before he was demoted.
Milner, the only high school position player ever to go straight to the majors, was one of the top prospects in the 1978 draft but lasted seven rounds because he had committed to play football and baseball at Arizona State. The Blue Jays lured him away with a $150,000 bonus and an immediate callup. Milner went 4-for-9 in two games before being sent to Rookie-level Medicine Hat, and injuries prevented him from ever returning to the big leagues.
The other four high schoolers to play in the majors in the same year they were drafted were righthanders Joe Coleman (Senators, first round, 1965) and Jay Franklin (Padres, first round, 1971), outfielder Brian Greer (Padres, first round, 1977) and lefthander Britt Burns (White Sox, third round, 1978).
While the Dodgers system isn't as strong as it was in the first half of last decade, their Top 10 list is fairly strong and neither Ely nor Link would have cracked it. Both players were listed with the White Sox in the Prospect Handbook, with Ely coming in at No. 12 and Link at No. 28.
Ely, who led the Double-A Southern League in wins (14) and strikeouts (125) as a 23-year-old in 2009, has a fringy fastball and curveball but gets out by throwing strikes and setting hitters up for his plus changeup. Link, who led the minors with 35 saves in 2008 and was less consistent as a 25-year-old in Triple-A last year, has a quality slider and a low-90s fastball.
I would have slotted Ely in at No. 18 on our Dodgers Top 30, between catcher Lucas May and outfielder Alfredo Silverio, and Link at No. 25, between outfielders Jonathan Garcia and Jerry Sands.