State Report: Upper New England

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

***** One for the books
**** Banner year
*** Solid, not spectacular
** Not up to par
* Nothing to see here
It's a horrendous year for draft talent in upper New England, even by the region's own meager standards.

"There conceivably may not be a single draft up there," one area scout said. "Awful. As it is we're manufacturing those guys when it is a good year."

Last year was a one-star year for upper New England as well, but at least it produced Maine's Curt Smith, who has already reached Double-A with the Cardinals. This year, the top prospect is again a Maine product, but Myckie Lugbauer is more likely to be a senior sign in 2010 than a good draft this year as a junior.




1. Myckie Lugbauer, c, Maine
2. Nick Santomauro, of, Dartmouth
3. Matt Watson, c, Deering HS, Portland, Maine
4. Billy Cather, of, Maine
5. Dylan Clark, lhp, Trinity HS, Manchester, N.H.
6. Derrick Sylvestor, rhp, Franklin (N.H.) HS
7. Dan Feehan, rhp, Nashua (N.H.) South HS
8. Justin Albert, lhp, Vermont
9. Kevin Rivers, of, Franklin Pierce (N.H.)
10. Steven Cadoret, lhp, Franklin Pierce (N.H.)
11. Regan Flaherty, 1b, Deering HS, Portland, Maine
12. Joe Miller, rhp, Maine
13. Joe Serafin, lhp, Vermont


Very Slim Pickings

Catcher Myckie Lugbauer has batted better than .300 all three seasons at Maine, but his slugging percentage dropped more than 100 points from a year ago to .446. Lugbauer, who played with Stephen Strasburg on the New England Collegiate League's Torrington Twisters in 2007, is a line-drive hitter with average raw power, but presently his power is mostly to the gaps. He's a fringy defender with mediocre mobility and crude receiving skills, but he does have some arm strength, and he threw out 38 percent of basestealers this spring. He could be drafted in the top 15 rounds but might help his stock by returning to Maine and putting together a solid senior year.

Fellow Black Bear Billy Cather was drafted by the Nationals in the 33rd round as a junior last year, and he's gotten considerably stronger since then. A speed merchant with strong defensive skills in the outfield, Cather also had a solid offensive season, batting .344/.430/.491 with 16 stolen bases in 21 tries. He can make contact and will be drafted late as a senior sign.

Maine righty Joe Miller generated buzz early, reaching 93-94 mph in Florida, but he struggled getting outs all year and was shelved for much of the season with arm soreness.

Sticking in the America East Conference, Vermont lefthanders Justin Albert and Joe Serafin both have outside chances to be drafted late or sign as free agents after the draft. Both had mediocre seasons and neither has power stuff, but they could eat up some innings in the low minors. Albert can mix pitches and locations and pitches in the 87-90 mph range with his fastball. Serafin is not in great shape and his stuff went backward this year; he worked mostly in the mid-80s and showed a loopy, fringe-average curveball.

Dartmouth outfielder Nick Santomauro was the Ivy League player of the year, batting .377/.456/.630 with eight homers and 37 RBIs to lead the Big Green to regionals for the first time since 1987. He's just a junior, and it's hard to imagine any club buying him out of his senior year at Dartmouth, but he figures to be a quality senior sign in 2010. Santumauro has a lean, loose frame with some "buggy-whip" in his swing. He has some power, but it's all to the pull side. Ivy coaches praise him for being a tough out who seldom strikes out. He's a decent corner outfielder with a solid arm.

Headlining the high school crop in the region are a pair of players from Deering High in Portland, Maine. Catcher Matt Watson is a polished lefthanded hitter with some power to the middle of the field. He could develop into a quality catcher for Boston College, but he needs to work on his receiving and blocking skills, and his arm is fringy. His college commitment is firm and no club plans to sign him out of it. Teammate Regan Flaherty is following his older brother Ryan to Vanderbilt. He's got some projection but is raw in all phases and also seems certain to head to school.

Three prep arms in New Hampshire could develop into draft prospects in three years. Derrick Sylvestor, a Boston College signee, has a projectable 6-foot-7, 180-pound frame, but his fastball is just as likely to sit at 82 as 91, and he needs polish in all phases. Lefty Dylan Clark has projection in his 6-foot-5 frame but currently works in the 84-87 range. He commands it fairly well and has the makings for a good breaking ball, and he could blossom at Elon. Six-foot righty Dan Feehan has good command of a sinking 88-90 mph fastball, but his secondary stuff is fringy. He's headed to Connecticut.