Scouting Reports: California

2007 MLB Draft One of the biggest reasons this year's high school draft class is considered strong is the depth of hitters provided by California. The top two prep hitters in the country reside here in Josh Vitters and Mike Moustakas, and Moustakas had one of the best single-season performances in state history. He became California's single-season (24 and counting) and career (52) home runs leader this spring, and surprassed Chatsworth High teammate Matt Dominguez to rival Vitters as the state's top prospect. Moustakas was also hitting 97 mph off the mound with a power breaking ball, making him one of the best pitchers in the state as well.

*****One for the books
****Banner year
***Solid, not spectacular
**Not up to par
*Nothing to see here
For all its high school hitters, California's prep ranks were somewhat light on pitching this year, particularly in Southern California. Conversely, the state's colleges had few impact bats, and many traditional powers--Cal State Fullerton, Southern California, Stanford--were just not as good as usual, on the field or in terms of draft talent. Still, the state's college provide several pitchers who should be drafted in the first two rounds, such as San Francisco lefthander Aaron Poreda and UC Riverside righty James Simmons.

And as usual, California is out in front in a trend that the rest of the country will soon adopt, A significant feature of the state's landscape is the unusually high number of good junior college draft prospects who were not under control as draft-and-follows. With those rules changing next year, California just got in a year early.

National Top 200 Prospects

1. Josh Vitters, 3b, Cypress (Calif.) HS
2. Mike Moustakas, 3b/1b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS
3. Matt Dominguez, 3b, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS
4. Aaron Poreda, lhp, San Francisco
5. Nick Noonan, 2b, Parker HS, San Diego
6. Ryan Dent, ss/2b, Wilson HS, Long Beach
7. James Simmons, rhp, UC Riverside
8. Travis d'Arnaud, c, Lakewood (Calif.) HS
9. Kyle Blair, rhp, Los Gatos (Calif.) HS
10. Wes Roemer, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
11. Danny Duffy, lhp, Cabrillo HS, Lompoc Calif.
12. Gary Brown, of/2b, Diamond Bar HS, Walnut, Calif.
13. Barry Enright, rhp, Pepperdine
14. Matt Thompson, rhp, Santa Rosa (Calif.) JC
15. Victor Sanchez, 3b/c, Gahr HS, Norwalk, Calif.
16. Nicholas Barnese, rhp, Simi Valley (Calif.) HS
17. Grant Desme, of, Cal Poly
18. Danny Worth, ss, Pepperdine
19. Austin Romine, c, El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif.
20. Freddie Freeman, 1b/rhp, El Modena HS, Orange, Calif.
21. Christian Colon, ss/2b, Canyon HS, Anaheim
22. Kyle O'Campo, rhp, Poly HS, Riverside, Calif.
23. Rob Rasmussen, lhp, Poly HS, Pasadena, Calif.
24. Scott Alexander, lhp, Cardinal Newman HS, Santa Rosa, Calif.
25. Mike Stanton, 1b/of, Notre Dame Academy, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
26. Thomas Eager, rhp, Cal Poly
27. Tyson Brummett, rhp, UCLA
28. Marc Rzepcynski, lhp, UC Riverside
29. Andrew Lambo, 1b/of, Newbury Park (Calif.) HS
30. Leroy Hunt, rhp, Sacramento CC
31. Brad Meyers, rhp, Loyola Marymount
32. Evan Reed, rhp, Cal Poly
33. Adrian Ortiz, of, Pepperdine
34. Eric Farris, 2b/ss, Loyola Marymount
35. Justin Snyder, of, San Diego
36. Matt Clark, 3b, Riverside (Calif.) CC
37. David Dinelli, rhp, Sierra (Calif.) JC

Other Prospects Of Note

38. Michael Taylor, of, Stanford
39. Adam Olbrychowski, rhp, Pepperdine
40. Johnnie Lowe, rhp, Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)
41. Justin DeFratus, rhp, Ventura (Calif.) JC
42. Cole Cook, rhp, Palisades Charter HS, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
43. Bobby Coyle, of, Chatsworth (Calif.) HS
44. Michael Southern, rhp, West Hills (Calif.) JC
45. Jordan Abruzzo, c, San Diego
46. Justin Baum, 3b, Pacific
47. Nolan Gallagher, rhp, Stanford
48. Dan Runzler, lhp, UC Riverside
49. Brant Rustich, rhp, UCLA
50. Erik Goeddel, rhp, Bellarmine Prep, San Jose, Calif.
51. Charles Nolte, rhp, San Diego State
52. Paul Koss, rhp, Southern California
53. Adam Reifer, rhp, UC Riverside
54. Sequoyah Stonecipher, of, Righetti HS, Santa Maria, Calif.
55. Aaron Westlake, 1b, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
56. Daniel Descalso, 3b/2b, UC Davis
57. Bryan Petersen, of, UC Irvine
58. Deryk Hooker, rhp, Mira Mesa HS, San Diego
59. Martin Viramontes, rhp, Bullard HS, Fresno, Calif.
60. Donnie Hume, lhp, San Diego State
61. Clark Hardman, of, Cal State Fullerton
62. Blair Erickson, rhp, UC Irvine
63. Jameson Smith, c, Fresno CC
64. Dan Berlind, rhp, Pierce (Calif.) JC
65. Matt Cusick, 2b/3b, Southern California
66. Tony Kirbis, rhp, Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)
67. Dan Renken, rhp, Orange Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.
68. Matt Mitchell, rhp, Barstow (Calif.) HS
69. Shane Buschini, of, San Diego
70. Bruce Billings, rhp, San Diego State
71. Jeff Grijalva, rhp, San Clemente (Calif.) HS
72. Tyler Hess, rhp/c, De La Salle HS, Concord, Calif.
73. Brandon Glover, of, San Diego State
74. Steven Hirschfeld, rhp, San Diego State
75. Jaime Pedroza, ss, UC Riverside
76. Brian Guinn, ss, Berkeley HS, El Sobrante, Calif.
77. Ben Petralli, c, Sacramento CC (CONTROL: Tigers)
78. Steve Morlock, rhp, UC Santa Barbara
79. Lucas Duda, 1b, Southern California
80. Jeff Dunbar, c, UC Riverside
81. Nick Longmire, of, Grossmont (Calif.) HS
82. Frank LoNigro, c/of, San Diego State
83. Evan McArthur, 3b, Cal State Fullerton
84. Lance Sewell, lhp, San Diego State
85. Stephen Vogt, c/1b, Azusa Pacific (Calif.)
86. Michael Watt, lhp, Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.
87. Stephen Penney, rhp, UC Riverside
88. Stephen Yarrow, ss, South Tahoe (Calif.) HS
89. Dan Klein, rhp, Servite (Calif.) HS
90. B.J. Salsbury, rhp, San Jacinto (Calif.) HS
91. Brian Susdorf, of, Fresno State
92. Luke Sommer, of/rhp, San Francisco
93. Brett Krill, of, Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
94. Tommy Peale, rhp, San Francisco
95. Addison Reed, rhp/1b, Los Osos (Calif.) HS
96. Kolby Moore, rhp, Centennial HS, Corona, Calif.
97. Troy Hanzawah, ss, San Diego State
98. Daniel Morales, rhp, San Francisco
99. Alex Rollin, rhp, California
100. David Flores, 3b, Sacramento State
101. David Freitas, c/rhp, Elk Grove (Calif.) HS
102. Chuck Higgins, lhp, UC Santa Barbara
103. Reggie Williams, 3b, Bellflower (Calif.) HS
104. Logan Schafer, of, Cal Poly
105. Jake Johnson, c, Mission Bay HS, San Diego
106. Chris Jones, of, Cal State Fullerton
107. Nick Akins, ss, Riverside (Calif.) CC (CONTROL: Dodgers)
108. Cameron Johnson, of, San Diego State
109. Donald Brown, of, Pepperdine
110. Adam Jorgensen, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
111. Bryan Castro, rhp, Poly HS, Riverside, Calif.
112. Ryan Royster, of, UC Davis
113. John Curtis, c, Cal State Fullerton
114. Cory Vaughn, of, Jesuit HS, Elk Grove, Calif.
115. Omar Arif, lhp, Long Beach State
116. Brian Juhl, c, Stanford
117. Josh Satin, 2b/of, California
118. Ozzie Lewis, of, Fresno State
119. Jeff Kaplan, rhp, Cal State Fullerton
120. Cody Cipriano, 2b, UC Irvine
121. Devin Lohman, ss, Shasta HS, Redding, Calif.
122. Erik Davis, rhp, Stanford
123. Rob Blauer, 1b, UC Santa Barbara
124. Danny Carroll, of, Valley View HS, Moreno Valley, Calif.
125. Andrew Liebel, rhp, Long Beach State

Scouting Reports

Josh Vitters1. Josh Vitters, 3b (National rank: 3)
School: Cypress (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 8/27/89.
Scouting Report: Vitters' older brother Christian was a solid prospect who had an excellent career at Fresno State. While Christian was a 10th-round pick, Josh figures to go nine rounds higher. He entered last summer as one of the top hitters in the class, then blew to the top of the heap while dominating at the Area Code Games, doubling three times at the Aflac Classic and earning MVP honors at the Cape Cod Classic. While Vitters has solid defensive and running tools, that's not what earned him such accolades--his bat did. He has tremendous feel for getting the fat part of the bat to the ball, and with his tremendous bat speed and barrel awareness, he drives the ball more consistently than any hitter in the class. Scouts describe him as the rare righthanded hitter with a pretty swing, and he's shown the ability to handle different velocities and different styles of pitching with ease. Vitters' his hand-eye coordination and ability to make contact are almost too good, because at times he swings at pitches he should let pass, rather than waiting for one he can punish with his all-fields power. While his hands and footwork at third are sound, he tends to misread hops, and defense doesn't come easy to him. His bat should play at any position, however. His only speed-bump this spring was a bout with pneumonia that caused him to miss two weeks, but he was still considered a near-lock to be picked in the first five spots overall.

Mike Moustakas2. Mike Moustakas, 3b/1b (National rank: 5)
School: Chatsworth (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 9/11/88.
Scouting Report: No premium draft pick had a better season than Moustakas, who had one of the great careers in California high school history (see Page 32). The nephew of former Mets hitting coach Tom Robson, Moustakas tightened up his body between his junior and senior seasons, stepping up his conditioning as he healed completely from a hairline ankle fracture sustained during a scrimmage football game as a high school junior. He was the starting quarterback at Chatsworth as a freshman and has a bazooka for an arm--his fastball sat in the low 90s early in the year in relief roles and hit 97 mph in April. His power arm isn't his best tool though, as Moustakas' quiet, quick hands, polished approach and strength at the plate produce light-tower power and a smooth swing he repeats easily. Earlier in the year, scouts wondered about his defensive position--he's Chatsworth's shortstop but will move immediately as a pro. Most believe third base would be the first natural spot and others dreamed of his arm behind the plate, but most agree now that it doesn't matter. His bat will play at any spot, even first base, though it would be a shame to waste that arm there. The only complicating factor was his commitment to Southern California--he and Robert Stock would become an unrivaled pair of two-way players-- and representation by Scott Boras. The combination clouds his signability, but not his impressive ability.

Matt Dominguez3. Matt Dominguez, 3b (National rank: 18)
School: Chatsworth (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 185. Birthdate: 8/28/89.
Scouting Report: Dominguez entered the season competing for top prospect honors in Southern California, especially after leading USA Baseball's junior national team with two homers and 11 RBIs at least year's World Junior Championship. He was quickly passed as a prospect by his teammate, Mike Moustakas, this spring, however, and his stock was falling toward the bottom of the first round as the draft approached. The problem isn't tools, but rather adjustments. Dominguez has the tools to hit, with quick hands that he should learn to trust. Instead, he gets on his front foot too early, and to compensate he has tinkered with his approach--a bat wrap, rocking back with his hands, or setting up in a wide-open stance and diving at the ball. He has the bat speed and raw power potential that none of it is probably necessary, but the club that drafts Dominguez and signs him away from his Cal State Fullerton commitment will need to adjust his hitting mechanics. His other tools are excellent, particularly defensively, where he's drawn comparisons to Ryan Zimmerman. Dominguez has a well-above-average arm, and with his supple hands and quick release, it plays as well as Moustakas' 80 arm. He does everything easily defensively and is a solid runner.

4. Aaron Poreda, lhp (National rank: 37)
School: San Francisco. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 240. Birthdate: 10/1/86.
Scouting Report: Poreda wasn't on the radar screen in high school; he focused more on football as a defensive end/tight end. He did pitch a bit, even tossing a no-hitter, but was awkward and had suspect arm action. In three seasons at San Francisco working with pitching coach Greg Moore, however, he has developed into a first-round candidate and one of the nation's hardest-throwing lefthanders. Poreda works off the fastball almost as much as UC Riverside's James Simmons (No. 47), and like Simmons, it's his only above-average pitch. While his fastball was flat and 89-90 mph in his 2007 opener, he has been consistently in the low 90s since then, touching 96-97 and regularly hitting 94. He throws plenty of strikes (though he lacks true command), and with his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame, he should prove durable. He doesn't pitch as downhill as he should at his size, in part because of his low three-quarters arm slot. Poreda's arm action and lower slot make his breaking ball a fringe-average pitch at best, though it has improved. He has the makings of a changeup but hasn't thrown it much, sticking to his fastball. He had experimented with a higher slot to aid his breaking ball, but the move cost his fastball some of its late life and was back to his old slot.

5. Nick Noonan, 2b (National rank: 41)
School: Parker HS, San Diego. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 5/4/89.
Scouting Report: If Noonan makes it across the country to play at Clemson, scouts will be surprised. He offers one of the most polished bats in the draft and had emerged as San Diego's top prep prospect, evoking comparisons to Phillies star Chase Utley. While he's not likely to hit for as much power as the former UCLA star, Noonan resembles Utley as an above-average lefthanded bat who profiles best at second base. Noonan has plenty of baseball savvy, first and foremost at the plate. He stays balanced, trusts his hands and makes consistent hard contact. Overmatched earlier in his career with wood, Noonan has made adjustments in his swing and shows excellent aptitude. While he's just an average runner, he's a good baserunner and basestealer, and he's a solid defender thanks to good hands and sound footwork. While he doesn't have flashy tools, he's one of the steadiest players in this draft class. A prep shortstop, his fringe-average arm and range profile better on the right side of the bag, and he has more than enough bat to make the move.

6. Ryan Dent, ss/2b (National rank: 46)
School: Wilson HS, Long Beach. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 3/15/89.
Scouting Report: With a strong but short body in the Rafael Furcal mold, Dent emerged on last year's showcase circuit as one of Southern California's top hitting prospects, helping the Reds scout team to the World Wood Bat Association championship in the fall. Teams that believe in Dent's hitting may be willing to spend a first-round pick on one of the draft's better runners (he gets from home to first in under 4.1 seconds from the right side) and athletes. He lashes line drives from gap to gap with a short, quick stroke and has sound hitting mechanics. His speed is in play from his first step out of the batter's box; he aggressively stretches singles into doubles. His aggressiveness works against him in his impatience at the plate. Dent doesn't have an obvious defensive home, and most scouts aren't sold on him at shortstop, as his actions, arm and range are just average. He's athletic enough to handle either second base or center field and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter, especially if he can learn to take a walk as a pro.

7. James Simmons, rhp (National rank: 47)
School: UC Riverside. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/29/86.
Scouting Report: Simmons was a high school teammate of San Diego's Josh Romanski, a sophomore lefty and the Toreros' No. 2 starter. Simmons has been UC Riverside's ace since his freshman season in 2005, when he won at Oregon State but was academically ineligible at midseason. He followed a good sophomore season by dominating the Cape Cod League last summer, posting a 1.18 ERA. Simmons has worn the label of ace even more comfortably as a junior, winning a much-hyped duel with Cal State Fullerton rival Wes Roemer in late April, when he pumped up his fastball to 93 mph. Usually, Simmons sits at 89-90 mph, but he commands the fastball better than anyone else in college baseball in 2007. Scouts give him 60 or even 70 grades (on the 20-80 scale) for his command. He pitches off the fastball, both a sinking two-seamer and firmer four-seamer, and works all quadrants of the strike zone. Some scouts don't like his secondary pitches as anything but fringe-average, but his slider and particularly his changeup find some takers. His slow curveball needs significant improvement. His toughness and above-average makeup endear him to all scouts. Simmons will go as high in the draft--and as far as a pro--as his fastball command takes him.

8. Travis d'Arnaud, c (National rank: 49)
School: Lakewood (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 2/10/89.
Scouting Report: In several ways, d'Arnaud resembles his older brother Chase, a two-year starter at third base for Pepperdine, and Travis has also committed to play for the Waves. Chances are he won't get to school, though, because he's a more athletic version of his brother with premium catch-and-throw skills behind the plate and a more advanced bat. While he's still a streak hitter, d'Arnaud has showed an improved ability to stay inside the ball and drive it to all fields. It's a quick, line-drive swing for the most part, but he has shown some loft power, with seven home runs, and he ranked among state leaders in RBIs. Defensively, he grades as above-average as both a receiver and thrower, with a plus arm, soft hands and quick feet. While he's athletic enough to play an infield spot, he's too good behind the plate--consistently getting his throws to second base in 1.9 seconds--to move.

9. Kyle Blair, rhp (National rank: 50)
School: Los Gatos (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 9/27/88.
Scouting Report: Blair was one of California's top high school pitchers last year, leading Los Gatos High to a sectional championship and throwing a perfect game along the way. He has been the state's top prep pitching prospect this season even though his team struggled, and he was getting better as the year progressed. Blair's best pitch is a curveball that gets solid 60 grades from scouts on the 20-80 scale thanks to its depth, mid-70s velocity and tight spin. Blair has solid control of the pitch and of his lively fastball, which was sitting 89-91 mph early in the year but had increased as the draft approached, touching 94-95 and sitting in the low 90s. Blair's athletic, strong build--which helped make him an all-conference water-polo player--makes him a candidate to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, provided his changeup continues to come along and he continues to progress with his command. His makeup is universally lauded. He's committed to San Diego.

10. Wes Roemer, rhp (National rank: 65)
School: Cal State Fullerton. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 10/7/86.
Scouting Report: A preseason first-team All-American, Roemer had one of the best seasons in Cal State Fullerton history in 2006, leading the Titans to Omaha at 13-2, 2.38 in a national-high 155 innings. He stumbled out of the gates in 2007, thanks in part to a broken pinky finger, before rallying late to get his numbers (8-5, 2.97) back in line with past performance. Roemer's best weapon is his command. He had plunked 58 batters in his career, many of them on purpose, as he'd rather hit a batter than walk him (40 career walks). While he doesn't have true elite, put-it-in-a-cup command, he has well-above-average control and pounds the strike zone with his fastball, which was fringe-average early but touched 93 mph and sat at 88-91 later in the year. His slider is above-average for the college level and plays average with mid-70s velocity and some depth. He spots his changeup and throws it for strikes. Roemer's spunky attitude can turn some opponents and scouts off, and his average stuff doesn't leave much room for error. But Titans coaches credit him with competing hard and helping the team while pitching through the pinky injury.

11. Danny Duffy, lhp (National rank: 73)
School: Cabrillo HS, Lompoc Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 12/21/88.
Scouting Report: Lompoc, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's Central Coast, is best known for its prison and its proximity to Vandenberg Air Force Base, where the Defense Department tests missiles and launches satellites into space. It has never been a baseball hotbed, but Duffy has attracted scouts by the dozen for his starts this year, dominating with an unrefined but powerful repertoire. He has perhaps the best fastball in the state among draft-eligible players, reaching 95 mph and sitting in the 90-93 mph range with his four-seamer. He's somewhat mature in build and has had back issues in his past, and needs to get stronger. Duffy also throws a high-80s two-seamer with good armside run, and has shown ability with both a slider and curveball. His mechanics aren't a thing of beauty, one easy indicator of how much work he has to do. He doesn't command the strike zone or throw a changeup, and he hasn't maintained his velocity deep into games either. Nevertheless, he's a lefty with power stuff who has dominated inferior competition.

12. Gary Brown, of/2b (National rank: 77)
School: Diamond Bar HS, Walnut, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 9/28/88.
Scouting Report: While he hasn't been a showcase darling like some of his Southern California peers, Brown has elbowed his way into the conversation for best middle-infield prospect in an area with several contenders. While he's played plenty of center field, Brown takes ground balls in infield practice at second base, shortstop and in center field. Some scouts think he has good enough hands to remain in the middle infield, and if not, his well-above-average speed and range would play well in center, as would his athleticism and plus range. Brown's bat will determine where he's drafted. He's strong for his smallish 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame but has bat speed and has shown the ability to square up the ball and drive it from gap to gap. He lacks polish and patience at the plate. Part of a talent-laden Cal State Fullerton recruiting class, Brown has bigger present tools than fellow Titans recruit Chris Colon, and was rumored to be under consideration for the sandwich or second round.

13. Barry Enright, rhp (National rank: 78)
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 3/30/86.
Scouting Report: Few college players were having better seasons than Enright, who could go early to a performance-oriented organization. He had climbed to second all-time at Pepperdine in wins, with a career 34-5 record, and his competitiveness and unwillingness to give in to hitters endears him to scouts. On a good day, Enright touches 90-92 mph with his fastball, but he pitches in the 87-89 range, and none of his secondary pitches--slider, curveball or changeup--excites scouts either. His command rivals that of fellow SoCal college righties James Simmons and Wes Roemer, however, and he had walked just 1.62 batters per nine over nearly 333 career innings. He improved his feel for pitching steadily through his college career and firmed up his body. His stuff, strike-throwing and bulldog nature profile him best as a middle reliever, but he'll get a chance in the back of a professional rotation.

14. Matt Thompson, rhp (National rank: 83)
School: Santa Rosa (Calif.) JC. Class: Fr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 2/22/88.
Scouting Report: Thompson emerged as the best pitching prospect in California's junior-college ranks this year, with an added bonus that he was not under control to any organization. He pitched Santa Rosa into the state juco playoffs with a pair of pitches that were above-average at times: a fastball that has reached 92-94 mph, and a breaking ball that at times morphs into a good slider. Thompson also throws a curveball and changeup, but both are in the early stages. He was an all-conference high school player more known for his hitting than for his pitching. Thompson faltered in a couple of showdowns with hard-throwing Leroy Hunt and Sacramento City College before regrouping later in the season. He worked at 89-90 mph yet still dominated in his playoff start and showed one of his key characteristics: an ability to work off the fastball.

15. Victor Sanchez, 3b/c (National rank: 93)
School: Gahr HS, Norwalk, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 12/30/88.
Scouting Report: With all the interesting infielders in Southern California this year, Sanchez could get lost in the shuffle because he doesn't have a tool that grades as above-average. However, he played for USA Baseball's junior national team last summer, and with no significant weakness to his game he could get drafted in the first three rounds. His businesslike approach invoked some Garret Anderson comparisons, and he plays the game hard and without unnecessary flash or effort. Sanchez has shown average power at present with a loose, easy swing that promises more down the line. He's shown the ability to adjust within at-bats and games to opposing game plans. His arm plays well at third base, and he has intrigued scouts even more by playing catcher, where his arm actually has improved and grades as slightly above-average. Sanchez is part of yet another strong San Diego recruiting class.

16. Nicholas Barnese, rhp (National rank: 95)
School: Simi Valley (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 1/11/89.
Scouting Report: Barnese was raring to go this season, having missed his junior year at Simi Valley High due to a team-imposed suspension. He started his spring well, hitting 94 mph on radar guns in Major League Baseball's first-ever preseason showcase at its complex in Compton, Calif. He hadn't hit that kind of velocity consistently, but velocity isn't the best thing about his fastball. It has excellent life, especially down in the strike zone when thrown in the 88-91 mph range, and Barnese has a projectable frame that could allow him to add velocity down the line while preserving the life on his heater. He's not afraid to work inside. He's athletic and has a quick arm, with a lower arm slot that probably means he'll have to ditch his fringy curveball and pick up a slider down the line. His competitiveness and solid control of his fastball could push him into the first three rounds, but if he falls, he could move to the front of the Cal State Fullerton rotation next year as a freshman.

17. Grant Desme, of (National rank: 99)
School: Cal Poly. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Birthdate: 4/4/86.
Scouting Report: After flying up draft boards early in the spring due to a power display and a lack of college bats elsewhere in the nation, Desme broke a bone in his wrist late in the season. He played shortstop in high school and went to San Diego State as a freshman but transferred after one year to Cal Poly, which tried him in the infield but moved him to an outfield corner. He's athletic enough for either corner and has an adequate arm for right; he has also played some first base. Desme's a solid athlete, average runner and defender who could still fly off the board early because of his above-average raw power and excellent bat speed. He had a streaky season en route to leading the Big West in the triple crown categories, surprising to scouts because he has a tendency to swing and miss, particularly at breaking balls.

18. Danny Worth, ss (National rank: 101)
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 9/30/85.
Scouting Report: Worth's steady defense and improved bat has won over scouts this spring, as he worked his way into the discussion as one of the better middle infielders available out of college this spring in a down year for the position. A three-year starter for Pepperdine, Worth hit .344 with wood last summer in the Northwoods League and has continued to improve offensively this spring, posting career highs across the board and improving his plate discipline significantly. His swing's a bit stiff, but he has bat control and has shown the ability to drive the ball from gap to gap (he led the West Coast Conference in doubles last spring and ranked second this year), though his home run power is well-below-average. Defensively Worth shines with excellent footwork, natural instincts, sure hands and a strong arm. He makes all the routine plays and has the ability to make the big play from the hole. He's just an average runner, but his grit and reliability make him likely to be drafted in the first three rounds.

19. Austin Romine, c (National rank: 117)
School: El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 11/22/88.
Scouting Report: Romine's brother Andrew is Arizona State's starting shortstop, and his dad Kevin played there before his brief big league career. Austin also has committed to the Sun Devils, but the consensus in Southern California is he'll never make it to Tempe. That's despite a left hand injury that has plagued him all season. In May, he reaggravated what was diagnosed as a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery. Rather than sit out the rest of the season, he focused on being El Toro's closer. His arm is his best tool, among the most powerful in a strong draft crop of catchers. Romine's pop times to second base have ranged from 1.78 to 1.85 seconds, putting him near an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Romine's receiving is less advanced, but he's no slouch there and has the athletic ability to improve his deficient footwork. Offensively, Romine has gap power and makes consistent contact, and he's got enough strength to project to hit for average home run power down the road.

20. Freddie Freeman, 1b/rhp (National rank: 118)
School: El Modena HS, Orange, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 9/12/89.
Scouting Report: A member of both USA Baseball's youth and junior national teams, Freeman dominated for the youth team in 2005 before struggling in the World Junior Championship last fall (2-for-21) in Cuba. His stock has rebounded this spring, as he helped El Modena High to a playoff berth as both a hitter and pitcher. While his track record with Team USA and in showcases makes him a top-three-rounds talent as a power hitter, scouts are increasingly intrigued with Freeman as a pitcher. Just 17, he has excellent size, and while working as El Modena's closer he has shown control of two present plus pitches: a heavy 90-93 mph fastball and a power slider. His feel for pitching and clean arm action belie his pitching inexperience--and his desire to remain a hitter. A Cal State Fullerton signee, Freeman could definitely be a two-way player if he gets to college. Teams that like his arm better still may have to give him a chance to hit first before putting him on the mound.

21. Christian Colon, ss/2b (National rank: 122)
School: Canyon HS, Anaheim. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 5/14/89.
Scouting Report: Colon was a teammate of Southern California freshman Grant Green at Canyon High and often deferred to Green by playing second base while Green manned short. But the Puerto Rico native emerged as a potential star in his own right last August, when he was MVP of the Aflac Classic by going 2-for-3 with three steals and three runs. Colon switch-hits and has good all-around tools, and has the kind of makeup that allows him to rise to the occasion as he did at Aflac, a quiet confidence that allows him to play his best when it matters. Scouts are mixed on whether Colon's tools are worthy of the first three rounds, though, and the consensus seemed to be not. Colon seemed to be pressing offensively and offers gap power rather than a truly robust bat, and he's just an average runner. Defensively, however, he's ready to step in immediately on either side of the bag, with a solid, accurate arm and good hands. He'd likely start as a freshman if he makes it to Cal State Fullerton, and it may take first-three-rounds money to keep that from happening.

22. Kyle O'Campo, rhp (National rank: 123)
School: Poly HS, Riverside, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 4/9/88.
Scouting Report: O'Campo is part of Cal State Fullerton's recruiting class, and like infielder Christian Colon, he could slip through to the Titans if his expectations and the draft reality don't match up. O'Campo's resume was impressive entering the spring, with the Aflac Classic and Area Code Games among his appearances. He has a quick arm and projectable 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, and his velocity is as good or better than any prep pitcher in Southern California. He has touched 94 mph in the past and regularly pitches in the 88-91 mph range. He throws both a slider and a curveball, and scouts like the slider a bit better at present, as he's shown a feel for throwing it for strikes or burying it out of the zone. O'Campo's mechanics don't engender confidence, either that he'll throw consistent strikes with his fastball or add velocity despite his frame. He has a head snap that caused him to struggle to find a consistent release point. If his delivery can't be smoothed out, O'Campo might end up as a set-up man down the line.

23. Rob Rasmussen, lhp (National rank: 126)
School: Poly HS, Pasadena, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 160. Birthdate: 4/2/89.
Scouting Report: Southern California's high school hitters--from Ryan Dent to Mike Moustakas to Josh Vitters--outclassed the region's pitching talent. However, Rasmussen emerged as the area's most dominant arm, coming in a reported 5-foot-10, 155-pound package. Scouts agreed his curveball, a true mid-70s, 12-to-6 hammer, was the best pitch for any high school pitcher in the area, and Rasmussen had used it to dominate inferior small-school competition, with four starts of 15 strikeouts or more. He had a 20-strikeout effort that was his best of the year, as Rasmussen sat at 86-89 mph, and the Los Angeles Times reported that he was up to 91 mph. He also throws a slider and a changeup. Rasmussen has committed to UCLA and doesn't have ideal size for a pro, but he has been crosschecked enough that the first three rounds was a possibility. Most scouts thought Rasmussen's family wanted him to go to college.

24. Scott Alexander, lhp (National rank: 127)
School: Cardinal Newman HS, Santa Rosa, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 7/10/89.
Scouting Report: Alexander was the biggest name to pop up in Northern California this spring and was drawing comparisons to 2006 Giants draftee Clayton Tanner. Like Tanner, Alexander is lefthanded and athletic, throwing harder as a senior than he did previously, and signed to Pepperdine. While the Waves have a shot at keeping Alexander, a good student, his athletic ability might be too much for teams to pass on. He also has a relatively fresh arm. He missed much of his sophomore season in high school with biceps tendinitis and was a reliever as a junior, as he also played outfield. This spring, though, Alexander has touched 93 mph and was sitting in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball. He has excellent arm speed and a smooth delivery, and the ball jumps out of his hand. He ditched his curveball in favor of a tight slider and showed flashes with both it and his changeup. Alexander was getting crosschecked regularly, which indicates he could get popped in the first three rounds.

25. Mike Stanton, 1b/of (National rank: 128)
School: Notre Dame Academy, Sherman Oaks, Calif. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 11/8/89.
Scouting Report: One of the top athletes in the draft class, Stanton was a three-sport star at Notre Dame Academy and widely regarded as the school's best such athlete since former big league outfielder Jorge Piedra. Stanton is considerably bigger than Piedra and was recruited by Southern California as a wide receiver/defensive back, as well as for his power-hitting ability. While UNLV offered Stanton a football scholarship and a chance to walk on to play baseball, USC wants him on a baseball ride, with a chance to walk on in football. For pro scouts, projection is the operative word with the raw Stanton. He was overmatched against most of the top arms he saw last summer in showcases, though he has shown improvement in pitch recognition. Stanton has a big swing with resulting big power thanks to leverage and bat speed. He profiles as a corner outfielder with an average arm that could be suited to right field with more polish. He's a fringe-average runner under way.

26. Thomas Eager, rhp (National rank: 133)
School: Cal Poly. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/12/85.
Scouting Report: Cal Poly had a disappointing 2006 season despite a solid rotation that included third-rounder Gary Daley (Cardinals) and sixth-rounder Bud Norris (Astros). Eager stepped forward more than any other Mustang to replace them, emerging as the ace and surpassing both Daley and Norris in terms of performance. His 10 victories left him two shy of the school record, but despite his performance, most scouts see him profiling better as a middle reliever or even a closer. Eager's delivery resembles that of former "Nasty Boys" closer Rob Dibble, as he comes aggressively at hitters with his lead arm in an almost violent motion. If only he threw as hard as Dibble. The delivery creates some deception for his firm stuff, a 90-91 mph fastball that has hit 93 and features average sink, and a hard slider. Eager comes hard after hitters and doesn't change speeds much, which also feeds the Dibble comparison. He's fairly emotional on the mound, which works for him and against him at times.

27. Tyson Brummett, rhp (National rank: 138)
School: UCLA. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 8/15/84.
Scouting Report: BA ranked Brummett as the No. 100 prospect in California last spring, when he was UCLA's No. 3 starter and considered a solid if unspectacular college pitcher. He wasn't drafted, but this year he's had a brilliant senior season as one of the Pacific-10 Conference's best Friday starters. In terms of stuff and competitiveness, Brummett rivals more-heralded California college righties such as Pepperdine's Barry Enright and Cal State Fullerton's Wes Roemer. He lacks Roemer's putaway slider or Enright's considerable track record, however. He's closer to Enright in that his strong suits are throwing quality strikes down in the zone with three pitches: a fastball that often sits in the 89-91 mph range, a solid-average curveball and a good changeup he uses to attack lefthanded hitters. His fastball has gained a tick or two of velocity this season, and he has improved his slider to give him a fourth pitch. Brummett has been drafted twice before by the Giants, out of a Utah high school (2003, 35th round) and again out of Central Arizona Junior College (2004, 38th round), but figures to go about 30 rounds higher this time around.

28. Marc Rzepcynski, lhp (National rank: 144)
School: UC Riverside. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 205. Birthdate: 8/8/85.
Scouting Report: Rzepczynski joins Gonzaga's Clayton Mortensen as two seniors who would be first-five-round picks based solely on talent. That they are seniors (and presumably easier, less expensive signs) will push them up draft boards. Rzepczynski had elbow soreness early in the season but has shown plus stuff since then, making that less of a concern. He was unavailable to the Highlanders in May for their showdown series against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, with first place in the Big West on the line, due to a broken knuckle on his pitching hand. He may have done enough to impress scouts last summer, when he was the No. 4 prospect in the West Coast Collegiate League, and again this spring, particularly in a three-hit shutout of Cal State Fullerton. When he's right, his fastball sits at 88-91 mph and touches 93, and he throws three other pitches for strikes: a low-80s power curveball, a slider that at times touches 84 mph, and a changeup he keeps down in the zone. He had not allowed a home run through 73 innings and was throwing more quality strikes than ever before, as command always had been a major problem. His four-pitch mix profiles him as a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

29. Andrew Lambo, 1b/of (National rank: 162)
School: Newbury Park (Calif.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200. Birthdate: 8/11/88.
Scouting Report: Last summer, Lambo proved his ability to rise to the occasion last fall, when he pitched his Reds scout team to the World Wood Bat Association championship in Jupiter, Fla. Lambo was on the team for his hitting prowess, and he's a prospect for his bat, but his pitching career has been impressive as well, including nine complete games this spring. Offensively, Lambo has been one of SoCal's best hitters for several years thanks to a smooth lefthanded swing and solid-average power performance. Scouts doubt his power down the road due to a level swing path. Defensively, Lambo's athletic enough for an outfield corner and plays a solid first base. Most scouts grade his tools average across the board, with his hit tool being above-average. Talent isn't Lambo's problem; makeup is. He's at his second high school after being kicked out of the first school, and he turned off scouts with his immaturity in numerous interviews this spring. His bat still might be enough to get him picked in the first three rounds.

30. Leroy Hunt, rhp (National rank: 167)
School: Sacramento CC. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 220. Birthdate: 11/28/87.
Scouting Report: The Reds drafted Hunt in 2005 as an outfielder out of high school and followed him to Sacramento City College. He had enormous raw power as a hitter but never seemed to get comfortable at the plate against good velocity, so Sac City moved him to the mound to take advantage of his arm strength. While he remains raw, Hunt has one of the best fastballs in the state. It has heavy sink and boring armside run, and Hunt throws it in the 90-94 mph range, touching 95 at times. His secondary stuff (slider, changeup) is almost nonexistent, but that didn't stop him from a 40-inning scoreless streak this spring, including a pair of outings against better-regarded Matt Thompson of Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College. Hunt needs to develop either his slider or changeup to have a second pitch, a concern because he hasn't shown much aptitude so far. He doesn't have a four-year college option and should be an easy sign, and with his intimidating size (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) and fastball, he profiles as a power reliever.

31. Brad Meyers, rhp (National rank: 168)
School: Loyola Marymount. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 195. Birthdate: 9/13/85.
Scouting Report: Projected as a possible sandwich pick coming out of high school in 2004, Meyers was a 14th-round pick out who eschewed pro ball to pitch at Loyola Marymount. Three years later, the scouting consensus sees him as fourth- to sixth-round talent. But with the shortage of college righthanders and his still-projectable 6-foot-6 frame, Meyers should go higher. Some rumors had him headed for the sandwich round, perhaps to Oakland. Meyers remains a projection pick, as his velocity has never jumped into the plus range. He has flashed 92-93 mph readings on his fastball from time to time but more ordinarily sits in the 88-90 mph range, at times with a good downhill plane. Meyers' best present attribute is his ability to throw strikes with the fastball, as well as his late-breaking curveball, a solid-average pitch. He also throws a slider and changeup. Meyers doesn't fare well in comparison to other SoCal college righthanders such as UCLA's Tyler Brummett, Pepperdine's Barry Enright or Cal State Fullerton's Wes Roemer in his competitiveness or mound moxie, but he has a better pro body and better stuff.

32. Evan Reed, rhp (National rank: 170)
School: Cal Poly. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Birthdate: 12/31/85.
Scouting Report: Reed wasn't on many follow lists in high school; his graduating class at Quincy (Calif.) High, about 80 miles northwest of Reno, Nev., had just 63 students. He had chances to earn a spot in Cal Poly's rotation but has settled in as the team's closer, and ranked second in the Big West Conference this spring in saves. More importantly, Reed has proven durable with 30 appearances. He has good size and a strong body, delivering fastballs in the 94-96 mph range, though his stuff usually has a bit better life and command when he's in the 92-94 range. Reed throws a slider and changeup but works aggressively off the fastball, keeping the ball down and in the ballpark (no home runs allowed in 40 IP). He has a chance to move through the minors quickly if he can throw more consistent strikes.

33. Adrian Ortiz, of (National rank: 183)
School: Pepperdine. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 165. Birthdate: 1/14/87.
Scouting Report: A fifth-round pick out of Puerto Rico in 2004 to the Cubs, Ortiz might not go any higher this time around. While he has improved in college, he has yet to have the breakout performance that would catapult his stock. Ortiz is the fastest player in Division I, a top-of-the-scale runner who has turned in 60-yard times in the 6.2-second range consistently—-on grass-—since coming to Pepperdine. His speed translates in center field, where he has good range, but not on the basepaths, where he has just 33 career stolen bases. Ortiz' baseball instincts lag after 160-plus college games, denting his range in center and often leaving him tentative on the basepaths. He has virtually no power (his 14 extra-base hits as a freshman were his career high) and doesn't control the strike zone (12 walks is his career high). Even with those negatives, Ortiz has rare speed and enough hand-eye coordination to hit for average, and figures to go in the fifth-round range again.

34. Eric Farris, 2b/ss (National rank: 186)
School: Loyola Marymount. Class: Jr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 170. Birthdate: 3/3/86.
Scouting Report: Lightly regarded out of high school in Arizona, Farris has had a solid career at Loyola Marymount and should have a chance to reach the majors either as an everyday second baseman or as a utility infielder. He has increased his visibility the last 12 months, first by hitting .298 in the Cape Cod League (the league average was .244) and by playing plenty of shortstop for the Lions this spring. He lacks pure middle-infield actions, and his arm and hands are short to be an everyday shortstop, but he'll fit fine at second, where his athleticism serves him well. Farris has good bat control and has improved his ability to make contact, though he still needs to walk more to be a true No. 2 hitter. He's a slightly above-average runner who has solid instincts on the basepaths.

35. Justin Snyder, of (National rank: 191)
School: San Diego. Class: Jr.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 5-9. Wt.: 190. Birthdate: 4/8/86.
Scouting Report: Snyder is a solid all-around athlete and grinder who should go in the first six rounds to a statistically oriented club. A three-year starter for San Diego, he has been the ignitor behind overachieving offenses. He's a lefthanded-hitting second baseman who can play center field, as he did in the Cape Cod League last summer, but mostly he's a top-of-the-order pest who draws walks (35 or more every season at USD, always ranking in the top five in the West Coast Conference). Despite his size, Snyder has solid gap power and won't get the bat knocked out of his hands. He needs to play the short game better, particularly bunting, and if he does he'll be a solid No. 2 hitter. Snyder runs well but isn't as aggressive stealing bases as scouts would like. Defensively, he's sound at second, where he profiles best, and quick enough to play center field.

36. Matt Clark, 3b (National rank: 193)
School: Riverside (Calif.) CC. Class: So.
B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: --/--/--.
Scouting Report: Clark has big league bloodlines and lefthanded power, both of which should help him be drafted in the first five rounds and make him the highest-drafted position player from California's junior colleges. The son of ex-big league pitcher Terry Clark (who is currently pitching coach for the Rangers' Double-A Frisco affiliate), Clark began his college career at UC Santa Barbara. He was a part-time player due to shaky defense at third base and platoon splits, and he decided to transfer after one season. Clark carried Riverside Community College to the state finals, leading the state's juco players with 14 home runs (he was the only player in the conference with double digits), thanks to a quick, easy swing. Clark has bat speed, having turned around a mid-90s fastball as a freshman from Cal Poly's Gary Daley. He's limited to an infield corner because he's a below-average runner, and while he has some arm strength, his awkward footwork at third likely will force him to first base. His bat might make the move worthwhile.

37. David Dinelli, rhp (National rank: 194)
School: Sierra (Calif.) JC. Class: So.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Birthdate: 3/14/87.
Scouting Report: While Dinelli served as Sierra Junior College's No. 1 starter this spring--leading the team deep into the state's juco playoffs--pro teams don't want him to be a member of their rotations. Some scouts see him as a potential closer because of his power repertoire and aggressive demeanor. A Texas Tech signee, Dinelli rivals Sac City's Leroy Hunt as the hardest thrower in California's junior colleges. He starts with a good pitcher's body, physical at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and comes at hitters hard with a low-90s fastball that often sits at 92-93 mph. While he doesn't throw anything truly offspeed, he has two power breaking balls: a hard curveball that sits around 78 mph, and a true slider/cutter in the low 80s. Scouts can imagine Dinelli eating up a lot of wood bats with his repertoire, when he's not missing them--he struck out 118 in just 86 regular-season innings. Dinelli also averaged more than five walks per nine and will have harness his control to become a closer instead of just a set-up man.

Signing Or Going To School?

Righthander Cole Cook entered the season as one of the top prep pitchers in California, and pitched his Palisades Charter High team into the regional playoffs. The 6-foot-6 Pepperdine recruit is plenty projectable, with long arms and a tall frame. He's academically oriented, comes from a financially secure family and doesn’t need to sign out of high school unless the price is right, and with a fastball still sitting in the 87-90 mph range and inconsistent secondary stuff, he's expected to go to school.

Another Pepperdine signee with a pro body, 6-foot-4, 250-pound righthander Tyler Hess, touched 94 with his fastball in the fall, then tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing football at powerhouse De La Salle High. He just returned to action in May, hitting 90-92 in a short stint in his first outing. He has been a catcher in the past, prior to his injury. Hess' grandfather, Clint Smith, was a longtime head baseball coach at Napa High and played minor league baseball in the 1950s. Hess' injury and small amount of expsoure--he didn't go to showcases last summer or fall to focus on football--plus his Pepperdine commitment make it difficult to get a read on where he'll be drafted, if at all.

Another talented player unlikely to be drafted, first baseman Aaron Westlake has committed to Vanderbilt and has the hitting ability to start there as a freshman. He has a feel for getting the barrel to the ball and good raw power, and he's athletic enough to have played shortstop for his high school at times. His swing's a bit long to buy out of his commitment, and he doesn't have the present power of Lars Anderson, a somewhat similar player who signed with the Red Sox last year.

West Coast Conference champion San Diego is in the midst of its best baseball season ever, and San Diego prep outfielder Sequoyah Stonecipher was expected to headline an oustanding recruiting class for next year. The name is part Native American, part German and all cool, and Stonecipher was an Aflac All-American last summer. He's a good hitter and athlete, plays the game instinctively and runs well. Stonecipher had a back problem that turned out to be a short-term growth plate issue, not an injury. He just lacks a true, present plus tool, and as a righthanded-hitting outfielder that makes it hard for teams to justify buying him out of his USD commitment. He's also committed to play for the Alaska League's Goldpanners this summer.

Lefthanded-hitting Stephen Yarrow plays in a league with Nevada high school teams, and most of his exposure has been in Nevada. He committed to Western Nevada Community College in the fall, but then he dominated his area both on the mound and especially at the plate and changed course, signing with San Francisco. Yarrow has raw tools, somewhat offset by a polished, patient approach at the plate. He's probably not big or athletic enough to stay at shortstop and has enough arm to slide over to third. A better athlete is California-bound Brian Guinn, who lacks Yarrow's power. He trumps him in other tools and was the top prep hitter in the Bay Area, with athleticism and a solid run tool. Scouts considered him a tough sign outside the first five rounds, and weren't convinced he merited first-five-rounds money.

Some scouts like Michael Watt as a lefty who touches 91 mph and has shown a good curveball, but most believe he'd be better served with three years at Long Beach State and respected pitching coach Troy Buckley. Watt has recoil in his delivery, cutting off his natural velocity and throwing his command off, but he could throw harder with some mechanical adjustments.

With scouts out in force to see Chatsworth's Matt Dominguez and Mike Moustakas, outfielder Bobby Coyle got plenty of chances to show what he has. He pales in comparison to his teammates, but only because they are so good. Coyle's a player himself, with tools that could go in the fifth or sixth round. At his best, he showed scouts an above-average bat with average power, thanks to his bat speed and balance at the plate. He also runs a tick above-average and can play center field. At times Coyle got caught trying to match his more talented teammates and tried too hard to hit for power, leading him to get pull-happy and overswing. The consensus had him accepting his scholarship to go play for Arizona and play his way into the first three rounds if he matures physically and comes into his power.

The rest of California's prep pitching picture was down. While some reports had Cal State Fullerton recruit Dan Renken throwing in the low 90s, he was in the upper 80s more regularly, with a spike curveball he found hard to throw for strikes. He has good size at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. UC Riverside recruits Kolby Moore and B.J. Salsbury and Southern California signee Jeff Grijalva were other prep righties with good arms who hadn't shown enough (upper 80s fastballs, for example) to sign them away from college. Salsbury had a huge Major League Scouting Bureau number for a guy with funky (some would say rough) arm action topping out at 91 mph, but he did succeed by working off his fastball. Grijalva has a pro body and touched 90 mph.

UCLA recruit Dan Klein has more polish as a football quarterback, though he'll focus on baseball for the Bruins. He has a feel for spinning a breaking ball to go with fringe-average fastball velocity, good changeup and excellent athleticism at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. UCLA's top pitching recruit could end up being righthander Erik Goeddel, a Bellarmine Prep product who flashed a 93 mph fastball and a curveball that reminds some Bruins observers of Tim Leary, a former Bruin, big leaguer and Bruins pitching coach. Goeddel might have pitched his way into the first three rounds this spring but had Tommy John surgery in April, and he was expected to go to school.

There were prep pitchers with more pro helium. Lanky Loyola Marymount signee Martin Viramontes pitches in the upper 80s and touches 92 mph currently, and scouts see loads of projection in his 6-foot-5, 175-pound frame. He was considered by many the third-best pitcher in Northern California preps after Los Gatos' Kyle Blair and Cardinal Newman's Scott Alexander. Righthander Matt Mitchell of Barstow High had touched 92-93 mph but more frequently sat in the upper 80s. He's also projectable at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, has a palmball changeup that at times is an out pitch, and the ball comes out of his hand easy.

San Diego State signee Deryk Hooker reached the low 90s most of the year with a somewhat mechanical delivery, flying open too early at times. He's wiry strong at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and has good armside run to his heater. He primarily works off the fastball and has a decent changeup as his second pitch.

Rough Year For Traditional Powers

Cal State Fullerton was having one of its more disappointing seasons of the decade, in part because the Titans haven't hit (.275 as a team). Redshirt junior center fielder Clark Hardman was by far their top hitting prospect despite injuries (labrum surgery, herniated disc repair) that cost him the 2005 season and left him a bit rusty last season, when he batted .224/.268/.259. He was back to .376/.422/.491 this spring. Hardman is an above-average hitter who lacks home run power and patience, and his offensive profile is that of a fourth outfielder. He has a plus arm and can play all three outfield positions. Senior third baseman Evan McArthur had a chance to be a single-digit draft before early hamate injury cost him time and rhythm offensively, and he struggled all spring. None of the rest of the Titans' draft-eligible players were showing a plus tool.

Southern California also struggled under first-year coach Chad Krueter, finishing last in the Pacific-10 Conference, thanks in large part to subpar years by draft-eligible hitters Matt Cusick, a singles-hitting second baseman who excelled in the Cape Cod League last summer, and slugging first baseman Lucas Duda. Cusick was coming on late, and his 27-15 spring BB-K ratio and .304 performance for Brewster last summer could get him drafted by a team that is statistically inclined. He also showed significant improvement defensively this year. Still, he had only one homer this spring after hitting two with wood last summer. Duda remained a dud as a college hitter, batting a career .275 and just .278 this spring with a team-high six homers. The young Trojans' top draftee will be senior righthander Paul Koss, their closer with an average 88-92 mph fastball and plus-plus slider, helping him rack up 36 saves the last three seasons. Koss needs to command the fastball, helping set up his knockout slider, in to reach the majors.

Stanford pounded Southern California in the last series of the season, but neither team was going to postseason play. Stanford lost its first seven Pac-10 series, a shocking development for a program that reached the College World Series seven times from 1995-2003, with three second-place national finishes. Now the Cardinal had to sweep USC just to avoid a losing season for the first time in 14 years. Pitching had been the problem, not hitting, and junior outfielder Michael Taylor in particular had helped pick up the pace late for Stanford's offense. Despite type one diabetes, Taylor has a pure pro body at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds and runs average even at his size.

Taylor has an average arm and can play right field; his routes and jumps need improvement for him to be a big league right fielder. His raw power is well-above-average, though like many Stanford hitters, Taylor has adopted an approach that makes it hard for him to pull the ball with any authority. Scouts who saw him late saw him good; he had 16 multi-hit games in his final 19 starts. Taylor has shown power to the deepest part of the park and has the highest ceiling on the Cardinal roster. He will be a beast if he learns to turn on inside pitches and develops a bit more patience. Taylor may not be an easy sign if he falls outside the first five rounds, as he's bright and academically motivated. He was the No. 99 prospect in Baseball America's 2004 predraft rankings coming out of Apopka (Fla.) High, but he wasn't drafted at all because of his Stanford commitment and questions about how his tools would translate into performance.

Righthander Nolan Gallagher entered the year as Stanford's ace, and at times showed the form he displayed in the Cape Cod League last summer: 90-92 mph fastball, hard curveball and an ability to change speeds. But the Montana native's inconsistency with command left him continually behind hitters, and he had a 7.39 ERA. Still, scouts who saw his good days were hoping Gallagher would be willing to sign for slot money, considering how poorly his career at Stanford had turned out. He was not in the rotation during Pac-10 play.

Fellow righthander Erik Davis was just getting on track with his career last summer in the Cape Cod League, when he was hit by a line drive near his right eye. Davis' summer was over, but he recovered quickly and had a good fall. He'd been one of the Cardinal's better pitchers this spring, with solid command of average stuff: an upper-80s fastball, good change and decent curve. He's likely to be a solid senior sign. The same goes for fellow Cardinal Brian Juhl, the team's starting catcher who is a solid line-drive hitter, and infielder Adam Sorgi, Stanford's top hitter and a 22-year-old junior with fringy tools.

Better Returns

UC Riverside jumped to the top of the Big West Conference this spring thanks to one of the nation's deepest pitching staffs, led by James Simmons and Marc Rzepcynski. However, the staff's depth was its greatest strength. First, the Highlanders weathered an injury to projected closer Adam Reifer, who missed most of the spring with what was originally diagnosed as a bone spur in his right elbow. He did not need surgery after a second exam found a stress reaction in the bone due to tendinitis. He was back throwing off a mound in April but had not returned to game action. He threw 95-96 mph before he was sidelined. Reifer could apply for a medical redshirt and return next year as a junior and possible first-round pick, but he also could be one of the new-style draft-and-follow picks this season. With the Aug. 15 signing date now in effect, players with questions will be drafted in June and followed through their summer leagues before teams decide whether to sign them.

In Reifer's absence, freshman Joe Kelly had become UCR's closer and redshirt sophomore Stephen Penney had emerged as a reliable middle man. Penney, a transfer from San Diego, touched 92 mph and pitches comfortably in the 89-90 mph range. He also throws a lot of split-finger fastballs and needs to improve his breaking ball, but he could throw harder down the line as he grows into and firms up his 6-foot-7, 240-pound body. Lefthander Dan Runzler also moved from the rotation to the bullpen and has thrown much better in a relief role. Runzler was a 17th-round pick of the Mariners last year as an eligible sophomore and has shown similar stuff this season, with a fastball in the 89-93 mph range, hard slider and curveball. He added velocity to his curve and has late life up in the zone on his fastball. It's a swing-and-miss pitch at times, and he can get lefties and righties out when he throws strikes. His lack of command and polish is what keeps him from having much chance to start as a pro.

Riverside's hitters with the best chance to get drafted include catcher Jeff Dunbar and infielder Jaime Pedroza. Dunbar, overrated in this space a year ago, has premium catch-and-throw skills but continues to regress offensively, hitting just .218 late in the year. He's an outstanding athlete who calls his own games and handles a talented pitching staff, and if he had any confidence offensively he could become a below-average hitter and profile as a backup big league catcher. Instead, he's likely to shift to the mound, where he has touched 92 mph. Pedroza was the Highlanders' best offensive player and is the younger brother of Devil Rays farmhand Sergio Pedroza. Jaime has a quick bat and some strength, but he won't stay at shortstop at 5-foot-8 and he's only an average runner. He's motivated to sign and should be a value pick in the 10th-20th round.

UC Irvine streaked into Baseball America's Top 10 entering the NCAA tournament, thanks to an aggressive, opportunistic offense and deep pitching staff. The biggest name on the club is senior closer Blair Erickson, who is the NCAA's career saves leader with 53. Erickson's senior season was average, as he threw just 21 innings and lost his closer role for a stretch to Dylan Axelrod, a senior with better control. Erickson's fastball rarely reaches the mid-90s as it did when he was a freshman, due to rushed mechanics, which also make his slider flatten out and cost him control. Scouts continue to question his makeup, a key reason he fell to the 10th round a year ago. He needs the change of scenery pro ball will provide him.

The most talented Anteater, junior outfielder Bryan Petersen, flashed plus tools last summer in the Alaska League and again this spring, leading the team with 26 stolen bases. He has raw power that hasn't translated into game power due to his tendency to flail at breaking balls out of the strike zone. Petersen's 48 strikeouts put him in the Big West's top five in that category. His teammate, second baseman Cody Cipriano, was the team's best performer, leading the squad in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage. He has surprising pop and good patience at the plate; his defense lags behind.

Pepperdine put one of its best arms into a role that made him tough for scouts to see, yet righthander Adam Olbrychowski still could go in the first six rounds. He's proven durable in a relief role and gets good sink on a low-90s fastball that touches 95, giving up just two homers in 60-plus innings. He doesn't throw consistent, quality strikes with his slider and changeup, so he doesn't get as many strikeouts as someone with his stuff could.

UCLA's up-and-down season mirrored somewhat that of closer Brant Rustich, whose season has been mostly down as his performance lags significantly behind his tools. A physical beast at a listed 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, at times Rustich has three above-average pitches in his 93-96 mph fastball, power slider (at times touching 87 mph) and split-finger fastball. He's still bothered by a finger injury that caused him to redshirt last season, and his command is nearly nonexistent. In terms of stuff, he's a first-round talent, but his lack of pitchability makes him a 22-year-old with a 6.10 career ERA and 75 walks in 124 innings.

Like Rustich, UC Santa Barbara righthander Steve Morlock had finger problems, as he ruptured a tendon in the ring finger of his pitching hand this spring. He flashed an average to plus 89-93 mph fastball and plus changeup to go with his average curve and slider. Bone chips in his elbow forced the fifth-year senior to the bullpen, where he thrived despite decreased velocity. His UCSB teammate, lefty Chuck Higgins, has good fastball velocity in the 88-91 mph range as well but needs to throw more strikes.

Former big leaguer Ed Sprague is trying to build a program at Pacific, but the going remains slow. His best player the last three season has some Sprague in him. Corner infielder Justin Baum has power and strikes out a lot, as Sprague did as a big leaguer, though he's not as athletic as Sprague was. His detractors say his inability to lay off breaking balls and hard hands at third base make him a fringy prospect. He does have power, though, and his believers see a potential third baseman with the strength to hit the ball out of any park.

Once again, San Diego State should have more influence in the draft than coach Tony Gwynn's team had on the national college baseball landscape. The Aztecs have had one winning season under Gwynn since he took over in 2003, but the team had nine players drafted in 2006, six in 2004 and five in 2003. This June should be no different; at least five Aztecs will be drafted even after a nine-game losing streak late in the season helped the team finish below .500. Part of the collapse was due to the loss of lefthander Donnie Hume, one of many transfers on the Aztecs roster. The former Long Beach State pitcher was the Aztecs' ace early in the year thanks to an average fastball, average breaking ball and slightly above-average changeup, and his ability to throw all three for strikes. Hume competes and has a good feel for his stuff. He had bone spurs in his elbow and had them removed after seven starts; he was slated to get back on a mound in early June, right around draft time.

Sophomore-eligible lefthander Lance Sewell stepped in as the No. 1 starter in Hume's stead, and the former Arizona redshirt had impressed with an over-the-top delivery that helps him spin true 12-to-6 curveballs. When he stays on top of his arm slot, Sewell can work up in the strike zone with an 86-89 mph fastball with natural cutting action, then down with his curve. His changeup is solid and can be effective against righthanded hitters.

Senior righthander Bruce Billings was also overrated in this space last year, and he failed to step forward this spring with Hume sidelined. He's durable, and his 90-91 mph fastball and slider could help him get groundballs as a future middle reliever, but his changeup remains little seen and well-below-average. He's the Aztecs' career strikeouts leader, but his rate has declined significantly this spring (9.3 K/9 in 2004-2006, 6.3 K/9 this season). Physical righty Steven Hirschfield, a transfer from the Community College of Southern Nevada, has shown an average fastball and not much else that gets anyone excited; he might be better off as a senior sign. The biggest wild card on the staff is redshirt sophomore Charles Nolte, who was rarely used in important situations. A Tommy John surgery alumnus, the lanky, projectable Nolte (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) can show a 90-93 mph fastball and at times flashes a plus hard breaking ball with late downward movement. He lacks command and feel, not to mention consistent mechanics.

None of the Aztecs' hitters is expected to be drafted highly, though catcher/outfielder Frank LoNigro should be picked in the first 15 rounds due to his power, aggressive righthanded bat and decent catching ability. He has a plus arm and could be converted to the mound, where he has touched the low 90s. While redshirt junior shortstop Troy Hanzawah, a defensive whiz, has been their best all-around player, he's just 5-foot-9, 160 pounds and figures to be more of a senior sign. Toolsy outfielders Brandon Glover and Cameron Johnson have both failed to homer this season, but both have big league tools. Glover, a Texas A&M transfer, has plus speed and defensive ability but hasn't shown the aptitude to translate his tools into stolen bases (he was 10-for-21) or at the plate with any consistency. Johnson covers 60 yards in 6.4 seconds or better and has above-average raw power, but he's far behind at the plate and needs plenty of at-bats.

Crosstown rival San Diego had a brilliant season and will be a huge factor in the 2008 draft with a pair of likely first-round lefthanders, Brian Matusz and Josh Romanski. The Toreros' top draftees for 2007 are hitters, led by Justin Snyder, catcher Jordan Abruzzo and outfielder Shane Buschini. While Buschini had the better year, scouts see a slow pole and not much playability at higher levels. Abruzzo is servicable behind the plate and a grinder with a solid approach and average power.

California has two excellent 2008 prospects, righthander Tyson Ross (a likely first-rounder next year) and first baseman David Cooper, but the Bears stumbled on the season's final weekend against Washington, failing to earn a regional bid, and the team's veterans didn't come through. Junior Alex Rollin is a fastball/changeup/cutter righthander who doesn't quite have enough velocity, and second baseman Josh Satin did little offensively to build off his Cape Cod League momentum. The redshirt junior was MVP of the league's all-star game last summer. Both are seen as senior signs. The same goes for San Francisco outfielder Luke Sommer, who can run but didn't hit this spring; Pepperdine's unspectacular but steady outfielder Donald Brown; and toolsy Fresno State outfielder Ozzie Lewis, who has a plus arm and runs well. Lewis has little feel for hitting yet.

Small College Roundup

UC Davis wasn't eligible for the Big West championship yet as it makes the transition from Division II to Division I, but it does have a couple of legitimate prospects. While lefthanded-hitting outfielder Ryan Royster has the more recognizable name (he's the nephew of ex-big leaguer Jerry Royster) and plus speed, the Aggies' top prospect was infielder Daniel Descalso. He controls the strike zone, takes a healthy hack from the left side and has a knack for getting the fat part of the bat on the ball. His thick body turns some scouts off, though he has some athleticism. He's a third baseman primarily but has played some second, and his bat would play better there. He's an average runner and could go in the first 10 rounds.

NAIA baseball is alive and well in California, with three players good bets to go in the first 10 rounds. Senior catcher/first baseman Steven Vogt (pronounced vote) led Azusa Pacific deep into the NAIA postseason to cap a four-time all-America career. The best hitter in NAIA this side of Beau Mills, Vogt had a ridiculous 55-15 walk-strikeout ratio and batted .488 with 14 home runs. He also threw out 16 of 35 basestealers. His catch-and-throw skills are playable (2.0 seconds to second base at his best) but nothing to write home about. His lefthanded bat will get him drafted.

Point Loma Nazarene has two pitchers who could be single-digit picks in 6-foot-6 righthander Johnnie Lowe and Albany transfer Tony Kirbis. Lowe, raw and inexperienced on the mound, first garnered attention last year at Grossmont (Calif.) Junior College, and had touched 95 mph this spring with his fastball. He usually sat in the 91-93 mph range and complemented it with a solid split-finger fastball. He's a physical specimen with a quick arm and athletic ability. He throws a changeup and curveball but both need work, and he's worked on a slider in predraft workouts, showing some aptitude for the pitch. He didn't dominate NAIA as he probably should have with his stuff, and at 22 has yet to develop a true strikeout pitch or bulldog mentality. Still, in a year with few college power arms, he figures to go off the board in the first eight rounds. Kirbis, with a solid pro body at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, throws harder more consistently in the 92-94 mph range. A fan of pitching guru Tom House, he came to San Diego to meet with House and decided to transfer nearby, walking on. He throws a decent curveball but needs to locate it better. He led the team in wins and had a better season than Lowe (8-2, 3.08 vs. 4-5, 3.65).

Several junior-college righthanders not under control could go in the single-digit rounds as well, led by smallish Michael Southern, Pierce's towering Dan Berlind and Ventura's Justin DeFratus, who had the highest Scouting Bureau number of any California juco player for much of the spring. The 6-foot-4 DeFratus tops out at 94 mph but loses velocity early in games (at times up to 7-10 mph within three innings) and was working on a long-toss program during the season to increase his durability and arm strength. At times his slider also is a plus pitch, and he shows a feel for changing speeds. Southern, a Montana native, has developed impressively in his second year in California juco ball, running his fastball up to 92 mph and showing a quick, short power slider. Berlind, at 6-foot-7, was drafted by the Cubs last year, went to Cal Poly in the fall and transferred to Pierce in January. He finished strong, showing a 90-92 mph fastball on his projectable frame, spinning a decent hard slider and showing aptitude with a newfound changeup.

Clemson transfer Jameson Smith had put himself in the state's solid mix of catchers by transferring back home. The Clovis High product was one of Fresno City College's key players in its run to the state's juco final four, batting third during the playoffs. He has patience and lefthanded power and is athletic enough to move out from behind the plate if he's deemed insufficient defensively. He has good arm strength and needs more reps as a catcher. He compares favorably to Vogt with his athleticism and ability to catch but lacks Vogt's offensive polish. Scouts got to measure Smith against Sac City's Ben Petralli, who's under control to the Tigers, in the playoffs. Petralli lacks Smith's power but has overcome a hand injury last spring to lead his team in on-base percentage.