Baseball Factory Preseason Tournament Top 10 Underclassmen

Lefthander Robert Carson was among more than 200 high school players in attendance at the 2007 Under Armour Baseball Factory preseason all-America tournament in Tucson. The senior from Hattiesburg (Miss.) High was named the event’s top prospect.

Lefties Jaff Decker (Sunrise Mountain High, Peoria, Ariz.) and Luke Erickson (Berkley, Calif., Prep) were the top two underclassmen in attendance.

Following are the top 10 underclassmen in attendance, as ranked by the staff of Baseball Factory.

Top 10 Underclassmen
Rank Player, Pos. Ht. Wt. B-T Class High School
1. Jaff Decker, lhp/of 5-10 185 L-L 2008 Sunrise Mountain HS, Peoria, Ariz.
Decker is a legitimate two-way player. His body type is athletic and compact, not unlike that of Mike Hampton. He topped at 91 mph and sat at 88-89. Although he is only 5-foot-10, he was able to create downhill plane on his fastball. He worked with an easy, fluid arm action and delivery. He showed a curveball with 1/7 break with bite and good depth. Decker’s changeup showed good arm-side run. At the plate he showed a solid approach with gap power and a short to long stroke. He showed athleticism in the outfield.
2. Luke Erickson, lhp/1b 6-2 190 L-L 2008 Berkeley Prep, Tampa
Erickson profiles best from the mound where he creates good plane on his fastball and has a projectable body. He topped at 87 mph, but was consistently 84-86 with good sink. He worked efficiently and shows excellent command, especially with his fastball. He is aggressive with his approach and shows the ability to get in on righthanded hitters. His offspeed pitches flashed excellence, but will need to be more consistent.
3. Bobby Borchering, 3b/rhp 6-3 185 B-R 2009 Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
Borchering arguably had the most upside of anyone at the event. He’s a switch-hitting corner infielder with a projectable body, and is just a sophomore. He showed a very mature approach from both sides of the plate with gap power and quick hands. He seemed slightly more polished from the right side, but showed a feel for the strike zone and a balanced stroke from the left, as well. Defensively, he showed good lateral ability with an easy arm and good carry to the target.
4. Taylor Dugas, of 5-9 170 L-L 2008 Teurlings Catholic HS, Lafayette, La.
Dugas showed an excellent approach at the plate with outstanding strike-zone discipline and pitch recognition, as well as the ability to center the baseball consistently. His body type is similar to that of Trot Nixon, with a strong, athletic look. Dugas shows good throws from the outfield with proper rotation and efficient glove and footwork. He displayed athleticism with his 6.93-second 60-yard-dash on a slow track.
5. Cody Stiles, of/rhp 6-0 170 R-R 2009 Taravella HS, Coral Springs, Fla.
Stiles’ aggressive approach on the mound was fun to watch. He went right after hitters with his fastball that topped out at 91 mph and sat at 86-88. His fastball showed sinking action, and he threw it with excellent command. His offspeed stuff was occasionally above-average, as well, with a 11-5, late-breaking curveball and a changeup with arm-side run and some sink rounding out an impressive three-pitch mix. Stiles showed a repeatable delivery with good balance and direction while throwing all of his pitches with control and command.
6. Jamie Blackwell, ss 6-1 180 R-R 2008 Forest Park HS, Woodbridge, Va.
Blackwell’s strength was at the plate where he showed a quiet, smooth approach to hitting. He tracked the ball well and showed quick hands with an accurate barrel. Defensively, he showed loose, easy actions with soft hands. He showed athleticism in all phases of the game. He ran a 6.9-second 60-yard-dash. He showed body control on slow rollers and good lateral movement, too.
7. Tommy Winegardner, ss/rhp 5-10 170 B-R 2009 Riverdale Baptist HS, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Winegardner is an exciting young two-way player. He touched 90 mph once and sat at 84-86 with a 12-6, late-breaking curveballl and also flashed a solid changeup. He has an easy arm and attacks the strike zone with all of his pitches. As good as he is on the mound, he may be a better position player. He showed fluid actions with efficient hands and a plus arm from shortstop. At the plate he showed a good approach, with pop from both sides of the plate.
8. Chris Matulis, lhp/1b 6-5 190 L-L 2008 Park Vista HS, Lake Worth, Fla.
Matulis is yet another legitimate two-way guy with possibly the most projectable body we saw at the event. On the mound, he sat 85-87 mph with a 1-7 hammer and a changeup that ran hard to the arm side. He had good downhill plane with above-average command of all of his pitches. He worked with a repeatable, balanced delivery and a loose, easy arm action. At first base, he offers a big target, efficient hands and made good feeds when starting the double play. His actions overall are smooth. He used a gap-to-gap approach at the plate with the ability to center the baseball consistently.
9. Matt Harrison, ss/rhp 6-1 170 R-R 2008 Green Valley HS, Las Vegas
Harrison is a slender, athletic shortstop with a cannon for an arm. He showed steady hands, efficient footwork and a quick release. At the plate he showed a quiet approach with a level stroke and excellent extension. He really had a mature approach to hitting with a lower half that explodes through the baseball.
10. Justin Koehler, rhp/3b 6-1 180 R-R 2008 Buhach Colony HS, Atwater, Calif.
Koehler is a quick-twitch, athletic player. He topped out at 90 mph, ran a 6.90-second 60-yard-dash and ran the bases with aplomb. He also has an easy, quick arm that should produce more velocity in the future. He is still raw in some capacities, but his athleticism and arm strength are undeniable.