Scouting Reports: Oklahoma

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Oklahoma has three position players who could go in the first or supplemental first round of the draft. Oklahoma State outfielder Corey Brown is one of the best college athletes in the draft this year, while teammate Matt Mangini, a third baseman, is one of the best college bats. Owasso High’s Pete Kozma is arguably the best shortstop, high school or college, in this year’s class. After that trio, the colleges offer their usual depth but the junior colleges and high schools are down a bit in 2007.

National Top 200

1. Corey Brown,
of, Oklahoma State
Pete Kozma
, ss, Owasso (Okla.) HS
Matt Mangini, 3b, Oklahoma State
4. Stephen
Porlier, rhp, Oklahoma
5. Jeremy Hefner, rhp,
Oral Roberts

Other Prospects Of

6. Tyler Mach, 2b, Oklahoma State
7. Chance Chapman, rhp, Oral Roberts
8. Jackson Williams, c, Oklahoma
9. Justin Friend, rhp, Oklahoma State
10. Matt Hoffman, lhp, Owasso (Okla.) HS
11. Andy Wilkins, 3b/1b, Broken Arrow (Okla.) HS
12. Kody Kaiser, of, Oklahoma City
13. Joe Dunigan, of, Oklahoma
14. Jeremy McBryde, rhp, Rose State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Padres)
15. John Maschino, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Rangers)
16. Parker Frazier, rhp, Bishop Kelley HS, Tulsa, Okla.
17. Brendan Duffy, of, Oral Roberts
18. Ty Wright, of, Oklahoma State
19. Josue Peley, ss, Seminole State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Pirates)
20. Darren Blocker, 3b, Connors State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Red Sox)
21. Chaz Gilliam, rhp, Cyril (Okla.) HS
22. Brandon Harrigan, c, Oklahoma City
23. Tony Snow, rhp, Oklahoma City (SIGNED: Marlins)
24. Davis Duren, ss, Union HS, Tulsa, Okla.
25. Aaron Reza, inf, Oklahoma
26. Martin Beno, rhp, Oklahoma State
27. Heath Taylor, lhp, Oklahoma
28. Erik Crichton, rhp, Oral Roberts
29. Tim Brewer, lhp, Connors State (Okla.) JC (SIGNED: Angels)
30. Steve Martin, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC
31. Tommy Luce, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC
32. Kyle Dyer, rhp, Page HS, Sand Springs, Okla.
33. Drew Rucinski, rhp, Union HS, Tulsa, Okla.
34. Keanon Simon, of, Oklahoma State
35. Rebel Ridling, 1b, Oklahoma State
36. Ryan Mottern, rhp, Oklahoma
37. Patrick Norris, of, Oklahoma City
38. Brian Joynt, of, Oklahoma City
39. Brad Burns, rhp, Oklahoma
40. Jake Kahaulelio, 2b, Oral Roberts


Corey Brown1. Corey Brown, of
(National rank:

Oklahoma State. Class:
B-T: L-L.
Ht.: 6-2.
Wt.: 210.
Teammate Matt Mangini came into 2007 with more
buzz, but Brown has surpassed him as the best prospect at Oklahoma
State. He’s a more well-rounded player, showing all five tools and the
athleticism that made him the target of football recruiting offers as a
wide receiver out of high school. Brown shows power and speed, and he
was on pace for a 20-20 season with the Cowboys. He has a quick bat and
the patience to rank among the NCAA Division I leaders with 53 walks
through 50 games. He has the range to play center field and more arm
strength than most players at that position. While Brown has been
productive at the plate, he doesn’t always make consistent contact. He
has 51 strikeouts this spring, and he batted just .192 with 57 whiffs
in 41 games in the Cape Cod League. His makeup raised red flags in high
school, when he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of battery and was
placed on probation. According to police, Brown–who was 17 at the
time–and three other boys were drinking alcohol and had consensual sex
with a 14-year-old girl, a violation of Florida state law. That
incident cost him a scholarship to Virginia. Whether it lingers in the
minds of some teams remains to be seen, but he still figures to go no
later than the sandwich round. Brown’s younger brother Dylan, a
freshman at Oklahoma State, should be a top prospect in the 2009

2. Pete Kozma, ss
(National rank:

Owasso (Okla.) HS. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-1.
Wt.: 180.
There may not be a true middle infielder drafted
in the first round this year, but Kozma is as good a candidate as any.
He impressed scouting directors when his team made a swing through
Florida in late March, and he had a three-homer game in an Oklahoma 6-A
playoff contest. Kozma has no true standout tool, but he also has no
glaring weakness. He grades out as average to slightly above-average in
every tool except power, and he does have pop. His instincts help him
play above his physical ability at bat, on the bases and in the field.
He has good plate coverage and uses the entire field, projecting as a
future No. 2 hitter in a big league lineup. Coming into the spring,
some scouts questioned whether he’d be a long-term shortstop, but he
has no doubters now. A Wichita State recruit, Kozma draws raves for his
consistency and energy as

3. Matt Mangini, 3b
(National rank:

Oklahoma State. Class:
B-T: L-R.
Ht.: 6-4.
Wt.: 222.
Mangini won the Cape Cod League batting title
with a .310 average last summer, then transferred from North Carolina
State to Oklahoma State. He entered the year projected as a first-round
pick–and he still may realize those expectations because college
position players are in short supply and will be overdrafted–but his
stock has slipped. He had changed his approach to simply trying to make
contact. He was spread out at the plate, costing him leverage, and
ranked just fourth on the Cowboys in both batting (.342) and homers
(nine) through 50 games. He always has used a line-drive approach more
than a loft stroke, but he drove the ball better in the past. Despite
being 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, he may have no more than average power.
Mangini is adequate at third base and on the bases, so his bat will
have to carry him. He has enough arm
for the hot corner, but he has been vulnerable to bunts and
inconsistent in the field, so he may have to find a new position down
the line.

4. Stephen Porlier,
rhp (National rank:

Oklahoma. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-2.
Wt.: 206.
Porlier ranked as one of the top high school
pitching prospects in Texas three years ago until he blew out his elbow
and needed Tommy John surgery. After redshirting at Tulane in 2005, he
pitched one season for the Green Wave before transferring to Oklahoma
for 2007. He quickly became the Sooners’ No. 1 starter, and while he
has spun shutouts against Nebraska and Kansas (a combined effort), he
also has been inconsistent this spring. His low-90s fastball, curveball
and changeup are all good pitches, he throws strikes and he has a
durable 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame. Nevertheless, scouts question his
mental toughness and wonder about his signability as a draft-eligible
sophomore. His talent would dictate taking him in the first three
rounds, though if his asking price is high he could slide considerably
further than

5. Jeremy Hefner,
rhp (National rank:

Oral Roberts. Class:
B-T: R-R.
Ht.: 6-5.
Wt.: 200.
Scouts were aware of Hefner in 2006, but he got
lost in the shuffle at Seminole State (Okla.) Junior College. The
pitching staff also included Drew Miller (who got $300,000 as a
draft-and-follow from the Padres), Duke Welker (a likely third-round
pick this June) and hard throwers John Maschino and Ryan Lindgren.
Hefner went undrafted after the Mets had drafted him in the 46th round
in 2004 and the 48th round in 2005. He made a jump forward this spring
under the tutelage of Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton. Welker’s fastball
velocity has risen from 87-89 mph a year ago to 89-94, and his command
of the pitch has improved as well. Walton has taught him an effective
two-plane slider, and Hefner also uses a curveball and changeup. He
also has size (6-foot-5, 200 pounds), athleticism and good arm action
in his favor. Hefner moved from the bullpen to the rotation in March,
and his stock has climbed as well. He should go in the first five
rounds, perhaps higher if he performs well against tougher competition
in the NCAA

Mach Doesn’t Let Up

In 2006, his first season at Oklahoma State after playing at Washington and then Edmonds (Wash.) Community College, Tyler Mach won
the Big 12 home run title with 16 and shared player-of-the-year honors
with Texas outfielder Drew Stubbs. Stubbs went eighth overall in the
draft to the Reds, while Mach lasted until the Cardinals took him in
the 40th round. Scouts saw Mach as a dead-fastball hitter who took
advantage of the hitting conditions in Stillwater, but he has proven
himself again in 2007. He was battling teammate Ty Wright
for the league batting title (Wright was at .417, Mach at .410 entering
the NCAA regionals) and led the conference with 76 RBIs. He also moved
from third base to second base to make room for Matt Mangini. Mach is
still seen as an all-bat player, and he’s probably going to have to
play first base in pro ball. But he can hit and his bat makes him an
interesting senior sign.

Another transfer doing well for the Cowboys is righthander Justin Friend,
who spent the previous two seasons at Chabot (Calif.) Junior College.
He has settled into Oklahoma State’s closer role and showed an 88-91
mph fastball and a slider that has peaked at 82-83 mph. His command
helps his stuff play up.

Outfielders Brendan Duffy and Wright
are both leadoff types who run well. Duffy, whose older brother Chris
plays for the Pirates, is a better prospect because he can play center,
while Wright’s arm relegates him to left. Wright extended his hitting
streak to 35 games, second in Oklahoma State history behind Robin
Ventura’s NCAA-record 58-game skein, in the Cowboys’ first NCAA
regional game.

Righthander Chance Chapman
has had a pair of spectacular strikeout performances, fanning 17
against Arkansas and 19 against Centenary. The Mid-Continent Conference
pitcher of the year, he entered the NCAA regionals ranked third in
Division I in both ERA (1.23) and strikeouts per nine innings
(12.4)–eight spots ahead of teammate Jeremy Hefner (11.6) in the
latter category. Chapman’s strikeout pitch is a big league slider, and
he also has an 88-91 mph fastball with life. When he commands his
fastball, he’s tough to hit. Chapman’s age works against him, as he’s
23 after spending three years at Cuesta (Calif.) Junior College and
missing all of 2004 with an injury.

Jackson Williams
has some of the best catch-and-throw skills in the Midwest. He records
pop times of 1.8-1.9 seconds from the mitt to second base. The question
about Williams always has been how much he’ll hit, and he doesn’t offer
much power. But he heated up at the end of the season, raising his
average to .344 after batting .263 as a freshman and .292 as a

Matt Hoffman
got exposure when scouts flocked to Owasso High games to see Pete
Kozma. Owasso won the state 6-A title with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a
solo homer from Kozma and a three-hit shutout from Hoffman. He entered
the year known more as a center fielder, but pro teams now prefer him
as an athletic lefthander who has touched 91-92 mph. His delivery and
command need some work, and he may not be signable away from Oklahoma.

The best high school hitter in Oklahoma is Andy Wilkins.
He has size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and a short, strong lefthanded
stroke. The ball jumps off his bat. He would be more attractive if he
had a realistic chance to stay at third base, but he’ll have to be a
first baseman. He might not get picked high enough to lure him away
from an Arkansas scholarship.

Outfielder Kody Kaiser
transferred from Oklahoma, where he played for his uncle Sunny
Galloway, to NAIA power Oklahoma City. He’s a switch-hitter with speed
and hitting ability, and he put up monster numbers (.425-18-63, 35
steals) typical of the Stars program. His size (5-foot-8, 185 pounds)
works against him and he may profile better at second baseman, but he
never has been able to claim that position on any of his college teams.
The Dodgers drafted him in the 26th round as a draft-eligible sophomore
last June.

Few college players look the part more than outfielder Joe Dunigan,
a 6-foot-2, 247-pounder with tremendous bat speed and strength, good
speed for his size and arm strength. But he never has made consistent
contact and is shaky in right field, and some scouts question how well
he sees the ball. While he has made improvements, he’s still raw after
three years in the Big 12. He also struggled with wood bats in the Cape
Cod League last summer. Through no fault of his own, Dunigan was thrust
into the spotlight last April, when former Oklahoma coach Larry Cochell
twice used a racist epithet to describe him while talking to ESPN
commentators. That cost Cochell his job.

Top Juco Prospects Sign Before Draft

Oklahoma’s best junior-college prospects all signed six-figure deals as draft-and-follows in May. Righthander Jeremy McBryde (Padres, 26th round in 2006) throws in the low 90s and has a decent slider. Righty John Maschino
(Rangers, 17th) has a little more power to his stuff but not as much
pitchability. A former member of the Canadian junior national team, Josue Peley
(Pirates, 35th) showed speed and pop while playing a slick shortstop.
The Pirates will try to convert him into a catcher. Third baseman Darren Blocker (Red Sox, 36th) was the most dangerous hitter in the state, batting .436 with eight homers.

Righthander Parker Frazier
defines projection at 6-foot-5 and 160 pounds. The son of former big
leaguer George Frazier, he already throws 86-89 mph and has plenty of
room to get stronger. His slider and command are advanced for a high
schooler. He has committed to Oral Roberts.

Righthander Chaz Gilliam
starred in three sports at tiny Cyril High, but he’s more polished in
football (accounted for 31 touchdowns last fall as a quarterback) and
basketball (averaged 18 points a game). As a pitcher, he offers size
(6-foot-3, 190 pounds) and projectable velocity (his fastball already
is 87-90 mph). His arm action and command need to improve, which could
happen if he dedicates himself to baseball.

Tim Brewer
made draft news when the Rockies took him out of a Virgin Islands high
school in the 35th round of the 2005 draft–only to discover that he
was a junior and have the pick voided. The Angels took him in the 50th
round last June and signed him as a draft-and-follow. He’s a
projectable 6-foot-3, 187-pound lefty who can touch 90 mph with his