1. Keon Graves, 3b, Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C., Methodist)
outstanding athlete with a loose, wiry frame, Graves showed flashes of
brilliance at the plate and in the field. He uses his strong, quick
wrists to generate very good bat speed, and he figures to develop plus
power as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. Graves, 19, is a
plus runner who stole 16 bases in 17 attempts, and he has shown an
ability to make dazzling plays at the hot corner thanks to his smooth
actions and strong arm. Graves remains raw around the edges, as
evidenced by his 49 strikeouts in 151 at-bats this summer, but he has
more upside than any other player in the league.
2. Jimmy Gallagher, of, Peninsula (Duke)
.423 batting average shattered the CPL’s single-season record of .378
and was 68 points higher than the second-best average this summer. His
swing has very good rhythm despite his rather upright stance, and he
consistently generates line drives to all fields. His quick hands give
him an excellent two-strike approach, and he showed some gap power and
pull power with his lefthanded swing. Gallagher was slowed this summer
by a tight hamstring, but he still showed decent speed in left field,
where he likely profiles.
3. Luke Prihoda, rhp, Fayetteville (Sam Houston State)
was utterly dominant as the closer for the Swampdogs, setting a league
record with 18 saves. He did not allow a run all summer in 28 innings,
allowing just seven hits and posting an absurd 54-2 strikeout-walk
ratio. He attacks hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball that he can locate
wherever he wants, and he never gets rattled. His second pitch is a
rather flat slider that could use some sharpening, and his big frame
has some softness, but his arm is loose.
4. Nate Parks, of, Outer Banks (Virginia Tech)
speedy switch-hitter who plays the game with energy and swagger, Parks
draws comparisons to Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp. Parks
complements his plus speed with outstanding baserunning instincts,
helping him steal 30 bases in 33 attempts this summer. He is an
excellent defensive outfielder with a solid arm. At the plate, Parks is
a slap hitter who lands hard on his front side and needs to improve his
consistency, but he has a bit of gap power now and then.
5. C.J. Ziegler, 1b, Asheboro (Arizona)
CPL leader in home runs (13), on-base percentage (.498) and slugging
percentage (.655), Ziegler possesses the most raw power of any hitter
in the league. He has a track record for power, tying for the lead in
his juco (wood-bat) conference in the spring and hitting 31 in high
school. He is capable of hitting long home runs to all fields. He also
has good strike-zone judgment, helping him amass a league-best 48
walks. Ziegler does sometimes chase breaking balls when he falls behind
in the count early, and he has a long swing that can leave him
vulnerable inside. Ziegler is average defensively and moves OK for a
6-foot-5 first baseman. He’s transferring from Pima (Ariz.) CC to
Arizona for the 2007 season.
6. Zach Brown, 1b, Thomasville (The Citadel)
hit just one homer in 181 at-bats for The Citadel this spring but
showed an aptitude for hitting with wood bats this summer, swatting 12
homers in 203 at-bats. His swing can get long sometimes, but Brown has
a tremendous offensive approach and feel for the strike zone. A
lefthanded hitter who handles lefthanded pitching well, Brown can crush
the ball to right field but can also tattoo the wall to the opposite
field. He is a solid defender at first base and even threw three
pitches for strikes off the mound.
7. Scott Diamond, lhp, Martinsville (Binghamton)
led CPL starters with a 0.50 ERA while posting a 55-13 strikeout-walk
ratio in 54 innings. He has good command of three pitches: an upper-80s
fastball with sink and run, a curveball and a cutter (that his
teammates refer to as the “Diamond Cutter”). He does a good job getting
ahead of hitters early in the count. Diamond’s mechanics are mostly
smooth, although he jerks his head sometimes, and he’s got an
outstanding pickoff move.
8. Steve Condotta, ss, Martinsville (Florida Tech)
Condotta was second in the league with a .355 batting average, he
stands out most for his defense. A native of Toronto, Condotta has plus
range at shortstop, effortlessly gliding to his backhand side or up the
middle, and his infield actions are very smooth. He also has an
above-average arm. Offensively, Condotta has a pesky approach well
suited for the top of the order, and he has the ability to shoot the
ball into the gaps.
9. Jeff Fischer, rhp, Edenton (Eastern Michigan)
Mid-American Conference pitcher of the year as a sophomore this spring, Fischer kept
his success going this summer, posting a 4-3, 2.05 record for Edenton.
He has a big 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and a loose arm, and coaches
like his easy delivery, though one scout said his arm action was ugly.
He throws three pitches for strikes, including an above-average
changeup, a heavy 89-92 mph fastball that touches 93 and a decent
10. Mike Flye, rhp, Wilson (East Carolina)
is a very aggressive closer who comes right after hitters with his
89-91 mph fastball and nasty slider. He has an electric arm and a
projectable 6-foot-3 frame that suggests he could add velocity. Flye is
very intense on the mound and has good command, as evidenced by his
37-11 K-BB ratio in 31 innings for the Tobs. He flashes an occasional
changeup that needs refinement.