Montreal Expos

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 9 Aaron Crow RHP Missouri Mo.
In three years, Crow has gone from an undrafted high school senior to the best righthander in the 2008 draft, thanks largely to the best fastball package available. Other pitchers may throw harder, but no one can match the combination of Crow's velocity (92-96 mph with a peak of 98), hard sink, command and ability to maintain his fastball. He also has a plus slider, though he tends to rely on it too much. His changeup can become a solid third pitch, but he has had little use for it in college. He has control and command, keeping the ball down and throwing strikes to both sides of the plate. If there's a quibble, it's Crow's delivery, which has some effort but is cleaner than it was coming out of high school. Some teams wonder if his mechanics and size (generously listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds) might make him more of a closer than a frontline starter. Crow led the Cape Cod League with a 0.67 ERA last summer and was the No. 1 prospect in the league. He threw 43 consecutive scoreless innings early this spring, and was tied for the D-I lead with 11 wins. He wasn't as sharp after the streak and was pulled from a start with back spasms, but he solidified his place at the top of the first round.
2 55 Destin Hood OF St. Paul's Episcopal HS, Mobile, Ala. Ala. $1,100,000
Hood showed his raw power and lightning-quick bat speed when he tied for the home run derby title at the Aflac Classic last fall. Raw and electric are two words scouts use to describe Hood. He has four raw tools but each with above-average projection. An exceptional athlete with a combination of strength and speed, Hood is signed to play football (wide receiver) and baseball at Alabama. At the plate, Hood has bat speed and raw power to rival anyone in this draft class, but his hit tool is currently lacking as he often swings and misses. A shortstop in high school, Hood will most definitely be moved to the outfield due to his below-average arm strength. He is a plus runner, and although his instincts are under-developed, could be an average defender in the future. The team that drafts Hood will believe in his ability to eventually hit. Upon reaching high ceiling, Hood projects as a middle of the order impact bat.
3 87 Danny Espinosa SS Long Beach State Calif. $525,000
Espinosa is one of the most distinctive players in college baseball with his strong, mature build and slightly bowlegged "egg beater" running style. Long praised by scouts for his work ethic and hustling style of play, Espinosa gets maximum results out of average tools. One scout compared him to former Cal State Fullerton infielder Justin Turner, though with a bit more athleticism. Defensively, his range is fair and his glove work is unorthodox, but he does possess a strong arm. While he handled shortstop well for Team USA last summer, Espinosa is not a pure shortstop and may be better suited to second base or as a utility player. His intelligent and aggressive baserunning masks raw speed that is only average. A switch-hitter, Espinosa has always been stronger from his natural right side, but improved from the left this year. He takes a wicked cut at anything close, and when he squares a pitch up he can produce screaming drives to all fields. Most scouts want to see more plate discipline and patience from Espinosa, who's considered a streak hitter. His lack of overwhelming tools will keep him out of the first two rounds, but he has a lot of attributes scouts love, including the knack to make those around him better.
4 121 Graham Hicks LHP Jenkins HS, Lakeland, Fla. Fla. $475,000
Lefthander Graham Hicks significantly improved his draft stock with an impressive performance at the Florida high school all-star game. Hicks showed a fastball up to 92 mph and plus pitchability with his curveball and changeup as well. All three are average pitches at worst with potential to improve. Hicks is a projectable 6-foot-5, 170 pounds with room to add strength and velocity to his fastball.
5 151 Adrian Nieto C American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. Fla. $376,000
A Cuban refugee, Nieto came to America as an 8-year-old and started catching not long after. A teammate of Hosmer since he was 11, the two have made pitchers' lives miserable for years. An Aflac All-American in the fall, Nieto is thought to be the best switch-hitting catching prospect in the country. Nieto is blessed with an above-average arm and has good instincts behind the plate. There are concerns with his receiving and blocking skills and whether or not he will be able to stay behind the plate is still to be determined. Regardless of position, he will be an offensive player. With power to all fields from both sides of the plate, Nieto has a good feel for hitting. At times, his approach at the plate needs refinement as he can be fooled or caught chasing. At 6 feet and 200 pounds, Nieto is more athletic than he looks and he runs and moves well for a catcher. Nieto plays the game with an ego and a swagger that should carry him to the big leagues. He is signed to play baseball at South Florida in the fall.
6 181 Paul Demny RHP Blinn (Texas) JC Texas $110,000
Demny looks the part of a prospect, as he has a strong 6-foot-3, 218-pound frame and can touch 94 mph with his fastball. He doesn't hold his velocity for more than a couple of innings, however, and pitches at 87-90 mph. His breaking ball is slurvy, and both his changeup and command are in the developmental stages.
7 211 Dan Killian C Kellogg (Mich.) JC Mich. $100,000
8 241 Ricardo Pecina LHP San Diego Calif. $100,000
9 271 J.R. Higley 1B Sacramento JC Calif. $150,000
A first baseman drawing interest is Loyola Marymount transfer J.R. Higley, who played this season at Sacramento City College. He has a solid hit tool and more athleticism than the average first baseman, as he went to Loyola Marymount as a shorstop.
10 301 Tommy Milone LHP Southern California Calif. $65,000
USC's top pitcher for the draft, righthander Tommy Milone, had a solid season working with first-year Trojans pitching coach Tom House, and did a better job of keeping his fringe-average stuff down. He gave up just four homers all year and struck out a batter an inning while lacking a plus pitch.
11 331 Marcus Jones OF North Carolina State N.C. $150,000
Marcus Jones is an intriguing prospect in center field for N.C. State. With a prototypical athlete's body, Jones runs well and looks the part on the baseball field. Defensively, Jones is an above-average defender with an average arm. The question is whether he'll hit enough at the professional level. Jones has good plate coverage and the ability to hit for power, and he has room to add strength.
12 361 Will Atwood LHP South Carolina S.C.
13 391 Blake Stouffer 2B Texas A&M Texas
Blake Stouffer, was a fourth-round pick of the Reds in 2007, when he led NCAA Division I with 85 RBIs. Scouts saw him as a switch-hitter with gap power and solid speed, and the big knock on him was that he didn't profile well defensively at any position. After negotiations soured with Cincinnati, Stouffer came back for his senior season and proved he could handle second base well enough to play there in pro ball. But his offensive performance regressed, and he's unlikely to get the $200,000 the Reds reportedly offered him a year ago.
14 421 Louis Coleman RHP Louisiana State La.
Righthander Louis Coleman went from starting on Friday nights for LSU as a freshman to struggling out of the bullpen as a sophomore. Tigers coaches had him pitch from a sidearm slot by the end of the 2007 season, but it didn't help. Coleman raised his arm angle back up to three-quarters this spring and has been a dynamic long reliever, pitching from 89-93 mph with run and sink on his fastball. His slider also is improved, and he never had much trouble throwing strikes.
15 451 J.P. Ramirez OF Canyon HS, New Braunfels, Texas Texas $1,000,000
Ramirez is arguably the best hitter among Texas' draft prospects this year--high school or college. He performed well all along the showcase circuit and batter .395 for the U.S. junior national team last summer. Employing a smooth lefthanded stroke, he smokes line drives from gap to gap. However, Ramirez' true value and his signability remain subjects of debate. He may be a tweener by pro standards. He's not big (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) and lacks the raw power that clubs want in a corner outfielder, while his fringy speed will prevent him form playing center field. His arm likely will relegate him to left field. Two different scouts compared him to David Dellucci. As much as Ramirez' hitting ability and his makeup draw praise, teams are unlikely to meet his top-two-rounds asking price to prevent him from attending Tulane.
16 481 Tyler Moore 1B Mississippi State Miss.
17 511 Jose Lozada SS Bethune-Cookman Fla.
18 541 Bobby Hansen LHP Lewis-Palmer HS, Monument, Colo. Colo. $142,500
19 571 Steve Lombardozzi Jr. SS St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC Fla.
20 601 Nick Akins OF Riverside (Calif.) JC Calif.
Riverside CC's Nick Akins' tools compare with any player in the nation, with a chiseled 6-foot-2, 212-pound build that would make a bodybuilder insecure. His raw bat speed is the equal of any draft-eligible player in the nation, and he hit 13 home runs this spring. Akins has always had a frustrating inability to hit offspeed and breaking stuff down in the zone, however, often chasing those pitches. After starting the 2008 season strong, he slumped to end the year. He's raw defensively and fits best at second base or left field. He's still showing the effects of missing the last year of his prep career in a well-chronicled on-field incident that got him kicked off his high school team.
21 631 Michael Guerrero OF Mississippi Miss.
Guerrero has athletic ability in the outfield and a chance to hit with occasional power at the professional level.
22 661 Chris Curran 2B Miami Dade JC Fla.
23 691 Derrick Phillips OF Westminster Christian Academy, St. Louis Mo.
24 721 Chris Kelley RHP Rice Texas
25 751 Austin Garrett LHP College of Charleston S.C.
26 781 Cory Mazzoni RHP Seneca Valley HS, Harmony, Pa. Pa.
Mazzoni has a clean, loose arm action and a good breaking ball, though it still needs work. He also has feel for a changeup. Mazzoni runs his fastball up to 92 despite his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame.
27 811 Chris Solis C Incarnate Word (Texas) Texas
28 841 Nick Arata SS Florida Atlantic Fla.
29 871 Chris Heston RHP Seminole (Fla.) JC Fla.
30 901 Casey Whitmer RHP Texas Texas
31 931 Bryan Harper LHP Las Vegas HS Nev.
Cal State Northridge signee Bryan Harper at times showed three average to plus pitches. His fastball sat at 87-89 mph and bumped some 90s while showing plus potential with his slider. He also has feel for a changeup, and at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, there's room for him to add strength and velocity. He may eventually be known as Bryce Harper's brother, as his freshman sibling may have been the state's top player this year, at age 14.
32 961 Scott Silverstein LHP St. John's HS, Washington, D.C. D.C.
If not for a midseason arm injury, Scott Silverstein likely would have been in the Top 200. After experiencing stiffness in the back of his shoulder, Silverstein was ordered to rest and didn't pitch for most of this season. When healthy, the lefthander pitches in the low 90s with a projectable breaking ball and advanced changeup. Due to the injury, Silverstein will likely be at Virginia next fall.
33 991 Billy Cather OF Maine Maine
Maine's Billy Cather is an exceptional defensive center fielder with above-average speed that plays on the basepaths (he stole 15 bases in 19 attempts this spring). He lacks strength at the plate, but one scout said he could play center field in the majors right away.
34 1021 Brian Pruitt OF Stetson Fla.
35 1051 Clayton Dill LHP Missouri Baptist Mo.
36 1081 John Lambert LHP Santa Fe (Fla.) JC Fla.
37 1111 Casey Selsor LHP Reagan HS, San Antonio Texas
38 1141 Ronnie Labrie 3B Lynchburg (Va.) Va.
39 1171 James Keithley SS Texas-San Antonio Texas
40 1201 Avery Barnes OF Florida Fla.
41 1231 Mike Rayl LHP Palm Beach (Fla.) JC Fla.
42 1261 Naoya Washiya OF JC of the Desert (Calif.) Calif.
43 1291 Anthony Meo RHP Cranston (R.I.) West HS R.I.
Cranston (R.I.) West righthander Anthony Meo flashes 91-92 mph velocity from a low-three-quarters arm slot that lends his fastball some movement. But he throws across his body and lacks secondary stuff, and he'll probably wind up at Coastal Carolina in the fall.
44 1321 J.P. Padron 1B Rice Texas
45 1350 Colin Rooney SS Saddleback (Calif.) JC Calif.
46 1378 Rob Brantly C Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. Ariz.
47 1405 Anthony Coletti LHP South Broward HS, Hollywood, Fla. Fla.
48 1432 Alex Dickerson OF Poway (Calif.) HS Calif.
49 1459 B.J. Zimmerman OF Osceola HS, Kissimmee, Fla. Fla.
50 1486 Fernando Frias OF Washington HS, New York N.Y.
Outfielder Fernando Frias has plenty of raw power but a raw approach, though he could hit home runs by the bushel in junior college.