Skipworth, DeVall Continue Spring Success

With the high school season underway across the country, Baseball America will try to bring you continual updates on how prospects are helping or hurting their stock for the 2008 draft.

Kyle Skipworth, Patriot High School, Riverside, Calif.

There is no hotter hitter in the country than Kyle Skipworth. Last night, an unprecedented streak in the state of California came to an end when Skipworth was retired for the first time in 25 plate appearances.

In the five games prior to last night, the nation’s number one catching prospect’s stat line read: 5 for 5, 1 for 1 (3 walks), 1 for 1 (3 walks), 4 for 4 and 5 for 5. Last night he started the game with two hits before finally being retired in his third at-bat of the evening. The stats are uncanny: 16 straight hits, four home runs, four doubles and one triple.

Skipworth continues to build on a strong ’07 summer and has raised his draft stock into the upper third of this year’s first round. Assuming he’s signable, he will most likely be the first catcher taken in the draft.

"He’s a premium lefthanded bat with premium catch and throw skills at a premium position," an American League scout said. "If he’s signable, he’s going top 10."

Brett DeVall, Niceville (Fla.) High School

You can’t strike out every hitter, can you? Last week Brett DeVall just about did. Making two appearances for his team in the Powerade Classic, DeVall threw five innings Tuesday and two and one third innings Friday. He totaled 20 strikeouts while only allowing two hits and one earned run.

DeVall kept his streak going last night when was brought in for the final five outs of his team’s game. DeVall only needed 17 pitches to finish the game, striking out all five hitters he faced. His season total is now 95 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched.

DeVall is lefthanded and consistently pitches at 92 mph, mixing in a slider as well. He could fit into the mix near the end of the first round.

Eric Hosmer, American Heritage High School, Plantation, Fla.

In two games last week, Eric Hosmer hit the ball well, going 5 for 7 with two home runs, four RBI and two walks. Hosmer’s patience and bat speed continues to impress scouts as he has vaulted himself into a great position to be the first first baseman drafted this year, potentially placing him in front of college standouts Justin Smoak and Yonder Alonso. He now has seven home runs in 17 games this season for top ranked American Heritage High School.

Weather Delay

The Major League teams weren’t the only one’s affected by rain on their opening day. In Indiana, Alex Meyer was slated to take the mound tonight in his team’s season opener. However, the game was cancelled due to weather. His next chance to pitch will be April 10. The weather in Indiana has been so bad, Meyer has not been able to even throw a bullpen outside. By April 10, most teams in Florida will almost be finished with their regular seasons.

Meyer is coming off a whirlwind summer of success, and despite not having pitched an inning this spring, is projected to be selected in the latter half of the first round.