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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Colorado

By Allan Simpson
May 26, 2005

***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
Just a few years ago, Hawaii produced a succession of early-round picks, ranging from Jerome Williams (Giants) in 1999, to Justin Wayne (Expos) and Dane Sardinha (Reds) in 2000, to Bronson Sardinha (Yankees) and Brandon League (Blue Jays) in 2001. But that well has gone dry the last two or three years and no one is likely to be picked in the first 10-12 rounds this year. The top Hawaiian pick will be Yavapai (Ariz.) Junior College draft-and-follow Milton Loo, a 17th-round pick of the Reds out of a Hawaii high school in 2004. Alaska is a non-entity, with Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC pitcher Ryan Shaver the player with an Alaska connection likely to be selected.

(National ranking in parentheses)
Potential First-Round Picks
Potential Second-Fifth Round Picks
Others Of Note
1. Kyle Winters, rhp, Pomona HS, Arvada
2. Sean Ratliff, lhp/1b, Niwot HS, Longmont
3. Reid Engel, of, Lewis Palmer HS, Monument
4. Anthony Capra, lhp/1b, Arvada West HS, Arvada
5. Seth Gilleland, rhp, Lamar CC
6. Mike Massaro, of, Colorado State U.-Pueblo
7. Chad Steiner, 3b, Lamar CC
8. Tony Pechek, c, Pueblo South HS, Pueblo
9. Tim Didjurgis, rhp, Regis College
10. Robert Garramoni, rhp, Denver North HS
11. Kevin Gossage, rhp, Coronado HS, Colorado Springs
12. Sean VanElderen, of, Mesa State College

(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.