While the college programs at Kentucky and Louisville are improving, neither
is in position yet to consistently feed talent to the draft. Kentucky
figures to have a premium selection next year in infielder John Shelby
Jr., the son of the former big league outfielder, but doesn’t figure
to have recruit Chaz Roe join him on the roster. Roe, whose father played
football for the Wildcats, figures to be drafted in the first 50 picks.
(National ranking in parentheses)
1. CHAZ ROE, rhp (National rank: 34) School: Lafayette HS
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: Oct. 9, 1986.
College Commitment: Kentucky.
Scouting Report: A shortstop in high school as well as a pitcher, Roe has two-way potential in college and would be a difference-maker for second-year coach John Cohenís rebuilding efforts at Kentucky. He also has strong ties to the school, where his father played football. But as the season progressed, few scouts expected him to make it to college. Roe, long and projectable, was throwing as well as any prep pitcher in the country and gaining momentum toward the first 50 picks. He has plenty of arm strength, having reached 95 mph at times and throwing consistently in the low 90s. Heís athletic (he was a promising football player as a freshman and sophomore before a pair of concussions convinced him that baseball was the way to go), and repeats his delivery. His loose, quick arm generally works well. His detractors say Roeís slurvy, upper-70s breaking ball is too inconsistent (though at times itís a plus pitch) and his body too frail for pro ball at this time, and even supporters say Roe has a head jerk in his delivery, which tends to lead to control problems and could be tough to correct.
OTHERS TO WATCH
(Numbers in parentheses indicate rank in Kentucky)
Bluegrass State Barren
Aside from Roe, a possible supplemental first-round pick if he doesnít go in the first round, Kentucky doesn't have much. Northern Kentucky righthanders Derik Moeves (2) and Paul David Patterson (9) got scouts excited by showing early arm strength, but they lack consistent velocity. Moeves, who set back-to-back season strikeouts records at the Division II school, had a chance to go in the first 10 rounds thanks to an 88-90 mph fastball that hit 93 early in the season. His secondary stuff is average, and at times he throws his curveball, slider and changeup for strikes. His curveball probably has the most upside, though he commands the changeup well. His biggest knock is a short-arm delivery that limits his projectability. Patterson is a long, lanky righty who tops out at 91 mph; he usually sits in the mid-80s and needs to improve his breaking ball considerably.
Third baseman Tim Grogan (3) has athleticism and tools, including bat speed that produced a .332-13-63 season in 2004. He looked overmatched in the Cape Cod League (.175, 43 strikeouts in 143 at-bats) and lacked confidence in a depleted Western Kentucky lineup this season, slumping to .276-5-34. He still has bat speed and athleticism, as well as a solid glove and the ability to take a walk (139-133 walk-strikeout ratio for his career). Clubs looking for college catching could take a look at J.P. Lowen (5) or, if heís not signed as a fifth-year senior free agent, J.T. Lafountain (4), who profiles more as a utility player than as an everyday catcher.
The stateís longshot is Ashland native Andrew McCormick (10), a tall, thin, raw righty at NAIA Pikeville. Playing for former Giants shortstop Johnnie LeMaster, McCormick has flashed occasional low-90s fastballs and has a projectable frame, eliciting comparisons to Todd Wellemeyer, the Cubs pitcher who attended Bellarmine, another NAIA school in Kentucky. Heís far more like a high school pitcher than a college one in terms of development, though.