Scouting Reports: Iowa

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Iowa City High third baseman Jon Gilmore probably won’t become the
state’s first-ever high school first-rounder, but he should be the
state’s highest pick since the White Sox drafted outfielder Ryan
Sweeney 52nd overall in 2003.

high schools are thin behind Gilmore, but the colleges have more depth
than usual and Iowa Western Community College had a talented club that
advanced to the Junior College World Series.

National Top 200

Jon Gilmore
, 3b, Iowa City (Iowa)

Other Prospects Of

2. Brandon Douglas, ss, Northern Iowa
3. Jason White, ss, Iowa
4. Travis Sweet, of, Iowa
5. Aaron Jenkins, lhp, Northern Iowa
6. Tyson Gillies, of, Iowa Western CC (SIGNED: Mariners)
7. Mike Schurz, rhp, Iowa
8. Nick Nordgren, of, Indian Hills (Iowa) CC
9. Doug Kroll, of, Iowa Western CC
10. Zach Kenyon, rhp, Davenport (Iowa) Central HS


1. Jon Gilmore, 3b
(National rank:

Iowa City (Iowa) HS. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-3.
Wt.: 190.
Scouts were excited to see Gilmore this spring
after he tore up the showcase circuit last summer, including a double
off a Michael Main fastball at the Aflac Classic and a stellar
performance at the Area Code Games. But they’ve had a hard time getting
a read on him because he strained a hamstring and has faced
weaker-than-usual competition in Iowa. He still might go in the second
or third round, but the team that picks him that high will be doing so
on the basis of what it has seen in the past. He stands out most for
his exceedingly quick bat and his power potential. Gilmore is 6-foot-3
and 190 pounds, and while he’s a good athlete who drew interest from
college football programs as a quarterback, a move from shortstop to
third base is inevitable, either in pro ball or at Wichita State if he
doesn’t sign. He has the arm strength to make the longer throws from
the hot corner, and his bat will play there as well. Gilmore has two
brothers-in-law with baseball connections: Ben Zobrist has played in
the majors the last two years with the Devil Rays, while Dan Heefner is
the hitting coach at Dallas

Shortstops Top College Crop

Though hamstring troubles plagued him early in the year, redshirt sophomore Brandon Douglas
was an all-Missouri Valley Conference shortstop for the second time in
two seasons. He has average speed and arm strength, which likely means
a shift to second base as a pro, but he has enough bat to make the

Jason White has
a better chance than Douglas at remaining at shortstop. His bat is more
in question, but White has made strides at the plate this spring. A
frail 160 pounds in the past, White is now 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds and
hit 10 homers as a senior after totaling one in his first three years
at Iowa. He has room to add strength, and he has more speed and softer
hands than Douglas.

Travis Sweet
saw more action at second base, pitcher and third base in his first two
seasons with the Hawkeyes, but he has found a home in center field this
year. Slowed early after he was hit in the knee by a pitch, Sweet
rallied to bat .413, good for second in the Big 10 Conference batting
race entering the NCAA regionals. He has plus speed and gap power, and
he makes consistent contact.

Thanks to a true 12-to-6 curveball that batters know is coming but still can’t hit, Aaron Jenkins
has been a strikeout machine. He fanned 15 against Bradley in his final
start of the spring, and he owns Northern Iowa whiff records for a
season (126 in 95 innings this year) and career (247 in 198 innings).
Jenkins also has a high-80s fastball and maintains his velocity deep
into games. Though he’s a lefthander with a big breaking pitch, Jenkins
won’t be a high pick. He’s just 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds and relies on
his curve too much, so scouts aren’t sure how long he’ll last as a pro.
He went undrafted as a sophomore-eligible in 2006.

After Iowa Western went to the Junior College World Series, outfielder Tyson Gillies
signed with the Mariners as a 25th-round draft-and-follow. A former
member of the Canadian junior national team, he’s a raw athlete with
center-field ability and plus speed. He’s also hearing impaired, with
just 30 percent hearing in one ear and 60 percent in the other.

From a numbers standpoint, outfielder Doug Kroll
was the most productive Reiver, as he made a run at the national juco
triple crown by hitting .492-17-82. He redshirted at the Community
College of Southern Nevada last year.