Steady As She Goes

The draft’s best prospects, enough to fill the first round, based purely on talent. Previous rankings in parentheses. The list does not include players under control from the 2006 draft.

1. David Price, lhp, Vanderbilt (1)
The Devil Rays maintain they have not settled on Price as their No. 1 choice, but his feel for pitching and power stuff from the left side are unrivaled in this class.
2. Josh Vitters, 3b, Cypress (Calif.) HS (3)
After a nagging bout with pneumonia, Vitters is “getting back to full strength finally, bouncing around, looking better,” Cypress coach John Weber said. Vitters homered twice May 2 at Valencia High (Placentia, Calif.), the second of which cleared the 350-foot sign in left-center field—and the adjacent street.
3. Rick Porcello, rhp, Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J. (5) Up
With polish and upside, Porcello offers a package that won’t make it out of the first 10 picks. He tossed one inning May 3 for a tournament start scheduled for May 6. He’s 4-0, 0.47 with 60 strikeouts and seven walks in 30 innings.
4. Matt Wieters, c, Georgia Tech (2) Down
After going 6-for-11 with two doubles and a triple in a late-April series against N.C. State, Wieters collected three more hits against Georgia at Turner Field, including one off a mid-90s Joshua Fields fastball. Pedigree and track record remain among the best profiles of any college player.
5. Andrew Brackman, rhp, North Carolina State (6) Up
The Wolfpack lost two out of three to rival North Carolina, though Brackman threw seven strong innings April 28. “Everyone keeps saying he’s sliding, but he’s not sliding far with that stuff,” a national crosschecker said.
6. Ross Detwiler, lhp, Missouri State (7)
Though Price is the top talent in the draft, Detwiler is among a handful of college lefthanders that won’t last long, either. His last start was his worst, though, as he lasted just 3.2 IP, his fewest over a 14-start stretch dating to last season.
7. Mike Moustakas, ss, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (16) Hot
Remarkable talent that continues to perform. Has shown the best power in the entire draft, and hitting ability comparable to Vitters’. Oh by the way, he was 96-97 mph off the mound in a recent closing appearance.
8. Daniel Moskos, lhp, Clemson (8)
After six stellar innings April 27 against Georgia Tech, Moskos can loosen his collar as Boston College comes to Clemson May 5-6.
9. Matt Harvey, rhp, Fitch HS, Groton, Conn. (4) Down
With a firmer fastball and a sharper—if somewhat less consistent—breaking ball, Porcello is ahead of Harvey on most draft boards entering the final month of their seasons.
10. Madison Bumgarner, lhp, South Caldwell HS, Hudson, N.C. (9) Down
More than a half-dozen scouting directors and at least 20 other scouts took in Bumgarner’s showdown with senior righthander Sam Runion (Reynolds HS, Asheville, N.C.) April 27. One bad inning undid Bumgarner, but he was up to 95 mph nonetheless.
11. Phillippe Aumont, rhp, Ecole Du Versant, Gatineau, Que. (17) Hot
Aumont made a pair of appearances in Florida against extended spring training teams of the Indians and Tigers, dominating against the Indians. He will pitch four more times before the draft, including May 6 and 13 in Ottawa at Lynx Stadium at 10 a.m.
12. Jarrod Parker, rhp, Norwell HS, Ossian, Ind. (19) Up
Lacks size but has opened a lot of eyes by topping out at 98 mph and flashing a plus breaking ball in his first two starts. Georgia Tech signee has yet to allow a run in five starts.
13. Jason Heyward, of, Henry County HS, McDonough, Ga. (11)
Uber athlete with instincts and skills to match, Heyward is pushing Tennessee’s Julio Borbon for top outfielder honors.
14. Matt Dominguez, 3b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS (14)
While Dominguez has made noise with his bat—he entered the week batting .423 (33-for-78) with nine home runs and 31 RBI’s—it’s his Gold Glove caliber defense that scouts are lauding lately.
15. Blake Beavan, rhp, Irving (Texas) HS (13)
Beavan is one of six high school hurlers that could be drafted in the top half of the first round this year.
16. Matt LaPorta, 1b, Florida (12)
LaPorta missed a great opportunity to matchup with David Price when he missed the first two games of the Gators’ series against Vanderbilt with a strained right quadriceps muscle. He did return in the series finale and extended his hitting streak to 20 games by hitting his Southeastern Conference-leading 17th home run.
17. Beau Mills, 1b/3b, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (15)
Mills mashed his NAIA-leading 25th home run of the season against Oregon Tech.
18. Michael Main, rhp/of, Deland (Fla.) HS (25) Up
In a seven-inning shutout May 1 in the first round of the playoffs, Main was lights-out, allowing one solid hit (four total). He pitched at 94 mph and threw just two fastballs below 92 mph. He also ran a 4.07 home-to-first from the right side.
19. Julio Borbon, of, Tennessee (10) Down
Borbon’s two-run single in the top of the 10th inning April 29 lifted the Vols to a 10-9 series-clinching win over Louisiana State, and provided him with a shot of confidence during a junior season hampered by a broken ankle. “No one realizes how strong he is,” a crosschecker said. “First impression is he is a slap-and-go type. This guy is not that. He has the ability to drive the ball.”
20. Casey Weathers, rhp, Vanderbilt (21)
The class’ potential closer crop is deep, if enigmatic, but unlike Georiga’s Fields, Weathers’ stuff has been firm and consistent much of the spring for the top-ranked Commodores.
21. Brett Cecil, lhp, Maryland (22)
Showed his power two-pitch arsenal against Virginia April 28, topping out at 94 mph with a two-plane 86 mph slider.
22. Josh Smoker, lhp, Calhoun (Ga.) HS (23)
Like Vitters, Smoker has been under the weather and suffering from bronchitis. It didn’t matter in his last outing, as he went the distance and struck out a career-high 20, allowing one hit against Dade County High (Trenton, Ga.).
23. Nick Schmidt, lhp, Arkansas (24) Up
Dependable lefty has quietly put together an impressive career, and though he isn’t overpowering, he pitches off a solid-average fastball, which he commands extremely well.
24. Jack McGeary, lhp/1b, Roxbury Latin HS, West Roxbury, Mass. (29) Up
Separated non-throwing shoulder hampered McGeary early on, though his upside is undeniable. “Sometimes you can’t go strictly off the radar gun readings, you have to look away from the gun on this guy,” a crosschecker said. “He’s 88-91 with a plus curveball and a chance to be plus-plus . . . Moxy on the mound, great delivery, commands the fastball.”
25. Kevin Ahrens, 3b, Memorial HS, Houston (NR) Up
The best hitter in the state of Texas has shown power and a sweet swing from both sides of the plate, drawing comparisons to Chipper Jones.
26. Jake Arrieta, rhp, Texas Christian (26) Down
Arrieta failed to make it out of the fifth inning against San Diego State—scouts said TCU’s coaches were clearly keeping him on a tight leash—and continues his lackluster (3.69 ERA) junior season.
27. Todd Frazier, 3b, Rutgers (28)
A draft class thin in position players, guys like Frazier and North Carolina shortstop Josh Horton are sure to draw interest in the top 30 picks.
28. Kyle Russell, of, Texas (NR)
Draft-eligible sophomore has obliterated the Texas home run record, with 24 home runs entering the first weekend of May.
29. Matt Mangini, 3b, Oklahoma State (18) Down
The 2006 Cape Cod League batting champ (.310) is a better defender but has less power than LaPorta or Mills.
30. Michael Burgess, of, Hillsborough HS, Tampa (30)
A frustrating season came to an unceremonious end for Burgess, whose team missed the playoffs. Private workouts and perhaps a trip to Sebring, Fla., for the Florida high school all-star game will be important showings for the powerful slugger as he attempts to quell questions about his propensity to swing and miss.

Up Prospect’s stock is up

Hot Prospect’s stock is rising fast

Down Prospect’s stock is down

Cold Prospect’s stock is dropping fast