Blue Jays Confident In Farm
TORONTOâ€”The system will remain a top priority for the Blue Jays under Mark Shapiro, though the unexpected departure of Alex Anthopoulos as general manager left uncertainty over whether some change […]
2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Colorado
By Allan Simpson
(National ranking in parentheses)
OTHERS TO WATCH
(Numbers in parentheses indicate rank in Colorado)
Stanford-bound LHP/1B Sean Ratliff (2) is the best all-around player in the state, but the top draft prospect is 6-foot-5 RHP Kyle Winters (1), who reminds area scouts of former Colorado prep standouts Roy Halladay and Brandon McCarthy.
Tall, slender and athletic, Winters has a similar build and delivery as Halladay and McCarthy at the same stage of their careers. He also has excellent makeup and is projectable. His arm works easy, his fastball tops out at 92 mph with the potential for more velocity and his breaking stuff is adequate. He went unbeaten this spring while striking out 81 in 51 innings. Winters, a New Mexico recruit, is not only the best talent in the state, but he’s also the most signable among the elite prospects.
Ratliff put up huge numbers as both a first baseman and pitcher the last two years as Niwot High ran off a 45-game winning streak while winning consecutive 4-A championships. In this year’s state title game, he threw a two-hit shutout, struck out 14 and went 4-for-4. On the year, he hit .519-8-35 while posting a 0.73 ERA. There’s a debate whether Ratliff profiles best as a hitter or pitcher for pro ball, but that issue could be moot as he is unlikely to be bought away from Stanford. He wants to play both ways in college. He has a slightly higher upside on the mound. He has three solid pitches, but the velocity on his fastball is a touch light at 90-91 mph—a factor that might keep him out of the first five rounds, regardless of his signability.
OF Reid Engel (3) has outstanding speed. He runs the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds, but may run all the way to Baylor if he’s not selected in the top five rounds. He’s athletic and had six home runs among his first nine hits this year, but at 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, he may not be physically ready yet for pro ball.
LHP Anthony Capra (4) and switch-hitting C Tony Pechek (8) are the latest in a long line of Colorado prep products heading to Wichita State. Capra has an 86-90 mph fastball and led the state in strikeouts; Pechek hit .538 for Pueblo South, the team that ended Niwot’s 45-game winning streak and finished second in the state.
Lamar Community College regularly produces top prospects for Division I schools and pro ball, but has no one with a chance to go in the top five rounds this year. Six-foot-3, 200-pound RHP Seth Gilleland (5) has put up big numbers, striking out 99 in 66 innings with a 2.05 ERA, but he didn’t always pitch well with scouts in attendance. 3B Chad Steiner (7) is a hard-nosed player with power potential. He hit .388 with eight homers against wood-bat competition, and showed solid actions at third base.