2006 Central Illinois Collegiate League Top 10 Prospects

1. Bryce Stowell, rhp, Danville (Pepperdine)

league’s most dominant player, Stowell combined above-average
athleticism, flashes of above-average stuff and a competitive streak
that overwhelmed the CICL. He ranked second in the league in strikeouts
(and first with 11.64 K’™s per nine innings) thanks to a low-90s
fastball, a power slider that was slurvy but effective and a developing
changeup. A high school water polo player, Stowell has a strong
6-foot-2, 195-pound body and projects to have more velocity if he can
smooth out his mechanics; he tends to over-stride. He was transferring
from Pepperdine, where he played as a freshman, but was not granted his
release and his new school was not certain at press time.

2. Kevin Dubler, c, Dupage (Illinois State)

freshman, Dubler wore down physically and slumped late both in the
spring and in the summer offensively. He still showed a power-speed mix
and defensive skills that made him the league’s top position player,
and he’s committed to play next summer in the Cape Cod League. Dubler
has solid arm strength (consistently getting the ball to second in
1.95-1.98 seconds) and uncanny accuracy with his throws, which helped
him throw out 15 of 27 attempted basestealers. He’s a solid receiver
for his age but needs polish. Offensively, he has the raw lefthanded
power to win the league’s home run derby during its all-star
festivities, and he’s an average runner (4.2 seconds to first).

3. Bobby Stevens, ss, Twin City (Northern Illinois)

an impact recruit, Stevens hit just .254 as a freshman in the spring
but blossomed this summer as the CICL’s top defensive shortstop and
third-leading hitter. Stevens has good athletic ability and a strong
swing he repeats well. He has gap power and grades out at least
average, if not above average, with his running and arm. He has the
arm, quickness and range for shortstop and might just need to smooth
out some kinks in his footwork to remain a pro shortstop. Managers
praised the Chicagoland native’s toughness and approach to the game.

4. Aaron Weatherford, rhp, Danville (Mississippi State)

hardest thrower in the league wasn’t easy to see, as Weatherford only
made three dominant starts (22 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 26 SO) before being shut
down with biceps tendinitis. His small (6 feet, 175 pounds) frame gives
scouts pause, but his power stuff keeps them coming back. Weatherford
touched 94-95 mph with his low-90s fastball, which he throws with
little effort. His slider was a power pitch, giving him two explosive
offerings. Combined with his size and low-three-quarters arm angle–as
well as Alabama prep background–Weatherford has some similarities to
Padres righty Jake Peavy. Now he just needs to stay healthy for his
sophomore season.

5. Louis Coleman, rhp, Danville (Louisiana State)

Weatherford has better stuff, Coleman was the one who had an entire
season in a Southeastern Conference rotation, having made 13 starts for
LSU as a freshman. Coleman made just four CICL starts, also sitting
down with tendinitis, but won all four and showed a three-pitch mix.
His slider is a bit short but he threw his upper-80s fastball, which
touched 91 mph, and above-average changeup to both sides of the plate.
A 28th-round pick of the Braves in 2005, Coleman uses his 6-foot-4
frame to pitch downhill, and his fastball and changeup both had late
action down in the strike zone.

6. Pat Venditte, rhp/lhp, Quincy (Creighton)

stated his unique case in the league all-star game. He struck out two
batters throwing lefthanded and one throwing righthanded, all on 10
pitches. He’s truly ambidextrous, with a special glove so he can switch
from batter to batter. He led the league in appearances, pitching in 30
of Quincy’s 44 games. From the right side, he’s fairly typical,
throwing in the upper 80s from a high arm slot with a solid 12-to-6
curveball. As a southpaw, he drops to low three-quarters (if not
sidearm), using an 81-85 mph fastball and a sweepy, nasty slider. He’s
so unusual, it’s hard to predict what pro scouts will think of him, but
one league coach said that at worst, Venditte will have an outstanding
career in independent ball, where he’ll be two pitchers for the price
of one.

7. Dan Brewer, ss, Dupage (Bradley)

not as smooth as Stevens, the athletic Brewer may have the ability to
stay at shortstop as well, though Bradley used him at short, second
base and center field. He improved this summer coming in and
aggressively playing ground balls, rather than waiting back on them,
and cut his errors significantly in the second half. He has excellent
hands that work in the field and at the plate, and makes hard contact
consistently. His ability to get the barrel to the ball has caused him
to get too aggressive at the plate, and he needs to incorporate his
body more into his swing to generate more power. A savvy player, he’s
an outstanding baserunner, swiping 26 bags (third-best in the league)
without being caught, even though he’s just an average runner.

8. Adam Buschini, if, Dupage (Cal Poly)

athletic than his brother shane, a rising senior at San Diego who
played in the Northwoods League this summer, Adam Buschini put up his
biggest numbers defensively for Dupage, starting double-digit games at
second and third base while also starting at shortstop and first base.
At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he profiles best as a third baseman and is a
good defender thanks to good hands, nimble footwork (especially for his
size) and a strong arm. Buschini has patience, excellent speed (a 6.5
runner in the 60, he stole 15 bags in 16 attempts) and strength. He
just needs consistency, which could come with a permanent defensive
home in his sophomore year.

9. Ricardo Pecina, lhp, Danville (San Diego)

Dans only had half their projected rotation after losing Coleman and
Weatherford, but Stowall and Pecina were almost enough for them to win
the league. Pecina has a high-80s fastball and solid changeup but
really comes alive when he’s able to aggressively attack righthanded
hitters inside with a mid-80s cutter. Coaches said he needs to use the
cutter more and also needs to add power to his slow, slurvy slider,
which he throws without the requisite conviction.

10. D.J. Mauldin, rhp, Dupage (Cal Poly)

struggled to throw strikes in the spring working in Cal Poly’s bullpen,
but he mercilessly pounded the zone with quality stuff all summer. His
6-foot frame holds him back for many scouts, though it lends to his
bulldog approach. He touched 92 mph in one inning in the all-star game,
though he sat in the 86-88 mph range most of the summer. His slider
gives him a plus pitch and might have been the league’s best. He
profiles as a middle reliever in pro ball.